Thursday, November 29

DC THURSDAY

DC SHORTS

THE DOWNTOWN BID is bragging about downtown bringing in 60,000 new jobs between 1996 and 2005. One problem: the overwhelming percentage of those jobs went to non-taxpaying suburbanites. According to the city's own employment figures, DC resident jobs citywide only increased about 15,000 in that period. In fact, the local employment in 2005 was about the same as in 1994 and 46,000 less than in 1984, when the so-called urban renaissance was getting underway. The BID also says that 95% of the new jobs were downtown which suggests that the bulk of the city just festered for a decade from an employment standpoint.

JACK MCKAY, DC WATCH - Recently I wrote that "live music and dancing are banned in Mount Pleasant" by voluntary agreements. Laurie Collins, the author of these restrictions, denies this: "There is no ban on live music in Mount Pleasant restaurants." Indeed, responding to intense neighborhood pressure to relax its death grip on entertainment in Mount Pleasant, Laurie's Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Association now offers a minuscule bit of live music: from noon until 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, and "on special occasions no more than twelve times per year between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m." Two hours once a month is the MPNA quota for live music in the evening. Furthermore, any music "shall be performed at a volume level that allows patrons to talk at a conversational level," and may be offered by "no more than four musicians." Wait, there's more: "Prior to each special occasion, Licensee shall notify MPNA in writing . . . advising the nature of the occasion, the entertainment to be provided, and date of the event." That's to alert their vigilante squads, no doubt. The total ban on dancing remains: the restaurateur "shall not provide an atmosphere for dancing, or a dance floor for dancing, or permit the moving of tables and chairs for the purpose of dancing." Only one Mount Pleasant restaurateur has agreed to this pittance allowance of live music, and he's very unhappy that he did so. In two hours, he cannot cover the costs of hiring even a small musical group, so the ban remains, in practice.

FORMER GWU PRESIDENT Stephen Trachtenberg received over $700,000 in salary and benefits in his last year on the job. Trachtenberg says the decision was "pretty much data driven. It's not whimsical, it's not emotional. They look at the numbers and they come to a conclusion.". . . Apparently they didn't think he was quite as good as forced - to - resign AU president Benjamin Ladner who got $4 million his last year including a severance package of $950,000, which is pretty good when you consider that he was accused of misusing university funds. Looking on the bright side, Trachtenberg made more than the presidents of Brown or Princeton.

ERIK WEMPLE, CITY PAPER -
Via the Dupont Current, perhaps the city's most web-unfriendly paper, comes a nice tidbit on the popular P Street Whole Foods Market. For the past eight months, reports the community paper, this grocery has sold brewski singles "without major conflict." And so the Logan Circle advisory neighborhood commission has voted to allow this often-scandalous practice to continue. Even though the Barrel House, right around the corner, isn't allow to do the same thing - this 14th Street institution can't sell singles of beer or ale up to 40 ounces, says the Current.

[Local bans on singles from liquor stores are highly discriminatory since better off residents are allowed to singles, although they don't call them that, in restaurants and bars.]

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