Tempers Are Flaring
Nothing else raises the tempers of themail correspondents as much as
the Klingle Road debate. But I'm calling yet another temporary ceasefire
because, after a round of exchanges with relatively new information or
viewpoints, we're back to generating more heat than light on the issue.
For the Thanksgiving issue, let's take the high road, instead. Or the
road less traveled. Or the yellow brick road. Any other road.
Timing Is Everything
Ed T. Barron, email@example.com
As in life, sex, and hand grenades, timing is everything. Just think
what might have been the results in the Mayoral Election if the story
about the financing problems with the District's Health Care program had
broken just before the election on 5 November. We might have had a
different Mayor in January.
I called 311 on Tuesday, November 19, around 2:30 p.m. to report
suspicious/drug related activity in my neighborhood. First I had to wait
on hold for about five minutes. Then the dispatcher, number 5560, asked
me what the suspicious individuals were doing, and how I know that they
were doing anything illegal. She informed me that here in the city
people stand around, and that is not illegal. It seemed like I had done
something wrong by calling in.
I did then speak to Supervisor Rodriguez, who assured me that I
should call in if something seems suspicious. I have called other times
and had a similar response, like you are on trial for calling in. I have
also had experiences like reporting something suspicious, and then
having the officer bang on my door. (Nothing like letting people know
who's complaining.) I have seen little or no improvement in police
service in my neighborhood over the past eleven years that I have lived
here (North Lincoln Park, 5th District). Patrols of any kind are
infrequent, and the overall service is poor.
Mark Richards, Dupont East, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Sobelsohn pointed out an inaccuracy in my posting in the last
issue of themail (“Texas Senator May Deny US Coin Collectors
Washington, DC Addition”), and noted that Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX)
will soon be retired from the Senate, so it will be futile to focus on
him. In my missive, I wrote, “DC has been a part of this Union for as
long as the 13 colonies” — which was a sloppy shortcut to make the
point that DC should be included in the coin program because it is an
integral unit and part of the federal system, even though it is not a
It would have been more accurate to say that the people living on the
land which is today DC have been loyal Americans from the beginning.
They were a part of the Revolution and the formation of the Union in
1776. The decision to have a permanent seat of government was not
finalized until the 1787 Constitution was approved in 1788 and the
federal system was thus established. The Constitution did not specify
the location of the permanent seat of government. Congress passed The
Residence Act in July 1790, establishing the location within certain
parameters and giving the President the right to appoint three
commissioners to oversee development. In March 1791, George Washington
signed a land agreement with 19 subscribers in the area that became
Washington City and issued a Proclamation directing the commissioners
about where to run the boundary lines — thus creating the diamond
shape. So, DC as a geographic entity has existed within the Union for 15
years less than the original states. The federal government didn't
actually move to Washington City until December 1800, as specified in
The Residence Act of 1790.
Strong Teachers' Grassroots Movement
Nathan A. Saunders, email@example.com
The Washington Teachers Union is a union where the elected paid
executives have absconded as the subpoenas are delivered concerning
financial improprieties. The recent revelations are the proverbial straw
that broke the camel’s back. Presently, WTU is leaderless, rudderless,
and without the character or capacity to be of service to classroom
teachers. The Strong Teachers’ Grassroots Movement is centered on
reinvigorating union membership to activism. Tomorrow, a teacher will
need advocacy services and be at a disadvantage as a result of his or
her affiliation with WTU in its present state. As an organizer,
classroom teacher, and a union member, I know quality education services
are diminished when teachers are frustrated and feeling defenseless.
This grassroots movement is designed to be teacher-focused.
[This paragraph is excerpted from the organizing statement of the
“Strong Teachers' Grassroots Movement,” which is available at http://www.dcwatch.com/schools/ps021124.htm.
— Gary Imhoff]
The election was nearly three weeks ago, but still many campaign
posters remain in our neighborhoods. At one intersection (Piney Branch
and Blair Rd.) that I passed on my way to the metro this morning, I
spotted signs for Phil Mendelson, Ray Browne and Pat Kidd, as well as
Maryland candidate Schade. Nearby there are still posters for Beverly
Wilbourn and Dwight Singleton from the September primary.
How much longer do we have to wait for this blight to be cleaned up?
And isn't there a better way to deal with this problem rather than
having individual citizens pick up after candidates following each
election. Many jurisdictions simply ban campaign posters on public
property. (I think that's the case in Montgomery County, though clearly
some candidates there have no qualms about polluting DC.) Other locales
require candidates to post a cleanup deposit when registering their
candidacy. Wouldn't it be nice if DC adopted a similar strategy?
Paying Tickets Online
James Treworgy, firstname.lastname@example.org
While Paul Shapiro's irony is duly noted, it is about time that
credit be given where credit is due. The much-maligned new DMV computer
system has saved me at least two trips to the motor vehicle office, and
it's hard to overestimate the value of that. First, I ordered a
replacement registration online after I accidentally tore mine in half.
It arrived within a week. Not a week later, I lost my driver's license
after a trip involving air travel (you know, you have to show it so many
times you leave it in your front pocket, and next thing you know it's
gone). I was sure I was doomed to a trip to DMV. Not so. I ordered a
replacement online for the princely sum of $5.00 and it arrived, again,
within a week.
Re: The Mayor’s Wheels
Ken Nellis, nellisks(at)aol(dot)com
John Whiteside takes, IMHO, an unfair stab at the mayor's driving
habits, comparing his driving around in a “shameful” Lincoln
Navigator to those of “single occupants” driving with “a unique
spectacle of aggression and poor driving skills.” Clearly, the mayor
has a profession driver doing his driving and is most probably
accompanied by a bodyguard and guns and extra communications equipment
and other mayoral baggage. While I sympathize with Mr. Whiteside in
general regarding SUVs, I think the mayor deserves a break from this
High Mileage, Low Pollution
E. James Lieberman, email@example.com
The mayor might well set an example by trading his gas guzzler for a
hybrid — the Toyota Prius or Honda Civic. He could do more by putting
DC in the company of Maryland, California, and a dozen other states that
exempt these cars from state tax. That amounts to over $1,000 on the
$21,000 Prius, but the gesture would not add greatly to our economic
woes and might get a few more green cars on the road where we need them
No, this is not a warning that will save you a parking ticket. This
one just might keep your car from self-immolating. At this time of the
year many folks rake leaves into mounds on the street near the curb for
pickup by the DC trash folks. If you should happen to park atop one of
these mounds your car's catalytic converter (which gets incredibly hot)
might just set the pile of leaves under the car on fire and leave you
with molten wheels.
Gee, if Klingle Road deserves to remain closed because it's just a
“shortcut” through Rock Creek Park, then I guess Porter Street,
Military Road, and a few others need to be shut down too. After all,
each one of them is nothing but a “shortcut” through the park.
Traffic Maps, East/West and Klingle Road Again
Gabe Fineman, Porter Street, firstname.lastname@example.org
About six weeks ago I wrote the webmaster for the DC web site and
suggested that they put the traffic volume maps on the Department of
Transportation web page. To my surprise, this has been done (see http://ddot.dc.gov/information/maps.shtm)
and we now have another resource when planning about our neighborhoods.
These traffic volume maps are created by using automated counters on key
streets and are updated on a three year basis. These are the 2000 maps
that replace the 1997 map I had been using (see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CPpostings/files/Klingle/Volume.jpg)
to comment on issues in my Cleveland Park neighborhood like Porter
Street and Klingle Road. I wish I could have complete confidence in the
new maps, but I do not.
The 1997 map had obvious errors in the Cleveland Park part, where I
could compare it to the 1997 map. For example the stretch of Macomb
Street between Connecticut and 34th showed 8,000 cars per day at the
Connecticut end and 3,300 cars per day at the 34th Street end with only
one, minor, lightly used T street as a possible exit for these 4,700
cars. This was not fixed in the new map and implies that no new counts
were taken on Macomb. In fact, most of the numbers did not change at all
while we all intuitively know that traffic increased during that three
year period. The traffic counts on Connecticut went up about 12 percent,
while no changes were shown in the many measurements recorded for
Wisconsin and 34th or even Calvert. I would assume that all traffic
increased by the same 12 percent. The only streets that appear to have
been measured besides Connecticut were Porter Street, Tilden Street, and
Park Road. They all showed sharp decreases due to the reconstruction of
Porter in 2000. Porter showed a decrease of 35-40 percent (it was one
way much of the time) while Park Road decreased 25-30 percent. Also
Tilden, between Connecticut and 24th, dropped by 30 percent.
What does this mean? Very little, except that the Department of
Transportation is not taking many new measurements to base its decisions
upon. However it does have one possible and rather ominous conclusion.
The number of cross-town trips decreased when it became more difficult
to cross the park. Decreased by 4-5,000 trips a day. Some people seemed
to have changed their life activities by no longer coming to Cleveland
Park to see a movie or shop or enroll their kids in a west side school.
Some people in CP stopped thinking in terms of east side hospitals and
cultural activities. Some people saw their friends less often. The City
became that much more divided between east and west. This lends much
credence to the arguments of those who want to reopen Klingle Road to
help bind the city together. How many trips were deferred or never made
because Klingle was closed for a decade? How much further apart have
Cleveland Park and Mt. Pleasant grown because of the false economy of
not repairing the Road ten years ago?
Ann Loikow suggests that Klingle Road is not an acceptable
“alternative” route. I want to point out that the information she
provides is deceptive at best. Please look at the map graciously
provided by the Klingle Valley folks, http://www.klinglevalley.org/aerial.html,
and decide for yourself if the road has “three hairpin turns.” I
realize that the aerial view doesn't show the whole story, since you
can't see the grade. But while the single turn of any significance is
sharp, it is certainly no worse than turns that thousands of commuters
drive on other roads in the park and around the city every day. Second,
her pointing out that the road had routinely been closed in snow and
rain only underscores the dire need to repair the drainage
infrastructure of the road — a repair that must be made whether
Klingle Road is to be reopened or be converted into a park.
The point here is “alternative.” If the roadway actually had a
working drainage infrastructure, as it will whether or not it is
reopened or becomes a park, it will certainly prove to be an
alternative. Not just in foul weather, but any time of day. I suggest
you take out your stopwatch and try to drive from Porter and Klingle to
the National Cathedral (or really, anywhere east and west of the park,
mid city) at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday. Then drive back. You've got two
options: Tilden Street and Porter Street. Well, anyone who's done this
before knows that Porter Street is a nightmare westbound in rush hour
because of turning traffic onto Connecticut Avenue, and Tilden Street is
a nightmare eastbound in rush hour because of turning traffic onto Beach
Drive. Now imagine if one of those were closed because of an accident.
Revisionist History and Klingle Road
Paul McKenzie, McKenzieDC@ATT.NET
It is certainly interesting to see the volume of E-mails on Klingle
Road. However, John Capozzi's revisionist history, in a futile attempt
to misinform readers plus chasten candidates who might be supportive of
opening Klingle Road, needs to be reviewed. Capozzi is mistaken in
suggesting closing Klingle Road is a popular issue; in fact, the
opposite is true. Repairing and opening Klingle Road is a question of
fairness that transcends the entire city. Every citizen in every Ward of
this city has a stake in the outcome and voters are more and more
focusing on this issue and they see how it affects them. Our neighbors
are looking for this government to do its job, and repairing Klingle
Road is no exception.
One would think that people like Ralph Scott would be more interested
in getting something accomplished than working to retard any efforts to
clean up the lead poison and sewage overflow that has continued to pour
into Klingle Valley. Lisa Colson thinks we should take a bus in an
emergency, and the bike lobbyists complain the road is too steep and
narrow for cars, but not too steep and narrow for bikes? Yet a
multi-million dollar Kennedy-Warren apartment expansion through Klingle
Valley isn't even challenged by anyone. Does anyone know why? Keeping
the road closed has not made people leave their cars at home nor
improved air quality in the city, and that test has been running for
eleven years on Klingle Road. We continue to sit idling in traffic day
after day and are forced through Cleveland Park instead of avoiding it
by going under it — all the while creating more pollution and
I like what DC Shadow Representative Ray Browne said to me when
explaining why he supported repairing Klingle Road (http://www.repairklingleroad.org/).
He said, “Anything we can do to open our communities to each other and
bring our neighborhoods closer together the better this city will be.”
Maybe Capozzi, Colson, and Scott, the representatives of the contorted
politics of keeping us separated, will hear the words of Representative
Browne and see the folly in their wish to close our public road.
Mr. Capozzi has the Coalition to Repair Klingle Road mixed up with
the Klingle Valley people. The mayor and Mendelson may have won their
reelection but the Klingle Valley people also supported and endorsed the
entire Green party. The Coalition, on the other hand, supported winners
like Linda Cropp, Jim Graham, David Catania, Vincent Orange, Eleanor
Holmes Norton, and Ray Browne.
Three thousand motorists used Klingle Road daily. Right now,
motorists are forced to scramble to operate without the road, even
though the road is still officially an open collector road. DC has an
affirmative duty to keep the roads open and available. It is not
something we vote on. It is something that DC is obligated to do because
it's the government's function to preserve and maintain the roads. It is
something that good government would do. It is something that the Mayor
promised to do when he said that he would make government work for all
of us. Isn't it time DC delivered on that promise? Why waste taxpayer
dollars that could be better invested in finally getting the job done?
DC taxpayers are being deprived of the benefit of a public,
federal-aid road. That's wrong, divisive, and contrary to DC's
transportation mission, which is to move people safely and efficiently.
Never before has it taken the city so long to restore the intended use
of any road. And, never before has a well-heeled group been able to lay
claim to a public road.
I want to second Jack McKay's astute analysis of the supposed
“study” commissioned by MCV Associates, which started from the
ridiculous premise that eastbound drivers crossing Connecticut at Porter
must wait an average of fifteen minutes to clear the intersection. I
have lived right near the intersection in question, and I can assure you
that I have never waited anything close to fifteen minutes to cross it.
It is quite unfortunate that the proponents of reopening Klingle Road
would resort to completely false claims to support their desires.
Sierra Club Disputes Klingle Roadies’ Claim
Jason Broehm, email@example.com
The Sierra Club takes great exception to Peter McGee's recent claim
that the pro-Klingle Road campaign is "grounded in truth." In
fact, our experience has been the exact opposite: they have demonstrated
a troubling pattern of distortion, deception, and obfuscation. The
Sierra Club has been on record as supporting keeping Klingle Road closed
to automobile traffic and instead converting the old road into a
multi-use recreational trail, ever since 1994 when the elected
Washington, DC, Chapter voted unanimously to support this position. And
yet, if one were to read the Coalition to Repair and Reopen Klingle
Road's web site one might be fooled into thinking the opposite. To this
date, it reads: “Sierra Club: For over 10 years, local Sierra Club
members have been working to reopen Klingle Road to motor vehicles. Many
of these members testified at the November 2000 public hearing urging
DPW to fix our road. The Sierra Club has over 1,700 active members in
DC, many of which support us.” I might add that, for a long time, the
roadies even had the audacity to improperly display use the Sierra
Club's trademarked logo on their web site. It took two “cease and
desist” letters from the Sierra Club’s headquarters — one to Mr.
McGee, and a later certified letter to his wife, Laurie Collins (which
was returned when she refused to sign for it) — and a personal phone
call by the chapter's legal chair, Jim Dougherty, to Mr. McGee and Ms.
Collins before they finally removed the logo. Even after they did remove
it, they have continued to use the Sierra Club’s name and clip art of
a tree, bearing just enough resemblance to the Club's logo to muddy the
waters. And they continue to pull a few words from the Sierra Club’s
“Restore the Core” report, very selectively I might add, in the
hopes of bolstering their unfounded claim of Sierra Club support.
Sadly, the road advocates' tactics against the Sierra Club are
emblematic of the way Mr. McGee and his merry band of
"truth-tellers" do business. They also have used the
Washington Area Bicyclist Association's (WABA) name misleadingly on
their web site, even though WABA also supports keeping Klingle Road
closed to automobile traffic. They continue to list ANC 1C (Adams
Morgan) as a supporter even though the commission later voted to reverse
its earlier position and instead support the road’s continued closure
to cars. Mr. McGee makes much of the fact that the earlier resolution
was unanimous, but what he does not state is that the first resolution
was passed in Nov. 2000 by a soon-to-be-lame-duck commission. Further,
the ANC only heard from road advocates, not representatives of the save
Klingle Valley group, and the commission passed it somewhat reluctantly
after Mr. McGee's group made it sound extremely urgent and time
sensitive. Four of the eight voting commissioners were not reelected;
three of the four commissioners that did return later voted changed
their positions and against reopening the road (after an open forum and
serious deliberation debate based on new information in DDOT’s Aug.
2001 Klingle Road Feasibility Study). All three of the commissioners who
voted to reopen the road the second time around were defeated earlier
this month, in at least two races because of pro-park supporters who
actively campaigned against them.
Based on my experience in the last two years, most of the rest of the
ANCs that have voted to reopen the road have done so only after token
citizen input and little if any real debate or deliberation (ANC 1A,
Columbia Heights, which voted for the road, and ANC 1C, which voted
against the road, being the notable exceptions). Recently, many ANCs
have based their decision on the ANC Assembly's resolution to reopen the
road. We park supporters were never given notice that the ANC Assembly
would consider this issue prior to their passing a pro-road resolution,
which raises the question of how thoughtful and deliberative that body
was. When ANCs spend no more than 5 minutes on the issue and then pass
the same resolution, it calls into question many more of the roadies'
supporters as well.
Cassandra has long been the reference I use in describing Dorothy
Brizill's work. A number of years ago I sat through Chief Few's
confirmation hearing. Brizill and I were the only public witnesses, and
Harold Brazil carefully waited until all other testimony had been
presented, the reporters had left and the cameras were off before
letting Brizill or me testify. While my testimony was long on concerns
regarding Few's ability to function in a big and diverse city and short
on specific problems, Dorothy Brizill laid out all of the issues that
would later bring down Few.
Specifically, faking the award and lying about his education in his
resume. It surprised me that two years later that the press would be in
such an uproar over those issues, but then they couldn't hear or believe
Dorothy Brizill when she first pointed it out. While Brizill is not
given to saying "I told you so," she did, just as Cassandra
warned the Trojans about the Greek soldiers in the wooden horse.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
A community meeting will be held at the Tenley-Friendship Library at
7:00 on Tuesday, December 3 for a presentation on the Tenleytown
Historical Society’s Historic Resource Survey grant from the DC Office
of Historic Preservation. This survey will be an in-depth study of the
Tenleytown area, and will provide a comprehensive understanding and
documentation of the area's architectural, social, and cultural history.
It will include building permit data, census research, oral history, and
research into the cultural and architectural origins of Tenleytown in
concert with the Office of Planning's Small Area Plan for Tenleytown.
The survey area is centered on Tenley Circle and extends along Wisconsin
Avenue to Upton Street on the south and Chesapeake Street on the north,
Reno Road on the east and 43rd Street on the west. This survey will help
prepare for future development of Tenleytown. The consultant for this
project, architectural historian Paul Kelsey Williams of Kelsey &
Associates, will show vintage maps and images of Tenleytown and explain
the research process. A representative of the DC Historic Preservation
Office will also be present to answer questions.
This survey is part of the overall city planning process. In January
2001 citizens of AU Park, Tenleytown, and Friendship Heights (designated
as “Cluster 11”) were invited by Ward 3 Planner Robert Collins to
participate in meetings designed to identify essential ingredients vital
to making our neighborhood “a place where people can live and
thrive.” These meetings were open to everyone. The members of the
Cluster 11 Task Force identified as the priorities for additional
planning: 1) neighborhood traffic management and enforcement, 2)
commercial and retail development on Wisconsin Avenue, and 3)
residential development controls, historic preservation, retention of
our small-town character, and comprehensive planning. Out of these
sessions was developed the Cluster 11 Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan
(SNAP), which is now being implemented. The first priority is being
addressed by various traffic-calming strategies and a traffic and
parking study; the second by the Upper Wisconsin Avenue Corridor Study,
inspired by the philosophy of transit-oriented development. The third
priority is represented by the Tenleytown Historic Resources Survey. All
of these components will mesh together to make our already great
neighborhood even better, with a vibrant mix of housing and retail on
Wisconsin Avenue, streets that are safe for pedestrians and drivers, and
residential neighborhoods protected against inappropriate development.
The Need for Educational Freedom in the
Nation’s Capital, December 10
Casey Lartique, firstname.lastname@example.org
A policy forum on “The Need for Educational Freedom in the Nation's
Capital,” will be held on Tuesday, December 10, at 12:00 p.m., at the
Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. A luncheon to follow. The
panel will feature Casey Lartigue, Cato Institute; Peggy Cooper Cafritz,
President, DC Board of Education; and Virginia Walden-Ford, Black
Alliance for Educational Options.
Cato policy forums and luncheons are free of charge. To register for
this event, please call Krystal Brand by 12:00 p.m., Monday, December 9,
at 789-5229, fax her at 371-0841, or E-mail her at email@example.com.
If you can't make it to the Cato Institute, you can watch this forum
live or listen to the audio online at http://www.cato.org.
If you plan to watch this event online, there is no need to register.
By almost any educational achievement measure, the children attending
public schools within the shadow of the US Capitol are not receiving a
quality education. What must be done to reform the District of Columbia
Public Schools? Are there options besides rounding up the usual suspects
of spending more money and giving more power to the public school
system? Please join us for a thought-provoking discussion about the
condition of public schools in the nation's capital and the options
available to bring about needed reform.
[You may also want to read Casey Lartique's insightful article on DC
schools, “When the Mission Is Mediocrity,” in the Outlook section of
today's Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28486-2002Nov22.html.
— Gary Imhoff]
Discount Tickets to “Brilliant” Albee,
Robin Larkin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Albee became famous for “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf”
(1962). But Albee won his first Pulitzer Prize with the “brilliant”
(Nation), more tender play “A Delicate Balance” (1966).
Footlights, the Washington area's only modern-drama discussion group,
has arranged for group discount tickets to a performance of “A
Delicate Balance.” In “A Delicate Balance,” a suburban couple
faces a dilemma. The wife's alcoholic sister already lives with them,
and their daughter is moving home after the breakup of her fourth
marriage. Suddenly the couple's best friends, fleeing a terror they
cannot define, also want to move in. The production stars Tana Hicken,
one of DC theater's great actresses. Our discount tickets are only $16,
and include a post-show discussion with the director and transportation
between the theater and the DC Metro. The performance takes place 2:30
p.m. Sunday, December 15, at Everyman Theater, 1727 N. Charles Street in
Baltimore. To reserve your ticket, call 301-897-9314 or E-mail email@example.com.
CLASSIFIEDS — VOLUNTEERS
Good editing or typing skills or just free time to get involved in
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