Author Archive for Michael E. Grass

DC Vote Responds: Voting Rights Isn’t Dead

Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, sent out this message to his organization's supporters on Monday afternoon, following The Washington Post's weekend article about how any District voting rights legislative efforts on Capitol Hill are essentially dead. (The Post's headline has a qualifier: "For D.C. voting rights, window appears closed.") Here's Zherka's message:

Would I.M. Pei Get to Veto L’Enfant Plaza Remix?

For all those who would like to bulldoze L'Enfant Plaza and remake what's often considered the District's worst example of urban planning, you might run into some problems with architect I.M. Pei, who designed many of L'Enfant Plaza's buildings.
Take a lesson from New York City from earlier this week, where New York University backed off [...]

Being Blissfully Ignorant of Metro’s Communications Fail

This morning, Metro commuters may have encountered a mysterious system-wide communications breakdown. Metrorail and Metrobus arrival predictions weren't delivered to transit apps and platform information signs, and the public address system went down, as did Metro's website and e-mail alerts. (This comes within a day of a chunk of concrete falling through the ceiling at [...]

Megabus Escalates D.C. Intercity Bus War

On the heels of the launch of a new Brooklyn-U Street bus service and new direct links between Manhattan and Northern Virginia, a different company is bolstering its intercity bus service offerings.
On Tuesday, Megabus will announce a major expansion of its service with 11 new destination cities from D.C. A media advisory issued Monday afternoon [...]

A Point of Order: Charging for Some Smithsonian Museums Is Illegal

The Smithsonian is an expensive institution to run, especially since its museums are free. Every couple years, an idea is floated to start charging as a way to cover more of its expenses and reduce the burden on taxpayers for keeping the world's largest museum complex up and running.
Members of President Obama's deficit reduction commission [...]

Can You Hear Your Bus Now?

Metrobus is testing out a new audible warning system aimed at pedestrians. As TBD reported earlier, people around town have been encountering buses with the bilingual warnings in English and Spanish. And already, there's a controversy brewing over whether they're too loud.
The anti-Metro blog Unsuck DC Metro posted a recording earlier today of the X8 bus [...]

Derailed, Delayed, and a Mad Dash to Stand and Wait at Union Station

While I’m not sure if there’s standard operating procedure for what should happen after two trains collide in the Union Station railyard, there’s certainly some things that train personnel shouldn’t do when dealing with anxious and agitated passengers caught up in the delays. Although the morning train collision was minor—7 were hurt, however—the effects were [...]

Maybe UFO in Centreville Was a ‘Temperature Inversion’?

Egads! Sort-of breaking news from Grover's Mill, N.J., err, Centreville, Va., from earlier this week. Blue lights were moving erratically over Lee Highway! It was caught on camera, too.
Was it a UFO? Or something else?
The most famous D.C.-area UFO sightings were during July 1952, when air traffic control at National Airport picked up some unusual [...]

Surprise! It’s Senator Chris Dodd, a Captive to Ballet

At the THEARC complex on Mississippi Avenue SE in Ward 8, Kojo Nnamdi, hosting one of his live WAMU-FM Kojo in Your Community programs on Wednesday night and posted online yesterday, began asking audience members about why they like living east of the river and other issues affecting their community.
Nnamdi: Thank you very much, sir. [...]

And Now, A Word About Leaves

Last night walking home, I encountered my first leaf-based obstacle of the season: a sidewalk on Calvert Street NW covered with fallen leaves. While it's certainly not as troublesome as a sidewalk covered with snow, wet leaves on sidewalks can be hazardous if you're not careful, especially on hills.
Next week, the city will start its [...]

Politico: Washington Times Sale Goes Through

Developing news from 3600 New York Ave. NE! Politico reports that News World Communication, the parent company of The Washington Times, has been sold to News World Media Development.
Confused? Back in August, news broke that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon wanted to buy back the Times from his his son, Preston Moon. Per Keach Hagey:
The [...]

Representation Drowns in the Anacostia

The District Department of the Environment released an image of a new specialty Anacostia River commemorative license plate this morning. (Check out a larger version here.)
What do you think? The Anacostia River seems awfully wavy, eh? That allows the top of "RESENTATI" in the word "Representation" to peek out of the water; the plates do try [...]

The Needle: Good Luck Getting Around Edition

Weekend Logistics Mess: Getting around this weekend is going to plain suck. Trick-or-treat closures in Georgetown! The Marine Corps Marathon! The big Colbert-Stewart rally! There will be reduced service and other track-related work on the Red, Orange and Green lines, which will make things even worse. All we need now is Tractor Man to crash [...]

When Jon Stewart Called Tucker Carlson a ‘Big Dick’ in 2004…

Jon Stewart has everyone in town (including, yes, Washington City Paper) in a bit of a tizzy this week, between the weekend Rally to Restore Sanity and the Daily Show tapings in Chinatown. But it's not the first time the funnyman has come through town and caused a stir.
Remember that infamous October 2004 episode of [...]

The Forgotten Discovery of Ingmar Guandique’s Name

As the trial of Ingmar Guandique for the 2001 death of Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy continues this week, the name of former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California still looms in connection to Levy's high-profile disappearance, which dominated national media in the spring and summer of 2001.
According to The Associated Press, a [...]