I’m coming down with a cold and going to bed early. I’ll rant
again another day.
Keeping the Public in Public Schools
Richard Layman, email@example.com
I am now officially troubled by the charter school movement. At
Adams-Morgan Day, I listened to the concerns of a District couple,
commenting about how their street now is full of young children
including their baby of maybe 12 months (I didn’t take photos), and
how they and their neighbors are likely to leave once their children
become of school-age because of the quality of the public schools. The
councilmember suggested the charter school option. What about improving
the quality of the local public, truly neighborhood-based schools?
The Capitol Hill Cluster Schools — Peabody, Watkins, and
Stuart-Hobson Middle School — are an example of a school improvement
initiative that needs to be migrated to other areas of the city. Other
such clusters ought to be encouraged and developed throughout the city,
to begin the process of school and neighborhood stabilization and
improvement. I keep proposing the idea of an arts-based cluster of
schools in my neighborhood, north of the Cluster Schools, to include
Wilson, Ludlow-Taylor, Miner, Gibbs, Wheatley, Web, and Maury, as well
as junior and senior high schools. Said arts cluster could address
performance, visual, English language and writing, foreign language and
culture, and media arts. Different schools could specialize in different
languages, and there could be artists-in-residence on the various
campuses. Other buildings in the broader area could be incorporated into
the project. But there hasn’t been much traction on this idea.
Anyway, my reservation about charter schools is that they divert
innovation resources and community support, and other resources away
from neighborhood-based schools. Since schools are often the heart of
successful neighborhoods, converting neighborhood schools into citywide
enrollment schools disconnects the school from the surrounding
community. And note that houses in areas of high-quality schools cost
more, because a quality school is a community "amenity" in
high demand. Plus, if charter schools are public schools, then the
buildings they acquire, in large part using public funds, ought to be
owned by the citizens of the District of Columbia.
Living in the Land of Lessons Learned
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
The finger pointing and recriminations are just beginning with regard
to the failure of all so-called responsible parties that led to an
enormous tragedy of hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. Congress, one
of the more culpable critters in this event, will cry loudly for more
accountability and more oversight (where was the Congressional oversight
when the budget for improving the levees was cut?).
But closer to home, how well prepared do you think DC is for some
form of major event? I’m pretty certain that the mice and men who put
together the plans for DC are woefully inept and that we, as a city, are
as unprepared as babes in the woods. Lift the cover off the plans Mr.
Mayor so that we can see just how prepared we really are. I’m
convinced that, if a major event does take place here, that we will be
relegated to living in the land of lessons learned.
[The House of Representatives’ Committee on Government Reform is
holding a hearing on “Back to the Drawing Board: A First Look at
Lessons Learned from Katrina,” on Thursday, September 15, at 10:00
a.m., in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2154. Invited testimony
will be given on New Orleans, Los Angeles, Broward and Dade Counties in
Florida, and the District of Columbia. Both DC City Administrator Robert
Bobb and David Robertson, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan
Washington Council of Governments, will be testifying about this
metropolitan region’s readiness. — Gary Imhoff]
Access to Our Laws and Regulations
Larry Seftor, larry underscore seftor .the757 at zoemail.net
In a recent issue of themail, Mark Eckenwiler provided a web link
that presumably pointed to a copy of DC code. I couldn’t tell because
the link didn’t work for me. The link did appear to point to a private
publishing company. This started me thinking (again) about public
access, that is our access, to our information. My employer, a large
company, probably would not often be viewed as an example for democratic
institutions, but it does do something very admirable: it makes
everything available online, to all employees. This means that policies,
procedures, forms, databases, etc. are all immediately available and
always up-to-date. (No change pages are ever needed.) I can find
documents that tell me how to do my job and documents that tell me how
everyone else (lawyers, HR staff, facilities, etc.) are to do their job.
I know what is expected of me and what to expect of everyone else. If my
company ran the DC government there would be no questions about what
Linda Cropp’s supporters could do with their posters. We’d all just
look it up. My question for today is: what is available online? Can I
look up DC laws and regulations online at a dc.gov site? Or is our
information held hostage by lawyers and the legal publishers?
[The link for the DC Code online is http://dccode.westgroup.com/home/dccodes/default.wl.
This site is maintained, at no charge to the DC government or to users,
by the West Group, which also publishes the print version of the DC
Code. The free online version does not include the West Group’s
copyrighted annotations and case law citations. The DC government
self-publishes the DC Municipal Regulations both in hard copy and
(partially) online. — Gary Imhoff]
Libraries are Changing
Phil Shapiro, email@example.com
Remember the days when public libraries were places that stored media
rather than created it? I received E-mail list week from a librarian
colleague, Jean Polly, who will be soon starting a podcast for teens at
her public library in central New York State. She tells me that if
podcasts are the way of reaching teens, then podcasts will be used to
connect teens to their local public library. Jean Polly is fairly good
at seeing where things are headed. Back in 1992 she coined the phrase
“surfing the web.” If you ask her about that today, she’ll
humbly reply that anyone else would have invented that same phrase.
If the DC Public Libraries were to experiment with podcasting, they
would likely need community volunteers to help them make that happen.
What would happen if community members connected to each via the
storytelling process in this way? Are there stories we ought to be
sharing with each other? Is there a role for the print and broadcast
media to be involved with any of this? What do we learn from stories?
DC Vote Launches Students for DC Vote Initiative
Kevin Kiger, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday, September 14, DC Vote announced the launch of Students
for DC Vote, a network of student leaders on college campuses across the
nation taking the fight for DC voting rights to their peers. There are
currently campus coordinators from eighteen different colleges and
universities working on new projects each month to teach students that
DC residents are denied a vote in Congress and to advocate for change.
The leadership of Students for DC Vote plans to engage more campus
leaders as their program grows. The initiative by DC Vote, a nonprofit
educational and advocacy organization, is part of a national effort to
educate Americans about DC’s denial of congressional voting
Last week I sent some E-mail to the Red Cross National Capital
Chapter about bringing over some donated guitars to the DC Armory. I
haven’t heard back from them yet. That’s okay. Patience is a virtue.
I’ll follow up with some more E-mails and phone calls in a day or two.
It’s interesting to note that there are no staff members of the Red
Cross National Capital Chapter as subscribers here in email@example.com.
If there were, I would have expected to have heard from them in response
to messages I’ve sent to themail.
I don’t blame Red Cross staff members for not being present here in
themail. They might not know this civic discussion E-mail list exists.
Have any of the local media made any effort to help publicize the
existence of this civic forum? If anyone thinks we have an information
infrastructure in this city, they’re sorely mistaken. We have a couple
of corporations in town whose goals are to maximize profit, not
community well being. We have a couple of civic E-mail lists where a
handful of people exchange ideas and information with each other. If
this city were to have an information infrastructure, what would it look
like? If firstname.lastname@example.org were ever to grow to more than one half of
one percent of DC residents, how and why would that happen? Who would be
the persons to step up to the plate to make that happen?
In the September 11 themail, Mark Eckenwiler says that, “Under
the Construction Codes Supplement (12 DCMR 3107.7.8), ‘No . . . sign .
. . of any sort shall be . . . placed . . . in or upon any street,
avenue, alley, highway, footway, sidewalk, parking or other public space
in the District of Columbia, unless specifically approved by the code
official . . . in accordance with provisions of this Section.’”
I think he’s looking in the wrong place. 12A DCMR § 3107, by its
own terms, “govern[s] the erection, hanging, placing, painting,
display, and maintenance of outdoor display signs and other forms of
exterior advertising.” In other words, it deals with commercial
signs. The regulations that deal with noncommercial signs are the DC
Police Regulations, 24 DCMR § 108, which allow any person — not just
candidates or PACs — to post signs. The right to post political signs
could not constitutionally be limited to candidates.
Subsection 108.5(a) does exempt candidates’ signs from the
sixty-day duration limit that applies to other signs. I agree with Gary
that giving candidates special privileges probably violates the free
speech rights of everyone else. “Think Not Cropp” has the same
legal rights as “Think Cropp.” (This example is not intended
to express, and should not be understood to express, any views about
Linda Cropp. It’s just a timely example.)
Parking Tickets Are a Tax Surcharge
P.J. Walters, email@example.com
As long as I’ve lived in DC I’ve had parking tickets charged to
my cars that have nothing to do with the vehicle or the license tags.
These show up with every registration renewal — you can’t get the
registration until you pay the tickets. Since dealing with anyone at DMV
is like entering an Andy Warhol vision of hell, I pay them. It’s a tax
surcharge, really. The problem is so pervasive, it must be intentional.
But it seems well below the radar of any councilperson.
Anne Witt, Department of Motor Vehicles, firstname.lastname@example.org
I of course want to reply to the concerns expressed about inaccurate
tickets which are personally affronting and horribly inconvenient to all
concerned. I’m sure you’re aware that the Department of Motor
Vehicle never issues a ticket. All of them are originally written by one
of 28 enforcement agencies in the city. However, unlike any other state’s
DMV, our agency does the administrative processing, payment accounting
and adjudication functions for what will probably exceed 2.5 million
tickets this year — to DC residents as well as nonresidents. The sheer
volume dictates I spend a large part of each day addressing issues such
as have been raised here (and in fact, I always try to when I read them
in themail — but directly with the writer — not in the public forum.)
There are many reasons tickets appear bad — and sometimes ugly
reasons, such as the recent scandal of a ticket writer who was dismissed
and being prosecuted for flagrantly writing bogus tickets. However,
those incidents of truly “phony” tickets are rare. More common
are pure errors. Ticket writers sometimes don’t fill in the codes
correctly. Data entry personnel may transpose numbers. Expired tags are
often not relinquished, and therefore still carry the last owner of
record in the database. Formerly outdated systems couldn’t link stolen
tag/vehicle reports to DMV data. Sometimes even the camera may capture a
tag number, but not be able to see the state designation which
duplicates another jurisdiction. As we discover these reasons, we seek
to amend our practices and systems to correct and prevent them. We try
not to make it difficult to contest. In fact nearly 65 percent of
persons who do contest, accomplish this by mail, and we’re hoping to
expand that ability to the Internet.
I (maybe more than most!) wish all tickets were perfect, and
apologize for the inconvenience caused when they’re not. And I
especially encourage anyone who feels they receive an improper ticket or
notice of ticket to follow the instructions on it -- to ensure they
preserve their appeal rights. (That’s why we doubled the time for
tickets in the recent past in case our facility problems at K Street
were an impediment.) Just paying such a ticket that you believe is wrong
is not just, and also means we aren’t made aware of the problem and
can’t address it, increasing the likelihood the issue can recur.
Although I have been involved in attacking and resolving quite a
number of illegal and improper practices associated with this business,
I have yet to encounter an improper ticket that was the result of a DMV
employee trying to "scam" for money. Not only do our employees
not issue tickets, the money doesn’t go to DMV’s budget, and unless
you appear in person to pay, the money doesn’t even come into to DMV
at all. Mail payments are processed via a lockbox bank vendor under
contract to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Treasury
Office, and credit card payments are similarly handled through third
party processing systems. While we regret we are still running without
the assistance of our call center, the hearing and payment functions are
performing quite well via mail and at 301 C Street, NW, location where
they have been relocated. Please take advantage of them and advise us
when you feel they are not working effectively.
Just How Bad Is DC Area Traffic Going to Get?
Len Sullivan, email@example.com
NARPAC continues to worry about the impending traffic gridlock
throughout the DC area and finds no correlation between the “real
world” needs and the several DC plans to gussy up various Avenues,
"deconstruct" one or more freeways, and add local boutique “people-movers.” Our attempt to probe the depths of the
gigantic, opaque regional travel forecasting model used by the
Transportation Planning Board of the Council of Governments has done
nothing to allay our fears that the problem is being underestimated. As
nearly as we can tell, there is no attempt to normalize the input data
provided by each jurisdiction (including DC). There is inadequate
treatment of the impact of truck traffic, urban parking shortages, and
downtown metro choke points. The model has no capability to run
evacuation simulations, quickie “what-if” variations (for
reality checks), or the impacts of single route element changes. It also
appears to automatically reallocate jobs among the projected residents
of the various jurisdictions to minimize traffic jams. Despite these
limitations, the model still forecasts “severe stop-and-go
congestion throughout the region,” even though the COG’s
Constrained Long-range Transportation Plan seems to gloss over the plan’s
inadequacies. For those who think analytical forecasts should be
challenged, rather than accepted as gospel, take a look at http://REXLRPLA.HTM#cogtpbmod.
In a somewhat related area, NARPAC could not avoid pondering the
unfolding tragedy in New Orleans, a city demographically similar to
Washington, DC. We believe it strongly reinforces the national
obligation to "de-concentrate" America’s poor, and to “try-again” to provide some utilitarian education to the
embarrassingly high numbers of minority school dropouts. Take a look at
our editorial at www.narpac.org/INTHOM.HTM#EDITORIAL.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Accounting Using QuickBooks Seminar, September 17
Barbara Conn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that QuickBooks has almost 80 percent of the market for
small business accounting software? That means if you own your own small
business, or are thinking of starting one, you are likely a user of
QuickBooks or a soon-to-be user. The software is a powerful tool that
can support almost any size business, but it is only software.
QuickBooks is only useful if the end user knows how to run, navigate,
and use the software. Plus, it is accounting software. Did you go into
business with a goal of becoming an accountant?
While we can’t cover everything about QuickBooks in a two-hour
seminar, CPA Jina Etienne will cover the fundamental procedures you must
know to use QuickBooks effectively: basic checking account transactions,
including how to post and reconcile credit card payments; use of fixed
asset accounts for major purchases; setup and tracking for business
credit cards, out-of-pocket expenses (paid by you, not "the
company"), and owner loans; the reporting process, illustrating the
different report options, and how to customize reports unique to your
business. There will be a question and answer period, so come armed with
your questions. Bring them on 3 x 5 index cards, and turn them in before
the start of the presentation. We will also have index cards so you can
write down additional questions as they arise.
Gather your colleagues, friends, and family members and bring them to
this Saturday, September 17, 1:00 p.m. (check-in: 12:45 p.m.), talk of
the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) Entrepreneurs and Consultants Special
Interest Group (E&C SIG). This free talk will be in the First Floor
Large Auditorium of the Cleveland Park Library at 3310 Connecticut
Avenue, NW, just over a block from the Cleveland Park Metrorail Station
on the Red Line. For more information about this event, the speakers,
and CPCUG, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, and to
register, visit http://www.cpcug.org/user/entrepreneur/905meet.html.
Fiesta DC, September 18
Barbara Ruesaga, email@example.com
Fiesta DC, sponsored by the Cultural
Institute of Mexico. Sunday, September 18, at 4:00 p.m., at Cardozo Senior High School,
13th Street and Florida Avenue, NW. Free entrance. Featuring, from the heart of
Veracruz, Son de Madera. Son de Madera is the most innovative and
successful ensemble enriching the Son Jarocho and Fandango traditions.
The Son Jarocho (Veracruz) is one of the most luminous and rich rhythms
in the Mexican popular music, and the Fandango is a point of communion
and combination between music, poetry, dance and celebration.
DC Public Library Celebrates Chevy Chase Day, September 18
Debra Truhart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, September 18, 1:00 p.m., Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library,
5625 Connecticut Avenue, NW. The Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library takes
part in the celebration of Chevy Chase Day. A special display on the
Chevy Chase history and neighborhood, created by Peggy Fleming and
Historic Chevy Chase DC, will be on view. Public contact 282-0021.
National Building Museum Events, September 18-20
Brie Hensold, email@example.com
All events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW,
Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.
Sunday, September 18, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (design charrette), and
Monday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. (awards ceremony). Teams of students
from the Washington, DC, area’s four accredited schools of
architecture will participate in a day-long design competition held in
the Museum’s Great Hall. Each team will consist of one student from
each school. Museum visitors can view this charrette — an intensive
design session — in progress, as the teams work on a design project
announced that morning. Winners of the juried competition will be
announced at an award ceremony and reception at the Museum on Monday,
September 19. Free. Drop-in program. The award ceremony and reception on
September 19 require registration. To register, contact AIA/DC at
667-1798 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Spotlight on Design: James Eyre.
The structures of England’s Wilkinson Eyre Architects employ new
technologies and materials with breathtaking results. A founding
principal of the firm that has won the Royal Institute of British
Archtitects’ Stirling Prize for an unprecedented two consecutive
years, James Eyre, RIBA, will discuss his firm’s projects, including
the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the National Waterfront Museum in
Swansea, Wales, and his proposal for a tensegrity bridge spanning the
National Building Museum’s Great Hall. Following his lecture, Eyre
will sign copies of his book Bridging Art and Science (Booth-Clibborn
Editions). $12 Museum members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Prepaid
Tuesday, September 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Building for the 21st Century:
The Solar Patriot Home. In 2001, 20,000 people visited Alden Hathaway’s
solar, zero-energy home on the Mall in Washington. A year later, Mr.
Hathaway, director of the Clean Power Program at the Environmental
Resources Trust, Inc., moved the structure to Loudon County, Virginia,
where he has lived in it since. He will recount how the modular house
has fared. It features high performance building products, appliances,
and systems chosen and assembled in keeping with the principles of
integrated, “whole building” design. Free. Registration not
Green Festival and Benefit Dinner, September 23-25
Whitney McLeod, email@example.com
Due to wild success in 2004, the Washington, DC, Green Festival is
coming back to town on September 24, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and September 25,
11 a.m.-7 p.m., at the Washington, DC, Convention Center, 801 Mount
Vernon Place, NW. Companies with expertise in all areas of the Green
economy will be showcasing their products and services at the Green
Festival, hosted by two non-profits, Co-op America and Global Exchange.
More than fifty exciting and inspirational speakers will address the
festival, including Congressman Dennis Kucinich; nationally recognized
progressive investigative journalist Greg Palast; Code Pink founder
Medea Benjamin; Rev. Graylan Hagler of Washington, DC, founder of United
for Peace and Justice; and Ariel Gore from San Francisco, CA, publisher
of HipMama magazine and multiple parenting books.
The many business areas represented at the festival include but are
not limited to healthy, organic, and vegetarian foods, green technology,
renewable energy, eco-fashion, green finances, and Fair Trade goods. The
festival this year includes an, expanded family section including
readings by local and national children’s book authors and Discovery
Creek Children’s Museum’s Rolling Rainforest, where children of all
ages can walk through a replica of a tropical rainforest. Whether you’re
looking for new recipes or composting options, searching for a new
investment firm, wanting to be energized by an inspiring speaker, or
just want a cool place to spend a hot afternoon, the Green Festival is a
perfect place to connect with your local community.
You are also invited to join us at a special Green Festival benefit
on September 23 from 7, p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Convention Center. Hear
special guest speakers Jim Hightower, Farmer John, and Congressman
Dennis Kucinich, enjoy delicious organic food and drink, receive two
free tickets to the Green Festival, bid on green products from the Green
Festival exhibitors at the live, silent auction, and mingle with Co-op
America and Global Exchange staff and the Green Festival Community. Your
support helps us continue to put on amazing Green Festivals, and allows
us to keep the admission price low so everyone can attend and get
inspired. For more information about the Green Festival and benefit,
please visit http://www.greenfestivals.org
or contact Amanda Chehrezad
DC Schoolyard Greening Consortium Tour, October 15
Ashley Lidman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for inspiration and practical advice on using your school
grounds for teaching? If so, sign up for the DC Schoolyards Tour and see
how your fellow DC teachers are doing it! Don’t miss the DC Schoolyard
Greening Consortium’s second DC Schoolyard Tour on Saturday, October
15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Bus transportation and lunch provided. Limited
seating, sign-up now! $15 per person before September 30; $20 after
September 30. Special prize for any school with three or more teachers
What you’ll see: five DC schools with gardens used for various
teaching purposes and in different stages of development. You’ll learn
how to get started, tips for teaching outdoors, curriculum connections,
lesson plan ideas, funding opportunities, and much more! Open to
PreK-12th grade teachers of all subjects, principals, librarians,
counselors, administrators, PTA members, after-school program staff,
school volunteers, parents, community members, etc. Mail a check payable
to DCEEC, along with the registration information (name; address;
telephone numbers; E-mail address; school affiliation; and whether you
prefer a vegetarian, vegan, or non-vegetarian lunch) to Ashley Lidman,
DC Schoolyard Greening Consortium, c/o Casey Trees, 1425 K Street NW,
Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20005. For more information on the tour
and/or to have a registration flyer mailed or faxed to you, contact
Ashley Lidman at 833-4010 x120 or email@example.com.
information about the DC Schoolyard Greening Consortium, its citywide
E-mail list-serve, teacher trainings, and other resources for ‘greening’
schools, visit www.dcschoolyardgreening.org.
The tour will include Bertie Backus Middle School: Former patches of
grass are now woodlands, ponds, paths, flower gardens, and rain gardens,
through partnerships with the DC Watershed Protection Division,
Environmental Concern, and the National Wildlife Federation. A new
wetland habitat is being added just in time for the tour. Cardozo Senior
High School: Cardozo’s Peace Garden is a “young” garden
Started in 2002 in response to the events of 9/11, it has been used by
both history and science teachers. In the past year, students planted
new trees and a sculpture was donated by a group of international
artists. Horace Mann Elementary School: Horace Mann’s schoolyard has
been transformed from an underutilized patch of asphalt into an outdoor
learning center used regularly by students and staff. It has six theme
beds, including a butterfly garden, herb garden, and sensory garden.
Roosevelt Senior High School: With a small start in 1999, Roosevelt’s
schoolyard now includes a greenhouse, a pond with a solar pump, a
composting area, a vegetable garden, a butterfly garden, and a native
garden. With help from Lutheran Social Services Earthkeeping Ministry,
students installed each new garden themselves and routinely manage
upkeep. Sharpe Health School: This once-plain courtyard is now a series
of wheelchair accessible theme gardens for students with special needs.
It has a gently rolling hill, a bridge, sensory gardens, edible gardens,
an alphabet garden, and native plantings. It begins at Horace Mann
Elementary School, 4430 Newark Street, NW, promptly at 9:00 a.m. Street
parking is available.
Ward 6 Forum on National Capital Medical Center, October 18
Jan Eichhorn, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Ward 6 Issue Forum on the proposed National Capital Medical Center
(NCMC) will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, at the Hine Jr.
High School auditorium (8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE). The
forum is cosponsored by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B, The Capitol
Hill Restoration Society, DC for Democracy -- Ward 6, Hill East
Waterfront Action Network, North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association,
Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, and the Ward 6 Democrats. It will
be hosted by Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, who will make opening
Colbert I. King, deputy editor of The Washington Post
editorial page, will moderate a panel discussion of the proposal for
construction of a new $400+ million NCMC hospital complex at the DC
General Hospital site in Ward 6. NCMC would be owned by Howard
University. Construction costs would be shared equally by Howard and DC
Government. DC Mayor Anthony Williams and Howard University President H.
Patrick Swygert have been invited to participate on the panel. They have
not yet responded, but it is hoped that they will be able to share their
vision with Ward 6 residents on October 18 as they did in a similar
panel discussion in Ward 7. Confirmed panelists are the executive
director of the DC Hospital Association, Robert Malson, and the
executive director of the DC Primary Care Health Association, Sharon
The panel discussion will b followed by a question and answer
session. For further information, contact Jan Eichhorn at 547-8855 or JanEichhorn@aol.com.
CLASSIFIEDS — SERVICES
Experienced Babysitter Available
Michael Spevak, email@example.com
Posted on behalf of Dina Romero: I am a capable babysitter with four
years of experience, and I am presently seeking to provide care for one
baby not older than one year of age weekdays from 8 to 4. I am 24, can
provide references, and I have my own car. You may call me at 291-2046.
If you’ve been using TV trays since 1988 because you can’t find
the table and you hyperventilate when friends hint about visiting; if
your file folders are bulging with bills, letters, and manuscripts and
you can’t decide what to keep and what to junk, don’t despair. I
will bring order to your chaos. No mess too embarrassing! Reasonable
fees by the hour or job. Paperwork a specialty. Call ShipShape at
543-8607 for a free telephone consultation. Our service is private and
CLASSIFIEDS — VOLUNTEERS
Local Red Cross Needs Computer Volunteers
Barbara Conn, firstname.lastname@example.org
The local Red Cross could use assistance from computer-knowledgeable
volunteers at the DC Armory, where a couple hundred Katrina evacuees are
still residing, and at its Silver Spring, MD, office on East-West
Highway. The Red Cross has greatly -- and quickly -- expanded its
networks with WiFi and extra computers and notebooks at both locations,
and they need help keeping the computers and networks running. They’re
not looking for network support professionals (though they’d be happy
to have them); they do, however, need people to do first-level checking
to see what’s wrong and make simple fixes before calling on the
Volunteers are needed all day, from 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(and later at the Armory). Four-hour shifts are typical. Volunteers
should also be able to calm anxious users. Because of stress, even minor
PC or network glitches may cause anxiety. The need for volunteer tech
help will probably only continue for a few weeks. If you’re interested
in volunteering either at the Armory or in Silver Spring, please call
Dick Pace, the IT manager at the Silver Spring office, on his cell
phone: 703-801-5524, or send E-mail to email@example.com.
coordination efforts, if you sign up to work with Dick, please also
contact Randy Steer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a related activity, the Capitol Hill Computer Corner, a community
technology center with sixteen PCs, will be opening -- just for people
affected by Katrina -- on Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Several
volunteers are needed to help users access assistance or information on
the web, write resumes in MS Word, etc. If you can help, please contact
Randy Steer at email@example.com.
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
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To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com,
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.