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October 15, 2000

Krispy Kreme

Dear Gourmets:

As all true aficionados of fine food know, when the red “Hot Now” sign is on and the glazed doughnuts at Krispy Kreme are fresh off the line, they are the best fried dough food in the world. A drive down U.S. 1 to Krispy Kreme (6328 Richmond Highway, Alexandria) is a drive into the past, when the small-town fast food stand was where all the teenagers congregated, and was the week's highlight of family fun events. Your family's favorite may have been a Dairy Queen or an A & W Root Beer stand, but Krispy Kreme will bring it all back.

Dorothy and I were there Saturday night, and parked next to our car was a huge, truly intimidating, black Harley-Davidson. Nobody inside Krispy Kreme had the biker look, and we didn't know who had ridden the hog, until the man across from us, a handsome and athletic gentlemen in his mid-seventies, and the attractive sixtyish woman with him, took their helmets off of the counter seats next to them. This couple had been talking animatedly to each other over their doughnuts and coffee, and Dorothy leaned over to me and whispered, “Do you think the senior citizens are on a date?” Only she whispered it a little more loudly than she intended, and the woman heard her. She looked at us, smiled, and gave us a wink.

Thanks for the recommendations for school board candidates in this issue. Keep them coming, please.

Gary Imhoff


In School District #3, Vote for Gail Dixon
Anne Anderson,

Responding to your request for info on candidates for School Board: Gail Dixon has served as an At-Large Member for the past two years, running for the Board even when it was in the midst of it most difficult times. She chaired the transition committee (planning for the transition from the Control Board back to the elected Board) and brought all tasks to satisfactory completion on time. In the midst of difficult and contentious times on the Board, she proved herself to have a level head and a capacity for problem solving that I think we are going to need in the newly configured Board. She also instituted a regular open house once a month on Saturday so that citizens could come and talk to her and to fellow citizens, making the workings of the School Board more transparent and available to our community.

Having served as an At-Large Member, and living in Ward 5, she brings both a city-wide perspective and a commitment to helping DC citizens in Wards 5 and 6 become effectively involved in the governance of our schools. Gail's daughter went to D.C. public schools, and Gail has been a working advocate for parental involvement for many years before she ran for School Board. She has also been a strong advocate for the important contributions that arts education can have to our children's education. In short, Gail will bring experience, commitment to education and democratic principles and plenty of good will to the job of representing School District # 3 on the Board.


Wards III and IV School Board Seat
Edna Small,

You asked for our thoughts, decisions, recommendations. I live in Ward III (near Stoddert School), feel passionate about the importance of public education, and have been appalled at our city's failure to provide a good education for so many of its kids. In my mind, this is disgraceful and inexcusable. We've been cheating Washington's children. But, like many other concerned citizens, I've felt personally stymied as to how to help bring about needed institutional changes. So I was delighted to find I know a qualified, experienced, and optimistic candidate for the Board of Education — Martin Levine. He's a D.C. native, went to public schools in Wards III and IV, has mentored students at Woodson High School in NE, and is himself a former educator.

I've decided to support him in his race for the Ward III/IV seat, not only because I know him and think he's an exceptional person. Also because I think he has the qualities we so desperately need on the board — a grasp of what's needed, a real commitment to help bring about change, and the ability to work with many segments of the community. He has had management experience in both the public and private sectors. I checked out his web site — — and am impressed by his vision. Check out his qualifications and agenda proposals.


Vote Lockridge, District 4
Susan Gushue, Ward 5,

The Post ran an article this week abut the low number of candidates for the school board seat in wards 7 and 8. They missed the most important thing. Many inWard 7 and 8 including the incumbent candidates got together and decided to support Mr. Lockridge, who has done a fabulous job on the school board for the elected seat. He headed the budget committee and poured over the numbers to make them make sense. He attends meetings and provides valuable insights in many areas. ( I bring this up because Rev. Childs, Don Reeves, and Tonya Kinlow are often conspicuously absent from significant portions of the board meetings). He works with almost everyone. He is accessible. He may have higher aspirations, but he is serious about doing an excellent job in his current position first. I had been impressed with him as a school board member but after working with him on the “Just Vote No” campaign I am convinced he is an asset to any cause he supports. If you live in District 4, you can feel confident about voting for Mr. William Lockridge.

PS: We should begin the campaign now for the appointment of Mr. Tom Kelly to the new board. He has years of experience and he has only one motive — making the schools better for all the children. Both of these candidates were never given an opportunity to show what they could do.


School Board Candidate, Julie Mikuta
Susan K. Flinn,

In reference to your call for information on good candidates, here's what Ward 1 Council member Jim Graham has to say about Julie Mikuta, a school board candidate: “On November 7, voters in District One, which combines Wards 1 and 2, will elect a school board member to represent our children and work with the community to improve the quality of education. It is very important that the special needs of the diverse communities of Ward 1 be represented on the new school board. While the field of candidates in District 1 is strong, there is one candidate whom I feel is exceptionally well qualified for this seat.

“Julie Mikuta, who lives in Columbia Heights, was a Rhodes scholar who studied education policy and has been an inner-city classroom teacher and school administrator. She has the right combination of relevant experience and passion to not only win this race, but also to be a top-notch school board member. I strongly endorse her candidacy.

“In this election, time is particularly short. If you don't yet know Julie, I hope you will take the time to meet her and learn about her positions and ideas. There are a number of upcoming forums, including one sponsored by the Ward 1 Democrats on October 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Third District police station at 17th and V Streets (NW).”


Our Picks for Board of Education
Philip Blair, Jr., and Mary Pat Rowan,

We pay a lot of attention to public education, not just because our daughter is a DCPS junior high student, but also because we know that DCPS is the key to the future of this hometown of ours. One candidate for President of the Board of Education is clearly superior: Larry Gray. Larry, who now serves as legislative chair for the D.C. Congress of Parent Teacher Organizations, has a wide and deep intellectual and practical understanding of public education in this city which few persons and none of his opponents can match. As a journalist and legislative staffer, he has had experience on the Hill. He also works in his own neighborhood schools in Ward 6. He has the persistence, passion, and temperament to make a nearly impossible situation as President of a “hybrid” board work. Two years ago, he was named by Mayor Williams to serve as chair of the school governance subcommittee of the Mayor's transition team. We would all be better off now if the Mayor had listened to his advice. Larry was a leader of the almost victorious Just Vote No! forces in the June referendum; he is not afraid to fight the good fight, even against overwhelming odds. Nevertheless, he is a political realist, who focuses on accomplishment. He will not be beholden to this mayor or the next, or to other political patrons; he is not interested in this office as a stepping-stone or as ego-affirmation. The city is fortunate that he has been persuaded to run. (Call us at 526-8821 or Larry at 399-6541 to volunteer contributions of money or time to his campaign: his committee is “Gray for Kids.”)

And, not to gloat or anything, but two years ago we recommended that readers of themail vote for Gail Dixon, who was running for at-large member of the Board of Education. She won, despite the silence of the Times and the Post's endorsement of an opponent. She has been an exemplary member of the Board of Education, and she has kept her promise to promote parent and taxpayer participation in DCPS issues. We are going to vote for her again this year in her race for the District 3 seat (Wards 5 and 6). (Her committee is “Friends of Gail.”) We're on a roll, with the help of themail readers.


Absentee Ballot
Johnnie E. Prather,

I'm going to be away during the election and don't know where to get an absentee ballot. Can you tell me?

[The Board of Elections and Ethics gives the instructions for getting absentee ballots at You can vote in person at the office of the Board (441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250N) starting fourteen days before the election, Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., up to the day before the election. You can send a letter requesting that an absentee ballot be sent to you and giving your name, address, mailing address (if different), reason for voting absentee, and signature, to the Board of Elections and Ethics, 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250N, Washington, DC 20001. You can use the request form that is available on-line at The Board has to receive your request at least seven days prior to the election, but the sooner you request it, the better. — Gary Imhoff]


D.C. Tech
Ed T. Barron,

A technical high school in D.C. What a great idea. Wish I'd thought of that. But let's get it right the first time without trying to reinvent the wheel. Let's send four folks who will be responsible for establishing this technical high school (at McKinley) to Brooklyn Tech (the premier technical high school in the U.S.) to see how it can be done. Brooklyn Tech is a large school with more than four thousand students, most of whom are minorities. A D.C. Tech would be about one fourth that size. Brooklyn Tech is a school that has a competitive entrance exam which assures that the students who enter are likely to complete their four years at Tech, and almost all go on to college. Without a competitive entrance exam and limiting the enrollment to those who can pass that exam would completely water down the whole idea of a technical high school in the District.

It would make great sense for a benchmarking team from the DCPS (and perhaps a couple of corporate folks from local technical companies) to spend three days at Tech to see just what is needed in a technical high school in terms of teachers, facilities, and students. This would be no boondoggle, and I'd be happy to arrange a visit with my continued contacts at Tech. Might even dust off my NY State high school physics teaching certificate to do some serious teaching if D.C. Tech materializes.


FBA to Get Its Day in Court Re GWU Hosp.
Jim McLeod, Foggy Bottom,

On November 15, 2000, the Foggy Bottom Association will get its day in court regarding the proposed new hospital on the site north of the Foggy Bottom Metro. The FBA requested the DC Court of Appeals (No. 99-AA-1105) to vacate the Aug. 6, 1999, DC Board of Zoning Adjustment order granting the zoning exception to permit construction. The briefs have been filed; oral arguments are set for November 15th at 9:30 a.m. (2 cases scheduled before FBA v. BZA). You may have noticed the new building has now reached ground level, but unlike many who pass by the site, the builders know the appeal has been pending since before construction began.

A year ago, citizens held a protest rally at the official October 6, 1999, ground breaking. While it's called GWU Hospital, the GWU only has a 20 percent share of ownership. University Health Services, Inc., of Pennsylvania owns 80 percent interest in the District Hospital Partners, L.P. — the for-profit entity that runs the hospital. The safety of pedestrians using the 23rd Street sidewalk between the Metro and Washington Circle and the loading dock facing the historic Foggy Bottom district were two major concerns expressed at the BZA hearings. In her dissent, B.Z.A. Comm. King used the word “ludicrous” to describe the Board's finding of no adverse impact. On a related issue, the GWU 2001-2010 Foggy Bottom campus plan is currently being considered by the BZA.


Reno Road Cut
Greg Jones,

Does anyone know when the cut along Reno Road in the westbound lane between Warren and Van Ness is going to be repaired? It's been at least a couple of weeks since they tore it up.


Wrapping Oneself in the Flag
Steph “Yes I checked the quote” Faul,

American Tower Systems has started proudly flying the United States flag from its overgrown monstrosity of a communications tower. Nice try, guys, but the literate citizens of the Tenley Circle neighborhood are not fooled. We are all well aware of Dr. Johnson's observation that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”


Stopping Junk Mail
David Sobelsohn,

In the last issue of themail, David Pansegrouw complains that “anyone can mail me anything bulk rate, yet I cannot refuse it.” Actually, federal law, 39 USC sec. 3008, provides that postal mail recipients can stop mailings from a particular mailer if, in the recipient's sole determination, the mailings are “erotically arousing or sexually provocative.” You need to attach the mailing you find offensive and fill out form 1500. For a copy of the form, call the Post Office's Department of Consumer Affairs at 636-1400. Good luck! Not everyone at the post office even knows of the existence of form 1500.


Get Real, Mr. Mayor
Ed T. Barron,

Mayor Williams says that he is strongly in favor of training for city employees. He's wrong in supporting “training.” Training is for horses and dogs and is not what is needed by the city employees. Training shows you how to do things. Education teaches you how to think. City workers need to be educated in subjects that will enable them to think, and think creatively, in making things happen with their jobs. To spend money on “training” boondoggles is a gross waste of taxpayers monies. How can you justify spending $50K plus dollars to send 32 people to Phoenix Arizona when you could bring highly qualified educators to D.C. to teach a one week course for two or three times that number of people at about a third the cost? If Parks Department head, Newman, is around much longer he'll beat Congress' record for boondoggle spending this year.


Another Point of View about “The District”
Mark Richards,

Having spouted my view on the TV show The District and the potentially negative impact on economic recovery by reinforcing the belief that DC is one of the most unsafe cities in the U.S. to visit and live, I feel obliged to post this. Yesterday, I asked a ranking officer in DCMPD that I randomly met if “they” had heard of the TV show. The officer said yes, they had watched it. What did they think? From a fictional point of view, it was fine, but they were worried that as the show progresses, it will give the impression that things are improving in the real DCMPD, and, they said, they're not. They are at the same place they were two and a half years ago, they said. Ramsey has tried, they said. Cosmetically (uniforms, equipment) things are better. However, the main problem, they said, continues to be “nepotism.” I commented that corporations face the same issues. Yes, they said, but corporations can fire people who don't perform. Thanks to the Union, this is frequently not possible. I mentioned doctoring crime states — they smiled, looked away, and made no comment. I asked if DCMPD cops are lazy — and they said many are, and they haven't been able to rid the department of that problem because of the Union. But, they said, you might actually have the best cops in the worst crime areas — that is unrelated to the rate of crime. After, they said, “I don't even know you, you're probably a reporter.” I didn't ask the name or look at the badge, but they seemed happy to hear that polls show the majority of DC citizens think they're doing a good job. Off they went to roll call. Interesting to hear another perspective, a blunt assessment at that. This person has set high standards, and oddly, this brief conversation only reinforced my positive feelings about DCMPD. No wining, just a feeling that improvements aren't moving fast enough and a heartfelt desire for improvement.


Erasing the Line
Matthew Kessler,

I think that folks need to calm down and stop making an issue of something that is so menial and in my mind is definitely a non-issue. Yes, television provides us with informational programs, but it also provides us with fiction, non reality, fantasy television, as is the case of “The District.” I am not saying the show is good or bad, I am just trying to make the point that we should not be worrying about such asinine things. We don't have time to be worrying about how others perceive us. I think the reason we are all so worried about how others perceive us is the fact that the problems we have in DC are real! Don't misunderstand; I take great pride being a resident of the District of Columbia, and I think that we have come a long way. I also think we are heading in the right direction. However, if we focus our energies on fixing the problems rather than worrying what other people think we will get so much more done. We need to work on having the best schools, making sure all our children have health care, having a model economic growth plan, and so on, and so on. We need to make the District of Columbia not only the model for our country but a model for the global community as well. What I am trying to say is use your energies for change not to complain.


Wasting Scarce Space and Resources
Len Sullivan,

While themail regulars fret about the near-moronic TV version of “The District,” the real world District is proving that truth is even weirder. In the last week, three new schemes have surfaced for wasting DC's limited space and consuming its limited home-grown and federal resources. First, a respected DC city planner has suggested tearing down the SE Freeway (SEF) and burying it, while re-inventing Virginia Avenue, but leaving the SW Freeway as it is. That 4.9 Zillion dollars (est.) would be much better spent by a) making the Freeway porous with under/overpasses; b) building a new Metrorail link from Navy Yard to Potomac Avenue; c) building clever intermodal parking sites at the intersection of Rt. 395 and SEF, and in the lost triangle between SEF and Water St. (with gainful uses atop them); and d) burying South Capitol Street to unite the SE/SW M Street Corridor.

Second, three Council members want to replace the run-down DC General Hospital with a much smaller non-PBC unit, merged with a private hospital, but still located on the city-owned oversized DC General campus. Surely there is a more productive use for that prime real estate: maybe a baseball stadium with paying fans or a high-rise business/residential riverfront complex. The revamped hospital could go on the Southeast bank of the Anacostia, or become an adjunct part of a major medical facility on the equally wasted St. Elizabeth's site.

Third, a panel is about to recommend building a huge new garbage transfer site at DC's southern tip bordering the Potomac and Oxon Cove (currently the impounding lot), and wafting over to Maryland's planned upscale National Harbor Project. Surely such transfer sites should become common regional assets away from prime, potentially productive DC real estate.


Street Lights East and West
James E. Taylor, Jr., Park Skyland Civic Association,

[In response to Sally Macdonald, themail 10-11-00] I would like to start off with the fact that I don't think that Mr. Clinton will be visiting my neighborhood after dark, but the writer's complaint is a serious safety concern and I hope that her neighborhood will not suffer the same benign neglect that our far Southeast Anacostia neighborhood have experienced for over ten years. It is evident that because of the location of this situation more focus will be placed to repair these lights and they rightfully should be fixed immediately, but this should also serve as a barometer of priorities between east and west of the river situations. For the eight years since I moved here we have been trying to get street lights, period!! We live in darkness except for porch lights. I hope the subject community is more successful than we have been. Good luck.


Grocery Cards and Privacy
Ann Van Aken,

The trick to obtaining a grocery card (for the “specials”) but still maintaining privacy is to use a fictitious name, address and phone number. Why, I filled out an application just the other day by putting my name down as Elizabeth Taylor!


Grocery Cards and Privacy
Austin Kelly,

In the last issue of themail, Larry Lesser points out how times have changed with respect to privacy. But he doesn't say why. Back when you went to the friendly local grocer, he wasn't compiling your purchase history into a database and selling it for ten cents a pop.

I got a Giant Tracking Card application form, with a little privacy policy on the bottom. It says that it will be used for offers from Giant *and their partners* but it won't be rented or sold. Ask Amazon customers about the credibility and enforceability of that promise. As far as signing up under names like Hannibal Lecter goes, I'm probably going to sign up as Kim Philby, and I think I've persuaded my girlfriend to use Emily Bronte. Track that! For the email address box, Russ Smith has offered to the world. Any E-mail sent to that address is automatically dev/nulled. And does that creepy Giant bag boy remind you of Eddie Haskell, or what?


Discount Cards and Privacy
Mark Sutton,

If the issue of privacy concerns you, simply don't give them your real name, address, and phone number when getting a grocery card. By law, they still MUST give you a card. Don't pay by credit card or ATM and your privacy is secure, and you get the discounts. I did this at Safeway recently where the clerk told me I was wrong, but the manager told me I was right.

My personal concern is these companies cross-checking with your credit cards and suddenly you get even MORE junk mail, unlikely to happen with a “friendly neighborhood grocer who knows your shopping habits personally.”



School Board Candidates Forum on October 17
Evelyn Wrin,

Candidates for President of the D.C. Board of Education and candidates for the new District Two (Wards 3 and 4) Board position will participate in a panel at the October 17th meeting of Chevy Chase Citizens Association, co-sponsored with ANC 3G. The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 17, and will be held at the Chevy Chase Community Center, located at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and McKinley Street, NW. All are welcome to attend. For further information call 244-5744.


Go “Madwoman”
David Sobelsohn,

Footlights — DC's only modern drama discussion group — meets monthly to discuss plays from the modern theater. Participation is free. On Thursday, November 9, we'll discuss “a legendary fantasy” (Chicago Tribune) of “vaulting imagination and rare theatrical beauty” (New York Herald-Tribune): “The Madwoman of Chaillot” (1944), by French playwright Jean Giraudoux. “Madwoman” pits the eponymous Countess Aurelia against a cabal of corrupt capitalists determined to exploit Paris's suspected petroleum reserves even if it causes the city's complete destruction. Our discussion takes place 7:30-9:30 p.m. (dinner at 6:30) at the Delray Vietnamese Garden, 4918 Del Ray Avenue, a few blocks north of the Bethesda Metro. It will feature director Jim Petosa. To make reservations for our discussion E-mail or call 638-0444. For discount tickets ($19) to the Saturday November 11 matinee at the Olney Theater Center, E-mail or call 301-897-9314. You can join us for the discussion November 9, the performance November 11, or both. For general information about Footlights, visit


Life Stories
Lois Kirkpatrick,

She is one of the co-founders of the National Organization of Women. Born in Berlin, Sonia Pressman Fuentes arrived in America with her family in 1934, escaping the impending Holocaust. Fuentes discusses her memoir, Eat First: You Don't Know What They'll Give You: The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter, with two other memoir masters on October 22 at 2:00 at the Sherwood Regional Library in Alexandria. Register for this free Fairfax County Public Library event by calling 703-765-3645.

Poet E. Ethelbert Miller is considered one of the most influential members of Washington D.C.'s African American arts community. He's a winner of the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for his poetry anthology In Search of Color Everywhere. He will discuss his memoir Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer.

Joan Donner is is the author of Oh, Tannenbaum! and a native New Yorker who now teaches writing at Towson University in Maryland and is a member of the Maryland Writing Project. Her essays and interviews have appeared in national publications. For other Library events, visit


Calligraphy Fair
Lorraine Swerdloff,

District residents interested in calligraphy or in purchasing unique holiday gifts may want to check out the Washington Calligraphers Guild's Holiday Calligrafest, Saturday, October 21, 10-4 at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE, Vienna, VA. Holiday Calligrafest features hand-made gifts, continuous demonstrations by professional calligraphers, a silent auction of work by internationally renowned lettering artists, and sales of calligraphy and rubber stamping instruction books and supplies.

Among the calligraphers giving demonstrations are several who do work for the White House, including Rick Paulus, who will demonstrate copperplate script at 1 p.m.; Marta Legeckis, who will present an introduction to calligraphy at 10:45, 12:15 and 3:15; and Pat Blair, who will display and discuss elegant invitations at 11:15. In addition, demonstrations on improving handwriting will take place at 10:15 and 12:45. Admission $5 (members $4). For further information and directions call 301-897-8637 or see


Western Night — Great Fun
Vivian Henderson,

Come on down in your western attire and swing your partner for an evening of fun! Bring friends and family to Sixth Presbyterian Church, corner of 16th and Kennedy Street, NW, Friday, October 20, 7:00-10:30 p.m. Phone 723-5377. Donation: $10.00, adults; $5.00, children 5-16 years; children under 5 free. Cost includes refreshments. Fred Sanders, an outstanding caller, will give your boots a real work out. During intermission, you can learn a new line dance or two, so hurry on down!


DC History Event
Matthew Gilmore,

Preservation workshop at the Library of Congress, Thursday, October 19. Learn more about taking care of precious documents, photographs, and rare books, and talk to the “Book Guys” about your own “rare books” at the Library's fifth annual Preservation Workshop. Events will be held in LJ 119 and other nearby rooms in the Jefferson Building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact 707-3307.


Storytellers Theater
Robert Revere,

Although taking place in Bethesda, the 10th Birthday Celebration for Washington Storytellers Theatre is something every Washingtonian should be on hand to celebrate. For ten years WST has been presenting programs of Washington stories, and has brought some of the best storytellers to venues in and around DC. On October 21, Washington Storytellers Theater offers a program of new stories by its founding members. Jon Spelman, Jo Radner, and many other performers will join emcee Maureen Bunyan from WJLA-TV for this special birthday celebration. This event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Writer's Center in Bethesda. The ticket price is $25, and includes a champagne reception. For tickets or information call 301-891-1129.


Free Community Legal Seminar
Jon Katz,

Presented by the Philippine American Bar Association. November 11, 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Alexandria Library, Duke St., Alexandria. Tax and estate planning for business owners. The expected speakers are attorney James Fife (family limited partnerships); a CPA to be announced (business transfers); attorney Michael Collins (retirement plans); and PABA President Rodney Garcia (estates of business owners). For more information, visit PABA's web site at, or contact President Rodney Garcia, 301-292-6808,



Air Conditioner
Erin Salisbury,

Signature 2000 vertical air conditioner for sale. Used for three summers. Functions excellently. 8000 BTUs. Sell for $200.


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