Posts Tagged ‘column’

Social Capital

Last week, LivingSocial announced it would be getting a whole lot less social. The daily deals and events company will no longer host live events, and it’ll shut down its once-heralded F Street NW site that’s served as a venue for everything from a password-protected speakeasy to a “7 Deadly Sins” Halloween party that drew [...]

Why Tech Won’t Liberate D.C.’s Economy From the Feds

A year ago, Mayor Vince Gray stood in a 15th Street NW penthouse and proclaimed that the assembled crowd was bearing witness to the next step in severing D.C.’s dependence on the federal government. The answer, he said, was technology. “I want to be able to look back and say I was part of making [...]

Big Developments Are Coming to D.C. in 2014. But Who Will Benefit?

Nothing brings a grin to a mayor’s face quite like raising an oversize pair of scissors and cutting a ribbon. All the more so in an election year. While 2014 does portend some potential pitfalls for Vince Gray—look no further than the process to redraw school boundaries for the first time in more than 30 [...]

Advise and Dissent: Whatever Happened to ANCs’ “Great Weight”?

Last week, Jeff Miller and Cory Lee ventured into the lion’s den. Miller, the District government’s director of real estate, and Lee, the project manager for a controversial development, stopped by the monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B to discuss that project, a planned mixed-use complex on valuable city-owned land. Miller, Lee, and their [...]

A Big Chunk of Congress Heights Was Just Auctioned Off. Hardly Anyone Noticed.

On typical days, the sprawling collection of abandoned, mostly-built houses and vacant lots tucked behind 4th Street SE sits fenced-in and empty, a distorted mirror image of the flattened construction site across the street, which will soon become the new Ballou High School. But on a recent Wednesday afternoon, a crowd of mostly men (mostly [...]

License to Kale

If a neighborhood’s wealth can be measured by its grocery options, the residents of H Street NE and the Capitol Riverfront have gone from broke to baroque almost overnight.
For years, people living near the western portion of H Street NE who didn’t want to take a car or bus to do their shopping had to [...]

Charge of the Height Brigade

Last Wednesday, nearly two hours into the second marathon public hearing of the week on D.C. building-height limits, an 83-year-old D.C. resident named Bill Haskett stepped up to the microphone and delivered the sagest line of the contentious process.
“Anything older than I am,” Haskett told the full house at the National Capital Planning Commission, “should [...]

The Courage of Their Evictions

Deborah Colvin knows a thing or two about the need for Section 8 housing subsidy recipients to be responsible—she used to be one. Now she’s on the other side of the ledger, renting out two apartments in a Quebec Place NW rowhouse to tenants who receive government subsidies through the Section 8 voucher program. And [...]

Take Back the Capital

Of the District’s acts of defiance during the first week of federal government shutdown, one stood out for its seemingly undefiant nature. Given that the National Park Service was ceasing most of its operations in D.C. while Congress wasn’t funding it, Mayor Vince Gray announced, the city would start picking up trash at Park Service–controlled [...]

Fee Cycle

For much of the 20th century, city planners and officials tackled endemic urban poverty with what seemed to them the most practical antidote. Up went massive housing projects in cities across America. The poor were housed, but they were also isolated, neglected, and surrounded by crime.
These days, we like to think we know better. No [...]

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