History Finally on Display at MCI Center
Better 21 months late than never, Timothy Jones thought yesterday as he surveyed a new exhibit at MCI Center dedicated to the life and architecture that flourished downtown in generations past.
As part of a signed agreement to build the sports arena at Seventh and F streets NW, team owner Abe Pollin promised to have the exhibit ready when the center opened in December 1997. Production delays postponed the project.
Jones, 51, an assiduous history buff, was one of those who pushed hardest for the display. He was especially concerned about the preservation of African American history, such as the National Benefit Association, a turn-of-the-century insurance group for blacks, once located where the arena sits now.
Pollin devoted about 150 square feet of prime wall space in the ticket lobby for the exhibit. Belva Lockwood, the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, once lived at what is now Section 201 of the arena. Also recalled are images of the once vibrant commerce and activity in the surrounding blocks--which may be returning, spurred by the arena itself.
Police Seek Help in 1998 Hit-and-Run
A year after a District architect was fatally struck in an auto accident in Northwest Washington, police are still seeking the public's help in tracking down the two men who fled the vehicle that killed him.
S. Goodluck Tembunkiart, 44, died Sept. 21, 1998, after his Honda Accord was struck by a Cadillac Deville, which police believe had run a stop sign, at Nevada Avenue and Legation Street NW.
Two men were seen fleeing the Cadillac on foot. Detectives, who believe the Cadillac was stolen from Hyattsville, yesterday issued a statement asking anyone with information about the men to call the department's major crash unit at 202-727-1698. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment.
Tembunkiart was vice president of RTKL Associates Inc., where he was principal designer for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. He had been driving home to Chevy Chase after working at his Dupont Circle office on a presentation about the center.
Tembunkiart's death left "a huge loss" for his wife, Julia E. Craighill, and their children, now 10 and 2, Craighill said yesterday. "He was always home for dinner and to put the kids to bed," she said. "Being a father and a husband was his ultimate reward and strength-generator in his life."
Dispute Over School Field Resolved
Feuding factions in a dispute over whether a D.C. school ball field should be used by children or for church parking met yesterday and tentatively agreed to a resolution that would lead to withdrawal of a lawsuit filed over the issue, according to participants.
Parents and community activists in the Shaw neighborhood have filed a suit against Metropolitan Baptist Church, which has been using the playground at Garrison Elementary School for parking. D.C. School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman had approved an agreement allowing the parking.
The field, now filled with gravel and glass, has been unusable by children for years, and a developer had offered to renovate the field for free. Last week, a Superior Court judge issued an order temporarily barring parking there, though the developer's deadline for renovation passed Friday.
Yesterday, parties to the dispute met with officials from the office of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D). The tentative agreement calls for the church to cease parking on the field and for the city to find the resources to fix it. Participants at the meeting said residents who brought the suit were planning to discuss whether to drop it.
Duncan Lobbies for Anti-Poverty Program
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan made a rare appearance before the County Council yesterday to push his package of legislation for the working poor.
Duncan (D) testified before the council for only the second time since his election in 1994, officials said. Duncan's proposal would provide $6.5 million in additional funds for child care, health care, housing, job training and transportation.
A key component of the proposal would be a new county earned income tax credit for working poor families. County officials estimate the tax credit would provide refunds for 13,600 households that earn up to $17,000 a year. The average savings would be $322, according to official estimates.
Glen Echo Park Rehabilitation Begins
The long-awaited renovation work on the dilapidated buildings at Glen Echo Park is underway, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) announced yesterday as he gave state officials a tour of the old amusement park.
Duncan said the rehabilitation work to the bumper car pavilion and the "Cuddle Up" pavilion is being funded with Montgomery County's initial $2 million appropriation, although the full $18.9 million it will take to restore the entire park has not yet been approved.
The state approved a $1 million appropriation during this year's General Assembly session after considerable debate. And, so far, federal funding has not yet been passed. The plan to save the park calls for the county, state and local governments to each contribute $6 million.
Raceway Cancels Scalper's Tickets
Bristol Motor Speedway officials have canceled a man's season tickets after seeing his Internet offer to sell them to the highest bidder.
Ticketing director Evelyn Hicks says she sent the man a letter saying that the track had refunded the money to his charge card, and that he won't get his tickets. The track in Southwest Virginia also will bar him from buying tickets in the future.
As NASCAR popularity grows, the speedway watches carefully for scalpers, Hicks said. Last season, Bristol track managers canceled 180 tickets held by a man who was attempting to scalp them on the Internet.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"For a civilized place like Washington, it seems too early to terminate your evening at midnight."
--Kenneth Sullivan, of Washington, about a proposal to keep Metro trains running until 1 a.m. on weekends.