Roll Call

May 23, 1996

SECTION: In the neighborhood

LENGTH: 1254 words

Will We All Scream For Hill Ice Cream? Go Ask Ben & Jerry.

BYLINE: By Duncan Spencer

The great ice cream drama of Massachusetts Avenue - the recent sudden disappearance of Bob's Famous at the corner of Third St. and Massachusetts Ave., NE - has been pushed aside by a new spine tingler, just in time for sweltering spring weather. National brandsmen Ben & Jerry are considering taking up the lease in the building.

But don't start drooling for Chubby Hubby and Cherry Garcia just yet. Building owner Steve Cymrot says nothing has been signed and nothing is definite.

"The freezer, however, is ready to go," he said. "The demise of Bob's was tragic. Everyone on Capitol Hill loved the place."

But when the original famous Bob, Bob Weiss, sold the business, the subsequent owner was unable to make it profitable. Weiss left the ice cream business and became manager of the Green Acres School, by the way.

Among parties interested in the premises, Cymrot says, are a bank, a coffee house, and a restaurant.

"But nobody's pulled the trigger," he added.

Hold that metaphor, Steve.

Night Owls United

Night Owl crime reporter Larry Krebs is a guy who cruises the city with three or four radios crammed into the dash of his car, looking and listening for trouble. His livelihood for years has been news tips and on-the-scene reports and photos.

Krebs is a "scanner," one of the breed of radio buffs and kilocycle freaks who travel the airwaves, sometimes for pay and sometimes for amusement. Now a Takoma Park, Md., man, Alan Henney, has started a scanner news service, and Capitol Hill is the heart of it.

A loose-knit group of scanners here, the Capitol Hill Monitors, boasts 150 members, including longtime Hill resident David Deutsch, a public television executive.

Henney jokes about the service as a "bad news network," since most of the stories involve fires, robberies, "man with a gun" calls, and other police and fire business. But the official name is Breaking News Network.

When a scanner hears a call that sounds interesting, he transmits it via modem to BNN headquarters, where subscribers are notified by pager.

The bad news buffs get their kicks from knowing what is going on before anyone else, or in the case of freelance photographers, getting there first. Henney has recently published a book, the "Washington Baltimore Scanner Almanac," which in 536 pages tells who is talking to whom on the radio dial.

One tidbit: The Capitol Police radio moniker for House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga) is "nine Eagle."

If It's Tuesday, Must Market Be Closed?

A majority of Eastern Market merchants want to close down the Hill's venerable food market on Mondays and Tuesdays to revert to the five-day food market of ten years ago.

A 6-4 ballot among the merchants two weeks ago revealed that only Tom Glasgow of Market Lunch, Charles Glasgow of Union Meat, and Emilio and Jose Canales of Canales Quality Meats and Canales Deli wish to remain open six days.

The new schedule is due to go into effect at the end of June. Some merchants said business is too slow on Tuesday to warrant staying open; others said the market is thriving and merchants and workers just want time off.

The extra day's closure is sure to create controversy among shoppers as it has already among the merchants themselves.

The market has been on a six-day workweek since an experiment with Sunday openings five years ago proved a success. Monday has always been the market's day off. Now some merchants fear that the extra day's closure will bring a slowdown to Seventh Street, SE, as a whole.

Canales Deli's Jose Canales said, "Tuesday is not a bad day. My whole concern is that we're all bragging that we're doing well, but that's only because we're working harder. If we close Tuesday, customers might go somewhere else. And if we change back in six or eight months, it will be much harder."

Tom Glasgow, whose Market Lunch has brought national attention to the city's oldest public market, claimed a Tuesday closing will not take place, though he admitted the final decision will be in the hands of his brothers, Richard and Chad Glasgow, who are the top officers of the Eastern Market Corp.

Potomac Boasts New Water Blast

The Potomac is overflowing these days with new tourist vehicles: the huge Odyssey dinner-cruise liner, a fleet of small water taxis offering river rides to the monuments, the Spirit Cruise Line, and the Dandy Dinner boat.

But now comes the hottest and fastest of all, a 100-seat speedboat powered by turbo-charged diesels that can top 38 knots and blast its way to Mount Vernon in 15 minutes. It's a formula that has drawn crowds in Ocean City, Md., but has never been tried here.

Scott Sheridan, a 38-year-old entrepreneur who claims kinship with famed Civil War Union Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan, has parked the bold black and racy vessel "Shore Shot" at Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St., SW.

The 53-foot-long craft was built by Yank Boat Works of New Jersey and is powered by twin Detroit Diesels with 1,300 horsepower. Though speed limit restrictions apply above Memorial Bridge and at the city of Alexandria, Sheridan says the rest of the river is open to unlimited top speeds.

Low-speed portions of the $10 boat rides from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. take in upriver sights like the Lincoln and Washington Memorials; a stop is planned for Washington Harbor in Georgetown. But after Hains Point, he says, licensed captains Walter Holtgren and Larry Hammond will shove the throttles full forward.