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July 30, 2000

Parks and Wrecks

Dear Parkers:

Using the city's parks and parking our cars in the city are the major subjects on our minds this time around. I don't think we've exhausted these subjects, and they keep us focused on the our personal, local experiences. Please add your personal, local experience to those expressed below on these subjects, or on other subjects of burning interest to you. (And please remember that all submissions have to be signed with your name and E-mail address; several people forgot to put their names on their messages this time around.)

Gary Imhoff


Parks and Rec
Helen M. Hagerty,

Gee, where does one begin? Like our public schools, DC's parks, playgrounds and recreational centers are dysfunctional. Mr. Newman doesn't seem to have the experience to even maintain what we have, let alone fix existing problems. I don't think helping him correct his resume will change the situation. It's not a great idea to spend money from a limited budget on “roving rangers” and Ford Explorers when grass isn't being cut and playgrounds don't meet safety standards. There are fewer than 80 facilities citywide, and like the public schools, there should be a facilities master plan for parks and rec centers.

Regardless of how much money we pour into rec facilities, it won't make a dent if the facilities aren't staffed with good directors. It doesn't take long for a park to fall into disrepair if there isn't a strong and consistent presence making a difference in a community. In the past, some rec centers just had a person that opened up the facility and left, or just sat in the office on the phone. Rec needs to hire qualified staff and pay them well to get them to stay. There are few rec centers with outstanding programs for kids. While renovating Volta Park, we had the opportunity to work with some great people in Parks and Rec. Diane Quinn worked with us and is now the head of maintenance. She knows every park and neighborhood in this city and would make a terrific Director. Why hire someone who doesn't know the city and can't write an honest resume?


Parks and Rec Does Great Job
Mina Veazie,

We have had no less than superb service from DC Rec this summer. Registration for camps was easy, the directory of services is user friendly (attractive, small enough to handle, well laid out, and full of complete info), and the staff at the sites I contacted were customer service oriented. Each camp we used this summer was fully staffed, extremely well organized, and well managed. In many cases the on-site coordinator was a college student or recent graduate. I was very impressed by the professional quality and caliber of these young people, products of DC public schools, Howard, NC A&T, Hampton, Morgan, etc. They were friendly, enthusiastic, and had planned wonderful programs for Camp Natural Fun (environmental science at Lederer in far NE) and the Aqua Day at various sites. When it rained yesterday, they even met the kids at the car with an umbrella! I do hope the pay matter is addressed, and I hope that the director can put these questions behind him quickly; he actually seems to be doing a good job.

The cost was reasonable (many of the camps are free) and though all of the facilities could use some redo, they were clean and reasonably safe. Yes, they need a lot of work, but if the priority was to get through the summer season and work on the facilities this winter, then that was the right decision. Lunches, though filling and free, were yukky. A little more thought ought to go into those. There are a lot of kids out there who are having a great time and parents who are highly satisfied (because in spite of the limitations, the programs are great) -- in some of the City's most challenging areas. So, fellow citizens, I don't know how anyone could fix everything at one time. Don't let this divert you and forget the real crime in this city is occurring in our public school classrooms at least 180 days a year.


Diane Murray,

When reading about the Newman matter, a couple of questions occurred to me. It's one thing to slip-slide about the resume. And have the personnel director fix it up for you. But what about his pre-hire testimony before the Council? Isn't that under oath? Did he correct himself . . . explain his duties in his various positions? Was his wife, who is also a city administrator, aware of his lies? Shouldn't she, as a city employee, have spoken up?

From the $40K hizzoner has yet to repay to this “little problem” with Newman, there's a pattern manifesting itself under this administration that smells as bad as anything prior administrations may or may not have done . . . maybe worse. It's very disturbing. Keep asking questions!


Another Newman Failure
Nialle Condensa,

Walter C. Pierce Community Park, located on four acres of prime land in Adams Morgan, the densest ward in the city, adjoining both the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park, sits with a field that is deeply rutted and dangerous, safety hazards and no playground. On March 3, 2000, Robert Newman gave his word that the Friends of Pierce Community Park could proceed with a June 10, 2000, community-built playground, if they met the following conditions: 1) Meet with the Department's Safety Inspector and obtain his approval (done 3/14/00). 2) Raise all of the necessary funds themselves (done 3/17/00, over $63,000 from the community)!

On March 19, 2000, Robert Newman failed to keep his word. He then promised that the “playground should be completed and ready during the latter part of July” (Newman's E-mail response to over 160 E-mails from the community that they wanted a playground in Pierce Park this summer), yet there is still no playground in Pierce Community Park and no actual date has been set for groundbreaking. Mr. Newman is obviously not qualified to be the Director of Parks and Recreation considering he can't even complete a project where the community has done all the work, planning, and fundraising.

Mr. Newman has done more than “fabricated” his resume and mismanaged his Department, he has failed the 10,000 children in Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant who could have used a playground at Walter Pierce Community Park this summer, and I'm sure countless more children all over the city. Every moment, every day, in a child's life is precious and a summer of lost play, experiences, learning and friendships can never be replaced. Robert Newman, however, can and should be.


Time to Disband Parks and Rec
Michael Bindner,

As I stated in my prior post, the problem is not just the management of DC agencies, it is also how they are organized. From a purely functional point of view, both Parks and Rec and DPW should be disbanded, and departments of Sanitation, Transportation and Youth Affairs formed. Reorganizations are also used to punish and reward. DPW and Parks both deserve punishment, as does DCRA. DCRA should also be split up into Economic Development Services and Residential Services.

Finally, as an aside, all offices that inspect restaurants, liquor stores, and bars should be lumped into one agency to handle zoning, alcohol, building permits, and sanitation. The Director of that office could then appoint eight very public ward managers to coordinate regulation and inspection in their area, increasing the public visibility of this activity.


Department of Pork and Reinvention
Charlie Wellander,

On August 10th he goes with a sigh,
Plus $40K more to say bye-bye.
So here's to Robert Newman,
Replaced by a woman or a new man.
Who says it doesn't pay to lie?


DC Food
Donald Lief,

I just noted the Post's request for a recipe to stand for DC. My quickie E-mail back said that nothing would serve this purpose except sausage. I would not give the recipe — it's too gross — but reminded them of the old saying that “links” (sorry) sausage making and politics.


Real Neighborhood News — Eastern Market
Paul Michael Brown,

Jon Desenberg (   recently noted that he much preferred “real neighborhood news” to “endless constitutional, religious, and policy arguments.” OK, here's a little something — The folks who live near the Eastern Market Metro stop have mobilized to force a suspension of the liquor license for the Heart & Soul restaurant at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Seems that that after obtaining a liquor license for a restaurant, the folks who run the Heart & Soul had a nasty habit of running what amounted to a nightclub on certain nights of the week. The crowds were rowdy, security was lax, and crime was prevalent. One of those “voluntary” agreements was negotiated, but H&S observed it in the breech. To my amazement, The Powers That Be have Done The Right Thing and decided that a go-go club is not appropriate in our neighborhood. (At least temporarily.) Let's hope they continue to “get it” when deciding the pending liquor license renewal.


The Best Things About the Hill
Joan Eisenstodt,

For me, it's the people and Eastern Market. Love being able to wander the Market and to shop for such nice fresh food daily. Market Lunch is always fun; even standing in line means you talk w/ neighbors and tourists alike. The artists on the weekends are those from whom we buy virtually all our gifts and things for ourselves. Restaurants: we like LaLomita Dos for its food, intimacy, and convenience. The Hill is also a great venue from which to walk to the band concerts on the Capitol lawn or to the Library of Congress for an exhibit. Welcome to the neighborhood.


Looks Like a Bumper Crop
Ed T. Barron,

'Twas a fine parade of some 300 incoming AU freshpersons this past week marching on the sidewalk from the main AU campus to the Law School building on 48th and Massachusetts Avenue (where reconstruction of the front entrance area of the building is proceeding slowly, but inexorably). There were notably more gals than guys in this entourage, so it bodes well for those chaps entering who wish to make friends with those of the female persuasion. All the youngsters were well dressed (no jeans or baggy pants). How nice to see a group of youngsters well dressed as they come to their new school.

I like dress codes and love to see teachers well turned out for their classes. Since dress codes don't work very well, then uniforms are an acceptable substitute. They work very well in the parochial schools and lead to a much better mingling and leveling of all the students.


In the Paper Three Times
Steph “Do electrons count?” Faul,

The tradition is that a lady's name (not “a woman's,” since not all women are ladies by any means) should appear in the newspaper only when she was “hatched, matched, or dispatched.” The convention behind the practice is that ladies do not draw undue attention to themselves or to their accomplishments. Men were not supposed to do so, either, but as they were out and about conducting business and holding public office, a certain amount of publicity was considered unavoidable. Given the amount of yammering people do about themselves in the media these days, it's a standard to which we might well think of returning.


Rep. Istook Seeks Harmony Between D.C. and the Nation
Mark Richards, Dupont East,

The US House of Representatives took up the D.C. Appropriation bill on Wednesday July 26th. HR 4942 is the last of 14 federal Appropriations bills. It consists of $6.7 billion in locally raised funds and $414 million in federal funds. Rep. Istook (R-Oklahoma) pointed out that the federal government was giving D.C. $414 million in U.S. taxpayer money — above what D.C. already gets in federal grants and assistance. He described this money as “a direct federal appropriation, handed to them on a silver platter.” “Why?” he asked, “Because it is the nation's capital as designated in the U.S. Constitution.” He pointed out that under Article 1, Section 8, “exclusive control over all legislation resides right here in the Congress of the United States.” He argued “the founding fathers wanted the nation's capital to be in harmony with the rest of the country, with the values of the rest of the nation. Washington, D.C. belongs to all of us, but not all of us live here.” He said, “It galls me to hear some people in the District griping — GRIPING — because they want more. Take a look at what we are doing — this is a good bill,” he said. He mentioned that the District does not receive taxes on land used by the federal government and other restrictions, such as high rises and national security costs. But, he said, U.S. taxpayers gave D.C. $330 million to use for savings in the D.C. government, but had only gotten $1 million in savings. “D.C. has to do more for itself, not accuse Congress of not doing its job,” he said.

The bill features 72 General Provisions added to override priorities of D.C. elected officials and citizens, some of which Rep. Norton said already exist in federal or D.C. law. Rep. Istook said he cut 24 redundant riders, but current ones were added back because they were not yet law. The debate was visibly partisan. Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) said he lives in D.C. and has had many minorities who are Democrats ask for help. He said while the city had a mayor who put more cocaine up his nose . . . he'd seen muggings and robberies, and left to its own devices, the city couldn't even get a Safeway to come in thanks to the City Council and the Mayor. “We've changed that,” he said. Three Republicans argued for the charter school rider (surplus school property). Rep. Istook said, “parents and students are flocking to charter schools . . . they are public schools, but without the same bureaucracy, and now the bureaucracy is striking back, using red tape, dragging their feet. I want to work with representatives from the District and Virginia, but I want to make sure they want to work with charter schools. Kids need protection.” Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) argued for a rider opposing needle exchange, saying this just gives drug addicts a place to network for new drugs, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said, “This will make it clear that drug addicts can't use taxpayer money for free needles to inject illegal drugs.” Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) argued for a contraceptive rider, saying, “Some on the D.C. Council espoused anti-Catholic and anti-Christian beliefs.” Rep. Norton proposed to repeal the contraceptive rider because the Council and Mayor gave their word in a letter to Rep. Istook; the Mayor agreed to pocket veto the Council bill and bring everyone to the table to find a compromise. Rep. Istook rejected Norton's proposal, saying the Council had run roughshod and the mayor had not chosen to veto the bill but choose to draw it out. “People want to know where we stand,” he said. At this point, Rep. Norton lost it: “I have had it! Really had it!” she yelled, voice shuttering. “Damned if we do, damned if we don't. I am insulted that you would not accept my amendment. It will never be enough for you. I resent what you have done and I want you to know it.” Rep. Moran mentioned Eleanor's “passion,” and said, “She is right. This is wrong.” Rep. Moran, a Catholic, went on to defend Jim Graham and spoke
against the intolerance of the Catholic church toward homosexuals, to which Rep. Istook said, “the Gentleman from Virginia, I fear, has added fuel to the fire.” Earlier, eight men and women chanted “Free DC” and “DC Votes NO” from the House visitor's gallery, and were taken into custody by U.S. Capitol Police. D.C.'s budget debate “seeking harmony between D.C. and the nation” continues tomorrow.


Efforts to Get Democracy in DC
Ann Loikow,

From DC Statehood Green Party's online newsletter, some information I thought readers of themail would like to know: “BREAKING NEWS from ACT UP's Wayne Turner on Shadow Rep. candidate Martin Thomas and others arrested for civil disobedience during the House floor vote on DC appropriations on Wednesday, July 26: 'DC democracy protesters were finally released as of 10:15 pm and were greeted by a gathering of supporters at DC Central Cellblock. They are due for arraignment in DC Superior Court on Thursday, July 27, at 10:30 am. We should all be very proud of these brave freedom fighters, [Karen Szulgit, Debbie Hanrahan, Bette Hoover, Tanya Snyder, Queen Mother Shemaya, Steve Donkin, Martin Thomas, Ben Armfield], for standing up for our rights, and for our lives ... (P.S. — Queen Shamaya chose not to cooperate with the authorities and will remain incarcerated overnight — please keep her in your thoughts.)'”


Dulles Airport
Vijay Miller,

The proposed upgrade to Dulles Airport is not necessary because of increased demand emanating from Washington, D.C., nor from Alexandria, Arlington, Montgomery, or Prince George's. It is made necessary by the exploding growth in Fairfax (and now Loudon) County. Yet the proposed expansion would have us all pay for it equally through increased ticket charges and taxes. And the real need of the rest of the metropolitan area — the extension of Metro (which would incidentally relieve some problems, like parking) — is ignored. Many have proposed a regional transportation tax to permit revenue-starved jurisdictions, such as Washington, D.C., to participate as a true equal in rational planning for regional transportation solutions. But no rational regional tax has cash poor jurisdictions subsidizing those that are cash rich.

The expansion of Dulles should be opposed by all other local jurisdictions until a more comprehensive view is taken of the region's transportation needs and their financing. And a good look should be given at expanding another regional airport west of Dulles to serve what is becoming Fairfax County City. This is not entirely a Fairfax County issue. The State of Virginia deserves a good share of the credit for the current and increasing transportation nightmare in northern Virginia. There is also substantial room for the federal government, which the Capital is designed to serve and under whose jurisdiction all airports operate, to step in and participate. But the current proposal should be seen as totally unacceptable, and should be opposed.


Good and Bad
John Whiteside,

Good: Having left Virginia and bought a home in Logan Circle, I went to DMV and was walking out with a new DC license twenty minutes after they opened. The office was a model of efficiency. It was better than any DMV experiences I have had in Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York (the states where I've been a resident). Kudos to DMV and its employees. Bad: No trash pickup on either trash day this week. The garbage is piling up. When I got home from work today and found it still there, I left a message at the office of the director of public works, and called the mayor's hotline number in the phone book and complained. So far Arlington is way ahead in this department. We'll see what happens.


The Passing of an Era for the Baltimore Orioles
Vic Miller,

The sports section of today's New York Times had a large picture of former Oriole Mike Bordick congratulating former Oriole Armando Benitez after Benitez' successful 25th save of the year. It was Bordick's first game after being traded to the Mets — his home run was the Mets' first run; his next hit set up the winning run. Needless to say, the Oriole's biggest deficiency this year was a successful stopper such as Benitez in the bullpen; switch Benitez' and Orioles closer Mike Timlin's records this year and the Orioles are in first place.

The era that has passed for the Orioles is the one of the last couple of years where they declined to recruit Latin players, and treated those they had with a profound lack of respect. Rafael Palmeiro was left to wander in the wilderness until he finally walked away. Roberto Alomar had a minor brush with an umpire, and the Orioles management treated him as if he were trash. And Benitez himself left specifically highlighting what he felt as the poor treatment of Latin players. If you look at the rosters, EVERY contender in either league has at least one (and usually multiple) Latins in important positions of both batting and pitching leadership. By comparison, for most of this season the entire Orioles pitching staff was white, and so were most of the players.

Recruiting a staff in this way is like recruiting players in the 1950s and and recruiting no African Americans. It is at the very least dumb; it may be illegal; it certainly is an insult to the fans who are expected to support the team. I do not demean in this the quality ball players that were recruited. Many were both quality athletes and quality individuals. And I am also surprised by the events of this era; the Baltimore Orioles have a history of quality Latin ballplayers that served their fans well and were supported by management. This is now changing, and changing big time. Mike Hargroves will help drive the change; look at his lineup at Cleveland, and you understand how successful a club can be that both recruits and respects quality Latin ballplayers. I look forward to the future. Bienvenidos todos.


Is Insurance Speech?
John Whiteside,

Tom Matthes thinks it's a good idea for Congress to overrule the city government because they are protecting the First Amendment. This argument depends on a rather shaky premise: that health insurance benefits (or the lack thereof) is speech. I hate to break it to you, Tom, but Rep. Istook is not stomping on DC self-government because he is concerned about our Constitution rights. And health insurance is not speech. There is absolutely no restriction on the free speech of any church or any individual member of any church in the law. This argument is a red herring.


Incident Involving Diamond Cab
James Treworgy,

On Saturday, July 22, at 5:00 PM, a young, female house guest of mine called Diamond Cab for a pickup from my home at 3140 19th Street, NW, to be driven to Union Station. The cab arrived at 5:20. I later learned from the house guest's parents that she was not dropped off at Union Station, but rather in an unfamiliar area at least five blocks away from the station. My house guest protested to the cab driver several times, but he insisted that she was at the station and demanded that she leave the cab. My guest indicated that there were several men who appeared to be known to the driver of the cab where she was let out. Luckily, after leaving the cab, she saw a security guard at a nearby building who directed her to Union Station. She ran the whole way with her luggage. It is unclear what the motives of the cab driver were, but one can hazard a guess. The bottom line is a young female from out of town was placed in an extremely frightening and potentially dangerous situation due to the actions of this driver.

The parents of my house guest are pursuing the matter with Diamond and with the DC Taxicab Commission. To my mind this is a very serious incident, and people should be aware of it. Cabs are a fundamental part of the city's infrastructure, and it is scary to know that such things can happen even in what would seem to be very safe circumstances — e.g., a radio dispatched cab from a well established company. I don't think that in the future I'd be comfortable leaving a young person alone in a cab; at the very least I will make a point of getting the driver's info before he leaves and making sure he knows it. If anyone else has heard of similar incidents, I would be interested in hearing about them.


Road Warriors
Gregory Diaz,

You may recall there was a horrible accident at the intersection of Connecticut and Calvert, NW, early this month. Speed may have been a factor, but speed is definitely a factor every day across the Connecticut-Woodley bridge and on the Rock Creek Parkway (scene of frequent serious accidents on rainy days). Just try going posted limits and see the rage. This is common all over the city. The bridge problem could be controlled if we had a real traffic division in a real police department (hoo-haw!). Rock Creek is different, being in the jurisdiction of the comic but cutely uniformed U.S. Park Police, who will whine that it is difficult and perhaps dangerous to make traffic stops along the high speed commuter corridor. May I suggest that we install cameras to detect speeders along all such routes? I am told some states use them. Everyone who matters should be happy. Oh, yes, the radical civil libertarians will holler about Big Brother. The commuters from Maryland and Virginia will snivel about being two minutes late to their cubicle in But the mayor could get a nice infusion of cash (perhaps to spruce up the parks or hire another swaybacked crony) and the rest of us could have a safer day. Next: photograph the dog owners who let their little darlings leave fecal calling cards.


Residential Parking Permit, Continued
Peg Blechman,

Well folks, after the uproar that my initial E-mail caused over residential parking permits and my governmental imposed lack thereof, I was going to remain silent. You know, the will of the people (or the most vocal people) and all that. However, after just receiving a ticket for parking not even a block away from my apartment building (would you believe two cars away — in what happens to be, surprise surprise, a residential parking zone), I have a question. Would any of the fervent upholders of residential parking like to step forward and pay my $20 ticket? I would be much obliged. (Sorry for the sarcasm, but I am so ready to move out of DC over this ridiculousness. And I've been a resident since 1979.)

On the governmental side of this, my council member has sent a letter to Hizzoner the Mayor concerning this issue on my and other constituents' behalf — which I greatly appreciate. However, I would like to have it resolved before I get hit with another $20 ticket.


“Abandon Hope” at Adjudication
Thomas C. Hall,

“Abandon Hope, All Who Enter Here” read the sign atop the wrought iron gate to Auschwitz. The same could be said of the Bureau of Adjudication. The District in 1996 tightened rules for contesting parking tickets, eliminating the “admit with explanation” option at hearings, but in reality, even totally erroneous tickets won't be canceled at hearings. To wit: on June 1st, five vehicles (including mine) were ticketed in the 1700 block of C Street, NW, just south of the DAR's Constitution Hall, for parking in a “bus zone.” All vehicles were in metered spaces, marked “2-hour parking, 7 am-4 pm” with no other signage in the entire block of C Street, on either side. A passing Park Service Police officer said there had been signs signaling a Bus Zone in effect from 4 pm-6:30 pm in that block, but the signs had been missing for some time. “I'd appeal that,” he said. I left notes on the other ticketed vehicles, and the other drivers all called to express bewilderment and outrage at the apparently trumped-up charge.

Armed with righteous indignation, I challenged the ticket at a walk-in hearing. After all, the ticket met two of the five criteria for being contested: the “evidence (none) does not support the charge,” and the relevant signs were not just “obscured,” but missing altogether! Hearing officer Rose Musonye Smith flatly rejected these facts, and refused to have the missing signs verified by parking enforcement personnel, upholding the false charge and $50 fine. Hearings can be appealed, but only if the fine is paid first, along with a $30 deposit to pay for a required transcript of the hearing — and appeals are considered only on the record of the original hearing itself — not on any additional evidence. Thus, appeals are simply a way of collecting the fine up front, plus fees, from any sucker who foolishly chooses that option. When parking tickets are challenged in other jurisdictions, such as Arlington County, enforcement personnel go to the site to inspect for missing signs, faulty meters, etc., and cancel tickets on the spot if the evidence supports the challenge. Not in D.C. — even if the ticket is false, you have “no hope” of obtaining justice. Parking enforcement is visibly less rabid in the District than it was a few years ago, when parking aides were in hot pursuit of quotas, but the sham “hearings” at the Bureau of Adjudication continue to dispense Soviet-style justice with unabated glee.


Erik Wemple,

I'm interested in knowing what experiences themail devotees have had recently with parking enforcement personnel. Good encounters? Cutthroat enforcement? Any input would be appreciated.



Demonstration at MPD
Bryce A. Suderow,

Here on Capitol Hill, the First District police seem to be cracking down on people driving without seat belts. I know one woman who got two $50 tickets in the span of a few days. On another occasion, a cop gave a friend of mine a warning ticket for not wearing her seat belt. While this is happening, the open air drug markets throughout the Hill are flourishing and you can't even get a cop to make the drug dealers move, much less arrest them. Are cops elsewhere waging a wear-your-seatbelt campaign?

Next Friday (August 4th), we are holding a demonstration in front of Police Narcotics Headquarters. The purpose is to protest the MPD's failure to arrest drug dealers. This is a protest against the continuation of open air drug markets all over the city. Everyone who wants to come is welcome. If you are interested, please contact Lorre Murray at 547-9235.


Twenty Youth Present Their Visions for the Shaw Neighborhood
Ondine Wilhelm,

Every Friday, until August 11, 2000, at the National Building Museum, twenty high school interns with the Youth EcoDesign Corps will present their proposals for making Shaw a more attractive, livable and sustainable community. August 4 from 1-3:00 pm, Room 231; August 11 from 6 ­ 8:30 pm, Auditorium (final presentation). The National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW (Judiciary Square Metro), 2nd Floor Classroom, Room 231. The projects, designed and led by students, include: 1) landscaping the grounds of the Watha T. Daniel Public Library for the 25th Anniversary celebration, 2) developing a youth-based proposal for the 25 acre McMillan Sand Filtration site, 3) designing a web-based quality of life map of Shaw, 4) Proposing renovation ideas for Kennedy Playground, 5) launching a pilot farmer's market with local produce on U-Street.

The Youth EcoDesign Corps, a 120-hour internship of the Shaw EcoVillage Project, provides each participant with skills in urban planning and design, community development, and critical thinking through hands-on experience in real-life problem solving. Each team is given four weeks to work on a project within the neighborhood. The teams must evaluate the problems and opportunities, survey residents, interview professionals and craft proposals for the improvement of their site. Every Friday, the teams present to invited professionals in architecture, community organizing and development. For more information or to RSVP for one of the event, contact Ondine Wilhelm, Executive Director, 265-8899,



B.B. King Blues Festival 2000 at Wolf Trap
Laurie England,

Two lawn tickets (value $20 each) for sale for the B.B. King Blues Festival 2000 at Wolf Trap, Wednesday, September 6 at 6 pm. $34 for both or best offer. E-mail



Community Mediation Project
Larry Ray,

I-OPT (Institute for Organizational and Professional Transformation) announces the opening of their non profit community mediation project. The project consists of 20 highly trained and experienced dispute resolvers. If you are having a problem with your neighborhood, condo resident, coop board, business or tenant/landlord, call for the assistance of the Community Mediation Project.



The Building Permit Process
John Hager,

The time is coming when I will need to replace the aging garage behind my home in Cleveland Park. Is there a central location in the DC government where I can find out about the permit process, potential design restrictions, and the like — before I proceed to find a contractor and have the blueprints drawn up? Any tips that you can provide will be appreciated!


Alley Cleaning
William John Persson,

Anyone know the appropriate DC Department and method for having an alley cleaned and its upkeep enforced? We have exhausted every clue in trying to keep our alley clean between 8th and 9th, Maryland and D streets, NE. Please call 487-0088, fax 546-0186, or E-mail


Hair Stylist Sought in Silver Spring
Jon Katz,

Please refer me to a good hairstylist in downtown Silver Spring; it seems like only a small percentage can get it right.. I have four favorite stylists at Harlow, but I'd like to go closer to my office.


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