Thanks to the anonymous commenter for the new name for the daily news briefs. I think it works well. Also, thanks to the people who donated thus far to the FOIA request. About a dozen donations came in, ranging from $0.50 to $15.00. Still not at $65 but it was nice to see some people pitch in. I think the discussion that's taken place regarding FOIA fees, government transparency, and bloggers is great. I don't know what the right solution is to all of this. I suppose it really means I shouldn't ask for FOIA requests unless I'm willing to spend my own money on it. Which is a shame, because that will only result in myself and others not pursuing things further. This also could be linked into the whole bigger picture of what is a blog (or newspaper's) content worth. Would anyone pay $0.25 a month to read this site? What about $0.50? If you did, I could afford to file a lot of FOIA requests and maybe even work on the site full-time one day per week. Interesting things to ponder.
MPD updates homicide count to 100. Just last month MPD Chief Cathy Lanier told the Washington Times that keeping homicides under 100 for 2009 was a reasonable goal. Well, we've had (at least) 12 homicides since then to put us at 100 with another three months to go in the year. Nice try, Cathy. So will she blame her department for failing at protecting citizens? Or will she blame some sort of trend that isn't her fault. We all know it's likely a mix of both, but since she's been taking personal credit for national trends when things are good, I suppose this should be on her and the department. Next time don't make absurd predictions. It wasn't going to end well.
The History Channel showed what a post-nuclear bomb DC would look like. Day After Disaster was on last night, a 2-hour look at a terrorist bomb going off in DC. It'll be on again October 6. I live tweeted it for a bit, I can't decide if it was terrifying or hilarious. These sorts of scenarios aren't what I fear on a day-to-day basis. However, I did learn a few things, if a nuke goes off, DC Fire and EMS will tweet about it. No, really, they said that. Also, try to avoid looking at the flash, and open your mouth for when the shockwave arrives. That way your eardrums won't explode.
Street sense doing well during the recession. The City Paper takes a look at how Street Sense, the non-profit newspaper about homelessness, is actually growing in this economy. There's been an increase in vendors (perhaps not surprising) and some fundraising drives have helped. I suppose using the term "thrives" might be a little misleading, given that the paper is doing well because there are more needy or homeless people selling it on the streets. A subject for another time, of course, is homelessness in DC. I've gotten to know a few Street Sense vendors, and for many the job is a good pathway to a better life. If only we could get some more programs like Street Sense, perhaps we could eventually see some real progress in getting some of these people in need off the streets. Alas, I'm an idealistic blogger.
Metro gets federal funds for security cameras. WMATA accepted $27.8 million to install more security cameras on buses, in Metro stations, and in railcars. Most of the funds are directed towards cameras on buses. Privacy advocates have some sort of problem with cameras in railcars, though I have a hard time understanding why. I have to agree with Metro that I have no expectation of privacy when riding on the subway. I'd also advocate for cameras in the train operator area. Operators certainly have no expectation of privacy while driving the train. Airliners have the cockpit voice recorders.