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February 4, 1997

Feeding Meters

Dear Neighbors:

The secret is now out. Magruders will be moving into the Cleveland Park Park and Shop—in April, I believe. It’ll be a much smaller Magruders than the one in Chevy Chase but will bring some much need competition to Cleveland Park. Meanwhile, the Van Ness Safeway is packing up and leaving. That was one small Safeway and its tough for a large company to operate small grocery stores.


The political front is extremely rich these days. Mayor Barry has got his campaign up in high gear—promising economic development for Anacostia after ignoring the area—as the Post editorial page noted—for the past three years and three terms in office. Of course, if you consider the limply filled $17 million Yon Yung office center an example of economic development, perhaps you’ll think the Post’s assessment unduly harsh.

More of the 1998 budget, the various proposals for structural change, and the continuing financial and management problems in our next fun-filled issue.


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

Jeffrey Itell



For best results, crinkle up your dollar bills real good to "soften" them up before using the Metro card machines.


I hate to tell you this, but — I very frequently can’t get the fare machine to accept a *new* bill. Crumpling and straightening it does work.

Mario Rups


Disabled Parking
Steph "Able-bodied and grateful for it" Faul

Every disabled person I have ever known would *cheerfully* trade their "privileged" motor vehicle tags for the chance to recover full mobility. Eliminating free parking for the disabled is churlish and insensitive in the extreme. That being said, I find it highly suspicious myself that not one of the dozen or so wheelchair-tag vehicles I looked at yesterday had either permanent wheelchair tags or modified controls. Obviously there’s at least some chicanery going on.

The answer, however, is better enforcement of the disabled parking privilege, not elimination of it. A wheelchair-symbol hang tag is intended for use in transporting the disabled individual to which it is issued. Such tags are easily stolen, borrowed, or otherwise misappropriated, unlike the "real" wheelchair tags attached to a vehicle. All D.C. has to do is station a cop in areas where such vehicles congregate and do an ID check when the driver shows up. If the driver and passengers don’t match the tag, that’s a couple of hundred dollars for the District — more by far than the lost meter revenue.

In fact, even a widely distributed *announcement* of such a program would cut down on misuse, if people knew they were likely to be challenged. And there is (an admittedly somewhat remote) possibility that all of those vehicles really do transport disabled workers, in which case they should be allowed to park.


Don’t Feed the Meters
Carrie Staff

Recently, Donna Ancypa said in a posting "you have to acknowledge that it honestly is difficult for some people with limited mobility to feed the meter every two hours" .Parking meters aren’t designed for long-term parking — they’re designed so that people can come downtown and conduct their business (go to a meeting, do their shopping, etc). They’re not for people who work downtown or plan to be downtown for many hours. In fact — isn’t it illegal to feed meters (as someone previously posted — isn’t there a two hour parking limit in metered spaces independent of the meters)? If Ms. Ancypa is willing to pay in advance for the privilege of not feeding a meter as she states, perhaps she could rent a spot in a lot or garage?


DC’s loss of population
Michael Bindner

It may be that all of the worry about the District’s population loss is misplaced. Consider that people leaving the city for the suburbs is a sign of their personal success. I could be that all we’ve done for the last 30 years to lift people up is working, resulting in the creation of a new middle class that can now afford to live in the suburbs, and that moving on is a lifestyle choice rather than the result of anything being wrong with the city. I know this is heresy to some who post to this zine, but it may be a better way to look at our situation.

Now, this means the rest of us have to either need to pay more for our services, find other sources of revenue or cut back on service levels to reflect the size of the remaining population. Possibly all three are the case. I would suggest the establishment of a permanent Commission or Task Force on the same lines as the Brookings study which would recommend to Congress and certain agencies on an annual basis what level of Federal assistance is necessary for various needs (Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), state assistance, etc.).

Finally, a way should be found to take the controversy out of the Federal payments, such as inclusion of certain payments under other appropriations (hiding them) as the White House plans to do and/or turning the PILOT portion of our assistance into a ‘no year’ appropriation with a built in increase for inflation. I’m sure other jurisdictions would also like the same approach to their PILOT payments, which have failed to keep up with inflation. Another option would be to move our PILOT in with theirs and abolish the District Appropriations Subcommittees all together.


Cheap Projection
Don Taylor

It seems unlikely, but I seem to remember reading on-line, in the newspaper or hearing on radio the charge (rumor?) that one of the big deal first run movie theaters on Conn. Ave. uses a cheap projection lamp to save on costs. One story is that at a premier the producer had to fly in a better bulb/lamp. I have seen sort of darkish movies at more than one theater, but only rarely, and put it down to the director’s misguided "art." Maybe it was poor projection equipment. Could viewing angle (high in balcony) cause a screen to look murky? Anyone know about this? Did I read it on dc.story net? Just a rumor?


DC Water
Nick Keenan

Has anyone other than me noticed that DC water tastes and smells a little different lately? A slightly musty, aromatic, organic, but not unpleasant smell? It could be that they have reduced chlorination for the winter, and what I am smelling is the absence of the Chlorox smell that is normal in the summer. Or am I the only on who still drinks the tap water?


A Plea for the Millennium Falcon
margie siegel

A plea to all movie mavens coming to the Uptown to see Star Wars. We Cleveland Park residents would really appreciate it if you didn’t drop beer cans on our lawns, if you didn’t block driveways, and if you didn’t feel the need to carry on extremely loud and animated conversations after the last show each night.


Marcos Wilson

Rumors are rampant that the General is getting ready to create middle schools by moving around 6th and 9th graders as early as this coming fall. Below is a copy a letter from the Janney PTA to the DCPS administration (Musgrove, Becton, et al) expressing parents concerns.

Another example of management by leaks… no guts no glory, yeah, right.

We are writing on behalf of the parents and students at Janney Elementary School in Ward 3. Recently we heard that the DCPS administration is considering moving the 6th Grade of our school and other elementary schools in our part of Ward 3 to Alice Deal Junior High School next September, and concurrently moving the 9th Grade for Deal to Wilson High School.

While this may make sense in the long run, we are very much against moving these grades as early as September ‘97 .There simply is not enough time to prepare the students, parents, teaches and administrators for such a profound change. These schools have other needs far mor pressing than moving classes around. Just today there was an article in the Post about the fact that Wilson cannot hire a new English teacher - cannot even hire substitues with an English background- in 3 months. Does this sound like a school system which can handle a major , swift change affecting children as young as 10 years old? We ask that you consider the following points in your deliberations and give yourselves more time to prepare for this step:

1. Were will the money required for the transsition come from? We understand that this idea of changing all the junior highs to middle schools has been broached before, but there was never adequate funding in place.
2. Will the move result in a new educational philosophy for the middle school, aimed directly at the new grades (6th through 8th), taking into account their physical, emotional and intellectual needs?
3. Will the teachers at Deal go through a rehiring process to focus them on the demands of their new jobs?
4. Will the principal at Deal have enough time to adequately hire staff for and prepare for the new population?

There is no doubt that a move this September would cause all kinds of distresss among the parents and students of Janney’s present 5th grades. These students have been looking forward to running the student government, having leads in the schoold musical, being school leaders int the Science Fair, Spelling Bee, and Geography Bree, and the Safety Patrol. They will miss the 6th Grade Dance and the 6th grade Lock-in. These events may not sound important to adults, but they matter to these students, who need a year’s preparation before being thrown together with much older studens at a middle school. One of the reasons the elementary schools in upper nothwest are so strong is because there are so many parents in this area committed to the idea of neigborhood schools. These schools have very active PTAs, are filled to capacity, and have exciting educational concepts currently in place. Many of these parents, however, may be looking for alternative setting for their children’s education in the higher grades. Many alternative programs admit large nubers of students in the 7th grade. If the changes being proposed occur this September, the parents will not have time to make other arrangements. Their 5th graders will have to adjust to a new school in 6th grade, and then adjust to another school in 7th grade. Given a year’s notice, some of these schools migh alter their policies to accommodate a new schedule.

We are not opposed to the idea of turning Deal into a middle school. But we are opposed to doing it so quickly that the children caught in the transsition year suffer unnecessarily. Recently I heard the phrase. "Life is not a dress rehearsal" What an excellent thought for dealing with oru children. Our mistakes and oversights affect their lives immedialtely and deeply. Let’s make this move as carefully as we can so that it is a success, and not another failure.

Sarah Whitener, PTA Co-President Penny Ray. PTA Co-President Daniela Carozza, Former PTAA Co-President and Chair of School Improvement team



Does anyone know what’s happening with the Baskin Robins store at Van Ness in the 4250 Connecticut building? It’s been closed for a long time, maybe a couple of years. Also, I recently read something about UDC owning that building. Does anyone know if that’s correct information?

Evelyn Wrin


Mardi Gras. Masquerade Ball. Saturday, February 8. 8:00 PM - 1:00 am. The Quebec House - South. 2800 Quebec Street, NW. Costume or Black Tie (avec Masque). B.Y.O.B., s.v.p. Laissez le Bon Temps Roulet!!! Brought to you by the creators of the smashingly successful New Year’s Eve party "Edging Toward the Millennium":

Aaron M. Knight


Monday, Feb. 17th, 7:30 PM, Rabbi Laibl Wolf from Australia will be speaking at the new District of Columbia Jewish Community Center (1529 16th St., NW) on Kabbala and Jewish Meditation. He’s incredibly articulate and brilliant (lawyer, educational psychologist, rabbi, teacher of Jewish mysticism, and spiritual mentor). $15/ $12 for DC JCC members.

P.M. Gorelick


Dinner and Discussion at Magen David, February 19, 1997, doors open at 7:30. Mr. Edwin Shuker, will describe the demise of the Jewish Community of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s "Reign of Terror", and the escape from Iraq, through the Kurdish mountains, of his family. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Portugal, there will be a presentation of a film on the "Marrano’s of Belmonte" .The dinner will be of Iraqi foods. The cost for the Dinner and Discussion is $9.00. For further information or directions call 301-770-6818, between the hours of 9am-12pm, Monday through Friday. Please RSVP by phone, no later than Monday, February 17.

Magen David is located three blocks from the White Flint Metro, at 11418 Old Georgetown Road, on the corner with Tilden Lane.




Valentines Day Special Give your Sweetheart the best gift ever - a wonderful massage for BOTH of you at 15% off. The soothing atmosphere of BodyWise BodyWorks is conveniently located at 3701 Connecticut Avenue. February 14th, 15th Reservations Please. Call Jenn 202-966-6113.

Jenn Weed


Home Maintenance Services

Delbe Home Services is a one-stop resource for all of your home needs. We have been taking care of maintenance problems for over 25 years right here in your neighborhood. Call us for any problems at (301) 652-7201 or visit our web page at <http://www.delbe.com for more information.

David Burka


Room for rent

$500/month + partial utilities. Separate entrance, separate phone line, washer/dryer, walk-in closet, wood-floors in bedroom, walk eight blocks to Takoma Park metro, walk five blocks to Safeway for groceries. Total access to 1st level of the house (i.e.- share with owner) which features a living room w/ cable, dining room, modern eat-in kitchen, and porch.

Please call her if you’re interested at 202-637-2186(w) or 202-882-0396(h) <or e-mail her at

Brian Reeves


A community organization I volunteer in has a need for creating occasional signs in 11 by 17 inch format. Is there anyone out there with an 11 by 17 inch ink jet or laser printer that could lend a hand in occasional sign making? Happy to trade you extra colored paper in 11 by 17 inch format.

Phil Shapiro endschch/


Want to Alert readers to Spanish classes at Guy Mason and Chevy Chase recreation centers. Have been taking them with an excellent teacher. More students needed/welcome in both locations for Beginning Spanish II (for those of us with some beginning Spanish in the recent or dim past.) For more info e-mail Maria Gomez at

Edna Small


Home PC Computer Assistance

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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