Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: A step back


Photo by davereid2 on Flickr.
Court voids DC's taxi smart meter contract: A panel of judges overturned DC's contract to install smart meters in all taxis, citing "pervasive improprieties." This could significantly delay smart meters if DC has to restart the procurement. (Post)

Maryland to run out of transportation money?: State Assembly budget analysts warn that Maryland may not have enough money to maintain its transportation infrastructure past 2018. Will Maryland find a way to pay for the transportation it needs? (Examiner)

Virginia grounds its speed-enforcing planes: Virginia is no longer using airplanes to catch speeding drivers. Virginia hasn't canceled the program, but throughout 2012 it has ordered no missions, citing high costs. (DCist)

Structured vs. informal on sports fields: Organized sports leagues, often mostly white residents displace informal pick-up games, often with mostly Latino residents. Should DPR schedule pick-up times or just have more fields? (Post, RPUS)

Democrats will fill Phil's old spot: Democrats will choose an interim at-large councilmember on December 10th to fill Phil Mendelson's old seat. Anita Bonds and Michael Brown are considered possible candidates, either to fill the interim position or to run in next year's special election. (DCist, Post, City Paper)

Washington Post's editor to step down: The Washington Post's editor Marcus Brauchli is stepping down as editor. The Boston Globe's Marty Baron will replace him. Maybe Baron will encourage more local reporting? (WBJ, Post)

Where do Uber riders go?: Uber created visualizations of which neighborhoods riders travel between most often. Capitol Hill had the most trips within the neighborhood; second were neighborhoods near downtown in Northwest. (City Paper)

Cities beat GOP: The national Republican pattern of demonizing cities isn't a recipe for electoral success any more. Is there an alternative? Yes, like Ed Glaeser's anti-zoning, anti-road subsidy urban libertarian credo. But can the party move that way? (TNR)

And...: Closing Spingarn doesn't really affect the streetcar barn plans. (City Paper) ... Special events influence weekend ridership on Metro. (PlanItMetro) ... The Four Mile Run trail will connect directly to Potomac Yard. (ArlNow)

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Comments

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Uber is really turning into an excellent tool to map douchebag libertarian density.

by charlie on Nov 14, 2012 8:33 am • linkreport

Another day, another Rachel Baye Examiner article saying that MoCo has no money for new transportation projects. Is this an organized briefing by County executives trying to bury the BRT proposal? Or is the Examiner running an anti-transit campaign? Or is there just no money? My guess is the latter: no money.

by renegade09 on Nov 14, 2012 8:37 am • linkreport

This is what happens when the District hires people who read at a 7th grade level, and were it not for the District handing them 6 figure jobs, would be hardpressed getting a job as a Greeter at Walmart.

What is this, the second major transportation procurement
(out of 2) in the past year DC has managed to bungle because they apparently can't read the basic procurement regs. First the streetcar procurement, now this.

Not that I ever take DC cabs. Gave them up years ago when they kept succesfully fighting off the meters, but this is just embarrasing.

by jeez on Nov 14, 2012 8:47 am • linkreport

I thought Brown was not a Democrat? After all he did run as an independent for the at-large seat did he not?

by ObserverDC on Nov 14, 2012 9:14 am • linkreport

@Observer

He is a flip-flopper. We should vote overwhelmingly to send him back to Boston...

by Kyle-W on Nov 14, 2012 9:22 am • linkreport

Look at Uber's map of neighborhoods (specifically Capitol Hill, since that's what's cited here). The Denny's at the corner of Bladensburg and Mt. Olivet is "Capitol Hill" according to their map.

I'd say wait until they come up with something more realistic before listening to their stats.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 14, 2012 9:25 am • linkreport

@ Geoffrey

Definitely odd neighborhood delineations for that Uber map. They lump Petworth in with Brookland and Woordridge... Does anyone know if these lines correlate to something?

by Thaddeus Bell on Nov 14, 2012 9:31 am • linkreport

Organized sports leagues, often mostly white residents displace informal pick-up games, often with mostly Latino residents. Should DPR schedule pick-up times or just have more fields? (Post, RPUS)

Or neither? The story made it very clear that people who play pick-up games could get a permit to do so, but just don't feel like it because "they come from places where the game is spontaneous and messy".

The article casts this issue as "minority v. white, rich v. poor" but it's really not that complicated. There is nothing wrong with pick-up games, but the city has an obligation to honor the needs of the people who have gone through the process to reserve space at the fields over people who just show up expecting to use the fields for an indefinite time free of charge.

It also neglects to mention that the people who arrive for permitted league play are paying for most of the cost to upkeep the rec center fields, both in taxes and fees.

by Scoot on Nov 14, 2012 9:38 am • linkreport

Linking to the Examiner is like linking to Pravda, maybe worse. As for the Post. the current editor resisted cutting newsroom staff, so news in general may be a casualty. The Post's real problem is that the people who cover local news don't make a career of it. seemingly local people like Mathews (the education guy) actually live elsewhere, which may be why their coverage sucks. The Post obviously hires people who didn't grow up here and the Metro desk has long been seen as a platform to go some place with more profile--Woodward & Bernstein jumped at Watergate for that reason and one never sees a Metro person build stature even now.

Weymouth has failed to cut the bloated op/ed side (some of which generates what is now declining syndication revenue) or jokes like Cillizza and Milbank. they have vanity sections like the awful religion blog that sally Quinn does and people with no real portfolio like Charles Lane. They still have office space for long retired people like Ben Bradlee and other perks which probably cost the company money without creating "value" for readers.

by Rich on Nov 14, 2012 10:03 am • linkreport

Virginia hasn't canceled the program, since they want to find a way for drones to do it. Speculation? Nope,
"Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the police chiefs of Washington, D.C., and Fairfax County support using drones for law enforcement. Those uses could include monitoring traffic, conducting surveillance in hostage situations and even writing speeding tickets".

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/news/article/new-role-for-drones/320932/

by RJ on Nov 14, 2012 10:08 am • linkreport

@Scoot
It's easier to understand if you think of soccer like basketball. It's not atypical at all to want to play basketball pickup but not in a league. You get off work, walk up to your local court and play, socialize, whatever. That sort of basketball culture is normal in DC. The same for soccer. You get off work, walk up to your local soccer field, and play. I think that having "open" fields sometimes is just as important as having "open gym" for basketball. Being organized is fine, but not everyone has the time and money to do that. Pickup definitely has its place in the city. That being said, one of the problems in DC, especially East of the Park is the dearth of fields. It'd be nice to be able to accommodate all the organized games as well as pickup.

by dc denizen on Nov 14, 2012 10:10 am • linkreport

The problems with the post aren't the editors, they are the owners.

by charlie on Nov 14, 2012 10:12 am • linkreport

Pickup sports can be quite organized, there just aren't set teams. There usually is, however, a set time and location for the game to take place.

by Alex B. on Nov 14, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

Being organized is fine, but not everyone has the time and money to do that.

Is there a lot of evidence for this? It would seem that if you have time to play pickup games every day of the week, you also have time to fill out a permit application. On the flip side, the permits should not be burdensome and the cost should be low enough so that most everyone can afford it if they pool their resources (pretty easy to do for a group of friends). In addition, the field schedule should be clearly posted or made available so people know when it is not reserved for a league.

The point I am trying to make is that this is not really an issue of "haves" and "have nots" as the article characterizes it to be. It is an issue of "wants" and "do no wants". The people who play pickup games (at least the ones in the article) simply do not want to get a permit, but they (or the article) are being cast as victims.

by Scoot on Nov 14, 2012 10:29 am • linkreport

@Scoot
What about just bringing up your players and calling "next"? It's been done for generations...
@Alex B
People have been and are going up to the field closest to their house and just playing...without coordinating it with a bunch of other players.

by dc denizen on Nov 14, 2012 10:37 am • linkreport

Rich, I don't agree with you about the Examiner. I mean, were it not for the Examiner, I would not have much knowledge of local news. You cannot rely on the Post's (non)coverage of local news. Plus, it has to go through a filter, especially for education coverage. Yes, it excels sometimes, and sometimes presents articles that are very in depth and I appreciate them. However, on a day to day basis, there's just no comparison. The Examiner is so much better covering local news than the Post. And I think just conceiving of that paper as a local one, the Pravda (really, Pravda?) comparison holds much less well. Maybe their national editorial board is pretty extreme, but their local coverage is superior to the Post's.

by Jazzy on Nov 14, 2012 10:44 am • linkreport

No word from Mara or Weaver on Mendo's seat? Either would be a sure-win in a special but both running could be a problem.

by Tom Coumaris on Nov 14, 2012 10:45 am • linkreport

How does "next" work in soccer? Basketball it's easy because there's a lot of scoring, and whether games are to 11, 15, 21 or whatever it's easy to monitor and there's enough scoring to have a winner in relatively short time. In soccer, you could play to 2 or 3, but it might take forever, or be done in a few minutes. So it's a lot more difficult to rotate.

And without a mechanism of allocating the fields, is it simply first come, play as long as you want? People with permits not only get time guaranteed, but there's a limit to that time (whether 1 or 2 hours or whatever) so someone else has a turn. I get no sense the pickup folks would necessarily cede the field to the next group of players that wants to play.

by ah on Nov 14, 2012 10:45 am • linkreport

People have been and are going up to the field closest to their house and just playing...without coordinating it with a bunch of other players.

So, as I said: a set location, and obviously some coordination on time. Even if it's every day, that's still coordinated.

A true pick-up game requires some critical mass of players, or else it's just folks kicking around. Kicking around is the least organized part of the spectrum, and a formal league is the most.

What DPR needs to do is a) designate some field time for first come, first serve use; and b) publish the schedule in advance and make it easily available to reduce conflicts between paying leagues and pickup games.

by Alex B. on Nov 14, 2012 10:48 am • linkreport

@ RJ:"Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the police chiefs of Washington, D.C., and Fairfax County support using drones for law enforcement.

Why use cameras when you can use drones?

by Jasper on Nov 14, 2012 10:50 am • linkreport

@aha
"Next" works with 5 min games (or whatever time is agreed upon), scoring team (1 point) stays, next team comes on. If no one scores in 5 mins then both teams come off. If there is only three teams then the team that won the previous game comes off (like they're defending their turf). I play these types of games all the time.
The first come, first play with two full teams and everyone else coming up having to wait, I agree is tricky. Where I play it's usually that unless the team on the field only plans to play another 10 mins, then the newcomers have to be rotated in...

by dc denizen on Nov 14, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

What DPR needs to do is a) designate some field time for first come, first serve use; and b) publish the schedule in advance and make it easily available to reduce conflicts between paying leagues and pickup games.

Definitely.

by dc denizen on Nov 14, 2012 10:53 am • linkreport

@ObserverDC, yu're correct that Brown ran as an independent; pior to his at-large campaigns, he was a registered Democrat. He switched his registration to make it easier to gain a seat on the council.

IIRC, when the Dems appoint an interim at-large member, it must be someone who has been registered at a Dem for the past year. So Brown cannot be appointed to that position. However, he can switch his registration to D and run as a Democrat in the special election. There's no "you must have been a registered party member for X amount of time to run as a party member" requirement.

I'm curious to see who puts their names forward for the interim position, and who runs in the special. I wish Brown would go lick his wounds and spare us his never ending drama, but I'm rather doubtful that will happen. The guy is a classic narcissist.

by Birdie on Nov 14, 2012 10:55 am • linkreport

@Jazzy: you have to wade through a lot of propaganda to get to the news in the Examiner. there are numerous sites and dead tree weeklies that do a much better job of covering local news in depth.

by Rich on Nov 14, 2012 11:04 am • linkreport

None that I can think of. I just go to the Examiner everyday, click on local and there I am. No propaganda at all.

by Jazzy on Nov 14, 2012 11:08 am • linkreport

theres plenty of local propaganda in the examiner, esp the headlines.

Whenever there is a scandal or similar issue for the MWAA board, they headline "Scandal at Dulles Rail board!!" As if the MWAA didnt, you know, run the airports. I mean thats not a distortion to rile people up against the silver line, oh no.

Its kind of amusing, sometimes.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 14, 2012 11:11 am • linkreport

"Structured vs. informal on sports fields: Organized sports leagues, often mostly white residents displace informal pick-up games, often with mostly Latino residents. Should DPR schedule pick-up times or just have more fields? (Post, RPUS)"

Both. There should be some dirt fields for pickup games and those who don't pay and grass fields for those who are willing to maintain them.

The Feds also need to step in and encourage game to be played in parks appropriate for soccer. Pickup soccer games have ruined the restored turf in Meridan Hill and I'm sure other small federal parks.

by Stating the Obvious on Nov 14, 2012 11:22 am • linkreport

The Feds also need to step in and encourage game to be played in parks appropriate for soccer. Pickup soccer games have ruined the restored turf in Meridan Hill and I'm sure other small federal parks.

If the state of the grass at Lincoln Park is any indication, you'll be waiting a long time for any action by the Feds.

by oboe on Nov 14, 2012 11:39 am • linkreport

Parks and public sports facilities should be for the use of all; there should be time available for those who can't afford to pay for a permit. No doubt the permits do not pay for the entire cost of the fields anyway. Schedules should be posted for each field (online and on-site) so that people can see when the field is available and when it is reserved.

Could a community group or an ANC work to pool money for a permit for pick-up soccer time? How much do the permits cost?

by MLD on Nov 14, 2012 12:09 pm • linkreport

I guess I'm not that sensitive. I just want the who what where why and how. The Examiner gives it to me. The Post does not.

by Jazzy on Nov 14, 2012 3:27 pm • linkreport

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