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

“Indeed, our city has a high stakes lottery system in which there are ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’”

Joyanna Smith, D.C.’s ombudsman for public education, writes an open letter to D.C. residents in City Paper, addressing the litany of ills that have plagued the city’s public and charter schools in recent months. In it, she derides the “carefully-cultivated narrative” of “unfounded optimism” about the trajectory of student achievement—and hints that Ballou’s graduation rate scandal wasn’t a surprising one.

“While school officials [expressed] surprise over the recently uncovered inflated graduation rates at comprehensive high schools, our office regularly works on behalf of students who have demonstrated an inability to read or solve math problems on grade level. A number of these students were also on track to graduate,” she writes. “Thus, stark dissonance exists between the reality of our public school systems and the vision of what we hope they will become.”

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Officials in Washington state arrested a man police believe was involved in the delivery of multiple packages, some filled with explosive materials, to federal facilities around D.C. [WAMU]

  • Anonymous student whistleblower claims Howard University officials embezzled money earmarked for student financial aid. [Medium]

  • Flu cases are on the upswing in D.C. [WTOP]

  • How will planned changes to the U.S. Census affect participation rates? [City Lab]

  • The Supreme Court will hear a gerrymandering case in Maryland today. [Post]

  • Baltimore will spend nearly $7 million more on body cameras for police officers. [WTOP]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Andrew Giambrone (tips? agiambrone@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Marijuana activists bring free joints to the Wilson Building. [WAMU, Post, Twitter, Twitter]

  • If passed, a ballot initiative would increase the tipped minimum wage for servers. [WBJ]

  • BrianneNadeau and Trayon White propose tax breaks for IHOPs in their wards. [WBJ]

  • White again apologizes for anti-Semitic words, but won’t answer questions. [Post, NBC4]

  • Jewish climate activist says White’s recent comments highlight climate concerns. [Post]

  • Appeals court dismisses residents’ challenge over Reagan National Airport noise. [Post]

  • Budget proposal would allow bars to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. a little more often. [WBJ]

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

  • Listen to a new track off of BRNDA’s forthcoming album. [Impose]

  • Silver Spring’s 4615 Theatre Company announces new season, featuring the world premiere of D.C. playwright Joe Calarco’s Separate Rooms. [DC Theatre Scene]

  • The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields talk about working in some deep insider D.C. references in their show. [Washingtonian]

  • Local artist Maggie O’Neilldiscusses her work with BYT. [BYT]

  • Watch a new music video from DMV rapper Super Nike Nando. [DC Mumbo Sauce]

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

  • Promising bar limited to 15-person capacity due to a toilet policy. [WCP]

  • Employees have more to say about Mike Isabella. [Washingtonian]

  • For some reason, the Nationals introduce boozy Capri Sun-like pouches. [WCP]

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

  • Low- and middle-income families get the worst shake in D.C.’s real estate market. [WCP]

  • Urban farming enthusiasts are a small—but growing—and mighty cohort. [GGW]

  • WUSA9’s released a new podcast about the disappearance of Relisha Rudd. [WUSA9]

  • This block of Yuma Street is seeing some futuristic renovations. [PoPville]

  • A PoPville reader wants to know: Is their landlord illegally renting a unit in the building? [PoPville]

  • Expect a new mixed-use building in Tenleytown. [Curbed]

HAPPENING TODAY

  • ANC 5B meets at 6:30 p.m. today. 1820 Monroe St. NE.

  • ANC 5A meets at 6:45 p.m. 5171 South Dakota Ave NE.

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