Power outages in Northwest DC. Around 2,400 District residents are without power this morning. From the DC Alert message sent out around 8 AM: Pepco reports a Power Outage at 16th St, NW and Alaska Ave, NW. Traffic lights are also out. MPD is on the scene. DDOT Units is enroute to the scene to direct traffic. What a lovely morning to wake up without power, too.
Streetcars coming to H Street NE before Anacostia? We've been hearing for a while now about these streetcars. Tracks are being put down both along H Street NE and in Anacostia. There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered, mostly revolving around how the cars will be powered. In any event, Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) says he has a promise from Mayor Fenty to get the cars running along H Street first. From the WBJ:
"I called Fenty and asked Fenty and he said he would make H Street first," Wells said. "It completely transforms that whole corridor." Running a starter line in a place where residents will embrace it was essential, he added. "It’s probably the biggest decision about streetcars."Once all of the technical issues are worked out, a streetcar could be very interesting to see. The shift in emphasis to H Street is huge news. However, despite Wells' comments, this is all mostly conjecture still. A Gallery Place to H Street Circulator would be a good measure to push for in the meantime.
Does FOIA need some fixing in the District? Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) thinks so, and is planning a bill to accelerate FOIA response time. The Washington Times (I know, right, I'm surprised as well) has a write-up about the bill, and the circumstances that have led to Cheh's actions. From my limited experience (which will likely grow over time), FOIA requests will be answered completely and in a timely manner if the materials tell a story that's favorable to the agency in question. It appears in most other cases you will receive incomplete results or nothing at all. In most cases, you would have to go to court to demand the documents, and that's still no promise you will receive them. So yes, it does seem FOIA could use some improvement. Cheh is no fan of DC Attorney General Peter Nickles, who has been accused stonewalling FOIA requests. There are no details yet as to what Cheh's planned bill would include.
Speaking of DC Government documents... Mike DeBonis at the City Paper has an email from Supreme Commander, D.C. Schools Michelle Rhee to Acting DPR Chief Ximena Hartstock. The October 5 email explains that Rhee was speaking to the Washington Post editorial board on behalf of Hartstock. Rhee assured Hartstock there would be a positive editorial the next day. Visit CityDesk to see a screenshot of the email. Also, here is the editorial that Rhee was discussing.