Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 13, 2009


A couple of weeks ago a fire gutted the mansion of DC's Peggy Cooper Cafritz and home to one of the capital's best art collections. Among the problems, as local Channel Four reported was that the water pressure from the hydrants was so low "that when firefighters made it to the second floor of the home in the 3000 block Chain Bridge Road they had to back out and attack the fire from the exterior." In the wake of the fire, the DC Fire Department has listed nearly three dozen locations in the capital with serious water problems. But buried in the WUSA story was this startling note: " The department left two of the locations off the list for security reasons. But two years ago fire officials mentioned that areas around the White House complex have some of the city's smaller water mains."


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