Spring Day Wasted
Finally, we had a real spring day in Washington — warm temperature,
a nice breeze, bright sun, and the cherry blossoms blooming. Life is
good. Unless, of course, you spent the day indoors, reading proposed
legislation before the city council.
Two bills, so new that they don’t have council numbers yet, have
been badly misnamed. The mayor has submitted an “Omnibus Public Safety
Act of 2005” (http://www.dcwatch.com/council16/16-b.htm).
The mayor’s office is promoting it as a “comprehensive anti-crime
bill,” but it is really a grab-bag of minor initiatives — good, bad,
very bad, and indifferent — that have little to do with public safety
but have been on the Metropolitan Police Department’s and Attorney
General’s wish lists. It increases penalties for a number of crimes,
but its only crime prevention strategy is the controversial proposal to
create Prostitution-Free Zones in which constitutional rights are
basically suspended and the police can run everyone off of the streets.
Most of its proposals are on the level of fighting domestic violence by
making it a crime to disable a telephone that could be used to report
domestic violence, or of discouraging car theft by juveniles by taking
away their drivers’ licenses and by making it a crime to change VIN
numbers. The bill was drafted by a small group including the mayor, MPD
Chief Ramsey, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Ed Reiskin, Attorney
General Robert Spagnoletti, and the US Attorney’s office — and
community and council input and comment was neither sought nor wanted.
The council will hold a hearing on the bill on May 31.
Vincent Orange displayed his sense of humor by ironically calling his
bill the “Election Reform Amendment Act of 2005” (http://www.dcwatch.com/council16/16-c.htm).
The bill basically legalizes everything corrupt that the slots
proponents did in their petition drive last year, smoothing the way for
them to use the same tactics in their next drive. Orange, whose
four-year council term coincides with the election schedule for the
mayor and council chairman, also revealed his envy of the half of
councilmembers who are elected in the off years by including a provision
that would require officeholders who run for another office to resign
their current offices if they lose the election.
One more thing worth reading, and wasting your beautiful spring day
on, is the “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program:
First Year Report on Participation,” conducted by the US Department of
Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, released yesterday (http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/choice/dcchoice-yearone/choice.pdf).
Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill
It will probably surprise readers of themail that attendees of the
baseball games at RFK Stadium are parking in an area where there’s a
gang war raging. I am talking about the area northeast of the Safeway
located at 15th and D Streets, SE. Since November of last 7 or 8 people
have been shot. The most recent victim was killed last week.
I said it will probably surprise you because the Washington Post
certainly hasn’t covered the gang war. As a stakeholder in creating
the image of a safe new Washington, it isn’t in the Post’s
interest to do so. I wonder if the Post would cover a shooting
during a game. I guess I’ll wait and see.
DC World War Memorial Progress
Mark David Richards, Dupont East, mark at mark david
richards dot com
I visited the DC World War Memorial, http://www.dcwatch.com/richards/020526.htm,
and was really happy to see the National Park Service added signs
telling some of the story of this District civic landmark and its
contribution to fighting for the US democracy!
A “cherry picker” sits next to the Memorial, ready to pull out
the little trees that will start to take root in the dome. Stop by for a
visit on your visit to see the beautiful cherry blossoms. Happy spring!
Taking advantage of the quiet of DC Public Schools spring break last
week, Debby Hanrahan and I repainted the front entrance of Ross
Elementary School. While painting, I used the boys room and discovered
that there are five new urinals. I barely was tall enough for the
urinal. I am supposed to be the height of an average American man,
although my legs are short. Of the five new urinals, three are adult
height and only two are child height — in an elementary school.
If DCPS does not comprehend the height of children and cannot use
simple common sense, can DCPS ever possibly cope successfully with
serious and complex problems? Elementary school boys are not adults and
need plumbing facilities appropriate to their height. Doh.
In regards to Ms. McKernan’s question [themail, April 3] about the
"grace period" for violations issued via newly installed photo
radar, I too have the same problem. I was issued a citation dated
February 16 from the camera located in the 100 block of Michigan Avenue,
NE. Upon learning through widespread media reports that the effective
date of actual fines wasn’t until March 21, I requested mail
adjudication. With my request, I included documentation that included
the report posted on WJLA/ABC-7’s web site, and the same information
posted on MPD’s web site. Subsequently, I received notice — in an
envelope with MPD’s logo and return address —- that the initial $50
fine has doubled! I won’t even bother calling 727-1000, as it became
clear long ago that it serves as a repository for serializing requests
that are frequently ignored (i.e., residential parking).
Thanks to Lucinda Babers at the DMV, who responded to my query in
themail [April 3] about the grace period for the photo-tickets. She
confirmed that real tickets were not supposed to have been issued until
March 21, only warnings. However, once a ticket is written you are
basically stuck with having to adjudicate it. So I’ve sent it in for
mail adjudication along with her E-mail response, and we’ll see what
happens. Anyone else who might need to do this can contact me and I’ll
forward her E-mail.
Guitar Club Forming
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
I’ve been playing guitar for the past twenty-five years and love
showing others how to play. The thought occurred to me that there would
be a benefit to the community to have a no-dues “guitar club” where
people meet once or twice a month to teach each other guitar in a small
group setting. If you know anyone wanting to learn guitar here in the DC
area, thanks for passing along my name and E-mail address. If I can find
four or five people interested in this, we might get something rolling.
I’d also like to hear from other skilled guitar players who would be
interested in participating in such a club. You don’t have to be very
good. Just good enough to show others how to play.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, you can watch me
teaching guitar at http://www.writersforliteracy.org/teachingguitar.mov
and at http://homepage.mac.com/pshapiro101/iMovieTheater16.html.
This latter learning activity was spontaneous — unplanned. One of the
youth was holding the video camera, hence the video is a bit shaky.
Malcolm L Wiseman, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org
[Re: posting in themail, April 3] Rev. Mr. Floyd Agostinelli was a
staunch supporter of full democracy for DC and did not ever make any
efforts to secure “voting rights” for its residents. He was a member
of Stand Up for Democracy in DC Coalition and fought for DC statehood.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Can I Get a Ride to the Gallery Opening, April
Afrika Midnight Asha Abney, email@example.com
Celebrating the Arts, at the Montessori Foundation, 901 North Pitt
Street, Alexandria, April 9, 4-7 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Afrika Midnight Asha Abney’s exhibiting two afrocentric mask pieces.
For more information contact Kim Randle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have to arrive by 1:00 p.m., and Metro does not go to where the
event is held. Can someone provide transportation for me and stay until
the event ends?
National Crime Victims Week Opening Event,
Stephanie Handel, email@example.com
National Crime Victim’s Week begins Sunday April 10. The Wendt
Center for Loss and Healing is cosponsoring with ROOT, Inc., and The
Ozziddi Project an evening that remembers, honors, and brings light to
crime victims and their families. Sunday, April 10, from 6-9 p.m., at
Lincoln Theater. Community Resource Exhibit begins at 5 p.m.. The
evening will be filled with song, dance, and spoken word and theatrical
performances to promote victims rights and services in our society. This
event is free and family friendly.
Tickets available through firstname.lastname@example.org
or at the Lincoln theater box office.
DC Vote Member Raffle for Opening Day
Nationals Tickets, April 14
Shawn Rolland, email@example.com
With only eight days left until the historic, inaugural opening day
of the Washington Nationals, good, available tickets are as scarce as
congressional voting rights for DC residents. On next Tuesday, April 13,
DC Vote will randomly select one current or new DC Vote member to
receive two great seats to the National’s opening day game. The
inaugural opening day game will take place on Thursday, April 14 at 7:05
p.m. at RFK Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
To renew your membership or to become a new DC Vote member, visit http://www.dcvote.org
or come by the DC Vote office at 1500 U Street, NW. Current DC Vote
members are those who have donated $20 or more to DC Vote between
January 1, 2005, and April 12, 2005. New members have until 11:59 p.m.
on April 12 to make a donation to be eligible for the tickets. The
winner is responsible for picking up the tickets from DC Vote.
DPW E-Cycling Events, April 23, May 14
Mary Myers, firstname.lastname@example.org
This spring, DC Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ focus on the environment
highlights the important issue of recycling obsolete electronics. As
part of the District’s celebration of Earth Day, the DC Department of
Public Works and the Clean City Office are partnering with federal
agencies, George Washington University and the Dell Corporation to
sponsor a special electronics-recycling event on Saturday, April 23 from
9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Carter Barron Amphitheater on 16th and Kennedy Streets,
NW. A second e-cycling event will be held in conjunction with DPW’s
regular Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off on Saturday, May 14, from 9
a.m.-3 p.m., also at Carter Barron.
Old computers and accessories, office equipment, TVs and other
electronics comprise a rapidly growing segment of America’s waste
stream. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, more than
3.2 million tons of electronic waste is laid to rest in landfills each
year. Many types of electronics contain significant amounts of
potentially hazardous materials such as arsenic, lead and mercury. In
the US it is estimated that approximately 70 percent of the toxic metals
in landfills comes from discarded electronics. Pollution and the
potential for adverse health affects from improper disposal of
electronics are becoming serious concerns. Additionally, almost all of
the materials in electronics -- from plastics and glass to precious
metals can be extracted and reused. E-cycling your end-of-life
electronics keeps their harmful components out of landfills and supports
the recovery and reuse of valuable materials. Residents may bring
televisions and audio-video equipment, cell phones, home office
equipment, computers, computer parts and computer components for
end-of-life disposal or recycling. All computer monitors and TV screens
must be intact — not cracked, punctured or shattered.
The Status of Land-Grant Universities in the
New Millennium, April 15
Stephanie Brown, email@example.com
The Honorable William C. Pryor Chapter of the Black Law Student’s
Association of the David A. Clarke School of Law cordially invites the
Washington, DC, Metropolitan Community to an all day symposium.
Discussion will be centered around “The Status of Land-Grant
Universities in Urban Areas: Access, Accountability, and Activism.”
Friday, April 15. Registration is from 8:15 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Program
starts at 9:00 a.m. First panel discussion begins at 10:00 a.m. Campus
of UDC, Building 38, Second Floor, Window Lounge. Metro Bus L2, Metro
Rail/Red Line, Van Ness Metro Station. Street metered parking available;
UDC garage parking $8.00/day.
There will be four panels: 1) What is an Urban Land Grant
Institution? 2) How does UDC School of Law meet its mission and satisfy
its role as an Urban Land Grant institution? 3) What is required from an
institutional perspective to actualize the vision in light of the Urban
Land Grant and HBCU status? 4) Specific examples of what we are
currently doing and how those activities meet the expectation or how
they must be aligned to fulfill the unique mission and purpose of UDC.
Luncheon keynote speaker: Vernellia Randall, Professor of Law,
University of Dayton School of Law.
UDC Foundation Gala, April 27
Michael Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of the District of Columbia Foundation has announced
that top jazz performer David “Fathead” Newman will headline the
entertainment for the Foundation’s Fourth Annual Gala, scheduled for
Wednesday, April 27, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
The gala is the Foundation’s primary fundraising event, with proceeds
going to support the University of the District of Columbia. Newman, a
tenor saxophonist, was a twelve-year member of the late Ray Charles’
Band. His most recent release, “I Remember Brother Ray,” pays
tribute to this relationship. It was during his time in the Ray Charles
Band that Newman came to know a local jazz icon, the late Calvin Jones,
who, in addition to being an accomplished musician, also headed the
University’s Jazz Studies programs until his death last fall. To honor
this professional relationship, Newman will pay tribute to the late
trombonist during his performance.
This is the fourth year that the University of the District of
Columbia Foundation has hosted its fundraising gala, which is not only
as a celebration of the University, but as a way for the corporate and
other private citizens of the District to show their support for the
good work being done at the only public university in the nation’s
capital. The purpose of the Foundation is to solicit funds for student
scholarships, and to advance and benefit the programs and mission of the
University of the District of Columbia. William J. Sim, the President of
PEPCO, is serving as the Foundation’s Gala Chairman this year. Tickets
are available for this evening that combines outstanding entertainment
and food with a program that supports the citizens of the District of
Columbia in a unique manner. Tickets are $250 and may be purchased by
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Jesse Baltimore House
Mary Rowse, email@example.com
The posting about the Jesse Baltimore house in the last issue of
contained an incorrect web site address for more information about the
house. The correct link is http://www.lostlandmarks.org/jessebaltimore.html.
CLASSIFIEDS — FREE
NordicTrack Achiever Exercise Equipment
Ann Carper, rochester54 at verizon.net
Whether, as NordicTrack’s web site envisions, you’re getting
ready to rock climb in Yosemite, river raft on the Colorado, or simply
get ready to fit into that new swimsuit, this approximately ten-year-old
ski machine might be the ticket. Works fine, folds up nicely, and comes
with an instructional video.
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