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August 3, 1997

Tony Williams for Mayor

Dear Neighbors:

"You say you want a revolution, well—ell-ell, better change your mind instead."

Did I mix up Beatles’s lyrics? Excuse me if I did but I expected a more vociferous reaction to the Federale’s hydra-headed management monster (Thanks to Howard Croft for that line) being contemplated and installed for the DC government. I don’t expect revolution, personally I don’t want revolution, but thought there would be a few strong, insightful, or stingingly funny opinions out there about what’s going down. Perhaps this plan is the magic bullet...or in deference to the basketball team, the magic wizard. But it’s more likely the work of legislators who never created a program they actually had to manage. What’s the fall back position when this plan fails? Send in the National Guard? What do you think?


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Jeffrey Itell


Tony Williams for Mayor
Carl Bergman

There is someone to vote for Mayor - CFO Tony Williams. Why Williams? An excellent manger, Williams, has shown he’s willing to make changes. He also has shown, through numerous public meetings, that he cares about the city, has a sense of purpose and propriety, knows something and doesn’t take himself too seriously. This isn’t a rare combination - it’s unknown.

Williams, unlike John Ray, Bill Lightfoot, etc., has a backbone. When he’s screwed up, he’s admitted it, changed direction and moved on. Combining this with an ability to speak plainly about complex subjects gives him strong credibility.

Credibility alone can take you a long way in politics. It’s essential to fund raising, and organization building. It’s also no small matter in a city where corporate donations are allowed, giving limits loose and regularly evaded and city contractors spend election season figuring out if they’d given enough.

In Williams case it’s even more important because it’s about the city and its operations. No one who has run for mayor, Carol Schwartz excepted, has been able to show that they know something about the city and could manage it. As a result, Marion’s been able to occupy this field unchallenged. Tony not only could challenge, but should be able to hold Marion accountable.

Williams has his liabilities, as would anyone facing a generational incumbent. His biggest is not ever holding public office, and not being a hometown product. Given an electorate looking for a change these aren’t insurmountable. Other problems would include being painted as the establishment’s pawn.

His biggest asset is also his biggest liability. As CFO he’s not only hatched, but has to stay on top of a exceptionally difficult job. Leaving to run would have to be well orchestrated. If he prematurely resigned to run he’d get one day of pr and be lost in the noise for months - just ask Bob Dole.

Marion wouldn’t be himself if de didn’t throw in class, caste and working for the feds, and anything else that crossed his fertile mind. He made mincemeat of Sterling Tucker, Pat Harris and John Ray.

Marion IV, however, will have a much harder time becoming Marion V than he has had in any of his other races. Previously, he could use city agencies to produce crowds and contributions. Congress and the Control Board have ended those days. Marion has also counted on strong support from the business community, developers, etc. Even they may hesitate to back him, if they think there is a credible challenge.

(A word about Carol Schwartz. Carol last run against Marion was the first and only decent campaign for Mayor the town’s ever seen. She knocked Marion on all the right points, while offering sound alternatives. Carol has two problems. She’s like a submarine. She only surfaces when running against Marion, otherwise she’s part of the pack. Second, as a Republican, she only runs in the general election. It’s too bad. She has real courage, personal and political. There are just some folks here who have a congenitally difficult time voting Republican.)

Tony Williams has that potential. He may be the only one. DC has been waiting for a long time for someone to put in place the promise of Home Rule.


"[T]hose who rape democracy will at some point pay the political price." —Mayor Marion Barry, July 30, 1997. I can’t think of a more fitting political epitaph for His Honor.

Martin Lynds


Barry Youth
Keith C. Ivey

Perhaps I shouldn’t kick the man when he’s down, especially when he’s been downed by people to whom democracy is apparently a foreign notion, but I’m going to anyway.

I’ve been noticing groups of young people dressed in green T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Mayor Barry’s Youth Leadership Institute" .Presumably city funds are being used to turn these kids into campaign billboards, which makes the shirts even more obnoxious than the "Woodley Park loves Visa and Mayor Barry" banners on Connecticut Avenue (yes, I know that’s not exactly what they say, but that’s the message).

The institute may be an excellent program, but why couldn’t it be called simply "The Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute" ?Virginia's Governor’s School for the Gifted isn’t called Governor Allen’s School for the Gifted, and no one has been awarded President Clinton’s Medal of Freedom. Is there no limit to Barry’s ego?


The BOT’s Way Is The Highway
Willie Schatz

Why are we surprised that the Washington Board of Trade puts its mouth where the "region’s" money is? It may be in our (as in D.C. Story readers and a small circle of our friends) best interest to stop the roads and start the rails, but the love affair between the powers-that-be (or wanna be) and the car is not about to perish from this earth. What other explanation is there for a "regional" subway that still isn’t finished after 20 YEARS of work? And OF COURSE the Wheaton and the Shady Grove stations should be connected. So should Farragut North and Farragut West. And if we lived in a city with mass transit on the brain—New York leaps onto my radar screen—we wouldn’t even be talking about these no-brainers. They’d already have been done. But that’s there. This is here, so first let’s finish the big thing. Then we’ll worry about the small parts.

Thanks much to Mary Lou Fahey for the Tenleytown crime update. I live four blocks from the subway stop and I’m ALWAYS around the area. And I haven’t been careful ‘cause I didn’t think I needed to be. But now I know better. So will my children.


Prescription Drug Errors
Paul Bickart

If paranoia’s bad, so is orthonoia — failure to be suspicious about things that can do you real harm. For instance: you’re probably being given the wrong drugs a lot of the time. Not through malice, just simple incompetence. I think. Maybe this is a DC problem. Probably it’s more general.

Read the labels on your prescriptions. Count your pills. Ask your doctor for the name and type of drug being prescribed, and WRITE IT DOWN. Of the last five drug prescriptions I had filled at my local CVS (formerly Higger’s, but that’s another sad story) four were filled incorrectly. Two were for the wrong amount (not a trivial matter when the pills are three bucks apiece), and two were for the wrong drug entirely. Most recently, what should have been an antibiotic turned out to be a steroid hormone; the doctor’s receptionist had phoned in someone else’s prescription by mistake.

I’m a habitual label-reader anyway, as well as being a chemist by trade, so I’m less likely to run into serious trouble than some. But it’s at best an inconvenience when you find out that you don’t have enough pills left to get you through your vacation and you know your prescription should have been for an adequate amount. And a seriously wrong drug can, of course, kill you.


Chicken Doublespeak?
Ted Gest

The Boston Market (nee Chicken) at Connecticut and McKinley Streets NW abruptly closed this past week. As an explanation, the chain posted signs proclaiming that "to better serve you" (note split infinitive), this store was "merged" with stores in Van Ness, Bethesda, Dupont Circle, etc. That struck me as Orwellian doublespeak. To "better serve you," we will move out of your neighborhood! While hardly serving gourmet food, the store did offer much more healthy offerings than did its predecessor, a 7-11.


Haad Thai
Martha Saccocio

I have to second Lorie Leavy’s endorsement of Haad Thai restaurant, although I don’t know when she is eating there. I eat lunch there often and have taken to making reservations it’s so crowded. I think you’re right that at dinner it is less crowded. They do offer carry-out. Next time any of you folks who work near Metro Center don’t feel like cooking dinner, call Haad Thai. The eggplant dish is delish!


Yael Flusberg

Thumbs Up, a youth-run economic development, has drop off sites for recycling at 18th & T Streets, NW and at HD Cooke Elementary School (17th Street, between Columbia Road and Euclid). Tips to the young people are appreciated. Curbside is also available in Mount Pleasant — for more information, call Todd Mosely at 202/667-3223.


Response to Dan Lieberman on Recycling
Richard Stone Rothblum

I think that we agree that if costs are properly allocated, recycling should either stand or fall on its own. Regarding a couple of your points, I didn’t actually say that sand is free. I just said that it is one of the most abundant minerals on the earth, therefore is in no danger of depletion, as is helium for example, which is released into space when we drill for natural gas. Helium is irreplaceable and essential to certain scientific activities. It is the only element to have the property of a superfluid when cooled to temperature near absolute zero. Maybe this is no longer correct, but helium for sure has unique properties of great value to science. When it is gone, there will be no more, and no way to manufacture it or substitute for it. We used to have a national helium reserve, but that is gone (I think).

Re that it is not free to pick up the garbage even if it is not intended to be recycled. True, but there is a lot less handling and processing, and re-shipping. We used to have the garbage picked up once a week, by the same guys and trucks that now pick up the garbage, except that when we had recycling (bogus recycling, actually) there was another, practically identical pickup, for the same total amount of trash removed.

I suppose that whether growing trees is beneficial or not depends on what would otherwise be done with the land. Trees are a crop like any other. It is true that the manufacture of paper from trees has been very damaging to the rivers around here. The issue of clear cutting is not relevant to paper production. It is my understanding that the process of recycling paper is rather brutal to the environment, but I can’t really address this. The paper must be bleached and it is difficult to remove the newsprint chemicals. I think that the Washington Post and other newspaper publishers should be required to collect the newspapers they distribute. Or, better than requiring, would be to furnish them with an incentive to do so. This might also be linked to the necessity of making the replacement for the Wilson Bridge so high and costly. The only ships that use Alexandria as a port are those that deliver newsprint paper to the Washington Post. If the Post could recycle more newsprint in-house, the shipping might not be so critical. Again, it is a question of properly allocating cost. The Post pays nothing, and the consumer of newspapers pays nothing for the disposal of the used item. The Post and the consumer also pay nothing for the cost of maintaining a drawbridge so that the newsprint can be delivered cheaply by boat.


Jonathan Yeh

Have been on this list for a few months and I absolutely enjoy everyone’s interesting input. Being a traitor of Rockville who moved to New Jersey (NY metro area) 8 years ago, I feel terribly lonely every time I read your stories. Because I miss the place where I worked before.

My parents still live in Rockville and I do the ritual of visiting them every two weeks. It surprised me I never lost direction every time I went into DC. DC and NY are two different places I love. However, if I had a chance I would have picked DC area to be my hometown.

I need to apologize that I don’t have much to contribute about dc stories.


(Incessantly) Praising Arizona
Phil Greene

Jean Lawrence writes that it’s been a year now since she abandoned D.C. for the greener pastures of Arizona. Has it only been a year? Am I the only one who has grown weary of her periodical visits to tell us how awful D.C. was for her and how much better it is in her new desert home? What is her point? Does she wish to be the Pied Piper of Phoenix? The Moses of the Mesa? Shall we all go west, young lady? It’s like calling your ex every few months to tell her how much better your new wife is. "And what a cook!" Enough is enough.

Mrs. Lawrence, if you’re indeed happier out there, God bless you, but I love it here in D.C. (I won’t bore you with the reasons why), and I really could do without your occasional "I’m glad I got out" missives. Thank you anyway.



Wedding Sites

Recently someone inquired about inexpensive places to hold weddings and receptions in the Washington, DC area. My friend is looking for a place for June,1998 preferably indoor/outdoor. Please email her (Lydia Pelliccia) with some suggestions at

Maury Sullivan


Events at Pierce Mill in August

"The History & Technology of Pierce Mill", every Sat & Sun at 11:00 AM. Join a ranger for a complete tour of Pierce Mill, and learn about this corner of our local history and the 19th century technology that powered it. This guided tour will include the movie "The Mill" and a visit to the normally closed attic to learn about the Hopper Boy.

"Storytime: Runnery Granary", Wednesday, August 13 at 10:00 AM. Something is eating the town’s grain! Find out who the culprits are by joining the mill ranger for "Runnery Granary" by Nancy Farmer. A corn shelling demonstration and corncob puppet-making will follow. Suggested for under-teens

"Storytime: POPCORN!" Tuesday, August 19 at 10:00 AM. Everything you ever wanted to know about popcorn.… Listen to "The Popcorn Book" by Tomie de Paolo while munching on some popcorn! Popcorn art will be made afterwards. Recommended for ages Toddler to 5.

"FLOOD!" Saturday, August 23 at 3:00 PM. Are floods disasters for mankind, or naturally occurring events? Join a ranger to discuss flooding on Rock Creek and its effects on the man-made environment and the natural environment. Meet at Pierce Mill.

Pierce Mill is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission is free. No reservations are needed for programs unless so noted. For group reservations, please call in advance. Pierce Mill is located in Rock Creek Park, at Tilden Street & Beach Drive, NW. For more information, please call 202-426-6908 or send a message to


Programmers needed - work your own hours

Turner Consulting Group needs people who know how to program for the Web. See Work at Rehoboth, Ocean City, or your living room. Full time and part time.

Judith Turner


Housing Needed

A five-year University Musical Society (UMS) staffer, Philip Guire, has just accepted a position at the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) as assistant box office manager. Phil is 25 years old, an Ann Arbor native, has a B.A. in arts management, and is a performing cellist. … We’re going to miss him, but we’re thrilled he’ll be able to work with the wonderful folks at WPAS. Will start Monday, August 4. If you know of any housing opportunities for a single male who’d like to live in or very near the District, please feel free to call or fax Phil at WPAS (ph. 202-833-9800 or fax 202-331-7678) .… While he’s ultimately looking for permanent housing, anything right now would be great — house sitting, sublease, etc.

Joan Eisenstodt


Looking For Apartment

I am looking for a sunny 1 BR apartment with at least 580 square feet in Adams Morgan anywhere from the intersection of Columbia Road and Connecticut Ave., NW up to the Calvert Bridge and then east to 18th Street, NW. Would like to pay no more than $720.00.

Virginia Johnson


Seeking Housing

Third-year female law student seeks 1 bedroom or efficiency in the Dupont to Cleveland Park corridor.

Andrew Aurbach 202-625-6615


Mimosa Shoots

I have two mimosa shoots to remove from my yard. If you’d like one, let me know.

Edna Small


House History

Can you answer when people ask you about your house or building 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 copies of your building permit, first deed, maps, and sometimes even historic photographs. A terrific and unusual gift.

Selling your home? Have potential buyers fall in love with the history, and you have your sale. Our prices range from $450 to $600 for the average DC townhouse. Call or contact us with your address for a free estimate, or visit Many happy DC: Story Customers Served! Kelsey & Associates 202-462-6251.

Paul K. Williams


Five-CD Disk player For Sale!

Kenwood 5 disc player, with remote. Like new! About 3 years old...I have a 200 changer now, so out it goes at a bargain price! $75; just north of Logan Circle.

Paul K. Williams


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