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September 7, 1997

Your Electronic Backfence

Dear Neighbors:

I’m back in my usual posture, wondering why it’s taking so long address Mary Anigbo and the Marcus Garvey School Charter. Check below for details. Meanwhile, for the next issue, I would especially interested in hearing from parents about what you are doing with your school age children while schools remained closed. Perhaps some have been impressed by General Williams into roof repair duty? dc.story wants to know.

My comments last issue about Harry Truman didn’t go unnoticed. Some careful research and debate led us to conclude that yes, it’s Harry S. Truman, and not Harry S Truman. The "S" isn’t fictional—he’s named for two relatives. Because to that, he spelled his name both ways. But the style manuals say you can’t .So it’s "S." period.

Steve Truit ( didn’t have much to add on Truman’s middle name but wrote the following:

As it happens my grandfather, Alben Barkley, also lived in an apartment on Connecticut Avenue when he was Truman’s vice-president. 2101 to be exact. Not quite Clevland Park though. And I recall no complaints about dry cleaners.


In this issue of dc.story, the Mayor’s back on drugs (it’s not what you think) and allegations he’s lubricating the proposed convention center, another horse gets beaten on Anigbo and Marcus Garvey, another day in Gotham City, and free pics on Free DC.

Cheers—Jeffrey Itell


Also free! Free movie passes, short movie reviews, and movie discussion. Send an email message to to subscribe.


Post Reports Small Convention Center Payoffs While Barry Gets Set To Squander The Big Bucks
Elizabeth Solomon

The Barry administrationıs use of taxpayer money to buy community support for the proposed convention center at Mt. Vernon Square is now so routine that it runs as filler in the Washington Postıs back pages. Todayıs example: An ANC Commissioner whose support is critical to the project gets thousands of dollars from Barry & Friends for the rec center he runs. [Washington Post, District Weekly, 9/4/97, p. D.C.7] Following a break-in that cost ANC Lawrence Thomas city-funded rec center television sets, a microwave oven and a portable phone, the Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA), D.C. hotels, and other related groups have flooded Thomas with cash, computers, seven televisions, VCRs, games and other equipment, according to the Postıs Todd Beamon.

A spokesman for Barry’s WCCA is not afraid to explain why the agency chose this moment to help Shaw: ³Mr. Thomas has been a good friend of the convention center. Lucky for powerful developers and the Mayor, the connection between the Barry administrationıs benevolence and the biggest boondoggle in D.C.ıs history is lost on Beamon. The WCCA and its big hotel backers are only too happy to spend a few bucks to buy the support of leaders like Thomas and groups like the Shaw Task Force² and the ³Shaw Consensus Group, some of whose officials have received direct payments of up to $25,000. This is pocket change.

The big story is how the Washington Convention Center Authority — backed by the D.C. government and Rep. Tom Davis — can rationalize spending $650 million to build an undersized convention center on a site that will cripple downtown traffic, destroy a residential neighborhood, and offer no future expansion capability. That story has eluded the majority of D.C.ıs press, to the delight of those who continue to make big profits at the expense of an insolvent city. They are more than happy to give away a few used VCRs.


Plans For The Woods
Michael Anderson

Does anyone know what’s up with the woods between the Washington International School and Klingle Road? There are surveyors’ flags all over the place and the rumor is that the land has a new owner with building plans. Why we need to cut down forever a patch of urban forest to make way for townhouses, particularly in a city that is loosing people, is beyond reasonable. This would probably mean the reopening of Klingle Road, a nice extension of Rock Creek, leading to more traffic from the suburbs, less green space, less wildlife, more pollution in the Bay, and so on.


Dr Michael Stempel

I am not convinced that all of the dead foliage is due to drought. In addition to the hillside in question I have seen the same swath of dead plants at trailheads up by West Beach drive. Also a few weeks ago I saw a worker spraying plants in this area. Generally drought would not wipe out nearly all plant types at the same time, some would be hardier than others. Not that I am looking for a conspiracy…


Judge Christian — Please Don’t Turn On Taxpayers
Larry Seftor

I applaud Judge Christian’s attempts to get D.C.’s school system open and safe for students (reported in the Post on Friday, 9/5). However, she is proceeding by levying fines ($1000/day per school), that the taxpayers will pay. Essentially, D.C. taxpayers are being punished, rather than the incompetents responsible.

I would respectfully suggest to Judge Christian that she consider holding the responsible individuals in contempt of court — after all she claims that these school personnel have misled her.


Another Day in Gotham City
Joan Eisenstodt

Friday, 9/5 - Just outside the door of Starbucks, across from the NAB, something happened that I tho’t happened in "big" cities: a burly (well over 6’3", 280+ lbs.) security card accosted a cab driver .. a driver who did nothing wrong, I was told by eyewitnesses. What I saw was the aftermath .. the driver, down on the sidewalk, holding himself in a ball, being kicked by the guard. It seems the driver, making a legal right turn from 18th onto N to get to Conn., angered the guard who wanted to cross at that moment. While the driver waited for other cars to move, the guard, hurling obscenities, opened the cab door. The driver got out .. the guard immediately hit the driver who was all of perhaps 5’7" and maybe 140 lbs. The driver fell to the ground w/ what all presume was a dislocated shoulder. The crowd screamed at the guard, who was now kicking the driver, to stop. The guard’s size and anger made us all afraid to physically stop him but we continued to shout. A final few kicks and the guard walked across the street.

The police arrived, the crowd stayed to assist the police w/ accounts and names and numbers, and the driver was taken to the hospital. The police apprehended the guard at the office bldg. across the street. Has anyone seen a report in the Post or elsewhere?


September 3, 1997 "Free Dc" Rally At The Capitol, Washington DC, Documented In Sounds And Pictures
Michael Swartzbeck

On Wednesday, September 3, 1997, just over a thousand Washingtonians gathered at the Capitol and marched to the Hart Senate Office Building to protest Congressional revocation of the right to self-government for American citizens living in Washington, DC. Speakers included DC Congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, comedian and activist Dick Gregory, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. <> esite/freeDCrally2/index.html

This page contains links to twelve high-quality 24-bit color JPEG images and 5 .au format sound files of remarks by Jackson, Gregory and others. The site requires Netscape 2.0 or later, or any current browser with built-in or "plug-in" .au playback capability. It is intended as a more informative alternative to the dispassionate story buried three pages deep in the Washington Post Metro section that day, or the total of twenty seconds — two video clips of the march accompanied by an anchorwoman’s voice-over about "a few hundred angry District residents" — on the WRC Channel 4 11pm news. An accompanying page containing photos and commentary on the August 4, 1997 action that helped kick off the current campaign of protest is still on-line at <> site/freeDCrally/index.html , and is linked to the September 3 site.


UDC Rhetoric
Harold Goldstein

Regarding Ed Barron’s comments that figures don’t lie about UDC, He may be right but not because of any statistics cited. it is stupid to take raw graduation statistics as a measure of a) meeting its mission or b) being a failure as a University. First compare the incoming student. When 2/3rd or more of the incoming students do not belong in a college classroom then one cannot use the University graduation rates as an indicator of success or failure. UDC is open enrollment and probably has one of the worst incoming student bodies, as measured by SAT’s, of any major University in the US.

Don’t focus on the university as a failure yet … focus on how to harness the University to help drag the DCPS system - which is truly a catastrophic failure and a total fraud on the taxpayer and the children of the District - to a level that approaches normalcy. Ask about that 13% that graduate - ask which of them would have graduated without the opportunity afforded by UDC - ask if that is worth the piddling millions (compared to the overall educational outlay) we spend on UDC. I don’t know the answer to that question but no one seems interested enough in trying to find those answers. All I hear is uninformed rhetoric.


Get Rid Of Anigbo, But Follow The Procedures
Simeon Garvey

I think Jeff Itell is all wrong when he interprets what Marcos Wilson writes as implying that "...Anigbo’s conviction somehow exonerates her" .I understood Marcos’ point to be to stick to established procedures regardless of what we may think regarding the guilt or innocence of a person. That is the American way, isn’t it?

[Simeon: Am I now facing a tag team match with you and Marcos on Anigbo? Marcos has continually confused administrative and criminal proceedings in his comments. Let me state my position again (and finally, please! The horse is dead, beaten, buried, dug up, and beaten again.) I have no quibbles with Anigbo’s right to due process on the criminal matters before her. How could I? But I continue to question why DC’s administrative procedures apparently require a criminal determination before an administrative decision is made. Remember the principal who was a bit too enthusiastic with duct tape in quieting a student’s mouth. Say the offense was more serious and U.S. Attorney pressed charges. Would DCPS be required to wait for a criminal determination to punish the teacher? Last I looked, Anigbo is still running Marcus Garvey and neither the charter board or School Board has decided what to do administratively. Either their procedures are too cumbersome (and they should change them) or the boards believe the issue is a third rail and will electrocute them. Jeff]


The Mayor’s Scripts
Joan Eisenstodt

Friday, 9/5, CVS Dupont Circle — while waiting to pick up a prescription, a young woman came up to ask for one for "last name Barry" and first name .. you got it ..."Marion" .When told it hadn’t been called in, she went outside to a waiting towne car with driver — I tried to get the license plate number but it got away. It’s ok that he needs a ‘script — but sheesh, I’d like someone to schlep across town for me too!


Low-Fat Meals Delivered
Bill Adler <>

One of the best-kept secrets in Washington, DC is To Your Health. To Your Health is a gourmet food service that delivers wonderful, low-fat meals to your house. My wife and I have been using To Your Health for about a year and very much recommend the service. Run by Missy Keyser, To Your Health delivers dishes like roasted tomato and red pepper soup, veggie burritos, Chinese chicken breast, panzanella with beans salad, and herb polenta torta. There’s a new menu every week, which Missy faxes to your home or office. Then you just select what you want and fax the menu back. Reach Missy at



Garfield Hospital

Is anyone old enough to remember it? I’d appreciate any recollections & comments on location/neighborhood.

David Nickels


Downtown Revitalization - What’s In It For You?

What has the private sector contributed to Downtown Revitalization? That’s the topic for the September 17, 1997 program of the D.C. Affairs Section of the D.C. Bar. Abe Pollin - Chairman of the Board, Washington Sports and Entertainment; Councilmember Jack Evans - Ward 2; and Richard Bradley - Executive Director of the Downtown Business improvement District Inc.; are the featured speakers. For information call (202) 626-3463. Everyone is welcome! Lawyers and non-lawyers may join the Section and become eligible for member discounts to programs.

S.L. Mayhew


Part-Time Child Care

I am looking for part time child care for my infant, two half days a week. If anyone is has a nanny that is looking to "share" or has other recommendations please drop me a note.

Michael Stempel


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Quaint, sunny two room apartment in the center of Georgetown available in October. I am moving to the apartment next door and seek a responsible neighbor for a unique apartment for one person. Gas range, dishwasher and washer/dryer. Reasonable rent.

Judith Ikle 202-260-4497


Industrial Strength Cleaning

My wife and I are looking for someone to perform an industrial strength cleaning on our three bedroom, (one dog and two cats) house once a week. If anyone knows of someone with an extra day we would love to hear from you.

Horace Howells


dc.story is a discussion group. The opinions stated are the sole responsibility of the authors. dc.story does not verify information provided by readers. Kibitzing by Jeffrey Itell. Copyright İ 1997. All rights reserved.

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