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December 10, 2006


Dear Therapists:

In its brief history of home rule government, the District of Columbia has already had one mayor who suffered from a serious addiction that he was unable to deal with and defeat. Mayor Marion Barry used multiple illegal drugs, up to and including crack cocaine, and the city was harmed as a result. However, it should be noted that Carole Thompson Cole, the city administrator during the third Barry term, received universal plaudits for taking over from Barry when he was most severely incapacitated, and for running the city no worse when she was straight and sober than he ran it when he was high as a kite.

Now we have elected another mayor who suffers from a serious addition, one that he does not even bother to hide, in fact one that he flaunts in the face of the public. Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty is well known for being enslaved to the terrible habit of BlackBerryitis. He uses BlackBerries night and day, and on all occasions. Public input into his transition is being managed almost exclusively on blogs and web sites that he can access on his BlackBerries. He is known by his colleagues on the city council for being totally disengaged during council sessions, and for paying full attention to his BlackBerries. Yes, the plural is intentional. Mayor-elect Fenty is so hooked that he has not one, but two, BlackBerries, and he has even been seen using them both simultaneously, one in each hand. (When I mentioned this to a representative of Nokia at a computer conference luncheon, she said that he probably had two because he was on two incompatible networks, but that she knew of solutions that would allow him to use both networks on one device. I begged her not to let Fenty know, because if he could use just one device he would be on it full time, and would never pay any attention to the people he was actually with.)

This week, Katherine Rosman wrote an article on “BlackBerry Orphans” in the Wall Street Journal ( In it, she describes the plight of children who feel abandoned and orphaned by parents who can’t break themselves of their addictions to their BlackBerries, who have to get continual fixes of E-mail. She describes children who have hidden their parents’ BlackBerries and tried to flush them down the toilet, who have tried to restrict their parents’ use of BlackBerries during meals and evenings together. She also describes parents who have hidden their BlackBerry use from their families. “Some mental-health professionals report that the intrusion of mobile E-mail gadgets and wireless technology into family life is a growing topic of discussion in therapy,” she reports. “They have specific tips for dealing with the problem, like putting the device in a drawer during a set time period every day. . . . More often, intervention is required.” Let me propose an early intervention now for Mayor-elect Fenty. Perhaps his family, his council staff, and his transition staff can band together for a personal intervention, or perhaps a professional from the Department of Mental Health can provide therapy sessions that will relieve him of this terrible burden. Who can help him, before it is too late?

Gary Imhoff


Searching for Gray’s Stealth Transition
Dorothy Brizill,

On November 9, Council Chairman-elect Vincent Gray held a press conference to announce his transition plans, transition team, and six transition committees: organizational structure, staffing, budget, and administration (chair, Lorraine Green); council rules and procedures (chair, Cynthia Brock Smith); "One City" initiatives (chair, Sarah Campbell); council orientation and legislative agenda (chair, Tom Downs); logistics and events (chair, Linda Green); and Wilson Building authority and use (chair, Vernon Hawkins). In addition, Gray indicated that Lorraine Green would oversee the transition as chair of its executive committee, and that Ernie Jarvis would head a working group on appointments made by the council chair.

Since November 9, despite receiving $150,000 in public funds for his transition, Gray has run a stealth operation. There have been no press conferences or public announcements regarding senior staff appointments (for example, Secretary of the Council, General Counsel, or Budget Director), committee structure and chairmanships, changes in council rules and procedures, or legislative agenda. Indeed, many council observers question why Gray needed $150,000 to move down the hall from his Ward 7 council office in room 506 of the Wilson Building to the chairman’s office in room 504.

Perhaps the best indication that the Gray transition is virtually invisible is the fact that very few people in the District government even know where the transition office is located. In fact, when I asked various council offices, most -- including Council Chairman Cropp's -- said that they were not aware that Gray had a separate transition office. According to Gray’s council office and his press secretary, his transition office was at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW. After I made repeated requests for information about where it was located in that building, they indicated that it was somewhere on the eleventh floor. However, when I visited last week, the receptionist on the eleventh floor said that she was not aware that the Gray transition occupied any space on the floor. After numerous telephone calls and some sleuthing, I was able to locate Gray’s transition office inside the suite of offices belonging to the Office of Property Management at 441 4th Street, and also to determine that the transition is using room G6 on the ground floor of the Wilson Building, although neither office has a sign indicating its purpose.


Preserve Architecture or Lives?
Jack McKay,

An eighty-six-year-old neighbor here in Mount Pleasant is coping with the vicissitudes of old age, compounded by strokes, which now have her confined to the basement of her home of forty-six years, unable to climb stairs. A hazard of basement living is the possibility of being trapped by fire, if that fire happens to block the only way out. This elderly couple recently requested District permits to add a front exit to their basement home, with a ramp to the level of the sidewalk, so that this good lady could, if necessary, escape.

No problem, except that Mount Pleasant is designated an historic district, and the Historic Preservation Office, supported by a nine to one vote of the Historic Preservation Review Board, denied the permit, noting that removing a portion of the porch to allow for an exit ramp would mar the pattern of “repeating porches of similar height and depth” along the row.

Architecture, it seems, trumps personal safety. I wonder if other District neighborhoods currently petitioning for historic district status realize a possible consequence of that designation may be that you could be prohibited from modifying your own home to compensate for disabilities due to injury or age.


My Not-So-Excellent Adventure with DMV
Carolyn Long,

A cautionary tale: don’t let your driver’s license expire, don’t go to the downtown DMV office; find out whether or not you have to take the “knowledge test”; and, if you do, download the study guide and prepare in advance. If you fail the test you will have to come back another day. I discovered, when going through security at National Airport, that my license had been expired for two months. I had never received a notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles that I was due for renewal, and I didn’t realize it because I never drive. I use my license for identification and keep it in case I ever have to drive in an emergency. Fortunately airport security accepted another picture ID.

As soon as I returned to Washington, I went downtown to renew my license. What a terrible experience! The person at the front counter gave me a number and told me to pick up a study guide and prepare to take the test. I settled down to memorize the answers, thinking I would have a long wait. But within minutes my number was called and I was instructed to report to counter 1. The person in charge there assigned me to a computer on which to take the test. When I asked for some time to study, he told me I had to do it right away because he’d already programmed my name into the computer. Naturally, I failed the test. I protested that I hadn’t been given any time to prepare and asked if I could familiarize myself with the answers and take the test again in about an hour. I guess the man felt sorry for me, since he’d caused my problem in the first place, so he told me to study the book, go through the line and get another number, and come back. But when I returned, that man had gone to lunch and the woman who had taken his place would not allow me to retake the test and was quite nasty about it.

A few days later I went to the DVM office in Georgetown Park. The experience was entirely different. I discovered that I didn’t even have to take the knowledge test because my license had been expired for fewer than ninety days. All I had to do was have my vision checked and have my picture taken.


What Is Fenty’s Concept of Affordable Housing
Jonathan R. Rees,

Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty, throughout his campaign, campaigned on the concept of affordable housing in the District. Yet Fenty never defined for the voters what his concept of affordable housing was, who would benefit from the type of affordable housing he had in mind, or what his plan for affordable housing was. For all we know, Fenty’s concept of affordable housing could be designed to make more housing available for the middle and upper middle classes and not for the poor.

Indeed, Fenty left it up to the imagination of voters what he meant, and thus carefully crafted this issue to mean all things to all people. The voters never asked for a clear definition of what he plans to do. Now the clock is ticking away. Everybody over at the Fenty Transition Office is having a great time, but in a few weeks the fun and games will be over, and it will be time for an early reality check. Fenty’s ideas and goals will be put to a very early test and the voters will learn before July 2007 if they made a good or bad choice. So far, it does not look like Fenty is going anywhere in his efforts to take over the schools or in getting voting rights in Congress for the District. These two issues were half of his campaign promises for a better DC. His other big issue, affordable housing, seems to be another not well thought out or planned campaign promise.


Only in the District: Politics as We Know It
Mary Williams,

Having endured a brutal but highly organized slander campaign, in which I was sent a note telling me to take a look in the mirror because I was still a “ni....” and needed to stay home and have babies, “if I still could,” and in which a malicious and baseless recall effort was halted only after Dorothy Brizill discovered that the Board of Elections and Ethics had overlooked the law regarding petition sheets, I pulled off a slim but hard-fought victory in November. You’d think that my opponent would graciously concede defeat. Apparently the ANC6D03 seat is pretty powerful and is a highly sought-after political plum, because my opponent has now used another BOEE error to vacate the November election results.

I will be forced to run again for an office that I have held for five years. It seems that thirty-three voters living in the Potomac Place Condominiums, which is located in my Single Member District, were given the wrong ballot. Shortly after noon on Election Day, after learning from four of my supporters that my name did not appear on their ballots, I immediately contacted the BOEE and filed a complaint. I was told by the investigator that the districting map submitted to the BOEE by Gottlieb Simon, the coordinator of the ANC Office, indicated that the condo residents were in an adjacent district. Simon claimed that day that the Registrar of Voters office apparently misread the map. Still, while election officials and Simon were made aware of the problem on election day, nothing was done to correct the error then. I would live with the results. After I won the election, the lost votes were not an issue for me anymore, or so I thought. However, Simon believed this error was critical to my opponent, even though my opponent knew nothing of the wayward ballots on Election Day. So Simon informed him of my challenge and provided him with the information that he then used against me. Though I know that a majority of the thirty-three voters were committed to me, I can’t imagine having to spend additional taxpayers’ money and waste more time in a special election for the ANC seat.

But I’m told by BOEE that the seat will remain vacant until a special election for Wards 4 and 7 Council seats is set. Stay tuned. I may want to seek the Democratic nomination for US President instead. I think that race has got to be a bit more civilized than DC politics.


Stiffed Again and Systemic Brokenness
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom

Once again Congress has stiffed the District by not taking up discussion and a vote on whether or not the District should have a voting representative. Though I am not a proponent of statehood for the District, I do think we are entitled to have a voting representative in Congress. If, after the first of the year, the Dem majority does not take up the issue, then the taxpaying residents of DC should withhold their Federal income taxes for the first quarter of the year and in subsequent quarters until the issue is voted upon by the Congress.

"Systemic brokenness" is how School Superintendent Janey characterizes the DCPS. In translation, he is saying that the processes that make up the school system are not working and are, in fact, broken. Well, that’s a marvelous revelation. And it makes good sense that, since Janey has not made significant progress in fixing those broken processes, that Mayor-to-be Fenty is correct in taking over the leadership of the DCPS. When that happens, the new Mayor should put together a team to quickly identify the most broken processes (a very limited number) and then form teams to fix that limited number of processes. As the initial processes get fixed then new targets should be identified and attacked the same way. It will likely take a few years to completely reform the DCPS. The benefits, however, will outweigh whatever it costs.


Requiem for a Lightweight: HR 5388, All Jab, No Punch
Samuel Jordan, Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition,

As an undergrad, I boxed at Georgetown University for the 1789 Club. My coach was the Foods Services Manager, Marty Gallagher, who prided himself on being number four to Joe Louis in his prime. Big Marty, the classic Irish brawler, helped me learn the difference between a jab and a knockout punch. The principle was fundamental. A jab is delivered with the arm, shoulder — all upper body — ending with a snap of the wrist. A punch, by contrast, begins with the feet, travels through the legs and is capped with a forceful, whip-like pivot of the hips. Where the former might sting, the latter disables an opponent. The difference can be up to eight hundred foot-pounds of force — or that between drumming one’s fingers on the table and jack hammering through concrete. A punch from Big Marty was not a pat on the back. Even the recollection is painful. H.R. 5388 was a limp-wrist jab delivering nothing of substance whatsoever for residents of the District of Columbia. The bill would have granted the District a voting seat in the House of Representatives and an additional voting seat in the House for the state of Utah. On the surface, a voting seat in the House sounds impressive, but it was the bill’s lack of empowerment for the people of the District that exposed the proposed legislation as one of the most cynical legislative scams in recent memory.

An immensely expensive lobbying campaign was mounted for H.R. 5388 although the bill did not offer local control of the budget, judiciary, legislation nor a fair payment in lieu of taxes to the District for hosting the federal establishment at a considerable cost -- about $1.9 billion per year. What is the advantage of a seat in the House when everything that matters would remain under the control of Congress? When did democracy not confer autonomy? Isn’t that the point? “Embarrassing” may be the only way to describe our nonvoting Delegate’s desperate, last day, last minute appeal to the Senators of Utah and Connecticut. They were asked to prevail upon the outgoing leaders of the House and Senate to halt the lame-duck session’s expiration in order to pass a bill that had not even been presented for any meaningful discussion accessible to the people of the District. While we’re at it, let’s overlook the required Congressional conference and fiscal impact statement as did the bill’s sponsors.

Even if one could hold his nose to the rights by race “balancing” mechanism in H.R. 5388 and its Electoral College flimflam, it delivered nothing of value to the people of the District useful in the conduct of our daily affairs. Instead, it offered second-class, symbolic representation, and no accompanying power of enfranchisement. All jab, no punch.


Court Precedent on DC Voting Rights in Congress
Scott McLarty,

Lorelie S. Masters, in response to Sam Jordan’s observation that the Davis bill granting DC a single voting seat in the House would be found unconstitutional because Article I, Section 2, limits voting representation in Congress to states, wrote in the last themail [December 6] that “many provisions in the Constitution refer only to ‘States.’ Despite that fact, courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have consistently treated DC as a ‘State’ for constitutional purposes.” Ms. Masters listed some of the ways in which courts have ruled that DC residents should be treated like citizens of states. However, courts have been adamant about the unconstitutionality of voting representation in Congress for DC. A decision by the US District Court for DC in 2000 (Daley v. Alexander) upheld the restriction: "We conclude from our analysis of the text that the Constitution does not contemplate that the District may serve as a state for purposes of the apportionment of congressional representatives."

This ruling went unchallenged by the US Supreme Court. Given the conservative make-up of the current court and the originalist philosophy of some of its members, it’s unlikely that a new DC voting seat in the House would withstand a law suit. And if the Davis bill is overturned, Congress will be discouraged from considering new legislation extending equal citizenship and democracy to DC residents for many years to come. Here are the real questions we need to ask: why have Democratic politicians been consistently hostile to DC statehood, which could be achieved by an act of Congress requiring a simple majority, which would not only afford DC one Representative and two Senators but also grant DC the same self-governance that all the states enjoy, and which would give Dems themselves an edge in Congress? Why did the Democratic Party delete the goal of DC statehood from its national platform (in 2004, at Del. Norton’s request)? Why shouldn’t DC residents demand real democracy in the form of statehood from Congress’s new Democratic majority in 2007? Why are Dems so willing to give Republicans a new Electoral College vote (in Utah, a side effect of the Davis bill that neither Dems nor the media want to talk about)?

PS: Nik Schiller of the DC Statehood Green Party has proposed a new license plate slogan if the Davis bill passes: “Taxation with 1/3 Representation.”


Local Media
Rachel W. Thompson,

Those who were interested in Ed T. Barron’s post about the local NBC affiliate [themail, December 6] might also want to check out a new project of the Center for Public Integrity. CPI has an extensive database, dubbed Media Tracker, that allows you to search media licenses and ownership by zip code. It also details payments by media lobbyists for several years’ worth of elections. You can find it all at

The local NBC station is one of GE’s “O&Os,” or owned-and-operated stations. These are cash cows for the networks that own them, so it is not surprising to see the station being run that way. Washington Post editors wrote a really disturbing book about trends in local television reporting called, The News About the News. The Post, of course, also owns TV and radio stations through its Post-Newsweek partnership. In terms of local radio, the greatest number of area stations are owned by Clear Channel (10); CBS (7); Bonneville Radio (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (5); Radio One Inc. (4) and Walt Disney (3). [Exact numbers will vary depending on the zip code you use to search.] You may or may not be surprised by the number of religiously-owned media.

CPI wrote in the news release announcing re-launch of the database: “The Media Tracker includes more than five million records from government sources, corporate documents and original Center research. The Center for Public Integrity also seeks to display information about broadband providers by ZIP code, but the FCC has refused the Center’s Freedom of Information Act request for access to its database of broadband providers. When the FCC failed to respond to the Center’s August 24 request within the required twenty working days, the Center filed suit in the federal district court in Washington. (See news release.) In October, Media Tracker also profiled the business strategies and policy priorities of the top 10 companies in these industries: Broadcast Television, Broadcast Radio, Cable Operators, Telephone Companies, Wireless Companies, Broadband Internet Providers. It also profiled the top two Satellite TV and Satellite Radio companies.”


Which Is It, Humor or Honor?
Jenefer Ellingston,

A footnote to Leo Alexander’s “Shortfall...” article about DC financial mismanagement [themail, December 6]. It invites those who have a sense of humor to play with the last word:

Alexander wrote: “Avoidable headlines are the last thing a new administration needs, but nothing teaches like experience. I recall a joke from my days in the newsroom -- why let the facts get in the way of a good story. Now I see the scribes at the Post share the same sense of humor.”

As I read it, my mind switched one word: “. . . why let the facts get in the way of a good story. Now I see the scribes at the Post share the same sense of honor.”


DC Public Library
Roxanna Deane,

I would like to respond to William Mazer [themail, December 6] and others who have been commenting on the DC Public Library. First the Library of Congress does not serve anyone younger than college age without special permissions. There is no “children’s room” and everything is reference. You are not going to be able to check out a book and read it in bed. The Library of Congress will never replace a public library. I retired from DCPL after thirty-seven years and still follow what is going on. I cannot agree more with themail readers who call it a travesty that new libraries haven’t been built where four libraries were closed. It really seems to me that the government has not made great libraries and great library service a priority. As far as I can see there has been lots of talk and no action. Meanwhile I know that a caring staff is trying hard to scrape by and provide some semblance of service.

I want to share with the readers the letter I sent to the councilmembers as it sums up my feelings about the DC Public Library.

I am writing to you as a person who worked for the D.C. Public Library for 37 years (1968-2005). As the former Chief of the Washingtoniana Division, I am very familiar with the history of the Public Library. It is a proud history of dedicated staff working tirelessly to serve the residents of the District. Unfortunately it is also a history of “doing more with less.” Woefully underfunded for decades, the library system is now a symbol of neglect. The present delay in rebuilding the branch libraries and creating a new dynamic central library is reminiscent of the forty years it took to move from Mt. Vernon Square to MLK. The government always had a pressing need that seemed more important than a great library system.

I helped move from the Carnegie building to MLK and can tell you honestly that I cried — the space was so poorly designed, unfriendly, and, as the years went by, unworkable. There is no point in assessing blame for the many problems of the building but you have a chance to get it right. There’s no question about it — the nation’s capital is long overdue for creating a central library that actually is built for what libraries have become and what they are destined to become as we go headlong into the 21st century. If this city can afford a new baseball stadium and waterfront development, it can afford a library system worthy of the greatness of its people. Please vote in favor of building a new central library and make a steadfast commitment to supporting the city’s residents with a fully developed library system that gives people what they need to live their lives: information and knowledge.

I implore you not to deny residents what cities like Nashville, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and many others have done for their citizens, which is put them first. Trust that if you build a great central public library everyone around the city will flock to it, as has been the case in many, many other locales. Libraries do change lives — I truly believe that supporting a new library on the site of the convention center and rebuilding the branches will change the lives of all DC residents. What is needed now are heroes who show all residents, especially young people that learning and reading are important and that they are worth the investment in creating a first class library system.


Ballpark Transportation Report Confirms No Realistic Parking and Transit Options
Ed Delaney,

”Post-game traffic congestion may be an issue along this route.” This admission is made on page 27 of Gorove/Slade Associates’ stadium transportation report concerning shuttle service for ballpark patrons to and from L’Enfant Plaza/Gallery Place Metro stops. It is likely to apply to every route to and from the ballpark, as the transportation report doesn’t reveal viable options for moving crowds of 20,000 (let alone 41,000) in and out of what will be an already bustling area. It confirms our suspicions that the patchwork transportation system for the ballpark will be as poorly executed as everything else in the District’s ballpark process. The streets surrounding the ballpark project are going to be congested due to the nature of the parking plan, which is spread throughout several city blocks. The majority of cars will likely head north and west, as they do currently from the RFK Stadium lots (where I’ve enjoyed speeding out onto East Capitol Street towards I-295, as opposed to hitting the congestion at the exit towards I-395, which occurs even despite a dedicated lane from the lot onto the highway). This also undercuts the entire bus/shuttle/DC Circulator prospect as the transportation fix that the city needs here, as there’s no way to dedicate lanes to their use as at RFK Stadium or at Redskins games at FedEx Field, the latter of which is one of the key shuttle models that the Brigade has alluded to.

Alas, even the lucky 1,225 who are going to park in the highly expensive and cap-busting garages (where the city’s prime retail space in the ballpark district should have been) will be caught up in the congestion, and will let the Lerners know it in no uncertain terms. Since the Lerners can’t do anything about it except advocating a different stadium site, this site will force them to risk losing customers for club seats and suites who aren’t going to put up with the supreme transportation hassle that a ballpark adjacent to downtown was supposed to avoid. What this project was supposed to do was present a viable alternative to Camden Yards for baseball fans and business/political dealmakers, but the lack of parking and adequate Metro stops, along with the limited aesthetic appeal of the cut-rate greenhouse, will bring Camden Yards back into play for the area’s casual fans as well as for potential season ticket holders and club seat/luxury suite renters, the latter of which might bypass baseball altogether and use their discretionary entertainment dollars on other sport and entertainment venues in the area. That could result in a reduction of anticipated revenues for the club that could be truly disastrous, all due to the city’s blundering ahead with this site on the insistence of the agenda-driven baseball brigade without adequately addressing these transportation issues.

One has to wonder if even the sparse transportation options enumerated in this transportation report will be implemented adequately, given the limited money for extra security and police overtime associated with the ballpark project. A lot of extra security and police will be required even to attempt to get these cars into this area in rush hour and leave en masse after the game combined. And extra money will be required for adequate shuttle services (the Redskins pay Metro, but who will pay here remains at issue). Money concerns led to slashing Metro improvements for the Navy Yard station from $47 million to $20 million and scrapping a new station entrance and escalators, so this plan, with its lack of discussion of the still-unmet funding issues, must be viewed in a context that anticipates that many of these bare minimum recommendations might not come to pass. But even if all of the recommendations were implemented, we’re still talking about a situation in which an overwhelming number of people will be forced to buck existing trends and preferences of driving themselves and their families to games. City officials will respond as did AWC president Adrian Washington, by saying the percentage of people who take Metro to games at the new stadium will need “to be closer to 70 percent” (WTOP, June 22, 2006). Civic leaders’ wishes that parking options be spread out over several city blocks are great, but in order to succeed that have to accommodate the people with the out-of-town taxable discretionary dollars, just as they are at other venues including RFK Stadium. It’s counterintuitive to site a stadium for reasons that supposedly focus on maximizing the take from ballpark patrons coming from outside the District, but then have that stadium be as bereft of realistic or appealing parking options as the current site is. (Of course, this is the group that sold this site to MLB and the public over the RFK Stadium site due to its riverfront vistas and later to its views of local monuments and landmarks, both of which are now largely history, with looming garages offering the sort of unappealing vistas that the Brigade assured us we wouldn‘t be burdened with any longer.)

One of the biggest selling points from the Brigade on the ballpark’s location versus the RFK Stadium site was that the setting would maximize the opportunity to generate revenue from people coming to the ballpark with the inclination to spend their spare time and money on taxable entertainments within the ballpark district surrounding the stadium. This was all the more important to the city as an investment, since in sections of the ballpark district outside the ballpark itself all revenue would be gained exclusively by the city. This is now moot because the best of these sections controlled by the city will now be parking garages. But as more and more time is consumed in transit and shuttling back and forth from the various off-site locations proposed in this report, it defeats the objective of having fans and their discretionary dollars on-site sooner. This could force another reevaluation of anticipated revenues for the stadium and the currently moribund ballpark district. Another selling point for the current ballpark site was encouraging walkups due to increased accessibility. Now we’re all learning that this won’t be the case because of the almost nonexistent parking and overburdened public transportation options.

The final insult to those of us who have questioned the wisdom of spending so much more on the current site than would’ve been needed at the RFK Stadium site — to the point that the ballpark project became a cut-rate and value-engineered "Buick or Ford" greenhouse — is the inclusion of RFK Stadium as the parking/Metro station option of choice for a sizable number of ballpark patrons, who will no doubt be wondering why the ballpark wasn’t built there each time they arrive at RFK and then have to go to the new ballpark in cramped shuttles on congested city streets. This will take time that could have been spent at ballpark district stores or restaurants, had the stadium been built at RFK. People might be a little more willing to do the shuttle thing for Redskins games which happens ten times less frequently than baseball games, but getting fans to pay top dollar (as a result of the city‘s passing on the cost of the shuttle service) for this unappealing option seems ridiculous. It serves as an indictment of the thought process that ignored the overwhelming desire of people in this area to experience the least amount of hassle possible getting to and from an entertainment destination, especially the large part of the baseball fan demographic made up of casual fans, families, and senior citizens. The consequences of the Brigade’s insistence on this horrible site, based on the desires and pleas of the Herb Millers of the world, continue to be felt in a way that will be severely damaging to the ballpark experience of most fans and to the overall present and future fiscal help of the project itself.



DC Students Want Their Voices Heard, December 11
Pricilla Clarke,

A youth forum will be held at Anacostia Senior High School at which Anacostia students and youth from the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS) will voice their collective opinions and seek solutions on the following issues addressed to a panel of senior officials of the District of Columbia government: gun violence within the community; increased youth violence; school violence; and emergency preparedness. This forum is sponsored by ROOT, Inc, in partnership with WPFW Radio; WPGC Radio; the Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Family and Elders; Psychological Assessment Services (PAS); US Trans; and AMERIGROUP will host a Youth Forum at Anacostia Senior High School.

The first mayoral debate in 2006 was held at UDC in January of last year. Anacostia students, along with high school students throughout the city, participated in a mock election at the end of the debate, voted and overwhelmingly elected the Honorable Adrian Fenty as the next mayor of the city along with the Honorable Vincent Gray as the new DC City council chair. The youth now would like them and others in authority to attend and address their concerns and assist them in finding solutions to the problems that they reveal about their school and communities. With the outbreak of gun violence in Carver Terrace and the Langston Community, students are extremely concerned about their safety, preventing similar occurrences in the Anacostia community and wish their concerns addressed in a public forum.

The forum will be held on Monday, December 11, from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Anacostia High School Auditorium, 16th and R Street, SE.


The Architecture of Washington, December 14
Lauren Searl,

Thursday, December 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Lecture and book signing: EccentriCity: Intriguing Characters in Washington’s Architectural History. In researching and writing the new edition of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, DC (Johns Hopkins University Press), Martin Moeller, senior vice president and curator at the National Building Museum, became fascinated by the many colorful characters, including architects, clients, residents, and politicians, who helped shape the face of the nation’s capital. In this lecture, he will talk about the intriguing people closely associated with noteworthy Washington buildings. Afterwards, he will sign copies of the guidebook and of the exhibition catalog he co-edited, Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete (Birkhauser). This lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition Washington: Symbol and City, which will be open for viewing. $12 Museum and AIA members and students; $20 nonmembers. Prepaid registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at


Acting Workshops, December 16, 23
India Young,

Saturdays, December 16, 23, 10:30 a.m., Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street, NW. Exploring, Discovering, and Activating Your Inner Potentials. Drama and acting workshop with London trained actor, Ron Dortch. For more information, call 282-0213.


Ward 7 Democrats Holiday Celebration, December 16
Juan Thompson,

The Ward 7 Democrats Holiday Celebration will be held on Saturday, December 16, at the Chateau, 3439 Benning Road, NE, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Food, live music, and dancing. Donations at the door of winter clothes for the children of Plummer Elementary School — new and gently used coats, gloves, scarves, and hats, etc.



2007 Black History Calendars Made by DC Youth
Ingrid Drake,

2007 Black History calendars, designed by MOMIE’s TLC Youth, are great stocking stuffers and holiday gifts. Like many of us, you try to buy socially responsible products that are locally made and meaningful. The 2007 Children’s Calendar of Black History includes full-color portraits of great heroes and sheroes — Ella Jo Baker and Muhammad Ali — and significant dates for social change! Created by young people who participate in the innovative educational programming of the Columbia Heights-based nonprofit MOMIE’s TLC;

One hundred percent of the calendar proceeds go to support MOMIE’s mission to nurture the genius of all children through quality out of school programming, hands-on community service/action projects, and interactive educational products. Pick up your copies at your favorite community businesses: Mama Sita, 6906 4th Street, NW; Good Luck Cafe, 9801 Greenbelt Road, Lanham, Maryland; Takoma Park Co-op, 201 Ethan Allen Avenue, Maryland; Bara Business Solutions, 2851 Georgia Avenue, NW; The Culture Shop, 341 Cedar Street, NW (next to Takoma Metro); Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road, NW; Al Fishawy Cafe, 4132 Georgia Avenue, NW (three blocks north of Petworth Metro).

For more info, or if your group/business/youth entrepreneur wants to sell some calendars, contact us at or call 240-286-3765.


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