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December 20, 2014

Posts in "Around Washington"

December 19, 2014

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells Joins Bowser Administration

veterans013 111114 440x292 Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells Joins Bowser Administration

Wells, seated right, will head the District’s environmental agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser announced Friday that outgoing Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells will join her administration as the director of the District Department of the Environment.

“Making D.C. a cleaner, more environmentally friendly city isn’t just a health issue — it’s an economic issue,” Wells said in a statement. ”I look forward to working with the Mayor-elect to create greater economic opportunities for more Washingtonians while also preserving our city’s environment for generations to come.” Full story

December 18, 2014

Secret Service: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Fence

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Norton toured the White House perimeter to examine recent security changes. (Courtesy of Norton’s office)

Along with recommendations for U.S. Secret Service administration and personnel, a report released Thursday recommended the fence surrounding the White House be replaced as soon as possible.

“Importantly, designers of the new fence must balance security concerns with the long and storied tradition of the White House being the ‘People’s House,’” wrote the report’s authors. “These historical, symbolic, and aesthetic factors deserve consideration, but ultimately they should not be permitted to delay or prevent a fence that could save lives.” Full story

Washington Monument Closed for Elevator Glitch

monument001 030813 440x292 Washington Monument Closed for Elevator Glitch

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Washington Monument was closed to tourists Thursday, as technicians searched for the source of an electrical issue in the elevator. The closure notice was an unwelcome reminder of elevator malfunctions this spring, which raised questions about the monument’s renovation.

“This is the first time we’ve had an issue since those several days of issues following the May reopening,” National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said in a phone interview. Litterst explained that a circuit breaker tripped Wednesday, prompting the Thursday closure to search for the source of the issue. The monument is expected to reopen Friday. Full story

Capitol Hill Commissioner Concerned About 2024 D.C. Olympics Bid

runners001 100412 440x292 Capitol Hill Commissioner Concerned About 2024 D.C. Olympics Bid

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser and representatives from Washington 2024 made their pitch for D.C. to host the 2024 Summer Olympics Tuesday, but one Capitol Hill neighborhood representative is raising concerns about the bid.

“D.C. residents should have a say in this because certainly we’re going to be paying for it. There’s no question about it,” Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Flahaven said in a Wednesday phone interview. Flahaven’s district includes the southeast Capitol Hill neighborhood, which could be affected by the Olympic plan. Full story

December 16, 2014

Marijuana Legalization in D.C.: What Happened and What Happens Next

harris 013 080613 440x292 Marijuana Legalization in D.C.: What Happened and What Happens Next

Harris, who sponsored the rider, is developing a response if D.C. moves forward with Initiative 71. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia officials and activists are grappling with a new thorn in their sides: an amendment attached to a year-end spending package targeting marijuana legalization in the District.

The “cromnibus” was passed by Congress with last-minute and late-night Senate votes over the weekend, and is en route to the president, where it will be signed into law. Though the bill contains riders in the bill aimed at a variety of D.C. social policies now considered routine, an amendment aimed at the District’s marijuana policy has fired up D.C. activists. Full story

December 11, 2014

Emanuel Cleaver Confronted by Pot Protesters (Video)

 Emanuel Cleaver Confronted by Pot Protesters (Video)

Protesters shut down Maryland Avenue Northeast. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)


The pro-pot group protesting Congress’ intervention into local marijuana policy did not cause an uproar on Capitol grounds Wednesday night, but they did clash with a congressman.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, riding with his chief of staff in a black sedan, encountered a few of the most antagonistic individuals on Maryland Avenue Northeast. About two dozen demonstrators, mostly associated with the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, were blocking traffic following a brief protest at the Heritage Foundation’s nearby headquarters.

Full story

December 9, 2014

Washington 2024 Olympic Campaign Features Capitol Hill Cast

The team behind Washington’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is trying to spin D.C.’s “this town” reputation to its advantage with a new video featuring some of Capitol Hill’s most recognizable personalities.

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., both make cameos in the bipartisan promotional campaign that went live Tuesday. Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine were also cast members to boost the region’s bid, as was Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., though Maryland’s delegation is notably absent.

“We have our spats and quarrels,” Warner acknowledged in the 2-minute clip.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis then told the camera: “But we find unity when it really matters.”

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Washington Wizards guard John Wall are among the other locals in the video reclaiming the “this town” moniker.

The 2024 bid created is also forming a bond between two of the fiercest partisans in the 2012 presidential campaign. Jim Messina, who managed President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and Mitt Romney veteran Matt Rhoades are both working to win Washington the world’s most prestigious sporting event.


Summer Olympics 2024: D.C. Throws Its Hat in the Ring

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Nan Natcher Settles Into Post-Hill Life

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Natcher takes one last look around the Cannon Rotunda before leaving the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This is what Nan Natcher knew about the great-great-uncle who worked for the same place she was going: He didn’t miss a vote for more than 40 years. No pressure, then, for the great-great-niece of the late Rep. William H. Natcher, D-Ky., who voted 18,401 straight times in a distinguished career representing Kentucky’s 2nd District.

Now Nan Natcher, who worked for one of her uncle’s successors, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., for more than four years, has left the Hill to embark on a private sector career in Nashville, where she is brand print manager for North Star Destination Strategies, which works on community branding, economic development and tourism, among other issues. Full story

December 8, 2014

Activists Use Capitol as Backdrop to Protest Police-Involved Deaths

 Activists Use Capitol as Backdrop to Protest Police Involved Deaths

Protesters rallied outside the Capitol at 8 a.m. Monday morning. (Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Activists protesting police-involved deaths in Ferguson, Mo., New York and elsewhere rallied Monday morning on Capitol Hill.

“As we celebrate a black man in the White House, we continue to mourn the lives of black and latino men, black women and black children who are slain by police and then systematically denied justice,” said Zoe Spencer, a D.C. resident who sat on the East Front, clutching a small, white bullhorn. Full story

December 2, 2014

Oh Ya! Capitol Christmas Tree Gets Lit

lighting006 120214 440x292 Oh Ya! Capitol Christmas Tree Gets Lit

The Capitol Christmas Tree is up and running. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Golden yellow hoodies dotted the West Lawn of the Capitol Tuesday, and a dark tree stood behind the children and adults wearing them. In the distance one could make out the white blur of the Washington monument through the cold mist that hung in the air.

After speeches from Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., and Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., among others, a switch was flipped and the 88-foot tall Minnesota white spruce glittered for the first time as the Capitol Christmas Tree. Full story

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