Credit: Darrow Montgomery/file

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Happy first day of spring, D.C. Temperatures might feel a little chilly today but are on track to rise into the 70s by the end of the week. That makes it a great time to visit the cherry blossoms, which are officially one step away from peak bloom. The National Park Service has turned on its “Bloom Cam” and even “Stumpy,” the saddest tree on the Tidal Basin, is showing signs of life this season. 

Now onto the news you may have missed while drinking green beer and speculating about John Falcicchio’s sudden and mysterious departure from the D.C. government.

Credit: Alex Koma

John Falcicchio, One of Bowser’s Closest Advisers, Suddenly Departs for the Private Sector

John Falcicchio, one of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s closest political advisers and top deputies, is heading […]

Violence Against Youth Continues to Rise

At least three young people were shot in D.C. this weekend and one died of his injuries as the District struggles to limit gun violence.

On Saturday morning, a U.S. Park Police officer shot and killed 17-year-old Delaneo Martin while attempting to recover a stolen car. Authorities have released only vague details, but according to USPP, an officer and a sergeant arrived on 36th Street NE in response to a call for assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department. One of the officers became “trapped in the vehicle” and the sergeant was “dragged by the vehicle” as it fled. The officer inside the vehicle shot Martin after an “incident.” The car crashed into a home, and Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Porshia McCullum, the owner of the vehicle, told News4 that she reported her car stolen a week ago, after she parked it near the Government Printing Office downtown. While she doesn’t know if Martin is the person who initially stole her car, McCullum, a single mother with four children, said the whole process was “sickening.” The car is currently being held as evidence.

Later on Saturday, two young people were found shot on the 4000 block of Wheeler Road SE. Both individuals were conscious and breathing when officials responded to the scene. MPD is working to identify any motives or potential suspects. The identities and ages of the victims have not been released.

This rise in violence has been difficult for D.C. teachers and administrators who regularly interact with young people. After three individuals robbed a Coolidge High School student on Thursday, Washington Teachers’ Union President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons called for more resources—specifically counselors, psychologists, and social workers—that students and families can rely on during this time. Retaining these staff members is difficult, Pogue Lyons says, when in-classroom violence is also increasing.

Metro Moving Faster

After more than 337,000 passengers rode Metro on Wednesday, March 15, setting a new, post-pandemic ridership record, the transit agency is putting more trains on the tracks. As of today, trains on the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines will arrive every 12 minutes during the morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and afternoon (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) peaks. That means trains will pass through the center of the system, between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory stations, about every three minutes during those periods. During off-peak hours, you’re still looking at a 15-minute wait for trains on those three lines, but by Saturday, Red Line trains will be operating every eight minutes from open to close every day. (The Green Line already operates every eight minutes.) 

Maybe we can finally rely on our transit system after years of inconsistent service and safety issues. 

And Finally…

We’re already planning for the 2023 edition of our Best of D.C. contest, and we want some help from readers! Complete this short survey, and tell us which reader categories you want to vote in and which you’re less likely to engage with. The survey closes on Sunday, April 2.

Caroline Jones (tips?

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • A network of landlords and real estate companies are buying up rent-stabilized buildings and targeting tenants with housing vouchers while keeping them living in horrendous conditions. [DCist]
  • D.C. issued more than four million traffic citations in 2022, totaling $889 million in unpaid fines. [WUSA]
  • D.C. residents who are eligible to vote will no longer need to register. A new law will create a list of people who are “preapproved.” Registered voters, and those who haven’t registered but are preapproved, will receive ballots in the mail ahead of elections. [Bolts]

By City Paper staff (tips?

  • President Joe Biden is reiterating his support for both D.C. statehood and police reforms as congressional Republicans work to overturn another D.C. bill on the latter subject. But he has yet to commit to vetoing the bill, as Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chairman Phil Mendelson try to present a united front in lobbying against more congressional meddling. [Post]
  • Bowser is also seeking to quell rumors about Falcicchio’s sudden departure. Her administration has still not provided details about why one of her top advisers left his prominent posts, catching many top officials off guard. [Twitter, DCist, Post]
  • Pepco’s leading local lobbyist, Donna Cooper, is leaving the utility giant. She was instrumental in shepherding through the company’s controversial merger with Exelon several years ago and has close ties to Bowser’s administration. [WBJ]

By Alex Koma (tips?

  • D.C.’s 15 percent cap on food delivery orders expires this month. Now some restaurants are seeing fees as high as 55 percent. [DCist]
  • If you’re in need of a great burger, head north to Frederick, where the team at Beef ’n Buns ’n Paradise serves memorable sandwiches and mind-blowing pulled pork. [Post]
  • Bread for the City is suspending its food program until April 18. [Twitter]
  • Make the Red Hen ragu at home, and avoid complaints about eating the same thing as your dining companions. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips?

Credit: Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade, 2022

Like the Music Itself, Jagged Little Pill Is a Powerful Domestic Drama

Nineties nostalgia has many parts of pop culture in a chokehold, and that includes the […]

  • Ted Lasso and nearly the entire AFC Richmond team—er, Jason Sudeikis and the entire cast of Ted Lasso—will be at the White House today to discuss mental health. [Post
  • Back in person for the first time since 2019, the D.C. Environmental Film Festival runs through Sunday. [Informer, Washingtonian]

By Sarah Marloff (tips?

  • All the regional teams are out of the men’s NCAA Tournament, but the women of Virginia Tech and Maryland are still dancing. [NBC Washington, Testudo Times]
  • The Wizards are slipping as they head into the final month of the NBA season, and fans are concerned: “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?” one fan wrote on an SB Nation survey. “Thou art more fetid, more malodorous, thou art a bottomless pit of pestilence and decay.” [Bullets Forever]
  • Arsenal, the North London football club currently leading the English Premier League, will come to D.C. this summer to face off against the MLS All Stars. D.C. United coach Wayne Rooney will lead the MLS squad during the match at Audi Field. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips?

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