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October 12, 2008


Dear Cronies:

Three times this year, I’ve alluded to the battle between rival companies to get the contract to run the DC Lottery. On April 9, I wrote: “The highly profitable and highly suspect Lottery Board contract that the administration submitted to the council couldn’t withstand the most basic questions (, and just a day after it was presented to the council it was withdrawn for ‘further review’ (” On May 18, I wrote, “be sure to read Nikita Stewart’s revealing article on the competition for the DC lottery contract, The competition is really between two large national corporations, but the decision isn’t being made on the basis of the competence or capabilities of those corporations, but on which of the companies’ local minority business partners has cultivated better political contacts. The contest is between Fenty’s fraternity brothers and the old-timers with decades of local sweetheart deals behind them. It’s a shame one of these groups has to win.” And on May 25, I wrote that Acting Attorney General Peter Nickles, “took the lead to push the lucrative lottery contract that the mayor is supporting for his fraternity brothers and friends.”

The battle is a classic case of government corruption by cronyism, with the taxpayers as the suckers caught between two companies exercising their influence over politicians, and much of the evidence for that has been published in the Washington Post itself. But last week, the Post editorial board chose to ignore the facts established by the paper’s own reporters in order to endorse the lottery contract bid submitted by Mayor Fenty’s cronies, The editorial scolded the city council for not giving Fenty what he wants and allowing him to award the contract to his friends and frat brothers, who have no background in running lotteries, and for not swallowing whole and without question the promises made in the mayor’s friends’ bid. As it has in many other cases, the Post advocates giving Mayor Fenty absolute power and reducing the council’s role to that of a rubber stamp, asking no questions and having no will of its own. Giving any politician absolute and unchecked power guarantees corrupt government, yet this is exactly what the Post has been promoting since Fenty was elected.

Back on May 18, I said that, “It’s a shame that one of these groups has to win.” It’s time to recognize that neither group has to win. The Post wants the mayors’ cronies to profit from the lottery contract, but Mike DeBonis suggests a much better solution in City Desk: put the contract up for another bid, DeBonis wants to exempt the lottery contract from the local and minority participation requirement, thus cutting out the local political influence, but it’s unlikely that either the mayor or the council would agree to a bidding system that wouldn’t have rewards for the local businesses that will reward them in turn. In any case, let’s open the process up, invite new and fresh bids, and see what happens.

Two more things: the Office of the State Superintendent of Education released it five-year strategic plan for education on October 9, And yesterday Colbert King wrote another of his outstanding and well-reported columns on the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, “Candor Takes a Beating at Oak Hill,” Why is King alone in the press in investigating the problems in this Department?

Gary Imhoff


Community Unites in Opposition to Public Land Deal
Amy McVey,

ANC Commissioners in the Tenleytown/Friendship Heights area sent a letter to DC officials last week, strongly urging them to cease negotiations with LCOR over a public-private project that would involve the construction of a mixed-use residential building on school and library land at the corner of Wisconsin and Albemarle Street. The letter, which has thus far gone unanswered, was addressed to Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Deputy Mayor Neil Albert, and was signed by four of the five Commissioners in ANC 3E and by leaders representing eight local stakeholder groups. The ANC may consider a resolution regarding this issue at the October 16 public meeting.

Citing the letter sent last week to Mayor Fenty by the Janney Elementary School SIT, withdrawing its support for further consideration of a deal that would deprive this already-overcrowded campus of land needed for its expansion and outdoor athletic facilities, community leaders argued for an immediate end of negotiations with LCOR and for the already-funded, designed, and approved reconstruction of the Tenley-Friendship branch library to proceed at once as a stand-alone project. The letter also urged that Janney Elementary School be moved forward in DCPS’s modernization queue (back-up to number eight), to relieve its overcrowding and expand the capacity of this Metrorail-accessible Blue Ribbon school so that it could accommodate more of the 155 students currently on its wait list for admission.

On July 10, Mayor Fenty announced his selection of LCOR as a development partner for the site. Subsequent negotiations have failed to yield an agreement which the DMPED had anticipated would be announced on October 1. At this point, the District is legally entitled to walk away from the deal. Both before and after the mayor’s announcement, Councilmembers Cheh and Brown wrote to the mayor expressing their dissatisfaction with existing proposals for the site, but neither has yet called for the abandonment of this project. Councilmember Cheh has stated she would not accept any undue delay in the rebuild of the library. Now, three months after the Mayor’s announcement the community has become even more antagonistic towards this project. It is clear that a PPP will inevitably cause a multi-year delay in getting a library and will hinder rather than speed the modernization of Janney School. A statement/explanation of the Janney’s SIT’s position on the project can be found at


Curbside Parking for Commuters
Jack McKay,

The Residential Permit Parking (RPP) system exists to prevent commuters from using residential streets as free, all-day parking lots, compelling them to pay to park in commercial lots. Fair enough, but what is to be done when there are no commercial lots in the area, and public transit isn’t suitable? This problem arises, for example, with teachers and staff of neighborhood schools. Surely we want them to come to our neighborhood, even if they must come by personal automobile. For most neighborhoods, the severe parking problem comes not during the day, when plenty of parking is freed up by residents taking their cars to work, but at night, when those commuting residents come home.

With Councilmember Graham’s support, Mount Pleasant is about to undertake an experiment to provide daytime-only parking permits for commuters to our neighborhood. A limited number of daytime-only parking permits will be offered, to bona fide Mount Pleasant school and business employees only, for a fee of $160 a quarter, or about $2.50 per workday. Our residential streets will thus serve as a rather inexpensive commercial parking lot, and ideally some of the revenues will be returned to the neighborhood for our use. With this program in place, it will be possible to make all of Mount Pleasant RPP-zoned without imposing a great hardship on our schools and small businesses. That will end the current crush of parked cars on our few unzoned blocks, while parking spaces stand vacant on zoned blocks.

This will be the District’s first venture into what is known as a “Parking Benefit District”:


Mara’s Fundraising Continues Momentum
Patrick Mara,

DC council at-large candidate Patrick Mara today called the financial support his campaign has received “gratifying and indicative of coming victory.” In advance of the official filing of his campaign finance report with the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, Mara said his campaign has over $75,000 on hand. “We are well positioned to carry our message to voters in every neighborhood of the District,” said Mara. “Voters know that we need council members who support Mayor Fenty’s school reform efforts, know how to improve efficiency and fiscal management in DC government, and bring greater integrity and transparency to our government.”

Mara has proven himself a powerful political force in DC. Not only has he gained considerable financial support over the past several months, but he has knocked on the doors of over ten thousand DC voters. Mara, who holds an MBA, has served on the Board of DC Hope for Kids and as a mentor in the Hoops Dream Scholarship program, has been endorsed by Councilman David Catania, the DC Chamber of Commerce, and the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade. “When I look people in the eye and tell them what I think, they know they are getting absolute truth. It must be the Eagle Scout in me,” said Mara. “Whatever it is, the council needs more of it.”


Schwartzman for Council at-Large: True Citizens’ Advocate
Debby and John Hanrahan,

As forty-year residents of the District of Columbia, we have too often seen DC council and mayoral candidates campaign as the voice of the people only to morph into mouthpieces for developers and the business community soon after they take office. In the November 4 general election for two council at-large seats (one of which by law must go to a minority party member — i.e., a non-Democrat or an independent), DC voters have a rare opportunity to cast one of their votes for a true pro-citizen candidate, David Schwartzman of the DC Statehood Green Party: A candidate who takes no contributions from corporate interests, who has been active for more than three decades on behalf of low- and middle-income people, who believes in open government and access to council members for citizens (and not behind-the-scenes cronyism), who wants real democracy — i.e., statehood — for the District of Columbia and not the sham one-DC-vote-in-the-House-and-another-House-seat (and electoral vote-for-Utah) plan so favored by the city’s political leaders.

David brings solid credentials to his council bid: An environmental scientist with a Ph.D. and M.S. from Brown University and a B.S. from City College of New York, he has since 1973 been a member of the Howard University faculty, where he is a full professor. An authority on DC government budgets and finance, David has testified before the council dozens of times over the years on fiscal and other matters — sometimes for the DC Statehood Green Party, other times for the Fair Budget Coalition of which he is a member. He is a committed environmentalist and union supporter (a one-time member of the taxi drivers’ Teamsters’ local in Rhode Island, and in DC a member of the Justice for Janitors and Local 25 campaigns).

In 2004, current council members Kwame Brown, Marion Barry, and Vincent Gray all campaigned against public financing for the baseball stadium (something Schwartzman has long opposed, as well as opposing subsidies for other professional sports and corporate boondoggles) — and then once in office, all voted for public financing. Having known David for thirty years, we can assure you that he does not flip-flop, that he keeps his word and will not renege on campaign promises or come into office with a hidden agenda. For example, in the current campaign, Mike DeBonis (“Loose Lips” of the City Paper,) while not endorsing Schwartzman or his positions on issues, gave him an “A” grade at a recent candidates’ forum. DeBonis pointed to Schwartzman’s “candor” for telling the audience that the richest DC residents would have to pay more in taxes in order for the city government to spend more on human services programs. In that regard, David has proposed making “our regressive DC tax structure for families and individuals both progressive and more capable of meeting the challenges” of increasing funding for the social services budget, the Housing Production Trust Fund, TANF (temporary assistance for needy families), the local rent supplement program, child care, job training, and substance abuse treatment. Unlike other candidates who may promise needed increases for social programs but fudge on how these would be paid for, David forthrightly states that he would seek a modest tax increase — similar to what Maryland recently did — for the top one to five percent of DC residents. This increase, he says, “will generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in additional revenue.” 

In recent years, we have time and again heard citizens and activist groups complain of their inability to get timely meetings with key members of the DC council on urgent issues ranging from environmental and union concerns to library issues to public property disposal issues to the abrupt, brutal Franklin School homeless shelter closing. With David Schwartzman on the council, voters could be assured that they will have a member who will have a true open-door policy and who views the office as a place where ordinary citizens not big campaign contributors or corporate lobbyists whose largesse shapes the views of too many of our current Council members — will have a real advocate.

We would note that in past campaigns, environmental and labor organizations have too often ignored DC Statehood Green or truly independent candidates in their endorsements, and instead have endorsed candidates perceived as winners but whose labor and environmental credentials were flimsy or even suspect. I would hope these organizations will do better this time around, and endorse Schwartzman, who is truly in line with their positions, for one of the at-large seats.

We urge voters to go to David’s web site — — for full biographical details and a record of his accomplishments over the years, as well as his responses to a dozen candidates’ questionnaires from gay and lesbian, labor, environmental, education, and other activist and nonpartisan organizations. And then vote for David on November 4.


Columbus Day Trash and Recycling Schedules
Nancee Lyons,

The Department of Public Works has announced the suspension of the following services in observance of Columbus Day on Monday, October 13. There will be no trash and recycling collections. All Monday trash and recycling collections will “slide” to the next day. Trash and recycling containers should be put out for collection no earlier than 6:30 p.m. the night before collection and removed from public space by 8:00 p.m. on the day of collection. Trash and recycling collections in once-a-week collection neighborhoods will “slide” to the next day. For example, Monday’s collections will be made on Tuesday, Tuesday’s collections will be made on Wednesday, and so on. In neighborhoods with twice-weekly trash collections, Monday and Thursday collections will be made Tuesday and Friday, and Tuesday and Friday collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday.

DPW will suspend enforcement of parking meters, residential parking, and rush hour lane restrictions. It also will suspend towing of abandoned vehicles. Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station, located at 4900 Bates Road, NE (open weekdays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), will be closed Monday. It will reopen Tuesday for residents to bring bulk trash. The Benning Road Trash Transfer Station, at 3200 Benning Road, NE, and the Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station are open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to receive residents’ unwanted toxic items, such as pesticides, batteries, and motor oil. Electronics, including televisions, computers and cell phones, will be accepted. Residents also may bring up to five boxes of personal paper documents and credit cards to be shredded for free.

Other services suspended for Columbus Day include scheduled street and alley cleaning, graffiti removal, and nuisance abatement. To view DPW’s trash and recycling holiday schedule for the remainder of the year, visit and click on Holiday Schedule under the “Information” header or call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311 or 727-1000 if calling from outside the District.


Watch Out for Deer on Military Road in Rock Creek Park
Phil Shapiro,

If you’re driving across the park on Military Road during twilight, keep an eye out for deer. On weekends the deer go drinking in Rock Creek. Then the male deer start showing off by dodging cars on Military Road. It’s not a pretty sight. Deer will be deer, but if you hit one, the price can be — dear.

As they say, fore-antlered is forewarned. Oh, dear. Doe is me.


Take the Lead
Candi Peterson, 

A glimpse into a Washington Teachers’ Union Executive Board meeting: I was at a loss for words when WTU President George Parker banged the gavel, announcing the October 11 executive board meeting was adjourning early at 11:00 a.m. Given that we had conducted little business, DC teachers have just lost millions of dollars in a retroactive pay increase, and our teacher pay package/tentative agreement is still in limbo, I was frankly surprised. I, like some of my fellow executive board members, had come to this meeting with the explicit purpose of inquiring about the status of our tentative agreement and the report that there was a possible impasse, as well as learning the WTU’s future plans.

What I heard from George Parker’s lips was news to me. He said that Washington Post reporter Bill Turque misquoted him in an October 3 article, saying that the union may be headed towards arbitration. In this story, Turque reported that Parker stated that the union would take whatever steps necessary to protect its members, including “court proceedings, arbitration, and teacher job actions.”

In Saturday’s Board meeting, Parker announced that the WTU has not yet concluded teacher contract negotiations. We learned that the WTU wants a teacher contract that includes due process rights and serves the children of DC public schools. Neither side seems headed for impasse, despite Rhee’s recent announcement in the press that she will forego stalled talks and take matters into her own hands. Parker admits he has yet to meet with the WTU negotiating team to discuss the future of teacher contract talks.

I agree with Walter Wood’s comments in his letter to the editor in the October 10 Post, “I am appalled that George Parker, the Washington Teachers’ Union president, is not willing to show leadership and move the negotiations along. . . . Mr. Parker must step up to the plate and lead.” DC teachers’ biggest roadblock to reaching a tentative agreement is the failure of our union president to make a decision by either resuming teacher contract talks, bringing the tentative agreement to a membership vote, or declaring an impasse.


A Telling Vote
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom

If the teachers in DC Public Schools are ever allowed to vote on the pay proposal offered by school Chancellor Rhee it will be a very telling vote. Those who are good teachers will likely vote for the proposed pay system. Those who are marginal, or bad, teachers will surely vote against the proposal. If there is ever a vote we’ll find out just how many good teachers are in the DCPS system. In the meantime Rhee will weed out the poorest teachers using “Plan B.”


“DC Teachers Want to Vote” Petition
Jacqueline Mann, 

A petition is available at for all members of the Washington Teachers Union.

Many teachers support some of the ideas included in the proposed teachers contract. We want to see this contract in writing. However, many of us work in hostile environments, where opposing viewpoints are not welcomed. This petition is our way of letting the Union know that there are many of us who want to actually read and vote on the contract, not just discuss the contract in public forums.

I believe we should be able to cast our votes privately on such a controversial issue. When I find out how to make the signatures hidden, I will do so in order that all may feel comfortable signing the petition.


How Do I Get Mine?
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom

As an avowed anti-terrorist I may well be a target for terrorism here in DC. I think it would make my abode much safer to have my property surrounded by security bollards like those that are all over the city protecting federal buildings and soon to surround Union Station. How do I get my bollards? I’d like them to be very close together to prevent a bomb-laden cyclist from penetrating my property boundary. Fortunately, with the new gun laws, I’ll be able to mount a few fifty caliber hunting rifles in my windows to protect me from pedestrians carrying packages or suitcases approaching my front door.


The Light Is On
Qawi Robinson, 

Last week I wrote about my neighborhood’s issue with a street light [themail, October 5]. As coincidence would have it, the light was repaired this past Monday (October 6). The irony is that the light now stays on twenty-four hours a day, but for a neighborhood in the dark for so long, the residents gladly accept that. As for the reason why it took so long, Jeff Merudian (DDOT’s Customer Service Manager) said that the light had no electrical current, and the electrical line was next to a gas line. Apparently, it took six weeks to get permission from Washington Gas to make the repairs in vicinity of the gas line. While he apologized for the delay, he did admit that someone should have been able to contact my neighbors and myself with the reason for the delay. He agreed that something as simple as informing the residents could have reduced the calls, angst, time spent, and overall disappointment in city services.

I highlight this example because in a city that is driven by “world class” customer service, keeping the residents properly informed seems to be a basic requirement that is missed. From construction projects, traffic delays, or other minor inconveniences, this city must do a better job informing the citizens. Part of the frustration I had with the streetlight issue and others, is that there seems to be no accountability when it comes to properly informing citizens. While this city seems to do a good job at contracting work, asking the “contractor” performing the work is no substitute for true customer service. Citizens are often the last to find out about things pertinent to our communities, causing some to likely think clandestine operations are afoot. Sometimes it is the inverse, in that we are oversaturated by mayoral photo-ops, but at a deficit for things that are truly substantive to the citizens.

Sometimes the marketing for the District of Columbia’s Customer Service is better than the actual Customer Service itself. It seems that every photo on the DC.GOV front page has Mayor Fenty in it. I liken it to O Magazine, in which Oprah Winfrey is on every cover. Clearly there are more noteworthy images of citizens and District services that can be on this site, sans Fenty. However, in order for citizens to get good customer service, we must request . . . demand it. We shouldn’t tolerate anything less.


Why Allow Campaigning at All?
Qawi Robinson, 

I must say that I’m surprised by the latest intro to the “electioneers” about how to properly post to themail [themail, October 8]. Most of us with something pertinent to say know the rules on how to post and get it accepted. While I respect Paul Craney’s commentary on Michael Brown [themail, October 8], this kind of shadow anti-campaigning really shouldn’t have a place on themail. I say this because slowly but surely this type of posting will make themail a partisan blog — based solely on who E-mails first. Over the years, I have made commentaries and criticisms on all politicians and city agencies in which I received experiences. All of this was shared on themail for the benefits of DC citizens and its readers. My choice for mayor, at-large councilmember, etc., is my choice, much like it is an individual choice for each citizen. However, these choices are irrelevant for themail. Why? Because as much as I enjoy the political process, campaigning on themail seems more than a little “self-serving” for the parties as well as the candidates. There is no net benefit for the masses. If campaigning must be part of themail, then I kindly suggest putting it in the CLASSIFIEDS section, so that bloggers won’t confuse it with real news and commentary.


ANC’s and Alcoholism
Mary Beatty, 

I’m responding to Dwayne Smith’s statement that a single ban discriminates against the poor [themail, October 8]. Actually, the price of a single can of beer is more discriminatory to the working poor, since a single can of beer costs more per unit than when bought in a multi-pack. In fact, this might be considered predatory pricing against the poor.

With regard to focusing on “root causes” of unacceptable behaviors associated with singles, which Mr. Smith lists as “addiction, lack of jobs, education, and law enforcement,” I would assert that none of these “root causes” is within the authority or purview of ANC’s. Why don’t we just ask ANC’s to cure the common cold while they are curing alcoholism, solving unemployment, resolving the education problems in the city, and making sure that every law is enforced and every crime is prosecuted?

We are elected to maintain and improve the quality of life for the residents within our boundaries, so we use the tools that we have. A moratorium or legislative ban on singles is one of the tools we can use to reduce the repercussions of public drinking (which, by the way, is illegal). The things that we can impact with a singles ban are loitering on our streets, the litter in our neighborhoods, and the public urination in our neighborhood alleys and on walls. ANC6A is very proud that we were able to accomplish this for a portion of H Street, and would like to see the same benefits across the city.


Due to Lack of Adequate Social Services, Have Beer?
Ernesto Gluecksmann, 

In response to Dwayne L. Smith, “Singles Ban Discriminates Against the Working Poor,” I am not convinced of his point. What I’m inferring from his argument is that due to perceived lack of services to treat alcohol addiction, lack of well paying jobs, lack of quality education, and lack of sufficient law enforcement, we should not ban singles because that actually provides a type of beneficial service for the “working poor.” Huh?

I do absolutely agree with Mr. Smith in that it is a tourniquet on a wound. But in some of our neighborhoods of DC, there are battles raging day and night, and until we get around to solving these complex social ills, a tourniquet may just be all that can be done at the moment. I prefer my tax dollars go towards police officers focused on violent crime than wasting time having to check up the local drunk that’s passed out on the park bench or urinating behind the alley. Multiplied across the city, several times a day, that is the wasted time that turns into the hidden costs that ultimately distress the social services that Mr. Smith feels are inadequate to begin with. We’re only adding fuel to the fire by allowing the sales of singles.

In addition, as aggressively as local alcohol vendors have come out in support of this “discrimination of the working poor” argument, with claims of excessive losses to business (some saying they would have to shut down all together), only leaves me with further distaste for their side. To me, that starts to reek of profitable exploitation and it only reminds me of the very same unfounded dire claims that were thrown around when the city was deciding whether or not to enact the smoking ban. Look, with all the tangible benefits that have been seen from certain areas of the city that have enacted the ban (reduced public alcoholism and urination, reduced littering, reduced loitering, etc.), I just don’t see compelling enough arguments not to make it a citywide ban.

If that means some of us are going to have save an extra couple of bucks and wait a few days to pick up that six-pack we want after work, fine. Is that really an undue burden on the working poor? I don’t think so. That’s reasonable and prudent sacrifice that we probably can’t afford not to make.



An Evening Dedicated to the Cheetah, October 13
Liz Karch, wizzyliz at comcast dot net

Over thirty years ago, a young lady trained in wine making and grape growing started up a vineyard with some friends in Oregon. To supplement her income she got a job at Wildlife Safari working with cheetahs. Thus began Dr. Laurie Marker’s lifelong journey to save the wild cheetah. There were thought to be roughly one hundred thousand cheetahs worldwide in the early 1900’s. Today their numbers today have dwindled to about 12,500 — the majority of them living on farmland in Namibia, Africa.

It’s here where Dr. Marker co-founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund (, an internationally recognized center of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their ecosystems. She and her dedicated team are working with all stakeholders to achieve best practice in the conservation and management of the world’s cheetahs. Your support is vital in helping these beautiful, graceful and endangered animals to avoid total extinction.

Please join us for a special evening with Dr. Laurie Marker on October 13 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. For more information about this event, check out


National Building Museum Events, October 14, 17 and following
Jazmine Zick, 

Tuesday, October 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Palladianism in America. Celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of Andrea Palladio — one of the most influential architects of all time. Washington, DC-based architect Warren Cox will discuss Palladio’s work, in particular his writings in The Four Books of Architecture, and how it has influenced architecture, specifically American design, over the centuries. $12 Member; $12 Student; $20 Nonmember. Prepaid registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. Register for events at

October 17, 19, 24, 28; November 3, 16, 23. 8:00-9:00 p.m. Ghost Tours. Explore the National Building Museum’s haunted past on this lantern-light tour led by the ghost of Mary Surratt. Who are the irritable rider on horseback and the footless figure? Why are there mysterious faces swirling in the Corinthian columns? And, why do these ghosts (and more!) call the National Building Museum their home? All will be revealed on this behind-the-scenes tour of the mysteries of the Museum. $12 Member; $18 Nonmember. Prepaid registration required; recommended for ages ten and older. Member preregistration begins on September 5. General registration begins September 12. Register online at or call 272-2448. Both at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line.


Upcoming Talk for Change Toastmasters Meeting, October 15
Emily Cohen, 

Please join us this Wednesday, October 15 at 6:45 p.m. for our next meeting of Talk for Change Toastmasters. We meet at the Teach for America offices, located at 1413 K Street, NW, on the seventh floor. Talk for Change Toastmasters is a public speaking group that helps members improve their speaking and leadership skills in a supportive and constructive environment. Some of us are former teachers and alumni of Teach For America. Some of us are making a difference in our community through work in the nonprofit sector.

Are you curious what Talk for Change can do for you? Join us at an upcoming meeting to see what we are all about. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. We look forward to welcoming you as our newest member! If you have questions, feel free to send us an E-mail at


DC Public Library Events, October 13, 15-16
George Williams, 

Monday, October 13, 6:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, second floor, east lobby. All the World’s a Stage Film Club: Reel History, Real Lives. Film screening for the October 28 book discussion will be Catch a Fire (PG-13) (2006).

Wednesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m., Watha T. Daniel/Shaw. Book Club Meeting.

Thursday, October 16, 4:00 p.m., Watha T. Daniel/Shaw. Teen “Any Book” Club. Discuss the book you are currently reading for fun with other teens.

Thursday, October 16, 6:00 p.m., Chevy Chase Library. Author talk by Joyce Burnett. Adam’s Belle: A Memoir of Love Without Bounds, by Isabel Washington Powell and Joyce Burnett. The memoir of the ex-wife of Adam Clayton Powell, Adam’s Belle: A Memoir of Love without Bounds chronicles the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, and Powell’s life after divorce. Written by Powell with Joyce Burnett, the book also features her sister Fredi Washington, the actor best known as the girl passing for white in the 1934 film Imitation of Life.


Historical Society of Washington, DC, October 14-15
Ed Bruske, 

Tuesday, October 14, 12:00 p.m., Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. High noon film: The Night James Brown Saved Boston, 74 minutes, 2007, Dir. David Leaf. Free admission. April 5, 1968, the morning after one of the most catastrophic moments in American history: the assassination of Martin Luther King. The night before, America’s inner cities began going up in flames. The night before, there was trouble in Roxbury, Boston’s ghetto. Word on the street is that it’s about to get worse. A lot worse. At Boston’s City Hall, Mayor Kevin White is trying to figure out what he can do to keep the fragile peace. Reportedly, he’s about to cancel that day’s biggest gathering — a long-scheduled James Brown concert at the Boston Garden. Then, a call from one of Boston’s most influential R&B DJ’s to the lone black city councilman; he points out the danger of that decision. Simply, he says, if the concert is canceled, Boston might have the biggest uprising since the Boston Tea Party. And so, faced with the grim reality of making the wrong decision, the mayor and his team turn it around. Rather than cancel the show, they ask, “Is there something James Brown can do to help?” On April 5, 1968, Mayor White wants to know if JB will encourage his fans to stay home and watch the concert on television. Brown agrees. Even in this bleakest of moments, James knows his job is to go on-stage and give the people a reason not to riot. He puts on a mesmerizing show. James Brown kept the peace in one of America’s most racially inflammatory cities. And he did that just by being James Brown — setting the stage of the Boston Garden on fire. And the city itself didn’t burn. Boston remained peaceful and the night became legendary. And the story of that night is at the heart of the film, “The Night James Brown Saved Boston.” or 383-1828.

Tuesday, October 14, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. Free admission. Distinguished lecturer: Deborah Willis. 1968: Then and Now. 2008 marks the fortieth anniversary of one of the most tumultuous years in American history that lives on in our hearts and minds. This lecture will explore through letters, photographs, paintings, prints, video, and installation art from a multi-varied group of artists and social activists who transformed our understanding of identity, resistance, war, and peace. The lecture will include over twenty artists and musicians whose works were inspired by the events of the 1960s. Music was also a prolific form of protest that captured the fervor of the time. Many artists decided to use their fame and exposure to speak out. In April, the musical “Hair” officially opened on Broadway. Otis Redding released “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” The Rascals pledged that “People Got to be Free,” Sly and the Family Stone proclaimed “Dance to the Music,” Aretha Franklin told the world to “Think,” James Brown saluted, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” Johnny Cash recorded “Live at Folsom Prison,” and the Jimi Hendrix Experience released “The Watch Tower.” Deborah Willis, Ph.D. is Professor of Photography and Imaging, University Professor, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellow (2000), Guggenheim, and the Fletcher awards (2005) She is one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture and is the author of Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers: 1840 to the Present, New York: W.W. Norton. She is working on a new book entitled Posing Beauty. or 383-1828.

Wednesday, October 15, 12:00 p.m., Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. Free admission. High noon film: High noon film: Through Our Eyes: 30 Years of the DC Latino Story, 26 minutes. Produced for OLA by Maya Advertising and Communications, Through Our Eyes: 30 Years of the DC Latino Story covers the immigration wave of Central Americans to Washington DC and their struggles as well as their civic engagement to address discrimination and create the DC Office on Latino Affairs to represent the community within the government. or 383-1828.

Wednesday, October 15, 12:45 p.m. Historical Society of Washington, DC, 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. Free admission. Film: Frida, 123 minutes, 2002, English. “Frida” chronicles the life of Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) shared unflinchingly and openly with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), as the young couple took the art world by storm. From her complex and enduring relationship with her mentor and husband to her illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, to her provocative and romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary. The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards and won in two categories: Best Original Score and Best Makeup. The film covers thirty-two years of Kahlo’s life from age fifteen to her death at age forty-seven, which correspond to the years 1922 through 1954. (A program collaboration of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (OLA) and The Historical Society of Washington, DC.) or 383-1828.


At-Large Council Forum, October 24
James S. Bubar,

The DC Affairs Section of the DC Bar is holding a forum for the candidates for the two at-large positions on the Council, Kwame Brown, Michael Brown, Carol Schwartz, Patrick Mara, Dee Hunter, Mark Long and David Schwartzman. The event is October 24, 2008, at lunchtime, at Reed Smith. Journalists Bruce DePyt, Tom Sherwood, Mark Seagraves and Denise Rolark Barnes will question the candidates, followed by questions from the audience. The event is free and you are welcome but space is limited, so please RSVP to Many thanks!


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