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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A helicopter will be taking low flights of Washington this month. But this time, the explanation for what it’s doing isn’t innocuous: It’s looking for radiation.


  • Michelle Rhee‘s nonprofit says D.C. is fourth in the U.S. for education policy—-but still only deserves a C+. [Examiner]
  • DCPS principal alleges cheating. [Post]
  • Living in CityCenterDC is not like living in Central Park. [Housing Complex]
  • D.C. attorney general opposed to holding budget autonomy referendum. [Times]
  • Ballston suicide latest in deliberate death-by-Metros. [City Desk]


Photos of the Day: Delta Rae @ 9:30 Club.

Tough Tuesday for the IG: The Frontline episode on D.C. Public Schools under Michelle Rhee, premiering tonight, features allegations of systematic cheating on standardized tests. If PBS could find cheating, why couldn’t the inspector general?

Faux York: Buffalo & Bergen, a new soda and knish shop at Union Market, has a secret weapon: a water filter that makes their sodas taste like they were made with New York water.

Do Over: People who missed Ticketmaster sales to the inaugural ball want a second ball to be organized.

Asses: A new exhibit explains how donkeys and elephants came to represent the country’s main two parties.

LOOSE LIPS, by Loose Lips columnist Alan Suderman. (tips? lips@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Irv Nathan: The District mustn’t risk displeasing its congressional overlords with a budget autonomy referendum. [Times]
  • Jack Evans and Marion Barry want the Pigskins to play in a domed D.C. stadium. [Post]
  • Phil Mendelson doesn’t know if he’ll support mayor’s plan for more cops. [Post]
  • Jonetta: Mendo has a “history of timidity” and low expectations that will require greater public involvement in civic affairs. [Examiner]
  • “You know, they cheat on their tests,” principal says teacher told her. [Post]
  • It is hard to collect signatures in the winter. [WAMU]
  • Donald Trump looking to cut his District tax bill. [WBJ]

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

  • A Q&A with walkability guru Jeff Speck. [Atlantic Cities]
  • More cranes coming to Shaw. [WBJ]
  • Closing schools might not save much money. [Hill Rag]
  • Don’t try to use these roads on Jan. 21. [WJLA]
  • New condo supply hits record low as sales rise. [UrbanTurf]
  • DDOT aims to improve lighting on Metropolitan Branch Trail. [GGW]
  • Law firm will relocate to redeveloped NPR building. [WBJ]
  • Today on the market: Cute Deanwood rowhouse

ARTS LINKS, by Ally Schweitzer (tips? artsdesk@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Kennedy Center forms an advisory panel to address criticisms that it excludes Latinos from the Kennedy Center Honors [AP via WJLA]
  • ArtPlace deems Adams Morgan one of its Top 12 “ArtPlaces” in the country, selected based on factors like walkability and the number of independent businesses, aka indicators that don’t appear to have much to do with the arts [Artplace and Mayor’s Office]
  • The Going Out Guide demystifies inaugural balls [Going Out Guide]
  • New venue 9th & Beats now has a website [9th and Beats]
  • In a review, Randall Roberts calls Ian Svenonius‘ bands “breathtaking,” and wonders whether his book Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group is “a joke, a conceit, or a treatise” [Los Angeles Times]
  • 101-year-old Arlington resident Martha Ann Miller to talk at Arlington Central Library [ArlNow]
  • Tabi Bonney releases a video for “Terrorist Love Menace” [D.C. Mumbo Sauce]

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

  • A fork that monitors how fast you eat [NPR]
  • White House home brew auctions for $1,200. [Obama Foodorama]
  • 8407 Kitchen Bar hires former 701 chef Ed Witt. [Post]
  • Where to eat and drink for the inauguration [Washingtonian]
  • New mobile app for tracking food trucks [DCist]
  • More on Cordial wine shop, opening in Union Market [Eater]
  • 12 restaurant openings to get excited about [Zagat]