Tea Time in the Tidal Basin
We were all saddened but not surprised by todays announcement of City Council Chair Dave Clarkes medical condition. The Post reports that Clarke does not intend to resign, even though it seems inconceivable that he could come back to the council. Does this mean that Charlene Drew Jarvis stays in charge over the next few critical weeks or does Linda Cropp take over? Can you offer any insight on the future council leadership?
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Is living in DC like living in a third world country?
Erika Williams recently noted that living DC was somewhat like living in an African Country. (It seems that this comment insults a whole continent in one fell swoop, but that is another story.)
This comment reminds me of a posting to dc.general a year or so ago from a student in the midwest. This student was apparently embarked on a project that would compare DC to a third world country and the student wanted some dirt to support their thesis.
I noted in reply that while there are many problems in DC, DC also has an annual budget of about $5,000,000,000 (yes, count the zeros), for a population of about 550,000. While I dont know anything about the third world, I am almost sure that third world countries spend nothing like $9,000 a citizen.
The point is that the problems here are simply outrageous. However, despite all the posturing, lack of money is not the source of our difficulties.
Faircloth on DC
Add Sen. Faircloth to the Kaye Bailey Hutchison club of DC Opportunists. He may indeed "speak the truth" when he says that Washington is a federal city and that home rule isnt working. But his conclusion that its the whole idea of home rule (read: black people running the place) thats the problem is completely unsupportable. A bad home rule setup? Pension liabilities? Tax revenue siphoned off by Maryland and Virginia? Those are complicated and unsexy; Mr. Faircloth, like Ms. Hutchison on the death penalty, is taking the approach that will get him more votes back home. Never mind that self-governed cities all over the U.S. manage to prosper. Perhaps one day the half a million Washingtonians who dont have a say will cross his mind.
Lets keep up the pressure on Sen. Faircloth. Of course, if he truly believes that DC does not belong to those who live here, but rather to the Feds, then shouldnt he be working diligently to relieve us of our sizeable tax burden that is largely predicated on our having some say in how we are governed? As he says, we can always move if we think voting is such a big deal. Maybe we should all move to NC so that we can vote his butt out of office. Short of that, DC residents should organize bus caravans to descend on his home territory during his next (1998?) election campaign to remind his constituents of his position on basic democracy. Something along the lines of "Sen Faircloth wants your vote, North Carolina, but he doesnt think that DC residents should even have the right to vote."
Does the DC Government even notice criticism?
The Washington Post seems to have intensified a relatively persistent, and deserved, battering of the DC Government. For example, on the front page of Mondays Post, the latest is the story headlined "DC HMO Payment is Blocked."
My sense in that the readers of dc.story respond about such stories. (I know my stomach churns whenever I can force myself to read them.) But my question is whether anyone in the DC Government reads or responds to such malfeasance.
Do DC Government managers say to themselves, "we got caught and need to clean up our act." Or do they say that no one cares, and ignoring the problem is the best policy. (I fear it is the latter.) Perhaps someone in DC Government, or someone who knows someone in DC Government, can respond.
Nick Keenan firstname.lastname@example.org
More evidence for those who feel that the DC Government is anything but a milking operation.
On Sunday, I was walking my dog, and I stopped to talk to two guys working on a construction site. I wondered why they were working on Sunday, and they said they had a delay getting approval for the sprinkler system for the building. When a sprinkler system is installed, it has to be approved by an inspector from the DC Fire department. The test involves pressurizing the system, reading the pressure, letting it sit for two hours, and reading the pressure again, and making sure that there has been no drop in pressure over the two hours. This site had been tested on Friday, and failed. Afterwards, the inspector informed them that it would take three weeks to schedule a new test, and added, "Now I dont want you to think Im trying to shake you down, but if youre willing to pay overtime, you can get an inspector any time." Over the weekend, they had the inspector back. He spent fifteen minutes on the site, signing the certificate and collecting a check for $200 for two hours of overtime. The kicker was that the workmen told me the owner of the property was "connected," and actually had an easier than usual time dealing with city regulators!
And another thing...On Thursday, a building near 5th and Rhode Island NW collapsed, due to the high winds that day, and the decrepit state of the building. When I heard about it on the radio, I called a friend who lives on 5th street to see if everything was OK. He told me that no one was hurt, but that no one was surprised neighbors had been trying for over a year to get the city to tear the building down, as it was an obvious hazard. However, the response from the city has always been "these things take time." By sheer coincidence, he had photographed the building five days before the collapse, as part of the effort to document its condition.
On the day of the collapse, once the news teams where there, the city was able to dispatch a team to raze the remains of the building and clear away the rubble before sundown. The official story is that city inspectors cant be everywhere at once, and need the cooperation of citizens in reporting dangerous properties. I guess the Post bought it, because they didnt even report on the incident, even though they sent a reporter, and he was shown the pictures. The moral of the story is that the best way to ensure action from the city government is an act of God.
Using Email to Promote a Creative Mindset
Ive been thinking a lot recently about how email can be used to promote a creative mindset in children. With a little forethought and creativity we can use email to say the kinds of things that can help budding creative spirits to think in a playful way about the world around them. For a full article on the subject, see: http://www.his.com/~pshapiro/creative.mindset.html
Desperately Seeking Video Store Recommendations
Im trying to find a video store in the Adams Morgan - Dupont Circle - Woodley Park area (within walking distance of 18th & Columbia or the Woodley Park Metro) that stocks a wide selection of independent and international films. Does anyone have a favorite that he or she would care to recommend?
Brent Sleeper email@example.com
Is anyone else on this list a dog owner AND a renter? Im looking to move soon (within NW D.C.) and, unfortunately, must rent. I have a wonderful, well-behaved puppy, but from my last move know how difficult it is to find a landlord who will accept a dog. If anyone has any hot tips or words of wisdom, Id appreciate hearing about them!
Laura Poellet firstname.lastname@example.org
The USDA Graduate School is an excellent place for all levels of classes in a wide variety of languages. Ive taken their Conversational Spanish II and III classes and plan to take Conversational IV starting in April. Both of my Spanish instructors were good, and a USDA French instructor I took a class from some years earlier was one of the best instructors Ive ever had in any subject, anywhere! Classes are generally held once a week for 10 weeks, from 6-9 p.m. in various downtown locations. Tuition is currently $174, but you can figure on spending another $50-$75 on textbooks, workbooks, tapes, etc. The information/registration number is (202) 690-4280, or you can pick up catalogs and course schedules in the USDA South Building on Independence Ave. or in the Capitol Gallery Building at 7th and Maryland Ave. S.W.
Lorie Leavy email@example.com
Telephone line installation
Does anyone know someone who installs phone lines from the phone companys point of service at a reasonable rate?
Carole Spurgin Carole16@msn.com
With Congress set to debate the Presidents plan for the District of Columbia, and Senator Faircloth proposing to do away with home rule entirely, it is time to remind our national leaders that the citizens of the District are entitled to full democratic rights. Therefore, the Committee for the Capital City is planning a demonstration on behalf of voting rights for D.C. residents. We will meet at the Tidal Basin plaza in front of the Jefferson Memorial on Sunday, April 6, starting at 1:00 p.m. to reenact the Boston Tea Party. That is, we will throw a symbolic amount of tea into the Tidal Basin to remind people that taxation without representation is still tyranny.
We are inviting statehood supporters, Umoja party members, supporters of reunion with Maryland - anyone who shares the Committees views about the need for democratic rights in D.C. - to join with us for this event.
Lawrence H. Mirel firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Reform in the District of Columbia: Lessons from Other Cities
On Wednesday, March 26, 1997, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the George Washington Universitys Center for Washington Area Studies will co-sponsor the second in a series of seminars analyzing policy reforms undertaken in cities throughout the U.S., drawing lessons for the District of Columbia. The seminar will bring together academics, policy makers, and community activists from Washington, Baltimore, and Boston to discuss Education Reform in the District of Columbia: Lessons from Other Cities.
The session will feature a presentation by Marion Orr, assistant professor of political science at Duke University on the Baltimore model of privatization. John Portz, associate professor of political science at Northeastern University will reflect upon the Boston experience with building partnerships between schools and the business community. Jeffrey Henig, professor of political science and director of the Center for Washington Area Studies at the George Washington University will present his research on civic capacity and urban education based on a study of school reforms in eleven U.S. cities. Carrie Thornhill, senior program officer at the DC Agenda Project, who has closely followed developments in the Districts public school system, will comment on the three presentations, drawing conclusions about the implications of research findings for local reform efforts.
The event will take place Wednesday, March 26, 1997, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00p.m. in the Wilson Center Library, located on the third floor of the Smithsonian Castle Building, 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW. For further information, please call 202-287-3000 ext. 307.
Michelle Granson email@example.com
Come to a piano concert and reception on April 17, 6pm - 8pm at St. Margarets church, 1830 Connecticut (near Dupont Circle). Wine and hor doeuvre reception from 6pm - 7pm, piano playing by three time Armenian National Piano Prize winner, Edita Vinnitskaya 7pm - 8pm. $10 Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by mailing a check of $10 for each ticket requested to Piano Concert, St. Margarets Church 1830 Connecticut Ave. Washington DC 20009. Checks must be received by April 10. Hosts: Nicole Anzia, David Boling, David Dustin, Kathy Gussman, Nat Harrison,Karen Hayes, Ted Hunting, Nancy Lewis, John Mullens, Abi Pereira, Jennifer Siebel, John Williams, and Bruce McBarnette.
Bruce McBarnette firstname.lastname@example.org (703) 404-8429
Seeking artists/crafts people
Glover Park Day is a wonderful annual neighborhood festival held in June each year at Guy Mason Recreation Center. The festivals planning committee is looking for local artists/crafts people who would be interested in exhibiting/selling their work at the festival. We usually have 30 to 50 artists (jewelry, pottery, watercolors, etchings, mixed media,. etc. etc. ).
The festival attracts about 1500 to 2000 neighbors and friends single professionals, families with children, students, and seniors. Send email if youre interested in hearing more.
Judie Guy EMikesell@aol.com
New sofa for sale
I would like to sell my tuxedo-style Storehouse sleep sofa, which I have had for four months. (Its too big for my living room.) Its 7 feet long, 38 inches deep; there is a queen-size bed inside. The upholstery is an off-white 100% cotton with a subtle leaf pattern very pretty and its been treated with fabric sealer and so resists dirt and stains. Also has arm covers. I paid $1700 and will consider all reasonable offers. Call 202-994-6943 for an appointment. Buyers must be able to transport the sofa; payment only by certified check.
Cynthia Harrison email@example.com
Thanks to $100 and a day playing with mulch, I have a push type lawn mower FREE to a good home. Its just a blade and two wheels, with a wee bit of grass from last summer included free. Your yard will look mulch better too.
Paul Williams PKelseyW@aol.com
Macintosh monitor wanted
Looking for a 14" Macintosh color monitor, to borrow or rent for a while, or buy.
Randi Rubovits-Seitz firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you answer when people ask you about your house history? When it was built, who built it, who lived there, and what they did? Ever wondered when that rear addition was added or your fence repaired? Find out! A professional house history narrative, complete with scanned copies of your building permit, first deed, maps, and sometimes even historic photographs. A terrific and unusual gift. Now included: contemporary gif photographs!
Selling your home? Have potential buyers fall in love with the history, and you have your sale. Our prices range from $400 to $600 for the average DC townhouse. Call or Email us with your address for a free estimate. Many happy DC:Story Customers Served! http://www.ustreet.com/pkelsey Kelsey & Associates 202-462-6251.
Paul K. Williams PkelseyW@aol.com
Silver 86 Honda Accord DX - 2 dr hatchback. 5-speed. Air Conditioning. Power steering/brakes. AM/FM/Cassette. 135K miles. Reliable. One owner. New in 96: battery, brakes, CV boot. New in 95: tires, radiator, freon. $2700 or best offer. Reason for selling - needed a 4dr. Wk# = 301.496.7900 Hm# = 202.362.8205
Calvin Eigsti email@example.com
Goodies For Sale
6 foot brass coffee table w/ beveled glass $35.; wooden dining table w/ 2 leaves extends to 6 feet $50.; very large oversized wooden picture frames $20. apiece; nautical design large framed novelty mirror $25. 202-232-3449.
Patty Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org
Handsome, 100 year-old wall clock. "Junghans", Wurttenberg, Germany. 30" x 12" .Lovely chimes, which function on hour and half hour. Just completely checked and cleaned, and is in perfect working order. Comes with one-year guarantee from restorer. Price: $450. Call (202) 237-5594.
Buying one shouldnt be so scary. Setting one up shouldnt be so scary. Getting on the Internet shouldnt be so scary.
Jeffrey Itell Story@intr.net 202.244.4163
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