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April 28, 1996


Dear Neighbors:

What are we to make of the mayor's "rejuvenation" announcement? What are you going to make of it in this ezine? I'm sure much. Before you go off half cocked, read the mayor's statement in the Washington Post. Then you can off fully cocked. The letter is just so damned interesting. One could read the letter and presume that the mayor has lapsed back into addiction to alcohol, sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. You can also read that the mayor's fighting a losing battle with prostate cancer. Or you can conclude that the mayor is just exhausted and needs to regroup. Talmudic scholars would/will have a field day.

Anyway, since the mayor made his recovery the center piece of his reelection bid, it's fair game for dc.story. From my very secondary sources, I've heard rumors of infidelity, drugs, and alcohol since the primary in 1994. I've also heard denials of all three.

But I keep thinking back to a point made during the mayoral election. If the mayor was truly is recovery and concentrating on his spiritual renewal, he wouldn't have jumped back into politics as soon as he got out of jail--running for the council seat in Ward 8 and then successfully for mayor. Though not intimately familiar with the 12-step program, some who are whispered that seeking political power contradicted its tenets. City Paper's Loose Lips wrote persuasively how Barry flaunted his recovery program, even using the meetings to out participants for political advantage.

So the question becomes one that many have wondered about for a long time: Is the mayor's most pernicious addiction to power?


Karen Lundegaard reports in the Washington Business Journal about the retail mess in Van Ness. Gone are Pizza Hut, Payless Shoes, and Voorthuis Optician. The Gap will soon depart as well. The problem? A limited residential base, an odd mix of clientele, and the uncertain future of UDC. The solution? That's your homework assignment.


Jeffrey Itell



Residents of the District of Columbia are the only United States citizens who are required to pay Federal taxation yet lack voting representation in Congress.

All other non-state territories of the United States, which also lack voting representation in Congress, are without exception exempted from Federal taxation. These include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Somoa.

Today's payment of Federal taxes in no way contributes to eventual statehood for the District of Columbia. In fact, the continued payment of Federal taxes without commensurate voting representation in Congress gives NO incentive for the Federal government or the states to EVER grant that representation.

Federal income taxes paid by District residents far exceed the direct Federal payment to the District of Columbia.

The District's non-voting delegate to Congress does not constitute representation. Every other non-state, non-taxpaying territory has a similar delegate, and all delegates lacks power to vote on legislation. Though in protocol they are treated with respect as are Representatives, politically Delegates are not granted the deference in local issues and lack the negotiating power of Representatives.

The District is the only local jurisdiction in the United States that cannot spend even locally generated revenues without approval of Congress and the signature of the President (not parking ticket fines, not property tax receipts, not a dime).

The elimination of Federal taxation for residents of the District of Columbia is the right thing to do. The Declaration of Independence was drafted, in part, to reject the notion of taxation without representation. The Constitution guarantees all American citizens equal treatment under the law. Therefore, so long as District residents do not receive the right to full representation in the Congress of the United States, they are entitled to be exempted from taxation passed by the Congress and over which their elected representatives do not have an equal voice.

Randy Wells Are you a DC Citizen for Tax Justice? To add to the DC Tax Facts, or show your support, e-mail or call (202) 483-3373. *************************************

Randy Wells is absolutely right on. But where/how do we start? Forgive me, father and mother, for I filed my 1040 along with the largest check I've written since I bought my house. It's too late to turn back now. Or is it? Let's do a D.C. Boston Tea Party by dumping mass quantities of 1040s in the Tidal Basin.

Willie Schatz


Some DC residents have income from all over the world--retirement, dividends, interest income, partnerships, real estate, and on and on. The Norton proposal limits the DC tax break to local income and investments. People who live here are still part of the United States and the world. Limiting the proposal to local income is provincial and tough to administer. As currently drafted, the proposal is limited in its attractiveness and thus its impact on D.C.


Like many of your readers I am generally favorably disposed to the Norton tax plan, with a few reservations: First, what becomes of the city's Federal payment? Simply cutting Federal taxes does not necessarily mean that a household's total tax bill would go down. Would the plan in fact result in lower *total* taxes for DC homeowners? Second, why a flat tax? Why not a lower, but progressively structured, income tax?

One of the best things about this proposal, however, is its philosophy. This is one of the very few solutions that is specifically intended to make the city a better place to live. Virtually nobody -- not Congress, not the Council, and certainly not the Mayor -- *ever* looks at the city's problems from the standpoint of improving the quality of life for its taxpaying residents. Those who govern this city are mainly interested in furthering their personal or philosophical agendas or maintaining their power bases. The actual well-being of the people who pay the freight is almost never taken into account, as is evident by the wholesale destruction of the downtown area, the continual evasion of zoning and historical preservation restrictions, and the rapacious taxation of the few remaining residents who are solvent.

Let's see some more ideas that would make D.C. more resident-friendly.

Stephanie Faul



I almost hesitate to enter the "dialogue" between Gabe Goldberg and Jeff Portent, however, I will. I believe it is fair to say that people who live near Metro have paid a premium for their houses for the ease with which they can reach the subway system. Therefore, I have to assume that people who do not live near the Metro decided that convenience was not a prerequisite in choosing their homes and that their quality of life issues had other priorities, (schools, shopping, nearness to highways or work, etc.) Therefore, I find it a little hard to understand Mr. Goldberg's surprise on how difficult it is to attend events downtown. If that had been of primary importance to him, his choice of housing may have been different. Perhaps he can take solace in knowing that his home was less expensive (or rent is lower) and he can use the difference to take taxis for the times he wants to attend Smithsonian events. We all make choices and trade-offs. I can't imagine that there are so many events downtown that Mr. Goldberg would like to attend which would warrant his moving, but perhaps I am wrong.

Leila Afzal


I just moved into a an apartment building on Connecticut Avenue in NW that is still partially under construction. I have joined other new residents in parking in one of half-dozen spaces located behind the building in the alley. Last night (at about 3:30 a.m.) I and the other residents received parking tickets for parking in the alley. We were not blocking the alley, and other residents who live in other buildings along the alley park in the same manner as we do. Furthermore, it is posted on the building that the spaces are reserved for residents of the building.

My questions: "How can the D.C. government ticket us for parking in what I believe to be the building owner's property? As long as we are not blocking traffic, is it illegal for us to park in designated spaces in an alley? If the parking officer believed the building has no residents, would that be a reason for him/her to ticket us anyway? How do we inform the police that the upper floors of the building are occupied and people might actually like to park on site? Is there a way to contest this ticket and prevent others without going to traffic court (spending a day to save the current $20 without eliminating future tickets does not appeal to me)?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!



Ms. Flynn's response is the typical irrational nic-fit-induced response one can expect from a smoker. I've seen what smoking can do. My grandfather suffered greatly before he died from lung cancer. Thus, here's my position: if you want to kill yourself, fine. It's your First Amendment right. But don't force me to breathe your second-hand smoke. We non-smokers have a right to clean air. Period. Your First Amendment right to be offensive does not entitle you to litter the ground with your filthy butts and fill the air with dangerous carcinogens. Get real--nobody ever died from a fart or cheap perfume.

Rick Rosenthal


If Adrianne Flynn can remove the cloak of self righteousness from her eyes see would notice that discarded cigarette filters are _forever_. Fiberglass doesn't break down in my neighborhood and I don't think it breaks down on her planet either. If no ashtrays are available for her convenience, why doesn't she just do the right thing. . . and _eat_ them?

Claude Seymour


And Where There is Smoke, There is.....Fire

I'm suprised people haven't been talking about the proposed fire house closings. The Mayor has targeted three stations for closing, all in Northwest. Not the smaller stations either (like the one in Mt. Pleasant) He's targeted the ones on U Street, downtown (M ST?) and Georgia Ave.

These stations are all very busy, but interestingly enough they all service areas where the Mayor has not done well with politically, and probably never will. Any comments?



In response to Marc Fisher's query:

This is from the Reader's Digest Legal Question and Answer Book (1988), which was prepared by lawyers with Hyatt Legal Services, page 257: "I hit a pothole and needed $200 worth of repairs. Is the city liable? "Yes, if the pothole was wide and deep enough to be dangerous and if the city was aware or should have been aware that this dangerous condition existed. Cities have a duty to be aware of the condition of their streets and to keep them reasonably safe."

Tom Price



Just read today's (4/25) Post article about proposed D.C. school closings. It appears that only one or two of the proposed closings would involve consolidation of facilities with low enrollments. The others are schools devoted to adult ed, English as a Second Language, and other activities that the School Board apparently views as frills. Before eliminating programs such as these, shouldn't more effort be made to identify additional savings through consolidations. Reports in the media constantly refer to the many underutilized schools in the District, and yet only a couple made the list. Why? Are too few of the undersubscribed schools sufficiently close to others that could accept additional students, or is it simply because it would be too politically sensitive to include more low-enrollment schools on the list? Granted that English classes for adult immigrants and beauty parlor management are not standard fare for public schools; however, they do serve an important purpose. If comparable savings can be realized by closing/consolidating more low-enrollment traditional schools, then I feel that it's the proper approach to take.

Ralph Blessing



For those of you who have been breathlessly (or not so breathlessly) awaiting the grand opening of Chicken Out at the old EXXON location on Mass. Ave., the big event is currently scheduled to occur on Wednesday, 8 May. This is the date, according to the interior furnishing supervisor. Will there be a vegetarian protest march? Will the Spring Valley Chicken Out opponents rally en masse to spoil the big event? I'll be in New York. let me know what happens.

Ed Barron



We moved from Dupont Circle to the Hill in February and have much stuff (household things, clothes, etc.) to still "get rid of". A garage/yard sale doesn't interest me. Would be glad to donate if a group/individual would pick up.

If you know of someone or organization who might, do advise. Thanks!



The Textile Museum (2320 S Street, NW) will present a day-long symposium in conjunction with the exhibition The Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art-to-Wear in America on May 11 from 10-4. Clothing as art, popular fashion and theater costume will be discussed. Speakers include Jun Kanai from the Kyoto Costume Institute and Richard Martin from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cost is $60 and includes lunch. For more information contact


FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS-DC -- 3 blocks to Metro. Share spacious, lovely non-smoking house. Lots of XTRAS. $472+ Contact Jan at, 202-364-0383, or leave a message.


Seeking Person to Share Office Space

I am an estate planning, probate, elder law attorney in Northwest DC and would like to hear from anyone out there (lawyer or not)who might be interested in sharing office space in the Cleveland Park, Tenleytown, Chevy Chase or Friendship neighborhoods. Please call/email me if like-minded. Thanks. Stephanie Grogan: 202-237-2357, ******************************************

Transcribers needed to work from live speeches or digital audio. All work in DC metro area, some on-site, some in Dupont Circle. Most work is a full-day job, but you are totally flexible in the days you choose to work. Pay is $12.50 per hour. E-mail or fax your resume (nothing fancy, just some information) to or fax (202) 244-9629.


Volunteers are needed to pick up food for the homeless from various stores in North West, Washington DC once per week for Martha's Table and the Homeless Breakfast Program at St. Margaret's Church. Must have a car. You can call Bruce McBarnette (703) 404-8429.

Bruce McBarnette


*** Seeking travel info and recommendations ***

I'm off to France on my honeymoon in late May/early June. I'm in pretty good shape arrangements-wise, but there are a few gaps. Perhaps DC Story readers can help:

1) Can anyone recommend an inexpensive, but comfortable, hotel in Tours, Amboise, Blois or Orleans?

2) Can anyone recommend an inexpensive, but comfortable, hotel in Montparnasse, Paris?

3) Can anyone recommend a car rental agency?

Send all recommendations to moi:

Evan Roth (work) (home)


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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