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May 31, 2006

The Unblog

Dear Mailers:

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 (  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 much safer.

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 (

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 why.

Gary Imhoff


Protect C&O Canal from Private Development
Sally Strain,

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,, 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,

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 well.

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.


Ward Council Races
Thomas M. Smith,

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?


Pleasant Surprises
Denise Wiktor,

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,

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.


Campaign Posters
Steve Leraris,

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,

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


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.


Confused Legislators
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir,

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 into debt.

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 Center,

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 July 1.

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. Jordan.

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.



Leave themail Alone
Frank Zampatori,

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 is.


Vote for Blogging
David Gaines,

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.


themail as a Blog
Richard Layman,

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 ( 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, 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:

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,

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,

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.


Karen Alston,

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.


Blogging or Listing
Harold Goldstein,

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,

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,


Blogging themail
Cecilio Morales,

Sounds like a good idea. Maybe a blog with a mail list. Posting on blog sites can be very messy.


Malcolm Wiseman,

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 You make a very old newbie error.


Gabe Goldberg,

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 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 organizations.

[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]



National Trails Day, June 3
Sally Strain,

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 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 Saturday.


Shepherd Park Community Yard Sales, June 3-4
Ralph Blessing,

More than 75 sales throughout the community, June 3 and 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.. List of sales at 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,

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 contact: 645-4297.

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 contact: 727-2079.

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 contact: 727-1211.


Dupont Circle Mayoral Candidates Forum, June 5
Mark Bjorge,

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 forum.


Teach-In to Save MLK Library, June 7
Robin Diener,

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: 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 you answers.


Holland’s Barriers of the Sea, June 10
Lauren Searl,

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



Housing Sought for July
Lorraine Swerdloff,

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



Furniture for Nonprofit
Marian Siegel,

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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