I’m ruthless in forbidding discussion of national and international
issues in themail, unless they relate directly to local conditions in
the District of Columbia, but I’ll risk tempting you to try to sneak
in forbidden subjects, even though you know we’re not going to argue
about international topics here. Many of us have, from time to time,
wondered what it would be like to live in a dangerous war zone such as
Iraq. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) had the same thought, so he did
some comparative statistical analysis, which he released in a May 3
floor speech in the House (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/ia05_king/sp_20060503_stats.html).
King researched the number of deaths by violence (including the war,
subsequent terrorism, and non-terrorist-related murders) in Iraq over
the last three years. He came up with an annual estimate of 27.51 deaths
by violence per 100,000 of population. Then he compared that figure to
deaths by violence in several other nations and several American cities.
The comparable figures for American cities were 31.4 in St. Louis, 34.9
in Atlanta, 37.7 in Baltimore, 41.8 in Detroit, and 45.9 in Washington.
So if you’re curious about how it would feel to live in a war zone
like Iraq, you already know — it would feel like living here, only
Loose Lips blubbers: today Mark Seagraves of WTOP sent an E-mail
announcing that Jim Jones, formerly of WAMU and now the Washington
City Paper’s Loose Lips columnist, and his wife have had a baby.
Also today the Gawker web site reports that City Paper’s editor
and former Loose Lips, Eric Wemple, has been hired as the new editor of
the Village Voice, and that Eric and his wife, reporter Stephanie
Mencimer, will be moving to New York (http://www.gawker.com/news/village-voice/breaking-erik-wemple-named-eic-of-village-voice-177511.php).
Thanks for all your comments about the format you prefer for themail.
Since a number of people seem to be interested in the topic, I’ll
invite you to continue sending me your comments on what you prefer, and
Protect C&O Canal from Private Development
Sally Strain, email@example.com
The National Park Service (NPS) has released an Environmental
Assessment (EA) on the Georgetown University (GU) boathouse for public
comment. The boathouse is proposed for within the C&O Canal National
Historical Park at the narrow, busy, fragile gateway to one of the crown
jewels of our entire National Park System. The site is a wooded, tidal
flood plain containing wetlands, at the entrance to the Capital Crescent
Trail (CCT) and the Potomac Gorge, and near the historic Canal
towpath/levee. No construction should be allowed at that location, much
less an enormous GU boathouse — almost the length of a football field
— for one group of collegiate rowers.
Please help protect the Park from this misguided proposal by sending
a letter to NPS expressing your opposition to the plan. Request a
comprehensive study and full Environmental Impact Statement of the
entire waterfront that will take a truly "hard look" at
alternative locations outside the Park for three new boathouses proposed
for the area. Act now, and spread the word: See the Defenders of Potomac
River Parkland web site, http://www.savethecanal.org,
for sample letters and a link to the Environmental Assessment for the GU
boathouse proposal. Defenders is an alliance of twenty-one civic,
conservation and recreation organizations. The deadline for submitting
letters is June 15.
Instead of building within the Park, GU should build outside the Park
on more accessible and degraded land (such as land at 34th Street and
K/Water Streets, next to the proposed site for another private boathouse
for George Washington University). A location outside the Park for the
$15-17 million GU facility would have many environmental, technical,
safety and practical advantages, while protecting the wild and scenic
C&O Park for the enjoyment of everyone. NPS played favorites with
Dan Snyder, allowing him to cut trees and harming the C&O Canal
Park. Let’s not allow NPS to play favorites with Georgetown
University. Tell NPS to say “No to the GU boathouse in our C&O
Park.” Thanks for your interest, and please spread the word!
Puzzling Change in Public Library Leadership
Leonard Minsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
In a surprising move this week, the District of Columbia Public
Library System’s Board of Trustees terminated their relationship with
the Library’s interim director, Fran Buckley. Buckley is former
Director of the Shaker Heights (Ohio) Public Library System and former
Superintendent of Documents at the US Government Printing Office. He was
lured out of retirement over a year ago by the Board of Library
Trustees. With no public action, the Board informed Mr. Buckley that his
services were no longer needed, that they will be bringing in a
"transition manager," and that the Director of Human Resources
for DCPL, Ellen Flaherty, has been put in charge of day-to-day
operations. The new permanent director, Ginnie Cooper, is scheduled to
start a five-year contract on August 1 of this year.
These actions call into question the priorities of the Board of
Library Trustees. The Library System will now be without a strong leader
at a time when four communities continue waiting for interim branches,
when the mayor’s proposal to lease the main library is being
considered by the District council, and when funds to replace computers
and furniture could be available through supplemental funding requests.
With the Library System’s current vacancy rate at 13 percent, services
are already suffering and important contracts are lapsing. The library
system is without enough manpower to cover all the critical functions in
operating a system of its size. Yet now an overworked human resources
director is saddled with responsibility for day-to-day operations as
Now more than ever, the library system needs vocal advocates that
will inform our District leaders that libraries matter to our community.
Two more months of neglect and inaction are simply unacceptable. The
safe, clean, and courteous operation of our libraries across the city
should be the number one priority for our library leadership with the
restoration of library services in Anacostia, Benning, Shaw, and Tenley
following as an equally critical need.
Because ANCs are supposed to be politically nonpartisan, the Office
of Special Counsel has issued an opinion that ANC commissioners may not
run for an elected partisan office without first resigning from the ANC.
Although the Office of Special Counsel has no enforcement authority, one
ANC Commissioner already has dropped out of the race for council chair
because of the ruling. What about the ward races? Shouldn’t ANC
commissioners who are seeking election to the council as ward
representatives also be expected to adhere to the ruling by the Office
of Special Counsel and voluntarily resign their posts? Would this not be
a sign of their commitment to good government?
In a consumer-driven moment, I traded in my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid
for a 2006 (which is way nicer than the 2003 with added safety
features). I calculated that with the trade and the $3000.00 tax credit
the cars would cost me about the same. This was in March. I had painful
tussles with the dealer and did not get notice that my tags were ready
until Friday. Along with the notice, I got a $1200 and some dollars
check, with a note that DC does not charge excise tax on hybrid
vehicles. Odd, I thought. So I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles
web site, where it showed a lower registration fee but said nothing
about excise tax. I checked recent legislation on the council’s web
site, and found zip. So when I picked up my tags, I inquired to make
sure there was no mistake. All the salesmen were, oh yeah DC and MD don’t
charge excise tax on hybrids. I can only guess that in the several
months the dealership jerked me around, something happened, as they
surely would have mentioned there was no excise tax at the time I bought
the car. I am also getting those $99.00 10.7 EER rated air conditioners
at Costco and filing for the $50.00 rebate with the DC Energy office. We
bought a larger one for the first floor at Sears with an EER of 11, and
it turns out Sears has its own $50.00 rebate program and were more than
happy to give me multiple sales slips so I could claim all the rebates.
Trash Day Slides for Everyone
Mary Myers, email@example.com
Beginning this week, all city trash and recyclables collection in all
neighborhoods will slide one day following a public holiday. In the
past, the post-holiday schedule was staggered, with one collection
schedule for Supercan areas and another schedule for households in
twice-a-week collection neighborhoods. Now the routes have been
harmonized, allowing uniform trash and recycling collection citywide.
This change affects approximately twenty-five percent of DPW
customers; those who have twice-weekly trash and recyclables collection.
For them, Monday’s collection will be made on Tuesday; Tuesday’s
collection will be made on Wednesday; Thursday’s collection will be
picked up on Friday, and Friday’s collection will be picked up on
Saturday. Once-weekly (Supercan) trash and recyclables collection
already slides one day following a public holiday.
Steve Leraris, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the record I have absolutely no connection with any politician
running for mayor, chair, etc., but someone in the Orange camp needs to
read and follow DC law: “108.9 Signs and posters shall not be affixed
by adhesives that prevent their complete removal from the fixture, or
that do damage to the fixture. (It is illegal to use tape in affixing
signs to lampposts.)”
I see so many of his posters with tape. Of course nothing will be
done to punish Mr. Orange’s campaign for breaking DC law, and the
campaign will pass-the-buck and blame volunteers or outside vendors. His
campaign isn’t the only one; just the worst offender.
What’s in the Adopted FY2007 Budget?
Ed Lazere, email@example.com
The DC Council approved a final budget of $5.0 billion on May 9. The
final budget includes a substantial number of new investments,
particularly in affordable housing and health care, but also in areas
such as libraries and public safety. The DC Fiscal Policy Institute has
prepared a short summary of the adopted FY 2007 budget. A somewhat
longer analysis of the FY 2007 budget will be issued by DCFPI this
summer. The summary is posted on the DC Budget Toolkit at http://www.dcfpi.org/?page_id=7.
A Compromise Solution
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom
The tug-of-war between the Lerners and the DC government planners for
the new baseball stadium revolves around the parking for the stadium. DC
planners want underground parking that would allow the area around the
stadium to be developed with facilities that would keep those who come
to the ballpark well fed and entertained (and maybe even some very good
shopping). That sounds like a good idea to me. The Lerners, on the other
hand, are rightly concerned that developing and producing underground
parking facilities will delay the parking availability for a year beyond
the date that the stadium will open for baseball in the spring of 2008.
A possible compromise solution would be to build some aboveground
parking garages near the stadium but to build these garages in such a
way that they can be converted to housing/retail facilities or office
spaces after the underground parking is completed.
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t tell the council, but there is more to leadership than
upholding financial and legal bottom lines. The council taught us this
lesson over the baseball stadium. The big business lobby had the council
put forth the idea that city services like schools could not grow
because the city had to watch its financial bottom line. And then, as in
a clumsy switch in a shell game, they proceeded to throw that argument
to the wind as stadium legislation began to unfold throwing the city
Now as a call to improve the city’s charter regarding the
educational rights of citizens of the district, some in the council are
saying that there is a legal bottom line over which they cannot cross.
Apparently, as detractors put forth, if the charter says that the city
is obliged to provide “free high quality public education” there
will be more law suits than there already are. Right now, over two
thousand special education students are currently receiving tens of
millions of dollars in private school tuitions because the city cannot
provide for free high quality public education for them. The DCPS Office
of Transportation is in court receivership with no caps on spending.
Combined with the tuitions, hundreds of millions of dollars are going
over the transom because of lawsuits. Essentially the cart has gotten
away from the horse and some councilmembers still feel they are in
control at the reins.
What opposing councilmembers don’t get is that there is also a
moral bottom line. A line in which money and lawyers do not answer the
problem. A line in which the city upholds certain moral and ethical
standards and if expectations are below those standards than the
expectations are raised or clarified. This formula is the same one that
the schools are being asked to meet by raising standards and
expectations for students, teachers and principals. Somehow elected
officials see their role differently. The Wilson Building has a
different set of standards and expectations than Wilson Elementary and
Wilson High School and it shows in the attitude of these legislators.
Visit all three and you can’t miss the difference. This council needs
to adopt the Education Rights Charter Amendment in the next few weeks
not because there is a financial or legal bottom line, but because there
is a moral one.
NCMC Critic, Get Your Facts Straight
Vanessa Dixon, Citizens for the National Capital Medical
In the May 28 issue of themail, Sam Jordan expressed concerns about
the National Capital Medical Center’s (NCMC) serving as a
"bailout" for Howard University Hospital (HUH). If Mr. Jordan
is so concerned about hospital bailouts, I suggest that he focus on the
city’s continuous bailouts in the past five years of Greater Southeast
Community Hospital, the twice-bankrupt-in-four-years hospital that
received tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to provide services that
never materialized, such as a Level 1 trauma center. It’s my
understanding that the city’s next gift to Greater Southeast Hospital
will be clinics -- those that currently reside at the DC General Urgent
Care Center — which the city reportedly plans to close, coincidentally
right after the mayor’s health care taskforce completes its work by
As I understand “bailout,” a party of the first party is the
recipient of charity from a party of the second part. By this
definition, Greater Southeast Hospital perhaps wins the prize for most
bailed out institution, given that it is the recipient of repeated
taxpayer largesse. Whereas Howard University Hospital agreed to
contribute $200 million (half the construction cost of NCMC) and
expected no subsidies from the city to operate the facility. Perhaps Mr.
Jordan is confusing a broke, bailed out hospital with a hailed hospital
(i.e., HUH). HUH is a $10 billion, 140-year historic institution that
has the capacity to enter into a partnership with the city. HUH is not
the recipient of charity; rather it provides “charity” care at a
rate up to four times greater than other DC hospitals. The last time I
checked, this is considered a service to underserved communities.
Further, Mr. Jordan’s claims, “Another issue meriting examination by
the Task Force is the fate of Howard University Hospital (HUH).”
Quoting from the mayor’s notes to the Task Force, “. . . the task
force will develop recommendations to promote the financial stability of
all existing District hospitals and to improve emergency room
infrastructure. A primary element of this charge is working to shore up
the financial viability and quality of services at Greater Southeast
Community Hospital in tandem with ensuring the continued stability of
Howard University Hospital.” Please don’t lie by omission, Mr.
Yet the real issue is not Howard University Hospital, Greater
Southeast Hospital, or any DC hospital. The real issue is access to
quality health care and how it can be best provided. The advocates of
the NCMC — a Level 1 trauma hospital, with primary and specialty care
doctors offices, wellness and nutrition center, etc. — believe that
some of the city’s most pressing health care problems can be addressed
through such a facility at Reservation 13. NCMC would address five of
the most pressing health care problems: 1) lack of primary care, 2) lack
of specialty care, 3) major health care disparities in east Washington,
4) emergency room overcrowding, and 5) all Level 1 trauma hospitals
clustered in close proximity. Further, the addition of NCMC recognizes
that there are only 150 hospital beds and 39 doctors offices in east
Washington where there are over 250,000 residents who suffer from some
of the worst health care indices in the Western Hemisphere. This is
compared to 5000 hospital beds and 650 doctors offices in healthier west
Washington. This is why the NCMC is endorsed by organizations like the
National Medical Association/DC chapter and the NAACP. Mr. Jordan should
be as concerned about getting his facts straight as he is about
condemning a project (HUH’s role regarding NCMC) about which his fund
of knowledge is debatable.
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG
Leave themail Alone
Frank Zampatori, email@example.com
Gary, please keep the format for themail as it is. It provides a
unique forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions with you acting, on
occasion, as the editor. If Susan Carpenter [themail, May 28] wants a
blog, I suggest she check out DC Wire, run by the Washington Post.
It allows uncontrolled postings and comments in response to political
articles written by Post reporters. Unfortunately, one or two
individuals have destroyed its usefulness by writing twenty or forty
responses per item without regard to the topic. Some of the comments
border on character assassination. With a little effort, Ms Carpenter
can sign up on any number of blogs or listservs. But leave themail as it
I agree 100 percent with Susan. I am in the same boat as her. I would
prefer a Yahoo or MSN user group-type set up, but blog is cool, too.
In Internet communication, there is a difference between push forms
of communication such as listservs and E-newsletters that send
communication out to you automatically, and pull, web sites of any type,
that expect readers to seek out the web site without reminder. In direct
marketing, especially of printed matter, it is recognized that people
utilize multiple means to purchase. E.g., a catalog may induce sales in
stores as well as by mail, online, etc. The web is great for
micromarketing, and some political web sites get thousands even tens of
thousands of visits daily. But most blogs get only a handful of visits.
I would strongly advise against ceasing themail as an E-newsletter sent
out to a list. Readership would likely decline by as much as three
quarters. And given that themail is the most significant "good
government" organ in the city (in my opinion anyway), that is a
loss in impact that those of us clamoring for a more livable and just
city cannot sustain.
Sure my blog (http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com)
has regular readership, not insignificant for one that requires readers
to use their noggins, but as many people recognize my name when meeting
me from my various postings in themail — “Oh, you write in themail”
is something I hear often — as from my own blog. Speaking of
cross-marketing, I still get many visits to my blog each week from a
posting I made to themail last year — “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple
Pie, and Business as Usual,” in this issue, http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/2005/05-02-23.htm.
Re: Ms. Carpenter’s point, it bugs me to no end that I get relatively
few comments on blog entries compared to other DC blogs like DCist or
Frozen Tropics, although I think it’s because the way I write
seemingly doesn’t invite comment.
themail (and perhaps H-DC, I’m not sure) were essential to efforts
a few years ago to publicize the likelihood of demolition of the Uline
Arena (Washington Coliseum), when the then owner applied for a raze
permit. I never created and sent out a press release, but I did send an
E-mail to themail (and H-DC). All the press attention that the issue
received at the time — articles in the Washington Post, Washington
Business Journal, Common Denominator, stories on NewsChannel8 and
other television coverage, and radio stories and interviews — came
from the entry in this issue: http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/2003/03-05-28.htm.
For me, themail is more important as an organ for those of us
concerned about good and better government and civic life to have a way
to communicate important issues across the city, with an engaged and
informed readership, rather than an organ designed to seek brief
comments and interactions with readers.
Changing to Blog Format
Tania Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org
I vote for the blog format. I have a personal one, and I monitor more
than a few listservs and neighborhood blogs. The blog format makes it
easier for the public to reply to specific items, and negates the pile-ons
that happen on listservs. You can reply to other people’s posts, but
it’s in an organized format. I would think that it would be helpful to
your readership, although I imagine it would be more difficult for you
to keep track of who reads your work.
Possible Format Change? No!
Paul Michael Brown, email@example.com
Do not under any circumstances change the format. The only thing that
makes themail worth reading is the fact that you edit it. If you turn it
into a listserv, it will be littered with bandwidth-wasting top postings
that are impossible to read. If you convert to an online blog or web
based discussion board themail will be hijacked by flame wars and low
value postings. (Not to mention automated spam and who knows what else.)
Besides, there are plenty of unedited listservs and discussion boards
already in existence.
Again, themail’s best feature is your firm hand on the editorial
tiller. If you bow out in the name of progress, themail will be ruined.
I think it is a good idea to turn the mail into a blog. You can still
E-mail your address book postings or key articles.
Please No! If people want, they can create a different list and make
it many-to-many format instead of our present format, but to me a blog
means unlimited verbal diarrhea instead of moderated verbal diarrhea
which, with the excellent work our hosts do, is quite digestible.
Please Don’t Blog
Star Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t go to a blog. Thanks. I like getting this twice a
week. People go back and forth. We don’t want to get into the flaming
and all that nonsense.
You might want to check my health site, though, http://healthsass.blogspot.com.
Sounds like a good idea. Maybe a blog with a mail list. Posting on
blog sites can be very messy.
Gary, unless you are intending to use the software whose name is
"listserv" you shouldn’t use the term with that spelling. It
is not, never has been, the generic name for an E-mail list server. The
product name and spelling belong to http://www.lsoft.com.
You make a very old newbie error.
My reaction is to ignore the suggestion; leave themail exactly as it
is. It works because it arrives twice weekly and it’s at least
moderately organized and edited. And the publication frequency provides
an automatic cooling-off period, preventing or at least slowing tedious
back-and-forth arguments. Anyone who wants to can create a mailing list
at groups.yahoo.com or wherever to discuss themail contents and issues,
but please keep the main list as it is.
And a point of intellectual property: LISTSERV(r) is the name of a
specific software product, a mailing list manager, marketed by small
local software firm L-Soft International. It’s a registered trademark.
It was the first practical list manager, which is why it suffers the
indignity of being misused as a generic term for “mailing list.”
L-Soft struggles to protect its trademark because the trademark is
valuable. Blurring the boundary between industry-leading product and
generic term does not do them a favor. Calling all mailing lists
"listserv" is like calling all cars Fords. I have no
connection to L-Soft besides knowing several people who work there and
appreciating their community spirit for supporting local nonprofit
[Malcolm and Gabe are both right; a company owns a trademark on the
name “Listserv,” and a company is bound to defend its registered
trademark, just like Kimberly-Clark tries to defend its trademark on
Kleenex Brand Tissue. But when was the last time you heard someone call
a disposable paper tissue a “disposable paper tissue,” and not a
Kleenex? Bayer lost the trademark to “aspirin” because it was so
successful in popularizing the word that it couldn’t force people to
refer to non-Bayer aspirin as acetylated spiraeic acid. (In fact, I
checked a bottle of generic aspirin, which now lists its active
ingredient as just “aspirin.”) I suspect that L-Soft is in much the
same predicament as Kimberly-Clark and Bayer both because of its success
and because the thing that is created by L-Soft’s software is
different from and more than just a “mailing list,” and there isn’t
another good word to describe a “listserv” accurately and
succinctly. — Gary Imhoff]
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Saturday, June 3, is National Trails Day. Plan to join us at the
entrance to the C&O Canal NHPark and Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) in
Georgetown, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., to celebrate the occasion in an event called
“C&O Canal NHPark Appreciation Day” (see http://www.americanhiking.org
for details). See the location proposed for the private Georgetown
University boathouse at the narrow, busy, scenic gateway to the Park and
the Capital Crescent Trail. Help with the distribution of fliers about
the GU boathouse proposal, or simply enjoy the wonderful recreational
and natural resources along the river. Walk to Fletcher’s boathouse on
the towpath and return by way of the CCT. After a walk in the Park, move
downstream to 34th Street and K/Water Streets and visit a wider, more
accessible, degraded section of land outside the Park. See if you don’t
agree that a the area outside the C&O Park is a better location in
every way for a private collegiate boathouse. We hope to see you on
Shepherd Park Community Yard Sales, June 3-4
Ralph Blessing, email@example.com
More than 75 sales throughout the community, June 3 and 4, 9 a.m.-3
p.m.. List of sales at http://www.shepherdpark.org.
Sale area is north of Walter Reed between Rock Creek Park and Georgia
Avenue. Additional activities: knife/tool sharpener at 14th and Kalmia;
group sales at Shepherd Elementary School at 14th and Kalmia (Saturday
and Sunday) and at Shepherd Park Christian Church at Eastern Avenue and
12th Street (Saturday only), Tifereth Israel at 16th and Juniper Streets
(Sunday only), and Eastern Village Co-housing at 7981 Eastern Avenue
(Sunday only); thrift shop at Northminster Church at Alaska and Kalmia
(Saturday only). Rain date June 4.
DC Public Library Events, June 7-8
Debra Truhart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, June 7, 10:30 a.m., Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood
Library, 3660 Alabama Avenue, SE. Derek Riley “Mr. Derby” provides
an engaging and moving song and dance experience. Ages 4-8. Public
Wednesday, June 7, 10:30 a.m., Northeast Neighborhood Library, 330
7th Street, NE. John “Kinderman” Taylor, a superhero of song, dance,
and rhyme, encourages learning and a sense of self-worth with “Kindercize.”
Ages 3-7. Public contact: 698-3320.
Wednesday, June 7, 10:30 a.m., Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403
7th Street, NW. B.J. Durham tells the story of Willie Lee: A Little
Slave Boy Who Was Determined to Learn How to Read and Be Free through
American Sign Language. Ages 12-19. Public contact: 576-7252.
Wednesday, June 7, 6:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room A-5. Author Charles Shields will discuss
his new book, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. Public
Thursday, June 8, 10:30 a.m., Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library,
3160 16th Street, NW. Motivational speaker Adrienne Vyfhuis presents an
interactive program that unleashes the creative energy in young
audiences through song, music and spoken and written word. Ages 12-19.
Public contact: 671-0200.
Thursday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Main Lobby. James and Rohulmin Quander,
father and son, will discuss their autobiography, The Quander
Quality: The True Story of a Trailblazing Diabetic. All ages. Public
Dupont Circle Mayoral Candidates Forum, June 5
Mark Bjorge, email@example.com
The Dupont Circle Citizens Association’s June meeting, open to all,
will present a mayoral candidates forum on Monday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m.,
in the sanctuary of Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th Street,
NW. Participating will be candidates Michael Brown, Linda Cropp, Adrian
Fenty, Marie Johns, and Vincent Orange. The moderator will be Mark
Plotkin, political commentator and analyst for WTOP radio and host of
“The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin.” Topics will focus on
issues of interest to Dupont Circle as well as those related to
Washington as a whole. Attendees may submit written questions during the
There will be a teach-in to save Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial
Library on Wednesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m., at the Carnegie Science
Building, 1530 P Street, NW, sponsored by the DC Library Renaissance
Project. Free and open to the public. The District’s Martin Luther
King, Jr., Memorial Library is the first building erected under Home
Rule, the first public building in the country dedicated to the slain
civil rights leader, and the only library in the world designed by famed
architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
In 2000, at the request of Board of Library Trustees and in
collaboration with library staff and users, the Urban Design Committee
of the American Institute of Architects undertook a feasibility study
for the renovation of MLK. The resulting proposal brings light,
rationality and functionality to a building that was never completed to
the architect’s specifications and which has been allowed to fall into
dire disrepair. In spite of opening to accolades in 1972, MLK Library is
now widely perceived as a soulless, unwelcoming place where nothing
works. The AIA study proposes a total transformation that resolves user
complaints while preserving and completing the architect’s vision.
Members of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Libraries say they
were told by the mayor that the MLK Library could not be salvaged. They
were never shown the AIA study. Now you (and they) can learn the details
of the AIA renovation option (two drawings are on view at our web site:
savedclibraries.org) before the June 15 City Council hearing on the
Mayor’s plan to abandon our historic, stand-alone central library in
favor of a smaller library, further from public transportation,
sandwiched into a mixed-use development on a patch of the old Convention
Center site. Your questions and concerns will be addressed by Kent
Cooper, AIA, original lead architect of the design study, in an open Q
& A. This event is free and open to the public. If you can’t
attend but have questions, contact me at the E-mail above and I will get
Holland’s Barriers of the Sea, June 10
Lauren Searl, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 10, 1:00 p.m. Film: Holland’s Barriers of the Sea.
Over the past millennium, Holland has faced periodic flooding, killer
sea swells, and massive loss of crops and life as a result. This film
(50 minutes, 2003), part of Discovery’s Extreme Engineering series,
examines the design solutions that engineers have developed to control
the raging seas. This screening complements the exhibition Newer Orleans
— A Shared Space. Free. Registration not required. At the National
Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red
Line. Register for events at http://www.nbm.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Housing Sought for July
Lorraine Swerdloff, email@example.com
A Swarthmore junior seeks housing in DC between June 26 and August 4
close to public transportation, preferably walking distance from the Red
Line. He’ll be working at a Latin American policy organization near
Union Station. He also plays jazz saxophone, so he is looking for a room
where he can practice during reasonable hours daily without being
intrusive. Please contact Caleb Ward directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — FREE
Housing Counseling Services has a variety of office furnishings
available at no cost to nonprofit, 501(c)3 organizations. Tables,
chairs, credenzas, files, desks in various states of repair. Most are in
usable shape, though they may not be pretty, and some need small
repairs. Call Oscar Mitchell or Juana Laboy at 667-7006 to schedule a
time to see what is available.
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