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Two weeks ago, Congress satisfied most detractors of Mayor Barry when it unabashedly stripped him of most of his remaining authority. The action, however, wasn’t enough for his most indefatigable opponentsthe Committee to Recall Mayor Barry. Recall petitioners were out in force last weekend, canvassing for signatures in at least four different neighborhoods. And last week, the group launched a web site (www.killyourtv.com/dumpbarry). Typos riddle the site’s attacks on Barry”hypocracy” may be one of the few things that Barry isn’t actually guilty of. But the site is candid enough to note that the latest signature count is holding steady around 14,000, out of the 34,000 required, and it lists the top 50 reasons why Barry must go (reason No. 3: “He has done inadequately in removing snow”). Nowhere, though, does it answer the most obvious question: Why bother? “He still has too many agencies,” says Sandra Seegars, a leader of the recall movement. “They need to take away tourism, the convention center, and the board of elections,” Seegars declares. If
anything, she adds, the effort has gained momentum since Barry’s dethronement. “People seem more willing to sign,”
It’s a law of nature: Whenever highly paid sports heroes gain national fame, they open up a restaurant. The law now appears to be at work here in D.C., where rumor has it that Washington Wizards forwards Juwan Howard and Chris Webber may be close to buying Georgia Brown’s restaurant on 15th Street NW. But for now, the duo’s handlers are executing some evasive drills. At the Wizards’ Landover headquarters, flack Doug Hicks says, “Juwan and Chris have no plans to purchase or open a restaurant at this time,” citing Webber’s business manager as his source. “They haven’t, at least, purchased any restaurant,” he adds, cryptically. Meanwhile, Howard’s agent, Falk Associates, claims it’s out of the hoop on this one. “We never heard anything about it,” says Alyson Sadofsky, Falk’s PR director. But at Capital Restaurant Concepts, which owns 15 eateries around town, including Georgia Brown’s, spokesperson Paul Cohn says, “At this point in time, I don’t think we’ll be able to confirm nor deny that rumor….It’s not all correct.” Cohn does offer that Webber and Howard are regulars at the city’s premiere Southern eatery.
Last Friday night, Claudia Schlosberg was surprised to discover that the D.C. National Guard had temporarily occupied her Mount Pleasant block at 18th and Park with a fleet of Humvees, generators, and giant floodlights. Schlosberg initially thought the control board had declared martial law, but police officers explained to her that they were just “lighting up the neighborhood.” The occupation was part of a National Guard effort to help the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) tame trouble spots across the city. Schlosberg pointed out that residents wouldn’t need the National Guard to light up her neighborhood if the city would just fix the many broken street lights in the area. But the cops, she says, told her street lights weren’t in their job description. The military operation started around 6:30 and decamped promptly at 10 p.m.just when the city’s bandits start gearing up for the night. When apprised of the complaints, MPD public information officer Tony O’Leary asked, “[The community] can’t just be happy when the [flood] lights are out? They can’t just say thank you?”