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Ward 8 always furnishes the city’s most colorful political spats, but its activists usually keep their sparring matches rhetorical. Last month, though, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner William Lewis and former Ward 8 D.C. Council candidate William Lockridge had a brawl that Lewis says left him covered with bruises. The day before Thanksgiving, Lewis was on the phone with police reporting the theft of an old color TV from the ANC office. He says Lockridge—who uses an office upstairs from the ANC—demanded that he hang up so they could discuss the break-in. When Lewis refused, he says, Lockridge hung up the call for him. Voices rose, insults flew, and Lockridge started swinging, according to Lewis, who says he then pushed Lockridge. “Now, I weigh about 230, and [Lockridge] about 150,” Lewis says. “So he went across the room.” Lewis says fellow ANC Commissioner Mary Cuthbert, who was nearby, then attacked him with a stick. “She whipped me like I was her child,” he says. Lewis believes Cuthbert struck him in retaliation for a challenge organized by Lewis and others against her recent re-election. Cuthbert wouldn’t comment, and Lockridge did not return a call. The police made no arrests.
End Results Twenty-nine-year-old Doug Jefferies pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into renovating an old U Street NW car dealership for his new 24,000-square-foot Results, the Gym. He spent tens of thousands of dollars on hype, and sold more than 1,100 memberships to his new workout facility—all in preparation for the grand opening last Sunday, Dec. 1. But three days after new members first mounted the StairMasters, the D.C. fire marshal shut down the club for inadequate water pressure in its sprinkler system. The club has been closed for a week, and Jefferies blames the water problem on the D.C. government. However, he fingers competitor Washington Sports for bringing the watchdogs to his door with a flurry of anonymous calls to just about every inspector’s office in the D.C. government. Jefferies charges that Washington Sports was plotting to put him out of business. But Bill McDonald, general manager of the Washington Sports on Connecticut Avenue above Dupont Circle, which boasts 2,500 to 3,000 members, counters that it’s Jefferies who’s afraid of a little competition. “I think that someone who can’t own up to the fact that they didn’t get their inspections done, were operating essentially illegally, and operating in a dangerous fashion should be looking nowhere else but in the mirror,” says McDonald.
Cat People It’s doubtful that America is entirely a cat nation, but Jay Jacob Wind likes to think so. Wind and his three kids have founded the Arlington-based Socks the Cat Fan Club, a group with nearly 5,000 members devoted to the country’s first feline. Those who join receive the four Winds’ newsletter, and 10 percent of the membership proceeds are donated to the Humane Society and the Children’s Defense Fund. At $4 a membership, the fan club isn’t exactly a big donor. Still, the newsletter is a quirky addition to Clinton lore, featuring updates on the preparations of the Socks inaugural suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, fan mail to Socks (with responses), animal rights updates, and even history tidbits. (Who knew Teddy Roosevelt’s second cat was named Slippers?) The Winds’ new hobby has gotten them invited to tag along when Socks and the first lady visit Children’s Hospital later this month—as long as they pass the security clearance. “With a little bit of luck, we’ll go with the lady with the bad haircut,” says Wind, who apparently isn’t as crazy about the Clintons as he is about their cat.