- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Here’s to the District’s Fun Couple of the Year — Mayor Anthony A. Williams and D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp — and a Merry Christmas, too.

You have come to be our version of James Stewart and Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life” after pulling our baseball team off the ledge of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge.

So we bring good cheer and a “ho, ho, ho” for all. Look what is under our tree, the Washington Nationals, plus the return of the NBA on Fun Street. The Big Three of Antawn Jamison, Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes on the court is complemented by the Big Three of Zack Bolno, Josh Sekine and Eric Hernandez off it.

And don’t forget Tony Cheng, the Fado Irish Pub, Wes Unseld, John Lally and Brian Sereno.

This is a spirited nod to Cleveland Ray, the camera-toting bureaucrat who lurks in city alleyways in his ever-exhausting quest to find a suspect Super Can worthy of a fine.

This is a nod to Chris Bender of the mayor’s office and D.C. Council member Jim Graham. And Karen DeWitt and the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, too, despite the lead in the water and the intricate filters on the faucets.

Ours is a city of real neighborhoods and real people, starting with Al and Sandy Bradford, Chris Schrichte and Robin Wood, Patricia Ghiglino and Reinaldo Lopez, Sylita and Sepi, and the hard-working, taxpaying merchants of the Skyland Shopping Center who labor in fear of an indiscriminately applied definition of eminent domain and the land-grabbing visionaries of the National Capital Revitalization Corp.

A special wish of judicial good will goes to Rose and Joseph Rumber, Marion Fletcher and Sam Franco, Muneer Choudhury and Verna Fields and all the rest of the proprietors on Alabama Avenue and Good Hope and Naylor roads in Southeast.

We are all in this together — the city and the suburbs, where Brent and Darlene Byer; Maurice Marsolais; Marvin, Betty and Maria Holperin; Mohammed Hasanian; Reggie McKinney; and David and Camille Jones dwell.

This is to acknowledge the sweaty work of the leading Stoddert Park tree-huggers, Courtney Cunningham, Tamela Gordon and Amy Bowman. The latter two rode the park’s contentious debate to advisory neighborhood commission seats in November.

And a toast to the gang at Austin Grill: Aaron, Sami, Leo and Josh. There is L. Peter Farkas, the one clutching a law brief in one hand and Trish in the other.

Season’s greetings to Peg and Lucille, Katie and Eddie, Deborah and Phyllis, Rhonda and Richard, Jack and Kathy, Irwin and Genevieve, Jack and Marianne, the Trask family, and the Potomac girls’ basketball team in McLean. Pass the eggnog around.

To John Epting and Jeffrey Utz, two of the legal intellects with Shaw-Pittman, a hearty round of applause. The same to Elaine Mittleman. ‘Tis always the season of lawyers.

This also notes the tireless presence of Fred Sternburg, a promoter’s promoter who learned his two-fisted approach from the eternally young Charlie “the Barber” Brotman, who helped save D.C. baseball from a close shave without flipping his wig.

To the city’s parking-enforcement bureaucrats, you deserve a long break. Take the rest of the year and next to rest your itchy writing fingers. You have our permission. Promise. A new pen encased in iron is our gift to you.

To the bureaucrat working the trash hot line, yours was the most unsettling advice of the year, which was: Stick your maggot-infested Super Can in your vehicle and transport its fetid contents across the city to a transfer station. A hazmat suit is in your stocking.

Ours is a holiday season that demands a momentary truce between the blue and red states.

On second thought, that is way too much to expect in the gasbag capital.

And finally, a yuletide salute is extended to the Bush twins, if only because their sightings spread so much joy in the trendy nightspots along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor.

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