The Squeaky Wheel Gathers No Moss
As long as Im mixing and misusing aphorisms, I have a no-prize contest for you
whats the best slogan for citizens of the District of Columbia? If our flag
carried a motto, instead of just the stars and bars, what classic adage or
corruption of a classic adage would suit us best? The first thing that comes to my
mind is the saying invented by New Yorker writer Brendan Gill: "No good deed
goes unpunished." You can undoubtedly think of something more apt.
We have a nice mixture of postings in this issue lets get right to them.
Maintenance Issue Dropping Names
Phil Greene, firstname.lastname@example.org
You asked for a city maintenance story and Ive got one. Funny, you quipped about
not being able to receive action on a maintenance request unless Camille Barnett lived on
your block, well, she doesnt but her name may have helped. We had a street light out
in front of the house, and the street is extremely dark without it. I called Department of
Public Works, gave them the info and was told to expect action within 3-4 days. About a
week later, no action, so I called again. I got voice mail, and left a semi-angry message
about how Id called last week, had been promised action in 3-4 days, blah, blah,
blah. I ended my message with some vague threat about calling Camille Barnett if nothing
was done soon. Later that day I received a return call, and the next day the street light
was replaced. The squeaky wheel
Chain Link Fence
David Hunter, Hunter@usia.gov
Now that were back to everyday humdrum issues.
Anyone know why they put up
a chain link fence around the soccer field at UDC along Van Ness
street? In the last year I have seen a complete re-grading effort and re-seeding of the
grass to make a nice field for local teams to practice. Couldnt believe they put up
a chain link fence around the whole thing. Why? Maybe next theyll resurface the
tennis courts.... Cant they find better uses for the money?
Rats in North Lincoln Park
Dana Cole, email@example.com
As I will shortly be a new resident of North Lincoln Park and have cats who enjoy
outside jaunts for a spell, how would John Olinger bound "North Lincoln Park."
Especially since he cited a pets accidental poisoning, it would be good to know
where the concentration of the rat infestation is. Thanks.
E. James Lieberman, M.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
As a psychiatrist concerned with public health, I was shocked to see that Dr. Scott
Nelson, appointed receiver for DCs Mental Health system, could receive over $400 K
salary based on $195/hour rate. I believe hes competent and has excellent
credentials, and was relieved that he "settled" for half the potential amount,
but still earns more than any other DC official.
This has a precedent, in that some state MH commissioners,
usually psychiatrists, have earned more than governors, etc. But few psychiatrists charge
$195, and even fewer can fill their hours with "full-fare" patients. So charging
that rate for a 40 hr. week is preposterous, unless we consider CEOs, baseball players,
Nelson might be worth it. Does anyone have any idea how things are going in the MH system since he came? Should a public servant running a program for
mostly poor people make a country-club salary? Were there others in the running for the
position, especially anyone with close ties to DC?
Short Changing Our Kids
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
As I look back on the remarkably (and unexpectedly) successful Summer School program
run in the District involving more than 18000 District Students, it is important to
decipher why the program was so successful. The answer is that there was a serious attempt
to keep class sizes small. Keeping class sizes small is probably the single most effective
way to improve the learning environment in the classrooms. Put a good teacher into a small
(and I mean no more than 15 or 16 students) and you have created a pathway to high
performance for both the teacher and the students.
A major problem in the Districts schools is the fact that we have a huge number
of people on the DCPS payroll with an outlandish number of those who
are not teaching in the classrooms. We have coordinators, facilitators, special this and
special that, up the gump stump. Lets solve this problem and get more good teachers
in the classroom and out of the administration, and lower the class sizes dramatically.
Then just watch what happens to the standardized test scores and the level of
participation by the kids in the classes.
Is Accomplishment Commitment?
Jeffrey Itell, firstname.lastname@example.org
The current race for mayor is beginning to echo Marion Barrys rhetoric. In her
kickoff speech, Carol Schwartz touts her commitment to our community. She criticized Tony
Williams for his lack of roots in the community (true, but relevant?) and his so-called
conservative position on social issues. If we elect her mayor, she will lobby
"fiercely" for restoration of the annual payment, support the home-rule lawsuit,
and care for the poor better. Disregarding Williams law and public policy degrees
and his community development experience, she labels Williams as merely an able
Schwartzs rhetoric highlights a curiosity of DC residents voting behavior.
Why dont residents vote in favor of their interests? Barry talked the talk, but city
services to the poorest and most vulnerable collapsed under his tenure. Think of how many
city court-appointed receivers manage programs. Arent the poor served better by a
"leader" who actually delivers the kosher salami? Wont home rule return
faster when the receivers are gone, when the finances are straightened out, when the
disenfranchised receive public housing and health services?
Carol Schwartz is sincere. I admire and like her. However, she has even failed in
mending fences with her fellow congressional Republicans, her main council responsibility.
Williams accomplishments make it more likely that Schwartzs campaign issues
will be achieved. Tony Williams has his flaws (Smile Tony, it wont hurt!), but I
plan to vote for accomplishment over "commitment."
Job Dittberner, email@example.com
In the run-up to the primaries, I had the opportunity to participate in two separate
small (more or less) meetings with Chavous and Williams. I found Chavous impressive
intelligent, concerned, well-informed, and articulate. Like many other Washingtonians, I
found Williams more impressive (though less articulate) in terms of record of achievement,
experience, a sense of where he wants to lead the city, and a sense of the
inter-relatedness of issues.
Given my earlier impressions of Chavous, I was disheartened, to say the least, by his
ungracious, post-defeat behavior in refusing to congratulate Williams and his blaming loss
on the success of the media in leading the electorate by the nose. The latter is a real
insult to the electorate. I find it curious and odd that candidates believe they
"deserve" some election because they have been around longer than others. Carol
Schwartz is beginning to ring the same note. Isnt it the electorate that decides who
"deserves" what? The length of experience is far less important than what one
has achieved with the experience, which gives some credibility to ideas about where the
local community or communities can/should go under new leadership.
Steph "Metro music critic" Faul, firstname.lastname@example.org
Everybody wants to get in on the act: Today the saxophonist at Farragut North was
playing "Once I Had a Secret Love."
This was the good saxophonist, with the long gray dreadlocks. There are two others of
smaller talent and repertoire. One is pretty good, although he plays "My Favorite
Things" a bit too often. The other plays hymns, specifically "How Great Thou
Art" and "Blessed Assurance" and not much else. The only religious spirit
he arouses in me is devout prayer for him to learn some new tunes; this plea has not thus
far been answered.
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
Although the probability of a Clinton resignation is somewhere between slim and none
(Clinton has neither the sense nor the courage to do the right thing) there is an
interesting aspect of assuming power by Veep Al Gore and the timing of such a move. I have
read, recently, that should Clinton resign before the 16th of Jan 99 and All Gore
taking over the Presidency before the 16th, that the timing would preclude Al Gore from
running for President in the year 2000. If Al Gore became President after the 16th of Jan.
and be in office for less than one year, then he could be a Dem candidate for Pres. in the
year 2000 election. I wonder if that is in the Constitution.
If one looks at the Constitution today it is mind boggling at how smart the folks were
who crafted that beautiful document. What foresight they had.
CLASSIFIEDS EVENTS AND CLASSES
International Law Seminar
Stephen Roy Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Exploring Careers in International Law a Joint Seminar by The American Society
of International Law and Steve Goodman, Graduate Admissions Consultant Tuesday,
October 6, 1998, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Fee: $20 (cash, check, major credit card). Contact
email@example.com or ASIL at (202) 939-6000.
Topics to be discussed include: Your International Law Career; An Overview of the
International Law Community; Assessing the Desirability/Feasibility of a Career in
International Law; Useful Academic, Intellectual, and Professional Experiences;
Educational Options; Assessing Your Candidacy for Graduate School (Evaluating Past
Accomplishments and Determining Your Professional Goals, Exploring Your
Graduate/Professional School Needs); Critical Concepts in Admissions Theory (Mutuality,
Profiling Applicants: Demographic/Psychographic Characteristics, Creating an Inventory of
Your Unique Personal Characteristics); Your Admissions/Internship Search Strategy:
Creating A Comprehensive Portfolio; Internship Opportunities in International Law (Think
Tanks, NGOs, and Foundations; Corporations and Law Firms; Federal Agencies; Trade and
Les Compagnons de la Parole Francaise
Aysegul Acar, ACARA@gunet.georgetown.edu
Les Compagnons de la Parole Francaise is a diverse, social, international group that
has been meeting for a happy-hour in French every Thursday from 5:30 until 7 pm in
Washington DC since 1967.
After the happy hour the group usually goes to dinner. The Compagnons also
organize parties, picnics, hiking, camping trips etc. Share with us your ideas for
activities etc. The happy hour is held near the GWU campus. For
directions and detailed information etc. please contact Aysegul at AysegulA@aol.com.
Please note that only French is allowed at the meetings. Au revoir !
Creating the Work You Love: The Anti-Career Workshop
Patty Friedman 202-232-3449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday evening, October 9th, 1998, 7-9 pm and Saturday, October 10th, 1998, 10 am-5:30
Feeling stuck and unfulfilled in your career? Are you out there looking for a job or
trying to find meaning in your work? Do you wonder how to integrate your work into a
community of like-minded people who appreciate and support your creative efforts? Want to
make a change but dont want to fall into another unhappy and frustrating scenario?
If yes, then this workshop is for you. Rick Jarow, Ph.D., author of Creating the Work
You Love: Courage, Commitment and Career, developed his popular "anti-career"
workshop to show how we can prosper by finding our calling instead of settling for a job.
The "Anti-Career" workshop offers an intensive step-by-step process for creating
self-sustaining working conditions that resonate with our deepest levels of integrity,
passion and purpose through discussion, self-reflective exercises and focusing on our
energy centers. Learn how to confront issues that may be blocking your path, develop
strategies for finding work that satisfies your inner vision and learn powerful tools to
turn your passions into viable projects, products and services. Sessions will meet at:
Saint Margarets Episcopal Church, 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC; Dupont Circle Metro Stop, Q Street/North Exit, 2 ½ blocks north on left
hand side and street parking
Events with Brazilian Shaman sponsored by the Dream Change
Marianne Josem, Mariann924@aol.com
WDC-Based Amazonian shaman, Ipupiara, will be speaking at two upcoming events about
shamanism, healing and dream change: October 5th at Fresh Fields in Georgetown at 7:00
(free, reservations suggested - 202-333-5393) and at a 2-day workshop on November 21-22
near Baltimore (for information, e-mail email@example.com or call 202-265-7594
cost is $190).
Ipupiara, whose Portuguese name is Bernardo Dias Peixoto, has Ph.D.s in
anthropology and biology and has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institute and
the National Zoo. He is expertly skilled in the sacred ceremonies and traditional healing
practices of several rain forest cultures. With his blood-brother, North American author
and environmentalist John Perkins, he was instrumental in creating the Dream Change
Coalition, a world- wide, grassroots movement dedicated to using indigenous knowledge to
bring about environmental and social balance.
CLASSIFIEDS NEW E-MAIL LIST
Multimedia DC New Mailing List
Phil Shapiro, firstname.lastname@example.org
A new one-way mailing list for individuals interested in receiving multimedia content
(RealVideo and QuickTime) about news and events in the DC metro area has formed. Content
will be delivered as file attachments to email. (Maximum file size: 5 megabytes.)
To join the list, send a short note to Phil Shapiro. The subject line should read: Join
Multimedia DC. The list will send out no more than three files per day. Note: This list is
a one-way list. (Not an interactive one.)
Used Visa Card Machine
Jon Katz, email@example.com
Law firm seeks used machine for reading Visa card magnetic strips. If you know a
source, please call me at (301) 495-4300. Thanks.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every Wednesday and
Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to switch between HTML
and plain text versions of themail, use the subscription form at
http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm . To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to
firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Archives of past
messages are available at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail .
All postings should also be submitted to email@example.com, and should be about life,
government, or politics in the District of Columbia in one way or another. All postings
must be signed in order to be printed, and messages should be reasonably short one
or two brief paragraphs would be ideal so that as many messages as possible can be
put into each mailing.