SOME COMMENTS ON REcent stories:

1.) “UDC You Later” (6/10/94): New York State supports some state schools at two private institutions—Cornell and Syracuse (which has a forestry school funded by the state). In New York, they happen to be land-grant-oriented programs. How about creating a community college system, and then either paying to send students out-of-state or having Howard or another D.C. university run a four-year college?

2.) “The Tax-Free Zone”(12/2/94): I didn’t feel this article had a coherent structure for deciding why some nonprofits should pay taxes and others shouldn’t. Especially with universities, where city resources are expended—on police, fire, roads, etc.—there is justification for some sort of payment. To charge an “income tax” wouldn’t work, because most budgets (nonendowment) show a loss—at least for universities and hospitals.

On the other hand, these nonprofit organizations bring revenue, employees, etc. into the city. The only reason we need to consider taxing them is that the federal payment, which presumably represents payment for a.) not taxing federal land, b.) services rendered/used by the feds and not compensated for, and c.) revenue foregone because the District cannot tax nonresident income earned here, is inadequate. That’s a story we need —what does the federal payment represent, how much is it, and what should it be?

3.) “Washington Ain’t Cleveland” (12/16/94): I wonder if comparing Cleveland’s arena site to the proposed Gallery Place arena site is the right comparison for the transportation issues. I presume that Cleveland doesn’t have the same kind of public transportation system as D.C. or New York City. Why didn’t you look at how people go to Madison Square Garden or arenas in Chicago, Philadelphia, or Boston? I think that’s a more apt comparison.

I really appreciate “Loose Lips” and the District Line and Mark Jenkins’ writing about development issues and your feature stories (most of ’em). I do wish though that you’d carry the comic This Modern World.

Stanton Park, via the Internet