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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Art Silber. The Potomac Nationals owner is kicking in $70,000 of his own money, and Prince William County and the Prince William Park Authority will invest equal amounts to modernize the Potomac Nationals Stadium. We’re sure the team’s players will be glad to have more than one bathroom in their clubhouse. And it’s good to see investment in the Nationals’ minor-league affiliates—good major-league teams need good minor-league organizations behind them to develop strong young players and young executives.

• Brian Moran. After Senator Jim Webb announced he wouldn’t seek a second term (he squeaked past then-senator George Allen in 2006), Webb left the Virginia Democratic Party chairman with some difficult decisions. Should the party back former representative Tom Perriello, the 5th District Democrat who lost his seat in last fall’s wave election and who says he’s “keeping his options open”? Will former governor Tim Kaine jump into the race? Either way, Webb’s departure leaves Moran and other Virginia Democrats fighting to tip their purple state into the blue column on Election Day next year.

• Rye Rye. The 19-year-old Baltimore rapper blew up headphones nationally yesterday when she released an insanely catchy remix of Miley Cyrus’s smash hit “Party in the USA” along with a new mix tape. Her first album, produced by indie-rap superstar M.I.A., is due out later this year. Sure, we like Wale. But after his career’s fits and starts, it’s good to have another star proving that the DMV hip-hop scene deserves a truly national audience.

• Glen Staples. The Bishop of Southeast DC’s megachurch, Temple of Praise, is kicking off a building campaign that will open up 45 affordable townhouses and a medical clinic, and Staples hopes to kick-start development on senior housing and a Ward 8 community center. But he’s just part of a larger trend—religious organizations are playing such an important part in new housing in Washington that at-large councilman Michael Brown is holding a community summit on interfaith housing later this month, and the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners is working with 20 area churches on affordable-housing projects.

• Byron Brown. Envying the 28 lucky Washingtonians who score seats to Artisa Kitchen’s once-a-month supper-club dinners? Starting this April, Brown, the chef behind Artisa Kitchen, is launching a new experiment called Sensorium. For six weeks, he’ll serve two seatings, six nights a week, of 12-course meals—in a geodesic dome near the Navy Yard. Washington’s dining scene has been getting steadily more sophisticated and varied, but we’ll be curious to see if the area’s diners are ready for costumes and unconventional locations.

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