Breakfast links: On the search
Searches have begun: Metro Transit Police have begun randomly searching bags this morning. A passenger was held up for several minutes, revealing that gunshot residue as well as household cleaners will trigger the scanners. (Dr. Gridlock, Adam Tuss) ... Two local groups have started a petition opposing WMATA's bag "screenings," arguing they are ineffective (as David has said) and an invasion of privacy. (TBD)
Metro no dirtier than the rest of the world: WUSA9 went searching for germs, swabbing high traffic areas around the Metrorail system like escalator handrails, and ticket machines. Nearly all the bacteria collected were common bacteria found in dirt, and virtually everywhere else.
DC Congressional overseer still up in the air: It turns out Brian Bilbray is on his way to another subcommittee, so the identity of the new GOP chair of the DC oversight sight committee in the House remains a mystery. There's a good chance it will be a freshman representative. (Post)
Federal DC homebuyer tax credit extended: Tucked away in the tax bill the President signed last week is an extension of the $5000 first-time DC homebuyer's tax credit. Since the nationwide $8000 credit expired this year and DC has few sprawling developments in its borders, this may actually turn the tables on the sprawl subsidy for a year. (DCmud)
Bethesda water has slight contamination: Traces of Hexavalent Chromium, the carcinogen made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich, have been found in Bethesda's water supply. Water officials say the contaminant levels extremely low, but it's unclear what the effects of such low levels are. (WAMU)
Big money instead of preservation: The DC Preservation League has settled its lawsuit aiming to preserve the Brutalist Third Church of Christ, Scientist at 16th and I. Instead of preserving it, DCPL gets $450,000, which many find unseemly. (Housing Complex)
Small MoCo suburbs planning ahead: The towns of Kensington and Gaithersburg are thinking about their future as Montgomery County updates their zoning to allow slightly more density and more proximate mix of uses to encourage walkability. Some residents are concerned extra density will look out of place and will overwhelm the already congested streets. (Post)
Gas demand in decline: A group of economic experts are predicting that America's petroleum consumption will not rebound after the recession, saying the last four years of decline show strong signs that the country's oil use peaked for good in 2006. (Post)
And...: Maryland is considering a 5% across-the-board cut to public education aid. (WTOP) ... The historic Central Liquor sign in downtown may be on the move, as the current tenants and the HPRB couldn't reach a compromise on changes. (TDB) ... A new Web diversion lets you create songs by building cities. Cars drive on roads and each tree, house, or lamppost it passes generates a different note. (TechCrunch)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- Montgomery County will build bus rapid transit in four years
- Metro doesn't have four tracks. That's not why maintenance is a problem.
- Orange, Silver, and Blue riders: Pain is coming in just a month. DOTs: Get moving on bus and HOV lanes now.
- Building of the Week: Smithsonian American Art Museum and Kogod Courtyard
- DC's homeless shelter plan just got a makeover
- FiveThirtyEight said Metro catches fire 4 times per week. Fortunately, that's wrong.
- DC has way more vacant properties than it thinks