CITY DESK Local news and comment from the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, since 1964 DC's most unofficial source. Our national news coverage can be found at prorev.com <BR><BR> tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802 2004-08-10T03:17:40Z Blogger
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TPR 2004-08-09T22:19:19-04:00 2004-08-10T02:19:19Z 2004-08-10T02:19:19Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109210435952673754 SLOW START
Mayor Williams plan to greatly increase the population of the city is getting off to a slow start. The Census Bureau estimates that DC’s population declined 5,773 between 2002 and 2003.
TPR 2004-08-09T22:19:06-04:00 2004-08-10T03:01:06Z 2004-08-10T03:01:06Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109210686655287178 CAPITOL POLICE HARASSMENT UPDATE
COMMON DENOMINATOR - Hoffman's disposable camera, property of The Common Denominator, was not returned. During Sinzinger's telephone inquiry about the camera to the U.S. Capitol Police Investigations Task Force, a lieutenant told Sinzinger that police normally develop photographs from seized cameras, make two sets of prints and keep one. Sinzinger demanded return of the newspaper's illegally seized camera and was told – on a return phone call – that she and Hoffman could pick up the camera. Upon prompt arrival to do so, police officers turned over a MotoPhoto envelope containing negatives and one set of prints from the disposable camera, now destroyed in the film developing process. Sinzinger's request that police also turn over the second set of Hoffman's photographs was denied.

A U.S. Capitol Police officer delivered a second set of prints from Hoffman's camera to The Common Denominator's Northeast Washington offices shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7. "I don't think we should have kept them," Assistant Chief James P. Rohan told Sinzinger during a noon telephone conversation that day. Rohan made the call to The Common Denominator after Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's delegate to Congress, scheduled a Capitol Hill press conference that afternoon to call for stricter police rules to prevent illegal detentions of citizens and journalists.

"We didn't do the absolute best job about this that we should have. …If you felt you were treated inappropriately, I apologize for that on behalf of the department," Rohan told Sinzinger during the Saturday phone conversation.

EARLIER STORY 1

EARLIER STORY 2
TPR 2004-08-09T07:35:22-04:00 2004-08-09T11:42:22Z 2004-08-09T11:42:22Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109205174244109763 RAMSEY NOT INFORMED OF NEW CAPITOL TERROR THREAT
WASHINGTON TIMES - D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey says his department was not privy to the new information [about threats to the Capitol] and was surprised at the sudden security crackdown around the Capitol, which snarled traffic. "The security measures taken by the Capitol Police last week supposedly was in response to the Orange alert, which affected the financial district, and we weren't given a heads-up on that," Chief Ramsey told CNN's "Late Edition." "So we've worked that out. I hope that in the future that sort of thing won't happen, but obviously, the city still has concerns," the chief said. Chief Ramsey's frustration is notable since his former No. 2, Terrance W. Gainer, is chief of the Capitol Police.
TPR 2004-08-09T07:35:02-04:00 2004-08-09T11:36:02Z 2004-08-09T11:36:02Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109205136205210281 CAPITOL POLICE CALL HARASSMENT OF REPORTERS ‘GREAT JOB’
ELIZABETH GREEN, WASHINGTON TIMES - U.S. Capitol Police officials yesterday said officers were wrong to tell two representatives of a small D.C. newspaper that they could not take photographs of security barricades on Capitol Hill. However, photographing anti-terror measures is cause for questioning, and the officers were right to approach the editor and reporter about their actions, spokeswoman Sgt. Contricia Sellers-Ford said. "They did a great job," Sgt. Sellers-Ford said of the Capitol Police officers, who stopped the journalists in separate confrontations Friday. "They did what they were taught to do, and they did it correctly." . . .

"I think [the Capitol Police] are being less than truthful in the way that they are trying to minimize what they did to us," said Mrs. Sinzinger, whose scrappy Common Denominator is published every other week. . . Mrs. Sinzinger said that although an officer told her she was "free to go," the officer had requested and taken her driver's license and press credentials after he saw her photographing barricades on First Street Northeast. When Mrs. Sinzinger asked for her license back, the officer refused for about 15 minutes, she said. "I asked him again if I was being detained ... and he told me, 'No, you're free to go,' and I said, 'Then can I have my driver's license back?' But he wouldn't give it back to me," she said.
TPR 2004-08-08T23:53:56-04:00 2004-08-09T03:53:56Z 2004-08-09T03:53:56Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109202363684612016 RECOVERED HISTORY: BOSS SHEPHERD IS KIDNAPPED
DC GAZETTE, AUGUST 1980 - Boss Shepherd, kidnapped from in front of city hall by the Pennsylvania Avenue Developers' Corporation, is being held hostage at the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant. Although the PADC has made no specific demands concerning the release of the Boss, it is believed that the city will have to agree not to interfere in the affairs of downtown developers before any agreement can be reached. The statue of the Boss was one of the few such monuments in the city to a local figure and while Shepherd was not one of our more admirable historical characters he certainly was one of the most colorful. Besides, he was among the last of a breed of politicians who did not see corruption and constituent service as mutually exclusive. He planted trees, paved streets, installed street lighting and was, ironically, the father of modern sewage treatment in DC. And this great 19th century city boss only overspent his budget by $18 million dollars.

A committee of citizens, irate at PADC's seizure of downtown as federal territory and incensed by the continued captivity of Boss Shepherd, is meeting nightly by candlelight on the top floor of the Rhodes Tavern to plan a rescue mission. Volunteers and helicopters are welcomed.
TPR 2004-08-08T23:00:12-04:00 2004-08-09T03:01:12Z 2004-08-09T03:01:12Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109202047286870907 TWO MILES OF BARRIERS
JOHN MOYERS, SALON - Near the Senate offices I found three tractor-trailers and a loader putting up a new row of cement barriers. I chatted with the drivers, two of them father and son. They were working through the night hauling nine barriers per load from Virginia. "There are 27 loads coming tonight," a driver said. "Tomorrow night they're supposed to be bringing in 65 more loads." That's a total of 828 new barriers, each about 10 feet long -- almost two miles' worth.

TPR 2004-08-08T09:46:27-04:00 2004-08-08T13:49:27Z 2004-08-08T13:49:27Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109197296727308630 CAPITOL POLICE HARASS DC REPORTERS
COMMON DEONOMINATOR - Two reporters from The Common Denominator were detained by U.S. Capitol Police officers late this afternoon at two separate locations after taking pictures of roadblocks. Kathryn Sinzinger, editor and publisher of The Common Denominator, was detained about 4:20 p.m. for 15 minutes by Officer William Anderson at First and D streets NE. Sinzinger said Officer Anderson would not return her driver's license and press card, which she willingly gave to him to prove her identity. Anderson said he needed to contact a supervisor when Sinzinger asked if she was being detained or being placed under arrest. Her 35mm camera was not confiscated.

Reporter Michael Hoffman was held by Officers James Paulin and T.F. Pezzuti at C and First streets SE, near the Capitol South Metro station, for almost an hour starting at about 4:30 p.m. Hoffman, an American University student who is serving a summer internship at the newspaper, said the officers asked him for his Social Security number and whether he had engaged in "suspicious activities in the past."
The officers took Hoffman’s reporter's notebook and disposable camera, saying that they would return the photos after developing them, and interrogated him about his reporting assignment. Hoffman’s notebook was returned after about 30 minutes, but the officers did not return his camera.

Hoffman said the officers "told me that, technically, I had 'done nothing that was illegal.'"

Hoffman was asked to sign a U.S. Capitol Police "Authority to Seize" form, stating that he had been "informed of my Constitutional Right NOT to consent to a seizure" and authorizing the officers to seize his camera. He said he signed the form and gave up his camera "because I was worried and didn't know what to do."
U.S. Capitol Police turned over one set of prints and the negatives from Hoffman's camera to Sinzinger at about 7:30 p.m., approximately three hours after Hoffman's ordeal began. The police said they were retaining a copy of Hoffman's photographs, despite Sinzinger's objections.

In addition to photos of roadblocks on Capitol Hill and near the World Bank in downtown Washington, Hoffman's photos included today's graduation ceremony of about two dozen new Metropolitan Police Department officers.

Sgt. Contricia Sellers-Ford, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said the officers made a "contact" with Sinzinger and Hoffman. When asked if the officer forced Sinzinger to remain in the area, Sgt. Ford responded, "She did not have to give him information. She was not detained, she was just momentarily questioned. She was not forced to stay there."

Ford said that every Capitol Hill police officer has the right to make a "contact" with anyone who appears to be taking part in what the officer thinks to be suspicious activity. When asked why Officers Paulin and Pezzuti took Hoffman’s reporting equipment when he said he was on a news assignment, Ford said that "this was part of the process of identifying who Mike was."

The officers told both Sinzinger and Hoffman that they were free to leave at any time, but took both journalists’ D.C. driver’s licenses and would not return them when asked to do so. The licenses were given back to both journalists after the officers said they had been "checked out."

Sgt. Ford said that the matter would be investigated.

"This was probably misinformation on the officers’ side. We will rectify that," she said.
TPR 2004-08-08T09:36:46-04:00 2004-08-08T13:42:46Z 2004-08-08T13:42:26Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109197254667295879 METRO ALERT

WHY I HATE DC: They're really, really serious about enforcing the no-food-or-drink policy.
TPR 2004-08-06T09:09:58-04:00 2004-08-06T14:24:58Z 2004-08-06T14:24:58Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109180229801773643 SLOTS BARRED FROM BALLOT
The D.C. elections board ruled yesterday that a petition drive to legalize slot machines failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot, ending for now a rushed and ambitious campaign by offshore investors to open a gambling hall in the nation's capital. Though the drive produced more than 56,000 signatures -- three times the number needed -- the board determined that only 21,664 came from registered D.C. voters. From that pool, 6,977 were discarded after the board found evidence of fraud, forgery and other "systematic" violations of local election laws.
TPR 2004-08-06T09:09:40-04:00 2004-08-06T13:11:40Z 2004-08-06T13:11:27Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109179788794844148 DC FOUND SECOND WORST CITY IN WHICH TO DRIVE <center><IMG SRC="408TRAFFIC.JPG"></CENTER> <br /> <br />USA TODAY - In a study to be released Tuesday, author-researcher Bert Sperling, known for ranking cities on a wide array of criteria, lists the USA's 75 biggest metropolitan areas according to how difficult they are to drive in. Tailgating Boston are Washington, D.C., San Francisco-Oakland, Baltimore and New York/northern New Jersey <br /> TPR 2004-08-06T09:09:21-04:00 2004-08-06T13:33:21Z 2004-08-06T13:33:21Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109179920120235834 HILL SECURITY SLOWS EMERGENCY VEHICLES
S.A. MILLER, WASHINGTON TIMES - Fire trucks and ambulances rushing to emergencies have been stopped for inspection at new security checkpoints around the Capitol, a D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services official said yesterday.

"What it means for people having a medical emergency on Capitol Hill is that it might take us longer to get to you," said Alan Etter, spokesman for the department. . .
A memorandum Tuesday from D.C. Fire Chief Adrian H. Thompson to his staff advised that emergency vehicles with activated sirens might not be allowed to pass through checkpoints. The memo also advised crews to find routes around the checkpoints. "Fire and EMS vehicles will not be waved through unless prior notification is made through the [department's] communications division that units are en route," he said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times
TPR 2004-08-06T00:25:10-04:00 2004-08-06T04:26:10Z 2004-08-06T04:26:10Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109176637078676149 STRANGE DEAL ON P STREET
LOOSE LIPS, CITY PAPER - According to some Dupont Circle neighbors, [the Parks and Recreation Department] has devised [a] harebrained swap: to give valuable city parkland to a private group for a pittance and hope that they lend a hand to keep the trash collected and the grass cut. Whatever grass might grow in Stead Park, that is, after the construction of a 35,000- to 40,000-square-foot, four-story building on the P Street NW property. The building would house the Center: Home for GLBT in Metro D.C., a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered District residents.

Right now, the approximately 68,000-square-foot park hosts a basketball court, a big field, and an old carriage house converted into an indoor recreation center. It's one of the only public spaces in the downtown neighborhood where one can play hoops, hop on a swing, or have a rugby scrum. According to a Power Point presentation, the Center complex would add a theater, a gymnasium, and offices, as well as a computer lab, a day-care center, and an underground parking garage for more than 500 cars on the site. “The Center's building will occupy less than 17 percent of the Park's square footage, and green space will be maintained at current levels, at roughly 65 percent,” reads one slide in the presentation. . .
TPR 2004-08-04T16:45:39-04:00 2004-08-08T03:57:39Z 2004-07-13T21:05:36Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-108975273684439703 <FONT COLOR="RED">UPCOMING EVENTS</FONT>
WHAT'S HAPPENING

CLICK FOR ARTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

AUG 9

EMPOWER DC - Looking for a group that is respectful of all people, interested in true grassroots leadership, and working on critical community issues in DC? Join us for our regular monthly meeting and find what we’re up to! Monday, August 9th 2004 6:30-8:00 PM 1419 V St, NW – basement conference room (14th and V, U street Metro)
RSVP to 202-234-9119. Some items on the agenda: * opposition to public financing for baseball * affordable child care organizing activities * Empower DC candidate’s forum * affordable housing activities

CONTINUING

VOICES FOR TOLERANCE IN AN AGE OF PERSECUTION - Thru October 30 Folger Shakespeare Library. Voices for Tolerance in an Age of Persecution tells the story of the struggle between tolerance and persecution. It traces the roots of our quest for liberty of conscience and freedom of expression.

ALL THE STORIES ARE TRUE: AFRICAN AMERICAN WRITERS SPEAK Through December 31. Location: Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture. From ancient African folktales to contemporary spoken-word performances, a look at storytelling through videotaped interviews with athletes, playwrights, cab drivers, DJs and more.



TPR 2004-08-04T07:52:38-04:00 2004-08-04T11:52:38Z 2004-08-04T11:52:38Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109162035817279990 JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY GETS WEBSITE
Online exhibition on Arthur Welsh, America's first Jewish aviator; a sampling of photographs, documents, and other items from the society's archival collection; information on programs and events; Washington area Jewish history.
TPR 2004-08-03T23:05:43-04:00 2004-08-04T03:05:43Z 2004-08-04T03:05:43Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109158874326474041 NEW REDSKIN REPORTERS HAVE TO DEAL WITH GROUPIES AT THE TOP OF THE POST
HARRY JAFFE, WASHINGTONIAN - Starting with next week's preseason coverage, it will be Nunyo Demasio and Jason La Canfora vs. Redskins owner Dan Snyder and legendary coach Joe Gibbs. Keeping tabs on Snyder's front office will be a challenge, but writing for the Post makes it much harder. The Redskins are beloved within the paper's top echelons.

"It's one of the most important beats in the whole newspaper," says executive editor Len Downie. But not just for readers. Downie is a season-ticket holder. Managing editor Steve Coll is a serious fan. Deputy managing editor Milton Coleman tries to attend every home game. Sports editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz grew up in the Washington area rooting for the Skins. Imagine covering the Bush White House with Barbara Bush as your editor. . .

Having Demasio and La Canfora covering the local gridiron gods could be a culture shock for team officials. The Redskins are conditioned to spoon-feeding news to the Post and receiving generally favorable coverage from reporters and columnists. . .

Demasio has had the temerity to write extensively about the $6.5-million contract dispute between Snyder and star linebacker LaVar Arrington. Demasio also aired out the quarterback controversy when last year's starter, Patrick Ramsey, was confronted with Gibbs's new hire, Mark Brunell.

There were reports that Redskins officials threatened to undermine Demasio with his editors, and rumors circulated that Snyder had called the Post to complain. "He [Demasio] hasn't done anything we would quibble with," says team spokesman Karl Swanson.

TPR 2004-08-03T19:57:01-04:00 2004-08-04T01:02:01Z 2004-08-04T01:02:01Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109158132184167517 STREETS SUBJECT TO POLICE SEARCHES
Second Street and C Street, NE
Second Street at Constitution Avenue, NE
Second Street and Maryland Avenue, NE
Maryland and Constitution crossover, NE
Second Street and A Street, NE
Second Street at East Capitol Street, NE
Second at East Capitol Street, SE
Independence Ave Second Street, SE
Independence Ave and Washington Ave, SW
Maryland Ave and Third Street, SW
Pennsylvania Ave and Third Street, NW
Constitution and Louisiana Ave, NW
First Street at Louisiana Ave, NW
New Jersey Ave and C Street, NW

The following street will be closed:

First Street, NE between Constitution Avenue and D Street, NE
TPR 2004-08-01T21:53:41-04:00 2004-08-02T01:54:41Z 2004-08-02T01:54:41Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109141168182302370 FINANCING BEHIND SLOTS CAMPAIGN IS MURKY
WASHINGTON POST - On the sunbaked streets of Frederiksted, a desolate harbor town on St. Croix's impoverished west coast, everybody seems to know Rob Newell.
TPR 2004-08-01T21:23:39-04:00 2004-08-02T01:29:39Z 2004-08-02T01:29:39Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109141017931723572 MOST OF PROPERTY TAX RELIEF TO GO TO WARDS 2 AND 3
DAVID NAKAMURA WASHINGTON POST - The benefits of a property tax relief package approved by the D.C. government last winter will go mostly to homeowners in the city's two wealthiest wards, while homeowners in three wards that include some of the poorest neighborhoods will see far less savings, according to a new study. . . The study, released this week by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a private research group that studies the impact of District budget and tax measures, showed that a total of 49 percent of the tax relief will go to homeowners in Wards 2 and 3. A total of 16 percent, it said, will go to homeowners in Wards 5, 7 and 8.
TPR 2004-07-30T13:45:58-04:00 2004-07-30T17:46:58Z 2004-07-30T17:46:58Z tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7257802.post-109120961889592415 PANDAS BEING VANDALIZED, ONE STOLEN

NEWS 8 - Officials said Thursday that one of the panda sculptures dotting the streets of the nation's capital this summer has been stolen. It is by far the worst crime to hit the Pandamania exhibit, with other sculptures suffering from vandalism.