News Bullets, yellow jersey Tuesday;

Looks like it's shaping up to be one of those weeks. The news is full of headlines and things to cover, and the blogosphere is hoppin' with all sorts of things. I thought I'd take a second to clear a few things up here. It's been about a year since I started writing at WIHDC, which means a year post-Liz. Things have changed, and it appears as though some people still struggle with the concept of this site. I'll admit that a lot of this is my fault. I decided to inject some Serious Business(TM) into the site. As such, I've built an audience that is a bit more serious about things. I've also got a group of people who clamor to "give 'em hell." So, I'm caught in the middle.

The whole "let's point and laugh at things" and "kick the bastards when they are down" model is very popular. People love to read those types of pieces. Sometimes they are fun to write. There are also a lot of big problems in DC that need to be addressed. Real problems. A lot of people get all of their local news information from blogs. A lot of people don't bother reading the Post. In case you missed the memo, things aren't exactly peachy in the city. The stories aren't often simple, and aren't always easy to distill. But I try. I'll keep poking and prodding. I also call 'em like I see 'em.

Anyway, enough froofy musing about meta things. Let's get on with the news.

Mayor Fenty really wants to be Lance Armstrong. Yes, we know Fenty is quite the "fit" mayor. He competes in triathlons and loves to ride his bicycle.

WTOP's Mark Segraves takes a look at Fenty's use of a police escort when riding with his little group, DC Velo. This is, of course, "totes" ridiculous. I don't think it's ridiculous for the mayor to have a police escort, however, it's poor form to use one when riding a bicycle during the business day. If he wants to go for a little bike ride on the weekends, I don't care, and he can even take a cop if he wants. Here's a better idea for the work week: How about you commute to work using your bicycle, which you love so much? You can even have a police motorcade for your bike if you do that. How about you check out the bike lanes DDOT has been installing? How about you set an example for people who might want to try bicycle commuting? Do something useful with your hobby. Because it is a hobby. You are not a full time, professional cyclist. A few years ago a group of people decided to hire you for a job. kthx.

Noah Wepman says farewell to DCPS. I was laid up with some sort of illness during the DCPS hearing. I watched on television this poor fellow try to explain himself to the D.C. Council. Wepman, the schools' CFO, looked like that deer that stumbled into the lion's den at the zoo. He was unprepared for his skewering, and has now left DCPS. WTOP is reporting that he was fired. Wepman withheld budget information from the Council. The DCPS CFO is supposed to report to the District CFO, but it looked like Wepman was taking orders from Michelle Rhee. Any organization looking for a nervous fall-guy, Wepman is your man. WaPo has some deets as well.

Georgetown sees another bias-related crime. Fun fact for those who don't know, I'm a Georgetown alum. It's sad to see this happen, but there was yet another anti-gay crime reported yesterday. This follows a rash of hate crimes on the campus. MPD Chief Lanier says the recent uptick in bias-related assaults could be due to the pending D.C. gay marriage legislation. This is incredibly sad and pathetic.

DC is pretty safe for pedestrians, says Transportation for America. The transit advocacy group took a look at pedestrian safety across the country, and DC ranks pretty high. Unsurprisingly, the study concludes that cities that developed after World War II are more dangerous for walking. Those cities, of course, were designed with cars in mind. The District was planned well before the advent of car travel, and we've managed to maintain a lot of that walkability. Just watch out for those Metrobuses, of course.

Marion Barry to get reality television show. A lot of people are blowing this off as something stupid. I don't know, folks. If anything, Barry is the gift that keeps on giving. Congress Heights on the Rise has the scoop about this, which was re-reported everywhere. There's absolutely no information at all about this. Nothing has been confirmed. Keep that in mind when speculating about anything. Yes, Barry is a complete embarrassment. He was once a notable figure, but since we can no longer say "at least he doesn't steal money from the city," he has become at best a joke and at worst a reason why we'll never get a vote in Congress. Onward and upwards. Forwards not backwards, and always twirling, twirling towards disgrace.


  1. So a study confirms what was already pretty clear to me: pedestrian safety is not one of the major problems in this city. About 15 people a year die this way, compared to how many homicides? HIV? Swine flu?

    Now, on to what's really important: the speed-bumpification of this city.

    Subtract out the number of pedestrians killed by buses. Subtract out the number of pedestrians who were at fault. Subtract out the number of pedestrians killed at light-controlled intersections.

    Are there any people AT ALL killed in a given year as a result of traffic on side streets (streets where speed bumps are allowed to be installed) driving too fast?

    Can we PLEASE stop putting speed bumps everywhere now?

  2. So, Fenty rides a road bike and therefore he "Wants to be Lance Armstrong."

    By that same logic, you write about Metro, and therefore you "Want to be Bob Woodward." Right?

    Or if you don't know who Bob is, try this: "Your mom drove an automobile several times, therefore she wants to be Mario Andretti."

  3. Considering he has a police escort for his athletic training on a bicycle, during the workday, yes, I think it's safe to make fun of him on the grounds that he wants to be Lance Armstrong.

    And yes, I'd love to be Bob Woodward.

    Nice Mario Andretti reference, though that sort of dates you.

  4. Regarding your musings on changing the vision of this site, let me share with you something an old friend of mine once told me:

    "Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you!"

    Seriously though, a blog is no different than an organization in that occasional reflection about the vision and goals is not a bad thing. Perhaps the hatred could grow stale over time. I have been hearing snark has jumped the shark in the blogosphere.

  5. Dude, you didn't build anything. You inherited an audience and, naturally, the readership has shifted over the course of time and through content changes. But you would not have built this audience from scratch w/ this regirgitated material.

    And I don't think it's a dichotomy between "laughing at the bastards" and "Serious Business." Sometimes, people just find things that are interesting to be intersting. And this is not. I'm still waiting for that "humor" piece you've got cooking.

    P.S. When are you going to be stepping down?

  6. Well, there's at least 25% more traffic now than before (e.g. prior to June). Take that to mean whatever you want.

  7. Conclusion: People like mediocrity.

  8. Moroever, the site's traffic might have grown that much anyway on dint of publicity and with continual updating. The salient question is why this site hasn't grown by 33-50% during the past year. Food for thought. Cheers.

  9. oops, i was wrong. traffic has been up 65% in the four month period after june.

    best question would be, why do you still bother reading this site if it's so awful and you hate it so much?

  10. thought you said you weren't going to watch the deer/lion video, eh? :)

  11. "Nice Mario Andretti reference, though that sort of dates you."

    You got me, son. I knew your mother back in the day.

  12. haha, HUGE RIP anonymous!

    it was funny, but still doesn't make up for the fact that your wrong in your defense of Fenty though.

    Blocking traffic with a police escort = lance armstrong. I bet Fenty wore a yellow jersey too.