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District residents are all-too-familiar with the limited brand of democracy that the nation's capital is entitled to, and now so does the audience of HBO's Last Week Tonight. John Oliver used last night's episode to take up the DC statehood cause, culminating in a chorus of singing, blue-tongued children.

Oliver's 17-minute feature on the District's lack of representation in Congress shows Last Week Tonight's usual meticulous research, hitting on many recent examples of DC's local agenda getting railroaded by meddlesome legislators from far-flung jurisdictions. Among the incidents featured are the attempts to block marijuana legalization, restrictions on using city funds to pay for abortions for low-income women, and prevention of a needle-exchange program to combate the city's HIV infection rate.

The segment also goes all the way back to the drafting of the Constitution, too, with Oliver comparing the clause reading that Congress has the right to "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" in the nation's capital to a rough-sex arrangement. "As far as documents demanding control go, it's right up there with the one Christian Grey asked Anastasia Steele to sign in Fifty Shades of Grey before he, I don't know, pinched her butt, or whatever," Oliver says.

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Posted at 08:35 AM/ET, 08/03/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Looking for a furry friend? One of these cuties—all available at Washington-area rescues—might be your match.

Meet four-year-old Athens. This social cat loves snuggling and being near his people. He really enjoys playtime, as you can see in this video clip. Athens is FIV positive so he can live as a single cat or share his home with dogs or other FIV-positive felines. Athens would make a great buddy— to meet him, contact the Washington Animal Rescue League at or stop by the shelter.

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Posted at 03:23 PM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph of Snyder courtesy Washington Redskins. Photograph of Bush by Rich Koele via Shutterstock.

Political action committees are filing their quarterly reports with the Federal Elections Commission, and an early glance at the first batch of statements reveals that many of Washington's right-leaning, bold-faced names have made their presidential preferences, and perhaps none bigger than the owner of the local NFL franchise.

Dan Snyder donated $100,000 to Right to Rise PAC, which is aligned with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, according to FEC reports filed Friday. The donation not surprising considering Snyder's past political giving, which has tended to favor Republicans. In 2012, he gave $5,000 to Republican nominee Mitt Romney, $10,000 to the Virginia GOP, and $5,000 to former Senator (and friend-of-the-team) George Allen, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He also gave $5,200 to Democratic Senator Mark Warner's 2014 re-election campaign.

Snyder is the only local sports baron who's contributed to any of the PACs that have filed so far, but he joins many local cash cows in contributing to Right to Rise, which reports raising $103 million in the first half of 2015. Real-estate developer Joseph B. Gildenhorn (you may be able to figure out which firm) put in $25,000, former Solicitor General Ted Olson gave $25,000, car-dealership magnate Robert Ourisman contributed $15,000, and defense attorney Brendan V. Sullivan, Jr. gave $2,500.

While Right to Rise's total haul dwarfs those of PACs supporting other Republican candidates, its receipts also show that, at least within the Washington area, Bush is far ahead of any of his rivals. Organizations backing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie each had a few DC-area contributions, but none with the kind of wattage as many of Bush's backers.

Posted at 01:40 PM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A DC developer wanted an eternal monument to his friend. By Matt Blitz
A plaque honors Bono--"Entertainer, Entrepreneur, Statesman, Friend"--in a small hunk of Dupont. Photographs by Hong Le.

It was the middle of the night when 30-year-old Sonny Bono woke up his young 19-year-old wife, Cher. He had just written a new song on some shirt cardboard and wanted her to sing it. Groggily, she sang:

They say we're young and we don't know

We won't find out until we grow

Well I don't know if all that's true

'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

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Posted at 10:40 AM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

Washingtonian hosted a reception at Ping Pong Dim Sum in Chinatown honoring the Top Real Estate Agents featured in the July issue. More than 350 guests enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres including pork and chive pretzel potstickers, crispy eggplant, and edamame truffle dumplings, as well as tasty cold blue martinis and basil and melon lemonade cocktails. Event sponsor MVB Mortgage hosted a lounge where guests could relax and enjoy chicken satay sliders, honey roasted chicken puffs, and delicious chocolate and sesame donuts. At the conclusion of the event, guests took home faux Washingtonian covers provided by Washington Talent Agency, beautiful calligraphy by Meant To Be Calligraphy, and Monarch Title and MVB Mortgage branded cookies by District Desserts.

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Posted at 09:52 AM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Falls Church-bred UVA star is adapting to the rules of pro tennis. By Josh Rosenblat

Shane reacts after winning a point during Virginia's NCAA team final victory over top-ranked Oklahoma. (Matt Riley/UVA Athletics)

On August 1, Ryan Shane will play his first qualifying match at D.C.’s annual major tennis tournament, the Citi Open. Just two days before the match, he keeps bringing up examples of his relative naïveté when it comes to professional tennis.

READ ALSO: Citi Open 2015: What to Watch For

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Posted at 09:42 AM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
British troops burn Washington, gutting the White House. Photograph by North Wind Picture Archives/Alamy.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that President Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974.

This appears in our August 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 06:00 AM/ET, 07/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph via Shutterstock.

Victor Hoskins, DC's former deputy mayor for planning and economic development, hopped across the Potomac to Arlington earlier this year to become the county's director of economic development. Arlington, which Washingtonian recently diagnosed with an identity crisis, could use a boost. And in an interview with the Washington Post published Wednesday, Hoskins proposed a solution:

"Everything is changing, and we have to change with it or we go down," Hoskins said. "The natural positioning for Arlington now is sort of like Brooklyn to New York, Bellevue to Seattle, Silicon Valley to San Francisco. We need to realize it, grip it, grab hold of it."

Whoa! Is Arlington going to suddenly fill up with fixed-gear bicycles, vegan beard-grooming products, sea-to-table fish smokeries, and limited-run doughnut shops? (And, if so, please email us; we love to get the early drop on that kind of stuff.) But seriously, if Hoskins is trying to play up Arlington's outer-boroughism, he's a bit late to the party. There's a long tradition of various parts of Washington being declared the regional equivalent of Brooklyn and its charming neighborhoods. Here's a brief history:

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Posted at 12:05 PM/ET, 07/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photo by Lev Radin /

The 2015 Citi Open gets underway August 1 at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Northwest DC, featuring one of the deepest fields since the tennis tournament began in 1969.

The annual tournament is one of just a handful of US events to include a men’s and women’s tournament concurrently.

World No. 3 Andy Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion, headlines a field that also includes both of the finalists from the 2014 US Open: fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori and fellow Top 10 player Marin Cilic.

The Top 6 American men will also be in Washington preparing on the hard courts. Veterans John Isner and Sam Querrey are looking to capitalize on the North American hard court season after months in on the clay and grass of Europe. Up-and-coming star Jack Sock is looking to make a breakthrough against some of the top players on tour.

Although the women’s tournament in Washington has to compete with the higher-level Bank of the West Classic in California the same week, it was still able to attract many of the WTA’s brightest young stars.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is continuing to work her way back from injuries and is undoubtedly looking forward to getting back on her favorite surface. Youngsters Eugenie Bouchard from Canada, Americans Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale, and Britain's Heather Watson have all made runs in major tournaments and will be searching for more consistency in the nation’s capital.

The all-time great doubles duo of Americans Mike and Bob Bryan will also take their 16 Grand Slam doubles titles to the court next week in an effort to win the tournament for the first time since winning back-to-back-to-back titles in DC from 2005-07.

This weekend will feature qualifying matches featuring a few local players before the upper echelon of players get going. Denis Kudla, a 22-year-old from Arlington who reached the final 16 at Wimbledon this year, and Ryan Shane, the 2015 NCAA singles champion from Falls Church, will both attempt to qualify for the men’s main draw in their home city.

The draws and schedules for the tournament will be announced at a ceremony Friday. You can find more information and ticket prices on the tournament's website.

Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 07/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A low-income housing development utilizes special insulation, solar panels, smart venting, and sun shades. By Miranda S. Spivack

Weinberg Commons—a three-building, 37-unit apartment complex at the corner of Southern and Benning roads, Southeast—looks pretty much like the low-slung housing projects in DC’s outer precincts. But in the annals of urban environmentalism, the 37 apartments represent an important landmark. Developed by the DC nonprofit Transitional Housing Corporation, the former commercial property, built in the 1960s, has been retrofitted to approach “net-zero energy,” a green-architecture term that to the buildings’ residents means 70 to 90 percent energy savings relative to a typical bill for a two-bedroom apartment in the Washington area.

Weinberg Commons’ unassuming looks can be explained by its relative lack of silicon-chip gadgetry. “We do all this with stuff we can buy at the hardware store,” says Michael Hindle, owner of Passive to Positive, a design consulting firm that’s working on the project. Because the city can’t be rebuilt from scratch, Hindle explains, low-energy retrofits like this one are necessary to put DC on a track to sustainability.

Here’s how Weinberg Commons has gotten so close to net zero.

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Posted at 07:00 AM/ET, 07/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()