Look over the classifieds in this month's issue. We have a wine tasting
calendar, an artist's house in Provence up for rent, someone wanting to rent a summer
house in Maine, and the for sale listing is for a personal organizer. Come on, people,
what is this, Town and Country? Special for the next issue: absolutely free
listings for anyone looking for a rat catcher, getting rid of a house trailer, or selling
Beanie Babies. Of course, since the classifieds in themail are free anyway, what does it
matter to you?
For the Mayor's press release today on the David Howard issue, see http://www.dcwatch.com/mayor/990203.htm
City vs. Suburbs: A reply to T. Jr. Hardman
Danilo Pelletiere, firstname.lastname@example.org
While it is clear that we must accept that the District is just one of
many residential and employment centers in the region, to say that the suburbs don't need
the city is to miss the point entirely. Also to believe the hype about how techno-yuppies
are a) plentiful and b) here to stay would be a grave mistake and a horrible foundation
for any economic development plan. While it is true that 85% of new jobs are created
outside the District (though in recent months this number has been declining due to a
growth in employment in the District despite District government and federal reductions),
after 30 years and more of decline the District still makes up 25% of the regional economy
and only 12% of the population. Jobs are growing slower than population in the suburbs.
And at current rates it will be a long time until the flow of commuters out of the city
each morning equals that coming in.
At the same time many of the problems that beset the city are now
afflicting older (and even newer) suburbs. As more roads are built and more connections
are made the suburbs become more urban, more densely settled and more congested. Many of
the Virginia Supervisors I speak to complain about growing crime, prostitution, and being
forgotten as attention is shifted to the newer more affluent areas out west. The age where
we thought we could have our cake and eat it too by moving to the suburbs is quickly
coming to an end. This is bringing people to reassess the city and regional cooperation.
So I agree that what we need to do is make tough decisions on a regional level. But in
saying this I do not for a moment believe our only salvation is to open up traffic
conduits for techno-yuppies. The District is no longer the center of the regional economy,
but its still central and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The better our
policies and government operations, the more central it will become. The fundamentals are
important, not trying to cater to the Board of Trade P.R. and the Business Week fad of the
Jobs, Taxes, and Regionalism Follow-up
Mark Richards, email@example.com
Agreed DC does not exist in a vacuum and moving away from
jurisdictional zero-sum squabbling toward regional cooperation and pooled resources is a
smart goal. The towns and counties clustered around the District are not one jurisdiction
(I think there are about 130), so turf battles are an issue. And, within each state,
authority is divided into at least three levels town, county, and state
governments. A Regional Cooperation League in which to coordinate issues
handled by town and county governments sounds like a good idea (if it isn't smarter to
work through the COG), but would it safe for DC neighborhoods to transfer authority to
such a group? Mayor Williams should probably be talking with the governors of MD and VA to
identify state-level areas for cooperation.
That we do not have equal representation in the federal govt. or control
of our own local budget means neighboring jurisdictions can go over our heads,
and there are plenty of examples which have eroded DC trust. My trust level would increase
dramatically if VA and MD state and Congressional reps negotiated some form of fair taxing
agreement with DC and by working with us to achieve equal citizenship rights under the law
while respecting our desire to keep our 120+ neighborhoods together as one jurisdiction.
Since DC handles all state, county, and city functions in one govt., maybe it has been
harder to compartmentalize the issues.
D.C. Schools Rewarding failure with more
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
It's amazing how failure attracts more money than success. That's just
what School Superintendent Ackerman's school funding plan will do, it will reward those
schools that are failing. In D.C. we have one of the highest per pupil expenditures in the
country, and yet our students are failing miserably. In reality they are being failed by
the system miserably. Throwing money on top of a problem situation never helps. The real
root of the problem is one that has been with us since the teachers' unions took control
of the educational process in the schools, producing and encouraging ill equipped
teachers. If you look at schools that have succeeded in the past (Dunbar right here in
Washington, D.C., was a great school until 1950) with minority students from very low
income families, you will find a few common threads. None of these schools had an
Afrocentric curriculum. Successful schools for minority students have strong principals
and very qualified teachers (most also had large classes). In P.S. 91, in Brooklyn, where
I spent all of my educational years in the public schools, the facility is dilapidated,
the surrounding neighborhood is bad. Yet, the students in this school routinely score
above the national norms on standardized tests. P.S. 91 has an exceptional principal. The
children in this school speak in full sentences of grammatical English.
The idea of giving control of the budget to the school principals is a
good idea, especially when the parents of students and the teachers are involved in
determining how the money will be spent. But the answer to improving education in the
District's schools does not lie in rewarding failure with more money. The answer lies in
getting the strongest persons we can find in the leadership role as principals in all the
schools and in putting qualified teachers in the classrooms.
Does anyone besides me have trouble getting suburban telephone books from
Bell Atlantic? Every year for 5 years I've contacted someone at Bell Atlantic. Usually
I've tried to speak to a supervisor. It hasn't mattered. Every year I mean every
single year it's taken at least 2 or 3 months, sometimes longer, for me to receive
a complete set of the suburban books: northern VA yellow & white, Montgomery & PG
yellow & white. This last round has been almost comical: I've had several shipments so
far, each including one book I requested & 3 I didn't. So I've made a few trips to the
recycling center & continued to use last year's books. Does anyone know a way around
this problem? Thanks!
The Good News
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
There's some good news in that morass raised by the misinterpreted comment
by David Howard. The good news is that the Mayor may now realize just what he is facing in
much of the city government. The biggest obstacles to positive change in the D.C.
Government will be the Barry loyalists in the ranks of middle management. They will
passively and actively resist any positive change that would threaten their positions. The
answer to this problem is simply to eliminate these recalcitrants. There is really no need
for middle management in the D.C. Government if Mayor Williams is willing to evolve the
way the city is managed to a team based organization with real leaders leading
empowered and autonomous teams. This puts the power of making things happen right where it
should be in the hands of those who are doing the work.
Such an evolution will take time but it will result in an efficient and
effective work force. It should be tried on a pilot basis with one or more of those
organizations that are not serving the public well. Then, as success is demonstrated,
additional departments should be evolved to teams to develop processes that work. The
Mayor has made one mistake this week. He will likely make many more in the weeks to come.
But these are the mistakes of a player not a watcher. The Mayor is out on the playing
field trying to field everything hit his way. He will undoubtedly make some errors but
he's not sitting on the sidelines picking his toes. He's out with his team trying hard to
make things work in the District. Stay on the field, Tony.
Not Niggardly with the Details in AZ
Jean Lawrence, JKelLaw@aol.com
Yes, the story not a blurb, a full-blowner from the NYT made
it out here to the desert. Following on the exhaustive coverage (that does not mean
tiring) of the mayor's comments that Phoenix was vastly superior to DC, Williams is
entering laughing stock country now unfortunate in a state that had to be
bludgeoned into even declaring Martin Luther King Day. Not that most people in DC care
what the rest of us plebes think. As for other offensive sound-alikes, may I offer
congenital mastication. Big no-no.
I'm pretty disgusted with all this niggardly flap. (Yes, I've
known the term for years.) If I were a Spanish-speaking Latino in Washington, DC, I would
use the English word black instead of its Spanish counterpart, which is
negro. As one who took Spanish courses in the past, I can attest that the word
negro is used quite frequently. Examples include gato negro (black
cat), automovil negro (black car), perro negro (black dog),
raton negro (black mouse). Never mind the fact that in Spanish, negro is
pronounced nay-grow instead of nee-grow like in the U.S., it's
just that according to certain DC
politicos an n word in any language that sounds like the nasty
N word should never be used.
I would tell all those hypersensitive people who see racism under every
innocuous rock to go fly a kite. On second thought, I'd better not use the word
kite, since it sounds too much like a certain anti-Semitic slur.
Surfing Press Waves
Mark David Richards, firstname.lastname@example.org
The full press rarely covers New Columbian issues. Last week, while
conducting focus groups in the Tarheel state, I watched the D.C.
niggardly story emerge in papers in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem. The
amount of press coverage was the amount one dreams of if one is riding press waves. Well,
the first wave crested and it looks like we didn't ride it. My take on this is that the
niggardly story wasn't/isn't just about D.C. we became a player in the
300+ year dialogue on race, identity. It isn't just how the dictionary defines
niggardly. Ask a teen what fat means now, and compare that to your
dictionary. And, just as fat doesn't just mean obese,
black and white don't just describe color or race. These terms
have always been culturally defined. Whatever the facts about the intent, the reason this
story arose nationwide is that many whites think we solved the race problem
and need to move on. They're tired of walking on ice when they speak. They
think they should be given the benefit of the doubt. In addition, many worry about the
latest influx of immigrants, and think this diversity thing has gone far enough.
We in U.S. seem to project identity and class issues onto everything in
the social context, but resist speaking about them one-on-one. This discussion started
when Europeans found the Americas and, for starters, forced the
Indians (speaking of ignorance) off the land and privatized it.
The Rule of Law brought them Civilization and Christianity, and now they live amongst us,
nearly invisible to most. The English colonies became a powerful group, and might made
right, with privileges attached. In the new America, if you weren't as pale
and Protestant as the English, you suffered indignities at best, slavery and murder at
worst. But the world has never forgotten the promise, or the myth, of this experiment some
call America. There can be no doubt, U.S. has come a long way over the years.
But many involuntary sacrifices were made along the way. Today, younger generations talk
more honestly about our ancestral past. It alarms groups like the CCC, whose growing
membership fear for the white race. And even as Americans continue
to call each other names, or THINK they're being called names, their identities are so
woven into one tapestry they can hardly distinguish their contributions. So when DO the
full national press cover D.C. issues? Not when things go well, and when we have a story
we need to tell. Americans don't even know we are still the only capital city of all
democratic countries denied basic voting rights in our legislature. Maybe we need to
become pro-active about what our message is to the world and learn to ride the waves when
they appear. Our Mayor has the attention of the nation. Besides tidying up the Executive
and teaching his workers conflict resolution and communications skills, he should think of
this as a press opportunity and take control of this story to our advantage.
Am looking for someone to help me with Quickbooks 99 just upgraded
from old version and can't figure out new and improved program probably
need an hour or two of help am willing to pay reasonable sum for technical
Tasting Society International February 1999
Calendar of Events
Charlie Adler, cadler@DGS.DGSYS.COM
February events: 1) Wines of Spain and Portugal, Thursday,
February 4, 7-9 p.m., Wyndham Hotel, 1400 M St., NW, $38; 2) California Dream
Wines! Tuesday, February 9, 7-9 p.m., Wyndham Hotel, $40; 3) Wine Basics
101, Thursday, February 11, 7-9 p.m., Wyndham Hotel, $35; 4) Mardi Gras in
Washington, D.C.! Jambalaya, Gumbo, Dixie Beer and Zydeco Crayz Band!, February 16 (Fat
Tuesday), 8-12 a.m., Wyndham Hotel, $55; 5) Wine 102: Fool the Experts!
Wednesday, February 17, 7-9 p.m., Wyndham Hotel, $35. Reservations: RSVP at (202) 333-5588
or email: email@example.com , or the Reservation Form
at our Web Page at http://www.tastedc.com/reservations.html
CLASSIFIEDS HOUSING FOR RENT AND WANTED
To Rent in Provence
Moyra Byrne, firstname.lastname@example.org
American artist's house in historic village 1/2 hour from Aix-en-Provence,
1 hour from Mediterranean. Convenient to biking, hiking, golf, tennis, swimming. Two
bedrooms with baths, plus skylight studio with single bed; kitchen/dining room and
adjoining deck. Available June-October, $2,250 per month, one month minimum. Call owner in
Does anyone have information on renting a large house in the Bar Harbor or
Mt. Desert Island area of Maine for a week in the month of August? Does anyone know a
private owner who might be interested or know of a realtor who does this? Are there
suggestions for other areas of coastal Maine? I am not interested in anything south of
Camden. If you can help me, thank you in advance.
CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE
Electronic Personal Organizer
Michon Bechamps, email@example.com
Sharp YO-530 with 256 KB memory. Contains address book, to do list,
calendar, anniversary list, calculator, expense form functions. Possible to link to
computer for back up and data entry. Very easy to use, light and compact, instruction
manual and original packaging available. Cost $101 18 months ago, make an offer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
The Council's Refuseniks: Residents of Ward 6's Near Northeast neighborhood have been
complaining for over five years about the USA Waste trash-transfer station at 1140 Third
St. NE. The trucks from the facility make a racket, they say, and the garbage they leave
behind stinks. Residents of Ward 5's Brentwood neighborhood have voiced the same gripes
about the Browning-Ferris Industries facility at 1220 W St. NE. And so have neighbors near
the Waste Management Inc. station at 2160 Queens Chapel Rd. NE.
The authority to act on those complaints has sparked war between Ward 6 Councilmember
Sharon Ambrose and D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp.
Read the entire Loose Lips column this Friday at: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early
warnings for upcoming events:
Friday, Feb. 5: David Foster Wallace participates in the PEN/Faulkner readings, along with
Christina Garcia, at 8 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE.
Saturday, Feb. 6: First Annual Mother-Daughter Double Dutch Day, 3 p.m. at Central High
School, 200 Cabin Branch Road, Capitol Heights. $12.50 for participants (Dads can jump,
too), $2 for spectators (proceeds benefit the Maryland Million Woman March Chapter).
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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