Sandy Fernandez has an article in today’s Outlook section (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/20/AR2005082000107_2.html)
about cell phone and Blackberry abuse, including stories about the
hairdresser who continues talking on a cell phone while braiding
cornrows, the husband who types Blackberry messages to fellow workers
while discussing their baby with his eight-months-pregnant wife in their
obstetrician’s office, and the man who types Blackberry messages while
at the urinal in a public restroom. Fernandez’s stories beg for
one-upmanship, for coming up with an better story.
As you know, I wouldn’t bring up the subject if I didn’t think I
could top them with an even more disgusting one. Mine also takes place
in a public restroom and, believe it or not, I can tell it without using
any words that will alarm your company’s E-mail filters. It was in the
men’s restroom in Macy’s at Pentagon Fashion Mall. From one of the
stalls came the unmistakable sound of violent projectile vomiting. A few
seconds later, a cell phone started ringing in the stall — and the man
inside answered it. “Yeah, hi,” he said. “No, I’m just
upchucking. Hold on.” He vomited some more, then continued his
conversation. “Something I ate last night; I think it was the fish,”
he told his caller, and then talked a few seconds until he had to
regurgitate more. I left before he finished either activity. Okay, that’s
my story. Can you top that?
Correction: in the August 17 issue of themail, the message “DC
Rewriting Ballpark Financing, Carving up Land for Developers” was
incorrectly credited. It was by Ed Delaney, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fenty’s Red Brigade
Zoe Yerkes, zsyerkes-at-gmail-dott-com
Why is it that the “populist candidate,” Adrian Fenty, in a city
that is nearly 90 percent Democratic, finds it necessary to dig for gold
in Republican mines? And, if he’s elected, what does it say about how
he’ll govern and the special interests he’ll entertain?
On August 11 the Washington Post reported that Fenty paid
$7750 to Clinton LeSueur, a Mississippi Republican, to make “calls
about fundraisers” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/10/AR2005081000733_pf.html).
On August 18, the City Paper detailed Fenty’s relationship to
Judith Terra, a longtime Republican with connections to some of the
biggest names in political fund raising (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/2005/lips0819.html).
Fenty has also taken a $1000 donation from a finance official employed
by the shady, multinational, Carlyle Group. George H.W. Bush and James
Baker serve on its Board, and until October 2001 the Bin Laden Family
was a Carlyle investor (http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,583869,00.html).
Remember the stir when Mayor Williams attended a fundraiser for the
Maryland Republican, Connie Morella? Fenty is no different, if not
worse; rubbing elbows with the Big Red Machine and cashing their checks
in the process. When it comes to finances (follow the money) the Fenty
campaign leaves much to be desired.
[This is the fourth anti-Fenty message that Zoe Yerkes has sent to
themail; there has been one a month since May. Zoe, I’m curious; do
you support another mayoral candidate, announced or unannounced, or do
you just oppose Adrian Fenty? Please reveal whether you have an interest
in the race. — Gary Imhoff]
Redskins Pat Downs
Clyde Howard, email@example.com
Now the Redskins have entered into the security arena of the
Transportation Security Agency by patting game attendees down prior to
entering the stadium. What gives them the right to pat down the body of
a guest attending the game? Do they have the experience to pat a person
down or do they have the right under the law to pat a person down? An
employee of the stadium that is not trained and has no knowledge of how
to pat a person down, in my view, is violating my personal right not to
have a stranger place his hands on my person. Where does Snyder get the
nerve to think that someone will do harm when his team is barely holding
their own? How will the ACLU deal with Snyder’s unwarranted invasion
upon people who are just going to see a game of losers and who are then
insulted by such an indignity?
One Thing You Can Be Sure Of
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom
Mayor Williams wants the new Nationals’ baseball stadium to be
unique. He wants this new ball park to be one-of-a-kind compared to the
many new stadiums that have been built in the last decade. He will get
his wishes. The new stadium will be the most expensive baseball park in
the world’s history to date. You can count on that bit of uniqueness.
And, the fall guys for this folly will be the taxpayers of DC who will
wind up paying for something the baseball owners have traditionally paid
for in other major cities (just look at the new ball parks in San
Francisco and the one a building in Saint Louis). Great taxpayer support
in those two cities comes from attendance, not taxes.
Land Grabs and Boondoggles
Harold Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org
Land grabs? So what about the Metro land grab? So why is this
supposed stadium land grab different from the Metro land grab? One can
argue that the Metro system construction was the biggest real estate
boondoggle in the history of this region. Many people got very rich
because of it. And because of the results of this real estate
boondoggle, the Metro system left us with more vehicles on the road than
were there before.
Where were all you righteously upset folks then? Oh, I forgot, that
was for the public good. Well, I guess there is the
Newspapers in a Fix to Change
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
This past week Hollywood notified major newspapers that they are
withdrawing many of the large movie ads that newspapers have depended on
for revenue. (See http://shorterlink.com/?VAG3GD).
Why is that significant for us? Because this is another way newspapers
will be forced to change the way they’ve been doing business. Change
is good. Change is needed.
Here is something you can do to hasten change: Cancel your newspaper
subscription and read the newspaper on the web. This will provoke a
discussion at newspapers about how to regain lost subscribers. That
would be a productive discussion. Newspapers might even invite community
members to participate in that discussion. Imagine that. consulting your
customers to find out more about their wants and needs.
Newspapers, being “all knowing,” have always known “what’s
best for us.” Patronizing attitudes don’t cut it any more. The road
to renewed profitability is humility and deeper listening. Our community
is ready for this. Are newspaper ready, or would they prefer even
greater losses before making changes?
I have no hope that the National Capital Medical Center (NCMC) is a
bad idea which will go nowhere. Unfortunately, given our political
leadership, the only ideas that go anywhere are bad ideas. At the August
16 meeting in the Wilson Building attended by eight Ward 6 residents,
the representative from the Office of the City Administrator was very
clear that the Mayor wants this new 250 bed hospital and Medical Center,
and therefore, the proposal will go full speed ahead. At this meeting,
the city purposely wanted to pack the meeting with Agencies that have
nothing to do with the current proposal in order to sidetrack the real
issues. The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation representative and the
representative from the Office of Planning were there to talk about the
architecture, building design and zoning. The Department of
Transportation representative was there to discuss the impact of the
NCMC on traffic patterns in the surrounding neighborhoods. Prior to the
meeting I specifically asked that those agencies not be in attendance
because their issues weren’t currently on the table.
I specifically asked that the DC Department of Health (DOH) be
present to address health related issues concerning the NCMC, such as
how will NCMC affect the abysmal health outcomes our neighbors are
currently experiencing. While I may have missed it, I cannot find that
the DOH has uttered a single word on the hospital — not at any of the
hearings, not at any of the meetings, not during press conferences
concerning the NCMC. The DOH is not even mentioned in the proposal. Does
this mean that the NCMC has nothing to do with health care in the
District of Columbia? In response to my questions concerning the absence
of the DOH, the city’s representative on August 16th kept saying that
the NCMC will not cure all DC health issues.
In my mind, the primary question before the city is: given the
abysmal health outcomes in the District among our residents, will the
NCMC make our neighbors healthy, and consequently extend their lives.
Time and time again the city representative kept saying the word
"trauma" -- we need the hospital because of all the trauma
cases being experienced in Wards 7 and 8. At no time was it said that we
need a hospital because, per the city’s own NCMC Report dated July 12,
that 50 percent of the residents east of the river have asthma and/or
diabetes. Asthma and diabetes are not trauma related. And frankly, at no
time since the NCMC proposal was announced to the public, has the city
provided any data on trauma
Many of our neighbors want the hospital because they believe the city’s
mantra on trauma. I urge all of you to check the DOH web site. Our
neighbors are not dying from trauma. They are dying, at alarming rates,
from asthma, diabetes and hypertension. None of these illnesses can be
prevented or, more importantly, managed by a hospital, no matter what
kind of hospital you construct. After all, when you look at the city
provided map of sick people in DC, the sickest people in DC live around
hospitals. No, that doesn’t mean that maybe we should just get rid of
all hospitals. But that does mean that maybe the city should 1) read its
own data; and 2) adjust the proposal accordingly. There are, however,
two aspects of the July 12 report on the NCMC [http://www.dcwatch.com/issues/health050712.htm]
that appear to have considerable merit and should be explored further
and hopefully enhanced. The Medical Office Building and the Medical
Homes Initiatives are concepts that, if implemented, are desperately
needed not only in Wards 7 and 8, but also in Ward 6.
A New Hospital? or Staying Out of the
Pat Taylor, Ptaylor.firstname.lastname@example.org
It is no wonder that many residents of Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 are
hoping for a new hospital to be built on the site of DC General
Hospital. They or family members or good friends have had to be
hospitalized this year or last year or the year before. So they know
many people who have recently needed hospital care. A new hospital on
the east side seems needed. But wait. How many of these folks were
hospitalized because they did not get the outpatient care they needed
for the management of their chronic disease (asthma, diabetes,
hypertension, angina, congestive heart failure, extreme shortness of
breath from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, perforated appendix,
urinary tract infection, dehydration)? How many of them would not have
been hospitalized if they had gotten the outpatient care they should
The answer is many. Here’s the statistic for just one age group.
The avoidable hospitalization rate for people age 65 to 99 living in
Wards 5, 7 and 8 was 117-232 persons per 1,000 population, in 2000-2003.
This is a huge rate! It is three times the avoidable hospitalization
rate for seniors who live in Georgetown and Northwest DC! To see the
statistics for more age groups, look at this PowerPoint presentation
which has lots of maps, including the chronic disease and avoidable
hospitalization information. The analysis was conducted as part of the
Medical Homes DC project of the DC Primary Care Association (http://www.brookings.edu/metro/gwrp/20050128_healthcare.htm).
The Ward 5, 7, and 8 avoidable hospitalization rates for younger
adult age groups are even worse. They are three, four, five times as
high as those rates in Georgetown and Northwest DC. Now ask yourself --
for DC’s east side residents, what is DC’s health policy priority?
Is it keeping people out of the hospital by having more primary care
physicians, urgent care, ready access to continuous and coordinated care
for chronic diseases, and easy access to outpatient specialty care and
diagnostic services (lab work, X-ray, CAT scans, and so on.) located
right in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8? Or is it an east side hospital?
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
March on Washington Remembered, August 30
Debra Truhart, email@example.com
Tuesday, August 30, 12:00 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room 307. A special presentation of March
on Washington Remembered, a documentary, which tells the story of
the August 1963 March on Washington through film, photographs and the
words of those who participated, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, Peter Yarrow, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and
others. Public contact: 727-1213.
CLASSIFIEDS — HELP WANTED
I’m looking for a student — college or mature high schooler —
to pick up my two children from elementary school at 3 p.m. on Wednesday
and Thursday afternoons, walk them home, and supervise until a parent
arrives home between 6 and 7 p.m. Please E-mail me if interested.
Classroom aide needed to work in fourth grade classroom of upper NW
DC public elementary school. Experience working with children a plus.
Duties include assisting teachers with grading and paperwork, working
with students, and providing general support to three fourth grade
teachers. Hours Monday-Friday, 8:30-3:30, beginning immediately. This
position is ideal for someone who has recently retired or someone just
starting out in their career. Must love working directly with children.
If interested, please respond by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm.
To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to email@example.com
with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Archives of past messages
are available at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail.
All postings should also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org,
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.