News Bullets, drunk driving Monday;

Another Monday already? At least the Redskins won, and it wasn't an quite an embarrassing win. Did anyone check out Crafty Bastards? The recession was apparent in the lack of swag and the lower-quality tote, but the 'recovery' was evident in the number of vendors and the crowd. I'm glad someone still has time and money to do crafty things.

Cabbies, Adams Morgan patrons exhibit lack of intelligence when talking to media. This story over at WJLA has some amazing quotes regarding the taxi boycott of Adams Morgan. One Adams Morgan bar patron, Pete Purcell, told ABC7: "There is definitely going to be more drinking an driving... you don't have the option." Purcell said. Really, Pete? You don't have an option? J.C. MicKinney said, "[w]ell I think it's going to be awful, because there is no Metro close by." We hear from cab drivers such as Negusse Tesfay who says he has to work 16 hour days and can barely make a living. OK, so Pete, how about you grow up and not drive your car to a bar without a designated driver. J.C., learn to ride on the Circulator bus. And Negusse, meters aren't going away no matter how many drunk people you piss off. It's just not going to happen. Jim Graham or no Jim Graham, zones aren't coming back.

Borderstan has some information about a death investigation in Logan Circle. A man died early Sunday morning at 1618A 14th St NW. It appears as though an unlicensed sex club was running at that location, according to previous reports and a story from 2005 in MetroWeekly. An anonymous commenter says the man died from falling down the stairs, though it appears MPD is still investigating. I'm curious how, after a fire in 2005, the establishment continued to operate. The "Mens' Parties" appear to seriously blur the line between private party and commercial establishment... in any event, perhaps DCRA will ask some questions in the wake of this death.

Red Line ridership down in July and August. The Examiner looks at ridership figures for Metro in July and August, overall weekday ridership was off 3.8% in July and 2.5% in August. As discussed here earlier, it's hard to compare 2008 figures with 2009, given the deep recession. One interesting figure Kytja Weir pulls up is that Red Line ridership was off 10.4% in July and 8.3% in August. I'd be more willing to pin some of that decline on the aftermath of the 6/22 crash. In any case, Metro's budget is now off my $8 million due to the decline. This isn't going to be pretty, there will likely be some painful service cuts.

Frustrations, protests surround massive teacher layoffs. Last week more than 200 DC Public Schools teachers were laid off. Today, teachers and some parents are planning to protest. Schools chief Michelle Rhee blames budget crunches, while those laid off accuse her and Mayor Adrian Fenty of unionbusting. There's little doubt this is a case of unionbusting, the bigger question is whether it will have any positive impact on the schools. This editorial in the Post sums things up well; Rhee has to take painful measures to make the kinds of changes DC schools need. It would have been better if these layoffs could have been done at a time other than the very beginning of the school year.


  1. While I kind of agree with your sentiment on the cab driver thing, I think there's a point you are missing. Most people were probably completely unaware that there was a "strike" and that there could be a problem getting a cab in Adams Morgan on Saturday, and so would not have planned accordingly.

    There have certainly been times in my life when I drove somewhere, drank more than I thought, or generally my plans for the evening changed, and took a cab home instead of driving home and got my car the next day.

    Being responsible about drinking and driving is not limited to "every facet of your evening is planned perfectly." Choosing to leave your car somewhere because you end up staying out later than you thought you would or drank too much is perfectly legitimate.

    If you think that you can just take a cab home if you end up drinking too much to drive home, and then that cab isn't available, you could be stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am not saying it's acceptable to drive even under those circumstances, but it could make it a lot harder for someone to do the right thing if there was no other easy way for them to get home.

    Bottom line for me is that this is an extremely irresponsible way for cab drivers to send their message.

    Beyond that it's fucking stupid since many of the people who are most likely to be affected probably don't even live in DC - and hence vote or have a representative to complain to.

    Anyway, it sounds like it worked out exactly as I expected from what I've been reading - if the strike happened at all I'm not sure anyone noticed.

  2. Well put. I just read your piece about the taxi strike on your site, and I completely agree. I just found it amusing that someone would give their name to ABC7 and say that you have no option but to drink and drive.

    Oh and hey, since ridership was down in August, don't you owe me some beer? :P

  3. I have absolutely no sympathy for the cabbies. No one put a gun to their head in Mogadishu and told them to come here and drive cabs. If they feel they can't make a living at it under the current rules, they're more than free to go back where they came from.