DC Council rejects Ximena Hartstock's appointment to Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Last Friday things got a bit heated at a Council hearing about the appointment, with Councilmember Barry criticizing Dr. Hartsock's race and gender. It seems that a woman from South America can't understand the recreation needs of an African-American city. Barry missed the vote yesterday, which rejected Hartstock in a 7-5 vote against the nomination. Barry's remarks were simply more examples of why no one in the country takes the city seriously. However, the larger story here is that this is the first rejection of a Fenty appointment. There's some good reasons why Hartstock might not have been the best choice, and Michael Neibauer takes a look in today's Examiner. It's interesting, though, that Gabe Klein was confirmed unanimously for director of DDOT. How can a bike-friendly white guy understand the transportation needs of a black city?
Something useful may be coming to H Street NE. Now, if only we could get a real timetable on the streetcars. Plans are in the works for a six-story mixed use residential and retail complex near 3rd and H NE. DC MUD has some more information, including a few renderings. The building will contain LEED-certified rental units, as well as (hopefully) a full-service grocery store. This will be amazing if it becomes a reality. Combined with possible development further down at 8th Street, and we've got some real change coming. I've dished hate on H Street before, but this development is very promising. It's not an exaggeration to say that H Street is the new U Street. If only I could afford to buy a house somewhere nearby.
Metro Transit Police patrol on ridiculous 3-wheeled Segway abortions to prevent vehicle thefts. Officers with the WMATA police agency are trying out the new T3 mobile defender to patrol parking lots at Metro stations. The combination vehicle has a top speed of 25 miles-per-hour and apparently allows officers to get a better view by standing on the elevated platform. The price tag for these bad boys is $10,000 a pop, and Metro has purchased two thus far. Last year there were 996 "part one" crimes reported in Metro parking lots. These include car theft, assault, and robbery. That seems like a high number across Metro's 50 parking lots. Ridiculous or not?
DC United to head to Baltimore? The "Charm City" mayor has asked the state's stadium authority to consider building a home for the DC soccer team. Looks like Baltimore will have to take on Loudoun County, who have also been mentioned as a long-shot for the team. The United are a winning team, and the idea of keeping them in DC is attractive, though not a priority for Mayor Fenty. I'd be a shame to lose them to Baltimore, though.
Woman struck by Metrobus in NE dies. Stephanie Richardson, 61, of Northeast died yesterday afternoon from injuries sustained in Monday's accident. WTOP's Adam Tuss as well as others who are familiar with the area say there is no crosswalk at the location of the accident. From all indications it sounds like the woman exited the D8 bus, then attempted to cross the street, passing in front of the bus she had exited. She stepped into traffic and was struck by another Metro bus. Metro and MPD are investigating the incident. Too soon to speculate, but likely not the fault of the bus driver. Still, doesn't help for Metro's image these days.