In a viewers poll completed last year, District Cablevision found that its customers thought little of all the music-video offerings crowding their cable guides. So it bumped from its “expanded basic” service VH-1, the easy-listening refuge for baby boomers horrified by rap and Metallica, and addedamong other thingsthe Cartoon Network to the lineup. But District Cablevision obviously underestimated how badly its audience missed VH-1’s ABBA retrospectives and Dick Cavett reruns. Viewers may have mellow tastes in music programming, but they have pummeled the cable company relentlessly with complaints since it pulled the plug on the music service. One Northwest resident, Larry Seftor, ditched his service completely because, he says, his wife enjoyed cooking with VH-1 blaring in the background. Now the company is making a hasty retreat, and District Cablevision general manager Frances Turner says the company is returning VH-1 to its lineup on a limited basis effective Feb. 1 . (The channel will air from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Channel 31.) “We found a high level of enthusiasm and customer desire for the type of programming that VH-1 offers,” says Turner, in a nice bit of understatement.
King for Two Days This past weekend, D.C. was filled with events honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. There was the parade on Saturday, church ceremonies, and birthday parties. Friday, some public schools dismissed students early to commemorate the “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Nonetheless, because the King holiday coincided with President Clinton’s inauguration, the District has rescheduled the official holiday observance for Feb. 17 to allow D.C. residents to honor King undistracted by the inaugural festivities. Feb. 17 also happens to be President’s Day, which, after all, is half-dedicated to the Great Emancipator. A spokeswoman from the mayor’s office of communications says, “The District will recognize the King holiday on the 17th. That’s going to be our own recognition of the King holiday.” She doesn’t see any disrespect in bumping off a few dead presidents to honor the Nobel laureate for the second time this year. “President’s Day doesn’t get a lot of hype anyway,” she says.
No Relief Former Ward 8 Councilmember Eydie Whittington may have thought that losing the Democratic primary last fall would at least get her political nemesis, community activist Sandra Seegars, off her back. But Mayor Marion Barry’s recent decision to appoint Whittington to the D.C. Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board has put Seegars back on the attack. Seegars has been Whittington’s fiercest critic since 1995, when Barry hand-picked her to finish out his council term after he was elected mayor. When Whittington won the Ward 8 special election by one vote, Seegars challenged the results and launched a recall campaign against Whittington. Now Seegars has sent a memorandum to the D.C. Council urging it to consider “nepotism,” “cronyism,” and the “ongoing investigation of forgery by Whittington on nominating petitions” before it appoints her to the unpaid ABC post. The memo also asks Whittington’s former colleagues to consider “her performance as councilor” and to weigh the possibility that her presence on the highly politicized board will coerce ABC “licensees to support Barry [for mayor] in 1998.” Whittington was not available for comment, nor was At-Large Councilmember Harold Brazil, who chairs the government operations committee that oversees board appointments.