There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Pedaling down Massachusetts Avenue near 9th Street NW, Alexis Martin was hit over the head, pushed to the ground, and robbed of her bike. It was the Sunday before last at about 3:30 p.m., hardly the witching hour. But suddenly, the familiar story goes Hollywood: From her vantage point, bleeding on the pavement, Martin watches five cars come to her aid. Two drivers check on her. Two others chase the robbers in their cars. And one Hill Top cabbie, Frederick Duruamaku, stops his car in the middle of the road and tears after the bad guys on foot. After sprinting a couple of blocks, one of the culprits finally drops the bike. A triumphant Duruamaku puts it and Martin in his cab, delivers his passengers, and drives her home. “He made a really bad situation a little better,” says Martin. “I have a lot more respect for cabdrivers now.”
More Rasheeda Say the name “Rasheeda Moore” to most D.C. residents and you’ll see a flash of pained recognition. Moore is Mayor Barry’s former lover, who, with the FBI’s enthusiastic support, lured Barry to Room 727 of the Vista Hotel to smoke crack in the winter of 1990. The Vista, located off Thomas Circle, is called the Westin these days. A 7-foot-tall barbed-wire fence now surrounds a small patch of green across from the hotel. Earlier this month, seven mysterious rectangular stickers appeared on that fence. “COMING SOON,” read the stickers, “RASHEEDA MOORE PARK & PLAYGROUND.” And at the bottom, “(The Bitch Is Back and She’s Really Pissed!)” Charming. But why? No one seems to know who would go to such lengths to revive a 7-year-old low point in D.C. history. “It’s a waste of time to be evil,” comments a Westin doorman posted across the avenue. “You’re hurting some kind of way to be walking around pasting stickers up.”
Bethesda E.R. “I’m late for my stress-reduction class and I’ve got guests at home and I really shouldn’t be here at all. I can’t find where the class is meeting, I’m a complete mess.”elderly woman demanding emergency directions from nurse’s station last week at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda.
You WIN Some When to sit down, when to stand up, and what to chant were the primary concerns of Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) leaders when they demanded police Chief Larry Soulsby’s firing at a hearing
of the D.C. Council’s Judiciary Committee last week. As councilmembers filed in to hear Soulsby’s testimony, WIN leaders and 35 followers glad-handed Councilmember Kevin Chavous, and then, at the appearance of committee chair Jack Evans, broke into, “Soulsby must gonow!” Two dozen dull refrains later, Evans offered them the option of sitting down or departing in handcuffs. “Evans must gonow!” returned the chorus. Evans said he would meet with them after the hearing (maybe he knew it would last nine hours), but wouldn’t flatter them with an immediate conference. “Ten minutesnow!” screamed the rebels. Then, in a hasty pow-wow, they debated what song to sing when the cops hauled them away. “I Shot the Sheriff!” proposed one. In the end, though, they just filed outside to join the perpetually protesting LaRouchites.
Four’s a Charm D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) are now taking their fourth swing at a deadline for filing a special-ed report with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). DCPS had ignored federal disability rules requiring schools to evaluate disabled pupils, hold planning sessions with parents, and place students in appropriate programs. Special-ed chief Jeff Myers had promised DOE he would send a detailed “Compliance Agreement” by July 30 outlining how his department would meet the requirements. The deadline came and went, so DCPS asked for a two-week extension. Then DCPS missed that deadline and the next. DOE is now withholding $3.7 million in federal funds until the agreement appears.
A Kiss of Fiction In the recently released sex-horror flick Kiss the Girls, Morgan Freeman plays a D.C. police detective who goes south to chase a serial killer. Only, unlike real D.C. cops, known far and wide as “MPD” (Metropolitan Police Department), Freeman yells “DCPD” before crashing through doors and such. Even more anomalously, he packs a cell phone and drives a Porsche, unusual habits in the ranks of the beleaguered MPD.
Reporting by Eddie Dean, Chris Peterson,
Amanda Ripley, and Tom Stabile
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