Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
Friday, July 1st, 2005
Thursday, June 30th, 2005
DCist’s first concert, Unbuckled, is tonight at the Black Cat.
Nighclub 9:30 is holding a free screening of “930 F Street,” a documentary about the club’s early history, this Friday at 9 p.m.: “Back by popular demand! An encore presentation of 930 F STREET, The 9:30 Club Documentary Come relive the last 25 years! Special retrospective DJ set. First 500 people get a FREE limited edition 25th Anniversary T-Shirt”
Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
Today, the Center for American Progress’ Campus Progress project launched a blog for interns in DC for the summer:
Today Campus Progress launches Social Capital, a new blog/calendar (blogendar?) designed not only to make sure your social calendar remains packed while you’re in DC, but also to give you a place to share stories about crazy intern mixups, tidbits overheard in hallways or on the Metro, right-wing buffet spreads, and more.
Friday, June 24th, 2005
One of the editors of DCist is leaving, and we’re looking for a replacement. Catherine was one of the first people to join Mike and I in our little endeavor, and has been an excellent and reliable blogger and been instrumental helping DCist be so successful. We’ll be sad to see her go! She has posted to her blog a description of who we’re looking for:
as it stands, my responsibilities at DCist aren’t entirely focused, but i do the following every week, or at least try to:
- write a weekly music agenda on mondays of shows that i think will be good
- do a DCist music interview with a local band, to be published on thursdays
- write a weekend picks post on fridays, highlighting interesting events on friday, saturday, and sunday
- try to write or solicit-and-edit one or two concert reviews every week or two.
If you are interested drop me a line. She also has these nice things to say about the site:
anyway, DCist is totally great and has been one of the most positive things i’ve ever been involved in. all the staff have become good friends, and they’re an amazing group of motivated and talented people. i’m too sad to be leaving, but since i have to, i want to find one (or two, perhaps) really good, committed people that would be willing to cover music stuff and help DCist grow even more awesome …
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
Kathryn On and Rock Creek Rambler are sponsoring a blogger meetup Friday at Eyebar from 6 to 9 p.m. they’re calling “Live Blog 05: Like Blogging, but with Speech". Yeah, it’s at Eyebar, a self-described “place to see and be seen.”
Here’s what RCR says about it:
Don’t forget about Live Blog this Friday. All bloggers, commenters, and lurkers are invited. But if any of you lurkers come, you have to actually talk. If you just stand around watching everyone else it will really creep me out. Kathryn and I really hope y’all make it, because otherwise we’re totally going to feel like the chess club of the blogosphere. If you have other plans, break them, because this happy hour is going to be off the hook. And then we’re going to put it back on the hook, because we don’t like clutter.
Saturday, June 18th, 2005
Thursday, June 16th, 2005
The Meetup.com D.C. blogger meetup yesterday was fun, about 7 people showed up at SoHo tea and coffee for an enjoyable wide-ranging discussion. The attendees included Pat, John, Michael, Damian, Dan and Jamy.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
Yesterday I attended the premiere of a new series by Morgan Spurlock called “30 Days.” Created in the wake of Morgan’s success with “Super Size Me", each episode is about when someone walks in someone else’s shoes for 30 days. In the first episode, Morgan and his fiance try to live in Columbus, Ohio on minimum wage jobs. Despite their advantages - they are educated, healthy, and motivated - they struggle to make ends meet and end the month in debt due in part to medical bills. The episode should look familiar to anyone who has read “Nickeled and Dimed,” or actually struggled to work a low paying job. Although I wouldn’t call it “fun” television, Morgan does a good job of keeping the episode moving along with humor and the cartoon interludes you may remember from his earlier films. The screening featured a brief visit by Sen. Ted Kennedy who gave a short angry speech about how the low level of the federal minimum wage is a national disgrace. Although I’m pessimistic about how the series will fare against the existing “reality” TV, like Super Size the series’ first episode is daring television that is entertaining but also makes you squirm in your seat.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2005
Friday, June 10th, 2005
I just read this interesting article printed in the Post in April about the D.C. economy. Here’s some excerpts, but read the article if you’re not familiar with D.C. or Florida:
… The region has a balkanized social geography, reinforced by an inadequate transportation system, that minimizes the interaction between old and young, urban and suburban, white and black, rich and poor.
And the urban core, while rich in well-maintained public spaces and buildings, is short on the kind of neat old buildings and funky neighborhoods that provide architectural character for other cities.
It is not exactly clear what a region can do about these shortcomings, particularly when political power is shared among two states, the District and a half-dozen counties, and the business community divides along geographic and industry lines. But the value of Florida’s work is that it helps to shift attention away from trying to attract corporate headquarters with tax breaks and highway exits, and toward attracting a creative workforce with a vibrant music scene and affordable loft space. …
Based on Florida’s work on the “creative class,” my guess is that The Post 200 will remain a study in continuity until Washington becomes the kind of exciting, cool place where ambitious and creative young people from around the world want to live and work. We’ve got a good, running start and a good base to build on. But we’re not there yet.
There’s an interesting little scandal I found on the AP wire this afternoon brewing in Pomfret, Maryland an outer suburb located southeast of D.C. There, a student with Cherokee ancestory wore a bolo tie instead of a fabric one at his graduation ceremony, and school officials have withheld his diploma pending a meeting with the vice principal. A spokeswoman for the Charles County schools told the AP that the bolo tie “was not considered by staff to be a tie. We have many opportunities throughout the year to express cultural heritage. But we don’t do that at graduation.” Yikes. Here’s some details:
At a rehearsal Tuesday night, [Thomas] Benya wore a bolo tie with braided straps and a small, silver and onyx clasp. Benya, who traces his Cherokee ancestry to a great-grandfather who lived on a reservation in Oklahoma, owns three of the string ties that are part of modern American Indian traditions. He also frequently wears American Indian jewelry.
The spokeswoman said the school will willingly give Benya his diploma, but that he has not set up a meeting to do so. The Benyas say they are considering legal action against the system.
I think this is a pretty clear-cut case of anal white people overreacting. Hopefully it’s not ethnically motivated, but Benya’s mother did point out “There was a kid who took his pants off and threw them up at graduation. He got his diploma.” My friend wore nothing at all under his robes and graduated just fine, and I am from Maine!
Thursday, June 9th, 2005
I’m really excited about this - Gothamist has sponsored a series of highly successful concerts with local bands in New York, and we’re going to do the same here in D.C. The idea is that you charge just enough to cover your expenses and highlight some local talent. We’ve decided to call our series “Unbuckled” (Gothamist used “Moveable Hype,” a take-off on the name of popular blogging software)
When: June 30 at 9 p.m.
I never put up this photo from Glover Park Day. Not the best photo, but the event was a lot of fun, I even tried Margarita’s food at the food court, which has inspired me to go to the restaurant on Wisconsin Ave.
The squeaking brakes of the buses that run in my neighborhood have one resident irritated. He’s right: the brakes do squeak, and the inside of the buses smell of fumes and they are prone to mechanical errors. The solution, however, is not discontinuing service to the neighborhood, where there are lots of people why rely on the bus for their only form of transportation, but improving the buses.
… Mr. Watkins has come to be something of the Bus Man of Benton Street the past 18 months, when he first started lobbying the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to resolve the decibel-packing buses that terrorize the neighborhood.
Mr. Watkins has shot videos of the buses, talked with a good number of the bus operators, implored the transit authority to feel his quality-of-life pain and taken his appeal to the advisory neighborhood commissioners who represent his bone-rattling stretch of Ward 3.
He has learned everything you ever could want to know about the brake-plagued, high-maintenance Orion II bus.
His modest pursuit is motivated out of self-preservation.
“I would just like to be able to sleep,” Mr. Watkins says. …
Mr. Watkins has made a number of proposals to the transit authority: Curtail use of the D2 route in the daytime and halt it entirely late at night, if only because hardly anyone rides the buses in the wee hours.
Another suggestion is to reroute the nightly drops and pickups to Wisconsin Avenue, mere blocks from Benton Street. Mr. Watkins understands that these recommendations do not necessarily meet the needs of all the residents. But he is grappling with a larger issue than the convenience of public transportation, which is the necessity of a good night’s rest.
Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
Click here to RSVP for the free premiere of FX’s “30 Days” to be followed by a panel by Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Executive Producer Morgan Spurlock. The event is next Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Regal Gallery Place Cinema in D.C.
If you can’t make the screening, the show premieres on FX at 10 pm on June 15th. Yes, Morgan has a blog.
Sunday, June 5th, 2005
Saturday, June 4th, 2005
The W. Times noticed a post Mike wrote for DCist about how their paper was for sale in Billings, Montana - for $2.50 - in their “Inside the Beltway” feature in today’s paper:
Still a bargain
“DCist,” a popular Web site (www.dcist.com) about everyday life in the nation’s capital, has posted a photograph from a faithful D.C. tipster who happened into a Barnes & Noble bookstore while visiting Billings, Mont.
“While no other national newspapers aside from USA Today and the Wall Street Journal have seemed to have made their way to south-central Montana, just below Shotgun News [on the newspaper rack] is The Washington Times,” the posting notes.
We see by the photograph that a single copy of our newspaper sells for a rather hefty $2.50 in Billings. Here in Washington, where Pony Express charges aren’t tacked on, the paper still costs a quarter.
Friday, June 3rd, 2005
U.S. Rep Bernie Sanders (campaign website, house website) stopped by the Take Back America Conference today during the send-off lunch to talk up his bid for U.S. Senate. Some googling found me this story which reports he was endorsed by Howard Dean in May.
This from an AP story:
Sanders remains a socialist, although not a member of the Socialist Party.
“What does it mean to me? I want government to stand up for working people, for the middle class, rather than representing, as is currently the case in the United States, multinational corporations and wealthy people.
“I also believe that as citizens in a democratic society people are entitled to certain inherent rights and those rights include the right to health care, the right to form a union, the right to breathe good air, the right to send your child to college.
“There is something fundamentally wrong and very dangerous about a society in which so few have so much and so many have so little,” he said.
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005
The folks at TBA have posted transcripts and videos of some of the speeches. Antonio Villaraigosa’s is good, and probably worth checking out as he seems like the flavor of the month. He also had the harshest things to say about the conference, interestingly.
John Edwards’ address (not up yet) was good, he abandoned his prepared remarks and gave a very good impromptu speech combining his stump speech and some recent stuff on his anti-poverty work. If it weren’t for a nasty cold I’d be there blogging their tacky evening event.
As President Bush continues to push his scheme to privatize Social Security and slash benefits for middle-class families, hundreds of concerned citizens from across the country and the region will take to the streets of Washington D.C. tomorrow, Friday, June 3, 2005, at 2:30 pm and march to the White House to tell President Bush “Hands Off My Social Security.”
Citizens will gather at the Washington Hilton’s main entrance (1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW) at 2:30 pm tomorrow and will proceed down Connecticut Avenue towards the White House, rallying in Lafayette Park.
Join hundreds of Take Back America conference participants from across the country, and hundreds of concerned citizens from the region, are expected to participate in the march.
RSVP today: http://www.americansforsocialsecurity.com/events
WHAT: “Hands off my Social Security” March to White House
WHEN: Friday, June 3, 2:30 pm
WHERE: Washington Hilton’s main entrance (1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW. March to Lafayette Park in from of the White House, 16th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
Ok, so I’ve never been to Glover Park Day before, but I am very excited because it is in my neighborhood. Here’s what the Post says about it:
Glover Park Day
June 4, 2005
Guy Mason Recreation Center
3600 Calvert St. NW
Washington, D.C., 20007
The Glover Park Citizens Association organizes an annual festival with live music, crafts, face painting, raffles, a moon bounce and food from local restaurants. The mailing address for this event is PO Box 32268, Washington, D.C. 20007.
To get here take a D2 from Dupont circle and get off at the Tunlaw road stop, or take a 30 bus (from Foggy Bottom or Tenleytown metro) to Calvert Street. Perhaps Glover Parkers Melissa, Eric, and Michael will make an appearance.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
I was told by a city employee at D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration last week that Town Hall - a new restaurant to be opened in Glover Park I wrote about earlier - has obtained a liquor license which allows them to be open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.
The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission had voted unanimously to oppose the change, but according to information I was given the ANC resolution was apparently ignored. The owners of Town Hall are still waiting to hear from their attorney about whether the information I was given was correct, and they have not heard back from ABRA regarding the status of their license. The owners had argued the late hours would help them afford rent on the space.
My friend Dave Enders, author of “Baghdad Bulletin: Dispatches from the American Occupation” is speaking at Politics and Prose tonight at 7 p.m. From P&P’s website: “Enders was a student at The American University of Beirut who went to Baghdad shortly after the U.S. invasion determined to establish the first English-language newspaper in Iraq. He exposes the contradictions, the suffering, and the absurdities of war as he and the newspaper staff brave dangers from Iraqi fighters and from Coalition forces.”
> Kicking off today: Take Back America 2005
Friday, May 27th, 2005
Although Garrett at Fishbowl DC has nothing but good things to say about the magazine, I have heard rumors quite the contrary. Nevertheless, their first issue is on newstands and the mag has web-only profiles of Mousetrap and City Year.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
I’m attending the Take Back America Conference next week, the major annual progressive political conference. You can check out the draft agenda here. I’m excited about seeing LA Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, DC Activist and consultant Donna Brazile, and hearing John Edwards and Howard Dean speak. Also participating is a litany of the usual suspects: John Podesta, Thomas Frank, George Lakoff, Robert Greenwald, and Jesse Jackson, to name a few. Speakers from PFAW include Ralph Neas, YP4 Director Iara Peng, and the head of our Texas office Deece Eckstein.
They also have invited the “bloggers” for this Thursday night session:
8:00-10:00PM - BLOG FIRE: A RADIO-ACTIVE EVENING
Ready for some sparks? Top progressive bloggers, comedians and radio commentators will take the stage for an animated discussion about the new media and politics. Think Crossfire meets Politically Incorrect. Bring your laptop and tell them what you really think live on stage.
Joshua Micah Marshall*, Talking Points Memo
Duncan Black, Atrios Eschaton
Stephanie Miller*, Democracy Radio and the Oxygen Network
Sounds “edgy,” doesn’t it? I’ll be live blogging it …
My DCist post on neighborhood listservs has generated quite a list. Here’s what my post had and what the readers came up with (in no particular order):
East of the River
New Hill East
Mt. Vernon Square
Crystal City (VA)
After selecting a site, a design, and getting approval from the required authorities, only one thing remains before the proposed Washington D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial becomes a reality: money.
According to their website they’ve raised an impressive $36 million from private donors and a number of foundations and corporations, however that’s nowhere near the $100 million they’ll need. According to the current schedule the groundbreaking will be held in 2006 and the memorial will be dedicated in 2008. Make an online donation here.
Located adjasent the FDR memorial along the Tidal Basin, the memorial’s design is similar to other newer memorials and seeks to be an “engaging landscape experience” honoring the themes of justice, democracy, and hope. The design will include “martyrs’ wellsprings” (seen to the left) which will document the contribution of individual martyr to the movement, inscriptions of Dr. King’s speeches, and a large bust. Last year, I saw a presentation on the design by one of the jurors in the design competition and have no doubt it will be an impressive and fitting monument.
Tuesday, May 24th, 2005
A small group of vocal residents of the D.C. neighborhood of Glover Park are agitating to force a new restaurant – called “Town Hall” and to be located at the former location of Saveur at 2218 Wisconsin Ave. seen to the right – to close at 11:30 p.m. instead of 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant is just down the street from a busy stretch of Wisconsin that contains several restaurants that are open late (Including Austin Grill), one bar (Bourbon), and two strip clubs. Glover Park is a mixed-age community containing young professionals, families with young children, and older people. The owners of the new restaurant argue they need the added revenue of later hours to help pay the high rent for the space.
As a young Glover Park resident and advocate for independent and local businesses, I think Town Hall should be granted a license to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission has already voted to recommend the 11:30 a.m. closing time to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, however it’s unclear whether their hearing before the ABC Board, who has final say, has taken place. I plan on attending next month’s ANC meeting on June 9 to voice my opinion on the topic and I will update this post when I hear from DC government regarding the status of the liquor license.
The full article from last week’s Georgetown Current is after the jump. If you would like to see a local restaurant in Glover Park open late, sign your name below to indicate you support Town Hall and their desire to have reasonable hours.
Monday, May 23rd, 2005
Jenna Bush spotted at Cafe St. Ex?
There is shit still running from over a decade ago because there aren’t enough writers that do shit to make going over other people an issue. I think there are a lot of reasons why DC currently has so little graffiti when compared to New York and other cities. One reason is the nature of the city. Most of the people here work for the government in one way or another, and are usually here for only a couple of years before moving away. Another reason is gentrification has, in the past couple of years, picked up a lot of speed here. Whereas NYC (mainly Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn) is well past the saturation point of yuppies and their plastic “communities.” A bi-product of mass-produced consumer culture and cookie-cutter style “communities” is alienation. DC hasn’t reached its boiling point yet.
In terms of risk, it’s like everywhere else in that it depends on the area you’re in. The farther away you get from the downtown area and the surrounding suburbs, the less cops there are. But there are a lot more crazy vigilante types. I’ve been chased several times, yelled at, harrassed, tackled and searched, and not once was it by a cop. At the same time, though, there are a lot of people that are “down,” as long as it’s not gang-related. The myth that most graffiti is gang-related could be why people are so hostile. When I’m painting in yuppie neighborhoods it’s different, people just don’t like me writing on their stuff. It’s more of a pride/arrogance thing with yuppies than it is with native DC folks in poorer neighborhoods. Rich people don’t like authentic face-to-face human interaction, so they call the police a lot more.
A popular city-based blog in Washington D.C. may need people interested in writing on the following topics: covering wine sales at local liquor stores and writing accessibly about wine, covering the D.C. theater scene, covering the Mystics, and perhaps managing an regular interview feature. My information is to the left.
My friend Jason is in a play being put on by the Rorshach Theatre company that has a preview this weekend. The story, the best as I can tell, is about the search of a circus sideshow barker for his lost “Box of Prophecy” which also includes “a mid-western couple on vacation, two very drunk hotel bellhops and a waitress who is having the longest night of her life. And then there’s the Mexican Bishop.” The play has no less than five pay-what-you-can previews from May 26 through 30th at 8:00 p.m. and continues until July 25 at $13-$20 a ticket. They perform at the Casa Del Pueblo in Columbia Heights at 1459 Columbia Road NW. (See it on Upcoming)
I was pretty excited at this point. I felt like I had just unraveled a mystery or something and I’m pretty silly so I get off on these kinds of things. And it just so happened that I had my digital camera with me, so ya, I took it out and got a couple pictures of Borf as he walked ahead of me towards the circle.DCist’s Who Is Borf post continues to attract comments on the subject …
I noticed that at each pole or newspaper box that Borf would stop, approach the pole or box, look around, and (probably after he saw my ass tailing him) turn and continue walking. His behavior was so fascinating. It was as if he was naturally drawn to every potential graffiti-worthy object that he passed. Maybe it’s like an addiction or something? …
Sunday, May 22nd, 2005
America Speaks: Stop the Abuse of Power
The U.S. Senate is on the brink of “going nuclear.” At 4:15 p.m. this Monday, May 23 – the eve of the nuclear showdown – we will rally to stop the nuclear option and save our courts!
WHO: Senators, National Leaders, & Concerned Citizens
WHEN: 4:15 p.m. MONDAY, May 23, 2005
WHERE: “Senate Swamp,” Washington, DC
(at the corner of Constitution & Delaware Avenues, near the Russell Senate Bldg.)
WHY: Majority Leader Bill Frist plans to break Senate rules to eliminate the ability of those in the minority party to filibuster out-of-the-mainstream judicial nominees. By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans oppose this power grab. On the eve of the showdown, we will tell Sen. Frist and his allies: Stop the Abuse of Power!
Please help spread the word about this final push to stop the nuclear option – forward this invitation to your colleagues, friends, and friendly listservs.
Visit SaveOurCourts.org to learn more about the nuclear option and the importance of a fair and independent judiciary.
Thursday, May 12th, 2005
Wednesday, May 11th, 2005
Tuesday, May 10th, 2005
May 10, 2005
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Princeton Students: Juan Melli-Huber: 609-468-0715, jmelli at princeton.edu; Pete Hill: 614-397-3769, petehill at princeton.edu
Georgetown Law Student: Jenny Cieplak: 202-256-7082, jennicieplak at yahoo.com
Students Bring Two Week Long Frist Filibuster to Capitol to Protest Nuclear Option on Judges
Washington, DC – Scores of college students will converge on the Capitol Reflecting Pool on Wednesday to stage a 24 hour filibuster in protest of the “Nuclear Option” being considered by Senate Republicans to end filibusters on controversial judicial nominees.
The mock filibuster, initiated two weeks ago by a group of Princeton students outside the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University, a building financed by a $25 million gift from the Senate majority leader’s family, has been running round-the-clock for over 300 hours and has attracted wide spread media attention.
With action on the nuclear option expected within days, Princeton students will travel by bus to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning, joining area college students and congressional leaders to continue their filibuster at the Capitol Reflecting Pool within sight of Senator Frist’s Capitol office.
“This student-powered filibuster shows that political activism on college campuses is strong and building. It also demonstrates the overwhelming support for the 200 year-old institution of the Senate filibuster,” said Asheesh Siddique, editor of the Princeton Progressive Review, one of the filibuster’s sponsors. “Buoyed by the dedication of hundreds of Princeton University students and other students across the nation, we are now bringing the fight for a fair and independent judiciary directly to Senator Frist,” said Siddique. The Princeton Progressive Review is one of fourteen of progressive college papers across the country supported by Campus Progress, a new project of the Center for American Progress.
The Washington mock filibuster will be similar to the original Princeton protest, with students reading from texts that range from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, to Shakespeare and physics texts. Students from Howard University, Georgetown University, Trinity University, George Washington University and American University will also take turns speaking over the 24 hour filibuster.
The protest and its organizers have received coverage from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, New York Times, Washington Post, UK Guardian, the popular blog Talking Points Memo, and Air America Radio. A live Webcam, daily blog, and schedule of special guests will be available at FilibusterFrist.com
The student filibuster will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and will continue throughout the night, ending at 11 a.m. Thursday with press conference and rally with members of the House and Senate.
The event is being supported by Campus Progress and Young People For, a project of People for The American Way Foundation.
Wednesday, May 11
9:00 a.m. (approximately) – Princeton students arrive via bus at the Capitol Reflecting Pool (3rd St SW & Maryland Ave SW)
Thursday, May 12
11:00 a.m. – Rally and Press Conference with Members of Congress
Monday, May 9th, 2005
What do students from five campuses, the senate filibuster, and 24-hour protests have in common? Answer: they all have been working together to keep me quite busy lately. Stay tuned …
Sunday, May 8th, 2005
Thursday, May 5th, 2005
7 PM. Drink Specials. Be there! See my first post.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2005
Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
Rally today sponsored by Americans United to Protect Social Security. Click to see more photos.
DCist is sponsoring it’s first bar party next week to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room. With $3 Coronas all night, I am pretty excited. Here’s a short history, from the Wikipedia article:
The rise in Cinco de Mayo’s popularity in the United States can be attributed to the Chicano student movement of the late 1960s. Inspired by student-activists nationwide, members of the MEChA organization in California sought to find a day of celebration that highlighted their largely Mexican ancestry. “El Dieciséis de septiembre” (September 16) seemed like an obvious choice; however, this day proved too early in the school-year for college students to effectively organize rallies and celebrations. Thus Cinco de Mayo became the de facto alternative for these student assemblies. Over the years this holiday grew outside university circles and its activist roots, and was absorbed by mainstream culture in the Southwest United States. For many Mexican-American communities Cinco de Mayo is an important way to proudly honor Mexican heritage, overshadowing Mexico’s Independence Day in significance. Non-Mexican Americans also participate in the celebrations, much in the same manner that non-Irish Americans observe St. Patrick’s Day, with holiday-themed parties marked by the consumption of Mexican food, tequila and Mexican beer.
In addition to quaffing $5 rail margueritas and $3 domestic bottles, we’ll be discussing the future of the PRE, the impact of neoliberal economic policies on our southern neighbor, and evaluating the success of Mexico’s maquiladoras in producing sustainable economic development for the country.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2005
Arrrrghh. STUPID SHORT-SIGHTED FUCKING IDIOTS. Here’s a chance to finally, finally, get some actual smart growth up in here. Instead, we get the usual, not-smart growth, which is: “go live somewhere else.” And, since attitudes like this drive up property values even more, eventually people are commuting here from their homes in Kentucky.
And it’s all because one NIMBY homeowner, who happens to be in Congress, can single-handedly torpedo the whole thing.
“AU: where Saudi princes and spoiled rich UN brats form a melting pot of popped-collar proportions.”
– AU Sucks
Friday, April 22nd, 2005
Tuesday, April 19th, 2005
Join Members of the House and Senate
PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY
Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm
Upper Senate Park
Delaware and Constitution Avenues, NE
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Rain or Shine!
For more information visit: www.americansforsocialsecurity.com
Or call (202) 955-5705
“Rally to Protect Social Security and Stop Privatization”
The debate surrounding the future of Social Security is the most important policy debate facing our country. On Tuesday, April 26th, the Senate Finance Committee is holding hearings on Social Security. These hearings are taking place as President Bush winds down the Administration’s 60-day campaign to convince Americans to support his plan to privatize Social Security.
As reported in the Washington Post this weekend, President Bush and his allies in Congress are placing a tremendous amount of importance on these hearings as a sign of progress in its campaign to replace Social Security with private accounts. …
As such, Americans United to Protect Social Security has launched a Mobilization Against Privatization culminating in a National Day of Unity to Protect Social Security and Stop Privatization on April 26th to coincide with the first day of hearings. Americans United will be holding a large public rally on that day to voice our strong opposition to privatization.
Concerned citizens from all over the region and the nation will join members of Congress in expressing their desire to protect Social Security and to remove privatization from the legislative options for addressing Social Security’s long term funding needs. This rally is an opportunity for you to publicly remind the Administration that the American people oppose his plan, which would undermine Social Security and replace it with an expensive and risky privatization scheme that will end the guaranteed benefit which has been the foundation of financial security for seniors, survivors and the disabled for the better part of 70 years, and creative massive National debt.
Monday, April 18th, 2005
Friday, April 15th, 2005
Some of the DCist staff feature in the DCeiver’s short play, “Cockblocking the Bloc Party: A Play in Three Acts”
Monday, April 11th, 2005
Tuesday, April 5th, 2005
RALLY TO STOP THE PARTISAN POWER GRAB
* Join us on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:45 pm on the steps of the Supreme Court! *
Under pressure from ultra-conservative groups, the Senate Republican
leadership is trying to eliminate senators’ right to filibuster
controversial judicial nominations. Known as the “nuclear option,”
this radical change in Senate rules would dismantle our system of
checks and balances and overturn more than 200 years of Senate
tradition. Because the stakes could not be higher, we will rally on
the steps of the Supreme Court. Please plan to join us as we tell the
Senate: “Stop the Partisan Power Grab!”
— “Rally to Stop the Partisan Power Grab” —
WHEN: Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 12:45 pm
WHERE: Steps of the United States Supreme Court
One 1st Street N.E. (Corner of 1st St. NE and Maryland Ave. NE)
Washington, DC 20543
Monday, April 4th, 2005
The organization I work for is sponsoring this event. NOTE: Date changed
at Howard University
Friday, April 22
12 noon - 6 p.m.
PROTECT CHECKS & BALANCES – STAND UP FOR THE FILIBUSTER
Host of BET’s “Cousin Jeff Chronicles”
DR. LORENZO MORRIS
Chairman, Howard University Political Science Department
DR. MAYA RUCKEYMOORE
Vice President of Research and Programs, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
JATRICE MARTEL GAITER
President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
RALPH G. NEAS
President, People For the American Way Foundation
Talk for Your Rights, Talk for Your Freedom, Talk for Your Democracy
On Friday, April 22, Howard University will host a “Filibuster-a-Thon” on the yard from 12:00 to 6:00pm. Prominent campus and community leaders will join together to protest the threat of the “nuclear option”, the Republican attempt to get rid of the filibuster in the United States Senate and eliminate any power of the minority in Congress, by standing up on the historic Howard University campus and speaking for six straight hours.
This Filibuster-a-Thon was organized because we could lose our fight against a right-wing Supreme Court takeover before a vacancy and nomination occur – even as early as the next month. This threat comes in the form of the “nuclear option” proposed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and being pushed by the Religious Right, who would like President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees to be rubber stamped.
The Nuclear Option would attack the 200-year-old tradition of the Senate filibuster, the tool that empowers 41 or more senators to prevent a narrow majority from abusing its power – and one of the only ways to encourage genuine bipartisan cooperation and compromise on important issues.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: THE SUPREME COURT
If the filibuster is eliminated, Bush, Cheney and 50 senators could steamroll up to four new justices onto the Court – enough to create a right-wing majority. What stands between this and protecting the rights of the minority in the Senate by keeping the filibuster is 44 Democratic senators, the one Independent, and at least six courageous Republicans to prevent the nuclear option.
The threat to our generation and future generation’s freedoms is real. With a Supreme Court controlled by President Bush’s nominees, we could see a fundamental roll back of rights and freedoms we currently take for granted. A right-wing Supreme Court could restrict the Voting Rights Act and other important civil rights gains; threaten privacy and reproductive choice, environmental protections and equality for minority groups; and eliminate the remedies available to Americans victimized by abusive employers, corporations or government agencies.
Please join us in this historic event on April 22 at the center of Howard University. It’s your Senate, it’s your Supreme Court, it’s your voice. Let it be heard.
“It’s a democracy if we can keep it. And in order to keep it, you can’t stand still. You must move, and if you don’t move, they will run over you.”
– Thurgood Marshall, Former Supreme Court Justice and Howard University Law School Alum, November 18, 1978
Invited Speakers Include: Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), Councilman Kwame Brown (At-Large, District of Columbia), Councilman Adrien Fenty (4th Ward, District of Columbia), Kurt Schmoke, Dean Howard University Law School, Goody Marhall, Son of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and former Clinton White House Official, Mark Tushnet, Professor, Georgetown Law School and former Thurgood Marshall law clerk
Sunday, April 3rd, 2005
Step 1: Mail a letter
Robert C. Goodspeed
2216 39th Place NW
Washington, DC 20007
April 2, 2005
DC Taxicab Commission
2041 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue, SE, Suite 204
Washington, DC 20020-7024
CC: Mr. Hailu Tekleberhan
Sun Cab Association
1029 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
CC: Mr. Rateb H. Thahir
Dial Taxicab Company
1007 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
CC: Kathy Patterson
DC Councilmember, Ward 3
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 107
Washington, DC 20004
CC: Jim Graham
DC Councilmember, Ward 1
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Sir or Madam:
I’m writing to file a complaint for two taxicabs which violated Title 31 of the DC Municipal Regulations in the early morning of Saturday, April 2. As reflected above, I have sent copies of this letter to the members of the DC Council representing both the neighborhood where the incidents have occurred and also where I live as I believe the infractions described here are part of a larger pattern deserving serious government attention. I have also sent copies of the letter to the companies whose drivers committed the offenses so they may discipline or instruct their drivers as they desire.
I realize that according to your website you require the name of the operator and the vehicles license plate number to file a formal complaint, however due to the nature of the infractions – refuse to haul, and asking for destination – I was not able to obtain this information because I did not enter the cab. Because I have experienced taxis violating both of these laws a number of times before and because it would be difficult if not impossible to obtain this information for these particular infractions, I hope the DC Taxicab Commission is able to waive those requirements in this instance.
The first incident occurred at 3:15 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, April 2, 2005. That evening I had been attending a friend’s party on the 1800 block of 10th Street NW, and I was trying to hail a taxi cab to return to my home in Glover Park. A taxi with the words “SUN CAB 696” on the door was traveling east on U Street. I was standing on the southwest corner of the intersection of U Street NW and 14th Street NW. The taxi slowed upon seeing my raised arm, and pulled over, turning onto 14th Street going south. The driver rolled down the window and asked “Where are you going?” I answered “Glover Park. It’s near Georgetown.” The driver then said something which sounded like “I’m not going that direction.” I tried the rear door handle, which was locked. He then sped away while I was just inches from the vehicle.
The second incident occurred just five minutes later farther down U Street at approximately 3:20 a.m., also on April 2. I had walked in that direction in my quest to find a taxi home. In this case, I had crossed to the north side of U Street, hoping it would help me find a taxi because they would be already traveling in the direction I was heading. Upon seeing my raised arm a taxi which had been traveling east on U street made a sharp U turn and pulled up next to me, with his window down. The taxi door read “DIAL 40.” He asked “Where are you going?” I said “Glover Park. It’s near Georgetown.” As he then quickly said “No” and sped away.
According to the copy of Title 31 of the DC Municipal Code found on the DC Taxicab Commission website, both of these drivers violated two separate provisions of the law. Section 819.5 clearly states that “No taxicab operator shall refuse to transport a person while holding his or her taxicab for hire” and Section 819.9 states “Except in shared riding, the operator shall not ask the destination of the passenger until the passenger is in the taxicab. A dispatcher shall not ask the destination of a passenger.” According to Section 825.1, the fine for violating the first provision is $250 and the fine for the second is $25. I request the DC Taxicab Commission fine the operators of these cabs $275 each.
I have encountered the infractions described here many times before when trying to hail a cab from the U Street and Adams Morgan neighborhoods late at night, when many bar and club patrons are trying to hail taxicabs. I encourage the DC Taxicab Commission to investigate my claim and also instruct their inspectors to combat this practice, which I am afraid is widespread.
I am available to testify to the facts set forth in this letter in person at an administrative hearing.
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
“Great blog on what’s happening in D.C.” - Washington Whispers “Best of the Web”
“Not quite a year old, dcist impressed us with the volume of their posts. Their mad bloggers, baby. Who knew there was so much to say about this city? Okay, we knew…we just don’t get around to it.” - Life In the District
“DCist covers Williams’ State of the District speech better than the major papers.” - Babylon On the Potomac
“Can you guys start posting more frequently? There’s only been one post since the start of the week. I know it’s only Tuesday mid-day, but DCist.com is crushing you guys right now with their coverage. I need more to read.” - Anonymous comment on the WaPo’s “Going Out Gurus” Blog
“DCist is a great source for what’s happening around the Nation’s Capital.” - Mike Holden
“… some newcomers to the local media circuit … are stealing some of the limelight from Washington’s old standards in local news …” - The Northwest Current
“Much like its author, my blog has been experiencing technical difficulties on and off all morning—and I’m inclined to blame last night’s DCist happy hour.” - Grammer.police
“.. a must read for all of interested in what’s going on around our capital area.” - Washington D.C. Art News
“The editors at DCist (dcist.com) … collect tidbits of political and cultural arcana.” - Washingtonian Magazine
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005
The first teach-in on the Vietnam War was held in 1965 at the University of Michigan. Today, students and faculty have organized a 40th anniversary event on the “Evaluating the American Empire” with a variety of U-M professors including Ian Robinson, Charlie Bright, Ivette Perfecto, among others. They have set up a website here.
There is also a teach-in planned by United for Peace and Justice and the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, for George Washington University:
On the 40th Anniversary of
the first teach-in on the Vietnam War
NATIONAL TEACH-IN ON IRAQ: How Can We End This War?
Thursday, March 24, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
George Washington University
Jack Morton Auditorium, Media and Public Affairs Building
805 21st St., NW (Corner of 21st and H St. Map (PDF file)
Foggy Bottom/ GWU metro on Blue and Orange line
Free and open to the public!
Sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies with United for Peace and Justice,
Black Voices for Peace, Students Against the War in Iraq, Military Families Speak
Out, and Global Exchange
Opening Remarks on the legacy of the Vietnam teach-in movement by Professor Marcus Raskin, GWU and the Institute for Policy Studies. Panel Discussion with: Naomi Klein, award winning journalist and author of No Logo; Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; Anas Shallal, Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives; Celeste Zappala, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and member of Military Families Speak Out, whose son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was killed in Baghdad in 2004.
Two years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the tragedy of war continues and the U.S. has no plan for bringing the troops home. The death toll soars on all sides, especially among civilians. The cost of the war mounts daily as vital social programs are being cut at home. But many questions remain: Did the January 2005 elections improve the situation in Iraq? Is the US troop presence in Iraq helping stabilize the country, or is it at the root of Iraq’s deadly violence? And what
are the true costs of the war at home – its impact on military families and returning veterans, its $200+ billion price tag, and the legacy of occupation on the people of Iraq?
Join us in Washington, DC, to consider these issues to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Vietnam War teach-in in 1965. Simultaneous teach-ins will be held in San Francisco and Ann Arbor to launch a United for Peace and Justice education campaign on how to end the war in Iraq.
My employer, People For the American Way, is hiring interns to work in our Washington, D.C. office this summer. Most positions are unpaid and for credit, and positions are available in a variety of our departments - Field, Strategic Planning, Media Relations, and Public Policy. Positions are also available in our offices in Texas and New York City. Read more about the PFAW/PFAWF internship program on our website here.
I also have a friend that works for a leading political internet consulting firm. If you are knowledgeable about the web and interested in politics, this job is for you! It will require only some HTML but a passion for technology and the desire to learn.
If you are interested in either opportunity please email me at rob at goodspeedupdate.com
Metropolitan Meat, Seafood, and Poultry is a Maryland-based supplier of wholesale meat, seafood, and poultry. I’m not particularly interested in their business, but I see their trucks around downtown quite a bit. Who knew you could make food look so cute and friendly? These three look like they could be my friends, not dinner! I guess they’re not worried about converting the public to vegetarianism.
Monday, March 21st, 2005
The Center for American Progress is sponsoring the free D.C. premiere of the highly-rated documentary This Divided State, tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at the E Street Cinema downtown. The movie is about events that happened in fall of 2004 when a member of the student body invited Michael Moore to come speak at the Utah Valley State College.
This Divided State follows the controversy surrounding Utah Valley State College’s invitation to liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to speak on campus. Though UVSC is located in one of the most conservative counties in the United States, vehement opposition to Moore’s visit was much greater than anticipated. Equally surprising, however, was the overwhelming support for Moore, vocalized by students and community members previously considered “apathetic.” Debate between Moore supporters and Moore protestors raged openly in the media and public forums. Death threats, hate mail, bribes, and lawsuits were all candidly captured on film.
Tickets are free, go to CampusProgress’s website to RSVP online.
I’ve never been to this:
The Electric Maid acoustic and unplugged Open Mic (without the Mic) and jam will be held at the Electric Maid Community Living Room at 268 Carroll Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012 from 7 to 11 PM on Thursday, March 24, 2005. Event is open to all forms of expression including songs, poetry, comedy, rants, and free speech of all kinds. No advanced reservations are required for a slot and admission is free. Come hear other members of your local community express themselves.
Sunday, March 20th, 2005
Thursday, March 17th, 2005
The Post had an interesting profile of Maryland artist Frank Warren (whose website I wrote about on DCist in February) even mentioning that he displays his “Postsecret” postcards “on his PostSecret Web site. But they don’t include the URL. (postsecret.blogspot.com or postsecret.com) They’ve done this before, and it mystifies me - granted, you can simply type “Postsecret” into google and find the site very easily, but I’m not sure why they wouldn’t include the extra 14 characters and make it as easy as possible. Are they afraid their readers will discover this internet that is providing them all their secrets?
I will be playing on a team with the DCKickBall league this spring and summer. It costs $50 per person and there are 10 games. If you are interested in playing on my team send me an email at rob.goodspeed at gmail.com and I will tell you what team name to use in your registration materials. I wrote about the league for DCist yesterday.
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005
This week is Sunshine Week, which Peter Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian, described this way: “It is our fundamental responsibility as journalists to be agents for the public on these matters and to fight every day to keep access open and information flowing. It has never been more necessary than it is today.” For college journalists the Student Press Law Center has lots of great information for student journalists.
“This is not just an issue for the press. It’s an issue for the public,” said Andy Alexander, ASNE Freedom of Information chair, who is chief of the Cox Newspapers’ Washington bureau. “An alarming amount of public information is being kept secret from citizens and the problem is increasing by the month. Not only do citizens have a right to know, they have a need to know.
“Our goal is to raise public awareness of this horrible trend that is hurting democracy,” he said of the Sunshine Week project. “We hope that it sparks a public dialogue about the value of open government and the damage to citizens from excessive government secrecy.”
Monday, March 14th, 2005
MoveOn is sponsoring a major rally on the future of the federal judiciary:
Dear MoveOn member,
The battle over Bush’s far-right corporate judicial nominees is reaching a boiling point, but most Washington insiders—and many senators—see this as a fight that real Americans don’t care about. As Republican leaders prepare to overturn 200-year-old rules in the Senate to eradicate the need for bipartisan support and stack the Supreme Court, we’ve got to show Democratic and Republican senators that this is a grassroots issue.
That’s why we’re holding a big rally this Wednesday, March 16th, and that’s why we want you to come. Our keynote speaker will be Senator Robert Byrd, whose outspoken opposition to the Iraq war inspired many of us and who will be one of the main voices in this fight to protect the courts. The national press will be watching, and together we can show them that real people are ready to fight hard for fair judges—that we’re not going to let it slip through as an insider issue.
Here are the details:
Rally for Fair Judges featuring Senator Robert Byrd
Wednesday, March 16th from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm.
Grand Ballroom of the Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington DC.
(3 blocks from Union Station Metro)
Space is limited, and we expect seats to fill up fast, so please click here to reserve your seats:
We look forward to meeting you there!
Here’s some background on Bush’s plan to stack the courts and the “nuclear option.”
Last term, Senate Democrats approved 204 of Bush’s nominees, and rejected only the handful most consistently hostile to the rights of ordinary Americans. Even though Bush was able to push through more judges in one term than Clinton or the first Bush, he is determined to force through every last one.
To make that happen, Dick Cheney is threatening to use the “nuclear option,"—a parliamentary maneuver that would eliminate the right to filibuster judicial nominations. The filibuster is a Senate rule dating back 200 years that allows at least 41 senators from either party to extend debate and delay highly controversial votes. Though it is rarely invoked, the right to filibuster has always placed an important check on the ruling party, and nowhere is that more important than when considering life-time appointments for federal judges.
But Dick Cheney (in his role as President of the Senate) is planning to abuse his power and simply declare that the filibuster rule no longer applies. If Senate Republican leader Bill Frist can twist enough arms to get 50 votes to support the ruling, the filibuster will be history–starting with judicial nominations.
If the “nuclear option” succeeds, the Democrats will be completely silenced and Bush would be able to stack the federal courts, and then go on to fill the Supreme Court with as many as four new justices to lock in his hard-right, pro-corporate ideology for decades to come.
As we speak, Frist and Cheney are working overtime to get the 50 votes they need to pull off the “nuclear option"—but they don’t have them yet. The big question on their minds is whether they can sneak this through under the radar—or whether ordinary Americans will see what is at stake and hold them accountable.
If you can join us at the rally on Wednesday, the senators, their staff, and the national media will all hear the answer to that question: the American people will not stand by while our courts are stacked and our democracy dismantled. Together, we can win this fight before they ever get the chance to “go nuclear.”
Sunday, March 13th, 2005
Saturday, March 12th, 2005
Originally uploaded by DCist Rob.
I like this photo from last fall.
Friday, March 11th, 2005
“urban decay 5″
I got in touch with D.C. artist Sepideh Majd after I noticed her work in the Artomatic show last fall. She came to the DCist happy hour tonight, and said she was one of the artists who will be participating in a project to jazz up the Dupont Circle fire boxes. Congrats!
Thursday, February 17th, 2005
I think it’s a great sign that the D.C. bloging scene is finally developing its own little mini-scandals complete with cross-blog discussions. It’s also great that the Washington Post finally realized that blogs are a much more intuitive and useful online media format than what they have been doing until now on their website - mostly awkward “online chats” which few people I know read closely on a regular basis.
Here’s the scandal in a nutshell: the entertainment section just launched a blog they call “The Going Out Gurus.” Fellow DCist writer Kyle criticizes them for posting information about an indie rock concert in Baltimore (they had just subtly knocked DCist for writing about indie rock too much). However, then they did something interesting, and a big no-no in the blogging world: they deleted the post. In reponse to Kyle’s inquiry about why they’d delete the post, they sent this reply:
Hmmm, well we’re not really sure what you’re talking about. But, we took down the Neko Case post because the show was yesterday, so it didn’t make sense to leave it up. Also, I’d be hard pressed to describe Neko Case as indie rock. She’s alt-country - or straight ahead country - or rock.
The scandal continued - our writers Catherine noted it on her blog, and the DCeiver commented “So, they seem to have WEBLOG confused with MARQUEE or CALENDAR,” and today someone asked the entertainment staff about it on an online discussion:
Washington, D.C.: I like the new blog, but I don’t understand why you took down the Neko Case post. As one poster said, it’s not a blog if you take down a post. But keep up the good work.
Joe: OK, D.C., let’s straighten this out once and for all. We took down the Neko Case post because it was recommending a show that had already passed and so it wasn’t really serving much purpose staying up.
My bigger question though is, aren’t blogs supposed to be whatever their creator wants them to be? I’m pretty sure that there aren’t any international treaties regulating what is or isn’t a blog? I find it very funny that some bloggers, who are all about freedom of expression and ideas, should be so insistent on rules and regulations for blogs. People just need to relax a little bit.
It seems Joe is discovering there may be a bit more to blogging than just meets the eye. In fact, many print media people find blogs interesting but struggle to fundamentally understand what makes them tick, or respect them as a legitimate and maturing information medium. Experienced blog readers will know that it’s a major faux pas to delete any post. When something is found to be incorrect, you use the strikethrough tag to show it has been corrected, add an “update” at the bottom of the post, or at the most remove the content, but always leave a note. Since everything on the web can be so easily modified, this is an essential “rule” that has evolved as blog authors try to build and maintain trust with their readers. I remember reading someone else posting a week into writing a new blog that they had learned this lesson after being harshly criticized for doing the same thing - deleting a post without an explanation. I don’t want to dwell on this as I trust the Going Out Gurus have learnt their lesson, but this makes me think about what blogs are and why they have been successful.
As I see it, mediums of communication evolve out of the technology available - so the format of a newspaper wasn’t determined just by what newspaper editors decided was correct, but the format of daily publication (headlines, articles with bylines, photos, letters to the editor) evolved in close connection with advances in printing, distribution, and circulation. As I see it, print publications who view the web as just a place to post their articles are not adapting the format of their medium to the new capabilities of the internet. Sure enough, slowly print publications have begun to run online only features, post interactive graphics and features, and even allow readers to discuss things in forums. However few realize they are simply retrofitting an existing model, developed for print publications, and sticking on a few bells and whistles.
Blogs have been such a success because they take advantage of two critical aspects of the internet: instantaneity and interactivity. From their creation, blog content was posted instantly. The one-edition a day format for most newspapers and the weekly format for magazines is determined by the reality that the publications have to be printed and distributed. Online, both the creation and the consumption can happen continuously. This is why blogs work so well - they can be read as they are created, which can only happen online.
Similarly, even the most innovated newspaper websites are not very interactive: the ways the readers communicate with the publication is through the letters to the editor space, or sometimes through a reader ombudsman. However, this level of interactivity was derived from the print model - there’s only so much space for letters and they can only be printed once a day. Online, content can be posted immediately and space is basically free, and discussions between readers can occur quickly, not drawn out in a series of op-ed columns and letters. Blogs succeed exceptionally well here, as well: virtually all successful blogs have comments which allow real-time (or practically real-time) discussions between blog authors and their readers. Some popular blogs (most notably all the gawker blogs) don’t have comments, however I would argue they display a different type of interactivity. These blogs frequently have prominently displayed email address and AIM names for “tips” from readers, and frequently contain content contributed by readers. Although they may now allow commenting, by encouraging dialogue with their readers and using readers as a source of information means they are highly interactive, just in a different way.
If you are a newspaper writer who is a bit mystified by blogs, they might appear to be “whatever their creator wants them to be,” but that has never been totally true. In fact, some people have even begun discussions about formalizing ethics rules for blogs as has been done in offline journalism.
Tuesday, February 15th, 2005
I am hosting this meetup tomorrow … it should be fun!
What: Washington Weblogger February Meetup
When: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 6:30 PM
SoHo Tea and Coffee
2150 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Monday, February 7th, 2005
The Charles Fenwick Bridge is used by the Metro’s Yellow Line to cross the Potomac River.
Photo taken this weekend in Adams Morgan.
Photograph taken in Foggy Bottom.
Friday, February 4th, 2005
All in Woodley Park metro:
18th Street in Adams Morgan
Development in Southeast DC.
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005
Saturday, January 22nd, 2005
Wednesday, January 12th, 2005
T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n
U N I O N O F P R O G R E S S I V E A L U M N I
—————– ANNOUNCEMENT ——————
PLANNING TO PROTEST THE INAUGURATION? NEED
HOUSING IN DC? WE CAN HELP!
The D.C. chapter of the U-M Union of Progressive Alumni is offering protester housing with U-M alumni in the Washington D.C. area during the time surrounding the inauguration.
** To make a housing request send an email with your Name, Email, Cell Phone Number (if you have it), dates you hope to find housing, and any special considerations to project coordinator Hannah Arkin: HannahArkin (at) yahoo.com **
* FYI The Michigan Student Assembly is sponsoring transportation to D.C. leaving Ann Arbor on 6 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 19 returning 7 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21 for $25. For more information contact
MSA.BUSTRIP (at) UMICH.EDU.
* To read about some of the many events planned surrounding the inauguration, see www.counter-inaugural.org.
| The University of Michigan Union of Progressive Alumni is a global membership organization of alumni of the University of Michigan interested in progressive politics.
| To subscribe to our FREE Yahoo group send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Current and short-term students encouraged to join!
University of Michigan Union of Progressive Alumni
PO Box 7207
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
UPA.core (at) umich.edu
Friday, January 7th, 2005
RHYME AND REASON
a spoken word event
At the Young People For National Summit
Saturday, January 15, 2005
8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
FREE with RSVP
Columbian Square at the Marvin Center
The George Washington University
800 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
Join us at the 2005 Young People For Summit for a special event featuring some of the nation’s top slam poets, including noted poets Rich Nichols, Beau Sia, Steve Connell and Sekou (tha misfit) Andrews.
RICK NICHOLS is a community activist and the manager of the world-renowned hip hop group The Roots.
BEAU SIA is a nationally acclaimed poet who was featured in the movie Slam.
STEVE CONNELL is the 2002 Hollywood Grand Slam Poetry Champion, the 2003 L.A. Slam Poetry Champion and won the 2003 National Slam Poetry Contest with Team Los Angeles.
SEKOU ‘THA MISFIT’ ANDREWS, in addition to his critically acclaimed CD releases, is currently the National Poetry Slam Competition champion, winning the 2003 team championship with Team Los Angeles and the 2002 individual championship.
Please email poetryslam at pfaw.org by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14
Include your name and contact information. Seating is limited.
[[Young People For, a project of People For the American Way Foundation, is a long-term, youth-driven program that identifies and invests in campus activists and leaders and connects them to others in the progressive movement. The program will provide a network for emerging leaders and help them cultivate skills in message development, media and communications, community activism, fundraising, research, and leadership.]]
The National Mall.
Andy Goldsworthy is building something at the National Gallery.
Near the Smithsonian Castle.
Taken at Dupont Circle.
Wednesday, January 5th, 2005
The Michigan Republican Party has secured a block of rooms at the Westin Grand Hotel on M Street, though we are down to rooms with 1 king or queen bed (roll aways are available) . Reservation forms are available through MRP and must be returned ASAP if you would like to take advantage of the block - you are free to find your own lodging as well. Contact Melissa Knutsen at Melissa (at) migop.org or call 517-487-5413 for a reservation form.
The Michigan State Society Ball is a bi-partisan event held every four years. This year’s event is being co-chaired by Sandie Knollenberg and Debbie Dingell. Tickets are $150 per person. The ball will be held January 20 from 7:30-Midnight at the National Museum of American History (at 14th and Constitution, NW). It is important to note that this is not an official ball and the President is not likely to attend.
The Official Ball for Michigan will be the Freedom Ball at Union Station at 7:00 p.m. EST on January 20.
States included with Michigan: Alaska, Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas and Diplomatic Corps
The President is likely, but not guaranteed, to stop by this ball. For more information, please contact the Presidential Inaugural Committee Ticketing Hotline.
As always, more information can be found at http://www.migop.org/Inauguration/
Monday, January 3rd, 2005
“As inaugural planners organize a $40 million pageant for President Bush this month, Ashwini Hardikar is preparing for another kind of spectacle.
The University of Michigan junior is one of thousands coming to Bush’s second inauguration to show not their support for the president but their rage.
“A lot of us are going to the inauguration out of desperation,” said Hardikar, 20, who helped form a campus counter-inaugural committee to coordinate student trips to Washington. “We feel like we have to take desperate measures to feel like we’ve made a difference.”
The Jan. 20th inauguration – shaping up to be one of the most heavily secured and expensive in history – will be the scene of small and large demonstrations. Organizers from dozens of local and national groups are planning marches, rallies and acts of civil disobedience on Inauguration Day and the days before and after.
Activists say the demonstrations will be as large – if not larger – than the protests at Bush’s first inauguration in January 2001. They vow to create one of the biggest displays of opposition to the administration’s foreign and domestic policies since the mass demonstrations at the summer’s Republican National Convention in New York. … “
Thus begins a story about the planned protests in Washington D.C. for President Bush’s second inauguration to be held this January 20th:
Monday, December 27th, 2004
I liked this recent post from D.C. blog In Shaw about the importance (and usefullness) of age diversity in urban neighborhoods. The comments reminded me of Jane Jacob’s classic Death and Life of Great American Cities, where she describes what makes healthy urban neighborhoods. This from our friend at In Shaw:
One of the reasons why I like my block is the diversity. Seniors are important to the civic life of a community. While I’m working, far from home, they are an extra set of eyes on the block. If they are retired but still mobile they can go to city hall or other city offices with petitions and complaints about things effecting the neighborhood. Why can’t I go? Well I’d have to use my annual leave, my precious annual leave to do those errands. Also there are many seniors, like my Uncle Jimmy, who volunteer for activities and causes in the area where they live.
On the other end of the scale, young heathens, also known as children can be put to good use. I am a great believer in child labor. It’s not the best labor, but work is a good thing. I hope that Giant will sell some cheap snow shovels so I can get some good cheap child labor to make a path, not a good path, down the walk for $3-$5. I discovered the wonders of cheap child labor when cooking and discovered I didn’t have a certain ingredient and couldn’t leave the stove. There were some 10 year olds hanging out in front and I knew one was allowed to walk to the Giant. So for about $1 and some loose change I got a food runner.
Teenagers. So far they’ve been good for hanging out on street corners and making the neighborhood look less safe.
The rest of us, what are we good for? Home and garden improvement? Filler. We make good filler.
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004
Last weekend I attended the massive show of local artists Artomatic. At the show hundreds of artists’ work is displayed in a sprawling building which used to house the Capital Children’s Museum, and before that, a monastery. Lennox at D.C. Art News has been posting many top ten lists submitted by his friends are readers - a good way, I think, to approach an art show which is a bit overwhelming. Strolling through the exhibits, I took the time to jot down the names of a few of the artists, particularly if they displayed a website URL. While this isn’t necessarily a “top ten” list, it’s ten artists whose work I enjoyed:
Charlie Jones - Thai Traditions
Gregory Ferrand - Crossing the Border al ‘Otro Lado’
In one room, the abstract paintings of Charlie Jones caught my eye with their expressiveness and color. Gregory Ferrand paints scenes featuring oddly captivating figures which seem both familiar and disturbing at the same time, frequently carrying humorous titles like “The Dummy is Dead Poor Dummy.”
Still life by Carol Spils
Michele Banks - Valentine Variations
J. Steve Strawn - Red and Blue Shattered
Kevin T. Irvin - Coffee Cup
Photographer J. Steve Strawn had on exhibit a number of photos of wine glasses shattering and water splashing caught in exquisite detail with a high speed camera. In another area, Kevin T. Irvin’s art reflects influences from popular culture, graffiti art, and cartoons.
Dana Ellyn - Nuptials
Displayed in a hallway, many of Dana Ellyn’s artworks are inspired by events she reads about in the news each day, resulting in surreal landscapes illustrating not only the content but mood of the news.
“urban decay 1″ by Sepideh Majd
In another room hang paintings by Sepideh Majd, whose “urban decay” series captures some of the spirit of D.C.’s metrorail. She paints faceless, listless figures who are visually enmeshed in grey. Taking a nod from the ubiquitous cement, she expresses the alienation of the individual in the most urban of environments.
An explanatory text near Bridget Vath’s “phobic fashions” urges viewers to wear their fears. She displays, as if for sale, a bullet proof nightgown, “security blanket” shirt (soft with places for comforting photos), and a shirt that doubles as a life preserver.
Thomas Edwards - School of Fish Pain
Finally, Thomas Edwards was one of the few artists who attempted to directly tackle technology’s impact on human life. Describing his work as “Technological art that explores the interface between people and machines,” he had two works on display. His Sycophant Head uses motion sensors to follow the viewer, repeating complements, and his School of Fish Pain features robotic fish who periodically complain of their unnatural suffering.
More information about all of the artists on display is available through the Art-O-Matic artist catalogue. The 2004 Artomatic is on display until December 5.
Friday, November 19th, 2004
Yesterday I attended the 2004 Roundtable on Progressive Politics and Technology, a mini-conference of a variety of people, organizations, and companies to discuss how Democrats and progressives use technology. Overall it contained lots of interesting tidbits, but little discussion since each panel had too many participants and the questions were saved until the end when most people had left. Some of the people over at EchoDitto blogged the first part of the event.
In my opinion the most interesting parts wasn’t the consultants squabbling over whether (and how) to construct more massive databases, but the introductory presentation by Phil Noble of PoliticsOnline.com, who talked about some of the interesting developments occurring in other countries. He discussed the political changes taking place in countries with more advanced cell phone technologies (enabling more political uses of SMS, for example) and broadband. As an aside, as a journalist I am fascinated by South Korea’s Ohmynews, and I’d love to help set up a similar organization in the U.S.
I was also interested to learn that the event was organized to kick off something called The Progressive Project, a “four year commitment to moving the progressive agenda forward by supporting innovative uses of technology.” Their public website launches on January 20, 2004, and it seems the entire initiative is still very much a work in progress.
Thursday, November 18th, 2004
Interestingly, it seems there have been several scenes of bloggers in the D.C. area in the past that have flourished, holding meetups and creating vibrant blog communities, however all are relatively dormant at the present time - hence my efforts to rekindle some sociability in the Meetup.com group. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 15 at Buffalo Billiards. Since I’ve received one complaint about the day we’ll consider moving days of the week starting in 2005.
Monday, November 15th, 2004
Located at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and M Streets NW, this sculpture of poet William Wadsworth Longfellow is something of a D.C. mystery. There’s also a Longfellow Street, but it’s not located near the statue. This tourist website says the sculpture dates from 1909, and a quick google search reveals the National Archive has records from a “Longfellow Statue Commission, 1906-13.”
Longfellow, a native of Portland, Maine, (His family’s home is now a museum) became very famous for writing some rather boring Victorian poetry. Here’s the beginning of his famous poem “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”
THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,–
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o’er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion,
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy. ….
Sunday, November 7th, 2004
Farragut Square Park in early November
Rock Creek Park, early November
Washington, early November
Holy Rood Cemetery (See more info)
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
This Reaganesque vampire-like man was spotted on K Street in downtown Washington D.C., of all places. The stencil art was created on a page from the business section of the newspaper, and then pasted to a temporary construction barrier near a bunch of movie posters.
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004
Stencil featuring a pirate flag photographed in Washington D.C. (See another view of this design.)
Saturday, October 23rd, 2004
Taken kayaking today on the Potomoc River in Washington D.C.
Thursday, October 21st, 2004
I spotted these swan/snake-shaped squash at Eastern Market last weekend.
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
Both photographs taken this evening on 17th Street NW, Washington D.C.
Saturday, October 16th, 2004
Taken at Eastern Market.
Sunday, October 3rd, 2004
I took this photo near Dupont Circle during a downpour on Oct. 2.
Pictured is the outdoor seating area of Buffalo Billiard’s.
I spotted this stencil near 14th and U St. NW.
Between 1863 and 1900, up to 1,100 freed slaves and descendents of freed slaves lived in a community in Arlington established by the U.S. federal government at the close of the U.S. Civil War. The community existed on land now occupied by Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Navy Annex building, and was recently profiled by local newspaper The Connection.
When the village was razed, many residents moved onto land provided by sympathetic local famers forming the origins of some Arlington neighborhoods, including Halls Hills and Nauck. Here’s some more history, from the Connection article:
Other notable residents of the village include Jesse Pollard, the first black judge in Arlington’s history. Sojourner Truth, who worked to smuggle slaves out of the south on the Underground Railroad, also lived in the village for one year in 1864, serving as a teacher and helping to find jobs for villagers. According to Talmadge Williams, president of Arlington’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), many laborers in Freedman’s Village worked on the construction of the capitol building. In 1866, the Army recruited the 107th regiment of U.S. Color Troops from the village. No one has ever undertaken an organized excavation of the Freedman’s Village site but Williams said that when construction crews were laying a foundation for the nearby Sheraton Hotel, part of the village cemetery was uncovered.
Researching the village is one of the projects of the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, Virginia.
Thursday, September 30th, 2004
Photo of a fountain in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C. See more on the park’s sculptures here.
Monday, September 27th, 2004
Photos taken at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. summer 2003.
Saturday, September 25th, 2004
The Cogswell Temperance Fountain, located in Indiana Plaza at the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 7th St. NW in Washington D.C., was constructed in 1880. It is decorated with a water crane.
Friday, August 20th, 2004
Gothamist.com is a popular news blog in New York City that averages over 30,000 unique visitors each day - frequently over 150,000 each week. That site has recently expanded to Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Starting Monday, I’ll be editing with my friend Mike Grass their Washington D.C. site DCist.com, which will enter a public beta phase that day. The official launch is planned for early September. If you’d like a sneak preview before Monday, drop me an email. (rob.goodspeed (at) gmail.com)
Friday, May 21st, 2004
Here’s my first post on the matter. Some recent press:
> New York Daily News: “Washingtonienne week”
> The Inquirer (UK): “Washington Senate sex blogger silenced”
> AZ Central.com: “Senator undecided on firing aide over sex blog”
> Gannett: “DeWine staff member’s alleged sex journaling practice exposed”
And this op-ed, which sensibly states:
” … Tell it how you want, but people have illicit sex. There is surely no exception among the satin marble halls and penetratingly pointed monuments of Washington (despite what the conservative majority may have you believe). Clinton’s trial for lying about sex to his enemies was a revelation, not because of the oval office’s penchant for pretty things, but because his impeachment exposed a Washington that conservatives (and many liberals) hypnotically pretend they are not a part of. The many conservatives who prodded Clinton for more information about his sex life, like the witch thrusting her finger into Hansel’s rib to feel the girth of his meat, were exposed as adulterers themselves. …”
> Portland State University Vanguard: “Word up: blogged sex heats D.C.”
The latest, from the AP, posted on the LA Times:
“Assistant of Ore. Sen. DeWine Is Fired
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON An entry-level staff assistant to Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, was fired Friday after an Internet journal of her sexual exploits was made public this week.
The woman, who used the pseudonym “Washingtonienne,” claimed in her Internet “blog,” a public Web page, that she was paid for having sex with a married man she identified as the chief of staff at a federal agency.
“Most of my living expenses are thankfully subsidized by a few generous older gentlemen,” the woman wrote. “I’m sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: How can anybody live on $25K/year?”
The Web log has since been taken down. The woman had worked in DeWine’s mail room since the end of February. DeWine’s office declined to disclose her name.
“After investigating these allegations, our office has determined that there was an unacceptable use of Senate computers to post unsuitable and offensive material to an Internet Web log,” the senator’s office said in a statement.”
Wednesday, May 19th, 2004
This much is clear: a salacious weblog (Called “Washingtonienne"), ostensibly authored by a low-paid, sexually active staffer for a republican United States Senator has been taken off the web. Whether the author is telling the truth and whether or not they have been fired seems uncertain. The gossipy DC blog Wonkette continues to report on the story, which, she promises, “is definitely going to appear in the “legitimate” media (written by “real reporters") soon.”
> Also, the “Springfield News Sun” has posted something from the Cox news service: “Scandalous blog linked to DeWine office”