Aside from the Oldest Inhabitants (an actual civic organization in
Washington) and the rare few other native-born Washingtonians, the rest
of us immigrants to DC took, or still are taking, years to feel as
though Washington really is our home. For many of us, we are in
Washington because that is where our work brought us, and the ties of
community and neighborhood take a long time to develop. A strong
declaration that Washington is our home often results more from
conscious political choice than from affection and devotion.
But I was thinking, as I read a news story about how today is the
biggest travel day of the year, the day when people head home, that
Washington is where we were heading today; it was where we came when we
came home. Welcome back home from wherever you went.
Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Paul Dionne, Pdionne at Speak Easy dot net
I see many of the problems our city faces in its unfortunate
adherence to one party rule. You can't really expect politicians who
rely on the same voter base, same contributor base, and same volunteer
base to stand up against each other in any meaningful way. If we had a
viable second party, the recent scandals and hospital situation would be
like waving fresh meat in front of a pack of lions. Furthermore, people
of the majority party would be squeamish about allowing the opposition
so much fodder for their cannons.
Few people in this city seem willing to recognize that the two major
local parties are very different from their national counterparts. Even
still, 51 percent of DC's electorate vote a straight Democratic ticket
in a non-presidential election year. You will also recall that once
elected in DC you have an 86 percent chance of being reelected, no term
limits, and no opposition candidate after the primary. Many may argue
that they are registered to vote Democrat because most elections are
decided in the primary. Well, there were no surprises there, not one
incumbent turned out of office or even faced a serious challenge. So
long as activists, many of whom are on this list, continue to work to
convince voters to register and vote a party line ticket on election day
we will continue to suffer humiliations such as those brought upon us by
our city's current administration.
Maybe it is time we start to look at things differently. The DC
electorate will not decide control of the House, Senate, or White House,
therefore national political affiliation is irrelevant. To quote a
famous Democrat from my home state: “All politics is local.” Perhaps
we ought to recognize this and put our local politics first by
abandoning our city's majority party, which has proven its greed for
power and its disdain for us.
Is David Hunter correct in his recollection that there were once
copper lions on the Taft Bridge? The present concrete ones were sculpted
by Roland Hinton Perry, who was also responsible for the Neptune
Fountain in front of the Library of Congress. I understand they were put
in place at the time that George Morison’s reinforced concrete
“million dollar” bridge was opened in 1907.
The Concrete Lions
Kurt Vorndran, ANC3C, firstname.lastname@example.org
The lions on the Taft Bridge were never copper. They were concrete as
they are now. Due to a botched restoration effort thirty years ago, they
had fallen into bad shape. To the pleasure of us in Woodley Park, we had
a wonderful set of new lions installed two years ago, and, earlier this
month, they were balanced by a pair of bronze lions on the opposite side
of Woodley Park, in front of the National Zoo and designed by the same
[The following was sent by Kenneth Laden, Associate Director for
Transportation Policy and Planning, email@example.com]
This is probably more information than you requested. The Taft Bridge
Lions were taken down for restoration in the 1990's. We found that they
were in such poor shape that they could not be restored. So we
reconstructed the four lions using the originals to make a mold, and
reinstalled them in the summer of 2000. The original lions were made of
CEMENT (not copper) in the early 1900's to honor the fact that the Taft
Bridge was the largest cement bridge in the world (it may still hold the
record). The newly created lions are also cement, but we used a
different process which should last much much longer than the originals.
We received a request from the National Zoo regarding use of the
molds to create two bronze lions for the Zoo entrance on Connecticut
Avenue, NW. Permission was granted by the city, and the two new bronze
lions were dedicated earlier this month. I believe the original lions
are still stored near the 3rd Street Tunnel. We had received a request
from the DC Historical Society to place them in front of the new City
Museum, at Mt. Vernon Square. But I have not heard from them in some
time, so I think that deal is falling through.
The Great Mailbox Capers
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom
Following repeated incidents of theft and vandalism of four mail
boxes located on Massachusetts Avenue between Fordham Place and Van Ness
Streets, a meeting was convened between the victims, representatives
from American University, and a DC Police Sergeant from the local police
precinct. The meeting objective was to develop some process that would
preclude further incidents . On at least two occasions the local
precinct police had declined to file reports, treating the incidents as
fraternity pranks. The police Sgt. attending the meeting quickly put
that perception to rest and noted that theft of a mailbox is a federal
As a result of the meeting, AU will step up their own campus patrol
in the late hours between Westmoreland and Ward Circles, as will the DC
Police (in both marked and unmarked cars). AU will compensate those who
have lost mailboxes. And, in the meantime, at least for the time being,
the US Postal service has been delivering the mail to the front doors of
those four homes whose mailboxes are gone. Tranquility has been restored
to a normally quiet (at least in the late night hours) neighborhood in
NW DC. All's well that ends well.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Seventh Annual Christmas Tree Sale to Benefit
Ross Elementary, December 6
Debby Hanrahan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross Elementary School PTA members and neighborhood volunteers will
sell Christmas trees, wreaths, and other seasonal items on the coming
two weekends to benefit the school’s book and supply fund. The freshly
cut trees (Blue Spruce, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir) will be sold at the
corner of 17th and R Streets NW, at the Italian Kitchen Restaurant,
which has generously donated its patio for the sale. After the cost of
the trees is covered, all proceeds go to Ross, a public elementary
school at 1730 R Street, NW.
The sale will take place on Friday, December 6, 4-6 p.m.; Saturday,
December 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, December 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday,
December 13, 4-6 p.m.; Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (If there are trees left over, one
more sale day will be added: Saturday, December 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
The trees range in price from $30 to $150, and in height from 2-1/2
feet to 12 feet. The PTA will also sell Balsam Fir wreaths, White Pine
garlands, and new-style, easy to use Christmas tree stands. There will
be free deliveries to nearby neighborhoods. In addition, Ross Elementary
representatives will be available at the sale to answer questions
regarding enrollment opportunities for children in grades pre-K through
6th at the school. For further information, please contact Debby
Hanrahan, Community Representative, Ross Elementary Local School
Restructuring Team, at 462-2054.
Takoma Park Alternative Gift Fair, December 8
Sara Yamaka, email@example.com
Please join us for a great opportunity to support community
organizations and give gifts in the true spirit of the season. The 4th
Annual Takoma Park Alternative Gift Fair, Sunday, December 8, 12 noon-4
p.m., Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, 310 Tulip Avenue, Takoma Park, MD
(just three blocks from the Takoma Station on the red line).
Please join us for music, refreshments and the chance to support
local, national, and international nonprofits. For more information see http://www.simplifytheholidays.org
or call Sara at 244-7080.
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Palisades NW, MacArthur Boulevard. Three bedroom, two bath detached
house, charming 20's bungalow style, walkout basement. Walk to C&O
Canal, take Crescent Bike Trail to downtown, Bethesda, or Arlington.
Attractive neighborhood, schools. Indoor garage, off-street parking,
nicely landscaped yard with large trees. Will consider pets. $2790/month
includes professional lawn and garden care year-round. Will redecorate.
Available December 1. Telephone Richard, 244-3023, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
Wednesday and Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to
switch between HTML and plain text versions of themail, use the
subscription form at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm.
To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to email@example.com
with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Archives of past messages
are available at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail.
All postings should also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of
Columbia in one way or another. All postings must be signed in order to
be printed, and messages should be reasonably short — one or two brief
paragraphs would be ideal — so that as many messages as possible can
be put into each mailing.