The Damage Done:

M Street’s Biograph Theater closes, to be replaced by CVS Pharmacy. District loses cultural landmark; Georgetowners gain more convenient access to three-ring binders and dental floss. -6

In what amounts to a threat of extinction, Mayor Barry vows to install “professional management” at Eastern Market. -2

Setting a new standard of bureaucratic incompetence, D.C. real estate assessor leaves three factors out of assessments: location, recent sale prices, and condition of the property. -3

House Speaker Newt Gingrich disses everyone in the District except federally appointed waterboys: “The control board is the only hope D.C. has to retain home rule.” -3

After getting fired for running the Department of Human Services into the ground, Vernon Hawkins proclaims, “I know I’m good.” -4

Police raid 12th Street party house of Roweshea Burruss, and neighbors mention that Barry is a frequent visitor. Barry explains that he stopped by to eat sandwiches and change his clothes. -2

Metropolitan Police Department announces plan to use volunteer dispatchers: “Uh, we got a complaint about a homicide…or was it a homeless guy? Over there, uh, in Georgetown. Got it?” -1

In yet another profile in impotence, D.C. Council asks the feds to please reopen Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. -1

Olympic Torch arrives at the White House and is promptly snuffed by torrential rain. -1

Subtotal: -23

Shots in the Arm:

In a move to slow middle-class flight from the city, D.C. Council votes to install motion cameras to nail drivers for traffic violations. +2

Asked why he saved a woman from an oncoming Metro train, student hero borrows a line from District politicos: “I didn’t think.” +2

D.C. congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton cites Philadelphia model of economic recovery and suggests that D.C. councilmembers and the mayor should spend most of their time in Philadelphia. Good government advocates are ecstatic. +2

After 3-month investigation, police arrest D.C. morgue worker for stealing from the dead. Arrest ensures only the living get robbed by the city. +5

Fresh Fields buyout enrages Volvo-driving uptowners,

threatening civil disturbances

on Wisconsin Avenue. +2

Mayor, council, and the control board reach consensus on FY 1997 budget. +4

Mayor Barry shores up image as a strong, self-assured leader by explaining that for a half-hour each day he tries to sit in his office “and do nothing and look out the window.”+2

Control board members hug and sing with protestors who appear at the doors of their homes. +1

Subtotal: +20