Tuesday, May 27

DC TUESDAY

NATIONAL CATHEDRAL GREENHOUSE TO CLOSE

FELICIA STIDHAM The first time I visited the Cathedral, close to forty years ago, I was transported by the beauty of its gardens. . . particularly the herbs. To this day I take great pleasure in growing herbs from the Cathedral greenhouse in my little garden. Not only are they beautiful in their simplicity, but they are used in my kitchen year 'round. Their fragrance attracts the birds, and the occasional butterfly. These brave little plants bring me much delight and are a daily reminder of the glories of God's work.

How can the Dean begin to suggest that gardening is not Godly? It is the garden that expresses nature most beautifully and bountifully. Anyone who has ever been on his knees nurturing a garden will agree with the poem:

The kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the Birds for mirth

One is nearer God's heart in a garden

Than any where else on earth

Legend has it that Joseph gathered herbs and grasses, fashioning the manger from bedstraw, pennyroyal, horehound (a bitter herb symbolizing Jesus's Jewish origin and foreshadowing a bitter betrayal) and thyme. (a symbol of courage and endurance).

The story says that rosemary (for remembrance) also played a part in the early life of Christ. When Mary and Joseph fled Bethlehem with the Baby Jesus, escaping the treachery of King Herod, the young couple ran over a field of rosemary. Another shrub would have crackled as the family ran, but the rosemary parted silently and left no trail behind them.

It is said that once they were safe from Herod's soldiers, the family came to rest and Mary washed the Christ Child's swaddling clothes in a stream. She spread the garment over a lavender shrub, which scented the garment.

To condemn this charming institution ( For what? Another parking lot?) would be a terrible mistake. Our children and our children's children will need to be reminded of the beauty and joy that only a garden can bring.

DC SHORTS

GARY IMHOFF, DC WATCH Just in the past month, [Fenty's attorney general] Nickles involved himself in distributing to city councilmembers free tickets to baseball games that the mayor had been hoarding for himself, and he took the lead to push the lucrative lottery contract that the mayor is supporting for his fraternity brothers and friends. Nickles is continuing to beat down the low morale of the Attorney General's Office by running it with the same heavy hand and bull headedness that made him so unpopular with his colleagues at his former law firm of Covington and Burling. His latest innovations are a dress code under which lawyers are required to wear jackets at all time and a soon-to-be-instituted time clock that lawyers will be required to punch. But Stewart's story is mainly about Nickles' firing of eleven lawyers in the office, in his plan to "transform" the Attorney General's office into a "first-rate law firm" with "strong, young, able stars." Nickles claims that he fired those who are "not up to that star capacity," but the case for that is thin. "Steven J. Anderson, president of the union that represents nine of the lawyers who were fired, said the union plans to challenge the terminations. He said he thinks all of the lawyers had received ‘satisfactory evaluations.'"

ONLY A FEW days to go before the city will start charging struggling cab drivers a $1000 fine if they haven't installed the meters designed to drive them out of business.

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