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D.C. isn’t even a full week into 2020 yet, and the city has already seen a spate of murders. Four men were killed over the weekend, marking an especially violent start to a new decade.
The violence was widespread. Charles Robinson, 60, was fatally shot Saturday morning in Anacostia, making him D.C.’s first homicide victim of 2020. Early Sunday morning, 39-year-old Anthony Ward was fatally shot downtown, 22-year-old Dy’Mani Priestley was fatally stabbed in the U Street NW corridor, and 26-year-old Xavier Tate was fatally shot near the Southwest waterfront.
D.C. government officials have been trying to mitigate the violence, but so far their efforts haven’t proven successful. D.C. saw the most murders it had all decade in 2019, at 166.
So what’s going on?
City Paper spoke with three men who are all too familiar with the violence to learn what they think. “The first friend I lost to violence was shot in the head standing right next to me in Southwest,” says Julius Terry. Markee Young says, “I stopped going to the funerals after my best friend died. It started to get very depressing.” “I just left a funeral this morning for a guy who I grew up with,” says Rob Butler.
They all spent time in prison, and now have government jobs with the Pathways Program. Pathways was created as part of the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act, legislation the Council passed in 2016 to reduce crime through a public health approach.
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email email@example.com)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:
Police Chief Peter Newsham on TheKojo Nnamdi Show to talk homicides at noon. [WAMU]
Mayor Muriel Bowser wants some new development to include between 10 to 20 percent affordable housing. [WAMU]
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has more in common with President Donald Trump than he’d like to admit. [Washington Monthly]
First snow of 2020 might come Tuesday(!) [WTOP]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
The D.C. Council repealed a voter-approved wage increase for tipped workers. Then they passed a law to help those employees, but never funded or implemented it. [Post]
Former Maryland legislator Tawanna Gaines was sentenced to six months in prison for misusing campaign funds. [NBC]
D.C. jail inmates write and design their own newspaper, the Inside Scoop. [Post]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
Modern Mexican restaurant Amparo Fondita pulls out of La Cosecha. [WCP]
Critic Tom Sietsema tries Butter Chicken. [Post]
The former Kapnos space will become a Mexican restaurant imported from Boston. [Eater]
A very deep dive into the business and technology sides of Sweetgreen. [NYT]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
D.C.’s 2020 arts calendar includes the return ofHamilton. [WAMU]
How Maria Manuela Goyanes is taking Woolly Mammoth to progressive new heights. [Washingtonian]
The University of Maryland features a small but mighty exhibit on master puppeteer Jim Henson’s time as a student there. [Post]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
With Bradley Beal and most of the regular starters still out with injuries, the Wizards bench scored a franchise-record 92 points, including a career-high 32 from Ish Smith, to beat the Nuggets, 128-114, on Saturday night for one of the team’s best wins of the season. [Bullets Forever]
Former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had his biggest game of his career in a 26-20 win over the Saints in the NFL wild card round, (temporarily) silencing critics of his $84 million contract with the Vikings. [USA Today]
The Caps scored twice under a minute to go in regulation and beat the Sharks, 5-4, in overtime. They are only the seventh team to overcome a multi-goal deficit in the final minute of regulation, according to the NHL. “True fans never leaves the arena until is really over,” Caps forward Jakub Vrana tweeted after the game. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
Tonight: Canadian jazz vocalist Renee Tannenbaum brings smooth songs to Blues Alley. 8 p.m. at Blues Alley Jazz, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $22.
Tuesday: Therapist Kathleen Smith wants you to believe that Everything Isn’t Terrible. 6:30 p.m. at East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free.
Wednesday: Melissa Rogers’ timely work Faith in American Life examines how religion influences public and civic life in the U.S. 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Free.