by April 9, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Washington Times reports that the effort to recall Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown has fizzled. Fred Butler, who was organizing the effort, believes the ethics infractions of the city’s top officials will be revealed by ongoing federal investigations, and that his supporters’ money could be better used elsewhere.

Vincent Gray, Kwame, Brown, Luis, Gomez, Photos

Organizer Fred Butler drops effort to recall Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown.(Luis Gomez Photos)

Among other obstacles, Butler faced a tight deadline by which he needed to turn in 45,000 signatures from city residents. And that was just to get the ball rolling. From there, Butler faced a long, expensive road and near-insurmountable odds of getting Gray and/or Brown removed from office.

But perhaps the greatest challenge to the recall effort was visibility, or a lack thereof. During the lead-up to last week’s primaries, Butler’s organization was weak at best, with little to no presence around the city as voters went to the polls.

Butler’s attempt joins a handful of other failed recall efforts in the District’s 34-year history of home rule.

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by April 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,764 1 Comment

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Mayor Vincent Gray unveiled his proposed 2013 budget at a news conference on March 23, and one surprising provision was the extension of alcohol service by one hour. The Washington Blade‘s Mark Lee summarizesthe proposal nicely.

Luis, Gomez, Photos, Barrel, House, Liquor

In addition to extended bar hours, DC liquor stores would be allowed to open two hours earlier. (One Photograph A Day)

Gray’s proposal would permit District bars and restaurants to operate (and serve alcohol) until 3 am on weekdays and 4 am on weekends. It would also allow retail liquor sales to begin at 7 am, two hours earlier than what currently stands, Monday through Saturday (same for beer and wine sales at grocery stores). Sunday liquor sales would still be prohibited, unfortch.

Increasing alcohol sales is a tried-and-true method of revenue generation for most cities, the District no exception. This proposal — if accepted — is estimated to bring in an additional $5.3 million in sales tax revenue. The alternative to initiatives like this, Lee reminds us, is higher taxes on what is already among the highest-taxed locales in the country.

Reaction to Gray’s proposal by the public and the City Council has been calm so far, but both bodies will weigh in on the measure before its potential adoption this summer.

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by March 28, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,175 1 Comment

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Mayor Vincent Gray and Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced Monday the arrest of a suspect in the March 11 shooting at the Columbia Heights IHOP. LaShawn Carson, a 27-year-old woman, has been charged with aggravated assault while armed.

"Borderstan" "IHOP"

Recent anti-gay violence led to a march from Columbia Heights to Dupont on Tuesday, March 20. (Luis Gomez Photos)

“I am pleased and relieved to announce that a suspect in this dastardly crime has been arrested,” Gray said in a statement.

The incident, which has been labeled an anti-gay hate crime under DC law, sparked a public outcry by community leaders and advocates, occurring in a series of of violence perpetrated on LGBT individuals.

In addition to the IHOP incident a gay man was badly beaten a few days later at the corner of Irving Street and Georgia Avenue NW, suffering serious injuries to his face and jaw.

On Tuesday, March 20, in an effort to raise awareness about violence towards the LGBT community, more than 500 people gathered at the IHOP at 14th and Irving Streets NW to march silently from Columbia Heights to Dupont Circle, passing the site of the assault at Irving and Georgia. The march was organized on Facebook by friends of the victims, Silent March for Victims of GLBT Violence.

The victim of the March 11 attack, who was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to his liver, is out of the hospital. The man who was robbed and beaten at Irving and Georgia Avenue NW has also been released from hospital.

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by March 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,396 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

DC, food, trucks, Borderstan, Logan, Circle, Luis, Gomez, Photos

Fojol Brothers food truck. (Borderstan file photo)

In the ongoing saga of DC’s efforts to regulate its plethora of new food trucks, DCist reports that the City Council has begun marking up legislation requiring these mobile vendors to charge sales tax. (See Borderstan’s previous coverage on the issue, links at bottom of story.)

The bill, which was introduced by Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) last year, would make food trucks charge 10 percent sales tax, the same rate paid by regular, non-moving restaurants. This is a victory for brick-and-mortar restaurants, who have become increasingly frustrated by what they see as an unfair playing field. Currently, mobile vendors pay a flat annual tax.

“This is not a fair system, and the evolution of the mobile vendor market requires a modernization of our tax laws,” Evans stated in a release.

Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee wrote a piece on February 28 in support of the proposal: “Fairness for all businesses should begin with food trucks paying the same sales tax rate as the rest of their hospitality and food service colleagues. The D.C. Council should act to establish a level playing field by approving this legislation.”

Food truck vendors have largely voiced opposition to this new provision, a departure from their earlier support for DC’s proposed regulations on mobile food vendors. One food truck advocate (and vendor) pointed out that paying equal taxes should go with equal treatment. Food truck operators have complained of police harassment, among other obstacles traditional restaurants don’t have to face.

The bill appeals to many in the District because of the revenue it would generate. If passed, the bill would take effect this October.

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by February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted down a proposal that would have made it the first state to endorse statehood for the District, DCist reports. The measure failed by a 248-79 vote that fell mostly along party lines. (See Borderstan’s previous coverage on the DC statehood movement, links at bottom of this post.)

Click for more photos from DC Flag Tattoo Day in Dupont Circle on June 14. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The vote followed a trip last month by a delegation of District officials who traveled to the Granite State to lobby the chamber to make DC the 51st state. State representatives in Concord balked at the request, questioning in particular whether granting such autonomy to the nation’s capital would be constitutional.

The delegation tried a number of arguments to sway the Chamber, but to no avail. There are other similar measures supporting DC statehood in state legislatures around the country.

Bordertan asked Martin Moulton, who is active in the DC statehood movement for comment.

“What I learned on my visit to Concord was that a majority of the state leaders, where I attended one of the top colleges in the United States, are completely ignorant about facts about our nation’s capital city. It’s 2012. I was shocked and embarrassed for them. When my father and aunts immigrated to this country, they needed a better understanding of civics than some of these lawmakers needed to get elected,” said Moulton.

In addition to being active in the DC statehood movement, Moulton is president of the Convention Center Community Association. He is also “#39” — one of 41 DC residents arrested April 11 during a sit-in demonstration near the U.S. Capitol.

Check out the DC Vote site for more information about the statehood movement.

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by February 6, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,292 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter. covers DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

DC a Terrorism “Hot Spot,” Study Shows

In what is surely the feel-good news of the day, WAMU reports that the District of Columbia ranks highly among U.S. cities as a terrorism “hot spot.” According to a recent study by the University of Maryland, DC has been targeted by terrorists 79 times over the last 40 years.

Not exactly earth-shattering, you say? Well, what might surprise you is the fact that we’re only ranked Number 5. The cities that are more at-risk than DC are, in order: New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

While the DC is almost surely a prime target of 9/11-era attacks by (mostly?) international actors, the report calculates its rankings based on terrorist acts from across the political spectrum, including extreme right-wing and left-wing domestic groups.

Food Trucks Support Gray’s Regulations Proposals, with Exceptions

The District’s food trucks are rallying behind the city government’s proposals for regulating the fast-growing industry. According to DCist, the District of Columbia Food Truck Association released a statement saying it supports the majority of the suggested rules for mobile food vendors, which will soon be before the City Counsel.

Among other provisions, the proposed changes would allow “savory” food trucks to remain in their locations so long as they’ve paid for the parking fees. Although this rule has received widespread support among food truck operators, not all proposals are so popular. In particular, mobile vendors oppose the creation of “Vending Development Zones,” spots whose location, capacity and hours would be determined by local residents and businesses. This caveat is intended to appease brick-and-mortar restaurants, who feel increasingly at a disadvantage against their mobile competitors.

by January 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm 2,688 2 Comments

Adrian and Michelle Fenty in October 2009 on P Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Washington Post reports that Former Mayor Adrian Fenty may be finding a new locale. The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) recently announced that former DC First Lady Michelle Cross Fenty will become the agency’s next representative in Port-of-Spain, the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The first lady has worked with the IADB for two years.

It is unclear whether the former Mayor will join his wife in the Carribbean, but reports have placed the couple on a recent flight to the islands. Neither of the Fentys has responded to requests for comment. Either way, DC’s weather being what it was this weekend, I can’t begrudge the former mayor a little sun and sand.

If the Mr. Fenty is indeed headed south, it would all but confirm that he has no interest — for the immediate future — in re-entering DC politics. This is all especially interesting in light of the recall effort underway against incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray. Fenty was very popular in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area even when he lost the September 2010 primary to Gray.

by January 23, 2012 at 10:17 am 1,184 0

DC food trucks, Borderstan, Logan Circle, Luis Gomez Photos

Food trucks are increasingly popular in downtown DC. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

The Examiner and DCist reported on Friday that Mayor Vincent Gray has announced intentions to revise D.C.’s street vending rules. Of note, his proposal would clarify guidelines for food trucks, whose popularity and ubiquity make them primed for regulation.

Gray’s proposal would allow food trucks to remain in legal parking spaces so long as the truck’s driver observes time limits and, of course, pays the meter. This rule does not include dessert vendors, who would be required to keep moving if they go 10 minutes without customers (this caveat is intended to prevent ice cream trucks from exploiting the new food truck rules).

Representatives of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) gave Gray’s proposals a lukewarm reception, re-iterating that the city’s approval process for food trucks is too quick and easy compared to the requirements for establishing a new restaurant. This disparity creates unfair competition for established restaurants, the RAMW claims.

In a statement, the Mayor said the new rules would be a triumph for D.C.’s consumers and potential business owners. The D.C. Council will ultimately have to approve the proposed changes.

“Street vending, food trucks and farmers’ markets are important components in increasing the District’s quality of life for residents, workers and visitors, and my new regulations are designed to strike a careful balance between encouraging business innovation and respecting our laws as well as brick-and-mortar businesses that have long played according to the rules,” said Mayor Gray. “These proposed regulations eliminate outdated requirements, make it easier for the smallest of entrepreneurs to set up a business here and expand the food options available to consumers.”

by January 16, 2012 at 11:15 am 1,189 0

"Borderstan""Lincoln Theater"

The Lincoln Theater on U Street NW is showing “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” through January 18. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Borderstan welcomes Alden Leonard to its team of contributors. Alden helps cover local government and arts topics for Borderstan. He advocates for good causes by day and is an artist and arts supporter by night. Check out his paintings at Alden Leonard.

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Recall of Gray, Brown in the Works

Local media was abuzz last week after activist Frederick Butler filed paperwork to recall Mayor Vincent Gray and City Council Chair Kwame Brown. But the process, which could bring about a recall election of the city’s highest elected officials, faces significant barriers. In order to even get on the ballot, Butler must furnish signatures from 10% of voters (about 45,000) to show that the recall has sufficient public support. To give some perspective, a mayoral candidate has to collect just 3,000 signatures. And did I mention this all has to happen in 180 days?

This high bar has stopped many would-be crusaders from attempting to achieve a recall, but not all: in fact, every DC Mayor except Walter Washington has had a recall attempt filed against him. Even so, the DC City Council recently debated lowering the signature requirement to 5%, but it remained at 10% in the final bill as passed by Brown’s Council. Brown offered no explanation for maintaining the high requirement, but Gray issued a response to the larger allegations facing him and the Council Chair. Defending his work as Mayor, Gray reminded voters that “DC is the most desirable place to live in the United States.”

I guess we can’t argue with him there, can we?

Troubles Deepen for Embattled Car Service

Shots have been fired in the battle between car service Uber and Ron Linton, Chairman of the DC Taxicab Commission. As we reported on Friday, Linton recently accused Uber, which allows users to arrange rides from off-duty luxury cars, of operating illegally in the District. Linton made good on his vow to take swift action against Uber, arranging a sting Friday morning that resulted in an Uber driver receiving two costly citations and having his car impounded for the weekend.

Uber responded robustly to Linton’s actions with statements affirming its compliance with DC regulations. “We’ve dotted our i’s,” insisted DC manager Rachel Holt. But the smartphone-powered service also outsourced much of the fight to its tech-savvy clientele, whose enthusiasm for Uber drive its success. In a blog post titled “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Uberness: @Uber_DC needs YOU!”, Uber calls upon its wildly loyal fans to make the Taxicab Commission hear their voices.

Mr. Linton, batten down the hatches.

Artist Exodus from DC: The Unseen Premiums of  Swank Neighborhoods

With this month’s closing of one of DC’s last remaining artist havens, DCentric  raises the question of whether the District’s high rent and rapid gentrification are stifling its creative residents. Gold Leaf Studio at 4th and I Streets, which has been a major creative hub since it opened over a decade ago, will close its doors in the next few weeks due to rising rent. Area art enthusiasts are bemoaning the close, saying it is symbolic of a greater creative exodus to the more affordable suburbs.

We all know living in a premium neighborhood comes at a high price, but is this hidden extra cost worth it?

by January 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,625 2 Comments

Vincent Gray, Adrian Fenty, 2010 DC mayoral race

Vincent Gray defeated incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty in the September 2010 Democratic primary. (luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

You may have seen the news stories on local TV as you recovered from your New Year’s Eve festivities: there is an effort underway to recall Mayor Vincent Gray, who was elected in November 2010.

Here’s the full story in the Huffington Post, which includes the group’s recall efforts of Council Chairman Kwame Brown and Councilmembers Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) The recall effort begins in earnest this week, as organizer Frederick Butler plans to file with the Board of Elections and Ethics this week.

A recall would require more than 45,000 voter signatures in 180 days, and all those signatures must be verified by the Board. Then, and only then, would a new election move forward. While that is a tall order, keep in mind that Californians recalled their governor in 2003 with over 800,000 signatures to usher in the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Viewed in that context, this recall move doesn’t sound that outlandish to me.

In the September 2010 Democratic Primary (the primary win is tantamount to election in this overwhelmingly Democratic town), Gray lost most all the precincts in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area to incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty. In fact, Fenty got more than 70% of the vote in the Borderstan area.

Then in the November general election — after Josh Lopez organized a write-in campaign for Fenty — “write in” garnered 23% citywide and more than 40% in some area precincts.

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by December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm 1,272 0

"Borderstan""Lincoln Theatre""U Street NW"

U Street’s Lincoln Theatre now under the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

The Lincoln Theatre on U Street will officially be transferred to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities on January 1. The hope is that the theater can find a business model that makes it operation sustainable, along with a new executive director. The historic venue at 1215 U Street NW came under fire earlier this year due to the fact that few events are scheduled and it has no permanent theater company in residence — and, obviously, it is not paying its way.

In a hopeful sign, the Lincoln is has a four-week engagement starting tonight. The theater has a four-week partnership with Landmark Theatres to show The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; it runs through January 18. You can view the schedule and purchase tickets online.

On Tuesday, DC Mayor Vincent Gray held a press conference (along with the executive director of DCCAH) to talk about the Lincoln’s future. If you were expecting details on what the Theatre’s programming will be in the next year in order to be somewhat financially stable, you clearly have not lived in DC for very long.

No, as Washinigton City Paper reports, the mayor and the executive director discussed vague plans to run movies, shows from the Arena Stage and Kennedy Center — along with the notion that programming will be consistent with the diversity of the U Street community.

Questions ducked include how it will be financially stable and if it will be a ‘white theater.’ While I’d like to have heard some concrete plans, I can’t blame them for not engaging those two hot items head on, either.

by June 10, 2011 at 9:23 am 1 Comment

VIDA Fitness U Street, Borderstan, U Street NW

VIDA Fitness on U Street is scheduled to open on June 30 in former RESULTS space.

From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed, talk to me on Twitter @MichLancaster.

VIDA Fitness U Street Opening June 30

VIDA Fitness says it will open its new U Street facility on June 30. A Facebook posting and email to members says the entire gym will be up and running at the end of the month (June 14 was the original opening date). The location on the 1600 block of U Street is where RESULTS Gym formerly had its flagship location. As for the rooftop pool, the VIDA message says, “The Penthouse Pool Club is still scheduled for August 9th opening. We can’t wait to share this amazing facility with you!”

Weekend Metro Hours Preserved

DCist has important news for all you bridge and tunnel people, as well as the millions of other D.C. residents that rely on Metro to get from place to place on the weekend. WMATA has decided NOT to extend the time between trains on Saturdays and Sundays. It would have saved money, but cost you up to 25 minutes. On to the next big idea!


by March 11, 2011 at 5:15 am 0

News from Dupont-Logan-U Street (mostly).

From Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her on Twitter @MichLancaster.

Behind on Your Ark Project? D.C. Has Sandbags!

You know it’s got to be bad when D.C. starts giving away for free. The rainfall on already saturated soil has spurred concerns of flooding, the The Washington Post reports (and you walked/drove/biked through). The concern was strong enough to prompt D.C. to provide sandbags, up to five per household, free of charge. Need one? Check it out here.

Gray Retains Clinton Lawyer to Address Allegations

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has apparently grown tired of facing the rumors and speculation alone, and has retained the services of Robert Bennett, according to the The Washington Post. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Bennett is best known for representing President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. A dubious honor, but the pedigree seems to suggest Mayor Gray is taking this very seriously.


by January 3, 2011 at 5:00 am 1,674 2 Comments

From Tom Hay

The proliferation of new businesses over the past few years continues to be one of the major stories in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Moreover, the fact that most are locally-owned, small businesses adds to the sense of community cohesion.

Read Borderstan’s 14 business profiles of 2010; list at bottom.

The opening of Room & Board at 14th and T Streets NW was an exception, while Point Chaude Cafe & Crepes (with one downtown location), Toucan Boutique on 9th Street NW and Well Built on 14th Street NW were more the norm in 2010.

District Condos 14th Street NW Logan Circle

The District Condos development on the west side of 14th Street NW between S and Swann Streets gets underway this year; completion is scheduled for 2012. (Luis Gomez Photos).

What Kind of Businesses in 2011?

Perhaps the big business story in 2011 for the neighborhood will be what kind of new businesses open, particularly on the 14th Street NW corridor — rising rents make it increasingly difficult for certain types of retail to flourish. With higher revenues, restaurants and lounges are often better able to pay the rent, Estadio and Masa 14 being good examples.

This reality was recognized in 2010 when the DC Zoning Commission approved having up to 50% of store frontage space on the 14th and U corridor be eating/drinking establishments. The previous percentage for this area — part of the arts overlay district — was 25%.

A few of the food and beverage businesses in the pipeline include Pearl Dive restaurant in the 100% Mexico (closed) location, Peregrine Espresso in the former Flowers on Fourteenth (moved a few doors south) space and several dining spots coming to the northeast corner of 14th and U.

I predict in 2011 we will see more resident opposition to new or expanding restaurants and bars along 14th Street. Case in point is the already mobilized group of 30 residents protesting Pearl Dive’s liquor license.

What About the Arts Branding Project?

Speaking of the arts overlay district in the 14th and U corridor, what will happen with the DC Arts District branding project? The banners are up on U, 14th, 15th and 9th Streets NW. The project was funded by a $200,000 Neighborhood Investment Fund grant with the contract going to contractors via the MidCity Residents Association, Cultural Tourism DC, Logan Circle Community Association and the Constance Whitaker Maffin Memorial Fund.

Several graphic design firms collaborated on the design of the banners, with the final design by Julia Ames, owner of Spoolia Design. No word yet on future plans for the DC Arts District and it remains unclear how long the banners will remain in place in certain locations.

More Condos

New condominium construction appears to be having an early spring. After years of an unprecedented number of new units being built, the start of many projects came to a halt a couple of years ago, victims of the recession, tight credit markets and cautious developers.

This fall saw signs of movement along 14th Street, notably the unveiling of District Condos, a 125-unit building at the former Whitman Walker site at 14th and S Streets NW, which will also include ground floor retail.

Vincent Gray Administration

Will the business climate in the neighborhood change now that Vincent Gray is DC’s new mayor? Last month Gray announced he would not be keeping Department of Transportation head Gabe Klein — under whom we saw more bike lanes, the Circulator bus and the start of a streetcar system for the city. Also out is Linda Argo at Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. DCRA is the agency responsible for business licenses and building permits and it had made great strides in customer service in recent years.

Gray also appointed Ronald Collins to head the Office of Boards and Commissions. Collins held the post during the Anthony Williams administration (1999-2007) and the position assists the Mayor’s office in selecting members for the Zoning Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and the Historic Preservation Review Board, all of which handle issues of importance to businesses and residents in our neighborhood.

New ANC Commissioners

DC’s Advisory Neighbhorhood Commissions (ANCs) technically do not have regulatory or approval powers, but they can smooth the way or put up roadblocks for businesses. We will see some new faces on the three ANCs in the area: ANC 1B, 2B and 2F. Aaron Spencer won a three-way race for 1B02 which includes the east side of the 14th and U Streets intersection. He defeated incumbent Peter Raia and Tucker Gallagher. In 2B-Dupont Circle, Kevin O’Connor ran unopposed for the 2B02 post, which is on the western side of Dupont Circle.

Over in ANC 2F-Logan Circle, Emily Barton takes the 2F02 seat (she ran unopposed) while 2F04 and 2F05 are vacant and will have to be filled by special election early this year. There were no candidates on the November 2 ballot for either of these seats and the DC Board of Elections and Ethics was unable to fill these seats from write-in votes on November 2.

Commissioners represent approximately 2,000 people in single-member districts and are elected every two years. ANC 1B has 11 members, 2B has nine and 2F has six commissioners.

2010 Neighborhood Business Profiles

From Tom Hay

From Cecile Oreste

From Borderstan

by December 8, 2010 at 5:00 am 1,268 0

Ross School Luis Gomez Photos

The Ross Elementary School Library was dedicated to long-time volunteer Kathy Nelick (foreground) on Dec. 3. Ross serves students in the Dupont area from Pre-K through Grade 5, and is at 1730 R St. NW. In the background is volunteer Liz Edmonds. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Details Emerge on Mayor-Elect Gray’s Budget Plan — Streetcars In, Tax Hikes Out

Yes, Virginia, there is a streetcar, as reported by Greater Greater Washington. Details still need to be worked out but Mayor-Elect Gray’s budget is a down payment on a campaign promise to keep the funding. For city employees, DCist has the announcement of four furlough days coming soon.  That’s estimated to save the city $19.3 million. For city residents pulling in more than $40,000 in annual income — you will not be subject to a tax hike. The budget plan has a little bit of Ebeneezer Scrooge, before and after, with austere cuts in public education while some neighborhood funding was restored.

Real Story on City Council Chief of Staff’s Salary List

Washington City Paper got a hold of D.C. Council Chief of Staff’s salary list. Ward 2 was the highest at $132,000; Ward 1 was the lowest at $85,277 — a difference of more than $46,000. Somebody’s getting coal in their stocking!

Brickskeller Closing Is Official

Its official, according to TBD’s interview with the owner, that D.C. beer institution, the Brickskeller, is closing its Guinness Award-winning doors. The beer-sodden tissues are piling up, and you can check out what We Love DC, Washington City Paper and NBC have to say about the future of the place.

Caroling Flashmob at Gallery Place

Flashmobs are all the rage these days and Metro has seen a few ‘no pants’ rides as part of the trend. Now you get Christmas music, and depending on your Grinch level at a crowded station during a Monday rush hour, this may be more irritating. Story is at NBC.

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting — How Was It?

Well, besides cold and a consolation prize for those who didn’t get a ticket for the White House Christmas Tree lighting? We Love DC has the info if you missed the first night but want to sneak a peek.


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