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One Page at a Time Newsletter
For and About Ward 8

Vol. 4, No. 3
Issued Quarterly
July 1998
Editor: Sandra "SS" Seegars

Mayors of 1998
Dem Ward 8 Dems!
8 At-Large
Can You See?
Only the Known
Forums 98
Poorer Wards
Too Many
Council v. Mayor
Palisades Parade
Too Old at Eight
Not So Fare
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
Ticket Please
Another Crooked ANC
No One in 8
Last of the Black Emperors
Residents Only, Please
Training in 8
Shaw Coalition Meets Ward 8
Another Side of Joyce
Life for Murder One
Ride for AIDS
Where There’s $$$
Prison in 8?
Special Ed $$$
AB...D.C Is for Cuts
Board of Education
Seven Points: Value First
Private $$$
School Brooks

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“One Page at a Time” gave a questionnaire to the mayoral candidates, Jack Evans (D), Jeffrey Gildenhorn (D), Carol Schwartz (R), Kevin Chavous (D), Harold Brazil (D), Anthony Williams (D) and John Gloster (S), for them to give a 50 word or less response as to why the voters should vote for her or him. Only three of the candidates had the courtesy to respond: Evans had a courier service deliver it on the deadline date; Gildenhorn hand delivered his at one of the forums; Schwartz completed hers within three days. No one but the candidates know why they did not respond to the Ward 8 newsletter request. If this is an example of how they will treat Ward 8 if they become mayor, the Ward 8 voters must think hard and long before they punch their ballot on Sept. 15 and Nov. 3.

Jeffrey Gildenhorn: “I want to be mayor because I believe this campaign is about, as every campaign in America should be about, sound minds and sound bodies.

“The level playing field starts with our children, at birth, not trying to make it level years later, down the road.

“I will give my heart and soul as your mayor, to make possible, for every child in Washington, American citizens and legal residents, complete free medical and dental care, from birth to age 4.”

Jack Evans: “I will provide solutions, not excuses for our city’s problems. I will demand accountability from others and I am willing to be held accountable. Solutions that provide quality schools, safe streets, efficient city services and economic opportunities are the key to making our city work again and returning home rule to District residents.”

Carol Schwartz: “I have given 33 years of impassioned service to all District residents, through public office and volunteerism. I have an unmatched proven record of commitment, courage and leadership. I have earned your vote the hard way. This time give ME a chance to lead us to a brighter tomorrow.”

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It's never a dull moment when the Ward 8 Democrats (Dems) get together.

The Dems went at each other because the way the format was set up for voting for the mayoral candidates for an endorsement had been changed.

Ordinarily the Democrats could vote at any time during the forum, however, this time the invitational letter was understood that a qualifying voter had to sit though the entire forum.

Harsh words were exchanged, "bitches" and "your mama" were among the heated verbal exchange between the president and one of the members.

About 150 people from all over the city attended. The expectation was that Councilmember Kevin Chavous, candidate, would get the endorsement, but, no one received 60% of the votes, the requirement for an endorsement.

Chavous had only a few more votes than Anthony Williams. The other candidates were no where in the running.

The set up was similar to "Show Time" at the Apollo, whoever had the most supporters in the audience usually won.

When a final count was done and it was announced there would be no endorsement Williams shouted, "Yes!"

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Three Ward 8 residents circulated petitions to get on the ballot for one of the two at-large City Council seats that will be up for grabs this year.

The contenders were Arrington Dixon (D), on Shannon Pl., SE, Linda Moody (D), on Bellevue St., SE, and Sandra "SS" Seegars (I), on & Savannah St., SE.

However, Arrington's signatures were challenged, and he did not have enough to get on the ballot. He is appealing.

The seats of David Catania and Hilda Mason will be open.

In the primary on Sept. 15 you must vote within your party, but in the general election on Nov. 3 you do not have to vote within your party, you can vote for anyone in any party.

Dixon was on the Council before, he took a hiatus, and has decided to get back in the mix. Last years special election was his to lose, and he did.

He had been voted in as acting councilmember, by the Democratic State Committee, to fill the vacated seat by Linda Cropp, who had just won a special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Dave Clarke.

Dixon was beat out by Catania, 29 year old Republican.

Dixon mailed letters, in May, to seek the voters' opinions, as to whether he should run again. Shortly thereafter he decided he would run.

Moody, Ward 8 Board of Education representative, has decided to spread her wings and run for one of the at-large Council seats.

She is supported by Ward 8 City Councilmember Sandy Allen,

Moody said she stands on her record as a school board member, and can bring the same accomplishments to the Council.

Seegars (I), activist and publisher of "One Page At A Time" Newsletter, said as a citizen she has rooted out more corruption, waste and abuse than the entire Council.

As a councilmember, not only can she remove high paid, non-performing employees, but she will be able to vote on who gets the top positions. She believes that until all leadership is at minimal, adequate, the city will not shape-up.

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Where were councilmembers, Harold Brazil, Kevin Chavous, Jack Evans and/or Carol Schwartz when Elliot Wheelan was approved as director of personnel? Which one raised hell when Alexis Roberson was put in charge of Department of Employment Services? And the bonus question is, why is H. R. Crawford still on the Real Estate Commission?

Many department heads are inept, so much so that some of them have been dismissed, but not by the councilmember.

Each of the aforementioned councilmembers are now running for mayor. Many people ask where were they as the city crumpled.

As a mere citizen, Seegars, who is now a candidate for City Council At-large, has gotten rid of several department heads. It appeared that the mayor and Council were approving shady characters, and Seegars was getting rid of them.

Seegars said, "If I could see something wrong with Wheelan, Roberson, Crawford and former Police Chief Larry Soulsby, surely the councilmembers should have. I helped to get rid of three of them. I'm still working on Crawford. As councilmember I will be able to vote decent, qualified personnel in place; not just rubber stamp the mayor's choices."

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The forums being held for the mayoral candidates are numerous. There have been as many as three scheduled for the same time. The candidates, for the most part, are unfamiliar to the voters, so everyone wants to learn what they are about.

Usually only the 6 most recognizable candidates are invited to participate in the forums, leaving out the majority.

The Ward 8 Dems invited all 12 of the Democrats; 8 showed up. (The forum was held before their signatures were due. Only 7 Democrats turned in enough signatures to get on the Sept. 15 primary ballot.)

Th e questions from the audience were usually directed to Chavous, Brazil, Evans, Williams, and Gildenhorn.

Some of the questions included statements that criticized the performance of the candidates who are now councilmembers, and the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

They wanted to know how could Williams, successfully, make a transition from CFO to mayor.

Gildenhorn thanked the Ward 8 Dems for inviting him and complimented them on having the best forum, thus far.

Brazil arrived late, and rudely, left early.

As the chairman of the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, Chavous had to defend himself when asked why he sent his children to private school instead of public school, with an attitude, he said it was a decision he and his wife made.

As to a prison in the District, they all said yes. As to a prison in Ward 8, they all said no.

Evans was asked questions about former Police Chief Soulsby. He admitted he let Soulsby stay around too long.

Evans and Williams were drilled about approving the costly, limited space, Mt. Vernon site for the new convention center.

Chavous and Williams were the front runners. However, neither were able to get 60% of the votes for an endorsement.

The candidates usually pack the forums with their supporters, each forum usually have many of the same faces.

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The mayoral forums have offered many styles from the rivals, from extremely angry to pleasantly humorous.

Chavous vows to improve the public school system.

Brazil proudly proclaims how he is not to blame for the District's failing financial situation because he was the lone councilmember who voted against the demented budget presented to them.

Evans claims that once he came to the realization that Soulsby was not forthright, he will now do a superb job overseeing the Judiciary Committee.

Williams stands on his record of fixing the budget, and swears he will do the same for the entire District government.

Gildenhorn makes it clear that he is not a politician. (The definition he is referring to is "one who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by cunning or dishonest means.") He said his success in business will aid him in making the District government a success, because he is people oriented.

John Gloster (S) is a new comer, who resides in Ward 8. He is up on the issues that the average citizen is concerned about. He emphasizes the importance of a good education, and keeping UDC opened and improving its functions.

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On July 5 the Washington Post reported that neither of the 4 councilmember candidates are supporting the poor, they are aiming at the middle class. It will probably get worst for the poor, not better, if one of them should win.

As of July 5 it seemed Gildenhorn and Gloster had a more rounded platform, whereas they included all classes, and paid a little more attention to the less fortunate residents, trying to bring them up to a better standard of living, that would only enhance the city.

Until the underprivileged is upgraded with upward mobility, not uprooted by the upper-class, the city will continue to be downtrodden, because the city is no better than its undermost resident.

The less than adequate wards complain the most, get the least, and vote less.

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This year has brought out over 50 candidates for the Mayor and City Council seats. The candidates are vying for a total of 8 seats; the opened seats are 2 for City Council At-Large, 1 City Council Chairperson, 1 for Mayor, and 4 for individual wards.

All of these candidates will be on the ballot in the primary election on Sept. 15. One from each party will be elected to go on the ballot on Nov. 3 for the general election.

The general election will also include Independents, Board of Education candidates, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates.

In the primary a voter must choose a candidate in the same party, but in the general election a voter does not have to vote within the same party, they may vote for whomever they decide, regardless of the party affiliation.

With so many candidates you must remember to read the front and back sides of each ballot.

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Many voters do not understand the difference between the duties of the mayor and the duties of the City Council.

The mayor's office is the executive branch. The Council is the legislative branch. The Mayor can be compared to the President, and the Council can be compared to Congress.

The mayor is responsible for the day to day functions in the city, i.e., street cleaning, grass cutting, tree trimming, trash pickup, snow removal, safe streets, health care delivery, programs for the youth and seniors, jobs, businesses, etc.

The Council writes, introduces, votes on, passes or rejects laws. The Council is the lawmaker.

The mayor appoints/hires department heads, commissioners and board members.

The mayor gets a budget proposal from the individual agencies.

The Council reviews and approves or disapproves the mayors appointees. The Council approves budgets for agencies. The Council can revamp or revoke agencies.

The offices are separate, but work together to make a complete, functional city.

The mayor can introduce legislation through the Council chairperson, that is voted on by the Council of the Whole.

The mayor ultimately approves contracts issued by the government, some, but not all of them must be approved by the Council.

The Board of Education is independent of the Council and the Mayor, except their budget, which is approved by the Mayor and Council.

(This is the way the process was before the Control Board, and one day it may get back to this way. Now the Control Board has the last say so on most issues.)

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A person who won't be available to go to the poll to vote on election day may vote by absentee ballot.

The voter may vote in person at the Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE), 441 4 St., NW, room 250; or by mail.

Absentee voting is conducted fifteen days before any election and ends the day before Election Day.

By-mail requests must be in writing, no later than the seventh day before the election.

For the vote to be counted it must be postmarked by Election Day and must reach BOEE no later than the tenth day after the election.

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All candidates must meet a signature requirement before they can be placed on a ballot. The amount of signatures varies depending upon the office sought.

All signatures can be reviewed and challenged by any DC registered voter. The challenge period allows questionable signatures to be verified by BOEE, and if they are disallowed, the total count of signatures will be less and the candidate may not meet the signature requirement.

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Independent or No-Party candidates are not affiliated with a political party.

Minor parties are the ones who have not met the 7,500 vote requirement for conducting a primary, thus, they are in the category with Independents.

The Independents bypass the primary election. They have direct access to the general election ballot.

A primary election is held every two years so the major parties, Democrat, Republican, DC Statehood and Umoja, can nominate their candidates for the ballot in the general election.

A general election is held every two years to elect individuals to public office.

Independents and minor parties bypass the primary process, including the voting, and are placed directly to the general election ballot.

In the primary a voter must vote for a candidate in the same party in which he/she is registered. However, in the general election a voter can vote for any one in any party.

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The two Ward 8 City Council at-large candidates, Linda Moody and Sandra Seegars participated in the Palisades Parade in Ward 3, on the Fourth of July.

Seegars was invited by the Palisades Citizens Association because of her participation last year when she was doing the recall on Mayor Barry.

Ward 3 was so disappointed when Barry won the mayor's seat in 1994 that they tried to convert back to Maryland.

This year Barry did not attend. The parade was after he announced that he would not seek another term for mayor.

The Ward 3 residents and Barry did not have to pretend any longer to like each other.

When the parade viewers heard Seegars was the one who led the recall effort last year, against Barry, they gave extra loud cheers.

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There has been a new section added to the Taxicab Commission rules; 609, AGE OF TAXICAB, Title 31 DCMR.

The drivers complained that replacing a cab at six years was unfair. That was one of the reasons the cabbies initiated a recall on Barry.

In the mist of the recall Barry abandoned that notion, and quickly picked up another. In Title 31 he added an age limit to cab companies. Cabs can not be older than eight years old.

This law will hurt the cab company owners, that will end up costing the drivers who rent cabs more money.

This rule became effective June 1, 1998.

On May 5, the Taxicab Commission had a full commission meeting. The meeting included a report on the ruling for insurance, vintage, refresher training and telephone dispatch.

There has been a law passed that requires drivers to take an eight hour refresher course at UDC before they can get their two year license, and each driver has to pay $100.

Some of the drivers said they paid in cash and got a receipt that appeared irregular.

With the recent rash of criminal activity, and jail time for a former employee, the drivers who have paid for the course are wondering where their cash is really going.

After the reports were given, a hearing was held on reciprocity (a driver from MD and VA can work in DC without requiring the same fees and licenses that are imposed upon DC cabbies).

George Crawford, general counselor for the Taxicab Commission said the reciprocity is not a law, only an understanding.

Lee Barnes, Barwood Cab of Montgomery County, and Charlie King, Red Top Cab of Arlington County, were there, along with their lawyers.

They were there trying to regulate the District's law that would continue the reciprocity that benefits them, but harms the District cabbies, because the courtesy is not returned to the District drivers. Louis Richardson, vice president of DC Professional Taxi Cab Drivers Association (DCPTD), and Harry Silverman, DC Taxi Cab Commission member, testified about the corruption of the outer state cab companies.

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The District taxicab drivers have been battling unfair treatment for years, the DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) has been abusing the taxicab system for years, and some of the drivers and companies have committed wrong doings. Until recently no one had taken the complaints seriously.

The DCTC is under the strict authority of the mayor, and a commission, appointed by the mayor, and passed by a majority of the Council.

The FBI, MPD Internal Affairs, and Office of the Inspector General successfully prosecuted a former employee, Ronald Stokes. He was found guilty of nine counts that included bribery.

So far this year a taxicab driver overcharged a passenger $88; 1,600 cabs had to be re-inspected because they were buying stickers illegally; and several inspectors were arrested for accepting bribes from drivers to let their failed taxis pass.

The DCPTCD has been meeting with different law enforcement agencies to try to bring some resolve to the injustices committed on the taxicab drivers.

With the arrest and conviction of Stokes earlier this year DCPTCD feels they are finally getting a handle on the taxicab industry.

About five insurance companies have a monopoly on coverage for all cabs in the District. At-large Councilmember David Catania has stepped in to assist the cabbies in getting just treatment.

Catania wrote to interim commissioner of the Dept. of Insurance and Securities Regulation, Patrick Kelly. He wants to know why only five companies cover cabbies, why the significant premium increase since 1995, and why high premiums are being paid for minimal coverage.

The driver is not covered at all. A passenger rides at his/her own risk, with a $25,000 maximum coverage.

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Steve Michael, national activist, succumbed to the harsh effects that comes along with AIDS.

Michael was the director of AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP); ran for president in 1992 and 1996; strong critic of President Clinton for not keeping his promises to fight AIDS; and ran for the Ward 6 Council seat.

Michael led the campaign, Initiative 57 and Initiative 59, Medical Marijuana. 57 fell short by about 800 signatures. He immediately reinstituted 59, and began gathering signatures again.

Michael deterioration seemed to have happened over night. While he was hospitalized, his partner, Wayne Turner took over the initiative.

Michael's funeral was held on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, in front of the White House. There was no interference by the White House security or the Metropolitan Police.

The media attendance was so heavy that it almost out numbered the 100 or so who attended the funeral.

They gathered at Freedom Plaza, 13 and Pa. Ave. NW, and walked, rolling the casket, a half a mile to the White House.

In an unrelated, yet related, AIDS story, Clinton administration said needle exchange programs can help curb the AIDS epidemic, but refuses to allow federal money to be spent on a needle exchange program.

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DC Chief Management Officer Camille Barnett met with parking bureau officials after she found out it was true that each ticket writer had a quota of 90 tickets per day.

Barnett was told that 2.1 million tickets worth $49 million was written last year.

Barnett told the ticket writers, "Your job is the fair regulation of parking, it is not giving tickets."

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Democracy for the America's Capital (DAC) and me Tenant Action Network are fighting to save rent control.

They need your help to help renters in the District save rent control by circulating petitions, writing letters to the president (President William Jefferson Clinton, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC 20500. 202 456-1111). Or calling radio talk shows to voice your concerns.

Over half of the District residents are renters. If rent control is rescinded, many may be forced out of the city, become homeless, and incur unacceptable increases in rent.

For additional information 202 452-7686

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Students from Smothers Elementary School appeared in Chamber before the City Council to request that the fossils they found become the official dinosaur for the District. me fossil has been named CAPITALSAURUS.

The Council unanimously declared the CAPITALSAURUS as the official dinosaur.

The students sang an original tune, titled "Dino Bones."

Two of the teeth that were found were submitted to the Smithsonian Institution and has become a permanent display.

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An audit was completed on Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 4D in June.

The amount of $18,935 was diverted to the former treasurer by way of ANC 4D checks, made payable to her deceased husband, Henry A. Lamont, and signed by Freda Bonner, wife of former treasurer, and Barbara Young, former chairperson.

Lamont died 16 months prior to the first check being made cut to him.

The purpose of the checks, according to the canceled checks were for good reasons, including bulk trash pickup, trash removal, alley cleaning, services for seniors, and newsletter distribution.

The checks ranged from $125 to $1,475. They were not authorized by the commissioners.

An additional unauthorized amount of $1,000 was paid to Nathaniel and Michael Jack for bulk trash removal.

D. Doreion Colter, relative of the former treasurer, was paid $825 to complete a simple financial report form for ANC4D.

The amount of $2,420 was spent on office supplies for an eight month period, however, the auditor found no evidence of the numerous items of supplies.

The Office of Campaign Finance will determine if the former treasurer violated DC Code, Section 1-1461. (G), that states, "...elective and public office is a public trust, and any effort to realize personal gain through official conduct is a violation of that trust." and "(b) No public official shall use his or her official position or office to obtain financial gain for himself or herself, any member of his or her household. . . ."

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Earlier this year Barry appointed and reappointed 24 residents to city boards and commissions.

There were none from Ward 8.

Ward 1 3
Ward 2 1
Ward 3 4
Ward 4 7
Ward 5 3
Ward 6 3
Ward 7 2
Ward 8 0
Unidentified 1 (Not Ward 8)

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The California based organization, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) has branched out and now has an office in the District, on MLK Ave.

CJCJ has prepared over 400 alternative pre-trial, sentencing and parole proposals; provided technical assistance to four state and local correctional agencies in CA, HI and MN; and developed a variety of programs alternative to incarceration for adults and juveniles.

CJCJ is a private non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce a reliance on the use of incarceration as a solution to social problems.

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Journalist Jonetta Rose Barras has written a book titled "Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in the New Age of Black Leaders."

The book covers the period from his 1992 prison release through 1994 mayoral victory.

Barry said the book was "junk."

The book speaks about Barry's bisexual relationships, and continuous drug addiction.

Barras had a book signing in June at Vertigo Books. Ward 8 Council member Sandy Allen, who plays a great part in the book, and Ward 2 councilmember and mayoral candidate Jack Evans attended.

Ward 8 residents who are in the book are Eydie Whittington, Calvin and Wilhelminia Rolark, Arrington Dixon, Mary Parham Wolfe, Carolena Key and Sandra Seegars.

In Barras' source notes she made it clear that Barry had agreed to an interview, but later declined. She said any quotes from Barry were from previous interviews or statements.

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A law has been signed by Barry that requires insurers to cover people who go to the emergency room because they believe there symptoms are life threatening, but turn out not to be.


The City Council voted 10:2 to require new employees of the District government to live in the District.

In the pass Congress shot the bill down. Maryland and Virginia lawmakers objected.

Councilmember Jack Evans voted "no" to the residency requirement at first, but later changed his mind and voted yes.

Councilmembers Ambrose (D-Ward 6) and Patterson (D-Ward 3) voted no.

Congress did not pass the bill, again.

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Cardell Shelton placed a bid on the old Congress Heights School and won.

The East of the River Community Development Corporation and William Lockridge, bid on the site too, along with a couple of bidders from outside of the ward.

Shelton has been a strong advocate for a training center, for years. He spoke out against the public school system when they slapped the vocational training in the DC Public Schools.

Shelton has chosen the name, International Vocational Training Institute, for the school.

Shelton's plans for the school includes a Charter School, vocational training, entrepreneurial development, parenting skills, day care, community arts and crafts, theater, hospitality industry training, culinary arts training, and computer technology.

Shelton believes a training center of this magnitude will give people something else to do besides getting in trouble or getting murdered.

For information or to get involved with this project contact Cardell Shelton 202-562-4399

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Sandra "SS" Seegars invited some of the Ward 8 leaders to meet with Beth Solomon, Shaw Coalition founder, in May, to discuss the continuing problem of a new convention center proposed for Mount Vernon Square, in the Shaw neighborhood, in hopes to get them to join the struggle to stop it.

This meeting may encourage different wards to unit to help each other fight similar causes.

James Bunn, businessman, Don Matthews, businessman, O.V. Johnson, ANC Chairperson, Linda Moody, Ward 8 school board member and City Council At-Large candidate, Raheem Jenkins, founder of Righteous Men Coalition, and Karen Szulgit, Ward 6 activist, were there.

The money that will be spent an the new convention center will affect the entire city, but, initially, the Ward 8 group could not see how it would affect them directly, therefore they seemed reluctant to get involved.

By the end of the meeting Bunn and Jenkins said they would help whenever possible. Johnson was under the impression that it was too late to do anything to stop it, ergo, he was in support of the new center in Shaw.

Moody wanted to hear the other side of the story, from the Washington Convention Center Authority. She said if it was simply a matter of using a larger site, there shouldn't be a problem in changing from Mount Vernon Square to the Union Station North site.

The City Council voted 8:5 to finance the project for Mount Vernon Square. The Control Board voted to approve the Council's budget, and Congress is in the midst of finalizing it too.

Despite the various meetings with the Council, Control Board and Congress, the bill is almost final.

The councilmembers who voted against the Shaw sight were David Catania, Sharon Ambrose, Kathy Patterson, Kevin Chavous and Hilda Mason.

The yeses were Linda Cropp, Charlene Drew Jarvis, Harold Brazil, Harry Thomas, Sandy Allen, Jack Evans, Carol Schwartz and Frank Smith.

The objections to Mount Vernon Square include not enough space, in ten years it will be too small, destruction of the historic Shaw community, no parking, heavy traffic in a residential area, additional taxes from businesses, it will benefit the hotel and restaurant associations more than the District, a genuine concern about who will really get the jabs, Union Station North is more suitable, noise and pollution from buses and trucks, and no maximum price, which is demanded by law.

The Shaw Coalition will be filing a class action law suit against the Washington Convention Center Authority and the Council because they continued to collect taxes for two years even though the law forbade them to do so; when it was brought to their attention the Council wrote another law that they thought would excuse them from breaking the first law.

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Ward 8 is full of talent. If a talent scout were to go to Ward 8 he would select Joyce Scott as the next star.

As a performer Scott uses her first name, "Rowena."

A standing room only crowd turned out to see her perform at the Players Lounge, in May. Her back up band was Jim Bennet and Unique Creation Band and Show, with Lady Mary.

The band has a song out, "What's Goad For the Goose is Good For the Gander."

The group consist of a drummer, 2 key boards, bass guitar, acoustics and lead guitar.

Rowena dazzled the crowd in a leopard print jump suit.

James Curtis provided the buffet style lay out, served on the outdoor patio, that included salads, cold cut platter, venison, chicken, fish, hot dogs, ham, rice, cabbage, macaroni salad, rolls, hoagies, pie, cake, and punch.

Many Ward 8 'movers and shakers' were there.

Rowena performed her rendition of "Love Makes a Woman," "Tonight's the Night to Make Me Your Woman," "Dr. Feelgood," "I'll Take You in There," "I'll Always Love You," "Respect," and "Proud Mary."

The price for an evening of elegance was only $10 and $15.

Many of Rowena's friends said as long as they have known her, they did not know she could sing. She got several standing ovations. Once her set was over most of the people left, although the band had another set to play.

The band's leader Jim Bennet sang "Booty Call," as Phillip Pannell was the Fred Astair of the dance Booty Call.

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Marthell Dean, 24, was sentenced to two life sentencing, without parole, for the murder of Officer Brian Gibson, 27, on Feb. 7, 1997, near the IBEX Night Club on GA. Ave., NW.

Dean was ejected from the IBEX by the club's security. Shortly thereafter Gibson was shot as he sat in his marked cruiser. Dean contends he was not the killer.

Gibson's death reopened the question of the need for the death penalty in the District. This time it'll be proposed for the killing of a law enforcement officer.

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The Kinlows, Eugene and Tonya, school board member, of Ward 8, threw a house party on May 2, at their home on Second Street SW, to support the DC AIDS Ride.

The 350 mile, 4 day bicycle ride from June 18 to June 22, raised money for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and Food and Friends.


Where there is money to be made, there you will find Rosalind Wheeler Styles, from organizing weddings to relocating public housing residents.

Styles and former HUD employee, I. Toni Thomas, have teamed up to help David Gilmore, Court appointed Housing receiver, to dislocate Frederick Douglas and Stanton Dwelling public housing residents.

The plan is to combine the two developments.

The tenants will be given vouchers for relocation, the present tenants will be given first right of re-entry. A four year development plan has been discussed for the completion.

The stipulation for re-entry is a "Return Policy." The "Return Policy" means the present tenants who are in good standings can return.

A tenant and former resident council president said the policy will deny most of the tenants from re-entry, because many of them are not in good standing, they have been late on their rent, and involved in criminal activities, mainly drugs.

Styles and Thomas are telling the tenants everything they want to hear. Things like low finance rates, fund assistance, minority contracts, grants, training, and cooperative businesses. They are feeding them and throwing parties for them.

The meetings and parties are usually held at Turner Elementary or Johnson Junior High School, with food and drinks.

Parties are held for the tenants, with food and drinks, are smoke screens to take their minds off of reality, and to soften the blow to the majority of the tenants who will not be returning to the redeveloped community.

Frederick Douglas and Stanton Dwellings are not the first developments in Ward 8 to be uprooted, and families dislocated.

The plan appears to be to move the poor and underprivileged residents out of the city.

Sheridan Terrace, Valley Green, Ridgecrest, and Parkland are among the complexes that gave tenants hope, until they were moved out, and a switch of plans were made, and most of the previous tenants were never to return.

Parts of Parkland is still vacant. Valley Green will break ground in August, for it's new homes. Sheridan Terrace is still leveled. Ridgecrest is being replaced with $100,000+ homes.

The poor and underprivileged have no recourse against big businesses, rich uncaring landlords, or David Gilmore, Court appointed receiver, and god over the public housing.

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Mayor Barry held a meeting to hear the citizens opinions on a prison in the District, preferably in Ward 8.

At the onset of the meeting a group of angry citizens held a protest in front of 1 Judiciary Square, against a prison being built in the District; Ward 8.

The cross section of citizens got a little rowdy as the meeting progressed.

During one outburst Barry told the group to "just chill."

Margaret Moore, director of Dept. of Corrections, councilmembers Sandy Allen, Frank Smith, Jack Evans and Hilda Mason were present.

The economic, social and historical aspects of a prison in Ward 8 was discussed. Linda Moody, City Council at-large candidate and chairperson of the "Prison Fact Finding Task Force," gave a long speech on the history of prisons.

Some attenders complained of the lengthy speech.

Moody beckoned one of her fellow task force members, James Bunn, to join her in the front; he refused.

Joyce Scott, songstress and activist, was for the prison being built in Ward 8. She said if it was there it could be regulated better; rehabilitation of the inmates can be observed closely; and there would be an assurance of decent and proper treatment.

Eugene D. Kinlow, is against the Ward 8 location for the prison. He has led protests, and has spoken out at many hearings against the proposed Ward 8 prison site at Blue Plains.

At the mayor's meeting he made it clear that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is buying off anyone of significance, who would probably stand against the Ward 8 site if CCA's money was not involved.

Kinlow also made reference to the jobs that would be brought to Ward 8, "Yes, it will bring jobs to Ward 8, but it won't create jobs for Ward 8 residents. Only 30% of the employees at Lorton are District residents, anyway."

Kinlow said it, loudly and clearly, that Ward 8 residents are being dumped on.

"One Page At A Time" received a plan by B & L Consultants, dated Jan. 15, 1998, that was written to be presented to CCA. The plan stipulates various programs that should be implemented by CCA that would serve the community better if the prison is built in Ward 8.

B & L Consultants are James Bunn and William Lockridge.

B & L's plan outline field operation/outreach, lobby operations, business operations, administrative and analysis, and advisors.

The field operation and outreach will gather support for a correctional facility from family members of inmates, unions, and contractors with DC correctional facilities; they will educate various established groups on benefits of a correctional facility in DC; and develop a distribution center to educate District residents; and a letter and telephone bank operation to lobby ANC, City Council, and Congress.

Administrative and analysis units will be responsible for the day to day operation and coordination of all issues.

B & L also had an outline that would give CCA an overview of an economic development plan for the Ward 8 community to review, that includes creation of a business equity fund to invest in start up businesses; micro-loan programs; building contractors fund to help minority contractors with bonding, insurance and material cost; business assistance program; commercial facade renovation program; home improvement loans as low as 3%; after school programs; job training programs; and job training and entrepreneur programs for ex-offenders and welfare recipients.

B & L's proposal has been ignored.

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The tuition for special education services at private schools were late.

A court order required all tuition payments be made by the 25 of each month.

School officials said they were waiting on a Medicare reimbursement.

School administrator said the lack of funds came after school officials shorted the special ed program by $32 million.

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President Clinton vetoed a voucher bill for the DC Public School system that had already been passed by Congress.

The voucher bill would provide poor parents of about 2,000 public school students up to $3,200 each to pay tuition at private and parochial schools.

Clinton said, "The program would pay for a few selected students to attend private schools. We must strengthen our public schools, not abandon them."

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District officials may increase the public school system funding by $121 million, a 25% hike, after numerous personnel member dismissals.

When councilmembers Sharon Ambrose and Kathy Patterson perused the proposed school cuts they planned to insert language forbidding school officials to increase class size; cut pre-kindergarten or full-day kindergarten programs; or eliminate guidance counselors or librarians.

DC School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said there will be no reduction in early education programs or librarians.

In June Ackerman started laying off about one in four employees, 175 in central administrators and staff.

Her plan to root out suburban students who attend DC schools can ultimately decrease class sizes.

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Earlier this year, before Julius Becton, Chief Executive Officer of DC Public Schools, retired, an attractive brochure was put out by the mayor and the Mayor's Office of Religious Affairs that focused on a 7 point plan, in partnership with the Faith Community and the DC Public Schools.

The seven points focus is:

  1. Address the needs of DC Public Schools.
  2. Promote literacy.
  3. Partner with a school.
  4. Promote math, science and technology.
  5. Support education through community outreach.
  6. School leaders are available to speak to the community.
  7. Financial support.

Their vision is to make the public school system exemplary by the year 2000. STARTING NOW!


Value First has developed a partnership with Birney and Moten Elementary school teachers to help perfect youths academically and socially.

With the proper funding, they are trying to infuse this system in every school. Many schools are standing in line for the program to reach their schools.

A grant proposal was submitted to the U S Dept. of Education, but was declined.

Part of the program is reciting the Value Code, which takes about 90 seconds. It includes the following key words, with a descriptive sentences: HONESTY, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, SELF-CONTROL, HARD WORK, SELF- RESPECT, CONCERN FOR OTHERS, TOLERANCE, COOPERATION, FAIRNESS, FORGIVENESS, COURAGE, AND SELF-KNOWLEDGE.

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Theodore J. Forstman and John Walton, Wal-Mart heir, donated $6 million to the Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF) last October. This money is in addition to $200 million donated by two other businessmen, in June.

This year WSF received applications from 7,500 students for 1,000 available scholarships. The average income of the eligible families was $18,000. They made room for 2 more elementary school students, Rahim and Khadijha Berkley. Forstman said the public schools is a monopoly that is really awful, and an alternative will give public schools competition.

Critics claim that privately funded school voucher programs rescue some children while forsaking others, and that the focus should remain on public schools, so they work for all children.

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One hot, humid, muggy night in a far south east corner of the District sat a small inconspicuous night club by night, restaurant by day, Players Lounge.

On this hot sticky night a mayoral candidate, Kevin Chavous, was honored with a fund raiser.

When you walked in the door people were wall to wall, the smoke was so thick it looked like a heavily fogged night. The drinks were plentiful. The conversations were as numerous as the people. Laughter filled the air.

Several candidates, in different races, were there, skinning and grinning, kissing up, and befriending anyone who would lend them an ear.

A cover charge was paid to enter the back, where the actual fundraiser was held.

Once you made it pass the crowded bar area, you came upon a small dance floor, with a juke box, filled with the latest and old school jam CD's.

At a table next to the juke box, and immediately before you entered the back room, at a table, three feet from the door that led to the back, sat Cora Masters Barry, with one of her cohorts, Rosalind Wheeler Styles.

Masters Barry had everything except a counter, as she took a head count of everyone who entered the back room to mingle with Chavous.

Speaking of the spook who sat by the door....

Masters Barry spoke to few, but in her mind photocopied every face in the place, and memorexed every conversation she could overhear.

Once her face was sighted, it would occur to you that the man standing at attention by the door was her security.

Remember, Masters Barry has become an official Williams-ite.

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Ernest "Ernie" Brooks is running for DC Board of Education, at-large. He believes training and education is a priority. He has tutored students in financial planning and the stock market. He has developed job training programs for students and parents.

He co-chairs "Ernie Brooks DC Coalition for Change," and is a director of the "Fighting 54th."

His goal is to make a difference in how all students are treated, and to improve their educational habitat.


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