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Bishop Peter Regalado knows a little about tilting at windmills. His renegade Catholic movement, the Washington Metropolitan See, has been boycotting the mainstream Catholic Church for years over its decision to end Latin masses. Now, Regalado has taken on another feared and powerful institution: the phone company. He says Bell Atlantic owes him $1,000 for merchandise and services he purchased and then returned last year for credit. Bell Atlantic says Regalado still owes $600 for other bills. But Regalado has refused to pay up until Bell Atlantic credits him for his thousand dollars in returns. After reaching a stalemate last year, Regalado sued, and in an out-of-court settlement Bell Atlantic promised to set things straight. But Regalado claims that so far all he’s gotten is five bucks for a “thingamajig you plug into a wall outlet,” which he didn’t need after Bell Atlantic disconnected his phone Dec. 1. Now he’s back in court over the alleged breach of settlement. After Regalado had bypass surgery in May, Bell Atlantic gave him a temporary line, since D.C. law requires the company to give disabled people access to emergency services, but he says, “They cut off phone service every week or two until I go back to their office and bitch about it.” Regalado suspects that the Archdiocese of Washington might be behind his troubles with the phone company, since the church frowns upon his movement. But he’s still mad enough at the phone company that he’s organizing a class action to break up the monopoly of what he calls “the heartless communication.” “They call themselves the ‘heart of communication,’” he says. “I just added the ‘less.’”
A Decent Proposal Nowadays, it’s not often that you see a man get down on bended knee and ask a fair maiden to marry him—even in the movies. But a small crowd at the Key Theater last week can testify that romance isn’t dead. D.C. attorney Justin Bookey lured his girlfriend, Miriam Grossman, to the Key to see a documentary called Kids of Survival. Among the previews that night was a short black-and-white film called “La Question,” a $1,500 faux Italian-style flick that Bookey made with local director Mark Millhone. In the film, Bookey tools around town in disguise, randomly unearthing the letters of Grossman’s first name in such local haunts as Bardo’s brew pub and Ray’s Cafe in Arlington, two of the couple’s favorite hangouts. At the end, Bookey gazes into the camera lens and pops the question. In the theater, the real Bookey then got down on his knee and offered Grossman an engagement ring. She said yes, and after the showing the newly engaged couple imbibed champagne that had been chilling in a popcorn bucket in the lobby, courtesy of the Key’s manager.
Gotta Go-Go For years, neighbors around the Ibex club at Georgia and Missouri Avenues NW sat idly by as clubgoers turned the neighborhood into a shooting gallery. But after several years, dozens of stabbings, car thefts, and other acts of mayhem in and around the club, the neighborhood’s long-dormant advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) has finally leapt into action. At a recent meeting to consider the Ibex’s application to renew its liquor license, police officials reported that on nights when the club is closed, the neighborhood crime rate plunges to nearly zero. As a result, the ANC voted against the license renewal in the hope that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will follow suit and the club will quietly go away. “Crime emanates from there. We don’t want that in our neighborhood,” explains ANC commissioner Joseph Hairston. “It’s detrimental to the community.”