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April 12, 1996

Parking Justice

Dear Neighbors:

Here's what we heard on the street. Part of the huge amount of celebration attending the 100th anniversary of the Washington College of Law (at American University) have been addresses by such luminaries as Chief Justice Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It turns out that when Justice Ginsberg was driven up to the law school earlier this week, like other motorists and neighbors, her driver had trouble finding a place to park near the school. Apparently desperate (and probably unaware of the Huge Parking Issue in the area), he parked in a private driveway. As could have been anticipated, the owner of the home promptly parked the Ginsberg car in and wouldn't let it out when Justice Ginsberg finished her appearance at the festivities. Ed Barron, what do you know about this?

I've got a Mustek 2600C color sheetfed scanner for sale. $100. Twain and Windows 3 compatible. Only one left.


Jeffrey Itell


Single-family Home Construction on National Zoo Grounds

Nature alert: one of the better shows in town right now is in the trees surrounding the Bird House at the Zoo. The black-crowned night herons (my very rough count was 200-300 of them) are involved in a major nesting effort. If you're intrigued by this sort of thing, see it soon before the trees leaf out!

Beth Johnson


Merchant News

In response to Frank Gaffney and Valerie Kenyon who asked about the whereabouts of former 17th St. shops, I know that Flying Saucer Discs has moved to 18th St. in the basement shop where Uniform used to be. Uniform is now across the street on the same block.

Erika Williams


In Response to Frank Gaffney/Valery Kenyon, the superb Flying Saucer Discs has moved up to 18th St. in Adams' Morgan. On the same block as Idle Time Books, I think.

Amanda Revere


Flying Saucer Discs, owned by the inimitable Paul Chicchetti (hope I spelled that right, Paul) and Matt Dunn, moved to 18th Street in Adams-Morgan a week ago. Dark Horse Books has indeed gone out of business for lack of profits. Don't know the situation of Carmella Kitty's. Seems to me it was always busy.

Evan Roth



You asked about rumors of a break-in at 34th and Porter. I've heard the same, and also that there have been several other break-ins in the same area by the same man. According to the stories I've heard, this guy, whose description seems to vary every time I hear it, breaks in through a lower-level window in the early hours of the morning and appears in the bedroom armed with a gun. I have heard from a few people that he's assaulted at least one person. The Second District is obviously aware of the problem, but word of mouth is the only publicity I know of.

Another troubling aspect of the problem for me is that our block, 34th Place between Ordway and Newark, has been almost completely without street lights for many weeks. Kathy Patterson's office says repairing them is Pepco's responsibility, but the District hasn't paid for the service and it's therefore not getting done. Utter darkness certainly does not help repel someone bent on breaking in.

Jonathan Abram


Large mean Pothole

I went to help my roommate last night with a flat tire, she was calling on the phone of another car that had also been flattened. When I got there at 7:45 there were two others. In all, a total of 8 cars recieved a flat tire in 45 minutes. I am sure there have been many others. The pothole is on Reno road southbound after you reach the top of the hill past Porter St. The DC police showed up and managed to grab two orange cones from the nearby elementary school and place them in the hole. No mention of Public works being called though. Watch out it's a mean one.

David Hunter



I've been thinking about an issue dealing with D.C. Schools that I'd like to throw out to the group here. I'm single and have no children. BUT, I tutor a second grade student at Thomson Elementary School (12th & K N.W.). I've noticed that the materials they use in class are not spanking new, but they seem to be getting an adequate education. The teacher seems to have her hands full. I don't know exactly how many students are in each class, but it looks like maybe 30. I was born in the middle of the baby boom, so I remember that all my classes in public school were least 35. We had one teacher, with specialty teachers for gym and music (I think that was it).

My point in raising the size of the classes I was in, is to say that for some reason, teachers today have more than they can handle with 30 some students. I believe, from my observation, that it may be in part due to parents NOT spending as much time teaching kids at home as most parents did in the 50's (when I was in grade school). Of course, there are some solid reasons for this. For example, we could survive in the 50's more easily with a single-income earner. There was less stress on the family, too, for that and other reasons. But the benefits we probably got from our parents were beyond what most children today have. For instance, my father DRILLED my sister and me with addition and subtraction problems when we were just beginning to learn this in school. The kids I see today (at least at this D.C. public school) are being asked to do division before they can really quickly tell you what 5 + 8 equals.

I may be oversimplifying the situation/problem and a possible solution here, but here goes:

Based on my experience as a tutor and given these kids relish having the attention once a week from a tutor (my agency does this in partnership with the school, so several of us go to Thomson to tutor each week), why not ask more workers in D.C. to devote one hour each week to a D.C. student? We can't get a commuter tax, right? We can't get support from people on the Hill and in other power corners on our fiscal and other problems? Why not have them be part of the solution! Think about Hillary Clinton's notion of "It Takes a Village". I can't think of a possible first inclination is always too make it MANDATORY! But I'm sure there's a way to implement something like this. I think the rewards to the adults participating would be phenomal as well as the benefits the children will receive. A lot of information, care, support, and the like, can come through to a child in one hour of one-on-one attention.

Renee Schwager Dupont Circle neighborhood


There are two huge problems with schools:

1. There is no incentive for a teacher to teach or perform his/her duties well. Tenure has stripped that away, and salary increases, although meager, are automatic. Teachers are rated by their peers, and almost all are given very good ratings.

2. There is no incentive for schools to perform well. Their enrollment is automatic, except occasionally when there is rumbling about closing. Then all the school community's previously unused energy comes out to keep their mediocre school going. With competition (e.g. with no boundaries to where kids can go), schools would have to sell themselves to the entire city. The worse schools will be forced to close, as it should be. Don't tell me that is going to disenfranchise the poorest kids; they already are completely disenfranchised. That's why they vote for people like Marion Barry.

This is coming from a liberal who agrees with the Republicans on only two issues, education being one. I have also taught in both public and private schools.

Paul Penniman


The Children's Defense Fund is sponsoring STAND FOR CHILDREN on June 1 at the Lincoln Memorial. It is intended to be a demonstration of commitment "to leave no child behind," a day to show support for children and to highlight the need for solutions to problems which face our nation's children.

This will be a day-long event with entertainment on the Mall and speakers at the Memorial. Over 1600 local, regional and national organizations have endorsed the event, among them: AFL-CIO, AARP, National PTA, NAACP, AFT, NEA, National League of Cities, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, numerous religious groups and scores of Junior Leagues.

Although this is a national demonstration, local support is vital. If you have kids, work with kids, know some kids, or ever were a kid, mark JUNE 1 on your calendar and plan to be on the Mall. Tell your friends. Invite your out-of-town relatives.

For more information, e-mail or check out the Web Site at Http:\\ If you want to help organize folks in Ward 3 contact me.

Barbara Somson



In his partisan Republican diatribe, Tom Mattes's statement, ". . . redrawing the Union to allow more noncontiguous states as we did the one and only time with Massachusetts-Maine, dating back to colonial times. . ." makes me wonder if he knows that the Virginia counties of Accomac and Northampton are discontiguous from the rest of the state of Virginia? I guess he never noticed that long drive through Maryland to get to Chincoteague.

Claude Seymour


The most recent editions of <dc.story> seem to be producing something of a concensus about the dual questions of retrocession and statehood:

1. Status quo home rule works poorly, if at all, and denies DC representation in Congress. If it continues, the district should receive at least a partial exemption from federal taxes.

2. Statehood is very unlikely.

3. Retroceding (like our worthy editor, I like to mangle a word every now and then!) to Maryland, while not a sentimental favorite, has distinct advantages, but there's little evidence the Old Line State will take DC back.

Kibitzing time again. I believe that the partial tax exemption from number one is the answer to number three's dilemma. What if Congress granted to residents of the City of Washington a 50% (or, for that matter, 25%, 10% or 5%) break in federal taxes for 50 years? I think the economic revival that resulted would be substantial enough in 2-3 years to revive interest from the power brokers of Annapolis. Think of all that lovely state tax money sitting uncollected! And all they would have to do to get it is increase their population and their representation in Congress! Not to mention that the MD Chamber of Commerce could boast of the attractions in DC as part of their tourism and convention packages. Needless to say, the federal tax break would have to continue for the full 50 years as part of the deal.

If that's not enough, then Congress should offer to help with some infrastructure repairs for, say, ten years. In other words, bribe Annapolis to take DC back. Pay MD a retrocession fee, if need be. If "bribe" is too ugly a word, then call it negotiating.

As a Virginian, I wouldn't particularly care to see our neighbors across the Potomac getting such a tax break. But I would welcome ending the injustice of hundreds of thousands with neither representatives nor senators to call their own, not to mention the crime, potholes, etc. we have to explain with red faces to foreign visitors. I believe if DC residents lobby for such a solution, they will get it.

PS. If Uncle Sam can't stand having Maryland running the utility service to the Capitol and White House, the National Park Service and Capitol Police could keep running the core areas of the government. But let MD have the rich lobbyists and lawyers on K Street.

Tom Matthes


Another reason for opposing retrocession -- no Republican in DC has ever suggested I move to North Korea or China like Tom Matthes did, at least not since the fifties. A real blast from the past.

Matthes is wrong about DC having to join Maryland if it goes anywhere. Despite what he says, the Constitition says no such thing. This is one of the great myths of the retros.

My point about the original grant being probably illegal applied to Maryland's ratification not to the federal establishment of the district.

I further note that the fact that DC residents don't want to go to Maryland is apparently considered irrelevant by Matthes. This attitude, of course, points to the major problem -- the number of people who don't think DC should have rights and think they have the right to tell us what to do.

Perhaps if Captain Itell would start a thread on how to improve life in northern Virginia we could return the favor. For example, why do my radial tires seem so much happier to be there than I am?

sam smith


Donate your used books for the Academy of Hope's annual used book sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Academy of Hope, a not-for-profit adult literacy program serving low-income and homeless adults in D.C.

Mark your calendars. The used book sale will take place Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Festival Center located at 1640 Columbia Road, N.W. All paper back books $1!!! All hardcover books $3!!!TO DONATE BOOKS CALL (202) 328-2029. Deadline for donations is Thursday, May 2.


If D.C. Story readers are looking for something fun to do over this weekend and any others through June 2, 1996, they should see the exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery called "Rebels: Painters and Poets of the 1950s."

This two part exhibition features the images of four circles of poets -- the Beats; the San Francisco Renaissance, the Black Mountain School and the New York School. Included are portraits of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Courso, William Borroughs, Jonathan Williams, Gary Snyder, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, etc. Excerpts of their poems can be heard as well. The painters part of the exhibition features portraits of the Abstract Expressionists. It includes images of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, Barnett Newman, etc. as well as images of dealers Peggy Guggenheim, Betty Parsons, and critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg.



This weekend (4/13), there is a citywide work-a-thon/fundraiser for DC Public Schools called "Hands on DC" 202-232-6151, This is the second year for the program (I didn't participate last year, but I will be painting this Sat.)

Jeff Alpher


May 7, 6-8 p.m.: "Healthy Living - Healthy Business" where two marketing specialists--Ms. Jean Komendera of KSK Communications and Catherine Malloy, Dr.Public Health, will show how and why the enduring public interest in "wellness" can be used as an effective marketing tool. Networking and tips for healthy living will be plentiful.

Location: Marriott Crystal City, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. Cost: $30 for American Marketing Association members, $35 for nonmembers. Light dinner buffet. Contact: Leonard Rickman - VP Health Care Division, 301-649-7073 or


Bike the Sites, Inc. provides daily guided bicycle tours of the Washington area and civil war battlegrounds, bikes and equipment will be provided.

We are currently looking to employ several guides. If you or someone you know is an extrovert, likes dealing with people, is moderately athletic, wants to spend the summer outside, is at least 18 years old and wants to get paid, please send inquiry to e-mail.address.

Gary Oelsner


$4,000 or more for processing a successful commercial loan transaction. Work from your home on your own schedule. Background in proposal writing, real estate, banking, or accounting is helpful but not necessary. Call Bruce McBarnette, an attorney who facilitates commercial loan transactions, at (703) 404-8429.

$10,000 for Every Successful Call. Work from your home on your own schedule, at least 3 hours per week. Market commercial mortgage loans by making follow up telephone calls on a nationwide mailing to businesses. Pay for your own telephone expenses. Call Bruce McBarnette, attorney and financier, (703) 404-8429.

$2,000 or more for a Successful Internet Search. Search for investors to fund certain financing requests. Call Bruce McBarnette, attorney and financier, (703) 404-8429.

Hockey and Ice Skating Fans. $5,000 for helping financier successfully find an investor for ice skating complex being built in Maryland by one of the country's foremost experts in ice skating facilities. Call Bruce McBarnette (703) 404-8429.

Bruce McBarnette


For fast, reliable Internet services and cutting edge Websites contact Michael Mann at Interstate Internet Web:


Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

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