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Is your living-room carpet soaked in human blood? Does your neighbor’s apartment reek of decomposing flesh? Well, fret no more: Crime Scene Clean-Up Inc. (CSCI) is on the case. The Fallston, Md.–based firm tidies up after murders, suicides, car crashes, and all varieties of gruesome accidents. After two years of operating in Baltimore and northern Maryland, the company has just expanded to the carnage big leagues: Washington, D.C., America’s (former) Murder Capital. According to CSCI district manager Lawrence Waters, the police don’t clean up after crime investigations, so families are often stuck with the dangerous and traumatic task of mopping up their loved ones’ blood and brains. “We don’t feel a family should be subjected to this,” Waters says. Instead, CSCI cleaners—dressed in full biohazard gear—will come to your home, collect stray bits of flesh in medical waste bags, scrub out blood stains, and eliminate fetid smells. All this costs between $1,000 and $2,000 for a routine homicide, Waters says, though he adds that, “if you have a suicide with a shotgun to the head, that is going to be considerably more, because that is going to cover the whole room.”
They Want Their TNN In the 1950s and ’60s, country music ruled Washington, where a young Patsy Cline launched her career on Arthur Godfrey’s TV show. In the ’70s, D.C. was known as the bluegrass capital of the world, and even now, the District is home to local-girl-made-good Mary Chapin Carpenter. Even so, country’s cable channel, The Nashville Network (TNN), has been unavailable to District residents since District Cablevision dropped it in June 1994. But watch out, country-shy channel surfers: The return of Garth Brooks videos, Hee Haw, and bass-fishing programs may be nigh. Last month, Ward 4 Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis introduced a bill that would require the cable company to restore TNN—pronto. The bill was spurred in part by the efforts of the citizen’s group Committee to Return TNN to District Cablevision (CRTNNDC), whose members include a librarian, a pedal-steel guitar player, and a secretary. In a press release, CRTNNDC chairwoman Barbara Pruett, biographer of cowboy crooner Marty Robbins, crows, “This bill can bring back America’s music to television in the nation’s capital.’’
In the Line of Parking Last Friday, two D.C. Council staffers were parking in their reserved spot across from the Wilson Building when a Secret Service agent appeared and ordered them to move on. Ignoring the D.C. government insignia on the car, agent Jimmy Smith told John Ralls and June Hirsch that the spot in front of the National Theatre was reserved for official government cars only. Apparently Smith doesn’t consider the D.C. government a real government. According to the staffers, when they argued that the space was for “government vehicles,” Smith started screaming at them. “He told me if I didn’t shut up it would be the last thing I did all day because he was going to arrest us,” says Hirsch. Smith’s supervisor, Bill Burch, says the staffers apparently missed emergency no-parking signs posted on the street. “We had a protectee,” says Burch, explaining that GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Dole was scheduled to visit the Marriott Hotel around the corner. Smith would not comment, but he did try to call Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans after the incident to complain that his staffers had been rude. “We’re being harassed by a Secret Service agent,” Hirsch says. “Just imagine how he treats regular citizens.”