Why are so many bad bills proposed by councilmembers and the mayor,
and why are so many bad bills passed by the council? Start with the most
innocent explanation: legislators think their job is to pass bills and
make laws, and they approach every problem as though they can solve it
by passing a law. They measure their success by the number of bills with
their names on them. There’s no reward or recognition for not passing
bad laws or for eliminating stupid, wrong-headed, failed, or outdated
laws from the code; there’s praise only for passing new laws.
Second, and much less innocently, lawmakers’ power makes them
arrogant, and their arrogance makes them dangerous. They mistake their
power for wisdom, and they confuse their ability to coerce citizens to
obey the laws they pass with proof of their superiority. (It’s already
being misreported that the “bag tax” law is successful because many
store customers are carrying cloth bags. That doesn’t make the law
successful at anything except coercion.) Lawmakers in democratic
societies are seldom as openly contemptuous of citizens’ opinions as
DC’s city councilmembers were last year in passing the same-sex
marriage law, when they spoke openly of not trusting the voters and of
believing they were ethically and morally superior to the people of this
city. But lawmakers frequently express that attitude more discretely.
They know best how others should live their lives, and they can pass
laws to enforce their beliefs on others. They can revive prohibitionism,
making it progressively more difficult and then impossible to smoke
tobacco, even outdoors on the sidewalks, while at the same time taking
the opening steps to legalize marijuana and make it easy to obtain. When
tobacco is sufficiently suppressed, the council will take up protecting
our health by regulating our diets. The opening wedge in this movement
is the “Healthy Schools Act.” Jay Mathews has already criticized
this bill in the Washington Post, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/2009/12/more_required_pe--a_bad_idea_f.html,
for requiring more physical education in schools at the expense of time
spent on “reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.”
Mathews describes the problem: “Sometimes it is the smartest, most
concerned policymakers who do the most harm to schools. My favorite
recent example is the Healthy Schools Act, a bill introduced by DC
council member Mary M. Cheh and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray two
weeks ago.” Mathews addresses the physical education portion of the
bill, but even worse is the dietary section, which can be briefly (and
only minimally unfairly) described as identifying any foods served in
schools that students may actually like, and replacing them with more
servings of carrot and celery sticks. It’s always easier to regulate
school children than adults, but you know that if councilmembers could
figure out a practical way to mandate exercise programs and diets for
adults, they would.
Finally, there’s just plain greed. Government is an instrument to
redistribute wealth from the politically powerless to the politically
influential, and most politicians — even the “honest” politicians
who don’t profit from the redistribution personally — willingly
participate in making sure that their friends benefit. This shows up
even in the most unlikely laws. As an example, take Councilmember Cheh’s
“Wildlife Protection Act of 2009,” which I have made fun of before.
How on earth could a bill that regulates the capture or extermination of
household pests be in anyone’s financial interest? Well, the bill was
written at the behest of and with the very active participation of the
Humane Society of the United States. What could be more public spirited?
Except, of course, that the Humane Society has a commercial affiliate or
subsidiary, Humane Wildlife Services, that uses exactly the kind of
wildlife control methods that are mandated and required by the bill, and
that would be given a competitive advantage by it. The director of
Humane Wildlife Services testified in favor of the bill at its committee
hearing, and couldn’t resist giving a commercial for his company: “All
told, I have provided over 1300 long-term guaranteed solutions to
satisfied customers in the Metro area at a competitive market price
without killing, orphaning, relocating animals, or otherwise impacting
urban wildlife populations and disease dynamics.” The other major
supporter of the bill was City Wildlife, Inc., a newly formed
organization whose president said it was “currently seeking space and
funding to open our wildlife rehabilitation center,” and who praised
“the importance of wildlife rehabilitation as a component of this
legislation.” Under Cheh’s bill, except under the most extraordinary
circumstances, household pests could not be killed, but would have to be
relocated to a wildlife rehabilitation center. It’s not just the
stereotypical powerful developers who get legal favors and giveaways
from the mayor and the council — whenever there’s an especially bad
bill, look for who gets the benefits.
On Paying More for Parking
Lisa Swanson, Petworth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Think about overdue library book fees. The fees are a monetary
incentive to return the books so someone else may read them. You can
avoid the fee by returning the book at the mutually agreed time, but if
you choose not to use the public library to spite it, that’s your
choice, but it seems you’re missing out on a great resource (though
freeing it up for others who enjoy it). You can avoid the fines by
reading a little faster, but I admit that I incur and pay them
occasionally, though without the indignation that they were created as
an unfair imposition on my right to read.
Same with parking in public spaces. Anyone who’s looked at real
estate lately knows it has value. Those spots directly in front of your
house, your friend’s house, your job, your place of worship clearly
have a value. The rent for those little zones has been pretty cheap, and
now it’s going up a little. Low-income people, tightwads, and those
who value their time, are already choosing not to drive into the most
congested areas of the world thinking they’ll find a parking spot just
waiting for their arrival so we may suffer the impact a little less.
I’m familiar with the law of unintended consequences, but
ironically, the solution proposed by many — to take their business to
the suburbs, or Petworth, or Hillcrest for that matter — is a solution
to the problem. If a good percentage of car trips to the most congested
areas are avoided because of the increased cost of parking that car,
meter turnover will be enhanced, and pedestrians and bikers will have a
nicer time of it.
The Tuesday, January 5, the Washington Post reported that DC
has sued AT&T. The headline reads: “District sues AT&T over
unused portions of prepaid cards,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010403074.html.
The article says: “The District of Columbia is suing
telecommunications giant AT&T to redeem the unused balances on
prepaid calling cards — a lawsuit that could generate funds for the
city and trigger legal claims in other jurisdictions and against other
companies that sell prepaid calling cards.”
The article explains that the DC government lawsuit follows an
unsuccessful local private suit seeking return of money to the District
using the same theory, and that the private suit was dismissed on
appeal. However, there seems to be some question about the fate of the
private suit. A 2009 Court of Appeals decision suggests that the private
suit is proceeding, so the District’s suit may be riding on its
coattails. See http://www.dcappeals.gov/dccourts/appeals/pdf/07-CV-1264_MTD.PDF
A reader of the 2009 Court of Appeals opinion might conclude that
private plaintiff, Alan Grayson, prevailed in the appellate court and
that his suit against AT&T concerning prepaid cards may go forward:
“However, we [the Court] conclude that dismissal of Mr. Grayson’s
CPPA claim [seeking return of money to the District] was improper, and
therefore, we remand that claim to the trial court for further
proceedings.” If Mr. Grayson’s case was allowed to proceed, it is
puzzling that the Post reported that Attorney General “Nickles
said he was inspired to sue AT&T by an unsuccessful lawsuit brought
by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) against AT&T, MCIWorld Communications,
Sprint and Verizon Communications.” Also, it would be inaccurate to
say, as the Post article says, that the Court of Appeals has
dismissed Mr. Grayson’s claim seeking return of money to the District.
Perhaps the Post’s reporters will look further at the Grayson
litigation and explain whether it is allowed to go forward, and whether
it and the new DC litigation are riding the same tracks.
What Has the WTU Done for RIF’ed Teachers
Candi Peterson, email@example.com
I have received E-mails and calls, too numerous to mention, about a
recent union mailing citing all that the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU)
under the helm of George Parker has done for teachers lately. While I
have not yet received this mailing, it troubles me to hear that our
union members who are in need of the most support somehow always get
left hanging. Recently, I heard from laid-off DCPS colleagues who have
said in so many words that they are up to here with Parker’s public
relations campaign of lies, distortions, and half-truths. Today Crystal
Proctor, laid-off DC social studies teacher, reported that she initiated
an E-mail to Mr. Parker about her concerns about the WTU’s false
claims of support to DC’s RIF’ed teachers. Sheila Gill, WTU
Executive Board member and laid-off school counselor, supports Proctor’s
E-mail and has written an E-mail to advise other laid-off teachers to
write President Parker challenging his false claims of support. Willie
Brewer, WTU Executive Board member and now RIF’ed teacher, has signed
on to Proctor’s E-mail as well. They say they are disgusted and enough
is enough. This fighting trio for RIF’ed teachers and school staff are
demanding answers from the Washington Teachers’ Union. My only hope is
that they can finally get an answer from our union president to their
Here’s what Proctor’s January 6 E-mail requests: “Dear George:
There was a recent mailing sent out to teacher union members that
outlined all that you have done for wrongfully terminated teachers. In
this mailing you give an inaccurate impression that you are helping
teachers who have been unfairly laid off in November 2009. We are
troubled that we have not received a phone call or any correspondence
from the Washington Teachers’ Union in weeks. In your recent mailing,
you indicate that there is a full time WTU staff person assigned to
assist laid-off teachers. We would like to be made aware of the name of
the WTU staff person assigned to laid off teachers because we have not
been provided this information, to date. Additionally, what will the
assigned staff person’s responsibilities include?
“Secondly, we would like to be apprised of what type of legal
assistance will be provided to laid-off teachers with their Office of
Employee Appeals hearings? At our last meeting with RIF’ed teachers,
you indicated that our union did not have the money to provide legal
assistance for our appeals. While we know that Johnnie Landon gave legal
advice to laid-off teachers, it was concerning that he admitted that he
is not a member of the DC bar. We can only hope that this meeting with
him would not substitute for legal services. If there are types of legal
assistance that the Washington Teachers’ Union is willing provide,
then please provide that information to us in a timely manner. To date,
a number of teachers who have been laid off have received their
responses from DCPS regarding their Office of Employee Appeals and are
in the process of preparing for their hearings. We desperately are in
need of financial assistance to pay for legal services to handle our
Office of Employee Appeals hearings.”
Peebles’ Mayoral Bid Never a Serious Threat
Mary C. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
I now wish that I had taken up my “Anybody But Fenty” colleagues
who wanted to wager a dinner on the viability of R. Donahue Peebles’
candidacy in DC’s mayoral race. I was alone in trying to convince the
more rabid ABFers that they had really picked the wrong horse this time.
Even though I predicted last month that Peebles couldn’t withstand the
intense scrutiny of the media once he made it official, I never figured
that he would have to quit even before the first investigative story hit
the Washington newspapers. I’m still surprised that none of the
mainstream media, until today, even mentioned his background other than
to say he was a “successful developer,” or checked out the Miami
Herald’s business section to verify whether Peebles’ business
reputation was as “successful” as reported.
Despite Peebles’ bragging about putting up millions of his own
money, I never bought into his being a serious challenger for a number
of reasons. First, and most obvious, he has never held an elected
position. The real estate market in South Florida is a lot different
from running a city government, particularly DC’s. Still, there are
few successful “real estate developers” in South Florida or anywhere
in the US who have $8 million to gamble these days on a very iffy
political race. And, given that a Miami Court recently foreclosed on
Peebles’ former Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach, and the developers
who bought the hotel in 2005 failed to convert it into condos as
planned, I didn’t think that Peebles was in any position to put the
so-called money where his mouth is — that is, if there is any money
left. If he does have a bit stashed away, I’m sure that the hotel’s
lender would like to know whether any of its money might have been
diverted into Peebles’ personal bank account. I’m just saying, if I
had $8 million to spend, and my signature investment was about to
collapse after only a few years, I think I would use this money to save
it rather than walk away from it. But that’s just me.
Peebles’ decision to enter the political scene in DC was suspect
from the start, and certainly not altruistic. His big announcement
coincided with the Miami Court’s ruling on the hotel’s foreclosure
and a well-publicized federal investigation of the developers who bought
the hotel. You can’t blame Peebles for wanting to leave South Florida
‘s hot climate right now. He needs a soft place to land. My only
advice to the many gullible ABFers in search of their next knight in
shining armor: Check out the shiny suit before you latch on to him or
her. You really want to know whether the suit is tarnished or damaged
before the vote.
Everything You Need to Know about the District’s
Alan Heymann, District Department of the Environment, email@example.com
Your unidentified reader asks some excellent questions, many of which
have been answered extensively in recent weeks in news outlets such as USA
Today, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, ABC News, NBC 4,
Fox 5, ABC 7, WUSA-TV, DCist and Greater Greater Washington. DDOE mailed
cash register decals to all affected businesses in December. These
decals identify a web site, http://green.dc.gov/bags,
which also contains many questions and answers about the bag fee.
The legislation, which passed the council unanimously in June and
which Mayor Fenty signed in July, creates a dedicated fund to receive
the bag fees. The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund will be
administered by DDOE, and will begin receiving funds in the spring. The
legislation has several stated purposes for the money, including
physical cleanup of the river; public education about litter; and
distribution of reusable bags to low-income residents and seniors.
District residents can also make voluntary contributions to the Fund on
their 2009 D-40 or D-40EZ individual income tax returns.
Restaurants that have seating are exempt from the fee on paper bags.
The customer of a drive-through window, if that window is attached to a
restaurant that has seating, would not be charged for a paper bag to
hold a sandwich, fries or anything else. Liquor stores were not required
to bag alcohol purchases prior to January 1; this does not change under
the new bag law. For more information, including an FAQ and the
legislation that created the bag fee, please visit http://green.dc.gov/bags.
The majority of the questions anyone could have on the new five-cent
fee on plastic bags are answered by the District Department of
Environment here: http://green.dc.gov/green/cwp/view,a,1248,q,463137,PM,1.asp.
Once you read through the purpose and scope of the program, I think it
proves itself to be necessary and reasonable. Nothing in this world is
free or without consequence, and as DDOE has shown, those “free”
plastic bags we were all so used to had a very real effect on the health
of the Anacostia River. If we ever want to see the river cleaned up, we
have to start somewhere, and starting with the very bags that pollute
the river is a logical first step. Yes, the new fee will take some
adjusting to, but given the advertising the city did leading into its
implementation and the fact that virtually every major grocery store was
giving reusable bags away this week, it’s hard to argue that this is a
challenge we can’t overcome or adjust to.
If anyone who reads themail really can’t afford a reusable bag of
their own, E-mail me and I’ll happily turn a few over. (I’m sure
your neighbors would too. Just ask.) If you can afford them but don’t
have any, finding them isn’t hard. Alternatively, think of the five
cents you’ll pay for the plastic bags as a donation for a greater
cause — in this case, a cleaner and healthier Anacostia River.
As for Mr. Levine, well, it’s his choice to spend gas money or
Metro fare to go to Maryland to do his shopping. But something tells me
that the cost of either will far exceed the five cents he would pay for
plastic bags in the District and the consequent benefit that could have
for the Anacostia’s cleanup fund. (Many places actually provide a
five-cent credit for bringing your own reusable bags, so he’d also be
losing out on some savings.) Additionally, those “free” plastic bags
from Maryland will still come back with him into the District, and
unless properly disposed of, could well end up in the Anacostia River.
Giant is distributing 250,000 free reusable bags, and the District is
working with CVS to distribute another 112,000. Harris Teeter is giving
each customer that uses a promotional VIC card and spends $20 a free
reusable bag, and Safeway is likely to get in on the action also. All
told, that’s a lot of free reusable bags out there for the taking. And
if that’s not to your liking, pay the five cents per plastic bag and
just reuse those.
I think that the nickel shopping bags are a great idea. One of the
most important things it will do is to cut down on the needless double
bagging that is all too common. It will, in the long run, cut down on
costs that may (yes, may) be passed on to the shopper.
Many questions are answered at the city FAQ at http://tinyurl.com/ye99clo.
This makes clear that the paper bag you get at a drive through window is
still free. In fact, restaurants with seating are all free to give away
paper bags. It also says that the liquor store has to use recyclable
bags instead of the cheaper black ones they used before so if you do not
have your own bag, you will just have to pay the nickel extra.
There are many ways to respond to this change and I have to applaud
Giant Foods. At my Giant at Van Ness, they were bagging everything in
free cloth bags (usually $1.00 each) instead of plastic bags during the
first week of January so that everyone had enough for their weekly
shopping. Giant expects to give away 250,000 bags. (http://tinyurl.com/yej3n9l),
far exceeding the 10,000 or so from Safeway (http://tinyurl.com/yeeol2e).
The legislation to impose a fee for the use of disposable shopping
bags (Wells, Ward 6) was very thoughtfully considered and backed by a
serious amount of study, review, and discussion. It is a very good piece
of legislation (and, by the way, not unique to DC). The questions raised
in the January 3 issue of themail are all addressed in the legislation
— so it is worth reading that before reacting that this is a “stupid”
idea. In addition, one can learn much about the legislative content and
impacts by reading the Fiscal Impact Statement that was prepared by the
OCFO/ORA. As with all Fiscal Impact Statements, this one may be found on
the Office of the Chief Financial Officer web site.
I think the bag tax is an excellent idea. There are bag taxes in
several European and American cities that have helped to clean up the
waterways, parks, and streets. I have talked to people who live in
communities with a bag tax and they say it works. It will work if people
give it a chance. In reading the legislation it appears to me that the
tax does not apply to carryout food. Before making wild claims as your
reader did, I suggest you do just a little research — it would help
reduce some of the negativity of this column. The bill can be found at http://www.dccouncil.us/lims/.
It is L18-0055. Also if you drive, can’t you keep some reusable bags
in your car and a small trash bag for trash? I do not have a car, but I
carry with me a small reusable bag that folds into a 1" x 3"
cloth pouch. I really do not see the problem here. Free reusable bags
are being given out by most grocery stores in the city. We certainly are
the country of people who do not want to be inconvenienced, even if it
is for the greater good of our generation and generations to come. How
Here is part of the legislation: “‘Disposable carryout bag’
means a bag of any material, commonly plastic or kraft paper, which is
provided to a consumer at the point of sale to carry purchases. ‘Disposable
carryout bag” does not include: bags used by consumers inside stores
to package bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or
small hardware items, such as nails and bolts; bags used to contain or
wrap frozen foods, meat or fish, whether prepackaged or not, flowers or
potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem; bags used
to protect prepared foods or bakery goods; bags provided by pharmacists
to contain prescription drugs; or newspaper bags, door-hanger bags,
laundry-dry cleaning bags, or bags sold in packages containing multiple
bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.”
I would add another question: can a retailer choose to use a
corn-based or cellulose-based bag and still be subjected to the tax? It
seems the tax applies to paper and plastic, but what about the third
[Denise’s question is a good one, but it is answered by the excerpt
from the bill that Trudy Reeves quotes in the message above hers. The
bill does not distinguish among the materials that bags can be made of.
This gives the lie to the claim that the aim of the bill is to reduce
trash in the Anacostia River. If that were the aim, mandating that
disposable carryout bags be made of biodegradable materials would have
served the same purpose without imposing additional inconvenience or
cost on customers. In fact, if the bill is read strictly as it is
written, the cloth bags that businesses are giving away at the beginning
of the program should also be taxed. The cloth bags are reusable, but so
are plastic and paper bags. And the flimsy cloth bags that are being
distributed now will last only a few months under heavy use, so they’re
disposable, too. Since all the messages to themail about the bag bill in
this issue support it, here are three articles that are skeptical:
Jillian Melchior, “DC’s Boggling Bag Tax,” http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/jillian-melchior/211151;
Katherine Mangu-Ward, “DC Taxes Plastic Bags, Annoying Shoppers and
Ending American Beauty Scourge,” http://reason.com/blog/2010/01/05/dc-taxes-plastic-bags-annoying;
and Jonetta Rose Barras, “Bagging the Bag,” http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Bagging-the-bag-8727226-80798272.html.
Homicides and Other Violent Crimes in DC
Ron Linton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Without debating the effectiveness of the Metropolitan Police
Department in achieving crime reduction in DC, I would argue that there
are a number of actions that police can take that could reduce crime.
Among these are 1) better understanding of the demographics and cultures
in the policing area, 2) increased intelligence gathering and analysis
capability, 3) intensified training in observation and recording
conditional changes in the policed area, 4) greater incentives in
retaining experienced and mature officers, 5) faster response times and
better definition of crime areas, 6) improved closure rates, 7) improved
prosecutorial capacity and effectiveness, and 8) more efficient judicial
processing. I believe Chief Lanier has addressed a number of these
areas. Certainly a 75 per cent closure rate for homicides is a
remarkable improvement and has to count for something in reducing
But significant crime reduction will not be realized until the
greater community can break the cycle of generational crime inheritance
by enticing six and seven year olds into socially rewarding life paths.
Trying to change anti social habits of teenagers is laudable but not a
very productive way to reduce crime.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
National Building Museum Events, January 8, 10
Johanna Weber, email@example.com
January 8, 6:30–8:30 p.m., CityVision Final Presentation. Come hear
the middle school students of Browne Education Campus and Columbia
Heights Education Campus present their innovative design ideas for a new
White House visitors’ center, developed in collaboration with the
National Capital Planning Commission. Free. Refreshments will be served
January 10, 9:00-11:00 a.m., A Day of Flying in the Great Hall: Model
Airplane Workshop. Construct your own rubber-band-propelled model
airplane with the DC Maxecuters, then try a test flight in the Great
Hall. Cost per plane: $8 members; $14 non-members. Prepaid registration
required. Ages eight and up and Webelos Cub Scouts.
January 10, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Flying in the Great Hall. Watch as
the DC Maxecuters fly their model airplanes in and across the Great
Hall! Free. Drop-in demonstration program. All ages. All events at the
National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square Metro
station. Register for events at http://www.nbm.org.
Department of Parks and Recreation Events,
John Stokes, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 8-9, 6:00-9:00 p.m., 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Southeast Tennis and
Learning Center’s Annual “I Have A Dream” In-House Tennis
Tournament, 701 Mississippi Avenue, SE. For ages six through seventeen.
The Southeast Tennis and Learning Center will have its annual “I Have
A Dream” In-House Tennis Tournament. This tournament is our first
tournament of the school year to help establish a challenge ladder for
the youth enrolled in the after-school program. For more information,
call Keely S. Alexander at 645 -6242.
January 9, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation
Center, 4300 Anacostia Avenue, NE. Saturday volunteers for all ages.
Volunteers will build a vegetable garden plot; construct a border and
fill with planting medium to prepare for the upcoming season and clean
up the park area. For more information, call Kelly Melsted,
Environmental Education Specialist, at 258-5337.
January 9, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Southeast Tennis and Learning Center,
701 Mississippi Avenue, SE. Winter Season National Junior Tennis League
for ages seven through thirteen. Juniors that participate in the
Southeast Tennis and Learning Center After-School Program have been
selected to compete on the NJTL (National Junior Tennis League). The
three teams competing are the 10 and under Division, 12 and Under
Division, and the 14 and Under Division. They will play other NJTL teams
in the area. For more information, call Yvonne Ruffin at 645-6242.
January 10, 4:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Raymond Recreation Center, 915
Spring Road NW. MLK Jr., discussion for ages six through twelve.
Participants will discuss Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., accomplishments.
Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Ellsworth
Hart at 576-6856.
January 10, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., La Fontaine Bleu, 7514 S. Ritchie
Highway, Glen Burnie, Maryland. Youth Sports Award Banquet for all ages.
Youths will be honored at the banquet. For more information, call Sonny
Hicks at 645-3959.
January 10, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., PG Sports & Learning Complex,
8001 Sheriff Road Landover, Maryland. All Comers Track Meet for all
ages. Participants in the All Comers Track Meet will compete in track
and field events. For more information, call Edgar Sams at 425-2859.
Dupont Circle Citizens Association, January 11
Robin Diener, email@example.com
You’re invited to a festive evening to celebrate your New Year’s
resolutions. Join us for prosecco, light fare, and music. Toast your
resolutions on Monday, January 11, 7:30-10:00 p.m., at Darlington House,
1620 20th Street, NW.
DCSBOE Public Meetings, January 11, 13
Beverley Wheeler, firstname.lastname@example.org
The DC State Board of Education (DCSBOE) and the Office of the State
Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will host a second community forum
seeking input on the District’s application process for Race to the
Top funds. Race to the Top (RTTT) Fund provides competitive grants to
encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for
education innovation and reform. The community forum will be held on
Monday, January 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Charles Sumner
School. The historic Sumner school is located downtown at the Northeast
corner of 17th and M Streets, NW, conveniently located near the Farragut
North Metro station on the Red Line.
The application requires states to document their past success and
outline their plans to extend their reforms by using college- and
career-ready standards and assessments, building a workforce of highly
effective educators, creating educational data systems to support
student achievement, and turning around their lowest-performing schools.
The DC State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on January
13 at 6:00 p.m. on the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards.
Please see the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
presentation to the DCSBOE, http://tinyurl.com/yj2c3ba,
and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA)
Consortium web site, http://www.wida.us,
for more information.
The public hearing will be held 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
hearings 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 Beverley.Wheeler@dc.gov
twenty- four hours before the scheduled meeting time. Please provide one
electronic copy and bring fifteen copies to the hearing for the State
Board members to view. The hearings will air live on District Knowledge
Network (DKN) Comcast Channel 99 and RCN Channel 18.
Environmental Health Group (EHG) Events,
Allen Hengst, email@example.com
World War I munitions, bottles filled with chemical warfare agents
and contaminated soil have been found in and around the Spring Valley
neighborhood of northwest DC. The Environmental Health Group (EHG) seeks
to raise awareness of the issues and encourage a thorough investigation
and cleanup. Every Saturday at 1:00 p.m., please join the Environmental
Health Group for an informal discussion about Spring Valley issues. In
the cafe at the Tenleytown Whole Foods Market, 4530 40th Street, NW (one
block north of Tenley Circle). For more information, visit the EHG on
Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-DC/Environmental-Health-Group/67807900019.
On Tuesday, January 12, at 7:00 p.m., there will be the monthly
meeting of the Spring Valley Restoration Advisory Board with the US Army
Corps of Engineers. USACE is in the process of investigating and
cleaning up contamination in Spring Valley resulting from operations
during the World War I era. The EPA will present a special overview of
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act (CERCLA) process as it relates to Spring Valley at the meeting. At
Saint David’s Church basement, 5150 Macomb Street, NW (one block north
of MacArthur Boulevard) http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/projects/WashingtonDC/springvalley.htm.
Industry Gallery Opens Saturday, January 16
Nord Wennerstrom, Nord@wennerco.com
Industry Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, opening Saturday, January
16, 6:00-8:00 p.m., will feature the first solo US exhibition by
Jerusalem-born artist Shlomo Harush. “Round the corner” will feature
twenty unique, hand crafted stainless steel and aluminum works that
examine different sculptural aspects of conventional seating units.
Harush will arrange the work in an urban tableau within the gallery’s
4,300 square feet of industrial space.
Harush conceives and manufactures each of his pieces himself. His
career is noted for his exploration of the physical properties of the
material he manipulates, the role and perception of volume, differing
ideas and expectations about function and design, and his frequent
juxtaposition of probing theoretical intent with whimsy. Harush, born
and raised in Jerusalem, studied photography and Middle Eastern history.
He moved to Milan in 1990 and began creating sculptural works in
aluminum and stainless steel. Since 1997, he has divided his time
between Milan and Brooklyn. His work is included in numerous private
collections and was featured in the print advertising campaign for Dolce
and Gabbana’s Winter 2007-2008 women’s collection. “Harush’s
work, which weds the physicality of industrial materials with intriguing
and innovative design, was chosen for the gallery’s inaugural
exhibition because it well represents exciting trends in 21st century
design,” said Industry Gallery owner Craig Appelbaum.
The opening of “Round the corner” coincides with neighboring
gallery Conner Contemporary’s opening of Jeremy Kost: Anyone Other
Than Me . . ., Taylor Baldwin: Living Fossil, and Matthew Sutton: Sounds
a Grown Man Should Not Make. Industry Gallery (http://www.industrygallerydc.com),
based in the Atlas/H Street Historic District of Washington, DC,
specializes in 21st century design. The gallery will regularly hold
single artist exhibitions representing a broad spectrum of design trends
by international artists who create functional art from industrial
materials. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to
5:00 p.m., and by appointment.
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 http://www.dcwatch.com/themail.
All postings should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org,
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.