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Last week, an on-air racist joke got WARW-FM shock jock Doug “Greaseman” Tracht fired from his morning radio gig, dropped from his Falls Church volunteer law enforcement position, and dragged into a national media maelstrom. Now Tracht faces a final ignominy: Arlington’s Hard Times Cafe has decided to pull the “Greaseman Burger” from its menu. “Each month we had a different burger promotion from him,” says Hard Times manager Yvette Deloria. February’s Greaseman Burgera “Nino” burger topped with chili, cheese, and chopped jalapenos, with a side of onion ringswas erased from the restaurant’s list of specials to avoid any association with the incident. “I think it was tasteless that he said it,” adds Deloria. “I’ve met him here at the restaurant, and he’s a good guy, but I think it was just something he said before he thought about it.”
Damn Yankees Two years ago, D.C. Superior Court Judge John H. Bayly Jr. ordered Confederate Memorial Hall museum curator John Edward Hurley to reinstate five museum board members who had sued Hurley over their dismissal. When Hurley refused, Bayly held him in contempt of court until he complied. The Vermont Avenue NW museum shuttered shortly after the brouhaha. Now, electronic protestors who are apparently Hurley sympathizers have exacted revengenot in court or on the battlefield, but in the anarchy of the World Wide Web. An anti-Bayly site at www.angelfire.com/ar/
bayly/index.html claims it is “dedicated to exposing the illegal and immoral practices of Judge John H. Bayly, Jr.” The potentially libelous page connects Bayly and the Confederate museum’s demise to such conspiracy-theory regulars as La Costra Nostra and Iran-Contra. One highlighted link puts Hurley, Bayly, and Independent Counsel Ken Starr in a matrix even more convoluted than Whitewater itself. Bayly refused comment on the matter. Hurley, for his part, denies any involvement in the Web page. “I don’t know anything about [it],” he claims.
Ramped Down When Barney Circle residents defeated a proposal to build a freeway through their neighborhood, they believed that a portion of the $173 million in federal funds already earmarked for the project would be used to build ramps for the nearby Sousa Bridge, which would have the added benefit of reducing traffic for only an estimated $30 million. But when D.C.’s Department of Public Works released plans for spending the money this winter, no ramps were on the agenda. Gary Burch, the department’s chief architectural engineer, says officials reviewed the possibility of ramps but found them “inadequate.” Besides, he says, the city has only four years to use the doughwhich wouldn’t allow time to adequately study, plan, and muster approval for the ramps. Instead, the money will be divided between upgrading local streets, alleys, and sidewalks, and long-term maintenance of federal highways located in the District. Not so fast, says freeway fighter John Capozzi, who argues that the money was meant for Barney Circle traffic woes. “I want a trolley. I want a Metro stop,” demands Capozzi. “I want something real, something tangible.”
Cornball Figures Boosters of the proposed in-town baseball stadium tout the increased jobs, commerce, and tax revenue that would allegedly accrue from the sport’s return to D.C. While those numbers are subject to debate, there’s one District statistic that’s already shown a clear baseball-generated increase: ballpark clichés. How else to explain the rhetoric of city politicians on hand at a press conference celebrating the stadium drive? Both Mayor Anthony Williams and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans declared D.C. “a major-league city.” Ward 4 Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis said that with a new stadium, a resurgent District would again hear “the roar of the crowd.” But the real prize went to D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp, who reported that, along with the new MCI Center, the stadium would represent “a double header.” She went on to assure the crowd that “we will have all the bases covered”something that’s apparently essential because “we’re about to hit a home run.” Memo to Williams: Make sure Cropp isn’t invited if D.C. ever rallies for a professional wrestling arena.
Reporting by Colin Bane, Chaka Freeman, Laura Lang, and Michael Schaffer.
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