City Desk

Here’s the Number to Call to Request Help During a Heat Emergency

The District's heat index has officially topped 95 degrees, and the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency has issued a hyperthermia alert.

If you see someone in need of help, you can call the hyperthermia hotline at (800) 535-7252 to request transport for the person to one of D.C.'s seven emergency cooling facilities for the homeless or 10 cooling centers for senior citizens. Unlike during the winter hypothermia season, overnight shelter is not guaranteed during the summer.

A heat emergency is declared in D.C. whenever the heat index tops 95 degrees. A complete list of open centers, their locations, and hours of operation is available on the city's 2015 Emergency Heat Plan.

District Line Daily: Ex-Con TV Critic Returns

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

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

The wait is over: Our local ex-con TV critic is back, reviewing another season of "Orange Is the New Black."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Trayon White is the latest former Council candidate to go work for Karl Racine. [Loose Lips]
  • Shaw residents worried about flooded homes after latest storm. [ABC7]
  • D.C. is having the hottest late spring to early summer stretch on record. [Capital Weather Gang]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Pol Incognito: Undercover councilmember scores "Snooby Snax."

Gray Area: Ex-Mayor Vince Gray might have another run left in him.

Feast: Find a restaurant or bar for every occasion in our annual Food Issue.
Read more District Line Daily: Ex-Con TV Critic Returns

District Line Daily: Gun Reasoning

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

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

A federal appeals court temporarily blocked a recent decision on D.C.'s gun laws. For now, D.C. can still require individuals who want to carry a gun to show they have a "good" reason.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • A backlog of cab passenger complaints is being cleared, and drivers are not pleased. [WAMU]
  • Neighborhood Restaurant Group will open a restaurant on Barracks Row. [Young & Hungry]
  • BowserLanier announcing new drug strategy. [NBC4]
  • David Grosso launched an investigation into a DCPS food vendor that agreed to pay $20 million as part of a lawsuit. [Loose Lips]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Bring the Tissues: A D.C. dog missing for four years was reunited with his owner, and there's video.

Not Airport Food: BKK Cookshop, a new restaurant from the people behind Beau Thai (named after Bangkok's airport code), has opened.

Bad Times: A report says D.C. employers who change schedules at the last minute cause significant economic hardship for their employees.
Read more District Line Daily: Gun Reasoning

Photos: Capital Pride Parade

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Capital Pride Parade, June 13.  More photos here.  © 2015 Matt Dunn

 

 

 

Buy D.C.: Mount Pleasant

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: Where’s Your Pride?

cover-issue1853-lgWhat you said about what we said last week

For the past three years, Washington City Paper has published an issue around D.C.’s Pride Week to celebrate, critique, document, and talk about the city’s LGBTQ community. This year’s Gay Issue featured standout writing and photography by staff and freelancers. In response to Arts Editor Christina Cauterucci’s critique of the corporatization of Pride, readers basically fell into one of two camps: “RIP Pride” or “Deal With It.”

Steve, repping the first group, seconded Cauterucci’s basic premise: “Yes, this Pride Parade used to be a blast but now its the wrong type of drag. Hetero girls primpin’, get their drinks on like its Oktoberfest; every animal rescue and dentist in town has a parade car/van; the entire DC Council shows up to politick. What happened to the crazy days? Damn, I miss that shit!” Ugh, seriously. And don’t even get us started on the drunk animal dentists primpin’ their politicks from their vans.

But Rock Creek Werewolf raised a very fair point: How do you pay for Pride if not with big, corporate bucks? And what’s the harm? “Anyone who dislikes the corporate sponsorship of D.C.’s pride parade and festival is more than welcome to donate the tens of thousands of dollars required to provide the necessary road closures, fencing, outreach and organization to the 100’s of LGBT orgs and performing groups that participate, advertising, website management, bathroom and sanitation, waste removal, and police and private security (made even more important in the wake of events like the Boston Marathon bombing).” Oh shit, Rock Creek just raised the dual specter of terror targeting and waste removal.

Not to be outdone, Shetler Somerset appeared to Not Get It: “Back then, as I do now, I believed that businesses marching alongside gays was a sign of success. I thought: Isn’t that what the entire gay rights movement was about? What does the gay establishment really want? To be accepted or ignored? To be a part of the American machine, or part of Cuba? You can’t have your cake and eat it to. No wonder more and more Americans believe gay rights is about privilege and not acceptance.” You hear that, gays? You and your queer cake will find yourselves in Cuba if you keep nagging the hegemony for stuff!

That’s Not Gay Enough

In response to our Loose Lips column on the absence of any out gay Councilmembers, LMNOP had a sharp rebuke: “Either this was written by and for straight people who want to feel good about how liberal they are – and/or – our city’s gay advocates have been courted so hard by straight CMs that they forgot the importance of being in the room and at the table.” Rick Rosendall, the very GLAA president whom LL interviewed for the piece, replied, “To clarify, I’m not particularly worried about discrimination in jury selection. I just mentioned that the issue is one of the items being tracked by the State Equality Index put out by the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation. DC has already checked the boxes on almost everything else. The DC Council is expected to legalize surrogate parenting agreements this year, and to adopt LGBTQ cultural competency standards for licensed healthcare providers.” And that is this week’s master class in giving everyone something to disagree about. Happy Pride Week, everyone!

District Line Daily: Bad Timing

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

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

A new report says D.C. employers who change work schedules at the last minute cause severe economic hardship for their employees.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The Hirshhorn debates the New York Times over whether it has windows. [Arts Desk]
  • Video: D.C. dog missing for four years reunited with owner. Did we mention there's video? [City Desk]
  • In one day last year, D.C. providers were unable to meet 77 requests for services from domestic violence victims. [City Desk]
  • A new Circulator route starts this Sunday that'll make it easier to get around the Mall. [City Desk]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

The Food Issue: Where can I go to carbo-load before the big race? Where can I get leisurely coffee without fighting for a seat? Where can I drink while I’m expecting? Where can I take someone who I’m only meeting with because I feel terrible saying “no?” Those questions and 46 more, answered in The Food Issue.

Pop Philosopher: Commercial composer by day, Louis Weeks shares his philosophy of pop music.

Year of Plenty: The joys of the off-cycle D.C. Council seat.
Read more District Line Daily: Bad Timing

Video: Poodle Missing for Four Years Found in D.C., Reunited With Owner

oliver_onhiswayhomeAfter four years and a cross-country trip, a woman and her dog have been reunited thanks to a microchip, the local humane society, and a few friends.

In April 2011, Erin Teal Littlestar says she let Oliver, a black mini poodle, out in her Shaw backyard. "A few minutes later, I realized he wasn't back there anymore," she says via email. "I had taken his collar off because he was scratching at it, so I panicked. He must have slipped through the gate and started to wander. He isn't a runner, but he's so friendly he will follow anyone."

She put up missing dog posters and alerted local shelters and rescue organizations, but after weeks of searching, she heard nothing. In most cases, when people without proof of ownership bring a dog to a vet, the pet is scanned for a microchip. Since Oliver is microchipped, Littlestar assumes that someone intentionally didn't have him scanned.

Fast forward to June 2015. Littlestar now lives in Oregon, where she settled last year after living in D.C. and New York. A few days ago, she got a call from the Washington Humane Society saying Oliver, who is now about 8, was found in Park View as a stray. "[I] started hysterically crying," she says, "and then sprang into action calling everyone I still know in D.C. to see who could pick him up."

Friends of Littlestar volunteered to drive Oliver from D.C. to New York to meet another friend who traveled with him from the city to Portland via plane. Oliver arrived midnight Wednesday "tired and a little shaken, but still the same sweet boy I lost those years ago," Littlestar says.

"As I type this he is curled up next to me on the couch, tuckered out from playing with his little brother Pendleton," she says. "I'm so happy to have him home. I never gave up hope that he was still out there, but this is truly a miracle. I couldn't be more grateful."

The reunion video!! #oliverishome

Posted by Erin Teal LittleStar on Thursday, June 11, 2015

Photo courtesy Erin Littlestar

The Cost of “Just-in-Time” Scheduling

Screenshot 2015-06-11 16.19.17

A service-sector business practice that allows employers to change employee schedules at the last minute causes devastating economic hardship on the people working these jobs, according to a report released by DC Jobs with Justice.

The report highlights the impact of "just-in-time" or "on-call" scheduling on hourly food service and retail employees—that is, the practice of changing an employee's schedule with little to no notification and scheduling hours in an unpredictable way. Some businesses also schedule "split shifts," where employees work "back-to-back shifts separated by more than one hour." In D.C., employers are required by law to pay employees for one hour at minimum wage for each day that employees work a split shift. But only a third of employees who work split shifts are paid the extra wages, according to the report.

The report found that 40 percent of workers' schedules will change after they're posted. About half of the more than 400 people surveyed said they receive only two days' notice of schedule changes; 30 percent of respondents said they receive less than 24 hours' notice.

"Just-in-time" scheduling results in unstable incomes, an inability to schedule childcare and second-job shifts reliably, pursue higher education, or acquire a second job, the report says. These practices most negatively impact black and Latino workers, who together comprise about 80 percent of the service sector workforce in D.C.

"Hearing that the industry has responded [to new labor laws] by cutting hours is dissatisfying. It's an issue to overcome. We have a long way to go," Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At-Large) said, referring to wage theft, minimum wage, and paid sick day laws passed in recent years by the D.C. Council.

The report—released in conjunction with the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Georgetown University's Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, and the Jobs With Justice Education Fund—argues that while D.C. has limited-scheduling laws on the books, they lack "adequate augmentation and full enforcement."

Screenshot 2015-06-11 16.19.03

In D.C., 130,000 workers are part of the service sector, which comprises about one-fifth of D.C.'s work force, said Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. For a majority of those adults, their service sector job is their primary source of income.

"We have a strong economy, it's just not an economy that's benefitting everyone," said Lazere. "The service sector is a poster child for an economy that looks good on the surface but is failing miserably at the important goal of making sure that everybody can succeed in the District of Columbia."

At a briefing on the report this afternoon, one Walmart worker recounted the story of an acquaintance who was fired for missing a shift on his birthday, despite having requested the day off several months before. His boss scheduled him to work that day anyway and did not notify the employee of that change.

"Income inequality in D.C. is wider than in almost any other city in the country," Lazere said. Average yearly income for the bottom 20 percent of D.C. residents is less than $10,000, while the top 5 percent make over $500,000 annually, which is the highest average of any major city in the country.

Joseph A. McCartin, director of Georgetown's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, said that there are "political implications"  to the fact that workers have no control over their hours. He emphasized the need of workers to have reliable leisure time, which would allow them to "be a part of their community and be full citizens."

"This isn't sustainable," McCartin said. "This report contributes to a growing consciousness over surging inequality. And this issue is right at the heart of what's gone wrong in this economy."

He also compared the data from this report to an unpublished analysis of labor laws he completed five years ago. On average, he said, the median number of hours worked by retail employees has decreased from 35 to 30, wages have stagnated—controlling for inflation—and workers are increasingly more afraid to contest their hours. Eighteen percent of employees surveyed for the new report said they have been penalized for requesting more consistent schedules or reducing availability.

At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman said the report is "just the launch" of the campaign, and that the Council has been waiting on it to fully understand the scope of the "just-in-time" scheduling problem.

Next steps for the Council include working with advocacy organizations like DC Jobs with Justice to "craft legislation that gets at these enforcement issues." She said the Council has not yet discussed the priority of creating a bill to ameliorate scheduling issues.

Screenshots via report from DC Jobs with Justice

This Week’s Page Three Photo

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1300 Block of I Street NW, June 5

Page three photos are also in this gallery.

National Mall Circulator Route Begins Service Sunday

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 2.09.04 PM

Traveling to the National Mall will become a lot less tricky this Sunday when service begins on the Circulator's new route.

The National Mall route features 15 stops leading up to and around the Mall and memorials. Circulator buses will begin trips at Union Station and head south on Louisiana Avenue toward the Smithsonian museums. Buses will make a loop around the Tidal Basin, with stops at the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial, then head back to Union Station.

Riders will be able to board National Mall Circulator buses like the others in the city, paying one dollar either with their SmarTrip card or with cash. During the summer, buses will run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Trips will end at 7 p.m. during the winter.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, along with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and the National Park Service's Bob Vogel, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow at the Lincoln Memorial. See a route map here.

In One Day, D.C. Unable to Meet 77 Requests from Domestic Violence Victims

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 12.56.55 PMD.C. providers were unable to meet 77 requests for services from domestic violence victims on a single day in September 2014, according to a newly released count.

Of the unmet requests, which increased by 48 percent between 2013 and 2014, 28 were for housing. The other most-requested services, according to the report from the National Network to End Domestic Violence, were for "rental assistance and help with utilities."

On that day, Sept. 10, 243 children and 256 adults affected by domestic violence were in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by ten of D.C.'s domestic violence programs (ten of D.C.'s 12 domestic violence programs participated in the count). An additional 348 adults and children received other help, and 75 hotline calls were answered.

Addressing a spike in violent crimes at a recent press conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier attributed some of the rise in homicides to domestic violence, a trend that began last year. Police say a recent quadruple stabbing that left 64-year-old Santos Ventura dead was a domestic violence incident.

“Each week at the Housing Resource Clinic, [District Alliance for Safe Housing] advocates work with dozens of survivors in an attempt to provide them with safe housing access," DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo said in a blog post. "Some families however, are forced to wait for months in dangerous situations because domestic violence shelters in the District are constantly at capacity. This report shows us what we already know—there are not enough options for survivors in D.C., we need to be doing more.”

District Line Daily: The Food Issue

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

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

The wait is over: Our annual Food Issue is back, with a restaurant and bar for every occasion. Where can you get coffee without fighting for a seat? What's the best place for a double date with a couple you hate? What's the least touristy restaurant for an out-of-towner? What's the best place to break up?

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Oh, the joys of the off-cycle D.C. Council seat! [Loose Lips]
  • Search warrant reveals bloody bat found at mansion where quadruple homicide happened. [NBC4]
  • Report: Condition of D.C. jail "alarming." [WAMU]
  • Councilmembers object to school renovation costs—again. [Loose Lips]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Gear Prudence: I'm a bike rack klutz! Help!

Fumble: The mayor's staffers puzzle over her supposed flip-flop on the local football team name.

School of Jazz: Do jazz musicians need academia? Braxton Cook reflects on a new EP.
Read more District Line Daily: The Food Issue

Gear Prudence: I’m Awkward Around Bike Racks

gearprudence

Gear Prudence: Every time I lock up my bike, I feel awkward. I often drop the lock, fumble around with it, and take extra time with the key.  It reminds me, to be honest, of some of my present day experiences on the dating scene.  Each time that I lock up at a new rack it’s a different experience.  What can I do to be more confident in this area? —Lacking Overt Confidence, Klutzy

Dear LOCK: We’ve all been there. You hop off the bike and find a rack. But maybe there’s another bike there or you come at the rack from the wrong angle, and as you can’t quite find the keyhole and connect the mechanism, you feel the eyes of gathered onlookers burn into the back of your head. Your mortification and embarrassment inversely correlates to your manual dexterity and only eventually, after the beads of sweat coalesce on your brow, do you achieve the simple task of affixing your bike to a stationary object. It’s rough.

The dating analogy is apt, but your takeaway is wrong. Each rack is a new and different experience, so learn from your previous ones rather than repeat your past mistakes. Befuddled by parking meters? Avoid them. Have a good time with a street sign? Try that again. But more that than, real confidence can only come from self-assurance in the proper functioning of your own equipment. Know how it works, where you can wedge it, its length and reach, and how much jostling it can handle, and you’ll have mastery in nearly any situation. —GP

Gear Prudence: I live near H Street and its forever forthcoming streetcar. I’ve heard lots of stories about bicyclists wiping out from riding over the streetcar tracks, but everyday I see more and more people on bikes still riding on H, despite the obvious dangers of the tracks. Why do they keep doing it? —Trolley Route Amplifies Crashes, Kindly Skip

Dear TRACKS: The streetcar tracks have been the undoing of many a cyclist. They eat bike tires just like hipsters eat [insert name of popular dish at any Atlas District eatery]. If you ever ride over the tracks, you need to be especially mindful to position your tires to cross in a perpendicular manner.

There are close parallel bike routes to H Street; both G and I streets NE from 2nd to 14th have sharrows and contraflow bike lanes. That’s pretty convenient, though contraflow bike lanes aren’t without their own hazards.

But as to your larger question: Why are people bicycling on H Street? Because that’s where the stuff is. People expect to be able to bicycle from door to door, and they’re willing to abide certain risks to do it. —GP

Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who blogs at talesfromthesharrows.blogspot.com and tweets at @sharrowsdc. Got a question about bicycling? Email gearprudence@washingtoncitypaper.com.

District Line Daily: Hemp Redemption

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

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here.

Capitol Hemp, the Adams Morgan shop that was forced to shut down in 2011 after police raided it, will reopen. As the shop's Twitter account noted, "People over 21 can lawfully speak using terms like #Bong and #Hashpipe in the new #CapitolHemp store," in light of marijuana legalization.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The Dupont house where a fire killed two tenants had no rental license. [Post]
  • D.C. will hire a firm to oversee McMillan developers. [WBJ]
  • Another chef has left Shaw's Table. [Young & Hungry]
  • ...and Richard Sandoval has left Mango Tree. [Young & Hungry]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Metro's Dead Body: A lawsuit claims that a man who died in a Metro station wasn't found for four days.

Push to Stalk: Does your lover have a secret family? There's an app for that, and it just launched in D.C.

Drug Problem: The mayor promised to crack down on synthetic drugs.
Read more District Line Daily: Hemp Redemption

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