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July 1, 2009

Problem Solvers and Problem Makers

Dear Solvers:

Many thanks for sending your cable reception horror stories to themail. You sent about three dozen replies from neighborhoods all over the District, and I forwarded them to Marcella Hicks at the Office of Cable Television, who wrote, “I have involved the senior Comcast technical staff. I will get a resolution.” Earlier today, she wrote, “Comcast’s engineering department has determined that there is a problem. The problem started with the digital signal transition. There are inserts for advertising that are causing the pixilation/freezing on channels. They will work on the plant overnight and are hoping to have the matter resolved by tomorrow.” I don’t think that I understand that explanation of the problem or the solution, but if it works I’ll be happy. Comcast has been running commercials for the past year telling us that we’re ready for the digital transition if we subscribe to cable; that would have been true if they had been ready for the transition themselves. Wait a few days, then let me know if the dropouts, picture freezes, sound losses, and pixillation haven’t stopped.

WTOP’s Mark Segraves nailed the parking fines story ( “The District of Columbia collects 25 times more money in parking fines than its neighbors in Fairfax County and more than eight times than Montgomery County collects each year. . . . [T]he average is $113 in fines per resident each year. . . . The return on the investment on Parking Control Officers is so good, while most DC Agencies are cutting staff because of budget woes, the Department of Public Works plans to increase the number of ticket writers by almost one-third next year. The DC council approved funding to increase the parking enforcement force from 213 officers to 278.” There’s a fable by Aesop (, something about a goose that laid golden eggs, and how the greedy owner of that goose spoiled the windfall by overreaching and doing something that was, well, very wrong. There was a moral to that fable, wasn’t there?

The Washington Post’s Nikita Stewart reports that Councilmember Jim Graham is worried that there are too many cab drivers in Washington, so he wants the council to pass legislation regulating the number of people who will be allowed to drive taxicabs ( It’s an awful burden on councilmembers to have to determine the optimum number of people who should be allowed to practice any profession. Wouldn’t it be a relief for politicians if someone could invent an economic system under which the optimum number of workers could be determined automatically, say by the market? Under this magical system, people would enter and leave different job markets on their own accord, depending on their own judgments of how good a living they could make, and politicians wouldn’t have to make decisions for everyone else about which occupations they would be allowed to pursue. Has anyone heard of an economic system like that?

Seriously, isn’t this the second step in the city government’s program to force independent taxicab drivers out of business, and to ensure that a few large cab companies control the market? The first step was to get rid of the zone system and force the installation of meters. Instituting a medallion system that will limit the number of cabs and vastly increase the cost of becoming an independent cabbie should ensure that large companies will dominate and independents disappear over time, as they have in New York.

Gary Imhoff


More Anti-Business Legislation
Ralph J. Chittams, Sr.,

Because Councilmember Alexander was foolish enough to leave her car unlocked and unattended at a gas station and was robbed, now District gas stations will be required to install video cameras. From where I sit, it seems that to our mayor and councilmembers the only good small business is a closed small business — Fleet Feet being the exception.

Fenty closes used car lots. Graham closes everything in his sight. And now Alexander joins the party with this foolishness. The profit margin at gas stations is razor-thin. In fact, gas stations make most of their profits from chips, sodas, and cigarettes and cigars (remember that great piece of legislation). Forcing these small business owners to incur an additional expense will not appreciably reduce crime. It will simply contribute to the anti-business regulatory environment that exists in the District of Columbia.

Suggestion: Councilmember Alexander, next time you get gas, roll up your windows and lock your car, like most people do.


A Delightful Afternoon at Upshur Pool
Kevin Morison,

Our esteemed moderator frequently implores readers of the mail to comment on some of the good things about living in DC. I’m taking him up on his offer. My contribution: the Upshur Pool off 14th Street, NW.

My family and I spent a delightful afternoon at Upshur last Saturday. The sun was shining, the water was refreshing, and, best of all, the company was oh so pleasant. At least on this day, the pool attracted a wonderful cross-section of DC: black, white and Latino; young and middle aged; families and singles; people of some means and people who are not. All of us were there enjoying the pool and one another. It was a refreshing break not just from the warm weather, but also from the bickering, divisiveness, and just plain segregation that keeps much of DC apart much of the time. For one glorious afternoon, in one small corner of the District, a microcosm of our city came together to swim and sun bathe, to play and joke around with friends and strangers alike — and it was perfect.


“Emergency No Parking” Run Amok
Jack McKay,

There’s one very dead tree at the corner of 18th and Monroe in Mount Pleasant, and that corner is now posted “Emergency No Parking, Tree Work, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 6/29-7/02,” presumably so the tree can be brought down without damaging any parked cars. Fair enough, but does it really require four days to take down one modest-sized tree? I guess it does, if nobody shows up to do any work for three of those four days. Why requisition the space for four days, when only one is necessary? Well, if you’re the District agency, or a District agency’s contractor, why not? It costs them nothing to claim the space for more days, and more daytime hours, than are needed.

But that’s just one corner. In June, an entire block of 19th Street, both sides, was posted “No Parking, Tree Work,” for four days. Nobody showed, nobody did a lick of tree work. Parking Enforcement pounced, socking a dozen residents whose cars weren’t moved by 8:03 a.m. with $50 tickets. The tree work remains undone, and no doubt the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) will return to repeat this process. (Bill Howland, Director of Public Works and a true mensch, did cancel the parking tickets.)


Is This Change We Can Believe In?
Candi Peterson,

According to the Time Magazine article in which Michelle A. Rhee appeared on the cover with a broom, “In the last presidential debate each candidate tried to claim her [Rhee] as their own with Barack Obama calling Rhee a wonderful superintendent.” Who knows why Barack supported Michelle Rhee so effusively? Whatever President Barack Obama’s reasoning for this national shout-out, the million dollar question is why would a president support Chancellor Rhee when she only “offered pleasing but implausible claims, while saying next to nothing about educational policy.” Does Barack Obama still praise Rhee, given that her five-year education plan lacks any substantive educational reform other than to rid DC schools of a significant share of its educational work force through terminations and buyouts, thereby creating a revolving door, at-will, work force?

Many are incredulous at Rhee’s claims of having raised her former students’ standardized testing scores from the 13th percentile to the 90th percentile in her short-lived teaching career, and think they are simply pleasing anecdotes that still cannot be substantiated. By her own admission, Rhee suffered during her first year, and so did her students. It has been reported that Rhee got better in her second year. Would Barack Obama have given Rhee an endorsement if he had known that she wouldn’t afford DC’s probationary teachers and teaching fellows the same opportunity she was given to improve as a teacher? If the president knew that Rhee would fire approximately seventy probationary teachers arbitrarily last year, without regard to their “Meets and Exceeds Expectations” annual performance evaluations? Did Barack just turn a blind eye in the name of politics ?

Would Barack Obama knowingly approve of a so-called reformist like Rhee who failed to implement a citywide mentor program for all new teachers and failed to offer regular and consistent assistance to struggling teachers, like the peer assistance and review programs provided in Washington’s metro-area suburbs? Does the president actually think it is okay for School Chancellor Rhee to sign off on the terminations of two hundred fifty DC teachers, even though some teachers were not given annual performance evaluations, even though some teachers were not rated according to the appropriate curriculum standards, even though some teachers were targeted for termination in order to meet a citywide quota, even though some teachers had not yet completed their two-year fellows program, and just because some were probationary teachers? I thought that our president believed in the American way of justice and liberty for all. You mean Barack doesn’t support the right to due process and a right to an appeals process for unjustly terminated public employees? Some say that Barack was only straddling the fence between the Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee types and labor unions. I’m not so sure because our president’s actions speak louder than words. Is this change we can believe in?


AHRC News Services
T. Lassoc,

For your information, here’s an American Homeowner Resource Center news article from the California-based group: “Alleged Sham Court Actions in the Court of Judge Reggie Wanton, US District Court, DC,” I don’t know if the misspelling of Judge Walton’s name was a mistake, a parody, or intentional, in line with the views expressed in the article.


A Collyer in Our Midst
Ed T. Barron, edtb1macdotcom

Several years ago I posted, in a forerunner to themail, a mention of the Collyer brothers. They were two recluses living in a Harlem, NY, apartment who collected everything but never threw anything out. After neighbors complained about foul odors, police broke in and found so many tons of debris that they could barely get in. Both brothers had died, thus the foul odors. It took police two weeks to clean out the apartment of magazines, newspapers, fourteen pianos, a fully assembled model T Ford, etc. All this is chronicled in a new book by E.L. Doctorow. What, thank you for asking, has this got to do with DC.?

We seem to have a female ‘Collyer” right here in the ‘hood in northwest DC, living in a private home just north of Massachusetts Avenue on 47th Street, NW. The homes here are well kept, with nice mowed lawns, etc. Standing out is this one place which is littered with what could best be characterized as junk. The driveway is similarly littered including, count ’em, six strollers. The only occupants that I’ve seen in those strollers are one or more of three hounds that occupy the home. Every weekly trash day there are three full dumpsters for the trash pickup and, periodically, a small mountain of barely recognizable stuff for bulk trash pickup. I have not yet seen a piano in any of those piles of debris, but we seem to have a Collyer in our midst.


The Bird Is Finally in Hand
Anne C. Sullivan,

I don’t know which is more repugnant, the fact that Ed Barron has all his facts completely wrong in the case of the shuttered Tenley-Friendship library, or his implication that in hard times, no money should be spent in Ward 3 for basic services (such as a library) and the idea that in good times, Ward 3 citizens should encourage the sale of scarce, much needed public land for basic services [themail, June 28]. The only real “bird in hand” in this saga was the sixteen million dollars that was budgeted for the Tenley-Friendship branch rebuild over two years ago. Our library would have broken ground last year, but it was delayed by a push to build a large privately owned residential unit on top of the Janney School soccer field and over the library. This effort to sell off private land and air rights came mainly from people who were interested in tethering the Janney School modernization project to a development project, with the hope of moving Janney forward in the modernization queue.

Mr. Barron speaks of a “vocal minority of NIMBY’s” who “sidelined” the developers’ proposal to put a nine-story apartment on top of the school soccer field and on top of the library. Every single neighborhood community organization, along with the ANC 3E, overwhelmingly rejected the three proposals that were submitted for the library/school site, as did 95 percent of those individuals who responded to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development call for public comments on the developers’ plans. Still, Mayor Fenty overrode the overwhelming majority of community members who wanted the library built immediately without a residential building on top. Mayor Fenty announced on July 16, 2008, that the city had selected LCOR as its private development partner for the site. However, LCOR and the city never could agree on a term sheet for the project, nor did LCOR secure financing. Finally, eight long months after Mayor Fenty announced LCOR as the development partner, he announced that the city would move forward immediately with the library rebuild, as well as the Janney School modernization, without LCOR. So you see, Ed, there never was a “bird in hand” that involved private development.

Although the construction contracts for the library should have gone to the council this spring, there has been yet another delay in the library rebuild. This time, it actually has been the fault of a small vocal minority — namely, the former Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, Neil Albert, and his staff. The library architects have been forced to add some additional support structures to the library plans to accommodate Mr. Albert’s pipe dream that a large residential building will some day sit on top of the Janney soccer field and over the library. According to DCPL officials, the library construction contracts will go to the council very soon, and if there is no further obstruction to this branch rebuild, the long overdue groundbreaking ceremony for the Tenley-Friendship library branch will occur this September.


The Many Changes in DC Public Schools
Tom Grahame,

A number of recent posts in themail have been about wrenching changes in several DC schools, most recently the “Friendship Takeover of Anacostia High” [themail, June 28]. In this very strongly felt dispute between, it seems, the teachers and their allies on one side; and the mayor, Michelle Rhee, entities such as the Gates Foundation, and their allies on the other, I don’t have a visceral favorite because I don’t have kids and because I don’t have friends who are teachers in the DC system. I certainly understand at a gut level what teachers would feel when, all of a sudden, they either don’t have a job or believe they might be at risk for not having one — who wouldn’t? I can certainly understand how parents might feel if they believed they haven’t been communicated with in good faith by government authorities -- I’ve been there myself, on different issues. Probably most of us subscribe to precisely because we have problems with the way DC is run.

My interest has always been in public policy: Why is it that inner city kids have gotten such poor educations over the last generation and a half? How can they deal with a world with many fewer physical labor jobs, and many more information jobs, if they can’t get educated? Most important, what can be done to improve their education? So I’ll ask the readership two things: 1) why do parents continue to take their kids our of DC public schools and put them in charters? 2) If it is accurate that Friendship Edison has a better track record of educating inner city kids than DCPS, would it be better for the children that they have a chance at educating kids at Anacostia High?

Judging from the tone of the E-mails, the issues brought up by the writers of the recent E-mails are very deeply held. They are also consequential. But it still seems to me that the most important issue is, what works at getting kids educated today in DC? From my outsider’s viewpoint, if the test scores from the spring are to be believed, then DC public schools for the first time in memory are ramping up their performance, as judged by abilities in reading and math. If true, this increase didn’t come from out of the blue. If this progress continues, it might even cause some parent to pause before taking their child out of the regular DC public school system and putting them in charters.


The Anacostia Ordeal
Jesse Jefferson,

The Anacostia ordeal seems like a replay of the Oyster takeover of Adams elementary and the subsequent excessing and/or getting rid of the Adams teaching staff.


Anonymous Content in Your Most Recent Issue
Paul Michael Brown,

Your most recent issue [themail, June 28] contained a post entitled “DC Parents Outraged Over Friendship Takeover of Anacostia High,” by Candi Peterson. The post quoted at some length from an E-mail to Chancellor Rhee from an unnamed “Anacostia senior high parent.”

I thought you had a policy against anonymous submissions. If Ms. Peterson wants to criticize the way Anacostia High is being run, she’s free to do so. But permitting her to quote extensively from the unidentified “parent” is not consistent with your policy that all posts must be signed.

Moreover, Ms. Peterson quotes an E-mail that one of the chancellor’s staffers sent in response to the parent. I realize that Netiquette is a flexible concept. But at least in the newsgroup world it’s considered bad form to post a private E-mail in a public forum.

[Paul Brown is wrong on both points. First, he misunderstands my policy. I require posters in themail to identify themselves. Candi Peterson sent a message, and she signed it. Within her message, she is free to quote whomever she wants; she is still accepting responsibility for her posting. Second, within the E-mail that Peterson quotes there is a passage from an E-mail sent by DCPS employee Justin Cohen on behalf of Chancellor Rhee. Brown believes this Cohen’s E-mail is “private,” but by definition it is not. Official government E-mails are public business and enjoy no expectation of privacy. Government officials cannot demand that their communications to citizens be kept secret. If Mr. Brown receives an E-mail from a government employee who wrote it in an official capacity, Mr. Brown is free to quote from it, publicize it, or broadcast it however he wants, without raising any legal or ethical questions. The same is true of the Anacostia parent who published the E-mail she got from Mr. Cohen. — Gary Imhoff]


Broken Records in themail
Michael Bindner,

K. West can continue to call, like a broken record, for a vote on the marital rights of other people. He will only frustrate himself, however, since the courts will find as they have that the civil rights of other people cannot be put to a vote. The role of family law is to mediate disputes that arise from intra-family disputes. Gay marriage is an apt subject for such law precisely because families seek to have a role in the lives of their gay children that they do not demand (and are not entitled to demand) in the lives of their straight children. This includes not only hospital visitation, but final decisions, both about care and burial. When he and the pastors opposing the rights of gay spouses in these situations preach to the families that the partner has the same dignity as a spouse, gay marriage will not be necessary.

One can also not put the dignity of others up for a vote. To grant the same rights to gay spouses but not the title may be considered malice under the Constitution. Malice is not a reason to deny the rights of a group under law and the determination on this question is judicial. Again, it is not to be put up to a vote. Finally, while the Defense of Marriage Act protects the District from being required to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere, its repeal is fairly inevitable. Once it is accomplished, any referendum on the issue at hand will be considered an unconstitutional violation of the full faith and credit clause. Court fights against progress and initiatives are expensive. Considering that people will likely be passing the hat among congregations that may not be wealthy, pursuing this matter is not only ill advised, but a fraudulent waste of the money that many folks don’t have to waste.


Perplexed by Gay Marriage Vote?
Jason Lee-Bakke,

Color me confused by “Citizens Won’t Be Buffaloed by Same-Sex Marriage Agenda” [themail, June 28]: “Residents of some wards are complaining that they never knew the issue was on the agenda or they would have voted against it. What happened in those wards? What was the outreach, and to whom?” The matters of the city council are public record, covered by the city’s hometown newspapers, no? The city council does not regularly reach out to the city’s residents on every issue it encounters. An engaged public follows the issues on which its elected representatives are voting, and presumably voices its opinions to those reps. That is the system of government we have in DC.

“This is the legislation that was approved by the majority of the council and the mayor, and it recognizes same sex marriages from other jurisdictions.” As indeed it was. Persons elected by the people of DC. “Not to rehash, but few knew about this same-sex marriage effort until a coalition of ministers brought it to the attention of the public.” Many knew this bill was coming. Many agreed with it. Many elected those councilmembers and mayor who voted for it.

As Rev. Anthony Evans, pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church, said after the vote of the politicians who voted for the bill said, “They just kissed their political careers goodbye.” OK, then. Let the outraged people of DC vote in a new government and overturn it.

“Would the council be quick to change the definition of marriage if someone wanted to change the definition of marriage to incorporate polygamous, incestuous, or man-child marriage relationships? Would they grant wives the right to have more than one husband or vice versa? Would they be quick to add these groups as a protected class of citizens under the DC Human Rights Act?” Apparently not. No need to engage in hypotheticals when the answer is already before you.


RE: Citizens Won’t Be Buffaloed by Same-Sex Marriage Agenda
Bob Levine,

What a long and tiresome rant. I really couldn’t figure out if K. West [themail, June 28] was for or against, but sure seemed interested in what consenting adults are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms. I’m not really interested and don’t want to know. I want everyone protected by the law so the police can’t arrest anyone for doing what they feels comes naturally as long as it is with another consenting adult, and beyond that I really don’t want to know what you all are doing when you’re naked. I do want anyone who feels the need to be able to execute and be protected by the contract of marriage but I really don’t want to know or judge the quality of the relationship of the people I know who are already married. I sure don’t want to, and I am not qualified to judge the rest of you folks. Just quiet down now and try to keep your private lives within the privacy of your own homes; hearing about your sexual fears in the mail is getting downright boring.


Richard Layman,

Erik Gaull is right that DC pays a disproportionate share of the cost of WMATA, but he doesn’t say why [themail, June 28]. It’s because the funding formula is based on the number of stations present in the jurisdiction, and DC has forty stations (Friendship Heights is just across the border) out of the eighty-six stations total. I believe that funding should be based not just on the destination station, but on the destination of the rider. This would rebalance the funding formula somewhat, and the surrounding jurisdictions would end up paying a bit more, and DC a bit less. In any case, people’s focus on dedicated funding is important, but misses the point. Many transit systems across the country that rely on dedicated funding (e.g., Chicago, Boston, NYC) suffer when tax receipts (usually sales taxes and real estate transfer taxes) decline, which is usually the case during a recession, and is so now.

No transit system generates enough money from operations to pay for both capital improvements and operations. This is the case even with dedicated funding, at least based on the examples in the US, where dedicated funding streams are provided to transit systems. People can criticize WMATA for not replacing 1000 series cars (although the issue of the likely failed circuit is far more important), but no one, including the NTSB, ever came up with the $1 billion necessary to do so. Since the 1950s, US transportation policy has favored automobility, and it has been very difficult to get federal assistance for transit development and expansion, even while the federal government has provided a significant share of the construction money for the WMATA system.

The cascading problems for mobility that resulted from the crash last week (and will continue for some time while the system is run in manual mode, decreasing maximum speed by about 40 percent) demonstrates the centrality and relative efficiency of the subway system when it is working well and the problems that result when it is not. The Washington Post can editorialize for dedicated funding (as it did today,, but at the same time in the region it is the most consistent proponent for highway funding (Wilson Bridge, Springfield Interchange, Inter County Connector, toll lanes, etc.). But a focus on automobility comes at great costs to the region’s livability and the chewing up of once undeveloped land. And it’s inefficient. One track of the subway can move 30,000 to 40,000 people per hour, while a one mile of highway moves about 1,600 to 2,200 cars in the same period.

In any case, the operation of the WMATA transit system cannot be taken for granted, and there is no question that its leadership and oversight be evaluated and addressed as much as there are calls for dedicated funding. As long as board members, appointed by their respective jurisdictions, focus on more picayune and political concerns, the region and the riders are inadequately served. The crash and the aftermath should steel the resolve of citizens to demand better. As far as DC residents are concerned, we must recognize that the city’s competitive advantage and livability is dependent in large part on a smoothly functioning transit system, which gets people around quickly, significantly reduces traffic on our streets, preserves demand for living here, and helps to attract and retain businesses. This means that DC needs to manage our transit interests in two dimensions, for “ourselves” and for our region, because the relative attractiveness of the city is in part dependent on the regional dimensions of the transit system.

In 2003, WMATA devolved transit expansion planning to the jurisdictions. So it’s up to DC to ensure that its interests are represented. To me, that means that transit expansion in the suburbs needs to be complemented with transit expansion in the core of the region, within DC, specifically adding capacity and redundancy to the system where it is needed, such as with the proposed separated blue line (see this old Washington Post graphic depicting the proposal: That line provided another crossing from Rosslyn, service to Georgetown, and a parallel line of service and stations in the core of the city.

Recent proposals by Representatives Connolley and Moran from Virginia to extend the WMATA system further into Northern Virginia suburbs (as well as frequent proposals to extend the green line north and south further into Maryland), without taking the time to consider how this impacts DC and the capacity in the core of the system, is seriously shortsighted. But it will be addressed only if DC residents demand that DC transit interests are represented simultaneously with suburban interests. We can’t and shouldn’t expect the suburban politicians to represent DC.



Department of Parks and Recreation Events, July 3-4
John Stokes,

July 3, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Lafayette Recreation Center, 5900 33rd Street NW. Independence Day Cookout. Lafayette Recreation Center will host a cookout. There will be water play a kickball game. For more information, call Mike Thompkins at 282-2206.

July 3, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Upshur Recreation Center, 4300 Arkansas Avenue, NW. Pre-Holiday Celebration for ages 6-12. Summer Camp participants will enjoy fun and games. For more information, call Deyanne Nicholas at 576-6842.

July 4, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Jazz Night for all ages. Don’t miss a day of fun filled with music, family and fun. Chevy Chase Community will showcase local jazz artists. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the day. For more information, call Ralph Wright at 282-2204.

July 4, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Palisades Community Center, 5200 Sherrier Place, NW. July 4th Parade and Picnic for all ages. Don’t miss a day of fun filled with music, food, and fun. Come out and enjoy the day. For more information, call Justin Rouse at 282-2186.


DPR Holiday Schedule for July 3-4
John Stokes,

During the Independence Day holiday weekend, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will follow a modified holiday schedule, provided below, for Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. DPR will resume the regular schedule for all recreation centers and swimming pools on Sunday, July 5. For a complete list of locations and hours of DPR’s recreation centers and swimming pools, visit the “Recreation Facilities” or “Aquatics” sections of DPR’s web site, at For more information, contact DPR Customer Service at 673-7647 or DPR Aquatics at 671-1289.

DPR Holiday Schedule for Friday, July 3: recreation centers closed; indoor swimming pools closed; Takoma Aquatic Center will be open 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; outdoor swimming pools open 1:00-8:00 p.m.; East Potomac pool hours 1:00-7:00 p.m.; outdoor children’s pools open 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.; spray parks closed.

DPR Holiday Schedule for Saturday, July 4: selected recreation centers will be open 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., see schedule below; indoor swimming pools open on regular schedule; outdoor swimming pools open 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.; outdoor children’s pools closed; selected spray parks will be open 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., see schedule below.

Holiday schedule for recreation centers and spray parks on Saturday, July 4: Ward 1, Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street, NW, 671-0373, spray park will be open. Ward 2, Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street, NW, 671-4794. Ward 3, Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Ave., NW, 282-2204. Ward 4, Emery Recreation Center, 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW, 576-3211; Lamond Recreation Center, 20 Tuckerman Street, NE, 576-9541; Riggs LaSalle Community Center, 501 Riggs Road, NE, 576-5224, spray park will be open; Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren Street, NW, 576-7068. Ward 5, North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1333 Emerson Street, NE, 541-3526; Trinidad Recreation Center, 1310 Childress Street, NE, 727-1293; Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE, 576-9238. Ward 6, King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street, SW, 645-7454; Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE, 698-3075. Ward 7, Fort Davis Community Center, 1400 41st Street, SE, 645-9212; Hillcrest Recreation Center, 3100 Denver Street, SE, 645-9200; Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center, 4300 Anacostia Avenue, NE, 727-2485. Ward 8, Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100 Joliet Street, SW, 645-3960, spray park will be open.


Statehood on Independence Day, July 4
Ann Loikow,

There are two big statehood events this Saturday, July 4th. Join DC Statehood — Yes We Can!, our statehood Congressional Delegation, and other statehood supporters and march in the Palisades Citizens Association’s 43rd Annual July 4th parade, DC’s unique hometown celebration. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Whitehaven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard, NW, and ends at the Palisades Recreation Center on Sherier Place, NW. Please arrive at 10:15 a.m. and line up behind statehood Senator Michael D. Brown and his Harley. We will have statehood signs for marchers. If you want, please bring candy to throw to the crowd. Feel free to wear any insignia representing any group you belong to that supports statehood for DC. There is a free picnic following the parade at the Palisades Recreation Center with hot dogs, juice, moon bounces, pony rides and live music. It is the best way to celebrate the 4th of July, and before long we hope the re-enfranchisement of the people of the District of Columbia!

July 4th — what better day to learn more about DC’s ongoing fight for statehood and full democracy! Why are DC residents the only Americans without the right of self governance? Join activists from the DC statehood movement from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, in the Langston Hughes Room of the Busboys & Poets Restaurant at 14th and V Streets, NW, for a special preview of Rebecca Kingsley’s film “The Last Colony” and to hear from a panel of committed experts, including A.C. Byrd, Ann Loikow, Anise Jenkins, and Timothy Cooper. For more information, contact A.C. Byrd at 270-1352 or


Board of Education Public Hearing, July 8
Beverley Wheeler,

The DC State Board of Education (DCSBOE) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, July 8. At the hearing, the DCSBOE will receive input from the public on the No Child Left Behind report card (, on page 20). The State Board is seeking ideas on how to make the report card more easily understood by students and families, what specific information should be incorporated, and how would it be made most accessible. The public meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at 441 4th Street, NW, in the District of Columbia State Board of Education Chambers, located on the lobby level of the building.

Constituents who wish to comment at the meeting are required to notify the State Board of Education in advance by contacting the Executive Director, Beverley Wheeler, by phone at 741-0884 or by E-mail at before the close of business Monday, July 6. Please provide one electronic copy and bring fifteen copies to the hearing for the State Board members to view. The meeting will air live on DSTV Comcast Channel 99 and RCN Channel 18.


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