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Only one audience member bothered to applaud after the panelists were introduced at last Monday’s forward-looking Mayoral Election Issues Forum at the D.C. Bar Association. After an embarrassing moment of silence, the sole clapper fessed up. “That was me,” a lawyer in the sixth row announced to the crowd of about 40. The most vexing problem participants faced was what to call Councilmembers Harold Brazil, Kevin Chavous, Jack Evans, and Carol Schwartz. Mayoral candidates? Naw, too premature. Wannabes? Too dismissive. Nondeclared candidates? That wouldn’t be entirely accurate, since Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans had announced his mayoral intentions days before. Let’s just call them hopefuls in a city that’s a bit short on that particular commodity. When the panel members spoke about the challenges facing the new mayor, they for sure didn’t mean “newly re-elected.” In fact, Mayor Barry couldn’t even make the noon brown-bagger. His schedule was too tight, announced a bar association representative. Yet his official schedule was blank from 12-1:30 p.m. “Well, you know, the mayor does have lunch and those things,” said Vera Jackson of the mayor’s press office.

“No self-advertising!”—a lone conscientious objector reacting to Richard Gere’s casual plug for “my film which just opened” during last week’s Lafayette Square rally to protest human rights violations in China and Tibet. The admonition was outnumbered by angry calls for demonstrators to pull down their anti-China signs so that starfuckers could catch a glimpse of Tibet’s gorgeous guardian angel.

The Big Dump In its Oct. 29 issue, the normally uninspiring Northwest Current newspaper buried a shimmering gem. The School Dispatches section, a collection of snippets filed by area students, noted nonchalantly that, among other goings-on at the National Cathedral School, $18,000 was found in a bathroom stall. And in other news…Whoa. Rewind. But don’t start stopping by the school for bathroom breaks just yet. Seems the budding reporter, an eighth-grader named Hen-Hen Kennedy, let her fact-checking slide under the deadline crunch. According to Tracy Savage of the school’s development office, $18,000 was indeed discussed at a student government meeting—as the net sum left in defunct club accounts. Kennedy showed up at the end of the meeting and high-jumped to her own con-

clusions. Since then, Savage has received several calls from media and alumnae concerning the incident, but she reports that no bathroom bounty was involved. As for how the error slipped into the Current unnoticed, managing editor Chris Kain concedes he should have checked into the matter further. “[The article] kind of raised my eyebrow, but not sufficiently….In terms of editing, it just slipped through the cracks.”

Sign Me Up At least one person is excited about the upcoming Dec. 2 special election for an at-large council seat: 13-year-old Adam Schneider was busy papering over every amenable surface in Adams Morgan last Tuesday afternoon with candidate Phil Heinrich’s “Fix D.C.” posters. “I don’t mind it. Besides, I’m making $5 an hour, and for a kid, that’s a lot of money,” said Schneider. And will he be just as eager to take down the lamppost signs—which have been known to linger for years—when the time comes? “My brother [campaign manager Matthew Schneider] says we are going to take every single one down within five days of the election.”

The Velvet Noose Raymone Bain can’t get a break. Mayor Barry’s press secretary recently took a leave of absence to work as Janet Jackson’s publicist. Even though Jackson appeared live on MTV, got raves in the Post and Rolling Stone, and her “Joni Mitchell never lies” stroke of creative genius (don’t forget to sing, Janet—it’s your album) has drenched the airwaves, Bain still got fired. Jackson’s new publicist, Michele Schwitzer, says she can’t say if the dismissal was personal. But a source close to Bain says our jilted PR queen was just the victim of a housecleaning frenzy: “I don’t think she was fired per se.” Jackson replaced her management team, Southpaw Entertainment, with her former manager, Roger Davies. No word on whether this means Bain will have more time for the mayor. Bain (who also represents Boyz II Men) did not return phone calls.

Reporting by David Carr, Sharada

Chidambaram, Jason Cherkis, Elissa

Silverman, and Sarah Wildman

Please send your City Desk tips to Amanda Ripley at aripley@washcp.com or call 332-2100 and ask for my voice mail.