The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Weekend links: Fowl conduct

Photo by agelakis on Flickr.
Olfactory complaints at an old factory: In Brooklyn, residents of a factory-turned-condo building are raising a stink over the next-door slaughterhouse that's been there since 1928. (NYT)

Move over, Navigator: DC Council chair Kwame Brown must now answer a formal complaint for $446,000 in campaign finance irregularities. The Post's opinion section is doubly disappointed with the city's ethics saga. (Post)

Public pays for Jack Johnson's hagiography: Former P.G. County Exec. Jack Johnson printed glossy booklets extolling his years in office, costing $227,000 of public money, and planned to mail it to all households for a cost of $275,000 more. The booklets did not mention taking $400,000 in bribes as one of his accomplishments. (Post)

Speed cameras on the Beltway: Maryand will install speed cameras in a construction zone on the Beltway in Montgomery County. Drivers will be mailed tickets if they exceed the speed limit by 12 mph (WTOP)

Tracing the highways: Though Pres. Eisenhower gets much of the credit for the Interstate Highway System, a new book shows he was just one of many people who brought the transcontinental network together. (Infrastructurist)

"Buy America" requirements threaten streetcars: Only one company makes street-embedded rails sufficient for U.S. streetcar projects. Unfortunately, this company is in Austria and thus runs afoul of protectionist "Buy America" requirements. Will the FTA have to ease its increasing reluctance to grant waivers? (Reconnecting America)

Philly fixing "broken teeth": The Philadelphia Housing Authority will sell 1,100 of its vacant properties. The authority wants to get rid of the "broken tooth" that blights an otherwise decent block. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Park properly, officials: Geoff Hatchard takes photos of MPD officers parking on grass (killing it) and WMATA employees parking on the sidewalk (damaging the concrete).

And...: Arlington and Loudoun are examining the benefits of centralized heating and cooling plants. (TBD) ... An NYPD officer threatened to ticket a Dutch tourist for biking in a skirt. (Streetsblog) ... A skeptical view of privatization schemes. (Politico)

Have a tip or glossy booklet for the links? Submit it here.
Eric Fidler has lived in DC and suburban Maryland his entire life. He likes long walks along the Potomac and considers the L'Enfant Plan an elegant work of art. He also blogs at Left for LeDroit, LeDroit Park's (only) blog of record. 


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The good thing about a slaughterhouse is that if you don't like the birds: they'll take care of them for you.

by Bossi on Jun 11, 2011 5:04 pm • linkreport

That first picture of the cop car parked on grass, didn't look like grass to me. But I second that emotion: don't ever park on grass! Unless it is grass growing in between geoblock slats.

There are very often official government cars parked on the sidewalk around the Dupont Circle north exit station. The one thing that can make that little circle uglier and less friendly - a car.

by Jazzy on Jun 11, 2011 5:42 pm • linkreport

Harry Thomas had to buy a foreign car to boot.

At least Kwame Brown leases American.

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 11, 2011 9:31 pm • linkreport

If it were Kwame leasing the vehicle, it wouldn't have been a problem. Sadly, it is all of the DC taxpayers who are leasing it.

by William on Jun 11, 2011 10:31 pm • linkreport

Remember the streetcar projects largely came out of TIGER grants, which were stimulus funds. The larger political backlash about federal stimulus funds (ARRA already being contentious in this political environment) is heightened when recipients then want to spend 'domestic stimulus funds' that flow directly outside the country. From a financial standpoint and beacuse of the lack of a domestic supplier - the decision to try to pursue the Austrian supplier (who is the ONLY one in the world, by the way. the demand for girder rail is not significant even worldwide). However, politically, it's a non-starter.

(FYI, the recipient could still purchase girder rail with their own local funds - they just can't use federal funds for it)

by BA on Jun 12, 2011 12:27 am • linkreport

Centralized heating and cooling systems may work for commercial buildings, but they absolutely suck for residential multi-unit buildings. I will not live in a place that has a centralized heating, A/C, or hot water. You don't get to decide when the heating and A/C are on or off, and a shared hot-water system is often insufficient. Those systems remind me of living in a college dorm when the hot water would always go out at 7:30 because of the demand.

by Adam L on Jun 12, 2011 9:23 am • linkreport

I don't know how those systems work, but wouldn't it be possible to develop a system where that isn't a problem? All the plant does is send steam and cold water to different places.

by TXSteveW on Jun 12, 2011 3:06 pm • linkreport

Adam L, just because your experience was poor doesnt mean ALL experiences and applications are poor. Please do not assume your personal experience is the gold standard.

Having lived in an apartment with central hot water, I have the exact opposite experience. Unlike homes, where you need to waste water for 30-60 seconds while the hot water arrives, apartments have instant access to hot water at all times.

Ive also lived in an apartment with central heating. It was even better than a home, because you could turn on the heat in each individual room as you pleased.

by JJJJJ on Jun 13, 2011 2:10 am • linkreport

Jazzy: In the first picture, the car was parked on what had been grass - it's been compacted on killed from being driven over again and again.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jun 13, 2011 5:58 am • linkreport

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