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November 24, 1996

Thar She Blows Again

Dear Neighbors:

The Kennedy-Warren has posted signs indicating that it is applying for a zoning permit to build the south tower that was never was. If you recall, the owners never completed the Kennedy-Warren when it was built in early 1930s. They ran out of dough and went bankrupt. Something about a Depression, I think. The south tower, I believe, will extend from—you guessed it—the south end of the building to Connecticut Avenue. I don’t know if there’s any organized or disorganized objection to the project—though Kennedy-Warren residents were at odds with the building owners last year over a number of issues. Does anyone have better information they are willing to share?

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Thanks to all the careful readers who noted in the last issue that I incorrectly wrote the that "The Control Board has launched **it’s** web site." Yes, I should have written its. I can’t imagine how I made that mistake at three in the morning. In gratitude, I will korrect the grama of each of you’re futa postings.

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By way of gentle reminder, if you see an item or event that am email buddy might find interesting, why not copy it and send it the person. And encourage them to subscribe as well.

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Thar She Blows Again

According to Reuter’s, "Speaker Gingrich vowed to help nation’s capital. Congress should do everything possible to make trouble-plagued Washington the world’s finest capital. ‘ ‘We owe it to every child who lives within a few miles of this building to live in a decent neighborhood, to go to a school that’s effective, to be in a drug-free neighborhood, to have no violence threatening them, to know that their parents can go to work, that they can keep the money they earn, and that there’s a future in this capital for every American of every background,’’ Gingrich said. He did not make any specific proposals."

Did someone just turn on the hot-air fan? Gingrich (and Jack Kemp) got lots of credit for caring about the District, but so far have accomplished nada. Meanwhile, President Clinton has received a bum rap from critics for not helping the District. Not that Clinton has made helping the District a high priority, but the administration has helped out a number of times administratively and financially. Recall the unprecedented Federal Highway Waiver that allowed the District to reconstruct streets without anteing up its share of the dough.

As for why Clinton takes a low approach, Clinton’s been tagged (fairly and unfairly) as a philanderer, sexual harasser, illegal drug user, and financial scofflaw. Being buddy-buddy with the mayor is just what his image needs. You don’t think Newt knows this?

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Also free! dc.movie: Short movie reviews and movie discussion. Send an email message to story@intr.net to subscribe.

Cheers,
Jeffrey Itell

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School System
Ann Kessler, akessler@cais.com

As an observer and parent in the D.C. public schools for 17 years, if I was asked who was to blame for the school "crisis", I would list the responsible parties in this order: the bureaucracy, the principals and teachers, the parents, and then maybe the school board. I know the Washington Post has poisoned its readers’ minds with their villainous school board theory. The reality is that the bureaucracy of DCPS has become so strong and unyielding of information (indeed, if not purposely deceitful) that even the well intentioned members of the school board could not win (this same bureaucracy was impenetrable by Franklin Smith). The curious thing now is to see whether General Becton can win the war against these entrenched bureaucrats.

Parents have always had a recourse to this bureaucracy by asking their school board members for help. Indeed, the constituent services performed by the Ward 3 School Board member’s office (and Jay Silberman’s) have been very effective in helping parents and students for years. These staff members are some of the most knowledgeable people about how the school system functions. They have now all been fired. I think, however, that they deserve some thanks for what they have done and tried to do for us parents.

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Tom Matthes tmatthes@vais.net

Illogic, thy name is Sam Smith. Our progressive friend, in his diatribe against General Becton, makes three arguments committing three textbook fallacies.

(1) Becton is called "a rightwing general...[who] testified in favor of the nomination of Clarence Thomas." This is called "argumentum ad hominem," or using name calling in place of sound argument. (It’s also a form of guilt by association, the favorite tactic of the late Joe McCarthy.)

(2) Becton "shared Thomas’ views concerning affirmative action, etc." This is a non sequitur. Becton was hired to lead DC Schools because of his success as president of Prairie View A&M, not for his views on social policies.

(3) Becton, as head of FEMA, planned to spend $1.5 billion "to provide 2200 fallout shelters for state and local officials...[which] was laughed out of existence." This is called "quoting out of context." FEMA coordinates civil defense offices across the country, which were originally created to prepare for nuclear war. Becton was carrying out his mission during the tensions of the Cold War. Fortunately, as Mr. Smith notes, the conservative solution of letting local jurisdictions provide their own shelters for local officials (like in fire station or city hall basements) won out. Ironic, isn’t it, that a Progressive like Sam Smith should praise the old-fashioned conservative idea of finding local funding for problems? By the way, $1.5 billion, in the words of P.J. O’Roarke, is "chump change" compared to proposed left wing boondoggles like federalized day care (Mike Dukakis) or health care (Hillary Clinton).

Mr. Smith, whose attack on the general is based on the premise that a "rightwing general" is unfit for public office, needs to remember that democracy doesn’t exist in a one-party system. He should also recall that two of America’s most bitter ideological antagonists, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, were still able to respect each other’s abilities. Douglas, after losing the presidency to his Republican foe, died from an exhausting speaking trip to rally Midwesterners in support for the Union cause in the Civil War, against the wishes of the Copperhead Democrats. Small "d" democrats cooperate in a crisis, which is what DC Schools are now facing. This perspective can provide the wisdom to help left wingers get over the careers of honorable men like General Becton and Justice Thomas.

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One Vote for City Manager
David Hunter, Hunter@usia.gov

I’m all for having a city manager. Let the mayor be a figurehead as an ambassador of goodwill. He/She can still go to China or Africa or wherever to promote the city. Let’s get someone in who knows how to run a city. It’s been going on for way too long with no results!

[David: We have a city manager, Michael Rogers. He works for the mayor. jeff]

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Public Safety
Michael Bindner, bindnem1@westatpo.westat.com

Ed T. Barron suggested that a local bootstrapping approach be brought to public safety, involving the ANCs. This is a good idea and is in fact currently being implemented by the Metropolitan Police.

The city has been divided into a series of beats, each with a beat sergeant. This sergeant is accountable for decreasing crime in his beat. He or she will be assisted by a beat council, which will include local businesses and neighborhood leaders.

The AU Park area where Ed lives is in beat 66, which includes ANC3E. I hope that he and they join. I plan to. For more details on your beat call your police district.

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Leaves That Don’t Leave
Bill Leonard, bl43a@nih.gov

The signs posted throughout the Chevy Chase/DC neighborhood announced that leaf collection (sort of) would once again be available during November & December. Residents were told that if they would collect the leaves from their streets and alleys and bag them (in plastic, not paper) the District would pick them up.

There was a time that leaves that fell on the park lawns (which are city property) were raked out into the street by DC employees and then collected by huge vacuum trucks. That stopped years ago.

The posters said bi-weekly bagged leaf collections would begin the week of November 11. The preceding weekend was a frenzy of activity. Nearly everyone in my block raked the alleys, the park lawns and the street. Hundreds of plastic leaf bags appeared at the curbs. Two weeks later, they are still there.

What happened? We are about to enter the second bi-weekly collection period. Will anything happen next week...or the week after?

Residents might have to resort to what I saw happen in Istanbul, Turkey, several years ago. When the Istanbul sanitation workers went on strike, the residents carried their bagged garbage to the nearest intersection and stacked the bags at the curbs. Within two weeks the piles blocked the streets. Finally, the piles were set on fire.

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Internet Taxes
Marty Ganzglass, marty4@ix.netcom.com

I recently received an e-mail billing statement and announcement from my Internet carrier advising that some states were taxing Internet services and my "state" was one of them. The service tax was $1.50 on $19.95. I can’t believe that DC has been so efficient as to be able to advise a provider that Internet services are taxable. After all, according to NPR-Market Place, DC has a lower S & P Bond rating than the new Russian debentures. Has anyone else been billed by their provider for a DC tax for Internet services?

Also, I recently received a bill for water and sewage with instructions to make the check payable to D.C.Water & Sewage Authority. Does this mean that these charges are not going down the same old sewer hole of the DC Treasurer (pun intended)?

[The Authority was established last year because the Blue Plains Treatment Plant was turning into a giant sewer hole. Virginia and the District now manage it through this authority. Hope for the best.

Regarding internet taxes, you’ll be happy to know that the "U.S .Treasury Department absolutely rejects the idea that the Internet is some sort of golden goose whose feathers should be taxed. The key message of the report is, no Internet taxes." jeff]

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dc.events

Barbara Green, barbarag@CapAccess.org

It’s time to assess the role of women in the 1996 elections, and to learn what we can expect form the new Congress and Administration as they address issues women care about: welfare, education, Medicare, affirmative action, and health care, among others. The CLEARINGHOUSE ON WOMEN’S ISSUES monthly brown-bag lunch on TUESDAY, NOV. 26, features Celinda Lake, pre-eminent pollster, and Nancy Zirkin, American Association of University Women. Noon to 1:30 p.m. at AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, One Dupont Circle, 8th floor. No charge but bring a picture ID to get into the building.

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Turkey Trot
Michael Goldstein SYJP@aol.com

SYJP- the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, Washington’s #1 Jewish singles group and the sponsor of the MATZO BALL announce their next party. Coming this Wednesday, November 27th at 8pm, the TURKEY TROT at LuLu’s .LuLu's is located at 22nd and M streets NW Washington, DC. For direction to LuLu’s call 202-861-LULU. Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 with this advertisement before 10pm. For additional information call our 24 hour event line at 202-728-3877 or e-mail SYJP@aol.com. To subscribe to our party e-mail mailing list, send mail to LISTSERV@michael.dc.lsoft.com and send the message "subscribe SYJP"

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The Age of Exploration lives!
Margie Gibson, NZPEM053@SIVM.SI.EDU

Learn not only about the discoveries of new species, but about a completely new life form in this stimulating discussion. J. Craig Venter, president and director of The Institute for Genomic Research, will talk about an unusual deep-sea microbe that may revolutionize thinking about the origins of life; Richard Thorington, curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, will describe some recently-discovered mammals; and Michael Robinson, director of the National Zoo, will discuss new findings in the invertebrate world and what these discoveries mean for biological inquiry.

Wednesday, 4 December 1996 7:00 p.m. Education Building Auditorium National Zoo Enter at Connecticut Ave. and park in Lot A. Free, but please RSVP by calling (202) 673-4801 or sending e-mail to nzpem053@sivm.si.edu

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dc.market

In Search of Temporary Housing
Tharina Sookprasert, JSookpra@smtp.cde.ca.gov

Columbia Alum from San Francisco looking to house sit or rent for a few months in Washington D.C. I will be in D.C. at the end of November. I can be reached at home at (510) 427-5375 or paged at (415) 303-4546.

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Have you ever had problems with a home repair man or contractor?

Now there is a company that solves these problems for you.. Delbe Home Services stands behind their work and makes sure the job is completed to your satisfaction. From the start, a personal service representative is assigned to you and visits your home. Then when you’re ready to have work done or a problem arises you’ll know the person behind the voice and they will know your home. They even keep an inventory of information about your major appliances, equipment, and other pertinent facts. Delbe Home Services is subscriber based so they work with you year round. Don’t wait until you have a problem, call now at (301) 652-7201, ext 5 or email at dhs@delbe.com and request a brochure package. Delbe Home Services, making your life a little easier. Or visit us at http://www.delbe.com

david burka dhs@delbe.com

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Become certified in infant, child and adult CPR.
Bill Adler, badler@earthlink.net

A CPR course is being offered by First Respon.se Medical Training on Saturday, December 14th from 9am to 4:30pm. This course will be given by Elisa Reeves, who has taught first aid and CPR to the FBI, Airline Pilot’s Association, Centex Homes, E-Systems, U.S. Geologic Survey, and countless parents and child care providers.

Learn how to save your child, spouse or other loved-ones in an emergency. You will learn to give artificial respiration, keep blood circulating when the heart has stopped, how to save a choking victim, what to do when somebody drowns and other life-saving skills. In an emergency, seconds count. This is an infant, child and adult CPR-certifying course.

To register, call First Response Medical Training at 703-569-0010. Please register by Monday, December 9th. Location: NCRC School 3209 Highland Place In the "Playhouse Building" Washington, D.C. Cost: $40, includes books and course materials.

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For sale
Carla White carlaw@iadb.org

Dining room, Duncan Phyfe, server, china cabinet, drop-leaf rectangular table, and four chairs, ?850. Please call (202) 623-1327 between 9-5:30 or (202) 363-8571 after 6pm.

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Barbara… the KidTECH Lady KidTec2@aol.com

Many NEW CD programs for your youngsters, once-reviewed by consultant, are waiting to be purchased. Prices are radically discounted from retail and are one-of-a-kind. Send your full Internet address, if you’re interested in receiving an e-mail list. This is a great way to get gifts for your family and friends without fighting traffic, on ramp or off! Contact me for product descriptions and prices when you select packages you want to buy. (For Ages 3—101, or Ages 3>; Grades preK middle school + some Teacher’s Ed. full packages)

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Charitable Question
Alan Levine, (202) 619-3409 ALANL@OSPAFE.SSW.DHHS.GOV

Does anyone know of a charitable organization that is (1) interested in used furniture that is still in reasonably good shape and (2) willing to pick-up the furniture. I have a sofa and platform bed that I would like to donate.

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Home PC Computer Assistance and Small Business Applications
Jeffrey Itell Story@intr.net

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.

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For fast, reliable Internet services and cutting edge Websites contact Michael Mann at Internet Interstate mmann@intr.net. Web: http://www.intr.net

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dc.story—Your Electronic Backfence http://www.dcstory.com

Kibitzing by Jeffrey Itell (story@intr.net)

Copyright 1996 by Itell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved


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