City Desk

District Line Daily: Portlandia Loves D.C.; Chairman Mendo?

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

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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It's Thursday, and did you know there was another presidential debate thingie last night? We caught up on "Glee" instead. More importantly: It's the day to go out and get your copy of the dead-tree edition, and if you're lucky, have your valet iron it for you.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: UVa LAX player George Huguely gets 26 years for second-degree murder of former girlfriend and UVa women's LAX player Yeardley Love. [Post]; Metro to suspend track work during cherry blossom season. [WTOP]; D.C. is millions of dollars and many years from fixing earthquake damage. [Times]; And the National Cathedral repair cost is now estimated at $20 million; [WAMU]; Capital Bikeshare may expand to the Mall [Post]; D.C. to start assessment tests for kindergartners [Examiner]; Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell wants a less invasive ultrasound procedure. [Times].

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: City Paper's needle drops by 2 points. The bad news: the Capitol suicide bomber had trouble making up his mind. The good news: Clair Huxtable was at the African American History Museum groundbreaking. Take a look here.

SIX CITY PAPER STORIES FROM THE LAST 24 HOURS TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Chairman Mendo? Loose Lips Alan Suderman hears a bit of speculation about who could replace D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown if the federal investigation into his campaign funds lands him into hotter water (for the record, Brown has denied wrongdoing). Apparently at-large Councilmember Phil Mendelson is a popular pick: "Mendelson’s seen as the most palatable pick by process of elimination, according to Wilson Building wags. Councilmembers Michael Brown and Vincent Orange have already made their mayoral ambitions clear, making it unlikely that any potential rivals on the council would want to give them a leg up. The sharp-tongued David Catania has too many enemies to have a chance. That leaves the inoffensive, not overly ambitious Mendelson."

Demand-Side Affordable Housing: Housing Complex's Lydia DePillis notes that Mayor Vince Gray is interested in the "demand-side" of affordable housing—rather than setting a number of housing units he'd like to build, Gray is instead looking at getting citizens to a level where they can afford unsubsidized housing. DePillis writes: "That means jobs and education, sure. But it also means shifting people who already receive benefits out of the system to make room for others, as I explain in my column this week—emphasizing that public housing is a temporary privilege, not an indefinite right. Without legal time limits, that's hard to do."

"Portlandia" Loves D.C.: Arts Desk's Ally Schweitzer has a list of the most pandering-to-D.C. moments from Tuesday's Portlandia variety show at the 9:30 Club. "They spend a couple minutes asking the audience about D.C.'s cool neighborhoods. Many agree that H Street NE is 'a little hipstery.' [FredArmisen name-checks U Street NW. Then someone bellows, 'BALTIMORE!' Armisen picks up on the sad truth that Baltimore is still considered a D.C. hipster neighborhood."

D.C. Cop Writes a Detective Novel: Contributor Christopher Heller profiles retired MPD Det. David Swinson.

One Less Ward 5 D.C. Council Candidate: John Salatti, a former Bloomingdale ANC commissioner, has dropped out of the special election to replace Harry Thomas, Jr. Salatti tells LL that "he had a strong shot at winning but decided to end his campaign after reevaluating the commitment necessary to be an effective council member."

Where Will Families Go After Leaving The Comfort Inn? A deep cut from Lydia DePillis's column this week: She talks to some families being put up in the Comfort Inn by the city. D.C. is only required to house people through March. Even though they aren't planning to just kick them out, there aren't many attractive solutions. "Redistributing folks to other facilities around the city is next to impossible—witness Councilmember Muriel Bowser's refusal to allow a perfectly suitable building in her ward to be converted into a family shelter, and Jim Graham's rejection of Central Union Mission on Georgia Avenue." DePillis also lets the women she talked to just speak for themselves.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Discount Dog

LINKDUMP AFTER THE JUMP!

LOOSE LIPS DAILY POLITICS LINKS, by Alan Suderman (tips? lips@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Possible mayoral recall supporter Don Peebles does some polling, finds at-large Councilmember Vincent Orange has weak support. [DCist]
  • Charlie Sheen cop to sue [Examiner]
  • Youth training dollars squandered? [WAMU]
  • Deborah Simmons: Let's close all the schools. [Times]
  • Why didn't Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown do anything when Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry cussed on the dais last year? [G'Town Dish]
  • Mayor Vince Gray moving on affordable housing. [Post]
  • Where will homeless go after the Comfort Inn? [Housing Complex]
  • D.C. Housing Authority's long wait list [Housing Complex]

REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT LINKS, by Housing Complex blogger Lydia DePillis (tips? housingcomplex@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • New thingy for homebuyers. [Redfin]
  • Donald on his new prize. [Post]
  • Crazy bike thing in Crystal City. [Washcycle]
  • Two ideas for Pepco Benning Road. [GGW]
  • More badly spent job training money. [WAMU]
  • Capper happenings. [JDLand]
  • Realtors would still like to be able to sell those foreclosed homes. [WSJ]
  • Neighborhoods get wealthier when the poor leave. [Examiner]
  • A strike against residency requirements for homeless services. [NYT]
  • The National Cathedral still needs some dough. [PoP]
  • Today on the market: Georgetown gem.

ARTS LINKS, by Ally Schweitzer (tips? artsdesk@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The National Museum of African American History breaks ground. [Post]
  • At a talkback for Really Really—Signature Theatre's play involving an accusation of rape—half the audience blames the victim. [Style Blog]
  • Monument Fest talks up their indie-rock-for-charity concerts. [Scout Mob]
  • Arena Stage Communications Director Chad Bauman heads to Smithsonian. [DC Theatre Scene]
  • If me really must ask: Who will be the next Milbanksy? [Style Blog]

FOOD LINKS, by Young & Hungry columnist Chris Shott (tips? hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • From Ted's Bulletin's "Sloppiest Joe" to BLT Steak's "Sloppy Joe Biden," the childhood favorite is making a Manwich-sized comeback. [Post]
  • Planned pizza parlors on H Street NE don't always work out [Frozen Tropics]
  • Should D.C. food trucks be allowed to park on residential streets? [Fox 5]
  • Panda Express plans to go more upscale. [NPR]
  • Aroma Cafe, R.I.P. [Prince of Petworth]
  • Chef Marcus Samuelsson is consulting at Howard Theatre [Washingtonian]
  • The Standard is hiring for spring [Craigslist via Eater]
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