Moving Anacostia to DC
Dear Patient Readers:
In the last issue of themail, I made a joke about Mayor Williams'
suggestions to move UDC and the Ellington School to Anacostia, saying that his next
announcements were going to be that he would move the headquarters of the Metropolitan
Police Department and then the District Building to Anacostia. The next day, Mayor
Williams topped me neatly by announcing his plan to move the Washington Monument to
Anacostia. It definitely was April Fools Day. But jokes aside, what is wrong with these
The major problem with them is not just that neither UDC nor the Ellington
School is a particularly good engine for economic development; nor that both institutions
have close ties to their present neighborhoods; nor even that the Mayor sprung these ideas
on the city, on the UDC and Ellington communities, and on his own subordinates and
associates without consultation or warning. The major problem is that through these plans
the Mayor is pitting the neighborhoods of the city against each other, setting them up to
fight for institutions that currently exist. He is not talking about creating new economic
development projects for Anacostia he's not slating the baseball stadium, or
anything that major developers are really interested in, for Anacostia. He's talking about
taking city owned and run institutions from the neighborhoods in which they are already
rooted and moving them in order to aid another neighborhood.
And the neighborhoods are fighting, and fighting dirty. In the UDC case,
the rhetoric on both sides from supporters of UDC on Connecticut Avenue and from
Anacostia's supporters of the Mayor's proposal, almost all of whom are black on both sides
is fiery and filled with accusations that their opponents are racists, either for
wanting to move a majority black institution out of a relatively wealthy, relatively white
neighborhood, or for implying that Anacostia isn't as desirable a neighborhood as
Connecticut Avenue. It isn't pretty, and it isn't going to get any prettier.
Moving UDC to Anacostia
Angela W. Cox, email@example.com
I'd like to make a few comments and note some observations related to
Mayor William's proposal to move UDC to Anacostia. Once again the squeaky wheel theory has
proven true if you yell loud enough and long enough, you'll get noticed. And I
applaud the folks in Anacostia for doing so. I hope, however, the Mayor's office isn't
counting on the student of UDC to live up to the stereotype of the University.
The students are focused, organized and ready to fight this battle with the Mayor and
anyone else supporting the move. Bottom line the Mayor must follow through with the
investments in UDC he campaigned on, and a move was not one of them.
Despite the rotten attitude the city and its citizens have about the
University, the fact remains that there are dedicated professors whose loyalty to the
school and love for the students have kept them there and kept them fighting. Though many
seem to forget, the students at UDC have dreams and aspirations just like students at any
other University in the area. They deserve to be supported by our Mayor (other elected
officials and DC Citizens) and they deserve respect! The fact that this move is being
considered at all, much less that it was announced during mid-term exams, is certainly not
supportive, nor is it respectful. If this is a battle the Williams team wants to fight, I
assure you the students at UDC will fight them all the way; and I urge others to do so as
A Brooklyn Tech in D.C.
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
dcbiker says that taking kids who graduate from our elementary
schools and putting them into a Technical High School in D.C. will not solve the city's
horrible school situation. That is true. A technical school will, however, provide a
viable educational opportunity for a large number of students in the city who will never
get that otherwise.
Brooklyn Tech is still a very potent educational institution in New York.
They now have only four thousand students versus the six thousand in the days of
yesteryear. This is due to the maintenance of high standards. The current enrollment is
made up of more than fifty percent minorities; a large percentage of these are female
students (compared with zero females in the fifties). Almost all of these students come
from the NY City public schools, which are not substantially better than the D.C. schools.
A very high percentage of Brooklyn Tech grads go on to real colleges and universities and
Brooklyn Tech grads are sought by many of the major corporations in the U.S. To wait for
the D.C. public schools to shape up would be criminal if we have other options that will
provide a decent educational opportunity of those who will make good use of it.
Joan Eisenstodt, email@example.com
I've left 2 messages at the Tree Removal Office at the DC
Dept. of Public Works no call back and a huge tree we believe, with the next storm,
is likely to damage cars and houses on our street on Capitol Hill. Anyone on the list with
a better way to get the District to call or help?
Church and State, Politics and Taxes
Nick Keenan, Shaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Under federal law, churches that claim exemption from taxation may not
engage in partisan political activity. Historically this prohibition has been honored
entirely in the breach, but in 1995 the IRS for the first time ever stripped a church of
its non-profit status for participating in a political campaign. On Tuesday a federal
judge ruled that the IRS had acted lawfully, saying that churches have a choice
enjoy tax-exempt status, or engage in partisan politics. One or the other, but not both.
Details can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-03/31/182l-033199-idx.html
The IRS has announced that they are going to begin challenging churches
that are politically active, and they are investigating a Baltimore church that assisted
the Clinton campaign in 1996. Such a policy could have a dramatic effect on the politics
of DC, where churches wield a great deal of political power, and also own a great deal of
tax-exempt property. The spectacular changes we have seen in the political landscape of
the city over the past year could be just the tip of the iceberg if major players are
forced to make a tough choice about staying in the political arena.
The Districts Native Roots
Anne Drissel, Mt. Pleasant, email@example.com
I was delighted to see Mark Richards (firstname.lastname@example.org
) details on the District's Native (American) Roots. My roots go back only 150 years in DC
and then wander off to Ireland, Flanders and Germany! You may be interested to know that
for the past seven years, a group of DC residents and folks from around the country have
organized a two-day Prayer Vigil on the Washington Monument grounds on the last weekend in
September to bring Native Wisdom keepers from tribal cultures throughout the U.S. and
elsewhere in the world to pray for the Earth. We've added other spiritual traditions in
recent years. We're making a special effort this year to locate members of tribal groups
from this region to join us. A special part of the ceremonies each year, has been a
special period of prayer for the leaders and residents of the city of Washington to bring
healing, wisdom and restoration to the city. I like to believe it has helped....
Even in New York
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
Can it be possible, the city of New York issuing vouchers allowing its
citizens to have more control of their children's education? That's just what Mayor
Guilliani has proposed. After years of vacillating on this type of program he is now
pushing his own voucher program. His plan would provide vouchers for 6000 children in 32
of the city's districts. The usual suspects, the Teachers Federation, and the school
Chancellor, Rudy Crew, have come out strongly against the proposal. And this anti voucher
sentiment at a time when only 10% of the minority black students are proficient in reading
(sound familiar?). It is timely to break the union bastions but it will take a warrior
like approach to breach the opposition. This is the first proposal by a major city mayor
in the Northeast and it is most refreshing. Previous voucher programs have been charitably
funded in both New York and in D.C. and have been wildly popular. Every voucher success
gives hope to those parents who want to have some control of their children's education.
I looking to buy a condo in the Dupont/West End/Foggy Bottom areas. But
I'm unhappy with my current realtor, and now I'm in the market for recommendations. Any
Interview with B. Stanley, DC Arts Center
Phil Shapiro, firstname.lastname@example.org
To help DC residents learn more about the DC Arts Center, in Adams Morgan,
I've put up on the web a 7 minute RealVideo interview with B. Stanley, the artistic
director of the DC Arts Center (DCAC). DCAC is one of those hidden treasures in the city.
I hadn't heard about DCAC until recently, but now I'm a big fan of the center. If you love
theater and the visual arts, DCAC is a must visit. http://stories.simplenet.com
(Video produced by Tony Watkins, email@example.com)
Does anyone know who is collecting clothing for Albanian relief? Let's get
CLASSIFIEDS EVENTS AND MEETINGS
National Press Club Book Events
Laura Falacienski, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Press Club is pleased to announce the following Book Raps: 1.
Amitai Etzioni discussion and signing, The Limits to Privacy, Thursday, April 8,
1999, 6-7:30 p.m. 2. Kathleen Norris discussion and signing, Amazing Grace: A
Vocabulary of Faith, Monday, May 10, 1999, 6-7:30 p.m. 3. Richard Kirkland discussion
and signing, Tales of a War Pilot, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 6-7:30 p.m. 4. Richard
Tafel discussion and signing, Party Crasher: A Gay Republican Challenges Politics as
Usual, Monday, June 14, 1999, 6-7:30 p.m. Book Raps are free and open to everyone.
Author Dinners: 1. Al Franken, dinner, discussion, and signing, Why
Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Al Franken Presidency,
Tuesday, April 13, 1999, 5:45-8 p.m., $15 NPC members, $25 non-members. 2. Helen Thomas
dinner, discussion and signing, Front Row at the White House, Tuesday, May 25,
1999, $15 NPC members, $25 non-members. The National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th
Floor, Washington, DC 20045. Please RSVP by phone: for author dinners (202) 662-7501; for
Book Raps (202) 662-7523.
On Tuesday, April 6, St. Louis storyteller BOBBY NORFOLK performs
Love You Madly: The Life and Music of Duke Ellington. The show traces
Ellington's youth in Washington through his glory days in Harlem to his status as an
acclaimed international icon. Bobby, a one-time actor and stand-up comic, punctuates the
show with Ellington favorites such as It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got that
Swing, and The A Train. The performance takes place at the Corcoran
Gallery of Art, 500 17th Street, NW, at 7:30. Tickets cost $12 for Corcoran members, $16
for non-members, and $6 for students. For tickets or information call 202-639-1770.
ANC 1A Meeting on Proposals for 14th Street
Elizabeth McIntire, email@example.com
ANC 1A ( Columbia Heights ) will be having a Town Meeting with
presentations by the four developers who submitted proposals to the Redevelopment Land
Agency (RLA) for the city-owned parcels around the Columbia Heights Metro Station: Forest
City Enterprises (all four parcels, from Monroe to Irving St, East and West sides of 14th
St); Grid Properties (Parcel 27, the former site of Post Office, Woolworths, Peoples);
Giant/Horning (Tivoli site); and Saul Centers (also Parcel 27, several lots of which they
own). It will be on Saturday, April 10 at Lincoln Multicultural Middle School, 16th and
Irving Streets, NW, from 10 am until 3 pm.
Photography Exhibit/Artists' Reception
Michael K. Wilkinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
DC photographer Michael K. Wilkinson invites you to the artist's reception
for a new show at the Clarendon Grill in Arlington. Michael's photographs capture many of
the details that surround us, but which we seldom stop to appreciate. They are
characterized by bold and bright colors, and very simple composition. This show features
Michael's animated photographs in the largest format he has ever shown: most prints are
16x20 or 24x36, with suitably oversized frames. If you know Michael's work, it will be
very enjoyable to see them enlarged to this scale. All pieces are cibachrome prints made
from slides, which render highly saturated colors and a deep, lustry finish.
The Clarendon Grill is a post-modern restaurant and bar with an excellent
menu and beer list. The restaurant features soaring ceilings with an
industrial/construction theme to the decor. (Mike's pictures, particularly in large
format, work great in the space.) The reception will feature live latin jazz by Cuarteto
Ache, a silent auction, and also works on paper by artist Trevett Allen. Wednesday, April
7, 1999, starting at 7:30 pm, 1101 North Highland Street, at Clarendon Blvd., one block
from the Clarendon stop on the orange line. Contact: 703-524-7455 for more info or email@example.com
CLASSIFIEDS VOLUNTEER WANTED
Volunteer Private Investigator Wanted
Mishelle Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a volunteer attorney with a homeless client who is trying to find her
grown children (both in their 30's). I know the birth date and birth place of each child
but not either's Social Security number. I'd like some advice in how to proceed; at least
one child is homeless.
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