A week past the firm deadline set for signing a consent agreement,
yesterday the DC Department of Health and Greater Southeast Community
Hospital signed a consent agreement that will allow the hospital to
continue operating while it tries to bring its service up to minimal
How minimal? Within two months, the hospital will be required to provide
two physicians on duty in the emergency room, and at least one physician
during a 24-hour period has to be board certified. It has to provide an
adequate and reliable water supply for a fire sprinkler system. It has
to install a functioning emergency back-up power source. Other standards
are just as ambitious.
Even more reassuring, the body that will judge whether the hospital
is up to snuff at the end of two months is the DC Department of Health,
which is responsible to and reports to the very same mayor who refuses
to admit the mistake he made when he insisted that Greater Southeast
Community Hospital be made the linchpin of his “health plan.” Even
if the hospital loses its accreditation this month from the independent
and respected national accreditation organization, the Joint Commission
on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (http://www.jcaho.org),
the “accreditation” of the DC Department of Health will be enough to
keep the hospital open and receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments.
Have you kept your health insurance payments up to date?
Where’s the Supervision
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
With more and more District government employees finding ways and
means to cheat their employer and the taxpayers, one must wonder where
the checks and balances are. Where is the supervision in this bloated
bureaucracy that we are paying for? We have layer upon layer of
so-called management (there is nothing resembling management, much less
leadership), and no one is minding the store. They may have just
scratched the surface of illegal activities. It's no wonder we won't be
able to impose a commuter tax. That would just put more money in the
District coffers for the employees to steal.
With luck, someday a real reform Mayor will show up, one who has
enough courage to get rid of the layers of so-called management and to
establish organizational elements that are team-based with real
measurable goals and accountability.
DC Defenders Set Media Straight
Chuck Thies, email@example.com
In the course of advocating for DC's first-in-the-nation primary,
fellow activists and I inevitably come across news stories with
erroneous information about the nominating process, DC history, and
voting rights. This is hardly surprising, given what we all know about
the media's dreadful record when it comes to accuracy. Fortunately for
DC, a group of diverse voting rights activists has formed a coalition of
correspondents that set forth to correct false reports.
Our most recent success came just days ago. On August 10th the
Associated Press ran a story in which they reported that the South
Carolina primary “will be the Democrats' first contest where there is
a large black population.” Of course, this is inaccurate, so we
E-mailed the South Carolina bureau of the Associated Press. Later that
day they ran this correction: “In an Aug. 10 story about Democratic
presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton making a campaign stop in South
Carolina, The Associated Press erroneously reported that South
Carolina's Feb. 3 primary will be the Democrats' first contest where
there is a large black population. Washington, DC, which also has a
large black population, holds its primary Jan. 13.”
If you would like to join our group of “DC Defenders,” just send
me an E-mail and you'll be alerted when there are egregious errors of
fact in the press. You won't get any other E-mail, and each alert will
come with a sample letter and contact info for the offending outlet.
Note: the AP story in question can be found in its entirety here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41858-2003Aug10.html.
The AP correction is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45173-2003Aug11.html.
Campaign Sign Violations Continue
Bob Summersgill, bob (at) summersgill.net
Considering Mayor William's $250,000 fine for campaign violations,
you'd think he would be more sensitive to obeying our campaign laws. On
the other hand, he managed to win despite his criminal activities during
the campaign. He is still in violation of the campaign law that requires
all candidates to remove their campaign signs within thirty days of the
election. That period passed on December 9, 2002. William's campaign
signs can still be seen around town. The DC Government's Clean City
Initiative still lists eight Williams signs that have not been removed.
This does not include the sign at 1601 R Street, NW, which I have just
reported. Williams is not the worst offender. That dubious honor goes to
Chris Ray, with 117 posters. Of candidates who actually won, only
Vincent Orange still has more violations than Williams. The scofflaw
list is at http://www.cleancity.dc.gov/campaign_posters.htm.
Talk Is Cheap, or Is It?
Dorothy Brizill, firstname.lastname@example.org
What does Virginia Hayes Williams, the mayor's mother, have in common
with Eleanor Clift of Newsweek; Arianna Huffington, syndicated
columnist and candidate for California governor; Heloise of Hints from
Heloise; author Kitty Kelly; feminist Betty Friedan; political
commentator Paul Duke, talk show host Dennis Wholey; radio talk show
host Diane Rehm; Washington Post columnist Bob Levey; and Steve
Ford, actor and President's son?
They are all public speakers listed on the roster of the Du Plain
International Speakers Bureau (http://www.duplain.com),
and Mrs. Williams's fee range, described as “up to $5,000,” keeps
pace with most of her colleagues. On the Du Plain web site, Virginia
Williams is described as, “Organizer of school activities, Campaign
fund-raiser, Education fund director, Community activist, America's
first heroic dramatic soprano and opera singer, Mother of nine children.
A musical family and her own love of music motivated mrs. Williams'
calling to a musical profession. She became a distinguished performer
recognized for the power and versatility of her voice. As a successful
Opera Singer, she performed with the Lira Opera Company. She performed
on the sound track of several movies including 'Carmen Jones' and 'Porgy
and Bess.' While enjoying a flourishing musical career, Mrs. Williams
also became a much loved and respected community leader, by providing
opportunities for aspiring young talent to be heard and appreciated.
Mrs. Williams lends her strong, clear voice, in words and/or song, to
issues and events concerning children, community activism and education.
She is also sought after as a panelist on these subjects. Her warmth and
enthusiasm brighten and enlighten any gathering.” Interestingly, Du
Plains doesn't mention her son Tony's job in her resume. It mustn't be a
strong selling point.
Commercial Development in Tenleytown
Carolyn Sherman, email@example.com
We invite anyone who's pro-development — that is sensible
development — to join our group, the Coalition to Stop Tenleytown
Overdevelopment. Contrary to what some “Smart Growth” advocates
would like to believe and certainly would like others to believe, our
group is not NIMBY-like at all. We welcome developments like Tenley
Hill, the condo recently constructed within the current zoning that is a
real addition to the life of the neighborhood.
Current zoning doesn't mean no change. It means protecting our
neighborhood from the greed of developers who would add massive, dense
monstrosities to our streets with no regard for congestion, esthetics,
or impact on the single-family neighborhoods that make up our community.
Current zoning allows five to six stories of residential or commercial
development that's well within Smart Growth standards for density.
Rezoning is not a right. Our group is demanding that the DC
government enforce its own zoning laws to preserve a neighborhood that
some may call boring but that many of us cherish as home. If developers
can rezone at will, no one's neighborhood is safe.
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom
On balance I have come to realize that historical preservation status
is a good thing. Admittedly there are exceptions (notably the Tenleytown
Firehouse and the Wisconsin Avenue Hechingers buildings). The
restoration of the Carnegie Library was quite worthwhile, turning it
into a City of Washington Museum. Last weekend, on a four-day jaunt to
my old stomping grounds in the Big Apple, I saw two marvelous
restorations. The first is Bryant Park, right behind the New York City
Library on 42nd Street. Once a haven for druggies and the homeless, the
park has been restored, landscaped, and outfitted for local residents'
use. The park was thronged with folks last Sunday. There is a tree
covered and landscaped border to the park with tons of chairs and
tables. The center of the rectangular park is grassed and open for
watching films on the large screen at one end of the open area. Two
large outdoor cafes are at the ends of the park. There's even a Bryant
Park Reading Club with three rollaway carts filled with books and
periodicals for visitors to read. Another major restoration that is
wonderful is the old Grand Central Train Station and Terminal just down
42nd Street from Bryant Park. That old architectural gem has been
completely restored to its former greatness and features shops and
restaurants much like the restoration of Union Station in DC.
The NIMBYs are out again in Tenleytown, this time to object to new
apartment construction to replace Martens Volvo and Babe's Pool Hall,
both on Wisconsin Avenue, within convenient walking distance of the
Tenleytown Metro Station. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if those
Tenleytown NIMBY nuts apply for historical preservation status for
Buddy Yingling, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the August 10 themail, Lyla Winter wrote regarding Tenleytown:
“The anti's, who apparently include Kathy Patterson, are vocal and
well-organized. Does anyone out there know of a contact for a
There is some discussion of these issues on the Tenleytown Yahoo
Group which I moderate. The web page is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tenleytown.
Also, there is a group calling themselves the “Ward 3 Smart Growth
Coalition.” Their web site is http://www.dcsmartgrowth.org,
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Take Back Your Time, August 16
Barbara Conn, email@example.com
Everyone has the same number of hours each month, but some always run
behind while others have taken control of their time and their
schedules. If you're ready to take back your time by learning time
management techniques you can use immediately, join us as Susan Kousek
of Balanced Spaces, LLC, a professional organizer and computer trainer,
tells us how to save hours by prioritizing tasks, setting goals, staying
focused, strategically scheduling the day, and applying sophisticated
Gather your friends, colleagues, and family members and bring them to
the Saturday, August 16, 1:00 p.m. (check-in: 12:45 p.m.), meeting of
the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) Entrepreneurs and Consultants Special
Interest Group (SIG). Meetings are free and are held each month. This
month's meeting is at the West End Library (Second Floor Large Meeting
Room) at 1101 24th Street, NW, within three blocks of the Foggy Bottom
Metrorail Station on the Blue and Orange Lines. For more information
about the seminar, the speaker, CPCUG [a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational
organization], and to register for the meeting, visit http://www.cpcug.org/user/entrepreneur/803meet.html.
Still Space for Artists/Crafters at Glover
Park Day, September 6
Judie Guy, firstname.lastname@example.org
The bad news: The 14th Annual Glover Park Day was definitively rained
out back on June 7 (wasn't everything?). The good news: We rescheduled
to Saturday, September 6 — same time, same place: from 11 until 5 on
the grounds of Guy Mason Recreation Center, just east of the
intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Calvert Street in Northwest
Washington. We still have room for artists/crafters to sell their work.
Space rental is inexpensive — just $35 for the day, you keep all your
profits. So if you're interested, please contact me at the E-mail above.
Glover Park Day also includes live music (this year Hokum Jazz, Ed
& Jack, the Aloha Boys, Trio Blue, and Blues Musuem), food (Thai,
Mexican, Faccia Luna pizza, great burgers) from some of our neighborhood
restaurants, prize drawings, and activities for children. Our
neighborhood is just south of the Washington Cathedral and north of
Georgetown. It encompasses more than 3000 homes and 8000 residents.
About 1500 to 2000 residents and friends come each year, including young
single professionals, families with children, seniors, and students.
Admission to Glover Park Day is free, so bring the whole family and come
for the day!
CLASSIFIEDS — FREE
It’s time to clear out the cellar, and there’s stuff down there
that my rat-pack heart hates to see hauled off to the dump. Given to
anyone who can haul them away: 1) a man's 10-speed bike, 2) a woman's
bike, and 3) a child's bike (all need refurbishing — tires, etc.); 4)
a refrigerator; 5) a small gas stove (the last round of renovators at my
place brought the refrigerator and stove in here, years ago, in working
condition then; but I’ve never used them so can’t vouch); 6) a
20-gallon aquarium (with some of the accouterments, though I don't
believe the present filter is working); 7) kid’s clothes (boy’s and
some unisex up to about age 10); 8) women’s clothes (size 10-ish –
for the office). I’m just off 14th Street in Columbia Heights. E-mail
me if you can help.
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
Hearing Aid Specialist
Sol Shalit, email@example.com
I would like to recommend an outstanding hearing aid professional
whom I consider, based on my own personal experience, to be truly
exceptional. He is knowledgeable, highly competent, experienced, and
reasonably priced. Most importantly, he does not have a big operation,
and unlike others does not delegate the work to recently graduating
youngsters, but (as the owner) gives attentive personal service himself.
I highly recommend him. Ted Park, BC-HIS, Professional Hearing Aid
Service, 2141 K. Street, NW, 20037; telephone 785-8704; Metro: Foggy
Bottom. Disclosure: I have no family or financial connection with him.
Competent and Friendly Computer Fixer
Sue Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org
My computer was afflicted with the virus/worm. I was desperate, until
I called a local computer guy I had heard about. Sixty dollars and one
hour later, my computer was back in wonderful health, patched with new
virus this and firewall that. He's great, and if you need computer help
E-mail him: Bruce Maliken, email@example.com.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
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