Wheres the Plan
I agree, DC General Hospital has been underfunded and has lost money for years.
(Understandably. Providing health care to poor and uninsured people is never going to be a
particularly good way to make profits.) Certainly, DC General has been mismanaged, and
undoubtedly some money has gone into the wrong pockets. Yes, perhaps there is another way
to provide those health services less expensively and more efficiently.
But I still have the same doubts that I had five months ago. On September 20, 2000, I
wrote in themail that the Williams administration didn't have any plan to provide medical
services to the people who use DC General now. It still doesn't. It still hasn't developed
a plan. It has a vague idea sending patients to other hospitals in ambulances. But
the current Emergency Medical Service can't handle the additional load, and the
administration doesn't know where additional ambulances are going to come from. In
addition, every hospital and medical association in the city has said that other hospitals
can't handle the extra emergency room services, much less the long-term care that will be
Citizens have been angry at the community meetings held for the Mayor and Health
Department Director Ivan Walks to promote closing DC General Hospital and selling it to
Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation (DCHC), and their anger is justified. Avram
Goldstein and Sewell Chan, in yesterday's Washington Post article, portray Walks
as saying that the administration is frustrated by people who won't try to
understand the plan before condemning it. How are citizens supposed to understand
something that hasn't been written and doesn't exist? If you want to be frustrated, try
getting a copy of the administration's plan. Call Walks's office and the Mayor's office
and ask them to send you, fax you, or E-mail you a copy of the plan. Let me know what
excuse they give you.
The fact is; the administration doesn't think it needs a plan for providing health
care, because this sale isn't about health care. It's a budget deal and a land deal, pure
and simple. For the latest information on DCHC, see Councilmember David Catania's paper,
The Case Against Contracting with Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation, http://www.dcwatch.com/issues/pbc010220.htm.
Catania has discovered one other point not covered in his paper. It's illegal for the city
to deal with a corporation that owes back taxes to the city, and DCHC has owed the city
back taxes ever since it bought Greater Southwest Community Hospital. But is anybody naive
enough to think that this juggernaut will be derailed just because the buyer is shaky and
the sale is a little illegal and a few people will die? Minor details aren't going to get
in the way.
The Numbers Dont Compute
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
The statistical summaries of school attendance figures in last Sunday's Post
don't add up. The enrollment in D.C. Public Schools (excluding those in Charter Schools)
is purported to be over 69,000. Other statistics in this article show that 35 percent of
students leave the system by the fifth grade. It must be presumed that most of these
students leave the District or leave for private schools. The most alarming statistic,
however, shows that another cumulative 45 percent of students drop out annually in grades
9 through 12. If these dropout percentages are accurate, then there's no way on God's
green earth that the student population is 69000+ students in the Public School System.
In my, not so humble, opinion there are likely to be far fewer than 69,000 students in
the D.C. Public School System and expenditures for that system, on a realistic per pupil
basis, are far higher than what we have been told. Where, one should ask, is all this
money going? It is likely not going where it belongs in the classrooms to pay good
salaries to competent and viable instructors with good classroom materials. Superintendent
Vance should make his number one priority a major effort to get the poor teachers out of
the classrooms and to replace them with competent teachers who are paid well with
additional perks (performance bonuses, housing incentives, etc.). Getting rid of excess
staff and using those slots for more teachers will reduce class sizes, and another way to
improve the quality of the education of our kids. I am much less worried about the
cosmetic improvements of facilities. That didn't work out west where the quality of
education did not improve in at least one school system that poured more than $100 million
into new facilities. It is what happens in every classroom that makes for a good
educational program. Students that have good teachers with good classroom materials would
learn in a cave.
Housing Agency Scandal
Diane Mohr, email@example.com
Have I missed the discussion, or has this group failed to notice the Washington
Post articles regarding the DC Department of Housing and Community Development
employee Lynn French, the rehab of her home in Columbia Heights, and the FBI
investigation? Was hoping someone might know the present status of that investigation, or
is everyone so used to these things that by now we've become blase?
[I, for one, haven't commented yet, though I certainly shall in the future. The
underlying importance of this case isn't just one house sold by a CDC to a government
employee with tremendous influence over land and money grants to CDCs. It is the state of
community development corporations in the District, and the inexplicable alliance of the
Williams administration with these institutions, which the Mayor knows are both
inefficient and corrupt. Anyone who wants to comment now should certainly feel free, but
the case, or at least the opening wedge of the case, is just now being presented to a
federal grand jury. Gary Imhoff]
Saving D.C. General by Nailing Trees
Peggy Robin, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd be a lot more sympathetic to the campaign to save D.C. General if the people who
put up the signs showed some consideration for another important cause namely,
saving D.C. trees. Those "Don't Close D.C. General" that have been put up all
over the city aren't affixed to light poles or telephone poles but to trees. And they're
not tied around the trunks with string but have been stapled (and in some instances,
nailed) right into the tree trunks. And please, supporters of the movement, don't write
back asking What's more important, saving a hospital for poor people, or saving
trees? These are two different matters entirely, and there's no reason why one
precludes the other.
Giardia, Very Interesting
Jean Lawrence, JKeLLAw@aol.com
A poster writes: Several years ago and rather surprisingly, the Army Corps)
didn't keep the large sand bed filters up to snuff. This led to . . . the presence of high
levels of giardia in the finished (treated) water. I moved from DC five years ago,
but before leaving, developed severe intestinal fits. After being away for a year or so, I
was hospitalized with giardia. Horrible little demon! You don't want to get it. All the
doctors asked me if I had been to Mexico or camping. No. They were completely puzzled.
Maybe I should have said, Well, I used to live in DC.
Cloudiness of Water from the Top
Michael S. Marcotte, Deputy General Manager, DC Water and Sewer Authority, Michael_Marcotte@dcwasa.com
I saw the post in the February 18 edition of themail, and wanted to let you know that
there's really no magic in adding ice cubes to the water. If you'll let the water stand
for a few minutes, it will clear by itself! The cloudiness is actually tiny air bubbles
trapped in the water. You're more likely to see this in the winter because cold water (5
degrees C) is able to contain nearly twice as much oxygen and nitrogen as warm water (25
degrees C). Because the distribution system operates under pressure (around 40-50 psi in
most places), the air doesn't get a chance to escape until the water is discharged at the
tap and hits warmer air. The ice cube trick works because it keeps the water temperature
low and retains the air in a dissolved state in the water. With or without ice cubes (or
other additives), I hope you continue to enjoy our water.
There are two new E-mail lists for people living and working in the Washington, DC
DCdriving for Washington, DC area drivers. This is the place where you can gripe about
traffic congestion, complain about red light runners, warn other drivers about monster
potholes, propose solutions to traffic problems, grumble about parking, and just chat
about driving in the DC area. To subscribe, send a blank E-mail to email@example.com,
or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dcdriving.
DCpilots for Washington, DC area pilots, to share flying and talk about aviation.
Discussions on everything from navigating around Class B airspace to the latest avionics,
are welcome. If you're looking for someone to fly with, this is the list for you. To
subscribe, send a blank E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dcpilots.
Footlights DC's only modern drama discussion group meets monthly for
theater discussions and theater trips. On Saturday March 10, we'll be attending the 2:30
p.m. matinee of the Washington Stage Guild's production of George Bernard Shaw's classic
Major Barbara. The play pits the Salvation Army against the
military-industrial complex, social conscience against conscienceless social reform. Guess
who wins? Tickets are $12 (a huge discount) and include a post-show discussion. Contact
Robin Larkin, email@example.com and
301-897-9314. The performance is at the Source Theater, 1835 14th Street (near S St.), NW
(U St-Cardozo Metro). For further information, see http://www.footlightsdc.org.
GALA Special Offer:
Free Tickets This Thursday, This Friday Pay What You Can
Cynthia Benjamin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Almas Gemelas (Soul Mates), at GALA at the Warehouse, 1021 7th Street, NW, (7th and New
York Avenue, NW), February 22 through March 18; Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.;; Sunday, 4 p.m.
Tickets: $25 general admission; $18 students and seniors. What happens when a bored,
middle-aged couple encounters their true soul mates. Contemplating the pros
and cons of open marriage, will it be bliss or absolute mayhem? Join us for
GALA Theater's world première of this quirky comedy that verges on the absurd. Written by
award-winning playwright, Eduardo Rovner, this Argentine piece de resistance will leave
you rolling in your seats!
All performances are in Spanish with simultaneous English interpretation. Press
Night/Noche de GALA is Saturday, February 24th at 8:00 p.m.. A reception, hosted by the
Ambassador of Argentina, His Excellency Guillermo González, will be held after the
Saturday performance. For more information and reservations, call 234-7174. GALA's
production of Almas Gemelas is supported in part by the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz
Foundation, the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the Embassy of
NCPC Meeting on Comprehensive Plan
Ann Loikow, email@example.com
The National Capital Planning Commission, the federal planning agency for the national
capital region, is holding a public meeting on their proposed revisions to the Federal
Environment element to the Comprehensive Plan on Thursday, February 22, from 5:30 p.m. to
7:30 p.m. at the NCPC offices at 401 9th St., NW, suite 500 (North Lobby). The revised
element contains at lot of good language on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. You can
view the draft at http//www.ncpc.gov/planning_init/EnvironmentDraft.pdf
See pages 16-17, 30-31, and 44. You can order a paper copy from the NCPC by calling
James Russell at 482-7272. To register to speak, call 482-7200. You can also sign up at
the start of the meeting. You will get 5 minutes to speak. Written comments can be sent to
James Russell at NCPC, 401 9th St. NW, suite 500 North, Washington, DC 20576. The comment
period closes March 19, 2001. It is important that we get citizens there to comment on and
support the inclusion of provisions on EMF. I have heard that they are somewhat
controversial. The draft also contains new policies on hazardous waste management and
Langston Terrace Dwellings
Ann Loikow, firstname.lastname@example.org
The D.C. Preservation League and the Langston Dwellings Residents Council are jointly
presenting Remembering the Glory: Langston Terrace Dwellings, A Neglected African
American Landmark at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, February 24, in the Martin Luther King
Library's Washingtoniana Division.
Barr Weissmann's 1991 film, Home: Langston Terrace Dwellings, and a slide
presentation of the current conditions at this DC and National Register Landmark in Ward 5
will be shown. Langston Terrace was designed in 1935-1938 in the International Style by
noted African American, and German trained, architect Hilyard Robinson. Several long-time
residents will talk about life at Langston Terrace and display recently discovered photos
and memorabilia. The Friends of the Washingtoniana Collection will host a reception after
the program. For further information, please contact the D.C. Preservation League at
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3-C
Cliff Rohde, email@example.com
The regularly scheduled public meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3-C,
will be held on Monday, February 26, 7:30 p.m., 2d District Police Station (Community
Room), 3320 Idaho Ave., NW (across from Giant). ANC 3C routinely meets at 7:30 p.m. at the
2d District police station on the fourth Monday of every month.
The DC Children's Trust Fund is inviting parents to join a Parents
Anonymous Support Group. For more information, please call 624-5555 or send an
E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASSIFIEDS HELP WANTED
Catholic Charities Parent Educators
Dona Jenkins, email@example.com
The Catholic Charities Parenting Program is hiring additional part-time parent
educators to teach parenting classes, lead parenting workshops, do individual parent
counseling with parents and assist with program tasks including curriculum writing and
Applicants must have a strong background in child development and family support work,
have own transportation, be available to work primarily evenings and weekends and be
available to attend a 40 hour parent educator training March 29-April 4. These are paid
positions with no benefits. Catholic Charities is an equal opportunity employer. Resumes
may be faxed to (202) 772-4408, or mailed immediately to Catholic Charities Parenting
Program, Attn: Marcia Sprinkle, 924 G Street, NW, 20001, 202-772-4343.
A Washington, DC publishing company is looking for a part-time office assistant. Good
office skills and computer experience required. If you are interested, please E-mail or
fax a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER: Mayor Anthony A. Williams the man who would be ethics king
is fond of saying he is holding his administration to the "highest
standard." But there is every indication that, for Williams, height is a relative
Consider the different responses by the mayor to the escapades of Reba Pittman-Evans, Mark
Jones, and Lynn French. All three city officials found themselves embroiled in controversy
recently. But one was fired, another placed on leave, and the last practically promoted.
LL is scratching her head trying to discern the administration's ethical-lapse-discipline
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
MONDAY: Emu and Red Kangaroo Talk, at 10:30 a.m. at the National Zoological
Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
THURSDAY: Edward Yang's latest Taipei film Yi Yi, at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn
Museum and Sculpture Garden's Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue. SW. Free.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every Wednesday and
Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to switch between HTML and plain text
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with unsubscribe in the subject line. Archives of past messages are available
All postings should also be submitted to email@example.com,
and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of Columbia in one way
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reasonably short one or two brief paragraphs would be ideal so that as many
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