themail.gif (3487 bytes)

March 30, 2005


Dear Cost-Bearers:

The Chief Financial Officer released his “Cost Re-Estimation Study” for the baseball stadium today ( In December 2004, when the city council was considering the ballpark bill, the CFO estimated the cost of acquiring the land for the stadium as $115 million, but that estimate didn’t include the cost of environmental remediation or of relocating the present landowners (or, obviously, the construction cost of building the new stadium or other associated costs to the city). The bill that the council passed required the CFO to re-estimate the land costs, including environmental and relocation costs, and it mandated that a new site for the stadium would have to be identified if the new estimate of the cost were more than $50 million additional, or over $165 million.

The new land acquisition cost estimated by the CFO: $161.4 million. That’s an additional $46.4 million, just under the limit set by the council.

There are times when, no matter how many times you’ve seen the game cynically played out in full view, no matter who inured you may be to it, it is so breathtakingly brazen that words fail.

Gary Imhoff


Is Williams Running Again and Rating DC Public Schools
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom

Mayor Williams says he has not yet made up his mind on whether or not he will run for Mayor in the next election in 2006. That’s probably true. Is he being coy? Not really. The mayor is waiting to see if he can get a better offer. It’s not very likely, despite the mayor’s pandering, that an offer will be forthcoming from the present administration. If no offer comes about you can count on Tony Williams running again, if only to wait for the Dems to regain control of the oval office and then seek a position in that administration.

In case you may have missed it, Wednesday’s Post describes a web site developed by Standard and Poors that rates schools across the country []. You can get overall statistics for the DC school system or you can actually get very good data on any school in the DC. system. Excellent web site which shows how poorly the system is, as a whole, compared to the national averages. You can reach the site at


More E-Mail, Please
Paul Penniman,

How does one get on one of Kathy Patterson’s neighborhood listservs? We live in ANC 3F4, Forest Hills/North Cleveland Park.


Poor Escalator Maintenance
Roger Scott,

In response to Mr. Barron’s “They Ain’t Making ‘Em Like They Used To” [themail, March 27]: how does it take six weeks to repair one escalator (a relatively short one at that)? Last month a renovation sign appeared on the exit escalator at the Minnesota Avenue station. The sign indicates that the renovations are scheduled to be complete in May. There are a large number of people who stand waiting for the elevator, many of whom do not look able to make the walk up the other stationary escalator. I had blamed the constantly disabled stairs on young people playing with the emergency stop but, alas, it appears poor maintenance is to blame. I will reserve final judgment until after the repairs are made, to see if the escalators will actually remain operational.

You know it’s bad when the young people are getting off of the trains taking bets whether the escalators will be running today or not. Is this a system-wide maintenance problem or is it isolated to specific areas? I wonder.



Property Taxes at Cleveland Park Citizens Association, April 4
George Idelson,

The Cleveland Park Citizens Association meets on Monday, April 4, 6:30 p.m., at the Cleveland Park Library. Property taxes got you feeling "house poor’? How can we fairly restructure property taxes in DC? Plus the latest on the class action suit challenging the way homes are assessed. Speakers include Phil Mendelson, At-Large Councilmember; Ed Lazere, Director, DC Policy Research Institute; Ed Cowan, and Peter Craig, attorney. Refreshments will be served


National Building Museum Events, April 4-5
Brie Hensold,

All events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.

Monday, April 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Over the past three decades Arlington County, Virginia has matured and prospered. It now faces new and ongoing challenges to create vibrant places and house its workers. Chris Zimmerman, vice chairman of the Arlington County Board, will describe Arlington’s successes and challenges in this update on the county -- the winner of the 2002 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for Overall Excellence in Smart Growth. Free. Registration not required. This series of lunchtime lectures is presented in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Smart Growth Network.

Monday, April 4, Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has designated April as National Landscape Architecture Month. The theme of the 2005 celebration explores how community design affects residents’ daily activity levels and, in turn, their overall health. Joanne Westphal, MD, ASLA, a physician and landscape architect, will discuss the health benefits that can result when “active living components,” including parks, bike paths, and sidewalks, are designed into neighborhoods. This program is presented in collaboration with ASLA. $10 Museum and ASLA members; $15 nonmembers; free to students with valid student I.D.s. Registration required.

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Since its establishment in 1991 in Holland, the MVRDV architectural firm has captured growing international attention with its experimental research projects and mind-bending architecture. Most of the firm’s work can be found in Europe, but it recently has been short listed for projects in the U.S., notably the proposed Olympic Village that is part of New York City’s plan for the 2012 summer Olympics. In a program focusing on a number of the firm’s recent and current projects, Nathalie de Vries, one of the three MVRDV founding partners, will examine a range of the firm’s recent and current projects, including: the Silodam housing project and the redesigned Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam; the Mirador high-rise apartment in Madrid; and the Dutch pavilion for 2000 World Expo in Hanover, Germany. In addition to her architectural practice, Ms. de Vries is an active educator. Currently, she is the Morgenstern Visiting Critic at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Travel for Ms. de Vries has been provided by the Royal Netherlands Embassy. $12 Museum members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Prepaid registration required.


The Bridges of Washington Lecture, April 14
Jerry A. McCoy,

In honor of Washingtoniana Division’s one hundredth anniversary you are cordially invited to a free illustrated slide talk by transportation planner Lee H. Rogers on The Bridges of Washington, Thursday, April 14, 6:00 p.m., at the Washingtoniana Division, Room #307, Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, 727-1213.


Storytelling Event to Benefit Tsunami Victims, April 16
Brad Hills,

The Artists Care Effort is proud to present Waves of Survival: An Evening of Stories for the Tsunami Relief Effort at The Seekers Church, 276 Carroll Street, NW, in Takoma Park, on Saturday, April 16, 8:00 p.m. Ticket price $10 minimum suggested donation. Reservations: call 301-916-6328 or E-mail Street parking, Metro Red line Takoma stop.

In association with the Artists Care Effort, five wonderful storytellers take to the stage in Takoma Park to aid the survivors of the recent earthquake and tsunami tragedies. Host Amy Saidman (from the Washington Storytellers Theater) will present some of the area’s best storytellers including Moira Dougherty, Cricket Parmalee, Arianna Ross, Ellouise Schoettler, and Susan Winchell in this evening sure to inspire and uplift everyone’s spirits. All ticket sales and donations will be sent to a certified tsunami victims relief fund.


Washington Storytellers Annual Benefit, April 29
Brad Hills,

Washington Storytellers Theater proudly presents our 2005 annual benefit performance and silent auction featuring EHT-NOH-TEC’s performance of “Takashi’s Dream and Other Stories.” Eth-Noh-Tec will share with us an evening of Asian wisdom tales that will lift your heart and inspire your life with delightful and thought provoking theater. “Takashi’s Dream” is based on the inspiring life of Takashi Tanemori, atom bomb survivor from Hiroshima. Eth-Noh-Tec weaves movement, poetic voices and music to recreate a dreamlike, haunted landscape that became Takashi’s life as a victim and eventually victor over the many perils that followed his life as a survivor.

Support Washington Storytellers Theater as we celebrate our fifteenth anniversary season of bringing world-class storytellers to the greater Washington community. Experience the unique and exciting Eth-Noh-Tec and join us for an elegant reception at the enchanting Embassy of Austria and bid on a wide range of wonderful items donated especially for our the Silent Auction. Place: the Embassy of Austria - 3524 International Court, NW, Friday, April 29, reception at 7:00 p.m., performance at 8 p.m. Ticket price $100 Reserved, $65 general in advance, $75 at the door. Purchase at the door or in advance on-line or by calling 545-6840. Street parking.


Community Emergency Response Classes, April and May
Darrell Duane,

Would you like to learn more about how to stay prepared in the event of a natural or man-made disaster? Do you have an interest in emergency response? There will be two offerings of Community Emergency Response Team classes coming up, one in April and one in May.

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, basic first aid, how to shut off natural gas, do light search & rescue. There are also sections on disaster psychology and terrorism. Best of all, classes are free. More details and registration via

Do you already have this training, or other volunteer disaster/emergency response training such as Red Cross Disaster Action Team, Police Reserve Corps, Emergency Medical Technician or other training, and want to align with a neighborhood based team? DC Neighborhood Corps is organizing teams of citizens who will be active in times of disaster and other incidents where basic service may be overwhelmed or need assistance. No prior training is needed, more details via



Looking for Rideshare to/from Reston
Luis Mendez,

I am looking for someone interested in ride sharing from northwest DC to/from Reston, VA. Please E-mail to



Lost Dog
Loretta Begg,

“Fraidy” is still missing. Last seen on 40th and Albermarle Street. “Fraidy” is a long-haired, black dog, approximately forty pounds. Has collar with a red ID tag and is micro-chipped. Any sighting, please call Loretta Begg, 301-320-1181.


themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every Wednesday and Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to switch between HTML and plain text versions of themail, use the subscription form at To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Archives of past messages are available at

All postings should also be submitted to, and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of Columbia in one way or another. All postings must be signed in order to be printed, and messages should be reasonably short — one or two brief paragraphs would be ideal — so that as many messages as possible can be put into each mailing.

Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)