Playing a Few Race Cards
Dear Potential Fire Victims:
Councilmember Harold Brazil held a charade, I mean a confirmation hearing,
today on the nomination of Ronnie Few as DC's fire chief. The outcome Few's
confirmation is a foregone conclusion, but the process stinks to high heaven. If
you read the Washington Times you know that serious questions have been raised
about Few's history as Fire Chief of Augusta, Georgia, and Mayor Williams and
Councilmember Brazil (and, so far, the Washington Post) are determined to ignore
and disregard those problems, to sweep them under the rug. Brazil pledged that he would
send an investigator to Augusta to look into them, but that was a lie. He never intended
to, and he never did. Nobody on the go-along, get-along Council asked any tough questions.
A example of the depth of questioning was Brazil's probing interrogation of Few: Can
you give me three of your top characteristics? and one sentence from Few's answer,
I feel like I'm the world's greatest fire chief.
To testify in favor of Few's nomination, Williams and Brazil called up
from Augusta some race-baiting politicians of the crudest type, and Brazil and his
committee, most notably Vincent Orange, fawned all over them and reinforced their nasty
tack. Is Few the target of a long-running Grand Jury investigation? Well, you know that
those Grand Juries are all racist, and besides, Few isn't alone; all of us in the Augusta
government are being investigated. If he isn't currently under indictment, there's no
problem. Did the Georgia Bureau of Investigation seize Few's and the Fire Department's
records just last week? Well, you know they're racist, and they just did that to embarrass
him at this confirmation hearing. Did Few charge hundreds of dollars of personal calls to
his government cell phone? Well, he repaid the charges when he got caught, and that's up
to our standards. If you think there's anything wrong with that, you're a racist. Did Few
use favoritism in distributing pay raises in his Department? Well, that's what the
newspaper printed, but the paper is racist, and the City Council retroactively approved of
the raises. Don't even mention the problems with what he charged Augusta for moving
expenses, or the unpaid expenses of the fire chief's conference that Few hosted, or the
problem with the Augusta fire fighter who wrote the specs for equipment that he sold the
city, or the problem with the black fire fighters association meeting that excluded
whites, or the call by Few's political allies to eliminate Augusta's Office of Equal
Opportunity when the director of that Office protested the segregated meeting. Did Few
reveal any of these problems to the search committee? No. He was asked whether there was
any embarrassment that could arise, and he said no, and, since he still thinks that he has
never done anything wrong, he gave the right answer. And so on, and so on. Any criticism
is easily explained away by the accusation that any critics are racists.
When Dorothy began to ask questions about Few's background a few months
ago, she was confronted with the warning, You don't want to cause problems for a
black man, do you? You must prefer a white candidate. As late as Monday, a Brazil
staffer tried to discourage her from testifying with the same innuendo. This has been the
Williams's administration's major tactic to grease one more bad nomination through the
City Council to sway Councilmembers receptive to this kind of argument and to warn
away questioning ones. And it worked. Victory with dishonor.
Its Broke and It Cant Be Fixed
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
The D.C. School System, like many inner city and urban school systems,
can't be fixed. There are band aids being used such as vouchers, charter schools, and home
schooling. But the real problems in the way schools are currently run cannot be fixed. We
have evolved a completely dysfunctional system with processes that cannot succeed in
providing a quality education to our kids. George Bush talks about an educational
recession. We have a full blown depression here in Washington's schools.
The solution lies not in more band aids but in a complete reinvention and
reengineering of the system and its processes. It means starting with a clean sheet of
paper to produce an effective and efficient system that is performance and results based,
with incentives for those who excel in providing quality education. This must be a system
that is not monopoly based, but one which allows free choice without domination by the
teachers' and the custodial unions. A whole new approach to an educational system for
inner city kids will likely smoke out some excellent teachers who would not be willing to
teach in today's schools.
It will take a bold and courageous visionary in the White House to fund a
program that will cost a ton of money and take, perhaps, ten years to craft, evolve and
demonstrate that a new approach can work in providing a good education to inner city kids.
I would hope that this city would be selected for a pilot program for a whole new school
system. A successful pilot program would result in a model that could be applied in other
urban areas. It's time to take that bold and courageous approach. The current system is
broke and can't be fixed.
There must be fifty ways to deal with spammers. I too have received spam
thanks to 'bots that scoured themail for addresses. Gary Imhoff's suggestion of simply
deleting and going on with your life is the best, and I strongly second his advice never
to follow any of the spammers' instructions (particularly including buying anything from
them!). For those who prefer getting even to getting mad, I recommend http://spamcop.net. This free service will parse all the
headers (and HTML body text, if applicable) of the spam, then automatically generate a
spam report to be E-mailed to the appropriate system administrators.
Another approach is to get a free Mission-Impossible-style E-mail address
at http://mailexpire.com. Mail to such an address (e.g., the one I used for this posting)
will be forwarded to you at your normal mail server. After a period of time that you
specify, the temporary address self-destructs in a puff of cybersmoke, and no further
messages (spam or any other) to that address will ever get through to you. You can get as
many different addresses as you need.
A Huge Mistake
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor is making a huge mistake in his endeavors to secure the year
2012 Olympics at a combined city pair of Washington and Baltimore. First of all, the quest
will be in vain. Second, this city cannot manage a one-car funeral much less a very
complicated event that will require a dozen major venues, transportation, and the presence
of some 250,000 additional visitors for six weeks during the summer months. This city has
some major problems to focus on, namely the education of our kids and crime in the
streets. We do not need the major distraction of the Mayor gallivanting around the world
in a lobbying mode. We cannot afford the monies it will take to market D.C./Baltimore as a
potential Olympic site. Let's focus on the problems that the city faces right now and get
rid of the major distraction of the year 2012 Olympics.
Someone Elses Credit
Joan Eisenstodt, email@example.com
It only happens to others, I thought! But I need to know where to call to
make it stop: someone we've never met has been getting dunning notices from a local
hospital and now from collection agencies, all at our address. It's compounded because
someone sold a list to credit card companies and now we are also getting all kinds of
applications for these credit cards in this person's name. I've called the two credit
agencies. I tried to call Equifax and D&B credit reporting groups, but you get vmx and
can't get out! HELP! Whom do I call to get this away from us?
Realtors Drive Cars, Not Prices
Kirsten Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Mazer wrote in the last issue. Residence prices are zooming out
of sight. Every few years, a realtor-driven buying frenzy occurs in DC, particularly in
Georgetown. I am a realtor, and can assure you we don't drive prices up or down or
create buying frenzies. That statement is the equivalent of claiming your stockbroker
determines the price of a stock. We live in a free market economy, and it is good ol'
supply and demand. But we do spend a lot of time driving in our cars.
Paul Penniman asks, Did anyone else miss their recycling pick-up
today (Wednesday)? There has been no explanation yet from DPW. What happened when
you called to let them know? Our neighborhood's recycling was not picked up on its regular
day last week (Tuesday). Wednesday afternoon, I called the all-around complaint number
(727-1000), and a service report was taken by a competent, efficient, and friendly woman.
The recycling was picked up Wednesday afternoon.
DC does charge differently for vehicle registration depending on weight.
For vehicles under 3,500 pounds the charge is $55 a year. For vehicles over 3,500 pounds
it is $88. There is also a mandatory $10 inspection fee, whether or not the car is due for
inspection that particular year. The optional residential parking permit is another $10.
This information is available on the DMV site at www.dmv.washingtondc.gov under
registration and title. FYI by comparison, I had an extra car registered in Delaware at my
beach house and the charge was $20 a year total. Delaware is in the same population range
(around 650,000) as DC and of course geographically much larger, so the DMV operational
costs one might expect to be the same or a little more in Delaware. Go figure. Drivers
licenses in Delaware are about $20 for four years, and they set the renewal on your
birthday, so it's easy to remember.
D.C. Drivers License Without Social Security
Mark G. Epstein, email@example.com
Not only is it possible to get a DC license with a random number
for privacy protection it's remarkably easy. I had an hour to waste between
meetings downtown, and, since it was a nice day, I wandered over to the Municipal Center
on Indiana Avenue. I was pleased to see that DMV has an express one-stop
office just next to the lower level semi-hidden entrance on the eastern side of the
In ten minutes I got instructions on filling out the form, submitted the
form, got my photo taken, paid $5 by check for the duplicate license, and
received the new license all from the same pleasant and helpful staffer behind the
counter. In fact, the only hard part was finding the one-stop room if you go in the
main entrance, as I did, there are no signs you just have to go downstairs and
wander forever until you find it.
A Quote in Any Other Form
Larry Lesser, LBLesser@aol.com
I'll bet George LaRoche knew that his Shakespeare quote was a little off.
He was probably just testing us. A rose by any other name would smell as
sweet. (Not the same. Good one.
Reply to Steph Faul
Jim Farley, WTOP Radio, JTFnews@aol.com
I'm not sure why Steph Faul would have heard WTOP on that projector at
Alice Deal Junior High. The WTOP-AM towers are in Wheaton, Maryland, and the WTOP-FM tower
is in Warrenton, Virginia. Our newsroom and studios are, however, located in the District.
We have no connection to that monstrosity going up across from Krupin's.
CLASSIFIEDS EVENTS AND CLASSES
Free Washington Symphony Orchestra Performance
Vivian Henderson, VHende firstname.lastname@example.org
The Washington Symphony Orchestra will perform Sunday, October 8, 4:00
p.m., at Sixth Presbyterian Church, 16th and Kennedy Streets, NW. This will be an exciting
free concert don't miss it.
Hispanic Heritage Month Programs at DCPL
Patricia Pasqual, email@example.com
Sponsored by the Washingtoniana Division and Washington Area Performing
Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA). Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 pm, Dangerous Border Games, video of
the production co-sponsored and co-presented by Washington Performing Arts Society and
GALA Hispanic Theater. It will be introduced by Abel Lopez of GALA theater. Tuesday,
October 11, 6:30 pm, Sins of Sorjuana, video of this year's Helen Hayes new play award,
introduced by a member of the company. Screenings will be at Martin Luther King Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW.
Family History in DC
Matthew Gilmore, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 5:45-8:45 pm. A workshop on family history in DC begins
at the Historical Society of Washington DC and concludes at DCPL's Martin Luther King
Memorial Library. Matthew Gilmore and Gail Redmann introduce materials, resources, and
research strategies for doing family history and genealogical research in a variety of
institutions in Washington DC and opportunity is given for hands-on use of the resources
of both facilities visited. Cost is $15 (members FWD/HSW) or $20 (nonmembers). Subway fare
is included in the fee. To make reservations, call 785.2068, ext. 111, or E-mail Gail
Redmann (HSW) at Hswlibrary@attglobal.net.
D.C. Democratic State Committee to Host
Presidential Debate Watch Party
Linda Finkel-Talvadkar, email@example.com
Join your fellow Democrats in light fare, great company, and a stimulating
Presidential Debate on Tuesday, October 3, at Poli-Tiki, 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
(between 3rd and 4th Streets) on Capital Hill. Festivities begin at 7:30 p.m., and the
Presidential Debate will commence at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00. To purchase tickets or
for more information call Norm Neverson, Chair of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, at
Robert Revere, managing director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telling Tales, a storytelling class for novices, will be offered by
Washington Storytellers Theater on Monday nights, October 2 through November 20. The class
provides a relaxed, supportive, and artistically challenging environment to explore the
basics of effective storytelling. It is taught by Jon Spelman, an internationally known
performer who has performed to critical and popular acclaim for the past twenty years.
Time: 7:30 - 10 p.m. Place: The Dance Exchange, 7117 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park. Cost:
$190. To register: call 301-891-1129, or send a $50 deposit to Jon Spelman, WST, 1612
Ballard Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Volunteer Tutors for Junior/Senior High Schoolers
Susan Ousley, Slousley@aol.com
Are you looking for a way to help a DC student with homework and the ups
and downs of adolescence? Our 39-year-old Study Hall provides DC teens and their
tutor/mentors a weekly opportunity to work together, 6:45-8:15 pm, throughout the school
year. Yes, 150 teens and 180 adults CAN share a room, learn, and have fun. See http://www.nyapc.org or call Co-Director Dave Brown,
484-8626, to learn more. Come 6:15, with references, for Orientation your first night.
Come soon, if you want to get in on our Camp weekend.
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
GRAY MATTER: I didn't call her a fat Jewish bitch; I called her a fat bitch,
says Phil Pannell.
Disputes of this nature are best settled by going to the source. He called my wife a
racist fat white bitch, contends Larry Gray, whose version was corroborated by his
wife, Diana Winthrop.
I just can't get these adjectives together, says Pannell.
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:
SUNDAY: Mount Pleasant Arts Festival, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. to Lamont Park, at the
intersection of Mount Pleasant and Lamont streets NW. Free.
TUESDAY-SUNDAY: Jake Johannsen, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 to Thursday, Oct. 5, and Sunday,
Oct. 8; at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7. At the Improv, 1140
Connecticut Ave. NW. $15-$17.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html.
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