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Good morning from Washington City Paper! It’s Monday. Did anyone else see the AmEx commercial during the Oscars last night that featured Ben’s Chili Bowl? Too bad Ben’s doesn’t take AmEx. Or any credit cards.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS: D.C. Council to question the youth-serving non-profit former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. used to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars back to himself. [WJLA, Times]; Md. Governor Martin O’Malley to sign gay marriage bill into law on Thursday [Times]; Metro fare hike public meetings begin today in Bethesda. [WUSA]; Metro conducting “speed interviews” to fill engineer and IT positions. [Examiner]; D.C. will be renegotiating its cell phone contracts after realizing it pays $61,000 in service for its employees [Post]; The Post decides its piece about MPD homicide closure rates being artificially high was potentially misleading and adds a lengthy explainer to the top of last week’s big investigative story. [Post]; And Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham attempts to defend himself from the Post‘s editorial board [Post].

YOUR DAILY QUALITY-OF-LIFE MEASUREMENT: On Friday, City Paper‘s Needle ticked up by 1 point. The bad news: Profits fall at the Post Co. The good news: The norovirus situation at local universities isn’t as bad as it could be. Take a look here.


Redskins in D.C.? Barry says “That’s fantasyland.” Loose Lips Alan Suderman notes that former mayor-for-life Marion Barry “has a dim view of efforts to lure the Redskins (or at least their training facility) back to the District. ‘That’s fantasyland,’ says Barry, noting that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is making plenty of moula with the NFC East’s certifiably worst team training in Virginia and playing games in Prince George’s County. ‘There’s no incentive for him to move back to the District,’ Barry says.”

What Else Should The D.C. Council Ban? City Paper editor Michael Schaffer wonders what else—besides cussin’—the D.C. Council could seek to ban. Schaffer suggests vanity and cowardice, for starters.

Why It’s So Damn Hard To Film Movies In D.C.: Following up on a story from earlier this year, Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis digs into why movies set in D.C. aren’t filmed here. Is it that D.C. isn’t nurturing “infant industries” like filmmaking and creating homegrown crews? DePillis doesn’t think so: “It makes sense for the District to foster industries that have a natural advantage here, like tech, media, non-profits, even insurance and banking. While we might as well make it as easy as possible to make movies here, with all the structural disadvantages to high-budget film production, I’m not sure it’s a sector that deserves much of D.C.’s attention and resources.”

How Moses Stone Ended Up On The Voice: Arts Desk correspondent Marcus J. Moore interviews Moses Stone, a DMV native who lives in California and is on NBC’s singing competition The Voice. Stone describes the influence growing up in the area has had: “I remember being in the DMV when there wasn’t really a hip-hop scene. I used to do a lot of shows on U Street—Bar Nun, Georgia Avenue, Howard [University]. I used to do a lot of stuff there. I used to travel back and forth to New York. My parents are definitely a big part of my career. When I was younger, my mother and father would take me to auditions. That’s how I got the MTV placement. My sister saw it in the paper, my mother told me about it, and I just started practicing for it. I went to New York, did the audition and got it, and moved on to other things. It was the same for 106 & Park. It’s definitely a family experience. They’ve always been supportive of me and my music.”

Isn’t It Ironic? ChurchKey’s Beer Guy Honored For Wine & Spirits: Young & Hungry’s Chris Shott talks to Greg Engert, beer director at Churchkey about his designation as a semifinalist “Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional” at this year’s James Beard Awards. “It’s kind of ironic that I’m a beer guy who’s nominated for a wine and spirits award,” says Engert. “I’m kind of hoping that maybe this will finally get beer into the name of the category title.”

Group Moan: Why Ward 8 Is A Magnet For Transitional Housing: Rachel Calvert does some digging to find out why Ward 8 is such a popular place for group homes. Turns out it’s not just NIMBYism—there’s a real zoning incentive: “Ward 8 is predominately an R5 zone—the least restrictive residential designation, and therefore the most conducive to group homes. Smaller group homes of fewer than seven people are permitted as a matter of right, and permission to operate a large group home for between 16 and 25 people just requires a routine exemption from the Board of Zoning Adjustment. There is some check on density, but it’s weak: The relevant code allows such facilities to locate within 500 feet of each other if the BZA decides that the concentration won’t have an ‘adverse impact.’ And since there’s little proof that well-run group homes actually generate crime or lower property values, it’s hard to demonstrate that any one facility will.” There’s more, of course, like fairness laws and the cheapness of real estate there.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Ron Paul Rally


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

  • Awkward! Post walks back the premise of its big homicide-closure rate story. [Post]
  • The move comes after Police Chief Cathy Lanier chided the paper. [Post]
  • Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham says the Post editorial board is nuts. [Post]
  • Graham says he’ll be taking the gloves off on the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation at oversight hearing today. [Times]
  • In advance of today’s spanking, the CYITC, which was uber-accommodating to disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.’s stealing binge, paid $6,000 for a report justifying its existence. [Post]
  • Blame zoning for the glut of group homes in Ward 8 [Housing Complex]
  • D.C. Council paying way too much for cell phone plans. [Post]
  • Post editorial board wonders what’s in store for United Medical Center. [Post]
  • DDOT and Fort Myer Construction didn’t follow stimulus rules, IG finds. [Examiner]
  • Taxpayers on the hook for almost the entire cost of One City Summit, for a total public cost of $556,603.79. [Examiner]
  • Jonetta Rose Barras to Ward 8 voters: send Marion Barry into permanent retirement. [Examiner]

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

  • Is this facade even worth saving? [CHotR]
  • The Hampshires on New Hampshire. [PoP]
  • Where the old people go. [AtlanticCities]
  • Arlington thinking ahead for Bikeshare. Want to buy an ad? [TBD]
  • The Realtors are feeling good about things. [CityBiz]
  • Connecticut Avenue gets fancy shirtmaker. [Post]
  • Where are the techie worker bees? [Post]
  • St. E’s related business for Ward 8. [WBJ]
  • LivingSocial building is pretty unbelievable. [PreservationNation]
  • MoCo could pay for Wheaton redevelopment. It’s about priorities. [GGW]
  • D.C. has less concentrated child poverty than it used to. [Examiner]
  • The Park Service is actually not bad at telling people what’s going on with construction projects. [PoP]
  • Before the Bank of Washington building was supposed to be an Armenian Genocide museum… [SoW]
  • Today on the market: Embassy scaled for exceptional entertaining.

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

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

  • D.C. reps BGR: The Burger Joint and Good Stuff Eatery come up short at the South Beach Burger Bash. [Burger Days]
  • Check out the “fancy-ass” burgers at Poste Moderne Brasserie. [BYT]
  • Bryan Voltaggio‘s new Friendship Heights eatery will be called Range. [WBJ via NBC Washington]
  • Caterer Frederik De Pue is opening a restaurant called Table in Shaw. [Dining Bisnow]
  • Get Fernet Branca on tap at The Passenger [Washingtonian]
  • How José Andrés is like Willy Wonka. [Creative Loafing Atlanta]
  • Renovations begin at Jaleo [Twitter]
  • Brunch at the Daily Grill is surprisingly satisfying. [Bitches Who Brunch]
  • Eat Wonky, R.I.P. [Facebook via Eater]