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December 4, 2002

The Oath of Allegiance

Dear Loyalists:

With the winter snow looming, I start to think fondly of the Mediterranean. Actually, I start to think fondly of anyplace warm. But today I think mostly of Catalonia, that troublesome Spanish region, because of a wonderful quotation that is beginning to make the rounds of the Internet. I have no idea of the origin of the quote, and I'm certainly not ready to vouch for its authenticity. It may be another Internet hoax, but I love it anyway. It's presented as the Catalan oath of allegiance, and it is exactly the kind of oath of allegiance I would gladly give to a political leader: “We, who are as good as you, swear to you, who are no better than us, to accept you as our king and sovereign lord, provided you observe all our liberties and laws — but if not, not.” Now, put that attitude together with sun and a nice beach, and you really have something.

Gary Imhoff


The Cost of Doing Business with Doctor’s Community Health Care Corporation
Carolyn Curtis,

The grand total of the minimum cost to the city of doing business with Doctor's Community Health Care Corporation is $115,971,805 a year. Please refer to the DC Health Care Alliance Contract that can be found on the DCWatch web site. Understand that this was the initial contract; there have been numerous revisions, particularly for the financial costs for services. The breakdown of these costs, information about the financial terms of the DC HealthCare Alliance, and where it can be found in that contract is noted as follows. Also note that all of these services were provided at DC General Hospital under the budget that they received.

Health care services, $59,175,039, Exhibit I. Health care services administration (12% of base amount), $7,101,006, Exhibit I. Subtotal for health care services, $66,276,044.
School health program, $6,259,395, Exhibit F. School health program administration, $751,127, Exhibit F. Subtotal for school health program, $7,010,522 (This reflects the initial cost; this was renegotiated early on due to the inability to pay the nurses the salary they were receiving while employed by DCGH).
Pharmacy services, $3,400,000, Section 1.11.2. Pharmacy services are only guaranteed for four months if cost exceeds the budgeted amount, Section 1.11.4. Subtotal for pharmacy, $3,400,000.
Corrections services, $3,317,730, Exhibits G, I. Corrections services administration fee (12%), $398,128. Semiannual reconciliation between actual and budgeted levels, Section 1.10.6. Services are capped at $3,317,730, Section 1.10.17. Subtotal for corrections, $3,715,858.
Trauma capacity subsidy each year, $1,399,525, Exhibits E(c),G. Additional $50 per emergency room visit at DCGH and GSECH, Exhibit E(c). Known ER visits to DCGH=52,449/year (Appendix M in the RFP) x $50=$2,622,450. Unknown # of ER visits to GSECH. Subtotal for trauma capacity (minimal amount)/year, $4,021,975.
Other health care services (management of WIC, DOH/HIV; MCH and day care programs, Exhibit A(7). Other health care services amount, $4,482,971.33, Exhibit E(A,B,C). Other health care services administrative services amount, $537,956.66, Exhibit E(C). Subtotal for other health care services, $5,020,927.89.
Mental health and substance abuse services (no medical services to be provided; only responsible for developing a plan to ensure timely access to services in DC. Contractor ensures that appropriate referrals are made for medical detoxification in acute care hospital setting, Sections 4.7.1; 4.7.2. Subtotal for mental health and substance abuse services, $0.
Health care services to other district agencies. Occurs through modifications or amendment to this agreement, billed directly to Agency, Exhibit A(9).

Other Costs:
One time startup administration fee (first year only), $1,500,000, Section 1.7.2; Exhibit.
Loan (gift) to contractor for capital improvements; 20% forgiven for each year of contract, $11,800,000, Section 1.42.1 to 1.42.3.
Landlord's obligations capital reimbursement and maintenance of structure, $7,130,000, Master Lease Agreement, Section 5.1.2.
Out stationed eligibility workers, $70,000, Exhibit A. Section 5.5.2.
Steam plant facility, $4,150,488.
Maintenance of systems (50 FTEs), $2,000,000, Master Lease Agreement, Section 5.1.2.
Campus and clinic security (75 FTEs), $3,275,000.
Subtotal of other costs, $29,925,488.
Costs to the contractor and primary subcontractors: rent per year for four parcels of land, $10/year, Master Lease Agreement, 1.35 and 1.46. Subtotal of costs for contractor and primary subcontractors, $10/year.

Other incentives (20% profit margin built into contract, taxpayers pay 15% of actual costs).
If costs are less than $59,175,039 but more than $71,010,046, contractor gets 50% of the amount over $59,175,039, Section
If costs are more than $71,010,046, renegotiate costs, Section
If costs are less than $59,175,039, contractor gets 50% of the difference between budgeted and actual costs, Section
If actual costs are less than 80% of $59,175,039 (or $47,340,031.20), contractor gets the actual costs for care plus 50% of the difference between budgeted amount and 80% of budgeted amount, Section


Blue Cross/Blue Shield Action Needed
Melody R. Webb,

DC residents and activists, another hospital will bite the dust if you don't act now! The clock is ticking! The assault on quality health care continues! First DC General, then Greater Southeast. Now Children's Hospital! The departure of Blue Cross/Blue Shield on December 31 from Children's Hospital will close it to many DC children! Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Children's National Medical Center will be shutting the doors of the Children's Hospital to those who carry Blue Cross/Blue Shield at midnight on December 31. Children's says the following at its web site ( “Regardless of what option or type of plan you have, beginning January 1, 2003, Blue Cross/BlueShield HMO and FEP Basic Option patients will NOT be able to use Children's Hospital, Children's Outpatient Centers, Children's Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Children's specialty doctors. BlueCross BlueShield PPO, POS and FEP Standard Option patients WILL BE REQUIRED to pay additional, out-of-network fees. Children's will continue as an in-network provider only through December 31, 2002.”

This means that thousands of DC children will lose access to the area's top notch health facility, uniquely designed and staffed to handle the specialized needs of children. It will further shrink the ever-reducing pool of health providers for children, leading eventually to more expensive health care for members of all health plans. The research of Children's will suffer, as will the poor, who currently can turn to Children's for health care regardless of their insurance status. Either you or someone you know will be affected by this. Please visit This web site allows you to write a letter of your own or E-mail the default form letter to all of the relevant hospital, insurance, and government officials. DC licenses and regulates health insurance provision. Lobbyline is organizing citizens to ask that Children's and Blue Cross/Blue Shield return to the negotiating table and delay the scheduled termination date of December 31, 2002. We are also asking that DC Councilmembers Sharon Ambrose and Sandy Allen hold public hearings and help broker a deal between Children's and Blue Cross officials.


Single Party Government
John Capozzi,

Paul Dionne raises an interesting question about the DC Democratic party, and as an elected official of the DC Democratic Party I feel the need to respond. His conclusion that DC voters should abandon the Democratic Party is a slap in the face to 80 percent of the voters who have chosen to register as Democrats. People register to the party for a variety of reasons, but most DC voters have freely chosen the Democratic party because they believe in what the party stands for: hope and opportunity for all regardless of race or class and the belief that the government can be a positive force for making our society better.

Stop criticizing the voters who believe that Democrats are better suited to lead the city and then we can move on to the real issue of electing qualified candidates to the City Council and the Mayor's office. In the 2002 election the voters were clearly happy with the incumbents and voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the current leadership in place. A better test will be in the 2004 cycle when Harold Brazil faces reelection and the second at-Large seat held by Carol Schwartz will be open if she does not run again. Then Paul and any other non-Democrats can step up and run for the Council and see if they can persuade voters to leave the Democratic Party.


Single Party Government, et al.
Jane Trimble,

I appreciate the point made in the December 2 themail, but have a couple of suggestions to make. First, it looks to me as though today's DC Democrats are much like the old southern Democrats. The party is a flag of convenience, not necessarily an indication of common beliefs. There seems to be differences between residents who can afford to think long-term and those who need assistance now, between those who believe in cradle-to-grave social services and those who think of many services as short-term supports in time of special need. And between those of us who think many of the city's current problems stem from a lack of skilled nonprofessional jobs and lack of access to affordable training or education beyond high school, and those for whom this is a white-collar, pay-what-the-market-charges city with no other expectations. (I believe that a crowded city with spiraling housing costs must be considered something like a utility, with land/housing costs controlled accordingly. And that it is more expensive to the society to allow factories to relocate overseas than to keep them at home.) Other differences perhaps exist between those who would like to punish misbehavior (driving infractions, failure to perform on the job, and so on) that occurs under the influence of marijuana but not the use of the drug itself. And between those for whom major prison reforms are a priority and those for whom they are an afterthought. This leads to another issue I hadn't intended to bring up: we live in a city many of whose citizens of working age have prison records. Can we afford not to train and relocate them as needed and encourage employers to hire them? Or to educate them while they are in prison so they will be employable when they return to society?

Second, is there such a thing as an Independent party? That would help to provide an alternative perspective.


More Outsourcing of City Services
Alverda Muhammad,

I had noted in another edition of themail that I had to send to Landover, MD, for my professional license — that DCRA seemingly could not find capable employees in the District. Well, guess what? Last week I saw a van on my block which bore New Jersey tags, belonging to a company named “United Metering.” The van had the statement, “Contractor for DC WASA” painted on its side. The driver was checking the water meters in the block. Now, how much intelligence does that take? You mean, WASA cannot find competent employees in the District for that service, either?


Longest Concrete Bridge
Bob Summersgill,

David Hunter suggested that the Taft Bridge may still hold the record for the largest concrete bridge in the world. Sadly, the world record in 1907 has long since been passed. The Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane claims to have been the largest concrete arch bridge when it was completed in 1910. There are now at least seven concrete arch bridges that are larger, probably more. The largest that I was able to identify, the Wanxiang bridge over the Yangzi River in China, was built in 1996 and has a span of 420 meters, dwarfing the Taft's 274.5 meters.



Logan Circle Annual House Tour, December 8
Cary Silverman,

Join us as the Logan Circle Community Association hosts its 24th Annual House Tour on Sunday, December 8, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The tour will feature seven magnificent homes including 1334 Vermont Avenue, 1338 Vermont Avenue #7, 1217 O Street, 23 Logan Circle, 1107 L Street, 1112 Rhode Island Avenue, and 1722 13th Street. Tickets may be purchased prior to the tour at Barrel House Liquors (1341 14th Street), Ruff and Ready (1908 14th Street), Home Rule (1807 14th Street), and Toast and Strawberries (1608 20th Street). You can also purchase tickets on the day of the tour at 1324 Vermont Avenue, NW. I hope to see you there!


Silver Spring Documentary on WETA-TV, December 8
Jerry A. McCoy,

A four-year effort to dispel the notion that “nothing historic ever happened in Silver Spring” (something I have been told on more than one occasion!) will finally be put to rest on Sunday, December 8, when the Silver Spring Historical Society and Final Cut Productions presents “Silver Spring: Story of an American Suburb,” airing at 7:00 p.m. on WETA-TV, Channel 26. See

The documentary will be rebroadcast on Tuesday, December 10, at 1:00 a.m. for you late owls, and again on Wednesday, December 11 at 8:30 p.m. For more information on the production, see The documentary also includes fascinating archival footage of downtown Washington, DC. The documentary is truly a labor of love. Hope you enjoy it!



Minivan for Sale
Phil Greene,

1996 Dodge Caravan, 99K miles, runs great, body in good condition, very dependable, removable seats in middle and back, roomy for cargo, seats 6 or 7 comfortably, AC, AM-FM cassette, tinted windows, sliding doors both sides, dual front airbags, roof rack, cruise control, power steering/brakes, power door locks, tilt steering wheel, anti-lock brakes. Kelly Blue Book value is $4,635. We're asking $4,500 or best offer. Blue Book estimate info at;226715;DC001&20015;p&722;Dodge;1996%20Caravan&7;DT;A6&&&



Capitol Hill Apartment for Rent
Dai Harmon,

Beautiful, spacious, Capitol Hill one-bedroom apartment with Capitol view, two blocks to Union Station. Air conditioning, heat, hardwood floors, on-site laundry, CATV. $1000 month, available now. Private parking space also available. Call 256-5968.


Two Great Apartments for Rent
Elizabeth Buchanan,

Sixteenth Street, NW, Mt. Pleasant. Enormous, bright, one bedroom garden apartment with private patio. Bay windows, gourmet kitchen, W/D, roomy closets, built-in bookshelves, near Metro, parking available. $1200 including utilities. Pets okay.

Also a vast, sunny, one bedroom plus large office/study and den/sewing room in restored prewar row house. Bay window, high ceilings, antique fireplace, hardwood floors, ceiling fan, walk-in closet, eat-in kitchen, gas stove, W/D, sunny porch with wood swing, near Metro, parking available. Pets okay. $1730 including utilities. Call 986-2745 or E-mail


Seeking Home Sitting Opportunity
Kyle Sampson,

Responsible professional male seeks a home sitting opportunity in the DC area. Contact Kyle,


Housing to Share
C. Brosowsky,

MacArthur Boulevard: professional, considerate, responsible female seeks same to share furnished two bedroom, one bath upper flat; near GU/AU/Sibley Hospital; D5 Express and D6 bus; D/W; A/C; W/D. Rent and security deposit: $725 including utilities; own phone. Short term OK; available January 1. Contact 363-9865;



Florida for Christmas
Jason Ziedenberg, Columbia Heights,

Are you driving to Southwest Florida at Xmas? I'm looking for someone with a car who is heading to Southwest Florida (Fort Myers) for the Christmas holidays. I can share the driving and any costs -- just keep me off the price gouging airlines. Looking to come back around New Years, but flexible. E-mail



Line Standers
Ginny Cosi,

Does anyone know when the tickets are available for this year's Messiah Sing-Along at Kennedy Center? I know the lines are horrible. Given this cold spell of weather we are having, can anyone recommend line standers? I am willing to pay for it, but I am not interested in freelancers.


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