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September 14, 2005


Dear Washingtonians:

I’m coming down with a cold and going to bed early. I’ll rant again another day.

Gary Imhoff


Keeping the Public in Public Schools
Richard Layman,

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, 

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

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 site? Or is our information held hostage by lawyers and the legal publishers?

[The link for the DC Code online is 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, 

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, 

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 representation.


DC Armory Update
Phil Shapiro, 

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 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 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?


Campaign Signs
Art Spitzer, 

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, 

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.


Problem Tickets
Anne Witt, Department of Motor Vehicles, 

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, 

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



Accounting Using QuickBooks Seminar, September 17
Barbara Conn, 

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


Fiesta DC, September 18
Barbara Ruesaga, 

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, 

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, 

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

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 registration required.

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 required.


Green Festival and Benefit Dinner, September 23-25
Whitney McLeod, 

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 or contact Amanda Chehrezad at 872-5314.


DC Schoolyard Greening Consortium Tour, October 15
Ashley Lidman,

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 attending!

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 For information about the DC Schoolyard Greening Consortium, its citywide E-mail list-serve, teacher trainings, and other resources for ‘greening’ schools, visit

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, 

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 remarks.

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 Baskerville.

The panel discussion will b followed by a question and answer session. For further information, contact Jan Eichhorn at 547-8855 or



Experienced Babysitter Available
Michael Spevak, 

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.


Ship Shape
Andrea Sexton, 

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 confidential.



Local Red Cross Needs Computer Volunteers
Barbara Conn, 

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 stretched-thin techs.

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 To help coordination efforts, if you sign up to work with Dick, please also contact Randy Steer at

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


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