City Desk

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.

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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.?

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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

Suspect in Metro Stabbing to Undergo Mental-Competency Evaluation

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At times, he smiled. At other moments, he seemed to be paying attention to whoever was speaking in Room 215 of the D.C. Superior Court this afternoon, during a preliminary hearing for murder.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Jasper Spires—the 18-year-old suspect in the July 4 Metro stabbing that killed Kevin Sutherland, 24—was today ordered by Judge Robert E. Morin to undergo a mental-competency evaluation and be held in jail until his next hearing, tentatively scheduled for August 28.

Read more Suspect in Metro Stabbing to Undergo Mental-Competency Evaluation

Turmoil in Greece Hasn’t Hurt D.C. Study Abroad Programs

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There may be turmoil on the TV and in the papers, but the Euro is cheap and District students are still traveling abroad to Greece.

For students at George Washington and American universities studying abroad in Greece this summer, professors and administrators reported no issues and enjoyed local hospitality.

“When 15 students and I left for Greece [on June 25], we had no idea that the economic crisis would explode, so we were not particularly worried,” says Andrea Tschemplik, the director of undergraduate studies at AU and the head professor for the university's students in Greece this summer.

Read more Turmoil in Greece Hasn’t Hurt D.C. Study Abroad Programs

Life Hack: Transport a Fridge on Metro

fridge_onmetro_photoSituation: You need a fridge, and you've found a cheap one on Craigslist, but even the thought of driving a rented delivery van in the city gives you an anxiety attack. Possible solution: Transport it via Metro.

Around 11 a.m. today, @jwetz spotted a person loading a large, white refrigerator onto a Red Line train at the Woodley Park station. Mike Tolbert, a public information officer for Metro, notes that although he doesn't know of any precedent regarding fridge transport on the Metro, “I’m sure in the history of Metro, it’s been done before.”

You may remember a similar incident from February 2014, when a man lugged a mattress onto a Metrobus. A mattress, it should be noted out, does not have the same dimensions as a refrigerator, an important difference to remember if you’re trying to use D.C. public transit as a makeshift U-Haul service.

According Tolbert, the same Metro policy regarding the mattress applies to the fridge (or a dishwasher or half-off washer/dryer combo). The policy [PDF] states:

Read more Life Hack: Transport a Fridge on Metro

District Line Daily: Scooby Park

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.

Starburst Plaza—a public space at the intersection of four major streets in Northeast—has seen a growing number of synthetic-drug incidents over the past few weeks. The surrounding community is trying to clean up the plaza with maintenance and programming, in tandem with police enforcement.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Claudia Roldan, a daycare worker at Kiddie Academy of DC, is accused of abusing two babies at the child-care center in Foggy Bottom. [WTOP]
  • A 25-year-old man, Isiah Ageyekum, was shot and killed in Bellevue yesterday afternoon. Police are still investigating the killing. [WUSA9]
  • Councilmember Jack Evans hopes to curb prostitution in the District. His plan? A bill he's calling: "Honey, I lost the car." [City Desk]
  • A map based on census tracts and household density shows which areas of the region are "urban" and "suburban." [Greater Greater Washington]
  • Could you get pink eye by going to the National Building Museum's "BEACH" ball-pit exhibit? One woman tells City Paper she did. [Arts Desk]
  • What do Shake Shack, the Nats, HBO's Girls, and the D.C. government have in common? You guessed it: fonts! [Washingtonian]

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

  • Cover Story: D.C. and Maryland are considering death with dignity bills to potentially expand end-of-life choices. Read our latest cover here.
  • Shaw Rising: Roughly 20 new restaurants and bars will open in Shaw this coming year. Check out our map of the trending neighborhood.
  • I'll Be There for You: The authors of a note that appeared at a Mount Pleasant bus stop yesterday are asking for some friends. Take their quiz.

Read more District Line Daily: Scooby Park

Dear Johns: Jack Evans’ Old, New Plan to Curb Prostitution

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Jack Evans wants to embarrass johns out of the District, courtesy of a bill he introduced to the D.C. Council last week.

The Anti-Prostitution Vehicle Impoundment Enforcement Amendment Act of 2015, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Brianne Nadeau, and Yvette Alexander, aims to create a culture of shame around soliciting sex. The bill “would specifically require the Metropolitan Police Department to impound a vehicle that a police officer has probable cause to believe is being used in furtherance of a violation of a prostitution-related offense,” according to a release from Evans’ office.

Evans refers to it as the “Honey, I lost the car” bill: That’s the moniker he gave it in 1998, when a similar draft passed in the Council but was later declared unconstitutional by the D.C. Court of Appeals (that version of the bill allowed for the sale of vehicles that were seized). He reintroduced legislation allowing vehicle seizures to the Council in 2005, and the bill’s provisions were absorbed into a larger anti-prostitution omnibus act that became law in 2006.

Read more Dear Johns: Jack Evans’ Old, New Plan to Curb Prostitution

This Week’s Page Three Photos

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1500 Block of Pennsylvania Ave. NW, July 21

Mount Pleasant Note Writers Ask People: ‘Please Be Our Friends’

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So no one told you life was gonna be this way when you moved to D.C.?

Apparently not. A handwritten poster that showed up at a Mount Pleasant bus stop this morning is asking people to make friends with its authors, “Jack and Katharine.” The pair write that they are “two young adults who just moved to DC. We know a few cool people in the city, but are worried that there are about 650,000 great folks that we’ll never meet.” (Oh, the urban tragedy!)

Read more Mount Pleasant Note Writers Ask People: ‘Please Be Our Friends’

At Starburst Plaza, a Community Tries to Combat Synthetic Drug Use

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A mural depicting Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks watches over the space. A tree in the middle provides shade to pedestrians, who might grab a bike from the Capital Bikeshare station on the other side. There’s a fountain, too, but because it hasn’t run in months, it's completely dried up.

Starburst Plaza—a public space at the intersection of four major streets in Northeast—also goes by a different name among people in the area: “Scooby Park,” so called for a popular type of synthetic marijuana, Scooby Snax. (It comes packaged in "potpourri" pouches bearing the cartoon dog's image.)

Residents, community leaders, and District officials say the plaza has become a hub not just for bus stops and benches but also for alcohol consumption and the synthetic-drug activity plaguing D.C. Named for the “starburst” pattern created by the union of H Street, Maryland Avenue, and Bladensburg and Benning roads NE, the plaza is administered by the District Department of Transportation and maintained by H Street Main Street, a nonprofit.

“From where it used to be, H Street is good,” says Tammi Mack, a site supervisor for H Street Main Street, which helps clean the corridor. “But that joint”­—Starburst Plaza­—“is rough.”

Read more At Starburst Plaza, a Community Tries to Combat Synthetic Drug Use

District Line Daily: Dying with Dignity

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.

“It’s not that I want to die. It’s that I want to control my own suffering.” So says Kelly Lange, a women with metastatic cancer who has advocated for death with dignity legislation in Maryland. Read our latest cover story about Lange's and D.C. advocates' uphill battle to change end-of-life treatment in the region.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The District's Board of Elections yesterday approved language on an initiative that, if ultimately passed, would increase D.C.'s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, from $10.50 an hour currently. California and New York also had their own minimum-wage victories yesterday. [Post, NPR]
  • D.C.'s population may be slowing, but it likely won't decline anytime soon. Here are three ways D.C. can accommodate more people. [CityLab]
  • District police arrested 11 men in an anti-prostitution sting Wednesday, bringing the total count of such arrests this month to 41. [Post]
  • D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has proposed legislation that would change the governing structure of the Smithsonian. [City Desk]
  • A seven-months pregnant woman was stabbed while riding her bike in Southeast on Tuesday. [NBC Washington]

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

  • Bière Belge: Greg Engert, the beer director of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, will oversee a Belgian bar in Georgetown: the Sovereign.
  • Phoning While Biking: Just don't do it, Gear Prudence counsels this week.
  • ICYMI: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe this week and had some things to say about the future of the District.

Read more District Line Daily: Dying with Dignity

Norton: Smithsonian Shouldn’t Have to Use Kickstarter to Fundraise

The Shutdown and the Smithsonian

The art of politics and the politics of art have finally converged.

Just days after the Smithsonian launched a Kickstarter campaign to preserve Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit, D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton today introduced legislation that would radically alter how the 170-year-old cultural institution raises money and is governed.

The Smithsonian Modernization Act of 2015 would expand the institution’s Board of Regents—which currently includes Chief Justice John Roberts, Vice President Joe Biden, and six public officials, per the Smithsonian’s charter—from 17 to 21 members. The bill would also require that all 21 regents be private citizens selected by the President, recommended to him (or her) by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President.

Read more Norton: Smithsonian Shouldn’t Have to Use Kickstarter to Fundraise

Gear Prudence: Put Down the Phone While Cycling!

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Gear Prudence: Nothing pisses me off more than seeing people with phones up to their ears while driving, except for one other thing: when bicyclists do it too! D.C. has laws against this for drivers—is it the same for bicyclists? I’m worried that a distracted bicyclist is going to run me over! —Please Help, Obliviousness Needlessly Endangers

Dear PHONE: Distracted driving is an omnipresent scourge to all road users, and there are few things more harrowing for bicyclists and pedestrians especially. D.C. has a law against the use of mobile phones and electronic devices while driving, allowing them only to be used with hands-free accessories. However, the code only references operators of motor vehicles. Bikes and cars, after all, aren’t the same. But just because it’s legal for bicyclists, it doesn’t mean it’s a great habit, and GP would generally advise against it. It’s remarkably easy for a bicyclist to pull off the road and get going again, so that’s likely a better option than fidgeting with a gadget when riding. Unless it’s an emergency, the call can probably wait. —GP

Gear Prudence: I have an ethical dilemma. I am a strong believer in bicyclist rights, and I like to patronize local businesses that treat bicyclists well. But my absolute favorite sandwich shop doesn’t have bicycle parking, and there’s nowhere within a block to lock up my bike. I’ve asked them to install a rack, but they said that they “weren’t interested.” If they’re not interested in bicyclists, should I be interested in them? Should I take my money elsewhere in protest? —Sad, Angry Man Mulls Objection

Dear SAMMO: Faced with the cruel injustice of not being able to lock your bike directly in front of a business you plan to frequent, you are considering forswearing your favorite sandwich in the name of “bicyclist rights” and in the hope that, deprived of your occasional $8 lunch order, the owner will capitulate as the business slowly bankrupts and realize that the lack of bike parking was its undoing? Spend your money (or withhold it) according to your own personal ethical standards, but it seems highly unlikely that your individual boycott will bring your desired outcome.

Your instinct to protest is good, but consider a different tack. Arrange weekly group rides to the shop and show the owner that bicyclists mean business. If the owner sees how many eaters arrive by bike, perhaps a desire to accommodate these customers (and their $$$) will spur additional interest in bike parking. There’s a shortage of perfect sandwich places in this world. It would be a pity to abandon yours. —GP

Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who tweets @sharrowsDC. Got a question about bicycling? Email gearprudence@washcp.com.

District Line Daily: On the Table

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.

Yesterday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the District isn't "off the table" as a possible home for the Washington Pigskins, despite obstacles to constructing a new football stadium on National Park Service land in D.C. Previously, McAuliffe has said that Virginia is "where [the team] belongs."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The District saw six stabbings and two shootings within six hours overnight that left eight men injured. No arrests have been made. [NBC Washington]
  • D.C.'s public school system hired political consultants to help boost enrollment by conducting market research. It seems to have worked. [Post]
  • D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Okun once again ruled that homeless families must be placed in apartment-style shelter or in hotel rooms, not on cots in rec centers, when it's colder than 32 degrees out. [AP]
  • On the other end of the thermometer: The District has already experienced more 90-degree days this year than in all of 2014. Feel the burn? [Post]
  • There's only about two-months worth of supply of homes on D.C.'s real-estate market. Is the District facing a shortage? [Washingtonian]

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

  • Are the Kids Really Alright?: A report released yesterday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that D.C.’s children continue to experience poverty despite an overall boost in the economy since the 2008 recession.
  • Tree Hugger: Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen has proposed legislation that would boost the number of square miles covered by trees in the District from 36 percent to 40 percent, by 2032. Cutting down large trees should be “a last resort,” he said.
  • Cover Songs: The benefit-show Run for Cover, which ran annually between 2002 and 2012, will return to the Black Cat this Saturday. Check out the still-growing lineup here.

Read more District Line Daily: On the Table

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