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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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Grab your copy of WCP on the streets today, readers, and check out the cover story. With DC Water’s leaden years behind it and city pride on the rise, can beer and food made with local tap water actually become a selling point?


  • Vince Gray says he hasn’t asked Scandal-inspiring strategist for advice. [Examiner]
  • New apartments could mean lower rents in the District. [Post]
  • Phil Mendelson wants a hearing on the chief financial officer office’s declining real estate assessments. [Post]


Photo of the Day: Girl With Balloon.

Fast and Lews: Two private outfits help City Administrator Allen Lew‘s office award some city contracts—-but some of those contracts go to companies with which they have business. “That’s like two judges on American Idol having side-gig bands with some of the contestants,” writes Alan Suderman.

Gin Lane: Washington has been without a distillery for more than 100 years. But that’s changing this month, when New Columbia Distillers starts producing Green Hat Gin.

Easy Art: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s new Barbara Kruger exhibit, like many of the museum’s recent and forthcoming attention-getting installations, is fun, but it’s not challenging.

LOOSE LIPS DAILY POLITICS LINKS, by Will Sommer (tips? lips@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Allen Lew‘s contracting awards process is rife with conflicts of interest. [WCP]
  • Possible Initiative 70 appeal would focus on around 3,000 signatures. [Examiner]
  • Nat Gandhi says the Post property taxes story made “erroneous conclusions.” [WCP]
  • All the same, Phil Mendelson wants a hearing. [Post]
  • No widespread cheating in DCPS on DC-CAS test, says IG. [Times]

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

  • Artist Bryant Keith Adams, who goes by BK ADAMS•I AM ART, won the first  East of the River Distinguished Artist Award. [Washingtonian]
  • The deal with the fountain sculpture in Dupont Circle [District of Sculpture]
  • More speculation about Virgin Mobile Freefest’s lineup [BYT]
  • Lenny Campello‘s getting excited about the National Gallery’s upcoming Lichtenstein retrospective, I guess. [Daily Campello Art News]

FOOD LINKS, by Young & Hungry editor Jessica Sidman. (tips? hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Fiola, Little Serow, and Virtue Feed & Grain among 50 best new restaurants in America. [Bon Appetite]
  • What restaurateur Ashok Bajaj‘s new restaurant won’t be [Eater]
  • Taylor Gourmet hoagie-eating contest coming in September. [Roll Call]
  • Newton’s Table owner opening fast casual spot for fuzu noodles called Newton’s Noodles. [Bethesda Mag]
  • What makes Y&H alum Tim Carman feel like a nine-year-old skipping into Disneyland? [Post]
  • Awesome cocktail “Porthole” from Aviary in Chicago [Zagat]
  • Julia Child restaurant celebrations [BYT]