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Breakfast links: Relentless pursuit


Photo by justindc on Flickr.
6 stores, 1800 jobs, no CBA: 4 planned Walmarts have become 6, added Fort Totten and Skyland. The urban design is not as bad as it could be. Mayor Gray pushed for the new stores rather than a community benefits agreement. (DCist, City Paper, Post)

Town makes land grab: In a rare move, the town of Haymarket, VA, wants to annex neighboring parts of Prince William County. The town wants to boost its tax base, but Prince William County is skeptical the move will make a difference. (InsideNova)

Get baked or eat fried: A medical marijuana dispensary wants to open on Barracks Row, in the space currently housing a Popeye's. The applicant originally eyed Ward 5 but switched after substantial community opposition there. (DCist)

DC likely to stay occupied: Occupy DC protestors have noticed increased police presence in McPherson Square since raids Monday in NYC and Oakland, but DC councilmembers say they see little reason to remove the protestors. (Post, Examiner)

Bike share ads: Is there really a free lunch?: Baltimore wants its bike sharing system to be entirely free, relying on ad revenue. But even if it can get that, is the price too high of over-commercializing public space? (RPUS)

DC preserves Chinablock/town: DC is trying desperately to help Chinatown retain whatever Chinese identity it has left. But when does cultural preservation become Disneyfication? Will more dragons really help? (City Paper)

Maryland businesses want transportation: Many Maryland business leaders support raising the state's gas tax and significantly expanding transit options. Even still, a gas tax hike faces public opposition. (Gazette)

Washingtonians are footloose: Area residents are moving around more so than residents of other regions. Also, the number of residents moving from Virginia to Maryland nearly equals the number of people moving the other way. (Examiner)

And...: At age 75, Marion Barry entered the twittersphere as @marionbarryjr. (Post) ... Prince George's punted on slots. (Examiner) ... There was 27 times as much demand for TIGER III than available funds. (Streetsblog)

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Born in DC, Moira grew up in Arlington and became an avid urbanist after studying and living in London. She is currently a fellow with Smart Growth America, working on the Governors' Institute on Community Design program.  

Comments

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RE the Walmarts,

If Gray is actually responsible for getting Walmart to add another two, then I would say that he just racked up his best (and only) actual mayoral accomplishment.

I am still going to sign the petition for his recall.

by freely on Nov 16, 2011 9:05 am • linkreport

A. I don't really care about wal mart in the city as long as the design is good. Hopefully the good ones here will prompt a re-look at the other bad ones. (I'm looking at you Ga. Avenue).

B. Are there even 6 wal-marts in Fairfax county?

by Canaan on Nov 16, 2011 9:14 am • linkreport

Now we worry about Chinatown's authentic cultural identity? That train left the station years ago.

My vote? More dragons.

by Crickey7 on Nov 16, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

Ah, but how many of those 6 Walmarts will have a medical marijuana dispensary? Inquiring minds want to know!

by tom veil on Nov 16, 2011 9:32 am • linkreport

Layman's article reads like sour grapes. Wouldn't it have been more productive to suggest that linking the vitality of bike sharing with progress being made in the livability of Baltimore (no easy feat, mind you) is one helluva a sales pitch to a potential sponsor?

by jeff on Nov 16, 2011 9:44 am • linkreport

@Canaan: exactly 6. One each in/at Fair Lakes, Fairfax, Burke, and Kingstowne, and two along Route 1.

Side fact: there is currently only one WalMart inside the Beltway: in Landover Hills off the BW Pkwy and Route 450.

by Froggie on Nov 16, 2011 9:51 am • linkreport

Occupy DC: While I sympathize with the cause, there has to be a limit somewhere. At what point do these people transform from "citizens exercising their right to assemble" to "people living on the street" ? Their point has been made. We don't allow homeless people to camp out in city parks, and they are starting to look homeless to me.

by goldfish on Nov 16, 2011 9:55 am • linkreport

Regarding bikeshare advertising, I like our distinctive red bikes and homegrown name, but if putting some advertising on the (currently clear) mud flaps could help keep rates stable, support expansion and perhaps subsidize low-income memberships, I'd be all for it.

by Sean on Nov 16, 2011 9:56 am • linkreport

@Goldfish-We may not "allow" them, but they're there.

by thump on Nov 16, 2011 10:26 am • linkreport

@Goldfish - Why does there have to be a limit? I wasn't aware that the right to assemble was limited to fixed periods of time. Keeping the protests going keeps attention on the issue and pressure on the political structure. Yes, it may look disorderly but democracy often is.

Interesting side note, the protestors have become more aware of just how difficult it is to *be* homeless, and maybe that'll help us treat the homeless more humanely and with more support rather than like an eyesore to be covered up.

by Distantantennas on Nov 16, 2011 10:29 am • linkreport

"Are there even 6 wal-marts in Fairfax county?"

Answer: About 10. 1 or 2 are real close to county border.

by RJ on Nov 16, 2011 10:41 am • linkreport

Selling advertising on DC's bikeshare would be a terrific idea if it meant more bikes and docks in more locations. It's a great example of a public-private partnership that provides more service without more taxes. Also, I would love to see painted bike lanes in DC if we could get a sponsor to pay for them (painting the lanes creates a visual barrier to cars).

The only problem is that governments tend to be poor negotiators and get stuck with ridiculous exclusivity deals whereby they sell away the future as if it will always be like the past (I'm sure no one was thinking of bikeshare ads when DC sold exclusive rights to advertising on public space).

RE: Walmart
This could be a game changer for DC. Instead of DC being a net importer of retail goods from the suburbs, they could turn things around and start being a net exporter to the close-in suburbs. As mentioned previously, there are no other walmarts inside the beltway. However, adding 6 walmarts to DC could have a significant negative impact on retail in PG county as retail dollars flow from that county to DC.

Also, instead of putting walmart on NY Ave, it would have been great to put it at the vacant Safeway on Rhode Island. That said, the NY Ave store is perfectly situated for sucking in retail spending from MD.

by Falls Church on Nov 16, 2011 10:50 am • linkreport

A medical marijuana dispensary wants to open on Barracks Row

That's just asking for trouble with the Marine Corps barracks so close by. It's like putting an abortion clinic next door to a church. It might be legal, but ...

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 10:54 am • linkreport

@Lance:
Okay, I'll bite. How is it asking for trouble?

Are you worried that the Marines have no willpower and will all get stoned? (unlikely)

Or are you worried that they'll be so offended that they'll shirk their duty in order to picket outside? (also unlikely. and are Marines typically a group considered diametrically opposed to marijuana?)

And what does putting an abortion clinic next door to a church have to do with anything? Are you worried that it will make the abortions too convenient for the parishioners?

by Matt Johnson on Nov 16, 2011 11:01 am • linkreport

@Distantantennas: To answer my own question, (I suppose that) when the campers in McPherson Square cease their efforts to bring attention to their cause (however ill-defined) and just live there, that is when they become homeless squatters. What constitutes an effort? Do all they need to do is have a sign on their tents?

This is not a trivial issue, and I am not minimizing the difficulties of being homeless. Again, we do not allow the homeless to camp out in city parks, because this ruins the parks for everyone else -- which is pretty much what the campers in McPherson Square are doing.

by goldfish on Nov 16, 2011 11:26 am • linkreport

@Matt Johnson, If I have to ask, then you probably don't really understand military culture and why your average jar head isn't going too happy seeing a 'long haired hippy' wondering about stoned. (And yes, I know they aren't all long haired ... Just trying to make a point to help you understand.)

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 11:37 am • linkreport

*if YOU have to ask ..

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 11:40 am • linkreport

In one fell swoop lance manages to denigrate Marines, hippies, and people who have a legitimate need for medical marijuana

by x on Nov 16, 2011 11:40 am • linkreport

...and he never answers the question of why it's asking for trouble.

by dc denizen on Nov 16, 2011 11:42 am • linkreport

"Interesting side note, the protestors have become more aware of just how difficult it is to *be* homeless, and maybe that'll help us treat the homeless more humanely and with more support rather than like an eyesore to be covered up."

The type of people that find homeless people to be icky eyesores are not the type of people to be attending Occupy events in the first place.

by Kolohe on Nov 16, 2011 11:45 am • linkreport

@ x, do the research. there is NEVER a legitimate need. All the benefits available from medical marijuana are available in FDA-regulated capsulated form. prescriptions never get filled with 'raw' substance. The medical marijuana angle is a sham. Personally, I don't care if someone is smoking marijuana, but I'm not going to play the game that it's a 'medicine' ... it's not. If it were, it would come in pill form. And wouldn't be needed since there are far safer medicines out there doing the same thing.

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 11:46 am • linkreport

and btw, Marines call themselves jar heads. you really don't understand military culture, do you?

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 11:48 am • linkreport

I was talking about how you assume Marines go around looking for hippies to beat up. I would assume the marines would frown on the adults it allows to join its ranks beating up on random people in the street just because they look weird and may be high.

by x on Nov 16, 2011 11:55 am • linkreport

@x I was talking about how you assume Marines go around looking for hippies to beat up.

I didn't assume that. Quite the opposite. The proposal to put a clinic in the middle of where the Marines are living (and standing guard) is a situation where the 'hippies' will be coming straight to them. And they'll be high ...

I.e., It's creating a volatile situation that didn't need to be created.

by Lance on Nov 16, 2011 12:01 pm • linkreport

They can take my Popeye's when they pry it from my greasy, dead (from heart disease) hand. Replacing one addictive drug with another as I see it.

by David C on Nov 16, 2011 12:01 pm • linkreport

@Lance: I didn't assume that. Quite the opposite.

The stoned hippies will go around looking for Marines to beat up?

by Miriam on Nov 16, 2011 12:03 pm • linkreport

And how would that be different from a liquor store? Or a bar where one can get belligerently drunk? Or a 7-11? If someone gets high and decides they want to cause trouble on a military base then I'm sure the personnel on base have a plan to deal with it. It doesn't make it any more volatile than the neighborhood has ever been.

by x on Nov 16, 2011 12:11 pm • linkreport

Lance: those Marines are astonishingly friendly and polite, and very closely supervised. What they mostly want is a good, cheap haircut, a bite to eat, and girls (of which there are very few their age in the neighborhood). They are a cloistered group; they ignore those that have nothing to offer them, such as the less-than-fortunate type that will seek out medical marijuana. I do not see a problem.

by goldfish on Nov 16, 2011 12:12 pm • linkreport

That depends on the desired effect. There are powerful pharmecological products to stimulate appetite (not without side effects). The euphoria is tougher to quantify, especially for pain management (and much pain medication tends to be more habbit forming and with greater side effects).

I agree that many advocates of medical marijuana are using sympathy for the chronicly ill as a stepping stone to increase overall access and break down prohibitionary laws, but it doesn't negate the benefits to some people. As much as Cap Hill folks will bemoan the presence of a fast food joint opening (or existing), I can't see this one passing without a big neighborhood fuss.

by anon on Nov 16, 2011 12:12 pm • linkreport

why is this discussion about the Marines persisting? It's beyond a non-sequiter

by anon on Nov 16, 2011 12:14 pm • linkreport

@Lance- My 70 year old aunt with cancer takes offense at you calling her a hippy. Oh...and the medical lit doesn't support your argument that all medicine comes in "pill form". The ones that do often have pretty serious and sometimes debilitating side effects. Nice try.

by thump on Nov 16, 2011 12:29 pm • linkreport

@Lance, after nearly seven years in the Navy, working closely with Marines for much of that, I think I can safely say that I have a strong first hand insight on this issue. And the idea of 8th and I Marines having some sort of conflict with hippies and stoners that would somehow escalate into a problem with a legal marijuana dispensary is sadly dated.

It would be like suggesting the car is the solution to all of our transportation issues. Oh wait. My fault, I get where you're coming from now...

by Tim Krepp on Nov 16, 2011 1:27 pm • linkreport

Under DC's MMJ law, you're not allowed to consume your medication on the premises of the dispensary anyway, so I fail to see how this would result in a horde of pot-addled hippies descending on the neighborhood. (Also, what year is this? 1970?)

by Phil on Nov 16, 2011 1:28 pm • linkreport

Bravo to the folks at WAL-MART. Six stores in the district...two more than planned...is excellent news. What a breath of fresh air for each of those neighborhoods. The architecture looks fine...similar to the one being constructed at Tyson's Corner.

by Pelham1861 on Nov 16, 2011 4:12 pm • linkreport

I'm neutral on the question of WalMart. It seems like they're trying to adapt their business model to the new reality, given the projects we've seen with retail on the ground floor and residential on top.

The danger was always that these new retail establishments would create "dead-zones" of surface parking that would curtail any real renaissance for decades to come.

They're arguably less horrible than the number of CVS' we've seen springing up like rectal polyps over the last two decades.

by oboe on Nov 16, 2011 5:39 pm • linkreport

WM will be their usual exploitive selves. Gray has demonstrated his complete lack of spine or vision, which isn't exactly anything new.

by Rich on Nov 16, 2011 11:39 pm • linkreport

"...there is NEVER a legitimate need. All the benefits available from medical marijuana are available in FDA-regulated capsulated form. prescriptions never get filled with 'raw' substance. The medical marijuana angle is a sham. Personally, I don't care if someone is smoking marijuana, but I'm not going to play the game that it's a 'medicine' ... it's not. If it were, it would come in pill form. And wouldn't be needed since there are far safer medicines out there doing the same thing. "

Lance, by that thinking, there was no medicine prior to the invention of the pill, and that of the socially costly USDA mercantilist agenda of forcing people to not use plants.

http://2012patriot.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/marijuana-oil-destroys-leukemia-cancer-cells/

by Douglas Willinger on Nov 18, 2011 2:22 pm • linkreport

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