Your story regarding the pool hall that was briefly opened in our neighborhood (“Behind the 8-Ball,” 1/30) did a great disservice to the positive efforts of a wide array of neighbors, including ANC representative Leslie Miles, who have been very active in improving this troubled corner of the city. All of the residents of this neighborhood have a great regard for Miles. We are fortunate to have her insight, hard work, compassion, and expertise. She has contributed more to this area in the past few years than Beth Solomon (who, once again, thanks to another lazy reporter looking for an easy negative quote, was invited to put her own weird, solitary, racially charged twist on this story) will ever contribute in a lifetime of whining and picketing. Miles has worked to improve living conditions in Shaw for all residents, including lower-income apartment and public housing tenants. The issue of the pool hall brought together an incredibly wide array of neighbors. The absolute resolve to close the pool hall attracted all economic, racial, cultural, and political interests in the neighborhood.
Why is it that Washington City Paper could only find the property owner, who clearly has his own financial interests at stake, and Solomon, professional opponent of everything positive happening in this neighborhood, to complain about closing the pool hall? The neighborhood as a whole fought the pool hall, and our neighborhood’s best interests were served by its closing. Somehow City Paper managed to twist what was a triumph for our neighborhood into a controversy. There was no controversy. The entire neighborhood acted to closed this business.
In this city of massive scandals and wrongdoing, surely City Paper can find something else to write about. And, while you’re at it, take local heroes like Leslie Miles out of your target range as well. She should be applauded by City Paper, as she is by all of her neighbors, for taking quick action to close a business that had immediately become a magnet for crime and violence. Congratulations to Leslie and all Shaw residents for their success. Shame on City Paper for fabricating a racial and economic clash story where none exists.