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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Thursday. Today in 1765, the British passed the Stamp Act, which British American colonists declared to be “taxation without representation.” It eventually led to the American Revolution. We’d marvel at how things have changed, but, well, take a look at D.C. license plates.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: Feds focusing on a “shadow campaign” for Mayor Vince Gray where campaign spending was not reported. [Post] D.C. rally for Florida teen Trayvon Martin set for 2 p.m. on Saturday at Freedom Plaza. [WJLA] D.C. struggles to keep up as biking population grows. [Post] How to keep historic cherry trees alive. [WTOP] Old Town Alexandria wants to rebrand itself as “Charm-ville.” [WAMU] Gas is 36 cents higher than it was a year ago. [WTOP]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: On Wednesday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up one point. The bad news: Mike Daisey is still coming to Woolly Mammoth Theatre. The good news: D.C. is stressed. Take a look here.


The Barry In Winter: LL produces an epic cover story on the current state of former mayor-for-life Marion Barry’s political career. LL sketches Barry as a man who’s shoehorning himself into a role he simply doesn’t fit: “The man who led the District for 16 years seems too big for the mundane tasks of a city councilman. It’s like imagining Bill Clinton becoming a House back-bencher in charge of some minor subcommittee.”

Alexander Torpedoes Business In Her Ward: Lydia DePillis is not impressed with Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander’s emergency legislation to ban medical marijuana cultivation centers from anywhere there might be retail: “Land use policy aside, this is just a terrible way to deal with a large program in which people have invested millions of dollars. If Alexander had a problem with the regulations, she could have made it known years ago. Why would an entrepreneur ever participate in a District-sponsored initiative like this if he or she is just going to get fucked with at the last minute?”

Mike Daisey Apologizes! Again. Kind of. Consciously or Unconsciously: Contributor Chris Klimek follows up with the This American Life contributor and fabulist after a night at Georgetown University. Klimek writes: “I don’t know if the evening changed anyone’s mind about anything. It seemed to reinforce what I already believed about Daisey: He’s a master talker. Even in a mostly extemporaneous speech (he had a notepad in front of him, but he didn’t look down at it much), he knows instinctively which syllable of which word to land on, where to permit a dramatic silence, when to let his voice thicken with humility or fury. He’s as good an actor as he is a writer. For many people, that’s as good as saying he’s full of shit.”

Charcuterification: Gourmet Meat Meets Shifting Demographics at Petworth’s Three Little Pigs: Petworth is getting trendier, Chris Shott reports. “To call the shop a destination is an understatement. It’s a schlep for anyone without a car. A brisk walk from the Petworth Metro station still takes more than 20 minutes.”

Did Pepco Cash Kill Consumer Advocate’s Nomination? After Gray-nominated Betty Noel’s bid for utility regulator was shot down by the D.C. Council, DePillis wonders if cash has anything to do with it. The answer: Maybe. “Given this council’s record, it’s always possible that funnier stuff could be going on. I didn’t run the numbers for all of Pepco’s employees, or all the money they donated to other political action committees that could then funnel donations to candidates, or God knows how many money orders peoples’ relatives in other states might have sent in.”

Avery Lawrence’s “Arranging Suitcases”: Contributor John Anderson really likes the exhibit. “Poetic and strange,” he says.

PIGGYBACK RIDE PHOTO OF THE DAY: Silent March For Victims Of GLBT Violence

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE: City Paper will be sponsoring a series of D.C. Council candidate debates this month.

Ward 7: Monday, March 26, Ray’s the Steaks East River, 3905 Dix St. NE, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (guest moderator TBD).


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

  • BOOM! The Post’s Nikita Stewart drops another A1 bombshell: Mayor Vince Gray’s pal Vernon Hawkins ran “shadow” campaign with ties to Jeff Thompson. [Post] (LL is a distant second on this one [LL]) The $1 million question: What did Hizzoner know?!?!
  • The Barry in Winter, LL’s cover story of former Mayor-for-life Marion Barry’s re-election campaign [WCP]
  • Gray says fixing campaign finance problems “daunting.” Um, yeah. [Times]
  • Metro wasting money, again [Examiner]
  • Ward 7 challenger Tom Brown the favorite of labor and D.C. Chamber [Post]
  • LDP talks parking [HC]
  • Oh boy, an article about bikes. Sure the comments section will be civil [Post]
  • Good luck linking campaign donations from Pepco to the Betty Noel execution [HC]
  • Developers, they do love a good subsidy [DCFPI]
  • Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander not very pro-Ward 7 business, says LDP [HC]

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

  • Bombs under the ballpark. [WJLA]
  • Those pesky bicyclists! [Post]
  • Fort Totten comes together. [DCMud]
  • Tom Tom cleans up. [PoP]
  • Cash wasted at Metro. [Examiner]
  • Another building off the tax rolls. [CoStar]
  • The abandonminiums of Ward 8. [GGW]
  • Why doesn’t MoCo understand pedestrian safety? [GGW]
  • Do developers need a subsidy to build more residential in NoMa? [DCFPI]
  • Today on the market: Two incredible libraries.

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

  • North Carolina folkies Bowerbirds played a semi-secret show inside an art installation at The Lightbox. [Liz GormanReadysetDC]
  • Theater critic Peter Marks applauds Woolly Mammoth for sticking with Mike Daisey. [Post]
  • Janet Biggs, on making video art about sulfur mines in Indonesia. [Express]
  • DrakeWaka Flocka FlameJ. ColeMeek Mill2 Chainz, and French Montana perform at the Verizon Center on May 25. [Pitchfork]

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

  • Grab a free cupcake at Sprinkles today. [We Love DC]
  • The Penn Quarter farmers market reopens at 3 p.m. [PQ Living]
  • Grassroots Gourmet DC is coming. [Bloomingdale Blog]
  • Watch Columbia Room‘s Derek Brown make a drink with a chainsaw. [Eater]
  • Get hooked on bacon jam. [Washingtonian]
  • Eddie Leonard’sMarino’s Pizza and Subs run afoul of health officials. [Post]
  • Some tasty tie-ins to D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival [The Daily Meal]
  • A chef in the suburbs is arrested for DWI and pulling a gun. [Fox 5]