Who are the taxicab bribery defendants? The City Paper's Jason Cherkis takes a look at those dozens of would-be cab drivers arrested in the bribery scandal. This is a very emotional piece, and tells a compelling story. To summarize, if we are to believe the defendant's stories, they were unwitting pawns in the larger bribery scandal. Those at the top used these people dreaming of being cab drivers to ferry bribes to Taxi Commissioner Leon Swain's office. It seems pointless that these people were arrested in the first place, as Swain and others are on tape saying that the details of the plot should never reach these lower level people. But, they have all been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. We'll see if those charges stand. Way to go City Paper for telling this story.
The happy-go-lucky blogosphere strikes again. Reading DC Blogs this morning, I see the top featured post tells everyone to stop worrying about Metro. This gem comes to us via the "DC Universe" blog. I'm wagging my finger a bit at the editors of DC Blogs, for selecting a piece that tells us 9 people dying in the Red Line is no big deal, right after a compelling video of the Red Line crash response was released by DC Fire and EMS. Anyhow, DC Universe sez:
But the bottom line is, something like that [buses driving by], and God only knows how many other fuck-ups Metro commits on any given day--and I think it's fair to mention that only a tiny percentage of those fuck-ups result in people getting killed--don't change the fact that Metro is still one of the best public transportation systems in the world.With the moral being "stop stressing about Metro" and "deal with it." DC Universe takes aim with people who are thoughtfully trying to help Metro improve service, and suggests we all just give up. This attitude is the reason why the mythical "change" we all want is so hard to come by. Hey, did you know that a majority of Americans have health insurance? Also, I have health insurance. So what's the big deal if others don't? They can just go to the ER anyways! I hear DC Universe is planning on testifying at the Metro Board meeting. Here is the presentation, entitled "Happy Go Lucky:"
Fancy beer bar and "rustic Americana" restaurant opens on 14th street. That's right, the location pretentious white people have been waiting for is finally open! I'll admit, I can be considered among those who are a little excited to try out Birch and Barley and ChurchKey. This is also exciting as it's a development south of P Street in Logan Circle. The restaurant and beer bar have taken over the former location of Dakota Cowgirl and Ramrod. As everyone else has already noted, be sure to make some Ramrod jokes if you attend. 14th and You has some photos, as well as Metrocurian. Since this is a beer bar and not a wine bar, it won't get added to the "wine and furniture" walking tour of 14th Street.
Wither the alt-weekly? As noted above, the City Paper produces some excellent content. But would you pay for it? The idea keeps getting teased over at CityDesk and I have to wonder what this means for the future of the free weekly paper. Editor Erik Wemple takes a shot at Leonard Downie Jr's vision of the future of journalism, and I chime in with a few thoughts of my own. Would you pay to read the City Paper? I might, but it'd have to be some excellent content presented in a very awesome way. I heart the City Paper but no one these days wants to pay for content and I have a feeling a ton of people would just say "I'll read Prince of Petworth instead."
Economic recovery causes DC to post negative decrease in unemployment. Yeah, you see what I did there? The District unemployment rate is now at 11.4% That's up from 11.1% in August. To compare, badly hit Michigan comes in at 15.3%. That's right, we're only 3.9% behind the rust belt! Of course, Virginia and Maryland are sitting much prettier, both under 10%. When people say DC is recession-proof, they are referring to the federal government. Sadly, there's a whole bunch of people who live in DC who do not have cushy federal jobs.