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January 12, 1997

Thar She Blows Again

Dear Neighbors:

OK, folks, Newt’s out of the frying pan and merely simmering in a hot tub. And now he promises yet again to help the District. Great words but as the departed Warner Wolf would say, let’s go to the video tape.

What exactly has the Speaker done for the District this year? He’s appointed Charlie Taylor to head the DC appropriations subcommittee—pairing him off with fellow North Carolinian Senator Lauch Faircloth. Between the two, we now have a pair of overseers that even Jesse Helms would think are too conservative.

Newt? What do you have planned for the second act?


Also free! Free movie passes, short movie reviews, and movie discussion. Send an email message to to subscribe.

Jeffrey Itell


Ralph Blessing

To fill in some of the blanks in the cost-per-student equation for UDC, the 1996 edition of Peterson’s Register of Higher Education, the industry bible, shows an enrollment of 10,599 as of the fall of 1994. (As I recall, current enrollment has dropped to 8,000+.) "In-state" tuition for the same period, though since increased, was $1,118 per year for undergrads and $2,126 per year for graduate students. (Peterson’s doesn’t show a breakdown of enrollment by graduate and undergraduate.) Even factoring in tuition, the total enrollment, as opposed to the number of graduates, would suggest that the $38 million is spread a lot more thinly than has been suggested in some listings, probably more in the neighborhood of $5,000 per student annually.


Dean Costello

I noted that there were several people calculated the cost of each UDC graduate versus the budget outlays. Does anyone seriously think that this number is anywhere close to the actual cost/student? Does it mean anything?

But, hey, I’m curious about this now. So, assuming that the only revenues to UDC is what is given it by DC government, and that according to my 1996 World Almanac & Book of Facts, there are a total of 10,599 enrollees at UDC (for the year 1994-1995), the division of money is more accurately $7076/student.


Randy Wells

Mr. Goldstein claims that only 10% of UDC entrants make it to graduation. Does he mean to say that some 9000 new students begin classes each year? This may (partially) explain where the $38 million DC subsidy is going, plus other funds from tuition, grants, endowment income, etc.

But this raises an entirely different question, more fundamental to the purpose of UDC: Is providing a failing experience at UDC for 90% of entrants better than providing a successful experience at a more appropriate "community college" or vocational-technical program? Where is Federal City College when you need it?


UDC and other State Schools
Tom Berry Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association

Well, I’ve digested all of the comments, pro and con, regarding UDC and have concluded that it is worth sending my children to...if it’s still around when they’re ready to attend. Why? Because it’s affordable and they’ll be a cinch to graduate since we’re already paying a fortune to assure that they won’t need remedial education at the college level.

Seriously, Steph Faul touched on a longtime idea I’ve been proposing when she suggested that it’s cheaper to send a kid to the U of MD. The proposal is really quite simple. All high school graduates living in DC and US territories should be allowed to attend any state college or university, as long as they are qualified and accepted, at the in state tuition rate. A congressional mandate for such an allowance could help ease the burden we carry for opting to live in DC where we are lesser citizens than our brothers and keepers who live in "the states."


Cris Ghillani

Here is something I would like to see discussed: If DC is truly a federal city why shouldn’t DC residents have equal access to all state colleges at state college prices? Could you imagine the masses of money that would naturally flow into this city if all those commuters knew that their little darlings could conceivably go to UCLA at CA residents costs. And if they didn’t think DC schools were good enough and couldn’t afford St. Albans and Sidwell Friends then let them pay the DC rate to continue at bcc or tc williams. Of course, some compensation would have to be given to the colleges for accepting our kids, Take it out of UDC money.


David Hartley

I am creating a calendar for both our monthly Shaw related newsletter and our web site about the Shaw area, and would like to hear from anyone who has a calendar event.


District Cablevision
Larry Seftor

And you thought it would be easy to cancel D.C. cable?

I decided to cancel the "expanded tier" part of my D.C. cable service. (My wife used VH1 on the weekends for background during cooking — and now that is gone.) So I called and told them that I wanted to drop this part of my service. The representative politely told me that the earliest a technician could come out to cut off the extra service would be in a month. I said that was fine, but of course, I wouldn’t have to pay for it, would I? The answer, of course, was yes.

In this case, after consultation with a supervisor, they agreed to stop billing me for the unwanted service. So, if they follow through, I’m OK. But others should be forewarned that getting cable in D.C. is only part of the problem. Stopping it is the other.

Jim Farley

Several folks have complained here about the channels available on District Cablevision. But my building has a system with even fewer channels: Mid-Atlantic Cable. Does anybody know who these guys are ? I gather this is a sweet-heart deal brokered by the building (Avalon Properties owns it). Does anybody know if a building can block tenants from subscribing to District Cablevision ?


DR Weinsheimer

To answer Carl Bergman’s question about the light on top of a DC cab: If it is on, the cab is in service and must pick up passengers that flag them down. It is not uncommon for a hacker to say he/she forgot to turn the light out and is actually out of service. Wrong. If that light is on, they are in service, period. This is supposed to alleviate the problem of picking and choosing passengers based on appearance, race etc. Another little "secret" few people know about is that ANY DC cab being operated during a.m. and p.m. rush hours is automatically on duty. It doesn’t matter if the light is off or not, they are required to pick up passengers. Many will complain that this is their only manner of transportation and they had to run to the store or whatever. Wrong again. By law they are on duty and they know it but will bet that you don’t.


Diplomatic Immunity
Ed Kane

I’m afraid that Mr. Seftor does not understand just how a request for a waiver of diplomatic immunity works. It makes little difference WHICH GOVERNMENT AGENCY makes the request; the decision on whether or not to waive is totally up to the government/embassy of the offending diplomat. In any event, such requests, when made, are rarely — if ever — granted.

The ultimate recourse of the State Department in a case such as the current one is to expel the offending diplomat, and hope that he will be sanctioned by his own government — by dismissal, reduction in rank, or other penalty, for having brought disgrace on his country.

Few systems are perfect, and certainly the long-established system of diplomatic immunity is not. But it is better than the chaos which would result were the rules of diplomatic immunity, in existence for centuries, but essentially codified in the Vienna Congress of 1815, not followed. Let us assume, for example, that "traffic offenses, were excluded from protection by diplomatic immunity. Nothing would be easier for a hostile government — in Havana or in Beijing, for example — than to stage a traffic violation, possibly even ostensibly involving a death, which would result in the imprisonment of one or more of our diplomats. What could occur during their incarceration can only be left to the imagination.


Margie Siegel

Does anyone have any information on the vacant stores in Cleveland Park, where the WIZ and Kenny Rogers used to be, as well as the not lamented demise of the Uptown Cafe? I’m wondering what the vacancy rate is for retail stores in this part of town, and whether it’s better or worse in other parts of the city.


Stolen Cars in the Washington Area
Ed T. Barron

Sometimes you have to wonder if the District Police could find their own derriere with both hands when it comes to tracking down stolen property. The problem is they claim they are too busy to look. Now about those forty thousand dollar automobiles—anyone owning a vehicle like that who does not keep it locked up in a protected garage or who has to park it unprotected areas should have a system that almost guarantees the finding of the vehicle within an hour after it is stolen. For D.C. that system is Lojack. If your car is equipped with Lojack and you report it stolen the police will activate the signal that turns on a transmitter hidden in the vehicle. That transmitter allows the car to be tracked within a few yards, immediately. Don’t rely on the Club. Auto thieves don’t saw through the Club (made of impervium) they just saw through the steering wheel with a simple hacksaw blade and leave the locked club on the curb. The writer has no financial interest in Lojack.


Charlie Adler

Please forgive my insensitivity, in advance. Why is the general public, or anyone else, for that matter, so concerned about the distance families must travel to visit their relatives in prison. I do feel for the families, but isn’t the point of incarceration to punish the offenders for their behavior? Shouldn’t punishment include some form of isolation, whether it’s from good sirloin steaks or the heartbeat of a loved one.

What’s punishment without a little suffering?


Colonial Recipe for Inefficient Service
Tom Berry, aka Stupid Owner

The following recipe was developed in the early days of the District of Columbia and is still a great favorite with the local government. Remember, it’s tried and true, so don’t attempt to mess with the ingredients or processing one iota.

1 overdue vehicle registration form 1 pair of good walking shoes 1 stupid vehicle owner 1 check, money order or cash 1 large government building 1 dash of patience

Put the shoes on the stupid owner. Place the overdue form in the owner’s hand. Send him/her to 301 C St., NW. (large gvt. bldg.). Pass through security and follow the red line painted on the wall exactly half way around the building to the appropriate room. Wait in line until called to the window. Exchange the overdue form for another piece of paper that must be taken to another room (cashier), which is exactly ½ way back around the building (follow the blue line painted on the wall [no drab government colors here; we’re in Uncle Marion’s Kansas, Toto]) to where you entered the building. Wait in line to hand the form, check, money order or cash (they’re all of equal value in this recipe, kind of like margarine and dog breath) to the cashier. Receive another piece of paper and follow another colored line on the wall (who can remember what the color is after so many miles; no matter, the red line will suffice again) just a little more than exactly half way around the building to another room where you will retrieve your goal at the end of the rainbow.

Cooking time varies, but less than ½ hour will do. Please buy a new pair of sneakers when done. CAUTION: This recipe is not advised for those who require assistance while walking.


One issue not mentioned in the discussion of Beach Drive/Rock Creek Parkway is the abundance of litter at the high water mark along much of the creek itself. I propose that all who’ve weighed in on the Beach Drive debate, and any other park lovers, get together for a clean-up day on January 20 (Martin Luther King/ Inauguration holiday). Meet at the ranger station just below Military Rd. at 10:00 a.m. I’ll make sure we have garbage bags and will arrange for the park service to dispose of those we fill. Please RSVP by e-mail or by phone at 202/686-6236. Hope to see you there.

Ralph Blessing


The Dinner Discussion Series kicks off Wednesday, January 15, 1997 at 7:30 pm. The topic will be Middle East Extremism, the discussion will be facilitated by Yehudit Barsky, Senior Analyst on Middle East Extremism for the ADL. The cost including dinner is $9.00. It will be held at Magen David Sephardic Congregation, 11418 Old Georgetown Rd, on the corner of Old Georgetown Rd and Tilden Ln.; three blocks from the White Flint Metro. For directions call 301-770-6818 between the hours of 9:00 am and 12:00 pm, M-F. The February Discussion will be on Distressed Jewish Communities in the Arab World. Edwin Shukor, who escaped Iraq as a child will facilitate the discussion and present a film. The March program will involve a panel of Psychologists to facilitate a discussion on relationships.

Sandy Barsky Sandy.Barsky@GSA.Com


Come to the Noodle Club!

The Noodle Club is a monthly informal dinner gathering of D.C. area progressive "twentysomethings" (aka Generation X). Young professionals, political activists, struggling students, and more come together to share ideas, meet other interesting people and swap information. The venue provides us with an opportunity to "network", promote current activities and projects, recruit helping hands for things that need them, and generally have an enjoyable time.

Join us for our February get-together on Wednesday, February 5th @ 6:30 pm at the Bertucci’s located in the 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW complex (where the Tower Records is). It’s two blocks from the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stop. If you want to be added to our announcement-distribution list or would like to RSVP, please zip a note to:

Aaron M. Knight


the following inaugural tickets are available:fri—children’s hospital national capital inaugural gala to be held at hyatt regency on capital hill. market price: $100 per person. sat— national women’s inaugural ball, a first-time event attracting celebs such as whoopi goldberg, etc. market price: $150 per person. mon— new jersey state society official inaugural ball to be held at omni shoreham hotel. market price: $70 per person.

more tickets may be available this week as more last-minute cancellations come in.

here’s the deal: you must buy two tickets in order to qualify for the 50% discount. in other words, you get 2 tickets for the price of one! now, should you decide to express an interest in all of the above tickets, you can buy the inaugural passport for $400, which includes—2 tickets to all of the above balls plus 5 tickets to the alternative inaugural ball with open champagne bar this wednesday. a $100 value!!! 5 tickets to a russian art opening with open champagne bar this thursday. a $100 value!!! one-year subscription to the partydigest, a $40 value!!!! invitations to at least five other private, exclusive parties in the area during the first quarter of 1997 in the metro dc area.

please contact me over the phone directly at 703-734-5476.

lak vohra


Looking for a lawyer-type who’s looking for a computer-guru type. I’m an expert computer consultant who can do training, office work flow design, automation, Internet training and web site design. I’m looking for someone with small-business law expertise. Trade some of your horribly overpriced services for some of my horribly overpriced services.

Inquiries to (202) 244-6576 or

Jeff Porten Millennium Consulting


Toyota 2x pickup truck - black - no extras except power steering - one owner (me) 30,000 miles $8,500 Good little truck, I can’t afford it in the city.

Aries Keck


1991 Integra LS, 50,000 miles, dark red, great condition, 5 speed, power windows and sunroof, Pirelli tires, cruise control, air conditioning, cassette stereo, 2 door w/ hatch, brand new battery w/ warranty. Best Offer.

Matt Tumminello


For Sale

21" b&w Radius Macintosh monitor $100.

francine ronis


Honda Accord, 1988 4 door, 100,000 miles, one owner, $4,000.

E. James Lieberman, M.D.


We have a room opening up in our shared house. 4 person house. Right near the intersection of Connecticut Ave. and Nebraska Ave, NW. $400/month, plus ¼ utilities. This room has its own phone line. Hardwood floors. Large living and dining rooms. Free in-house Internet support. :-)

Phil Shapiro


Request for Moving Boxes

Does anyone have any moving materials that they would like to unload? I am willing to pay a minimal amount to take them off your hands.

Also, sturdy office shelving, solid laminate desk (very heavy, with file drawer and typing return), credenza, and antique oak-armed office chairs for sale - all very reasonable.

Leslie Pilcer


Home Maintenance Services

Delbe Home Services is a one stop resource for all of your home needs. We have been taking care of properties for over 25 years right here in your neighborhood. Call us for any problem at (301) 652-7201, email at, or visit our web site at for more information.

David Burka


Our housekeeper for the last five years is looking for a second house to clean one or two days a week. She is a self starter and good at what she does, honest, and reliable — and has her own car. Call (202) 986-3463 or send e-mail to me, or call Maria Rondon directly at (301) 946-8212.

Judith Turner


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