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November 13, 2013

Primary Additions

Dear Voters:

I’ve written in response to two readers’ comments, and on one of my often-repeated topics, what I consider to be the well deserved skepticism of experts, so I’ve demoted my usual introduction to be the last item in themail.

Gary Imhoff


District Elections in 2014
Dorothy Brizill,

Candidates. The list of candidates in the April 2014 primary continues to grow. Three additional Democrats have picked up nominating petitions: Pedro Rubio for at-large councilmember, Frank Garcia for US Representative, and Kathy Henderson for both Ward 5 councilmember and at-large councilmember. Two additional Statehood-Green candidates have announced: Eugene Puryear for mayor and G. Lee Aiden for both at-large councilmember and US [Shadow] Representative. One additional Republican has announced: James M. Caviness for mayor. To date, two incumbent officeholders, Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward One councilmember Jim Graham, have not formally declared their candidacies, even though Graham registered an exploratory committee with the DC Office of Campaign Finance on October 15. Because he is a former Republican turned Independent, At-large Councilmember David Catania does not have to participate in an April party primary, and can wait to decide whether he will seek reelection or to run for another office, whether mayor or Attorney General, in the November 2014 general election.

Inside the campaigns. Several of the mayoral campaigns have gone outside the District to hire campaign managers: Muriel Bowser has hired Bo Shuff; Jack Evans, Josh Brown; Andy Shallal, Bob Muehlenkamp; and Tommy Wells, Chebon Marshall. Following the 2012 presidential election, there appears to be an abundance of political consultants from around the country who are on the market and who have signed on to local campaigns. It remains to be seen in the coming months whether they will be able to organize a grassroots political campaign, understand DC’s neighborhoods and issues, and master the political landscape in the District. One of the most unusual candidate meet-and-greets will be hosted by Jack Evans this Saturday, November 16, targeting residents east of the river. The event, which has in recent days been removed from Evans’ campaign web site ( will take place at Uniontown Cafe, and will be cohosted by Jahuar Abraham, who, along with Ron Moten, cofounded the Peaceoholics, and is being sued by the District government for, among other things, unlawfully diverting $100,000 in District grant funds in 2007-2009 so that Abraham could purchase two luxury utility vehicles. According to Evans’ campaign, Abraham is an Evans supporter and community field organizer for his campaign. Another instance of strange bedfellows is Andy Shallal’s naming of boxing promoter Rock Newman as the chairman of his campaign. Newman, who is not a District resident, has a controversial history in District politics, including in Marion Barry’s campaigns and Vincent Gray’s 2010 mayoral campaign.

Petition Circulation. Prior to the issuance of the nominating petitions on November 8, I wrote to all the major campaigns about their field operations and asked what internal controls they had in place to assure compliance with the District’s election laws, especially with regard to the circulation of petitions by non-DC residents. Each campaign responded that they had put in place measures to ensure compliance. On Sunday, I attended an in-depth training session that the Shallal campaign organized for its petition circulators. So I was somewhat surprised when I exited the Farragut Station Metro on Wednesday evening on my way to the candidates forum sponsored by the DC Bar to be approached by Spencer Collet, a petition circulator for mayoral candidate Reta Lewis, who asked me to sign her petition while at the same time proclaiming he was a resident of Virginia. When I queried him whether, as a non-DC resident, he had registered with the DC Board of Elections to circulate petitions, he claimed that he didn’t need to register with the BOE. Finally, as strange as it may seem, Jack Evans, who boasts about his long tenure on the city council, not only acknowledges but also appears to celebrate that his campaign is relying on paid nonresident college students to circulate his nominating petitions. See the photographs on Evans’ Twitter account (@evansformayor) and Facebook page. Because the DC BOE refuses to monitor the circulation of nominating petitions, District residents will have to be even more watchful of the activities of all campaigns this election season.

Candidates Forum. On Wednesday, November 13, the DC Affairs Section of the DC Bar held the first mayoral candidate forum at the K Street law offices of Arent Fox. The forum was largely polite and genteel, and there were no gaffs or fireworks from any of the six announced mayoral candidates (Bowser, Evans, Lewis, Orange, Shallal, and Wells). There were, however, a few interesting responses to the questions. Bowser, in an outright attempt to pander to Wards 7 and 8 voters, indicated that, if elected mayor, she would create an Office of Deputy Mayor for East of the River. She went on to suggest that the biggest challenge facing the District was “keeping up with our development.” Reta Lewis tried to label herself the outsider in the mayoral race, despite the fact that she has lived in DC for thirty-five years, worked in the Pat Harris and Sharon Pratt Kelly mayoral races in 1982 and 1990, served as a mayoral appointee at the DC Department of Public Works, and was appointed by Mayor Fenty as chair of the DC Commission on Women. Meanwhile, Vincent Orange could not explain why he had not filed his campaign committee with the DC Office of Campaign Finance even though his supporters picked up his nominating petitions on November 8). Tommy Wells argued that, because he will not accept corporate campaign contributions, he is the only “progressive” in the mayoral race.


Rachel Thompson,

If you are fond of the animals and not just their milk, there is a book you might enjoy: Goat Song.

We had goats milk ice cream for a short time, from a California company called La-Loo, I think. But apparently they had to stop stocking it, because of some license dispute involving the distributor.


Gabe Goldberg, gabe at gabegold dot com

Gary wrote [themail, November 10], “I no longer believed in the faddish superstitions of dietitians and nutritionists.” So what do you believe in? Your own faddish superstitions? Or that nothing matters? In many fields ongoing research periodically redefines fundamental theories (which are, remember, systems of explanation, not guesses) and best practices. As long-term studies proceed, more and better information/conclusions/recommendations develop. As repeatable research proceeds, guidelines evolve. That hardly discredits all guidelines for all time. You argue against believing people trained in diet/nutrition. Why? Based on what? Your parents forcing you to drink milk and your doc rescuing you from that horrible fate? And why? Because dietitians/nutritionists are in a worldwide professional conspiracy to spoil your dining/drinking fun? (Sure, some are faddists. But there’s a conventional wisdom mainstream.) So, again, how do you guide yourself through choices? Whatever feels/tastes good is best? Or do you follow nontraditional protocols because they let you feel free spirited rebellious? Me, I research and follow what makes sense for my physiology, consulting with multiple professionals and integrating their advice.


Dan Gamber,

I never had any problem breathing DDT — why was it banned?

[Many more people have died of malaria as a result of banning DDT than ever died of DDT poisoning. That’s a good example of why we need to be cautious about following the advice of experts. We’re in the early days of medical, and particularly nutritional, research. If you followed the “conventional wisdom mainstream” of dietitians and nutritionists you would have dramatically altered your diet every few years throughout your lifetime. The best advice about diet comes not from nutritionists, but from Julia Child, when she demonstrated a recipe for swordfish at the height of the panic over Minyamoto disease (Mercury poisoning): “How much swordfish are you going to eat, anyway?” The practical advice of experienced cooks, which is to be moderate in all things and to eat a wide variety of food, is more valuable than the “scientific” advice of nutritionists, which varies with every study from “avoid all red meat” to “avoid all bread” to “avoid all sugar” to “avoid eggs and dairy foods.” It can’t be denied that the “conventional wisdom mainstream” of nutritionists has swung wildly from extreme to extreme over the past decades. — Gary Imhoff]


InTowner November Issue Online
P.L. Wolff,

The November issue content can be viewed at, including the issue PDF in which will be found the primary news stories and museum exhibition reviews — plus all photos and other images. Not included in the PDF but linked directly from the home page is Stephen A. Hansen’s What Once Was feature — this month all about the Blaine mansion, Blaine’s other houses in DC and Maine, and about his architect.

This month’s lead stories include the following: 1) “Bloomingdale Neighborhood’s Gentrification Seen as Having Successfully Blended in Longtime Residents, Though Affordability an Issue”; 2) “Adams Morgan Liquor Moratorium Expires in 2014 — Whether to Extend Yet Again Embroiled in Controversy;” 3) “Dupont Circle Village and Neighborhood Businesses Working Together to Develop Age-Friendly Practices.” In addition, a report previewing the December 8th Logan Circle holiday house tour is posted in our Special Online Content section at

Also to be found on the web site pages, along with the recent real estate sales, “Reservations Recommended” and “Food in the ‘Hood” columns, is an extensive array of community news reports, highlighting among others: “Zoning Regulations Review Public Hearings Now Underway”; “Adams Morgan Civic Group to Discuss Proposed Zoning Changes Affecting Area”; “60th Year of Stead Park to be Celebrated with Anniversary Party.”

Our editorial this month addresses the terrible development, in our view, that is the delay with implementing an elected independent attorney general office from 2014 to 2018. Your thoughts are welcome and can be sent by clicking the comment link at the bottom of the web page or by E-mail to

The next issue PDF will publish early in the morning of December 13th (the 2nd Friday of the month as usual). For more information, either send an E-mail to or call (202) 234-1717.



ABRA and Citizen Participation, November 19
Anne Renshaw,

The DC Citizens Federation assembly on Tuesday, November 19, will be about the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. It will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church Hall, 2300 Cathedral Avenue, NW. Ruthanne G. Miller, Chair of the DC Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration, and Fred Moosally, ABRA Director, will be the guest presenters. The Assembly is open to the public. The interactive session will include a discussion with community leaders about ABRA policies relative to citizen participation, licensing, and enforcement.

Audience participation will follow the presentation. A number of member associations in close proximity to liquor establishments have expressed their criticisms on neighborhood listservs and in community meetings over ABRA’s handling of residents’ issues and concerns (e.g., party status, noise/hour complaints, and placarding requirements). The DC Citizens Federation Assembly adopted a resolution on October 2, 2012, “call(ing) for full public participation in the licensing of all DC liquor establishments which impact residents’ rights and quality of life.”

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church is near the Woodley Park Metro on the Red Line. The Church parking lot is located on Woodley Place behind the church. Use the entrance down the garden steps from the parking lot. The door will open at 6:30 p.m. The presentations of Ms. Miller and Mr. Moosally will begin at approximately 7:15 p.m., following opening announcements. For further information, contact Anne Renshaw, President, DC Citizens Federation, at


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