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July 19, 2006


Dear Criminalists:

The city council was at its worst today, as members met in emergency session, postured and posed, and supported the mayor’s anti-civil liberties bill, which pretends to be an anti-crime bill ( There are two approaches to cutting crime that can be argued to work. One is generally considered conservative and the other liberal, although most people support both approaches to some extent. The conservative approach is to reduce crime by arresting criminals (preferably career criminals), prosecuting them, and incarcerating them. The District of Columbia doesn’t do any of that very well. Criminals know very well that the police never solve most crimes; that prosecutors prosecute only a small percentage of the criminals who are caught, and plea-bargain most of those cases way down; that those who are prosecuted stand a good chance of not being convicted; and that the courts won’t incarcerate most of those who are convicted until after several convictions. The mayor’s bill does nothing to solve any of those shortcomings, and few on the council are interested in doing anything about them.

The liberal approach is to try to prevent crime by providing work opportunities and alternative activities (usually just sports programs), mostly for youths. This approach is popular among councilmembers, but the mayor’s bill throws only a token amount of money at these programs. As the mayor’s letter to Chairman Cropp describes it: “$380,000 (annual: $1.62 million) to expand the Partnership for Success to serve 100 additional youth. The Partnership involves intensive monitoring, casework and other interventions with juvenile offenders, including repeat arrestees. It also provides stronger incentives for youth who have demonstrated a commitment to turning their lives around. $75,000 (annual: $300,000) to continue girl gang/crew mediation and peacebuilding initiative in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8. This initiative involves peer mediation activities, summer employment opportunities, leadership development, and a retreat for gang/crew members. $70,000 (annual: $300,000) to expand recreation and street outreach in Police Service Area (‘PSA’) 104 in Ward 6. This initiative involves night outreach, gang/crew mediation for males, sustaining the truce between girl crews, tougher curfew enforcement, and a late-night basketball league for teens in the 15 to 18 year-old age range. $50,000 (annual: $450,000) to support the Gang Intervention Partnership (‘GIP’) in PSA 302 in Ward 1. The GIP is aimed at addressing the activity of gangs and crews in this part of the city through interagency strategy meetings, conflict mapping, critical incident response, street outreach, and youth and family case management.”

Instead of supporting either the conservative or liberal approach to cutting crime, the mayor’s bill instead attacks civil liberties. The mayor has never been a friend of civil liberties or open government, but this bill is a new low in his administration. Instead of targeting criminals, it targets the law-abiding and the innocent, on the off-chance that some wrongdoers will be caught in its wide net. Its main provisions are to extend the juvenile curfew up to 10:00 p.m. and to push the mayor’s and police chief’s pet program of Big-Brotherish spy cameras in residential neighborhoods. Neither program has any demonstrated effect on crime rates, and both of them are expensive and divert police from actual crime-fighting policing. Surveillance cameras especially have been proven not to do anything to prevent crime, though in rare cases they can assist in identifying criminals after the crimes are done. But an air of a "crime emergency" has been created in an election season, and councilmembers doesn’t want to be seen standing up against this foolishness, for fear that some cheap slogan-mongering opponent or colleague (I’m especially thinking of Marion Barry’s disgraceful performance today) will accuse them of being soft on crime. Here’s my cheap accusation on the other side: any councilmember who voted for this package isn’t serious about fighting crime, just as the mayor isn’t serious about it.

Gary Imhoff


Treating the Symptoms
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom

The mayor’s proposal to install surveillance cameras in high crime areas and invoking a ten p.m. curfew for teenagers is merely treating the symptoms and not curing the crime disease. The cameras will cost a lot of money. Then you’ll have the expense of having someone watch the feedback from those cameras. How long will it be before folks in high crime neighborhoods figure out the cameras are great for filming their own shows.

Instead of spending a lot of money on hardware and on people who will fall asleep in front of the TV screens, how about spending money on educational programs that will involve teenagers in classes that will help them get jobs. How about creating work programs (like Habitat for Humanity) that would employ teenagers and, at the same time, teach them some skills that would lead to full time employment. That’s how to cure the crime disease.


Professional Criminal Class Accounting for Crimes?
Star Lawrence,

Out here in Arizona, we read about that fellow who got his throat cut in Georgetown. I was the survivor of a 40-pt felony in 1981, and the police told us that DC has a professional criminal class of about (then) three thousand people who commit almost all the crimes. This is what they do, day in and day out. It does not have to do with poverty or need, but preference of profession. I am not sure what this means overall, and it may be obvious, but it surely means one thing: in the twenty-five years since I was attacked, this class is still there and maybe growing. And the police probably know a number of the players.


My Problem With Solberg
Lisa Alfred,

My problem with Inspector Solberg’s comment is not that it suggests that black people being in Georgetown is a suspicious circumstance. My problem is that Solberg has got to know that citizens will get no real response from 911 by claiming that they see someone ‘suspicious’ on a street corner. 911 and 311 do not respond to those kinds of calls. Yes, as citizens we are told that at least 311 will respond, but for those of us who see suspicious and illegal activity going on all the time, we don’t get a timely and consistent response from the police for suspicious behavior calls. But Georgetown is different from the rest of the city, so maybe they would get a better response. Of course, I’ve got to wonder what would happen if I called 911 to say that I see suspicious white people at 2 a.m. in my predominantly black neighborhood.

Now that we’ve had fifteen homicides in July, the police are more than likely going to respond to most suspicious activity calls. However, why does it take fifteen homicides to get this kind of coverage by the police? What will the police do under our new crime emergency declaration that they wouldn’t do ordinarily so that we wouldn’t have to declare an emergency?

The police department should leave Solberg alone and deal with the real issue of the day — citizens need to have consistent coverage by the police, not just hit and runs during an emergency.


Andy Solberg
Ralph Blessing,

Those who know Andy Solberg know what a superb police officer he is and that he is also a wonderful, decent human being, an involved member of our community (in and out of uniform) and the kind of person we should have more of, not fewer, in our police department. His life, both on the job and off, is a living example of tolerance and inclusiveness. Rather than dismiss him, as some have suggested, I believe that he should be reinstated so that we and Metropolitan Police Department can benefit from his exceptional skills at confronting crime in the District.

That he did not speak with a politician’s carefully nuanced language when addressing a community meeting about the recent Georgetown murder should not deprive our city of the leadership of one of its most capable and dedicated police officers. To his credit, Commander Solberg has acknowledged and apologized for his comments. Those who are fortunate enough to know Commander Solberg already know what is in his heart.


A Debt of Gratitude to Leo Alexander
Paolo Uccello,

Every once in a while you read something so fresh, so new, so penetrating that you slap your forehead and say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Leo Alexander (themail, July 16, “As Clear as Black and White”) says: “Crime, in its root form, is a result of some other social ill.” So when Christopher Piper told Jeffery Rice that he was, “ . . . going to cut some one,” that was really just a manifestation of a social ill. Piper is really a nice person, if one looks past outside appearances and looks at the roots. No journalist said anything nearly as original as that.

So too, Alexander tells you that, “shortsighted politicians don’t want to pay for ‘those’ people to have any more programs; i.e., early child care, mandatory pre-k, adult education and career counseling, vocational/technical education . . .” His list goes on and on. So the per capita expenditures of the DC budget of $18,000 aren’t enough money, neglecting of course the billions of dollars the Feds spend on DC that doesn’t appear in the DC budget. So after Piper had wounded Senitt, had heard him tell his date to give up her purse, he then slashed his throat in the worst murder two experienced police had seen in over fifteen years. If only Piper had had better, more expensive career counseling. Again, a fresh, new insight.

Thank you, Mr. Alexander. You make it all so much clearer.


DC Police Shortage?
F. Lancaster,

I couldn’t agree more with Ed Barron’s appraisal of Chief Ramsey’s knee-jerk request for more police [themail, July 16]. We are getting the police force we paid for a number of years ago (i.e., not much), and we’d almost certainly be better off increasing officers’ pay by 25 percent and cutting the dead wood. Now there’s a thought: instead of devising multiple new schemes to blow the DC property tax windfall, I’d suggest the Mayor and Council focus on a 25-50 percent pay raise to recruit the kind of police force the national capital should have, with compensation that is finally commensurate with their serious responsibilities. I bet we’d have safer neighborhoods, more crimes solved, more overall productivity, and if anything, could do it with fewer officers. As for safety on the Mall, the National Park Service fired their chief who dared to tell the truth. Guess what? She was right. (And before someone asks, I am not now and never have been a policeman!)


Ed Barron and the Chief
Kent Reichert,

I’m frankly flabbergasted by Ed Barron’s blithely uninformed E-mail on Chief Ramsey in the July 16 issue of themail. In it, Mr. Barron inexplicably criticizes the Chief for a “knee jerk reaction to the latest crime wave . . . to call for yet more police.” In fact, as even casual observers know, Chief Ramsey has generally resisted calls for more police officers. On the contrary, the Chief has warned against just such an impulse, since he knows that 1) as a practical matter it is very hard to recruit and train qualified officers, particularly in the numbers — 300 to as many as 1,600 — proposed in several recent council bills, and 2) effective law enforcement requires more than sheer numbers. Cops on the street is just the start. And the wrong kinds of cops is a step backward, as the Chief knows first hand, having had to cope with scores of underqualified officers hired the last time council forced the MPD to stock up on cops a decade ago. The Chief knows that effective law enforcement is a constant process of tracking incidents, evaluating trends, and redeploying assets as needed. Just as importantly, it also requires engagement by all government agencies and the entire community. Mr. Barron need only have read the Chief’s letter to the Washington Post on Saturday, (, which lays all this out better than I can. To Mr. Barron and others on the sideline who have so much to say about how our government does or doesn’t work, keep it up, but get it right.


Feeling the Heat, Seeing No Solution
David Gaines,

I’m a relative newcomer to the city and to expressing my opinions in these public forums, but I can’t resist this time, considering how strongly I feel that the crime in this city is absolutely out of control. When I first moved here, I lived in Capitol Hill near Barracks Row, shopped at Friendship Heights, played in Georgetown, and watch the Redskins games at Buffalo’s in Dupont Circle. In an effort to save nearly thirty percent on my rent, I moved to a less expensive apartment, and all of the sudden my eyes are wide open! I’m in District 5, just off Benning Road (yes, I was warned, but the cost of living compared to Atlanta sticker-shocked me), and I am disgusted with the way this whole “crime wave” thing has been played out in the media, in the DC council, the message boards, list-servs and so forth.

Why all of the sudden one crime in thirteen hits west of a already very westside street (16th, NW) and there’s a problem? The problem never went away. As a matter of fact, it’s right around the corner from my apartment! I can’t even express my complete feelings in this post because it would be as long as a normal themail E-mail. I did post my personal feelings on my blog about Washington, DC: I used a few quotes from the last mailing and gave proper attribution (let me know if you would rather I not) because the posts had stuff that really helped me get a better understanding of what’s going on.

Being new, I welcome any suggestions (I even ask that you E-mail me personally) from anyone of what I can do to help the situation. I don’t want to be one of those residents who always knows what’s wrong and never offers a hand to fix it. I am still new here so please don’t assume I already know where to go and who to see. I do appreciate themail for existing to allow the regular folks like myself to share our feelings. And thanks, Marc Borbely and Matt Forman, for your E-mails last week.


An Assessment of Violence in DC
Ava Harrison,

[By ROOT, Inc.] The Washington Post reported in the Metro’s District Briefing on July 7: “Teen Dies of Wounds From Shooting in SW.” Such brief notes are an everyday report. On July 12, the Post reported on page one that Chief Ramsey has declared a crime emergency, and Courtland Milloy’s same day Metro section article on the rate of arrests and violence among juveniles gave us more bad news. Sometimes these tragic teen deaths make page one as did the Virginia youth, suffering from mental illness who killed two police officers in a psychotic rampage. Feature stories of mothers, siblings, and friends, causalities left behind, many to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition usually associated with the stress of the Iraq war, terrorism, or natural disasters but equally resulting from the personal experience of violence in our communities. In conjunction with the District of Columbia’s Department of Public Health, we have compiled a survey addressing issues of homicide and violence to show its impact on our youth in Washington DC and Prince George’s County. Students surveyed from the fifth to twelfth grades are being synthesized by DCDOH. They show that 80 percent of those surveyed report a family member or friend victim of gun violence; and, further, the same number regularly hear gunshots in their community. Yet when surveyed about services to deal with the psychological impact of this trauma, fewer than 20 percent have received any services or had a discussion with a mental health professional or even a member of the clergy.

These same children share a cynical attitude, believing that adults, including the police, will not protect them from this violence. Feeling unprotected, they state they will not "snitch" or share information they know about a murderer they may have heard about or witnessed. Likewise, few teens are willing to tell an adult when a friend is stressed out and may be contemplating suicide, unless they have a trusted adult who will respond with help. Too frequently, they don’t have this trusted adult contact. They have few adult models who teach them to step in and save lives. Being aware of the tragic realities of violence doe little and holding rallies, marches, or making speeches may only continue the cynicism unless remedies become realities. Our children tell us they want real help. Sadly, we know what to do but don’t do it. Some solutions are global and require better access to quality education. Education reduces violence. For all, including African American males, high school graduation reduces violence. According to a Columbia University report on the social costs of inadequate education, increasing male graduation rates by 10 percent would save $14 billion in the cost of crime and reduce murder rates. Research also shows that when schools teach children problem solving and good behavior skills, and to "stop-and-think," it reduces school behavior problems and later delinquency. Positive pre-schooling also reduces delinquency and increases chances of graduating. These require resources, quality management, and instructional leadership.

We also know that youth access to firearms makes the combination of homicide and suicide a leading cause of death for teenage males. For African American male youth, gun violence is the leading cause of death. Reduce youth access to firearms, particularly for youth who suffer from impulsivity, depression, PTSD, and other mental health and substance abuse problems. Remove firearms from your homes and get help for your children with problems. If you believe your child’s friends have firearms, protect your child from them by restricting access to those friends. If you don’t have control over your teenager, get help before he or she becomes part of the violence.

"Snitching" can save lives. Snitching shows concern about your community. It is common for a person to tell friends that he or she is going to commit a violent act. Someone knows and that someone may be your child. Friends don’t keep secrets that can cause death and we as adults must push this social rule. When persons in a community ravaged by violence share what they have witnessed they save lives. Communities that confront violence will have safer children. Policing must be equally aggressive as in southeast as it is in Georgetown, where murderers are quickly identified and arrested. Too many black males die seemingly by mystical murderers. More youth and adults will come forward with information if they feel safe in doing so and when the police ensure their safety and respect them. Snitching is a social responsibility that will make communities safer.

Mental health services must be accessible. They should be in every school and available to every family throughout the year. Depression and PTSD are very common in urban teenage males and shows as behavior problems. These youth need multi-system therapy, not loose probation. Unsupervised, they are time-bombs for substance abuse, crime and suicide. Employed, youth are contributing to communities.

We as communities must provide the resources to improve graduation rates, teach the youngest problem solving skills, reduce access to firearms, support sharing warnings and information about dangerous behaviors, employ our youth, increase aggressive investigation of crime and protect witnesses. Provide school and community access to mental health services for children and families stressed by violence. We don’t want to read about violent deaths of our children.


A Weary DC Council Blindly Follows Jim Graham’s Myopia
David Jennings, Jr.,

My father-in-law and his wife have owned a small apartment building for years in Mt. Pleasant. Now at retirement age, they wanted to renovate the building and offer the tenants the right to come back in at a modest increase in rent to help pay for the remodeling loan. Graham’s recent bill doesn’t allow that recoupment. What nonsense is this? Doesn’t everyone recognize that the result will be that landlords will not or cannot keep the buildings up to date? Worse yet, if my father-in-law decided to try to convert the six apartments to condos and offer them for sale to the tenants, then he has to get a condo warranty bond. That is no problem, but then, if there is a dispute between the tenants and him about, for example, whether a defect is structural, cosmetic, or not even a defect at all, instead of the dispute’s being resolved by a neutral court or a hearing officer, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has carte blanche just to turn over all the money to the tenants. It is true: that was an "emergency" bill that Mr. Graham introduced last week and that the council passed. Were all the councilmembers asleep when he did that, or are their eyes glazing over when he speaks?


Public Property
S. Thetus D. Boyd, ANC7B07,

Please help me spread the word regarding our city’s continuing to sell our public property while at the same time renting high-priced space from private developers. I want to know, what are all of the properties that the DC government is renting? I want to put a stop to selling our very valuable properties. What will we do when we need more space in the future?

Both Montgomery and Prince Georges counties have their headquarters in what had previously been schools. In the case of Prince Georges, it was a junior high school. It makes no sense to sell our property and then pay the devil to rent. I am going to put forth a resolution at our ANC meeting this week relative to this. I am writing all of the councilmembers. I am going to put forth a petition also.


An Humongous Water Bill
Jack McKay,

The things that happen in this city just take one’s breath away. I received a water/sewer bill this week for a stunning $686, along with a letter with this awkwardly phrased reason: “It is our preference to bill all accounts for actual readings. . . . Unfortunately, this did not occur on your account.” Uh, okay, why not? “During the lead replacement program, the old meter reading was used instead of the current reading on your one inch meter.” Okay, what’s that mean? How does this explain my monster water bill?

A call to WASA elicited the additional information that, when the WASA contractor replaced my lead service line last summer, it “dropped the meter in the pit but didn’t hook it up.” (How do I get water with no in-line water meter?) Hence, WASA has utterly no idea how much water I’ve used during the past ten months, and this enormous bill is merely an “estimate” based on my past usage. Since apparently no water meter was reading my water consumption, no one will ever know if this estimate was anywhere near correct. I guess I just bite my tongue and pay the $686.

Can anybody tell me why WASA put a water meter in the ground, but didn’t hook it up so that it would actually measure something?


Adrian Fenty Controversy
Johnson Murphy,

I have noticed that there have been several posts here at themail about Adrian Fenty’s black sheep, Sinclair Skinner. I was surprised that there was no mention of the web site that pieces the whole situation together. The web site is, and it meticulously details all of Sinclair Skinner’s transgressions, which go far beyond owing the DC government upwards of $17,000. Mr. Skinner’s actions, particularly his publication of “The Georgia Avenue Defender,” should make everyone cringe.

Adrian Fenty was the guest on The DC Politics Hour and The Post’s Politics program this last week. Fenty clearly had no interest in answering the questions posed to him about Sinclair Skinner. His excuses were absurd and insulted the intelligence of the audience. What does this scandal say about Adrian Fenty’s ability to lead this city? The decision to remove Mr. Skinner from his staff should be a simple decision, but it appears Fenty is allowing his personal (fraternity brother) feelings to cloud his judgment. Both radio programs pointed out how Adrian Fenty has repeatedly called for many city officials to lose their jobs based on their actions. Why can he not uphold those same standards to his own people?

Is Adrian Fenty ready to lead this city forward? I think he needs to gain more experience and to distance himself from dividers like Sinclair Skinner before he is ready to be my mayor. For this election, I will take my vote elsewhere.


Top Ten List: Why Fenty Doesn’t Fire Skinner
Larry Seftor, larry underscore seftor .the555 at

I really liked Adrian Fenty, so I can’t understand why he is not dealing with the Skinner situation. (For links to information about Fenty campaign aide Sinclair Skinner, including interviews with Fenty himself, go to Fenty’s interview with Mark Plotkin is particularly interesting, as Fenty characterizes Skinner’s actions as “inexcusable.”) So I racked my brain to come up with reasons that Fenty is standing by Skinner. My top ten list:

10) Skinner might reveal embarrassing fraternity high jinks from their college days. 9) Fenty is really Marion Barry’s son and he learned at his father’s knee that one of the best perks of public service is using it to help his friends. 8) Skinner can’t get a real job and needs the money. 7) It would be embarrassing to appoint Skinner to a high job in a Fenty administration after firing him from the campaign. 6) Whatever Skinner did before joining the campaign does not matter because a record of accomplishments or failures should never be considered. 5) Fenty’s theme of accountability was intended to criticize others, but was never meant to apply to his own staff. 4) "Doing the right thing" to a politician means monitoring the number of anti-Skinner voters to ensure that there are not enough to affect the election. 3) After taking a position you should never reconsider, because it makes you look weak. 2) Fenty doesn’t believe he can win without Skinner’s constituency. 1) It is business as usual in DC politics.

[Competing campaigns have been trying to make Sinclair Skinner a major campaign issue. I have known Skinner for several years; we served on the same Advisory Neighborhood Commission for four years together. He was always personally friendly, but he always voted on what I thought was the wrong side of the issues. If Fenty relies on him for advice and input on issues, it worries me. But where is the pushback from Fenty supporters? Skinner is just one Fenty campaign staffer. On the other hand, Linda Cropp’s campaign has several high-ranking advisors and staffers whose backgrounds and allegiances are just as, if not more, worrisome. Why should Skinner be more important than them? Does anyone want to explore this issue? — Gary Imhoff]


The Mayor’s Race
Norman L. Blumenfeld,

The print media and the blogs spend more time on what is wrong with the candidates than what is good about them. So I traveled that path and found that Adrian Fenty is totally inexperienced and has presented very little in the way of substantive proposals. At the debates and the talk shows, he refrains from giving specifics or at least a point or two that reflects some meaningful thought. Further there are too many reports about the divisiveness and racial bigotry on the part of staff members so that a flag must be raised regarding who he would appoint in his administration. The Post’s Marc Fisher noted this.

Marie Johns has not been in DC very long and her ideas, though expressed strongly and enthusiastically, show that she does not fully comprehend the complex issues that have confronted the District all these years. Further, though she is outraged at the comparison, she comes with the same lack of experience regarding government agencies, the inter workings of the mayor’s office, and the interrelation between the council and the administration that hampered Sharon Pratt (Dixon) Kelly. And finally, it appears that colleagues in the business world question her people’s skills and its effect on being an administrator.

Then there is Linda Cropp, who is saddled with problems that have not been resolved and issues that still linger. And she has support of big business, which to some is a very negative thing. Cropp also is criticized about her role in the stadium debates, though as pointed out in several of her endorsements and print media articles that she held the Council together and fought Major League Baseball so that final deal, though it has problems, is better than before she intervened. Anyway, the stadium issue seems to be off the table, as the council is now unanimous in its approach in awarding rights to develop the much dilapidated area. So maybe she was right all along.

Then as I looked beyond the terrible and focused on the positive, I determined that Fenty is young and energized. I still conclude that he still has no substance. Johns is a fresh face. But she too offers no real solid solutions. Cropp slides into the front with new proposals and platforms that are well thought out and show that she understands the mistakes of the past of prior administrations, programs that did not work, and her own miscalculations. She has been criticized as a candidate of big business, but a careful study of her contributors show that she received most of her support, not from the downtown developers, but from folks in the residential Wards of 3 and 4, as well as 6. And contrary to published reports, over half of her contributions are under $100. (Fenty, by the way, has received developer support -- seems that business hedges its bets.)

One may criticize that I write more about Cropp’s positive than about the good points of the others. It may well be that I find more good to say about her.


Doldrums: Summer or Year-Round?
Len Sullivan,

NARPAC has chosen to ignore this month’s hot button issues like stopping this year’s killings with next year’s police force, and eliminating bad school grades by legislative fiat. Those can be blamed on the hot weather. But DC’s planning efforts seem to be drifting in the same listless seas year round. You might want to look at how the Armed Forces Retirement Home hopes to hang onto 270 acres of prime land for which they have little future use at Or how to fill up the old Convention Center site with structures built to yesterday’s guidelines and no consideration of tomorrow’s traffic problems around Mt. Vernon Square at

If you’re into really small public transit upgrades, take a look at DDoT’s plans to add leapfrogging “express” buses on Georgia Avenue, with no evident analysis or data on how the current local buses work, or whether this "principal arterial" is already too over-stressed by other traffic during rush hours. At least, it won’t be as bad as trolleys at Or if you really want to stay cool, daydream about how better to go about making a truly functional national capital city.


July 2006 InTowner
Peter Wolff,

This is to advise that the July 2006 online edition has been uploaded and may be accessed at Included are the lead stories, community news items and crime reports, editorials (including prior months’ archived), restaurant reviews (prior months’ also archived), and the text from the ever-popular "Scenes from the Past" feature. Also included are all current classified ads. The complete issue (along with prior issues back to December 2002) also is available in PDF file format directly from our home page at no charge simply by clicking the link provided. Here you will be able to view the entire issue as it appears in print, including all photos and advertisements. The next issue will publish on August 11 (the 2nd Friday of the month, as always). The complete PDF version will be posted by the preceding night or early that Friday morning at the latest, following which the text of the lead stories, community news, and selected features will be uploaded shortly thereafter.

To read this month’s lead stories, simply click the link on the home page to the following headlines: 1) “Mayor’s Plan for New Central Library to Replace Existing MLK Building Continues in Limbo — No Immediate Action Expected”; 2) “Historic Preservation Law Strengthened — Legislation Gives HPRB Enhanced Powers”; 3) “Independent Businesses With Quality in Mind Coming to 9th Street in Shaw.”



Empower DC Yard Sale, July 22
Parisa B. Norouzi,

A multifamily yard sale to benefit the affordable housing work of Empower DC and the Ella Jo Baker Intentional Community Co-op will be held on Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at 2548 University Place, NW (University Place is off of Euclid Street between 14th and 15th Streets, NW). Donations accepted. Call Empower DC for more information, 234-9119.


Ward 5 Democrats Endorsement Meeting Location Change, July 22
Hazel Bland Thomas,

The location of the Ward 5 Democrats Endorsement Meeting scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. has been changed to Noyes Elementary School, 10th and Franklin Streets, NE. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you. If you have any questions, please call me at 491-9245.


Displacement, Diversity, and Development, July 25
Andrew Willis, willisa [at] gmail [dot] com

Parts of the District have undergone rapid change in recent years, and some areas, particularly Ward 1, have experienced an influx of new residents. Less obvious are those who have chosen or been forced to leave, and the conflicts — over restaurant/bar zoning, “zero tolerance” policing, affordable housing, and homeless shelters — that often erupt between neighbors, or alongside new development. A panel on Displacement, Diversity, and Development: Our Place in Changing Neighborhoods, will be held on Tuesday, July 25, at 7:00 p.m., at La Casa, 3166 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW (Columbia Heights Metro). The panelists will share their perspectives on the forces behind the changing human geography of the District and what conscientious residents can do to stay informed and contribute to preserving real diversity in our neighborhoods, followed by audience discussion. Childcare will be provided by the DC Childcare Collective; please contact willisa [at] gmail [dot] com or 277-5262 if you will be needing childcare.


Fair Budget Coalition Council Candidate Forums, July 25 and following
Angie Rodgers,

The Fair Budget Coalition is planning a series of council candidate forums this summer. A number of council seats are up for election and Fair Budget wants you to come and ask your council candidates the important question: what will you do to help build a just and inclusive DC?

Council Chair Forum: Tuesday, July 25, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 5 Thomas Circle, NW (use 14th Street entrance). Ward 6 Council Forum: Wednesday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., 620 G Street, SE (Christ Church). Ward 5 Council Forum: Monday, August 7, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Place TBA. Ward 3 Council Forum: Wednesday, August 9, Time and Place TBA.

Also, don’t forget the Fair Budget Coalition’s Mayoral Candidate Forum, which will take place on August 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW.


Julius Shulman Lecture, July 26
Lauren Searl,

In a career that spans more than seventy years, renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman continues to document modern architecture and the development of the Los Angeles region. The exhibition Julius Shulman, Modernity and the Metropolis honors Shulman’s 95th birthday and life’s work and includes original prints selected from his archives, which was recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute. In this special appearance, Julius Shulman will be joined by Wim de Witt, curator of architectural collections, and Christopher Alexander, co-curator, both from the Getty Research Institute, to discuss the work and influence of Shulman himself. The exhibition will be open for viewing — a last chance before its July 30th closing. Wednesday, July 26, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. $12 Museum and AAF members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Registration required; register for events at


Black Docs Film Series, July 27
Sherrod Jennings,

Next Generation Awareness Foundation, Inc., producers of the Black History Month Film and Discussion Series and the Urban Film Series Tour, announced today that Landmark Theater’s E Street Cinema will host two highly anticipated world premieres on July 27, in Washington, DC, as a part of NGAF’s First Annual Black Docs Film Series. Filmmakers and producers Mel Devonne and Jam Donaldson will be on hand for the world premiere of Steppin: A Way of Life (Devonne) and Hot Ghetto Mess (Donaldson). Screenings will begin at 7:30 p.m. (sharp) and ticket prices are $9.75 ($9 if purchased in advance at or

Attendees will witness Chicago’s popular ballroom dance style up close and see what it has meant to many communities for decades. Attendees will also witness DC’s own Lazy Lamont, former co-host of the Russ Parr Morning Show, as he narrates the work of one of America’s most popular web sites, which challenges the African American community with how it is looking and acting, including some of the most hilarious and suddenly shameful presentations.

The four-month fundraising event will benefit NGAF’s upcoming community programming and help send its 2007 Urban Film Series Tour to underserved communities in the United States. Sticking true to the motto of Connecting Communities with History and Progressive Cinema, Black Docs is the only program of its kind in that it focuses exclusively on documentaries related to urban lifestyles and issues.



Cleveland Park Office Space to Share
Bill Adler,

Office space to sublet/share in 3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW. We have a room in our office for rent: This is a good-sized space in a nice location, secure building, across the street from the National Zoo. Includes kitchen access, high-speed Internet, entrance area. Perfect for a writer or small business. Close to two Metro stops.

$648/month (plus the building’s air conditioner fee just in the summer months.) Available around August 15th. Please contact Jeanne at 986-9275 if interested.



Baby-Parent Class in Montgomery County
Jon Katz, jon at markskatz dot com

Please forward me your recommendation(s) for a good weekly (or so) baby-parent class/gathering in lower Montgomery County (e.g., Bethesda/Rockville/Kensington/Silver Spring).


Real Estate Agent for Arlington
Jon Katz, jon at markskatz dot com

Please forward me your recommendations for a residential real estate buyer’s agent in Arlington, Virginia. I seek an agent who’s knowledgeable about the market, patient, and friendly.


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