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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.

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Facing increasing pressure to articulate the causes behind D.C.’s uptick in violence this year, police Chief Cathy Lanier shared crime statistics and motives in a citywide email to police-district listservs yesterday. In it, she discussed the distribution of homicides across the District as well as repeat violent offenders, synthetic drugs, and Metropolitan Police Department strategies. Lanier will appear with Mayor Muriel Bowser this morning at a public meeting on crime taking place in Congress Heights.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Internal documents obtained by City Paper show that Metro hired two crisis-management firms following the deadly tunnel-smoke incident on Jan. 12, for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It even monitored one man’s Twitter account as part of the effort: Chris Barnes’ @FixMetro (now @FixWMATA). [Loose Lips]
  • The smaller of giant panda Mei Xiang’s twin cubs died Wednesday, the National Zoo announced. Though the other cub remains healthy, zookeepers haven’t yet identified the precise cause of death. [City Desk]
  • When the D.C. streetcar (finally) opens, passengers may be able to pay fares using their cell phones. [WBJ]
  • D.C. Public Schools received over $31 million in grants, the highest of any school district, in 2010. [Post]
  • A new 11-story residential development consisting of 133 units may be coming to Chinatown. [Urban Turf]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • Century-Old Bourbon: What to do with it? Jos. A. Magnus—the District’s newest distillery—revived it.
  • Strip Tease: D.C. strip joint Stadium Club faces an existential threat from the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
  • Sitting, Waiting, Wishing: The D.C.-metro area has the worst traffic in the U.S., a new report has found.

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Will Sommer (tips? wsommer@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Ahead of major Muriel Bowser anti-crime event, Cathy Lanier highlights role of arguments in homicide rate. [LLPost]
  • Protesters plan for Bowser event. [Post]
  • Distributions fall uneasily over charter schools. [Post]
  • More zoning trouble for the Stadium Club. [City Desk]
  • Phone payments ahead for the streetcar. [WBJ]
  • Report: the District leads in automobile congestion. [City Desk]
  • Metro faces violent crime on bus routes. [WAMU]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Jessica Sidman (tips? jsidman@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Where to enjoy happy hour with your dog [BYT]
  • The most anticipated fall restaurant openings [Eater]
  • Columbia Heights and Park View restaurants hit by burglaries. [Borderstan]
  • &pizza on U Street NW closes for quick renovation. [PoPville]
  • Why do so many hot new restaurants have names that sound the same? [Washingtonian]
  • Prequel welcomes more restaurant pop-ups. [Post]