COLUMNS

The ‘Humane’ side of D.C.

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • May 25, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz
Local Silver Spring crime novelist George Pelecanos celebrated publication of his 13th book, “Drama City,” a novel set in D.C. that features a humane officer with the Washington Humane Society, at Ron and Anne Lewis‘ Georgetown home last Thursday evening. No surprise that even the chocolate cakes were vegan. Pelecanos introduced the two officers who let him be “a ride along” and on whom his protagonist, Lorenzo Brown, is based – Mitchell Battle and Adam Parascandola, director of the Human Law Enforcement program – calling them “the heroes I write about in the city.”

Parscandole, who told me he’s amazed at the accuracy of the book, says Pelecanos “captures the actual city rather than the White House – we see it a lot on our job. To me it seemed like a day nothing happened. The book made it more exciting than it was.”

Battle agreed. “We’re almost immune … a dog chained up … we see it every day.”

Not only does the novel have a theme of redemption, but Pelecanos said the happy ending is that he got a dog handpicked by Parscandole. “[The dog] is a member of my family now.”

Pelecanos has also been writing and producing “The Wire,” an HBO-TV show produced in Baltimore, which he says is “similar to my books.” Pelecanos said, “The show is written like a novel – it gives equal weight to drug dealers and police and nothing gets solved. It’s one big case in a 13-hour block. I’ve been writing about Washington my whole life. I’m amazed at what goes on in Baltimore.”

Fred Thompson

Last best chance: Eliminating the nuclear nightmare

“I have to get back into show business so my political views can be taken seriously,” said former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., good-naturedly at the premiere of “Last Best Chance,” a docu-drama about a terrorist plot to create Hiroshima-like nuclear explosions in populated cities around the world. The imposing actor/lawyer, who plays the president of the United States in the gripping 45-minute film, is seen on TV’s “Law & Order” and also had major film roles in “The Hunt for Red October” and “Cape Fear.”

Ted Turner

Thompson, who gained fame as a counsel in the Watergate hearings decades ago, was in good company at the Motion Picture Association of America’s private theater last Wednesday evening. Media visionary Ted Turner, co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, flew in from Atlanta to spread the word along with his co-chair, former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga. “We’re in a race between cooperation and catastrophe,” Nunn warned. Other attendees included Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell; former Sen. Tim Wirth, D-Colo., now president of the United Nations Foundation; former Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind., 9/11 Commission member; and a gaggle of deep thinkers from the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies involved in safeguarding America.

The film – fictional but based on facts – is being released on DVD. Each guest received one copy, packaged with a combination lock and chain to underscore the message: “We must lock down nuclear weapons and materials – before terrorists can get them.”

Pre-launch mode at File: Good sports all

Yesterday, Anne Schroeder, the new executive editor of the upcoming Capitol File, moved into the canary-yellow shoebox of an office downtown that she shares with Editor in Chief Kate Gibbs. According to Gibbs, formerly with washingtonpost.com and AOL CityGuide, Schroeder, who penned the Names and Faces column at the Post, was a good sport considering there was not a computer in sight. “She even put together her own chair,” said Gibbs at the opening of Old Homestead Steakhouse in Bethesda Monday evening. Not sure if that’s part of the job description at Jason Binn’s new glossy society publication set to debut in September.

Also spotted at the new hot steakhouse bash: “Modern Luxury” publisher Peter Abrahams, formerly with The Magazine Group; AOL.com editor Kathleen Neary, and Washington Flyer editor Jayne Sandman, whom we hear is now on board with Capitol File.

Richard Sam Victor Paul

Don’t blame the French for this one. In D.C. we hear that manners have gone the way of manual typewriters. Many partygoers don’t even have a clue what R.S.V.P. means, much less do it. One guest calling the “Knock-Out Abuse” R.S.V.P. line to respond to the invitation for the cocktail party last night at Melrose tells Buzz that when a sweet voice on the other end answered, she said she wanted to “R.S.V.P.” for the event. “There is nobody here by that name,” was the response. She couldn’t believe it, so she said it again, a total of three times before taking the liberty to inform them that “R.S.V.P.” is not a name – and that the French “repondez s’il vous plait” means “please reply” in English!

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