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November 4, 1996

Voting Guide

Dear Neighbors:

With all due respect to the secret ballot, I hereby announce my voting preferences for Tuesday. Some of my choices may seem ridiculous, but then so are some of the candidates.

For councilmember-at-large, I cast one vote for Carol Schwartz, even thought I have some reservations about her tax cut proposals. To improve her chances, I will not exercise my second vote. I emphatically will not vote for Harold Brazil. Mediocrity can find its reward elsewhere. And if I could, I would vote in a manner that would ensure that Valencia Mohammed and Don Folden would spend several weeks alone on an island together—where they would drive each other nuts and leave us in peace.

In the Wards where I can’t vote:

Ward 2: I vote for Roger Moffatt. He’s totally unqualified, but he would knock the unqualified Jack Evans off the council. Evans platform is to balance the city’s budget by tricking the federal government into picking up about a billion dollars in city expenses. Yeah, and Clinton’s going to perform cartwheels naked on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ward 4: Rick Malachi over Charlene Drew Jarvis. I like Charlene. She’s smart. She had me lunch in a debate on the Derrick McGinty show. But she’s been the District economic development guru for years. Look at her achievements. I have nothing favorable to say about Malachi other than he’s not an incumbent.

Ward 7: I’d cast my vote for James Bernard Miles to oust Kevin Chavous. The council will never work unless there is a Republican minority holding the majority accountable for its actions. Chavous has no record of achievement but for some reason is supposed to represent "potential ." Word has it that he doesn’t even represent potential at his day job. He’s in over his head.

Ward 8: Vote for Sandy Allen. She may turn out to be a hack, but she’s enthusiastic and works hard. And although she’s likely to fall back in cahoots with the mayor, she fought him last time and won. She’s got spunk, and unlike Lou Grant, I like spunk.

Shadow U.S. Senator: Ed Barron

Shadow U.S. Representative: Ed Barron

Delegate to U.S. House of Representatives: I’m voting for Sprague Simonds, the Republican, only with full confidence that Eleanor Holmes Norton will be reelected and that my vote will not affect the makeup of the House of Representatives. Norton—"the city’s most popular politician"—places Marian Barry’s interests above the interests of the city. Plus, her tax plan for saving the city discredits her among her House colleagues and does nothing to advance the cause of the city. Besides, I can’t hear one more "i’m right and your wrong" lecture from her.

School Board At-Large:

Kathy Patterson supports Dan Harrison. Since Patterson is the most concerned and knowledgable councilmember concerning education, I ‘am voting to give Kathy someone she wants to work with. Though I get two voting bullets, I exercise my opposition to the NRA and fire off only one chamber. Voting just for Harrison increases his chances, especially since the Post didn’t endorse him.

School Board Ward One: The choice is between Wilma Harvey and Lenny Johnson. I’m glad I live in Ward 3.

School Board Ward Three: Patterson supports Don Reeves. Reeves acquits himself well at campaign rallies but I’m not sure he had the temperament to act effectively. David Yassky hasn’t prepped well on the issues, but his legislation experience is formidable. Howard Grimmett—supported by the retiring Erika Landberg—buys into the absurd "reform coalition line" led by Shook and Silberman that things aren’t as bad as they seem. I suspect that current investigations of the school system by auditors, the press, and the justice department will shortly make this group seem more loopy than they already are.

President of the United States: That Natural Law Guy, naturally.


Also free! Short movie reviews and movie discussion. Send an email message to to subscribe. This week, get advance word on Mel Gibson in Ransom!


Jeffrey Itell


Board of Education, Ward 3
Ann Kessler

I have read that Kathy Patterson has endorsed Don Reeves for Board of Education representing Ward 3. That’s understandable as they are parents at the same elementary school, Murch. I would just like to mention that a large number of both present and past PTA presidents of Ward 3 schools (myself included) are supporting Howard Grimmett. Both Erika Landberg and the beloved Wanda Washburn, the past two Ward 3 representatives, support him. The reason, of course, is his vast experience with the system — he has served as PTA president of 2 schools, and still volunteers as a tutor at Wilson even though his last child has graduated. That’s a dedication to the schools that I strongly admire. Those of us who have been there (I have been a parent who has dealt with the DCPS for 17 years) know that you have to understand the past to build a future. Howard was there. Don Reeves, while quite impressive, has only been a public school parent for one year. Howard knows what went on before (remember Barbara Sizemore? Floretta McKenzie?), what is going on now and has constructive ideas for what needs to be done in the future. He can work with Jay Silberman, who is full of good ideas, to get something positive done, for a change. I know that Howard, who is retired, will work full time to do what’s best for the children of Ward 3. And I also know that if he is not elected, he will be back at Wilson tutoring and helping our children.


Keep the Ed Barron write-in juggernaut moving!
Stephanie Faul

Write Ed in for all the Shadow positions! Write Ed in whenever possible! Ralph Nader is right — Clinton doesn’t need your vote and hasn’t done much locally to deserve it. Write in Ed Barron for President!

Paid for by the Ed Barron for Everything Committee


The City Works!
Cynthia Harrison e-mail:

I went yesterday to the DC Board of Elections to vote since I will be out of town on Tuesday. When I got there, there were 3 people at the counter being helped by three staff members. I was summoned to the counter within a minute, given the appropriate materials and information, and completed my mission within 15 minutes. And note that yesterday was the last day to get absentee balloting.

I had two similarly positive experiences last winter when I reregistered my car and when I filed my homestead exemption.

I promised I would report my good experience to the list, since DC staff get more than their fair share of brickbats.

[Cynthia was so overwhelmed by her experience that she’s moved away. Really. Jeff]


Bill’s Official Residence
Steph "Grew up here and have nowhere to run" Faul

The President not only votes in his "home" state but pays taxes there. There’s a special exemption for certain government employees so they can do that. The worst offender was George Bush, who claimed a hotel room in Texas as *his* "home." Anybody could stay there when he wasn’t using it. Garry Trudeau did a number of amusing "Doonesbury" strips on this theme.

I’ve long said that one of the problems with D.C. is that a significant number of residents vote somewhere else.


Rock Creek Parkway
S. Gallagher

Yup, you can bet it’s people like me trying to find alternate routes to avoid construction. The evening commute is the worst. However, the good news is that the backup on Mass Ave, heading in-town during regular rush hour in the morning actually is not that bad - backup time at the bridge is between 5-8 minutes (an eternity for type-A drivers, I know).

The traffic problem in general could be eased by proper timing of the lights.

If they were set to keep traffic moving rather than obstructing it, this city could handle twice the traffic without any problem. Next bone of contention are the delivery trucks and valet parking blocking traffic during rush hour.


Greg Jones

With respect to Ted Gest’s question about evening outbound Rock Creek Parkway traffic backups, I hadn’t noticed that it’s appreciably worse, although I am usually hitting the Parkway around 6:30 or so. What irks me about this situation are the selfish drivers who zoom to the head of the line and try and sneak in.…


Cheap Starbucks
Janet "And it’s even on Metro" Hess


WRT John Whiteside’s comments about purported discount pricing of Starbucks Coffee: You can get Starbucks House Blend, both regular and decaf, at Price Club. Two-pound vacuum bags of whole bean cost $10.99 and $11.99 at the Pentagon City PC recently. This stuff is sold under the Meridian brand, but the bag clearly proclaims "A special blend of Latin American coffees exclusively roasted by Starbucks," and Starbucks is set in much larger type than Meridian. PC also carries Starbucks espresso.

And the PC snack bar actually serves decent Starbucks/Meridian mocha java at a fraction of the Starbucks price!


Uptown Theatre
Gordon Glaza

The "new" Uptown Theater is simply a product of Cineplex Odeon line-item management. In the 1930’s, movie houses were palaces with Byzantine ceilings or deco lobbies. As Garrison Keillor noted in his TIME essay this year, the monkey island of corporate culture has turned the movie house into a shoebox.

The "new" Uptown is 1990’s to the core: better sound and film technology delivered in a downsized package; a seating plan designed to please the chief of Accounting. Keep in mind, ergonomic seats and more legroom would have cost an extra 3.7 cents per ticket amortized over twenty years. In other words, simply out of the question.


Lounge Lizards
Evan Roth

[The film "Swingers" features an LA phenomena sweeping the country—Lounge Music. Being the vanguard of fashion, I figured DC might be the last place to land a lounge bar. Or at best, still have several left over from the 1950s. In private correspondence, I asked Evan if the Swing Movement had hit DC. BTW: My Favorite lounge song title: "Get Out of My LIfe...But First Get Out of My Life." Beats "Achy -Breaky Heart." Jeff]

Mondo Exotica, located where the Dixie Grill used to be, across from Ford’s Theater reportedly specializes in lounge music. Two friends of mine, Paul Chiachetti and Matt Dunn, who own Flying Sucer Discs in Adams-Morgan, are the DJs at least part of the time. Paul and Matt also have done lounge music parties at Planet Fred on occasional Wednesday nights. They are lounge music junkies.


Martin Lynds

Check out Mondo in the old Dixie Grill space by Ford’s theater. It’s supposed to be the area’s first swing club. The real first, however, was The Grand Poobah at 14th and U St., which offered nice martinis and Tommy Dorsey all night—before it caught fire and they moved out.



Steph "Things could be worse — I could have been *in* the car" Faul

Friday while I was having lunch at the Willard my car was being smashed by a hit-and-run driver. It was parked in front of my house at the time; a neighbor called me at work to tell me. I went home to inspect the damage (major but probably not terminal) and deal with the various sequelae of the event. My insurance agent set up a claim file for me, passed my information on to the inspection scheduler, and had everything taken care of with one ten-minute phone call. He also told me to report the incident to the police.

And *that* has been interesting. I called the District 2 station at 4:00 p.m. The policeman who answered the phone (and who was very pleasant, but who explained that the static on the line was caused by a bad telephone and asked did I want to donate a better one?) said the local station couldn’t handle it and I should talk to the non-emergency number. *That* dispatcher told me a police officer would be around as soon as possible. By 6:30 none had arrived so I left for a class, figuring I’d try again Saturday morning. At 9 a.m. I called the non-emergency number again and was told "We handle that kind of report over the phone but the computers are down. You’ll have to call back in 30 minutes to an hour." I asked what that had to do with it. "The phone reporting center has to call you." Can’t I call them? "No .Call back in 30 minutes to an hour."

That’s where things stand as of this writing. I’m waiting for the computers to come back up, and to find out how the local constabulary will handle this. The neighbor saw the car — a black Honda, probably an Accord, with temporary tags — but did not get a license number, so the exercise is largely academic anyway.

However, I have learned something: "Non-emergency" apparently is a locally used synonym for "buzz off."


Steph "White Out. I can’t BELIEVE it" Faul

I called the non-emergency number again at 10:00 and the computers were still down. I called again at 11:00 and got a busy signal. I called again at 11:15 and got an operator, who said she’d send someone around and mentioned nothing about telephone reporting.

At 11:50 Officer D.A. Grooms came to my door and was completely pleasant. He took the report in longhand (he’s left-handed) on a white form. At one point he made a mistake and pulled a bottle of White Out from his shirt pocket. WHITE OUT. The rest of the world has laptop computers and Officer Grooms of the D.C. Police Department is using White Out. He seemed just as disgruntled by this state of affairs as anybody, but we did not get into politics in detail. He did say that he enjoyed being a policeman; he likes the excitement, he said. His tie clip had a teeny-weeny Barbie-doll-sized pair of handcuffs dangling from it. "We’re in the lock-up business," he said.


Jury Duty

re: Jean Lawrence’s comments on jury duty, I suppose the only answer to her view would be the rhetorical question: was there a trial, with jury, for your own terrible crime?

A dear friend of mine was raped in her own home here in the District in the early 80s, and the assailant was brought to trial-with jury-convicted, and sentenced. I have served jury twice since then (once grand, once petit). While it was a difficult experience, esp. remembering her trial, and I can understand not wanting to serve had I been a victim of violent crime myself, I still, nonetheless, do my best to bring justice as I am able. Vigilante justice is wrong, this is our only choice. And the awful thing is, otherwise, <<the criminal class plays out its sad, stupid, destructive role in this comedy>> with US as its players.

John Dorsey

[Jean Lawrences’ position of jury duty] is a consistent and understandable position if one is convinced that neither s/he nor any relative or friend or even amiable nodding acquaintance will ever commit or be charged with a crime. I am not so confident (life is full of weird little twists and surprises) and so I kind of like the fact that intelligent, educated and reasonable people are sometimes required to sit on juries. I guess there’s also the argument that we’re each better off in the long haul if we’re all required to contribute toward certain societal goals, even if certain of us don’t directly benefit. Two examples that come quickly to mind are serving on juries in support of justice even if one is not a criminal, and paying school taxes in support of education even if one is childless or already as educated as one wants to be. The eight-grade citizenship "reasoning" is indeed kind of unsatisfying but it’s really just a dumbed-down version of this college sophomore poli sci explanation of the issue.


John Whiteside

So I presume that if you are ever accused of a crime you’ll waive your right to a jury trial? Or if you’re ever the plaintiff in a civil suit — let’s say, hypothetically, a defective airbag kills your child — you’ll insist that you don’t want a jury involved?


Speech and Language Therapy / Educational Advocacy

Certified and licensed Speech/Language Pathologist will provide services in your home. Highly experienced therapist specializing in ages toddler to primary school. Reasonable hourly rates. For information or appointment, please call Grace Lenihan at (202) 244-7745.


Nice items looking for a new home.

Refrigerator, GE, 10.6 cubic feet, white, ?50 2 wooden file cabinets (2 drawer), ?25 each TV, 19" color, Emerson, ?30 Apartment size washer & dryer, ?250 for pair Sofa bed, ?600 Large microwave, ?30

Contact: Leila Alampay, tel. (301) 587-6241.

S. Gallagher


Need to replace outdoor iron handraiis along small staircases of Glover Park townhouse. Would welcome recommendations of person or company to use; also any comments re alternate materials. Thanks. Edna Small


For sale 1993 Ford Probe, 5 speed, power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry, rear defrost, nice condition. 48K miles. must sell. $8,000. Please call 202-234-4525. leave message.

Rob Meisnere


Anyone know of a reliable, fairly-priced courier service for the DC metro area? I used to use PackageMan (Arlington) but they seem to have disappeared. Any referrals would be appreciated.

Chip Levy


Are You Selling Your Car?

Used car wanted — preferably something like a Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, or Mazda 626. If you know of someone who wants to sell a relatively new, relatively low-mileage, four-door sedan in relatively good condition for under $8,000, please e-mail me.

Stephanie "Thank goodness I wasn’t *in* my car when it was totaled" Faul


Home PC Computer Assistance and Small Business Applications

I’ll help you choose and buy the best model for the lowest price, get your computer up and running, teach you the ins and outs of Windows 95 and applications, show you how to maintain your system, build special applications for you, and get you up and running on the internet. $60/hour. 202.244.4163.

Jeffrey Itell

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