What we write to themail is all about how we live in the city. If we
concentrate on the government or large institutions like WMATA and WASA,
as we often do, it’s because they have a direct impact on our daily
lives, and it’s by our comparing notes on what they’re doing to us
and our communities that we can gauge whether they’re working well or
in our interests.
But it’s really all about us, and how we’re faring here. So I
have an open-ended question for you: how are you doing? Let us know,
because, believe me, we’re interested.
That tiny, single-engined Cessna 150 that got about a mile from the
Capitol Building last week, piloted by two novice pilots, was traveling
at about one hundred miles per hour. Just think if that were a small
business aircraft like a Learjet, not much bigger than the 150 but with
a top speed of almost six hundred miles per hour. Just how close do you
think a Learjet could get to any place in the city, especially if more
than one of them came at the same time? Maybe that DC police person
stationed at the Homeland Security Office will not be out to lunch when
the next scare comes. And, just maybe, the telephone line between the DC
Emergency Preparedness Office and Homeland Security will actually be
monitored. This has been quite a learning experience, and shows how
little prepared the District really is to respond to any real emergency.
Impressions of a Returning Daughter of DC
Star Lawrence, email@example.com
I left DC nine years ago for the sands of Arizona to get my daughter
into a different junior high (which didn’t work out too well) and to
take care of my mother (which is a sad task but working out better). I
pined for DC, my babies. Did I make the right choice, do I miss smart
people, whine, whine? Well, I came back last weekend for the first time
in four years and found a certain peace for the first time. My old
building on Connecticut was frozen in amber, same unpainted spackling on
the walls, same linoleum-covered elevator walls, same smells. I realized
I could still be there doing the same things, but now I have two cities!
I have a nice house here, koi pond; I am almost a Druid trying to make
trees stay alive (omigod, people, hug those trees you have everyday!). I
miss my friends, but I don’t miss the disturbed, glowering street
people too much. Some storefronts on Connecticut by the Mayflower were
vacant -- what is that?
Please don’t get defensive and think I am bashing DC. I love DC; I
had a life there, but just know that I am a little relieved that after a
decade I no longer feel like the city is a puzzle with one piece missing
and I need to be slotted back in. Most of my friends don’t live
downtown. If I came back, I probably wouldn’t see them more than I do
And Once Again Our Town Is Dead Last
Phil Shapiro, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dallas Morning News is the latest to launch a citizen
media site and weekly publication, called Neighbors, in which readers
are invited to send in stories, events, and photos. The publication is
launching at first around four communities in the Dallas area, and
planning is under way for the roll out of Neighbors in other
Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir, email@example.com
The Post covered the Congressional Homestead Deduction story
on Friday (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/12/AR2005051201878.html),
a day after I sent my beef to themail [May 15]. The Post actually
reported the city’s side of the story differently from the Kansas
City Star and the Boston Herald. As the local paper, they had
more grit from the responsible agency. According to the Post, the
problem was blamed on computers. That seems convenient. Neither the
individuals in the government nor tax scofflaws can be blamed. It’s
kind of a "shucks we got caught, we promise not to do it
As far as the old Roy Rogers property, it looks like the city is
still trying to catch up on some discrepancy in the land (not the
improvements) assessment rates. The Maryland-based owners of square 1789
(which comprises the block upon which McDonalds and WUSA-TV9 sit) have
not been paying what the city would like them to be paying on the
parking lot behind the McDonalds. The city wants to raise the value of
the land fourfold.
Remarkably, even if the city catches up on this one square, the
suburbanite commercial property owners will be paying less per square
foot of land on the McDonalds parking lot then I am on my semidetached
single family home in Georgetown Reservoir. Even more questionable, with
the 2006 proposed assessments, the land under my house is worth $30 more
per square foot than the land under Channel 9. I guess that’s to make
up for the fact that commercial property is taxed at a higher rate than
residential. One wouldn’t want to put those suburbanites out just for
trying to make a buck on the city. Meanwhile, the citizens in Ward 3 are
busting their proverbial back sides to make up for the lack of resources
in our schools, libraries, and recreation centers.
In my last posting [themail, May 15], I gave a brief sketch of the
hiring problem that Metrobus faces. I want to emphasize here that my
statistics are not official Metro data. They’re based on verbal
statements made to me by a dozen bus drivers. Also, I forgot to mention
that Metro administers a psychological test which eliminates a lot of
applicants. What’s the result of Metrobus losing drivers through
retirement? For the first time in years, a majority of the drivers for
Metro are rookies. As a result of a this influx of untrained drivers,
Metro’s trainers are apparently stretched mighty thin. And they’ve
neglected to train the new drivers adequately.
As a result of this lack of training for how to drive in DC traffic,
Metro busses no longer follow their prescribed schedules. Here’s what
happens frequently. The 90 bus falls behind schedule. The 92 bus gets
ahead of schedule. Both arrive at a bus stop simultaneously, making a
mockery of the schedule affixed to the bus stop. Another thing that
happens a lot is that if the 90 bus is behind schedule, in an attempt to
catch up to the schedule, it drives past passengers, leaving them for
the 92 bus. Unfortunately oftentimes, these passengers need the 90 bus
and they’re left stranded until the next 90 bus arrives.
Also, I’ve seen single busses, mostly on the Friendship Heights
line, drive past waiting crowds of people without even slowing down. I
don’t know if this is because they’re behind schedule or there is a
rookie driver who thinks you don’t have to stop unless people flag you
down like they do a taxi. Second, perhaps as a result of a shortage of
drivers, Metro assigns routes to drivers unfamiliar with these routes. I’ve
heard numerous stories by passengers of bus journeys where they had to
tell the driver where to turn and where to stop. Third, I’ve run
across new drivers who lack the training or skill to deal with abrasive
passengers. They’re positively rude to their passengers, in fact. This
is very bad. Given the violent nature of many bus passengers, Metrobus
is faced with the possibility that an argument could escalate into an
assault on its drivers.
Obstructing the View
Gabe Goldberg, Gabe at gabegold dot com
Ed Barron suggested, regarding carrying bike on buses [themail, May
15], that, “Bike racks should be placed on the rear of the bus, not
the front.” How are bikes secured to the rack now? Maybe they just
hang there, protected by being visible to driver and passengers? How
would they be secured on rear-mounted (invisible to everyone on the bus)
racks to avoid being stolen? Lock and key? Combination lock? Seems that
would slow the bus down more. Or maybe it’s the bikester’s
obligation to secure with his own lock? Even so, theft from the rear
seems much more likely.
Gary Imhoff writes in the May 14 issue of themail that he could not
find panko in any of the chain grocery stores in the District. Well the
last time I checked, Whole Foods was a chain, and I’ve purchased panko
at the P Street store. Dean and Deluca, as far as I know, is also a
chain and they too carry panko.
Of course, Mr. Imhoff’s larger point is correct; that we, as
residents of the District, are underserved by grocery stores, not only
in the number and location of stores, but also in the products the
stores here choose to sell. He’s also spot on about the situation with
the Asian businesses surrounding the MCI Center.
However, the Harris Teeter in Adams Morgan, that Mr. Imhoff laments
could take another year to complete, is not the panacea for all of our
grocery shopping woes (by the way, the Harris Teeter at Pentagon Row
does not carry panko). And, for the record, I am one of the two Adams
Morgan ANC Commissioners who voted against the project (the project was
given conditional approval by the Adams Morgan ANC on a 5-2-1 vote).
I visit the Harris Teeter Supermarket at Pentagon City whenever I
cannot find a food item at the other big three local supermarkets (you
know who they are). But to have to go to Pentagon City to find panko
bread crumbs? Next time check out Whole Foods stores and also YES!
health food Stores. The Washington Post mentioned panko in the
Food section on Wednesday, May 5. But isn’t it sad? All we had to do
at one time was go to Chinatown and find all of the items needed to make
the scallop dish you mentioned. I am often asked by tourists when I am
in that area “Where is Chinatown?” I can only answer, “Check out
the elaborate gate that marks where it Chinatown begins up to 5th Street
— approximately three to five blocks if that many — and that’s
what’s left of Chinatown.” They laugh and keep walking. All the
great restaurants that made up Chinatown are now gone. The few that are
left are struggling! Thanks for the scallop recipe — I intend to try
There will also be another store in DC at 14th Street and
Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, in the JPI condo development. There is no delay
in connection with the building of this store.
Harris Teeter at Boys Town
Paul Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harris Teeter already has one DC site, the former Boys Town Property
at Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues, SE. It’s a mixed-use
Harris Teeter on Capitol Hill
Ken Jarboe, ANC 6B, email@example.com
Actually, the first Harris-Teeter in the city may be on Capitol Hill
at the corner of Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues, SE. In this case, the
political process is working overtime to get them the needed approvals.
The project came out of neighborhood discussions with the developer. The
building was going to be all residential until the community asked the
developer for more retail. The developer listened, worked the problem
— including working with the community — and the rest, we hope, will
soon be history. By the way, it will be right across the street from the
Potomac Ave. Metro — so please come visit.
This is to advise that the May 2005 online edition has been uploaded
and may be accessed at http://www.intowner.com.
Included are the lead stories, community news items and crime reports,
editorials (including prior months’ archived), restaurant reviews
(prior months’ also archived), and the text from the ever-popular
"Scenes from the Past" feature. Also included are all current
classified ads. The complete issue (along with prior issues back to
March 2002) also is available in PDF file format directly from our home
page at no charge simply by clicking the link provided. Here you will be
able to view the entire issue as it appears in print, including all
photos and advertisements. The next issue will publish on June 10 (the
2nd Friday of the month, as always). The complete PDF version will be
posted by the preceding night or early that Friday morning at the
latest, following which the text of the lead stories, community news,
and selected features will be uploaded shortly thereafter.
To read this month’s lead stories, simply click the link (due to a
temporary technical glitch, still reads "April") on the home
page to the following headlines: 1) “New Projects Bridging Gap on 14th
Street — U Street & Columbia Heights Linking Up”; 2) “Harris
Teeter Project Closer to Reality But Subject to ANC-Adopted
Conditions”; 3) “Council Acts to Close Hated ‘95/5’ Loophole —
Protections for Tenants Reestablished.”
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS AND CLASSES
DC’s own Collaboration Jazz Band will perform on Friday, May 20, at
6:00 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake Street, NW. The
performance will benefit the Manhood Training/Rites of Passage Program
at Union Temple Baptist Church. The young men who are Manhood Training
candidates will travel to Africa in July, where they will complete the
crossover from boyhood to manhood in Asankrangwa, Ghana.
Enjoy an evening of jazz and support a positive activity for young
men in the DC area. Tickets are $20. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or Carl Major at 207-5417 for ticket information.
This is the long-awaited return of the famous biennial Biltmore
Street Yard Sale Event. More than sixty-five households are expected to
participate in getting rid of their old, their tired, and their surplus
junk in front of their houses and apartments.
This event takes place on Biltmore and neighboring parts of Mintwood,
Cliffborne, 19th, 20th, Belmont, and Calvert Streets, NW, and at 2707
Adams Mill Road, NW from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.
(Does anyone know of a nonprofit located near Adams Morgan that
accepts donations of clothing, furniture, electronics, knickknacks,
etc., on Saturdays after 3 p.m.? After the big Adams Morgan yard sale
this Saturday, lots of us will have things to donate, but won’t want
to wait until Monday to donate the leftovers. Finding a place that
accepts more than just clothing, and later on Saturday afternoons, is
Guy Mason Recreation Center Summer Class
Registration, May 23
Toni Ritzenberg, email@example.com
Registration for summer classes at the Guy Mason Recreation Center
(3600 Calvert Street, NW) begins on Monday, May 23, with classes
starting the week of June 13. There are art classes in three levels, all
with Studio and Critique. China painting begins June 22, and pottery
runs for eight sessions. If you are interested in taking a future class
in copper enameling, check http://www.guymasonstudioarts.com.
Classes are being offered in Dancersize, Qi Gong and yoga. Intermediate
and Advanced French is being offered this summer, with Spanish resuming
in the fall. Bridge (Duplicate) is offered year-round on Mondays and
Thursdays. Even though Guy Mason is an adult center, children are not
forgotten. Responsible adults can bring tots from birth to four years,
and both can participate in music together.
This is one of the best bargains the city has to offer. Visit the Guy
Mason Center on Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays 9
a.m. through 5 p.m. to register personally. To register online, visit http://www.dpr.gov
and click on Activities Program Registration and follow the
instructions. For further information, contact Robert Haldeman/Caryl
King at 282-2180, and for program updates visit the Center’s web site,
Martha Burk at Woman’s National Democratic
Club, May 24
Tamara O’Neil, firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Burk discusses and signs copies of her new book, Cult of
Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America, on May 24, 11:30
a.m., at The Woman’s National Democratic Club, 1526 New Hampshire
Avenue, NW. Price: $25, including lunch.
Dr. Burk is a political psychologist and women’s equity expert who
currently serves as Chair of the National Council of Women’s
Organizations (NCWO), a network of over two hundred national women’s
groups collectively representing ten million women. She led the NCWO
effort to open Augusta National Golf Club to women and remains at the
forefront of the debate on women’s progress in corporate America. She
has also received the MS Magazine Woman of the Year Award in 2003. Her
new book, Cult of Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America and
What Can Be Done About It, unmasks the situation of discrimination
and will be available for purchase. This event is cosponsored by the
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues and early reservations are
recommended. For more information about this event, please contact
Tamara O’Neil at 232-7363, ext. 3002.
Multilingual Poetry Reading, May 25
James Kennedy, ESL202@hotmail.com
On Wednesday, May 25, at 6 p.m., Translators Without Borders @
Borders, a Metropolitan Washington, DC, interpreters and translators
group, will present its third annual multilingual poetry reading. Come
and enjoy poems presented in a variety of languages and in English
translation. Interpreters and translators from the DC area will share
their own work and the work of others, introducing the audience to new
poets and poetry from around the world. Audience members are also
encouraged to read.
This is a free event at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW. Hosted by the DC Center for the Book at DC
Public Library. All are welcome. Translators Without Borders @ Borders
is a group of translators and interpreters that meet informally once a
month at Borders Books (18th and L Streets, NW).
National Building Museum Events, May 25-26
Brie Hensold, email@example.com
Both events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW,
Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.
Wednesday, May 25, 12:30-1:30 p.m. The building industry continues to
improve its efficiency and capabilities. Jim Petersen, with Pulte Home
Sciences, will discuss Pulte’s current work with large-scale,
factory-built components that can be easily transported and effectively
and efficiently incorporated into the residential home. Free.
Registration not required.
Thursday, May 26, 8:00-9:30 p.m. The landforms designed by landscape
architect Kathryn Gustafson, ASLA, translate concepts that strengthen a
site’s nature, history, culture, and function. Principal of Gustafson
Guthrie Nichol, Seattle and Gustafson Porter, London, she will discuss
her firms’ projects, including the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s
Millennium Park, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial in London, and
the recently commissioned Washington Canal Park in Washington, DC.
Following the lecture, she will sign copies of her books. $12 Museum and
ASLA members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Prepaid registration
Beer Tasting at Woman’s National Democratic
Club, May 26
Jessi Baden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy a variety of locally brewed “craft beers” as Washington
Beer Advocate, Michael Campbell, introduces you to the flavor-filled
world of local brews. Mr. Campbell will discuss a brief history of beer,
its many categories, the importance of appropriate glassware and beer
and food pairings. Includes a tasting of five beers and appetizers
Thursday, May 26, 6:30 p.m., at the Woman’s National Democratic Club,
1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW. Price: members $20, nonmembers $25. A
WNDC Educational Foundation event, checks should be payable to WNDC-EF.
For more information, call 232-7363.
DC Vote Happy Hour, June 1
Shawn Roland, email@example.com
Join us at the DC Vote Happy Hour! DC Vote will host its inaugural
“American Democracy for America’s Capital” Monthly Happy Hour on
Wednesday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Cafe Saint Ex (1847 14th Street, NW)
in Gate 54 (the basement floor). All DC voting rights supporters are
invited and encouraged to come, bring friends, meet the DC Vote staff,
network, and have a good time.
Mark your calendars! DC Vote Happy Hours will take place the first
Wednesday of every month. RSVP today to Zainab Akbar by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — DONATIONS
DSL for Winner of Literacy Essay Contest
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
I’ve been asked to give computer help to the winner of the annual
DC LEARNs literacy writing competition, who received a computer as a
prize for his winning essay. The computer is now running very nicely,
but this fellow could sure use a DSL Internet connection to further his
educational goals. See http://shorterlink.com/?OGJ0LD
for further information. Kindly click on the small text “fundable
profile” on the left side of this web page for some important details
about this. It’s useful to note that the Fundable.org web just
recently launched very quietly at the end of April 2005. Let’s show
the country how the DC community is able to rally together. I’m asking
for sixty people to contribute $8 each to cover this year of DSL
Internet service. Any surplus funds will go to the grand prize winner of
last year’s essay competition, Linda Lyles, who knows exactly how she’d
like to put the money to use for her own educational advancement. Thanks
for passing along word about this.
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