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Organizers of the African-American Civil War Memorial on U Street NW have already staged three separate dedications for the site, even though each time the memorial had yet to be completed. On July 18, they hosted a four-day bash that included a parade, a gala ball, and seminars—but still no soldiers’ names on the memorial’s granite walls. At the time, project director Lyndia Grant vowed that it would be finished for a Veterans Day dedication Nov. 11th. But with only one month to go, Grant now admits the memorial will not be ready once again. “What we think we’ll do is only arrange a ceremony after it’s completed,” says Grant. “I’m not giving you or anyone else any dates from now on.” Gary Burch, the Department of Public Works (DPW) official handling the construction contract, says he put his foot down after the last premature ceremony. “We’re not going to rush to try to meet some schedule,” Burch says. He predicts that the memorial will be completed and ready for its final dedication by the spring of 1999, but let’s keep those invitations under wraps just in case.

Cool, Tall, Vulnerable, and Unruly Moments before Liz Phair hit the 9:30 Club stage last Monday night, a club employee ran outside and breathlessly confronted a quartet of Liz wannabes. “Do you guys have any barrettes or bobby pins?” he asked with urgency. After much purse searching and hair pulling, the klatch produced enough hair clamps to secure the star’s wanton coif in place.

Block That Crony Marion Barry may descend from the throne this year, but he’s doing his best to ensure that the city endures his legacy long after he steps down. On Sept. 9, Barry appointed former Department of Employment Services (DOES) Chief F. Alexis Roberson chair of the D.C. Local Business Opportunity Commission, which monitors the city’s Minority Contracting Act and facilitates minority opportunities in financing and D.C. government contracting. Roberson resigned from DOES last fall after D.C. Councilmember Kathy Patterson raised hell about three messy contracts negotiated by the agency. After initially entertaining the idea, Roberson has decided to decline the position. “I’m not interested in serving in the public sector any more,” Roberson stated.

Hell’s Hole A D.C. entry into a nationwide search for America’s worst potholes came in a surprising second, beat out by a 40-foot crater in Marin County, Calif. The contest, sponsored by Citizens Against Government Waste, awarded the penultimate prize to a 30-foot monster on Oakview Terrace NE at the cul-de-sac entrance to the Augustinian College seminary. Large enough to swallow a slow-moving DPW vehicle, the jagged pit began as a web of cracks and grew insidiously for more than a year into an unwelcome glimpse into the underworld, neighbors report.

A Date With Infamy Supplemental Materials to Ken Starr’s Report to Congress, pages 4602-4605: “I Dated Monica Lewinsky,” which appeared in the pages of Washington City Paper, Jan. 30, 1998.

Circling the Wagons Logan Circle residents met last week to discuss beautification plans for their neighborhood centerpiece, including evicting the people who make the park home. Neighbors offered numerous suggestions, such as improved lighting, flower plantings, and reconfigured benches, to make the park more cozy for area homeowners while making it nice and uncomfortable for the circle’s homesteaders. “This is not about trying to kick everybody out and have it to ourselves,” says Deborah Martens, president of the Logan Circle Community Association. Regardless of intentions, the homeless people on the Circle will probably get the message. “[The homeless] are just going to another one of my areas,” remarks National Park Service Superintendent Arnold Goldstein. (All of D.C.’s circles are controlled by the Park Service.) David Treadwell, who runs the Central Union Mission, welcomes the community’s cleanup efforts but worries that the long-term spruce-up might eventually include rubbing out the shelter as well. “[The residents] need the mission more than ever, because we’re the best people to get those people off the street,” he notes.

Reporting by Jason Cherkis, Eddie Dean, Elizabeth Murdock, Amanda Ripley, Michael Schaffer, and Jake Tapper.

Please send your City Desk tips to Elissa Silverman at esilverman@washcp.com or call 332-2100 and ask for my voice mail.