Those Poor Candidates
Imagine those poor candidates, sitting out there waiting for just one word
of encouragement from you. The primary election is on September 12. Make some candidate
happy, just one candidate happy. Let him or her know that you care. And let other readers
of themail know whom they should vote for. DCWatch's election coverage starts at http://www.dcwatch.com/election2000. The
candidates are listed there; click on any candidate's link to see the campaign materials.
Special Ed Students: Traveling In Style
Paul Michael Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of winters ago, in the grip of a severe flu and loathe to impose
on my friends, I found myself in need of transportation between my Eastern Market condo
and the building full of docs the G.W. HMO maintains at 22nd and I Streets NW. (Motto:
If you never visited the former Soviet Union, you can at least experience their
health care system.) Not trusting any of the cab companies to dispatch a taxi to an
address in Southeast, I threw frugality to the wind and called a car service company. For
$40 round trip, a shiny black Lincoln Town Car whisked me back and forth in Vernon Jordan
I see from Mr. Barron's recent post that the D.C. School Board is offering
as much as $7,500 per special ed student if the parents will assume responsibility for
transportation. Hmmm. Assuming 9 months of school and 20 days of school each month, that
works out to $41.66 per day. Can anybody explain why it costs more to drive a kid to
school than it costs to treat me like one of Washington's premier rainmakers?
ay Browne, Democrat, is running for U.S. Representative (Shadow) because
he believes he can use the office to work for voting representation for DC residents in
the U.S. Congress. His plan is to ensure that everyone in the United States understands
that District citizens are disenfranchised in the Congress. He wants to carry a lucid,
cogent and persuasive message to the rest of the country that will create grassroots
support for our rights to a voting representative in Congress. He has been endorsed by the
Ward 8, 3 and 2 Democrats, the Washington Teachers Union, the Gertrude Stein
Democratic Club, a number of DC Councilmembers and former Councilmembers, the chair and
vice chair of the DC Democratic State Committee, ANC Commissioners and many other
prominent citizens of our City. He earned these endorsements because he has worked
tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this City, as an ANC Commissioner, as a member of
the DC Mayor's Commission on Alcoholism and the Blue Ribbon Drug Strategy Team, as an
advocate for the Hurt Home on R Street to help the emotionally disturbed youths and as a
supporter of a health insurance pool for those who are uninsurable. Ray Browne, a native
of the District of Columbia, clearly understands this City and deserves your support for
U.S. Representative (Shadow) both in the Democratic primary and the general election.
Personal Records at the DMV
Charlie Wellander, jfa-cwr@CapAccess.org
Eleven minutes to renew my DC driver's license. That is a personal record!
I was still checking boxes on the renewal form when my wait number was called, so I got to
the window after another number had been called. The worker politely told me that I should
have come to the window when called, even though I wasn't ready. I joked, That is a
pleasant change I'm complaining that you're too fast and you're complaining that
I'm slow. I was offered the choice of a random number or my Social
Security number for my Driver's License Number, paid, was photographed, and left with my
license in hand exactly eleven minutes after arrival.
Save the Urinals
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
Some feminist groups here in the U.S. and overseas are campaigning to have
urinals removed from men's rest rooms. The rationale is that, because men can aim and
women can't, this is degrading to women. At the University of Stockholm, in Sweden,
urinals are being removed from men's rest rooms in response to these feminists. Just
consider the chaos that would result if urinals were removed from men's rest rooms at
Redskins' stadium. Lines would form at these rest rooms that would snake across I-495 all
the way to the U.S. Arena. I'm not sure who is crazier, those who are promoting this
madness, or those who are responding to it. In any event, it is essential that D.C. males
stand up for their rights and save our urinals.
Not One of the Twenty
George S. LaRoche, Counsel to the Plaintiffs, LaRoche@us.net
Regarding [Mike Livingston's posting on New Black Panthers and
Reparations: Mr. [Malik] Shabazz is not one of the plaintiffs in the 20 Citizens
case, and he is not involved with the case.
In his posting earlier this week, Jon Desenberg states that he's
shocked to see that Constantine Stavropoulos of Tryst is circulating a
petition to try and stop construction of the mixed-use garage. I am not writing to address
the garage issue, although I feel that Mr. Desenberg's description of that debate is
almost criminally oversimplified. I will instead respond to the tone and the implicit bias
of Mr. Desenberg's message. Time and time again, residents of this community impugn the
intentions of neighborhood businesses, claiming that they are just out to make a quick
buck. I find this criticism over-generalized and insulting.
First of all, when Mr. Desenberg selected a merchant to attack as
self-serving (. . . if [Constantine] wants additional patrons. . . , he
wrote), he basically picked the wrong fight. Constantine (who is a friend and a colleague,
I will admit) did not open Tryst, and will not open his diner, with profit foremost on his
mind. Let me remind you, as Constantine has already done several times during the debate
on the diner, that an MBA or CPA's first bit of advice on making a cash-cow out of Tryst
would be: open at 7 pm, not 7 am. Constantine either loses money, or barely breaks even,
by opening his doors at 7 am, seven days a week. That's a fact. He stays open because it's
important to him and it's important to the neighborhood. Ever since Day One, Constantine
has spoken of wanting to create a third place, a place other than home or the
office where people would enjoy spending a good chunk of their day. By opening Tryst, and
by opening it the generous hours that he has chosen, Constantine has created a heart and a
soul for the neighborhood. Bar none, no other business or other institution in the
neighborhood welcomes such a diverse group of people age, race, income level, you
Adams Morgan never had a true community center until Tryst
came along (is it a coincidence that Tryst lies quite near the geographical center of the
Adams Morgan community?) It serves as a Parisian cafe for those who want to spend three
hours drinking a coffee and reading a newspaper, as an office-away-from-home for restless
home office workers who need to get out of their house, as a de facto conference room for
the many neighborhood facility-poor nonprofits that strive tirelessly and without
recognition to improve the lives of our less fortunate neighbors. Do you think that
Constantine turns a heady profit off of these folks? Since it opened, Tryst has hosted
innumerable fundraisers, charity parties, childrens' events, and other
neighborhood-centered activities. His cash and in-kind donations are frankly enormous. And
even his work as President of the Adams Morgan Business and Professional Association is
necessary but difficult and thankless.
Mr. Desenberg, ad hominem attacks are never appropriate. Ad hominem
attacks on neighborhood saints are foolish and masochistic.
A Brief D.C. Home Rule History by the Numbers
Mark Richards, Dupont East, firstname.lastname@example.org
As public opinion research data became more widely available, a few
pollsters examined the question of home rule in D.C. After a home rule bill reached the
House floor in 1948, and an Arkansas representative with 50,000 constituents filibustered
and killed the bill, George Gallup (1949) surveyed U.S. adults and found 65 percent
thought the people of Washington should elect their own officials (20 percent said
President should appoint). The N.Y. Herald Tribune (2/3/1952) blamed Congress for
D.C. downtown blight. In 1953, the Supreme Court sanctioned home rule:
There is no constitutional barrier to the delegation by Congress to the District of
Columbia of full legislative power. Congress wasn't interested in the
full part of the ruling. They toyed with various options, such as a gradual
plan to make the existing setup look more representative to handing back to Maryland
with the government holding only a sliver of ground containing federal buildings (The
Post, 1/20/53). Commissioners that year were occupied with financial woes, and The
Post observed that D.C.'s city council consists of 531 Congressmen who often
give the impression they don't want to be bothered with the District, don't understand its
problems, and don't have time to learn about them. But they won't let it go. City business
gives Congressmen a change to plug the prejudices of their constituents. It makes for some
funny business. In 1956, D.C. citizens voted for the first time for delegates to the
Democratic and Republican National Conventions and for other party offices an
election many hoped would pave the way for home rule and national representation. The
Junior Chamber of Commerce held a voter registration campaign, and the attractive Miss
Tippy Stringer played Miss Get Out the Vote. For years, despite American
public support, southern segregationists blocked Congressional home rule bills. District
residents worked through the Washington Home Rule Committee to publicize the home rule
drive. In 1964, District residents, in what was interpreted as a demonstration of their
worthiness, broke a U.S. historic voting turnout record for cities over 25,000
in their first presidential election 90 percent voted, most for Lyndon B. Johnson. The
Washington World reported, Home rule will be a major issue in 1965 and during
this administration. Whether local citizens, local officials and the local press now have
sufficient strength to overcome traditional disinterest and outright resistance is still
uncertain. In 1965, Lou Harris again found a majority of Americans (66 percent) in
favor of Congress granting D.C. the right to elect its own city government. Those who
favored did so because every city should determine their own destiny, and
every community has the right to self-government. The majority of Americans
who opposed home rule (10 percent) said, there are too many Negroes, they would take
over. In January 1966, Marion Barry organized a bus boycott when a private D.C. bus
company raised fares five cents, gaining important knowledge about D.C. neighborhoods.
That year, SNCC chairman Stokely Carmichael (Black Power) transferred Barry to Atlanta,
but he resigned and turned to the Free D.C. Movement. Free D.C. caused a
number of businessmen and prominent members of the Board of Trade to break with the
Board's opposition to home rule. The District's chief opponent of home rule, John McMillan
of South Carolina, often cited Board of Trade opposition. Yet Barry grew in local
popularity a Washington Post poll in D.C. found Barry ranked fifth among
black leaders who had done the most for Negro people in the area.
In 1966, Lou Harris surveyed metropolitan Washington residents for The
Post. Harris found 69 percent of D.C. residents supported home rule but only
45 percent of Caucasians. Support by African-Americans in the region was strong 84
percent. Support in the region was 52 percent (51 percent of residents of Montgomery, 34
percent Prince George's, 39 percent Arlington, and 37 percent of Fairfax Counties). Harris
said respondents who opposed home rule feared higher taxes, corruption, less federal aid,
and African-American control of the Capital. Reasons people gave for supporting home rule
were that Washington would be better governed by people who know and live with its
problems, everyone should have a voice in their own government, lack of local government
in the Nation's Capital was tarnishing America's image oversees, and home rule would
result in better housing, better schools, and higher morale among District residents. D.C.
was granted limited home rule by Congress in December 1973 and, according to
Colbert King (The Post, 1/26/84), never did the issue of distrust of a majority
black electorate openly surface in either house. In 1984, King wrote in Home Rule Is
Now 10 Years Old and It Feels Good that of 69 Senators who voted for the home rule
bill, only 14 remained, and of the 343 who supported in the House, just over 100 were
still in office. He wrote, D.C. could find itself thrown back to where it was more
than 10 years ago: having to make the case anew for self government. Ten years later
(1994), The Wirthlin Group found 61 percent of D.C. and 72 percent of suburban residents
describing the situation in D.C. as a major crisis not just some
problems. They found the majority of both D.C. (77 percent) and suburban (53
percent) residents approved of increasing the federal payments to D.C., and 75 percent in
D.C. and 60 percent in the suburbs supported having the federal government pay for state
services. Under half in D.C. (48 percent) and the suburbs (42 percent) supported having
the federal government take over state services. D.C. residents supported a 2 percent tax
on non-residents (67 percent), but only 22 percent of suburban residents agreed. Just
after a Control Board was given authority over D.C.'s government (1997), a national poll
of U.S. adults I designed found 86 percent thought D.C. citizens should have the
right to elect their own local officials. In the same study, 43 percent percent
agreed that, If the locally elected city government of Washington, D.C. is poorly
managed, the federal government should take over and put different leaders in charge,
because it is the nation's capital just over half (51 percent) disagreed. There
were no race differences on these questions. A year later, when D.C. residents were asked
how the Control Board was handling its job (Washington Post 1998 poll), 34
percent of African-Americans and 59 percent of Caucasians approved. But race differences
disappeared when it came to putting the Control Board permanently in charge just
over 70% of both groups opposed the idea. A Post poll in February 2000 asked who
had the most power in D.C. government these days 56 percent said Congress. When
asked who SHOULD have the most power, 51 percent said the Mayor, 17 percent the Council,
12 percent both Mayor and Council. In the 1998 mayoral elections, Mayor Williams promised
citizens he would stand his ground if Congress tried to move the goal posts they set for
the return of D.C. home rule after four consecutive balance budgets.
CBS New Show The District
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
Perhaps the best thing the residents of the real District can do on the
opening night of the show is to turn off their television sets completely. Somehow this
will register with the automated polling elements of the TV industry and should send a
clear message that we don't accept the characterization that the show The
District depicts for the District of Columbia. It would also not hurt if the Mayor
would register a formal protest via a letter to CBS with a copy to the Post and
to the NY Times. There's already enough Congressmen and Senators unjustly
trashing our city.
Ask the Mayor
Jim Farley, VP News and Programming, WTOP Radio, JTFnews@aol.com
Got a problem with DC? Ask the guy in charge. DC Mayor Tony Williams takes
questions live for an hour Thursday morning at 10 am on the monthly Ask the
Mayor program on WTOP Radio, 1500 AM or 107.7 FM, or listen on-line at http://www.wtopnews.com. The number to call to ask a
question is 895-5065 (but not until 10 am on Thursday). We here at WTOP read themail every
week and yes, we get story ideas here.
Hey everyone, this is going to be really a good time, and a great help to
The Wash, the arts rag I run with two friends out of an Adams Morgan living room. I hope
you all can make it, its much much better than donating to NPR (and more fun, too).
Benefit for The Wash, DC's free arts journal, Sunday, August 27, 7 pm on, at the DC Arts
Center on Eighteenth Street just south of Columbia Road. Music, food, drinks, spoken word
poetry and lots of greatness. Featuring local bands, (including Vice Versa) a film, and
the most poetic entertainers in town. $10 donation at the door, or $15 to buy a T-shirt
along with entry. $2 for drinks. Hope to see you all there, Robin, Susie and Nijole,
editors of The Wash.
Footlights DC's only drama discussion group meets monthly to
discuss plays from the modern theater. Participation is free. On Wednesday, September 13,
we will discuss Howard Sackler's The Great White Hope (1967). This fact-based
Pulitzer Prize-winning play portrays the rise and fall of the first African-American world
heavyweight champion, whose pugilistic prowess and interracial romances spurred a racist
society to destroy him. Irresistible (New Yorker), a
triumph (New York Times), The Great White Hope is so
thrilling it can take an audience's breath away (New York
Daily News). Our discussion takes place 7:30-9:30 p.m. (dinner at 6:30) at Luna
Books, 1633 P St., NW, 3 blocks E of Dupont Circle. It will feature director Molly Smith.
To make reservations for our discussion E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 638-0444. For discount tickets ($28) to the Thursday September 21, 8 p.m.,
performance and cast discussion of The Great White Hope at Arena Stage, 1101
6th St., SW (Waterfront Metro), E-mail email@example.com
or call 301-897-9314. For general information about Footlights, visit http://www.footlightsdc.org.
CLASSIFIEDS HELP WANTED
American Humanist Association Hiring!
Tony Hileman, firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Humanist Association, http://www.Humanism.net,
a progressive nonprofit located near Dupont Circle, has two immediate full-time openings.
Become a part of our team and work in a cooperative, low-stress environment with benefits
package. Work at your creative edge and grow with us as we relocate our national
headquarters to Washington! (Fax resume to 238-9003.)
Bookkeeper/Database Manager: Full charge bookkeeping responsibilities
require solid experience with QuickBooks, monthly statements and budgeting procedures.
Also maintain membership/subscription lists on Access database.
Design/Layout/Write/Edit/Proof: Full creative responsibility for
newsletters, promotional, and membership materials. Also copyediting and proofreading for
our philosophical, social issues magazine with a print run of 18,000. Must know PageMaker.
Webmaster skills a plus.
Perfect condition. Dimensions are 30w x 12h x 12d. Willing to donate to
school or charity. Call 338-1585 or E-mail.
Great New Blues Club, Smokeless
Smokeless at 617 I. St. NW is a great new blues club. They do not allow
smoking. The cover is $5 on Friday and Saturday. They feature Washington artists. I really
enjoyed the music and ambiance. The food is fine. It's close to Metro. All in all a good
experience. Support the local music scene.
Real Estate Agent Help
Gabriel Wiest, email@example.com
I am ready to make a long term commitment to DC by becoming a home owner.
Any recommendations on real estate agents in DC would be greatly appreciated. I currently
live in Brookland, so I am looking in the neighborhood as well as Capitol Hill and
Shaw/Logan Circle. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Plumber for Long-Range Relationship
Bell Clement, firstname.lastname@example.org
Help! Seeking a plumber, before the household floats away: several
immediate crises, but also looking to build a long-term relationship which would take in
both big (future rehab) and little (future chores). Also seeking electrician and
carpenter/cabinet maker. Can anybody help me with some referrals? Does themail archive all
the past good suggestions?
[In answer to Ms. Clement's second question, you can search the archives
of themail using the form at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/search.htm.
However, many people answer the recommendations questions privately, and don't send copies
of their suggestions to themail. Again, I'd ask anyone who has really good suggestions for
any of these frequent questions to share them with us all. Gary Imhoff]
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
EXILE FROM MAIN STREET: The proprietors of a methadone clinic proposed for Good Hope Road
SE in historic Anacostia certainly never expected a warm embrace from residents of the
surrounding neighborhood. Still, they looked a bit shell-shocked when confronted with the
hostility that boiled over at a hearing on the clinic last Tuesday before the city's State
Health Planning and Development Agency.
Clinical Director Darryl Satterwhite sat before a packed crowd and attempted to convince
the detractors that their opposition to the facility, known as the Good Hope Institute,
was ill-informed. A lot of you really, really have a misunderstanding of what we're
trying to do, said Satterwhite, who vowed that the clinic would assist local heroin
addicts with the physical, mental, and even spiritual aspects of recovery.
Satterwhite had much more to say, and Anacostians didn't care to hear any of it.
This is our ward; we don't want it, jeered one man.
Read the entire Loose Lips column here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early
warnings for upcoming events:
FRIDAY: The Road to Morocco, starring Bob & Bing, 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at the
Library of Congress' Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free.
MONDAY: Travesty Films: From Here to Obscurity, 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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