Saturday, December 13


WTOP - Estimating how big the Inauguration Day crowds will be in D.C. is a huge challenge, and so is guessing the need for port-o-potties. Almost 150 will be set up outside Metro stations, but the total number to be placed downtown has yet to be determined. WTOP asked Bob Barton with United Site Services, the largest rent-a-john company in the United States, how many he thinks the city will need. "We've certainly heard estimates anywhere from two to three thousand toilets", Barton says. But the only problem isn't just how many, but where. "1,500 portable toilets, if you put them side by side, is a line a mile and a half long, " he says. Barton's company has already received an order for more than 500 toilets from the architect of the Capitol. And for some of the VIP events, Barton says they'll bring in luxury restroom trailers.

WMAL - The Secret Service is giving out more information about what to expect on the National Mall and along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, January 20th. Federal officials today urged people not to arrive on the National Mall until at least 4 a.m. and added the parade route will not be open until 7 a.m. Those heading to the Mall can bring chairs, coolers, strollers, backpacks and food, but cannot bring alcohol, glass containers, tents or firearms. There will also be no camping out either on the mall or along the parade route. No strollers, coolers or chairs will be allowed along the parade route. The Secret Service does not expect four-million people for the event as some have predicted. As far as Metro goes, the transit agency says it can handle up to 960-thousand people on Inauguration Day, but expect what they call "crush" load conditions. They advise people to walk when possible.

Thorns to Mother Jones for adding to the widespread misinformation about DC statehood. Said reporter Jonathan Stein, the statehood movement "has never generated the nationwide support needed to pass a constitutional amendment." No constitutional amendment is needed for statehood. Just a majority of the Congress and the president's signature.

Washington Post - The District's 2008 homicide total is on pace to equal last year's while other jurisdictions are experiencing fewer slayings, suggesting that city leaders are struggling to maintain significant declines in the homicide rate in recent years. "It's perplexing why the number of homicides is not going down in the District when it is going down elsewhere," said D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary. . . Metropolitan Police Department statistics show that 175 homicides were reported in the District as of Tuesday morning, equal to the number on the same date last year. This is the second year of police Chief Cathy L. Lanier's tenure, and the number is approaching last year's total of 181 homicides during all of 2007. By comparison, police officials said, Baltimore's homicide rate has dropped from 270 last year to 221 to date, and Richmond's homicides stood at 33 compared with 50 in 2007. In Philadelphia - where former D.C. police Chief Charles H. Ramsey took the helm of the police department in January - homicides have dropped from 375 to 313 through Tuesday morning. In Prince George's County, 125 homicides have been reported to date compared with 133 at the same time last year.

DC Examiner
- District fire academy recruits will spend part of their training time serving drinks and passing out cake at a council member's ward parties rather than learning how to save lives and fight fires. D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin has assigned the 32-member recruiting class and its instructors to serve as waiters and hosts at a Holiday Bash on hosted by D.C. Councilman Jim Graham. This comes four months after Rubin ordered the recruits to help with Graham's 63rd birthday at the Columbia Heights Community Center. . . .Rubin said the parties are community events. Working at them helps introduces the rookies to the public and reinforces the lesson that the firefighter's job is about community service, Rubin said. The recruits help out by serving lunch, pouring soft drinks and helping invalids out of vehicles, Rubin said. . . Kenny Lyons, head of the District's paramedics union, said using District employees to further aid a political figure, such as a D.C. Council member, is a "woeful violation" of the Hatch Act. The federal law prohibits D.C. government employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty or in uniform. "He's using the recruits to write a political check," Lyons said. "This totally blows my mind. It's either ignorance or arrogance or both, but it's no excuse for violation of the law."


At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham is proving a liar by saying he didn't ask for them but that Chief Rubin offered the young firemen to be waiters! Graham sent e-mails ASKING for the kids to come serve and Chief Rubin was honored to oblige. What is ihis motive? Are they buddies on and off the job?


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