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June 6, 1999

Money-Making Opportunities

Dear Opportunists:

I know I'm running this subject into the ground, but I'm still fascinated by the explanations that are being given for the payments that were made to Tony Williams while he was campaigning for Mayor. Williams has explained that the work that he did for the last $10,000 of the $30,000 fee that he was given by Arthur Andersen was to make a telephone call and to attend a “business dinner” on December 24th. Now, this raises a whole new world of money-making possibilities that I had never before considered. If Williams can get paid $10,000 to attend a Christmas Eve party, why shouldn't the rest of us be paid to go to parties? The Fourth of July is coming up in a month, and I personally would be willing to come to a barbecue or picnic then, and even to stay and watch a fireworks display, for $10,000 or best offer. Frankly, the people I feel sorry for are the other guests at that Christmas party. Think how used and ripped off they must feel, when they realize that they accepted their invitations and came to dinner for free. They probably didn't even try to bargain for payment. Suckers.

There are lots of non-paid opportunities for us to help out our fellow Washingtonians and answer their questions in this issue of themail. Please pitch in.

Gary Imhoff


Not What You Want to Find on Your Car’s Windshield
Debby Winsten,

My car was legally parked on a Kalorama side street when I discovered an index card telling me that it had been sideswiped by a DC garbage truck. Here's where your collective wisdom comes in. My insurance agent wasn't much help. How and to whom do I register my plight? Suggestions are welcomed. I've never had an accident, so I don't know much about auto body repairs — there's a major gouge in my '93 Camry from the rear wheelwell to the bumper which is plastic and also damaged. Should I just chalk this up to the cost of city living, or fight City Hall? And, anyone know of off-street parking options in Kalorama? I walk to work and so only use my car a couple of times a week. Thanks for your help, Windy


The Price of Living In Washington
Bob Levine,

All right, I live in Washington and have to put up with some oddities because of the nature of the city, but my neighbor is getting a bit difficult. My neighbor is Tudor Place, a rather large estate in Georgetown that rents itself out for parties and other private functions. This Saturday they were entertaining and as a result blocked off Q Street, frequently for long periods of time. This was enforced by a police sergeant who was off duty and had been privately hired by Tudor Place to facilitate the logistics of their party. The permit for this had been issued by Chief Ramsey's office to Tudor Place. The above information was provided by SOD (Special Operations Department), and I was told that I should just accommodate the disruption, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I do love a city where you can hire your own police to enforce the law as you see fit for your own purposes. Sorry, but I needed to rant a bit — but if anybody has any ideas about what to do about this let me know.


Four Weeks and Counting
Ed T. Barron,

It has been four weeks since a failed street lamp on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Fordham Road (AU Law School and Crate and Barrel corner) was reported to be out, and there is no sign of any repair or replacement being made. This is a heavily crossed intersection by pedestrians. The long daylight hours have probably saved some near misses, but, as the days grow shorter and the AU students return to their Fall classes, this situation will become a great deal more hazardous for the walkers. Nice pleasant folks answer the phone but they cannot assure that anything will be done or when.


District Cablevision
Fitzroy Francis, Customer Operations Manager, District Cablevision LLP,

I am the Customer Operations Manager of District Cablevision. In the past 13 months we have made several changes at District Cablevision. I trust all have noted the improved services in call handling. In a step to improve the customer service we provide, I am in the process of setting up an E-mail address for customer inquiries. In the mean time, please forward any comments to my E-mail and either myself or one of my customer relations associates can respond to your query. If ever you have a question about your cable services please give us a call at 202-635-5100.


Income Tax Credit
Rich Mintz,

Can someone please provide the basic facts on the DC first-time homebuyers' Federal income tax credit I keep hearing about, including the income threshold for phase-out? As far as I can tell I've never met anyone who's taken this credit, but surely there must be someone in this group who has.


Plumber Recommendation
Jeffrey Hops,

I'm looking for a plumber to do a relatively minor job. The last one I used was somewhat less than perfect (in fact this job is to repair the previous plumber's work). Any suggestions?


Yes, Take Care of the Trees!
S. Gerard,

As a confirmed dendrophile, I second Mr. Davidson's call for citizens and businesses to take up watering cans and care for the sapling trees on our streets. They are very much under stress from the current moderate drought, but they need care every season. One of the annoying things about Washingtonians is that they think government should do everything! Instead, we ourselves must do more for our neighborhoods — picking up trash, cleaning the tree boxes, erasing graffiti, straightening bent signs, etc. — and caring for the trees, with regular watering and food. This city is much less shady than it was 20 years ago, and it's our own fault. Ironically, there are a lot of “tree huggers” in this town but not enough true tree lovers.


Upun My Word
Bob Levine,

PRILEP, Yugoslavia (AP) — Outside a small Macedonian village close to the border between Greece and strife torn Yugoslavia, a lone Catholic nun keeps a quiet watch over a silent convent. She is the last caretaker of the site of significant historical developments spanning more than 2,000 years.
When Sister Maria Cyrilla of the Order of the Perpetual Watch dies, the convent of St. Elias will be closed by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Macedonia.However, that isn't likely to happen soon as Sister Maria, 53, enjoys excellent health. By her own estimate, she walks 10 miles daily about the grounds of the convent, which once served as a base for the army of Attila the Hun. In more ancient times, a Greek temple to Eros, the god of love, occupied the hilltop site.
Historians say that Attila took over the old temple in 439 A.D. and used it as a base for his marauding army. The Huns are believed to have first collected and then destroyed a large gathering of Greek legal writs at the site. It is believed that Attila wanted to study the Greek legal system and had the writs and other documents brought to the temple. Scholars differ on why he had the valuable documents destroyed — either because he was barely literate and couldn't read them, or because they provided evidence of democratic government that did not square with his own notion of rule by an all-powerful tyrant.
When the Greek church took over the site in the 15th Century and the convent was built, church leaders ordered the pagan statue of Eros destroyed, so another ancient Greek treasure was lost. Today, there is only the lone sister, watching over the old Hun base, amidst the strife of war torn Yugoslavia, and when she goes, that will be it. Thus, that's how it ends, with no Huns, no writs, no Eros, and nun left on base.


Pool Help
Bob Levine,

Still looking for a good outdoor poll to join in the DC area. Please send your suggestions to and . It's going to be too hot not to be wet.


Still Looking for a Pool?
Kathy Sinzinger,

If you're still looking for an outdoor pool and haven't already checked it out, take a look at PG Pool in Mt. Rainier, Md., about a mile away from D.C.'s Brookland/Catholic University neighborhood. It's a block off Queen's Chapel Road, which is what Michigan Avenue NE becomes when you enter Maryland.

(There's an ad for it, with some description, on page 6 of the May 31st issue of my paper, The Common Denominator. The phone number in the ad is the pool president's home phone number, because it's a co-op and because the part-timers who man the pool office sometimes don't know the answers to the questions. If you've got time, just stop by the pool and ask if you can check it out.)

This isn't a matter of me simply promoting an advertiser. I've been a PG pool member for probably about six years. The bath house is a little ragged around the edges (because it's old), but the pool is huge, well maintained, and the managers/members have a healthy respect for adults who want to be able to swim without dodging splashing kids. The grounds also are wonderful — lots of shade trees and picnic space included — and it's usually about 10 degrees cooler there than within the city limits. It's easy to just pack stuff up for a day or evening and feel like you've escaped D.C. when you walk through the gate there.


June Edition of NARPAC, Inc. Web Site Adds a Touch of Art
Len Sullivan,

The National Association to Restore Pride in America's Capital has revised its web site for June (See “What's New?” at ) with new headline summaries, correspondence, and links to two more relevant web sites. The recent analysis of opportunities “East of the Anacostia” now has some photographs added. In a major new initiative to “lighten up,” the site has opened galleries by three very different Washington artists portraying different aspects of contemporary Washington life. Suggestions for additions are welcome.

NARPAC's latest editorial view, entitled “OK, Congress, It's Your Turn to Help Our Nation's Capital,” returns to the basic issue of too much micromanagement and too little macromanagement. Instead of treating DC like some sort of Congressional plantation, we challenge Congress to respond to DC's new Administration and new budget by: a) resisting the urge to perpetuate a non-relevant appropriations process; b) focusing on the broader issues of DC representation and urban blight; and c) laying the groundwork to replace the four “dregs” oversight subcommittees next year with a single Joint Committee of the Congress, comprised of members free from local conflicts of interest. While DC lacks any rational foundation to seek statehood, it clearly should not be denied the right to develop “metrohood.” C'mon over and take a look.


Jewish Singles
Galey Modan,

Okay, this is kind of a nit-picky point, but I was struck by the number of messages that said that the Jewish singles postings were not discriminatory because the events didn't limit attendance to Jews. Well, technically this may be true — as Clare Feinson said, I doubt that they check credentials at the door. However (and I say this from a Jewish perspective), I think the intention of these events is to provide a forum for Jews to meet each other, and I can imagine that they might be fairly exclusionary and not particularly gentile friendly. This does not necessarily equate with discrimination for me, because I think that certainly groups which are not hate groups should be able to advertise their events in public spaces. But I don't think the is-it-discrimination-or-not argument should rest on whether or not the group has an exclusive membership. I'd be interested to hear perspectives on this issue from someone who actually organizes these Jewish singles events and knows more about them than I do.

As for the “spade is a spade” argument: Whether or not “spade” in this expression was an ethnic slur historically/etymologically, in our time the term “spade” is very clearly an ethnic slur, and so it would not be surprising if people were offended by the expression — we interpret language based on our experiences, not on what the OED might or might not say. I think instead of operating on some abstract political principle like “I am against PC language,” it's better to think, do you really want to go around offending people? I've been known to curse, for example, but it I know someone is offended by curses then I won't use them around that person, out of respect and courtesy — even if I think there's nothing wrong with cursing. I think part of living in a society with other people is trying to be sensitive to others and trying not to hurt people's feelings. (Okay, unless there's a really overriding reason to do it. ;) ) And if that means not using an expression that might offend someone, even if such offense is not backed up by etymological theory, I'm happy not to use the expression in question — especially when there are generally myriad other ways of saying the same thing! Just tell it like it is.


Jewish Singles Events
Michael Goldstein

I will have to follow the line of most radio hosts when someone complains about what they are saying and how they disagree. The response just about every time is “so don't listen and change the station.” The postings in themail are not racist and is a forum to discuss the things and happenings in the area. By no means are our parties (I am the guy who runs the one in the ad) or other similar Jewish groups not let in or segment others who are not Jewish and want to come to a party. Yes, the idea of the parties are to get Jewish singles together just like there are many Christian, Asian, Black, Gay, and Muslim groups who do this as well. During our biggest party of the year on Christmas Eve where 2,000 attend, there are many who who are not Jewish because it is like a class reunion, nothing else open, and nothing else to do. We do not turn anyone away or check if they are Jewish ;-) Please... the postings of events like this are by no means racist or discriminatory and if it was then so would a posting for a chili cook-off, where I would be offended because I do not like chili.


Discrimination: While We're at It...
Mike Livingston,

As we all stare at our computers reading an email debate about whether E-mail announcements of Jewish singles events were discriminatory, may I point out that all E-mail classifieds discriminate against the tens of thousands of D.C. citizens who do not have regular access to the Internet? Sure, you can sign up for access time at some public libraries. But the leisure time to do so is a luxury most likely enjoyed by those of us who can also afford computers. I don't mean to belittle the concerns of folks who object to social events intended for adherents of one religion or another, but let's not pretend we live in a society that's serious about egalitarianism.


God Bless Us All, and May We Love All of our Children
Mark Richards, Dupont East,

The last issue of themail demonstrated once again that DC is hypersensitive to diversity issues. A “random event” in hyperspace has reminded me that we need not fight imaginary demons — there are plenty of real ones. Let me explain: I received an unsolicited E-mail from someone who thanked me for subscribing to the newsletter of the “American Front.” (I did NOT subscribe!) Out of curiosity, I clicked on and looked around. One of their slogans is “Power, wealth, and arms in the hands of the people.” Now, I have a strong libertarian streak and am a staunch defender of free speech (hey, I want to know what people are thinking). And I think people should associate with and marry whom they like. But, when I read the ideas presented on this web site, I feel sad. And happy to live in DC. I do not feel threatened here — DC is a very tolerant community. Although segregated in many ways, we openly discuss identity issues, point out sensitivities, and accept differences. We are and can continue to be a great multiethnic community where everyone can find a place. But let's fight real, not imaginary demons. We could start by reducing the inequities between our 120 neighborhoods ... how can we do that??

Here is a partial DIRECT QUOTE from an interview on the web site above, whose writers sign off with "Long Live Death" and who advocate “national freedom, social justice, economic freedom, respect for nature, popular rule, an armed people, and revolution, not reform”: “JP: American Front is a Revolutionary organization whose aim is to secure National Freedom and Social Justice for the White people of North America. An important part of this goal is also making sure our people's cultural and Racial identity is preserved. We see the creation of the National Revolutionary Nation on the soil of North America as the stepping stone to a New Dawn for mankind. This is Babylon currently, the throne of the beast, to use spiritual terms for a very real situation, and victory here would most likely ensure victory
on a worldwide basis. We work in complete unity with our National Revolutionary comrades internationally... WRM: The media refers to the American Front and like National Revolutionaries as ‘White supremacists.’ How would you respond to this claim? JP: I am far from a White supremacist. To me a White supremacist is a reactionary of the worst kind. He focuses his energies on symptoms rather than the disease itself. The disease is the System — International Capitalism — NOT those who are as exploited, often as badly or worse, as White workers are by it.. . . American Front and I stand against race-mixing because we recognize it as a destabilizing force Culturally and physically. This is a positive stance not a negative one.” End of quote. WHAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE????



House for Rent
Ann Bond,

Charming, small, one bedroom house on Capitol Hill, great location, 1 block from Eastern Market. $900.00/mo. Available early in July. Please E-mail with name, phone, and general info:


Room Wanted
Anna Corfield,

I'm a graduate student of International Affairs in California looking for a room to sub-let near GW from mid June to August 31st. I don't smoke and I'm considerate and outgoing. I'm looking to find a place that's furnished for $400-$500 a month. Please call Anna at (619) 638-7856 or email me at .


Apartment for Rent
Bruce Snyder, Adams Morgan,

One bedroom apartment, 614 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, MD. 860 sq. ft. ww, dw, walk-in closet, 12 ft. of closet in BR, 6 ft. linen closet, wooden shutters. Available June 30. $750.00 including utilities. Call (202) 234-1250.



Temporary Bilingual Secretary Wanted
Jon Katz,

My trial law firm seeks a bilingual (fluent Spanish-English) temporary secretary to perform full-time or part-time work from June 11-18. If interested, the temporary secretary will also be considered for a permanent part-time position that opens in July. Please send or fax me your resume and cover letter: Jon Katz, Marks & Katz, LLC, 1400 Spring St., Suite 410, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 495-4300; Fax: (301) 495-8815.



Housesitter Available
Ashley Boyd,

Are you looking for someone to house sit for you this summer? If so, let's talk. I am seeking opportunities to house/apartment sit during the months of June, July and August. I am only interested in stays of 3 weeks or longer. Access to public transportation is a must. I am happy to take care of pets and/or gardens. Enjoy your vacation knowing your house or apartment is secure and well maintained while you are gone! Replies should go to or 202-328-3830.


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