Question. Who wants to kill millions for school repair? A. Clinton OMB Head, Franklin D. Raines, B. Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R - NC) Answer: A. Yes, those spendthrift Republicans want to dump even more money on the District for such frivolity as school safety repairs, and a police pay raise. As ever, the tightwad Democrats dont want to give a dime. Now, it may be the Administrations way of sending a get on board message to the city, but theyve sure have a way of picking their issues.
Note. When Lauchs committee voted the funds, albeit reduced, Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., spoke for the money. Its the first time in ages that a Senate Democrat has said anything positive about DC and its needs.
Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, D-Ward 6
Ward 6 voters elect Sharon Ambrose giving the council a most literate member, and maybe a new fire chief. Sharon may be the first council aide whose made the leap to the Council. For certain, she brings an unusually deep and critical knowledge of DCs gothic financial and managerial world.
Eleven Bite the Chalk Dust
The school trustees finally say where they stand on education and real estate. Five schools, Hearst, McGogney, Nalle, Patterson and Peabody survive, two to be rebuilt, and eleven including McKinley Tech close. (Sam Smith notes that General Becton voted to close all.) Now, if theyll pay half as much attention to those open schools with atrocious reading and math scores, we may get somewhere.
The council takes a large bite out of the city budget. Several council members balk at signing on the Presidents program. Or as Eleanor Norton said in Sundays Post "White House officials must recognize that the citys locally elected officials may take public stances to reflect the views of Washington residents and to bolster their popular support."
Where is Sam Abbott Now That We Need Him?
Reading the latest Board of Trade News (You dont) ?made me long for the days of Sam Abbott. Most folks who remember, know he was Takoma Park Mayor. Boisterous, cantankerous and voluble Sam did a lot for the little town, but not without razing many hackles.
Sams most important achievement, however, came along before he was Mayor. He did something no one else has achieved. Sam, with a voice like a cross between a band saw and a foghorn, organized DC and handed the freeway lobby a major defeat.
He and a small activist group led a full scale counter attack on an incredibly destructive series of DC and related suburban highways. Congress - Rep Bill Natcher, mainly, wanted them. Natcher held up DCs Metro money for years to extort DC. The Board of Trade and the city highway department wanted them. Sam didnt .He pulled on board every citizens and civic association in DC, every environmental group and about every politician. Finally, the Council and Courts and DOT killed the roads. Federal freeway funds went to build Metro.
Why do I wish for Sam? The BOT, apparently, has a long memory and doesnt like to lose. Theyve mounted a large, well publicized campaign to improve the areas infrastructure, but infrastructure quickly turns to roads. For example, they say " Compounding this problem (lack of infrastructure) is the fact that during the 1970s the regions leaders decided to build new transit but not build new highways - nearly 1,500 lane miles of roads were scrapped from official plans." BOT News April 1997, p.1.
If youve read dc.story for long, you know that sometimes well put a freeze on a topic thats getting over done. Jeff and I think that cat stories have done that. Were going to give them a rest for the next three months.
Also free! dc.movie: Free movie passes, short movie reviews, and movie discussion. Send an email message to email@example.com to subscribe.
Crow au Manger
The candidates finished in the following order: Ambrose, Stallings, Croft, McCall, Capozzi. Those who live in glass polling booths ought not to throw...er, stones. Jeffrey Itell Story@intr.net
I find it unsettling and somewhat depressing that there are FAR more postings in the Story about cyclists and quite a few more about cats than there have been about public education or than there are about current issues such as the Presidents plan for the District. What is the meaning of this?
Where did the snow plowing money go this year?
Last year, when we had heavy snow, D.C. residents did not receive adequate snow removal because of "lack of resources." In other words, there was a certain amount of money set aside for snow removal, and the excessive snowfall blew the budget.
Well, the other side of having a certain budget for snow removal is that when no snow falls, there is money left over. I suggest that all the unspent snow removal resources for this past year be now spent on repairing a few streets. After all, Im sure we all have our favorite stretches of road that are virtually impassable.
Tenleytown Residents and Restaurants
Historically, what this area of Tenley Town fears is a repeat of Friendship Station. This was a great venue for local musicians, but the patrons and patronage were something else. My parents live off of Wisconsin Ave., and on nights when there was music, you could not find a place to park in your own neighborhood. The mostly college-aged folk would line up to get in, drinking beer in public. If they couldnt get in, theyd go back to their cars and drink more beer. And then when they came out, theyd urinate in the alleys and on peoples lawns.
The Tenley Town residents also believe they have been misled in the past by restaurateurs who promise to comply with their requirements, and then do whatever they please once the licenses are approved. This is why they have become tough about things like parking and drinking. This is an older neighborhood where the majority of residents are now renters. The owners who are left want to keep the neighborhood like it was when they moved in. They want a family oriented neighborhood with restaurants and shops that appeal to that clientele, and not to college students.
As a neighbor of the former Maggies pizza place, I was disappointed to hear that other neighbors chased away the possibility of a regular eating place in that depressingly abandoned site. Knowing that the trash and noise of some of the activity in our neighborhood are a problem, I think we really need to welcome anything that steps up from fast food and drive-in-and-out places. And our household would love to have just one place to walk to and eat something other than pizza, in fact! I really encourage our neighbors to help the possibilities for restaurants to come to Tenleytown, because the alternative is not good for our area.
Its Not About Trains, Its About People And Where They Need To Go
In the Washington Post on Sunday, Richard White, the general manager of Metro, made the self serving assertion that investment in roads must be made in light of the fact that there needs to be continued investment in Metro. While that sounds rational, it belies the fact that the Governments in the D.C. area have taken an active position of spurning roads for the past 20 years or so. It is now time for roads to catch up.
I thought Metrorail was great when I was able to use it daily for commuting. Unfortunately, Metrorail is no longer a viable alternative for me. And my case is not unique. The problem is that Metrorail was designed to work radially-that is it does a great job moving people towards or away from the city core. What it does poorly is to move people laterally-that is from one region outside the city core to another. And that is increasingly the need.
Lets quit pretending that everyone works downtown and provide services to commuters where they are needed.
Calvert Street Bicycle Lane Tirade Rejoinders:
I live in town, I drive sometimes, and I bike sometimes. Before Peter Luger hurls his umbrella at my spokes, I confess that I sometimes pedal up the Massachusetts Avenue hill from the Glover bridge (now under construction) to the entrance to the Naval Observatory on the, gasp, sidewalk.
My average speed is about 4 miles per hour during this leg, which contrasts greatly with the motor vehicles in the street, while the sidewalk is usually fairly empty. By offering a courteous warning call and a wide berth while passing any pedestrians that are present, I feel that in this case, while it may be technically against the law, Im doing the smart, safe, and right thing.
Bikes on sidewalks
This is actually legal in the District.
Id still be in favor of a city-wide system of bike lanes on commuter routes. I dont believe that the lanes will have an impact on bikers respect for traffic regulations, but they will presumably make the roads safer for all concerned and perhaps lure a few more folks out of their cars. Of course, one factor not mentioned in any of the comments about Calvert Street is the fact that delivery trucks and other double parkers will probably negate much of the intended benefit of bike lanes. And that would be the reality on any commercial strip in town.
In the last issue someone asked if there are any cycling organizations in DC that are working on creating a coordinated system of bike lanes for the city. Those interested in this issue (or in cycling in general) could try contacting the Washington Area Bicyclist Assn. (WABA - pronounced as a word, not as a series of letters). Theyre a membership organization and advocacy group and they provide maps, guides and touring info, routing & commuting advice and host bike swaps, among other things. If theyre not working on the issue themselves, they should be able to tell you who is. Theyre located in DC at 818 Connecticut Ave. and their phone number is 202/872-9830.
Jillian Smith asks about bike organizations in DC. The answer is emphatically Yes! There is an active organization called the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). Their web site is at http://www.waba.org/. I dont think Ive seen them say anything about Calvert Road; they _do_ have a plan for two blocks of Woodley Place but I didnt find any information on the web site.
Friends, DC Parking Enforcement is not the only overly eager and slow to respond traffic regulatory agency in the area, just the best known. Early last October I received a "No Parking Anytime" ticket in Silver Spring on a side street that had no signs or other markings restricting parking. I sent a letter of appeal along with photos. And nothing happened. In early January I sent a follow-up letter. Again, zilch. I cant believe that Montgomery County has anywhere near the number of appeals to process as does the District, so Im at a loss to understand the delay. Of course, it could be that they contract out to DC Parking Enforcement!
The Mayor and the Death Penalty
Hizzoner is playing to the crowd (read Congress) in his latest change of positions on the Death Penalty. The whole turnaround is totally without substance for two big reasons: A referendum on the Death Penalty would never pass in the District; and the chances of any jury empaneled in D.C. voting for the Death Penalty are nada, zip, nil. So who is the Mayor trying to impress? Certainly not those in Ward 3.
City Systems Question
Having sat down this rainy Sunday afternoon to catch up on the last two months of dc.story, the issue of DC property assessments is on my mind. I went through my files and located a letter from the Dept. of Finance and Revenue dated 10/14/92 extolling the virtues of the then-new Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) System. The letter begins, "The District of Columbia has initiated a major project to ensure the accuracy and fairness of your real property assessment. ..." What the hell was this all about?
This brings to mind another major project that I heard about, also, I guess, about five years ago, but only recall from a radio news story, so I could be off in my time frame. This story was reporting that DC was switching on its new multimillion dollar computerized traffic light synchronization system that would drastically improve traffic flow. The story said the improvement would not be noticed overnight, but would be incremental as the system learns traffic flow. Does anyone remember anything about this? What the hell was this all about?
Education vs. Public Education
Jillaine Smith makes a significant, and no doubt unconscious, distinction between education and public education in the April 27 issue of dc.story. Shes quite correct. Those who have the money and wherewithal to choose which school their children go to know that education is about teaching students basic verbal and math skills that will empower them as adults and providing a safe, clean environment where that learning can take place.
Public education, on the other hand, is about providing teachers and administrators with a stable job regardless of the skills they impart to their captive audience and expanding public educations share of the public budget while defending the status quo at all costs.
Unfortunately, closing chronically non-performing schools is the only way to affect change in a unionized monopoly like the DC Public School system. Unfortunate, that is, for the parents who cannot choose better schools because of insufficient income. And unfortunate for their children who are offered up as sacrifice on the altar of Public Education.
True, the spirit of public education is universal access to quality education. But unions and social engineers have ruined what was once an admirable public system in the District and elsewhere. Why not start over and let all parents choose among the many excellent public and private schools the privileged currently have access to? That would be real, immediate reform.
Who would be hurt by such reform-the children, or the teachers union? Now guess who opposes it.
I LOVE IT!!! Does that mean we can sue the city for damage caused to our cars as a result of the potholes? I could have my alignment dealt with, get a new set of tires, suspension, etc. Wow Im so glad to hear that I have some recourse.. %-}
Hi. Can someone help me, please. I need to find a place to live in DC. I need an apartment near George Washington University. I am blind, and must live close, so that I can use the security services. I have no one who can co-sign for eight times the rent.
The cheapest place Ive found is $675, and that is just an efficiency at the Statesman. Im not getting any help from the University. I will have to live on the streets if no one can help me.
Looking for 3.5 to 4.0 (above average) geographically desirable tennis player (Wisconsin and MA) to have regular games.
Reed Dewey firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 363-8433
The Four Authors
Extra! Extra! There are more authors in Cleveland Park than politicians! Four prominent Cleveland Park authors will speak on successive Tuesdays in May at 8 PM at the Cleveland Park Congregational Church, 34th & Lowell Streets, NW. May 6th: Susan Shreve. May 13th: Christopher Buckley. May 20th: Martin Walker. May 27th: Kate Lehrer. Tickets for Cleveland Park Historical Society members are $15 for the series purchased in advance or $5 per lecture at the door. Non-members are $25 for the series purchased in advance or $8 per lecture at the door.
A membership in CPHS is $30 per year. Membership includes invitations to house & walking tours not open to the public. Checks should be made out to CPHS & mailed to P. O. Box 4862, Washington, DC 20008. A list will be kept at the door of those who have paid. For more information call (202) 363-6358.
Judy Hubbard Saul, CPHS Outreach Coordinator email@example.com
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, its been demonstrated, repeatedly, that traffic safety enforcement not only cuts crashes, it deters crime.
If you cant come but would like to support the organization, please write to me or to Lisa Sheikh at firstname.lastname@example.org. Were 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.
Steph "Trying to restrain her own aggressive pedestrian tendencies" Faul email@example.com
Im the volunteer director for a small DC tutoring program and we are actively looking for some dedicated volunteers. If you are interested you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call any of these: Paul Conlon (202)-488-3619 xtn 236, or Karin Walser 225-7300, or Dan Walsh 225-5311.
Young Jewish Leadership Presents The Spring Fling At Ozio Martini & Cigar Lounge
On Wednesday, May 7th, the Young Jewish Leadership PAC of Washington, D.C., will be holding its first annual spring fling party at Ozio Martini and Cigar Lounge, 1835 K Street, N.W., from 7:00 until 10:00 p.m.
Hors doeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. The event will be free for YJL patrons, $15 for members and $25 for non-members. YJL-PAC is a Jewish Republican political group. If you have any questions, please call Ken Marcus at 202/342-7679
The organization "Thumbs Up" is collecting recycling at the John Eaton Elementary school at 34th and Lowell Streets on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Bag your newspapers, glass, plastic, and aluminum. Only newspapers need to be separated. Donations are requested, not required.
Leila Afzal Leila.Afzal@noaa.gov
Anyone need a canon PC-7 copier with a new ink cartridge? Its a desktop, top of line personal copier, reduces, all that, but no longer meets my biz needs. Its perfect for home office. $250 obo.
karen feld email@example.com (202) 337-2044
Large 1-bedroom apartment available with view of the mall; located in the "safer" heart of Adams-Morgan, Columbia Road at Kalorama. Includes utilities, great storage, f/p, and secure indoor parking. 985/month.
Judson Feder firstname.lastname@example.org
Cleveland Park, One Block to Metro. Own Office, share waiting room, bathroom, Kitchenette w/3 others. Ideal for Bodyworker, Health Practitioner, LISW. Quiet. $350. + phone. Jenn at 202-966-6113.
We care for the care givers. Get rid of stress, aching shoulders, back pain and headaches. BodyWise BodyWorks certified experts bring you into balance. Try us and see! CALL Jenn 202-966-6113
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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