Archive for April, 2009

DC Reportedly Ending Auto Safety Inspections

Posted in Automobiles, City Services on April 29, 2009 by Kent

dc-dmvBruce Johnson of 9NEWS NOW reported yesterday that they had learned that mandatory auto safety inspections will end next fiscal year for DC vehicle owners. According to their report:

Sources close to the DC Council confirm that when the fiscal budget for next year is marked up this week, legislators will have eliminated the $400,000 needed to run the Safety Inspection program.

Mayor Adrian Fenty had proposed ending the safety inspections. Maryland and many other states do not require them. Virginia requires annual safety inspections.

Federal law requires that all vehicles be given emissions inspections every two years.

Truth be told, I’m not convinced that safety inspections really do a lot of good and I really hate the hassle of not passing because I have a taillight that’s out. So in this regard, I’m all for it. I also have faith that any vehicle that is truly a junker probably won’t pass emissions anyway.

All that said, I think there are always going to be vehicles on the road that aren’t safe. Perhaps by freeing up city resources from focusing on this, the roads can be made safer in other ways.

Is the Amish Look In Now?

Posted in Fashion on April 29, 2009 by Kent

goateeI’ve started to notice a number of men donning a goatee on the lower chin only these days. I don’t know if its just a coincidence or if its actually the beginning of a trend.

If it is the start of the next big thing, I might just get used to it by the time the cycle is over.

Vehicular Tree Slaughter in Grant Circle

Posted in Automobiles, Grant Circle, Petworth, Wrecks, Collisions, & Accidents on April 29, 2009 by Kent

This weekend, I came across a crime scene in Grant Circle — a vehicular tree slaughter.  One of the young trees was cut down in its prime by yet another speeding driver who drove through, instead of around, Grant Circle.Where are reflectors, rumble strips, speed humps, or at least working park lights — to slow drivers down and alert them that Grant Circle is ahead?  Do we really need to graduate from vehicular tree slaughter to vehicular manslaughter before we get slowing on New Hampshire Avenue?  (Writen by and courtesy of Wayan Vota: Belly Button Window http://www.bbwindow.com)

Killdeer in Residence at Old Soldiers’ Home

Posted in Nature & Wildlife, Park View, Petworth on April 29, 2009 by Kent

killdeerEven though I don’t have the time I used to to watch birds or pay close attention to which new birds might be in the neighborhood, I have noticed that we have a Killdeer in the area this year, I think living on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home. I don’t recall hearing one in the past couple of years, so I’m really enjoying listening to its distinctive call. You can hear its song yourself by going here>>

Killdeer tend to prefer the open ground with low vegetation  including lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. They are one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds.

One thing that I especially like about the bird is that when it feels its hatchlings are in danger, it will feign a broken wing and slowly hop away, leading a predator away from the nest. When the danger is far enough away from the nest, the wing magically heals, and the bird flys away.

Parking Meter Increase Angers Drivers

Posted in City Services on April 29, 2009 by Kent

single-space-parking-metersWhile I’m not surprised, its beyond my comprehension why people are upset with the parking meter increases and choose to voice that anger now that the rates have taken effect. This wasn’t a surprise. DDOT announced this back on February 26. There was plenty of time to register disagreement with the City Council before now.

One thing I will agree with, however, is that the problem may not necessarily be with the cost to park, but with the City’s inability to handle multiple methods of payment. The District expects to have 500 mew multi-space coins and credit card-operated meters in place by the end of June, but that isn’t going to be easy. Currently, there are more than 15,000 old style meters in the city, so tempers are likely to flare as pockets are emptied of loose change.

Pastors Protest Council’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Posted in D.C. Government, Downtown, Lifestyle, Protests & Marches on April 29, 2009 by Kent

marriage-rallyHere’s a surprise <please note sarcasm>, African-American pastors rallied at Freedom Plaza yesterday to protest the D.C. Council’s decision earlier this month to give preliminary approval to legislation that would recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere in the country. Approximately 150 people turned out to denounce support for same-sex marriage in the District.

Truth be told, there is a bit of surprise here, and that is that this protest hasn’t come sooner. I’ve never understood how people don’t see the civil rights aspects of this issue. Its repugnant to insist that others agree with your own moral point of view. While I think its noble to believe in something, to attempt to dislodge or discount the beliefs of others is invasive and intrusive. Let it go, already.

Perhaps the final insult, and sinking to a new personal low, Council member Marion Barry, who was a co-sponsor of the council bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, told the rally that he now opposes the bill. Give me a brake.

The Post has video of the events that you can watch here>>

This Date in History

Posted in April on April 29, 2009 by Kent

April 29, 1906: The Post reported that the new addition to the furniture establishment of W.B. Moses & Sons at Eleventh and F streets northwest marked an important improvement in this part of the business section. It was practically a new building, and estimated to cost $100,000.w b moses-sons

The Manhattan Laundry

Posted in Art Deco, Columbia Heights, Commercial, Shaw on April 28, 2009 by Kent

Manhattan LaundryAn exception for Washington, the Manhattan Laundry is a rare example of art moderne architecture in the city. Located at 1326 Florida Avenue, NW, the Manhattan Laundry was designed by architect Bedford Brown, IV, in 1935.

manhattan-windowIts facade displays certain motifs characteristic of contemporary commercial buildings, including elegant bandings of enameled metal that mimic traditional architectural devices as a layered architrave at the roof level, pilasters, and rustication. The facade was further enriched by the use of colored green and yellow enameled metal panels of water lilies above the second floor windows and a Greek Key design around the main entrance.

Clothes were laundered and dry cleaned on the first and second floors, the third floor was used by the clerical staff, who worked in rooms divided by walls of small, translucent glass blocks.

The building was abandoned by the company in 1973 and was badly vandalized soon afterward. It was further damaged by fire in 1978 and scheduled for demolition in 1979.meridian-doorway  Fortunately, it was saved and restored in 1987 and is now the Meridian Public Charter School.manhattan-laundry-interior1

Ford Maverick

Posted in Capitol Hill, Vintage Vehicles on April 28, 2009 by Kent

This appears to be an early 1970s Ford Maverick, but I didn’t remember to look at the registration for the exact year.Ford Maverick

11th Street Bridge Moving Forward

Posted in Anacostia, Bridges, Capitol Hill, Street Cars on April 28, 2009 by Kent

11th-street-bridges1As was reported yesterday, the two companies that the City has chosen to replace the current 11th Street bridges are scheduled to begin construction in August of this year. What I’m particularly excited about is that the new bridges are designed to carry light rail, and that means the projected Anacostia streetcar project across the river will be able to connect with the other planned lines.

The city is maintaining a website that includes more information about the bridges, including past documents pertaining to the bridge. Because it lags in its updating, I’m including the meat of the press release below. Continue reading

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