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The Brian Lehrer Show

Monday Morning Politics: Budget Battles

Monday, March 18, 2013

Obama and Boehner continue to square off over long-term deficits, while Congress tries to come up with a budget. Nancy Cook, budget and tax correspondent for the National Journal, discusses Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Paul Ryan's dueling plans. Plus: After CPAC, the RNC has released a "Growth and Opportunity Plan" (read it below) that includes a call for immigration reform, a shorter primary season, and a turn to "data-driven" campaigning. Will it jumpstart a GOP turnaround?

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Transportation Nation

DC Metro Wants Smarter Fare Card, Including FarePhones

Saturday, March 16, 2013

(Photo CC by Flickr user Mr T in DC)

(Washington, D.C. -- WAMU) Metro is working on a system that would ease the process of paying for bus or train fare, turning it into a tap of a smart phone or credit card at a turnstile. While such a system would no doubt simplify the transit process for many, it is still years away.

Boarding a Metro bus or train now is a bit like visiting a foreign country, at least in one respect: you have to convert your dollars into Metro currency, either by using a SmarTrip card or a paper fare card. Metro wants to bring its payment system into the 21st century, even if some long-time riders feel the SmarTrip is just fine.

"I think [SmarTrip] was one of the best ideas Metro has ever put into existence since I've been riding the bus, and I've been riding the bus most of my life," says Greg Olden in Columbia Heights.

SmarTrip may have been a great idea at one time, but it costs the transit authority millions annually to maintain. That is why Metro is now accepting bids from tech companies to develop a new system that would let you tap your credit card or mobile phone to pay your fare.

"The way transportation agencies are looking at this market now is, 'Why don't we allow people to use the existing payment options that they have in their pockets, like the credit cards and debit cards they currently carry to make other purchases, and use those to access the transit system?'" says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of Smart Card Alliance, which advocates modern payment technologies in a variety of industries. "That way, we don't have to inconvenience consumers, nor do we have to maintain the system that converts that money into transit fare dollars."

Vanderhoof says that while a new system would require installing new fare gates and computers, eliminating the cost and services of the SmarTrip system would save WMATA millions every year.

Metro declined to comment on this story because the transit authority is in the final stages of a competitive bidding process to design a new payment system.

Metro hoped to award a contract early last year, but, as The Washington Examiner reported, the process has been delayed a year.

Once that is finally taken care of, it will likely take about three years to phase in a new payment system.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Congress and the Budget

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elizabeth Williamson, Wall Street Journal reporter based in Washington, reviews political news in D.C.— from the ongoing effects of the sequester cuts to the budget proposals from Paul Ryan.

 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Monday Morning Politics: The Post-Sequester World

Monday, March 04, 2013

A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, talks about the latest sequester news and other national politics.

Comments [38]

Transportation Nation

DC Bike Share Visualizer Shows How Neighborhoods Use CaBi Differently

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Washington, D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare released its latest batch of customer trip data -- and the fine folks at Mobility Lab turned it into an interactive map. What's interesting about this visualizer is that it sorts trips by neighborhood cluster.

Instead of seeing all the trips everywhere -- which is beautiful --  you can see how a given station connects to the areas around it. The more rides between two stations, the thicker the red line. Click on most downtown stations and it looks like a starburst of rides.

Trips on the National Mall tend to stay on the National Mall or head over the Jefferson Memorial.

Bike Share trips on the National Mall, Washington D.C. 4th Quarter, 2012.

Mobility Lab has also set the map so you see the direction of trips, including "unbalancedness" between stations. That's when trips tend to be in one direction more than another. It's not so surprising that more people ride downhill on Connecticut Avenue from the Van Ness station to Dupont Circle. But it is interesting to see how many more people ditch the heavy bike share bikes at the bottom and return by some other, presumably less tiring, means. Of the 203 trips between those two stations in the 4th quarter of 2012, 82 percent of them were downhill.

(Read TN's article on how DC rebalances bike share stations here.)

Trips from Van Ness bike share station in 4th quarter 2012

Michael Schade over at Mobility Lab has pulled out a few more interesting data points. Alexandria, Virginia, joined CaBi last year. Most of those bike share trips appear to be heading to or from the two Metro stations.  So Schade concludes bike share in Alexandria is being used to solve a last-mile transit problem.

See his full analyses and more maps here.

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Transportation Nation

DC's Capital Bikeshare Expanding by 30 Percent

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(photo by Kevin Kovaleski/DDOTDC via flickr)

Washington, D.C. will add 513 bikes to Capital Bikeshare this winter, expanding the nation's largest operating bike share program by more than 30 percent.

The move was planned for the fall, but the Capital Bikeshare's operator, Alta, faced a shortage of equipment.
District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle told Transportation Nation the 54 new stations will add docking spaces for 1,026 bikes. "You want about 50 percent of your docks on the street filled with bikes. That's kind of the ratio that we aim for," he said.

Lisle said there are 1,645 bikes on the streets now at in 2,524 docks, at 191 stations. Some stations have as many as 30 docks, and during special events, far more.

Balance is crucial to a well-functioning bike share program. So central, in fact, that employees of CaBi who shift bikes from location to location to meet demand are called rebalancers.

The proposed locations for the new stations, which you can view on this map (or see the below list) come in a mix of new neighborhoods and existing bike share neighborhoods. “We need to balance the desire to expand into new areas with the need for more docks and bikes in existing areas, particularly downtown, where demand is heaviest,” said Chris Holben, DDOT Project Manager for Capital Bikeshare, in an emailed statement. “Basically, for every ‘expansion’ station we also need more spaces downtown to keep up with demand.”

Capital Bikeshare has been been struggling to keep up with demand. It's expanded to the Virginia suburbs, and one Maryland county just voted to join. All 54 of the new docks will go inside the District.

Despite the popularity, CaBi loses money, although the program operates close to profitability. DDOT foots the bill, and pays Alta to operate the program. The additions mean DDOT will increase what it pays Alta as operator but could potentially earn more if it means more members sign up. DDOT spokesman John Lisle did not share projections for how the expansion might impact potential profitability.

"We are in the process of selling advertising on the stations, which should help on the revenue side," he said. "Installations most likely will be after the inauguration" on January 21st, Lisle said.

Alta is the same company that operates bike share programs in Chicago, and is contracted to launch programs in New York and Portland. Those programs have also suffered from delays.
 
First Round
 
1
18th Street and Wyoming Avenue NW
2
11th Street and M Street NW
3
14th Street and Clifton Street/ Boys and Girls Club NW
4
15th Street and Euclid Street NW
5
20th Street and Virginia Avenue NW
6
Ellington Bridge, SE corner NW
7
Elm Street and 2nd Street (LeDroit Park) NW
8
New Jersey Avenue and R Street NW
9
Hiatt Place between Park and Irving NW
10
13th Street and U Street NW
11
17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue/JHU NW
12
5th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW
13
8th Street and D Street NW
14
11th Street and Florida Avenue NW
15
11th Street and K Street NW
16
L'Enfant Plaza at Independence Ave SW
17
11th Street and F Street NW
18
23rd Street and W.H.O. NW
19
Constitution Ave and 21st Street NW
20
34th Street and Water Street NW
21
Connecticut and Nebraska Avenues NW
22
Connecticut Ave and Albemarle St NW
23
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (east) NW
24
Wisconsin Ave and Fessenden St NW
25
Wisconsin Ave and Veazy Street NW
26
14th Street and Upshur Street NW
27
14th Street and Colorado Avenue NW
28
5th Street and Kennedy Street NW
29
Georgia Ave and Decatur Street NW
30
V Street and Rhode Island Ave at Summit Place NE
31
2nd Street and M Street NE
32
Hamlin Street and 7th Street NE
33
12th Street and Irving Street NE
34
Neal Street and Trinidad Avenue NE
35
Rhode Island Ave Metro entrance NE
36
18th Street and Rhode Island Ave NE
37
8th Street and F Street NE
38
Pennsylvania Ave and 3rd Street SE
39
8th Street and East Capitol Street NE
40
15th Street and East Capitol Street NE
41
Independence and Washington/HHS SW
42
Constitution Ave and 2nd St/DOL NW
43
6th Street and Indiana Avenue NW
44
New Jersey Avenue and D Street SE
45
15th St, F St and Tennessee Ave NE
46
9th Street and M Street SE
47
Tingey Street and 3rd Street SE
48
Deanwood Rec Center and Library NE
49
Burroughs Avenue and 49th Street NE
50
Burroughs Ave and Minnesota Ave NE
51
Minnesota/34th Street and Ely Place SE
52
Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road SE
53
MLK, Jr. Ave and Alabama Ave SE
54
MLK, Jr. Ave and Pleasant Street SE
 
Next Round
 
55
MLK, Jr. Ave and St. E's Gate 5 SE
56
14th Street and Fairmont Street NW
57
18th Street and C Street NW
58
L'Enfant Plaza at Banneker Circle SW
59
G Street at MLK Library NW
60
Wisconsin Ave and Ingomar Street NW
61
Brandywine St and Wisconsin Ave NW
62
Connecticut Ave and Porter Street NW
63
O Street and Wisconsin Ave (west) NW
64
Massachusetts Ave and 48th Street NW
65
Van Buren Street and Rec Center NW
66
Ft Totten Metro Station NW
67
Cedar Street underpass (Takoma) NW
68
Piney Branch Rd and Georgia Ave NW
69
1st Street and K Street NE
70
Rhode Island Ave and Franklin St NE
71
18th Street and Monroe Street NE
72
New Jersey Avenue and L Street NW
73
Haines Point Rec Center SW
74
2nd Street and V Street SW
75
Burroughs and Division Avenues NE
76
Ely Place and Ft. Dupont Ice Rink SE
77
16th Street and Minnesota Ave SE
78
MLK, Jr. Ave and St E's Gate 1 SE

 

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Transportation Nation

Nine Percent of All D.C. Bike Share Bikes at Washington Nationals Stadium For Playoff Game

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Capitol Bikeshare "corral" at Nationals Stadium earlier today.

Playoff baseball pulls in the fans. In Washington, D.C., it's also pulling in the Capital Bikeshare bikes.

According to a rough count from the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation, about nine percent of the city's bike share bikes are Nationals Park for game three of the National League East division series, according to John Lisle, a DDOT spokesman.

"We have about 1,600 bikes in the system, and best I can count, we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 that are docked there [at the stadium]. Or were docked there," Lisle said. "That's a pretty good showing."

Capital Bikeshare, which is run by DDOT, has set up a staffed bike corral at the stadium for the overflow. "So if someone brings a bike there, even if the station is full, they put can put it in the corral," Lisle said. "It's a way to add capacity and it's relatively easy to do. " So there is no limit to the number of people who can come by bike share, Lisle said.

During the regular season, Capital Bikeshare clears out the docking stations before games and monitors them closely. If the docks fill up, then Capital Bikeshare "rebalances" them -- the technical term for 'takes the bikes to by van to another dock somewhere else.'

After today's game ends, staffers will keep the docks full with those corralled bikes so fans can check out a bike as usual.

But, Lisle cautions, "after the game there is no guarantee you will have a bike share bike to go home, but we are not removing any of the bikes."

So: Nats fans who chose bike to cheer on their team may want to consider checking out in the top of the ninth to ensure a two-wheeled ride home.

The bike corral will be in place at all Nationals home games during the playoffs.

The bike share corral at Nationals Park, pictured earlier with just 102 bikes. Photo: DDOT

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Transportation Nation

In Age of Streetcar, Transit (not Cars) Fueled DC Suburbs

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Undated. Streetcars running on 14th Street, NW near the District Building, now known as the John A. Wilson Building. (Courtesy of DDOT)

(Rebecca Sheir, WAMU -- Washington, D.C.) Mount Pleasant, Anacostia, LeDroit Park...all three a part of our nation's capital, are probably not the first names that come to mind when one thinks of the D.C. suburbs. But these three neighborhoods actually comprised the District's earliest 'burbs. They were called "streetcar suburbs," since their development stemmed from streetcar lines.

In the case of Mount Pleasant, the streetcar transformed the community from a sleepy village to a bustling neighborhood. Local historian and writer Mara Cherkasky says the electric streetcar came up 14th Street NW around 1893, but everything changed when D.C. extended 16th Street past Boundary Street, which is today's Florida Avenue.

"Starting in 1905 stores started popping up, and apartment buildings and row houses," she says. "So that streetcar coming up Mount Pleasant Street in 1903 turned this neighborhood into what it is."

Cultural Tourism DC's Chief Historian Jane Freundel Levey compares the impact of the streetcar to the impact of modern-day Metro.

"Every place where we've had a new Metro station we've had a tremendous amount of the most modern style of building," she says. "And that's what happened here in Mount Pleasant, too."

The electric streetcar had its last run in 1962. Levey says its demise was connected to the advent of the highway lobby in the 1950s.

"The government was giving huge amounts of money to build roads and the number of cars just burgeoned," Levey says. "And cars and streetcars were not very compatible. Streetcars were not maneuverable; they had to be on the tracks. Cars were zipping in and out; it got dangerous, it got very dense."

In terms of when a suburb like Mount Pleasant stopped being known as a suburb and started being known as a part of the city proper, Levey says it's hard to pick a date.

"We have generational changes in how we define a suburb," she says. "So, what was a suburb, as in Mount Pleasant, that lasted really only a short amount of time until other suburbs developed. This was a suburb that pretty quickly took on urban forms, so the next rank of suburb is a little bit farther out from Mount Pleasant, especially going up Connecticut Avenue."

Levey says suburbs were attractive in D.C.'s early days because the city was "chock-a-block with industry and commerce, and you didn't want to mix that kind of activity with where you lived."

She says that same idea is still attractive to many people today.

"There are still a lot of people who just want to have their house, their castle," she says. "They want to have land around them that belongs to them, and they don't want to have to look out the kitchen window and be able to read the newspaper of the guy sitting in the kitchen next store. There will always be people who look at it that way."

Washington D.C. is looking to revive a streetcar line by the summer of 2013, though not for the suburbs.

The audio version of this story at WAMU has additional information, gripping voices, and sounds like a trip back in time for a streetcar ride. Listen

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On The Media

Homicide Watch

Friday, August 17, 2012

This week came news that the Homicide Watch D.C. might go on hiatus because its founder and proprietor Laura Amico has been awarded the Nieman-Berkman fellowship. Amico is attempting to keep Homicide Watch alive with a Kickstarter campaign to turn the website into a teaching lab for burgeoning crime reporters. In this interview from November, 2011 Brooke talks to Amico about the site's mission and how it works.

You can find the Homicide Watch Kickstarter campaign by following this link.

Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal - O
scarine

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Transportation Nation

UPDATED: Here's What a Revamped D.C. Union Station Would Look Like

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rendering of planned renovations for Washington, D.C.'s Union Station (Courtesy of Amtrak)

UPDATED 6:30 p.m EST (Washington, D.C. -- WAMU) A wavy roof and shimmering glass atriums would join the stately dome of Washington, D.C.’s Union Station if the new $7 billion master plan from Amtrak comes to be. The proposal would convert Washington, D.C.’s main transit terminal from an aging, over-capacity station that dates to 1907 into a modern transportation hub of high-speed rail that will double the number of trains and triple the number of passengers in gleaming, glass-encased halls.

At a press conference at Union Station Wednesday, Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman said the project will be completed in four phases over the next 15 to 20 years in order to minimize disruption to northeast corridor customers at the station.

The Central Concourse as viewed from the south showing waiting areas, reconstructed tracks and platforms, the first class lounge & retail. (Courtesy of Amtrak)

The massive overhaul of one of the busiest stations in the country – 100,000 passenger trips daily – is also designed to benefit the city and region through job creation, increased tax revenues, and economic development. It all looks beautiful on paper now, but it remains unclear if the plan will actually come to be.

Missing from the images of modern concourses that were put on display at the press conference were any concrete plans to finance the project.

The proposed new "train shed" as seen from H Street. (Courtesy of Amtrak)

“You got to have a vision to get anything done. If you don’t have a vision or a plan of where you are going, you are not going to get anything funded,” said Boardman, who stressed that he is confident the federal government will come through with a significant portion of the financing.

“When you build highways you can expect to get 50 to 80 percent of the funding,” Boardman said. “When you do a transit system you can expect that same kind of percentage."

Phase 1 is scheduled to start next year with improvements to existing concourses, two new tracks and platforms. Subsequent phases will involve the construction of below ground platforms, tracks and shopping space that will be naturally lit.

“Today is about the vision that will serve this country here at Union Station for the next 50 years,” said John Porcari, a deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation. “You get to that by having bite-sized segments of projects that we can fund one at a time. The federal government has been a funding partner. We believe the private sector can and will be.”

Concourse A looking northwest showing the waiting areas, skylights and mezzanine bridges. (Courtesy of Amtrak)

Amtrak’s plans to make Union Station a high-speed rail hub envision trains bolting at more than 200 miles per hour, cutting the trip from D.C. to New York City to about 90 minutes. The high speed rail would take someone from Washington to Boston in about three hours. Read our summary of the full Northeast corridor high-speed rail plan here, including renderings of the New York station upgrade plans.

Also unveiled Wednesday was a proposal by a private developer to make over the neighborhood around Union Station with three million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and parking space.

 

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The Takeaway

Thousands Still Without Power After Mid-Atlantic Storms

Monday, July 02, 2012

Tens of thousands of people in the Mid-Atlantic spent the weekend without power after an unexpected group of violent thunderstorms ripped across the region Friday night. 

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Transportation Nation

Washington Hits Top-Ten Bicycling Ranking -- Big Cities Climb on List

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bikeshare users in Washington, DC (Photo: Tara Bahrampour)

A report in Bicycling Magazine ranking the top 50 most bike-friendly cities places Washington fourth. In the magazine's last ranking, in 2010, Washington didn't break the top ten.

See the entire list 2012 here.

Then, as now, the list was dominated with more predictable cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Boulder, Madison, and Eugene. Seattle and San Francisco also made both lists.

But the big story of  this year's  list is the prominence of big cities --like Chicago and New York, which, like Washington,  both climbed in ranking.

Most of the changes that the magazine credits in Washington, DC -- including bike share and more bike lanes -- began under DC's former transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, who now has that job in Chicago (up to #5 from #10 on the last Bicycling Magazine list.)

The magazine examined cities with populations of at least 95,000 for "a robust cycling infrastructure and a vibrant bike culture."

The magazine reports that bicycle ridership increased in Washington "80 percent from 2007 to 2010."  The capital city's bike share program is growing in popularity and recently clocked its two millionth ride.

 

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC; JOBS Act and Jobs Numbers; GOP Finally Coalescing Around Romney?

Monday, April 02, 2012

While the GOP Presidential contenders prepare for primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., candidate Mitt Romney garners key endorsements from Senator Rob Johnson and Congressman Paul Ryan. Is the Republican Party finally coalescing around their presumptive nominee? Back in Washington, President Obama is set to sign the STOCK Act and the JOBS Act on Monday, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics prepares to release job numbers for March on Friday. What does this mean for the future of the economy? Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC and Molly Ball, staff writer covering national politics for The Atlantic, explore the stories for the week ahead.

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Transportation Nation

Electric Bikes Get Rolling in D.C.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

(Martin Di Caro / WAMU)

(Washington, D.C. -- Martin Di Caro, WAMU) While the New York City council is considering a crackdown on electric bikes, and Las Vegas officials are buying them up with federal money, in Washington D.C. it's commuters who are abuzz about them.

Right now it's rare to see electric bikes on the roads around D.C., but Joe Reyes thinks they may not be so rare much longer.

Reyes, the owner of The Green Commuter in Takoma Park, Md., has traveled from one extreme to another. He once worked as a mechanic for a Ferrari racing team working on engines that would achieve fuel efficiency of about 5 miles per gallon. Now he sells a mode of transportation that is as eco-friendly as it gets: bicycles. But Reyes also sells bicycles for non-bicyclists.

"We call it an electric-assist bicycle," says Reyes. "You get 25 percent of your assist from the electric motor, 75 percent of it comes from you. It's kind of an electric human-hybrid, if you will."

An electric bike looks like a regular, sturdy road bike, except for the lithium-ion battery pack on the rear frame.

"If your commute is say eight or 10 miles one way, you get to your office, you just plug it in there and you have plenty of juice to get back home," he says.

As of now Reyes is lucky to sell one electric bike per week, which can cost as much $1,000 to $3,000.

"When we first opened in 2010, we sold between April and December about 12 units of electric bikes," says Reyes. "In 2011 we sold approximately 34 units of electric bikes."

Electric-assist bikes can go up to 20 m.p.h.

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Transportation Nation

Metro Won't Remove 'Go To Hell Barack' Subway Ad, Despite Congressman's Objections

Friday, March 02, 2012

(Washington, D.C. -- Sharon Rae, WAMU) Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D) thinks D.C. area Metro has gone too far permitting a contentious political ad to run at the Clarendon Metro station.

The ad, which is placed on one of the lit displays on the train platform, advertises a movie that targets President Obama and contains the phrase "Go to Hell, Barack." Moran fired off an angry letter to the transit agency asking for the immediate removal of the ad, which he calls "disrespectful."

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says Metro advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment. "We may not decline ads based on their political content," Stessel says.

But Moran says the ad, which advertises for the film "Sick & Sicker" about Obama's health care policies, are inappropriate. "It troubles me that Metro allows it to be shown," Moran told NBC Washington. "People of whatever political persuasion should not have to deal with ads that are clearly over the top."

Metro says it doesn't endorse any of the ads on the system, and the advertising does not reflect the position of the transit agency.

What do you think? Should the public nature of Metro make the messages free speech in a public forum? Or is there something about the nature of a subway station that should keep potentially offensive messages away from weary commuters?

Some riders clearly share Moran's views. ARL Now has a photo up on their site of the portion of the ad that says "Go to hell, Barack" with graffiti that responds "That's President Obama to you."

Here's Moran on NBC Washington (after an ad):

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The Takeaway

Standoff in Congress Over Payroll Tax Extension

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just a day after an extension of the payroll tax cut passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin, Speaker John Boehner announced that he would not bring the bill to the House floor for a vote immediately. Instead, Boehner says Congress should pass a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut rather than the two-month extension agreed upon by the Senate. The House GOP is expected to vote the bill down Tuesday.

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The Takeaway

New York, Washington Face 9/11 Terrorism Threat

Friday, September 09, 2011

Last night, as President Obama was giving his jobs speech, federal authorities were confirming reports that there is a specific, credible terrorist threat for the New York City and District of Columbia areas this coming weekend. Counterterrorism officials are investigating a possible truck bomb, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference last night that he would increase security in the city, and that residents should keep their "eyes wide open."

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Transportation Nation

Walter Reed Center's Closure May Be A Boon To D.C.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This satellite image shows how the Walter Reed Campus will be divided between the District of Columbia (purple) and the State Department (yellow). The District's 67-acre portion includes both the old and new hospital buildings. (Image courtesy of DC Planning and Economic Development Office)

(Sabri Ben-Achour, Washington, DC - WAMU) The Walter Reed Army Medical Center has a storied past. It has been the country's leading Army hospital for more than 100 years, sitting on a complex that includes a Civil War battlefield. There was a time when 16,000 patients a year sought treatment for wounds of war or illness.

By the end of August, all of the patients and doctors will have left, moved to Bethesda and Fort Belvoir as the Army consolidates its bases. And as one era closes, another opens: Washington, D.C., may be left with nearly 70 acres of prime real estate. Says one official:  "There's a chance now to revive a Main Street, which is Georgia Avenue, which has for years been suffering from decay." All eyes are on this space, to see whether the disappearance of a 100-year-old place of healing will usher in an urban rebirth — or leave a scar.

Listen to the story at NPR.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Debt Ceiling Vote

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for the Washington Post and MSNBC contributor, reports on the impact of the debt ceiling vote.

There's more about the debt ceiling debate and vote on WNYC's It's a Free Country.

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It's A Free Country ®

What Other States Tell Us About the Fight After Legalized Gay Marriage

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New York is on the verge of becoming the sixth state to legalize gay marriage — and the third to do so through legislation rather than litigation. But that's just one battle for pro-gay activists. In every other state to pass same-sex marriage, legalization has put opponents back on offense in courts and statehouses, with mixed results.

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