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Posted at 8:10 AM ET, 02/17/2011

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Metro, gay marriage, Borders

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's Thursday. And it looks like it's going to be a great day to be outside. Lots of headlines today. There's an important vote in Annapolis today on a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, testified before Congress where things got testy. And we can't forget: more on Hickory, our "Best of Show" champ from Virginia.

No jacket required. Today is the day we've been waiting for, weather-wise. Only hard-core snow lovers will sniff at today's forecast. The Capital Weather Gang says there will be "heaps" (yes, folks, heaps) of sunshine with temperatures hitting the mid-to-high-60's. Really. Truly. Mother Nature does not appear to be pulling a fast one.


Coming up:

Vote on same-sex marriage in Md. An important committee vote on legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland is set to happen today in Annapolis and the chances of passage look good. Seven of the 11 members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee have publicly committed to supporting the measure. If approved, the measure would go to the Senate floor for a full vote next week. A Post tally published earlier this week showed 24 senators -- the bare minimum needed for passage -- having said they would vote for the bill. We'll update you on the results of today's committee vote.

Rethinking Metro. Metro's Governance Committee meets this morning to discuss various recommendations for reorganizing WMATA's current structure. In November, a task force of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) issued a 35-page assessment that calls for "dramatic changes" in how Metro is run. The task force concluded that Metro's governance structure is outdated, lacks accountability and has "contributed to its decline."

Commuter alert.  D.C. Department of Transportation officials plan to close the 29th Street Bridge over the C&O Canal on today to begin reconstructing the span. The bridge, located between K and M streets NW, is scheduled to be closed until January.The work on the 29th Street Bridge will take place Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Local access will available to 29th Street from both K and M streets, and a temporary pedestrian bridge will be available on the west side of the span.


Today's headlines: 

Virginia's waiting game. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb's announcement that he would not seek a second team set off a flurry of speculation over who would seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Some are hoping former Va. Gov. Tim Kaine will throw his hat into the ring, including former Rep. Tom Perriello. But Perriello, in his first interview since Webb made his announcement, told The Post's Ben Pershing, that he might consider a run if Kaine takes a pass. And it looks like he's got support. Already a "Draft Perriello" movement has surfaced on the internet.

Grim day for book lovers. Book-lovers across the D.C.area were saddened by the news that Borders will close eight area stores after filing for bankruptcy on Wednesday. Stores at at White Flint Mall in Kensington, Wisconsin Avenue NW in Friendship Heights and 18th and L streets NW in downtown Washington will be shut down, in additional to Virginia stores at Tysons Corner, in Winchester and in Stafford County; Maryland stores will close in Bowie and Largo.

Vouchers to return to D.C.? U.S. Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman and Susan Collins sternly told Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown Wednesday that Congress probably will cut funding for city schools if efforts to revive a federal voucher program for students are not successful this year. Gray and Brown testified Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In short. Amtrak plans to expand free wireless to trains traveling along the Northeast Corridor (Post); D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's education transition team is recommending changes to the teacher evaluation system put into place by former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (Washington Examiner); officials at George Washington University are looking into a suspected case of tuberculosis on campus. (Post)

Other items:

Come here often? Looks like Georgetown's Social Safeway has some competition. The new Wegmans in Prince George's County offers jazz, a cafe and a lounge -- not to mention a chance to, ahem, pick up a date while you pick up dinner.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for more news and headlines. We'll have the latest on the Maryland senate committee's vote on a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state as well as news from today's Metro board meeting.

By Lori Aratani  | February 17, 2011; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  AM Buzz  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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Next: Manassas considers tightening leash laws

Comments

It's time for full marriage equality rights now. Period.

Cheers,
Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace,
Washington Green, CT USA

And it's marriage not gay marriage.

Posted by: cornetmustich | February 17, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

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