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Volume 10, Issue 3, December 2003
3710 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-5164 phone/fax
Mansion Project Collapses
City Council Votes to Support Neighborhoods in Alcohol Licensing Decisions
Taxi Meters for the District?
Uses Being Found for St. Elizabeth's Prime Real Estate
Officers and Board
December Quarterly Luncheon, December 19
Council Addresses Identity Theft
Modest Pro Bono
Church Vs. Statement of Ground Rules
Flip Poetic Justice
Federation Assembly Meeting Dates
FEDERATION QUARTERLY CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON
Friday, December 19, 2003
Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired Club
Recent word is that the Casey Mansion Foundation has withdrawn its offer of 16 plus acres of prime real estate and funding for an official mansion for the mayor of the District of Columbia. Neighborhood residents in the Palisades area who have opposed the project are pleased.
Inside speculation is that the donor of the multi-million-dollar projected mansion tired of the process required for realization of the project, and decided to make her donation where it would be more expeditiously used. The named replacement recipient is the Salvation Army, which reportedly wishes to sell the expensive property involved and apply the funds to a community center it will build in Ward 8.
CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT
NEIGHBORHOODS IN ALCOHOL LICENSING DECISIONS
Foxhall Citizens Association
Allen E. Beach
George Clark, Esq.
Dino J. Drudi
Kathryn A. Eckles
James H. Jones
Ann Loikow, Esq.
Laura Richards, Esq.
A.L. Wheeler, Esq.
The Federation Christmas Quarterly luncheon will take place, as in previous years, at the elegant Diplomatic and Consular Officers Club. The historic mansion will be decked out in Christmas finery, and be the same welcoming gathering place for delegates and their guests, for now-traditional leg of lamb and generously flowing wine of several kinds. This is one of the Federation's happiest and most elegant activities, and affords the old year's best chance to greet old acquaintances and make new ones in great surroundings and atmosphere. Clubby sherry time will be held in the second floor parlor.
The clubhouse is the red brick mansion at the corner of 18th and F Streets, NW. Sherry time begins at 12 noon or earlier, for early arrivers. Delegates who have had their eye on bringing neighboring associations into the Federation can use this gala occasion to introduce prospective member-association officers to the delegate membership as guests at the beautiful affair. WALK FOR THE HOMELESS RAISES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
Under sunny skies, tens of thousands of people dressed in orange turned out November 23 for the District's annual Help for the Homeless Walkathon. Organizers of the three-mile walk say the event raised about $6.5 million for 173 nonprofit groups that provide services to the homeless.
Bands, jugglers, and acrobats were stations along the route, which began and ended on the Mall and looped around the Tidal Basin. Statistics from the Metropolitan Council of Governments show an estimated 14,000 homeless people in the Washington area on any given day.
The city council passed DC Act 15-196 in October "to amend the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982 to establish the crime of identity theft, to provide penalties for the crime, to provide enhanced penalties for persons committing identity theft against persons 65 years old or older, to authorize the court to provide restitution to the victim and to order the correction of public records containing false information as a result of identity theft, and to require the Metropolitan Police Department to take reports of identity theft and provide the complainant with a copy of the report."
For victims of identity theft or persons taking precautions in advance, the list of "personal identifying information" includes, but is not limited to: a) name, address, telephone number, date of birth, or mother's maiden name; b) driver's license number, or non-driver's number; c) savings, checking, or other financial account number; d) Social Security number or tax identification number; e) passport or passport number; f) citizenship status, visa, or alien registration card or number; g) birth certificate or facsimile thereof; h) credit or debit card or number; i) credit or credit rating; j) signature; k) personal identification number, electronic identification number, password, access code or device, electronic address, electronic identification number, routing information or code, digital signature, or telecommunication identification number; l) biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or its image, or other unique physical identification; m) place of employment, employment history, or employee identification number; n) any other number or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources, access medical information, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain property.
Sec. 127c of the new law provides penalties: "(a) Identity theft in the first degree -- any person convicted of identity theft shall be fined not more than (1) $10,000, (2) 3 times the value of the property obtained, (3) 3 times the amount of financial injury, whichever is greatest, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained or the amount of the financial injury is $250 or more."
Sec. 127c(c) provides for "(c) Enhanced penalty -- Any person who commits [identity theft] against an individual who is 65 years of age or older, at the time of the offense, may be punished by a fine of up to 1½ times the maximum fine otherwise authorized for the offense and may be imprisoned for a term of up to 1½ times the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise authorized for the offense, or both."
The New Orleans office of the important law firm of Adams and Reese (whose DC office contingent is 260 attorneys) reportedly for the fifteenth year recently carried out its pro bono program of helping local charities serve Thanksgiving dinners. Some two dozen volunteers from the firm's 107-attorney New Orleans office did cooking, serving, and cleanup chores. In all fairness, an A&R resources manager noted that there is a separate company arm that writes checks for good causes, but "this program is about giving time, not money." (National Law Journal, 11/24/03)
A "great program," as far as it goes, and likely with an element of fun to boot. How ideal it would be, however, if major law firms' civic action outreach could be more meaningful and better suited to their genre of expertise, normally extended at swingeing fees out of reach for most citizens associations. Where were local public-spirited law firms such as Adams and Reed in recent months when the Federation and Foggy Bottom Association were frantically scouring for pro bono legal help to aid in the vital (for communities) recent lawsuit of George Washington University vs. Nearly Everybody, with its real and far-reaching importance for this city and its taxpaying permanent residents? Serving in a chow line?
One, perhaps understandable, atmospheric reason. The NLJ reports that (far from uniquely) Adams and Reed partners charge $170-$350 per hour for professional services. Still, to paraphrase the old hymn, "Give of your best to the community." Gestures are fine, but. . . . ANC VACANCIES
The Board of Elections and Ethics reports that there are vacancies in thirteen Advisory Neighborhood Commission offices:
1C05, 3D05, 3D07, 3D08, 3D09, 5C10, 6B11, 7D02, 7D07, 8B03, 8C05, 8C06
Affected associations should consider pointing out vacancies to outstanding community leaders, with a view to keeping ANC strength up to par and to attracting community-supporting individuals to public office.
Some residential communities are beset at times by attempted church or institutional encroachment. Following is one community's approach.
Ruling in favor of a homeowners' association, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld on September a trial court order permanently enjoining a church from building parking lots on property encumbered by a restrictive covenant.
A Kansas City, Mo., subdivision was controlled by a restrictive covenant stating that "[n]one of said lots shall be improved, used nor occupied for other than private residence purposes." A church that owned several parcels in the subdivision wanted to turn three of them into parking lots. The association petitioned to enjoin the church permanently from doing so, claiming it would violate the covenant. When a trial court granted the petition, the church appealed, arguing that prior precedent had exempted church lots from such covenants.
Affirming the lower court decision, the high court said that the phrase "private residential purposes" was unambiguous. Although "residential purposes" means not for commercial or business purpose, "private presidential purposes" excludes any nonresidential uses, including any by a church, it said. (Missouri Supreme Court, Country Club District Homes Assn. V. Country Club Christian Church, No. WD61418). Source: National Law Journal, September 15, 2003.
The National Law Journal (10/27/03) reports that "last December Judge Deborah A. Servitto [of the Macomb, Mich., Circuit Court], threw out a defamation suit involving rap artists [with a] 10-stanza rap decision."
Mr. Bailey complains that his rep is trash
So he's seeking compensation in cash," it begins,
"Eminem maintains that the story is true
And that Bailey beat him black and blue.
In the alternative he states that the story is phony.
A reasonable person would think it's baloney."
"The court must always balance the rights
Of a defendant and one placed in a false light.
If the plaintiff presents no question of fact
To dismiss is the only acceptable act. . . .
Bailey also admitted he was a bully in youth
Which makes what Marshall said substantial truth.
This doctrine is a defense well known
And renders Bailey's case substantially blown. . . ."
"It is the court's ultimate position
That Eminem is entitled to a summary disposition."
Not bad doggerel, come to think of it, which naturally brings to reasonable minds suggested decisions for our DC courts, such as:
"GWU, as an encroaching institution
Will have to undergo diminution,
And have its attempts at campus inflation
Brought under condign regulation.
The community depends
On GW making amends
For past years' depredation."
(Distribution: all circuit judges)
December 19, 2003, Quarterly Luncheon
January 27, 2004
February 24, 2004
March 23, 2004
April 27, 2004
May 19, 2003, Annual Awards Banquet
June 22, 2004
July No Meeting
August No Meeting
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