News Bullets, I'm back Thursday;

I suppose one sign that you are getting older is that you actually look forward to getting back in the swing of things after being sick. I had to miss three days of work this week, today is the first full fever-free day KNOCK ON WOOD. I still feel a little out of it, but what can you do. Let's talk DC for a minute. It's been a while so I'm way behind on the news.

US DOT honors Silver Line whistleblower. The Department of Transportation's Inspector General issued a commendation to Steve T. Mackey, who alerted authorities about concerns with the safety of a bridge project to carry the Silver Line over I-66. We need more of this, really. There are people within Metro who have serious concerns about safety, but are afraid to speak up. More on this, and a complete Metro round-up, coming soon.

Man shot near Sherman Ave and Euclid St last night. MPD sent out an alert last night of a shooting in the 2600 block of Sherman Avenue NW. The incident occurred around 7:40 PM. Not a whole lot of info floating around at this point, here's a WJLA piece that says little more than what's been on MPD listserves.

Mendo backs off Fenty security probe. DC Wire has it that Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) is backing down on his threats to investigate Fenty's use of security details. The tussle began after WTOP ran a story about Fenty using a police escort for his cycling team. District AG Peter Nickles initially refused to answer questions about the mayor's use of security resources. After Mendelson announced he would seek subpoena power, Nickles has assured the Council he will provide answers. We'll see what really happens with that. While it may not be a matter that costs the city a huge amount of money, it does seem ridiculous for the city to be paying frivolous expenses (e.g. flying the mayor's bike, special security trips to bike races, etc) in the midst of a budget crisis.

Early results show new DC-Lynchburg Amtrak service a success. The extension of Northeast Corridor service down to Lynchburg, Va. (via Charlottesville) has exceeded fare expectations by 87%. I've taken this train once since it debuted, and I was pleased. It did seem a majority (not surprisingly) of passengers were traveling to Charlottesville. From the C-Ville to Lynchburg portion of the trip, it was a bit eerie and empty. Smacked of a Langoliers-like scenario. However, it's awesome it's doing well. Now if Virginia could just extend the service a bit further, over to Roanoke and maybe down to Blacksburg.

Can The Wire help us understand DC dysfunction? Well, short-answer yes. Long answer, it's a bit complicated. There's been some interesting musings in the comments here that many of the city's problems (including Metro) can be explained with examples from the hit television show. I've seen the first three seasons of the show, and I think there is something to be said for this line of thinking. However, I don't think the comparison of police management to Metro management is exactly correct. Police department politics and Metro politics are quite different. Given that Metro is a tri-"State" agency, no one Mayor (or governor) would be hanging their entire political future on their pick for manager of Metro. However, this is an interesting theme that I hope to explore a bit further. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this analogy.

Now I've got to dig into this three-day pile of missed work. Have a good Thursday, Internets.

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