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Breakfast links: 12 dirty pols

Photo by Cave Canem on Flickr.
Why nobody spoke up: A Post editorial condemns Kwame Brown's retribution, saying, "[Residents] should ask why it is that none of the council's other members could summon the gumption to, at the very least, question the sense of this misguided decision."

Bond tax delayed 1 year: Mary Cheh was going to try to restore the income tax hike in place of the bond tax, but then reversed course to avoid crossing Kwame Brown. Instead, the Council will take from the rainy day fund to delay the bond tax by a year.

Jack Evans previously argued every dollar going into the fund was critical to avoid downgrading the bond rating, and that it wasn't possible to restore any affordable housing programs. Now, he thinks it's no problem to spend on tax cuts. (Examiner)

No bus garage at Walter Reed: Mayor Gray and Muriel Bowser have rejected the idea of a new bus garage at Walter Reed. That likely dashes hopes of redeveloping the existing ones at Friendship Heights and north of Columbia Heights. (City Paper)

Bulger not a regular rider: Wells expressed concern that Tom Bulger, the new Council alternate on the WMATA Board, is not a regular transit commuter. He thinks it would have been better to get someone from wards 7 or 8. (Examiner)

Parking required at historic train station: If the Metropolitan Branch Trail runs through the existing parking lot at Silver Spring's historic railroad station, the county will have to build more parking lot to replace any lost spaces, even though downtown Silver Spring is already covered in parking garages that don't fill up. (Gazette, Ben Ross)

ANC supports waterfront development: ANC 6D supports plans for a development along the Southwest Waterfront. They want to ensure there's a pedestrian walkway, Gangplank Marina residents are accommodated, there aren't overhead wires, and Internet gaming doesn't come there. (Southwest TLQTC, Steven Yates)

Walmart asked for transit improvements: DDOT wants Walmart to pay to improve some local bus lines, build 3 bus shelters, add a CaBi station in the middle of the site, and redo the streets around the planned New York Avenue Walmart. (City Paper)

Greens not for transit: Arlington's Green Party will oppose the Columbia Pike streetcar because they think "it is a precursor to gentrification." But keeping neighborhoods hard to reach isn't the answer; improving affordable housing is. (Sun Gazette, RPUS)

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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I think it's clear that urbanists still have a lot of work to do. Rather than waiting till crap like this comes down the pike and hoping an email campaign will fix it, we need to be more assertive. The first step, I think, is to get rid of Jack Evans. He is not our ally yet he represents a ward most dependent on the urbanist agenda moving forward. In 2008, Evans won the primary with only 3,000 votes. In a ward with almost 50,000 registered voters, getting 5,000 votes for a Ward 2 Tommy Wells shouldn't be that hard, we just need to find one.

by TM on Jul 13, 2011 8:54 am • linkreport

Really disappointed in the Mayor and CM Bowser on the Northern Bus Garage issue. That's a large (by upper NW standards) plot of land that is already located along a retail corridor and could have a much more active role in the neighborhood, along with bringing in some additional tax revenue.

Having a bus garage there is a waste of space and a wasted opportunity.

by Matt on Jul 13, 2011 9:14 am • linkreport

BTW: What's with the flock of birds in the posts? Has GGW become a billboard for microblogging? I though GGW had no commercial affiliations.

by Jasper on Jul 13, 2011 9:15 am • linkreport

How often is the parking lot in front of the old Silver Spring Station full? I bike through there to get from downtown SS to connect to the existing trail all the time, and I hardly ever see a single car parked there. If they are more concerned about accomodating cars for rare events at the station over connecting Silver Spring to DC for cyclists, then they might want to reexamine their dedication to transit.

by engrish_major on Jul 13, 2011 9:18 am • linkreport

Good Lord, since when does offering convenient social media buttons amount to "commercial affiliations"?

by Joel on Jul 13, 2011 9:19 am • linkreport

"How often is the parking lot in front of the old Silver Spring Station full? "

I didn't even know you were allowed to park there, and I used to live around the corner. Although I don't know why you would want to park there.

by Brian White on Jul 13, 2011 9:48 am • linkreport

Gee I wonder if we know anyone that agrees with Tommy Wells that lives in Ward 2?

by Michael Perkins on Jul 13, 2011 9:53 am • linkreport

Free online petition. Someone with more time start the recall process. thanks.


by Bob on Jul 13, 2011 10:10 am • linkreport

I cannot wait until we get people to understand public transportation is important for our economy. Just look at China. What in the hell is the "Green" party n e ways.

by Steve on Jul 13, 2011 10:25 am • linkreport

Just a point of clarification, the Bond Tax maneuver yesterday was an avoidance, by one year, of a tax increase, not an expenditure on a tax cut. I am not sure that this Council action will avoid the inevitable lawsuit on retroactive taxation, but it may hold it off for a short while.

People who bought bonds with reliance on their tax-free status have the right to pursue legal action against the city and with the House Ways and Means Committee.

by Andrew on Jul 13, 2011 10:32 am • linkreport

One man's "convenient social media buttons" is another man's visual clutter. ; )

by aaa on Jul 13, 2011 10:52 am • linkreport


I agree that Evans needs to get the ol' heave ho, but 5,000 votes is a tall order indeed, especially given the extent to which Evans has cultivated the business community and the blonde charity mafia set. Unless he is somehow revealed to be an embarrassing liability, they're going to stick with their man.

Honestly, our best hope is that he runs for Attorney General.

by Dizzy on Jul 13, 2011 10:58 am • linkreport

@ Topher:

Dream on, my friend. With a chunk of change in the bank and a campaign operation in full swing, Evans can't be beat in 2012. You're better off looking towards 2016.

Evans is not only connected to the business community, but also to the neighborhoods. You cannot dismiss the fact that he is well liked across the Ward. You don't get to stick around for 20 years any other way.

by LeopardPrint on Jul 13, 2011 11:23 am • linkreport


The Green Party is a third party to the left of the two main corporate parties made most famous by Ralph Nader's presidential run in 2000. Google us, you might like what you see. I think I know at least one person in the Green Party in Arlington. I would hope their position is being drastically oversimplified in the article linked above...I would assume the argument is that some empirical data indicates that higher income potential residents would be more likely to move into that area (and displace lower earning residents) if a streetcar was present, while current bus lines amply can handle current public transportation needs? I have no empirical data to rely on in order to make an educated guess in that area, however.

by Alan Page on Jul 13, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

If you want to get rid of the Twitter/Facebook/G+ buttons no GGW, you can try this, or this

(Both do the same thing, but Userstyles or Stylebot may be easier, depending on what browser you're using)

by andrew on Jul 13, 2011 12:06 pm • linkreport

Thank you Allen. The Green Party from what I read sounds like it a different version of the Democratic Party....i.e. Tea Party is to the Republicans. Good Beliefs thou... But I still think that the streetcar would help our community especially the Leesburg Pike and Columbia Pike corridors in NOVA

by Steve on Jul 13, 2011 12:12 pm • linkreport

Ugh, what are those ugly buttons doing everywhere? Its like the internet equivalent of building a parking lot in the middle of this blog. Put them out back, where only the users have to see it.

by JJJJJ on Jul 13, 2011 5:18 pm • linkreport

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