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June 4, 2006


Dear Raters:

I knew it. I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned Rep. Steve King’s comparison of the rates of violent death in Iraq and DC (themail, June 4). As I write repeatedly, themail is about local life in DC, and we don’t debate international or national issues here, but several people were furious that I should have quoted the figure of 27,000 civilian deaths by violence in Iraq over the past three years, and insistent that they should be able to challenge that number in themail. Even though Rep. Marcy Karpur, a liberal, antiwar Democrat, used the same number in her floor speech on the same day as King, and even though the main source for the death rate estimate is the antiwar group Iraq Body Count, now that King has used the estimate, the number has to be a lie, a dirty Republican trick. And I’m a dirty, deceptive, lying, Republican-lover for not insisting that the true number of civilian deaths in Iraq has to be much higher. That’s another good reason to limit discussion in themail to local issues; since Republicans are an extinct species here, we don’t have to blame them for everything.

A second complaint about the comparison of violent death rates was that Iraq is a whole country and the District of Columbia is a city, so it’s not fair to compare the two. The rate of violent deaths in the United States as a whole, these correspondents insist, is dramatically lower than the rate of violent deaths in Iraq. That’s true, but irrelevant to me. We don’t live in peaceful Iowa or Kansas; we live here, and the rate of violent deaths that is important to us is the one we face in this city. The same argument about an unfair comparison is made when DC’s schools and the test scores of DC’s students are compared to those of states. The assumption underlying the argument is cities can’t be expected to educate their children as well as suburbs and rural areas do.

I don’t understand the reasoning behind either argument. I don’t see why we should find it acceptable that the rate of violent deaths should be so much higher here in DC than it is in a country that is at war and under siege by terrorists, just because DC is a city. Cities aren’t inherently violent, and we shouldn’t accept it as normal that they are. In fact, historically cities were created as peaceful refuges from the violent countryside, secure places to which to retreat from the chaos outside their walls. Similarly, we flatter ourselves that because we are urban, we are much smarter and more sophisticated than our country cousins. If that’s true, why are our children so much dumber than the children of all those boobs and rubes and hicks who live in areas that smart, sophisticated people like us shun? Why shouldn’t DC’s schools be much better than Iowa’s, and why shouldn’t we be much safer and secure than people who live without our high levels of policing and protection? Why should we accept less?

Gary Imhoff


Office of Baseball: Spending Never Stops
Ed Delaney,

From “In the council’s breakfast this morning, Williams asked for $750,000 for a new . . . Office of Baseball, [to] ‘assist and advise the Mayor in the review, planning, coordination and oversight of the construction and development of the new ballpark and the surrounding mixed use district and to coordination [sic] the development activities on the ballpark site and in the surrounding area among the affected District agencies and instrumentalities in order to maximize the benefits of the public investment in the stadium complex.’” Just when you thought the baseball brigade had run out of ways to spend taxpayer money on the ballpark, we get this doozy! (And of course, it’s DC citizens and businesses and not the owner, the developers, or MLB who would be footing the bill for the creation and future growth of this needless bureaucracy.) One would think that the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and the fist of the mayor’s office known as the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation would yield enough government input and impact, but apparently not. The council had its chance to make its stand on baseball by truly capping costs and choosing a site the city could afford, but caved to the Brigade (even after the Brigade had been thoroughly declawed when the true spending numbers came in) because of the council’s inferiority complex that has them wanting to please the Herb Millers of the world — who are not pleased unless you serve up sweetheart boondoggles that no responsible government would even consider. Instead of getting the peace they craved by their appeasement, the council will get more headaches out of this boondoggle than ever.

“What the mayor is saying here is that although the DC Sports Commission is overseeing the stadium construction and the AWC is overseeing the creation of the entertainment district and the Lerner Group is now in place as team owners, the groups must communicate and not fight, as they have over parking garages.” This communication breakdown, which purportedly would be solved by throwing money at more consultants and a central committee (in an obvious ploy to get continuous taxpayer money from the MLB project since the Brigade is seeing enough of it thanks to the giveaway) was supposed to have been covered by the DCSEC and all of the point men paid to centralize efforts from embattled DCSEC Chairman Bobby Goldwater to Bavasi Partners (remember that one?) to Mark Tuohey. Yet all parties have remained on separate pages because the DC government was so paranoid about losing the team to Virginia that it listened to its favored ownership group, the Malek Gang, and developers (Herb Miller, et al.) on critical elements like stadium siting, resulting in the choosing of Malek/Miller’s preferred site closer to downtown over the early preference of the DC government (including even the mayor) for the RFK Stadium site. In fact, Virginia had a baseball commission, whose planning in conjunction with their preferred owner weighed so much in their favor that it prompted the Brigade to forward the blank check of a sweetheart deal that has caused the current mess. Too bad it took until June 2006, after the rotten ballpark deal was set in stone, for this “communication” effort to take place.

The time for a baseball commission was back then, when it could have done some good. As it is, the parameters are laid out in full, with the ownership’s piece of the pie and DC’s piece laid out clearly, and there is no way a toothless and redundant city baseball commission is going to change that. Wasting more money with a commission that can’t do any more than make suggestions and hold meetings is pointless, especially as those objectives can be easily covered by the existing DCSEC structure. Then again, this is the body that paid Goldwater $250,000 plus perks galore to be the point man for DC on baseball, only to be secretly paying Bavasi Partners $10,000 plus who knows how much in expenses for eighteen months to be the point men for DC on baseball. On it goes.

[The real purpose of duplicating the duties of the DCSEC in a new Office of Baseball is to create a golden parachute — a big pay raise and a job that will outlive the Williams administration — for Williams crony and college roommate Steve Green. Green played a big role in promoting the baseball stadium boondoggle, was the principal staffer in the Office of Mayor in charge of baseball, and is now in line to head the Office of Baseball. — Gary Imhoff]


Ignoring Sins
Jonetta Rose Barras,

When even the mayor’s general counsel won’t help enforce high ethical standards, we’re in trouble. Len Becker, in a report to City Administrator Robert Bobb about personnel infractions at the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), proposes a slap on the wrist for someone who knowingly inflated her resume and lied about it. In a May 18 memorandum, Becker recommends that the DC Office of Personnel (DCOP), headed by Lisa Marin, and the DPR, headed by Kimberley Flowers, be instructed to take administrative action against Roslyn Johnson, deputy director for programs at the DPR. This is like asking a fox to punish another fox for breaking into the hen house. Further, Becker recommends that the Inspector General be asked to conduct an audit of the personnel office’s handling of rules governing the city’s Temporary Appointment Pending Employment Register (TAPER).

Bobb could not be reach to determine if he will act on these recommendations. A management audit of both agencies is warranted, with special attention to the DCOP, which aided and abetted the flagrant violation of District personnel laws. The consequences of personnel infractions at DPR are that a multimillion dollar agency is being mismanaged by people who cheated their way to the top, and District residents are not receiving the quality of services they deserve for the money they’re paying.

Complaints are coming in from all over the city about DPR. Last week, Laurie Collins of the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance said the DPR’s failure to respond in a timely manner is jeopardizing the group’s annual Music in the Park Series. At Turkey Thicket, one resident, who has been volunteering at the center, was banned from the facility after a female staffer charged him with harassment. A report was never filed with the police; the charge has never been substantiated. But the resident has had his picture plastered around the center as if he is a criminal, says Mary Baird Currie, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who has repeatedly requested that the DPR hold a hearing into the matter. DC Councilmember Kathy Patterson also endorsed a hearing. To date, none has been held. Former employees have accused Flowers of discriminating against whites and men and creating a hostile work environment that has caused many of them to leave. Councilmember Vincent Gray says he has received complaints from DPR employees who feel they have been denied promotions.

Becker’s recommendations follow a series of articles that have appeared in themail about Flowers’ hiring shenanigans. Flowers created three new positions when she joined the agency last year, and then filled those lots with cronies from Baltimore. Johnson is one of them. While one employee, Shawniqua Ottley, DPR’s acting director of human resources, may ultimately lose her job in a related matter, Johnson is allowed to keep her post — although she admitted to Becker that her first application signed on July 9, 2005, included the resume on which she inflated her salary as Regional Director of Studyworks. She claimed she earned $101,000 in that position. She was subsequently hired at DPR with a salary of $101,893. In fact, Johnson’s base salary was at Studyworks was only $55,000, and even with bonuses never reached the level she reported on her resume, according to Ron Hinchliss with Studyworks who supervised Johnson and who spoke with me in April 2006.

Becker says on September 16, 2005, Johnson revised her resume, and dropped her Studyworks salary to $84,637. But that resume appears only in the DPR files, not in the official DCOP files. Something smells here; but Becker’s olfactory system isn’t working. Arnita Bonner, an employee with the DCOP who handled Johnson’s application, admitted in an interview with Becker that she allowed Johnson to revise her resume to elaborate on her experiences at the Baltimore recreation department so that Johnson could qualify for the higher salary she was seeking. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever applied for a job, and the human resources director personally called you and asked you to resubmit your resume with a few more things on it so we can hire you for the job.)

Becker suggests that because Johnson held the position at the Baltimore recreation three years prior to coming to the District, the inflated salary was not material. In fact, Johnson held the position for less than three years at the time she was hired by the District. Had Becker not taken the lazy way out, and had he spoken with Johnson’s employers, he would have learned this. Had he spoken, for example, to Regina Williams, DPR spokesperson, he would have learned that she was present when I interviewed Johnson by telephone and that Johnson admitted to other misrepresentations on her resume. Instead, it appears Becker spoke with only two individuals — Johnson and Bonner — both of whom had the most to lose if the truth about this issue were told. The two had conspired to break the rules to ensure Johnson got the job.

Bonner was DPR’s former human resources director before joining the DCOP. She and Ottley worked together. Becker makes no mention of this. He does note, however, that because Johnson’s position was newly created it should not have been available as a TAPER; and that the position should have been subject to open, published competition rather than closed with notice given only within the DPR. None of this occurred with either Johnson’s application or two other positions held by Kay Sibetta or Tawanna Kane.

Despite this information that the DCOP broke its own rules, Becker doesn’t recommend that Johnson and the others whose hiring followed the same pattern, even if they didn’t inflate their resumes, should be removed from their positions and made to reapply, doing it the right way this time.


DCPS Parent Forum
Dawn Henderson,

Last week I created a public forum for my daughter’s school, Hardy Middle School. It rapidly became a place for parents and students to post and tell what going on with their school. In a week’s time the boards are soaring and it has really been opening parents eyes to what the students are going through, in their own words!

I have had many requests from people outside Hardy asking me to create a forum for their kids schools. So I did. I have created a general forum for DC’s Public . . . middle schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools. The list can be found by going to one of the following links: or Try to direct people to those addresses, if they are not directly involved with Hardy. The forum for Hardy on will give this address: That will not allow people to post messages there; they will have to go to Hardy’s page to post messages.

Suggestions are always welcome. I am not getting paid for this and it is actually costing me time and money to run. Please keep that in mind when you send suggestions and comments my way.


Funding Homeland Security and Schools
Ed T Barron, edtb@aoldotcom

I’m sure I’m in the minority but I’m convinced that we are not one whit more secure from terrorists than we were before the formation of the WPA of this decade, Homeland Security. The 40 percent proposed cut in Homeland Security funding for DC will only reduce the paranoia embraced by the police and other so-called security personnel here in DC. Folks I know who work in the Homeland Security Administration tell me that it is the most dysfunctional and inefficient, ineffective bureaucracy they have ever worked in. Less funding equals less paranoia.

Meanwhile, the mayoral candidates are all jumping on the bandwagon to improve education in DC schools. How are they going to do this? And how much will it cost? How will additional monies be spent? Orange says he wants to increase the salaries of those on the school board. That’s just throwing money down the rat hole. If you want to improve education in the school system you need to start with talented leaders in each school. That means hiring the best principals and then hiring the best teachers. Get rid of the old guard that have burned themselves out (if there was ever anything to burn there) and pay the best teachers a very good salary. Add bonuses for those teachers who exceed the high standards set by good school principals. If any mayoral candidate can show how he can override the onerous and dumb-down effects of the Teachers Union then he, or she, will get my vote.


Letting Judges Run Our Schools
David Sobelsohn, anc6d02-at-capaccess-dot-org

Many Americans seem to believe that, if you want a result with all your heart, just pass a law commanding that result, then leave it to the courts. This philosophy underlies virtually all our drug laws, as well as the move to recriminalize abortion. Write a law that says “Thou Shalt Not,” and people won’t. Courts will take care of the laggards. The notion of law as magic, along with the impulse to entrust governance to judges, has ancient roots. The Bible even has a book called “Judges.” In more recent times, the tendency to trust judges hardly belongs exclusively to the right. Witness Ed Dixon, who keeps pushing a DC Charter amendment proclaiming a legal “right” to “free high-quality public schools.” Forty-eight states, he writes, have similar provisions in their constitutions. I await evidence that having similar language in their state constitutions has produced equally “high-quality public schools” in Mississippi and New York. And who’s to decide the meaning of, let alone how to achieve, “high-quality public schools”? A web site to which Dixon links insists that defining this phrase would still be “the responsibility of the school system and elected leaders.” But that’s not part of the proposal. It would be odd if courts found implicit in the charter amendment some bar to their deciding its meaning. Anyway, if the amendment would let “the school system and elected leaders” define and decide how best to achieve “high-quality” public education, what would it actually accomplish? Do some DC councilmembers currently argue in favor of low-quality public education?

Dixon notes that DC already “has had plenty of lawsuits regarding education,” in which “hundreds of millions of dollars are going over the transom.” This seems an odd argument for a proposal that would invite more litigation. But heck, what’s a few more hundred million “over the transom”? DC needs more rich lawyers! Dixon cites lawsuits involving school discrimination based on race and disability, and seeking to equalize spending between school districts. But discrimination presents issues far less complex than deciding how to achieve “high-quality education.” And the charter amendment says nothing about equal funding. The amendment would permit spending twice as much on Ward Two schools as on Ward Eight schools, as long as both met the standard of “high quality.”

Dixon attacks councilmembers for supporting “city financed modernization” of private schools and for reducing “taxes on the rich,” thus forcing funding cuts for public education and indirectly increasing funds available for private schools. Well, sure. Stop subsidizing private schools. Raise taxes on the rich. But leave DC education policy to an elected school board, or at least to school officials appointed and removable by politicians we can vote out of office. Let’s not turn our schools over to DC Superior Court judges. We have no control over any of these judges. We shouldn’t trust them with the future of our children.


A Colonial Mindset
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir,

The contentious issue with the Education Rights Act seems to arise over the issue of “high quality.” Can DC provide high quality public schools? Mind you the question is not how DC can provide high quality public schools, but rather whether it can. This delineation is where the colonial mindset over DC is strong at play. There is little doubt among Wilson Building regulars that DC should get a vote on the Hill in line with the city’s right to self-determination. But whether or not DC can provide high quality public schools does not stimulate the same response from the Wilson legislative crew as a whole.

The distinction between these two goals is important because it shows that the goals of self-determination for this city vary in striking ways. If the idea of getting a vote on the Hill is a good one, than why are not high quality public schools? Who is that vote for after all? Shouldn’t the future citizens of the District have the wherewithal to make sound decisions in their government? High quality schools would ensure that enlightened approach to democratic governance.

Unfortunately, some big city legislators and their big business backers are not looking for well educated voters. Well educated voters are also well educated workers -- something that not all businesses want to hire. Not only do they tend to cost more per hour, but they provide a transparency that even open meetings laws can not. When politicians and business exclude the public interest from the discussion, the agenda becomes colonial. Public schools are the anvils of citizenship. When they are used to trounce students’ aspirations and hopes in terms of finding work, there is little hope for a free society. Every Wilson building regular should step out of his or her colonial mindset and demand high quality public education.


ANC Commissioners and the Hatch Act
David Sobelsohn, anc6d02 -at- capaccess -dot- org

It’s hard to know where to begin in correcting Thomas Smith’s posting to themail (“Ward Council Races,” May 31). Smith writes: “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.” OSC does indeed think the Hatch Act prohibits ANC commissioners from engaging in certain types of political activity. But that’s hardly “because ANCs are supposed to be politically nonpartisan.” Many elected officials around the US, including (for example) the mayor of New Orleans, are nonpartisan, or at least (like ANC commissioners) not listed on the ballot by party designation. The Hatch Act applies to virtually none of them. The mayor of New Orleans could run for any other office he likes without first resigning as mayor.

The reason OSC thinks the Hatch Act covers ANC commissioners is much more technical: because of a 1993 amendment, the Hatch Act now covers anyone “holding office” in “the government of the District of Columbia.” In its 1993 amendment Congress specified several exceptions (e.g., DC’s mayor and city council). But they neglected to except ANC commissioners. Why? I asked Erica Stern of OSC’s Hatch Act Unit. She has no idea. As far as she knows, the legislative history of the 1993 Hatch Act amendments has no references whatsoever to ANC commissioners. She also admits that OSC didn’t look very carefully at the history of those amendments. Personally, I think Congress just forgot us. Probably no one in Congress takes us any more seriously than does anyone else who receives a government paycheck (which we [ANC commissioners] of course do not). Stern also admitted that the Hatch Act has never been used to oust a democratically elected officeholder, nor to oust an unpaid volunteer. She concedes that, since we’re all unpaid but democratically elected, and since the Merit Systems Protection Board typically enforces the Hatch Act by firing the employee and withholding his or her paycheck, applying the Hatch Act to ANC commissioners might encounter what she delicately calls an “enforcement problem.”

By contrast with Thomas Smith’s ridiculous contention that ANC commissioners who run for city council should first resign in the name of “good government,” having the Hatch Act cover ANC commissioners makes no sense. It almost certainly violates multiple rights under the US Constitution, including the right to run for political office and the right to vote. When the Supreme Court most recently upheld the Hatch Act (in 1973 by a 5-4 vote), Justice Byron White (no First Amendment champion) explained for the Court that “partisan political activities by federal employees must be limited if the Government is to operate effectively and fairly, elections are to play their proper part in representative government, and employees themselves are to be sufficiently free from improper influences.” He noted that the Hatch Act did not “interfere” with “anyone’s vote at the polls.” Of course, ANC commissioners are in no sense “federal employees”; we have only an advisory role even in the DC government, and applying the Hatch Act to us does indeed “interfere” with people’s right to “vote at the polls” — namely all those who voted for us. Let’s hope reversing OSC’s wrongheaded opinion doesn’t require another presidential election, or another Supreme Court decision.

[David’s right: the Hatch Act is designed to prevent politicians from using the governmental bureaucracy in their partisan political efforts, and to protect government employees from being pressured to support partisan political campaigns. Neither purpose is served by bringing ANC commissioners under the umbrella of the Hatch Act. Commissioners are elected officials themselves, not members of the bureaucracy; and they are unpaid, so they are by definition not employees. The Hatch Act shouldn’t apply to them, and the OSC should reconsider its opinion. — Gary Imhoff]


Physician Heal Thyself: Diversion Wastes Time!
Samuel Jordan,

I authored a commentary that appeared in themail on May 28 entitled “Physician Heal Thyself: HUH In Denial.” My argument is that the National Capital Medical Center (NCMC) debate has obscured what should be considered, I believe, a threshold matter, the viability of Howard University Hospital (HUH). HUH is in trouble. Its financial viability has been challenged by serious operating deficits over the past few years — years that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) must review if HUH is to qualify NCMC for financing endorsement by the agency. Key academic and instructional programs have received poor ratings from accrediting associations. Recent comments from students, faculty, and staff have disclosed a growing dispute regarding the direction of the institution: is the university the development engine for the community or should it focus on its core functions, including medical instruction and health services delivery?

In an odd, surely unintended manner, a riposte to my commentary appearing in themail on June 1 entitled “NCMC Critic, Get Your Facts Straight” is not a riposte at all. Although posing as a rejoinder, it left the gravamen of my comments without response. Where I addressed the viability of HUH, the riposte’s correspondent, Ms. Dixon, dedicated the critical core of her retort to a discussion of Greater Southeast Community Hospital (GSCH). This is the use of the rhetorical device known as substitution or diversion, by which device an altogether different subject is held out as the “real issue.” Those who employ substitution or diversion, hope that the audience doesn’t notice that they’ve been asked to overlook the issue at hand: HUH is in trouble.

Ms. Dixon’s riposte did not address HUH’s financial deficiencies, including a $150 million loss in FY 2004 that remained on the books for a year before being “corrected” to a $1.2 million gain — just in time for a reported $17.3 million loss for FY 2005. This, in spite of a $30 million federal subsidy Nor did her riposte acknowledge that several accreditation issues of significance have yet to be resolved. No response was forthcoming on the transfer of unfunded pension liabilities from HUH to NCMC. Ms. Dixon is silent on the questions actually addressed in my commentary. Instead, she admonishes us that Greater Southeast Community Hospital is in trouble. Greater Southeast has not proposed a National Capital Medical Center. HUH has.

Ms. Dixon counsels that HUH is not seeking “charity.” Perhaps that is the next step. She chooses not to acknowledge that HUH receives a noncompetitive $30 million annual federal subsidy not available to other District hospitals. Even so, the hospital’s performance during the last decade, large losses against modest gains of $1.5 million to $3.0 million, doesn’t promise to absorb the $15 million to $20 million operating deficits forecast for each of the first five to seven years at NCMC. Silence in the riposte. Perhaps Ms. Dixon is saying that since Greater Southeast Community Hospital has received such “bailout” help, it isn’t far fetched that HUH receive a bailout too. In my testimony before the DC council on March 13, I averred that HU/HUH has a tremendous store of political capital that assures the existence of a constituency amenable to a fully disclosed request for public assistance. The sooner requested, the better. Ironically, the campaign for the NCMC has exposed weaknesses at HUH that would not otherwise have been the subject of public discourse

Then there is the matter of the “five most pressing health care problems” as referenced by Ms. Dixon. The advocacy community is hoping that the Mayor’s Task Force will do just that — establish a mechanism that will identify the “most pressing” health problems and set a strategy into motion that will resolve them. Merely saying that NCMC will address these issues is not to address them within the context of a comprehensive health strategy for the District of Columbia, which comprehensive strategy is yet to be formulated. NCMC is not a wand.

One might say that the riposte was affirming in the sense that not one issue raised in my commentary met with any rebuttal, critique, or supplemental information — the same modus operandi employed by the HU panel before DC council in March. Only the issues I didn’t raise got much attention. By this standard, it could be argued that the correspondent agrees with my principal thesis: HUH is in trouble and we as a community should deal with it now.



2 Blog or Not 2 Blog
Lea Adams,

If it ain’t broke. . . .


No to the Blog Format
Matthew Gilmore,

One of the best things about themail is that it is a nicely bundled, compiled/edited set of messages in one package. And everybody seems about equal. In a blog, it basically appears/feels to be just the bloggers opinions, with comments as peripheral. Keep themail as it is.


Keep the Listserv Format
George B. Ripley,

And thanx . . . You do a great service.


Do Not Change themail Format
Len Sullivan,

Strongly urge you to leave themail format alone. There is a real difference between the essay format and open-ended conversation (and/or chatter). Why not simply endorse some of the current blog sites for continued banter on certain repetitive subjects? themail is unique and serves a very good purpose just the way it is.


No Blog
Gabe Fineman,

There is room on the Internet for all types of forums and you have created a good and worthwhile one that is based on your editing. Please do not convert this into a blog (to be spammed by Rees and others). You add value by moderating and editing it, and that value should not be lost to the community.


Present Format
Carolyn Curtis,

I would recommend leaving themail in its present format.



Registration for Guy Mason Recreation Center Classes, May 22
Toni Ritzenberg,

Registration for summer ’06 classes at the Guy Mason Recreation Center (3600 Calvert Street, NW) began on Monday, May 22, with classes starting the week of June 12th. The Center is offering classes in Move It (formerly Dancersize) and integral and rock-and-roll Yoga. Those over fifty can participate in senior momentum. There is Art I (studio with critique on Saturdays), Art II (introduction to art practice on Tuesday evenings), and Art III (intermediate studio on Tuesday afternoons). Three music classes are now being offered covering a range of ages. For parents/adults with children from birth to four years of age there is Music Together, for persons twelve years of age and older there are piano lessons and voice lessons.

Winter will be here before you know it, so why not make your own holiday gifts or that special mug, platter or pot for your own use by taking a pottery class. Or, to have something beautiful in your possession, there are copper enameling workshops. Intermediate French is being offered this summer with beginning classes returning in the fall. For specific program start dates, visit the Center’s web site at To register online, visit and click on Activities Program Registration and follow the instructions. For further information and/or to register in person, visit the Center at 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or call Robert Haldeman/Caryl King at 282-2180.


Art Exhibit, May 31
Afrika Abney,

Visions: solo artist exhibition featuring the art of Afrika Midnight Asha Abney . Ellington’s on 8th, 424A 8th Street, SE. May 31-June 30. Curated by Prelli Anthony Williams. Sponsored by Ellington’s on 8th. For more information contact Afrika Midnight Asha Abney at


Pride at Work Awards Reception, June 9
Krissi Jimroglou,

Join Pride At Work, DC, as we honor three local progressive heroes for their work in resisting the war in Iraq, expanding rights for transgendered DC citizens, and fighting for the rights of immigrants. Third annual awards reception, Friday, June 9, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., AFL-CIO Gompers Room, 815 16th Street, NW. Food/wine/beer served. $25 donation at the door; $10 for students.

We gather to celebrate the seventh anniversary of our chapter, announce plans for the year ahead, and honor three leaders for workplace dignity and LGBT equality in the capital-area community. Please plan now to be with us and kick off Pride Weekend in style.


2006 Shaw Freedom School, June 10
Melissa S. Johnson,

ONE DC, Organizing Neighborhood Equity, will hold its annual Shaw Freedom School on Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception School (711 N Street, NW). This year is all about human rights. Dialogue with your neighbors and participate in skills building workshops about the right to housing, community, education, and employment. Breakfast, lunch, and a celebration dinner are included free of charge for all participants.

For more information, please contact Melissa ( at 232-2915 or visit us on the web at Translation in Spanish and Cantonese will also be available. Join us as we explore human rights and find ways to protect them!


Capital Catwalk Salon, June 11
Marissa Terrell White,

The 2006 Capital Catwalk Salon will be held on Sunday, June 11, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Four Seasons Hotel, Georgetown. Mariessa Terrell White, executive director of the High Tea Society, created the Capital Catwalk Salon in 2004 to showcase Washington, DC, as not only the nation’s capital but also a fashion capital. The Capital Catwalk Salon celebrates international and national style icons whose social grace, business acumen, and personal panache inspire others to greatness. It is a fashion showcase inspired by the epochal Battle of Versailles and will feature celebrity guest designer Stephen Burrows. Audrey Smaltz, CEO of the Ground Crew and Ebony Fashion Fair’s famed commentator, will serve as the Catwalk’s commentator. Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and The New York Times op-ed page columnist, will introduce Mr. Andre Leon Talley. The Honorable Anthony Williams, mayor of the District of Columbia, will present Mr. Andre L. Talley with a special proclamation at the event. The Catwalk will recognize Mr. Talley, editor-at-large, Vogue magazine; Ms. Darlene Mathis, interior designer and owner of Collectibles Gallery; and Dr. Dorothy Height, chair emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women and recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom).

The event will benefit the Washington High Tea Society, a unique mentoring program for DC public school girls aged 10 to 18 that stresses the importance of academic prowess and social grace. The High Tea Society was founded in 1997 by the Honorable Judge Mary Terrell and utilizes a three-pronged approach: mastery of social graces along with cultural and educational enrichment. “Exposure,” Judge Terrell says, “is the key that allows a person to feel comfortable not only in their house but also in the White House.” That is the mission of the High Tea Society. For more information, see


Silver Spring Heritage Day, June 24
Jerry A. McCoy,

An exhibit of “Vintage Silver Spring Photographs by Robert B. Davis” (who worked at the Silver Spring B&O railroad station from 1945 to 1987) will be on display from noon to 4:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. Takoma Park musician Joe Uehlein, of the roots-rock band The U-Liners, will perform railroad songs in the train station’s restored 1945 waiting room. Author Jerry A. McCoy will sign copies of “Historic Silver Spring.”

At the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station, 8100 Georgia Avenue (at Sligo Avenue), Silver Spring, MD. Free. Information 301-537-1253,,



Fred Davidson,

Rolled-arm, camel-back sleeper sofa, $325. Covered in gold and red stripped cotton. Mint condition. Simmons mattress underneath. Measures 80" w x 34" d x 15" h (32" with full cushion).

Carved Victorian antique club chair, $325. Beautifully detailed antique chair has a curved arm design, which is shown off well by its soft blue fabric. Reinforced stitching. Measures 29" d x 31" w x 24" h.

Folk Americana side table with drawer, $275. Table/desk with side drawer. Turned legs and hardwood mahogany finish. Measures 28" d x 29" h x 42" w.


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