Tag Archives: washington d.c.

National Geographic: thousands fish (and eat) from the extremely toxic Anacostia River

In case you thought no one fished (and ate the fish) in the Anacostia River, here is an article from National Geographic:

Fishermen were casting their lines into the urban waters of Washington, D.C., into a river notorious as one of the dirtiest in the nation. What’s more, according to a recent study, they represented a small fraction of the 17,000 or more residents of this metropolitan area who are consuming fish from a river that has all the markings of a Superfund site.

Sometimes you just can’t believe it, the article even says that a sewer line directly dumps a billion gallons of human waste every year.

Yeah, the river really needs help.

 

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Ring of Fire Derecho – travelled 600 miles from Iowa to D.C.

On Friday, a historic, record-setting heat wave covered a sprawling region from the Midwest to the Southeast. All-time high temperatures records of 109 were established in Nashville and Columbia, South, Carolina and tied in Raleigh and Charlotte which hit 105 and 104. Here in Washington, D.C., the mercury climbed to an astonishing 104 degrees (breaking the previous record set in 1874 and 2011 by two degrees), our hottest June day in 142 years of records.

 

 

…the coverage and availability of this heat energy was vast, sustaining the storms on their 600 mile northwest to southeast traverse. The storms continually ingested the hot, humid air and expelled it in violent downdrafts – crashing into the ground at high speeds and spreading out, sometimes accelerating further.

Peak wind gusts in the D.C. region include the following:

71 mph near Dulles Airport
70 mph in Damascus, Md.
79 mph in Reston, Va.
65 mph in Rockville, Md.
70 mph at Reagan National Airport
76 mph in Seat Pleasant, Md. (Prince George’s co.)
77 mph in Swan Point, Md. (Charles co.)
70 mph in Ashburn, Va.
69 mph in Leesburg, Va.

In addition, an 80 mph gust was clocked in Fredericksburg. To the north and west, 91 mph and 72 mph gusts were measured in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio

 

ViaCapital Weather Gang

 

Video of the NEXRAD Radar showing the ring of fire Derecho:

 

// Thx – Doyen

Reagan National Airport expands flights to West Coast (Portland, SF, LA, Austin)

The Department of Transportation has approved four more long-distance flights from Reagan National Airport.

- Alaska Airlines will fly to Portland, JetBlue Airways will fly to San Juan, Southwest will fly to Austin and Virgin America will fly to San Francisco.

- Four dominant carriers were granted permission earlier to extend long-distance flights. United now flies from National to San Francisco. Delta was given approval for service to Salt Lake City, American to Los Angeles and U.S. Airways to San Diego.

via Washington Business Journal

 

// Photo – Nicola since 1972

Housing recovery hits some areas – top growth in U.S. cities

Metros with the Most Construction Permits in 2011

  1. Houston, TX – 31,271
  2. Dallas, TX – 18,686
  3. Washington, DC – 16,501
  4. New York, NY – 13,973
  5. Austin, TX – 10,239
  6. Los Angeles, CA – 9,895
  7. Phoenix, AZ – 9,081
  8. Seattle, WA – 8,664
  9. Atlanta, GA – 8,634
  10. San Antonio, TX – 7,127

More permits were issued in the Houston metro area than in any other metro, by far. Four of the top ten metros were in Texas. But this list is dominated by large metro areas, and we’d expect bigger areas to have more construction activity. Looking instead at the number of permits issued per 1,000 existing housing units…here are the top metro areas by construction activity:

Most Construction Activity (per 1,000 existing units)

  1. El Paso, TX – 15.36
  2. Austin, TX – 14.49
  3. Raleigh, NC – 13.66
  4. Houston, TX – 13.55
  5. Charleston, SC – 12.80
  6. Dallas, TX – 11.26
  7. Little Rock, AR – 10.53
  8. Baton Rouge, LA – 9.51
  9. Washington, DC – 9.44
  10. Columbia, SC – 8.74

via – The Top U.S. Cities for New Home Construction - which includes cities with least construction activity

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Bike sharing comes to Los Angeles with Bike Nation

A couple of years ago bike sharing came to Washington D.C. when I was living there. At first the concept confused me until someone explained that it’s like a taxi, designed to get you from one point to another. With enough stations it can be a convenient, healthy, and cheaper method to get around town.

I ended up using them everyday for about a month and loving it. Now, that same service is coming to Los Angeles:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will unveil a $16-million bike-share program Sunday that aims to put thousands of bicycles at hundreds of rental kiosks across the city.

Initial plans are to add 400 stations and 4,000 bicycles over the next 18 to 24 months in areas around downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach.

The private investment from Bike Nation will not need any city money, according to the mayor’s office and the company. Bike Nation has agreed to a minimum contract of 10 years.

“This is exactly what L.A. needs,” CicLAvia organizer Aaron Paley said. “If you take the bus, or you take the train, or you’re walking out of your house and you need to get somewhere, how do you accomplish that short trip in between? Bike share is definitely the way to do it.”

more atLA Times Local

The service becomes one more crucial link for those living a car-free life.

The rates are much cheaper than a taxi at $1.50/hour or $6/day, with trips shorter than 30 minutes being free. But you can expect most folks to one-year pass for $75 (students/seniors, $60).

Bike Nation also has plans to create a smaller program in Anaheim in June.

Maggie O’Neill is coming to Los Angeles!

One of our favorite contemporary artists is Maggie O’Neill, based out of Washington, D.C. She does these fabulous paintings of the monuments, cityscapes, and neighborhoods. We actually bought our first piece of original art from her, a rendering of the Capitol building.

The good news is that she, or more specifically her art, is coming into town (Los Angeles) for the Dream Date Auction benefitting the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. At the event the painting below will be auctioned off.

We hope she does more LA-inspired pieces!

Most of us would probably survive a nuclear blast in Washington D.C.

It’s the most nightmarish scenario—a nuclear device being detonated in downtown Washington.

Whammo and good night, right?

For most of us, actually, that wouldn’t be the case, according to a recent study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The 120-page report, “Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism,” was released last November.

The FEMA report posits a detonation a few blocks from the White House. Everything within a half-mile radius would be reduced to rubble and be so irradiated as to make any rescue operations unfeasible. Between half a mile and one mile out, there would still be significant damage and heavy injuries, but the area would be approachable by emergency responders.

And further out, there would just be a lot of broken glass from windows shattered by the force of the explosion, but few, if any, injuries that would require medical attention. (Aside from those sustained by people running face first into their bursting windows when they try to look outside to see what is happening.)

So, good chance of injury, temporary blindness, destroyed hospitals and a massive fallout cloud—but more likely than not, you’d live. At least until the radiation settles in.

 

via DCist - **click for the full report and much more gruesome details**

 

Thx to Shevonne Polastre

 

// Photo – James Nash