My Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting tonight lasted four hours. By
the time I finished dinner and started putting themail together, it was midnight. It's too
late to write anything amusing, and, after four hours of ANC wrangling, I'm too tired of
controversy to be quarrelsome. I suppose I could write something illuminating or
enlightening, but that would be too far out of character. So I have only one choice left
keep it short. I've done that.
School Board Patronage Versus Democracy
Scott McLarty, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the June 11 themail, Ed T. Barron wrote My own choice is... an
elected nine member [School] Board comprised of members who were all elected 'at-large.' I
believe that this configuration would ensure the election of the highest qualified Board
members.... Changing to an all at-large system (or, as in the June 27 referendum, to
a part-super-ward part-bureaucratic system) would NOT ensure the election of more
qualified members. It'd fix things so candidates depend more on the amount of money they
raise to win. Under the current plan, parents active in their schools, PTAs, and
neighborhoods, but who lack lots of campaign resources have at least a small chance of
winning a seat. Under the referendum plan (as under Mr. Barron's proposal), our betters in
the Federal City Council would underwrite the victory of candidates who support
monstrosities like that bookless Marriott Hospitality charter school.
That's the evil beauty of the new system ordered by the Control Board and
proposed by the Mayor and Council. The four superward members and one at-large member
would get elected with big corporate and out-of-DC money and will serve those interests.
The four appointed members will win their seats through patronage and cronyism, with input
from groups like the Mayor's new DC Business Connections sweetheart alliance.
If we really want a School Board which represents DC parents and their children's needs,
with a wide variety of voices and views, we'd maintain some number of at-large seats but
increase the number of ward members to, say, three per ward and have them elected under a
cumulative voting system in which voters rank their preferences. It would provide the
numbers necessary to monitor what's going on in DC schools. (Such a plan would work well
for Council, too.) This is called democracy, something the Mayor holds in contempt, if we
judge from his use of taxpayers' money to campaign for the referendum. To win it, we'd
need to change the political climate from one in which public accountability is called
micromanagement. We'd have to admit the failure of bureaucracies like the
Emergency Board of Trustees to solve DC's educational crisis, with a still unexplained
$60-million budget shortfall (under Williams' watch as CFO) and lots of good schools
State Education Agency and the Board
Michael Bindner, email@example.com
The Council could create a State Education Agency without the referendum,
and should. There was one for a time until the Kelly Administration. Its purpose is to
decide on and administer education matters that go beyond DCPS to the private schools and
University. It is more appropriately a separate body. However, we don't need to vote yes
on June 27 to get this done, and should not.
The referendum does 4 very bad things: 1) It takes changes to the board
out of the Charter, so that the Council will be able to make changes in the future as a
matter of law rather than through a vote of the residents. 2) It subjects four members of
the board to the same process that the UDC board and other board appointments go through.
The hearing process is not the caustic part of the process, it's the pre-appointment
vetting. I trust the voters more than I trust the executive in this regard. 3) It gives
too much power to the Mayor, and the office is still swamped with the responsibilities of
Governor, Mayor and County Executive. Do we really need to add overseer of the schools?
The current Mayor will not always be there. Williams supporters should look long and hard
at whether they want a Chavous, an Evans, a Brazil or a Barry appointing four school board
members. 4) It takes away Democracy. We have few enough office to vote for in this
District. Let's not give up any. We should be going the other way, with Ward-based or
school-based school boards and 16 to 24 Wards for the Council. Eight is not enough.
[Matthew Gilmore, firstname.lastname@example.org,
also noted that we had a state education agency in the page, and added that, Some
agencies function as 'state' agencies (like the Public Library) for the purpose of federal
grants. We have a State Historic Preservation Office, for instance.]
School Board Election
Helen M. Hagerty, Helenmhag@aol.com
I keep seeing the signs for the June School Board Election,
Accountability Now. I'm always in my car and can't read who paid for the
signs. Does anyone know?
[The tag line says that the signs are paid for by the New School
Leadership Committee, the official campaign committee for the Charter Amendment. However,
the New School Leadership Committee filed a statement at the Office of Campaign Finance
last Friday claiming that they had spent no money through June 8th. If the Committee did
pay for the signs, they probably paid for them with the single donation that they
reported, $25,000 from the AOL Foundation of Dulles, Virginia, chaired by Jim Kimsey.
Here are just a select few reasons why we should not go back to an
all-elected school board: 3/17/93, Teaching Failure by Example by Courtland Milloy;
1/18/95, COPE releases Report: Since 1989, test scores down, attendance falls, graduation
rate unimproved by Sari Horwitz; 1/24/95, Washington Times op-ed: 1992-93 SAT
scores 24th out of 27 verbal, last in math scores; 1/27/95, 6 Board of Education Accept
Raises, (DC School Board highest paid in the country) by Sari Horwitz; 1/27/95, Washington
Post Editorial: D.C.'s Board Of Miseducation; 3/23/95, DC School Board Draws Fire
Over High Salary Bid For New Secretary by Sari Horwitz; 3/31/95, Fire Code Problems May
Burn City Schools: DC Cited For 8,000 Violations; by Maria Koklanaris; 5/5/95, School
Board Turns Down
Two Chances to Cut Staff by Maria Koklararis; 9/23/95, The City's School Board Deserves An
F by Dorothy Gilliam; 12/1/95, Many DC Schools Lack A Basic Necessity: Textbooks by DeNeen
Brown; 12/20/95, DC School Board Seeks Bigger Budget by Michael Fletcher; 2/22/96, School
System Suspends Bus Service For Trips by Marianne Kyriakos; 3/31/96, Editorial: DC Schools
On The Brink; 3/31/96, Editorial: Without Substitutes, A Further Slide Towards Chaos;
5/7/96, Editorial: A School Board Puts Itself First; 6/28/96, Private Aid Urged to Schools
by Susan Ferrechio; 2/18/97, Editorial: Poor Planning, Mismanagement, Leave Buildings In
Decrepitude; 1/8/98, DC Schools Pay Bonuses To 3 Officials; 2/19/98, City School Officials
Want Bigger Budget; 2/25/98, Schools See $16 Million Budget Gap.
And on and on and on until it makes you sick. There are kids out there who
have spent year after year waiting for our education system to care about them, to ensure
that they are thriving, active in school, safe, participaing in healthy and creative
activities in and out of school. Democracy in the form of an all
elected school board has failed them. We the voters have failed them.
Let's not do it again.
By the way, the controversy over whether the Williams
administration should lobby for this proposal is yet another example of how this city
scatters its energy. Argue the merits of Williams' approach later, if you must, but for
just a week or so, let's talk about what's good for the District's children. At least
Williams is doing that.
To me, the school board charter election is just a way for fewer people to
have more power. While I think the current school board is a joke, it is not the board's
election structure, rather the actions of the board's members. And as far as my limited
experience goes, it is a structure that works in many parts of this nation. Mr. Barron
prefers an all at-large board this to me is a consolidation of power that is
responsible to no one (I have never gotten a response from any at large DC Councilmember I
have ever written). My observation is that at-large members follow the money, a sure way
to ignore the concerns of the people who do not have the money to finance city-wide
If you want a more effective school board, work to encourage and support
candidates that can make a difference, but please don't take away my representation (even
if it is not to your or my liking)!
The Mayors Progress
Ron Eberhardt, RGE1022@aol.com
Mayor Williams, while a refreshing change from the incapable and
incompetent leadership of the guy who preceded him, and whose name does not deserve
mention, is nearing the halfway point of his term in office. Supporters realize it is time
for the mayor in fact to begin laying the groundwork for his reelection. While I wish the
mayor every good wish I am sounding the alarm that the time for him to make a real
difference is passing by. While it may be argued correctly that the Mayor and his
administration have made many positive changes that directly benefit the city's residents,
I am afraid that not enough is being done, as many basic services are yet unacceptable.
The mayor correctly made much of other cities experience with competitively bidding
services typically provided by government employees. Yet I have seen no forward progress
to implement these highly successful plans. Notwithstanding the debacle with streets and
the cabling of the city, District residential and commercial streets remain in horrible
and unacceptable condition. It is sad to enter Washington from any direction and not need
a marker to determine that you left Virginia or Maryland merely by the road surface.
Adjoining jurisdictions have no less problems or traffic then does DC. Yet their roads are
in wonderful shape, particularly when compared to ours, that must be among the worst in
the nation. Why? Money is supposedly no longer a problem with budget surpluses and high
bond ratings. Why then can DC simply not let a multitude of contracts to immediately begin
a systematic road repair, replacement and maintenance program? If this responsibility lies
within the Public Works Department as I suspect, is it not time to make significant
changes in that department that will lead to better services? All too soon it will be
winter again and we will hear the familiar refrain that road surface repairs cannot be
made until the temperature rises. We will then have another winter of discontent as our
cars are destroyed while traveling on district streets. Mr. Williams, just as it is time
for you to set your re-election efforts in place, it is also time for you to deliver on
what you promised. Insofar as an election strategy is concerned, do you and your advisors
not understand that if you simply paved our streets and maintained them, for that act
alone, you could be mayor for life? Get a grip Mr. Mayor, and let's see some performance
A Metro Moment, DC Digging Without the Spin?
Ken Katz, email@example.com
On Monday, nearing the time to leave work and Metro home, I checked the
rail and bus conditions info offered on the washingtonpost.com site. Thus I read that the
red line was running around ten minutes late. A short time later I checked back, and the
web site now stated that there was Fire Department activity on the Red Line. At this
point, I decided to get the most complete and updated info directly from the Metro hotline
the one they instituted one or so major mishaps ago in order to keep the public
informed. As I listened, approximately fifteen minutes after the first reported delays on
the Red Line posted at the Post web site, the recording told me that all services
were normal; however, the web site was simultaneously reporting that there was Fire
Department Activity, that Dupont Circle and Woodley Park (no, I am not going to write out
the full name of this stop) stations were closed, and that as a result of the closures,
service from Shady Grove terminated at Van Ness (good enough for me for that's my stop),
while Glenmont only got to Farragut North. Now, I am not here to praise the Post
web site, but exactly what is it about Metro that they refuse to keep the public informed?
Indeed, I walked into the Medical Center station, got on a train, as did myriad others,
and the first time any announcement was made in that time period was when the train got to
Van Ness! Not surprisingly, there were many angry people who would have opted to just stay
at work or devise alternate travel, but instead were kidnapped by Metro.
Now, about the street hacking, not the lack of planning of the cuts, nor
the lack of charging for the use of our streets, but rather, about the repair, or lack
thereof, of said street hacking. The construction supervisor in charge of a project in
Forest Hills (which I live across the street from), explained in a cogent manner how in
fact the failed DC street digging/repair system worked. I was amazed, because for all I
have read and heard, albeit in no way claiming that either was exhaustive or masterful, it
was never made so clear. So either I'm being led down a path, or there is a lot of
spinning going on. Goes like this: in the old system (hint I'm not sure that there
is a new system with regard to the actual final repairs of cuts), when a contractor filed
for a street cut permit, the contractor was required to submit a bond. This is also the
case in just about every neighboring jurisdiction. The difference is that in all but D.C.,
the bond is held as security until the contractor performs the final non-temporary repair
of the cut and the jurisdiction inspector approves said repair. However, in D.C., the city
takes the bond, requires ONLY temporary repair by the contractor, and then theoretically
uses the bond money to pay outside contractors to do the repair. The person who explained
this to me kindly suggested that this sort of made sense for D.C., since we didn't/don't
have nearly enough inspectors to approve the repairs, and no contractor is going to do
that repair unless they know exactly what repair specifications they must meet. In this
alternative universe, the city's contract employees know to what specifications the final
repair must be brought, and thus the lack of inspectors wouldn't slow down the repairs.
But of course you're all thinking cynically the same thing and you'd be right! For
example, the city got the many dollars bond from the Methodist Home in Forest Hills almost
two years ago. The temporary repairs to the street cuts on Fessenden Street (whereupon we
live) were made about six months ago. But the city has yet to send a contracting crew out
to do the repair. What's the excuse? It's a contractor, so the issue of manpower should be
less than critical, and they have had the money (and whatever interest should they have
invested it and not swallowed in up in the general fund I have no knowledge one way
or the other), so what is going on? If I was told the truth, then the marked lack of
permanent repairs to the myriad street cuts is no one's fault other than the D.C.
government's, and presumably the Department of Public Works. Eagerly awaiting your
Request for Comments on the Real Estate Market
Carol Mitten, firstname.lastname@example.org
I decided to take a stab at giving an overview of the residential real
estate market for the benefit of Dru Sefton. At the moment, house prices are being driven
up by two things: real appreciation and desperation. Real appreciation occurs when the
demand for real estate outpaces supply and the overall purchasing capacity of the market
increases. Desperation occurs when supply is so restricted that people feel that they must
overpay or they will be left with nothing to purchase. I think the desperation component
of current house prices will dissipate in the next 9-12 months; I don't think the real
appreciation we have experienced will evaporate. This market is not a repeat of the late
The level of demand we are currently experiencing is, in part, a function
of people wanting to move back into the City. That trend will be with us for a while
perhaps a long while. We are also seeing a dramatic increase in the general wealth
of the Metro area. (Do you realize that Northern Virginia has more high tech jobs than
Silicon Valley?) My guess is that the fever pace of buying will subside, but, unless we
have a recession (which seems unlikely) the generally higher level of prices will be
Knitting Program at Bancroft Elementary, City
Peg Blechman, email@example.com
In this week's City Paper, p. 11, there's a wonderful article
about a program at Bancroft Elementary teaching knitting! I've been volunteering and
organizing volunteers for this program to teach knitting to a 3rd and 4th grade class. We
got a grant to hire a teacher trained in the Waldorf methodology. She started in February,
and it's been a great success. We even took the kids to the University of MD farm to see
sheep shearing and brought in another teacher to clean and dye the wool (using Kool-Aid!)
from that sheep with the kids and felt it. I go to the school this afternoon for the last
knitting class. We're going to have a Show and Tell to see all the projects that the kids
We want to continue the program for the next school year with this class
and expand it. If you all have any ideas about how we can get funding to continue to hire
this Waldorf teacher, I would appreciate your suggestions.
Police Dont Want to Report Crime
Eddie Becker firstname.lastname@example.org
Visited a friend who's house was robbed, she called the police who showed
up a couple of days latter. She had not disturbed the robbery scene, figuring that the
detectives would do an investigation, take fingerprints, and the like. Not only did the
Police not do an investigation, but they didn't even want to file a report, telling her
that it was pretty useless and a waste of time. Has this happened to anyone else?
Cops and Politicians: It Do Boggle the Mind
Buck Downs, email@example.com
Professionally Qualified or not, Chief Ramsey has not been
hired to hold forth his opinions on gun control policy. If he wants to do it on his own
time, fine. That is the point I wanted to make last week. Our City Council members are a
somewhat different issue; as elected legislators, their portfolios are less specifically
defined and subject to alteration over time. There is a check on a politico's natural
desire to grand-stand and expand, namely vote them out. We do not have the same ability
when it comes to the Chief, and indeed we probably should not elect a Chief of Police. All
the more reason to raise a stink when he starts acting like a politician.
This is in response to Len Thomas' comments that the City Council has no
business telling Chief Ramsey how many officers to put on the street. For the past two
years, the City Council has urged Chief Ramsey to put more officers in our PSAs. The
reason for having officers in the PSAs, according to the MPD's model of community
policing, is that if officers remain in their PSAs patrolling, they actively prevent
crime. Chief Ramsey claims he believes in community policing, but under Chief Ramsey's
leadership, there are fewer officers in our PSAs than there were two years ago. In fact,
twice in the past two years the Chief has taken officers off the street and promoted them
to the rank of sergeant and lieutenant, and these officers spend their time in the station
houses doing paper work. We lost about 200 officers in all through those promotions
city-wide. These promotions left the PSAs with only one or two officers on some shifts.
One officer told me, Those promotions killed us. Also under Chief Ramsey's
leadership, our PSA officers continue to spend most of their time answering calls for help
outside their PSAs, thus leaving their PSAs defenseless and open to criminal invasion.
This is old-style reactive policing, not community policing.
Chief Ramsey could have deployed more officers on the street in 1999 if he
had cleaned house in the Recruiting Division, which is run by an inspector who is
incompetent. Last year we started hearing stories that applicants applying for MPD jobs
were waiting eight months to a year before they heard back from the Recruiting Division.
Carl Rowan, Jr., notified Ramsey of this crisis last Spring. Ramsey chose to do nothing
about it. The problem persists and the applicants and there were dozens of
qualified applicants went elsewhere. To this day there are some applicants who are
still waiting to hear from Recruiting after a year.
On Nov. 30, 1999, David Catania introduced a bill requiring that 60
percent of the officers be deployed in our PSAs, hoping that before the matter came up for
a vote, the Chief would decide to deploy more officers on the streets. Seven months
passed, but Chief Ramsey didn't take the necessary action. In effect, his response from
November 30th to the present was the same as it has always been: I work for the
Mayor, not the City Council. Ramsey claims the Council is micro-managing the MPD. My
reply is: Micro-management is better than no management at all.
Crime and Punishment
Ron Eberhardt, RGE1022@aol.com
How many grandmothers and children must be murdered in the District before
its liberal population will arrive at the conclusion that the barbarians who commit these
heinous crimes must meet the finality of the death penalty? The tragic and maddening death
of a 76-year old grandmother in Southeast, murdered by warring gangs while talking a daily
walk, is the latest example in a long list of similar occurrences. It is nothing less then
shameful that either such crimes seemingly occur without abatement or that we the citizens
permit it. It is time to revisit this subject. Some who are death penalty opponents like
to talk at great length about the time meeting the crime in reference to
alleged sentencing discrepancies. I believe that the taking of a life demands that society
remove that person from our midst and that they pay for their crime with their own life.
Otherwise, I wonder how long it shall be that civility is lost, the value of human life
further devalued and that the barbarians rule our society?
I'm also wondering if there is merit for the Mayor and Council to jointly
consider legislation that would differentiate the punishment for violent crimes committed
in places where society rightly believes itself safe from violence? Specifically, what
about double mandatory sentences for violent crimes committed with firearms in places such
as schools, the zoo, playgrounds, churches, and the like? Barbarians, who in addition to
having no respect for human life also do not understand the specialness of these
institutions, and their conduct is slowly eroding society's freedom and comfort. It is
interesting to me that a subject high on the minds of people who commit violent crimes
against society is respect. They want it, don't deserve it, and have no idea
what it really is.
I have been an advocate for strict enforcement of parking regulations in
our neighborhood. I have written many letters requesting that Zone 2 parking regulations
be enforced and that cars be ticketed when not parked legally. I always park legally. This
morning I see a ticket on my car. This $20.00 ticket is for FAILURE TO TURN WHEELS
TO CURB. My car was parked on Q Street, NW, which is a level street. Parking
enforcement has finally found a way to give me a ticket. Most of the other cars parked on
my street had the same violation, but none of them was ticketed. This is police
I spoke to someone at Parking Enforcement. I was told that they would
never issue a ticket for failure to turn wheels to curb. They did not believe me that I
could get such a ticket. I looked at the ticket and then noticed that this ticket was
issued by Officer LB (he used only his initials), Metropolitan Police Department, Second
District, Badge #30 at 7:59 AM. Truly, there must be more egregious violations that can be
pursued during the morning rush hour, such as ticketing cars that are parked in rush hour
streets. Has anyone else ever gotten such a ticket?
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Mark Richards, Dupont East, firstname.lastname@example.org
I heard an ad on the radio saying, DC will be the first city to be
featured in the 34th Smithsonian Folklife Festival. DC's proximity to the event
should make it convenient for those who want to want to interact and inform guests. I hope
local groups coordinate activities. I'd love to see a little creativity. Like free little
oval-shaped bumper stickers on postcards (for cafe racks, too) with local slogans for
tourists to take home or mail to their friends and neighbors. Slogans could include
DC The Virtual State of Congress, The Capital of the Nation is
the Last Plantation! DC Citizens are People, Too!, Free DC!,
DC Where Taxation Without Representation is a Fact, Not a Slogan,
DC Give the Land Back to Maryland, Make the DC Diamond Whole
Welcome Alexandria and Arlington Back!, and the red, white, and blue with a
star with Make DC the 51st State They Deserve It After 200 Years of
Congressional Rule. Well, maybe they won't be little ovals unless the font is
8-point or we narrow to something like Be Free in DC!
According to organizers, the Festival will feature the cultural
traditions of Washington, DC more than 500 participants from DC will tell stories,
demonstrate crafts and cuisine, share music traditions, and address issues of cultural
identity, the urban environment, continuity and change in the nation's capital. It is a
timely celebration of Washington, DC, and an opportunity for DC to gain recognition for
its unique cultural richness and vitality. There are two panels (organized by Sally
Gifford of the DC Humanities Council) on which DC's relationship with the federal
government will be discussed: (1) Tuesday, June 27, 11 am, "The Last Colony? The
Federal Government and Home Rule in DC, with Charles Cassell, Mark Plotkin, Tom Sherwood,
and Moderator/Panelist: Mark Richards; (2) Tuesday, July 4, 11 am: No Taxation
Without Representation: DC's Statehood Movement, with Renee Bowser, Gail Dixon, and
Moderator/Panelist George LaRoche. Both panels will be at the Front/Narrative
Porch Tent, on the Mall, Madison Drive between 12-14th St., NW, Smithsonian Metro.
Check out the web site http://web1.si.edu/festival/
for more details on what's taking place on the Mall from June 23-July 4. Most people
remember about three points what are the three most important ideas that visitors
should take away from a visit? What are the three most persuasive arguments for why U.S.
citizens should care about this issue?
Concerning the ongoing gripe session about various CVS Pharmacy locations,
the following names and addresses might be of interest to some of you:
Thomas M. Ryan, Chairman and CEO; Charles C. Conway, President and COO;
Larry J Merlo, Executive Vice-president for Stores, CVS Corporation,
Corporate Headquarters, One CVS Drive, Woonsocket, RI 02895
Nicholas Crombie, Regional Vice President, CVS Pharmacy, 8330 Old Keene Mill Road,
Springfield, VA 22151
Barbara Hagans, D.C. Board of Pharmacy, 825 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
I compiled this information after one particularly . . . um . . .
disconcerting experience with my local CVS at 17th and P Streets NW. I figured if I was
going to complain, I may as well complain to someone who might be able to do something
about it. Let's see what a whole bunch of complaints do. United we stand, divided blah
Residential Parking Permits
Gloria White, GMarieW@aol.com
While I understand that I will be opening myself up for attack, I think
the policy of limiting the distribution of residential parking permits is appropriate. I
live near UDC and almost exactly half way between two Metro stations. The streets in this
neighborhood applied for and received zoned parking so we could park at our homes during
the day. Before zoned parking it had become almost impossible to find parking near our
houses as the parking spaces were all taken up all day by UDC students and commuters using
the metro. Zoned parking eliminated this.
I certainly understand that those without residential parking permits are
at a disadvantage, but the whole point is for parking to be available for those who
actually live on the affected street. If anyone living in Zone 2 or 3 can get a
residential parking permit, we could easily find ourselves back in the same position of
having no place to park because someone from Georgetown or AU park wants to drive nearer
the subway and park all day.
Remember the Purpose of Residential Parking Permits
John Whiteside, email@example.com
Peg Blechman writes, There should be an exception so that even if
you live on a street without residential parking, you can get a permit to park throughout
your ward. Why? The point of residential parking permits is to make it possible for
residents of densely populated areas where parking is limited to park their vehicles near
their homes. Without such a system, areas near Metro stations or shopping districts would
become commuter parking zones. And I'm sorry, but if you live in Ward 3 near the MD line,
your neighborhood does not include Woodley Park or Georgetown.
And if residents of Ward 3 get to park in those neighborhoods without time
limits, why not other DC residents? I'm moving to Logan Circle next week I will
live closer to some crowded spots of Ward 3 than many Ward 3 residents, so don't I have a
better claim to parking there? If you live somewhere where permits aren't needed, be happy
you don't have to hunt for parking, and stop trying to turn a system designed to help
residents into a little perk to save you from taking Metro or following parking
A Commuter with D.C. Plates Is Still a Commuter
Lorie Leavy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of D.C.'s residential
parking program is that it was put into place to protect residents of blocks that
attracted heavy commuter parking due to their proximity to business areas or
transportation corridors. Those of us who reside on restricted blocks don't regard the
program as a privilege. We pay a mandatory annual fee, in exchange for which we are given
at least a fighting chance to park within sight of our residences. The program exposes us
to the usual bureaucratic paperwork risks, and it can become quite burdensome when we must
arrange for temporary permits for guests or work crews who park during restricted hours.
If parking permits are made available to all residents of a ward who request them
and who obviously want them solely for the purpose of parking on restricted blocks
this will recreate the very problem the program was intended to address.
One More Report on the DMV
Stacey Whitmire, email@example.com
After living in the District for four years, I decided, again, that it was
time for a DC driver's license. The first time I decided this, I took in the paper
replacement to my CA state license which expires in 2003 and was asked if I had car
insurance or a vehicle. I have neither; I was told I would have to get a non-driver's ID.
The horror! I jumped out of the line and left the DMV, afraid that they would take my
paper replacement away! Approximately a year later, last Friday, I made my second attempt
at getting a DC driver's license. In utter shock I sailed through the DMV in 45 minutes.
The staff were friendly, they got my gender right (believe me, this has been a problem for
others), and I left with a license!
The Roosevelt is in the hands of the Control Board. It had been under RLA
(Redevelopment Land Agency), but last year through some maneuvering (with City Council
approval) it was used as collateral for another deal (Greater SE Hospital?) and ended up
at DCFRA. Former tenants (70 persons eligible) had been prepared to exercise their
first-right-to-purchase, proposing continued use for Senior Housing and adding Assisted
Living. The Control Board has said they are not bound by puny District Law giving tenants
such rights. It has conceded that if tenants match the $10 million offered by their
preferred developer, and duplicate its proposal, they can still play. Although tenants,
individually, may have the right to stay for life at a renewed Roosevelt, collectively
they want to preserve affordable senior housing opportunities. So another instance of
misguided authority will end up in court. I'm paraphrasing a briefing on June 10 given by
Pamela Jones of the New Columbia Community Land Trust (986-9225), which is advising the
Roosevelt Tenants Association .
So let me see if I have this straight: We're going to see if we can get
metal license plates that last an eternity, that we just update year after year after year
with annual stickers that say taxation without representation on them,
replacing the insipid celebrate and discover. My question is: why aren't you
doing something about the taxation without representation, Mr. Mayor, rather than
endorsing permanent metal license plates with that slogan on it? Though I love the idea,
I'd rather see some time and effort, lobbying and money spent on getting the
representation rather than the slogan on a license plate . . . unless you think this will
do the trick and we'll have the representation in less than one year and the plates will
become collector's items.
Testing Our Mettle at M.L. King Library
Mark Eckenwiler, firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of months ago OK, so I'm way behind on E-mail Bruce
Monblatt questioned whether the metal detectors at MLK are working or just for
show. The paradoxical answer is that even if they're working, they're just for show.
Here's what I mean: if you drive to MLK and enter from the parking garage entrance to the
library, you don't have to pass through the metal detector. The elevator (or stairwell) up
to the main lobby lets you in past all the pretty security. (In computer
security circles, this kind of setup leaving wide-open holes you hope won't be
noticed is often referred to as security through obscurity. It doesn't
work very well there either.)
Thanks to Mark Eckenwiler for continuing the discussion of security at the
King Library. Security in town in very strange. My building, home of the U.S. Department
of Education, checks bags going in and out in case an employee is tempted to walk out with
something that shows up in a metal detector. Over at DOT, two blocks away, flashing a pass
gets you in. At the Old Executive Office Building, they have heaps of security going in
and out and no functional air conditioning, a sign of current priorities, I guess.
Of MLK, I think I read in a Post news story when the security was put in
that it was expected that the metal detecting equipment would keep people from carrying
weapons into the place. As a reader, I can hope that it is working. I'd also guess that
people in cars are perceived as less of a threat to the reading public than some of us who
Hobson's Choice refers to having one choice. Hobson ran a livery in
Cambridge England in, I believe, the 18th century. When customers came to him, he offered
one horse. They took it or they didn't. So Hobson's choice means you take what is offered.
[Steph You could look it up Faul, email@example.com, added, According to Brewer's
Dictionary, 'Hobson's Choice means no choice at all. The saying derives eponymously
from Thomas Hobson (1544?-1631), a Cambridge carrier well known in his day . . . who
refused to let out any horse except in its proper turn.' Tom Matthes, firstname.lastname@example.org, drew a parallel to Henry Ford, who
said customers could get any color car they wanted, as long as it was black. Tom Matthes, email@example.com, also give the definition. And Peggy
Robin, probin@adlerbooks, rubs the point in,
That's not the same as getting to vote for any of several poor choices, so whatever
the school board special election is, it's not a 'Hobson's choice.']
CLASSIFIEDS EVENTS AND CLASSES
Collect Stories with Footlights
David Sobelsohn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Footlights DC's only drama discussion group meets monthly to
discuss plays from the modern theater. Participation is free. On Tuesday, June 20, we will
discuss Collected Stories (1996), a literate, absorbing (New
York Daily News) and wonderfully entertaining play (San Francisco
Chronicle) by Donald Margulies, who just won the Pulitzer Prize for Dinner With
Friends (1999). Collected Stories portrays the relationship between a
successful, middle-aged writer with a secret past, and her protege, a beginner gathering
material for her first novel. Our discussion takes place 7:30-9:30 p.m. (dinner at 6:30)
at Luna Books, 1633 P St., NW, three blocks E of Dupont Circle. It will feature director
Jim Petosa. To make reservations for our discussion E-mail email@example.com or call 638-0444. For
discount tickets to the Sunday July 16 matinee of Collected Stories, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 897-9314.
For general information about Footlights, visit http://www.footlightsdc.org.
Sharon Meagher, Director of Education, Office for Social Responsibility, SMeagher@tui.edu
The Hidden Washington: A Educational Forum on DC voting
rights, featuring Anise Jenkins (Stand Up for Democracy), Lea Adams (plaintiff of
Adams v. Clinton), and Leonard Sullivan (NARPAC). Hosted by The Union Institute's Office
for Social Responsibility, 1710 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 1100. For information or to
RSVP, please call 496-1630, ext. 2332. The Union Institute is an accredited university
that offers working adults non-residential, interdisciplinary undergraduate and doctoral
degree programs. The Institute's Office for Social Responsibility (OSR) is located in
Washington, and houses the Center for Women and the Center for Public Policy. The OSR
works to promote social, economic, and political justice through participatory research,
innovative coalition projects, and the development of critical, community based
Successful Strategies for Applying to Graduate
Steve Goodman, email@example.com
A workshop for Hill staffers, interns, and others presented by Steve
Goodman, leading educational consultant, Friday, June 16, 2000, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The
Capitol, Room HC-5, $10. Please join us for a discussion about the graduate/professional
school admissions process including ways to evaluate your past accomplishments and
ways to develop strong personal admissions strategies.
Notice of Meeting of ANC 3C
Ann Loikow, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANC 3C will meet on Monday, June 19, 2000 at 7:30 p.m., at the Second
District Police Station, 3220 Idaho Avenue, NW, Community Room. The agenda includes
Commission consideration of: 1) Starwood Urban Development's application for concept
review before the HPRB; 2) application of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan before
the BZA to establish a chancery at 2741 34th Street, N.W.; 3) Charles E. Smith Companies'
application to the BZA for a special exception or use variance to construct an underground
parking garage for Alban Towers; 4) regulation of public air space (size and type of
utility poles and use by utilities and telecommuncations companies). For more information,
TasteDC.coms June/July Calendar of Wine and
Charlie Adler, email@example.com
1) June 25th, Sunday, 1st Annual Washington Harbour Lobster and Wine
Festival, Washington Harbour Waterfront, 3050 K St., NW. Parking in the building,
2-5 PM, $65 per person, tax and tip inclusive. Rain or Shine. If you LOVE Lobster, this is
the event for you! Here's what is included: fresh New England lobster, lobster prepared in
various gourmet presentations by Tony and Joe's catering, twelve wines perfectly paired
with the juicy meat, live jazz, our own private area overlooking the waterfront, a
commemorative wine glass. All wines at this event are available for special order at a
D.C. retailer at a reduced price. Don't wait, our private space is limited to the first
500 people! Attire is very casual, we'll provide the bibs! 2) July 16th, Sunday,
Taste of Georgetown Wine Around: Food and Wine Walking Tour, 2-5 PM, rain or
shine! $45 in advance, tax and tip inclusive, $55 day of (depending on availability).
Wine Around: a walking tour of Georgetown's finest restaurants combined with a
food and wine pairing in each restaurant. Sample various delicacies matched with a
multitude of wines at a minimum of four restaurants! Every restaurant will have a meat and
a vegetarian dish to taste with wine. 3) July 18th, Tuesday, Embassy of Poland
Cultural Reception, Embassy of Poland, 2640 16th St., (between Euclid and Fuller
Street, just south of Columbia Road), NW, 7-9 PM reception and tasting, $50 in advance,
valet parking available. Join us at the truly lovely Embassy of Poland, one of the
original mansions on 16th St. We'll taste a wide variety of Polish delicacies from the Old
Country with some really assertive Polish vodkas straight up or mixed in drinks to your
liking (wine and beer will be served as well)! Wander the Embassy, taste Eastern European
fare, and listen to live classical piano music. Embassy officials will be on hand to
answer any questions you may have about changes going on in Poland today, so definitely
bring your business card! Reservations: http://www.tastedc.com
or call 202-333-5588.
CLASSIFIEDS BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS
Occasional themail contributors Marie Collins and Nick Keenan are proud to
announce their latest contributions: Brayton Collins Keenan, 5 lbs., 6 oz, and Edward
Collins Keenan, 5 lbs., 10 oz, born May 30, 2000.
CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE
1965 Mercedes 190c 4-door, grey-white exterior, red interior, wood
paneling, good engine, restored in 1985, excellent condition. $5000 or best offer.
244-9479 or E-mail Tim Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am delighted to get a public venue to warn people from using Starving
Students Moving Company. I had a horrible move last fall from VA to DC with some
highlights being drunkenness, taking four hours with four men to move a one bedroom
apartment, to dropping a box of glasses down the stairs and claiming the sound we heard
was his knee. It was so bad that I wrote a detailed letter outlining exactly
what happened and got a full refund. Cheap is not always the best.
CLASSIFIEDS JUNE 2000 INTOWNER
Peter Wolfe, email@example.com
This is to let you know that the June, 2000 on-line edition has been
up-loaded and may be accessed at http://www.intowner.com. Included are all community news
stories, editorials (including prior months' archived), restaurant reviews (prior months'
also archived), and the text from the ever-popular Scenes from the Past
feature. Also included are all current classified ads. The next issue will publish on July
14, and the web site will be updated within a few days following.
To read the lead stories, be sure to click the link on the home page to
the following headlines: Adams Morgan Groups Seek Liquor Moratorium, Cite Need for Retail
Diversity; Bar's Bid to Grow Nears Showdown, Dupont Circle Groups Still Say
No; Former Roosevelt Tenants Seek to Purchase, Litigation Likely; Hilton
Expansion Plans Postponed Indefinitely, Neighbors' Opposition Seen As Driving Force.
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, firstname.lastname@example.org
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
FILL IT IN! Back in the spring of 1998, D.C. councilmembers Sharon Ambrose (Ward 6) and
David Catania (At-Large) mouthed dire predictions about the proposed new convention center
at Mount Vernon Square, just north of downtown. The six-square-block project, they argued,
would soon resemble the existing center on 9th Street NW namely, an obsolete trash
heap too small to compete for major conventions against colossal venues in Chicago and
Nor did the skeptics buy into the notion that the largest construction project in D.C.
history could rise from the depths of the Shaw neighborhood at the bargain price of $650
million. Both Ambrose and Catania warned that the project's $30 million contingency fund
was too shallow to absorb the cost overruns that inevitably dog government-sponsored
Only in the District of Columbia can plain common sense qualify you as a public-policy
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:
MONDAY: The documentary Jews and Buddhism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed,
followed by a discussion, Buddhist Like Me?, with Rabbi Tamara Miller and
journalist Martha Sherrill, author of The Buddha from Brooklyn. At 7:30 p.m. at
the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $7.50.
TUESDAY: Ted Gup reads from his new book The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and
Classified Deaths at the CIA at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at Barnes & Noble,
4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda. Free.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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