I heard by the grapevine that a couple of NW neighborhoods have set up independent police security forces much like Chevy Chase Village in Maryland has had for many years. One of them is supposedly along several blocks of tony Woodland Drive. Can anyone confirm the existence of gendarmes and bunker mentalities in our wealthier neighborhoods?
Also free! dc.movie: Free movie passes, short movie reviews, and movie discussion. Send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
Did anyone else catch Derek McGintys "DC Politics Hour" on Friday afternoon, with special guest Mayor Marion Barry? Lots of interesting stuff, but the most amazing statement was easily Mayor Barry saying the following (slightly paraphrased):
"The city is doing a very good job delivering services to residents."
<sigh> Anyone optimistic about the mayor really addressing any of DCs problems?
Boosters, Banners, and Balloons
It was nice to see the rally in front of the MacArthur Theater on Saturday. Well over 100 movie enthusiasts and friends of that theater were there to show their support for the movie house and opposition to the conversion to yet another mega drug store that sells everything you can find in WalMart.
Ah but to see a rally with such enthusiasm and fervor in support of higher educational standards and better schools for the youngsters in D.C.
Years ago the standards were removed so that no student would have low esteem. Now we have uneducated kids with more esteem than they know what to do with. When I went to high school we had a Regents Standard that meant a lot. If you had a Regents diploma you were a pretty smart kid (maybe even one with low esteem). You could function even in todays world. You would probably stand out in a crowd today with such a diploma.
Larry Seftor misses the point in his comments about the MacArthur Theatre. First, the theatre has not been profitable for over 20 years. It has not been supported by the community. The only films that were generally profitable were the British films of the late fifties and early sixties. And if Cineplex Odeon isnt liked, one just needs to remember how poorly the K-B Theatre chain was run in its final days after it was sold. I think Cineplex Odeon is doing a pretty good job of cleaning these theatres up.
As for complaining about the lack of competition with Cineplex Odeon taking over most of the area theatres, it is a lack of competition that the community is trying to create with blocking the change of the MacArthur Theatre to a CVS drug store. The community is attempting to protect the MacArthur Drug store from the competition of a CVS. The community needs a good size drug store operation.
And what about filing a historical designation application to keep CVS out. That isnt the purpose of the historic designation laws. Nor do I believe the plain brick facade of the MacArthur Theatre to a worth while example of art deco worth keeping.
Nick Keenan email@example.com
I can not tell you how angry Harold Goldsteins posting to dc.story made me. By real-world standards, 40 days of severance is very generous especially considering that you will be paid through May. At most private sector jobs, if it was announced last week that your job was to be cut, next week you would be out on the street. Two weeks is all that most workers can expect.
Why am I angry? Because I am a DC taxpayer in a major way I live in the city, and run a business in the city. I work long hours, every day of the year, and the city government takes more money from my business than I do. When I read about how that money is spent, I cant help but see red (and feel not unlike the fool). UDC seems to do this to me about once a week. When I hear people who have been the beneficiaries of my unintentional largesse complaining how unfair it is that the gravy train is stopping and it is time for them to get off, I lose it. Again, UDC manages to do it about once a week.
Library Sans Post
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Chevy Chase D.C. Library to look at the January 20th "Washington Post." Much to my surprise, chagrin, dismay, etc. I was informed that the Chevy Chase Library has had no "Washington Post" subscription since November because the library system has not paid the bill! In addition, I was told that there has been no "Washington Times" subscription since July!
Through the efforts of the library staff, and the support of the president of the Friends of Chevy Chase D.C. Library, I understand that most issues of the "Washington Post" are available at Chevy Chase Library. The newspaper is being purchased with private funds on a daily basis.
What makes this lack of hometown newspapers in a local library even worse, is that I understand it is not a money problem, but a D.C. Library management problem. Bills are not being paid, even when money is available. Im told further that the library system returned money to the D.C. Treasury last year because of inept management. This was, I understand, money that Friends groups and others had fought to get restored to the budget after it was scheduled to be cut. So after getting the money back into the budget, it ended up being lost again because the central library management apparently didnt have its act together.
Vehicle Registration Hell
Thanks to the timely postings in Story, I checked my registration, found that it was due to expire on Saturday, 1 March, and took myself down to 301 C this morning (the 26th) at 8:10 am to renew it in person. The posted directions in the building sent me to Room 1063, where I found a sign redirecting me back to Room 1157. I waited on line there about half an hour, when a false alarm sent all of us out of the building for another half an hour.
When we were readmitted, of course the lines formed anew. After another half hour, I made it to the head of the line, presented my credentials (by the way, when you do this yourself, be sure to bring proof of current auto insurance something you wouldnt need to do by mail), and got a "Transaction Receipt", which I was then to take to the cashier.
By then, though, the power was down. (Apparently, one cant accept money manually.) Nobody had any idea when power might be restored, but the lights were still on, so we waited around another half an hour to see if anyone was going to fix it. Then we were sent home by the cops, who shooed everyone out and told us to come back tomorrow. So I guess Ill do that, and hope they get things straightened out before my registration expires and I cant drive anymore.
Gee, its nice to be a "non-essential" Federal worker. I have all this annual leave, and I can spend it in such fun ways.
The Tax Assessor Cometh
Its the end of February again. Just in case some dc.story readers have forgot ton last year, that means Real Property Tax Assessments are again due unless our champion Anthony Williams, or even some unknown hero has reined in the Board of Real Property Assessments after last years raid on some of northwests property owners. The last I heard, Arthur Anderson was going to do some sort of study to see what dc was doing with their real property assessments relative to neighboring jurisdictions or reasonable practices of other municipalities.
Last year, the good citizens of Observatory Circle and Cleveland Park got organized early and won the ear of Tony Williams who invalidated the mischief of one (possibly two) assessors. The citizens of Chevy Chase were neither organized nor lucky. I ran into a couple of organizers at Martin Luther King Library on the first of too many days I had to take leave from work to defend my castle. The proposed assessment on my house was being raised 58.7% for the year thank you. While I thought that was a computer error, I learned from my assessor it was not. Seven neighbors (same block, same square) had proposed increases ranging from 35% to more than 100%. The other six of the 14 houses in the block received increases or decreases of less than 5%. With considerable time and inconvenience I appealed with some success.
I bring this up now because I have seen nothing that says dc wont do this again this year. If they do, it pays to be prepared. Getting prepared takes time and effort and the dc code has deadlines.
Really Strong Wind Gusts!
I was driving up 29th Street approaching Cathedral Ave on Sat when all of a sudden in front of me a light pole blows over! It was one of the big grey metal ones that was completely rusted out near the bottom. It fell completely across 29th street and landed exactly between two parked cars on the far side of the street. Real lucky!
I got out and recruited some college kids to try and help me move the pole. There was no way the three of us could really move it up and over the cars and we had to leave it. There was enough room on one side for a sedan sized car (sorry Explorers) to go under it and a neighbor said they would call the city. Sure enough within the hour, a Pepco truck had moved the pole and I assume was trying to replace the pole.
Internet Shoppers Wanted
My sister writes for the Home section of the Akron Beacon Journal and is looking for someone who has ordered any type of home furnishings (rugs, furniture, accessories, etc.) via the Internet. She needs to interview the person for an article. E-mail me right away if you have or know someone she can contact.
Suzanne Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org
Hyperlinked Announcement Clarification
Thanks for the strongly positive response to the hyperlinked announcement experiment on dc.story. As a minor clarification, please do feel free to include narrative text in the detailed announcements you send for me to put on the web. Ive been getting several announcements with just bare bone facts in them, and have been nudging people to flex their literary muscles. The volunteer work Im doing is much more fun when the event announcement includes some narrative text. (i.e. Complete sentences.) Although you might not have time to write the great American novel, please dont overlook the chance to write the great American event announcement.
And a big thanks to Harold Goldstein (email@example.com) who has kindly offered to serve as a backup hyperlink announce person the few times each year Im out of town.
Phil Shapiro firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 12 there will be a workshop entitled "The Language of Fertility: The Mind-Body Path to Conception and Parenting." This Saturday morning workshop, which is being offered by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, will be conducted by Niravi Payne, founder and director of the Whole Person Fertility Program in New York. The workshop will be held at the Washington Ethical Society on 16th Street, just a few blocks south of the DC/Maryland line. For more information, see http://www.his.com/~pshapiro/dc.story/announce4.html
Kay Halpern HalpernK.email@example.com
The Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra will perform Smetana, Grieg, and Sibelius (Symphony No. 2) Sunday March 2, 7:30 PM, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda. Free, no tickets required, free parking. Conducted by Sylvia Alimena.
E. James Lieberman, M.D. (back bench cellist) firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 20 March. 7 p.m. Book signing and reception. 8 p.m. Lecture. Education Building Auditorium National Zoo. Enter at Connecticut Ave. Park in Lot A Free, but RSVP by calling (202) 673-4801 or e-mailing to email@example.com.
In a program sponsored by the National Zoo and the Healing Forest Conservancy, Wade Davis, ethnobotanist and author of "One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest," will sign copies of his new book and present a lecture. This lecture, illustrated with archival photographs, follows the adventures, tragedies, and discoveries of Richard Evans Schultes, one of the greatest Amazonian plant explorers of the 20th century.
In 1941, Schultes took a leave of absence from Harvard and disappeared into the Northwest Amazon. Twelve years later he returned, having mapped uncharted rivers, lived among two dozen indigenous tribes and collected 25,000 botanical specimens, of which 300 were new to science. The world-authority on medicinal and hallucinogenic plants, Schultes was instrumental in bringing the vast riches of the rain forest to the attention of Western scientists.
Margie Gibson NZPEM053@SIVM.SI.EDU Office of Public Affairs, National Zoo (202) 673-4866
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our web site at http://www.delbe.com for more information.
David Burka email@example.com
Training Golden Retrievers to Retrieve Email
Have you always wanted to train your golden retriever to retrieve your email? Its easier to do than you think if you take a step by step approach. http://www.his.com/~pshapiro/retrievers/
Phil Shapiro firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone want to sell their nine-part PBS video series on the Civil War?
Linda Wheeler Wheelerl@washpost.com
Buying one shouldnt be so scary. Setting one up shouldnt be so scary. Getting on the Internet shouldnt be so scary.
Jeffrey Itell (Hes not so scary either.) Story@intr.net 202.244.4163
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