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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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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Wednesday, and you should call someone up and tell them that today in 1867 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for this weird thing called the “telephone.” Or better yet, text them. (Note: An eagle-eyed reader notes it was 1876, not 1867. Not before my coffee, amirite?)

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney wins Virginia and five other states, Rick Santorum wins three states, and Newt Gingrich wins one. [WTOP] D.C. Council agrees to streamline gun registration process. [WAMU] The D.C. Council is also making it easier for non-resident gay couples to divorce. [WJLA] D.C. Fire Chief Keith Ellerbe was promoted without being vetted. [Times] Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells move to ban corporate donations. [Examiner] How DCPS fired a well-reviewed teacher. [Post]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: Yesterday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up two points. The bad news: Capital City Diner is for sale on eBay. The good news: The $20 José Andrés food truck sandwich tastes like it’s $20. Take a look here.


Money Orders For Thompson Backed Candidates: Loose Lips Alan Suderman finds that a lot of Jeff Thompson associates gave to candidates like At-Large Councilmember Vince Orange with $1,000 money orders. “There is, of course, nothing illegal about accepting campaign contributions in the form of money orders. But their prevalence in donations linked to Thompson raises plenty of eyebrows because 1) they are a rare form of payment in most campaign finance reports, especially in large amounts like $1,000 and 2) the Washington Post detailed last year how Mayor Vince Gray‘s campaign had the unusual habit of converting cash donations into money orders to circumvent the $25 limit on cash donations. The Post has already noted that the Thompson network of donors appears to have given money orders to the Gray campaign.”

Anyone Want Space In The Reeves Center? Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis notes that there’s a bit of street-facing square footage up for grabs: “The Department of General Services finally issued a request for offers on the old Municipal Deli space, after booting the longtime tenant, who was quite a bit behind on rent. It’s 2,500 square feet, ready for anything.” It will likely go to the T Street Post Office, thanks to the efforts of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

‘The Book Of Mormon’ Coming To The Kennedy Center: And that ain’t the only huge show on the docket: In its season announcement this morning, Ken Cen unveiled plans to produce Anything Goes (three Tonys), Million Dollar Quartet (one Tony), and War Horse (five Tonys) on its stages in 2012 and 2013.”

It’s Official: Mike Isabella’s Greek Place Is Finally Happening (With An Italian Twist): Chris Shott gets the latest on Isabella’s latest endeavor(s). “The rumors have been swirling for months. Now, it’s a done deal. Chef Mike Isabella announced today the details of his third (but possibly not last) D.C. restaurant. As widely speculated, it’s a Greek-themed eatery. Kapnos it’s called. (That’s Greek for smoke.) And, as long rumored, it will be located near the corner of 14th and W Streets NW. The latest twist: he’s also putting an Italian sandwich shop called G right next door.”

Dive Goes Deep: A Chat With Zachary Cole Smith. Smith sets the record straight: “‘Beach Fossils is not really my band at all,’ the singer-songwriter says. ‘Everybody’s like, “Beach Fossils side project!” and stuff. But Beach Fossils has nothing to do with me at all. I just play in the live band. All I do is jump around on stage and stuff.’ Smith has been an off-and-on member of Beach Fossils for two years, and is currently the sleepy pop group’s guitarist.”

Theater Of The First Amendment Folds: Arts Desk editor Jonathan L. Fischer reports the sad news: “After the 22 seasons, the professional company based at George Mason University is closing its doors. Although the press release strikes a fairly zen tone—the small staff of Theater of the First Amendment will now turn their attention to George Mason’s theater department, where most of them already work—the folding follows an ambitious yet financially disappointing year for the company.”


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

At-Large: Tuesday, March 20, 8:30-10:30pm at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW (guest moderator: NBC4’s Tom Sherwood)

Ward 8: Wednesday, March 14, 7:00-9:00pm at Georgena’s(formerly Players Lounge), 2737 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE (guest moderator: Channel 7’s Sam Ford)

Ward 4: Tuesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00pm) at Domku, 821 Upshur St. NW (guest moderator: WPFW’s Gloria Minott)

Ward 7: Wednesday, March 21, location and moderator TBD.


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

  • Fire Chief Ken Ellerbe accused of sexual harassment at old gig in Florida, a charge that he denies. “I haven’t seen anything in this department I would want to undress with my eyes anyway,” he allegedly said. [Times]
  • Good teacher fired because someone else cheated on test scores? [Post]
  • Mayor Vince Gray breaks silence on Friday’s raid, says he campaigned with “utmost of integrity” [NBC4]
  • More on Jeff Thompson and money orders. [LL]
  • C-SPAN video of Thompson. [Post]
  • Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells want to essentially make it impossible to raise big money for campaigns. [DCist]
  • Vote Tom Brown in Ward 7, says Jonetta Rose Barras. [Examiner]
  • Occupiers feel targeted by D.C. Council. [Examiner]
  • District shivering with scandal, says Tom Sherwood. [NBC4]
  • “A politically ascendant group of urban development advocates” don’t like the Redskins. [Post]
  • Ron Moten accuses debate opponent of being dropped from UFO. [Post]
  • Budget story. [Times]
  • Council votes on gun law changes. [Fox5]
  • Hackers publish paper on D.C. Internet voting hack. [Post]
  • Behavioral health improvement for troubled youth bill passes. [Post]

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

  • A nonprofit bar? [PoP]
  • How DDOT folks went car-free. [D.ish]
  • New market topper in D.C. [Curbed]
  • CityFirst gets $70 million. [WBJ]
  • When more foreclosures are a good sign. [WSJ]
  • Gutted building porn. [PreservationNation]
  • District’s roads: Could be better. [TBD]
  • Big buyers want in on D.C. market. [GlobeSt]
  • Anacostia river east needs more planning (agreed). [RPUS]
  • Today on the market: Itty bitty studio.

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

  • The American History Museum acquires Constantino Brumidi‘s “The Apotheosis of Washington” for a cool half-million. [Post]
  • Local label T&A Records releases Bro Safari‘s Bros Gone Wild. [T&A]
  • Can the Howard Theatre restore its old glory? [Washington Life]
  • Pictures of promoter Sasha Lord and the shows she books at Comet Ping Pong. [TBD]

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

  • Enzo Fargione‘s Elisir is over the top. [Washingtonian]
  • Requiring D.C. food trucks to collect sales tactics has logistical challenges. [Post]
  • Bistro Bohem opens next week, serving absinthe, pierogies and other stuff. [Urban Daddy]
  • Loose-lipped Giada De Laurentiis doesn’t spoil Mike Isabella‘s news this time. [Examiner]
  • Sundevich will try serving breakfast in April. [Best Bites]
  • Call it a “philanthropub”: Cause Bar and Restaurant will donate all its profits to charity. [Prince of Petworth]
  • The Queen Vic opens early on St. Patrick’s Day. [Frozen Tropics]
  • The Occidental is a little less noisy now. [PR Web]