Early Briefing: Cleaner Carts And A Tysons B-Day
*Jason and Kevin Kirsch know how common it is for the youngest customers at Chevy Chase Supermarket on Connecticut Avenue to treat cart handles like lollipops. Worse, they know how unnerved folks have become in recent years over alarmist reports that rank shopping carts right up there with public restroom toilet seats in terms of germs.
And so the brothers yesterday installed what they say is the Washington area's first full-scale shopping cart wash, a push-through device that sprays a misty peroxide solution over each cart between every use. It dries in a few seconds, leaving behind a faint whiff of beauty parlor and a cart promised to be 99.9 percent germ free for the next customer.
*Tysons Corner Center turns 40 Friday, but Northern Virginia's political and commercial luminaries couldn't wait and held a little birthday bash Tuesday that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony for new nearby transportation projects atop a seven-story parking garage.
The officials who gathered on the rain-soaked parking deck kicked off construction of 14 miles of toll and carpool lanes on the Beltway, which will tie into Tysons and stretch south to Springfield. Potting soil was poured on a brown tarp for the photos of the groundbreaking.
The $1.4 billion high-occupancy toll lanes project is scheduled to be finished in 2013. Carpoolers will travel free, but other drivers will face prices that rise or fall based on how many cars are in the lanes. There is no ceiling.
*The Bush administration's plan to prop up troubled mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is likely to cost taxpayers less than $25 billion, Capitol Hill's chief budget analyst said Tuesday. But there is an outside chance that a further collapse in the housing market could require an infusion of $100 billion or more.
In a letter to lawmakers, Peter R. Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, also said there is "a significant chance -- probably better than 50 percent" -- that federal officials would never have to use the authority to loan the firms money or buy their stock. "There is significant uncertainty involved here," Orszag told reporters. The cost "could be zero. It could be $100 billion."
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Posted by: Jonesy | July 29, 2008 6:31 PM
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