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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 09/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph courtesy of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

When he arrives September 22, Pope Francis becomes the fourth consecutive pontiff to make a trip to DC. His day and a half in town barely give him time to hit the major Roman Catholic sites. He’d need a week to scout the city's deep Catholic history.

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Posted at 09:40 AM/ET, 09/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

The big news out of Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards is that Kanye West announced his (serious?) intention to run for President in 2020. Assuming that West would win easily, above is a sneak preview of the cover of the January 2021 issue of Washingtonian, welcoming the new President and First Lady.

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Posted at 04:46 PM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
But now she wants quote approval.

The editors of the Wilson High School newspaper, the Beacon, won't have to submit their articles to their principal for review before publication anymore under a tentative agreement between the publication and school administrators. Wilson Principal Kimberly Martin and the Beacon's faculty advisers met Monday to talk down Martin from her policy of prior review, which Beacon staffers saw as a layer of censorship.

"Principal Martin is in the process of reconsidering her prior review policy," a statement from the Beacon reads.

But just because Martin won't be playing editor anymore doesn't mean she's not divorcing herself entirely from the Beacon's production process. While prior review is apparently off the table, Martin's trade-off is that people interviewed by the Beacon will be allowed to approve their quotes before articles go to press. "The editors are revisiting their editorial policies to instate a clearly outlined chain of responsibilities and verify quotes in all future articles," the newspaper's statement continues.

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Posted at 04:01 PM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Congrats, or something. Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

After a weekend filled with conflicting reports about the future of injury-plagued quarterback Robert Griffin III (his latest malady: a concussion sustained in a preseason game), Jay Gruden announced Monday that Kirk Cousins will be the Washington NFL team's starting passer when the season begins September 13. The team's fans sure seem excited to give him a chance to redeem the club after the last few woeful years:

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Posted at 01:38 PM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Flickr user Tommy Wells.

Violent crime, shootings and homicides are up across the District. Why the spike? Theories abound: from poverty and hopelessness to drugs and gangs. The police union, which represents 3,600 sworn officers, issued a report Monday that a third of its members have “no confidence” in Chief Cathy Lanier’s management, which it calls “feckless.” Mayor Muriel Bowser shot back a statement supporting the chief; Bowser's chief of staff, John Falcicchio, called the poll "as believable as a Castro election."

Beneath the heated rhetoric, here are five reasons street cops have a beef with the chief:

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Posted at 11:42 AM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

The students who run the Beacon, the campus newspaper at Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest DC, opened the new academic year with a chilling demand from their new prinicipal, Kimberly Martin. In one of her first moves on the job, Martin informed the Beacon's editors that she will be exercising prior review of the paper's content before it goes to press, a move that the students believe presents a layer of censorship.

High-school administrators are legally permitted to review student publications before they run, but the Beacon had never been subjected to this kind of oversight since it started publishing in 1935, its current editors say.

The Beacon complied begrudgingly with Martin's request on the new academic year's first issue, which was distributed last Friday. The paper's editors-in-chief, seniors Helen Malhotra and Erin Doherty, say Martin didn't make any changes. But on Thursday night, with the final pages going to the printer, the Beacon tacked on a blistering editorial slamming the new regime.

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Posted at 09:42 AM/ET, 08/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
It's where qualms and grievances about city living can be aired without fear of judgment—at least until the commenters weigh in. By Benjamin Freed

Photograph of Silverman by Flickr user ep_jhu. Priest's collar via Shutterstock.

On Thursday the Popville blog posted an anonymous note: A DC resident reported walking through Shaw, seeing a woman in distress outside the neighborhood's public library, calling for an ambulance, and leaving the scene before one arrived.

Those actions are enough to churn the stomachs of anyone who considers themself even a halfway-good samaritan. But the rationale the letter-writer offers is equally infuriating:

I looked around to see if anyone else was alarmed by this, and no one seemed to notice, until one man asked another man nearby “Did that lady fall out?” They both kind of took a look and then shrugged and went about their business. I did not stick around either, thinking if she was part of some violence that I did not want to be around there to get involved, especially with all the gang related issues in my neighborhood lately, but I did call 911. The police showed up because they called me back to get more information on where exactly she was, although I was gone by then. So I don’t know if she was there when they showed up or what the resolution was, but I’d be eager to hear if others witnessed this.

PoPville's publisher, Dan Silverman, rarely adds his own editorial voice to his voluminous posts, whether they concern flashy retail openings or grim reminders of urban life. So this note was decorated almost entirely by the comments and social-media reactions it incited. And they did not tend toward sympathy.

"I hope you are never in the position to know what it is like to have a medical emergency and be left all alone on the sidewalk while people pass by," wrote one of the first commenters. "Good God. That poor woman. She deserved better than you and those two men."

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Posted at 01:51 PM/ET, 08/28/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
It's not clear who owns the site's archives. By Andrew Beaujon has died once again. The Washington-area news site, launched with not a little hoopla, sputtered to its grave in August 2012 after a star-crossed and brief existence that saw:

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Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 08/28/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
An image from the report.

A failed rail fastener caused the August 6 derailment of a passenger-less Metro train, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority says in a report about the first part of its investigation into the incident, which caused chaos throughout the subway system. The defect was detected on July 9, WMATA's report says, but a technician "erroneously deleted the defect" from a report, "believing it to be a routine anomaly."

The investigation also revealed that Metro lacked a system to compare data from the vehicle that identified the defect with the technician's report.

The 47-page report also contains question-and-answer-style reports with two "track walkers"—names redacted—who inspected the track on August 6 and said they were unaware of the defect.

WMATA says it has taken "immediate safety actions," is reworking its quality processes, and that it is accepting responsibility with a series of "Safety stand-downs, or brief stoppages in work for safety critical meetings" that will "re-emphasize the importance of walking track inspections."

Now the investigation moves to WMATA's safety department, which is expected to deliver a draft investigation late next month. Interim general manager Jack Requa has asked WMATA's chief safety officer James M. Dougherty to review the safety depart's role in the derailment.

Posted at 10:12 AM/ET, 08/28/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()