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February 15, 2006

Caps and Ceilings

Dear Cappers:

Shawn McCarthy, below, submits Ralph Nader’s letter to Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi, asking whether he can certify that the city council’s so-called “cap” on city spending for the ballpark giveaway will really limit the city’s spending. We all know the answer; we’ll see if the CFO replies and, if so, what he’ll say. I do have one way by which the council can reassure the citizens that they mean the cap seriously: pass a bill that every dollar that the city spends over the cap will be deducted from the salaries to be paid to the mayor and councilmembers. Of course, they’ll never do that — who wants to go without a salary for the next century?

Correction: In the February 12 issue of themail, I wrote, “At the end of Friday’s edition of the DC Politics Hour on WAMU-FM, host Kojo Nnamdi discussed the debate that has been going on in themail about the National Capitol Medical Center (not yet available online, but when it is posted it will be at Kojo commented, in what is for him a very rare sharp barb, that the attacks on critics of the NCMC seem to come from people who ‘must have flunked reading comprehension.’” I wish the program had been online then so I could have checked it and found out that the reason the comment about flunking reading comprehension had sounded uncharacteristic for Kojo was that it wasn’t Kojo who said it, but Jonetta Rose Barras. As everyone knows, it isn’t rare at all for Jonetta to make a witty barbed comment.

I disagree with Jonetta, however, about whether the problem is one of reading comprehension. If the distortions and misrepresentations of Dr. Eric Rosenthal’s comments in themail had been made once or twice, and ended after they had been corrected, they could have been honest mistakes. But they continue to be written and sent to themail, which makes me believe that they are deliberate. In the last issue of themail, I promised not to print any more personal attacks on the topic of NCMC. My resolve hasn’t lasted long, because below I print another one. I do so because the message comes from Councilmember Vincent Gray, and I find it significant and newsworthy that a sitting councilmember, one who is about to announce his candidacy to become Council Chairman, would lower himself to join in a disreputable campaign of personal vilification in order to advance his cause. But, because I promised not to run any more of these messages, I am taking the unprecedented step, which I hope never to repeat, of interjecting editorial comments at several points in Councilmember Gray’s message where he misstates and misrepresents what Dr. Rosenthal actually wrote to themail.

In the future, no more of this stuff. Factual arguments only over the desirability of the NCMC and the necessity of going through the Certificate of Need process. As a footnote, Citizens for the National Capital Medical Center has begun a web site to state their case, The site for this “grassroots” organizations is registered to and run by the webmaster for Howard University, the administration’s partner in the NCMC project.

Gary Imhoff


Slavery in DC?
David Sobelsohn, dsobelso -at- capaccess -dot- org

A recent City Paper article carried the headline “Days Inn to Become Chinese Dorm.” It reported that the Days Inn on New York Ave., NE, now has “a chain-link fence topped by a string of barbed wire that blocks all entrances.” The article provides evidence that, for the next few years, the Chinese government has leased this Days Inn in order to house laborers imported from China to build a new Chinese embassy.

Why the chain-link fence and barbed wire? One explanation: it will prevent the Chinese laborers from defecting. But how much can the Chinese government control the free movement of their workers before it becomes a form of slavery? (The article does not guess whether or how much the Chinese government will pay its workers.)

Most provisions of the US Constitution limit only government action. In general, only the US or one of its states or territories can violate the US Constitution. The one big exception is the 13th amendment, which prohibits slavery. Does the 13th amendment apply to foreign governments on US soil? (The embassy is foreign territory, but a leased Days Inn probably is still US soil, and there’s no doubt about the roads between the two.) Who could enforce the 13th amendment against the Chinese government? Will the laborers’ conditions fit the constitutional definition of slavery? Calling Art Spitzer.


Mayor Proposes Phase-Out of Rent Control
Dorothy Brizill,

DC is a city of renters; about 60 percent of all DC residents rent, and the District’s long-standing rent control program is very popular among them. As a result, most people were surprised when Mayor Anthony Williams, at his weekly press briefing today, announced as a major policy initiative a proposal to substantially rewrite the District’s rent control laws. Last year various councilmembers introduced five pro-tenant bills, mostly technical and minor in impact, that are scheduled to be marked up in Councilmember Jim Graham’s Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs this Friday.

Today, the mayor released his proposed bill, which he and Councilmember Jim Graham have agreed to introduce as a substitute for or amendment to these bills ( The mayor’s proposal would establish a means test for tenants living in rent-controlled apartments, effectively eliminating middle-class tenants from rent control and requiring that “tenant incomes will be certified for vacant units so that they [tenants] will pay 30% of their income for rental housing.” It would place the dysfunctional Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Rent Administrator in charge of implementing and policing the legislation, including recalculating a new base rent for every rent controlled unit in the District. And it would eventually phase out rent control ceilings completely. In the mayor’s press conference today and at a follow-up briefing for reporters by the mayor’s office, officials from the Executive Office of the Mayor could not provide details on the number of vacant apartment units in the District or the number of people who would be impacted by the legislation.

According to the mayor’s office, they have been engaged in private discussions for the past several months with Councilmember Graham on incorporating in the rent control laws changes advocated by the mayor and by the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA). When I asked about the lack of any public disclosure of or public dialogue on the changes, the mayor’s office indicated that they had been consulting with tenants. When pressed to name tenant organizations with whom they had consulted, they could come up with only one group, and they said that at their meetings DC tenants were represented by the DC Tenant Action Network, an organization headed by David Conn and Betty Sellars, who are residents of Montgomery County.


Tutorial Program for Schools
Gary Rice,

Did anyone read the article in the New York Times a couple of days ago where the District has 24,500 students eligible for entrance into a tutorial program, some of which is funded by the federal government? There are only 3,000 students enrolled in the District. A spokesperson for the District stated 3,000 students is all they can afford. Yet the District has a budget surplus and can built a baseball stadium. Selling popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks does not get people off of welfare. It is not real job creation. Wages from these types of jobs will not support a family or even one single person. Let us be real people. We are not educating the kids and not offering them meaningful jobs.


Public Parking Spaces Reserved for For-Profit Businesses
Annie McCormick,

On the corner of 14th and N Streets, there are two large, prime parking spaces that are reserved for Zip and Flex car. These spaces used to be public parking. The pavement is painted with reserved notification and there are signs, as well. When did this happen? I heard nothing proposed about these for-profit companies snagging public parking spaces. The signs say that you can be ticketed and towed if you park there and the vehicle is not a Zip or Flex car. Since when did public streets become private reserved parking spaces for companies? Do they pay the DC government anything for the convenience and privilege for reserved spaces while we private citizens will get ticketed and towed? Does anyone else find this outrageous?


Messenger of Death?
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom

The Wednesday Post picture of Adrian Fenty [not available online] in a long black overcoat and matching fedora campaigning for mayor looks very ominous. Is Fenty the messenger of Death?


Snow Emergency Routes
Ralph J. Chittams, Sr.,

In the January 26, 2005, edition of themail I noted the lack of snow emergency routes in southeast Washington, DC. At that time I stated that I was communicating with the DC Department of Transportation regarding this issue. DDOT informed me that although Minnesota Avenue, SE; Massachusetts Avenue, SE; Ridge Road SE; and Branch Avenue, SE; between Pennsylvania Avenue and Minnesota Avenue, are not Snow Emergency Routes, they would give those streets priority because they are vital to public safety. It took over a year to find out what would happen. Well, kudos to DDOT! I cannot speak for Ridge Road, but all of the other streets were plowed within twenty-four hours of the snow ceasing to fall. In fact, even the side street on which I live was plowed, three times! Granted they were just doing their job, but a big thank you is in order. Thanks DDOT.


Candidate Littering
Justin Hormel,

I have nothing personal against Mr. Rees, and only know about him through his submissions to themail. Despite my unfamiliarity with him, I would have difficulty supporting a candidate who openly admits (not that I’d prefer he hide his acts) to littering and breaking the law through illegal advertising methods: “While I am 51 years old, I walk five miles every night up and down the streets of Ward 3 putting my mini flyer on telephone poles, on car windows, and in doors, and I will not stop until September 12, 2006” [themail, February 12]. Individuals and businesses that litter can be reported to the Clean City Initiative,


Why I Didn’t Comment on the Stadium Vote
Bryce A. Suderow,

I didn’t comment on the council’s vote on the proposed stadium because I was stunned. Fooled by their rhetoric, I was sure they’d vote it down. Next thing I knew, they’d voted for it. Now I’m no longer in a daze. Now I’m disgusted and angry.


Ralph Nader to CFO on Baseball Cap
Shawn McCarthy,

[This is an open letter from Ralph Nader to Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi] The residents and taxpayers of the District of Columbia have been told by members of the DC Council and in subsequent press reports, that the approved baseball stadium lease -- as written -- now contains a $610.8 million cap on spending from city resources for the new stadium project. I am requesting that, as the District’s Chief Financial Officer, you release a statement immediately either verifying to the people of the District that the $610.8 million cap on city spending for the new baseball stadium is a true, ironclad cap, with no loopholes, or an explanation as to why it is not.

A verification of the cap should include a statement pledging that under this legislation — should a new baseball stadium be constructed — not one dollar more than $610.8 million can be spent on the total stadium project using District of Columbia public resources of any kind, including from tax dollars, tax breaks, development rights, bond revenue, private monies provided in exchange for something of value from the District or any other resource connected to the District, including those from the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission or any other quasi-governmental entity of the District.

If there is no cap, and there remains one or more channels which leave open the possibility of more than $610.8 million being spent on the stadium project using District of Columbia public resources of any kind, please provide a detailed explanation in your statement.

In addition, I would like your opinion on what the impact of issuing bonds for this stadium would be on the city’s ability to raise funds on Wall Street for District needs. There is a level of fiscal integrity required regarding the overall very high indebtedness per capita in the District of Columbia (highest in the nation). Also, the people of the District need to understand that you interpret the language from the Council’s legislation as a true, ironclad cap, with no loopholes. It is in that spirit that I look forward to your considered response.

This letter does not change our opposition to the taxpayers’ financing this stadium and other costs. Renovating RFK Stadium with Major League Baseball’s money is the answer.


More Government Accountability
Mary C. Williams,

My list of concerns has grown so long that I can’t find the time to address them all. I am just baffled by the District’s continuing ability to waste taxpayers’ money without even giving a second thought as to how these actions impact our community. And I’m not even talking about the stadium this time. I’m speaking of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, the multimillion dollar organization that not only duplicates the work of the Office of Planning and Economic Development, but also performs exactly the same function as the other multimillion dollar quasi-government agency of a different name, the RLA/NCRC. All are planning and development organizations with huge tax-supported budgets and not a lot to show for their efforts except to hire many outside consultants and collect inflated salaries.

Now it seems that the AWC wants to be even more than another extraneous development organization. It is now a philanthropic agency. Could it be that it doesn’t have enough to do developing our southeast/southwest waterfront and giving away all of our valuable property to favorite developers? It certainly appears to be the case these days. How else do you explain the fact that the highly paid AWC Executive Director and two of his staff members visited our ANC on Monday to promote their "partnership and grants" program, a fairly extensive project that will disburse educational and youth-oriented grants to 501(c)(3) organizations and provide up to three internships for high school students. For a moment I forgot who these people were and what they were paid to do. Then I came to my senses and got angry.

The AWC presentation was really professional, but it outraged me, especially because it was apparent that a lot of time and expense went into planning this project. There is even a designated staff member hired specifically to oversee the project. I had to ask Mr. Washington if he knew the mission of his organization. It’s a development organization. We don’t need another taxpayer-funded agency to give away money to the needy. How many middlemen does it take? We have more than enough human services and youth organizations to hand out grants to needy people and probably can do a heck of a better job at it. And where exactly is the money to fund this project supposed to come from? It is absurd that our tax dollars are being used to build political empires, carve out little fiefdoms, and to pay for elaborate public relations campaigns for an organization that was not needed and no one wanted in the first place. The AWC pushes the envelope because it should never have been approved and has no real purpose in this government except to hire consultants to do the job that they can’t do. My ANC voted 3-2 in support of a motion that asks our city officials to reign in this quasi-government agency and force it to perform only its mission and, hopefully, disappear. How much more of the taxpayers’ dollars can they siphon off?

On a sad but similar note, the city is paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain the old Randall School in Southwest for a handful of starving artists and the Art Enables program, after shutting down the homeless shelter that was housed there for many years. The building was supposed to have been sold to the Corcoran School of Art last year but the sale has been held up for unknown reasons. Meanwhile, the city has been footing the bill for utilities, leasing a portable boiler on a trailer at a cost of $100,000 and providing a full-time engineer from the Office of Property Management to maintain it fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, while the artists, and even my own ANC, maintain offices there for free. Prior to that, the city absorbed the cost of all utilities for three years under the lease agreement with Bill Wooby, and ended up paying him $1.5 million to move after he failed to pay on the lease for years. And now, the greatest irony is that about five of the starving artists have made this old place their full-time residences, setting up private bedrooms and living areas inside this warm and cozy building, while outside in the doorways and crevices of our own government building, about a dozen or so homeless people who used to find shelter nearby now sleep out in the cold.

I am reluctant to point this fact out but the racial disparity is too blatant to ignore. The artists and those people who have taken up full-time residences in this rent-free government building are all white; those living just outside the door are all African-Americans. Do we provide only for those homeless people who are politically connected enough to disguise their plight? If we are going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep a few starving artists warm through the night, then open up the doors and let everybody in. It’s the most prudent and compassionate thing that you can do.


Offense in themail
Vincent C. Gray, Councilmember Ward 7,

On February 2, Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill wrote an apology to readers that referenced me and my involvement with the Citizens for the National Capital Medical Center. There are numerous errors in the article that warrant a response. Much of this seems to emanate from a conversation which I initiated with Ms. Brizill concerning an article written by Dr. Eric Rosenthal that was published by DCWatch. In that article, Dr. Rosenthal made references to a meeting of supporters of the National Capital Medical Center (NCMC) held on January 12th. He stated in part, “. . . some of the rhetoric emerging from the meeting included appeals to racial divisiveness,” and “intellectually lazy and divisive appeals to race.” [Editor’s note: Councilmember Gray elides two unrelated phrases here in order to distort them and misrepresent Dr. Rosenthal’s meaning. Rosenthal’s message is at] I asked Ms. Brizill how DCWatch could publish such a statement from Dr. Rosenthal since he did not attend the meeting and, at best, was offering secondhand hearsay. I went on to state that I was aware Dr. Rosenthal did not attend the meeting because I did and, thus, knew he was not there. Moreover, I indicated to Ms. Brizill that, in the meeting, I heard absolutely no references to race nor was there any attempt to engage in racially divisive rhetoric. [Editor’s note: this again misrepresents what Dr. Rosenthal contended.] Ms. Brizill then asked me about an E-mail sent by Leo Alexander, which she indicated was “nasty and ugly.” I stated to her that I had not seen this E-mail message nor was I even aware of its existence (I subsequently saw Mr. Alexander’s E-mail message). [Editor’s note: Alexander, writing as a spokesman for Citizens for the National Capital Medical Center, attacked Rosenthal largely on the basis of what he presumed to be Rosenthal’s religion, see Since Gray does not either criticize these comments or disassociate himself from them in any way, I assume that he sees nothing wrong with them.] Since I reiterated that I still could not understand how Dr. Rosenthal’s message could be accorded validity when he was not at the meeting, and therefore had no firsthand knowledge of what had transpired. Again, I noted my attendance at the January 12th meeting and our conversation ended.

This conversation was then reported by DCWatch as, “Gray tried to deny to Dorothy that he had any involvement with the group until she confronted him with the fact that his chief of staff, Dawn Slonneger; Gina Lagomarsino, and others had already confirmed that he began it and that he was coordinating its activities with the Mayor’s office.” First of all, at no time did I ever deny involvement with the group. In fact, I told Ms. Brizill the reason why I knew Dr. Rosenthal’s assertions were inaccurate is because I was at the meeting, heard no racially divisive references and, as an attendee, knew firsthand Dr. Rosenthal was not present. [Editor’s note: Councilmember Gray may not recall that there were several witnesses to the conversation between Ms. Brizill and him.]

Although “Offense in themail” states otherwise, at no time did Ms. Brizill confront me about having spoken to Ms. Slonneger or Ms. Lagomarsino. Ms. Slonneger told me about her conversation with Ms. Brizill after the article appeared in DCWatch on February 2nd. Assuming Ms. Brizill asked them, I am certain Ms. Slonneger and Ms. Lagomarsino did confirm my participation in the group of supporters. Why wouldn’t they, since I have spoken to many people about these efforts as well as the fact that a citizens group was organizing in support of the National Capital Medical Center? It was a perfectly truthful and appropriate response for them to provide. What masquerades as journalistic sleuthing was nothing more than confirming what I had already stated to Ms. Brizill and what was known to many.

Mr. Imhoff and Ms. Brizill state that the NCMC, “was originally organized by Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, growing out of discussion in December in the Ward 7 Democrats.” That is inaccurate. The Ward 7 Democrats did not even conduct a meeting in December, instead holding our Annual Holiday Celebration, which was attended by over 300 people. The Ward 7 Democrats are on record, like many other organizations, as supporting the NCMC. [Editor’s note: Ms. Lagomarsino, Senior Policy Advisor on Health to the City Administrator, told Ms. Brizill that the organization grew out of the councilmember’s discussions with the Ward 7 Democrats; do all discussions among Ward 7 Democrats take place solely in their formal monthly meetings?]

The facts are that formation of “Citizens for the National Capital Medical Center” was discussed and approved by those who attended the meeting of supporters on January 12, 2006, the meeting at which Dr. Rosenthal erroneously claims racially divisive remarks were made. [Editor’s note: this again misstates what Dr. Rosenthal wrote.] Surely, no one can make a credible argument that there is something wrong with a group which supports the hospital formalizing its efforts and working concertedly on behalf of the project. That is basic advocacy which is the hallmark of a democracy. I also hasten to add that the group which attended the meeting on January 12th, where Dr. Rosenthal alleges racially divisive rhetoric occurred, was racially diverse. But I cannot expect him to know that since he was not there.

The article penned by Mr. Imhoff and Ms. Brizill stated that I, “condemned Rosenthal to Dorothy. . . .” That is patently inaccurate. [Editor’s note: Again, there were witnesses to the conversation.] As stated earlier, I queried Ms. Brizill on how DCWatch could run an article containing uncorroborated accusations about such a potentially inflammatory issue as “racial divisiveness” written by someone not in attendance. That hardly sounds like condemnation. I am still awaiting an answer to how credibility could have been accorded information provided by someone not present at the meeting.

The article also references an encounter in which Ms. Brizill states she was not admitted to what was actually the first meeting of the CNCMC on January 30th following formation on January 12th. She claims to have identified “most” of the people in attendance when that occurred. She includes me in her list. That is inaccurate. While I attended that meeting, I arrived well after this situation occurred and neither saw Ms. Brizill outside nor inside the meeting. Thus, she could not possibly have identified me because I was not in attendance during the time she was there. [Editor’s note: Councilmember Gray attended the meeting, but it is inaccurate to say he attended the meeting because he didn’t see Ms. Brizill there? What?} Moreover, East of the River paper, which wrote an article on the meeting in its February issue, stated the following, “Councilmember Vincent Gray, who arrived in the middle of the meeting, said afterward that he would not have condoned reporters being sent away from the meeting. ‘I don’t mind anybody listening to what we have to say here . . . the message is that we need a hospital.’”

Whether one supports construction of the National Capital Medical Center or not, there is a professional and ethical obligation to get the facts straight. Reporting news is one thing. Inventing it is another.


February 2006 InTowner
Peter Wolff,

This is to advise that the February 2006 online edition has been uploaded and may be accessed at Included are the lead stories, community news items and crime reports, editorials (including prior months’ archived), restaurant reviews (prior months’ also archived), and the text from the ever-popular “Scenes from the Past” feature. Also included are all current classified ads. The complete issue (along with prior issues back to September 2002) also is available in PDF file format directly from our home page at no charge simply by clicking the link provided. Here you will be able to view the entire issue as it appears in print, including all photos and advertisements. The next issue will publish on March 10 (the second Friday of the month, as always). The complete PDF version will be posted by the preceding night or early that Friday morning at the latest, following which the text of the lead stories, community news, and selected features will be uploaded shortly thereafter.

To read this month’s lead stories, simply click the link on the home page to the following headlines: 1) “Corcoran Street Safeway Major Rehab to Start — Product Changes Completed”; 2) “Public Space Use Application by Mt. Pleasant’s Bestway Food Market Denied After Neighbors’ Complaints — DDOT Intervenes”; 3) “Heurich Mansion Facing Foreclosure — Efforts to Save House Museum for the Public Now Underway”; 4) “Historic Firehouse in Bloomingdale to be Restored and Given New Uses”; and 5) “Adams Morgan Essay: Four O’clock in the A.M.”



At-Large Councilmember Campaign Debate, February 16
John Capozzi,

The first debate of the at-large councilmember campaign will be held at the Thursday February 16, Kalorama Citizens Association meeting, on Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 p.m., at Goodwill Baptist Church, 1862 Kalorama Road, side entrance, near Columbia Road. Our guest speakers will be city council at-large candidates A. Scott Bolden and incumbent Phil Mendelson. For more information, see


DCPS Budget Hearing, February 16
Sharon Gang,

On Thursday, February 16, Mayor Anthony A. Williams will hold a public hearing on the District of Columbia Public Schools FY 2007 budget proposal. The hearing will be held in the former Council Chamber at One Judiciary Square beginning at 5 p.m. Mayor Williams invites the public to testify at this hearing to provide input as he develops his FY 2007 Budget and Financial Plan.

Anyone wishing to testify should contact Robert Boik at 27-8805 or via E-mail at, no later than February 16 at noon. Witnesses representing organizations will be permitted a maximum of five minutes for oral presentation. Witnesses representing themselves as individuals will be permitted three minutes. Individuals are encouraged to collaborate with other like-minded individuals to present consolidated, joint testimony.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, you are encouraged to submit a written statement to Mayor Williams. Copies of written statements should be submitted to Deborah Gist, State Education Officer for the District of Columbia, One Judiciary Square, 4414th Street, NW, Suite 350 North, Washington, DC, 20001. The deadline for the submission of written statements is Thursday, February 23.


Carter Woodson Tea Ceremony, February 18
Alexander M. Padro,

Shaw Main Streets’ Black History Month Celebration will honor Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History, with an African American Tea Ceremony on Saturday, February 18, at 1:00 p.m., at the Shiloh Baptist Church’s Henry C. Gregory, III Family Life Center, 1510 9th Street, NW. The tea ceremony will engage participants to share what they know about Dr. Woodson and how his work has affected their lives. Men and women who worked with or met Dr. Woodson will be present to share their reminiscences. Participants will then enjoy tea. The ceremony will be led by African American Tea Praises founder Johnetta Bagby.

News about other efforts to honor Dr. Woodson in Shaw will also be presented. Each pre-registered participant will receive a special souvenir of the event. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP, call 265-SHAW or E-mail


Let My People Vote, February 19
Kevin Kiger,

On Sunday, February 19, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., the Foundry Democracy Project will host “Let My People Vote 2006: How Faith Communities Can Take Action to Pass the DC FAIR Act” at Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th Street, NW, on the corner of 16th and P Streets, NW. This event is being held to engage communities of faith in a discussion of how they can take urgent action to pressure Congress to pass the DC FAIR Act, which would create a voting representative in Congress for Washington, DC. The DC FAIR Act was introduced by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) and would establish DC as a congressional district for the purposes of representation in the House. The bill would also provide for the temporary apportionment of an additional representative in the next eligible state, Utah. Speaking at Let My People Vote 2006 will be James Winkler, general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, the public witness and advocacy agency of the United Methodist Church.

Let My People Vote 2006 is a follow-up event to Let My People Vote held in June 2004, which brought together clergy and religious social justice activists from different faith traditions to discuss why people of faith should be concerned about congressional disenfranchisement. Let My People Vote 2006 is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is not required, and Foundry United Methodist Church is handicapped accessible.


National Building Museum Events, February 18, 22
Lauren Searl,

Saturday, February 18, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Festival: Discover Engineering Family Day. The National Building Museum and The National Engineers Week Committee welcome families, scout groups, and all curious visitors to this fascinating festival. Meet engineers and discover how they turn their ideas into reality through engaging hands-on activities and demonstrations. Make slime, watch US FIRST robot demonstrations and competitions, design bridges and helicopters out of paper, build cantilevers from drinking straws, solve math challenges for prizes, and much more! Young visitors will also enjoy special appearances by Harry and Digit from the PBS animated kids’ series Cyberchase. Free. $5 suggested donation. Most appropriate for children ages 5-13. Drop-in program. Scouts and large groups should register with the Family Programs Coordinator at 272-2448, ext. 5213 or At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at

Wednesday, February 22, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Lecture: The Willard Hotel: A Landmark Reborn. A fixture in Washington history for more than 150 years, the Willard Hotel has a fascinating history of its own. Richard Wallace Carr, president of The Oliver Carr Company which redeveloped the hotel in the 1980s and author of The Willard Hotel, An Illustrated History, will discuss the hotel’s history from its beginnings on Pennsylvania Avenue, the purchase by the Willard family, its history during Civil War, redevelopment at the turn of the 20th century, and its demise in 1968 and resurrection in 1986. After the lecture he will sign copies of The Willard Hotel, An Illustrated History, and his wife Marie will sign Dolly and Ike at The Willard. This lecture will be held at The Willard Hotel in the Crystal Room, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. $10 Museum members, Friends of the Willard, and students; $15 Nonmembers. Prepaid registration required.


Louisiana Network’s Fat Tuesday, February 28
Elena Temple,

The Louisiana Network, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization comprised of natives of the state of Louisiana, is hosting a local Mardi Gras Celebration in honor of our New Orleans heritage and traditions. Boasting one the city’s most authentic celebrations, the LA Network’s ‘Fat Tuesday’ event will be held at Phish Tea Café, 1335 H Street, NE, on Tuesday, February 28, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is $15 for non-LA Network members; and proceeds will benefit the LA Network and its ongoing hurricane relief efforts.

Established in 1999 to assist Louisiana natives relocating to the Washington Metropolitan area, the LA Network has evolved into an outreach organization providing both a professional network and a social outlet to a membership of several hundred. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, the LA Network initiated a campaign to help displaced residents of Louisiana who relocated to Washington, DC, and surrounding jurisdictions. The LA Network extends a special invitation to New Orleans evacuees currently residing in the DC Metropolitan Area to join them on Fat Tuesday at Phish Tea Café.



Part-Time Administrative Position
Trudy Reeves,

Forty hours per month, administrative support for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C, a nonprofit community organization that covers Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, McLean Gardens, and Cathedral Heights. Flexible hours; must have web site management experience, proficiency in MS Office, possess excellent organizational skills, and have own transportation, must take minutes at evening meetings (third Monday every month), finalize, mail, and post resolutions on web site; and keep web site up to date. Prefer candidate who lives in or near ANC3C area. For general information visit web site at E-mail resume to


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