City Desk

District Line Daily: Officials Tackle Gun Violence

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier railed against violent crime and illegal guns in the District, providing updates on two fatal incidents in July. "People are tired of the recklessness [and] the illegal guns," Lanier said. Compared with last year, violent crime is up roughly 20 percent.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Two shootings occurred in Northwest last night, leaving one man dead and two injured. Police have not yet arrested any suspects. [WUSA9]
  • Chris Geldart, the interim director of D.C.'s 911 call center, says he's working hard to make emergency responses more efficient by changing the call center's culture. [NBC Washington]
  • Christopher Lyons, a former deputy fleet administrator for the D.C. Department of Public Works, is suing the city for alleged discrimination. Lyons is white, claiming that coworkers called him "cracker."  [Fox News]
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed an 18-person "strike force" this week to protect subsidized housing, as federal grants will expire in the next few years. D.C. will also build about 1,000 affordable units. [WAMU]
  • TripAdvisor has ranked the District as the sixth-best city in the U.S. for pizza. Chicago was first. [Post]
  • In other rankings, the D.C. metropolitan area seems to be one of the worst for rats and roaches. [City Desk]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • Up in the Club: Ibiza, once D.C.'s hottest megaclub, lost its liquor license in May after earning a reputation for violence and money problems. Read our cover story on how the club went from party zone to party zero.
  • Tour de Jerks?: Does the Tour de France make D.C. cyclists ruder every July? Gear Prudence speculates.
  • Drive Carefully: D.C. police are starting to run "step-out stings" to curb reckless driving using data from Vision Zero, a city initiative that aims to rid the District of traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024.

Read more District Line Daily: Officials Tackle Gun Violence

Mayor, Police Chief Rail Against Gun Violence

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Muriel Bowser and Cathy Lanier want to purge D.C. of gun violence and are asking for help.

At an impromptu press conference Thursday afternoon, the mayor and police chief addressed the spike in violent crime sweeping the District, focusing on two incidents that occurred in July. Both officials characterized the uptick in crime as a trend affecting other major American cities. Lanier said she will soon meet with other police chiefs whose cities are seeing more homicides, and she wants to send a message that “people are tired of the recklessness [and] the illegal guns.”

Read more Mayor, Police Chief Rail Against Gun Violence

District Ranks Among Worst (Best?) U.S. Cities for Roaches and Rats

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Eek!

Bloomberg today reported on the "most vermin-filled cities in the U.S.," using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Housing Survey, and Washington, D.C. made the list. The data, released last month, shows that the D.C. metropolitan area (which includes parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) had a higher-than-national percentage of homes with signs of mice in the previous 12 months: 9.1 percent for the U.S. and 14.8 percent for D.C.

Read more District Ranks Among Worst (Best?) U.S. Cities for Roaches and Rats

Chatter: Death With Dignity

cover-issue1860-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

Bills under consideration in D.C. and Maryland that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain an aid-in-dying prescription were the subjects of last week’s two cover stories. “Please continue to advocate and support the cause of terminal patients to have the choice to end their lives,” nancy sansom commented on the Maryland piece. “It is cruel and unhuman to force these patients to endure this terrible pain, when their end is obvious. We are kinder to our pets and allow them to die with dignity, why not people?” Typical DC BS, who commented on the D.C. article, agreed: “This legislation is vital. Glad they are taking the time to thoughtfully consider the implications of this legislation and hopefully craft procedures used successfully in other states. We treat suffering animals better than dying people. Having helped care for a dying grandfather whose last days were a painful hell (albeit he was unconscious due to high levels of morphine at times), his wishes for an end to his suffering expressed numerous times was heartbreaking. Not being able to legally grant his wishes was frustrating.”

Typical DC BS Indeed, on the other hand, took issue with the D.C. piece, commenting that it sounded like an editorial. (While the article extensively featured the bill’s introducer, Mary Cheh, it also highlighted comments from people on both sides of the debate.) MikenotIke raised his objections, “Dear Commissar Cheh, Thank you for taking the initiative to eliminate those who make our lives burdensome. Please press ahead on other valiant initiatives to ensure order in the People’s Republic of DC.”

Make Plastic Trees

We hope readers took the time to finish Lisa Rowan’s feature on the D.C. Public Library’s Fabrication and Studio labs, which feature 3-D printers, a laser cutter, and recording equipment, before running out to try the tools for themselves. D_Rez summed up the reaction in the comments: “I have to say this is absolutely amazing. Good job, DCPL.”

While the piece highlighted the labs’ positives, it also noted that the challenges, including limited studio space for musicians. One percussionist in the article questioned who actually uses the recording equipment. Librarian @juliagertrud replied, “Teens do! Studio consistently booked solid when only open to 13-19 yr-olds. Can’t wait for adults to discover it too!”

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, where the labs are housed, is set to undergo a major renovation in the coming years, and its collections will be housed in interim spaces during construction. D.C. librarian and Reddit user robotnique made the case for visiting ASAP: “There are six 3d printers and it is shockingly cheap because you only have to pay for the material. That being said my favorite is the laser cutter. My colleague on a whim had it etch a map of Westeros onto the outside of his coffee thermos. Great, great detail.”

D.C.’s Hispanic Population Inching Northward

2010Neighborhoods

¡Vamos al Norte!

So suggests new research about the District’s Hispanic residents, who historically have made the Northwest neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant their home. The research, a project by Hola Cultura, a D.C.-based nonprofit, and students at the University of Maryland, shows that since 1970, Hispanic Washingtonians have gradually moved north- and eastward from those three neighborhoods. Although many Hispanic cultural spaces such as restaurants, bodegas, and Spanish-language churches still exist in those locales, D.C.’s Hispanic population now mostly resides in 16th Street Heights, Park View, and Petworth.

Read more D.C.’s Hispanic Population Inching Northward

DDOT Says Vision Zero Data Already Helping With Enforcement

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The outreach portion of Vision Zero is underway in D.C., and the initiative is now assisting in police stings that work toward the program’s goal: zero traffic fatalities by 2024.

Last weekend, the Metropolitan Police Department ran a "step-out sting"—officers literally step out of their vehicles to enforce traffic laws—at Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street NW with the goal of enforcing yielding for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The operation resulted in 26 total citations to both drivers and pedestrians, including 12 for failure to leave the right of way.

Read more DDOT Says Vision Zero Data Already Helping With Enforcement

This Week’s Page Three Photo

1100 Block of 15th Street NW, July 27

1100 Block of 15th Street NW, July 27

 

Page three photos are also in this gallery.

District Line Daily: Club Dread

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

When Ibiza, once the District's hottest megaclub, opened in NoMa in 2007, few thought it would garner the reputation for violence and money problems that D.C. residents now associate with its name. Having lost its liquor license this May, "Ibiza leaves behind some good times, some bloody faces, and a lot of people who wish they had never gotten involved," writes Will Sommer in this week's cover.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • A young girl has died after being shot last night in Southeast. Reports indicate that the shooting may have been an accident. [NBC Washington, Fox 5 DC]
  • On the other side of D.C., a man was arrested in Northwest last night in connection with a triple shooting. [NBC Washington]
  • Steve Randall Oney, a 59-year-old man from Tennessee, was brought into custody Tuesday night for carrying unregistered weapons in his pickup truck. According to court documents, Oney had asked police for directions to the White House. [WUSA9]
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser is throwing herself a birthday party at Maketto on H Street NE, where she will solicit donations to her constituent service fund. That fund already has $109,627.15 from contributions to her inaugural committee. [Loose Lips]
  • A new rule by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation requires employees to pull swimmers out of public pools if lightning strikes. [WTOP]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • Milk, Eggs, Beef, Shrimp…: Those are just some of the things Sandra Beasley, a local author and poet, is allergic to. Read about her—and others’—experience of dining out with extreme dietary restrictions in D.C.
  • The Beautiful People: Are you one of them? The Hill released its annual list of the 50 Most Beautiful people in D.C. yesterday. Apparently, many Washington beauties enjoy comfort food and exercise—just like the rest of us.
  • Not Out of the Woods: Bandolero, a modern Mexican restaurant in Georgetown that shut down last week, still faces two lawsuits involving alleged sex crimes committed by staff: electronic voyeurism and assault.

Read more District Line Daily: Club Dread

Washington’s Beautiful People Love Junk Food, Exercise, According to The Hill

How to Troll Congress

If The Hill’s annual 50 Most Beautiful list is any indication, the Beautiful People who live and work in Washington have some intense (some might say strange) eating and exercise habits. In more than half of the mini-profiles for 2015, which were released today, subjects including First Lady Michelle Obama and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio as well as various congressional staffers and D.C. media types admit to predilections for chocolate and “bad Chinese food” and affinities for CrossFit, SoulCycle, and Zumba. Beautiful People: They're just like us! (Except beautiful.)

Then again, it could just be that The Hill's writers are more obsessed with these topics than the people they profiled are. City Desk makes no claims regarding statistical significance here, but below are some gems from the 2015 list, organized in a few helpful categories. As City Paper once wrote about the (largely superficial) rankings, “We read the whole thing, so you didn't have to!”

Read more Washington’s Beautiful People Love Junk Food, Exercise, According to The Hill

Gear Prudence: Is the Tour de France Turning Local Cyclists Into Jerks?

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Gear Prudence: I ride my bike every month of the year to commute and for exercise. This past weekend I was out on the trail and noticed even more obnoxious behavior from my fellow cyclists than usual. In fact, it’s been getting worse all of July. I wondered if I was just imagining it, but I mentioned my observation to my friend and he identified the culprit: the Tour de France. He claims that every July the bike riding gets appreciably ruder because area cyclists, inundated with coverage of bike racing, can’t help but to imagine themselves as pros in the peloton, and these delusions of grandeur translate to much worse behavior on local roads and trails. Could this possibly be true? —Wants Answer Now, Not Affronting Bicycling Efforts

Dear WANNABE: This is an interesting theory, and there are elements of it that sound plausible. Within the niche sport of road cycling, few events garner as much mainstream coverage as Le Tour. Faced with few exemplars of proper cycling behavior in other contexts, amateur riders might seek to emulate the bike racing heroes they see each day undertaking profound feats of athleticism. But whereas the athleticism doesn’t translate, what might is the underlying mentality of racing and the profound desire to “win the time trial” to work or become King of the Mountain by cresting some minor roller in north Arlington marginally faster than usual. Deeply enthralled, the attempts at mimicry become akin to a sickness. They have developed maillot jaundice.

But there’s much to be skeptical about as well. When someone in a Chevy tailgates you on the Beltway, is that behavior chalked up to Dale Jr.’s performance at the Daytona 500? Additionally, GP questions the power that watching something has to directly influencing behavior. Mad Men had a niche and fervent audience but that didn’t translate into any more office day drinking. Immersion and fandom don’t necessarily mean the inability to disambiguate what you see from how you act.

The explanation could be much more obvious. Within a set of bicyclists, some will act poorly. July is one of the more popular months for bicycling, and since the overall number of cyclists is larger, the overall number of jerks is too. It’s not the popularity of a bike race that’s causing the uptick in bad actors—it’s the popularity of bicycling overall (which, admittedly, might be impacted by the popularity of the bike race). But at best, it’s an indirect connection, and while your friend’s idea is pithy and shouldn’t be dismissed outright, it’s likely much more nuanced than a peloton of poseurs. —GP

Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who blogs at talesfromthesharrows.blogspot.com and tweets at @sharrowsdc. Got a question about bicycling? Email gearprudence@washingtoncitypaper.com.

District Line Daily: Fishy Business

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

Tenants of the Maine Avenue Fish Market—the oldest continuously operating fish market in the U.S.—have filed a lawsuit against the District government and developers, who, the tenants claim, have conspired to force them out to make way for The Wharf.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • MPD officers have arrested Gary Nathaniel Proctor, suspected of killing Jerome Diggs in Southwest on Monday. [Post]
  • Also arrested this week: local rapper Shy Gizzy, after he had a dispute with his girlfriend Monday in Silver Spring. [Arts Desk]
  • Small amounts of asbestos have been revealed in the oldest railcars in Metro's fleet. There are 280 operating. [NBC Washington]
  • A new University of Vermont study has found that D.C. is literally sinking—rapidly by geologic standards. [Fusion, Science Daily]
  • There are at least three D.C. sports figures that could replace Bill Cosby on a mural at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Read more District Line Daily: Fishy Business

Fire Lieutenant Cited for ‘Neglect of Duty’ After Delayed Response to Choking Toddler

firesix-9

Four months after an 18-month-old boy died following a delayed response from city paramedics, Mayor Muriel Bowser yesterday announced reforms to the District’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and Office of Unified Communications, as well as disciplinary charges against a fire lieutenant.

Read more Fire Lieutenant Cited for ‘Neglect of Duty’ After Delayed Response to Choking Toddler

District Line Daily: Killing Near Police HQ

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

A man was fatally stabbed Monday afternoon near the Metropolitan Police Department's headquarters, between Fourth and E streets NW. Less than two miles away, another man—Jerome Diggs—was fatally shot in the 1300 block of First Street NW, also near a police facility. Diggs was 48-years-old.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Boston officially bowed out of the 2024 Olympics yesterday afternoon, after supporters could not rally the public behind hosting the Games. Will the District take Boston's place as America's top contender for host-city? (Or will it be Los Angeles or San Fransisco?) [City Desk, WBJ, LA Times]
  • Metro celebrated the Silver Line's one-year anniversary Monday with a towering birthday cake. Ridership numbers have been mediocre. [WAMU]
  • Carr Properties has released its plans for the new Fannie Mae building that will be built atop the current building for the Washington Post. [WBJ]
  • George Washington University announced Monday that it has dropped standardized test scores as a requirement for undergrad admission. [Post]
  • A report by Save the Children, an international nonprofit, has found that D.C. and Virginia lack emergency-disaster protections for kids. [WAMU]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • "Sacred Slaughter": Would you buy a $135 cocktail? Lukas B. Smith, the bartender for Dram & Grain, thinks "there's a market for it."
  • Canadian Discrimination: Former MPD staffer Laurie J. Samuel is suing the department for allegedly offending her Canadian heritage.
  • Mhm, Lasagna: Jim Davis's Garfield comic has been adapted as a musical at Adventure Theater in Maryland's Glen Echo National Park.

Read more District Line Daily: Killing Near Police HQ

Boston Doesn’t Want the 2024 Olympics. Does D.C.?

olympics

Following months of debate over whether the city could sustain the world’s largest sporting event, Boston has officially pulled its bid to host the 2024 Olympics. Will D.C. try again for the Games?

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and Boston 2024 Partnership Chairman Steve Pagliuca jointly released statements today acknowledging their groups had failed to garner the public support necessary to seal the deal—a deal that, according to Washington Business Journal, would have generated about $4.8 billion in revenue and $4.6 billion in costs, in addition to thousands of new apartments, construction jobs, and operations jobs for the international contest.

Read more Boston Doesn’t Want the 2024 Olympics. Does D.C.?

District Line Daily: Prostitution Stings Continue

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

More than 60 men have been arrested over the past two weeks in downtown D.C. as part of a sting operation against prostitution. Many of the arrests have occurred in Ward 2, represented by Councilmember Jack Evans, who recently proposed a bill that would require District police to impound cars that are suspected of "being used in furtherance of... a prostitution-related offense."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • On Friday, Jasper Spires—the suspect in the July 4 Metro stabbing that fatally wounded Kevin Sutherland—was ordered to be evaluated for mental competence. District Judge Robert E. Morin also ordered Spires to be held in jail until his next hearing in late August. [City Desk]
  • Metro officials and representatives from Northern Virginia will today discuss the impact of the Silver Line, for its one-year anniversary. [AP]
  • Joan Bowie-Brockenberry, a 71-year-old District resident who went missing last week, has been found "safe and in good health." [WTOP]
  • In a last-minute comeback, D.C. United beat the Philadelphia Union this weekend 3-2. Fabian Espindola scored the winning goal. [MLS]
  • On Friday, pop-star Ariana Grande stopped by the Washington Humane Society and took Instagram pictures of rescue dogs. Grande was in town for a concert at Verizon Center Saturday night. She "wanted to take every single baby home," she wrote on an Instagram post. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • Farm-to-TableRob Weland's Garrison, a restaurant based around local farms, has opened on Barracks Row. Mhm, bison hanger steak.
  • Lighting Up on the Job?: The D.C. Board of Elections will consider a ballot initiative that would regularly drug test councilmembers, the mayor, and top District employees.
  • Forget Trips to IKEA: Turns out you can transport a fridge on Metro—at least physically, and during the middle of the day, anyways.

Read more District Line Daily: Prostitution Stings Continue

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