Let’s Make a Deal
The abandoned cars that the Department of Public Works has been
dumping on your block may begin disappearing sometime next month — if
the city can find where it left them, and if it pays the overtime costs
to tow them. DPW has finally leased a temporary automobile impoundment
lot in Prince Georges County to replace the Brentwood Impoundment Lot in
Northeast. The city sold Brentwood for three million dollars; it will
pay over a million dollars a year for the new lease; and DPW is bragging
about what a good deal it got. The city will also pick up the cost of
renovating a former truck repair shop on the site as a storage facility
for tow trucks and as “showers, lockers, and offices for DPW staff.”
Do you have a feeling that if these people got on “Let's Make a
Deal” they would pick the door with the donkey and the bale of hay,
and then claim that they had won the game?
Two more E-mail announcement lists, both on environmental issues, are
run by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Eemail@example.com,
and the DC Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you read far enough in this issue, you'll find exactly the right
address to which to send your “help me get money out of Nigeria”
Full Voting Rights in Congress
Amy Slemmer, email@example.com
I am pleased that someone in themail mentioned Councilmember
Mendelson's hearing on regaining Congressional voting rights for the
residents of the District of Columbia. This was the first of a series of
three hearings that the Chairman will hold, and it was an opportunity to
hear from a variety of people and organizations invested in fixing our
disenfranchisement. DC Vote was there to make the point that our elected
officials must lead this campaign for full voting rights in the eight
wards of our city and on Capitol Hill. We also reiterated our mission,
which states that DC Vote does not endorse a particular solution to
achieving full voting rights for the residents of the District of
Columbia, but that we are committed to advocating for the solution that
reflects the will of District residents.
DC Freedom Summer 2001, the program that will deploy volunteers to
the mall to canvass tourists about “Taxation Without
Representation,” kicks off with a training session tonight and a press
conference hosted by Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Mall tomorrow
[Thursday] at noon. We have reservations from 85 residents to
participate in the training. I look forward to seeing how many of our
city's elected officials join us tonight or tomorrow.
A Colossal Waste of Time
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Williams continues to sing the only song he knows “Voting
Rights for D.C.” Tony Williams may be garnering a few listeners on
street corners, but the big disc jockey of this generation, the Alan
Freed in the world of political reality, George Bush, won't be playing
or listening to that tired old tune. Still tilting at windmills when the
Mayor should be working with the other mayors on making things happen in
the cities they represent. Why not develop an inner city educational
system with policies and processes that will work in providing a good
education to inner city kids?
Bag that song, mister mayor, and focus on something that has a better
chance of being accomplished. In fact, why not trade off that tired old
song in a negotiation with the Congress? Offer to drop that persistent
and annoying drone for voting rights in exchange for the city's being
able to tax commuters. Now there's something we can all agree on.
Disgruntled Postal (and D.C.) Workers
Thomas C. Hall, email@example.com
Ed T. Barron will be pleased to know that the same agency that
impressed him with its “efficiency,” the U.S. Postal Service, has
supplied the District with its new director of the Department of
Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Dave Clark, and his newly appointed
head of customer service as well. I wrote about it in my District Beat
column in the Washington Business Journal last Friday. Here's an
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ first-ever
customer service chief is Gwendolyn Davis. Like newly appointed DCRA
Director David Clark, she comes from a career at the U.S. Postal
Service. But instead of dealing with disgruntled postal workers — she
presided over a 28 percent reduction in staffing at USPS’s Washington,
D.C. branch -- Davis will be dealing with applicants seeking building
permits, licenses and inspections. It’s a new position, because Clark
says his No. 1 priority is “to improve customer service” at the
District’s regulatory agency. One of the new management team’s first
actions, however, was to order a complete shutdown of DCRA offices at
noon on June 20, “in order for the staff to attend a departmental
meeting.” DCRA spokeswoman Gina Douglas says the shutdown was
necessary “so we can announce a few new things” to the agency’s
380 employees. It couldn’t have been done outside normal business
hours, she explains. “Then we’d have to pay overtime.”
Postal Service Service
Richard Layman, Northeast DC, firstname.lastname@example.org
I haven't had the same experience [as Ed Barron] with the USPS and
late delivery of Express Mail packages. I do believe that it is
equivalently hard to get Federal Express to pay when late delivery
happens as well. I had a major problem with them years ago, and it was a
$200 package (full of mail that I wanted remailed in Los Angeles). I
knew more about zip codes than the counter person at FedEx. Anyway, I
use 2nd day (priority mail) all the time, with delivery confirmation —
and before this latter option was available I used ExpressMail (as well
as the UPS equivalents). I have been fully satisfied with this, as well
as the online confirmation capabilities.
Once I even had to deal with USPS personnel in Oklahoma City (before
the online confirmation capabilities were introduced) to prove that my
mortgage payment was received on time, and they faxed me the stuff I
needed to prove what I needed to prove. (Of course, now the online
confirmation makes that unnecessary.) Don't get me wrong. I think the
USPS has some major problems, and it would be better if privatized
because then the line personnel unions) couldn't make end arounds to
Congress to prevent improvements. (Note: a few years ago the New Yorker
had an incredibly powerful article about the dysfunctional “Chicago
post office” as a treatise about the decline of functioning urban
government institutions. The Post Office's “military” structure
isn't so great either — the subject of an article in the Wall
Street Journal within the last week or two.)
But I am quite happy that my local post office is the National
Capital Post Office, which is open until midnight M-F, and from 7 a.m. -
8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Now, if they would just install the bike
rack that I suggested they install — back in 1991/1992 when the
remodeled post office reopened.
Regarding Ed Barron's complaint against the USPS, I think that the
unevenness of postal delivery is really the gremlin. I sent a postal
money order to SP Motor Sports in Gaithersburg MD, via registered mail
on Thursday the 21 at 5 p.m. from Chantilly, VA. SP called me on Friday
at 1 p.m. to inform me that they had received the money order, and it
only cost me about $4. It would have taken that much for gas just to
drive — never mind the traffic going that way. We all remember the bad
experiences much more vividly then good ones, and routine performance is
always overshadowed by exceptional performance, whether good or bad..
Ed, you should continue to point out problems, but don't fool
yourself, private enterprise would not be delivering your letter for 34
Why all this time and expense to repave alleys, when sections of main
thoroughfares like Connecticut Avenue have not been paved in more than
ten years? Why is Wilson pool closed for the summer? Is there a nearby
alternative? Did the population in Ward 3 really grow in the last ten
years, or are people just faking their addresses so they can send their
kids to Wilson, etc.?
Someone mentioned slamming — and it's probably not the same thing,
but I recently switched from MCI to AT&T and Bell Atlan--, oh, I
mean VERISON (ugh! what dumb name), charged me $5.00.
Kurt Vorndran, Kvorn@nteu.org
I support the current rental control law in DC and I also support the
exemption from rental control to homeowners renting a room or single
unit in their building. However, I think Peter Luger employs some funny
math in his defending single unit landlords. Luger correctly notes,
“Many homeowners buy places with rental units and depend upon the
rental unit to help pay their mortgage. As a matter of fact, the rental
unit and potential rent are considered by the bank in the calculation to
afford the loan.”
Yes, but the mortgage payment is a set amount which a non-brain dead
landlord would use in the original calculation of the rent. The landlord
is recovering the same amount of money in relation to the mortgage
regardless if the neighborhood has become suddenly fashionable or if the
housing market has tightened. A landlord has no economic necessity to
Balancing Our Needs with Community Needs:
Susan Doran, email@example.com
For the record, I started my own business three years ago, and (in
another town) worked to refurbish an old house. Clearly, it took some
capital. But it also took time. And savings. Neither of which are very
sexy or deliver immediate gratification. It's sometimes difficult to
make ends meet, but I try, and I try to reduce the negative impact to
other people while I'm at it. I don't look for someone else to pick up
the tab for my choices or needs. Sorry if that strikes you as
My original points were that these are choices on the part of
homeowners. To deny that is as ridiculous as Mr. Whiteside and Mr. Luger
accuse me of being. The real estate market isn't an abstraction that we
have no part in shaping. And we do live in a community of, well, other
human beings. Landlords can choose to operate in an ethical vacuum or to
recognize how their decisions impact other individuals, and the
community as a whole, and to price themselves accordingly. That's not to
say that it's necessary (or even wise) to sublimate one's own needs
entirely or to provide preposterously low-rent housing. But simply to
I know homeowners in Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights,
and elsewhere who rent their places at reasonable rates, recognizing
that their need to pay for their own choices doesn't justify a shift of
responsibility to others who just need a place to live. I also know
homeowners who'd been struggling themselves until they cashed in on the
real estate market, and have subsequently separated their actions from
the liberal ideals they espouse. If you're a raging capitalist to begin
with, at least you're not being hypocritical (I might put the apartment
building owners in that category — they're running a business — and
heck, I'd imagine some of them have kids in college too). Incidentally,
I frequently help out people who are in a pinch for housing. So, Mr.
Whiteside, do drop me a line if you find yourself in the unfortunate
position of losing your job or having your house foreclosed. That would
really suck. A lot of people are in that position now, and it does suck
for them. But there I go being self-righteous again
Seeking Past Issues of the Washington
Jerry A. McCoy, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Washingtoniana Division of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library in Washington, DC, is seeking to borrow/accept for donation
specific past issues of Washington City Paper (aka City Paper)
from 1981 to 1987. Accessioning these issues would allow Washingtoniana
to complete microfilming of the entire run of this important weekly
newspaper. The issues we are seeking are: 1987 - Vol. 7; # 4, 9; 1986 -
Vol. 6; # 2-4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 20-30; 1985 - Vol. 5; # 5, 11, 12,
15, 16, 31, 35, 39, 40, 43; 1984 - Vol. 4; # 29, 30; 1983 - Vol. 3; #
28, 31; 1982 - Vol. 2; #1, 12, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 27; 1981 - Vol.
1; #12, 15 (Newspaper was titled "1981").
The Washingtoniana Division currently has the City Paper from
January 1988 to June 2000 on microfilm. Any suggestions as to where
these issues could be located would be welcomed.
Ward 2 Dems Convention
Budd Lane, Chair, Ward 2 Dems, email@example.com
The following is in response to John LaBeaume's posting in the June
24th mail regarding the biennial convention of the Ward 2 Democrats,
usually held in June to elect officers and precinct representatives.
According to the Ward 2 Democratic Commission's Constitution, a
convention must be held in 2001. However, because of the impact of
redistricting on Ward 2, the shape of which was not decided until June
19, the 2001 Convention was postponed. The redistricting plan adopted by
the Council removes the following areas from Ward 2 as of January 2002:
Southwest, Foxhall/Palisades, parts of Shaw, Penn Quarter and NOMA. Two
of our four State Committee representatives, several Precinct Captains
and Executive Committee members will no longer reside in Ward 2. A
committee is reviewing options available regarding the best way to
proceed within our existing constitution in light of the vast changes
made to the Ward 2 boundaries. Findings will be presented at the July 17
meeting, at which time a convention date will be set. Information will
then be disseminated throughout the Ward.
Nigerian “419” Scams
Mark Eckenwiler, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last issue, Gary opined that "The place to report fraud
on the net is the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, http://www.ifccfbi.gov,
run by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center." This is
generally correct, but my favorite Secret Service agent (he's here in DC
— how's that for a DC nexus, Gary?) advises that the Service is the
lead federal agency on so-called "419" Nigerian bank-transfer
scams. Reports can be filed via http://www.treas.gov/usss/alert419.htm.
[Now, how's that for getting specific advice? I'm convinced that
someone on themail knows everything, except, of course, for who first
said, “No good deed goes unpunished.” — Gary Imhoff]
Dupont Circle E-Mail List
Frank A. Hornstein, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, HORNSTEINF@aol.com
This source is wonderful. Please add DCANEWS@aol.com.
It's an E-mail database for local residents of what is happening in the
neighborhood and of crime updates.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS AND MEETINGS
Ask the Mayor
Jim Farley, WTOP Radio, email@example.com
Just a reminder that Tony Willliams will take calls from listeners
live for an hour Thursday at 10 a.m. The number to call is
1-877-628-WTOP, or 895-5056, or #WTOP on Verizon, or *1500 on Cingular.
Questions can be E-mailed from wtopnews.com. You can also see the
program (streaming video) on wtopnews.com. Love to hear from you and
other regulars on themail.
The Health Care Now Coalition is having a rally on Thursday June 28
at 11:30 a.m., at 1 Judiciary Square to protest Greater Southeast
Community Hospital requesting a $20 million property tax abatement. The
rally will be held concurrently with a City Council hearing on this
matter that starts at 10 a.m.
People should understand that Greater Southeast Hospital is the
private, for-profit hospital that the City has contracted with to
provide care for DC's 80,000 uninsured. The City is paying Greater
Southeast more than twice as much money as DC General to provide fewer
services than DC General. Although Greater Southeast will receive
one-half billion dollars, it does not have the financial stability to
pay its property taxes, and thus is requesting a $20 million abatement.
Navy Yard/South East Federal Center Walking
Wanda Bubriski, firstname.lastname@example.org
A walking tour of the Navy Yard and its surrounding communities is
the focus of the second in the series of Anacostia Waterfront tours
sponsored by Sierra Club's Restore the Core campaign. It will be held
this Saturday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Navy Yard Metro
station (Green Line), exit at M and Half Streets., SE.
A Navy Yard representative will show us some of the Low Impact
Development projects that help control storm water runoff at Navy Yard.
Other community leaders will speak about the history of the area and
current opportunities for revitalization. A photo ID along with Social
Security Number will be needed for entry onto federal facilities. Rain
or shine. Free. For more information: 232-6113; email@example.com.
The Sixth Presbyterian Church will sponsor its Annual Flea Market
this Saturday, June 30, from 9:00-3:00 p.m. on the church lawn, 5413
16th Street, NW (l6th and Kennedy Streets NW). Books, appliances,
bicycles, bake table, clothing, and miscellaneous items will be for
sale. Plenty of bargains. Rain date: July l4th.
The Nile Valley Business and Pleasant Plains Civic Associations Flea
Market and Bazaar will open July 7th in the 500 & 600 Blocks of
Hobart Place, NW. The opening day of the Flea Market and Bazaar will
feature crafts, antiques and household items from more than 30 vendors.
The Metropolitan Police Department is joining our festive event by
placing one of their recruitment stands on site. This Flea Market and
Bazaar is being undertaken as a way of building community coalitions in
an area that needs stimulation from positive activities. We plan to have
structured activities for children (i.e., moon bounce, clown, face
painting, etc.), and most importantly, we want to use these activities
as a way to expose young people to entrepreneurial experiences.
The Flea Market and Bazaar will be open every first Saturday -- July
7th, August 4th, September 8th, and October 6th — from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. Please visit our website at www.nilevalleyassn.org.
ANC 3C Special Election to Fill Vacancy in SMD
Cliff Rohde, firstname.lastname@example.org
A special election to fill one of ANC 3C’s nine single member
districts (3C-03) will be held on Monday, July 23, at St. Thomas Apostle
Church, on Woodley Road at 27th Street, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The two
candidates for the seat are Robert Martin of 2914 29th Street and
Adrienne Danforth of 2925 Cathedral Avenue. The seat became vacant upon
the resignation of Michele Saranovich, who moved out of the
neighborhood. All registered DC voters in the area encompassing Single
Member District 3C-03 are eligible to vote. A map of SMD 3C-03 may be
found online in the “Boundary Maps” section of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ANC3C/files/.
If you are uncertain whether you live in SMD 3C-03, please visit the
Board of Election site at http://www.dcboee.org/locator/zipindx.htm.
The election will be held as part of the regularly scheduled ANC 3C
monthly meeting. Each of the two candidates will have an opportunity
early in the meeting to speak and answer voters' questions. Voting will
be done by secret ballot, which may be cast any time between 6:30 and
9:00 p.m. The election will be monitored by the League of Women Voters.
Cada Vez Open House June 30 from 2 p.m. to 6
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
Cada Vez (http://www.cadavezonline.com),
the new technology conference center/restaurant at 1438 U Street, NW,
will be holding an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June
30. Come tour the 12,000 square-foot facilities and learn more about
what Cada Vez has to offer. You can meet the founders of Cada Vez,
Ernest and Kathy Simo, in a QuickTime slideshow at http://storymakers.net/cadavez1.mov
(in case your computer does not have a recent version of QuickTime
installed, you can download the latest version for free from http://www.apple.com/quicktime).
Cada Vez is offering its facilities rentals at a 50-percent discount to
nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit rentals of the facility are being
handled by Technology Works for Good, http://www.technologyworks.org.
Technology Works for Good is a new nonprofit organization funded by the
Meyer Foundation and others. http://www.meyerfoundation.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Furnished basement room available for the rest of the summer.
Semi-private bathroom and entrance, but the room has air-conditioning,
cable TV, and carpeting. On Davenport near Connecticut, not far from Van
Ness Metro. Walk to Giant supermarket, many stores. Asking $800.
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
Seeking Auto Transmission Shop Referral
Jon Katz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please give me your recommendations for a good transmission place to
install a rebuilt transmission in my Mazda 626. I prefer a location near
Silver Spring, MD.
CLASSIFIEDS — CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
LOOSE LIPS is on vacation. Her column will return when she does —
and when she does, the column will be available online on Thursdays,
instead of Fridays. Why didn't we do this before?
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early
warnings for upcoming events:
SUNDAY: National Air and Space Museum 25th Anniversary, from 9 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum, 6th and Independence
Avenue SW. Free.
THURSDAY: Roger Wilkins reads and signs his new book, Jefferson's
Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism, at
7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 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
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