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June 21, 1998

Your Electronic Party

dc.story is presented in association with Washington's News Station The *New* WTOP! Top News, Non-Stop ! WTOP is the radio station that doesn't make you wait. Traffic and Weather together every ten minutes on the eights. Sports every half hour at 15 and 45. Money News every half hour at 25 and 55. CBS News at the top of every hour. Plus, more regular coverage of the District, Congress, the White House and regional issues than any other radio station. 1500 AM or 107.7 FM.....whichever signal works best where you are !

Dear Neighbors: This is my last note about the dc.story Garden Party. (Hold the applause, please.) With Zeus' cooperation, the dc.story Garden Party takes place this TUESDAY, JUNE 23. Who knows whether this wacky weather will interfere? So just show up and bring your hip waders if that makes you feel more comfortable. There's no need to send an RSVP. I am as tired of receiving them as you are of sending them. BTW: Please bring friends to the party. Now comes the boilerplate. Our get together takes place in the garden at Firehook Bakery (from 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM). Firehook offers coffee, pastries, salads, sandwiches, beer, and wine. Admission to the event is $5.00. Firehook Bakery is located in Cleveland Park at 3411 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Neighborhood parking, metered parking, and pay lots are available. The Cleveland Park Metro will also get you there.

Jeffrey Gildenhorn stalwarts appear to be a bit too enthusiastic in posting signage for their mayoral wannabe. Instead of using Swingline Standard S.F. -1 Sharp Point Staples, Gildenhorn groupies are affixing posters with tape. I believe this violates DC campaign laws. The practice is also both environmentally unsound and makes it too difficult for supporters of other candidates to remove Gildenhorn's signs. Cheers, Jeffrey Itell June 21, 1998

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Services and People That Work in Washington. Bob Levine, There has been an abandoned car in my neighborhood for quite a while. It had a ticket on it from May 19 for being parked in the same spot for more than 72 hours. Thursday I was home for a couple hours and decided to try to get the city to remove it. After a couple of missed connections I wound up speaking with a Mr. Russell Lamont (202) 541-6055, a parking analyst with the district. Twenty minutes later the car was towed away never to be heard from again. I have to admit that sort of service is very impressive.

Jack Evans and Constituent Services
Leslie Miles,

I read Nick Keenan's posting stating that residents of Eastern Ward Two (like me) are unhappy with Councilmember Evans because he is not responsive to DPW type complaints. I was surprised because that is not my experience with the office. Evans and his staff have always tried to deal with problems like potholes, illegal signage, etc but of course he does not direct anyone at DPW (including the folks who gave out tickets, now voided, over the anti- Convention Center signs-- he and his staff had absolutely nothing to do with that according to DPW) and can only do so much. I have personally found Evans to be very responsive on these and other matters, including prostitution, economic development, zoning, liquor licenses and other things. I believe that he is the most dedicated and focused (closest to full-time focused) of the Councilmembers and that he brings intelligence and insight to the problems of Ward Two and the District at large. I support his candidacy for mayor-- partially because of what I learned from DC Story about Tony Williams' Dept. of Finance and Revenue's deliberate non-enforcement of Class Five assessments against derelict properties, and partially because he has done a heroic job in a difficult time and place.

dc.story to the Rescue
Nick Keenan,

The electronic ink was hardly dry on my last posting, about Jack Evans and posters, when I noticed that ALL TWELVE of the posters I had griped about at 7th and Q had disappeared. It must have been during the day on Monday. Gee, I feel kind of bad about calling Evans unresponsive -- I just have to learn how to ask. Now if he would only do something about the dozens of posters at 6th and Q, 7th and P, 7th and O, 6th and P, 6th and 0, 7th between Q and P... Heck, I'd settle for a couple potholes filled and some action on the illegal boarding house down the road.

Alternatives to the Republocrats Are Out There
Steve Donkin,

Regarding Carl Bergman's "The Statehood Slatehood Party: One Office Short of a Full Load," I must confess that his uncomplimentary characterizations of the Statehood Party actually seem more fitting for the Democrat and Republican Parties. "An embarrassment to the party and to the city"? Well, Mayor Barry's indiscretions of a few years back are too easy a target for that one, but I could name several other local Democrats to whom that description might apply. "An incompetent incumbent"? Again, the number of incumbents from the mainstream parties who fit that bill staggers the imagination. "A colossal case of political cowardice"? Well, just this week, David Catania chastised the entire Council for its astoundingly foolhardy vote on a convention center financing bill riddled with flaws. Among the cowards who acknowledged the flaws but still voted for it were Democrats Cropp, Brazil, Thomas, and Smith, as well as Republican Schwartz. For the record, Statehood's Mrs. Mason voted against this assault on taxpayers and neighborhoods. The Statehood Party is offering a refreshing alternative to the status quo that got this city into the mess it's in. John Gloster for Mayor, Gail Dixon for School Board, Joseph Romanow for Council Chair, and several others are anything but an embarrassment - I think they're our only hope. As for Hilda Mason - well, I'd prefer an occasionally forgetful old lady who still gets out and fights for the people over those other Council sell-outs any day. I encourage folks to take a serious look at third party alternatives like Statehood if they want to elect a city government that answers to the public interest for a change.

School and Post Follies, Continued
Ted Gest,

We all remember that the D.C. schools opened three weeks late this past year. So you'd think the powers that be would maximize the time available. But not at Wilson High School (and I presume elsewhere). The last day of school was Friday, June 19, but because the school set aside two entire days to "sign out" (no classes), apparently almost no one showed up on Friday. What a waste. Will schools open on time in September? Many repairs haven't started, so who knows...

The Post continues to cover the schools erratically. Latest example: On Sat., June 20, the paper ran a long, national feature on history teaching. Stuck in the middle was a "gee whiz" paragraph about a D.C. teacher winning a prize as tops among 40,000 in the country. Shouldn't that have been a front-page feature? And this was portrayed as some kind of a rare event for the school system, which I don't think is necessarily the case. There are a bunch of devoted teachers in D.C. who do get awards. There also are a bunch of lousy ones. But you wouldn't know this from reading the Post. (In the paper's defense, it did do a good story recently on D.C. math teachers who have coached winning teams.)

Brother, Can You Spare a Billion?
Beth Solomon,

The D.C. Council voted 8-5 to approve an open-ended financing plan for the proposed convention center Tuesday. "I'm afraid we're making a very big mistake," said Councilmember Kathy Patterson (Ward 3). Dada was in the air. Newschannel 8 and Fox 5 featured a walking "White Elephant" outside Council chambers celebrating the vote. The elephant was captured and carried off by courageous Palace guards. Newschannel 8 anchors laughed heartily at the Washington Convention Center Authority's notion of connecting the proposed too-small convention center to a proposed new basement under the old convention center via a 500 ft. tunnel under New York Avenue. "I suppose it shouldn't be thought of as funny," apologized one anchor as he continued to laugh. "But let's get onto the weather and talk about something realistic."

Frivolous Cell Phoning
Gabriel Goldberg,

Ralph Blessing wrote: Proponents of the cellular towers have couched their argument in terms of security, especially for bikers and joggers. Even in the unlikely event that a potential victim from one these groups would actually be carrying a cell phone, I would expect that more than 99% of cellular use in Rock Creek Park would still be the frivolous, non-emergency calls routinely made by commuters. If safety and security are truly the driving forces behind Bell "Frivolous, non-emergency calls". Mm, that shows great concern for others. I've used my cell phone to call for a tow truck after having an auto accident. No-one was hurt, so it wasn't a 911 situation, but my car wasn't driveable. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the park with a disabled car, waiting for Ralph to come to my aid. And who's to say what phone calls of others are frivolous? Ralph, I guess. Like it or not, cell phones are increasingly important to more and more people. But the park experience is important also. If companies such as Bell Atlantic want to install towers to serve customers, let 'em spend money to build 'em to minimize disruption and visibility, but let 'em build 'em.

The District's Year 2000 Conversion
Jason Juffras,

Lois Kirkpatrick inquired about the District's Year 2000 (Y2K) computer conversion in the most recent issue of D.C. Story. The Y2K issue is indeed a serious challenge for the District, and will remain so for the next year-and-a-half. Although public and private organizations should now be correcting their computer systems and testing the renovated systems, the District is still in the assessment phase and has recently contracted with IBM to provide a comprehensive assessment and develop the District's remediation plan. The D.C. Council's Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson, held its first oversight hearing on the Y2K conversion on May 20, 1998. The Committee heard testimony from representatives of the Inspector General, who reported that "there is insufficient knowledge and understanding of the Y2K problem," and that responsibility for the Y2K problem had not been clearly assigned in the District's fragmented government. The Committee has scheduled the second oversight hearing on Y2K for Monday, July 6, 1998, at noon in the Council Chambers at One Judiciary Square. The Committee will monitor the Y2K conversion and hold public oversight hearings throughout the next year-and-a-half.

More Year 2000 Information
Gabriel Goldberg,

Another local Year 2000 Web site, maintained by a group aiming at building community awareness and readiness, lives at

So you're interested in that big advertising spot in the beginning of dc.story? Contact Jan Genzer -- the dc.story marketing maven--at or call him at 202.364.0383.


Jeff Krulik,

Faith, Mayor Candidate, will kick off her campaign for the race of Mayor at the Mount Pleasant Festival performing from the stage on Kilbourne Street and Mount Pleasant street at 4PM, Sunday the 21st of June.


Need Help Determining Renovation Cost
Mike Wilkinson,

I have found an interesting property in the District which is in need of a ground-up renovation, from the electrical system to the plumbing to the walls to the kitchen. And everything else you can think of. I am looking for someone who is knowledgeable about the cost of renovations to volunteer an hour of their time to look through the property with me and give me a ballpark estimate of what it would cost to renovate the property in question. Based on the opinions I get (I'll be seeking several), I'll know whether it's feasible, or whether I'm dreaming. Contact by e-mail or phone (202) 483-2271.

By order of the Commissioner of Fun and Recreation, no events will be held this week!

Relax This Summer. Free - a metal hammock stand, originally cost approx.$100. You supply the hammock. It can be found in the Cleveland Park area. Judy Hubbard Saul,

For Sale--Parachute!! Used once, never unfolded, small stain. Joe Goddard,

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Kibitzing by Jeffrey Itell. Copyright (c) 1998. All rights reserved.

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