Iím writing this as Iím sitting in the Board of Elections hearing
on the slots petition. Itís late Sunday evening; actually, itís
10:00 p.m. Dorothy and I finished the ten-day slog through the petition
challenge period just before filing it on Monday; all day Tuesday and
Wednesday morning were spent wrangling on procedural issues, and since
Wednesday afternoon the Board has held hearings for up to twelve hours
daily (with no lunch breaks, by the way), and weíve spent our evenings
preparing responses to issues that have to be answered the next day.
Look, lots of people have much worse lives. We havenít been working
twelve-hour days digging in a salt mine, and weíre not in pain. I know
Iím being petty, but hereís my whining complaint: thereís no time
for a personal life. My eyeglasses have been broken for two weeks; the
battery in Dorothyís watch has gone out; the grass on the lawn is as
high as the corn in Kansas; our clean laundry has been exhausted; we
havenít been at home to cook a dinner for at least two weeks; the food
in the refrigerator has long since grown moldy; and the cupboard is
bare. Lives fall apart when you donít have time to tend to them.
So tell me about your personal lives, to give me ó and us all ó a
little pleasure by proxy. What have you been doing in Washington that
has made you happy? Whatís been your summer delight? Please write in
and make us happy, too.
Councilmember Harold Brazilís Chief of Staff, Mike Morgan, made a
verbal promise to support SET POINT, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) youth initiative)
in November 2003, after receiving a proposal to fund sixteen
East-of-the-River children to attend the American Tennis Associationís
2004 tournament being held in Houston, Texas, July 30-August 8.He (Mr.
Morgan) sent his assistant to meet with us in March of 2004, when she
again reiterated the fact that they had the funds "for just this
type of purpose" and that she would strongly recommend funding. One
week later, after several follow-up phone calls, we were told that they
would only give this organization $100.The proposal we submitted to them
was for $40,000.
In the meantime, Iíd met Mr. Brazil on two separate campaign
occasions when he expressed a sincere interest in supporting this
initiative. We followed up with several telephone calls to Mr. Brazil
shortly thereafter. However, we never heard from him nor have we
received the $100.
The Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (West of the River) is
scheduled to sponsor approximately twenty children to this same
tournament free of charge as well as the Tennis Center at College Park
in Maryland. Brazil has oversight over the DC Sports and Entertainment
Commission, which has funding available for just this type of program.
We were advised to submit a proposal by one of the Commissioners because
he knew there were funds available. We were denied.
Interactive Journalism Spotted Anywhere Yet?
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
I'm curious to hear if anyone has spotted any signs of the Washington
Post moving from traditional lecture format journalism to
conversation format journalism? Other than interactive chat sessions
where readers are invited to politely submit questions to the
all-knowing-ones, I haven't seen signs of interactivity happening yet.
Meanwhile that bastion of journalistic excellence and leadership, the Dallas
Morning News, is leaving DC in the dust: "Last year, the
editorial board of this newspaper launched our own blog, which you can
see at http://DallasNews.com/opinion/blog.
We think you should know what's going on in the blogosphere, even if
you're not an Internet junkie. Blogs react with lightning speed to the
news of the day, which is why Old Media are often trailing them. That's
why we've decided to bring the best of the blogosphere to you on
Viewpoints, and in our new Sunday opinion section Points, which will
debut later this summer. We'd like to share with you, our readers, great
stuff we've found on blogs, and we want you to tip us off to smart,
sharp, sassy blogs you've discovered."
Here in DC, the folks who are telling us we don't get it if we don't
get it ó don't get it. The Washington Post produces irony in
greater quantities than Andrew Carnegie ever did. They're a veritable
Smokefree DC Incorporates, Becomes Nonprofit
Angela Bradbery, Angela@smokefreedc.org
Since its inception a year and a half ago, Smokefree DC has consisted
of an informal but dedicated group of District residents and workers
fighting to make all District workplaces 100 percent smokefree. Our
efforts to pass legislation similar to New York and California failed to
get out of D.C. Councilmember Carol Schwartzís committee. That is why
we have incorporated with the District of Columbia and have filed papers
with the IRS to become a 501(c)4 nonprofit membership organization.
Secondhand smoke is more than a nuisance -- it is carcinogenic. It
causes heart disease and lung cancer, and is linked to asthma and
bronchitis. If you believe that all workers, including those who work in
bars and restaurants, have a right to breathe clean air on the job,
please join us today. Your support will help us educate the public about
the dangers of secondhand smoke, make our voices heard by the City
Council, and generate more attention to what is a critical issue for so
many workers and patrons who suffer in smoky environments. To join, go
Please note that membership fees and donations to Smokefree DC are
not tax deductible. We have no salary (weíre all volunteers), no rent
(our meetings are at different peopleís homes), no phone bills (our
contact numbers are our home and cell numbers), so any money collected
will go 100 percent toward the resources needed to help make DC
I share Garyís delight at the prospect of hot Krispy Kreme
doughnuts in DC [themail, July 21]. Of course we all need our veggies
too, and I thought my neighbors might like to hear about this clever
combination of convenient technology and old-fashioned farming. Every
Wednesday, the online farmerís market opens at http://www.starhollowfarm.com/store/merchant.mvc
ó there you can place your order for delicious fresh produce, much of
it organically grown (itís clearly marked when not), along with baked
goods (try the sticky buns) and dairy (including fresh organic eggs).
Then on Saturday you breeze through to pick up and pay for your order
either at the Adams Morgan farmerís market (between 8-1) or Takoma
Park (8-5). It couldnít be more convenient, unless you could also get
someone to bring it home and cook it up for you.
I far prefer it to getting up at the crack of dawn to get to the
farmerís market before everything is picked over and sold out.
Parking on the National Mall
Paul Wilson, Ward 6, pawilson at starpower dot net
In the July 21 edition of the mail, Gabe Goldberg commented on the
restrictive parking policies along the National Mall. His contact in the
DC government responded, "Unfortunately, the street you cite,
Jefferson Drive, is controlled by the federal government and leaves me
of no use to you regarding your inquiries. The district has no say in
how those streets controlled by the federal government are used for
parking or other purposes." The correspondent went on to suggest he
direct his queries to the Capitol Police or the Architect of the
Actually, the National Mall is the bailiwick of the National Park
Service and the Park Police. I will agree with Mr. Goldberg that a land
grab of sorts ensued after 9/11, in which various agencies and the
Congress closed streets altogether or instituted parking permits in the
name of security. This included several streets under District
jurisdiction. Iím thinking principally of E Street, NW, and of the
streets just south of the House Offices, but Iím sure others were
involved. The net result appears to be that more on-street parking was
"secured," secured principally for the convenience of agency
and Congressional employees, at the expense of residents and visitors.
Thereís nothing like a national emergency for scoring a little free
parking or realizing territorial ambitions. A DC transportation
consultant once told me, "control parking and you can control the
world." It may be a bit hyperbolic, but in this city and in this
day and age it rings true.
Michael Bindner, mikeybdc at yahoo
Gabe Goldberg opined that Department of Agriculture employees are
somehow below him in regards to parking near their offices [themail,
July 21]. I wonder if Mr. Goldbergís employer provides parking? DC is
designed as a federal city where federal employees actually work and
live. Donít mess with the core functions.
CLASSIFIEDS ó EVENTS
DC Public Library Events, July 26-28
Debra Truhart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, July 26, 6:00 p.m., Capitol View Neighborhood Library, 5001
Central Avenue, SE. Learn how to make floral arrangements. Public
Tuesday, July 27, 1:30 p.m., Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library,
3310 Connecticut Avenue, NW. City Museum display on Native American
artifacts found in the Washington, DC, area and a brief talk about
library resources by librarian, which includes a bibliography on the
subject. Public contact: 282-3080.
Wednesday, July 28, 12:00 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Main Lobby. Deaf author Stevie Platt will
discuss his book, Go to the Hill. Sign language interpreters will
be present. Public contact: 727-2145 (TTY or voice).
Wednesday, July 28, 12:00 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Main Lobby. Smart investing: investor
protection and awareness information presented by the US Securities and
Exchange Commission. Public contact: 727-1171.
CLASSIFIEDS ó RECOMMENDATIONS
Got Milk? Sure
Rob Pegoraro, rob@~typo~speakeasy.net (remove the typo to
send me mail)
Alverda Muhammad asked, "Does anyone know where milk can still
be purchased in a glass bottle?" Definitely ó thereís a guy at
the Arlington Farmers Market (14th Street and Courthouse Road, one block
from the Courthouse Metro) every Saturday who sells delicious whole milk
in glass bottles. Itís expensive, even factoring in the deposit you
get back with each empty bottle you return, but worth it. Iíll have to
pick up some this weekend, come to think of it.
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