There are few new topics in this issue, but lots of replies, including
suggestions for two places to get gelato. Just in time.
Can anyone comment on the opening of the new neighborhood that replaced
the Ellen Wilson dwellings? (On Capitol Hill, bounded by G and I Streets, 6th and7th
Streets, SE.) My sister and I were down there taking a nostalgia tour of our childhood
haunts, and were thrilled at how beautiful the new blocks were. But it occurred to me that
there was some controversy about how many low income families would actually be able to
live there, that most of the homes would still go to middle and upper income families. Any
word? What's the scoop?
The State of Metro Washington
John Whiteside, email@example.com
Larry Seftor's suggestion about northern Virginia and the Maryland burbs
joining DC is unlikely but not ridiculous. This northern Virginian would be glad to see
his home of Arlington joining a new state that included the District, Montgomery, Prince
George's, Alexandria, Fairfax, etc. I'd rather have Anthony Williams in charge of my
government than Jim Gilmore any day.
With regard to [Larry Seftor's message], I too would like to see more
regional cooperation possibly even a consideration of tax base sharing. On
Wednesday, July 28th, The Brookings Institution had an excellent presentation on The
State of Growth in Greater Washington, D.C. by Myron Orfield with a reactions panel
afterwards. Orfield's conclusion is that this region can grow in two distinct ways: the
one we are following where most public sector decisions are made by individual counties
and the state and federal governments a path that will leave certain places and
people in the region further and further behind and exacerbate traffic congestion and
environmental degradation or a road less traveled of a high level of regional
Contact Rebecca Over at Brookings 202-797-6139 to get a copy of the report
A Region Divided: The State of Growth in Greater Washington, D.C. and to be
put on the list to receive word about future discussions of this topic which may
include tax base sharing. To get further information on tax base sharing, contact Bruce
Katz, Director of the Center on Urban & Metropolitan Policy at Brookings 202-797-6139.
[The Orfield report and associated reports by George Grier and by Mark
Rubin and Margery Austin Turner are available on-line at http://www.brookings.edu/es/urban/dc/dcinitiative.htm
To Jeffrey Itell: Welcome to the lovely world of reverse
commuting. (Reverse of what?) As a three-year veteran (DC and Arlington to Dulles), I can
empathize. You are working in the epicenter of the traffic disaster. Your best friends are
now NPR, Books on Tape, your favorite music stored in the glove box, and a cell phone so
you can call friends from I-66 to explain that you'll be late.
By the way it's getting worse. Thanks to unending development, it
is now impossible to go anywhere in the vicinity of Reston Town Center at lunchtime
it's easier to park in Dupont Circle on a Saturday. I imagine Tyson's is even worse. And
don't be fooled by the annual We're going to extend Metro! discussions. It's a
regular ritual, but does not lead to action. Ah, the relaxations of suburban life ...
nothing like the stress of living in the walkable neighborhoods built for human beings
where most of us reside. The only wisdom I can offer from observing this is, People
are crazy. Especially oustside the Beltway.
DCs Own Hall of [Fame/Shame]
Mark Richards, Dupont East, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not part of a Boss Shepherd fan club, and can even
understand why the Pothole King and his gang might have ripped down the statue ... seems
to be what groups do when they've been oppressed for long periods and gain power ... the
colonials ripped down likenesses of King George and melted them into weapons. Personally,
I prefer to keep history intact and let each generation make moral judgments. I think the
Boss was used by Congress and local white elites as an excuse to remove local black and
working class participation from public decision making. The Boss was probably somewhat
corrupt, but had he not plowed forward to improve the rotten road conditions left by Civil
War and a slumlord Congress, my neighborhood might look very different ... and we probably
would have lost home rule for another excuse (what the Plenary Power gives it can take
debt is always a good in, eh...?). Loss of home rule in DC was the SYMBOLIC
national end of Reconstruction and beginning of Jim Crow. Home Rule/Mayor
Barry was the symbolic end of Jim Crow. Where are we now? Partly up to us and fellow
Americans DC united against neo-Nazis is a good sign. If anybody can find it, bring
Shepherd's likeness back, and add our other Executives to a Hall of (you decide)
Fame/Shame in the John Wilson building. (And while at it, please add a plaque to our
previous City Hall which the feds now occupy and note that DC residents put that sculpture
of Lincoln in the front.) DC citizens seem to vacillate between courageous or in-your-face
leaders and ones who appease Congress in hopes of bringing home dollars. Thus far, neither
type has brought Equal Constitutional Rights.
For a little flavor of the Boss, here's an interview published in the New
York World (January 21, 1876): Now Governor, what about the charges that there
was fraud in the contracts for these improvements and in some of the improvements
themselves? Every such charge is a mistake or a lie. As for me, I have a wife
and six babies in the house here. I don't purpose that my children shall ever have to
acknowledge their father a thief. In point of fact there was no stealing, in my belief, by
anybody. Notwithstanding the reckless charges made, no one accusing me has put his finger
on a single specific fraud. For three years all the papers relating to the work in every
part of the district passed through my hands. I frequently examined more than one thousand
papers a day. Thus I kept myself familiar with every detail. In that way I was able to
prevent fraud or theft, and to choke scandals which were not kept alive by sheer
falsehood.... I personally overlooked the expenditures for every part of this work. And I
pushed the work, too work which had to be done and which no one else had had the
courage to undertake.
In former years, when the railroad tracks ran right across
Pennsylvania avenue in front of the iron fence which surrounded the old Capitol Park, I
had seen the approach to the Capitol blockaded repeatedly by cattle trains, so that
carriages full of people in waiting occupied a whole square. So, one night, I organized a
gang of men and tore up the track. I did that without authority of law, but it was the
right thing to do, and the nuisance would not otherwise have been removed. With similar
disregard of red tape I did away with the wretched old market building which stood in the
centre of what is now Mount Vernon square, at the junction of Seventh Street and
The damned old shed was so hideous that it had to come down,
and I so notified the proper authorities. They immediately engaged counsel and arranged
for an injunction the next day. I heard of this in season and got a friend to take the old
judge then in the city out for a drive. I told him to return late. The Judge went with my
friend. While they were away I pulled the market down. Really, however, I had the best
sanction. A law had been on the statute books of the District for fifteen years
authorizing and instructing the Commissioner of Public Buildings to remove the building.
He had never availed himself of his privilege under the law. You would hardly recognized
the site of the ancient nuisance to-day. That afternoon the Chief of Police sent me word
to beware of a mob. That night fifteen Negroes armed themselves with muskets, came to my
house and offered to guard it. The darkies were always very good friends of mine.
In case you're wondering about the present whereabouts and condition of
the Boss Shepherd statue, I can report that as of early 1999 it is in the good hands of
the Department of Public Works, behind a chain link fence off Shepherd Parkway near D.C.
Village, standing upright and in apparently good condition.
[In response to Gloria White,] I absolutely agree that certification is
not the only answer and that schools have probably missed out on some wonderful teachers;
however, what do you say to the 693 students who failed their algebra exams because they
were taught by uncertified teachers and then passed when the certified teachers took over
(this was covered extensively by the Times-Picayune). I dare say that any of
those teachers were lawyers who decided to go into teaching instead. I looked into
teaching at a private school and the salary although small was generally higher than at a
D.C. public school. I have two friends who teach at private schools. They just graduated
from college and are teaching because they do not know what else to do, and not because
they love children. They decided to
teach at private schools precisely because they did not have to be certified. There are
always exceptions to rules like your math friend but I must say you need a
license to drive, hunt, fish etc., don't you think it is wise to license people who want
to teach children and be around them all day? The hassle and pain of teaching in a public
school both in the inner city and the suburbs generally makes teaching there not that
attractive to many people. Many times it is a question of discipline and not teaching. The
teachers do not have as many freedoms and perks as private school teachers.
Schools like Cardozo would never be able to compete for teachers with the Georgetown Days
and Sidwell Friends of the world. So certification is not the only answer, but it
Quick, Phone! Get That Felon to a Cell
Charlie Wellander, jfa-cwr@CapAccess.org
That disputed dead zone in the park which may cull cell calls
is featured in David Montgomery's excellent article in Monday's Post http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-08/09/109l-080999-idx.html
. Wait, what is pictured in the front page color photo of that Metro section? Why, it
appears to be a public-spirited citizen attempting to report an illegally unleashed dog in
Rock Creek Park (actually, the dog is in Rock Creek, period). Gee, if very many cell phone
users would be helping to clean up this admittedly out of control law enforcement problem,
perhaps we should reconsider our towering opposition to that amendment of Senator Tom
What we've got here is failure to communicate Daschle. Oh yes, one mark of
excellence for Mr. Montgomery's article is that he names themail@dcwatch
as a source.
In a public relations ploy Metro has now convinced some radio stations to
include Metro rail status as part of radio traffic reports. Generally I think that this is
a positive trend, as getting information to people is good. However, Metro has missed the
mark somewhat in the information they choose to share. What would be more useful to riders
would be reporting of that Metro resource in shortest supply parking. Telling
riders, for example, that there are 50 spaces left at Shady Grove and none left at Vienna
would be useful information worthy of being included in a traffic report.
DMV Service Outstanding All Deserve Minimum
Mark Richards, East Dupont, email@example.com
Renewal of drivers license took one hour at the 616 H Street NE location
(only handles renewals). Mayor Barry's name, covering Kelly's name, is still on door (who
cares, we know who's who). Building could use some maintenance paint (the round
smudges on the wall from people sitting on chairs and leaning head are kinda funny);
sterile, meager, but adequate facility/work environment no luxury offices here.
There were about thirty people in license renewal line when it opened at 11 am they
were out by noon. Everyone passed through metal detector; there were a couple of security
guards, who also directed people to the right line/service, gave out forms, and answered
questions at the door, one to review forms while in line, two doing the eye test and
checking for tickets, etc., one cashier, one photo person. ALL very professional, upbeat,
didn't waste any time, worked together, and kept the system moving. Citizens were also in
pretty good mood. District of Columbia is cut off at the top of my new
license... equipment may need servicing. Only thing that changed on license since last
renewal: my weight, up 15 lbs. Cab driver told me he got his in 15 minutes.
As a follow on to Susan Ousley's note of August 8, the Garrison School is
still proceeding the heavy construction work is complete, the playground equipment
purchased by the Hudgens Foundation has been delivered and is ready for installation by
DCPS and the landscaping (by Rupperts Nurseries) will be installed on Wednesday, August
18. If you remember the way it was, stop by and see how it is! The school is located
between R & S on Vermont.
What Now with D.C.P.S.?
Richard Stone Rothblum, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip (Father of Hattie) Blair, Jr., reported in the classified section
of themail that, A motley, no-name group of parents and taxpayers has put together a
City-Wide Public Forum on the Governance of D.C. Public Schools, to be held at the
UDC Auditorium, moderated by Dr Mary Futrell. Since Mr. Blair is a World Bank employee,
and likely a newcomer, perhaps he is not aware that a Mary Futrell was president of the
National Education Association during the years when that teachers' union presided over
the demise of public education in this country. If this is the same person, I do not
expect that the results of such a forum, run by one who represents an organization that
puts teachers' jobs and class and racial ideology ahead of children's welfare, will have a
positive effect on education in this city. In any case, the folksy, motley, no-name
group seems a bit misleading. Give this event a miss.
If you are interested in guitar lessons, here are some tips: for
beginners, call Rodney Richardson, 202-966-0384. For the next level and even more
professional, call Peter Richardson, 804-923-0659. Peter lives in Charlottesville, VA, but
comes to DC to give lessons periodically (very often). He is patient, has a good ear, and
is a fun person. You can, if you wish, let either of them know that Erica recommended them
to you. Good luck.
Re: where is there a good gelato in DC? You know, I often ask myself the
same question. I come from Italy (Milano), and have found only one good gelateria in the
area! It's in Charlottesville. The name of the parlor is Chaps, 804-977-4139. Does anyone
want to start a delivery service from Charlottesville to DC?
Thanks to the people who responded to my gelato query. I just got some
great gelato from Yasaman in. Rockville's Ritchie Shopping Center (Route 355 and Ritchie
Parkway; 301/762-5416). The nearby bakery of the same name has some cool-looking sweets.
Painter Recommendation Wanted
Liz Spurgin, ESpurgin@aol.com
Anyone know of a good painter? I have several small projects in my house.
Looking for someone good, reliable, reasonable, etc. I know this topic has been discussed
here fairly recently, but the one painter that was recommended didn't show up to do the
Check Out the GreenStreets Web Site
Mara Cherkasky, email@example.com
GreenStreets Initiative, an urban forestry group in Mount Pleasant and
Columbia Heights, invites you to visit our new Web site, which contains DC street tree
regulations, a database of street trees in Mount Pleasant and parts of Columbia Heights,
ideas for educational activities for elementary schools, and more. Please look us up at http://www.greenstreets.org and give us your
AmeriCorps Positions Available
Ernest M. Yombo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you just graduated from high school or college, and don't have
anything lined up? If so, The Latin American Youth Center is now seeking motivated
individuals between the ages of 18-29 who want to make a difference in the community and
earn $$ for school. Come and see what MANY/AmeriCorps has to offer you!
Pre-recruitment Orientation: 1419 Columbia Road, NW, Saturday, August 14,
1999, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. For more information don't hesitate to call 319-8640 or
First floor (above ground) efficiency in rowhouse at 7th and A SE. Eastern
Market, subway, charm. $700, plus utilities. E-mail: email@example.com
; or call at home, 202-544-7272.
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, firstname.lastname@example.org
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
WHOSE HOME RULE? Beyond the ritual temper-tantrum known as her wild woman
routine, Eleanor Holmes Norton has patented one other innovation during her five terms as
D.C.'s congressional delegate. Norton's one-strike rule amounts to a vow never
to judge any policy passed down by the city's elected officials. Once something becomes
District law, the delegate sees it solely as a matter of home rule, and dedicates herself
to protecting it on the Hill.
The system works, most of the time. But for issues where the city government isn't pulling
together to beat back some affront to local democracy, Norton needs to hire her own I-team
to figure out where to stand.
Read the entire Loose Lips column here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early
warnings for upcoming events:
FRIDAY: Jailhouse Rock, with Charles and Ray Eames' The Fiberglass
Chairs at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress' Pickford Theater, 1st &
Independence Avenue SE. Free.
SATURDAY: Exploring the Sky, an evening of communal stargazing in Rock Creek
Park. Meet at 8:30 p.m. at Rock Creek Park, in the parking lot at Glover & Military
Roads NW. Free.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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