Sentencing Panel to Hold Hearing

A public hearing for the D.C. Advisory Commission on Sentencing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, Room A-5.

Topics included are: whether to abolish parole for all crimes; supervision of and services for offenders after their release from prison; appropriate length of prison sentence for offenders who face life imprisonment; sentencing options for young adult offenders; sentencing guidelines; and alternatives to incarceration and intermediate sanctions.

The commission represents a spectrum of the criminal justice community, from judges and outside advocates to prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers.

It will be up to the D.C. Council to review the commission's work and set new sentencing rules.

To present testimony, call 202-353-7797 no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow. Speakers will be limited to five-minute presentations.

Four Schools Get Funds for Books

The Anacostia Community Outreach Center donated a total of about $1,500 to four District schools earlier this week during their open houses.

Turner, Garfield and Savoy elementary schools in Southeast and Ron Brown Middle School in Northeast will use the money to pay for books including the classics, textbooks and writing journals.

For 15 years, the outreach center has provided support services and donations of food, clothing, books, money and other goods to local schools.

Learning Center Has Expansion Plans

The Calvary Bilingual Multicultural Learning Center, which has been operating out of 10,000 square feet in a donated building on Columbia Road, is launching plans to renovate the remaining 75,000 square feet.

Today, the group will host a combined celebration of what has been done and a fund-raiser for what it plans to do. Renovation of the bulk of the building, donated by Bell Atlantic, will cost $5.6 million.

Of that, the group hopes to raise $2.1 million through donations. The remainder would be underwritten through loans.

The learning center's choir, La Tuna, will perform at tonight's event, along with the band Lilo y Los de Mount Pleasant.

Central Kitchen Receives Donated Phones

D.C. Central Kitchen received 15 palm-sized, digital wireless phones from Nextel on Monday, as well as air time and two-way radio service, so that the kitchen's coordinators can keep in touch with drivers, hotels, restaurants, shelters and social service agencies.

The gift has a value of $56,640.

D.C. Central Kitchen coordinates 330 deliveries a week and prepares and delivers more than 3,000 meals a day to 130 social service agencies in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

'Black Nativity' Moves to Lincoln Theatre

The Langston Hughes classic "Black Nativity," a sold-out hit for the past five years at the Kennedy Center, has a new home and new look this holiday season.

The historic Lincoln Theatre, at 1215 U St. NW, will play host to the reenactment of the birth of Christ with an African American twist.

The play features a cast of Washington area performers and an array of musical tunes from gospel to hip-hop.

"Black Nativity" runs Dec. 16 to 30. Tickets are available at the Lincoln Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 202-432-SEAT. For group rates, call 202-328-6164.