Morning, Washington. The weekend is quickly approaching, as is Hurricane Irene. The folks over at Capital Weather Gang have some tips on preparing for the storm, which has already been ravaging Puerto Rico and is expected to hit the Eastern seaboard soon.
Washington Assesses Earthquake Damage: After the earthquake on Tuesday, many were assessing the damage to buildings. It seems the National Cathedral lost three or four spires on the building’s central tower, which is estimated to cost somewhere in the millions and won’t be covered by insurance. Officials say it is still structurally sound. The Washington Monument, while certainly not “leaning” as a few news outlets were quick to report on Tuesday, is closed due to some cracks at the top of the structure. Some other buildings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia sustained some damage.
Should Schools Have Closed?: Meanwhile, DC closed all of its schools, which just started classes this week. Mike DeBonis at the Washington Post ponders whether the closings were necessary, asking, “For schools with no apparent damage, how should the desire to avoid upending parents’ lives weigh against the chance that there is some hidden structural defect?” Mayor Vince Gray announced that 13 DC schools have been “red-flagged” for damage.
Bikes May Save Us in a Real Evacuation: Martin Austermuhle at DCist talks about the spike in Capital Bikeshare rides Tuesday—5,847, a spike of more than 1,000 over a typical ridership day. Given that the city can’t be evacuated suddenly by car, Austermuhle contemplates what role bikes might play in such an emergency situation.
Shaw’s Tavern’s Liquor License Problem: Chris Shott over at the Washington City Paper has a long follow-up to his initial news that Shaw’s Tavern, an eating establishment highly anticipated in a neighborhood with few options, is getting a pretty thorough examination by the alcohol regulatory board. Shaw’s was cited for serving alcohol at some private pre-opening parties before the restaurant officially opened its doors. After its August 10 hearing, the establishment is waiting for the board’s decision, and, in the meantime, has been closing at around 10 PM. Head Chef John Cochran says he hopes a favorable decision will come before Labor Day.
Arlington Community Center Breaks Ground: ARLNow reports that yesterday morning a groundbreaking took place for the new Arlington Mill Community Center. The five-story community center will contain a full-size gym, a senior center, space for teens, a job resource center and multi-purpose rooms for community events. The complex will be built at Columbia Pike and South Dinwiddie Street.
Briefly Noted: Jenny Rogers at TBD tries to get at some definitions of what “local” actually means at area grocery stores. . . . New York frozen yogurt joint Tasti D-Lite is coming to the Columbia Heights DCUSA complex, according to New Columbia Heights. . . . Fans of Yoga District will be thrilled to learn that Frozen Tropics says a studio will open on H Street. . . . DCMud says ground will break on what will be the Beltway’s tallest building in October in Alexandria’s Eisenhower Valley East.