The Bergman Bio
Where else but dc story do you get threatened with a bio, if you dont roll your own?
For starts, Im a war baby born in Atlanta, Ga. in the last six months of FDRs term. Grew up and went to school there. Im a scion of the Excellento hair pomade fortune - all you can eat on my dads side. My mom taught me her family skill of leaving town quickly, when threatened by large men with burning sticks. My greatest claim to fame is being bar mitzvah on the pitchers mound of Fulton Co. stadium. (Actually, the synagogue got urban renewaled for the stadium, but I like the way it sounds.)
I came here for grad school in 66, and probably would have gone home to open a bagel and grits cafe, but aus Bernie Ross talked the newly appointed city council into taking on grad interns. The internship was uneventful, except for the riots. None of the council committees could stomach me for long, so I clerked several committees and drafted several laws such as the city bike code.
Having decided to stay in dc, I left town in 72 for Minnesota to be McGoverns PR person. As that campaign went, ours was pretty good. We ate fairly often, and only the skinny had to sleep in a closet. Having spent several months as part of a unmitigated electoral disaster, I decided to put my experience to use and ran for the city council in the first home rule election. I would have won, too, if it had not been for those others who got more votes. I also wrote for the DC Gazette, hastening by several years that spunky publications demise.
After a brief stint back at the council, I heard that Matt Watson must be out of his mind wanting to be city auditor. Knowing where Id be welcome, I joined the auditors office and spent several years fruitlessly hunting for economy and efficiency in dc government. After the auditors office, came a couple of positions in the executive branch which I remember despite several years of binge head banging.
In 1980, I made a career change. Id read an article exposing many computer consultants as uncredentialed, untrained and completely opportunistic. Here was a calling I could not refuse. There followed many years work for firms whose names I have agreed never to mention publicly. Most of my civic life is spent at Tifereth Israel Congregation where once they elected me financial vice president. My successor praised me for irrefutably destroying several stereotypes about Jews being good with money.
In 1982, Margie Odle and I were married. We have two daughters, Sydney 13 and Hannah 10. We live in Shepherd Park.
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Speaking of Water
.. my rain gauge had five inches in it for the 48 hours of Sunday and Memorial Day. This is a LOT of rain. Im in the Fort Reno area. Anybody else have a rain gauge? What did you score? (Those who dont have a rain gauge, but want one can find them at Hechingers, cheap. Theyre lots of fun, if youre the sort of person who likes that sort of thing, and apparently at least some people are, myself for example.) The weather service said .01 inches yesterday and .55 inches today, which is totally bogus, for this neighborhood at least.
Managing Metros budget
In a recent posting Robbie Pitt discussed extending Metros hours. In reply Jeff noted: "Who pays for the extra service?"
One can always throw up that answer when someone requests better service. And this response always clips off further debate. The fact is that I (and I suspect Robbie) am not familiar with the full details of Metros budget. Nor should I be to request better service.
A pervasive problem in D.C. is that long-time residents often have no idea what is possible in the real world outside of D.C. So a request is trashed as nonsense, when it would be reasonable anywhere else but here. After spending a short time in Paris I can report that the Metro system there runs at three minute (or better) intervals (even on Sunday night), all lines seem to run to well past 1:00 AM in the mornings, and all that service is provided for 80 cents a trip.
While I do NOT volunteer to do a budget analysis of our Metro system to seek funds for extended opening (since someone actually gets paid for that), I do suggest that a start for saving money is to eliminate the "station managers." Surely we can do away with these individuals who sit the majority of the day, only to be surly when asked a question.
I think your colleague is paranoid or is confusing personality problems with bias. Golly, I cant even imagine anti-Jewish bias in this town although Im sure some exists somewhere. My neighborhood stores are crawling with kosher-for-Passover stuff every year.
However, as a former freelancer (eight years total, or more, I forget), I figured that part of what I had to sell was my unique personality. Anybody who didnt like to work with me for any reason therefore wasnt somebody I wanted to take money from. So ask yourself: Do you really want to work for an anti-Semite who doesnt know an essential fact about who you are? I think not. Let em know early. In any case, theres no shortage of work for competent performers of any ethnicity.
Assimilate Or Hide?
Regarding your post, Daniel Saul Helfman, I am astounded that someone would give you advice to hide your religion or anything else about you in order to get jobs/consulting gigs, etc.
Perhaps my experiences have been easier but I never hide who I am nor for whom we work-and our company (small meeting planning company) works for many orgs. that are "controversial" based on the views of some.
DC is not the most open city but not closed either. I guess you have to choose your battles-and friends and clients-but to hide or assimilate? Never! Honesty is still the best policy when dealing with anyone.
Im sure that our good friend, who traveled from Basel, Switzerland, to celebrate his oldest sons graduation from George Washington Law School, and missed half the ceremony thanks to the runners blockades would share Ken Nelliss frustration. So would his sons friend, whom the father could not pick up and deliver to the graduation. Although it rained out the planned cookout in Rock Creek Park, I guess that cant be blamed on relentless runners.
Street Closings: Get over it
Re: Ken Nelliss complaint about street closings. Welcome to life in the nations capital. Like it or not, we live in a city where these things happen. So we get stuck in traffic when a motorcade goes by. My neighborhood turns into a traffic jam during the frequent big events at the Hilton on Connecticut Ave. Thats why I try to read the paper and be alert to whats going on.
For the record-I was stuck on 14th Street at the Rolling Thunder parade went by on Saturday (ironically, coming home from Virginia, where I was looking at a used motorcycle...). Annoying? Sure. But the way I see it, this is what happens when you live in the capital.
And dont take it out on the cop. If there was an emergency, theyd help you. Your kid crying is _not_ an emergency.
As our street, formerly mostly owner-occupied houses, becomes more rental units, the number of cars increases dramatically. Finding a parking place is .. well, sometimes impossible. Has the District ever considered one street parking permit per house, per block? Other cars for each house would have to negotiate for space on non-residential blocks. Or is this a nightmare to monitor?
On Law Enforcement/Harassment?
As someone who has had his moments rushing through a yellow light, driving at a rate faster than the speed limit, and is sure he has switched lanes at an intersection, Id like to make my own brief comment on the run-ins some have had with local police for minor traffic incidents.
In my eyes, both sides have merit. I would hate being stopped for doing something behind the wheel that endangered no one, and is only rarely/randomly enforced. Thats the price, I suppose, I may sometime have to pay for not driving 34 miles an hour on Connecticut Ave, and not slowing to a stop at every yellow light. - However, arresting people for such offenses is way over the top. If a police call-in on a driver/car yields no prior arrests/convictions for other criminal offenses, I dont see why they should be put in jail for even 60 seconds for a traffic offense. Such as not having their registration current or, because DMV didnt get the renewal to them in time, or someone stole their license plate) - unless, perhaps, they were drunk driving/weaving down a street or some other relatively dangerous offense. No one should be put through the trauma of an arrest so the local police can show their bona fides. But, at the same time, all the whining about being caught breaking the law/rules is rather pathetic, and, I expect, hypocritical.
One other side note: Ive noticed a lot more police cruising/setting speed traps on commuting routes on the Connecticut Avenue, Rock Creek corridor of late. Its my guess that this is: 1) in conjunction with regional efforts to crack down on aggressive drivers, and 2) perhaps a way of making a Timothy McVeigh-like arrest of that psycho who killed his lover in Minnesota, and others there and in Chicago and New Jersey. Any other thoughts?
[Aggressive Driver joke: Anyone who drives slower than me is a moron, anyone who drives faster than me is crazy!]
Is D.C. OK for You?
Recently Jeff asked why so many member of this list were lurkers, reading and not posting. This is really quite a good question, and has answers on many levels. As someone who never ceases to be amazed by the extent of the problems with D.C., I personally wonder why there is not more indignation expressed in this list. (For example, what really happened to the unspent snow removal funds this year??)
Then it occurred to me. Most D.C. residents are satisfied. Carping about the latest pothole, or the antics of the Mayors close associates are just an avocation. I now suspect that when I was angry about being snow bound in Jan 1996 (while Montgomery residents just 1 ½ blocks away had no such problems) my neighbors were secretly delighted about having an excuse to avoid another day of work. After all, they would tell their boss with a sad tone of voice, "I live in D.C. and we dont get plowed."
The fact is that (with a few isolated exceptions) people who cannot stand D.C. either do not live here, or leave. The people who are left must really find it quite habitable. And maybe the best way to endure is to ignore it all and cancel ones subscription to the Post.
Norton: Remember What Her Job Is
Norton may have been a constant through the decline of DC, but in her defense, day to day city management is not her job. Shes there to work for DC on Capitol Hill, and part of that job is being a spokesperson for the District-and on that count, shes fabulous.
I dont know enough of the ins and outs of the rest of her role to comment on how well or poorly shes performing. But the Control Board is supposed to be fixing city government, and its entirely fair to hold them accountable for the lack of progress (along with the Barry administration).
In response to the throng of requests (One, Count em) for a brief bio, I submit the following: Born and lived in Brooklyn for 22 years. - the result- a real "City Kid" *First love in WW II: Airplanes - Still in love with WW II airplanes (Thank goodness for the Discovery Channel)
Attended magnet High School (Brooklyn Tech) with 6,000 boys - This accounts for my fascination with the opposite sex which continues to this day. *Worked and put myself through a four year college program which resulted in a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Married at the beginning of my senior year in college and am still married to my roomie. Survived the raising of four kids and now have two grandchildren.
Enjoyed thirty-eight terrific years in Aerospace which ended when Dan (b breath of foul air from the South Bronx) Goldin terminated Grummans Systems Engineering and Integration Contract for the Space Station Freedom Program
Became a disciple of W. Edwards Deming (Total Quality) and have been successfully consulting in that field since late 1993
Performed volunteer services over a nine year period, to date, including five years on a community school board
Likes: Long haired Dachshunds; Smart people who help make things happen; D.C. as a place to live and a place to make better.
Dislikes: Rude/incompetent people; Mayor Barry
Believes that: Females dont belong in Combat Roles in the military (War is for macho men. Females are smarter and perform better in a role as peacemakers); Frontier justice for those who park in front of my driveway (no offenders in the last six months - since my driveway was annexed by the Metrobus stop)
Consumer Education Needed
I am going to purchase one of those fax, copier, scanner, printer (not necessary but I think will be included) machines. I am completely stymied as to brand, price, what determines quality, etc. Is there anyone out there who can help me or direct me to help?
Martha Bramhall firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeking Venue Other Than Shower Stall / Looking for a Choir to Join
Can anyone help place me in a public choral group for either women or mixed singers? Im an alto female singer who used to know how to read music and still can from time to time.
Gemma Park email@example.com
Ive been away for most of May and am wondering what is happening on this subject. Mine is due soon and I would normally have received notice by mail and sent off payment by now I think. This may be old hat --- must confess I havent read all the Stories that have accumulated in my absence --- would appreciate any input.
Mark Whitty firstname.lastname@example.org
Do You Need a Program Manager or Project Developer?
Dedicated and creative human services professional with 14 years of experience in the areas of advocacy, training, national program management and project development seeks full time employment in Washington, DC area. Call Reed Dewey at (202) 363-8433.
Reed Dewey email@example.com
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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