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April 18, 1997

Who Doesn’t Bill Clinton Trust?

Dear Neighbors:

Hi, Jeff’s away for a bit, and as he mentioned, I ‘ll be filling in. Won’t say what he has on me, but it was either do this, or pick up his tab at Unos. Who Doesn’t Bill Clinton Trust

For starts there’s Marion, and Andrew, and Charlene, and Kay and John and Carol, and etc. The administration’s push to dice up the city government has taken a new turn. Not content, for some strange reason, to take the Mayor and Council’s word that they’re on board the plan, they have to sign on the line. Aware of DC’s reputation for creative evasion, the administration is circulating a ‘memorandum or understanding of support. There is some negotiating going on by the Wilson Building’s denizens, but it’s pretty one sided. Brimmer actually doesn’t have to sign. He can just send in a letter. What I’d like to know is how it’s going to be used. Will it be delivered with appropriate flair as a sign of unprecedented unity. Or will some OMB functionary keep it pocketed, pulling it out every now and then to straighten up the ranks?

Question Authorities

Meanwhile, Tom Davis (R-VA) has a plan to create yet another authority. This one’s for Lorton. I don’t have a hard count, but we are well on our way toward fragmenting the city government so thoroughly that no one, Mayor, Council or Congress will ever be able to get anything done. Much of the impetus is to place space between the Mayor and power. This is horribly short sighted. The Control Board has defanged him pretty well already. Setting up independent, bureaucracies with only minimal oversight, their own source of funding, and the uncontrolled power to contract isn’t asking for trouble its begging for it.

Much on board today from bike lanes (much fulmination), and an interesting question, is there a black market in residential parking permits?

Finally, wouldn’t you know it. On my first turn, in comes a chastising post from The Post about one of mine.



Post Reply to DC Story
Alex Johnson

My employer, the Post, takes enough well-justified grief that when we get some unjustified grief, I feel compelled to correct the record. Carl Bergman’s note on Gil Hahn’s lawsuit over water rates claims that "the Post noted it, but didn’t explain" it. We did, with a story on April 2 that reported what Bergman reports and adds other details he doesn’t (for instance, that D.C. officials have promised to repay the $81 million borrowed from the water and sewer fund, plus interest, in annual $18.2 million installments over five years). As I’ve said before, just because you may not have personally seen something in the Post doesn’t mean we didn’t print it.


Security in the Schools
Ed T. Barron

The problems of improper entry and exit from the schools can be corrected easily. Unguarded doors must be able to be opened from the inside because of fire and safety regulations. There are two things that need to be done to prevent improper entry and exiting. The first is to alarm every unguarded door so that it signals when it is being opened. The second is to have surveillance TV cameras covering the unguarded doors. Then, it will be clear who is improperly entering or exiting as it is happening. These simple, and relatively inexpensive, security measures are employed by most companies that want their workplace to be secure and to prevent unauthorized entry and exiting.



AU Park: Where is Harry the Cat, et al?
Bethany Bridgham

I live in Ward 3/AU Park and have 3 pets, one of which is missing. My cat, Harry, went out 3/23 and never came back. In my attempts to find him, I was contacted by other AU Park cat owners whose pets are missing.

Between 3/9 and 3/23, 6 cats have vanished from the AU Park neighborhood. All were spayed or neutered, all were house pets, whose comings and goings were monitored by their owners. We have contacted the Humane Society, shelters in DC (3), No. Va. (2), Mont. County PG County, vets, mailmen, UPS-FedEx, lawn crews, neighbors, friends, etc. No one has seen these animals. Most had collars and ID tags so if they had been injured, people could contact us.

The consensus seems to be that "someone" (I could think of a more descriptive term) has been snatching cats from our neighborhood. The Humane Society and police believe the cats have probably been sold to labs by less than scrupulous dealers. The 6 owners have established an anonymous tip line (202) 966-3982 and posted $1,000 reward for information leading to the return of the cats, or the apprehension of the person responsible.

In addition, the owners of the Capital Video Stores (P St., Conn. Ave and Capitol Hill) have pledged another $1,000 — so the reward is $2,000. We’d really like to publicize this as widely as possible, not only to find our pets but also to warn others. The Northwest Current did a story before we had the tip line and reward. Channel 9 did a story but didn’t publish the number. The AU Eagle did a story but, again, didn’t publish the number.

Can you help us out ? Please email, if you have questions or need more information. Thanks.


Calvert Street Bike Lane Extension
Todd Cain

This is in response to Greg Jones’ comments on April 13, 1997.

I live at the eastern end of the Ellington Bridge and own both car and bicycle. The extension of the Calvert Street bike lanes is welcome news. That block of Calvert provides access to Rock Creek Park and its many bike and jogging paths. Negotiating this block in the past meant either weaving through pedestrians on the side of the road, or jockeying with car traffic, with no left-hand turn signal into Rock Creek Park. These new bike lanes will make access safer and separate bike, car, and pedestrian traffic. I’m sorry if Mr. Jones has had bad experiences sharing the road with bikers, but rest assured that bikers have had just as many bad experiences with cars. As a biker, I assume that the cars around me don’t see me at all, and 95% of the time, I am proven correct. Drivers need to keep in mind that bikers have every right to the road that they do, and drive accordingly. Perhaps these new traffic patterns will make Mr. Jones reconsider his need to drive his car through that area, especially when there is a Metro stop a block away. Or perhaps, he will discover the joys of cycling through our beautiful city and become an advocate for more bike lanes.


Calvert Street
Lorie Leavy

I had the same reaction Greg Jones did to the Dr. Gridlock column on the narrowing of Calvert Street. I know life’s not fair, but even in D.C. you’d think a change of this magnitude (not to mention idiocy) would not be allowed to come to fruition without a little input from the non-bicycle-commuting users of Calvert Street. Please note that I don’t mean Virginia and Maryland commuters. I mean the legions of taxpaying D.C. residents who depend on Calvert Street or nearby affected routes at all times of the day and night. Is there no obligation to hold some sort of a hearing on changes that will have such obvious impact on local traffic patterns? And is it too late now to try to put the kibosh on this nonsense?


Calvert Commuter
Howard Griffin

Mr. Greg Jones must live in Maryland or upper NW and use Reno Rd/Cleveland Ave/Calvert St to commute. As a resident of Cleveland Avenue, I was pleased to see that this ad hoc commuter freeway will be constricted by bike paths. Not that I am a particularly avid bicyclist, but I am delighted by any development that tends to make our neighborhood more placid. His comment about gridlock "at least during peak times" is instructive. Our streets are quiet and accommodating most of the time. Only during rush hours, must we abide Maryland cars streaming, impatiently and incessantly, at maximum possible speed down our residential lanes.


Going Cold Turkey on Calvert
Brian Kemler

I was appalled to read Greg Jones’ irrational tirade against bikeways on Calvert. Has he ever ridden a bike around Northwest? Has he ever ridden over the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Avenue? If he had, he would discover that there is no room for bikes to travel safely. By contrast, the Calvert Street bikeways are a safe haven for cyclists on what is otherwise a crammed and dangerous bridge.

I applaud additional bikeways as an alternative mode of transportation, and an inducement for macho motorists to go cold turkey off their automobile-centric lifestyles.

The notion that a small segment of the commuting population has unduly influenced the political process for its own benefit and to the detriment of the rest of the population is absurd. DC has pathetically few miles of bike lanes. Calvert Street, and others on Capitol Hill, are the only ones in town. These represent less than 1% of all DC miles. By contrast, motorists and the auto industry are subsidized by public roads and bridges. These represent the largest public contribution.


Whining About Bicycle Lanes
Mark Wilhite

I’m confused about the lament from Greg Jones about bicycle lanes. Does he mean that since many bicyclists violate traffic rules, unlike motorists, I guess, they are not worthy of space on busy, dangerous streets city? Or, is he saying that since cars take up more room, contribute to the trade deficit by consuming imported oil and warm up the planet that they are more important? Are they more entitled to road space than other transport, which may be cheaper, healthier and more efficient? Cities across the country have bike lanes that help traffic flow and make things safer for everyone. This seems to be an example of progressive policy on the part of DC government. Maybe that’s why he finds it "mind boggling."


Don’t Cry for New Lanes, Calvert Street
Herschel Browne

It’s curious that another segment of Calvert Street is going to have on-street bike lanes. The current bike lanes on Calvert Street from the Ellington Bridge up to Adams Mill Road are the only lanes I know of in the city. Why does Calvert Street so cry out for bike lanes?

Actually, I find it hard to believe that any serious bicycle advocate would spend time lobbying for these particular lanes. Calvert Street is very wide and is not a particularly important commuter route. Putting in bike lanes is a low-cost, low-pain sop to the cycling community instead of doing anything effective to make Washington bicycle-friendly.

Calvert Street was already so wide that it was easy for cyclists to share the road. The Taft Bridge is where accommodation for bicycles is badly needed, but it’s not wide. It is also an important commuter route (mostly for people who live in Maryland, of course), so bicycles were not accommodated when the bridge underwent its massively expensive rehabilitation. To suggest, as Greg Jones does, that no accommodation for bicycles should be made because cyclists, as a class, routinely violate traffic regulations is absurd. Drivers routinely violate traffic regulations. Would Greg also like a moratorium on accommodations for drivers? At least when bicyclists break traffic regulations they’re not operating a lethal machine weighing thousands of pounds.


Aggressive Riders
Carrie Staff

Greg Jones wrote a complaint in the last "issue" about Calvert Street’s bike lanes and begrudged "a segment of the commuting public that regularly and routinely violates virtually every traffic regulation on the books" .Bike-commuters, like many drivers I’ve seen in the city, have to ride aggressively since they are forced to share the road with cars. (I don’t agree that they should be running red lights, but there are certainly just as many cars violating that law.) The area’s roads are choking with cars and the air is choking from auto exhaust. Efforts to support people using alternative, environmental ways of commuting should be encouraged and the city should look into building a more extensive network of bike lanes for them!


Calvert Street Bike Lane Extension
Todd Cain

I live at the eastern end of the Ellington Bridge and own both car and bicycle. The extension of the Calvert Street bike lanes is welcome news. That block of Calvert provides access to Rock Creek Park and its many bike and jogging paths. Negotiating this block in the past meant either weaving through pedestrians on the side of the road, or jockeying with car traffic, with no left-hand turn signal into Rock Creek Park.

These new bike lanes will make access safer and separate bike, car, and pedestrian traffic. I’m sorry if Mr. Jones has had bad experiences sharing the road with bikers, but rest assured bikers have had just as many bad experiences. As a biker, I assume that the cars around me don’t see me, and 95% of the time, I am proven correct. Drivers need to keep in mind that bikers have every right to the road, and drive accordingly. Perhaps, these new traffic patterns will make Mr. Jones reconsider his need to drive his car through that area, especially with a Metro stop a block away. Or perhaps, he will discover the joys of cycling through our beautiful city and become an advocate for more bike lanes.


Bike Counter
Andy Meadow a

Bicycles can be registered at any DC Police station. The cost is $1.

* Check fire stations, too. Ed.


Friends of the MT. Pleasant Library
Jill Bogard, President Friends of Cleveland Park Library

Aries Keck asked if the MT. Pleasant Library has a "Friends of the Library." It does indeed, as do most of the 26 branch libraries. The contact person is Robert Frazier, 232-1810. The Friends are primarily involved in fundraising and advocacy activities for the branches. The Friends were instrumental in keeping all the libraries open several years ago when cuts threatened to close selected branches.

The Friends are represented by the Federation of Friends of the DC Public Library System. Federation president, Melissa Kunstadter, testified on 4/15/97 before the City Council’s Committee on Education, Libraries, and Recreation. For a summary, see the 4/16/97 Washington Post, Metro section, p. B6.


Black Market Residential Parking Stickers?
Brian Nielsen

A couple years ago I had the problem of paying for a permit that was never mailed to me. Answer for getting one? Get it in person, rather than by mail. As to tickets, I received one, too. Sent it in with a letter of protest and a copy of my cancelled check. They followed up with requests for additional info to verify my registration, all of which should have been in their system! But eventually, they waived the ticket.

Big question: Where do all those stickers that have been paid for, but not received, actually go? Strikes me, there’s some sort of black market operation going on here.


A Driver’s Lot Is Not A Happy One
Damian Buckley

From the time I joined those wanting to renew their driving licenses, at 301 C Street NW, to when I received my new 4 year license was 36 minutes. Not bad. If they could only clean the floors and walls of that building it would be a help. Now, I can go out again and use DC parking meters that are either broken, missing, have their change boxes ripped out, or that run too fast. Have you ever timed those meters? The revenue collectors for DC must have a field day knowing that 30 minutes time on a meter really is closer to 25. Be especially vigilant.


Running Metro Past Midnight
Robbie Pitt

I would love the D.C. metro system to be open 2 hours later every night-until 2 a.m. It would make it more convenient for everyone, especially for those who commute to work. I know it would probably cost a little more to run the metro for those 2 extra hours, but I doubt it would be significant. Also, I believe it would reduce drunk driving incidents and traffic. Any ideas on how to achieve this goal? Thanks.


DC Trees, etc.
Judy Hubbard Saul Outreach Coordinator, CPHS

I don’t know who is planting trees in other parts of the city (perhaps Trees for the City, 1820 Jefferson Pl., NW, 20036, 785-9184), but I do know who has planted over 80 trees in Cleveland Park. Volunteers from the Cleveland Park Historical Society plant (and water for 3 years) new trees in the neighborhood every spring & fall. Eight trees were planted on 36th St. between Newark & Porter on March 29th.

If you would like more information about the tree planting, CPHS membership, or our annual spring lecture series leave your name, address, & phone number on the CPHS answering machine 363-6358. This year the series is featuring authors Susan Shreve, Christopher Buckley, Kate Lehrer, & Martin Walker. If you are interested in the history of our famous (yes, Virginia, it is famous) Cleveland Park, Park & Shop stop by Brothers Coffee at the Park & Shop & check out our poster. Have some coffee too!


Re: trees.
Paul Conlon

I don’t know who planted the trees mentioned by someone here, but I’ve noticed the same on Penn Ave, SE near Eastern Market. In the past, the tutoring and mentoring program that I help run, Horton’s Kids, has brought a number of kids from a housing project in Anacostia to plant trees and clean up parks around the city. if anyone wants to volunteer for our group, we’d be happy to hear from you.

During one jaunt, I stumbled across a group called "trees for the city" and I think it is their role in life to run around DC and plant as many trees as they can. Folks should be happy that groups like that work to clean up the city. If possible, don’t always sit back and be happy, get out there and help these groups in making our city a nice place to live.

Ohh, I’ve just remembered a fax I got last week from a group called "America’s treeways - Planting a legacy along America’s Roadsides." They provide trees to volunteer groups and to transportation agencies around the country. Maybe the newly found trees were a result of combinations of groups.…


Randy Lilleston

Hi. I like the folks who hang out on this list, and I thought I’d make a pitch for a local computer bulletin board with a very similar mind set and some really interesting conversation.

It’s called Crunchland and its phone number is 703-765-6885. It really does have one of the most eclectic mixes of users you’ll find anywhere...lots of musicians, journalists, political types, artists and so on - as well as the usual merry band of computer junkies.

I’m a longtime Crunchland user and I know the BBS is looking for some new blood to keep the conversation fresh. It’s free, although there is longer access time available for something like $25 a year (believe me, the board is *not* for profit, though). I hope you’ll check it out. It really is a great place to hang out.



Is There a D.C. Residents’ FAQ

I’ve just bought a house in the District (moving from N.VA.) and have numerous questions about navigating the rocky shoals of District bureaucracy. Does anyone know of a FAQ for D.C. newbies?

James Cooper


Library Of Congress Marks Public Reopening of Thomas Jefferson Building With Community Event

To herald the completion of the decade-long restoration and modernization of the Library’s original 1897 Thomas Jefferson Building and to celebrate its centenary, the Library is inviting the metropolitan area community for a free "Festival of Cultures" on Sunday, May 4.

The event is supported by The Xerox Foundation, which is also funding the exhibition, "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" that opens May 1.

Highlights of the celebration, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, are tours of the magnificent art and architecture of the building’s interior; views of the new colonnaded area studies reading rooms of the European, Asian, and African and Middle Eastern divisions; and visits to some of the decorated rooms that are normally not open to the public. Performances by nationally known musical groups (see following schedule), celebrity readings, and treasure hunts for children will take place throughout the day. Food vendors will be available for those who wish to purchase lunch and snacks. All events are free.

The Capitol Hill community is also celebrating Friendship House’s "Market Day" on May 4, providing yet another reason to spend the day on the Hill. The 34th annual Market Day, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 7th and Pennsylvania Ave. SE, features food, games for children, crafts, music and much more. It benefits Friendship House, a Capitol Hill fixture since 1904, which provides a wide range of child development and community services.

Visitors are advised to use Metrorail (Capitol South on the Blue and Orange lines or Union Station on the Red Line) to reach the Library of Congress as well as Eastern Market (Eastern Market on Blue and Orange lines).

Schedule For Festival Of Cultures May 4, 1997, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Events subject to change)

Neptune Plaza Stage 10 a.m.-Opening remarks by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington 10:15 a.m.-Italian flag-throwers

Main Stage - South Lawn Of Jefferson Building 10:30-11:15 a.m.-Nilimma Devi from the Sutradhar Institute of Dance 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.-Celtic Thunder 12:30 - 1:15 p.m.-Legendary Orioles and Hand Dancers 1:30 - 2:15 p.m.-Sweet Honey in the Rock 2:30 - 3:15 p.m.-The Seldom Scene 3:30 - 4:15 p.m.-Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

Children’s Corner (Librarian’s Reception Area, northwest corner, first floor of Jefferson Building) Readings for children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for 15 minutes on the hour and half-hour.


Are you fed up with the mean streets?

Citizens Against Speeding and Aggressive Driving is having another meeting on Saturday, May 10, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cleveland Park Library.

Speak out for safer streets! Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all deserve to travel without being threatened by red-light runners, speeders, and lane jumpers. In addition, it’s been demonstrated, repeatedly, that traffic safety enforcement not only cuts crashes, it deters crime.

If you can’t come but would like to support the organization, please write to me or to Lisa Sheikh at We’re also in need of basic office equipment, such as a fax machine and a computer that runs Windows. The organization will have 501C(3) status by the end of the year, so your donations will be tax-deductible. See you there!

Steph "Trying to restrain her own aggressive pedestrian tendencies" Faul


Frans Lanting, Wildlife Photographer, Lecture, Bonobo

Monday, 5 May 1997 7:00 p.m. Book signing 8:00 p.m. Slide-illustrated lecture Education Building Auditorium National Zoo

Enter at Connecticut Ave. Park in Lot A Free, but please RSVP by calling (202) 673-4801 or sending e-mail to

Frans Lanting, internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, will present a richly-illustrated lecture and sign copies of Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape. In 1991 Lanting spent several months in Zaire photographing bonobos, the least-known of the great apes. He teamed up with noted primatologist, Frans de Waal, for this book. Lanting, whose work regularly appears in National Geographic and Life, is one of a handful of Westerners who have ever seen the bonobo in the wild. Due to the political situation, this region of Zaire is all but



Do you or someone you know need help setting up a personal web page? I can assist in setting up personal web pages. $40 fee (includes server space).

Phil Shapiro


Summer Sublet

Large efficiency apartment available for summer sublet. Two blocks from Dupont Circle Metro and ½ block from bus. Utilities included. Hardwood floors, high ceiling, a/c, and large windows. Laundry facilities in building. $625/mo. Available for lease at the end of May through August. Graduate student or professional preferred. Call 202-265-4726 (h) or 202-328-5069 (o).

Nicole Darnall



Buying one shouldn’t be so scary. Setting one up shouldn’t be so scary. Getting on the Internet shouldn’t be so scary.

Jeffrey Itell 202.244.4163


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