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District Line Daily: Pope Surprise

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Well, you can't accuse the Vatican of a Friday news dump. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, tells WTOP that he didn't expect Pope Benedict XVI to resign.


  • Pope! [Post]
  • Tommy Wells wants a hearing on colleague Jim Graham. [Loose Lips]
  • Mayor Vince Gray won't rule out a congestion tax. [WTOP]
  • GPS monitoring allegedly doesn't stop reoffenders. [Post]
  • Weekend stabbings at 14th and U. [WJLA]
  • How a series of whacky bills made Virginia's legislature a punchline. [Post]
  • Post ombudsman joins the piling on the Washington Pigskins' name. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Evicted: A politically-connected health center in Anacostia has been evicted by its landlord, the Salvation Army.

Mugged for Mugs: Copper mugs thefts by customers are sweeping Washington's restaurants.

Splish Splash: Arena Stage's new production of Metamorphoses features a pool of water onstage and a splash zone in the first few rows. But you won't actually get soaked in one way: the seats are $15 there.

Muslims on Metro: Another round of "anti-jihad" ads is headed to Metro.

LOOSE LIPS, by Loose Lips columnist Alan Suderman. (tips?

  • Adrian Fenty, gone but not forgotten. [AP]
  • District having hard time producing records related to $29 million in federal Skyland grants. [Examiner]
  • Vince Gray's profile in courage [Post]
  • Colby: This city has a bunch of bush-league pols. [Post]
  • City's homeless children being ignored. [Post]
  • Gray wants ethics reform passed now. [NBC4]
  • District grapples with charter/DCPS divide. [Post]
  • Charter schools spending big dough on school construction. [Examiner]
  • David Alpert, so hot right now [Post]
  • Gray thinks maybe the CFO's office should be under his control. [Post]
  • Gray has not ruled out congestion tax. [WTOP]

Housing Complex columnist Aaron Wiener is on vacation.

ARTS LINKS, by Ally Schweitzer (tips?

  • D.C. didn't fare well at the Grammys last night—sorry, Wale, Benny Blanco, et al.—but D.C. producer Alvin Risk did appear onstage as part of Skrillex's entourage. It's something. [Twitter]
  • Parking-lot attendees stole nearly $1.4 million from the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.; two employees get jail time [Post]
  • Phil Kennicott on the George W. Bush paintings: "... this might be the best thing that has happened to the arts in a long time." [Post]
  • Also, Kennicott on Kriston Capps' recent City Paper cover story about the Hirshhorn Bubble: "The bubble feels almost like a coy comment on the museum-addition game, a relatively inexpensive way of attracting attention and expanding event space without actually using any bricks and mortar." (He also supports the idea.) [Post]
  • In order to consider a Fairfax parent's request to ban Toni Morrison's Beloved from schools, the Fairfax County School Board had to read the book. [Post]
  • Mount Vernon acquires George Washington watercolor for more than $600,000 with help from an anonymous donor [Post]

FOOD LINKS, by Jessica Sidman (tips?

  • The 10 best spots for French fries [The Plate]
  • H Street NE's Sova is closing/changing ownership. [Frozen Tropics]
  • Where to eat frog legs [Eater]
  • Daikaya opens Feb. 14 (we think for real this time). [Washingtonian]
  • Meet the chef of forthcoming French brasserie Le Diplomate. [Post]
  • Why to dine alone [NPR]
  • Inside TakEatEasy, now open near Dupont [PoPville]
  • Sneak peek inside the renovated Persimmon restaurant [Bethesda Mag]

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  • Ward 1

    This Pope surprise is Jim Graham's big chance to really hang with the heavy weights instead of the chump change players he is lumped in with now. Instead of "Fully Loaded", Harry Jr. and Jim "Taxi Cash" "AIDS Grift" "Pay to Play" Graham it would be Benedict XVI, District Council Member James Graham,and who knows, maybe THE Queen will resign. You could be immortal Jimbo. Mom would be so proud!

    Rule of 3! Jim could be #2. I know there are those who think Jim is not much better than a pile of #2 but bear with me here. Jim, resign now, for history's sake!

  • Anonymous

    The similarity will end there. While the pontiff may have to give up the ermines and diadems it is unlikely his wardrobe will be limited to an orange jumpsuit.