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January 11, 2009

Open Access

Dear Accessors:

On January 7, Jonetta Rose Barras’ column in The Washington Examiner was about the Inspector General’s investigation “of the Department of Health’s senior deputy director, Carlos Cano, after receiving complaints from individuals inside the agency regarding contracts and time and attendance reports,” The Inspector General’s office is currently withholding a lot of facts, and will only acknowledge that they are conducting an investigation. That is understandable while an investigation is still ongoing. What is not understandable, what is both inexcusable and illegal, is that the IG’s says it may not choose to release the report of the investigation after it is completed. Barras writes, “‘In general, it’s rare that investigation reports are placed on Web sites,’ said [IG spokesman Austin] Andersen. ‘But a summary of closed investigations are available in the annual report.’ That’s not enough. The entire report should be made readily available to the public.”

It’s not only a matter of “should be”; it’s a legal requirement that the Inspector General’s reports must be made available. When Congress created the Control Board, the DC Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, in 1995, it also created the position of Chief Financial Officer and reshaped the Inspector General’s office, and gave them independence from the mayor. Because DC’s IG’s office had previously made a practice of burying its reports, reporting only to the mayor and refusing to release information to the public the legislation that created the new Inspector General’s office mandated that “The Inspector General shall make each report submitted under this subsection available to the public, except to the extent that the report contains information determined by the Inspector General to be privileged” (P.L. No. 104-8, Sec. 303(c)(4)). The Committee Report that accompanied the law made it crystal clear that Congress meant for this law to apply to all of the IG’s reports. However, ever since E. Barrett Prettyman was appointed by Mayor Williams to be Inspector General, IGs have flouted this provision of the law, and claimed that it applied only to their year-end summary reports, not to any of their other reports, and that they could choose to release or suppress any of their other reports. Dorothy has debated this matter with more than one IG, but neither she nor anyone else has been able to get IGs to obey the federal law that established their office. Since it was created, the IG’s office has experienced monumental growth, both in terms of budget and number of personnel, while at the same time, because of the secrecy surrounding many of its reports, its work has become less and less useful to the public.

On January 7, The Los Angeles Times wrote that the “National Mall Reflects Magnificence and Neglect,” and that the Mall “is itself a monument to neglect,”

On January 6, The New York Times published an editorial, “America’s Colonial Capital,” that supports a vote for a single District delegate in the House of Representatives, and also calls for full budgetary and legislative autonomy for the District government,

Gary Imhoff


Precursor of Chaos to Come
Dorothy Brizill,

This morning, the Obama Presidential Inauguration Committee held a dress rehearsal for the swearing-in ceremony and parade that will take place on January 20. District residents and visitors first learned of the dress rehearsal and the closure of Pennsylvania Avenue from broadcast news reports, not from the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) or the DC government web page devoted to inauguration news (

By midmorning, however, District residents and visitors who tried to navigate around downtown by avoiding Pennsylvania Avenue found that the Committee and federal law enforcement officials had also closed down large sections of Constitution and Independence Avenues. When several media outlets contacted DDOT about the additional closures and the lack of public notice, they were referred to the mayor’s office, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Secret Service. Late this afternoon, Mayor Fenty told WTOP that he wasn’t aware of the issue, but that he would look into what happened today ( Meanwhile, Pierre Vigilance, the director of the DC Department of Health, asked doctors not to schedule optional health care services on inauguration day and told patients to avoid DC hospitals then (

DC deals with a presidential inauguration every four years, and it handled every inauguration in recent memory well. It is an opportunity to welcome all Americans to what local officials like to refer to as “America’s home town.” DC’s and regional business and tourism groups have always cooperated in a massive effort to accommodate our city’s premier tourist event. But business and tourism groups have been excluded from inauguration planning this year. This inauguration day is shaping up as a government-created disaster that should have been completely avoidable. What has happened this year is that federal and local authorities have panicked at the predictions — really guesses — of extraordinarily high numbers of attendees. At the same time, security officials, who always recommend a complete lockdown, have not been met with any resistance from an inexperienced DC administration that is already inclined to use extreme measures to control citizens and that sees private automobiles as a social problem that should be made inconvenient and difficult to use. (Remember MPD Chief Lanier’s use of neighborhood roadblocks as a crime control measure and the Office of Planning’s and DDOT’s anti-automobile initiatives.) Either the extreme measures that federal and local officials are taking to make it hard to get to inaugural events will discourage a large number of people from coming to DC, keeping down attendance and ruining inauguration-related business, or they will create an unnecessary and counterproductive gridlock that this town has never seen before. Or, most likely, they will result in both.


Resident Inauguration Parking in Southwest
David Sobelsohn,

I am writing regarding plans for restricting on-street parking on the day before and the day of the upcoming presidential inauguration. As you know, some southwest DC residents own personal motor vehicles, but do not own or rent private parking spaces. We must park our cars on the street, and we can’t move our cars to safe parking spots out of town.

It’s troubling that DDOT’s January 7 “Final Press Release” (sic) doesn’t tell us where on our streets Southwest DC residents can legally park on January 19 and 20. Thankfully, the press release’s list of “Vehicle Restricted Zones” and “Vehicular Road Closures” doesn’t reach south of the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. But the section marked “Charter Bus Parking Zones” warns that, “Streets around the bus parking areas will be closed to private automobile traffic and will be posted as Emergency No Parking zones beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday January, 19, 2009.” As to where, it specifies only that these areas will include “Designated areas in Southwest and Southeast.”

When will DDOT share this “designation” with those most directly affected by the “designation,” the residents of Southwest & Southeast? I hope our constituents learn before 3:00 p.m. on Monday January 19, when the signs go up, whether at that time their cars will be ticketed, towed, and impounded.


DC Homicide Rate: Praise or Blame
Jack D. Pond,

I’ve been an avid follower of themail for many years now, and believe it to be one of the finest examples of citizen activism in the world. If I had to make a single small criticism of the forum, it would be that too often contributors focus on failures over successes and blame over recognition. While every system has faults, and spotlighting them is the responsibility of every citizen, it doesn’t hurt to hold forth the many shining examples of individuals and systems that work well in anonymity day after day.

With due respect (and I mean the highest respect) to Gary and Dorothy, instead of placing blame on the police chief (and implicitly on the mayor), is it possible that Chief Ramsey is truly an outstanding leader who does his job in an exemplary manner? After all, according to the statistics mentioned in this forum, the homicide rate in the District is up 10 percent, while in Philadelphia (his current post) it is down 15 percent.

It may be more appropriate to throw a little (belated) praise Chief Ramsey’s way.


Can We Have a Real Discussion About Crime?
Tom Blagburn,

I read Phillip Fornaci’s opinion posted in themail on December 31, 2008, concerning “the erosion of public safety” and Gary Imhoff’s response; both gentleman present clear and very reasonable points, and there is merit in both their arguments. However, there are many details omitted from both perspectives. Our city has been having these exact same discussions about the fluctuations in crime and violence for decades. Unfortunately, much of the narrative is devoid of the kind of problem-solving innovations so necessary to bring about effective and sustainable change. Both Phillip and Gary are half correct in their assertions. But the critical challenge for the rest of the residents of the District of Columbia is how can we share a deeper understanding of both viewpoints? And can we reconcile these incredibly intricate and complex ideological differences both writers raise into workable public safety applications to address the more urgent juvenile and adult crime problems and to lessen the victimization that continues to plague our city?

Effective and sustained crime management has been a daunting public proposition. The District’s Metropolitan Police Department, over the years, has been an innovator and leader in many areas of public safety. Former Police Chief Ike Fulwood, when he was the MPD Field Operations Officer, developed Operation Clean Sweep, a citywide buy/bust drug enforcement/suppression operation. More than 37,000 drug arrests were made during a two-year period, 1988-1990. Critics argued that Clean Sweep clogged court dockets; filled the DC Jail and Lorton Prison, and only disrupted and splintered the District’s drug trafficking trade. For those who know the facts and witnessed the programs’ impact on the citywide drug problem, Clean Sweep was a very necessary enforcement option that provided temporary relief to neighborhoods that had been completely overwhelmed with retail street-level drug distribution and gang/crew violence. It was replicated by the New York City Police Department, which called it “Operation Pressure Point.” NYPD made more than seventy thousand drug arrests in the first year of implementation and more than ninety thousand drug arrests in the second year. The people often associated with drug distribution are inner-city young people. However, Operations Clean Sweep and Pressure Point revealed that the users who drive the nation’s drug trade are often middle and high income professionals, e.g., teachers, lawyers, and business persons from a variety of disciplines. These images are rarely shown on the evening news. Also, there was a clear need for drug treatment on demand. The notion that any city can arrest and incarcerate the crime problem away permanently is a myth.

Police Chief Maurice Turner was credited with bringing about a nineteen-year record crime reduction just prior to the crack-cocaine epidemic of the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s. One specific crime control innovation, the Management Improvement Plan (MIP), fostered many other initiatives, including the Repeat Offender Program (ROP) that was featured on the CBS’s 60 Minutes series. ROP had teams of specially trained officers monitoring adult offenders daily upon their return to the community. The program worked and was credited with reducing adult offender recidivism substantially. The biggest difficulty has been in sustaining those unique, award winning models through the process of political change, internal politics and infighting within MPD, and District government policy-making ignorance.

In the early 1990’s, Ike Fulwood, who had been appointed Chief of Police in 1989, led the conceptualization of one of the most effective community policing models in the nation, Community Empowerment Policing (CEP). It was a department-wide philosophy and style of law enforcement practice that attempted to completely change the culture of MPD. Of course it was met with internal opposition. Police reform was being introduced that would make MPD clearly less reactive and more forward-thinking in attacking every specific category of crime with measurable prevention innovations. The focus was on creating neighborhood crime-prevention infrastructures (including within DC Public Schools) that would be resistant to crime and interpersonal violence, and developing collaborative problem-solving partnerships of police, residents, government, and nonprofit organizations. CEP also inspired the creation of special programs to keep young people out of the juvenile justice process. One specific program, “Street Games,” periodically closed down streets in high crime areas to vehicular traffic. But, unlike the recent “Check Points” in Trinidad, officers rolled out portable basketball goals, Ping-Pong tables, and an assortment of games and learning materials, and served hot dogs, chips, and drinks for six days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Young and old flooded the streets. A high level of trust prevailed. Burglaries, auto thefts, and street robberies were reduced. Residents never complained.

One of the most important features of community policing at that time was allowing residents to share a stake in the development of policies affecting crime in their communities. Ten public housing neighborhoods in the 7th Police District wanted sixteen-hour-a-day foot patrols around their complex. They got it! Officers walked their beats, serving warrants and engaging in problem-solving patrol operations from 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. and from 11:00 p.m.-8:00 a.m. This kind of community involvement has never happened again.

Gun violence among juveniles was beginning to increase dramatically, specifically in the 6th and 7th Police Districts. For the first time in MPD history, psychologists and social workers and gang/crew intervention specialists were placed in offices at 7D to assist and support beat officers. The award-winning Youth Trauma Services Team was one of the most innovative youth violence prevention and enforcement models ever created. The unit was connected to police communication and responded to every incident involving a young person and family in Wards 5, 7, and 8. It was featured on every local and national television news channel. A “Truce Hotline” also operated out of 7D that was manned daily by psychologists, social workers, and police from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. to assist crew/gang members to mediate threats of injury and death. It received more than seventy calls during the first week of operation, and was unprecedented in its ability to mitigate disputes and save lives. The team also worked very closely with the 7th District’s Delta tactical support unit that aggressively targeted violent criminals, guns, and drugs. Intelligence was shared, and joint operations were highly coordinated. Delta identified and targeted suspects involved in gangs, auto theft, burglaries, and homicide. The unit also helped young men find jobs. It wasn’t social work. It was optimized crime prevention. Crime plummeted, and the 7th Police District won the department’s crime reduction award when crime was up in every other district. There is a lot more to the story, but space doesn’t permit giving it now.

What would really help the District in its struggle with crime is not an emphasis on more police or technology. It’s having a thoughtful discussion about crime. Part of the solution is getting back to fundamentals of neighborhood life, understanding the city’s crime management history, and evaluating performance outcomes. Efforts must be on creating a citywide comprehensive, coherent, and sustainable crime management strategy that is balanced with aggressive prevention/intervention in support of aggressive arrest, prosecution, and incarceration neighborhood by neighborhood. Our city has been strapped trying to do one or the other not both simultaneously!


Ripping Off Tourists
James Treworgy,

Regarding T. Lassoc’s concern [themail, January 7] about tourists being ripped off because of their inability to use bus transfers: you must be kidding. We’re going to hold onto an archaic, easily abused system because we’re worried about the rare tourist who not only rides Metrobus, but actually uses a bus-to-bus transfer, having to pay an extra buck? The rare tourists who actually can figure out the bus system in their short time here can surely also figure out if it’s to their advantage to buy a Smart Trip card for use during their stay. Or pay the buck. In the end, who cares? They are tourists. The extra dollar is hardly going to prevent them from using the system.

I suppose you also think should we get rid EZ-pass because it rips off infrequent users by charging them more, just like Smart Trip. Sure, lets go back to the old days when you’d spend a half an hour at each toll because we’re concerned about luddites and tourists getting ripped off.

The “ripping off” of non-adopters is intentional. It’s to encourage frequent users to get with the program, because the more people who adopt it, the more efficient and less costly the system is for everyone, including all the taxpayers who subsidize it. For infrequent users, the cost difference hardly matters because they are infrequent users.


Historic Redux
Denise Wiktor,

I take issue with some of the representations made on this issue. The vinyl window issue is not about the vinyl windows per se, but about building without a permit. As usual, Mr. McKay overlooks that point. As for the disabled family, it was again not about building a ramp but about gutting the house and making apartments out of it and thereby leveling the front yard — and ultimately they prevailed. They could have made the home completely accessible with an outdoor lift and indoor lifts at far less than the cost of turning the building into apartments, and with a DHCD accessibility loan or grant, so it was not solely a disability issue. However, it is disturbing that these “without a permit” issues are somehow muddled as historic issues. The Public Space Office was more than willing to allow residents to put accessibility ramps and lifts and even double-cut driveways as long as the resident with the disability lived there. As for Mr. McKay’s stating that the “majority of Mt. Pleasant residents” support vinyl windows, who knows? No survey has been done to my knowledge and I really haven’t given the matter much thought. I do know that a tremendous amount of illegal construction without permits occurs in Mt. Pleasant, some to the point of damaging the adjacent properties. Building without a permit and then seeking a permit after the fact is always risky. I would also note that under disclosure laws for sales of home, such work would have to be revealed to a buyer — lest the seller be liable for remedying it later down the pike.


Historic Preservation and Vinyl Windows
Natalie Hopkins,

To everyone criticizing historic preservation and advocating vinyl over wood windows, I have two things to say. First, historic preservation usually cares about the front facade, so you can replace side and back windows that aren’t visible from the street with vinyl. Unless your house is unusual, there aren’t that many windows in front. Secondly, there is a simpler cheaper solution: fix the old windows. About 90 percent of them can be repaired instead of replaced. And, yes, I can tell the difference, usually from about a half block away. Vinyl does not look like wood no matter how hard the manufacturer tries to make it resemble it. It is a different material.

In the past, when windows were installed they were done individually by the carpenter on a window-by-window basis, and to a standard that not many carpenters can meet today. There are at least two companies in town that fix old windows to make them much more airtight and to accommodate changes in window structure caused by aging. One window repair firm is called Chevy Chase Window Repair at 240-413-4207 (not Chevy Chase Glass), and the other is Wood Window Renovation, Inc., at 638-5737. We had a building in an historic district and had the front windows repaired, which was much cheaper than replacing them. I don’t think that it is too much of a burden to maintain the front facades of our dwellings to keep the historic fabric and appearance of our neighborhoods. The very nature of them contributes to their appeal and adds value.


Intowner January Issue Online
P.L. Wolff,

This is to advise that the January 2009 online edition has been uploaded and may be accessed at Included are the lead stories, community news items and crime reports, editorials (including prior months’ archived), restaurant reviews (prior months’ also archived), and the text from the ever-popular “Scenes from the Past” feature (the accompanying images can be seen in the archived PDF version). The complete issue (along with prior issues back to January 2002) also is available in PDF file format directly from our home page at no charge simply by clicking the link in the Current and Back Issues Archive. Here you will be able to view the entire issue as it appears in print, including all photos and advertisements.

The next issue will publish on February 13 (the second Friday of the month, as always). The complete PDF version will be posted by the preceding night or early that Friday morning at the latest, following which the text of the lead stories, community news, and selected features will be uploaded shortly thereafter. To read this month’s lead stories, simply click the link on the home page to the following headlines: 1) “Large, Mixed-Use 14th Street Project’s Design, Size Questioned for Former Whitman-Walker Site”; 2) “Facade Improvements Initiative Underway for Adams Morgan Businesses.”



My Dream for the Future Writing Competition, January 12-16
John A. Stokes,

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will host the finals of the “My Dream for the Future” writing competition oral presentation and awards program January 12-16 at the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center, 4300 Anacostia Avenue, NE. The awards program will be held on Friday, January 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the recreation center.

The writing competition is being held in collaboration with the Kenilworth Elementary school for District youth grades K-5, in an effort to encourage youth to express their visions of the future. The submission deadline for the “My Dream for the Future” writing competition is Wednesday, January 14, by 6:00 p.m., to the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center.

DPR Director Clark E. Ray will announce the six finalists on Thursday, January 15, at the Kenilworth Elementary school at 1:30 p.m. The school’s principal, Ms. Fatima Johnson, has asked the entire school population to enter into the contest but all DCPS youth in grades K-5 are welcome to submit entries.


All Cocktails Is Local, January 13
Philip Greene,

Come join us for a fun and educational look into presidential and political cocktails: All Cocktails is Local — Presidential and Political Libations in American History. Presented by the Museum of the American Cocktail and Rock Creek Restaurant. $35.00 per person to pre-register; the at-the-door fee may be higher ($40, but please RSVP).

Next Tuesday, January 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Rock Creek Restaurant, Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (Friendship Heights Metro Station, Jenifer Street exit, parking available in Mazza Gallerie parking garage). The restaurant is next to the movie theater. Register here:

Celebrate the inaugural in style! Join Derek Brown and Phil Greene of the Museum of the American Cocktail, renowned bartender Nick Wineriter of Rock Creek, and Mount Vernon curator Dennis Pogue, in this ninety-minute discussion of notable cocktails and libations throughout American history, beginning with George Washington’s rye distillery at Mount Vernon, and through to the present era. Drink samples will be served to attendees, as well as delicious appetizers. Sample classics such as the Ward Eight, the Rickey, the Bronx Cocktail, the Daiquiri, Navy Grog, and others. Please RSVP so we know how much food and cheer to have on hand. Must be 21 or over to attend, and please don’t drink and drive!


National Building Museum Events, January 13-14
Jazmine Zick,

January 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Spotlight on Design: OLIN. From the restoration of Bryant Park in New York to the landscape for the Washington Monument, OLIN is recognized for innovative and sustainable place-making. Principals Laurie Olin, FASLA, and David A. Rubin discuss their work and philosophy on landscape and design that has guided the Philadelphia-based firm for more than thirty years. A book-signing follows the lecture. $12 Museum and ASLA Member; $12 Student; $20 Nonmember. Prepaid registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability.

January 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m. DC Builds. Reducing Runoff: New Directions for Stormwater Management. Dr. Hamid Karimi, District Department of the Environment; Chris Earley, LEED AP, Greening Urban; Dr. Mohsin Siddique, DC Water and Sewer Authority; and moderator Ted Graham, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments discuss innovative policy and infrastructure that can help reduce the flow of polluted storm water into Washington, DC’s streams and rivers. Free; preregistration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. Both events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at


DC Public Library Martin Luther King, Jr., Events, January 13-15
George Williams,

Tuesday, January 13, 10:00 a.m., Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue, NW. Preschool story time in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Children accompanied by a caregiver enjoy varied combinations of picture book readings and pictures as an art form, sing-along songs, music and movement, and flannel boards. Ages 3-5. Contact 541-6025.

Tuesday, January 13, 12:45 p.m., Capitol View Neighborhood Library, 5001 Central Avenue, SE. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration. Students will view the movie, Our Friend, Martin (G), and will be asked to express what they think about Dr. King and if his dream is alive or needs to be revitalized. Also, senior library patrons have been invited to share their recollections of the times affected by Dr. King. Grades 2-6. Contact 645-0218.

Tuesday, January 13, 3:00 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Popular Division, Room 110. Shades of Black Book Club discussion. Discuss Standing at the Scratch Line by Guy Johnson. Contact 727-1295.

Tuesday, January 13, 4:00 p.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Poems of Dr. King’s Footsteps. Read and write poems on the events of Dr. King’s footsteps. Ages 6-12. Contact 645-5881.

Tuesday, January 13, 6:00 p.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Black History Movie Night: Tribute to Alvin Ailey. Watch the story unfold of how Alvin Ailey played a key role in the growth of modern dance in America and how his company, founded in 1958, became one of the United States oldest dance troupes. 1 hour, 43 minutes. (NR) All ages. Contact 645-5881.

Tuesday, January 13, 6:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Great Hall. Driving Dr. King: Chasing the Dream with author Tom Houck. , the former assistant and driver to Dr. King and his family, shares his memoir about time spent assisting Dr. King, supporting the movement and interacting with the King family. Contact 727-1295.

Wednesday, January 14, 10:30 a.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Dr. King Story Time. Enjoy stories, films and reading activities about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ages 1-5. Contact 645-5881.

Friday, January 14, 1 p.m., Friends of the Capitol View Neighborhood Library, 5001 Central Avenue, SE. Wednesday Afternoon Book Club. Discuss Countless Blessings by Ruth T. Owens, a legacy of memories that tells of an all-Black community that depends on each other in the Capitol View community. Adults. Contact 645-0218.

Wednesday, January 14, 3:30 p.m., Palisades Neighborhood Library, 4901 V Street, NW. Dr. King and His Friends: A Crafty Homage to Heroes of Nonviolence. Design a poster with an action hero theme and slogan. Ages 10- 9. Contact 282-3096.

Wednesday, January 14, 4:00 p.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Martin Luther King, Jr., film fest. View films and share your experience in following in the footsteps of Dr. King. Ages 13-19. Contact 645-5881

Thursday, January 15, Palisades Neighborhood Library, 4901 V Street, NW, library hours. MLK Birthday Celebration: learning activities and light refreshments. View a display of Dr. King images with words and phrases, representing his ideals and a book display about Dr. King, personal quotes and age-appropriate activities. Those completing activities are invited to have cake and punch while watching a short film about Dr. King. Ages 4-12. Contact 282-3096.

Thursday, January 15, 10:00 a.m., Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th Street, NW. The Movement and the Music. This annual concert celebrates the life of Dr. King through the music that helped propel the Civil Rights Movement. The program is open to the entire community, but it is aimed primarily at children and youth who are encouraged to participate with their voices and library-owned instruments: drums, rattles, tambourines. The concert will end with an audience rendition of Stevie Wonder’s song, “Happy Birthday to You;” fast becoming a neighborhood tradition. All ages. Contact 671-0159.

Thursday, January 15, 11:00 p.m., Lamond Riggs Neighborhood Library, 5401 South Dakota Avenue, NE. A Day of Movies and Discussion. Featured Films: I Have a Dream (G), American National Archive-MLK 1986 (G), and Dr. King: A Historical Perspective (G). All ages. Contact 541-5924.

Monday, January 15, Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Children’s Division, Room 200. Celebrating Dr. King. Spend an afternoon celebrating, reading and learning about the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program Schedule: Jeopardy: Dr. King’s Way, 1-2 p.m.; Film: Martin’s Big Words, 4:00 p.m.; Film: Boy King, 4:30 p.m. Ages 6-12. Contact 727-1248.

Thursday, January 15, 4:00 p.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Poems of Dr. King’s Footsteps. Read and write poems on the events of Dr. King’s footsteps. Ages 6-12. Contact 645-5881.

Thursday, January 15, 6:00 p.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. “I Have a Dream!” Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was perhaps the most inspirational speaker of all time. Follow his speeches from the early days as a young pastor in Montgomery, Alabama, to the great March on Washington, including the final prophetic speech in Memphis just days before his tragic death. 45 minutes. (NR) All ages. Contact 645-5881.

Friday, January 16, 10:30 a.m., Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, 115 Atlantic Street, SW. Dr. King Story Time. Enjoy stories, films, and reading activities about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ages 1-5. Contact 645-5881


Poetry Slam Competition for Teen Poets, January 14
John A. Stokes,

On Wednesday, January 14, Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center will host a teen poetry slam competition from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for teens ages 13 to 19. This will be spoken word and performance poetry at its best; the winner of this event will receive a gift certificate courtesy of Champion Awards and Trophies, and a recording session at DPR’s recording studio located at the Columbia Heights Community Center in northwest Washington, to produce a poetry CD.

No theme is required, as creativity and performance of the spoken word poems will be judged. Teen poets are requested to bring at least two poems, each three minutes or less, and to perform entries minus profanity, sexual content, or excessive violence. The finals of the Writing Competition and Poetry Slam are open to the public; advance registration is required for participation for both events. For more information or to register, contact Mr. Khidhar Shakur or Ms. Janice Wright, Poetry Explosion Chairperson, at the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center, 727-2485.


DC Public Library Events, January 14-15
George Williams,

Wednesday, January 14, 1:00 p.m., Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library, 7420 Georgia Avenue, NW, Shepherd Park Afternoon Book Club. For more information, contact 541-6100.

Wednesday, January 14, 1:00 p.m., Capitol View Neighborhood Library, 5001 Central Avenue, SE. Benning/Capitol View Afternoon Book Club. For more information, contact 645-0755.

Wednesdays, January 14 and 28, 7:30 p.m., Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library, 945 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. Knitting Circle. For more information, contact 671-0267.

Thursday, January 15, 7:00 p.m., Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 Seventh Street, SE. Southeast Library Fiction Book Club. Discussion of new and classic novels. For more information, contact 698-3377.


Omega Psi Phi Academic Debate Tournament, January 17
Anthony Burley,

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Psi Chapter, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Mu Beta Chapter, are proud to host the Washington, DC, metropolitan area public debate tournament for teenagers. We are delighted to invite educators and students to register for our debate tournament for teenagers, which will be on Saturday, January 17. The topic is: Resolved: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110) has failed.

There will be one open division of unlimited teams. Teams may consist of one to three students. Teams are not required to represent a school, but all teams must have an adult sponsor. Time limits will be: affirmative constructive speeches, six minutes; negative constructive speeches, six minutes; and rebuttal speeches, five minutes. Teams are not required to have a plan of action, therefore, enabling any team without a plan of action to primarily focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the stated resolution. Entry forms should be E-mailed to Anthony Burley at Deadline for registration is January 15.

The winning team will receive $200.00, the second place team will receive $150.00, the third place team will receive $70.00, and the fourth place team will receive $50.00. Top speaker prizes are first place, $100.00; second place, $75.00; third place, $50.00; fourth place, $25.00. Top coach prize, $100.00. Schedule (subject to change): 8:30 a.m.-8:50 a.m., registration; 9:00 a.m.-9:55 a.m., first round; 10:00 a.m.-10:55 p.m., second round; 11:00 a.m.-11:55 p.m., third round; 12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m., lunch; 12:45 p.m.-1:40 p.m., fourth round; 1:45 p.m.-2:40 p.m., fifth round; 3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m., awards and closing. Location, The George Washington University, Funger Hall, 2201 G Street, NW.


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