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November 21, 1999

Even Stupider

Dear Quipsters:

This issue is long; I'll be short. If I wrote anything longer, I'd probably write something stupid. Given the first contributions, below, what phrases can you add to describe a stupid Washingtonian? One contributor who asked to remain anonymous suggested, "the guy's a 404" (translation for non-techies: http code for “file not found”).

Gary Imhoff


Reports Taken
Stan Wellborn,

List of quotes reportedly taken from actual Federal employee performance evaluations:

Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.
I would not allow this employee to breed.
This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be.
Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.
He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.
This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
This employee should go far, and the sooner she starts, the better.
A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.
He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless.
He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier.
I would like to go hunting with him sometime.
He's been working with glue too much.
She would argue with a signpost.
She has a knack for making strangers immediately.
He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.
When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.
If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one.
A prime candidate for natural deselection.
Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.
Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.
If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change.
It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.
One neuron short of a synapse.
Takes him 2 hours to watch 60 minutes.


Stupid Washingtonians
Kelly O’Meara,

Submitted on behalf of a friend and expatriate Washingtonian, Lauren White:

One dress short of a full laundry load. (Thank you, Monica!)
One state short of a Union.
One Mayor short of a drug cartel. (Thank you, Marion!)
Five cents short of a Metro fare.
One parking ticket short of The Boot.
An ego short of a Senate quorum call.

I like her last one the best!


Implications of Stupidity
Dennis A. Dinkel,

For your contest on how to tell if a Washingtonian is stupid:



You Want Stupid?
Al Hattal,

You want stupid? How about: He's so stupid, he'd rather live in Los Angeles. Or New York. I've lived in all three cities and, believe me, as Belafonte would say: Washington is smar-TER. (I miss you guys — and, duh, gals.)


Thanks for a Little Humor
Margaret Siegel,

You're missing:

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
Not the brightest bulb in the pack


Ed Kane,

Doesn't have all the slats in his/her fence


Quell Those Stakeholders
Charlie Wellander,

I like Lea Adams's take (the mayor's not moving) on that headline “Mayor Moves to Quell Critics.” But what about the original meaning of “quell” which is “to torment, torture, or kill”? Incidentally, “quell” is derived from the same Old English word “cwellan” which gives us “kill.”

Also, the word “stakeholder” has been around since the early eighteenth century, meaning the disinterested holder of the stakes in a wager. A more recent meaning is given in Webster's Third as “a person entrusted with the custody of property or money that is the subject of litigation or of contention between rival claimants in which the holder claims no right or property interest.” Clearly all the recorded meanings of “stakeholder” require disinterestedness in the stakeholder. The recent (too recent for any dictionaries I have) antonymous meaning of “an interested party” is just another example of politicians or bureaucrats taking a perfectly good word and turning it inside out and upside down for their own obfuscatory purposes. Remember Newspeak, the official language of Oceania, in Orwell's 1984?


In Defense of Phil Mendelson
Peggy Robin,

That excerpt from the Loose Lips column that Dave Nuttycombe posted in the last issue of themail really calls for a response, even though it appeared, for some reason, with the classified ads. The attack on Phil Mendelson (at-large councilmember) is just mean sniping. I don't know anything about the specifics of the Ellington teachers' parking relief legislation Phil introduced, so I'm not going to defend him on that issue; I'm just responding to his description of Phil as “the council's procedural Barney Fife, a process fanatic,” which I suppose he thinks is clever but which I think comes off more as school yard taunting and name calling. Anyone who knows Phil will tell you he pays meticulous attention to detail. But that's a large part of what makes him effective — in marked contrast to certain other members of the council, who talk about big issues, but don't care to get involved in the nitty-gritty of how laws actually play out in real life. His knowledge of this city and its procedures is encyclopedic: that's his main strength, and anyone who sneers at it must be content to accept the slipshod, careless way the council has so often gone about its business in the past.


Kudos to Mark Plotkin
Ed T. Barron,

There has probably been no one more tenacious and zealous in pursuing a cause than the WAMU radio commentator Mark Plotkin. Mark has been the driving force in getting the District Building on Pennsylvania Avenue reassigned to the District for the offices of the Mayor, City Council members and their voluminous staff.

You see Eleanor Holmes Norton taking the bows on the local TV channels, but the real make things happen guy for this one was Mark. He has toiled tirelessly for almost three years since the District gave away the store. Plotkin persuaded Jack Evans to send a letter to the POTUS that was signed by all the City Council members, requesting his support in returning the building to the District. That, and pressure on the GSA, turned out to be quite timely since the District can now afford the rent that they will have to pay. The rent of nearly $8M per year must be paid for many years to allow the developer who invested his money (along with borrowed monies that he must pay back) to recoup his investment. Great job, Mark.


Anthony Appleseed
Ed T. Barron,

Mayor Anthony Williams is in quest of a legacy by announcing that he wants to plant enough trees in the coming years to restore the city to its former position as the “City of Trees.” One of the things that most impressed me some 12 years ago, when I was exploring the city to decide where I wanted to live in the District, was the abundance of large trees in the urban neighborhoods of NW D.C. A couple of years ago the city planted a slew of trees along Massachusetts Avenue in the AU Park/Spring Valley seam. Count many (and perhaps most) of these tress in the list of 4000 trees that died in the past year. Why? Because trees need water, and a lot of water until they are fully established. It is not practical to assume that the city could keep up with the watering of these trees. Before the city plants any tree they should get a commitment from the owner of the property abutting the location where the tree will be planted to water and care for that tree.

The folks who use Turtle Park know how to care for their new plantings (which dramatically improve the looks of this nice little park). They have folks sign up to water the new plantings for a given week in the season when plants, shrubs and new trees need water. If you get a new tree in front of your property, please water it and care for it. Anthony Appleseed's legacy is at stake.


When 911 Doesn't Answer
Annie McCormick,

I called 911 to report loud arguing and fighting next door to my unit in my apartment building at 16th and U Streets on a Sunday morning in late October, early November of last fall. I called at 8:45 am. The police NEVER showed up. I guess since it was “only a domestic” that they didn't bother. (FYI — in 1994 I called to report that an ex-girlfriend of a roommate had come into an apartment and stolen and vandalized my belongings. I overheard the police officer tell another that it was “only a domestic.” Yet, for “only a domestic” they spent over 2 hours at the apartment — doing absolutely nothing. They took exactly 2 photographs of the “crime scene.” I never was able to contact that officer who took the report ever again, when I called over 25 times over the next 3 months she was out of the office, not in that day, on another assignment, working a different division, etc., etc. I was told that even though I knew who had done the damage, I could not prove it, even though my roommate saw the “suspect” do the damage.)


An Open Letter to Police Chief Ramsey Concerning Public Safety
Paul Yandura, Dupont Circle,

There is a serious problem involving the blatant disregard for District law and the safety of District residents and children that continues to be ignored by your department. Over the past year I have personally witnessed over nine separate moving traffic violations perpetrated by the K Street Domino's Pizza moped delivery drivers. The violations range from running red lights to driving down the sidewalk in front of a school where children were present to driving down one-way streets the wrong way. After witnessing each incident I have called, and written, the President, Vice President, District Manager and Store Manager of the K Street Domino's Pizza to convey my grave concern. I also took the time to call and report it to your police department. I am now being treated as if I am the problem by both Domino's Pizza and your department staff.

What saddens me most is the fact that the Domino's Pizza management and moped delivery drivers have received a clear message from your police department that these violations are acceptable. After explaining the situation to your departmental staff I was consistently met with a “if no one got hurt, then what is the big deal” attitude. It was only after I pressed the issue that I was promised that an officer would be sent out to the K Street store. Even though I have called and reported Domino's Pizza nine times, to my knowledge, not once has anyone from your department even attempted to contact Domino's Pizza. Domino's, therefore, has heard the message loud and clear — their blatant disregard for District laws and the safety of District residents and children is acceptable.

On November 17, 1999, I witnessed another incident where a Domino's moped delivery driver ran two red lights and was almost side-swiped running the second light. I left messages for the Third District Police Department Commander, Lieutenant, and Sergeant — to explain the depth of this problem, but have never had any of my calls returned. My question to you is, “What will it take for your department to take this matter seriously? Will some District child need to be killed or pedestrian hurt before this situation is taken seriously?” Domino's Pizza has made it clear that they want to ignore this issue, but the police department as well? Police Chief Ramsey, once someone gets hurt it will be too late. Now is the time to enforce the laws of the District. As a resident of the District I am counting on you to take care of this serious situation before someone gets hurt. I hope you will respond to these concerns in a timely and efficient manner.


Fire Call Boxes
Paul K. Williams,

I am coordinating an effort for the Heritage Tourism Coalition surrounding the future of those Fire and Police Call Boxes that we see all over the District, but that have not been used for some time. There are over 1,000 of these little treasures in various states of repair. We have been working with DPW to ensure that they are not systematically destroyed until we get a reading from community members about a) how many are in your community, b) a neighborhood contact to act as clearinghouse for a larger, city-wide effort, d) an estimate of cost for refurbishment, and d) your ideas on what to do with them!

Current ideas have ranged from artists decorating each one (ala the Chicago cows), to refurbishment and sign inserts of historical tidbits in the boxes. Interestingly, these gems have been refurbished before; the bases are the old Washington Gas Street lamps which were cut down and replaced with the Call Box. We have quite a few neighborhoods already committed to the project. I need your help in being a neighborhood contact for an upcoming city-wide meeting to discuss ideas for their preservation! Please contact me via E-mail and post your ideas to themail.


Road Termites & “Tech City”
Ann Loikow,

Nick Keenan of Shaw asked about the item in the Post last week about how telecommunications companies are cutting up streets in the District. The Council — in fact four committees, Public Works (Carol Schwartz), Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (Sharon Ambrose), Economic Development (Charlene Drew Jarvis), and Government Operations (Kathy Patterson) — held a joint public oversight hearing Wednesday, November 17, on "the building of a local infrastructure that will support the development of the District as ‘Tech City,’ . . . while protecting both the existing physical infrastructure of streets and roadways from construction projects and schedules that may be disruptive to the quiet enjoyment of neighborhoods and the necessary traffic of business and ensuring that streets and roadways are returned to prior standards.” The hearing lasted 6 hours and I was the only citizen witness (and last on the agenda!), representing ANC 3C.

It was clear from the Councilmembers' comments that their constituents have been bombarding them with complaints about the “road termites” (a.k.a. telecommunications and utility companies) who are tearing up our streets, particularly those we have finally, after years of waiting, had reconstructed or repaired. It was also very clear that the city government has done very little planning for the coming telecommunications revolution and has not managed it well. As with zoning and land use issues, so far the rule has been that whatever the companies want, D.C. will let them do, and oversight so far (in part the result of years of cutting staff and other resources in DPW and the Office of Planning and related areas) has been slight.

We urgently need the government to plan how to handle — and develop policies, guidelines, and regulatory requirements for — the cell towers, antennas, fiber optic cable (whether laid below ground on strung on poles (we had one crack from the weight of the new cable in our area) this new information age is bringing. We need to figure out ways to guarantee that the District — all parts of it — get the ability to take advantage of the best technology (not just what is cheapest or most expedient for a single particular vendor), while at the same time making sure that the way in which this infrastructure is installed does not damage the environment or our historic heritage (as in Bell Atlantic Mobile's proposed cell towers for Rock Creek Park) or destroy our hard-won and taxpayer paid for physical instrastructure (i.e., our newly paved and repaired streets, alleys, and other public rights of way). ANC 3C suggested a number of ways this could be done. Other ANCs, citizens and citizen groups need to weigh in quickly on this issue. It is a big one for the city. Please contact the above committees with your thoughts (and if you want more info, watch the replay of the hearings on District cable).


DMV Delightful? Not Yet
James Treworgy,

I can't resist sharing my nearly opposite DMV story, which took place on Monday, November 1st. Obviously a Monday and the first of the month could only be bad, but a there are always a few things to learn in the worst situations. I arrived at 9:45 to a 10 minute wait to actually enter the building. I probably should have gone home right then, but I needed tags for my recently acquired vehicle with recently expired out-of-state tags. Absolute chaos. Huge lines snaking around everywhere, hundreds of confused people trying desperately to understand where they should be waiting at the same time as coming to grips with losing several hours of their lives. I finally learn that I don't have to wait in the really long driver's license line, and get a number. “Estimated wait: 2 hours 30 minutes.” Sure enough, almost exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes later, my number is up. How the machine decides to pick numbers is beyond me since they seem to come randomly, with numbers higher than mine occasionally popping up before mine eventually does.

After a very brief and efficient visit with the teller, she tells me I need to wait for my number to come up again until I can pay. Thirty minutes later I suspect I've been had, and walk up to a bored looking cashier who immediately accepts my money. She mumbles something incomprehensible when I demand to know why I was waiting for my number to appear again if I could have just walked up there anytime. After that, it was just a few more minutes of waiting in a third line to collect my plates and I'm on my way home, more than 3 hours later.

On the positive side, I really liked the number system/concept until I was told to wait in vain for my number a second time. It worked pretty well and enabled you to do something other than stand in line for the duration. Also, there was a woman who was trying very hard, and had a very positive attitude, to make sure that everyone got the right forms and lines and so on when they first entered. Without her, I'm sure I would have waited in the endless driver's license line by accident. Overall, despite a 3-hour ordeal, I though it was a lot better than before the numbering system, but they need to either fix it (if my number was actually supposed to come up a second time) or train their people not to tell people to wait a second time.


DMV Improvements: Cause for Celebration
Anne Drissel, Mt. Pleasant,

The detailed descriptions by folks about recent positive experiences at DMV should be cause for celebration. When I returned to DC in 1994 after years of living out of the city, I went through the “classic” DMV persecution. On my 4th unsuccessful trip lacking the “right” piece of documentation, I broke down and cried.

As a member of Tony Williams' “Transition Team” I was assigned to a team to assess the DMV problems. I personally took a clip board and stood (there were no chairs) in the Licensing Office and documented the appalling, insulting, disgraceful operation there. I interviewed numerous people who had equally distressing experiences with that office. Those of us on the Public Works and Public Safety Transition Committee agreed that reform of DMV was one of the key priorities of Tony Williams administration because it seemed to touch the lives of nearly everyone in the city. Congratulations to the staff and leadership at DMV for showing us that “where there's a will, there's a way” that can bring smiles back to the faces of your “customers” — and neighbors! And thanks, Mayor Williams. Keep it up, everyone! We're rooting for you!


The Wrong Side of the Street
Anthony Watts,

About six months ago, I moved from Adams-Morgan to the Dupont Circle area. Often, when I come out of my apartment building in the morning, I will flag down an oncoming cab (on the side of the street heading toward Dupont Circle) to take me to work on Capitol Hill. On approximately 20 or so occasions, a cab driver has informed me that I was on “the wrong side of the street.” When I politely inform them that I have no idea what they are talking about, they have consistently shot back their cab was “obviously” not headed toward the Capitol when I hailed it, and that in the future I should cross the street and hail cabs headed in the “right” direction.

Is there anyone else who has experienced this specific type of incredibly rude behavior from cabbies? (I am frankly not interested in tales of general rrudeness, or “I'm black and they didn't pick me up” stories. Quite frankly, I think that rudeness is almost par for the course in the city; and I'm not interested in talking about racism among cabbies — at least not in this post.) What is utterly amazing about this to me is the complete role-reversal inherent in the thinking of the cabbies involved. The attitude is of doing me some sort of favor, as opposed to upholding their duty to provide a service to the public, in keeping with the license they have received from the city.

Very recently, I have taken to discussing this issue with the cab drivers who bring it up, in the hope of showing them the light. But quite frankly, I do wonder if anyone can shed some light on the procedures available to citizens who wish to file formal complaints about poor behavior in these circumstances. How is it done? And has there ever been a known case of a D.C. cabbie losing his or her license due to repeated, official reports of atrocious customer service? Or am I silly to even ask such a question?


The New Smaller Buses
Gloria White,

The observation that the new buses are louder than the old, longer buses, is right on. I live on a street that had the old buses and has been switched to the new buses. I was initially pleased. However, instead of the longer buses we have many more of the smaller buses and they are incredibly loud. They seem underpowered, and I wonder if improved muffler systems would help. The change to the smaller buses hasn't helped the neighborhood and the noise pollution. I don't know about the wear on the street. It is a disappointment.


Buses in AU Park
Kelly Parden,

While it is nice to have the DC government as an easy target for most municipal misdeeds, I suspect that the procurement office at fault for the loud mini-buses belongs instead to WMATA. Perhaps the posting referred to WMATA's headquarters in the District. Oh well, I guess I'm overly sensitive to unnecessary District bashing.


AAA Responsiveness in Washington
Dante Terrana,

Regarding AAA's responsiveness in DC, I have to come to their defense, although historically their track record has not been overly impressive. Last winter, on the eve of the ice storm, my car succumbed to two flat tires while parked in upper NW near the Van Ness Metro station. I phoned AAA around 9:30 pm, as the ice was forming on the streets. I was informed it may be hours before they could reach me to tow me down the street to a garage due to the storm. I settled in at Cafe di Mama for a late dinner and awaited their call or arrival. To my surprise, AAA called my cell phone within less than 30 minutes to say that their tow truck was beside my car. Sure enough, they were there!


How to Park for Free and Forever in Georgetown
Bill Starrels,

A week ago someone parked a late 50's pink Cadillac across from own condo at a two hour parking meter. The car, with a Maryland tag in the back window and a handicapped sign hanging from the rear view mirror, has become a permanent fixture in our neighborhood. I decided to call the police non emergency number. The nice lady proceeded to switch me to a policeman at 2D. He proceeded to tell me to call 727-1010. I told him that I did and was switched to her. He told me he needed to “educate” me on how things work. He said the car should be towed if there for longer than 72 hours. I asked why I was transferred to him and asked if in this case the operator at 727-1010 was a moron. He agreed. We wished each other a nice evening. I then spotted a DPW ticket police van. I told him about the Caddy. He replied “I work nights.” I suspect the Caddy will be around for a few more days or weeks. So if anyone is interested in old pink Cadillacs, we have one you can view day or night for the foreseeable future here in Georgetown.


Adams v. Clinton Coming to Decision
George S. LaRoche,

As you are well aware, a U.S. District Court three judge panel is considering an historic case: Adams v. Clinton. This landmark case, along with Alexander v. Daley, filed by Corporation Counsel several months after Adams was filed, concerns representation for the citizens of the District. We anticipate a decision on the two cases any day now. The Plaintiffs in Adams will hold a Press Conference as soon as the Court's opinion is issued, and we hope you will join us then.

Adams v. Clinton challenges the continual segregation of the citizens of the District from the remainder of the United States, which results in denial of their constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws and to republican forms of government. The Plaintiffs contend that the citizens of the District of Columbia are entitled to full citizenship, just as is enjoyed by all other Americans. The Plaintiffs seek judgment that Congress violates the Plaintiffs' rights and they seek injunctions to bar Congress from wielding power in a way which violates the citizens' rights. In other words, a decision in our favor means the citizens of the District of Columbia — not Congress — will decide what type of representation they want! You will want to note: Adams v. Clinton is distinct from and antithetical to the case filed by
Corporation Counsel. We don't yet know whether the Court has decided all issues in both cases, but we hope you will be interested in the information that this suit seeking full citizenship for the citizens of the District has reached this milestone. For further information, call me, the Plaintiffs' attorney, at 202-487-3857.


District Cablevision Strikes Again
Mary Bloodworth,

Leila Afzal asks how to get a timely response from District Cablevision. After 6 weeks of trying to get our cable installed, we had had enough of hour-long waits on hold and cable contractors who did not know how to install cable. I wrote a letter to the general manager of Cablevision detailing the history of the problem. I then demanded that a knowledgeable installer come to my house on my terms: Saturday at 1:30 pm. I cc'ed the letter to my DC Councilmember and to the FCC; it is my understanding that the FCC must investigate every complaint that they receive. I used the term “monopoly” in my letter.

The next day I was called by a manager at Cablevision. They were oh so very very sorry for my troubles, and would I like someone to come out now to install that? No, I said, I would like to see them Saturday at 1:30 pm. At the appointed time, two cable technicians arrived and did the job in record time. I don't know if it was the letter itself or the copy to the FCC, but it's certainly worth a try for others in the same frustrating situation. (And yes, our channels have bad reception too, but for now we're just glad to have cable.)


Strike Back at District Cablevision
Brian Reeves,

This is in response to Leila Afzal's posting regarding District Cablevision (11/18). Have you tried calling StarPower? They offer phone/cable/internet services in the DC area. In the interest of full disclosure, I do own a small amount of their stock. But I have been itching to escape DCCable for years. Now it seems that the opportunity is here. StarPower seems to offer a better channel selection at better prices. Their prices are especially good if you bundle (i.e., buy more than one service from them).

I keep using the word “seem” because I do not yet have StarPower cable. They are wiring the city as we speak. But they have started with "key" high density neighborhoods and offer cable service only to apartment buildings for now. They expect to offer cable to homes sometime early next year. Check them out at I don't know anyone that has StarPower cable. Anyone out there have it yet? How's the reception?


Don’t Close UDC — Maintain TCDC = The College of DC
Wayson Lee,

Many who attend UDC cannot get into a University. Like Ed T. Barron says, “Make UDC a two year college.” I agree. Some that I know, who graduated are not doing what college prepared them for. One, an Engineer, works at a sandwich/sub place in Rockville. Another, trained in music, works with Bell Atlantic. I graduated in psychology; I teach drama, I'm a hypnotist, and I'm a movie extra (“The West Wing,” “The Replacements,” HBO next year, “The Corner,” “Homicide — The Movie”). Go figure! Ed T. Barron says I should hypnotize the UDC administration! I'll do my best!


The Post’s Finest Reporting
Steph “Avid reader” Faul, steph@intr.ent

For those of you who either do not read or do not receive the District Weekly section on Thursdays, the Post's finest reporting may be found in the “Animal Watch” column by Donna Mackie. Each item is a miniature drama, perfectly described and hinting at some larger, more complex story. It's easily some of the best writing in the paper, in my opinion. Don't miss it — you suburbanites can find in the “print edition” section of the Post's web site, Check it out next Thursday! Here are some examples from this week's column:

Ferrets Reunited With Owner. Wisconsin Ave. NW, 3600 block, Nov. 1. A man called Animal Control, saying two ferrets were running loose in a grocery store parking lot. An Animal Control officer captured the ferrets and took them to the D.C. Animal Shelter, where their owner reclaimed them.

Dog Attacks U.S. Marshals. Third St. NW, 4800 block, Nov. 1. U.S. Marshals executing an eviction were attacked by the tenants' male mixed-breed chow. To fend off the dog, they kicked it, hit it in the head with a baton, and sprayed it with pepper spray. An Animal Control officer took the dog to a veterinarian for examination and treatment. The dog was being held at the D.C. Animal Shelter pending contact by an owner.

Boa Constrictor Given to Shelter. Fifth St. NW, 1800 block, Nov. 4. A woman asked Animal Control to remove a six-foot-long boa constrictor from her house. She said a male acquaintance had left the snake there several weeks earlier. The snake was given to a reptile rescue group.

Finches Retrieved From Home. 16th St. NW, 3200 block, Nov. 1. Police who found a man dead in his apartment called Animal Control, saying there were three zebra finches in the apartment. Two were in a cage and one was loose in the apartment. The birds were taken to the D.C. Animal Shelter, where they were claimed by a relative of the deceased man.


The Washington Post Is Bad News
Phil Shapiro,

Earlier this year I felt compelled to cancel my subscription to the Washington Post. As I see the world, 50 percent of news in the city is positive, and 50 percent negative. Throughout the city positive news is happening, but you'd never know about it by reading the Post. The Post sees the city as over 90 percent negative, pummeling the city day in and day out. I consider that inaccurate reporting of the truth, and want no part of it.

Just as I wouldn't give money to a bully who punched me in the face every day, I likewise will not give money to a newspaper who metaphorically punches the city in the face every day. All things in the right proportion. The Post has its proportions seriously out of whack, and will continue losing subscribers until it realizes this. I urge all those who love this city to consider sending a message to the bully on 15th street. If you continue paying the bully, he'll continue pummeling you in the face. Start the new millennium right by saying, “Stop it, already!” Change will happen, but you do have to ask for it to happen.


Trader Joe’s Campaign
Mary Vogel,

I am starting a campaign to bring Trader Joe's to H Street, NE. I 'm asking all readers of themail , especially those familiar with Trader Joe's, to help me by writing to Trader Joe's Northeast representative, Margaret McDonald; 938 Highland Ave.; Needham Heights, MA 02494, (781) 433-0234 FAX (781) 433-0746.

Just send a brief note (or make a phone call) saying that you would support a store on H Street NE, one of the Nation's Capital's “Enterprise Zones.” The fact that H Street NE is in an enterprise zone will give Trader Joe's special tax advantages. Bill Barrows at the H Street Community Development Corporation will be happy to work with them on finding an affordable site. His number is 202-544-8353. Not only would Trader Joe's be affordable to existing residents, but it would also help to bring up the area by bringing folks from all over Capitol Hill — and perhaps all over the city — to shop there, and by bringing many who work in the considerable number of office buildings along North Capitol Street across the H Street bridge on their lunch hour and after work. Stress that, since the area north of Union Station is likely to see even greater development in the near future, H Street would be a very smart business investment for Trader Joe's.

I feel sure that it would have a positive impact on existing businesses on H Street and encourage further investment there by other businesses. Please help me in my grassroots effort at economic development in my area — the H Street Corridor — by writing/calling Margaret Needham. (For those of you NOT familiar with Trader Joe's, it has a number of organic, vegetarian and gourmet items at anywhere between 30-50% less than the overpriced whole food stores like Yes! and Fresh Fields. It has plenty of “evil” foods as well. It's a medium-sized store, larger than Yes! but smaller than Fresh Fields. TJ's has three locations in N.VA and one in Rockville, MD. Go to their web site,, for locations and maps to get there.


Bully Pulpit
Ann Carper,

I received this posting from an alumni listserv and invite readers to respond directly to Rachel Simmons if you or your daughters have faced the “bully” issue: “I graduated from Vassar College in 1996, and I am currently writing a book about female cruelty and bullying in the school years. The book, under contract with a major New York publishing house, explores the distinctive ways in which girls are psychologically cruel to one another. I rely heavily on interviews with girls and their parents, adult women who were former bullies or victims, and other experts in the field, including teachers. I am writing to you because I need more access to girls and their parents. I urge you to please forward this message to friends and family who might be interested. If you are the parent of a girl who is being bullied or is a bully, I hope you will consider contacting me for an interview. Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or suggestions. Thank you in advance for your time and help. Rachel Simmons at”



The Society of Young Jewish Professionals
Michael Goldstein

The Society of Young Jewish Professionals, for ages 21-49, sponsors of the Matzo Ball at LuLu's, the nation's number one holiday party on Christmas Eve, presents the Turkey Trot. Wednesday, November 24th, at LuLu's, 21st and M Streets. Doors open at 8 pm. Directions, call 301-718-4030. The party will feature dancing, hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, lots of Jewish singles. Cost is $10 before 10 pm and $15 after 10 pm, so get there early! Any questions or comments, contact us at, or call us at 202-452-5541. Please visit our web page at


Lowell School Lecture Series
Saskia van Groningen,

Thursday September 2,1999, at 8 pm, Beverly Daniel Tatum will be discussing her book: Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. This lecture is part of Lowell School's 10th Anniversary Lecture Series and will be held at the Washington Hebrew Congregation at the corner of Massachusetts and Macomb Street, NW. For information or to order tickets call 202 577-2001. Tickets are $12, or $20 for the series. The second lecture is held April 6th. The speaker will be Kevin Jennings talking about making schools safe for gay and lesbian youth.



Christmas in Washington, DC
Dante Terrana,

A couple of years ago, I heard a great holiday song on the radio entitled Christmas in Washington, DC. I believe it may have been cut as a fund raiser for a local philanthropic organization. Every holiday season, I scour the area music stores looking for this tune on CD or cassette, to no avail. Most of the teen clerks aren't familiar with the song at all. I have also checked the Internet music sites and cannot locate it. By chance, are there any readers familiar with the song who may know where I may purchase a copy?


A Good Plumber: Do Not Despair!
Erica Nash,

Call Beal Plumbing, 703-318-9858. Even though they are in Virginia, they do DC calls. Not only are they good, they are punctual, neat, clean, and always available for emergencies. Prices? Comparable to DC plumbers.


Graphic Design Recommendation
Ann Carper,

For Jon Katz's logo and stationery design query, I'd like to recommend Metadog, a two-person studio in Georgetown. I've worked with them on a bed-and-breakfast brochure and have seen great work they've done for small clients (dog walking service and landscaper) and major institutions (Smithsonian and Children's Hospital). Co-owner Britt Engen is especially interested in distinctive papers and inks, and has good relationships with paper vendors and printers. She can be reached at 333-6435 or by E-mail at


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