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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Buzz: MLK Day, Tattoo Expo, censored art

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's Friday at last, and many of you get a bonus day off on Monday because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a federal holiday. We've got plenty of headlines today -- new names surfacing in the race for the at-large seat on the D.C. Council and word that Maryland may crack down on utility companies so they'll be better about restoring power when the lights go off. And don't miss our story on the Prince George's parent who, after getting a 4:30 a.m. robocall, decided it was payback time for school officials.

Coming up:

It's getting warmer. Okay, slightly warmer. The Capital Weather Gang says temperatures will be in the mid- to high 30s (an improvement from yesterday's low to mid-30s). It'll be breezy, but the winds may slow down to 5-10 mph. There's a 20 percent chance of a flurry or sprinkle on Saturday, but temperatures this weekend should warm up (slightly.)

Metro delays this weekend. A reminder that there were be major Metrorail delays this holiday weekend. Most of the closures and delays will affect the Blue and Orange lines, but other lines on the system will also be affected. Metro officials are hoping to take advantage of the holiday weekend -- when passenger traffic is generally light -- to get some of its most ambitious projects done. Complete details from Dr. Gridlock.

Share your tattoo. The D.C. Tattoo Expo, in Arlington from Friday through Sunday, will feature more than 100 artists from across the country. And since every great tattoo has a great story -- from personal tributes to lost loved ones to embarrassing moments -- we thought we'd ask you: What's the story behind your tattoo? Share the tale of your body art; upload a photo if you like.

Today's headlines:

A logical choice? Could Metro's new general manager be its current interim general manager? Richard Sarles, the former New Jersey Transit chief, is earning mostly high marks from Metro board members and top safety investigators for making headway on safety and other problems facing the transit agency. With officials expected to selected a permanent general manager in the next few weeks, Sarles name is likely on the list of finalists. Read about our conversation with the man who might be Metro's new chief.

Your name on Metro? Looking to boost your company's profile? Know a transit geek who would have to have a Metro station dedicated in his/her name? Metro officials might just have a deal for you. Faced with a gaping budget deficit, board members on Thursday floated the idea of selling naming rights to Metro stations. Naturally, we'd love to hear your suggestions for new station names. If you're on Twitter, use #dcmetrostationnames to submit your suggestions. You can also email us at One of my favorites so far is from @jaredcunha who offers:"Eastern Boston Market."

It's (almost) a trend. Apparently, Metro officials aren't the only area officials considering naming rights as a way to generate extra cash. Officials in Gaithersburg are also considering whether to selling "branding" rights to city facilities or events. (NBC 4)

A question of taxes. D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown has been one of the chief advocates of raising taxes on the city's wealthiest residents, arguing that those who earn more than $250,000 a year are not paying their full share. But now it appears that Brown may not be paying his full share of taxes. Records show that Brown and his wife have failed to pay $14,263 in property taxes on their Chevy Chase home assessed at $1.4 million. Brown disputes part of the tax debt and said he only recently learned about his unpaid District property taxes.

Keeping the lights on. There may be hope for customers of Pepco and other utilities: The Maryland Public Service Commission has proposed new rules for how quickly utility companies must get the lights back on after an outage. The rules also would mandate how rigorously companies must inspect their lines, how vigorously they must trim trees and how quickly they must answer phone calls from customers. Under the proposed rules, companies that fail to meet the standard could face fines.

In short. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has a new gig with a Philadelphia-based accounting and consulting firm (Post); federal agents and other law enforcement officers are helping Prince George's County work to stop a spate of killings that has left 13 dead since Jan. 1 (Post); Gabe Klein, former head of D.C.'s Department of Transportation, may be considering a run for D.C. Council. (Post)

Other items:

New museum. The Museum of Censored Art has popped up in D.C.  just across the street from the National Portrait Gallery. The Portrait Gallery was the subject of recent controversy after a decision to pull an exhibit from display following complaints from Catholic groups. (NBC 4)

Pitching in on MLK Day. Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a holiday for many in the D.C. area. While some folks will take advantage of the day to relax and enjoy some much deserved downtime, others take advantage of the holiday to take part in community service projects. If you're looking for an opportunity to participate in a community service project, here are several suggested by our D.C. area bloggers.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Be sure to check back with us throughout the day for more updates and headlines.

By Lori Aratani  | January 14, 2011; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  am buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A.M. headlines around the D.C. region
Next: Md. sues U.S. in medevac copter crash


Re: The D.C. Tattoo Expo

It's a sad commentary on the lack of self-esteem -- not to mention intelligence -- that tens-of-millions of U.S. "adults" [one-third of 'em] have, or want, tattoos.

Posted by: jismquiff | January 14, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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