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What you said about what we said last week
Aaron Wiener’s latest cover was a complicated but worthwhile read on the latest way landlords may be able to get around tenant protection laws. At the center of this controversy is Richard Luchs, a local attorney well-known for representing landlord interests in tenants’ rights cases.
“Tortutous laws make for tortured judicial interpretations,” tweeted Donald Holmes, an attorney who works with Luchs at the D.C. firm Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs. “[The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act] is well intended, but bad policy awkwardly applied.” Mark L appeared to agree: “So DC Council writes vague legislation and/or doesn’t understand the legislation it writes, and attorneys representing landlords follow the law as written? Sounds like the gripe is with the ever-incompetent DC Council, not the landlords who are following the law.”
Wiener appeared on WAMU 88.5’s Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the piece. “I live in a building that is going through the TOPA process right now,” said caller Jon. “What I’ve learned is that this process is so complicated that a group of tenants certainly couldn’t go through it without the help of an attorney—and they don’t come cheap.” But as Wiener wrote, the so-called voluntary agreements that landlords and current tenants settle on out of court can make the buildings much more expensive for future renters.
Much less controversial was Jessica Sidman’s piece on the mobile River City Cannery, which allows local breweries to package their product without owning the equipment. “Doing The Lord’s work,” tweeted @robpressly. “This is great – the Deep Ellum Brewery in Texas started to do something similar a few years back, and it had an enormously beneficial effect on the local craft-brewing scene,” commented some guy. “This can only be a good thing for the area.”
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In “Protect and Preserve,” former Washington Post reporter Ruben Castaneda explained how the mother of a black D.C. police officer accidentally killed by a white cop kept the incident from becoming the “spark that lit a racial conflagration within” the Metropolitan Police Department. “Really interesting read,” tweeted local TV reporter Mike Conneen. “In @WCP , @RCastanedaWP speculates that MPD Offcr Baker not shooting at white man has ‘nothing to do w/ racial bias,’” writer Tanya Paperny said on Twitter. “Not ‘speculation,’” Castaneda replied, “but an assessment based on years of covering the DC crime beat.”
Apologies to all who took issue with our food feature on smelly items to consume on Valentine’s Day, not because of its conceit, but because it didn’t include the Arsenal’s beef-heart tartare. “how is @TheArsenalDC with their beef heart tartare not on that list?!” tweeted food photographer Samer Farha. “If you must [go out on Valentine’s Day…] you should prob get the beef heart tartare at Bluejacket, which is sadly missing from this list,” said line cook Tristyn Bloom on Twitter. We get it. Raw cow heart for all lovers next Feb. 14.
Update: The Kojo show caller’s name is spelled Jon, not John.