Good morning, Washington. Alas, the steamy heat is back upon us. Forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-90s and a chance of t-storms in the evening. For those unfortunate 42,000 Pepco customers still without power after Sunday’s epic storm, today could be a long day.

The National Transportation Security Board voiced its concerns yesterday about WMATA’s “systematic breakdown of safety management” that caused Metrorail’s deadly crash on June 22 last year, killing nine and wounding dozens. A group of federal investigators presented their research to the NTSB, saying the cause of the crash was a malfunction of the automatic train-control system, which detects where other trains are located on the tracks. A simply test five days before the crash would have shown that the circuits were malfunctioning, NTSB discovered. NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman did not try to hide her exasperation; she was quoted in WaPo:

“It’s almost like we are talking with someone who is tone-deaf. They are not hearing it, they are not getting it and they are not addressing the problems,” she said. “Our frustration is that if they don’t listen this time, I am not sure what can be done.”


In case you missed it, medical marijuana is now legal in the District. In a showing of seeming indifference (an anomaly, according to many D.C. residents), Congress declined to overrule the D.C. Council bill that legal marijuana sales to chronically ill patients. Back in May, the Council voted to allow as many as eight dispensaries to open across the city. Neither the House nor the Senate objected. The law won’t really take effect until the District writes regulations to govern the sales, though—so don’t get too excited.

A new web series soap opera is finding its home in the District, and it’s not the “Real World.” “Anacostia,” which also airs on the cable channel DCTV, is described as an east-of-the-river “Melrose Place,” and traces the day-to-day lives of characters living in D.C.’s Ward 8. Be sure to check out the promo on NBC Washington.

In other news, ponies are swimming across Virginia’s Eastern Shore; anarchy reigns at intersections where stoplights still aren’t working; and City Paper’s dearest columnist,  Amanda Hess, is leaving us. Amanda has been writing The Sexistfor over two years. She will be greatly missed.

That’s all, folks. Keep it real today.