Mount Pleasant residents shouldn’t be alarmed by the large sign stationed at 17th and Newton Streets NW. Though the orange traffic posting warns, “MOUNT PLEASANT CLOSED,” the neighborhood has no plans to shut down after more than a century of existence. The sign actually refers to a small slice of Mount Pleasant Street, which will be closed to through traffic while D.C.’s Department of Public Works reconstructs nearby Park Road. “They probably were trying to reduce the number of letters to be used,” explains project manager Bijan Haghtalab.
Corrections and Clarifications When Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) warden Jimmie Turner testified to an Ohio legislative committee about six inmate escapes and other problems at its Youngstown prison, which houses 1,500 District inmates, he experienced a memory lapse about deaths and violence in the facility. Turner first declared that two District inmates had died in Youngstown because of medical conditions. “Before the day was over, he double-checked and corrected himself and said that three prisoners died,” says Peter Davis, executive director of the Ohio legislature’s Corrections Institution Inspection Committee. Turner also told committee members that only 13 inmates had been stabbed since D.C. transferred prisoners to Youngstown in May 1997. But prison records tell a different story: At least 20 stabbings have occurred since the facility opened, and violent attacks total 47, according to Al Gerhardstein, a Cincinnati lawyer representing District inmates in a lawsuit against CCA. Davis says he asked Turner to testify again before the committee to get the numbers right. CCA officials would not comment on the discrepancies.
Kicking It D.C. Superior Court Criminal Case Records office, 3:40 p.m., Monday: “I want to do a criminal background check,” says a lanky, well-dressed gentleman to the clerk behind the counter. “On who?” the clerk asks. “On me,” the man responds. After taking a moment to peruse his printout, the man has a few questions. “What does ‘ADW’ mean?” he asks. “Assault with a deadly weapon,” the clerk replies, not looking up from his screen. “A deadly weapon?” Yes, the clerk says, a deadly weapon. “Oh, that’s my foot,” the man conjectures. “What’s ‘W’?” he inquires about a different abbreviation. “That means it got dismissed because the government wasn’t ready,” the clerk explains. “Oh, that’s good,” the man notes and promptly walks out.
Statistically Significant Despite rosy reports about the local economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) delivered a stinker this month: D.C. experienced a 2.3 percent decline in job growth from July ’97 to July ’98. The District did get more work in a surprising category: manufacturing. Huh? “D.C. is definitely not known as a manufacturing town,” notes Charles McMillion, chief economist for MBG Information Services, which analyzed the BLS numbers. “But it does have a big publishing industry.”
Cyberpeek First came Jennifer Ringley’s personal Web site (“Voyeur Eyes Only,” 8/29/97), and now you can bookmark one from Dupont Circle resident Sean Patrick Williams. Using a PC and $150 digital camera, Williams transmits “Sean Patrick Live!” a video diary of his life at home and work. Williams pitches www.seanpatricklive.com as a public service to D.C.’s disaffected. “A lot of people feel really lonely,” says Williams. “[T]hey sit by their computers alone. On my site, they can see that they are not the only ones.”
Switching Partners Journalist Larry Matthews, who is scheduled to be sentenced for downloading and transmitting kiddie porn on the Internet on Dec. 11 (“Pleading the First,” 8/7), intends to follow his associate defense attorney, Leslie S. McAdoo-Brobson, to the high-powered offices of Holland & Knight. “The case is different now,” Matthews says. “And Holland & Knight has a lot of experience in the federal system. And they have the legal horsepower.” Other forces are no doubt in play: While Matthews offered up kind words for former legal counsel Michael Statham, he reportedly owes Statham at least $40,000. Holland & Knight is considering representing Matthews pro bono.
Reporting by Dan Avery, Paula Park, Amanda Ripley, Michael Schaffer, and Jake Tapper.