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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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Amid the latest allegations that Vince Gray knew about the Jeff Thompson-financed shadow campaign, is the mayor losing support from his strong voter base east of the river? The backing of ward 7 and 8 voters who propelled him to victory in 2010 is growing shakier, according to the Post.


  • During the NewsChannel 8 mayoral debate last night, the leading candidates said the federal probe into Mayor Vince Gray‘s 2010 mayoral run is hurting the city. Councilman Tommy Wells went as far as saying that the probe is distracting Gray from running the city well. [News4]
  • Metro fares are definitely going up, but it’s still unclear by how much. [WAMU]
  • D.C. police arrested a man in connection with the mysterious markings that looked like crop circles that showed up on more than 100 trees in Bloomingdale and Shaw. [Post]
  • A D.C. firefighter has been charged with setting his own car on fire in Prince George’s County. [WJLA]


No Place Like Home: D.C. has 827 homeless families, including 1,591 children, living in motels and shelters this week. This winter, the city’s homeless population doubled, and the District government wasn’t prepared for the surge. This week’s cover story tells the stories of some of these homeless families—-and examines why the city wasn’t ready.

Sweet Carolina: The Carolina Kitchen opened its first D.C. location yesterday on Rhode Island Row in Brentwood.

State Friends: The New Hampshire House passed a symbolic resolution yesterday declaring its support for D.C. voting rights.

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

  • The Loose Lips mayoral debate is this Sunday, 8 p.m., at the Black Cat. [LL]
  • Vince Gray faces opponents at televised debate. [PostPost]
  • Jeff Thompson kept keeping Pat Mara out of office. [LL]
  • Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies is sick of “Uncle Earl.” [Washingtonian]
  • Gray gets a kind word from Lanny Davis. [LL]
  • Police union backs Tommy Wells. [LL]
  • Gray speechwriter says his State of the District was the opposite of a racial dog whistle. [Post]
  • District could combine its lottery contracts. [WAMU]
  • Adrian Fenty will disappear from some city fields. [Post]
  • New property tax assessments will increase valuations. [WBJ]
  • Firefighter charged in arson scheme. [Post]
  • Firefighter background checks on hold. [Times]
  • Police shoot two pit bulls. [Post]

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

  • New property tax assessment method hits commercial property owners hard. [WBJ]
  • Vince Gray touts education gains, but his record is mixed. [Post]
  • The D.C. area has the second-most super-rich neighborhoods in America. [Atlantic Cities]
  • Patterson Mansion microunit proposal, without residential parking, passes ANC. [UrbanTurf]
  • Court gives burger joint a break in landlord-tenant dispute. [WBJ]
  • Will St. Elizabeths ever become a true community hub? [GGW]
  • MARC will boost weekend capacity between D.C. and Baltimore. [DCist]
  • The grimy history of Georgetown’s hidden block. [UrbanTurf]
  • Gray and Jack Evans spar over lane closures. [GGW]
  • Today on the market: Two-level Penn Quarter penthouse—$1,270,000

ARTS LINKS, by Jonathan L. Fischer. (tips? jfischer@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • D.C.’s biggest arts patrons, in theory. [Post]
  • Paul Simon and Sting raise money for the Duke Ellington School. [Post]
  • Incoming Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton‘s favorite Smithsonian museum is the Freer and Sackler. [Washingtonian]
  • D.C.’s MuralsDC program seeks walls to tag legally. [DCist]
  • The Black Sparks‘ teenage Bethesda rock scene [D.C. Music Download]

FOOD LINKS, by Jessica Sidman. (tips? jsidman@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Where to find street foods from around the world in D.C. [Express]
  • Seasonal Pantry will sell a limited number of fried chicken breakfast sandwiches this weekend. [Washingtonian]
  • A dozen vegetarian sandwiches to try [Eater]
  • Train station/bus terminal-themed restaurant Union Social coming to NoMa. [In the Capital]
  • Who has the best pierogis in D.C.? [Post]
  • Amsterdam Falafel opens on 14th Street NW on March 23. [PoPville]
  • Chef Peter Chang plans Fairfax opening later this year. [DCist]
  • Are we in the Dark Age of Dessert? [Grub Street]