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When students at George Washington University get riled up about something, they have many means of redress at their disposal: sit-ins, teach-ins, rallies, leaflets, and so on. Hunger strikes, however, are apparently not an option. Last Thursday, student protesters launched a three-hour lunchtime strike against J Street, the main campus foodcourt, to decry a 6-percent meal-plan cost increase and a 6.9-percent tuition hike. But instead of skipping a meal altogether, the students splurged for special deals offered by nine Foggy Bottom restaurateurs. Spotting a boondoggle in the boycott, Domino’s dished out two-for-one pies and Au Bon Pain kicked in dollar-off coupons. All GW freshmen and sophomores are required to participate in a meal plan at the college-run eateries, so the boycott unleashed about 3,000 customers on restaurants around the university, which happily struggled to accommodate the rush. “This is totally commercial for me….I’m going to do it once a week,” admits Lindy Adams, owner of Lindy’s Bon Apetit on I Street, which offered a burger, fries, and a small soda for $5a big savings of about 15 cents, plus tax.
After months of wrestling with red tape, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Sgt. Harry Hill is officially Washington’s first cop to moonlight as a D.C. cabbie. In 1995, MPD Chief Larry Soulsby asked the D.C. Council to loosen employment restrictions on off-duty officers to allow them to hack part-time, and Hill got his license from the taxicab commission back in September. But MPD apparently had second thoughts about letting cops join the ranks of a famously corrupt industry that they are also supposed to regulate. Hill says former Deputy Chief Max Krupo, who oversaw off-duty employment, refused to sign off on the paperwork so Hill could hit the streets. Hill carried around a useless license for six months and even camped out in Krupo’s office for six hours one day to no avail. But Hill finally got lucky: The last time he called Krupo just happened to be on the eve of Soulsby’s departmental housekeeping last month in which he forced Krupo to retire. On his way out, Krupo caved and signed Hill’s papers. “It was one of his last official acts in office,” says Hill, who is now working for the Yellow Cab Co.the same company for which his mother hacked for three decades.
While Wrapworks restaurant’s new Dupont Circle location has enticed overflow crowds with its yuppie burritos and ginseng-laced smoothies, the outlet’s trendy cachet has left its neighbors unimpressed. At a March 12 meeting of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), denizens of the 19th Street block behind the restaurant assembled to charge Wrapworks with nurturing the time-honored scourges of their shared alley: garbage, rats, and noise. Zelda Zeldin, who owns a six-unit apartment building on 19th Street, said that one of her tenants threatened to bolt because of noise from a refrigerated truck Wrapworks stationed in the alley. “You have a motor going on and off in the quiet of the night,” Zeldin said in an interview. Wrapworks management recruited the on-deck supply truck because the existing refrigerator space couldn’t accommodate the fashionable throngs that have flooded the restaurant. More refrigerators are on order, promises a Wrapworks rep. Meanwhile, Zeldin says the truck left a big hole in the cement and prevents one of her neighbors from getting her car out of the alley on her way to work. Hearing the gripes, the ANC voted unanimously to oppose a Wrapworks petition to expand via sidewalk cafe.