Washington Metro News

Washington Metro News

Baseball is Back!

All politics is local, as the old saying goes. So let’s take a look at the biggest local political news this week — and apply it to our larger election at stake.

Two weeks ago I penned a column about the return of baseball to Washington — the “real” return, now that Nationals Park opened on Sunday night. The new ballpark was a triumph by all accounts. Traffic less than feared, the stadium a hit with fans, Metrorail flowing well and, best of all, the Nationals won.

Lest anyone forget, it was a bold political stroke that made it possible — a smart move by former D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who had the foresight to realize that Washington thirsted for baseball, longed for it. And the new ballpark served as the capstone for his vision.

A Kid-Centric System

In my last blog about D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, I said she was tough. But Rhee’s character is too complex to fit a one-word label. Tough, yes, but without being abrasive, and while displaying confidence without hubris. That’s a pretty amazing combination. Tough without being abrasive: confident without hubris. Remember it, sports fans.

When she spoke at my Institute for Education (IFE) INFO Public Policy Roundtable group last week, Rhee enlightened us about how she’s reinventing D.C. schools, starting from square one.

Chancellor Michelle Rhee, Fearless in Her Challenge

Michelle Rhee is tough. That’s a good thing, because the mountain she’s climbing is steep and rugged. And the mountain has been entrenched, as mountains are, a very long time. Michelle’s mountains are a school system bureaucracy that has no interest in its product: the children.

For anyone who’s been sleeping through the past eight months, Rhee is the District’s new education chancellor — recruited by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty to reform the city’s ailing school system that’s been broken and an embarrassment to our capital city.

Mourning Sean Taylor

Armstrong Williams remembers Sean Taylor and asks when we will finally show outrage at the number ofyoung black men senselessly killed.


Is District Statehood One Step Closer?

As early as next week, the United States Senate could cast a procedural vote that will bring the chamber one step closer to determining whether the District of Columbia should become America’s 51st state. If Republicans are smart on this, they should vote to support the bill and take the political wind out of the sails of opponents. 

Ill Suited

Tort reform. No, it is not about the pastry business. For years various interest groups have complained that the unscrupulous have abused the right to sue. They've tangled business, medicine, all of us, in a fear of litigation. Far too many decisions are based less on merit than on protecting one's legal butt.

And now, they have another poster child ... that D.C. lawyer and his pants suit. He's demanding $50 million-plus from a dry cleaner who allegedly gave him the wrong trousers. Even when he loses, his small-business defendants will have also lost ... their attorney fees will just about wipe them out.

Fire Destroys Heart of Capitol Hill

Enough politics. It doesn’t matter whether you’re liberal or conservative — if you work and/or live on the Hill, you know and love the Eastern Market.

It’s much more than a Metro stop. It’s a gathering place. It’s the biggest and most lively market in the Washington area. Its Market Lunch serves the best pancakes at breakfast, and the best crab cake sandwich for lunch — both well worth waiting in line for. On weekends, it’s the home of the District’s best farmers’ market, craft fair, and flea market.

But, most of all, it’s a unique neighborhood experience. Unlike most Americans, if you live on the Hill, you don’t shop at the supermarket and load up on two weeks’ worth of groceries at a time. You shop fresh every day — at Mel’s poultry stand, Jack’s cheese shop, the Calamaris family’s produce market, Jorge’s deli, or Angie’s fresh flowers. You know every vendor, and they know you. There’s no other place like it.