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

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Mayor Vince Gray‘s election defeat forced many of his appointees to find new jobs, but the transition was cushioned with hefty severance packages. City Administrator Allen Lew was given the most lucrative package, receiving more than $56,000.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • Get ready for the next big development battle. [Housing Complex]
  • Obama budget proposal would (theoretically) allow recreational marijuana in D.C. [RollCall]
  • D.C.’s debt has never been so high. [WBJ]
  • Civil trial begins in lawsuit brought by family of man killed by D.C. police. [Post]

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

Cookies Sell: The new Captain Cookie storefront sold about 3,500 cookies on its first day.

“The Gentrification: Has it arrived in Congress Heights?

Meat Again: Silver Spring’s Urban Butcher is set to reopen after a fire in October forced it to close.

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

  • The District spent nearly $2 million on severance pay for Vince Gray appointees. [LL]
  • Budget from Barack Obama would let the District regulate marijuana sales. [PostTimes, WAMU]
  • Yvette Alexander will take her time with Mary Cheh‘s “death with dignity” bill. [Post]
  • The District has never had so much debt. [WBJ]
  • Metro crime rate drops. [WAMU]
  • Gentrification comes to Congress Heights. [Housing Complex]
  • Trial starts over fatal police shooting. [Post]

HOUSING COMPLEX LINKS, by Aaron Wiener (tips? awiener@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The urbanist case for D.C. statehood. [Next City]
  • Is Georgetown ready for the future? [Post]
  • A 15-story residential tower could be on the way to 14th Street SW. [WBJ]
  • Shh! You’re in Rosslyn. They’ll hear you! [National Journal]
  • How an exhausted D.C. bike commuter became an electric bike entrepreneur. [EarthTalk]
  • Navy Yard apartment renderings, starring Meryl Streep. [Curbed]
  • D.C.’s debt is at a record level. [WBJ]
  • Historic Capitol Hill garage will become three spacious condos. [UrbanTurf]
  • Today on the market: 2BR condo in an old 16th and U NW building—-$538,000

ARTS LINKS, by Christina Cauterucci (tips? ccauterucci@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Bob Boilen takes a first listen to Paperhaus‘ debut LP. [NPR]
  • Photos from the Dougout’s three-year anniversary show, featuring the Obsessives, Qualms, Witch Coast, and Polyon [D.C. Music Download]
  • Here’s what happened when people continued talking D.C. punk to death in the least punk bar in D.C. [BYT]
  • The Smithsonian American Art Museum is leading an effort to build a searchable online database of American art. [Post]
  • Photos of Zola Jesus and Deradoorian at the Black Cat [BYT]

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

  • Thirteen new decadent chocolate desserts in D.C. [Zagat]Can’t miss food events this week [Washingtonian]
  • Chinese chef Peter Chang in talks to open Arlington restaurant. [WBJ]
  • The early buzz on Mango Tree in CityCenterDC [Eater]
  • Vinoteca makes its own vermouth. [Post]
  • Cafe Phillips closes at 12th and E streets NW. [PoPville]