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January 27, 1999

Mired in the Racial Muck

Dear Fellow Sufferers:

How long does it take a new mayor of Washington to get mired in the racial muck? Try under three weeks. Now, we know that Marion Barry used to revel in rolling in the racial muck. He would say or do something meanly and crudely racially divisive one day, if he thought it would benefit him, and the next day he would pose as a healer and call for a race summit to bring us all together. But we're tired of that, right? We wanted to get rid of that, didn't we? Wasn't that one of the main attractions of Tony Williams, that he seemed well above racial politics? Well, we were wrong.

We admit, Williams didn't start it. The Washington Post started it last week (January 17), when it published a silly, ugly little article in its “Outlook” section that claimed that Williams “wasn't black enough,” whatever that means. But on Monday and Tuesday of this week, Williams did it to himself. Twice.

Monday's incident: one of Williams' closest staff aides and advisors is Max Brown. Max is an equal opportunity offender. Anyone, white or black, who has worked for even a short time with Max has a story in which Max has been arrogant, rude, or ruthless. Forgive the stereotypical slur, but Max can act like “a typical Washington lawyer,” and you Washington lawyers out there know what that means, though undoubtedly you would never act like one yourselves. That seems to be the way Tony likes Max — for a similar relationship, think Bill Clinton and Harold Ickes. But in interviews with both the Washington Post
and the Legal Times that appeared this Monday, Williams claimed that people were complaining about Max and picking on him just because Max was white. Williams cynically played the race card to defend him — the opposite side of the race card from the one that Barry always played, but the same card nonetheless.

Tuesday's incident: and then the next day, after these articles appeared, Williams didn't stop a campaign against one of his employees that really was racially based. David Howard, whom Williams had named just two weeks before to head the Office of the Public Advocate (the old Constituent Services and then Ombudsman's office), said in a conversation in his office that he would deal with something “in a niggardly fashion,” and a staffer in the office spread the malicious rumor that Howard “had used the 'N' word,” and called people “niggers.” Now, “niggardly” isn't a racial slur — it doesn't even have the same etymology as “Negro” — but this story was enough to force Howard to resign, and Tony Williams didn't say a word or lift a finger to defend him. Perhaps Tony should issue a list of words that white staffers are forbidden to say because they sound suspicious and may cost them their jobs: “niggardly,” of course, but also “denigrate”; and undoubtedly the river “Niger” and the nation “Nigeria” will be out of bounds.

Enough. We're sick of it, just sick of it.

Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill


David Howard's Resignation
Cindy Schuler,

I have tried to find an e-mail address for the current Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams but have been unable to find it. I'm hoping that you can forward this message to him...

Mayor Williams:
You should not pressure one of your staff members to resign because of your own ignorance. What you have done is deplorable (do you need to look that one up too?).

[The E-mail address for Mayor Tony Williams is . You, and other readers, may wish to inform the Mayor if you have any opinion about his judgment, sense of balance and fairness, and use of racial politics. — Gary Imhoff]


Mayor Williams
Rick Rykken,

I just read this morning about Mayor Williams' acceptance of David Howard's forced resignation from the mayor's staff. Mr. Howard did not utter a racial epithet and certainly had no reason to believe that other educated people on the mayor's staff would mistake his choice of the word “niggardly” as anything other than its dictionary definition as a synonym for miserly.

The Mayor has shown a gross excess of political correctness in accepting Mr. Howard's forced resignation and a definite lack of political backbone. Mr. Williams says that government officials should use good judgment in their word choice. The Mayor should use better judgment in hiring his executive staff. People in high appointed office should have the ability to grasp words and to distinguish a perfectly acceptable English language phrase from a street level slur. In my opinion, the Mayor needs more people like Mr. Howard on his staff, not fewer. When the day comes when people such as Mr. Howard can be hung out to dry for other people's ignorance is a new nadir for our democracy. I look forward to Mr. Williams' future resignation when he utters something some semiliterate member of his own bureaucracy cannot comprehend or misunderstands.


If You Can't Do the Time, Don't Do the Rhyme
Charlie Wellander,

Quote of the Day from Wednesday's Post: David Howard, head of the D.C. Office of Public Advocate, resigned yesterday after stating: “I used the word 'niggardly' in reference to my administration of a fund. Although the word, which is defined as miserly, does not have any racial connotations, I realize that staff members present were offended by the word. I immediately apologized.. . . I would never think of making a racist remark. I regret that the word I did use offended anyone.”

Various lexicographical and etymological sources find no racial connotations as they track the word from its earliest use in the 1300s back to Old Icelandic, Old Norse, Old English and Middle High German, with entirely different sources and meanings from the Latinate roots of the taboo racist insult. This soon into Tony Williams's first term, I take no great joy in niggling about this, but here goes:

Yes, the message to this mayor's aides is clear,
Now that one's shot down for saying something near:
Even though it's sure to sap your strength and vigor,
Your chief task is to avoid the bigger trigger.


Geography, Anacostia, and The Washington Post
Julie Makinen Bowles,

First, a disclaimer. I work for the Post. Now, on to geography. Richard Stone Rothblum wrote in the last issue that “College Park is a lot closer to Anacostia (than the Post's downtown offices) — I think that in fact, it borders the Anacostia River.”

It is true that the Northeast Branch runs from the College Park area and into? the Anacostia. However, the Post's downtown office (15th and L) is much closer to almost every part of Anacostia (certainly the SE part!) than the College Park plant is (get out ruler and measure on your map). And the Post's old plant in SE is even closer to Anacostia. Note: I'm strictly writing to comment on the distance; I won't discuss the pros or cons of shutting down the printing operations in the District.


Feds Subsidize Sprawl
Danilo Pelletiere,

I agree that the Post's move to Prince Georges is probably of marginal importance to the District, though an injury none-the-less. For those interested in the discussion about jobs and the District, I suggest you get a copy of the recent Council resolution R-12-834 “The Location of Federal Facilities in the District of Columbia Sense of the Council Resolution of 1998,” sponsored by the unlikely duo of Charlene Drew-Jarvis and Sharon Ambrose. With the GAO is still working on a report for the Senate on the federal contribution to sprawl development, this is one of the few times where the D.C. Council has gotten  out ahead. While the District clearly can not pin its economic development hopes on demanding or enticing federal offices and private firms to stay, do not underestimate the impact of federal facilities in creating 241,000 new jobs in the suburbs while the job market in the District diminished by 50,000. As much as the suburbs may crow about their “private sector economy,” it is still largely beltway bandits serving migrating federal agencies, served by two federally supported international airports, and a
federally subsidized road system. It's not that the District doesn't rely on the feds, but so do the burbs. The District portion of the region's federal employment has declined from 83% to 55% since 1969, and that isn't due to any “market forces.” The current move by the Navy to M street SE has already spurred the move of many private contractors back to the City.

The Council resolution lays out how in the recent federal decision to consolidate the FDA, the District was excluded from the process. Even after the 104th wiped out an appropriation directing the facility to Montgomery County, the GSA refused to evaluate sites in the District and failed to respond to inquiries by the Corporation Council, the EPA, the Sierra Club, the Council on Urban Economic Development and others. It is not that sites in the District could not compete for the facility, but the District wasn't even allowed to. GSA was dead set on moving 800 jobs out of the District and “consolidating” the facility at two sites (how you consolidate at two sites is beyond me) in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties, congressional authority or no. Not only does the Council resolution lay out a good case for the federal role in the destabilization (and perhaps revitalization) of the city, but it also directs the Corporation Counsel to investigate legal action in the FDA case based on the strength of two presidential executive orders and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Do not for a moment think that while the District has been waiting around for a federal handout, the burbs have competed on their own merits. If anything they have competed for hand outs more aggressively. There are some “market” reasons why the District is at a disadvantage and there may be some undue regulatory burdens, but by far the greatest disadvantage we face is the federal subsidization of suburban development across the country, but particularly here. I'm glad the Council finally has the guts to say this.


If a Tree Falls
Ed T. Barron,

After missing the ice storm by two days after a week of skiing and another six days of death bed flu, I finally returned to my early AM AU Park walking. There are still remnants of the ravaging ice storm that did damage to the AU trees. Some large limbs still lie on the street and sidewalks where they fell. The question is “Who is responsible for falling trees (or major pieces thereof) in AU Park.” A couple of years ago, when a large elm in front of my home was periodically dropping large limbs on the sidewalk, I called the city's tree persons to ask them to remove this dying old man before it injured someone or fell onto Massachusetts Avenue. This tree, by the way, is clearly, according to my plot plan, on city owned property. I was told that the tree was my responsibility. Not wanting to debate the issue at length only to have the tree cause injury, I had the tree removed at my own, not inconsiderable, expense. Trees are an important part of our community's persona. It is important for us to know just who is really responsible for the care, or removal, of aging trees that become a hazard.


DC Cable
Dennis A. Dinkel,

Two years I bought a satellite dish for my townhouse on Capitol Hill. I was amazed at the quality of both the picture and the sound. (Even with 200+ channels, most of the time, there's still nothing on worth watching, but that's another story.) I kept my D.C. Cable hookup just to receive local channels. But last year, the picture on especially Channel 4 — naturally, my favorite news channel — got so bad that I realized with one of those $24.95 “interference blockers” from Radio Shack, the picture was better than if I had it hooked up to cable.

So in October, I called D.C. Cablevision and told them to cancel my account. Two months later, I received a notice my account had been canceled, that I had overpaid them by $10, and now I keep getting a billing statement from them each month, reflecting the $10 credit — and I continue to receive their cable signal. I've called twice to tell them that I'm still hooked up to D.C. Cable. In their inimitably surly manner their receptionists have on the phone, they tell me they'll check it out — and I continue to receive the signal. Wonder how many others are similarly situated. Competition is definitely called for with this dreadful service.


District Cablevision Problems
Steve Schaffer, Schaffer@SWMLAW.COM

My experience since moving into a house in Northwest a couple of years ago is that the only way to solve cable problems is by being persistent. Writing the General Manager of District Cablevision and sending copies of those letters as complaints to the District of Columbia Office of Cable Television (the address and phone numbers are on your monthly bills) has been the only way to get appointments at convenient times and to resolve technical problems. In my experience, the Office of Cable Television has always returned calls and responded to letters, and District Cablevision is in turn responsive to the Office.

About the specific problem, the local channel interference is more often caused by faulty cable installation on poles outside the house than any problem at the set. Many District Cablevision technicians do not know enough to “close the taps” in the boxes on the poles outside of the house. Those are the relatively easy problems to solve. I had a District Cable technical supervisor finally admit to me last year that they had technical problems with the upper channels over an approximately 40 block area. It took months to resolve, and part of the problem is people do not complain, so they cannot pinpoint the source of a problem. If you have a problem, you should complain, persist, and demand refunds. Good luck, though. District Cablevision does not have enough adequately trained personnel to solve problems, although I have met several who truly try. There are also problems in the system design which will not be overcome until a lot of money is invested in the system. TCI has been trying to unload the system for a long time, and I suspect AT&T will quickly come to the same conclusion.


Taxes Are Not the Only Problem
Cathy Vidito,

I agree that DC taxes must be reduced to attract people back into the city, but that is only one part of the equation. In any major metropolitan area, taxes are always higher in the city, yet many people still choose to live downtown. Why? Because they feel they're paying a little more for something worthwhile, like quality of life, sense of community, close distance to work and fun, and an interesting environment compared with the sterile suburbs. I think it's unrealistic to expect the District to lower taxes down to levels comparable to the suburbs'.

What the District needs is more careful consideration of what kinds of businesses it wants to encourage — do we really need another block of Eddie Bauer/WB/Banana Republic stores? I agree that residential development should be given priority. I may be naive, but I would think if you build affordable homes in an area near public transportation, the families will come, local businesses will sprout, and soon you have a community.


Getting Zone Stickers for Residential Street
L. Burford,

Help me!!! I live in the Brookland area and people from the neighboring hospitals park on my street. When I get home from work I cannot find a place to park. Can anyone tell me how to get my street zoned for residential parking only?


A Few Good Schools
Francesca Dixon,

In response to the question regarding schools in the District, there are more than a handful of excellent public schools here in DC. Most, but not all, are located in the most affluent communities. This list isn't exhaustive, nor is it based on any scientific methods, just word of mouth. Stevens, Janney, Hearst, Oyster, Hyde, Murch, and Stoddert are choice elementary schools. Deal, Francis, Hardy and Jefferson are highly regarded middle/junior highs. Banneker, School Without Walls, Ellington, and Wilson are sought after high schools. I encourage parents from other DCPS schools to add to this list.


Public School Choices Comments from a D.C. Public School Family
Joyce Deroy,

It's possible to get an excellent education in the DC Public Schools. Proof is my four children and their peers who attend public school. I can speak personally only for Murch Elementary, Alice Deal Junior High, Wilson Senior High and The School Without Walls Senior High. These students are exposed to a (mostly) rigorous curriculum with opportunities for Advanced Placement and no-cost College courses (e.g., George Washington , Howard, Georgetown and American Universities). There are opportunities to participate in Odyssey of the Mind, It's Academic, crew, lacrosse, softball, baseball, swim team, Harvard
Congress, Wilson International Studies trips abroad, chorus, drama groups, mediation and multi-cultural activities and just about any other activity of interest. There is esprit de corp among the students , e.g., five Wilson senior girls are training for the AIDS bike tour from North Carolina to DC this summer.

As for university prospects, 3 Wilson seniors are Brown early admits and one is an early admit to Penn. These are 4 that I know of; no doubt there are others who were granted early admission to their school of choice. Some possible public school advantages: 1) DCPS High School graduates have learned to get along in an environment of diversity — just like the world they will study, work and live in. 2) DCPS High School kids learn to be independent and to advocate for themselves. These skills are valuable in college and later. Some caveats: 1) If you and your child expect always to be treated as a valued customer, DCPS may not be the right place for you. Generally, staff resources are low and you must wait your turn. However, personal visits and persistence solve most problems. 2) These schools, especially at the junior high and high school level, seem to work best for independent, mainstream kids. Those with special learning or social needs may fare better elsewhere.

My DCPS credentials: Fifty-five kid-years of DCPS , i.e., 4 children from pre-K to 12th grade minus one year a daughter spent abroad as a German exchange student. All attended Murch for 8 years, Deal for 2-3 years and Wilson or Walls for 3-4 years. One has graduated and is a 2nd year at the University of Chicago, the other three are now high school seniors at Wilson and Walls.


Margie Odle,

I can only speak about a few of the DC public schools. Hearst ES and John Eaton ES have the most diverse group of children in the city. Both schools were “Early Childhood Demonstration Centers” (there were 3 others in the city) and thus adopted the Responsive Classroom model (from an outfit in Boston). I believe the formal program was abandoned but I'm not sure. Anyway, at the primary level (pre-k - 3) on the academic front, this program nurtures varied learning styles through the use of a variety of materials as well as fostering confidence by giving the children choices in their activities during parts of the day. Most importantly, for all 8 grades (pre-k - 6), through student developed rules and goals for the class and classroom, and through morning meeting greeting and sharing, the children learn to respect and to listen to one another. Both my children (now grade 6 at Eaton and grade 10 at School Without Walls) went through this program from its beginning 8 or 9 years ago, and it is a clear winner. In addition, Eaton now uses the University of Chicago math series called “Everyday Math.” It is MUCH loved and used in most of the private schools, although it requires more preparation and commitment by the teachers to learn the method.

Alice Deal JHS (grades 7-9) has so many good programs, teachers, and students it would take a book to talk about it. The principal is revered by the students and parents alike. It is big (1,100) and doesn't work for every child, but I can tell you it worked great for my bright child. She had algebra in 7th grade and is preparing for calculus in 11th. She had a great experience in the “Team” program for history-humanities-art/music, etc. She chose SWW for high school because of its modest size. She loves the atmosphere and generally has very good or great teachers there. It's much harder to get parents involved in the high schools and the kids are “only” there for 3 years (which fly by). So it's really important that the school be well run and well staffed. Both seem true at SWW. We will know more as our daughter begins to be eligible for, and take advantage of, the special program there: college and AP classes at GW, Howard, and UDC. And lest you think DC has no talented kids, 5 10th graders scored borderline or over the eligibility score on the PSATs which determine National Merit scholarship status. A
reminder that DC's cutoff is VERY much higher than most states because all the private schools in DC are in the pool.

Not every child has a good experience in the DC public schools. So far (and my fingers are crossed), we've been very pleased. And our “urban” children are very happy in their multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class classrooms.


Getting Back at Telemarketers (cont'd)
Mark Eckenwiler,

Phil Greene and others have remarked on how the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 USC sec. 227, protects consumers who have asked to have their names placed on a “do not call“ list. It's worth noting that there are other prohibitions in the law, at least one of which Dick Clark & Co. appear to have violated. Specifically, sec. 227(b)(1)(B) makes it unlawful

to initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the Commission under paragraph (2)(B)

Having read the relevant FCC regs, I don't see any applicable exception. And, as mentioned, statutory damages are $500. Test case, anyone?


Mechanic Recommendation
Julie Makinen Bowles,

Mt. Pleasant Auto Repair on Mt. Pleasant street performs good work at very reasonable rates, I have found. If you are on a budget, they will try to accommodate you. I also know that they have received favorable ratings from Washington Checkbook magazine.


Downtown Mechanics
Bill Rice,

You can get your car fixed in downtown D.C. Rainbow Auto Body, 1445 Church St., NW (auto body and some repairs) since 1929 in the same family at the same location. Owner: Jay Conner. Mercedes and Volvo, 1525 15th Street, NW, 265-7235, good general repairs. Gilbert is the owner, and Midas Muffler, 625 New York Avenue, NW.


Auto Mechanic
Edna Small,

I have a great, reliable, honest mechanic in Rockville. Worth the trip — I often wait, but he'll pick up and drop off at the subway. His name is Fabio, his shop Beltway Auto, phone # 301-231-8733. Works only on foreign cars. Besides all else, is a very nice person. I've been going there for years, and anyone I have referred has been very pleased.


R.A. Bird Anderson's Search for a Toyota Mechanic

As one of many Washington Post employees who live in the District but happily reverse commute to our Springfield, VA, plant (an entirely other issue!) may I offer both a caveat and a recommendation: Do not, under any circumstances, take your car to Kay Jennings Springfield Toyota. Less than 48 hours after having my Toyota Corolla serviced (oil change and lube) while visiting Syracuse, NY, this past summer, the mechanic at Kay Jennings, who had been charged only with recharging my air conditioner, informed me my oil was in need of changing — along with a rather extensive and expensive list of other recommended repairs. When queried — while standing over my engine how that could be — the service manager could only reply, “Um, I don't know, but you're right, the oil sure looks new! Guess I'll have to speak to him!”

Burned once, twice shy: I wholeheartedly recommend Don Merrick at Merchants Tire at 6609 Backlick Rd., Springfield (703-644-4377). Tell him Valerie at The Post sent you.


Good Garage
Stephanie Faul,

Ernie's Auto Repair, off River Road just outside the District. It's hard to find — you turn left just after the bike path bridge, down a service road into an industrial area — but they are competent, reasonably priced, and do not lie. They're also well rated by Washington Consumers' Checkbook. Mike is the guy who actually runs it. Don't expect extended discussions; his idea of conversation is “Pick it up after 5.” Look under “Ernie's” in the Maryland book.


Mechanic and Painter
Mark W Servatius,

I can confidently say the best mechanic I know is Dave Knutson and his assistant Herman at Hilltop Exxon. 301-229-3350. They are located near Defense Mapping on 6100 MacArthur Blvd just a little way past Sibley Hospital. He is honest to a fault. As for painters, Eric Blitt at Tenleytown Painting is by far the best. However, he is not cheap. Yet, if you want the paint to last a long time between painting you should give him a call. Don't know his number off hand.


Used Computers
Clare Feinson,

There is a group in Mount Pleasant called Byte Back! which offers computer classes and can probably use hardware as well. Contact Glenn Stein, for more info. Also, Bob Levey at the Washington Post keeps a list of things (not just computers) to give away. He provides the list to individuals who contact him, and it is then up to them to contact the donor and arrange the contribution.


ISP Recommendation
Lorraine Swerdloff,

I need to select an internet service provider but want one that handles RealAudio well. I tried AOL on a free month offer and a free ISP called ZeroNet, but the buffering made both unlistenable (adjusting the buffering options did not help). This ISP should also be available in Florida (does that eliminate Erols?). Thanks for your suggestions....


David S. Reed,

Contrary to Dennis Dinkel's posting in the previous “themail,” I never made a posting to this list regarding Congressman Barr. I am distressed to be mistakenly associated with Mr. Dinkel's headline, which I find offensive.

[Actually, this should teach you all a lesson. Dennis didn't specify a headline, so I wrote an excessive one, as I am wont to do. Unlike newspapers, which have headline writers who can impose their own distorted senses of humor on all stories at their whim, I only do so when careless writers don't supply their own, and give me an opening. Omit the headline at your own risk. — Gary Imhoff]



Jazz Gala/Benefit for Capitol Hill Public School
Mark Eckenwiler,

The 2d Annual Jazz Gala and Benefit Auction for Peabody SWS will take place on Saturday, March 20, 1999 from 7-10:30 p.m. at the Sewall-Belmont House (144 Constitution Avenue NE). Noted jazz vocalist Debbie Kirkland will be the featured entertainer. Ms. Kirkland has performed at numerous DC jazz venues (including Blues Alley and Charlie's of Georgetown), and her first album, “In Session...” (1998), was favorably reviewed in the Washington Post.

Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will benefit the School-Within-School Charter at Peabody, a teacher directed DC public school (inspired by Italy's Reggio Emilia preschools) located on Capitol Hill. Advance tickets are $15 (standard) or $25 (patron; name listed in program); tickets at the door are $20. Free parking will be available at 2d & C Sts. NE (Senate lot). Tickets may be purchased at Trover Book Shop, 221 Penn. Ave. SE. For further information, call the school at 202-698-3260.


Restore the Core
Danilo Pelletiere,

The next Restore the Core meeting will be held on Thursday February 11, 1998 from 7-9 pm at Friends of the Earth, 1025 Vermont Avenue, Suite 300. The first part of the meeting will be to introduce our 1999 campaign, discuss 1999 urban outings and neighborhood walks and presentations, and a review of our recent activities to restore the core. We'll also be looking for new volunteers that want to help us with outreach, materials, lobbying, and hands on community involvement. The second part will be a presentation and Q&A with Brent Coleman the District's Brownfield Coordinator and Ted Gordon, deputy Director of the Environmental Health Administration. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information contact Danilo Pelletiere at .


DC Community Forum on the Year 2000 Problem
Mark Robinowitz,

Are you ready for Y2K? Is your community? These days food, water, sewage, electricity, gas, police, health service and most business depends on computers. It is uncertain what disruptions could take place as computers and embedded chips in computers all over the world read '00 as 1900 rather than 2000. Companies, governments, utilities, and non profits are rushing to fix billions of lines of computer code by the deadline, but indications are many, if not most, won't be ready by next year. What does that mean for your community? Come find out. Saturday, January 30, 1999, 10:00 - 1:00 (registration begins at 9:30), Hine Jr. High School, 335 8th St, SE, 8th and Pennsylvania, Eastern Market Metro.

Featuring welcome by Ward 6 Councilmember, Sharon Ambrose, and Principal of Hine Jr. High School, Mr. Bennie Adams. Paul Nicholas, U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000; Keith Kaye, Contingency Planning Manager, District of Columbia Y2K Project Office; Arlene Czajcynski, Mobil Oil; Gordon Davidson, Center for Visionary Leadership, Y2K Community Preparedness Expert; Mark Frautschi, Shakespeare and Tao Consulting, Embedded Systems Expert; Lisa Ransom Brown, National Congress for Community Economic Development. Community question and answer session with guest moderator. Discussion groups to follow panel. For more information, please contact Debby Sugarman at 301-864-2531,  or Kenneth Rothschild at 202-882-4262.



Walker-Jones E.S. Parent Room
Francesca Dixon,

The Walker-Jones Elementary School PTSA, a local PTA unit chartered under DCPTA, is seeking office equipment and furniture to furnish our Parent Resource Room, a place where parents can access information about DCPS policies, regulations, performance standards, and assessments; Title I and other federal education programs; Local School Restructuring Team programs; DC charter, magnet and private schools; national school reform programs, and anything else that will help us become powerful advocates for the students at Walker-Jones Elementary.

We are specifically looking for the following items: tables, chairs, a couch, filing cabinets, bookcases, literature display racks, bulletin boards and white boards; iMac (or other late-model Mac) and compatible printer, scanner, and floppy drive; new or used photocopier, in good working condition. Contact: Fran Dixon, at 347-4909.



Free 5 Month Old Puppy
Lynne Mersfelder,

I've acquired 2 beautiful five month old puppies but unfortunately can only keep one. (I also have 2 cats, a grown dog, and a bird, not to mention the gecko to contend with...) She's a mix of chow and shepherd but I believe one of the parents was a lab. Her name's Lilly, she's solid black, has beautiful brown eyes, is extremely affectionate and is full of energy.

I'm offering her free to a good home with someone who will take the time she needs for daily walks and and an occasional brushing. She'll make a great companion for singles or families with children. If you are in the market for a puppy, please contact Don Lewis at (W) 703/318-0153 or via email at to discuss.



Furniture for Sale — The House Is Shrinking
Michelle Treistman,

Sofa, 77.5"x30.5"x34", off white/black floral pattern, tightback, cloth with black leather on top of arms, great condition. Glass top table, 31.5"x55", on black, light metal frame, stands 21.5", excellent condition. 4-drawer dresser, 25"x16"x40", Americana veneer with brass-colored handles, excellent condition. Entertainment system, 55"x18"x43", holds 28" TV with 4 shelves for stereo components plus shelf underneath TV for VCR, birch veneer with 3 silver-metal posts, on wheels, new. All reasonable offers considered. Cleveland Park location, you must pick-up. Contact Michelle at


Wizards Tickets for Sale
Horace Howells,

Section 100, row R, seats 5&6. They are center court, just three rows in front of the owners' box. $75/ticket, which is face value. I am looking for a few people interested in going to see a few games. Ideally people will put in requests for several games and I will go through and divide the tickets in some equitable manner. Also, if you are looking for just a single game, I will sell games individually if they are available.


Dave Nuttycombe,

From's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
The Grand Marquis of DCRA: In the coming months, 322 workers at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will move into new office space at 941 North Capitol St. NE, where the department will attempt to automate the myriad functions it now does manually. The rank and file can't wait to clean out their musty cubes at 614 H St. NW and bequeath them to their rightful owners: rats, dust mites, and other vermin.
No one, however, is more excited about the move than DCRA Director Lloyd Jordan. When Jordan meets with staff at 941, his orders will bounce off an office ensemble worthy of Michael Eisner.
The desk, bookshelf, and other accouterments that Jordan ordered for the director's office, according to DCRA sources, retail for over $60,000 — although the agency's bulk discount shaves nearly two thirds off that cost. Even so, Jordan's sweet suite will cost taxpayers four times the more modest setups of his deputy directors and administrators.
Read the entire Loose Lips column this Friday at:

From's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early warnings for upcoming events:
Friday, Jan. 29: The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, noon at the National Archives Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free.
Friday-Sunday, January 29-31: Elvis & Marilyn, a “metaphorical road movie following a pair of talent show winners across the remains of Yugoslavia toward a promised gig on Italy's Adriatic coast.” At the American Film Institute Theater, Kennedy Center. $6.50.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at


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