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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Friday, which means it’s almost time to leave that 9-to-5 up on the shelf and just enjoy yourself.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: Mayor Vince Gray is hoping for $200 million in economic activity from the Cherry Blossom Festival. [WTOP] Some of that could come from a Capital Bikeshare station on the Mall, which may be installed in time for the festival. [Examiner] The Mall itself may eventually be a little less grassy after having some space carved out for events. [WTOP] Virginia Senate kills bill that would let home schoolers put their kids on public school sports fields. [Times] Hot Metrorail car watch starts early thanks to warm weather. [Examiner] Mayor Gray not letting go of getting the Redskins back. [Post] Area senators helped kill the contraception exemption amendment. [WAMU]

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: Yesterday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up by 3 points. The bad news: Department of Homeland Security is tracking all of your Twitter complaints about Metro. The good news: Robberies down. Take a look here.


Did HTJ Set Laura Winslow Up With City Money?: Loose Lips Alan Suderman reports that Kellie Williams, former star of ABC ’90s hit Family Matters, was apparently steered money from Harry Thomas Jr.: “One email uncovered by Graham’s office suggests that Thomas directed the CYITC to fund Williams’ youth arts group, Kellie Williams Programs. ‘Ellen this is the program we discussed that the councilmember is interested in funding for Ward 5,’ wrote Thomas aide Neil Rodgers wrote in March 2008 to Ellen London, who headed the CYITC ‘s government relations efforts during that time and is now the trust’s CEO. Rodgers also indicates in the email that Williams’ group was funded in 2007.” Williams’ program received $70,000.

YIMBY Uprising in Glover Park: Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis discovers that the liquor license moratorium in Glover Park isn’t actually all that popular with some local residents, who want to see new businesses open up. She notes: “It’s just one more example of the Yes In My Back Yard syndrome that’s been sweeping the District lately—(often but not always) newer, younger residents who proactively want something and are organizing to counter those less comfortable with change, who’ve traditionally been the loudest voices in these provincial debates.”

Listen: Protect-U’s “Slow Ultra”: New jam from a local artist.

Oh, Truck It: Chris Shott notes that a new food truck is coming to town: It sells gourmet popcorn.

Crowds At Standard: Even before opening at 5 p.m. yesterday, Standard, the barbecue and beer garden on 14th Street NW had folks waiting outside, Shott reports. By the time we got there, at about 5:30, it was standing room only. Take note, restauranteurs!

Can Anyone Develop A Georgetown Lot? DePillis wants to know why it’s so hard to turn a gravel lot in Georgetown into something useful: “The most recent proposal comes from Capital City Real Estate, another prolific infill condo builder, which has the lot under contract and plans a seven-condo design that at least includes an entrance on Grace Street (the previous ones had a blank wall). Yet again, it ran into objections, getting rejected by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission earlier this week. Capital City hadn’t been as good about presenting their idea to the neighbors, who fired off a letter opposing the density earlier this week.”



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

  • Harry Thomas Jr.Steve Urkel’s girlfriend, and the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation. [LL]
  • Post editor says his newspaper didn’t get homicide stat story idea from Homicide Watch. Either he’s lying, or his cops/courts reporters aren’t regularly reading a must-read blog for cops/courts reporters. [Poynter]
  • Gray administration still gung-ho about bringing the Redskins back. [Post]
  • Harry Jaffe says that’s dumb. [Examiner]
  • Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry will not be deterred from seeking delegate spot. [PostABC7]
  • Looking forward to the Fenty cartoon where Peter Nickles takes over as mayor. [The Washington Post media company]
  • Rush Limbaugh calls G-town law student a slut. [NBC4]
  • Police Chief Cathy Lanier says troop level is too low. [DCist]
  • No Stein endorsement in at-large race. [Twitter]
  • Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans on Kojo today.

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

  • Now that’s some developer lobbying. [NYT]
  • 88,325 Bikeshare trips per crash. [Washcycle]
  • National Mall to get more gravelly. [Examiner]
  • Zipcar’s creative self-promotion. [TBD]
  • D.C. takes forever to pay bills. [NBC4]
  • Crazy transit technology of the future. [WBJ]
  • District disarray lets developers skip out on condo conversion fees. [WBJ]
  • Takedown of stupid TED project. [NextAmericanCity]
  • Huge new community garden by Washington Hospital Center! [PoP]
  • What’s going on behind that big fence next to the Wardman Park. [DCMud]
  • Want to get a deal on downtown office space? Be Japanese. [GlobeSt]
  • D.C.’s public housing residents probably insulated from HUD changes. [P&P]
  • Today on the market: Former home of the Greek legation.

ARTS LINKS, by Alex Baca (tips? artsdesk@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Steinberg/ATCA New Play awards finalists announced; some D.C. plays get nods [D.C. Theater Scene]
  • A bike valet for LUMEN8Anacostia? [Twitter]
  • Pitchfork is now answering questions from Pitchfork readers about (mostly) Pitchfork with its new feature, Inbox. [Pitchfork]
  • The American Moustache Institute a) exists and b) wants money. So, the group is getting all Washington and lobbying for cash. [The Style Blog]

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

  • A conviction in the 2011 beating of a man outside Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant. [Examiner]
  • Here’s how Fiola‘s Fabio Trabocchi makes meatballs. [Times]
  • Firefly‘s Danny Bortnick‘s advice on making your kid more restaurant-friendly. [Eatocracy]
  • Footage from the local Top Chef casting call at Graffiato. [NBC Washington]
  • José Andrés says “[y]ou do have to be a little bit crazy to want to do a pop-up [restaurant].” [USA Today]
  • Black & Orange, Cashion’s and, of courseNew Big Wong among D.C.’s best late-night eats. [Living Social]
  • Kith & Kin is testing its own gluten-free pizza. [Twitter]
  • Topaz is serving some politically-charged cocktails on Super Tuesday. [Girl Meets Food]
  • BGR: The Burger Joint‘s Reuben burger doesn’t suck. [Burger Days]