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Posted at 5:45 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Blame Canada

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Blame Canada? Ah, it's tempting. The Capital Weather Gang says our good neighbor to the north is largely responsible for our current cold snap -- but we don't want to start pointing fingers. We like Canada and Canadians, so we'll grit our teeth and get through it, counting the days until we're back into the high 40's. (Seems like that was just last week.) Today, temperatures will be in the mid to high 30's and the cold winds will continue to make it feel even chillier.

Coming up:

D.C. Council votes on the budget. The D.C. City Council is expected to vote today on Mayor Adrian Fenty's proposal to close a $188 million budget gap in the current year's budget through a series of program cuts. A tax increase is not expected to be approved, but council members say Tuesday's council debate will set the stage for a showdown next spring as they grapple with even larger shortfalls for fiscal 2012. Some on the council believe it will be nearly impossible to avoid raising taxes next year.

Remembering Pearl Harbor. A wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled for today at the Navy Memorial in D.C. to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. It is free and open to the public.

Capitol Christmas Tree lighting. This evening is the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree (not to be confused with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, scheduled for Thursday.) The difference? The Capitol Christmas Tree graces the lawn in front of the Capitol as opposed to the White House. This year's Capitol Christmas Tree hails from Wyoming. Depending on Congress' schedule, CSPAN will offer live coverage of the festivities.

Today's headlines:

Baker promises a new start in Prince George's. Freshly sworn-in, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker wasted no time getting down to business yesterday. Baker fired or accepted the resignation of at least a dozen top officials in the administration of outgoing County Executive Jack B. Johnson, including Police Chief Roberto Hylton. Leslie Johnson, who along with her husband Jack Johnson were arrested in a wide ranging corruption probe of the countywas also sworn in to her seat on the council.

More arrests to come? But even with new leadership in place in Prince George's, some wonder if and when there will be more arrests in the FBI's wide ranging corruption probe which has already snagged Jack Johnson, his wife, newly sworn-in Council member Leslie Johnson and three members of the police force.. A former county councilman joked to a Post reporter about the "Prince George's handshake" -- which includes an extra bit: checking to see if the other person is wearing a wire.

Pepco: We'll do better. Pepco officials yesterday reiterated their commitment to improving reliability on the heels of a Washington Post investigation that found the utility company ranks at or near the bottom of industry surveys of reliability. The investigation also found that Pepco's day-to-day reliability began declining about five years ago. Pepco officials say upgrades to the system will cost the average customer in Maryland and the District an extra $1 a month.

Inauguration Day in Montgomery. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett was sworn in for his second term in a low-key ceremony at Rockville High School. He and members of the county council face some tough choices in this second term. The county -- one of the wealthiest in the nation -- faces a significant budget shortfall of more than $300 million.

Winter weather delays ICC opening The ICC. Officials say they'll have to delay the opening of part of the ICC until early 2011. Officials had thought they might be able to open parts of the highway by the end of 2010. But rain and cold temperatures have forced them to delay paving work.

In short. Safeway has begun selling SmarTrip cards (Post); Montgomery County Police have released a sketch of a man who allegedly tried to drag a woman into the woods in Wheaton over the weekend. (Post)

Other items:

Woman vs. bulldozer. Call it the case of Mary Case versus the bulldozer. When the bulldozers arrived to remove the trees in the park at 13th and E streets, SE, on Monday, Case stood in front of one of the trees and refused to budge. Residents in the neighborhood have been at odds with D.C. officials over a plan to place new Astroturf on the field in the park. (WTOP)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Be sure to check back with us for more news and headlines throughout the day. And check out The Capital Weather Gang's new weather page.

By Lori Aratani  | December 7, 2010; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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