Briefly noted, insanity defense Thursday;

Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) blames Metro's troubles on demons. The Washington Post profiles Metro General Manager John Catoe, highlighting his career and the trouble he has faced during his tenure. It's an interesting piece, and it does point out some of the institutional problems that Metro is facing. A good read for anyone interested in local politics, Metro, or PURE INSANITY. Metro Chair Jim Graham is quoted: "We're having the heavens open, and all manner of demons have been unleashed." Now I'm all for hyperbole, I'm a blogger after all. But first segways and now demons. Also, shouldn't the demons be unleashed from, you know, hell?

DC Blogs links to a ridiculous piece of nonsense. Should I be surprised? Perhaps not. I've been trying to back off of calling other blogs out by name, but this just boils my blood a bit. The blog Red Stapler accuses Amtrak of having a racist seating policy. She doesn't come out and use the R word, but uses the "back of the bus" imagery. She was on a crowded train from Richmond to DC and noticed that the "three cars in the back" were filled with "90%" black people, while the white people rode "comfortably" up front. Now she's got a comments section filled with outraged people vowing to boycott Amtrak. There's a lot to complain about passenger rail service in the U.S., but accusing Amtrak of having some sort of policy of discrimination is ridiculous. Managing passengers on a sold-out route that has people getting on and getting off at numerous stops is a difficult task. Trying to keep groups of people together is even more difficult. And since when are the "back three cars" similar to the "back of the bus?" The rear three cars plus the cafe car make up a majority of the train! Shame for evoking Rosa Parks.

Body found near pier in Southwest. WJLA has a story, though they have it spelled "peir" on their homepage. The female body (according to @dcfireems) was found near the 900 block of Water Street SW. I've been keeping my eyes on MPD's web site, and for the past few days the homicide figure has been sitting at 99, though bodies have been found that are likely homicide victims (not even including this one). We're getting real close to 100... I wonder if MPD's site will curiously stop getting updated.

Some taxicabs to get credit card payment machines, ala New York City. Hey, don't get excited, it's not in the District. Barwood Taxi in Kensington, Md. has installed some of those fancy touchscreen computerized credit card machines. Red Top Cab in Arlington is also considering installing some of the devices. It costs a taxi company around $100 to install the machine. In the District, we'll continue to have taxicabs with meters attached with duct tape, drivers who can never make change for a $20, and won't take you to your destination.

Federal forest fire funding going to the District. I'm all in favor of green jobs, but this does sound a bit fishy. $2.8 million in "Wildland Fire Management" funds are going to the District to create environment-oriented jobs. Critics in Congress point out that large wildfires continue to burn out west and that the District has no national forests. Officials say the name is misleading, and that the stimulus funds are intended for more than just firefighting. Says Steve Coleman, director of Washington Parks and People, "[t]he condition of forests in the city is directly related to crime." Most of the funds will go to Parks and People to improve the city's urban tree canopy and for DDOT to finance an "all green summer jobs corps." Honestly, we could use some money to improve our actual firefighting infrastructure.


  1. Next week: taxicab drivers strike to protest their being forced to accept credit cards because it results in lower tips when people no longer need to round to whole-dollar increments.

    Reality: credit card machines finally provide cab riders with a record of their cab ride so it's harder for cab drivers to screw them.

  2. Unless they improve how they implement the summer "green" jobs program, I don't want to see any more money going to that program. All I saw was waste, litter and entitlement - but nothing "green" came of it at all. There is a way to manage a youth work program and Fenty's crew has no clue how to do it (training, training, training - and then send them to work). These kids are not born knowing how to work.

    While we don't have forested wilderness, there is a pretty significant canopy in DC, and don't forget Rock Creek Park. With the heavy use it gets there is potential for a forest fire there, however small.