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The Washington Post became increasingly critical of Mayor Barry's performance during his fourth term as leader of the District of Columbia. In fact, the mayor repeatedly claimed that the Post was maligning his administration, if not causing some of his problems. One way or the other, the Post provided a daily record of the deplorable conditions in the city and the actions--and inactions--of its government. And it is now detailing the impact of a new mayor, and some very substantial signs of progress in rejuvenating the city.

Since January of 1997, NARPAC, Inc. has been keeping a running tally of all the headlines in the Washington Post concerning conditions in the DC relevant to government operations (but not to personalities, topical events, crime, etc.). And as 2001 begins, NARPAC has added a set of 52 Imaginary Headlines that NARPAC would most like to see in print during the first year of DC's third century.

These are listed in chronological order (by the month), separated by year, and under the several categories of Major Issues:

HEADLINE CATEGORIES:

For a far more lively in-depth discussion and analysis of current (and past) eventsthroughout DC, the reader should visit DC Watch.

NARPAC'S DREAM HEADLINES FOR 2002

NARPAC is beginning its sixth year of studiously recording all the headlines in DC's primary newspaper dealing with DC affairs. The vast majority of them deal with things that still need fixing, demonstrating that DC is still struggling to become at best an average inner city. As the new millenium officially began, DC started out on its third century, and a new, untested, era came to the nation's capital, NARPAC dreamed of visionary headlines in 2001 that would assure that Americans would regain pride in their nation's capital city. Only one of the 52 became reality and it is marked in green. How many more of these will materialize in 2002?

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FEDERAL and LOCAL POLITICS

New Congress Elevates Constitutional Oversight Functions of DC
4-Subcommittee Structure Gives Way to One Joint Committee on Metro Areas and DC

Congress Authorizes IRS to Offer Taxpayers Chance to Help DC
Form 1040 to Provide Option to Earmark $5 for DC Revitalization Program

District of Columbia Scrubs Inflated Voter Registration Rolls
Federal Laws Tend to Accumulate Departed Voters, Underestimate Turnout

DC Council Members Forced by Public Pressure to Limit Outside Pay
Accepting Law Firm Retainers Outdated Practice: Hints at Conflicts of Interest

DC Urged to Simplify Ward Structure, Improve City-wide Focus
Census Shows 90% of Net Tax Payers Squeezed into Two Wards

DC School System Considers Dividing Itself into Three School Districts
NW, NE, and SE/SW Areas Would Be Easier to Administer, Tailor to Community Needs

Federal Gov't Agrees to Pick Up Tab for About $100M in Lost DC Revenues
Reimbursements Limited to Lost Property Taxes--to be Paid Through GSA

DC Demographics Continue to Shift Away from Dated Image as 'Chocolate City'
Blacks May Drop Below 50% of Adult Population in This Decade as Diversity Grows

Federal Court Decides Activists Liable for Obstruction of Progress
Unwarranted Delays in Projects for Public Good Have Recoverable Cost, Says Judge

DC Churches Accused of Preaching Politics Instead of Gospel
Tax-Exempt Status Threatened by Overzealous Preaching for Council Candidates

REGIONAL COOPERATION

Region Agrees to Broad Long Range Multi-modal Transportation Plan
Funding Shares to be Pegged to Each County's Gross Household Income

Region Formally Accepts Landmark Principle on Poverty Sharing
Counties Aim to Equalize Welfare Caseload based on Changing Population, Jobs

DC, Suburbs to Share Hospital Facilities for Care of Needy
Modern Specialized Care Units Promise Higher Utlization, Lower Costs

DC, Region, Federal Gov't Adopt Major 25-yr Metrorail Expansion Plan
'Ring Rail' Purple Line, Annapolis LIne, Added Network for Anacostia Corridors

DC Police Accept OJT from Regional Consortium of Retired Officers
Suburbs Anxious to Transfer Expertise in Self-interest to Lower Crime Rate

Suburbs Agree to Major New Initiatives in Public/Affordable Housing
Special Small-Unit Clusters to be Constructed near Centers of Job Opportunities

Helping Single Moms from Welfare to Work--Not Your Normal Task
COG Report Spells Out Special Transition Needs--Resembles 'Kibutz' Approach

New Regional Bridges Get Federal Funds to Include Metrorail Lines
Wilson Bridge, New Upper/Lower Potomac Crossings Must Include Rail to Qualify

DC Turns to Regional Procurement Office to Improve Professionalism
y Council of Governments Offers Joint Purchasing Service to Save Cost and Time

Fannie Mae to Include Car Loans, Low Insurance Rates in Home Loans
Intent to Assure Mobility of Low Income Home Buyers to Dispersed Job Sites

Non-Profit Groups Coalesce On Plan to Build Regional Special Ed Facilities
Aim to Balance, Reduce Huge Costs of Disruptive Kids--and Improve Their Education

Ann Arundel County Joins Greater Washington Metro Area
Links to DC Stronger than to Baltimore--Strong Economic Growth East of Capital

Regional Training Center for Area's Government Workers Opens
New Center in Anacostia Draws on Regional Expertise, $50M Federal Grant to COG

DC GOV'T EFFICIENCY/EFFECTIVENESS

Local DC Budget Overwhelmed by Administering to Poor and Needy
Some Estimate 40% of Personnel, 60% of Local Revenues Devoted to Disadvantaged

No Realistic Plan for Strengthening City's Tax Base, Lowering Per Capita Burden
'Middle Income' Families, Businesses with Tax Breaks Barely Pay for Own Services

Activist Rhetoric About DC's 'Shattered Tax Base' Due to Exodus Overblown
Revenues, Real Estate, Car Owners, etc. Suggest Most Who Left Were Kids, Poor

DC Government Bites Bullet on Personnel Accountability
Manpower Productivity to Be Compared Among All Regional Jurisdictions

DC Completes Major Review of Under-taxed Properties
Up to 20% of 'Non-profit' Tracts Erroneously Classified: Millions Lost

DC Council Belatedly Decides to Tax Big-Ticket Service Businesses
$100M Lost Annually to Special Interest Lobbies Trading On DC Addresses

DC Debates Relaxing Building Height Limits Near City's Limits
Move Would Defuze "Edge Cities", Bring High Revenues--Activists Freak Out

Federal Courts Side with DC's Mayor--Unions Ordered to Streamline Bargaining
12 Unions, 107 Bargaining Units for 15,000 City Employees Deemed Unreasonably Costly

DC Council Reconsiders Negative Impact of Rent Controls
Phase-out Over 24 Months for All But Handful of Special Hardship Cases

21st Century DC Schools to Become Community Responsibility Centers
Civic Functions to be Incorporated into Design and Staffing of Modernized System

DC School System to Re-establish Its Own Inspector General's Office
Lack of Full-time Internal Staff Encourages Inefficient Operations, Slow Remediation

DC Audit Uncovers Huge Scam in Real Estate Assessment Office
IG Finds Property Tax Revenues Decline Despite 50% Increase in Sale Value

DC's Overworked Fire Trucks To Reduce Responses to Ambulance Calls
Abuse of EMS as Taxi Service to Clinics Investgated, Repeat Offenders On File

District to Give Up More Trappings of Fading Statehood Dreams
Air National Guard Unit, Insurance Regulators, Health Inspectors to Go Regional

PLANNING/PROJECTS

Long-Range Master Plan for Economic Development East of the Anacostia
District's Orphan Gets New Attention--Centered Around Expanded Metro System

DC's Director of Planning Resigns--Lacked Vision for Capital City
Major Metropolitan Planner Sought--Altman May Land Post in Cape May, NJ

Congress Supports District Bid for Future World's Fair
Nat'l Park Service to Convert Anacostia Park into Permanent 'International Mall'

US Air Force Agrees to Transfer Bolling Air Force Base to DC
Valuable Property to be Developed as Government Office Complex

President Requests Special Base Study from Dept of Defense
Long-range Future for Andrews AFB Sought as Regional Economic Magnet

400-acre St. Elizabeth's Campus to Become High Density, Hi-Tech Medical Center
Complex to Combine Gov't & Private Research, Business, Residential and Hospitals

DC General Campus to Be Converted to Mixed, Sports-Related Commercial Uses
New Hospital, Clinics for Disadvantaged to Be Part of New Hi-Tech St. Elizabeth's Site

South Capitol Street To be Widened, Depressed Below Grade
Belated Plan to Unify M Street Corridor Across SE/SW Comes 3 Years Late

DC, Metrorail Cooperate on Design Innovation to Double Ridership
Airport-like 'People Movers' Sought to Extend Reach of Stations Two Blocks All Round

NE Neighborhoods Band Together to Develop Barren Metro Stations
Residents Accept Local High-Density Growth, Some Relocations--Activists Suicidal

Metro Breaks Ground for New Link to Serve Navy Yard East Corridor
Green Line's Navy Yard Will Get Connector to Blue/Yellow Lines at Stadium/Armory

Ft. McNair to Expand East to Capitol St. South, Doubling Education Campus
Military Trade Off Anacostia Naval Station to Consolidate Area's Defense Schools

New Designs Offered to Increase Urban Automobile Tolerance
Urban Decks Over Multi-modal Garages to Reduce Barrier Impact of Freeways

DC Gets on Multi-modal Garage Band Wagon--Will Accomodate Tour Buses
5 Major Sites Picked Around City--near Metro, Bus, Attractions, and Freeways

Local Railroad Shamed into Sprucing Up in Nation's Capital
Dilapidated Rights of Way/Bridges in DC's SE/SW Mar Revitalization Efforts

This page was updated on Feb 15, 2008


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