The Washington Post reported a rash of muggings in Upper Northwest on Tuesday. If you missed the article and dont feel like thrashing through the recycling pile, check out the article on the web at
In the last issue, Cynthia Harrison reported on her good experiences with the DC Board of Elections. I noted incorrectly that she was moving from town. Cynthia would like her friends to know that she has not moved from town. Another Cynthia Harrison who was on this list did move away. Confused? Not anymore than I am.
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I went to a meet and greet for Carol Schwartz in my neighborhood of Shepherd Park Sunday. Carol is definitely running for mayor in two years. I asked her not to run. I dont believe she can win - she said she can beat Barry. There will be lots of Dems running against Barry and Barry will win in a split field. The only chance to beat the Mayor for life is to Have Lightfoot run as an independent with no Republican running. I could see she got real excited when I brought this idea up. Her ego will get the better of her and shell run for mayor and the national Republican Party is happy for her to run because the Dems are hurt by Barry. Thats why States like Georgia are going Republican even though the Dems put up a good candidate like Cleland. Carol runs and Barry wins and Clinton and the Dems cant come close to this city.
Kent Jeffreys KJeffreys@aol.com
I know she was favored, but its still a relief to have Carol back on the Council. If only we could clone her, wed have a chance in this city.
As for her co-winner, Sharon Pratt Brazil, how long will it be before he becomes completely worthless in his drive to become mayor? I admit, hes almost there now: all talk, no results. I just think hes cynical enough to position himself to grab Barrys disillusioned supporters. Any bets that he modifies his wardrobe as well as his rhetoric over the next year?
As we all know, Carol would really like to be mayor and would be an enormous improvement over previous occupants of the office. And her frustration on the Council is almost guaranteed the democrooks are already plotting to deny Carol any committee influence. But does anybody think that she can win against the go-along to get-along Brazil? We might as well start talking about it now.
PSAny chance that a true reformer will win Ward 6 now that Brazil is, as his posters warned us, "At-Large"?
I was just told that the woman in charge of assisting voters at the John Eaton School was asking voters to come back later because it was too crowded. Isnt this illegal? If not, it should be. It is hard enough to get people to go vote in the first place, but to ask people to come back at a less crowded time is unacceptable. I am really stunned. The volunteers need to be instructed better.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Noted with bemusement: Hundreds of voters at Edmund Burke Elementary School, whether due to lack of space or frustrated creative urges, formed an inward-turning spiral while waiting in line - making four (smaller and smaller) complete revolutions before arriving at the ballot pickup table.
Isnt democracy great?
The Ed Barron Juggernaut
Dear Ed: I enjoyed voting twice for you today. Did you ever find out how many votes you received in the primary? Good luck in todays election if elected to both shadow positions, do you have to choose one or the other?
Normally apolitically yours,
The thing with voting in D.C. is that you have to do the opposite of what makes sense. In other words, if an initiative sounds like a good idea, vote against it. If youre a registered Democrat, vote Republican. And so forth. I refuse to take the "shadow" positions seriously, hence my enthusiasm for Ed Barron in those positions. Its either him or Micke Mousey, and Ed, being an actual human being with a driveway, is marginally more qualified.
Excusing the Inexcusable
The report of the National Traffic Safety Board on the metro accident last winter at Shady Grove is out. The press release, at http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/961029-2.htm, is quite readable and Id encourage people to at least skim it. But since I know that many people wont, Ill summarize:
Metro management screwed up. Metro management screwed up repeatedly. Metro management screwed up in many different ways.
Meanwhile, my own councilmember, Jack Evans, was quoted in the Post defending Metros safety record. EXCUSE ME? Anyone home? They KILLED someone, and it was totally preventable if anyone making decisions had the common sense to listen to the people who run the trains. By the time you read this the election will be over, but I can tell you that I sure plan on voting for Evans opponent. The more I hear about him the more I cant understand why he seems to be so popular in this ward.
Also see the Metro web site at http://www.wmata.com/; it has a news release listing their efforts to correct the problems.
In the Nov 4 Digest, Ann Kessler wrote "I have read that Kathy Patterson has endorsed Don Reeves for Board of Education representing Ward 3. Thats understandable as they are parents at the same elementary school, Murch."
I think Aristotle called this particular fallacy "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" ( after this, therefore because of this)
No, no, no. The endorsement is not understandable because their kids go to the same school. It is understandable because he has a plan, a good plan. He has the energy and the dedication to serve our children. With all due respect Ann, it is time to stop making governmental choices based on the you-get-it-because-its-your-turn-and-you-know-so-and-so criterion. I would argue that this is why we have a yes-we-cant schoold board today and a superintendent that took a few years to wake from the dead. This is why Barry was able to smoke himself back into office.
I have met Howard, and I like him. He is a nice man, but we need more than nice this time. At a recent forum, in answer to a what-would-you-do question, Grimmett started out by saying "of course we would not fire anyone...the school Board cannot fire anyone" .Hello! Am I missing something here or is Grimmett off. I thought the hierchy went something like this ( I think in math it is called the transitivity law??).
School board work for the people of DC Superintendent works for School Board School administration works for superintendent therefore school admin. personnel work for the School Board and can be fired by the Board, albeit through inderect action, through the superintendent Q.E.D.
Looks like Howard needs a tutor. This time "lite" will not do.
Voting for School Board
I doubt Ill get a reply to this in time for tomorrow, but Id like to get the general take on this. Ive formed an idea of who to vote for on the school board, but Im also thinking I have no children, I dont expect to have any in DC, so by what right can I express my underinformed opinion on the race? Seems to me that by not voting, Im increasing the weight of the people who do vote the majority, I presume, of whom are more directly affected by the race.
Please dont take this the wrong way I consider it a civic duty to vote, and to vote with an informed opinion. But voting for the school board feels, to me anyway, as if Im voting for the Ward 8 council member.
Ted Gest wondered why evening traffic on the Parkway seems worse than ever. Although I cant comment on before-and-after traffic volumes because Im a newcomer myself, I would tend to agree with Jeffs analysis. I was chased off the Foxhall/Canal Road/Whitehurst Freeway route by the closing of the Whitehurst ramp to Independence Avenue. Further closings put the kibosh on a short-lived alternative route involving Wisconsin Ave. and lower Rock Creek Parkway. With Mass. Avenue out of commission due to the bridge bottleneck, entering and exiting the Parkway much further north was the only option left open to me. I suspect this is true for many other commuters as well.
I am writing in response to Steph Fauls experience with the police recently. She expressed shock that our police are forced to use white out, are overworked, and have faulty equipment.
I can sum it up by a report on channel 4 on Halloween night. They were broadcasting live from Wisconsin and M street, and reporting that "all was calm" because there were 175 (one hundred seventy five) District police officers patroling a ten block radius of Georgetown.
Thats right. 175 cops brought out in force to protect people who, overwhelmingly, do not live here, and do not pay taxes here. This was all paid for out of the pockets of DC residents. I wonder if any of us actual residents could expect such a police presence to patrol our neighborhoods?
You see, the DC police not only have to protect DC residents, but also a suburban population which, on the average weekday, far eclipses the resident population of our city. These people pay only sales tax, not an actual income tax. It isnt enough. When our resources are being used at such a rate on a daily basis by those who dont live here, its no wonder that there are precious few resources left over for those of us who actually live here, and pay for them. You do realize that there are no tolls on our roads, or commuter taxes levied.
I am surprised that you havent realized this before. Let a new pothole appear in the road, and who are the first people to whine? Suburban commuters. There was a guy who recently posted on this list about how angry he was that he had to detour his commuting route, because some neighborhoods in DC had placed barriers on the streets that they paid for. The nerve of them inconveniencing this man, who is after all, a guest here.
In short Steph, be damned happy that we have some white-out left. As the tax base which is tired of being milked shrinks even further, the cops will be carrying etch-a-sketches.
The Police "non-emergency" number
Steph "White Out. I cant BELIEVE it" Faul noted in her comments that at one point the Police "non-emergency" number was busy. This is of some concern to me for the following reason. (And Im sure that Im not the only one with this issue.)
I have an alarm system in my house. When activated, it calls an alarm center somewhere distant. Then that alarm center calls the D.C. Police to initiate a response. Since the call is coming from outside the D.C. local calling area, they cannot call 911, and must instead call 727-1010. So for me, the "non-emergency" number is used for emergencies.
I once raised this issue with the Police and was told that the non-emergency number can receive the same response once the nature of the call is identified. I guess that means, in some cases, a busy signal.
On a related note, I think I heard that the D.C. Police had 200 officers available in Georgetown for Halloween night. Since, after about 1992, I never see patrol cars in my neighborhood, Im "shocked" to learn that the D.C. Police EVER have 200 officers available for anything.
Second Rhinoceros Born at the National Zoo in Six Weeks
The Smithsonians National Zoo has a new infant rhinoceros. The greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros, Kali, gave birth to a male calf on Oct. 31 at 6:41p.m. This is the second of the endangered species born at the National Zoo since Sept. 18, when the rhinoceros, Mechi, gave birth to a 138 lb. female calf which has been named Chitwan. The new calf, still unnamed, is estimated to weigh about 150 lbs.
The Elephant House, where the rhinoceroses are housed, will be closed to visitors for the next few days so that the new mother and calf will have time to bond in a setting as free from distractions as possible. Zoo veterinarians plan to give the newborn rhino a check-up and get an exact weight within the next few days. The elephants, giraffes and two species of hippopotamuses that also live at the Elephant House should be on view in their outdoor enclosures during times when the building is closed to the public. If all goes well, the Elephant House will reopen as soon as possible and both rhinoceros calves and their mothers will be on display.
The sire of the new calf is Pandu (nicknamed Sport), who fathered Chitwan as well. Pandu was born on Aug. 8, 1980 at the San Diego Zoo and was loaned to the Smithsonians National Zoo in 1985. In 1992, the San Diego Zoo donated the male to National Zoo. Three months ago Pandu was sent to the Philadelphia Zoo to allow more space for the mothers-to-be to deliver and care for their calves. Pandu will return to the Zoo when the calves are weaned.
About 2,000 greater one-horned Asian rhinoceroses survive today and, like most large animals, the species is threatened with extinction as its habitat is reduced by the activities of people. The National Zoo participates in the American Zoo and Aquarium Associations greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros Species Survival Plan. Institutions that take part in this program carefully plan the breeding and management of the species in a cooperative effort to insure its survival.
John Lehnhardt, Assistant Curator of Mammals and Elephant House Manager, said, "Were very excited to have two births of such a rare species in such a short period of time. Its a good indication that zoo conservation programs are succeeding."
The birth of the new calf was the first to be seen "on line." A digital camera located in the rhino enclosure is linked to the National Zoos World Wide Web home page (http://www.si.edu/natzoo). The Webcam, donated by Stardot Technologies (www.wincam.com) provides an updated still shot every 3-1/2 minutes of Kali and son. Internet visitors may click on "New Zoo Births" on the opening screen and follow the pathway.
Background: The scientific name (genus and species) of these animals is Rhinoceros unicornis (order: Perissodactyla; family: Rhinoceridae). Asian rhinos are large with thick, armor-like skin. They have one horn, three toes per foot, excellent hearing and smell, but poor eyesight. Females are 4 to 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and males reach 5 ½ to 6 ½ feet tall at the shoulder. Females weigh between 3,500 - 4,000 pounds, and males weigh 5,000 -6,000 pounds. Females reach sexual maturity between 6 to 9 years of age, and cycle every 45 days until conception. Gestation is about 16 months, and calves are weaned between one and two years of age. Females calve every 3 to 4years.
Tire for Sale
Plenty of tread; maybe only 20K miles old. From a 1991 Ford Escort LX. Best offer. Its in fine shape, but when I needed 3 new tires I decided to get all 4. That left 1 extra.
FootlightsA Modern Drama Discussion Group
Come join us to discuss plays from the modern theater! On Tuesday November 19 we will discuss the Tony-award-winner "The House of Blue Leaves," by American playwright John Guare. Our meeting will take place from 7-9 p.m. @ Chapters Literary Bookstore, 1512 K St., NW, a block from the McPherson Square metro station. And we still have a few tickets left for the radio taping of "The House of Blue Leaves" on Thursday November 21 at the Voice of America. In later months we will discuss plays by Tom Stoppard, Lanford Wilson, and Terrence McNally. For tickets, more info, or to RSVP call (202) 484-8303 or send e-mail to
The Doubting Thomas Players open their second seasons with George Bernard Shaws anti-war classic, *Arms and the Man.* Performances will be in the Great Hall at St. Thomas Parish, 1772 Church Street NW, at 7:30pm on November 22 and 23 and at 2:30pm on Sunday, November 24. *Arms and the Man* is the basis of the Oscar Straus operetta, *The Chocolate Soldier.* Writted in 1894 and set in the midst of war in the Balkans, the play satirizes the Victorian attitude that romanticized war. For ticket information, call 202-332-0607.
Dining room for sale: Duncan Phyfe, server, hutch, drop-leaf rectangular table, and four chairs, excellent condition, ?850. Please call (202) 623-1327 (o) or (202) 363-8571 (h). Ask for Carla.
Don Taylor Quickstudy@Aol.Com (703) 379-0425
Quattro Pro V.5 data base software for sale 10 bucks. Original cost $49.95. Never installed. Floppies still sealed in plastic. A week after buying this I got a great deal on MS Office that, among other stuff, included Excel. Postage to anywhere in DC area would be $5 for first class or $2.55 for 4 to 5 day delivery.
Home PC Computer Assistance and Small Business Applications
Ill 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.
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