Early Briefing: Newseum Opening Today

* For many on the local urban planning scene, the Newseum -- which opens today -- represents a finishing touch on the two-decade transformation of the Penn Quarter neighborhood from a vacant corridor to a thriving downtown hub, featuring blocks of trendy restaurants, galleries and condos. "This is one of the biggest pieces that was missing," says Thomas Luebke, secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which monitors the aesthetics of monumental Washington. See story.

* National Harbor has landed another high-profile attraction: Cirque de Soleil, the Canadian troupe famed for its elaborate acrobatics. The circus will perform for several weeks at the new $4 billion waterfront development starting October 30. The first part of National Harbor, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center opened last week, but has been dealing with a few rough spots including an break of norovirus and reports of mice in the hotel. See story.

* Radio One bought a social networking company for $38 million to expand its presence on the Internet. The Lanham-based owner of radio stations serving primarily black listeners says the addition of New York-based Community Connect will help its efforts to diversity beyond radio and into other media.

* The upscale Perrywood subdivision in Upper Marlboro has been buffeted by the wave of foreclosures. Yesterday, Perrywood residents gatherered to discuss the housing crisis and look at ways to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes. They were joined by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who earlier in the day urged members of Congress to pass legislation to help troubled borrowers. See story.

By Mike Shepard  |  April 11, 2008; 5:32 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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