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December 4, 2005

Crunch Time

Dear Crunchers:

For the rest of this month, the city council will have to face a few key issues that will demonstrate both whether it is fiscally responsible or irresponsible and whether its primary loyalty is to the residents of the District of Columbia or to special interests. Can the council pass a bill to rehabilitate and modernize DC schools that doesn’t have as its main effect enriching favored developers who want to get their hands on the valuable land owned by the public schools? Can the council stand up to the mayor and Major League Baseball, force real improvements in the giveaway deal that they have struck, and reduce the burden on DC taxpayers that they demand?

Or will the council continue to consider DC’s assets — its property and its tax base — as ripe for raiding? Watch their votes, and then write to themail and let us know what you think it means.

Gary Imhoff


Funding with Accountability: Now Is the Time
Erich Martel, ehmartel at starpower dot net

I sent the following message earlier today to Kathy Patterson, Carol Schwartz, Vincent Gray, Marion Barry and Phil Mendelson, members of the Council Education and Libraries Committee: “As a high school history teacher, WTU/SCAC member and LSRT member at Woodrow Wilson High School, I support full funding, but only with mandatory council accountability, i.e., funding with an accountability string attached. Historically, parliaments have gained greater power over kings by using the "power of the purse" as leverage. This is a unique moment to exert that leverage. Except for the council and an occasional piece of investigative journalism, DC Public Schools is run like a secret medieval principality with the superintendent and his top officers only rarely held accountable. Consider that US Cabinet Officers and Deputy Under-Secretaries of this and that have to be confirmed by the Senate, yet every DCPS official between the Superintendent and local school principals is appointed by the Superintendent with no confirmation oversight required. If the Board of Education won’t do that, then the Council should.

“This is the opportunity to build in oversight and frequent accountability mechanisms to insure that contracts are proper and the repairs and renovations are high quality and professional. Bring it under the Council’s oversight -- the board is perpetually asleep, and the two or three members who have genuine concerns cannot overcome the others’ dead weight. How do you know, that is, what guarantees are there, that increased capital funding won’t be misspent? As much as I, a Wilson H.S. teacher and taxpayer, want to see school facilities improved, I am not willing to turn over large blocs of funding to another DCPS pork feast. The recent Washington Post articles on textbook delays is but a peek at the big picture. When I testified before the council Education Committee on altered student records at Wilson H.S. in November 2002, you pointed out that the council has oversight, but prefers to defer to the Board. Well, on that and other issues the Board has yet to act and the abuses continue. It’s time for the council to act. Capital funding is a good place to start.

“The problems that need to be addressed, posed as questions: 1) what protections are there to ensure that increased capital funding will be used in the most effective manner in the process of constructing/renovating buildings? What contracting process and oversight checks will there be to ensure that these repairs, renovations, etc. are done professionally (in the real meaning of the term) and that materials will not be used that are shoddy, e.g. doors that have aluminum hardware with low metal-fatigue levels that break when pushed too hard? 2) What guarantees are there that the existing (renovated and non-renovated) structures and any new ones will be effectively maintained? Has any evaluation of DCPS maintenance procedures been done? What are the maintenance staffing needs? I know that Ackerman laid off many people. Is that the real problem? Has anyone studied an effectively maintained system, i.e. a school system model that DCPS can replicate?

“3) What warranty protections exist? Contracts must have reasonable warranty periods. Are the warranty contracts with real suppliers or with contract rainmakers (dummy fronts) who really can’t warranty anything? 4) Are there standards for custodians, for maintenance personnel, etc. and supervision thereof? There must be school system models that can be replicated. 5) Does DCPS have an efficient report and response system for repairs and periodic maintenance? I have heard that the Chief Business Officer, Mr. Brady, has been making progress. Does he have the information system and trained personnel to support this? While you’re at it, why not find out why the DCSTARS computer system isn’t working efficiently (you do know that DCSTARS is the same eSYS from AAL in Ontario, that has been on again, off again for the past four to six years). 6) Has DCPS provided reports showing the causes of disrepair, broken equipment, etc., i.e., a) the portion of maintenance, repairs, renovation, etc. caused by internal student vandalism? (notice that the Superintendent’s Master Education Plan makes no reference to a student discipline and behavior plan -- in some schools, this is a major problem); b) external vandalism; c) failure of building maintenance staff to adhere to periodic maintenance requirements, e.g., lubricating moving parts, checking that drainage systems aren’t clogged, clearing leaves out of gutters; d) systems that haven’t been upgraded, e.g., electrical systems that can’t support A/C’s, iron pipes with internal blockages. 7) The most important of all, the one area where parent activists avert their eyes, internal accountability and oversight. Parents and many community activists are delighted to join with school and school system leadership to call upon the benighted outside power (council, mayor, congress) to provide us with the funds we need, but turn mute when the question of internal, inept management is posed.

“8) Having said all of that, what do I propose? a) There must be fully empowered, independent oversight by the council. The Board of Education majority is incapable of acting in an objective, detached oversight role. b) There should be mandatory audits (i.e., results publicly released) of all areas of procurement, contracts, and performance in the areas I mentioned above. c) Educate the public on this issue.”


Is There Hope?
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir,

This morning, the Education Committee of the Council of the District of Columbia will decide if repairing and modernizing the city’s public schools is a worthwhile endeavor. There needn’t be any long winded speeches on the existing conditions that shame this city. They are the same conditions that are found in many other impoverished inner cities in this country and abroad. They are the schools of neglect that our leaders have abandoned. They are the schools that speak to our children about our aspirations for their future. They are the schools we have created collectively as a city. The shame lies on all of us.

Today, the question for Councilmembers Patterson, Gray, Mendelson, Schwartz, and Barry addresses hope. How much hope do they plan to expend on our children? The Council is consumed in a stadium deal that will enrich a few men in the form of an owners group with millions of dollars each. The school modernization bill spread out over a generation will enrich each student by a few dollars. Yet the difference in the future of this city with those few dollars spent on each child will effect those children in a profoundly different way than a new stadium will.

Will the school modernization bill eradicate poverty? No. But neither will a stadium. Will the school modernization bill, speak to the children of this city about the value of education? Yes. The Fix Our Schools web site ( has provided a means for those concerned citizens of the District to send E-mails to the councilmembers on the Education Committee to let them know that there is hope for our school children.


DC Trades for Crumbs from Major League Baseball
Ed Delaney,

The Washington Post reports ( “The District and MLB have reached a tentative agreement on a stadium lease that includes an additional $20 million payment from baseball officials and a compromise on another key provision, city government sources said yesterday. Negotiators will continue discussions, but the deal could be wrapped up and delivered to the DC Council early next week, said Mark H. Tuohey, chairman of the DCSEC. City sources said agreement has been reached on the District’s two key demands, the $20 million payment and a letter of credit from baseball. In return for the payment, baseball will receive a concession from the city, government sources familiar with the negotiations said. The nature of that concession was not disclosed. ‘We have completed the negotiations,’ Tuohey said. ‘We are going to be doing some drafting over the weekend. We have essentially resolved the issues.’” So it took you how many months to work out a lease that was secured with more giveaways from the city, giveaways that you don’t want to bring up too soon lest it dampen the jolly picture you and MLB are trying to pick of hard-fought success and closure on the stadium matter?

“Top MLB officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized, cautioned that some negotiations remained on the lease. They declined to discuss specifics.” When has this crew ever discussed specifics? The DC council had to trap an MLB official in a room for the first time Thursday to verify that MLB had not ruled out the RFK Stadium site!

“District negotiators have asked baseball for a $24 million letter of credit to ensure the Nationals’ rent payment for four seasons in the case of a terrorist attack or players’ strike and $20 million to cover contingencies in case of cost overruns. Those guarantees are needed to secure an investment-grade rating on stadium construction bonds, DC CFO Natwar Gandhi has said. Baseball officials have agreed to give the city a letter of credit for one or two seasons, with the expectation that that will satisfy Wall Street, DC government sources said. If that money is drawn down in the future, then baseball would renew the credit line to build up the reserve fund, the sources said. Although general terms have been reached, the deal is not finished in part because city financial officials must obtain Wall Street’s blessing on whether the terms are strong enough to gain investment-grade status for the stadium project.” And for this, the lease has been in limbo until weeks before the bonds need to be issued? These two parties deserve each other. If the DC council settles for this trade as enough to justify emptying the coffers for a cut-rate Buick, Ford, or Schwinn greenhouse with precious little parking and barely any infrastructure or Metro station funding, they’re truly impotent and are grossly negligent of their oversight duties.

“Evans added that he expected the council to get the lease by Friday, in time to schedule a public hearing the following week. The council is scheduled to vote on the lease Dec. 20, assuming it is completed.” Let’s let them hear it publicly, folks!

“Several council members told Reinsdorf that if baseball did not agree to the city’s demands, they would push to move the project to a site adjacent to RFK Stadium. That location could save the city more than $100 million, some council members have said. But that option would require a costly environmental cleanup of the site and federal and congressional approval, a process that could mean long delays before construction. The land is owned by the National Park Service and leased to the District at no cost. The 50-year lease, which ends in 2038, allows for only one stadium on the 200-acre site. Building a new complex would require Congress to amend the 1957 law that authorized the stadium, said John Parsons, associate director for the Park Service’s National Capital Region. The project also would require an environmental impact statement and approval from the Park Service, the National Capital Planning Commission and the US Commission of Fine Arts, Parsons said. He said the whole process could take two to three years. ‘That’s quite a bit different than their existing circumstance because the other proposal is not on federal land,’ he said. An environmental impact study completed in 1993 found potentially harmful lead contamination in the soil.” If anyone doubted if the Post were still an agenda-driven rag and a prostrate water carrier for the Brigade, this should wipe those doubts away. The Post hilariously fails to print facts from the story they themselves published about legislation proposed by the White House, lauded by the mayor, and is already moving through Congress with strong bipartisan support to give 200 acres of federal land to the city free of charge, land that includes the RFK Stadium/Reservation 13 campus. Somehow, that fact didn’t come to light, nor did any of the assets from cost superiority to infrastructure assets vis-a-vis the current site, as it didn’t fit the obvious agenda to create problems out of thin air to pin on the site the Brigade doesn’t want and obscure the deal-killing issues at their preferred site. Instead, the Post concocts this doomsday scenario (right in lock step with the mayor and the DCSEC, who have been spouting off about fantastic cost and time issues at the site that don’t exist) which contradicts the Brigade’s own 2002 site evaluation study and the mayor’s findings when he prepped the site for MLB in 2004 and touted it as being fully fundable and deliverable.

First, if the lease demands only one stadium operate on the site, then the city can do what was being done in Saint Louis where the old Cardinals stadium was demolished at the end of this season and the new stadium will come online by the start of next season. Second, an environmental impact statement was already done — which is plenty more study than has happened at the current site, and the costs of remediation at the RFK Stadium site are already set — unlike at the current site, where samples of properties still held by existing residents and businesses won’t be analyzed for months. Third, all those approvals mentioned will either be made moot by the land transfer or would be a formality given DC’s control of the land and MLB’s lobbying power combined with the influence that could be brought to bear by the team’s new ownership group, which will reportedly be selected in part for the local and congressional influence it brings. And fourth, Parsons’ outlandish comments suggest he is either being played for a patsy or has an agenda of his own regarding the site; either way, his park ranger hat might be too tight.

Not only that, but if all this work needed to be done, then the DCSEC can be proven to have been negligent in not preparing the site work accordingly along with the current site since the RFK Stadium site was specified as the cost-saving alternative should the current site not be able to house the ballpark for cost reasons per the relevant amendment to the stadium agreement. This is also the first time in the entire time that the city has been pursuing MLB all the way back to the San Diego Padres effort in 1974 that the RFK Stadium site has been characterized in the media as obstacle-laden, and the timing is not a coincidence. Before, when it suited the Brigade’s pursuit of MLB, never was heard a discouraging word about the site, only positives as DC’s ultimate fallback site that no one else could match. How times change when needs change too.


Green Bay on the Potomac
Gabe Fineman,

As the numbers for the baseball stadium keep rising, the proposal by Ralph Nader in January ( that the city just buy the team and get the profits is looking more and more sensible.


How to Beat a Speeding Ticket
Ann Turrip,

The Washington Post today ran an article about a car hitting a pedestrian very hard in a 25-mph zone ( Stressing the force of impact and noting that the driver not only got away with it, but even received "reassurance" from a police officer, we must infer that speeding is forgiven if you also bag a pedestrian (outside a crosswalk). This is good news for everyone. First of all, no one needs a handgun anymore. Secondly, all the correspondents who rail against speeding tickets now know how to dodge one. Just hit a pedestrian!


Questionnaires about the Master Education Plan
Erich Martel, ehmartel at starpower dot net

I received the following from Bill Potapchuk of the Community Building Institute, one of the consultants hired by DC Public Schools to evaluate the superintendent’s Master Education Plan. This refers to the questionnaires for principals, teachers and community members/parents. “There are now three surveys available on Master Education Plan web site, one for community members, one for principals, and one for teachers. Shortly, one will be available for students. The web site is at Please circulate the availability of your surveys to as many people as possible. Getting more feedback is critical to ensuring the Master Education Plan reflects the aspirations and concerns of our community.”


Winter Holiday Trash and Recycling Collection Schedule
Mary Myers,

Following is the holiday schedule for DPW services through the beginning of 2006. Please note that when a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed by the government on the following Monday. Therefore, Christmas Day will be officially observed on Monday, December 26. District government offices will be closed and most services suspended, including DPW trash and recyclables collection, street cleaning, parking enforcement and towing. All services will resume on Tuesday, December 27. Trash and recyclables collection will slide one day for the remainder of the week in Supercan areas. In twice-weekly collection areas, service will slide on Tuesday and Wednesday, with normal collections on Thursday and Friday.

Likewise, New Year’s Day 2006 will be observed on Monday, January 2, 2006. District government offices will be closed and most services suspended, including DPW trash and recyclables collection, street cleaning, parking enforcement, and towing. All services will resume on Tuesday, January 3. Trash and recyclables collection will slide one day for the remainder of the week in Supercan areas. In twice-weekly collection areas, service will slide on Tuesday and Wednesday, with normal collections on Thursday and Friday. Additionally, residents should mark their calendars for the annual Christmas tree collection and the winter street sweeping hiatus.

Residents who receive DC trash collection service are encouraged to put holiday trees -- without ornaments or tinsel -- in curbside tree boxes by January 2, 2006. Trees will be picked up during a special two-week collection from January 3-14. Residents who wish to keep their trees longer should put them out at their normal point of trash collection (curbside or alley) after January 14. DPW will then collect the trees along with the regular trash, as truck space permits over the following weeks.

Routine residential street cleaning is suspended from January 9 to March 17, 2006. During this time, "No Parking/Street Cleaning" restrictions will be lifted. Residents and visitors who park along posted, alternate-side, daytime street sweeping routes will not be required to move their cars on street-sweeping days during the sweeper hiatus. Residential street cleaning resumes Monday, March 20, 2006.


It’s Not Rocket Science
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aol;.com

The problems in the DC Office of Procurement can be traced to a lack of intelligent oversight. There are all kinds of rules and regulations for every level of procurement contract. There are authorizations for each level of procurement awards. To get things right, all the folks in that office have to do is follow the rules and regulations. Knowing the frailties of people who are in positions to dispense the city’s funds, all you need is an honest cop who reviews each procurement to see that the rules have been followed. This can be accomplished by a checklist that must be completed by the person awarding the procurement contract. When you find folks who fill out the checklist improperly (meaning they are not following the rules to the letter) then relieve them of the authority to issue procurement awards. It’s not rocket science.


What Can We Rely on the Press to Tell Us?
Phil Shapiro,

We can rely on the press to tell us about a DC-area couple who created a board game about junk food. Http://


Affirmative Action
Kenneth Lyons, President AFGE Local 3721,

It appears that DCRA is not the only agency that has adopted a policy with a questionable intent. The DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department has a similar policy that has had a detrimental impact not only on minorities but in our communities.

Within FEMS there are two groups, the Uniform Firefighters and the Civilian Emergency Medical Services providers, each group represented by a different bargaining unit. Recently the Chief, a firefighter himself, executed a hiring policy that only civilian emergency medical technician applicants, regardless of their qualifications, would have to be bilingual, while applicants applying to the position of firefighter with the same or lesser qualifications would, could, and have been hired. Many of those individuals applying to the civilian emergency medical technician positions were District residents and minorities and had acquired the training paid out of their own pockets; while many of the firefighters hired were not minorities, not District residents, and to this day many remain commuters with no incentive to become District residents

Historically the civilian Emergency Medical Services Bureau took great pride in providing employment to District residents and could boast at a time that over seventy percent of those hired were District residents. EMSB could boast that many of those hired were given a chance when all others denied them the opportunity to learn a profession that would enable them to give back to their communities, how times have changed. Under the law as written in Executive Orders and interpreted by the courts, anyone benefiting from affirmative action must have a valid job or educational qualifications. This should not be to the exclusion of applicants that would otherwise be qualified for the job, or policies specific to one group while ignoring another.

Discrimination can come in many forms. In this instance, policies draped in the silent endorsement of our elected officials and executed under the guise of progress makes it no less discriminatory or demeaning. How times have changed, or have they?


DCRA Bilingual Requirements
Elliot Teel,

In further response to the question of DCRA’s search for Spanish speaking employees, I think it has a lot to do with the realities of the population in DC. There are a lot of people who speak primarily Spanish who have to deal with DCRA, so if they want to be able to interact with them DCRA needs to have people who can speak Spanish. I know from personal experience they often don’t have translators, which are required by law in certain instances, and so things get delayed or rescheduled until they can find one.


Affirmative Action for Bilinguals
Nora Bawa,

With regard to affirmative action for Latinos in DC hiring, a) could it be that being bilingual is a job requirement or preference? b) What’s wrong with affirmative action being extended to other underserved groups? I’m not sure I understand the objection.


Spiraling Down
Linda Roe,

I want to respond to “Spiraling Down,” submitted by Eric Rosenthal (themail, November 30]. I am a native Washingtonian who has asked the same question, Mr. Rosenthal. Is there any way to fix the numerous problems (especially the foster care system, HIV/AIDS, neighborhood crime, mental health and retardation, and our schools? I have come up with one answer. Come election time, we the citizens of this city must vote in a candidate who is qualified and compassionate to take on these challenges. It’s not an easy job, but we have so many candidates. Each elected official promises to fix it, but putting a dent in some of the problems would be appreciated. Mr. Rosenthal, I agree with your submission, and I hope my answer is reasonable.


A Recipe for Newspaper Survival in the Internet Age
Gabriel Goldberg, gabe at gabegold dot com

Regarding Phil Shapiro’s long-ago post (pun intended) about the death of newspapers, here’s an interesting article by Robin Miller on Slashdot: It starts: “I’ve spent seven years working as a writer and editor for Slashdot’s parent company. During this time I’ve been to at least a dozen mainstream journalists’ and editors’ conferences where the most-asked question was, ‘How do we adapt to the Internet?’ You’d think, with all the smart people working for newspapers, that by now most of them would have figured out how to use the Internet effectively enough that it would produce a significant percentage of their profits. But they haven’t. In this essay I will tell you why they’ve failed to adapt, and what they must do if they want to survive in a world where the Internet dominates the news business.”



Holiday Building Ornaments, December 10
Brie Hensold,

Saturday, December 10, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Holiday Building Ornaments: whether houses, offices, or monuments, buildings shape Washington’s identity as a city and the nation’s capital. Decorate your own wooden ornaments in the shapes of various Washington buildings with an assortment of craft materials. Presented in conjunction with the Museum’s long-term exhibition, Washington: Symbol and City. $3 per project. All ages. Drop-in program. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.


DC Public Library Events
Debra Truhart,

Thursday, December 8, 10:00 a.m., and Friday, December 9, 10:00 a.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room A-5. Sixth Annual Young People’s Poetry Marathon in Spanish. Join over one hundred children as they read their poems in Spanish at a lively literary marathon! Sponsored by Teatro de la Luna. Elementary school ages on Thursday; middle and high school ages on Friday. Public contact: 727-1183.

December 10-23, Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Main Lobby. Books Plus, The Library Store, is having its Annual Holiday Sale for great deals on gifts during the busy holiday shopping season. Stop by to see the new limited edition silver ornament that celebrate the DC Public Library! Public contact: 727-6834.


Lone Star Toastmasters, December 20
Lavonda Broadnax,

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I’m improving my speaking skills
And so could you!

The Lone Star Toastmasters club is sponsoring a special workshop featuring holiday poems and good cheer. Tuesday, December 20, at 7:00 p.m., at Young Chow Restaurant, 312 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Join us and improve you public speaking skills and listening skills. Free of charge.


Guy Mason Winter Classes
Toni Ritzenberg,

Registration for winter 2006 classes at the Guy Mason Center (3600 Calvert Street, NW) begins on Monday, December 5, with classes starting the week of January 9, 2006. The majority of classes consist of eight sessions. To encourage one’s creative skills there is art (studio with critique) at three levels, china painting, copper enameling, and pottery. Here is your opportunity to give hand made items as holiday gifts. To prepare for the coming snow, there is ski and snow board conditioning. For general exercise, there are classes in Dancercize, Pilates, Qi Gong, yoga, and strength and tone (senior momentum for ages 50+).

French and Spanish classes are being offered, as are ballroom dancing and bridge (duplicate), twice a week year round. Even though Guy Mason is one of the few adult centers in the city, children are not forgotten. There is music together (parent or adult with child class) for young people from birth to four years of age.

There is not a better bargain offered by the District of Columbia. For specific program start dates, visit the Center’s web site at To register online, visit and click on Activities Program Registration and follow the instructions. For further information and/or to register in person, visit the Guy Mason Center at 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., or call Robert Haldeman/Caryl King at 282-2180.


Historic Preservation Review Board 2006 Schedule
Bruce Yarnall,

The District of Columbia Historic Preservation Review Board will meet on the fourth Thursday of each month, except in November and December, when the meeting will be held on the third Thursday of the month, and in August, to which only the usual late July hearing has been scheduled because of a conflict. For most months, a second has been scheduled the following Thursday as well, in order to accommodate extraordinarily large case loads. Such meetings will only be held when necessary, and the agendas will be produced at the same time as those for the regular (first) hearing.

HPRB meeting dates: January 26 and February 2; application filing deadline, December 22, 2005; public notice date, January 11. HPRB meeting dates: February 23 and March 2; filing deadline, January 26; public notice date, February 8. HPRB meeting dates: March 23 and March 30; filing deadline, February 23; public notice date, March 8. HPRB meeting dates: April 27 and May 4; filing deadline, March 23; public notice date, April 12. HPRB meeting dates: May 25 and June 1; filing deadline, April 27; public notice date, May 10. HPRB meeting dates: June 22 and June 29; filing deadline, May 25; public notice date, June 7. HPRB meeting date: August 3; filing deadline, June 29; public notice date: July 19. HPRB meeting dates: September 28 and October 5; filing deadline, August 24; public notice date, September 13. HPRB meeting date: October 26; filing deadline, September 28; public notice date, October 11. HPRB meeting date: November 16; filing deadline, October 26; public notice date, November 1. HPRB meeting date: December 21; filing deadline, November 16; public notice date, December 6.



DC-Based Kids Books
Ann Carper, rochester54 at verizon dot net

For some local flavor in your holiday gift giving, check out the new Spy Mice series by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers, 2005, $9.95). Against the backdrop of the International Spy Museum and other local landmarks, including the Library of Congress, Dumbarton Oaks, and Thomas Sweet ice cream parlor, fifth-graders Oz Levinson and Delilah Bean team up with private eye Glory Mouse to outsmart sixth-grade bullies and Roquefort Dupont, king of the rat underworld. The Black Paw and For Your Paws Only (which takes place mostly in NYC during the Thanksgiving Day Parade) have been described by the Christian Science Monitor as “Think Stuart Little Meets 007.” Geared for ages 8-11, both are available at the Spy Museum and local bookstores. For more info, visit

(Full disclosure: I’m related to Heather, who also wrote two highly regarded children’s books about the daughter of a Nantucket whaling captain.)


Gift Wrap Services
Steve Levy,

I am seeking a provider of professional gift wrap services in the District for a holiday gift list. Any suggestions?


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