themail.gif (3487 bytes)

February 15, 2009

What We Want

Dear Wanters:

It occurs to me that we in DC don’t really know what we want. Mark David Richards has sent DCWatch a new article, “The Role of Presidents in Local DC History: The District Needs a Champion in the White House,”, that discusses the relationship between the local and federal governments since George Washington’s presidency. The long-standing debate over that relationship has been re-ignited because of the pending bill to give a floor vote to the District’s Congressional Delegate. There are really three questions. What the relationship between DC’s local government and the federal government should be, and how changes in that relationship can be achieved legally and constitutionally, are only two of them. The first question is what the citizens of the District of Columbia really want.

Among the options for the local-federal relationship are keeping it as it is; granting the District’s congressional delegate a floor vote; giving the District a full House representative and two Senators without granting it statehood; making the District a state; and retrocession of most of DC, all but the federal district, to Maryland. The legal means required to accomplish any of these options are problematic. Most of these changes, if not all of them, would require a Constitutional amendment, although advocates of some of them, such as a floor vote for the DC delegate, argue that an amendment is not necessary. But what do DC residents really want? Are most people satisfied with the status quo? Do most people want a floor vote for the DC delegate and, if most people want that, would they be satisfied with it? Do most residents of DC want the District to be an independent state, or want the District to be returned to Maryland? And how important is it to most people to make any of these changes; how high a priority do Washingtonians place on them? Are there any recent, reliable, independent, non-advocacy polls that tell us what citizens of DC want, and how fervently they want it? Is there even any way to write poll questions that would state the issues clearly, plainly, and fairly, and produce reliable results? I’m not convinced that knowing what residents of the District really want would settle the issue. For example, advocates of statehood would undoubtedly argue that statehood is a matter of equity, and that equity is not something to be compromised by an opinion poll. But knowing what people really want, and how badly they want it, should give our elected officials and advocacy groups some idea about what they should advocate, and how high a priority they should place on it.

Gary Imhoff


Not Qualified
Dorothy Brizill,

Mayor Fenty has nominated Omar Nour to fill a vacancy on the three-member DC Board of Elections and Ethics (PR 18-118, Nour would replace Dr. Lenora Cole on the very troubled administrative body that oversees the conduct of DC elections and the enforcement of DC’s campaign finance and election laws. As Mike Neibauer details in his article in the Washington Examiner, Nour’s sole qualification for the post seems to be that he is a triathlete who is the mayor’s jogging buddy (

As a result of serious problems that arose during the February and September primaries in 2008, the city council established a special investigative committee chaired by Mary Cheh. When additional problems arose during the November general election, the work and life span of the special committee was extended. Now, as chair of the council’s Committee on Government Operations and the Environment, Cheh will oversee Nour’s confirmation.


No Weather Wimps Out Here
Ed T. Barron,

Out here is a Colorado community about seventy miles west of Denver. Each of the five days we’ve been here it has snowed overnight from two to four inches. This snow falls on the side roads, which are ice covered and are no better plowed than the non-emergency roads in DC. Yet the schools open every day and on time. We passed one school on our way home from cheating death on the slopes at Copper Mountain. It was about two in the afternoon. A sunny day with the temperature around 15 degrees F. The school was emptying out all the students in ranks and files for a fire drill. We stopped to watch as they completed the drill over a fifteen-minute time span. No weather wimps in this area. I wonder if they have fire drills in DC schools and if they ever have one in the cold weather.


Statehood, Not HR 157
Samuel Jordan,

Friends, over the next few days, I plan to distribute the letter below to Members of Congress. This note is an appeal for assistance. If you support the letter’s aim and formulations, please help in the distribution on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 17th and 18th. That HR 157 is a step to statehood in an “incrementalist” scheme is fundamentally disingenuous. Why haven’t the incrementalists shared their plans for the next step? How did such incrementalists determine the next step without consultation with the residents of the District? One of the approaches aired during the UDC forum on February 5 was the suggestion that Congressional approval of a nonvoting Delegate was an incremental step. There is a difference between intent and chronological occurrence. The nonvoting delegate and elected council and mayor were not intended by Congress as steps to statehood or local autonomy for the District, but as accommodations to the anger expressed by residents in the District and throughout the nation in the wake of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. These weren’t race riots, but rejection of injustice and race domination resulting in the assassination, but experienced over the years as race suppression. At the forum at UDC, there was no recognition of the role of the “people’s rebellion” in 1968, which inspired all subsequent “accommodations” or “incremental steps.” We continue not to enjoy local autonomy. If you have comments or suggestions for edits, please share them ASAP. Otherwise, please distribute to your networks. Thank you.

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States, greetings: I am Samuel Jordan, a former Chairman of the DC Statehood Party. You have been solicited by the operatives of an expensive public relations campaign to approve H.R.157 and its corresponding proposal in the Senate, S.160. The bills purport to correct a long-term deficiency denying the right to full Congressional representation for the residents of the District of Columbia. Not only does the proposed legislation not achieve the goal of full and equal Congressional representation, but it lacks respect for the documented wishes of the District’s voters who approved by substantial majority the seating of delegates to a constitutional convention in 1980 and ratified a Statehood Constitution for the State of New Columbia in 1982. At no time in their pursuit of passage of the DC House Voting Rights bills have the promoters consulted with the people of the District in order to ascertain their preferences for any significant change in the representational status of the territory. Yet these bills have been proposed in the 109th, 110th, and now the 111th Congresses — a period offering sufficient opportunity to the promoters to obtain the “consent of the governed” if that were their purpose.

The principle of democratic representation assumes the election at the ballot box of public servants who will have withstood the scrutiny of the electorate. However, even with the passage of the DC House Voting Rights bills, the District of Columbia will not have increased its control over local matters legislative, judicial or budgetary. These matters will remain subject to the whim of at least 537 Senators and Representatives in the expanded Congress, of whom only one will have been chosen by the governed. Without doubt, this failure of accountability to constituents would be found completely unacceptable by any Member in this Congress. Accountability to the governed, like consent of the governed is not a mere noble phrase, but a grounding principle of democracy.

When we pose the question, “Why Utah?” we are again stunned at the cavalier treatment afforded the residents of the District of Columbia. Democratic principles are not subjects of horse-trading. The posture of “politically neutral balance” feigned by the promoters of the legislation does not meet the smell test, particularly due to the availability to Utah and to any of the several states of a proper forum for challenge of apportionments . The one-for-DC-one-for-Utah scheme reeks of political expediency in light of the following: 1) Utah will receive an additional vote in the Electoral College, unlike the District of Columbia, whose electoral college votes are fixed by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution. This feature alone could have been decisive in the event of another close presidential election. 2) The “balancing” element in the bills is reminiscent of the controversial racial “balancing” encountered in the admission of the majority Asian and Hawaiian native territory of Hawaii and “white” Alaska in 1959 — in the reverse order of their application for inclusion in the union. (Many Hawaiians continue to protest the coup, occupation and annexation resulting in the loss of their lands to the United States as acknowledged by Congress in 1993 in Public Law 103-150)

Scheduled for symbolic passage in Black History Month, this legislation falls woefully short of the standards set by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks and the multitude of thousands who held the principles of democracy and political equality so high that they risked their lives in an era that set an unfairly high price on democratic equality for African Americans who are in the majority in the population of the District. The bills before you are racially insensitive and politically and morally inconsequential. They are an affront to the memories of Dr. King and Mrs. Parks and the other heroes and will establish a second class representation for the people of the District of Columbia with their paternalistic failure to consult the voters of the District, an absence of Senators, no autonomy for the District over its own affairs, and the District’s continued subordination to the will of 536 unelected legislators in the US Congress. Respect for the principles of democracy demands your immediate rejection of these bills and commitment to full and meaningful equality for the people of the District with all other citizens of the United States.


Diversity of Menaces in Chevy Chase, DC
Frank Winstead,

Today I received an alert,, from VINELink, the Victim Information and Notification Everyday,, that Richard Dorman was no longer a guest of the Montgomery County Detention Center. Mr. Dorman is known for causing a DC resident to need twenty-two stitches to the head. There remains a question as to whether Mr. Dorman still has an active stay-away order in upper northwest DC. Mr. Dorman, a fiftyish black male, does not scare me as much as the young white female I encountered on Friday at Chevy Chase Circle. While walking, I noticed a Denali Yukon XL parked in a striped area on the street . As I gazed to the left, I saw a fire hydrant. Then I saw a broken hubcap, apparently not from the vehicle. I took out my camera and snapped a few photos of the SUV that was too close to the fire hydrant.

Within seconds, a woman appeared from a building to my far left and complained about my photography. As I continued on my way, she passed by me and picked up the jagged-edge hubcap. I wondered whether she was going to club me with the hubcap and how would I block the blow. Then she surprised me by making an underhanded motion in my direction with the hubcap. A mangled hubcap makes a very frightening projectile. I kept walking and watching her with no obvious way to avoid potential injury.

Then I began thinking what I would do if injured? Having read this Washingtonian article on DC 911,, I knew my life expectancy would be greatly improved by crossing Western Avenue into Maryland. Fortunately, she didn’t throw and I stayed on my way. Photos at How much difference is there between these two people?


DCRA and ANC Bottlenecks Cost Dearly
Ron Deline,

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ permitting process is absolutely disgraceful. Not only is it overburdened with regulations, it’s woefully understaffed, and they are operating like we’re still in the 1980’s. For example, why the heck does the cashier’s office close before DCRA closes? If you can’t extend the cashier’s office hours, then at least close the DCRA doors early enough so the last person in there can still have a reasonable chance of paying for permits, instead of wasting yet another day to fork over those fees to DC.

However in this city, it’s not just DCRA that’s costing us dearly in lost revenues, it’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions that constantly harass and coerce business owners into “voluntary agreements” to operate or expand their establishments. These ANC’s are just armchair wannabe politicians, basically busy bodies that have too much time on their hands and have far too much detrimental influence this city’s businesses. Between waiting for permits from DCRA and begging for agreements from the ANC’s, it’s a total mess to start a food service business in Washington DC. That’s our foot traffic going down the drain, and that’s a safety issue. If you just have boring storefronts but no restaurants in between, these places get desolate at night, like the big swaths of the downtown area that just are plain scary to walk by.

This is how you fix this mess: 1) get rid of the ANC system all together, as have the other cities have experimented to their detriment with this antiquated community governing concept. 2) Split DCRA into commercial permitting and residential permitting, and make sure anyone can pay with a simple credit card at any time of the day. 3) Extend commercial permitting office hours to seven days a week. I don’t know how they do it, just do it. Use the “polar point” money to fund this, or use some of that stimulus package to cover it. Frankly, DC should be handling commercial permitting faster than late night pizza in Adams Morgan, because anyone willing to open a new business in this economic climate should be given a medal along with all the help they need to get going.


Compassionate Intervention
Richard Layman,

In response to Len Sullivan’s comments about Councilmember Barry [themail, February 11]: I wouldn’t call myself a supporter of the councilmember and his positions on a variety of positions (especially after reading Dream City by Jaffe and Sherwood). But I am a compassionate observer and analyst. Clearly, Mr. Barry has issues, is sick, and needs help, and isn’t deserving of the easy cheap shot that his current very public problems offers to us.

Generally, the kind of repetitive behavior he’s exhibiting is a clear sign of the need for compassionate assistance — it is a cry for help — but the way our governing institutions are set up is to mete retribution (cf. the Washington City Paper’s coverage of the too-frequent shooting by police officers of people who are mentally disturbed,

Recently I read a news story about how gerontologists are starting to realize when seniors fall and injure themselves that it shouldn’t be taken for granted as a symptom of old age, but as an indicator of the need for further intervention. Appropriate intervention can reduce the likelihood of other injuries in the future, and/or provide other necessary assistance often required as people age. Why is the case of Marion Barry any different?


Cigar Ban, Part II
Ralph Chittams,

On Friday, February 13, I received a call from the Office of the Ward 7 councilmember attempting to berate me for nominating the Single Sale of Cigar Products Prohibition Amendment Act of 2009 as a dumb piece of legislation. I was informed that since the legislation would not ban the sale of “multi-packs” of cigars, only singles, and that, “I and my cigar-smoking friends could still purchase cigars.” Let’s forget for the moment that high-end cigars, not just cheap Philly Blunts, are often sold as singles — the councilmember’s office repeated their mistaken belief that people buy single cigars only for the purpose of smoking marijuana. Before continuing, let me state for the record that I do not advocate smoking, nor do I smoke.

Now, let’s take another look at the language of the proposed legislation. “1) ‘Single cigar product’ means an individual cigar, cigar leaf wrapper, flavored or non-flavored cigar that is referred to as a blunt, blunt wrap, or any other tobacco product that may be used in the ingesting, inhaling, or introduction of marijuana to the human body.” The key phrase is: “any other tobacco product that may be used in the ingesting, inhaling, or introduction of marijuana to the human body.” Anyone who can read can understand what that means — any tobacco product that can be altered to become a mechanism to ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce marijuana into the human body will be banned from sale in the District of Columbia. Let’s give the councilmember the benefit of the doubt, and assume that may not have been the councilmember’s intention. But that is what the proposed legislation clearly states.

There is also the continued mistaken belief that all buyers of single cigars repurpose them as marijuana delivery devices. Remember those high-end cigars mentioned above? There was a time when I used to buy them (at over twenty dollars a cigar) one at a time, and I know people who still do. Why? I did not own a humidor; and I didn’t smoke cigars often enough to buy them by the box because they would dry out even in a humidor. How about the traveling businessman or woman who purchases a single cigar at a four-star hotel? What about local businesses like Ozio’s, the high-end cigar and martini lounge on M Street, NW? The legislation, as currently framed, bans those sales as well. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen anyone hollow out a Padron, a Cohiba, or a Davidoff and fill it with marijuana. The ban could be extended to the sale of wine, because wine can be repurposed to ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce marijuana into the human body. Everyone knows that putting wine in a bong is better than water, because after you smoke your weed, you can then drink the marijuana infused wine! Again, this proposed legislation is unclear in its intent, overreaching in its scope, and worthy of the dumb legislation award.


Retrocession II
Clyde Howard

There seems to be some confusion about retroceding DC back to Maryland in order to obtain statehood. In Richard Layman’s message in themail, February 11, reference was made to the city’s receiving support from Maryland and to how the state would provide services to the city as it does with other cities and counties within Maryland. However, the only portion that would be retroceded back to Maryland would be the territory of the District of Columbia, not the city. The city is provided for by the US Constitution and would be supported by the Congress. DC is not a city. There is only the Federal City. In the beginning Washington, DC, was intended to emulate a state as would be any other state in the union. The city had mayors; the state had governors and a Supreme Court, but as the treasury was bankrupted by Governor Shepherd in trying to bring the city and territory into the 19th century, the city and territory were placed under the three commissioner rule. So for those who desire statehood, retrocede the territory of DC back to Maryland, like that portion of the city that was originally from Virginia (Alexandria and Arlington) was retroceded back to Virginia.


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request to DC Schools
Don Resnikoff,

[In reply to Paul Walters’ request for information about a FOIA Request to DC schools [themail, February 8], here is some information from the DC government web site ( that might help:

“The Office of the General Counsel is the principal contact point within the DC Public Schools for advice and policy guidance on matters pertaining to the administration of the FOIA. All requests are handled professionally and expeditiously. FOIA requests must be in writing. When submitting a written request, please prominently mark the envelope or fax as a ‘FOIA Request.’” Nicole Streeter is the FOIA Officer; her address is DC Public Schools, 825 North Capitol Street, NE, #9100, Washington, DC 20002., phone: 442-5000, fax 442-5098.


DCPS Will Now Follow DC Government FOIA Regulations
Cherita Whiting,

On February 13, the following emergency rule was issued by DC Public Schools: “The Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), pursuant to section 103 of the District of Columbia Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007 (‘Public Education Reform Amendment Act’), effective June 12, 2007 (DC Law 17-9; DC Official Code § 38-172), and Mayor’s Order 2007-186 (August 10, 2007), hereby gives notice of the below emergency and proposed rule. Emergency action is needed to preserve the consistent application of the District’s Freedom of Information Act throughout all District government agencies. With the passage of the Public Education Reform Amendment Act, DCPS became a subordinate agency to the Mayor and subject to the rules of the Mayor. This emergency and proposed rule will delete rules for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act from Chapter 34 of Title 5 of the District of Columbia Municipal Register (DCMR), rules that were promulgated specific to DCPS as an independent agency and which are now in conflict with those promulgated for all District government agencies. This emergency is necessitated by the need to ensure preservation of the public welfare in general, to remove a direct conflict in regulations, and to clarify the procedures that DCPS is required to follow in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The emergency rule was adopted on February 9, 2009 and became effective immediately. This emergency rule will remain in effect for up to one hundred twenty (120) days, unless earlier superseded by a notice of final rulemaking. The proposed rule will be submitted to the Council for a forty-five (45) day period of review. The Chancellor also hereby gives notice of the intent to adopt this rule, in final, in not less than thirty (30) days from the publication of this notice in the DC Register or upon approval of the rule by the Council whichever occurs later.

“Chapter 34 of Title 5 of the DCMR is deleted in its entirety. Title 5 of the DCMR is amended to add a new Chapter B34 to a new Subtitle B to read as follows:

“B3400.1 The regulations found in Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations shall be the rules and procedures followed by the District of Columbia Public Schools in implementing the District of Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act, effective March 25, 1977 (DC Law 1-96, DC Official Code § 2-531 et seq.).
“Comments on this rule should be submitted, in writing, to Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, DCPS, at 825 North Capitol Street, NE, 9th Floor, Washington, DC, 20002, within thirty (30) days of the date of publication of this notice in the DC Register. Additional copies of this rule are available from the above address.”


Larry Neal Writers’ Competition
Maresha Tadesse,

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities invites District of Columbia resident writers to submit their works for the twenty-sixth annual Larry Neal Writers’ Competition. Cash awards and prizes are given to writers of all ages for artistic excellence in poetry, short story, dramatic writing, and essay! Special prize offered for 2009 is The Big Read - DC Special Recognition Award for Creative Expression. Deadline for submissions is 7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 19, at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 1371 Harvard Street, NW.

Awards will be presented at the twenty-sixth annual Larry Neal Writers’ Awards Ceremony, Friday, May 8, at 6:00 p.m., at the Elizabethan Theater of Folger Shakespeare Library. For more information, and to view program guidelines and download an application form, visit or contact Charles Barzon at 724-5613 or


InTowner February Issue Now Online
P.L. Wolff,

This is to advise that the February 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 March 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) “Dupont East’s Liquor License Moratorium Set to Expire in March; Opinion Divided on What Next”; and 2) “Preservation Board Cases Reveal Sharp Dissents.”



Department of Parks and Recreation Events, February 17, 19
John Stokes,

Tuesday, February 17, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE. Adapted karate for children with special needs, ages 7-12. Karate instruction consists of basic tae kwon do techniques adapted in a form that is easy, interactive and fun. Sessions are held every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, February 17 to April 24. Cost is $25.00 per person. All supplies and equipment must be supplied by participants’ parents and/or guardian. For more information contact, Victoria Cole-Rolon 645-6516

Thursday, February 19, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street, SW. Seniors ages fifty and up will view the Mobile Black History Museum, enjoy singing and dance performances, speeches of Martin Luther King, and more. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Kim Campbell at 645-7454.

Friday, February 19, 3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Trinidad Recreation Center, 1310 Childress Street, NE. Youth will enjoy themselves at a dance with light refreshments to celebrate Valentines Day. For more information, contact Anthony Higginbotham, Site Manager, 727-1293.

Thursday, February 19, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE. Portraits in Black. Student reenactments of famous Black American personalities. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Joyce Murphy, Recreation Specialist, 576-9238.

Thursday, February 19, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Young Men of Distinction will participate in a program celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. For more information, contact Tameka Borges, Recreation Specialist, 576-5642.


Historical Society of Washington, DC, February 19, 21
Ed Bruske,

Thursday, February 19, 7:00 p.m., 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. Black History Month Lecture: Black Presidents Before Obama. The mainstream media have begun to compare President Barack Obama to other historic American chief executives such as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Obama himself has said he was inspired by Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals” in selecting nominees for his own cabinet. Is that, however, where comparisons can or should end? Are there no historic presidents of African descent that Obama can be compared to? Is he the first of his kind in history? Join author, lecturer, and historian of the African Diaspora C.R. Gibbs for a revealing look at some other surprising historic individuals of African descent who served as presidents of their nations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Often unheralded or their African ancestry purposely denied or concealed (“strategic silence,” some historians and social scientists have called it) while their other ancestries are hailed, these unique men remain hidden in the shadows of history.

C.R. Gibbs is the author, co-author of six books, a frequent national and international lecturer on an array of historical topics, and a historian of the African Diaspora. He has spoken at such diverse venues as The World Bank, the Legislative Assembly Building at Ontario, Canada, and Virginia Tech at Blacksburg, Virginia. He has appeared several times on the History Channel as well as Belgian and French television. He researched and narrated “Sketches In Color,” a thirteen-part companion series to the acclaimed PBS series “The Civil War” for the Howard University television station. The Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture features Mr. Gibbs as one of its scholars at the museum’s Online Academy web site. He is also a DC Humanities Council Scholar. In 1989, he founded the African History and Culture Lecture Series, whose scholars continue to provide free presentations to libraries, churches and other locations in the Washington-Baltimore-Virginia area. In 1997, he led twenty-six people on a transcontinental crossing of the African continent. Mr. Gibbs is the winner of the 2008 award for excellence in historic preservation public education awarded annually by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Ages fourteen to adults. or 383-1828. Free admission.

Saturday, February 21, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., 801 K Street, NW, at Mt. Vernon Square. Urban Gardening Forum. Rooting DC. Registration required. Are you a community gardener in Washington, DC? A teacher with a school-yard garden? A member of a garden club or block club interested in beautifying your neighborhood? Involved with a nonprofit leading a gardening program? Or, are you interested to getting involved with such community projects? If so, you are invited to attend this forum designed to bring DC gardeners together to reconnect. Join us to share resources and foster partnerships between those who are working towards common goals of a greener, healthier DC. Rooting DC has two tracks of talks. The garden how-to track covers soil, composting, IPM, container gardens, herbs, and pruning; and the garden for the greater good track covers how to start a community garden (land, people, etc.), tree planting and beautification, rain gardens/bayscaping/habitat gardens, and food security and nutrition.

The schedule also provides plenty of time for networking with other local gardeners and local gardening organizations as well as the premiere showing of the documentary, Garden Cycles Bike Tour. The speakers will be followed by roundtable discussions on various topics including: Regional Food Security, Why is “Green” White?, Community Gardens in DC, and many more issues of concern to urban gardeners. (A Collaboration between the Historical Society of Washington, DC, and Urban Gardening Forum) Space is Limited so advance registration is requested — we do expect a sellout. For details and to register in advance, contact 638-1649 or or go to For the entire family. Free admission.


Discover Engineering Family Day, February 21
Jazmine Zick,

February 21, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Discover Engineering Family Day. Explore competition robots, make a zipline for a ping pong ball, and discover how engineers turn ideas into reality at the Discover Engineering Family Day. Free drop-in program. Recommended for ages five to thirteen with adult supervision. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at


Ward 3 Republican Meeting, February 24
Paul Craney,

Ward 3 Republican social get-together. This event is free and is not political event or a fundraiser; all open-minded DC residents are welcomed. Tuesday February 24, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Tony Parker’s house, 4881 Potomac Avenue (go to MacArthur and W Street, go to the river, take left on Potomac Avenue. Meet DC FOP Police Union Chairman and fellow Ward 3 resident Kris Baumann and chat with your political neighbors. Why? Because it is fun, we love politics, and we believe this city deserves better from its elected officials. To RSVP, please call us at 289-8005 or E-mail at:


Foster and Adoptive Parent Conference, March 7
Angela Byrd,

The DC Metropolitan Foster and Adoptive Parent Association will hold its fourth annual conference, Thinking Outside the Box, on Saturday, March 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th Street, NW. The keynote speaker will be Judge Karen Howze, Magistrate Judge, DC Superior Court, who has adopted three daughters through the DC child welfare system. There will also be remarks by Dr. Roque R. Gerald, Interim Director of the Child and Family Services Agency. Register now online at; space is limited. Registration fees include workshops, continental breakfast, and lunch. Member parents, $25; nonmembers, $35.



All-in-One Printers-Scanners-Copiers
Phil Shapiro,

Do you know anyone who owns a printer/scanner/copier where the printer stopped working? Those devices are still very usable as scanners. I’d love to place some of those scanners with donated computers I’m delivering to people in our area. I can pick up from anywhere in the DC area.


themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every Wednesday and Sunday. To change the E-mail address for your subscription to themail, use the Update Profile/Email address link below in the E-mail edition. To unsubscribe, use the Safe Unsubscribe link in the E-mail edition. An archive of all past issues is available at

All postings should be submitted to, and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of Columbia in one way or another. All postings must be signed in order to be printed, and messages should be reasonably short — one or two brief paragraphs would be ideal — so that as many messages as possible can be put into each mailing.


Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)