Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Trouble with the law


Photo by SFDenverLV on Flickr.
93 days in jail for a vegetable garden: Oak Park, Michigan ticketed a homeowner for growing vegetables in their front yard and is now seeking a penalty of 93 days in jail. (The Agitator, Andy W.)

Are strip clubs good neighbors?: Residents of Ivy City are challenging licenses for strip clubs in their neighborhood, alleging they violate zoning laws. Harry Thomas Jr, whose ward includes Ivy City, supports the businesses. (WAMU)

Black women bike, too: GGW contributor Veronica Davis helped start a a cycling group called Black Women Bike. The group has grown to over 60 members and wants to encourage African-Americans to bike more. (Post)

Scandals complicate economic development pick: Kwame Brown has until July 15 to pick a new Economic Development chair, but so many other members have ethical troubles. Vincent Orange wants it, but that's a bad idea. (Examiner)

Too many boards and commissions?: There are a lot of boards and commissions largely or even entirely empty in DC. A Council committee has recommended getting rid of many of them. It's a good idea. (City Paper)

Two approaches to solving regional congestion: Richard Parsons of SMTA and CSG's Stewart Schwartz face off over solutions to regional congestion. Schwartz says driving alternatives and better land-use are key. Parsons says it isn't enough.

4 stories shockingly massive: The Old Georgetown Board is making Dumbarton Oaks shrink its proposal to add space for climate control systems and housing for 25 fellows. Anne Lewis is "shocked" at the mass of a building with a fourth floor. (Patch)

Chairs vanish where immigrants gathered: Days after the Post ran a human-interest story about immigrants building community at a Falls Church Starbucks, Fairfax County forced Starbucks to remove the outdoor seating they were using because of permit problems. Coincidence or conspiracy? (Post)

And...: Adams Morgan ANC tables a vote on bike lanes (WABA) ... The riders in Metro Forward ads are models (Examiner) ... DDOT reminds residents to water street trees as it gets hotter (DDOT) ... Bob McDonnell could be providing $150 million more for the Silver Line (Transportation Nation) ... "Chinablock" is becoming "Chinacorner." (Post)

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Jamie Scott is a resident of Ward 3 in DC and a regular Metrobus commuter. He believes in good government, livable communities and quality public transit. Jamie holds a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at Georgetown. 

Comments

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It's important to note that Don Padou, who is the media face of all anti-strip club efforts in ward 5, does not live in the neighborhood (Ivy City) mentioned in the WAMU story. It seems to hint that he does.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 11, 2011 8:48 am • linkreport

Bike women bike?

by TGEoA on Jul 11, 2011 9:34 am • linkreport

They do! But I've fixed the title.

by David Alpert on Jul 11, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

The WAMU story seems to miss the main point that the new "Million Dollar" strip clubs have full nude body contact for pay in private rooms. Even Las Vegas outlaws this. If ABRA permits this there's no reason it wouldn't spread to the existing ones, including those in Dupont Circle.

Personally I'd be fine with legalized prostitution with workers licensed and checked by health officials working for themselves. But the businesses that run these large-scale clubs are not the most kosher. And they'll certainly gain a large undesirable influence over DC Council members.

Not that I think Harry Thomas's ethics would be lowered.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 11, 2011 9:47 am • linkreport

While I truly and honestly understand the sentiment behind my fellow EOTR pal Veronica, I think the labeling is ridiculous.

OF COURSE black women bike. OF COURSE black people bike.

OF COURSE White men can play bball. But I would imagine we would look sideways @ a group titled "White Men Play Basketball"

or

White People Eat Watermelon

Really?

This unfortunately buys into the notion that biking really is something "white" people do.

by HogWash on Jul 11, 2011 9:53 am • linkreport

@Hogwash... I see your point. We didn't give much thought to the name. It really started tongue-in-cheek as a hashtag in a twitter conversation between three of us. One of the people in the convo started the facebook group using the hashtag.

by Veronica O. Davis (Ms V) on Jul 11, 2011 9:57 am • linkreport

Doesnt DC have a morartorium on new adult club licenses?

by TGEoA on Jul 11, 2011 10:26 am • linkreport

I undertnd Hogwash's objection to the biking group name; However I saw/see the name foremost as an empowerment for women, and second for African American women. Righteous, Veronica! Congratulations!

by Tina on Jul 11, 2011 10:27 am • linkreport

@Veronica

Seriously. Change the name. It's a great idea, but the name will distract from the group's mission, and provide no end of fodder for arguments.

Also, it's implicitly exclusionary, which really isn't cool.

by andrew on Jul 11, 2011 10:40 am • linkreport

The name is fine. It will encourage more black women to bike, which is a good thing.

by aaa on Jul 11, 2011 10:44 am • linkreport

I'm with @aaa and @Tina. It's a great name, and a great initiative. The only folks who are likely to be offended are the same ones who spent their undergraduate years suing the Cambodian Students' Alliance for excluding Anglos, or protesting the injustice of men not being able to breastfeed.

by oboe on Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am • linkreport

I have to agree with oboe, aaa, and Tina. The name calls attention to the issue. If it were called "Davis Bike Club" it would just fade into the background (and not get terrific feature-length Washington Post profiles!)

by David Alpert on Jul 11, 2011 11:08 am • linkreport

@Tina @aaa @Oboe... Thanks!!! We appreciate the support.

by Veronica O. Davis (Ms V) on Jul 11, 2011 11:10 am • linkreport

Plus in this area we have been subjected to a framing of issues re: bikes/transportation along a racial divide so the name helps combat that and bring the issue to place where facts can be debated.

by canaan on Jul 11, 2011 11:21 am • linkreport

Oak Park, Michigan? The suburb of Detroit?

Now, now, lay off Detroit. Them people is living in mad max times.

by B.O. on Jul 11, 2011 11:30 am • linkreport

Are front yard vegetable gardens allowed in DC in general? How about where the front yard is public space (like in the older parts of the city)?

I could probably grow some great tomatoes in my front yard given it faces south ... But of course, I'd never do that to my neighbors.

by Lance on Jul 11, 2011 11:45 am • linkreport

The name calls attention to what issue? The issue that black people ride bikes? Beyond the usual racial segregation, I don't know what interest the Wpost would have in this.

@Tina, if people really think this is empowering to women, black women, that is most unfortunate.

But alas, obviously I'm not a woman so my sensitivity to this particular issue is rather nonexistent.

by HogWash on Jul 11, 2011 12:12 pm • linkreport

Re: wah luck house.

Talking about children who live in the suburbs,

“My children have saved a room for me in their house, but I rarely go there,” Xu said. “I don’t have a driver’s license, so what would I do?”

What was it about how cars afford the greatest in personal mobility?

by Canaan on Jul 11, 2011 12:24 pm • linkreport

@hogwash

I see plenty of black people biking around my neighborhood, but I do see quite a gender imbalance. In fact, I can only think of one black female resident that I have seen biking around my neighborhood. As such, the name targets an underserved group, at least as far as I can tell from my unscientific sample. The name should not forbid non-black, non-female individuals from joining any more than the Marine Corps marathon should, by its name, discourage non-Marines from running.

by Alan Page on Jul 11, 2011 12:59 pm • linkreport

Speaking of unscientific samples, the Post article linked above claims there is a huge racial disparity in area cycling but includes no empirical data to back up that claim. Very poor reporting by the Post, unfortunately their reporting on racial issues historically has had problems with sourcing. It is unthinkable that a major newspaper article could contain claims about huge racial disparities in biking and statements like "the percentage of black bikers is small" without citing any actual numbers, but I've unfortunately become accustomed to the Post failing to source many of its race-based claims with empirical data.

by Alan Page on Jul 11, 2011 1:08 pm • linkreport

I don't think there's anything unusual about the BWB name. For example, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) has existed for decades without any name controversy. Of course, Black Women Bike! is slightly different and the better analogy would be calling the org Black Women Who Bike, but I think we can all agree that Black Women Bike! has a better ring to it. Btw, as you can see, I favor adding an exclamation point as part of the name.

by Falls Church on Jul 11, 2011 1:59 pm • linkreport

@Alan, your take on how the WPost deals w/issues of race is exactly why I don't applaud them writing about this (or much of any race issue) story. Sure, it grabs the attention of people like DAl and others who like these sort of vapid race/gender-induced stories. Geez, who needs Courtland Milloy to play racialogy when you have the WPost.

@FallsChurch, the only similarity is gender.

Anyhoo, it is what it is.

Black Men Marry.

by HogWash on Jul 11, 2011 2:13 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash... now there is a group I support ;-)

by Veronica O. Davis (Ms V) on Jul 11, 2011 2:15 pm • linkreport

They cited a report from last year, and then cited on the report's authors. Of course the report itself found a large increase in urban poor cycling, and found that to be a positive. The quote in the post, however, said the author said that increase was from gentrifying hipsters. You have to wonder which is true.

Of course, what the article is really about is middle class black women biking, which may or may be unusual.

by charlie on Jul 11, 2011 2:18 pm • linkreport

"Are front yard vegetable gardens allowed in DC in general?"

Yeah, are they? I know of a quite a few in Adams Morgan/Dupont area - and a few that are in tree-less tree boxes, which I find kinda cool. And if they are illegal, PoP should stop hughlighting them.

by greent on Jul 11, 2011 2:21 pm • linkreport

I've unfortunately become accustomed to the Post any member of the 4th Estate failing to source many of its race-based claims with empirical data.

This would be true as well.

Geez, who needs Courtland Milloy to play racialogy when you have the WPost.

Ummm, I do believe that is the exact same thing.

by greent on Jul 11, 2011 2:49 pm • linkreport

Will the cycling group ride all year, or just warmer months?

by ontarioroader on Jul 11, 2011 2:59 pm • linkreport

As I commute by bike between Capitol Hill and Howard University I see many black male bikers, perhaps a third of all the bikers I see. Most of them look working-class and middle-aged, sometimes even elderly, and ride beat-up old bikes. I also see some similarly working-class, no-longer-young men on beaters who look HIspanic.

There seem to be no women in these demographics. The rather few black women bikers I spot seem to be like most of the non-black women: young, apparently middle-income, and on decent-looking bikes (this includes CaBis). There seem to be no black counterparts to the occasional no-longer-young white women I see on bikes (some of them, sometimes, with dogs in their baskets).

So, yes, Veronica, I think you're aiming at a real need. I'd love to see working-class, no-longer-young black and Hispanic women riding bikes along with everybody else.

by davidj on Jul 11, 2011 9:27 pm • linkreport

@Lance - I do grow great tomatoes in my south-facing front yard vegetable garden. I figure it's more attractive than bare mulch, which is what my landlord keeps on the ground. If it's illegal, nobody's complained. My whole block lacks real backyard space (most of the houses have only concrete parking pads out back), and many people have planted a few vegetables and herbs in the front yard.

by Abby on Jul 11, 2011 10:05 pm • linkreport

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