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Breakfast links: Where to put it


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Where to put industrial uses?: Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie is fighting the many undesirable land uses concentrated in his ward. City officials say DC needs industrial land somewhere, but can some of it be outside the ward? (Post)

Georgetown boathouse may stay, after all: The National Park Service has pulled back from plans to evict Jack's Boathouse from its location along the Potomac in Georgetown. (Post)

Football opens doors?: Metro will stay open one hour longer this Sunday for the Redskins' final regular-season game. How about those Nationals' games? (Post)

Insure-as-you-go?: Occasional drivers often receive no discount for their infrequent car use, but a new Oregon car insurer has introduced a per-mile car insurance, marketed at car owners who don't use their car full-time. (Atlantic Cities)

2013: the year for budget autonomy?: DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says she is "optimistic" about DC's budget autonomy in the 2013 Congress. (WAMU)

Even truckers want transit: The owner of a trucking company tells Vancouver, Washington, that it needs a light rail connection across the Columbia River to Portland. (The Columbian, Ben Ross)

And...: Metro's new real-time information screens are now on. (DCist) ... Did you know you can recycle Christmas trees? (WAMU) ... The elevators in the Bethesda Metro station are scheduled to open soon. (Examiner)

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Progressive insurance gives a discount based on car mileage between payments. It is another good option for infrequent drivers.

by MW on Dec 26, 2012 9:32 am • linkreport

Eleanor Holmes Norton was saying the same thing, "optimistic about budget autonomy", last year. EHN = GND (get nothing done) and rub everybody the wrong way while she is doing it.

by goldfish on Dec 26, 2012 9:51 am • linkreport

@goldfish, the whole DC democracy/statehood movement is utterly inept. I've never seen so many people accomplish so little over the years.

by Birdie on Dec 26, 2012 9:56 am • linkreport

W/o knowing any specifics about the Columbia river crossing it was interesting to read how the business owner pretty much stayed on the topic of how his employees get to work. I would have thought as a truck operator he would have pointed out that every person crossing the bridge on light rail was someone not driving their car and adding congestion to the roadway.

by drumz on Dec 26, 2012 9:57 am • linkreport

@Insure-as-you-go?

I've had this for about a decade through State Farm. Every year they ask what my odometer reads and as long as I stay below a certain amount, I get a significantly reduced rate.

by Nicoli on Dec 26, 2012 10:51 am • linkreport

I always got a discount based on odometer (Farmers and Geico). If I don't commute to work and drive under 10k per year, they consider it a part time vehicle and get a nice discount.

by RJ on Dec 26, 2012 11:15 am • linkreport

Kenyan McDuffie is fighting a lonely battle since he's one of the most junior council members. I hope Grosso (also very junior on the Council having just been elected) can team up with him and start to protect Ward 5 against the kind of dumping and zoning indignities that the ward has faced over the years. Ward 5 needs a lot of work.

by Ward 1 Guy on Dec 26, 2012 12:52 pm • linkreport

How about those Nationals' games?
The Redskins paid for it.

by selxic on Dec 26, 2012 4:59 pm • linkreport

@Birdie

I couldn't agree more. They can barely convince DC residents of the plight, so its no wonder they can't get the rest of the country to give a damn. Although I don't live in the District anymore, I'd gladly donate to DC Vote if they got new leadership, or could at least muster up a decent campaign.

by Jeff on Dec 26, 2012 5:42 pm • linkreport

Ward 1, McDuffie is slowly acquiring allies more powerful than another junior council member. With potentially valuable plots being put forth for mixed-use redevelopment, and even more potentially valuable plots being acquired by some of the District's most powerful developers, new residents and political powerhouses are not going to sit by forever and put up with the stench of trash and heavy truck traffic on what should be more residential/retail-oriented corridors. Yes, we need some industrial space, but there are a number of vacant or nearly-vacant plots that will not be desirable for any other use without major subsidies/investments of public funds. Those spaces are better-suited for intensive industrial uses that currently take up residence much closer-by existing residents as well as transportation infrastructure. Hopefully this task force can both put forth realistic ideas such as these and put to use those who wield political power and stand to profit heavily from consolidation and more rational location of industrial uses (and, possibly, just throwing this out there, use to its full power the vacant/blighted regulations to move the process along).

by Ms. D on Dec 26, 2012 6:21 pm • linkreport

Also, while I also received a discount on my car insurance because I drove less than average when I had a car, it was nowhere near the discount one may receive under this new type of insurance, if the model works out. Driving 5K/year, which is more than I drove, would have cut my insurance by more than half, even if I ended up in the "most expensive" brackets quoted in the article. As the article noted, a driver was likely to see a reduction in premiums of 20-25% if they drove 8K miles/year over traditional insurance plans. I believe my discount was 15% for staying under 5K.

by Ms. D on Dec 26, 2012 6:30 pm • linkreport

McDuffie's star is on the rise. He was recently appointed Chairman Pro Tempore which is highly unusual for a junior CM.

How about shifting some of Ward 5's industrial uses to the decommissioned PEPCO plant? Plenty of space at that plant and given the environmental issues on that land, it can't be used for much of anything other than industrial uses.

by Falls Church on Dec 26, 2012 9:25 pm • linkreport

Just a note on how the Ward 5 situation happens from the article:

Some mighty forces have shaped the ward’s predicament.

One is history.

The trash transfer station on Bryant Street opened nearly two decades ago. Nightclubs have operated on nearby Queens Chapel Road NE for years. And the rail line they abut, the taproot of the ward’s industrial heritage, dates back to the 1830s.

“It’s not like we went to Ward 5 and said, ‘Let’s rezone the whole ward so that we can let these uses go there,’ ” said Harriet Tregoning, the city’s planning director. “They’re artifacts of where the rail lines go in the city.”

by Alan B. on Dec 27, 2012 9:26 am • linkreport

And yet some of the uses were dropped into the Ward when Nationals park went in.

The decommissioned Pepco plant is one option. There are others, mostly south of the railroad tracks along NY Ave. and part of Benning Rd. The spaces are mostly still within Ward 5, they're just better-suited for industrial use than, say, a large plot of land 3 or 4 blocks from a Metro station. Some of them are currently vacant, some are under-used.

I don't see the rail yard as a big deal. I actually live quite close to it, and it doesn't bother me at all. Sure, you can sometimes hear a train go by or a bell dinging, but it's easy noise to learn to ignore. Plus, the trains are electric around these parts, so there's little environmental/health concern. Outside of the week or two a year they test the horns (which the city really needs to step in and do something about, since they frequently test them late into the evening...I get they have to test them, I don't think they need to be doing it after 9 PM), it's like it doesn't even exist, even if you're pretty much so right across the street from it.

by Ms. D on Dec 27, 2012 10:27 am • linkreport

Ms. D, I am always a fan. Give me a shout on the Twitter (@SunnyFloridaAve), perhaps we can join forces to fight against Ward 5 Trash Transfer Stations (particularly Brentwood). Happy Holidays!

by Sunny Florida Avenue on Dec 27, 2012 1:04 pm • linkreport

Aw shucks. I suppose that means I need to actually use the Twitter account I've had for, like, 3 years now, huh? Yes, yes...old lady, what is this new technology, why can't Facebook still look like it did in 2005...I know, LAME. I'll, uh, figure it out...

by Ms. D on Dec 27, 2012 10:15 pm • linkreport

Selxic, I think that's the point. Skins paid but Nats won't.

by David c on Dec 28, 2012 8:11 am • linkreport

The Skins pay, the Wizards pay, special events pay...but the Nats won't pay? And it's not even "pay." All signs indicate that all the Nats need to do is put up the bond a handful of times a year and ridership will be sufficient that they won't need to part with a red cent. If any of the Nats' leadership is listening, that's actually a deterrent for us becoming season ticket holders. We want to do so, but don't want to leave the games early or fight the taxi lines if the game happens to run late on a weekday, which happened exactly TWICE in this last season (sure, that means that we would not be much inconvenienced, but it also means that THEY wouldn't be burdened putting up the bond...and we would be MORE inconvenienced as the early rush for the Metro or taxi line would be longer/worse). We go to games enough that it *almost* makes sense for us to get season tickets, but we're not willing to shell out the extra money for guaranteed decent seats if we can't reliably stay for the whole game, particularly with the late start times for post-season games, which is the biggest benefit of being season ticket holders. As a truly lifelong baseball fan (no joke, my parents will attest to the fact that I attended my first professional baseball game at only 2 weeks old, and I basically FORCED my parents to get season tickets as a teenager so that I could get some post-season tickets when my hometown team was good), I am sorely disappointed by the Nats' response on this issue. Not every baseball city has public transit, and, of those that do, most do not require a payment or bond to keep it open later for late-starting or -running games. You're not setting a "precedent!"

by Ms. D on Dec 28, 2012 10:03 pm • linkreport

Not every baseball city has public transit, and, of those that do, most do not require a payment or bond to keep it open later for late-starting or -running games.

Have you found anything that says this? When this issue was big earlier this year I tried to look through everything I could find about baseball and transit, and I couldn't find anything that said that other teams put up money for this.

In NYC it's not really an issue as the system runs all night, they just add extra trains like WMATA already does.
In SF I couldn't find anything that said the Giants pay for the extra service provided by Muni and Caltrain.
In Boston it appears the T only stays open an hour later or so for Sox games and then they close, even if the game is still going.
Not sure about Chicago, they provide extra trains to handle crowds but I couldn't find anything about a pay agreement.

I agree that it's a stupid policy the Nats have agreed on, especially since for most games they probably would make their money back.

by MLD on Dec 29, 2012 10:59 am • linkreport

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