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April 17, 2002

A Late April Fools

Dear Fraud Exposers:

So Maxim Magazine said DC was the world's best city? So the Inspector General said his report should be kept confidential? So the DC Democratic Party disciplines party and elected Democratic officials who support Republicans? So who believes anything anymore?

Well, even if DC is only one of Maxim's thirteen best cities in the world, what qualifies us for that exalted position? Let us know.

Gary Imhoff 


Optimists in themail: Alley Cleaning?
Kirsten Sherk, 

As I was reading the paper this morning, I heard a strange new noise from the alley below my window, not a car, not a garbage truck, it almost sounded like a lawn mower. Too curious, I leaned over the ledge and was shocked, shocked to see a heavy duty street cleaner cleaning our alley! The cat was quite distressed and hid under the bed, but I nearly threw flowers down upon them. In my 24 years in DC, the only time I've ever seen an alley cleaned was when the Marines did their annual neighborhood cleanup on the Hill! It was marvelous! Does this happen often? Has anyone else seen such a thing?

On another note, I've been reading with interest recent articles on the new management at Eastern Market. I haven't gotten down there in several weeks, but hadn't noticed anything at the time. Has anyone else noticed any changes? For better or for worse?


Confidentially Yours
Dorothy Brizill, 

When the City Council held its first hearing on the Inspector General's report about the Mayor's illegal fundraising schemes, Charles Maddox was outraged, just outraged — not at anything the Mayor or his staffers had done, but at the fact that the full IG report, and not just the whitewashed public “executive summary,” had been made public. Maddox demanded that Councilmembers deny that they had released the report, and complained that “sensitive and potentially harmful information from the full report has been leaked to the media.” On April 12, Maddox delivered another “secret” report to the Council, with additional tables of expenditures by the phony nonprofits created by the Executive Office of the Mayor, and he took the occasion to repeat how offensive he thought it was to let the public know what public officials had done: “I consider disclosure of the report to the public to be a serious breach of confidentiality. Worse, the release of this information jeopardizes future investigations or prosecutions and it exposes the District government to the threat of civil liability. Accordingly, I hope that you will encourage other members of the Council to respect the guidance regarding confidentiality that I am required to request of you and other recipients of sensitive documents.”

To further emphasize how seriously he takes confidentiality, Maddox reminded Councilmembers that signed receipts were required to accept delivery of the original report, and he enclosed copies of all the delivery receipts. Among the receipts, right between the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu and Councilmember Adrian Fenty, is the receipt personally signed by Colbert King, editorial writer for the Washington Post. It's not unusual for government officials to attempt to curry favor with the Post by giving the newspaper special favors and access, but Maddox's hypocrisy about it is particularly blatant, and his inadvertent self-exposure has given the Councilmembers whom he has attempted to intimidate a good laugh.


Political Support
David Sobelsohn, 

What do folks think about the Tony Williams (D-DC) fundraiser for Connie Morella (R-MD)? Con: Morella's reelection will increase the chances the Republicans retain control of the House. A continued Republican majority can't help DC. Pro: the Morella fundraiser is unlikely to determine control of the House, and Morella's the best DC committee chair we could ever hope to have — especially if the Republicans retain control of the House.

Have other themail subscribers read this week's New Republic article about Marion Barry's withdrawn bid for an at-large council seat? The article laments Barry's withdrawal. It predicts that Barry would have lost and that his loss would've prompted a search for new leadership for DC's poor and minorities, a search that will now stall because of lingering hopes for Barry's resurrection. I don't necessarily agree with this, just wondering what others think.


It’s JD Time Again
Ed T. Barron, 

Out from under the rocks come those juvenile delinquents, once again, bent on uncivil disobedience in protests against the spring meeting of the World Bank this coming weekend. This time it appears, based on comments by protest organizers, that someone may get hurt. There are far better ways for these frustrated folks, who never managed to get to Fort Lauderdale for spring break in their younger years, to register a genuine protest. There is no central theme for the protest. In fact, there are a myriad number of topics being protested against and a slew of agendas of the protesters.

Fortunately, I'll be swimming with the fishes in the Caribbean for the duration of the World Bank meetings. I'll be back in plenty of time to figure out how to make the mayor's race more exciting and Mayor William's next term more effective.

As in sex and hand grenades, timing is everything. It's too bad that the Council baritone, Carol Schwartz, fired her bolt in a prior election. This coming election might just have been her time. Despite the fact that Carol had three major negatives in her disfavor when she was a candidate for Mayor: her religion; her gender; and her political party, she won (if I recall correctly) more than 45 percent of the votes for Mayor. In an election this year there are many who recognize that Mayor Williams has not accomplished much except for attracting a lot of attention to some very unethical and illegal fund raising and staffing top, critical positions in the city with frauds. Carol Schwartz could have made this year's election a real race had she not run before and been defeated.


Williams Hosts Fundraiser for Republican Member of Congress
Ronald Washington, 

Several months ago , Democratic leaders in the city and nationwide were angry over alleged rumors of statements by Ward 8 Democratic State Committeeman Arthur H. Jackson, Jr., that, “Councilman David Catania was the best candidate for Mayor, because of his strong citywide community work and his strong ethics.” Councilman Catania is a Republican and I voted for him, even though I'm a longtime Democrat in this city.

Today we hear that Mayor Anthony Williams is hosting a fundraiser for a Republican Congresswoman. And his supporters on the DC Democratic State Committee who were concerned about Mr. Jackson better watch their Mayor, Tony Williams. Norm Neverson and the State Committee needs to punish this Mayor according to their policy that Democratic elected officials must support Democrats. They can do whatever they want; I will continue to vote for David Catania.


Althea Gibson
Susan Ousley, 

I so much appreciated this answer to my question about Althea Gibson's boxing mentor that I want to share it. It's not brief or absolute DC, but it raises some good questions about our history and values. Thanks to Joel D. Treese, Editor, CQ Press. Joel says, “The boxer who helped Althea Gibson was Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989).” Here's the article he included:

Andrea Szulszteyn, “Gibson, 'Black Mother of Tennis,' Remains Reclusive,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, March 28, 2002. “As Venus and Serena Williams step on the stadium court . . . an older woman sits alone in her New Jersey apartment, surrounded by dusty trophies and old newspaper clippings. She adores the Williams sisters greatly, taking great pride in their fame and great success as tennis players and role models for women and African-Americans. Only she's not just a fan. She's a living legend. Althea Gibson, 75, chooses to watch all this in virtual seclusion. The first African-American to win the French Open, Wimbledon and US Championships has chosen to stay far away from the headlines.

“The woman close friend Fran Gray calls 'the black mother of tennis' refuses all interview requests . . . has a handful of people in her inner circle and rarely goes out. She has not made a public appearance in years. As Gray says, 'She's retired herself from the public, and she's comfortable with that.' That doesn't mean the Williams sisters or others in tennis have forgotten Gibson. Hall of Fame player Billie Jean King says she often finds herself saying 'Don't forget Althea' when discussing tennis and history. And Serena Williams, who has spoken to Gibson once, calls Gibson 'a great inspiration.' 'She's done so many amazing accomplishments,' said Serena Williams, 20, 'and she's been through so much.' Gray is one of the few people with a glimpse into why Gibson has retreated from public life. She has known Gibson for more than 30 years and is CEO of the Althea Gibson Foundation, created in 1998 to help at-risk children who have ability in golf or tennis. The foundation is in major need of funding.

“She takes Gibson to her doctor appointments and consults with her about ideas for the foundation. Gray said Gibson is 'holding her own' health-wise, but that Gibson has arthritis and occasionally uses a wheelchair when she has trouble walking. 'Althea's mentally fine,' Gray said. 'She's arthritic and if you don't run, jump, hop or skip around, you lose the usage of the flexibility of the body that used to carry you 100 miles per hour 100 miles a day.' Gibson stays out of the public for several reasons, Gray says. She does not remember a lot of her matches from the 1950s, and does not want to be asked about them. And she can't view them because not a single Gibson match is on film. In the early 1990s, her job with the New Jersey Governor's Commission on physical Fitness was cut for financial reasons. Gibson, who did not make money while playing tennis and did not have much saved, was shocked.

“'She was devastated,' Gray said. 'She had done so much, given so much and here in her later years she found herself out of work and not fully prepared to retire.' Gibson became depressed and suffered a stroke. When she recovered, Gibson never sought attention or wanted it. As Gray says, 'She's been out of circulation 10 years now. Once she got out, she did not come back.' Perhaps that is the reason why her name may not be as recognizable as Jackie Robinson's or Arthur Ashe's. But Gibson means as much to African-Americans' advancement in sport. Gibson won the French Open in 1956, and Wimbledon and the US Championships in 1957 and 1958, firsts for any African-American. She also was the first African-American to play on the LPG Tour.

“'I bring it up. I say, “Don't forget Althea,”' Hall of Fame tennis player Billie Jean King said. 'Having these discussions about history is very good. A lot of people think it's Arthur Ashe, but it's Althea Gibson.' King is one of the few people outside the Gibson inner circle who has spent time with her in the past few years. Five years ago, after King pleaded, begged and left countless messages, Gibson allowed King and Zina Garrison, a former top 10 Wimbledon runner-up, to visit her home in New Jersey. King and Garrison spent nearly two hours chatting with Gibson about her accomplishments, and about the Williams sisters. . . . 'I told her about when I first saw her and how excited I was, to remind her she's not forgotten, and how she made such a difference in my life,' King said. 'I was 13 years old in Los Angeles, and I saw her play at the Pacific Southwest [tournament]. I'll never forgot how my heart was pounding, and I went to see her and thought, “Geez, I hope I can play like that someday.”' King still leaves messages for Gibson . . . and would like to see Gibson have a more active role. She told Gibson during their visit, 'We need you, you can inspire a lot of people.'

“Gibson was forced to retire from tennis in 1958 because of a lack of finances. She then spent the next few years recording an album, picking up a small role in the movie, The Horse Soldiers, and touring with the Harlem Globetrotters as an opening act. After a venture to open her own tennis club failed, Gibson discovered the LPGA. She earned her tour card in 1965, but at 37, was unable to have sustained success. 'Althea was such a great athlete,' said softball and golf legend Joan Joyce, who played one year on the LPGA tour with Gibson. 'It was a tremendous honor to be playing with her. She is a part of the history of women's sports. If it isn't for people like Althea Gibson, sports wouldn't be where they are today.'

“In 1971, Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI This year marks the 45th anniversary of Gibson's historic victory at Wimbledon, and Gray is mulling over whether she will attend a planned celebration in Gibson's place. Last year, Gibson graced the cover of Wheaties during Black History Month. Though some wish she would be more a public figure, Venus Williams understands. 'I think she should do what's comfortable,' said Williams, 21. 'If she's comfortable in her life at this point, that's what counts.' . . . [W]hile the Williams sisters continue playing and inspiring a new generation, Gibson remains in New Jersey with the knowledge and pride that she paved the way for their moment atop women's tennis.”


Good News About DC
Beth Solomon, 

Thanks in part to your passion and persistence, things are getting better!


Sorry Gary, DC’s the Best City Only Here
Dru Sefton, 

April 1, 2002, “Maxim's 13 Enjoys 'Best of Luck'”: “What else would you expect from a magazine launched on April Fool's Day? For their fifth anniversary, the editors of Maxim created 13 separate editions of a special 'Greatest City on Earth' package, each one declaring a different metropolis the winner. The magazine's ploy worked superbly, generating the kind of buzz that media pundits have come to expect from the publication. Maxim's chicanery came to light after the Detroit Free Press ran a front-page article on the honor. The journalist soon got a call from a friend in Atlanta, who said that he had just picked up Maxim — and the copy he read named his city the best.

“'We came clean with him,' explained Drew Kerr, president of Four Corners Communications, Maxim's PR firm. Kerr has grown accustomed to the controversies Maxim generates, but this stunt had him a little nervous. 'I have been more worried about this in the past three months than anything else,' he said. 'We had countless debates about whether this was going to backfire — would people get the joke, or would they just get mad?' The reaction has been mixed. Kerr estimated that 95% of reporters found the stunt funny. The other 5% thought they'd been had. Some of the harshest criticism has been levied at Maxim's editorial team for, as the New York Press put it, 'brilliant marketing supported by questionable, even faintly despicable editorial.' Meanwhile, those supportive of the effort lauded the stunt, with many particularly appreciative of Maxim's spin on the 'best of' trend.

“The story took on an added twist when boxes of the New York issue wound up in Philadelphia. 'The Philly media called us for comment,' Kerr said. 'We gave it to them in one word: 'Oops.'”


Mike Lowe, 

Before you get too proud of DC's showing in Maxim Magazine, you should know that Maxim rigged it so that the best city in the world varies depending on where the magazines are sent. My friends in Chicago advise me that Chicago won it in their magazines! Oh, well.


Don’t Trust Gov? Why Trust Media?
David Pansegrouw, 

Gary, you should know better than to trust Maxim magazine. They had multiple versions of the same issue -- each customized to a specific city in content and distribution; of course each city was declared the best in the world. Feel good journalism sells!


April 2002 InTowner
Peter Wolff, 

This is to advise that the April 2002 on-line edition has been uploaded and may be accessed at Included are the lead stories, community news items and crime reports, editorials (including prior months archived), restaurant reviews (prior months also archived), and the text from the ever-popular "Scenes from the Past" feature. Also included are all current classified ads. The complete issue (along with prior issues back to January 2001) also is available in PDF file format by direct access from our home page at no charge simply by clicking the link provided. Here you will be able to view the entire issue as it looks in print, including the new ABC Board actions report, all photos and advertisements.

The next issue will publish on May 10. The complete PDF version will be posted by early that Friday morning, following which the text of the lead stories, community news, and selected features will be uploaded shortly thereafter. To read this month's lead stories, simply click the link on the home page to the following headlines: 1) “Adams Morgan Homes to Open for April 21st House Tour”; 2) “Tivoli Square Project Underway Site Work Soon to be Visible”; 3) “Enclosed Café Permit OK'd for Jurys Hotel.”



Music in the Hood
Dorothy Marschak, 

CHIME's current “Music Around the World” series of 19 free programs for all ages at four DC neighborhood public libraries continues in the coming week with two more not-to-be-missed programs featuring Latin music and the saxophone. On Saturday, April 20, at Benning Neighborhood Library (3935 Benning Road, NE), from 2-3 p.m., Coral Cantigas Director Diana Saez presents a performance-workshop for families on The Music of Latin America. She will conduct an imaginary journey through the different regions of Latin America while sharing with the audience the historical background of the songs and the various cultures that shape the music. This will be an interactive performance where children of all ages will sing and clap.

On Tuesday, April 23, at the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library (3160 16th Street, NW), from 7-8 p.m., Rhonda Buckley, Founder and Director of the Patricia Sitar Center for the Arts, gives a brief history of the saxophone, including its use in jazz, popular and classical music. She plays examples from each of the style periods to illustrate the role of the saxophone. The audience will be encouraged to ask questions about this illustrious instrument.

For a schedule of the complete series of programs or for more information about these programs or CHIME (Community Help in Music Education) visit our web site,, or contact us at We are a volunteer organization whose mission is to promote and provide music education for DC youth, during and outside of school. We welcome volunteers and donations of money and instruments.


Washingtoniana Division Slide Lecture
Jerry A. McCoy, 

“More DC in 3-D: Past and Present,” an illustrated slide lecture, Monday, April 22, noon-1:00 p.m., in the program room of the Washingtoniana Division, Room #307, Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library. James Roy will present both historic and contemporary stereo card photos of Washington personalities and places. 3-D glasses will be provided. We hope to see you there!


Minding Mother Nature
Robert Revere, 

On Saturday April 20, Washington Storytellers Theatre and Live from National Geographic will present "Minding Mother Nature: A festival of environmental storytelling." WST and the National Geographic Society honor Earth Day with entertaining stories that celebrate the natural world and cautionary tales about the destruction of our home. The festival includes Marge Bruchac, a Native American of Abenaki descent; naturalist and entertainer Doug Elliott; NPR commentator Bill Harley; musician and storyteller Beth Horner; and Brazilian storyteller and mime Antonio Rocha.

The event takes place at National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M Street, NW. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $15, and can be purchased by calling 857-7700. The stories are suitable for adults and children 11 and older. For more information, visit


Adams Morgan House Tour April 21
Wanda Bubriski, 

For the first time in 22 years, the Adams Morgan community will open its doors for a spring House Tour, this coming Sunday afternoon. The tour will reflect the diversity of homes found in Adams Morgan as well as showcase community sights, services and neighborhood history. Designed as an “inside and out” walking tour of Adams Morgan, the itinerary includes entry into distinguished townhouses, co-op and condominium apartments, and an inventive rental. The tour also highlights other “houses” that distinguish Adams Morgan and are featured sites along the route, including the local firehouse, schoolhouse, two houses of worship, and Holt House, whose history dates back to the founding of the Federal City. The need to preserve and restore Holt House, located on the grounds of the National Zoological Park, is a driving force behind the tour. The Kalorama Citizens Association, the sponsor of the tour, will use proceeds from this event to match a grant it just received from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help save Holt House.

The tour concludes with a reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at The Reef Restaurant (2446 18th Street, NW), a brand new environmentally sensitive enterprise in the heart of Adams Morgan. Entry to the residences require a ticket, but the "community houses" can be visited free of charge. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 the day-of-tour when they can be purchased at The Wyoming, 2022 Columbia Road, or the Police Substation beside Sun Trust Bank at 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW. For more information:


Clean Bus Rally
Parisa Norouzi, 

The DC Environmental Network urges everyone to attend this important clean bus rally. Thursday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m., Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) office, 600 5th Street, NW (Chinatown Metro stop). Metro will be deciding whether or not to continue buying clean natural gas buses at its next Budget Committee meeting, on April 18th. The Metro Board has been under a lot of pressure to go back to diesel, which is cheaper but extremely dangerous to public health. Please show your support for clean buses and join us for a rally outside the WMATA office before the meeting. Bring your friends.

The Metro meeting at 9 a.m. is open to the public. If you can stay for part or all of it, please do. Let's pack the room! A fact sheet with background information about the Clean Bus Campaign is available at Directions: From the Chinatown Metro stop (red, green, and yellow lines), use the Arena exit. Walk two blocks west on F Street to 5th Street. Rally will be in front of the main entrance. For more information: Mark Wenzler, Sierra Club-Washington, DC Chapter, 887-8851; Elliott Negin, NRDC, 289-2405,


Water and Sewer Authority
Libby Lawson, 

The DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) will conduct a public hearing to receive comments on proposed rates and fee changes, which, if adopted, would establish new retail rates and fees for water and sewer services. The Board encourages your participation and needs your input as part of the rate making process. The proposed rulemaking and public notice are published in the March 8, 2002 edition of the DC Register and published on WASA’s web site ( Public hearing: Thursday, April 25, 6:30 p.m., the Washington Convention Center, 900 9th Street, NW, Room 29.

Each individual or representative of an organization who wishes to present testimony at the public hearing is requested to furnish his or her name, address, telephone number and name of organization (if any) by calling 787-2330 (Office of the Board Secretary) no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 19. Oral presentations by individuals will be limited to five (5) minutes; oral presentations made by representatives of an organization will be limited to ten (10) minutes. Persons presenting oral testimony should provide ten (10) copies of his or her statement at the public hearing. Persons unable to attend may forward written comments to: DC Water and Sewer Authority, Office of the Board Secretary, 5000 Overlook Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20032, or E-mail comments to

WASA’s proposed rulemaking includes decreasing the base water and sewer rate, creating a new metering fee and a pass through of a District of Columbia right-of-way occupancy fee which has been assessed against WASA by the District of Columbia for water and sewer conduits that are maintained by WASA. If adopted, the new proposal would take effect October 1, 2002, and increase the average residential monthly bill from $38.03 to $41.08.

An alternative rulemaking is also proposed. This alternative rulemaking is proposed for adoption in the event that either the right-of-way pass through or the metering fee is not adopted. If both the right-of-way pass through fee and the metering fee are not adopted, the alternative rulemaking would increase the retail water rate from $1.786 per One Hundred Cubic Feet to no greater than $1.89 per One Hundred Cubic Feet, effective October 1, 2002 and would increase the retail sewer rate from $2.710 per One Hundred Cubic Feet to no greater than $2.86 per One Hundred Cubic Feet, effective October 1, 2002. The alternative rulemaking is proposed in order to achieve an overall incremental revenue requirement of $10.6 million. In January of this year, the Board of Directors did not approve a management-proposed rate increase that would have raised rates five percent in April 2002 and April 2003.

Previous community meetings were held March 27th at the Sumner School and March 28th at Hadley Memorial Hospital to discuss the proposed rulemaking. For general information, please call WASA’s Public Affairs Office at 787-2200 or E-mail us at



Umpires Needed for 10-12 Year-olds
Pat Bitondo, 

DC Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Division needs umpires (some experience necessary). Most games are on Friday at 6:00 p.m. or Sundays at 2:00. Small fee paid. This a a good way to get some pocket money. Call 337-2843 and ask for Pat.


Internship Available
Parisa Norouzi, 

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN), spearheaded by the national environmental group Friends of the Earth, seeks a volunteer grassroots intern to assist with the activities and campaigns of DCEN. The intern will work with DCEN's Grassroots Coordinator and Director to carry out local campaigns and events contributing to the growth of DCEN and leading to improvements in quality of life for all District of Colombia residents. Major responsibilities: conduct outreach to nonprofits and community groups to expand membership of the Network; help organize volunteer opportunities and events including monthly luncheon highlighting local environmental issues; conduct outreach to DC area colleges and universities, establishing a connection to relevant professors and campus groups, and involving them in local efforts; assist in the development and procurement of DCEN campaign materials, including pamphlets, display materials, etc.; serve as an additional contact for community members and Network member groups; assist with individual information requests.

Duration flexible, minimum twenty hours per week. College sophomore or above. Skills required: good communication skills and interpersonal skills; comfort working with diverse groups of people; ability to write clearly and succinctly; comfort with doing outreach, which may require public speaking; ability to work independently; good computer skills would be a bonus; knowledge of DC neighborhoods and city politics, and basic knowledge about particularly urban environmental and environmental justice issues a major plus. Please reply with a letter expressing interest and resume to Parisa Norouzi, Friends of the Earth, 1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005-6306; 783-7400, fax 783-0444,



Three Charming House Cats for Adoption
Kathleen McLynn, 

A dear friend died quite unexpectedly just before Easter. She had a large number of beloved cats, some of them quite old, but all well cared for. Some of them have been adopted by her many friends, but some still need homes. My friend loved her cats tremendously and would have wanted them to have nice homes. If you might be interested, please call her children at her house on 575-3726. There is no answering machine, so please don't mind trying to call more than once. If you can't reach them, feel free to call me on 966-9837 or inquire by E-mail. Your kindness is appreciated in this very sad time.



Housing to Share, Room for Rent
C. Brosowsky, 

Roommate wanted for MacArthur Boulevard, NW. Considerate professional M/F to share 2 bedroom/1 bath furnished, comfy upper flat/apartment with F. d/w; w/d; a/c; great front porch and requisite wicker furniture; great neighborhood; $675 includes all utilities except own phone; plus $675 security deposit. Available May 1; short term OK; E-mail or call 363-0920.



Exercise Bike
Alan Henney, 

Well-used Montgomery Wards exercise bike (located in Takoma) free to a good home. Please E-mail



Fans Needed
Susie Cambria, 

This is from an E-mail from Councilmember Catania: Senior public housing buildings may not have converted their heat/ac systems over to provide air conditioning yet. As such, it can be very uncomfortable, even dangerous, for our seniors. Emmaus Services is in desperate need of fans to provide to area senior citizens. If you have a spare fan during this difficult time please contact Emmaus at 745-1200 or to arrange your donation. Cash donations are also acceptable. For more information on Emmaus Services visit 


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