Still Performing After All These Years
I remember several years ago at an Academy Awards ceremony Jack
Nicholson made a stupid acceptance speech about how he wasn't “just an
entertainer,” and I wanted to yell at him to shut up. The man puts on
make-up and plays at make-believe for a living, and then he complains
that people aren't taking him seriously. Isn't it enough that people
enjoy what he does, and that what he does makes them happy?
I've been enjoying a lot of entertainment today. This afternoon I
finally watched one of the many repeat showings of “Three Mo'
Tenors” on public television (one of those "noncommercial"
television programs interrupted by numerous commercial begging breaks,
each one longer than a Ron Popeil infomercial). After than I listened to
some records of Hoagy Carmichael performing his own songs, to Phil
Harris singing “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette” and Rudy Valle
singing “As Time Goes By” and Wally Cox singing “There Is a Tavern
in the Town,” to a Paul Desmond-Gerry Mulligan album, to an album by
Abbey Lincoln and Stan Getz, and to a couple Blossom Dearie albums. I
had a very good day, thanks to entertainers, people who saw no shame in
performing for other people's pleasure. Thanks to them all.
By the way, both Abbey Lincoln and Blossom Dearie are still
performing after all these years. Blossom has been a regular weekend
performer at Danny's Skylight Room in New York, and her stay has been
extended through September. Just thought you would want to know.
This is for all of our neighbors and fellow citizens who have been
affected by the recent storms and sewer backups. Because most of the
affected may be without the means to read this, please help me pass
along some hints and help. I have been through it. The first thing to do
is to remove as much as possible and then wash it with Clorox solution
of one part Clorox and four parts water, then rinse. You will probably
not want to get things wet again, but the Clorox and clean water rinse
is imperative to remove any bacteria and prevent killer mold. After a
room is cleared, the walls need to be washed down with Clorox and
rinsed. In the past, I have hooked up my hose to the washer outlet and
hosed things down. If you don't have a drain the water can be directed
to, use a wet vac to collect the cleaning water. Please make sure it is
ventilated well. If you want you, can also get a pump up sprayer and
fill it with a Clorox solution and spray ceilings and walls. After
cleaning set up fans to blow the air around and dry walls and floors
After everything is bleached and rinsed, take stock. You may be
surprised at what can be saved and will be impervious to the Clorox. I
have saved sofas and rugs with this method, and if you get bleach damage
you probably would have lost it anyway. Anything that is now soggy but
clean can be salvaged. Hang up rugs, clothing, and linens outside on
hangers and lines to dry. Books and album covers can be layered with
newspapers and weighed down. (Yes I have washed books, albums, and even
photographs). Lay photos out of the sun on layers of newspaper. They may
curl a bit but can be flattened after they are dry. Christmas
decorations, dishes, and canned goods can also be bleached, rinsed, and
The possibilities go on and on. If you have a question or need help,
E-mail me and maybe I will have a helpful hint. My heart goes out to all
of you because I know you feel you will never recover. Bless you.
Overcrowding at Washington Hospital Center
Dorothy Marschak, firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the unexpected opportunity to be taken to the emergency room of
Washington Hospital Center recently. While waiting to be admitted to the
hospital, I spent fourteen hours parked in the emergency room, along
with throngs of others, some of whom had to wait longer, I was told,
lined up stretcher to stretcher in the halls. I was told that business
in the emergency room at WHC has increased 40 percent since DC general
shut down, many patients being transported from SE. I have no way of
verifying this, but I have had the privilege of being taken to that
emergency room at previous times, and it was never this bad. Once on the
ward, it was not much better. The only bed available for me was in a
room with a very sick woman, who had a crisis during the night that kept
me from sleeping, during which I learned she had pneumonia, among other
problems. When I expressed dismay at this, I was told pneumonia is not
contagious . . . not to worry. Is anyone collecting statistical
information as to what the consequences of the shutdown of DC General
The Real Costs of the Contract with the DC
Carolyn Curtis, email@example.com
If you download the contract with Greater Southeast Community
Hospital, you will find the following costs for this contract in the
noted sections. The actual minimal costs to the city is $115,971,805.
Check out the contract for yourself. You will also find that the
contract does not insist that Greater Southeast build a trauma center,
rather, it may arrange for trauma services. This is what the mayor will
hold Greater Southeast to. Please note that as per this contract, there
will probably not be pharmaceutical services available after four months
unless an agreeable additional amount can be negotiated. The cost for
the PBC for pharmaceuticals was $9 million last year.
In testimony before Sandy Allen on 6/22/01, it was noted that the
contract has already gone above its budgeted amount, in that Children's
Hospital has requested additional money. The amounts budgeted for
reimbursement for physician services has been exceeded; the contract
calls for $25 per visit, however, Chartered is reimbursing at 90 percent
of the Medicaid rate. When I last checked, Medicaid paid $39 for a
prenatal visit; 90% of that amount will be $35.10, greater than $25.
Multiply this by the number of other procedures that will be reimbursed
at a higher rate than what was agreed to in the contract. It was also
noted that the budget for the community health centers had been
decreased by more than 50 percent; last year their budget was $12
million, under the contract, GSECH has given Unity only $5.5 million.
Also, I have heard that Howard University is being paid on the side
to do trauma, even though they are not a subcontractor with DC Alliance.
If you can handle the numbers, see what the real costs are for this
contract. The only figure reported to the public was the base figure for
health care services: $66,276,044. The other figures were not reported
to the public. I wonder why not. What is most abhorrent is that GSECH is
only paying $10 per year rent for four parcels of property and all the
equipment in the buildings.
Instead of retrocession to Maryland let's have some fun with it.
Let's secede from Washington, DC, and join another state. Hmm, how about
Hawaii. Wouldn't you love to live in Hawaii? Or maybe we could combine
our desire to escape income tax and join a state that doesn't have
income tax (I think that only leaves Alaska, Tennessee, and Oregon).
Or we could join a small-population state like Vermont or Wyoming. I
think that each Representative is supposed to represent 300,000 people.
If we joined Vermont or Wyoming, we would have a combined population of
over one million, therefore getting three votes in the House plus the
two Senators. And DC residents would make up the majority of the new
In a display of either incompetence or just simple mindless
make-work, the city has posted a series of emergency no-parking signs
along the west side of Wisconsin Avenue between Q and R Streets. Why is
this an issue? Because that section of road is clearly marked as no
parking anytime. The temporary no parking signs are attached to every
tree, lamppost, and sign on the block, even those poles that already
have the universal no-parking sign on them. I'm not sure if I should
laugh or cry.
Pooh-Bahs, Protesters, and Some Ideas From
Mark Richards, Dupont East, firstname.lastname@example.org
As DC gets ready for what Phil Carney described as the upcoming
gathering of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Pooh-Bahs
and those protesting global capitalism, the City of Miami Beach is in
the midst of mounting a tremendously visible police presence for this
week’s Source Hip-Hop Awards 2001 at the Jackie Gleason Theater. While
the IMF and WB event can be expected to be a net drain on DC taxpayers,
the City of Miami Beach’s leaders planned the Hip-Hop gig to bring
money into the SB treasury. But even so, some Miami residents are saying
it might be a good time to get away from their multi-billion dollar
sandbar. Wire magazine, a SB gay rag, described a similar
"urban" event last Memorial Day at which time the police chief
was fishing and "there was no rule of law" on the Beach. Not
this time -- Wire’s “Source Awards: Time to 'Get Outta Town' or Go
Fishing With the Police Chief,” reported the plan to make the Hip-Hop
event more pleasant: city leaders hired Louis Farrakhan’s 'Fruit of
Islam' security force. Although this is an out-of-the-box idea, Miami’s
Wire is not amused: “Yeah, right. Louis Farrakhan. That
upright, law-abiding, respectable, anti-Jewish, anti-white, anti-gay
citizens who preaches hatred of everyone non-black or of the Islamic
faith. Yeah, that’s the guy who’s bringing in the troops to help
Test the Teachers, Too
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
They seem to have things right up here in Canada when it comes to
testing. They not only test the students, all teachers must pass a
Competency Test and then get recertified every five years. That makes a
lot of sense. In the D.C. public schools they will be testing the
students every couple of years. Why not test the teachers to see if they
are capable of teaching the students who are being tested. The results
of those competency tests would be very revealing, I'm afraid.
I find the Post's reaction interesting, considering that the
owner's father was the force behind the founding of the Federal City
Council, which is the wind beneath the wings of the Baltimore-Washington
bid for the Olympics. The Bid Committee has plans for the D.C. General
site that have nothing to do with health care, as Dorothy has previously
reported in themail.
The other DC-General-related editorial that interested me this week
was the one which took Mr. Chavous to task for seeking judicial redress
against the Control Board decision to close the hospital in the first
place. The article claimed that a legislative solution was the only
solution — which is true as Mr. Agostinelli states — that statehood
and retrocession can both be granted through legislation. However, the
editorial ignores the Adams v. Bush, or 20 Citizens lawsuit, which is
still active. The plaintiffs have petitioned the three judge panel in
the case to provide their rationale for rejecting the claim that the
status quo violates their (and our) equal protection rights based on
residency. A victory in the suit would lead to a vote between statehood
and unification with an existing state and the end of the District
Committees in Congress. The aforementioned Federal City Council has
great influence with these committees and is a major funder of their
reelection campaigns. Given the Post's role in the Federal City
Council, I am not surprised at this omission.
George S. LaRoche, LaRoche@us.net
Mr. Matthes, why do you think statehood requires a constitutional
amendment? Do any law review articles or court opinions or other
authorities support your contention? (I agree with you, by the way, that
it requires political action by the District and Congress, so that's not
part of the question.)
I thought the idea behind the book was good, but the fact that all it
did was compare DC to other states with percentages without providing
the base numbers so that one could actually evaluate what was presented,
made the book relatively worthless, at least to me.
Gary and Dorothy Throw Tomatoes in themail,
John Whiteside, firstname.lastname@example.org
After giving reasons that small businesses are important (valid
ones), Dorothy Brizill pops in a quote from a Williams spokesman saying
that the Keating report is something of a joke. We are supposed to
conclude that the mayor doesn't care about small business. Fortunately,
Ms. Brizill undid her own smear job by including a link the Times
story with the full quote — which makes it clear that the spokesman's
point was that the report doesn't accurately reflect the state of small
business in DC, not that small businesses weren't important. You may or
may not agree with that, but this kind of misquoting is just a plain old
smear. It's also become standard for Ms. Brizill and Mr. Imhoff in
themail. If this is the best they can do to criticize Mayor Williams, he
must be doing pretty well.
[To judge the administration's response for yourself, read the Washington
Times article, http://www.washtimes.com/businesstimes/default-200181312451.htm.
— Gary Imhoff]
Malcolm L Wiseman, Jr., email@example.com
I'm still in mourning over the passing of Jazz 90! What a loss! It
was one of the best jazz stations in the country, if not the best. I was
at their lights-out closing party and threw the switch with all the
deejays and many of the station's fans. Here's a link to a memorial site
playing "Here's That Rainy Day" http://members.aol.com/jazzyweb/jazz90/
My favorite show was "Sonido Latino" with Noel Carvajal, who
announced bilingually in fluent English and beautiful Spanish. I'll bet
Latino listeners used it to learn English while I learned more Spanish.
We were both digging on some great jazz with Latin sounds, much of it
from Cuba, the island we love to hate (not me!).
Zinnia is certainly right about WDCU. Felix Grant alone made it by
far the best station for jazz in DC. Steve Hoffmann's Blues show (“The
Blues Experience”), of which I was an addict, is also gone. And
Ibrahim Kanjuba (I have no idea if I'm spelling his name right) had a
marvelous world music show. These are figures who really knew and cared
about what they were doing, mostly playing from their own collections.
And what's really upsetting is that very little has emerged to take the
place of these shows. I didn't expect much from WETA or WAMU, which seem
to have blandly corporate missions to play to the cultural whims of
suburbanites, with a few bones to DC policy wonks. Both stations seem in
a race to be exactly the same, and have avoided for years the more
interesting, edgy stuff from NPR. What is really dismaying to me is
WPFW's lack of response and increasing homogenization. After all, it's
the station which once had Seth's amazing “Corn Between Your Teeth”
as well as the singular 'Bama. These and related people made it worth
putting up with the rank amateurism of the station, and even the casual
anti-Semitism of one or two of its hosts. I called in a complaint about
the latter once, saying I expected a Pacifica station to be anti-racist,
and was told someone would call me back about it. I'm still waiting. But
beyond that, I'm waiting for the kinds of things that make a station
unique and compelling. I think it's still possible.
I know there are plenty of people on this list who love to blame
Mayor Williams for the downfall of society, but one thing should be
clarified about the WDCU sale. I'm not sure who Zinnia was referring to
in this sentence: “The Mayor in his infinite wisdom sold the radio
station to C-SPAN,” but I can tell you for sure this transaction
didn't happen under Williams' watch.
As a former employee of C-SPAN, I know WCSP-FM debuted in October
1997, one year before Williams's election.
Zinnia: I've lived here since '69, which makes me very close to the
rarest of rara avis of this town: a home boy. I humbly submit it is far
more likely I don't remember WDCU — which I don't — because I don't
listen to jazz (couldn't you tell by the stations I referenced?) than
because I haven't lived here long enough. Either way, today's radio
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS AND MEETINGS
The August meeting of dcbaseball.org is scheduled for Wednesday
August 22, at 7:00 p.m., RFK Stadium Offices, 4th floor, 2400 East
Capitol Street, SE, For all interested in working together to revive the
game of baseball for our city's youths and amateurs. Active participants
in the organization include youth and amateur league commissioners,
coaches, umpires, members of the local business community, and other
Efforts are ongoing in the areas of DC's fields and facilities;
participation in DC: leagues, players, teams, clinics/camps; coaches,
umpires; communications including web site and outreach strategies;
fundraising and development. Your ideas and efforts are needed. Please
join us and/or pass this information to someone you know who would be
interested. For additional information, contact John Vocino, 512-7290,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Scott Burr, 544-2135, email@example.com).
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (WASA)
invites you to attend a public hearing regarding the proposed $1.05
billion Draft Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) for Combined Sewer Overflows
(CSOs) for the District. The Draft LTCP is intended to reduce CSOs that
discharge to the Anacostia River, Potomac River and Rock Creek. Details
of the hearing are as follows: September 11, 6:00-8:30 p.m., Martin
Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Auditorium A-5.
Public comments will be accepted in the form of written and oral
testimony at the hearing. Those who wish to testify must submit their
names in writing seven days before the hearing date to Dr. Mohsin
Siddique, Project Manager, D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, 5000 Overlook
Avenue, SW, 20032; Mohsin_Siddique@dcwasa.com, 787-2634.
Testimony will be heard in the order that written
requests to testify are received. Those who have not submitted written
requests to testify may sign up at the hearing to give oral testimony.
Testimony will be received if time permits and in the order in which
testifiers sign up. Oral testimony from individuals will be limited to 5
minutes and organizations will be limited to ten (10) minutes. Testimony
should be limited to the subject matter. Written testimony of any size
can be submitted at the hearing and within 30 days after the date of the
hearing. The comment period will close 30 days after the public hearing.
After that, public comments will be taken into consideration and WASA
will prepare a Final LTCP. WASA encourages your participation. A copy of
the Draft LTCP can be obtained at http://www.dcwasa.com.
CLASSIFIEDS — HELP WANTED
Steven Roy Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nanny wanted to care for adorable 3-month old girl. FT, experienced
with infants, legal, fluent in English. Two blocks from Van Ness metro.
Begin in September. Call Jenny, 237-5222.
Calls and E-mails Wanted
Jonetta Rose Barras, Rosebook1@aol.com
To repeat: this week's City Paper says that I have resigned as
the Loose Lips columnist to pursue other interests. It's true I have
resigned. But District politics remains my prime interest. You can
expect my hard-hitting reports and analyses to appear very soon in a
publication near you. Until then, your tips and concerns are welcomed at
882-2838 or by E-mail at Rosebook1@aol.com.
I look forward to talking with you.
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Single mom of one looking for a one/two-bedroom apartment. Reasonably
near Metro station if possible. I have one child, am employed full-time,
a nonsmoker, and very responsible.
Anyone know of an available studio or one bedroom apartment? I'm
interested in a Metro-accessible site. Just relocated from Philadelphia.
Quiet, nonsmoking, neat, responsible, young professional looking to move
no later than October 1st, but anytime after September 1st would be
fantastic. I'm working at a nonprofit, so I need a reasonable rent.
Fairly handy and interested in gardening, so would keep your property
neat and in great shape! Please E-mail me at email@example.com
or call me at 732-604-0741.
CLASSIFIEDS — CAUSES
The Fighting 54th Public Service Organization
Arthur Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tired of abandoned cars and houses on your block, poor recreation
services? Angry over the closing of D.C. General Hospital? Does your
child's schools need repairs? Join an organization with a history of
volunteering to help communities in D.C. The Fighting 54th, a public
service organization, was named after the 54th Massachusetts Infantry,
which was a decorated winning military unit headed by General Shaw, for
whom the community of Shaw is named.
The organization is seeking to recruit volunteers to organize your
community for block cleanups, to report dangerous spots in your block,
organize youth in your community, do outreach to seniors and shut-ins,
conduct voter registration drives, plan fundraising events, host
meet-your-neighbor cookouts and holiday events, and recruit volunteers
for security monitors at events. For information on how to join The
Fighting 54th, contact Mr. Kenny Charles Baker, National Commander, at
610-3094, or E-mail Attention K. Baker at email@example.com.
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