Bad to Verse
You remember the old joke. A couple have a son who in normal in every
respect, except that he does not talk. They assume he is just a slow
developer, but to be safe they subject him to an extensive series of
medical and psychological tests. The physicians assure them that he is
perfectly normal, and that there is no physical reason that he would be
unable to speak. The psychologists conclude that his intelligence is
normal, his understanding of language is normal, and that he has no
obvious psychological disorder. But he doesn’t speak by age two, or
three, or four, no matter what they do to encourage him. Finally, the
parents resign themselves to the fact that their son will not speak. But
one day at the breakfast table, when he is five, he complains, “This
oatmeal is cold.” “Son,” his parents exclaim, “you can speak.”
“Of course,” the son says. “But everything was all right until
So I’m in a good mood, and don’t have much to say. Luckily, that
isn’t true of several of themail’s correspondents, as you’ll see
One Needn’t Be a Truant
Larry Wissleberry, wissleberry@hotmail or yahoo
One needn’t be a truant
Just predict it might
or bring a vial
Sprinkle some spores
upon the water pipes
Adding to the grievances
But someday they’ll fix
no more gangs, No winter,
Only to find
they’re "CLOSED TODAY"
"We’re vaccinating cats!"
The Serious Implications of the City’s Snow
Ted Knutson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Does anyone know if youth crime goes up on days when the schools are
closed for snow (or the prediction of snow)? The question borders on the
rhetorical: “How can crime not increase when kids have no
Yes folks, it really works. You can buy your Nats baseball tickets
online as of Saturday, 12 March. Reserved seats (upper deck baseline)
are only ten bucks, but you pay for ticket delivery (via E-mail
immediately after you sign off) and Ticketmaster fees. So, the total
cost is about $15 per ticket. Took me three tries to get it working but,
yes, it does work. Wanted to see the Cardinals again but will be away
the few times they play the Nats. Settled for a Sunday afternoon game in
late September against the Mets.
A large number of flyers of various colors sprang up on Capitol Hill
early this week advertising Kevlar vests for those attending the
baseball games at RFK Stadium. Does anyone know who is behind this or
what the purpose is?
FIRST Robotics Team at Banneker Academic High
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
The FIRST robotics competition is an annual competition that involves
high school teams from around the country designing robots to compete
against each other (http://www.usfirst.org). DC schools fielded two
teams for this year’s competition. I participated in the team at
Banneker Academic High School and was very impressed with students,
faculty and adult volunteers who showed up. In the spirit of citizen
journalism, we documented our work on a web site that includes a
multimedia slideshow made with the free version of a Windows program
named PowerBullet Presenter. You can see the web site at http://shorterlink.com/?B67UDC
and the narrated multimedia slideshow at http://www.writersforliteracy.org/banneker2005.htm.
The slideshow is less than two minutes in duration and contains thirteen
slides. Use the arrow keys at the bottom of each screen to navigate
forwards and backwards through the presentation. Kudos to the
extraordinary faculty members at Banneker who spent so many evening and
weekend hours working on this two month project. A big thank-you to the
volunteers at the Capital PC User Group who came through in a big way to
support the Banneker robotics team (http://www.cpcug.org).
The biggest thanks goes to the participating students, who made our
whole community proud the way they worked together as a team to
brainstorm solutions in this contest. Benjamin Banneker would be proud
to see his legacy honored in this way.
We need to be doing much more project-based learning in this city. It’s
the kind of learning that’s the most meaningful. Whether such learning
is organized in-school or out-of-school, it needs to happen one way or
Delivery of The Examiner: A Growing
Steven E. Levy, firstname.lastname@example.org
In my neighborhood, Kalorama Triangle, free, unsolicited home
delivery of the Examiner has resulted in pink plastic-wrapped
newspapers littering the sidewalks and street. Is there anything we can
do to moderate this widespread distribution which must violate some
unheralded DC regulation? In addition, for those of us who are careful
to discontinue home delivery of the Post and Times during
vacations, has anyone discovered a mechanism for achieving the same
result with the Examiner?
The Future Lies Ahead
David Sobelsohn, dsobelso -at- capaccess -dot- org
“Building the Future . . . Beyond the Ballpark,” said the glossy
invite from “Turner Gilford Community Partners.” “Join us for our
team Kick Off Mixer and Community Meet & Greet” in the
neighborhood closest to & most affected by the proposed stadium.
Make sure to “Bring Your Ideas.” Deadline to RSVP: March 8. Date
invite postmarked: also March 8. Oops. Date of event: March 10. Date
invite received by local ANC Commissioner: also March 10. Oops. No doubt
Turner Gilford gathered, at the mixer, just as many innovative ideas as
they wanted from local leaders. So much for partnering with the
community. Who are these clowns, does anyone know?
Kudos to DC Police/Towing
Kristen Barden (Former Ward 4 ANC Commissioner), Kristen@afj.org
Never thought I’d ever hear these words coming out of my
mouth/fingers, but kudos to DC towing and police. On Tuesday evening, I
discovered that I had forgotten to move my car from the Connecticut
Avenue rush hour lane (I parked there Sunday night, mind you, and this
was Tuesday evening. I called 311 and they immediately transferred me to
towing. The woman who answered the phone was very polite and very
helpful. (I was in a little bit of a panic that I had lost my car or
that it was in the God forsaken impound lot). She immediately told me my
car was moved and parked in the XXXX block of Fessenden Street, NW.
Whew. I even know where Fessenden Street is! I was so happy to hear
that. Now there was the requisite $100 ticket on it when I got to it,
but at least it wasn’t impounded, I didn’t have to pay hundreds of
dollars to get it back, and they knew exactly where it had been moved.
Yay! So while I might be forgetful, at least DC government isn’t, at
least this time.
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
Are you due to have a colonoscopy sometime soon and have questions
about the procedure? I’m scheduled for my sixteenth colonoscopy on
March 24 and am happy to privately answer questions subscribers to
themail might have. I totally love colonoscopies. I need to have one
every year because I’m in a higher risk group for colon cancer. Both
my dad and grandfather died of colon cancer. I laugh at colon cancer. It
has no chance of getting me. I actually look forward to my annual
colonoscopy. A chance to laugh at colon cancer one more time.
A dear mentor of mine, Corliss Grimes, died of colon cancer five
years ago. I never talked to her about colonoscopies and should have.
She taught me much about caring about the youth of our city. She was too
busy caring for others to care for herself. A deadly mistake. (I
contributed to this mistake.) The procedure is much easier to undergo
than anyone might have told you. Just don’t do the Go-Lightly
preparation method. Use the Fleet phospho preparation method. It yields
the same results and is much less difficult a preparation. Don’t let
your doctor convince you that Go-Lightly is the method he or she
prefers. He or she is not undergoing the preparation, right? Tell them
you know your stuff, and if they don’t listen to you, find another
doctor. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve consulted with national
leaders in the gastro field about this.
In the March 10 edition of themail, Ed Barron asks: “The price of
diesel fuel in DC is well over $2.20 per gallon. That’s a bit
baffling, since diesel fuel is a minimally refined product that is
exactly the same as number 2 home heating oil. Yet home heating oil is
only about $1.70 per gallon. Who’s making all that extra profit?”
Answer: the government, in the form of motor fuel taxes. The feds
levy a 24.4 cents per gallon tax on diesel. (As opposed to 18.4 cents
per gallon on gasoline, for those keeping score at home). The District
government collects a 20 cents per gallon tax on all motor fuels: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hs01/pdf/fe101a.pdf,
There are no comparable taxes on home heating oil.
Wasted DC Kids, Underused Federal Properties,
Major American Monument
Len Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
NARPAC’s March web site update treats three different aspects of
life in DC. First we return in depth to one of our long-standing themes:
why on earth are there federal statutes requiring the recall of
defective household and automotive products that put Americans’ safety
at risk, but no statutes requiring the recall and repair of the
thousands of high-school dropouts that present far greater, longer term
risks to themselves, their neighborhoods, and their kids? We dream up an
imaginary class action suit against the DC government and its
Congressional overseers to require suitable federal statutes to redress
educational deficits and their impact. Then, as the first step in a
recall process, we draft an educational deficit report to an imaginary
remediation agency in the US Department of Education describing the
consequences of years of inaction to this major threat to Americans’
safety. Finally, we draw up a preliminary proposal for a set of
school-related residential facilities to recycle teen moms, their kids,
as well as other adult and homeless poverty victims, along with
practical sources of capital and operating funding. Take a look at http://www.narpac.org/PERECALL.HTM
and give us some constructive suggestions.
Our March editorial responds to OMB’s new proposal to consider
transferring under-used federal properties for DC’s economic
development (which NARPAC has been suggesting for years!). We fully
endorse the concept, but caution against the risk of either the federal
or DC governments using this as an excuse not to pursue even more
important (and costly) long-range capital investment projects in DC’s
physical and human infrastructures. It is available here: http://www.narpac.org/INTHOM.HTM#EDITORIAL.
Finally, two major updates are made to NARPAC’s often-ignored
“Art Gallery.” The first expands on Raymond Kaskey’s sculptural
contributions to the WWII Memorial, and the second adds sample works of
a major DC photographer: Stephen R. Brown’s remarkable photographs of
that memorial, shortly to be published in book form. Both can be reached
Take your pick, it’s all about DC’s future.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Surplus for Schools, March 15
Beth Allaben, email@example.com
DCPS parents will march on the DC council to advocate for “surplus
for schools” facilities. An ad hoc group of parents and DCPS
supporters from across the District will converge on the John A. Wilson
building on Tuesday, March 15, at 10:00 a.m. for a march on the council
to request that $100 million of DC’s FY 2005 surplus be given to DCPS
for physical improvements to DC public schools. DCPS has a long list of
unfunded capital improvements, including heating, air conditioning,
roofs, and windows. The Mayor, Council, and residents all agree that
public schools are critical to the growth of the District of Columbia.
School facility improvements will benefit many more than the students
in District of Columbia Public Schools. Community members use the school
facilities for meetings and use school playgrounds and walking tracks
for recreation. Dedicating part of the District’s surplus would be a
tangible use of excess funds that would help encourage residents to
remain in the District, and remain involved in District of Columbia
We urge all residents of the District of Columbia to attend the
council’s Committee of the Whole meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday,
March 15, to urge the council and Mayor Anthony A. Williams to support
additional funding to capital improvement projects for all of our
children. We will also bring signed letters of support from residents
who are unable to attend, and encourage a letter and e-mail campaign to
all councilmembers and the mayor.
DC Public Library Events, March 15, 17
Debra Truhart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, March 15, noon. West End Neighborhood Library, 1101 24th
Street, NW. West End Book Club, book discussion group. Call for title.
Public contact 724-8707.
Tuesday, March 15, Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 7th Street,
SE. Lively book discussions with local authors and writers held by the
Capitol Hill Book Club. Book club members select the book to be
discussed. Public contact 698-3377.
Thursday, March 17, 1:30 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room 221. Something Novel Book Club. Read and
discuss The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Public
DC Environmental Network to Honor Advocacy
Efforts in Our Nation’s Capital, March 17
Chris Weiss, email@example.com
On March 17, the DC Environmental Network will host an awards
ceremony to honor the advocacy efforts of two individuals that are
making our nations capital an example of good environmental stewardship.
DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson and Charles J. Clinton, director of the
DC Energy Office, will both receive recognition for work to bring clean
energy, such as wind and solar, to our nation’s capital. The event
will be held at Friends of the Earth’s national headquarters, 1717
Massachusetts Avenue, NW, #600. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. The DC
Environmental Network, a coalition of hundreds of environmental
organizations and activists, works with the District of Columbia’s
neighborhoods and communities to achieve economic stability by
protecting and restoring the city’s urban environment.
For more information about the reception and awards ceremony, go to http://www.foe.org/camps/reg/dcen/index.html
or call 222-0746.
From Pitch to Screen: A Producer’s Master
Class, March 19
Dorinda White, firstname.lastname@example.org
Women in Film and Video, Washington, DC, is hosting a one-day seminar
called, “From Pitch to Screen: A Producer’s Master Class,” on
Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Jack Morton
Auditorium of George Washington University, 805 21st Street, NW. If you’ve
ever wanted to know how to take your television or film concept and get
it on screen, then this is the seminar for you. Come and meet the
industry players and professionals who can show you the ropes and
explain the mysteries of getting your show seen and on the air.
Executive producers from the Travel Channel, National Geographic,
Discovery, and other major cable and film entities will be there to
share info on how it’s done. Learn about: demystifying the process (or
packaging the treatment); how to get the first break; anatomy of a
production and more! A definite industry networking event you don’t
want to miss. Registration and additional information can be found at www.wifv.org
or by calling 429-9438. You can also E-mail Dorinda White, VP
Communications/Board Member, Women in Film and Video-DC, at email@example.com
for more info.
Public Roundtable on Child Care Services,
Susie Cambria, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Committee on Human Services is holding a public roundtable on
March 19 at 1:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW. The purpose of the roundtable is to hear from parents and providers
about the state of early care and education in the city. People can talk
about the waiting list, services for infants and toddlers with
disabilities, reimbursement rates in the Child Care Subsidy Program —
whatever the issue is, Councilmember Fenty (chair of the committee)
wants to hear it. All users of early childhood development services
(rich, poor and in between) are encouraged to testify. To register to
testify at the roundtable (and to sign up for child care at the
roundtable), call the Committee on Human Services, 727-8204.
Those who need assistance preparing testimony should contact Parisa
Nourisi at Empower DC — 234-9119 or email@example.com.
Marking the Modern, March 20
Brie Hensold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Making the Modern: this film documents the design and construction of
Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s new Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth,
Texas, which opened in late 2002 to great critical acclaim. It sits
directly opposite the Kimbell Art Museum designed by Louis I. Kahn and
near the Amon Carter Museum designed by Philip Johnson. Following this
Washington premiere screening, architect Peter Arendt, director of
design and construction at the Modern Art Museum, will join the audience
in a discussion of the different aspects of the project, from its
architecture to the filmmaking process. Sunday, March 20, 1:00-2:30
p.m., at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary
Square stop, Metro Red Line. $5 Museum members and students; $7
nonmembers. Registration required. For festival information, visit http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — FOR SALE
Free DC: A New Awareness Campaign
Tony Wagner, email@example.com
Free DC is a new awareness campaign designed to bring style to the
fight for DC voting rights. It is not intended to become another
activist organization, merely to help spread the word about our plight.
The organizations that already exist are doing a fine job - we’re just
trying to complement their efforts. Since only 18 percent of people in
the country even know we lack full voting rights, we feel a good way to
increase awareness is to get people to notice and engage. We’ve put a
new logo on a bunch of items and are selling them through a web site: http://www.cafepress.com/Free_DC.
We receive absolutely no profit from the sale of the items -- they’re
listed at cost. We’re just happy to help spread the word. We hope
people around the country will buy a shirt, wear it, and tell anyone who
asks why we need to Free DC!
CLASSIFIEDS — HELP WANTED
Tolu2Books needs part time typists and editors. If interested, please
respond to wwwTolu2Bookscom@yahoo.com
or to PO Box 48331, 20002-0331, or call 331-4418.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
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