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The Metro Board is voting today on a measure to offer furloughed feds free rides starting Monday—news Tom Sherwood broke late last night. It is expected to pass. Thousands of workers (Metro says 21,000) will lose their SmartBenefits starting today because federal agencies can’t disburse the benefit due to the shutdown. “You’ll show a federal ID and go through the gate we have there” Councilmember Jack Evans tells the Post. “This is going to be an honor system situation where a lot of people are going to ride free on Metro.”


  • City Paper is tracking federally funded programs, like SNAP and the Housing Authority, and their plans to stay funded as the shutdown continues. [WCP]

  • Bobby Perkins is serving prison time for flooding the D.C. area with illegal firearms. Prosecutors have tied at least 224 guns to him. Police have recovered the weapons from crime scenes from Virginia to New York. One was used in the murder of Perkins’ teenage cousin, the Post reports.

  • The bus system in the D.C. area is too slow and complex, according to a $2.2 million study presented to the Metro board yesterday. One major conclusion is that the District’s failure to add bus lanes has caused buses to slow down as streets become more congested, which has cost Metro an estimated $30 million in the past decade.

  • White House sinkhole repairs will take at least another week. Sections of D Street NW and 17th Street NW will be closed while crews fill in the hole.

  • ICYMI: Following a recruiting scandal, Howard University is looking to revive its athletic program. Athletic director Kery Davis calls the historic university’s athletics program an “unpolished diamond.”

  • The mother of a 12-year-old girl who died by suicide in her dorm at the SEED Public Charter School in January 2018 has filed a lawsuit against the school. The suit accuses the school of negligence, recklessness and “indifference to the health and safety of Stormiyah [Denson-Jackson] and other students’ mental health needs,” the DC Line reports. School officials declined to comment to the DC Line.

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • It appears that former mayoral candidate James Butler will pursue an initiative to impose term limits in D.C. [Twitter]

  • The Council’s schedules for budget hearings and committee oversight hearings are live. [D.C. Council]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill that eliminates the statute of limitations for many sex crimes. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Young & Hungry is away from her desk this week.

ARTS LINKS, by Matt Cohen (tips? mcohen@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Iranian Film Festival enters its 23rd year with a diverse glimpse of Iran’s film scene. [WCP]

  • Frida Kahlo is (probably) coming to your neighborhood (in art form, of course). [Post]

  • Pointless Theatre’s Visions of Love presents Charlie Chaplin in three dimensions [WCP]

  • Former D.C. cop and City Paper contributor Morgan Givens launches a new podcast on modern fairy tales. It follows the saga of a young boy and a magical book. [DCist]

  • Studio Theatre’s Admissions looks for humor in white guilt. [WCP]

  • The backstory on why a pop-up hip-hop museum opened at Blind Whino. [Washingtonian]

  • The perils of a literary pursuit are harrowing in Juliet LapidosTalent. [WCP]

  • Isn’t it crazy that Spike Lee hasn’t been nominated for a Best Director Oscar until now, with BlacKkKlansman? I think so. Anyway, the National Cathedral is screening that and Do the Right Thing the first weekend of February. [AFRO]

HOUSING COMPLEX LINKS, by Morgan Baskin (tips? mbaskin@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • ICYMI: City Paper identified $6 million in government contracts awarded to Certified Business Enterprises located in Ward 7 and 8, but whose headquarters are in other wards and in some cases outside of the District altogether. [WCP]

  • Repairing the mammoth 17th Street NW sinkhole will take about a week. [PoPville]

  • D.C. grants Howard University a fund to study traffic deaths. [Curbed]

  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson reintroduces his effort to split DCRA in two. [Urban Turf]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The struggling Caps, loser of seven straight games, acknowledge that something needs to change if they’re going to get back on track. [WCP]

  • It’s MLS Cup or bust for D.C. United next season, says Wayne Rooney. [mlssoccer.com]

  • Dan Kolko and Bo Porter, a former Nats third base coach, will be on MASN’s Nationals broadcast, replacing Ray Knight. MASN pulled the 65-year-old Knight off broadcasts last year after he was involved in a verbal altercation with someone on the MASN production team. [Post]

HAPPENING TODAY, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)


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