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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Wednesday. Today in 1979, technicians at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor didn’t realize the plant’s cooling system was stuck open and leaking coolant.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: 60 District employees fired after taking unemployment checks while working. [WAMU] Howard University contractor downloaded 34,000 patients’ information onto personal laptop, had personal laptop stolen. [WTOP] Metro can’t hire qualified employees, even with big salaries. [Times] Mayor Vince Gray wants speeding and red light cameras all over the city. [Examiner]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: On Monday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up a point. The bad news: D.C. Council at-large candidate Sekou Biddle got the all-important Fugazi endorsement. The good news: A nuclear bomb detonation in downtown D.C. would destroy the region’s economy. Take a look here.


The Question That Shall Not Be Asked Gets Asked: Somehow, no one at any of the previous Ward 7 D.C. Council candidate debates asked Kevin Chavous The Younger about that prostitution solicitation arrest, LL reports. Leave it to incumbent Yvette Alexander to broach the question at the Monday’s City Paper debate: “When Chavous used his turn to ask Alexander about her constituent service fund’s lack of spending on constituents and her staff’s connections to a new Walmart planned for the ward, Alexander took offense at what she said she saw as an attack on her integrity. So she responded with a question of her own, asking Chavous about his arrest and his integrity. At that point, the crowd went nuts. LL thought Chavous, who had clearly prepared for such a question, handled the situation pretty well. He acknowledged that he’d been arrested and that everyone knew it, but said he was ‘unbroken and unbowed.’ He also said his legal imbroglio never comes up on the campaign trail and is a non-issue in this campaign. ‘Ward 7 has moved on, and so have I,’ he said.”

Blame The Feds, Not A Functionary, For Pot in Ward 5: Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis tries to debunk a story about a conspiracy to steer pot cultivation centers to Ward 5. She explains the problem is zoning. So why not change the zoning code, which the city has done for yoga studios and such? Because two federal employees sit on the Zoning Commission, and federal law doesn’t support medical marijuana: “The Zoning Commission could’ve said ‘no, we don’t want to put these anywhere,'” points out DCRA spokesman Helder Gil.

Deep Diss: District of Pi’s Chicago Knockoff Just Isn’t Cheesy Enough: Maya Rhodan had to test out a fellow Chicagoan’s endorsement of District of Pi’s deep dish pizzas as “acceptable” substitutes for the real thing. She was not impressed.

Should The District Sell Lincoln Theatre?: Right now, it’s not for sale, and the city says it doesn’t see that happening. But should it be? “A sale might make some sense: The Lincoln reopened in 1994 after D.C. chipped in $9 million for its renovation, but has since hobbled along, dependent on city subsidies and rarely making a major impact on the local arts scene. Last year, Mayor Vince Gray declared the theater’s business model unsustainable, prompting public criticism from Lincoln’s management. Jan. 1, the city’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities took over the theater, and has begun the process of finding a new executive director.”

Subject: Barry v. Seegars: Ward 8 challenger Sandra “S.S.” Seegars emailed a bunch of people—including the Office of Campaign Finance, and Marion Barry to complain on behalf of some of her ANC constituents who say they didn’t ask for the “Re-Elect Barry” signs in their front yards. OCF responds: “The Office of Campaign Finance has no jurisdiction over the placement of campaign signs.” Barry responds: “It is clear that Sandra Seegars has nothing better to do than to take down “Elect Barry Signs” and get people to complain about Barry signs in their yard.”

The Eisenhower Commission Doesn’t Want to Hear Your Bellyaching: After months of grumbling from nearly all corners about Frank Gehry’s design of the Ike Memorial, the commission responsible for it simply has this to say: “We confirm our selection of him, confirm our enthusiastic enorsement of his design concept, and express our regret and sadness at the tone and nature of th eselected comments that have been made on Mr. Gehry’s design for the memorial.”



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

  • Mayor Vince Gray wants speed cameras everywhere. [Times]
  • Most councilmembers taking $3,000 raises to their already generous salaries. [Examiner]
  • Head of Ward 8 Dems supports Jacque Patterson, says Marion Barry‘s time has “come and gone.” [Examiner]
  • Courtland Milloy a big fan of Ron Moten. [Post]
  • Jeff Thompson‘s Medicaid contracting company hasn’t done so well since the city audited its books. [Post]
  • City Paper’s endorsements. [CD]
  • Why so many medical marijuana facilities in Ward 5? Blame the feds. [HC]
  • How schools fared in Gray’s budget. [DCFPI]
  • Fugazi drummer gives to Sekou Biddle’s campaign [DCist]

REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT LINKS, by Housing Complex blogger Lydia DePillis (tips? housingcomplex@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Architects’ lobby. [Architect]
  • The disappearing enclosed mall. [BeyonDC]
  • In defense of speeding cameras. [GGW]
  • New life for Birdland. [PoP]
  • You think D.C. has campus plan battles? [NYO]
  • Downtown stadia don’t have to be dogs. [AtlanticCities]
  • Little help needed for housing in MoCo. [Examiner]
  • Even Columbia Heights has abandonminiums. [GGW]
  • D.C. says it’s not selling the Lincoln Theater, but maybe it should. [ArtsDesk]
  • Today on the market: The elegant Westchester.

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

  • Jane Fonda has been cast to play Nancy Reagan in The Butler, the forthcoming movie based on Wil Haygood‘s touching 2008 story about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen. [Hollywood Reporter]
  • Discovery is readying a documentary about White House chiefs of staff. [Post]
  • Kevin Spacey gets a Helen Hayes tribute [Examiner]
  • Theater J unveils its festival-centric 2012-2013 season [Post]

FOOD LINKS, by Young & Hungry columnist Chris Shott (tips? hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is expanding to Georgetown. [Dining Bisnow]
  • Five new dishes complement familiar faves at Rasika West End. [Washingtonian]
  • Jaleo 2.0 reopens this week. [Eater]
  • Lost Society is a Diners’ Choice Award-winning hot spot. [OpenTable]
  • Uncurbed DC‘s food truck pop-up has that “hipster frat house feeling.” [Post]
  • More on the Hilton brothers’ plans to build a restaurant from shipping containers. [Slate]
  • The area’s top pastry chefs compete in a wedding cake contest. [HuffPo]
  • Some food porn from the Rammy Award nomination party. [BYT]