Related: It's still unclear who originally requested the bikes to be removed, or how that process unfolded between DPW and the Office of the Mayor. Stay tuned, I'll have some more information on that soon.
Leo Alexander is running for mayor. Mike DeBonis over at the CityPaper asks Alexander a few questions about his (likely ill-fated) campaign. Alexander wants to tackle "generational poverty" in the District, and has a few ideas to get that done. These range from hiring more social workers, to rebuilding DC General Hospital, and cracking down on illegal immigration. Alexander believes that many DC residents have been pushed out of their traditional jobs (parking cars and working in hotels) by illegal immigrants. His base, he tells DeBonis, is "Marion Barry's people." It's unlikely Alexander, the former TV news anchor will mount a serious challenge to Mayor Fenty. However, anything is possible, as Marion Barry himself has shown. I'd like an alternative to Fenty, but not like this.
Cash-strapped Montgomery County pays for employee's chi-chi yoga. Sorry, I know MoCo isn't the District, but this is a great story from the Examiner. Montgomery County, like many other jurisdictions, has been facing budget problems. One thing that hasn't been axed is the county employee tuition assistance program. Employees have been using this to pay for Bikram yoga, a "hot yoga" class. People pay $17 to do yoga in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes. On the county's dime. Can't they just do yoga at Miriam's Kitchen?
Yes, DC is getting rid of safety inspections. No, they aren't closing the inspection station. Passenger vehicles will no longer be inspected for safety issues, a move that will save the District $400,000 per year. Federal law mandates cars be inspected for emissions, however, so the inspection station will remain open. Quick question: Why not privatize vehicle inspections in the District, allowing garages to provide the service, as is the case in other states (Virginia comes to mind). DC could license service stations to provide the inspections, and shut down the inspection station and save even more money. This very idea was floated by Mayor Fenty's office in 2008, though it's unclear why this never happened. Something I'll note to look into later.