Author Archive for Christine MacDonald

Why Does Gas Cost So Much?

Why are gas prices so high at the infamous Watergate Exxon? The District’s gas king, Joe Mamo, turned out for a D.C. Council hearing Friday toting a slide show aimed at answering that question—or at least deflecting allegations that his company, Capitol Petroleum Group, is to blame.
On June 12, when the Watergate station was peddling [...]

Joe Mamo: The New John D. Rockefeller?

The robber barons are back!
Or at least, the specter of them was back this morning, as a group of ExxonMobil station operators, led by their lobbyist Bruce Bereano, called on city officials today to free them—and District drivers—from gas mogul Joe Mamo, whom the operators and their lobbyist accused of price gouging.
“You have absolutely no competition [...]

Joe Mamo: Cheh Protecting “Wealthy” Gas Station Operators

The gas station magnate under investigation by District officials, Joe Mamo, says he's being "scapegoated," and that new legislation set to be introduced before the D.C. Council today that's aimed to increase competition in the fuel industry would instead force small businesses to close.
The bill, sponsored by Councilmember Mary Cheh, would bring back a law the [...]

Joe Mamo’s Attorney: High Gas Prices Not His Fault!

An attorney for Joe Mamo rejects claims that the D.C. gas station kingpin is driving up the cost of gas, pointing the finger instead at the operators of stations like the Watergate Exxon, where prices topping $5 a gallon have caused public outrage and consternation this spring. (How complicated is the gas business? Mamo’s company, [...]

It’s a Gusher: Outrage Erupts at D.C. Green Groups’ Ties to BP

satellite imagery from SkyTruth.org

WaPo's story yesterday about the cozy ties between BP and the nation's leading environmental groups  has let loose a deluge of angry comments from members of the Arlington-based Nature Conservancy and other groups that have taken millions of dollars from the disgraced oil giant.
Here's a good one from Cindy D., a Nature [...]

Toxic D.C. Tap Water Tops Off Week of Gloomy Health News

This morning, a bureaucrat from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control , the nation's preeminent public health agency, was summoned to Capitol Hill, where she was, in all likelihood, reamed out by members of a House subcommittee.
And with good reason, according to congressional investigators, who say CDC officials knowingly mislead District residents about the dangers [...]

Southwest Residents Concerned about 12-Day Safeway Closure

Southwest residents have long kvetched about their local Safeway, on M Street SW. Shortages of staples such as bread and milk, produce so aged it wilts before you can get it onto the dinner table, long checkout lines—those experiences are consensus points for those who live in the city's forgotten corner.
And another point of consensus: [...]

DPW Responds to Questions About Separation Between Recycling and Trash

Awhile ago, we brought you a story about recycling that routinely gets tossed out with the trash. Well, as you can imagine, we thought this was pretty surprising news: that loads of plastics, paper, bottles and cans dutifully dumped into recycling bins around the city were still ending up at the landfill. The culprits? Some [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – DC’s New Parking Rules “Completely Suck”

I was just loafing when this popped into my inbox: The District Department of Transportation is doing away with one of the city's sweetest freebies: Saturday parking. Starting soon, drivers will have to feed the meters on Saturdays, just like they do Monday through Friday. The rate for primo spots in parking-challenged neighborhoods is also [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – Xmas Cheer Edition!

Last night – which was technically the night before, the night before Christmas – Qualia Coffee on Georgia Avenue stayed open later than usual, and more than a few people were stirring in there.
In part, owner Joel Finkelstein’s gesture was community-spirited: He was helping his neighbors maintain the necessary caffeine levels for frenzied last minute [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – A guy Walks into a Coffee Shop …

Today is the one-month anniversary of Mi Little Bistro, a Wi-Fi establishment that has livened up a long-vacant storefront on Cedar Street NW, a few doors away from the Takoma Metro station.
It opened about the same time The Culture Shop next door transformed into the Cedar Crossing Tavern & Wine Bar amid neighborhood fanfare and [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – Should Cafés Pull the Plug on Limitless Surfing?

This week, The Modern Times Coffeehouse has become the first coffee shop in the District to throw down the gauntlet at Wi-Fi loafers: The management has covered up some of the electrical outlets in an attempt to herd its laptop loiterers toward communal tables, where they can still plug in.
This particular gambit was first seen [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – Confessional Edition

If you are just tuning to this new WCP series on Internet cafes around the District, let me introduce myself: I am the Wi-Fi loafer on assignment, your faithful correspondent on wired café culture.
Since this is a confessional column I figure you might want to know how I became a Wi-Fi loafer, a café idler [...]

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – Defining Terms

Just in case you missed the inaugural post yesterday, this is the second installment in a new series about “digital nomads,” who wander the District setting up their laptops wherever they can find free Wi-Fi and coffee drinks. Before we delve any deeper, let’s define some basic terminology:

Confessions of a Wi-Fi Loafer – First Post

It’s an early Saturday afternoon inside the cozy basement café at Politics & Prose bookstore on Connecticut Avenue NW. I’ve been here awhile – a good long while.
I arrive with my laptop and a yellow legal pad before 10 a.m. and install myself at one of the little tables along the wall that leads to [...]

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