Dorothy writes, below, about influential people in DC. I’d like to
hear what you have to say about it. DCist, which provided its first
draft list today as a reply to the GQ list of the most powerful
people in Washington’s national city, has asked for additional names.
Dorothy provides some below, but both lists barely scratch the surface
of people who should be named. Whom would you like to add?
How Can a Child Learn to Compute Fractions?
Karl Rudder, firstname.lastname@example.org
The DC Public Schools should be employing its resources to help
expand the learning experience for DC youth by providing tutorial
workshops for parents at the beginning of the school year. The myth that
a child can become educated only within the hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. needs
to be dismissed. A child will not learn how to walk, speak, or go to the
bathroom, or learn any academic skill without continuous practice. We
all know this, yet too many have resigned the academic development of
too many children to only what the child can possibly experience during
the school day. If there are only four report cards for the entire
school year, we will continue to fail to develop a strong team effort
between parents and teachers. Our ability to cooperate will be
determined by our ability to communicate. Allowing eight exchanges
between teachers and parents will double the current effort and will
double the possibility of a successful exchange between parents and
teachers for the benefit of DCPS students.
Parents, especially parents of elementary school age children, need
to develop positive experiences at home for their children. A positive
peer influence can be achieved easily by having parents work with each
other to provide more frequent opportunities for their children and
their children’s friends to develop their academic study skills and
their reading, spelling, handwriting, and basic writing skills. How can
a children learn how to compute fractions, decimals and compute basic
algebra and geometry when they have yet to learn how to add, subtract,
multiply and divide whole numbers? Can only an educational expert
reliably provide an exchange for a child to slowly but surely learn how
to study and learn basic academic skills?
The vast resources within the DC community need to be effectively
coordinated to provide far more effective tutorial assistance for DC
youth. The many graduate and undergraduate students at Howard
University, the University of the District of Columbia, and the many
other local universities can start an educational revolution in this
country and provide a wonderful model for other cities to follow. There
are many churches in every community of the District of Columbia, and
just a fraction of the active members of each church can provide very
effective tutorial services for the children within their communities.
Can you imagine the power of just three to five churches working
together for the benefit of the children in your community? Thousands of
proud graduates of the DC Public Schools are still here in Washington,
DC. We can coordinate our vast resources to help develop the studying
and test taking skills of our little brothers and sisters of the DC
Public Schools. Limiting the resources of a tutorial program for DC
youth limits the effectiveness of that program.
I’m flattered, of course, but mystified. Today the DCist named me
as one of DC’s most influential people (http://dcist.com/2007/08/15/dc_most_influen.php).
Influential? Most frustrated, maybe. Most like Sisyphus, forever rolling
the rock uphill and never getting there, certainly. But influential?
Martin Austermuhle, who compiled the initial list for DCist, asked who
should be added to it, and I have some suggestions for people who belong
on the list whom he didn’t name.
Among current elected officials, why not Vincent Gray; he’s the
city council chairman. Within the Fenty administration, Peter Nickles is
the local equivalent of both Dick Cheney and Karl Rove; influence doesn’t
always have to be for good. Speaking of which, among longtime lobbyists
and influence peddlers, Fred Cooke and David Wilmot still make more
private deals for their clients than anyone else. Among public school
advocates, if school advocates will have any influence in the future,
Mary Levy, Iris Toyer, and Mary Filardo have the background, experience,
knowledge, and history to make a contribution. Among television
reporters, Bruce DePuyt, Bruce Johnson, and Tom Sherwood have the deep
knowledge to do stories that aren’t just rewrites of press releases.
The many people who run neighborhood and community listservs and blogs
are providing news that is personally important to local residents, a
job that has been largely abandoned by newspapers and broadcast outlets.
Judy Feldman (Save Our Mall) and Robin Diener (DC Library Renaissance
Project) are providing valuable services to the whole city, as are Kent
Cooper, Charles Cassell, and Arthur Cotton Moore on architectural
What’s interesting is the number of fields in which prominent names
don’t come to mind easily. What Washington Post editorialist
and columnist can fill the shoes of Colby King and William Raspberry,
when they provided that paper’s local perspective on the editorial and
op-ed pages? What business leader is as much or more interested in the
good of the city as in his own corporation — like John Hechinger,
Gilbert Hahn, Katherine Graham, and Joseph Danzansky were? What business
interest or large law firm contributes more to the city than it gets
from the city’s government? The big foots — the Federal City
Council, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Chamber of Commerce,
the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, the DC Hospital
Association, the contractors, developers, sports promoters, and so on
— look out for themselves. What university president has made the
university more of a contributor to its local neighborhood than it is an
opponent of the city’s residents and its surrounding community? Same
question for large churches. Name a local philanthropist. If you can,
try naming two. In any case, thank you for the mention, Martin. Anybody
can make a mistake.
Lack of Respect Goes On
Ed Dixon, Georgetown Reservoir, email@example.com
Having acted in defense of my own community’s playing fields at
Hardy Recreation Center, I understand the need to protect the public
commons. However, Clyde Howard’s comment (Lack of Respect, August 12)
on calling in Immigration and Customs Enforcement on soccer players is
unnecessary and is the equivalent of calling for a Klan rally to curtail
particular individual’s behavior. I know some will say, “but ICE is
government sanctioned,” as if the Klan never was.
There’s more than heat blowing in themail these days. Of the last
ten editorials of this newsletter, seven have continued the obsessive
banter about DC schools, and two have given a bizarre spotlight to the
Rees versus Cheh who-had-how-much-campaign-office-space crisis. One
would think from this list that there was nothing else going on in the
city worth reporting. That the most recent edition opened with a
supporting quote from the Washington Times (of all publications)
is another sign of how DCWatch has gone off the rails.
Having said that, one item that is very alarming and worth further
investigation is the revelations surrounding E-mail archiving by the DC
government. Given the well established requirements for archiving set
by, among others, Sarbanes-Oxley, NARA, and the FOIA, it is a disgrace
that the local DC government, particularly given its fiscal dependence
on the federal government, is not up to speed on this issue.
Plotkin has taken the last few weeks of August off, and I am hosting his show. With just a few days left before the start of school, DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and School Facilities Director Allen Lew will will take calls and E-mails from listeners to the Politics Program on Washington Post Radio Friday at 12:00 p.m. You can call 1-877-POST-107 between noon and 1 p.m. on Friday or E-mail questions anytime before the show to
Peter Wolff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the page 1 lead stories noted in our monthly new content
notification advisory [themail, August 12] was the following: “New
Farmers Market in the Bloomingdale Neighborhood Welcomed and Very
Popular.” Unfortunately, there was a small typographical error, but
one that required correcting because it affected the proper reporting of
the actual location of the farmers market.
In the first sentence of the third paragraph the location of the
market printed as being in the 100 block of First Street, rather than as
being in the 1700 block (or at 1st and R Streets, NW) as it should have
appeared. We very much regret the inadvertent error and can assure our
readers that the article text appearing under the lead story’s header
has already been corrected, as has the PDF version found in the Current
and Back Issues Archive. Obviously, nothing can be done about the
thousands of copies already distributed to our five hundred locations; a
correction notice, however, will appear in the September print edition.
Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
DC Public Library Events, August 16, 20
Randi Blank, email@example.com
Thursday, August 16, 1:00 p.m., Chevy Chase Branch Library, 5625
Connecticut Avenue, NW. Summer Foreign Film Series. The second film in
the series is The Prisoner of the Caucasus (1996), a film based on Leo
Tolstoy's story of the same title about an oddball pair of Russian
soldiers who are captured by a Chechen father hoping to barter them for
the release of his own captive sons. Directed by Sergei Bodrov. In
Russian with English subtitles. Not rated. The series will continue in
September. For more information, call 282-0021.
Monday, August 20, 6:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room 221. All the World's a Stage Film Club.
We will watch The Three Musketeers (1973), directed by Richard Lester
and starring Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Raquel Welch and Faye
Event for Adam Clampitt for DC City Council,
Lane Hudson, firstname.lastname@example.org
A campaign event for Adam Clampitt will be held at 5 Prospect,
Rehoboth Beach, at the home of David Salie and Mark Bromley, on
Saturday, August 18, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Beach attire is welcome. Food and
drinks will be provided. Donations will be appreciated.
Adam Clampitt has lived in DC since he was eleven years old. He is a
progressive candidate who holds a masters degree in public policy from
the University of Southern California and is also an officer in the
Naval Reserves. Adam is a community activist and intends to focus on
education, healthcare, public safety, and affordable housing throughout
his campaign and once a member of city council. He plans to run an
aggressive, grassroots campaign to engage all DC residents.
WiMAX and Building a Scalable Back Office,
Barbara Conn, email@example.com
In recent years, IT software and services have changed dramatically.
How have these changes affected the building of back office systems, and
infrastructure? Doug Smith, CIO of DigitalBridge Communications, will
discuss the building of an end-to-end, automated back-office environment
in a short period of time with limited human and capital resources. The
presentation includes an overview of WiMAX, how it works and its pros
Gather your colleagues and bring them to this Saturday, August 18,
1:00 p.m., gathering of the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) Entrepreneurs
and Consultants Special Interest Group (E&C SIG). These monthly
events are free and open to all. This month’s event is at the
Cleveland Park Branch Library (first floor large meeting room) at 3310
Connecticut Avenue, NW (between Macomb and Newark Streets), just over a
block south of the Cleveland Park Metrorail Station on the Red Line. For
more information about the presentation, the speaker, and CPCUG (a
501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization), visit http://entrepreneur.cpcug.org/807meet.html.
To register, send E-mail to Bconn@cpcug.org.
A Lesson in Democracy, September 2
Michon Boston, firstname.lastname@example.org
ITVS Community Cinema, now in its third season, and PBS member
station WHUT will present a free public preview of Please Vote for Me at
Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW, just in time for back to school
on Sunday, September 2, at 5 p.m. The screening will be followed
by a discussion with DC-area teachers and educators who recently
traveled to China through programs (including a Fulbright-Hays Group
project sponsored by Howard University’s School of Education) to
promote educational and cultural cooperation between Washington, DC, and
the Peoples Republic of China. Sally Schwartz of the DC Center for
Global Education and Leadership and others will share their observations
and experiences in China and the importance of global education for
public school students here and abroad. No admission fee, but an RSVP is
required to email@example.com
or 939-0794. For more information, see http://www.communitycinema-dc.org.
How does democracy work? An important assignment is given to a third
grade elementary school class in the city of Wuhan in central China,
where three eight-year-old students campaign for the coveted position of
class monitor. It is the first election for a class leader to be held in
China. The three candidates hold debates, campaign tirelessly, and show
their intellectual and artistic skills, until one is voted the winner.
Winner of the Best Documentary Feature award at the 2007 Silverdocs Film
Festival, Please Vote for Me will be broadcast nationally on the Emmy
Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on October 23. The documentary
will air on WHUT on November 3.
ITVS Community Cinema is the monthly screening series featuring
upcoming selections from the Independent Lens season on PBS. Presented
in partnership with local public television stations and leading
community organizations, ITVS Community Cinema holds preview screenings
in select markets across the country making a real contribution on a
range of current social issues by connecting communities with
organizations, information, and the opportunity to get involved. For
more information, see http://www.itvs.org/outreach.
CLASSIFIEDS — HELP WANTED
Seeking paralegal with excellent civil case background to work with pro
se plaintiff on researching, writing brief, civil procedure for PG
Circuit Court and Civil rules. Call Tolu, 263-6806.
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
A Penny for Your Thoughts About Banks
Paul Penniman, firstname.lastname@example.org
I seem to be asking this question every few years, but is anyone out
there happy with their bank service? We were happy with BB&T, but
their service has really gone downhill these last few years. I guess I
would like a local bank that won’t keep nickeling and diming us.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
Wednesday and Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, use the
subscription form at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm.
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with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Archives of past messages
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All postings should also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of
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