COLUMNS

Commissioner shows hands-on style

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • May 24, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

Mark Tuohey, head of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, caught a foul ball at the top of the sixth inning at RFK Thursday afternoon. He sat in the D.C. box beside Mayor Williams during the Nats game. Tennis coach Kathy Kemper, who watched the catch, exclaimed, “He has great reflexes and hands.” Not to mention his thick white hair.

Three Little Pigs grab attention

We always knew there was a fair share of pork in Washington but now there’s no doubt. McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. has placed 15 750-pound piggy bank sculptures throughout the city in an effort to teach middle school students to save. The sculptures, painted by local artists, stand 4 feet tall. The courier dressed as Ben Franklin on K Street delivers the message, “A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned.” The “Can’t Buy Me Love” pig resides in Friendship Heights. Capital One plans to auction off the piggy banks next month. The proceeds will go to the school system. The pigs seem to be getting more attention than the concept of banking assets. Save your pennies for a kid-worthy cause!

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Sin City mayor achieves every boy’s dream

Here’s a first – Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman signed on as a celebrity guest photographer for Playboy.com. The mayor joins the list of previous celebrity shooters including Carmen Electra and rapper Nelly. “I was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof,” said the mayor when shooting Miss January 2001 Irina Voronina in the Hefner suite atop the Palms Hotel & Casino earlier this month. The mayor’s relationship with Playboy will likely be even more enhanced by the company’s opening of a casino in Vegas next winter.

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Jason Binn

Filing with style against Binn & Co.

Boston magazine filed a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston last week against Jason Binn’s Niche Media LLC, the New York publisher of thick, glitzy glossies that in September plans to launch Capitol File here in D.C. and Boston Commonwealth. Metrocorp, the parent company of Boston magazine, is accusing Niche Media of swiping information from a Boston magazine database – a valuable asset in this business – and using it to target advertisers. Binn has lured some staffers from Boston magazine to his upcoming publication in the same way that he’s lured staffers from prominent D.C. publications to Capitol File.

Dan Scully, executive vice president of Boston magazine, said, “This is not about prospecting other magazines, or honest data-mining, and it’s not about defecting employees, and not about competition. This is about stopping someone from taking shortcuts, from taking information we’ve protected with confidentiality agreements.” They’ll begin to serve people from Niche Media this week as well as three former Boston magazine employees, Scully told me. “We’re looking for an honest playing field,” said Scully. Binn did not return our calls.

Tennis and mirrors

When Ambassador Bill Fitzgerald’s sponsored team won the celeb-pro tournament benefiting the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation at the William Fitzgerald tennis center Saturday morning, he explained, “It’s all done with mirrors.”

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Breaux
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Stevens

Other teams were led by pros Zina Garrison, Tracy Austin, former Sen. John Breaux, D-La., and 85-plus doubles champ, Allie Ritzenberg. Marcia Carlucci did a terrific job chairing the event, which raised $450,000 pre-auction and included a dinner that evening at the Washington Hilton honoring Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, an advocate of women’s sports and the Title IX legislation, and Tracy Austin. Marcia’s hubby, Frank Carlucci, the former defense secretary who holds his own on the court, told me, “I stay out of her way when she’s chairing these things.”

Austin, the youngest person ever to win the U.S. Open title and the youngest ever inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame (1992), told me she flew in from Rolling Hills, Calif., for the event because she got a phone call from Bowie-based pro and Olympic gold medalist Zina Garrison, who explained, “This can change kids’ lives.”

“If you learn discipline and self-esteem in tennis it carries over in school as well,” said Austin, who is the youngest of five siblings, four of whom are pros. Garrison and Austin have known one another for 25 years. Austin’s brother, Jeff, now a sports agent in D.C., is now his sister’s agent.

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