themail.gif (3487 bytes)

April 19, 1996

Control Board Birthday

Dear Neighbors:

The Control Board celebrates (if that's the right word) its first anniversary this week. Yes, it's been one year and I bet most of you can't name two (one?) board member. Hey, it's my job and I have a hard enough time. (I can't even keep the Supreme Court Justices straight.)

As New York Mayor Ed Koch would say, "How'm I doing?" Post your thoughts about the Control Board for our Monday issue.


Jeffrey Itell


Leaf Nazis

I no sooner sent you my cranky complaint about leaf nonpickup when I found that on that *very* day my leaf bags had been collected--or at least they aren't in my alley anymore. Coincidence? Or is DPW on the electronic backfence? If I write about the pothole in front of my house will that get fixed too? (Maybe I should try for my income tax refund while I'm on a roll/role and hope DFR is listening.)

Now I guess I have no further excuse for not shoveling out the leaves in the alley...

Barbara Bovjberg


Rather than go after people who forget to rake their leaves, I'd prefer to see the department ticket people who throw lit (and unlit) cigarettes onto the streets and sidewalks. Can't smokers figure out the difference between a public sidewalk and an ashtray?

Throwing a cigarette on the ground is an active offense, someone choosing to do something they probably know is wrong. Forgetting to rake leaves is passive, I'm sure many people aren't even aware of the ordinance.

Michael Tacelosky



I can't believe that April 15th came and left, and that no one complained about the tax situation. I'm disgusted with D.C. and with the residents apathy toward the taxation issue (particularly the federal taxation without representation issue). I paid almost five thousand bucks in D.C.income taxes this year, and at tax time I owed a couple of hundred more. I understand that this gets me valuable snow removal and pothole repair services, but nonetheless, I'm ready to organize a symbolic D.C. version of the "Boston Tea Party." Any ideas ?

Jim Foti



Do you have any idea what is going on with the old [not so] Perpetual bank branch on the corner of Wisconsin and Windom Streets? There is construction going on, but no notices on what will be locating there.

Bob Doherty


The Peking Cafe on Conn. Ave has been resurrected as the Pagoda of Georgetown. Located at 1734 Wisc. Tel 202-333-7958. Same brothers are owners. They deliver to their old customers in Cleveland Park.

David Burka



My point was that the combination of circumstances makes some downtown events less inviting, and I wondered what the solution might be. The responder seems unable to imagine that someone else's transportation issues and tradeoffs, though different from his own, might be equally valid. It's a minor inconvenience, yes, that I can't attend all the events that appeal to me. I don't think I mentioned my, or collective, dignity being attacked. We're not likely to solve many problems if we attack people who discuss them, eh?

No, no, no, you missed my point. Which was probably my own fault.

I wasn't referring to the minor inconvenience of missing the events, I was referring to the minor inconvenience of walking to Metro (which, as I recall, you said was long but still in the realm of possibility), or presumably taking a cab. "Bailing on it entirely" means not going because you can't find parking at Metro in mid-day.

The diatribe was not specifically directed at you, but rather at the attitude that public transit is inconvenient --> all inconveniences must be fixed --> how can we solve this problem? Public transit by definition is not going to provide door to door service, so the first premise is correct. Solving problems is a good thing, so the third premise is correct. But the second? I'm not sure of that -- and I do know I have a visceral reaction to the idea of not doing things one enjoys, such as downtown cultural events, because they are inconvenient. Major sacrifice might stop me from indulging, but an inconvenience should be just that -- something that's not convenient but still doesn't prevent me from doing whatever it is I want to do.

I also disagree with the implication, "Parking is a problem. How can we fix this problem?" The original letter implied that this should be solved somehow, and the only thing I can think of to solve that is to build more parking -- i.e., a public response to solve what is mostly a private problem (since the majority is getting parking, thereby making the lot full). It seems clear to me that parking is a problem only if you want to park, and there are clear alternatives to that.

Jeff Porten


Ed Barron's Driveway

There's good news and bad news for the infamous Barron driveway near the AU Law School. The good news is that the driveway has completely lost its identity. It is now officially part of the Metrobus stop on the corner of Mass. Ave and 48th Sts. Following a series of letters and phone calls to AU, the Police Department, The Department of Public Works, and my uncle Sydney (he runs a towing business in Bayonne), by my spouse, she finally struck paydirt.

The DPW came yesterday (and with no great ceremony) installed a very visible sign about ten feet shy of the South edge of my driveway which proclaims all the curb from that sign North to 48th St. as THE Metrobus stop. Other signs on this same post warn about the hours that parking is totally prohibited (afternoons for the rush hour traffic) and the number of hours allowed at other times (zone 3 stickers excepted). Another Metrobus zone sign is on the lamppost (about thirty feet north of the driveway) with big red arrows saying no parking on either side of the sign. The really good news is that we now can call Parking Enforcement and they will immediately come to ticket any car parked in the Metrobus zone.

O.K. Now the bad news (if you haven't figured it out already). There are now three more drivers looking for parking spots. The two who formerly parked legally (perhaps) on the North side of what is formerly my driveway, and the illegal parker who blocked the driveway. Only two problems remain. What do I do with my fifteen foot pole and all the Crazy Glue?

Ed Barron


Kennedy Playground

Are you interested in helping rejuvenate the historic Kennedy Playground located in Washington, DC? You are invited to the Town Hall Meeting on the Renovation of Kennedy Playground, to be held Saturday, May 4, 1996, from 10 am to 12 noon.

The Meeting will take place on Kennedy Playground, entrance located on P Street, N.W. between 6th and 7th Streets, N.W. Councilmember Jack Evans, who represents Ward 2 where the Playground is located, and Dr. Gaines, head of the DC Department of Recreation and Parks, are both planning to attend and are big supporters of the playground's renovation. Come out and participate in creating the new Kennedy Playground, share your ideas on future programs, how to make the playground safe, and the proposed design of the new building and site layout.

The Playground was originally opened in June 1964, and is named in honor of President John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy, his brother and then-Attorney General, was a leading figure in getting the Playground built. When first opened, thousands of children from throughout the city and across the country played there every week.

Community residents of the Shaw neighborhood, where Kennedy Playground is located, have spent over a year in planning the renovation of the playground. Suggestions and help are needed from everyone interested in seeing this important project happen.

The rejuvenated Kennedy Playground is important to the Shaw neighborhood, as the current playground has deteriorated to the point of being an eyesore and hazard to the community. But even more importantly, the surrounding neighborhood is the home to many hundreds of children, many living in apartment buildings, who desperately need a safe, clean and healthy facility--a facility that offers both organized activities and a vital patch of open and green space in which to play.

To volunteer, or for additional information, please e-mail or Contact Randy Wells, Secretary, Friends of Kennedy Playground. Tel. 202.483.3373.



I'm delighted to see the substantive responses to the retro- cession issue. This is great and just what we need to advance the agenda on debating alternatives for D.C. governance. The Ward 3 Dems endorsed the Precinct 8 Committee's initiative to conduct a forum on policy options for D.C. governance to begin in September, 1996. We need to utilize dc.story as a list-serve to broaden the public interest and involvement. Moreover, it is important that those respondents who are so articulate in expressing their views become actively involved in this project. The plan is to have these forums address the policy options which have been advanced so far, e.g. retro, tax-reduced zone, etc., and to produce a report of the proceedings which will be ratified by D.C. residents and sent to Congress. Nick



House Sitter - DC, Virginia, Maryland areas

Are you going to be gone this summer? Do you need someone to water the plants, feed and care for your animals, collect the mail, relay your answering machine messages and who will respect your property and care for it in the same manner you would?Do you want to help a PhD student continue her research in the Maryland, Virginia, DC area? THEN I'M THE ONE FOR YOU!

My Goal: My dissertation topic is Women in Paramilitary Organizations in the 1970s (History). I will be searching for interview subjects as well as conducting data gathering at the National Archives and Library of Congress.

My Need: Any sized home or apartment, for me and my son (10 years old), that needs loving care for the summer months (June/July/Aug - or any part thereof!) and is within 100 miles of DC. I am flexible about any arrangement concerning time frames and your need to come home. Within reason, I can "vacate" for short periods of time. Let's talk. As well, if you have a guest house/furnished apartment or house that you would not mind renting out (cheap!) that is a possible solution for me too!

My Abilities: Having worked in law enforcement I understand a person's need for security and can arrange contact with a number of personal references. I can care for any animals you may have - large or small. I have experience in caring for horses, cows, chickens, pigs and just about any other kind of livestock a person may have. As well, I can care for small animals such as dogs, cats, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes, lizards, hermit crabs and aquariums. Plants thrive under my care. I am clean in my habits, quiet and considerate to neighbors and my son is a good kid who has the same qualities as I. (I plan to have him attend day camp when I need to be in town for research.)

Bonnie Hutchens University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, History Department


Thursday, 9 May 1996. The National Zoo presents "Spirits of the Rain Forest" as part of this year's Environmental Film Festival. The film, produced by the Discovery Channel, explores Peru's Manu Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest, rain forest preserves in the world. This pristine area is known for its six-foot-long otters and brightly colored macaws. For the past 20 years, a Maryland scientist, Charles Munn, has studied the park's macaws. Now a conservation zoologist with the renowned New York Zoo's Wildlife Conservation Society, he has become one of the world's foremost authorities on these colorful members of the parrot family. He is featured in the film and will make remarks following the screening, bringing viewers up to date on his work and the latest developments in the park.

6:30 p.m. Reception. 7:00 p.m. Program. Education Building Auditorium. Enter at Connecticut Ave. and park in Lot A. Free, but reservations requested. RSVP by calling (202) 673-4801 or e-mailing to

Also, don't forget next week's program on 24 April. William Lishman, author of "Father Goose: One Man, a Gaggle of Geese, and Their Real Life Incredible Journey South" will autograph his book beginning at 7 p.m. (We'll have refreshments, too!) Lishman's talk begins at 8 p.m.

When you RSVP, please specify which program you will attend. And PLEASE feel free to share these announcements with anyone you think might be interested. If you know of anyone who would like to be included on the ZOOGNUS list, send me his e-mail address!

Margie Gibson NZPEM053@SIVM.SI.EDU


The Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra, conducted by Sylvia Alimena (who also conducts the Eclipse Orchestra) will perform Brahms' 3rd symphony, Humperdinck's "Hansel & Gretl" overture, and Gounod's "Petite Symphonie" for winds. Sunday, April 28, 7:30 PM, NOVA, Annandale Campus, Cultural Center. Rte 236 [exit 6 west off 495] at Wakefield Chapel Rd. Parking free, and no tickets required.

E. James Lieberman, M.D.


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


Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

Your Electronic Backfence

For a free subscription, send e-mail to


Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)