Archive for January, 2007

Washington DC Counter Culture Festival

Having gone to college at Berkeley I’m into counterculture. I’m also into Webcomics. If I wasn’t also into Law School (and the accompanying homework) I’d be very excited about all the options available this Saturday in Clarendon.

First, a group of comic creators called DC Conspiracy is holding an event at Dr. Dremo (2001 Wilson Blvd.) this Saturday (Jan 27) from 4pm to midnight. At the same time, some group called “Art Outlet” is doing an arts and music festival (“Flux: An Art Sensory Overload“) at the abandoned Auto Body Repair Shop next to the Whole Foods a few blocks up Wilson (1415 Danville St). Supposedly you’ll be treated to, “paintings, sculpture, and similar visual art fare. You’ll also be treated to four bands, an interactive video/sound performance piece, fire juggling, aerial dance performance, and improv theatre. And if pleasing attendees aurally, visually and esthetically isn’t enough, there will be an art raffle and an art salon open to everyone for the duration. Save the relaxation for the wine and cheese set; this artistic excursion will overload your senses with the unlimited possibilities of artistic endeavor.”

I’m a big fan of recontexualizing unused industrial space for art. It kinda reminds me of the illegal raves that use to happen in random warehouses in San Francisco back in the day. There’s a suggested $5 donation, but that’s a small price to pay to encourage the arts, musicians, counterculture, and comics.

Good Thing They Know His Nickname!

While each and every murder is a tragedy in DC, apparently each and every murder investigation is also a bad comedy. From the Washington Post:

D.C. police said yesterday they know the nickname of the man who allegedly killed a 17-year-old girl at a Northwest Washington nightclub over the weekend but have not been able to find him.

Oh. I’m so glad that you know his nickname is “Flunky McShootsemdead” now could you stop with the hijinx and find and arrest the guy? Don’t just tell us you know what his friends call him, give us a name, a picture, and get the people involved! Otherwise, you’ll be realizing the dreams of the infamous Frank J and his struggle with the Donald Rumsfeld Strangler, which is published in part below the cut.
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The Tracks Ahead

I’m not going to talk about the bitter cold this morning. It’s too depressing to even think about. Instead, I’m going to write about Metro’s precarious position, which is only slightly less painful. Our transit system, now in the hands of its fourth chief in 12 months, is suffering from planning difficulty for its expansion to Dulles, suffering from derailments and accidents that are literally killing people, is behind on its budget, to the point where another fare hike will likely be in the cards for the next few months.

Metro’s cutting back on bus services to area neighborhoods, in some cases cutting routes altogether and severing the transit lines that bind this community. Extended service has turned into a bit of a joke, as few trains run late until after the bars close. Worse still, the Board that runs Metro turned away its single greatest champion and the only shining light in its plan: Dan Tangherlini. The calculated snub by board members, including Arlington’s own Chris Zimmerman, likely was the breaking point at which Tangherlini realized all his hard work wasn’t appreciated by the board and he was unlikely to become the permanent chief.

Stories like Jeff Harrell’s status quo Metro are more and more the common tale for Metro: “For reasons passing understanding, Metro likes to run short trains on the blue line during rush hour. Like really short. Like four cars short. Like “Let the midget sit on your shoulders so we can cram one more person aboard” short.” But with Metro squandering money left and right, it doesn’t look like we’ll see more eight car trains on the Blue line, or the Red line or the Yellow or Green lines any time soon. Instead, we’ll all be packed in like sardines, on cars that may well derail, settling for trains every ten minutes during rush, and paying $10+ for a day’s parking at the garages that are supposed to help unclog the roads.

Metro’s at a tough spot in its history, and it’s got a long way to go in my eyes before it’s out of the woods. Good luck, John Catoe, new manager of WMATA, there is much you have to do to prove that you’re fit for your $200k+ salary.

Edit: No sooner do I post this than I read about a fire at Farragut North this morning. We may be in more trouble than I had thought.

The Metblogs Post I Never Foresaw…


Supreme Court

Originally uploaded by justindc.

On the list of topics I never, ever would have thought about writing for metblogs, comparison of legal documents’ aesthetics is at the top of them. How is it that Alexandria’s Subpoenas are so much prettier than Arlington’s? When I witnessed a drunk driver get in an accident in the fall, I was subpoenaed to testify in court about what I saw that night. I got a yellow carbon copy from Arlington containing a smudged listing of the case name and number and when I had to appear. It was pretty worthless. About two weeks ago, I got hit by a drunk in Alexandria, who then left the scene. Today, my subpoena arrived. It was in an envelope, it bore the seal of the state of Virginia, it gave good concise and clear instructions about where and when to be.

How is that these legal docs are so different?

Free fighting and cholesterol poisoning for students

Yeah, I’m just bitter I can’t take advantage. I just got an email from the Caps with this information in it.

The Washington Capitals, Papa John’s and DC101 have teamed up to create Papa John’s College Night, which will debut this Saturday at Verizon Center when the Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. To add to the excitement, the Caps are offering the first 368 students in line at Verizon Center (7th and G streets entrance only) with a valid college ID a free admission to the Capitals game and a coupon for a free large Papa John’s pizza.

If you’re just in the area, you might also want to walk over to RFD if you have an ID. “After the game local restaurant RFD (7th Street between H and I streets) will have specials for students who are 21 and older.” I presume they won’t demand proof you were actually at the game.

And no, I have no idea why it would be 368.

Bank Robbery

I’ve just been alerted to the fact that the Chevy Chase Bank inside of 901 New York Avenue has just been robbed. People can be heard screaming and apparently there is madness. Apparently FBI are swarming the building. Has anyone closer to this location seen or heard anything?

Mayor Fenty’s Free Movie Theatre

Major Hat Tip to Marc Fisher of the Post for this fun tidbit: “D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s office has invited 120 homeless people to a screening of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” the Hollywood flick about a homeless man who becomes a fancy stockbroker. The homeless people will gather tomorrow morning to see the Will Smith vehicle at Union Station.”

So, is Mayor Fenty’s idea of handling the homeless problem to provide free motivational services? Really? Personally, if we’re going the motivational speaker route, I think there are perhaps other speakers that might do well. Maybe this google search is where the Mayor should start his next project?

State stops for Starbucks

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State stops for Starbucks

State stops for Starbucks,
originally uploaded by deridere.

As I drove by Starbucks near Lee Highway and Spout Run I noticed these two big, black SUVs (with MD plates) parked at the curb (leaving little room for through traffic to get by) and wonder who was oh so important that they had to stop for their latte before getting down to important business. Yes, there were suits who remained in the SUVs whilst whomever was instead Starbucks, no doubt ordering a triple venti skim no foam half decalf 3 shot sugar free vanilla 4 shot almond latte, waited inline with mere plebians for their foamy goodness.

Congress Gives DC “Practice” Vote.

Think of it like a learner’s permit. Or a training bra. Or maybe like training wheels.

The House of Representatives has awarded DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton a symbolic vote in floor matters for the first time since 1993. As part of the Committee of the Whole, both Norton and the representatives from American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam will get to cast a vote when the House is meeting in that fashion.

If, like me, you haven’t the slightest what the Committee of the Whole is, let me get out our old friend Thomas to do some ‘splainin’:

The Committee of the Whole is not a House committee in the usual sense, but a committee consisting of all members of the House of Representatives — a parliamentary construct to expedite House action. … Procedures in the Committee of the Whole expedite the consideration of legislation because of its smaller quorum requirement, the prohibition of certain motions, and five-minute rule for debate on amendments. These procedures allow more members to participate in the debate on a measure and offer amendments than the procedure in the full House.

After the House adopts a resolution setting the guidelines for considering a bill, the House convenes as the Committee of the Whole, and the Speaker passes the gavel to a chairman, a member of the majority party selected by the Speaker, who presides over the Committee while it is considering the bill. …

The Committee of the Whole cannot pass a bill. Instead, when it is done amending the measure, “the committee rises” and its Chair reports its recommendations on the bill back to the full House, where it is voted on (pass or fail), or recommitted (sent back to the legislative committee from which it was reported).

So, Delegate Holmes Norton can now vote in the Cmte of the Whole, which can debate bills, but not enact them into law. So, DC is pretty much without real representation. Still.

Irony

coupe.jpg My daring coworker and I spotted this coup de resistance near 19th and N Streets around one o’clock this afternoon. Anybody have any idea why they’d be a union picketing in this area?

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