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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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Councilmember and mayoral candidate Vince Orange fought the city’s decision to award a $33 million, five-year contract to manage the District’s parking meters to Xerox. The losing bidder that Orange is pushing for: WorldWide Parking, a company that recently bundled $20,000 in donations to Orange’s mayoral campaign.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The D.C. Council will take a final vote today on raising the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2016, a measure which it already passed unanimously on a first vote. [News4]
  • A busted 12-inch water main near Dupont Circle has closed portions of the southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue NW. [WJLA]
  • For the first time, about 220 food-service workers at two Smithsonian museums will now have union representation in negotiations. [Post]
  • Federal authorities are investigating whether the former leaders of D.C.’s Options Public Charter School committed Medicaid fraud by, among other allegations, exaggerating the needs of its disabled students and paying students with gift cards to ride school buses. [Post]

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

Stencil Pusher: ICYMI: Our latest cover story investigates the friendly graffiti messages stenciled on the city’s bike lanes—-and discovers the mysterious artist behind them.

Art Happenings: The Dying Gaul, a first century CE marble sculpture of a soldier stabbed through the chest, is on display at the National Gallery of Art.

Diagnosing Dan: A GW professor says the reason Pigskins owner Dan Snyder can’t see why his team’s name is offensive is because he suffers from cognitive dissonance. 

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

  • Interim Parks and Recreation boss criticized at Mary Cheh‘s Wilson Pool hearing. [WAMUPost, City Desk]
  • Mayoral candidates cadge votes at event hosted by vocal anti-Semite. [LL]
  • H Street streetcar tests start. [WAMU]
  • Charter-school operators tied to self-dealing scheme could have committed Medicaid fraud. [Post]
  • City opens land in Shaw for development. [WBJ]
  • Teen arrested for Salvation Army burglary. [WAMU]
  • LivingSocial: Shutting down for two days didn’t hurt us after all. [WBJ]

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

  • Dupont water-main break wreaks havoc on morning commute. [Post]
  • Two big public parcels are up for development. [WBJ]
  • Parking meter contract raises allegations of pay-to-play. [WAMU]
  • Another Ward 8 ghost town. [CHOTR]
  • A few houses that sold way above asking this year. [UrbanTurf]
  • Students sickened by pepper spray during school fight. [WJLA]
  • Archstone First and M takes over-the-top amenities to the next level. [HuffPostDC]
  • Today on the market: Upper Connecticut Avenue 1BR—$324,900

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

  • An Arlington-bred ex-marine’s cinematic dreams, and the tragedy that inspired them [Post]
  • D.C. Cab is 30 years old. [Post]
  • And here’s where D.C. Cab‘s cast is now. [DCist]
  • Hugh Jackman hangs out with the National Zoo’s baby panda. [Washingtonian]
  • Opera—now for kids! [Post]
  • The CEO and president of Discovery Communications’ salary is $49.9 million. [Washingtonian]

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

  • D.C.’s 11 biggest restaurant openings of 2013 [Zagat]
  • Q&A with Bourbon Steak celebrity chef Michael Mina [Washingtonian]
  • Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken now delivers. [Girl Meets Food]
  • Bistro Bis gets a makeover for its 15th anniversary. [Post]
  • Former Bistro Vivant chef Ed Hardy is selling Christmas puddings on Etsy. [Eater]
  • Mothership on Georgia Avenue NW applying for later hours. [PoPville]
  • The anatomy of a dive bar [Thrillist]