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December 29, 2002

Year-End Roundup

Dear Wranglers:

Yippie-ki-yi-yo, cowboys and cowgirls! It's time to do the year-end roundup and assessment of events. Unfortunately, I find the local political events of the last year so depressing that I'm reluctant to remember any of them, so I'm relying on you. Any thoughts on what the most important events of the past year were? And please don't limit it to political events; themail is about the full experience of living in DC and its neighborhoods. As I plead every so often, but then violate myself, when you write to themail don't just limit yourself to the political subbasement of life in DC — let us know what went on in your full house, even the part with windows and ventilation. And, keeping with year-end traditions, if you want to make predictions for the next year, please do so.

Gary Imhoff


Dreaming of a Perfect DC, from 1791 to 2003
Mark David Richards, Dupont East,

Dorothy Brizill reported that details of the inaugural ceremony on January 2, 2003, were as yet unclear (“You May or May Not Be Invited,” themail, December 25). I have not received an invitation. But I recently read an account of when the first boundary stone was placed, thereby proclaiming the parameters of the District of Columbia, in 1791. It seems they were a bit unorganized, too. So enjoy this account, and let's all toast to a 2003 in which many DC champions appear (let's all do a little something for DC in 2003!) and her adversaries and corrupt politicians and citizens fade into the sunset — best to you in 2003! Here is a report from the Columbian Centinel, Boston, Massachusetts, May 7, 1791: “Alexandria, On February the 15th April 21, the Hon. Daniel Carrol, and Dr. David Stewart, arrived in this town, to superintend the fixing of the first Corner-Stone of the Federal District. By neglect or accident, the inhabitants were not apprized of their coming, and therefore had not the opportunity of executing fully that plan of operation, which their interest in the benefits, and their respect for the Commissioners, and previously suggested. The Mayor and Community, together with the Members of the different Lodges of the town, at 3 o'clock, waited on the Commissioners at Mr. Wise's where they had dined, and after crinking a glass of wine to the following sentiment, viz.

“'May the Stone which we are about to place in the ground remain an immovable monument of the wisdom and unanimity of North-America,' the company proceeded to Jones Point in the following order: 1. The Town-Serjeant — 2. The Hon. Daniel Carrol, and the Mayor — 3. Mr. Ellicott and the Recorder — 4. Such of the Alderman and Common Council as were not Free Masons — 5. The Strangers — 6. The Master of Lodge No 22, with Dr. David Stewart at his right, and the Rev. James Muir at his left, followed by the rest of the fraternity, in the usual form of procession. — And lastly, the Citizens, two by two — When Mr. Ellicott had ascertained the precise point from which the first line of the district was to proceed, the Master of the Lodge and Dr. Stewart, assisted by others of their brethren, placed the stone; after which a deposit of corn, wine and oil was made upon it, and the following observations were delivered by the Rev. Mr. Muir,[:]

“'Of America it may be said, as it was of Judea of old, that it is a good land and large; and land of brooks of waters, of fountains, and depths that spring out of vallies and hills — a land of wheat and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil-olive and honey; a land wherein we eat bread without scarceness, and have lack of nothing; a land whose stones are iron, and out of which hills thou, mayest dig brass — A land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord they God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year! — May Americans be grateful and virtuous, and they shall secure the indulgence of Providence! — May they be unanimous and just, and they shall rise to greatness! — May true patriotism salute every heart — May it be the devout, and universal wish, “Peace be within the Walls, O America! — and prosperity within they palaces!” Amicable it is for brethren to dwell in unity. It is more fragrant than the perfumes of Aaron's garment! It is more refreshing than the dews on Hermon's hill! May this Stone long commemorate the goodness of God in those uncommon events which have given America a name among the Nations — Under this Stone may Jealousy and Selfishness be forever buried! From this Stone may a superstructure arise, whose glory, whose magnificence, whose stability, unequated hitherto, shall astonish the World, and invite even the Savage of the wilderness to take shelter under its roof!' The company partook of some liquid refreshment, and returned to the place from whence they came, where a number of toast ewer drank, and the following, which was delivered by the Master of the Lodge, was received with every token of approbation: 'Brethren and Gentlemen, May “Jealousy, that green-eyed Monster,” be buried deep under the work which we have this day completed, never to rise again within the Federal District.' It may be safely pronounced, that this, or a familiar sentiment, pervaded the breasts of every individual present on the occasion.”


You Are Invited
Dorothy Brizill,

Final details of the inaugural activities scheduled for January 2, 2003, have finally been announced. An inaugural breakfast will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The mayor and newly reelected members of the City Council will be sworn in at 10:30 a.m. at the Warner Theater, on 13th Street between E and F Streets. A "People's Celebration" will be held at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

No tickets are required for the swearing-in ceremony. All tickets for the inaugural breakfast were apparently distributed before the news release announcing the breakfast was released by the mayor's office, but tickets to the evening People's Celebration are still available from Larry Hemphill, Office of Community Affairs, 442-8162. An individual can request two tickets for the event.


Arbor Day
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom

As a person who wanted to be a tree surgeon but had to give up that quest (I could not stand the sight of sap), I protest the reference to Arbor Day. Cheers and happy holidays (whichever).


Police Service
Richard Urban,

I agree that Police service is badly in need of improvement. There does not seem to have been any substantial increase (in my area, 5th District/North Lincoln Park) in police service. Why is there still very little presence of officers in neighborhoods (at least ours)? DC has one of the highest per capita police-to-citizens ratio. Where are all of the officers? Why are more not assigned to patrol duty? What are the officers doing if they are not on patrol duty?


WTU Lawsuit
Dorothy Brizill,

On Friday, December 27, Nathan A. Saunders, a teacher at Anacostia Senior High School and the founder of the Strong Teachers Grassroots Movement, filed a civil lawsuit pro se in US District Court against the Washington Teachers Union ( The case has been assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, and a hearing on Saunders' request for a temporary restraining order is scheduled for January 6, 2003. In his lawsuit, Saunders: 1) seeks to restrain the WTU from continuing to collect union dues, 2) demands full restitution of all misappropriated funds, and 3) asks that the current members of the executive board and board of trustees of WTU vacate their positions, and that new elections be held immediately.


Can’t Figure It Out
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom

It's hard for me to figure out why any of the District's good teachers, those effective teachers with good skills, would ever join a teachers' union. Unions, by definition, want all their members treated equally. Hey, bulletin, bulletin. People are not equal in skills, effectiveness, motivation, and performance. Should all doctors be paid equally or treated equally? Is the neurosurgeon who is skilled enough to remove a brain tumor the equal of a general practitioner who removes warts? Should they be paid the same? No way.

I worked for 38 years for an aerospace manufacturer that never had a single union member among its thirty thousand employees. Employees were treated very fairly by a paternalistic company that rewarded employees with salaries, raises, and bonuses based solely on performance and responsibility. Turnover was the lowest in the aerospace industry. Teachers should be paid the same way and good teachers should not be placed as equals alongside those who shuffle into school each day just waiting for the final bell.

As for those very greedy union leaders that picked the pockets of the union's members, they should all get five years in a tough slammer since none of that money will ever get back into the victims' pockets. Dump the union, save your money.


Born in DC, Elected in States
Mark David Richards,

DC is the birthplace of a number of individuals elected to Congress and other political bodies to represent residents of various states — including Edward W. Brooke, Julian Dixon, Albert Gore, John Warner, and Paul Wellstone. For a listing, see


CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS’s January/February 2003 Calendar of Wine and Food Events
Charlie Adler,

1) January 12, Sunday afternoon, “Four-Course Champagne Brunch at Chef Geoff's (Downtown),” 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Metro Center. 11:30 a.m.-noon, sparkling wine reception; noon-2:00 p.m., brunch. $47 inclusive of wine, tax, and tip. First course, poached eggs with smoked salmon, crab on brioche with herb hollandaise. Second course, Bartlett pear and endive salad with gorgonzola and walnuts. Third course, rock shrimp and chorizo with goat cheese grits. Dessert course, brioche and quince bread pudding. Each course is served with your choice of sparkling wine. (Please note: this is a seated event.) 2) January 13, Monday, “Cocktails 101; Trendy New Cocktails,” Ozio Restaurant and Lounge, 1813 M Street, NW, Metros: Farragut North or Dupont Circle (Red Line), 7-9 p.m., $40 per person. All new mixed drinks. This event always sells out! Join Ozio's experienced bartender who will mix, entertain and serve you samples of ten trendy new mixed drinks to start off the New Year! 3) January 14, Tuesday, “Wine Basics 101,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 2121 P Street, NW, limited valet parking, Metro Dupont Circle (Red Line). 7-7:30 p.m., reception; 7:30-9 p.m. tasting, $40 per person. Washington, DC's most popular wine tasting: over 4,000 people have attended this event in our five-year history! 4) January 21, Tuesday, “Taking the Mystery Out of French Wines,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 2121 P Street, NW, limited valet parking, Metro Dupont Circle (Red Line). 7-7:30 p.m. reception, 7:30-9 p.m. tasting, $45 per person. Join Steve Brown, wine consultant, wine writer, and culinary professional, as we taste and learn the simple rules to understanding French wine. 5) January 25, Saturday afternoon, “Cooking 101: Learning the Basics,” Sports Club/LA Cafe in the Ritz-Carlton, 22nd Street at M Street, NW. Self-park is in their garage, Metros at Foggy Bottom or Dupont Circle, noon-2:30 p.m., $50/person inclusive of four dishes and wine pairings. All you ever wanted to know about cooking and more: Nancy Halliday, a 25-year veteran of the food business will show and explain to you the basics of cooking and you get lunch with four courses, all paired with wines! 6) January 28, Tuesday, “Hot, Hot, Hot!, 8-Course Chile Pepper Dinner at Bangkok Bistro,” 3251 Prospect Street, NW, 7-10:00 p.m. seated beer dinner, $58, tax and tip inclusive, limited street parking and limited garage/valet parking. Each dish will be at least as hot as the Thai version, but we guarantee that even connoisseurs of heat will be impressed by Gang Pah Half Stewed Hen and Chu Chu Fish which are almost off the charts for heat power! To keep you cool during this event, traditionally the Thai eat cool fresh vegetables and drink plenty of beer, so we’ll do the same! As an added bonus, Robert Farr, a.k.a. “The Chiliman” will chat a bit about the hot chili pepper and how it’s actually good for you! 7) January 30, Thursday, “Introduction to the Wines of Bordeaux,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, $50 per person. Learn about the world’s finest wine region: the history of Bordeaux in the wine trade, the major grape varietals and blends, the appellation system and how it pertains to quality, the major chateaux and their contributions, great values you can purchase and cellar today, and food and wine pairings. 8) February 8, Saturday, “Second Annual Champagne et Chocolat Black-Tie Valentine's Celebration at the French Embassy,” Sponsored by Baci Chocolates and the French International Culinary Society La Maison Francaise. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road, NW, $95, tax and tip inclusive, 7-9:30 p.m. Reception style with chocolate desserts, handmade chocolates, champagnes, and country buffet. From 9:30-11:30 p.m., dancing to a live band and chocolate fondues and more champagne! Dress is black tie suggested. 9) February 10, Monday, “Cocktails 101, Drinks with Passion for Valentines!” Ozio Restaurant and Lounge, 7-9 p.m., $40 per person. All new mixed drinks! This event always sells out! Join Ozio's experienced bartender who will mix, entertain and serve you samples of ten drinks that create passion for Valentines! 10) February 13, Thursday, “Introduction to the Red Wines of Burgundy,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 7-7:30 p.m. reception, 7:30-9 p.m. tasting, $57 per person. Learn about Burgundy by tasting Pinot Noirs from recent vintages such as 1999 (rated by Wine Spectator Magazine as an outstanding vintage) and the 2000 vintage. 11) February 25, Tuesday, “Introduction to Australian/New Zealand Wines,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 7-7:30 p.m. reception, 7:30-9 p.m. tasting, $45 per person. Join Steve Brown, wine consultant, wine writer, and culinary professional as we taste nine different world-class examples of Down-Under and Kiwi pleasure. 12) February 26, Wednesday, “Embassy of Austria Wine Reception with Austrian Cuisine,” Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court, NW, Metro Van Ness (Red Line) three blocks away, limited street parking available, 7-9:30 p.m., $55 per person inclusive. Over thirty Austrian wines to taste, including phenomenal dessert wines: Eiswein's, TBA's, and Beerenauslese's. Austria is producing excellent white wines like Gruner Veltliner and Riesling, but did you know their red wines are getting International recognition and their dessert wines are some of the finest in the world? We will also have a full buffet of authentic Austrian specialties and desserts provided by Euro Bistro, which has received rave reviews by Eve Zibart of the Washington Post for its Black Forest fare. Live piano music of Strauss and Mozart arrangements. This is a standing/reception style event with limited seating. 13) February 27, Thursday, “France vs. California vs. Australia Wine Tasting Showdown,” Radisson Barcelo Hotel, 7-7:30 p.m. reception, 7:30-9 p.m. tasting, $60 per person. So who makes the best wine in the world, is it France, California, or Australia? In this event, you choose the winners! We’ll taste twelve wines blind (covered bottles) in four categories. Reservations: secure web form at or phone 333-5588 ($5 surcharge/person).


American History Post Cards, January 9, 2003
Arthur H. Jackson, Jr.,

Former Ward 8 Democratic State Committeeman Arthur H. Jackson, Jr., will be featured on The American History Post Cards, honoring Black Americans making history including former Georgia Representative Julian Bond and Pro Golfer Tiger Woods during Black History Month. Elected in 1975, at the age of 18, as the youngest city councilman in US history, and the youngest black elected official in the United States, Jackson briefly considered a run for Mayor of Washington, DC. A program is scheduled for January 9, 2003, at the Martin L. King, Jr., Library at 12 noon. For information E-mail Anthony Barnes, Project Coordinator, at



HP Laserjet 4 Printer Available for Donation
Jeffrey Itell,

One HP Laserjet 4 printer seeks a charity for long-term relationship. The printer is in good shape, but needs a toner cartridge. Call me at 288-8966 if interested.



Europe vs. DC
Dru Sefton,

Hello, all! I need your help on two counts. I have a friend who is pondering a move to DC from Frankfurt, Germany. (He’s an American who’s been happily ensconced there for eight years.) In your opinion, what great stuff does DC offer that makes it an even better place to live than Europe?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for a friendly tennis club/league for him? He’s 43 years old and very into both singles and doubles play.


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