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December 7, 2005


Dear Suckers:

I’m not going to write anything about the council’s disgraceful failure yesterday to act responsibly on the baseball stadium cost overruns. By the end of this week, the Chief Financial Officer will reportedly release a new estimate of stadium costs that is over $700 million, which I would guess is at last an honest underestimate of what the project will cost. But even in the face of that escalation, the council caved, showed a failure of nerve and political courage, and essentially said that it wouldn’t do anything to protect DC taxpayers against an out-of-control boondoggle. But I’m not going to write anything about that — read what themail contributors have to say below.

There’s a good slide-show of the monuments on the Mall, with thoughtful critiques by Slate’s architectural critic Witold Rybczynski, at I don’t agree with everything that he writes — I like the Jefferson Memorial a lot more than he does and the World War II Memorial less — but it’s a good piece.

Gary Imhoff


Making a List and Checking It Twice
Dorothy Brizill,

Next year will be an important election year in DC. This is the time for voters to develop our own lists of issues that are important to us, by which we’ll question, measure, and evaluate candidates: public safety, public education, gentrification, baseball stadium financing, neighborhood economic revitalization, taxes, affordable housing, and so on. What’s more important than what the candidates will promise and say over the next year is what they have actually done, and how they have voted, or the positions they have taken, on the issues. From now through November’s general election, DCWatch will attempt to provide detailed coverage of the candidates, including their campaign literature, campaign contributions, past votes, position papers, speeches, polls, and so on, at

The first issue I’m going to focus on is the difference between candidates’ public statements and their actual votes on the runaway costs of the baseball stadium. This week, WRC’s Tom Sherwood and the Washington Post revealed that the projected cost of the stadium had risen from $535 million, the cap on overall costs that the city council had approved in December 2004, to more than $700 million. (The mayor’s denied this, with double-talk that a couple hundred million dollars of the expenses that were supposed to be included in the December 2004 estimate — Metro station expansion, street and sidewalk improvements, utilities, bond financing, and so on -- should no longer be counted, because they weren’t part of the stadium costs, but of the "stadium project" costs.) At the council’s legislative session on Tuesday, Councilmember David Catania introduced two emergency bills, the first to reinstate the December 2004 cap of $535 million that the mayor and Chief Financial Officer claimed had been lifted by the "technical amendments" passed last month, and the second to restate that the infrastructure and financing costs of the stadium project were to be counted as part of the stadium budget. Because the bills were introduced as emergencies, nine councilmembers had to vote to declare an emergency, and both bills failed because they got just eight votes. Who were the fiscally irresponsible councilmembers who voted to let stadium costs escalate without any controls? Three were obvious -- the three remaining advocates on the council of paying Major League Baseball anything it wants, of building a stadium at any price -- Jack Evans, Vincent Orange, and Sharon Ambrose. But the other three were surprises — Council Chairman Linda Cropp, whose swing vote passed the stadium agreement last year, but who said she was concerned about stadium costs; and Ward Three Counclmember Kathy Patterson and At-large Councilmember Phil Mendelson, who spoke for and voted for fiscal responsibility last year, both of whom remained silent during the lengthy council debate on Tuesday, but who took turns defeating the Catania bills, Mendelson voting against the first and Patterson against the second.

Despite her votes to kill the Catania bills, Cropp said she was "philosophically" for them, but was waiting for the CFO to release his cost estimates officially. Of course, there will be no more legislative sessions this year, except for a special session on December 20 that has been called just to consider the stadium lease agreement, so her vote killed the bills completely, and her "philosophical" agreement is just talk -- her actual vote eliminated the possibility of an effective cost cap. Cropp’s position on the cost of the stadium has changed: she now says that she would agree to a cost of over $700 million if she could get assurances that the additional money over $535 (or $589) million would be paid by somebody other than the District government. Unfortunately, the mayor is prepared to give exactly those false and empty assurances that the federal government, or Metro, or Major League Baseball, or the new owners of the team, or developers who want to build around the stadium will make up the difference. All of these castles in the air will remain dreams when the council votes on the lease later this month, and that will be their last chance to deal with the cost issue.

Patterson explained that she and Mendelson had discussed their votes in a private meeting during the council debate, and knew how each other would vote on the two bills, but denies that there was a formal agreement between them to trade their votes to defeat both bills. She said that she wants to support the baseball project and wants it to go forward, and doesn’t want to vote for anything that would stop it. She, too, said that she hopes that the mayor will find alternate sources of financing to make up for the funding shortfall. Neither Mendelson nor his staff responded to my requests that he give his rationale for his vote.


We’re Mad as Hell
Mary C. Williams,

Councilmember David Catania deserves much credit and our all-out support for calling this baseball proposal for what it is -- a fleecing of District taxpayers and businesses. The rest of the council better start warming up for a chance at the plate. They all need to start ratcheting up their outrage and whack away at this deal because they were among the many who were duped, hoodwinked from the beginning by the mayor’s initial proposal, the subsequent Major League Baseball unconscionable deal, the Sports Commission wholesale giveaway of tax dollars, and now the Chief Financial Officer, Natwar Gandhi, and a lease that has yet to materialize. It was quite a sight as Gandhi feigned offense when Catania, during a high point in the baseball stadium hearing last week, pointed out that Gandhi had deliberately mislead the Council Chair on the so-called "technical amendments," which unwittingly removed the Council’s $535 borrowing cap and added another $55 million ancillary expenses to the deal.

Where will this chicanery end? When will it end? How much will the District taxpayers end up paying, and how many children, seniors, and homeless residents will be forced to sacrifice more for this deal with the devil? And we shouldn’t take a closer look at the farm team negotiators who brought us this lopsided deal.

Given the fiscal irresponsibility of those council members who continue to support this deal, particularly Sharon Ambrose who has failed miserably at trying to put perfume on this pig, I propose that we take the Council’s combined salaries (a little over $1 million) and use this money to close the gap between the $535 million cap and the $590 million the stadium will cost us. For his part, Catania should be given a raise and a hefty promotion. Can we anoint him chair? His review of this deal pulled us from the brink of a financial disaster. If we have to give away our money, it should go to Catania for having save us a bundle. Council members Fenty, Graham, Schwartz, and Orange (what a surprise) have also shown remarkable spunk in beating this drum but they have to start earlier and stay later to match Catania’s sharp observations. For example, the ever-quotable Catania hit one out of the ballpark against Gandhi when he responded: (I’m not sure this is an accurate quote but this is close): “Mr. Gandhi, you may be offended at how I characterized your work, but I’m offended at the work that you do.” Out of the park but right on the mark. Bring on the outrage.


Financing a New Baseball Stadium
Ann Loikow, Cleveland Park,

Below is a letter I just wrote to the editors of the Washington Times about their editorial today on "A Stadium by the Numbers" ( “The Council should call Major League Baseball’s bluff and tell them you will not consider any lease unless and until the team has been sold to real owners with whom the District Government can negotiate. Right now Major League Baseball is trying to take us for the biggest ride they can and could care less whether it bankrupts the District. They have dilly dallied for over a year and in the meanwhile the team is being decimated — losing good players and staff and unable to attract replacements. MLB has a number of good solid bidders for the team who are willing to pay much more than MLB ever thought it could get when moved the team from Montreal. From a fan’s — and taxpayer’s — point of view, MLB is the one who has not held up its end of the bargain. Until the Nats have an owner, we should sit pat. The current game is rigged and the District is left holding the bag.


Spending “No More” Than $535 Million
Annie McCormick,

Before DC residents were even able to wipe the astonished sticker shock look off their faces after hearing stadium costs have risen to $535 million, now there is the estimate of $700 million. I think it’s a ploy to get us to swallow the (astronomical) $535 figure. Said Williams: “Under no circumstances will this stadium cost $700 million. This is inaccurate. This has been seized on by the same vocal minority that has opposed the stadium.” (Washington Express, December 7, page 13). So what the administration is saying: “It won’t cost $700 million. No, no, it will only cost $535 million.” Williams, et al., hope that residents breathe a sigh of relief and conveniently forget about the astonishing $535 figure. And who is the “same vocal minority”? I oppose paying for any stadium and I don’t know of anyone who does want their tax dollars to go to such a venture.


More Misdirection from Mayor and Tuohey on Ballpark Cost
Ed Delaney,

“Williams and Mark Tuohey reiterated today that Gandhi’s re-estimate includes costs that they expect to be borne by the federal government and private developers. ‘I never believed these costs should be borne completely by the baseball stadium budget,’ Williams said. ‘They never have been borne completely by other cities with stadiums’” (

We’re apparently talking semantics here, as other cities might have had state funding for stadium infrastructure, which of course is moot in DC’s case. Also, the Chief Financial Officer has indicated that he included infrastructure costs in every estimate because of a history of including infrastructure costs as part of stadium projects. Even the MCI Center required the city to start the business tax to pay for the infrastructure, and the costs of the infrastructure for the stadiums for the Redskins, Orioles, and Ravens were borne by the local government and the state and budgeted for accordingly. Once again, the mayor’s comments don’t jibe with reality, as he desperately tries to weasel out of attributing stadium costs to the stadium budget.

“‘These other costs are ancillary,’ Tuohey said. ‘I have assured the council that I will work with the mayor and the CFO and other federal agencies and private developers to . . . get added money for the important infrastructure needs.’” That’s not Tuohey’s job. His job is to stick to the realistic budget and not cut out budget items or conveniently deem them as ancillary to keep within his costs and have someone else pick up the slack -- most likely the city after the fact. The costs aren’t ancillary, and Tuohey’s refusal to stand up to Major League Baseball when baseball officials were pushing significant luxury add-ons outside of the original ballpark agreement, from an entire concourse level of club seats and luxury suites to a 7,500 SF conference center. In the October 7 Washington City Paper, Tuohey admitted that these changes would have direct budgetary ramifications, that the DCSEC "cannot agree to changes that would result in an increase in the project budget," and that they are the reason that the costs jumped up and made the infrastructure costs an issue. Standing up to MLB was Tuohey’s job, and his effort to move budget items off his desk instead cannot be allowed just because he muffed it with MLB.

“‘Under no circumstances will this stadium cost $700 million,’ Williams said at a midday news conference at the John A. Wilson Building. Fears of higher costs, he added, are being generated by ‘a vocal minority who have been against baseball from day one.’” No, fears of higher costs are being generated by costs at the current site rising so dramatically that the Brigade is seeking to dump out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of costs to stay under budget on paper. The mayor’s making it sound like the $714 million figure for the costs associated with the ballpark project was dreamed up by opponents of the South Capitol Street site rather than leaked from the CFO’s latest numbers, and that the costs of the ballpark structure itself didn’t jump from $244 million to $337 million (according to the Post on November 21) at the same time the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission gave into MLB’s luxury demands outside of the original agreement. It’s the same old story: the mayor’s selling the council a bill of goods on the stadium project again. This will continue until the council stands up to the Brigade and rids itself of the current stadium site, where the cost cap set by the council has been exceeded. (And that “vocal minority” bit takes the cake; polls of city residents were overwhelmingly against spending $440 million for a stadium in 2004, and I know the numbers would be even more dramatic now given the rising costs.)

“Gandhi is conducting a study that compares the costs of building at the Anacostia waterfront site to a location near RFK Stadium and is expected to deliver his report to the mayor and council Friday. He has declined to comment publicly on his analysis.” Given the CFO’s track record, do we really expect his report to show significant savings at the RFK Stadium site, despite rock-solid evidence that the site would save $194 million right off the top, especially with the mayor and Evans putting bugs in his ear all week? Watch the report try to say the environmental concerns at the RFK Stadium site (which is only at the site adjoining Oklahoma Avenue, NE, but not at the other possible sites on the campus for the park) would kill the chance of a stadium being built there, while the CFO will continue to estimate the environmental costs at the current site at $8 million, despite the fact that full testing will not be available until the properties on the site are acquired, presumably in February 2006. It’s interesting to note that the environmental concerns were not uncovered by the city and the Redskins in the first round of testing but only were found when an independent and extensive test was done by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service. It would be nice to have that kind of independent testing done not only on the South Capitol Street site but also on the cost numbers for the RFK Stadium site, rather than leaving it to the Brigade for both items.

“Williams and top aides insisted that the $714 million estimate includes items that are not in the project’s budget and that probably would be funded from other sources. For example, the city is planning to build two aboveground parking structures at the stadium for $21 million. But Gandhi has said $41 million may be needed on top of that because city zoning laws require underground lots at the waterfront location. If the city builds underground lots, developers who are eager to help establish an entertainment district around the stadium will pay for it, Williams said. Similarly, mayoral aides said, the federal government, which is building a Department of Transportation building near the stadium site, is expected to help fund the $20 million Gandhi has earmarked for upgrading the Navy Yard Metro station. But when pressed to specify which federal agencies he has contacted for money, Williams said: ‘I never said the feds will pick up the whole tab. We’re looking everywhere for possible sources of revenue.’” The time for looking for other sources has passed. If you have to be looking “everywhere” for money to pay for what was already supposed to be included at the current site, according to the CFO’s cost estimates (until costs started to climb and broke the cost cap) — a cost cap that the mayor and the DCSEC gave no indication was problematic until the last couple of months, thanks to MLB‘s last-minute add-ons, then the current site must be eliminated. We need certainty from a site, not the uncertainty that comes with this site that leaves the mayor saying that someone somewhere will pay for these essential ballpark costs sometime.

“Gandhi’s latest analysis includes $40 million in new contingency money, in case costs rise again during the two years the stadium is under construction. That is about twice the amount that baseball recently agreed to contribute. If Gandhi insists on the higher figure, the city could be forced to ask baseball for another contribution, government sources said yesterday.” What, costs might actually rise again during the two (HA) years the stadium is under construction? But didn’t the mayor say that fears of higher costs are being generated by "a vocal minority who have been against baseball from day one"? If the city might be forced to ask MLB for another “contribution,” watch your wallets, because each “contribution” from MLB comes with a hefty price tag that adds to the overall cost and gives away more potential revenue the city could use to put a dent in the insanely high bill for the out-of-control project. Plus, it took months to convince MLB to agree to make any sort of deal, and they didn’t exactly do it willingly, if you look at what an unnamed baseball executive told Boswell for today‘s column: “We didn’t have to give them anything,” grumped one baseball executive. “We’re just trying to help ‘em out.” Don’t do us any favors, MLB.


Alaine Perry, Hill East Waterfront Action Network,

City leaders are considering converting RFK into a permanent stadium for the Nationals rather than building a new baseball stadium on South Capitol Street. The Hill East Waterfront Action Network, a community organization working to see that the Reservation 13 site along the Anacostia River is put to good use, invites your comments on the RFK proposal, specifically on how it would affect life in the surrounding neighborhoods and the city. We will use the comments to formulate our position.

Please respond by December 17 to


Is the NCMC a Bailout for Howard University?
Samuel Jordan, Health Care Now!,

The diligence with which representatives of Howard University avoided community forums during the first full year of speculation on the proposed National Capital Medical Center (NCMC) was merely grounds for rumor. The truth is slowly emerging -- that Howard is in great financial difficulty and an improbable partner in so ambitious a scheme. With seeming reluctance, Howard’s Board of Trustees voted recently to pursue the project without making public the totality of the Board’s conditions for participation. Revenue projections need not be exhortatory, promoting the best case scenario. Revenue projections need to exhibit a grasp of reality. Patient mix, services and procedures to be provided, cost controls, marketing effectiveness, cash reserves, growth or loss management are all factors in determining whether to proceed with an undertaking that is certain to bleed millions for at least three years before the prospect of solvency even appears. Have these factors been assessed? Perhaps so, justifying the noticeable lack of persuasive confidence in the Williams administration and the University.

With each passing day, another rumor is being confirmed: the NCMC is a preemptive bailout of Howard University Hospital, which is faring poorly against the competition in its existing market -- four major hospitals within one mile. Although the administration forswears an ongoing public subsidy, the likelihood that another hospital will court bankruptcy at Reservation 13 while untenable, is nevertheless quite probable. We need to be more careful. Too many residents need the real health care services that $400 million can buy, not a legacy project to compensate for the debacle of the “change in mission” at DC General Hospital.


Ralph J. Chittams, Sr.,

In response to Teel and Bawa [themail, December 4]: there may be a lot of people who speak primarily Spanish who have to deal with DCRA, but this is the United States of America. At least make an attempt to learn English. Bring a friend with you to DCRA; that is what our Chinese residents do, as I have personally witnessed. Among the numerous problems with the Language Act is that it applies to “residents” of the District of Columbia, not “citizens.” Why should I, a tax paying citizen of the District of Columbia, have to provide translation services to someone who is only a "resident."

Don’t accuse me of xenophobia, but the question must be asked, how many of these “residents” are even here legally? While there may be a need for some translators in certain departments, there is no justification for DCRA’s mandating that all open positions have a bilingual preference. In addition, since it is clear that this bilingual preference is not just at DCRA (see the posting from Kenneth Lyons, themail, December 4), we are now graduating students from our high schools who are not be qualified to be hired by the District Government! If the District Government is going to impose a system-wide bilingual requirement in order to be hired, it also becomes the responsibility of the public school system to educate students so that they are qualified to fill those positions. There is not one language immersion program in DCPS. But, then again, why should graduates of DC public high schools think they are qualified to be hired by the government that educated them in the first place? If non-English speaking, non-citizen, residents of the District of Columbia want services ... that is another issue.

Nonetheless, if you don’t speak English, don’t ask me to pay extra just for your convenience. And don’t make me and my children ineligible for employment consideration simply because I don’t speak your foreign language.


Christmas Tree Collection
Alice MacArthur,

Regarding the DC Department of Public Work’s “Winter Holiday Trash and Recycling Schedule” [themail, December 4], my pet peeve about the collection of Christmas trees is that it occurs too early. For those of us who consider Christmas a holiday observation of the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, having to remove the tree and put it out for trash so soon after having put it up on Christmas eve, and not even waiting for Twelfth Night, is a slight to our religious observance. Please reconsider the collection of Christmas trees for a later date in the future!


How to Beat a Speeding Ticket
Gabe Goldberg, gabe at gabegold dot com

Ann Turrip (themail, December 4) claimed that someone beat a speeding ticket by hitting a pedestrian, citing a Post story ( The pedestrian crossed mid-block -- everyone agreed to that. The story doesn’t use the word "speeding." It does indicate that the pedestrian was hit “forcefully.” Well, yes, being hit by a car doing the legal 25 mph would be "forceful." What did the driver “get away with,” in Ann’s words? Hitting someone who stepped in front of her car, it seems. Ann disparages a police officer for “reassuring” the driver after the accident. Well, yes, hitting someone, even when it’s not your fault, is unnerving. So the officer did the right thing. Ann’s conclusion that the pedestrian was bagged by an evil speeding driver and further victimized by a co-conspiring police officer seems a bit beyond what the story justifies.


The Speeding Ticket Posting
Erik S. Gaull,

Ann Turrip [themail, December 4] doesn’t seem to understand that even a small car moving at 25 mph can produce enough force to throw a pedestrian in the air and produce serious, even life-threatening, injuries. The article she referenced does not indicate that the driver was speeding. It does indicate that the pedestrian was crossing a busy street in the dark mid-block. The pedestrian was clearly in the wrong, and the ticket was properly given. Unpalatable as that may be, it is the formal mechanism to assign blame for the accident, and it is important to the resolution of any subsequent insurance claims and lawsuits that the ticket be issued.

As a law enforcement officer here in the District (and a paramedic in Montgomery County), I think that the police officer did the right thing to “reassure” the driver (who was reported to be distraught over the incident). Ms. Turrip’s sarcasm is unwarranted and unwelcome. Were she the unfortunate driver of the car, she would be glad to hear the investigating police officer’s words of “reassurance” — not just because she would be scared of personal financial and possible criminal liability in connection with the incident, but also because she might rest more easily knowing that the incident was not her fault.

A pedestrian who attempts to cross a street mid-block at night runs the risk of getting hit by a car, and it is unfair to the driver (who might just as easily have been Ms. Turrip) to lay the blame on the motor vehicle operator simply on the assumption that that person was speeding (by the way, there is no substantiation in the article for Ms. Turrips’ assumption that the driver was indeed speeding). It’s important to lay blame where blame is due — in this case, the pedestrian was blameworthy.


Struck DC Pedestrian
Henry Townsend,

The Post’s headline links a jaywalker’s injuries and his receipt of a $5 ticket, leaving the impression that the policeman was heartless. Exactly wrong: The driver was not at fault, according to the policeman, but was so distraught over the injuries she had inadvertently caused that she cried for 45 minutes. She clearly needed reassurance that she was not at fault, for the policeman on the scene could find no evidence that the driver had been at fault in any way. Whether it was the primary purpose of the ticket or not, the citation for jaywalking did correctly fix the responsibility on the jaywalker, not the driver. But the Post headline, on no evidence, tries to turn things around.



Victory at Benning Metro Celebration, December 8
Samuel Jordan,

What slam dunk? Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO), purporting to be a representative of the communities served by the Benning Road Metrorail Station; the Court Service and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA); WMATA; and Jenco, a development firm, the “Predatory Developers” as they are known; assumed that their plans to construct a five-story office building at Benning Metro without community input was a walk in the park.

How badly did they underestimate the power of the communities at Benning and East Capitol? So badly that on December 5, the Office of Zoning apprised WMATA that it would accept the withdrawal of Jenco’s application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for the suspension of zoning regulations for parking and building height restrictions. The scheme that began with plans kept secret for three years before informing the affected communities crashed in shameful withdrawal without even a hearing on the merits.

Community First at Benning Metro thanks all readers of themail and your contact circles who wrote, called and expressed encouragement in an impossibly improbable struggle. We have won! You are invited to celebrate with us on Thursday, December 8, at 7:00 p.m., at St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Central Avenue and E. Capitol Street, SE). We’ll celebrate the victory and plan the next steps to avoid another ambush in the future.


Ross Elementary Christmas Tree Sale, December 10-11
Phil Carney,

The ninth annual Christmas tree sale to benefit Ross Elementary School, supporting our neighborhood DC public school at 1730 R Street, NW, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. To 5 p.m., at the corner of 17th & R Streets, NW (the Italian Kitchen Restaurant patio). Free neighborhood deliveries to your door. All of the profits go to benefit Ross Elementary. A portion of your purchase price is tax-deductible. The sale is sponsored by the Ross Elementary School Parent Teacher Community Association and Friends of Ross School. For more information or to help as a volunteer, please call-Debby Hanrahan, 462-2054.


Dunbar High School Marching Band Holiday Tree Sale, December 11
Dawn Dickerson,

The Dunbar High School Marching Band will be selling holiday trees on Saturday, December 11, at 9 a.m. on the grounds of Dunbar High School (1301 New Jersey Avenue, NW). The funds from the sale will be used to assist the band in participating in the Toyota Gator Bowl, January 2, 2006, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Trees range in price from $20-$50, wreaths from $15-$20, and tree stands from $10-$15. If you do not celebrate the holiday, please consider making a donation to the band. For many of these students this fundraiser is the only way that they will be able to afford to participate. For more information contact Dawn Dickerson at 483-0755 or E-mail


UDC’s Annual Holiday Concert Rescheduled, December 12
Michael Andrews,

In view of inclement weather, the University of the District of Columbia’s annual holiday concert has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m., Monday, December 12. The concert will be held in the University Auditorium, Building 46 East, Van Ness Campus, located on the Metro’s Red Line at the Van Ness/UDC Station. Complimentary parking will be available on the night of the concert.

The concert is the University’s annual holiday gift to the Washington, DC, community and is free and open to the public. The UDC Chorale, directed by William Jones, starts the evening with a program of choral music followed by the gospel sounds of The Voices, directed by Gerry Gillespie. The UDC Jazz Ensemble, directed by Allyn Johnson, carries on the legacy of Calvin Jones and closes the program with big band jazz sure to spread the holiday spirit. Contact Judith A. Korey at 274-5803 or for additional information.


DC Public Library Events, December 12-13
Debra Truhart,

Monday, December 12, 6:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. Joan Nathan, author of the New American Cooking, presents a lecture about the cultural influences on American cooking, "Innovators and Innovations in American Food Since 1965." A book sale and signing courtesy of the Trover Shop will follow the program. Public contact: 282-3080.

Tuesday, December 13, 12:00 p.m., West End Neighborhood Library, 1101 24th Street, NW. West End Film Club. Bring your lunch and enjoy part four of the film, Sense and Sensibility. Public contact: 724-8707.


How to Get to There from Here, December 13
Anise Jenkins, Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition,

You’ve a great and worthy goal — better health care, reparations, world peace, affordable housing, DC statehood, etc., — but how you get there from here is not clear. Want to learn or increase your knowledge on how strategic planning and how to win some smaller victories along the way? Please join instructor Nadine Bloch, longtime organizer and activist, at our next teach-in. Everyone is encouraged to attend! Tuesday, December 13, 6:30 p.m., at the National Council of Negro Women, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, across from the Navy Memorial; green/yellow subway lines; 70, P6, 54, and 30 bus lines. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is free, however, a small donation will be accepted.


National Building Museum Events, December 15
Brie Hensold,

Thursday, December 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. L’Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design: Sir Peter Hall on US Planning in the Global Context. The American Planning Association, in partnership with the National Building Museum, has established the annual L’Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design to draw attention to critical issues in city and regional planning in the United States. Noted British planner, teacher, and author Sir Peter Hall will deliver the inaugural lecture, placing American planning challenges and innovations in the context of increasing urbanization worldwide. $12 Museum and APA members, and students; $17 nonmembers. Prepaid registration required. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.


Mexican and Christmas Music, December 16
Barbara Ruesga Pelayo,

Soprano Ana Gabriella Schwedhelm and pianist Wei-En Hsu will present arias from the Viceroyalty era, arias from Bach´s Christmas Oratorio and Handel´s Messiah, and Mexican music from the twentieth century: "Marinero en tierra" by Mexican-Spaniard composer Rodolfo Halffter and songs written by Mexican composers Manuel M. Ponce and Blas Galindo. Friday, December 16, 7:30 p.m., at the Cultural Institute of Mexico, 2829 16th Street, NW. Free admission. Reservations recommended, 728-1675 or Seating: first-come, first-served.

Ana Gabriella Schwedhelm is the only Mexican singer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK. She is currently working with Jennifer Dakin and Iain Ledingham. Ana Gabriella has toured Mexico, South America, and Eastern Europe, and has participated as a soloist in the 2004 Handel Festival in London, UK.



Victoria McKernan,

Can anyone recommend a good upholsterer for an antique Victorian love seat? A competent student or amateur might work; I’d like a good job, but this isn’t Versailles!

Also, I’m offering one free antique Victorian love seat for anyone who will transport the two love seats from Virginia Beach to DC. I can E-mail you photos.


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