City Desk

Gear Prudence: How Do I Get Over My Fear of Bike Theft?

gearprudence

Gear Prudence: I love my bike—a lot—but I’m really paranoid about it getting stolen. When I ride it to work, I bring it into my office. At home, I always keep it inside. I rarely ride on evenings when I go out because I’m that afraid that a thief is going to take it, and not only will I be stranded, but inconsolable. How do I get over my irrational (or totally justified?) fear of bike theft? —Seriously Terrified Over Losing Everyday Necessity

Dear STOLEN: Bike theft is an unfortunate and far too common part of urban life. And while a determined thief with enough time and effort can boost almost any bicycle no matter how fortified, there are some precautions you can take to mitigate the chances the bike he steals is yours. For example, always lock your bike next to ones that are fancier or vastly more expensive. Or put a sign on your u-lock (not a flimsy cable lock) like “Please don’t steal me,” which is both direct and polite. Be sure to lock the frame and the rear wheel to something securely bolted to the ground, preferably a bike rack instead of a signpost or fence. If you can lock your bike to an armed security guard (ask first), try that. 

Many a D.C. cyclist wary of theft (including GP) look to Bikeshare as a middle ground. That way, you can still ride but suffer none of the hassles and fears of bicycle larceny. —GP 

Read more Gear Prudence: How Do I Get Over My Fear of Bike Theft?

District Line Daily: Jailbreak

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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A slim majority of the D.C. Council voted to disapprove the controversial Corizon jail health contract backed by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • A stalled New Communities project takes a step forward. [Housing Complex]
  • Campaign gears up for a $15 minimum wage in D.C. [Post]
  • Medical marijuana providers in D.C. get a boost from the Council. [WAMU]
  • Developer plans to turn low-income Museum Square into apartments and condos. [Housing Complex]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Jailbreak

District Line Daily: Body Camera Footage

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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Mayor Muriel Bowser wants police body camera footage to be exempt from FOIA requests.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Metro's sleek new rail cars debut today. [Housing Complex]
  • We live-tweeted the Ward 4 debate last night. [@WCPLive]
  • Early voting is underway in Ward 4 and Ward 8. [NBC4]
  • A man was found dead in the Tidal Basin with a laminated business card around his neck that reads, "Fuzz W.S. Fuzzy Shoe Shine Doctor." [WTOP]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Body Camera Footage

District Line Daily: Bagels Rising

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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Bullfrog Bagels is opening a Capitol Hill location where they plan to serve pastrami-filled soup dumplings and "Jewish ramen" with "double strength chicken broth."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • We're hosting a debate for the Ward 4 special election tonight in Petworth. [Loose Lips]
  • The head of the D.C. Lottery died Saturday. [ABC7]
  • Roof garden reservations at Rose's Luxury become available at 11 a.m. this morning. [Young & Hungry]
  • Toddler breaches White House barricade. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Bagels Rising

District Line Daily: Automatic Metro Trains

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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Computers will soon control acceleration and braking on some Metro trains for the first time since the deadly 2009 Red Line crash.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Amsterdam Falafel has a pot-pairing menu. [Young & Hungry]
  • The story behind the Bloomingdale salon that closed "due to gentrification." [Post]
  • A police chase involving a man suspected of killing a Census Bureau guard in Maryland ended on H Street NE last night. [NBC4]
  • A ball pit is coming to the National Building Museum this summer. [CityLab]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Automatic Metro Trains

District Line Daily: Best of D.C. 2015!

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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Today's the day! The 2015 Best Of D.C. issue is here! Staff picks! Reader picks! Best restaurant! Best new homegrown music genre! Best ward! Best villain! Read 'em all.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • So, to reiterate: The Best of D.C. 2015 winners are here!! [WCP]
  • Metro may scale back plan for all eight-car trains during rush hour. [WAMU]
  • D.C.'s attorney general targets sellers of synthetic drugs. [WTOP]
  • Peak bloom is coming this weekend. [NBC4]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Best of D.C. 2015!

District Line Daily: Barry Widow Sues His Kidney Donor

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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Kim Dickens donated a kidney to Marion Barry in 2008. Now, Barry's widow, Cora Masters Barry, is suing Dickens over her "Barry Dickens Kidney Foundation."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • D.C. resorted to sheltering homeless families in Maryland hotels this winter. [Housing Complex]
  • Streetcar rails are already being repaired. [WAMU]
  • The "pop-up megaplex" Prequel opens a bakery this week. [Young & Hungry]
  • DDOT to enforce new parking meter regulations near Nationals Park. [ABC7]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Barry Widow Sues His Kidney Donor

Widespread Outages Force White House and Metro Stations Onto Backup Power

Pepco's outage map by zip code. Green indicates 50 or fewer customers without power; blue indicates 51 to 500.

Pepco's outage map by zip code. Green indicates 50 or fewer customers without power; blue indicates 51 to 500.

Update: Nicole Chapple, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, says there was "some sort of explosion" at a southern Maryland power plant that may have triggered the outages.

Original post: A widespread power outage has hit much of the District this afternoon, forcing 13 Metro stations and the White House onto backup power.

According to Pepco, 2,415 customers in the District were without power as of 1:30 p.m. The outages cover a wide swath of the city, hitting all four quadrants as well as parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

Metro has reported that the following stations are on backup power, although trains are still running normally:

Additionally, the outage has put some escalators and elevators out of service: 

Read more Widespread Outages Force White House and Metro Stations Onto Backup Power

District Line Daily: Another Metro Smoke Investigation

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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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating another smoke incident that occurred on Metro in the month after the incident near L'Enfant Plaza station that killed one passenger.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Tico's owner will open a new restaurant in Dupont Circle. [Young & Hungry]
  • Edward Snowden used to go on dates with his girlfriend at Tryst. [Post]
  • For the first time, D.C. is competing nationally on standardized tests based on the Common Core. [WAMU]
  • Baseball's All-Star Game will bring big spending to D.C. [WTOP]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Another Metro Smoke Investigation

District Line Daily: Opening Day

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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Opening day for baseball in D.C. brings food and drink specials, perfect spring weather, and new security checks at the ballpark.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • D.C. doctor makes medical marijuana a specialty. [Post]
  • The investigation into Brianne Nadeau's condo loan is over. [Loose Lips]
  • The Wizards are eying Howard University for a new practice facility. [ABC7]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Opening Day

District Line Daily: Bowser Budget

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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Mayor Muriel Bowser's budget proposal would provide a good deal more funding to homeless services, partly through a sales tax increase.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The Green Team scores straw poll wins in Ward 4 and Ward 8. [Loose Lips]
  • A new Whole Foods is coming near Howard University. [WBJ]
  • Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie wants to raise the smoking age to 21. [WTOP]
  • The Red Line commute was especially bad this morning. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: Bowser Budget

Buy D.C.: Springtime in Paris

Each week, Buy D.C. will highlight shops and items you can only find in the D.C. area, curated by Kaarin Vembar, owner of personal shopping and wardrobe editing service Closet Caucus.


Chatter: Who Arted?

cover-issue1843-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

Again at the end of the week we find ourselves thinking, God bless our comments section. Where else can readers weigh in on arcane questions of art theory, then actually get a response from the author? Reader Ryan McCourt took issue with the use of the term “zombie formalism” in a quote in Kriston Cappscover story on D.C. artist Sam Gilliam. In you case you skimmed over that part, art critic Walter Robinson said he coined that phrase to describe the bringing back to life of the discarded aesthetics of Clement Greenberg . “Every time I see this nonsense repeated, it looks more ridiculous than the last,” wrote McCourt. “Greenberg’s ‘aesthetics’ were never in need of resuscitation, and have never been ‘discarded’ by any serious person in the art world. All of the artists he championed are still revered, still ‘blue-chip’... people who never understood Greenberg cannot be said to have discarded something they never grasped in the fist place.”

This quibble over terminology would have probably passed without response or comment on most other sites, but this is Washington City Paper you’re reading. We’re not most sites. Capps chimed in, and it started to look like we had a real gentleman’s quarrel on our hands: “This is a silly comment.” [ Editor’s note : This is the art-writing equivalent of a roundhouse kick to the face.] “Whether or not you agree with Walter Robinson’s assessment of Clem Greenberg’s has absolutely no bearing on how I should use the quote. The notion of ‘zombie formalism’ came up as an important concern in discussing Sam Gilliam’s work. I would not refuse to discuss an idea because I disagreed with some part of it. Your complaint is with Walter Robinson and the many people who consider his coinage useful and influential. Not with me.”

Let’s move on to those readers who remembered Gilliam’s influence on a more personal level. targetaldaniels reminisced: “My friends were artists who rented space in Mr. Gilliam’s building in 1991. We were a wild bunch of kids, but we knew enough of his reputation to kind of shut up as we walked by his front door: who knew what genius was happening behind that door....he had a mystique and we were reverent. Honestly, though, I never really knew anything about him...just that he was supposed to be important. Thank you, WCP , for this article and for shedding some light.” Leroy Payton wrote to share fond memories of being a student of Gilliam’s while at McKinley Technology Education Campus in Eckington: “It was so full of energy, vibrant, motivation and creativity. I will always be proud to have known and briefly studied under Mr. Gilliam.”

Jail Fail

One person who read last week’s Loose Lips column was convinced that the District’s mayor and members of its Council are up to no good in their handling of a controversial D.C. Jail health-care contract. Why? Because local politicians are themselves convinced they’ll end up behind bars and want to make it a comfortable destination. In response to a commenter’s question about Mayor Muriel Bowser’s motivation to advance the contract, the aptly-pseudonymed Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock wrote, “Council’s motivation is clear, considering how many of them wind up at the Greybar Hotel. They want the best digs possible should they end up indoors for an extended stay.” This theory falls apart, however, when one considers that the main objection to the contract centers around Corizon’s alleged mistreatment of inmates. Better luck next time.

Department of Corrections

Last week’s LL column contained a math error. There are currently 11 D.C. councilmembers and one mayor, which is a total of 12, not 13, people.

District Line Daily: A Long Way From Home

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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Cover story: This winter was supposed to be different for D.C.'s homeless families. But then the crisis got even worse. Here's what went wrong.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • As school options grow, more families deal with grueling commutes to get their kids across town. [City Desk]
  • D.C. and the feds are struggling to determine how many criminal cases were affected by a police database glitch. [Loose Lips]
  • When Wal-Mart comes to town, what does it mean for workers? [WAMU]
  • Mayor Bowser's streetcar promises face practical hurdles. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY: Read more District Line Daily: A Long Way From Home

As D.C.’s School Options Improve, Commutes Become More of a Headache

kidswalking

Last week, thousands of D.C. families received the results of the MySchoolDC lottery, learning—after weeks of anxious anticipation—what their morning and afternoon commutes will look like next year. Transportation may not be the number one issue on parents’ minds as they make their choices, but perhaps it should be.

Back in 1969, 48 percent of U.S. kids aged 5 to 14 usually got to school on their own steam—walking or riding a bike. These days, it’s more like 13 percent. Kids who get fresh air and exercise on their way to school arrive more ready to learn. Physical activity has been shown to improve attention span, classroom behavior, and academic achievement.

Jennifer Hefferan, who runs the D.C. Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program—the local chapter of a national effort to encourage active transportation—says when she started the job, the evidence of the benefits of physical activity was merely anecdotal. “You’d hear principals saying, ‘I love Walk to School Day because I don’t see kids in my principal’s office,’” she says. “Now there’s actual research supporting that.” 

Spanish researchers found that a walk to school of more than 15 minutes improved cognitive function, especially in girls. They noted that the plasticity of the brain during adolescence makes it an especially important time to stimulate cognitive function. Walking and biking can also help stem the childhood obesity epidemic and reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Read more As D.C.’s School Options Improve, Commutes Become More of a Headache

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