Category Archives: Retconned

Hanafi Muslim siege 30th anniversary

Thirty years ago today, 12 Hanafi Muslims took hostages at B’nai Brith Headquarters, The Islamic Center, and the District Building. From March 10, 1977 edition of The Post:

A tiny group of Hanafi Muslims, perhaps only 10 people altogether, terrorized the nation’s capital yesterday, killing, wounding and threatening a bloody end for dozens of hostages they captured at three busy locations. Late into the night, the Hanafi gunmen, members of a small black group of Muslims here who were armed with guns and machetes, held anywhere from 20 to 30 to 100 hostages at the B’nai B’rith headquarters on Rhode Island Avenue NW near Scott Circle, the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue NW at the edge of Rock Creek Park, and in the D.C. City Council Chambers in the District Building downtown.

After 38 hours, the siege, led by Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, was over with two dead and Councilmember Marion Barry shot.

WUSA TV-9 recalls the day with videos of the original coverage.

More from WTOP

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Kornfed, Anchower and Tisdale coming to D.C.

T. Herman Zweibel‘s empire keeps expanding. In April, Washington becomes the 10th city to have local distrubution of the dead-tree edition of The Onion. The paper will be printed by The Post, who will also sell local ads:

“We believe that The Onion will be very well-received among young Washingtonians, and this is a very attractive opportunity for us to provide our advertisers with a new and unique way to reach that attractive young audience,” said Christopher Ma, Post Co. vice president in charge of business development.

Ma oversaw the 2003 launch of Express, the free Post Co. tabloid handed out in the Metro system, and said he sees a crossover readership between Express and The Onion.

The Onion has been available online for over 10 years.

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Washington, DC’s 3rd Gift to the World – Capital Beltway

This was a part of Metroblogging DC series about D.C.’s 20 gifts to the world

Castles had moats. Washington D.C. has the Capital Beltway. Few roads compete with the Beltway for cultural meaning. It figuratively represents American politics and government to the rest of the world. Typically, when someone from outside the region says “inside the Beltway” they are not saying out of admiration for the wonks, politicos, lobbyists, journalists and others that work in the nation’s capital. Inside the region, we think of “inside the Beltway” as a way to distinguish whether one lives in suburban sprawl or denser, old development with more mass transit options. Credit Mike Causey with coming up with the term in The Post in 1969, five years after the highway was completed.

Literally, the Beltway is a interstate highway that circles the District. President Eisenhower wanted a loop around the city for the military to circle around in case of an atomic attack. From a more practical perspective, it was designed to have through traffic bypass the city. It was completed in 1964 and christened I-495. Much of it was two lanes in each direction. By the mid 1970s, the explosive growth along it necessitated widening to four lanes each way throughout, with a few exceptions like the Wilson Bridge. In the 1970s, when I-95 (along with other freeways) was cancelled in the District, the Beltway also officially became the main street of the east coast with I-95 running along the southern and eastern portions. In 1989, the I-495 designation was returned to I-95 portion to reduce motorist confusion.

I suppose the gift of the Beltway to the rest of the world is handy way to refer to the politically powerful, with slang. For Washingtonians, the Beltway doesn’t usually seem like much a gift with the traffic. We can probably find something to appreciate about it, can’t we?

Oh and to those Americans who really dislike the powerful that reside inside I-495, remember that you helped send them here. If you ever voted for Bud Shuster, Jesse Helms, Jim Trafficant and Robert Byrd you lose all right to complain.

Actually, I kind of miss Trafficant.

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Someone call Lou Dobbs/Canadians ♥ America too

We’ve got an international incident on our hands! Tonight at the Verizon Center the Barenaked Ladies will be singing the national anthem prior to the Capitals vs. Thrashers game.

The Toronto-based band includes Ed Robertson, Steven Page, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan and Kevin Hearn. From their first five-single cassette “The Yellow Tape” to their multi-platinum breakthrough “Stunt” and its follow-up “Maroon,” Barenaked Ladies has been entertaining fans around the world for the past 15 years. The band’s sound is self-described as a mix of “socially conscious observations with crafty lyrics,” creating such hits as “Pinch Me,” “If I Had a Million Dollars” and their Billboard Number One hit, “One Week.”

Nothing says true patriot love like a Canadian band singing The Star Spangled Banner eh?

I can’t wait to see if there is any backlash.

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Tangherlini leaving Metro to return to District government

Today’s Post reports that Dan Tangherlini, interim GM of WMATA, is resigning to become City Administrator for the Fenty administration. In July it was announced that WMATA would be conducting a national search for a new CEO, which upset some riders who wanted Tangherlini to simply be rubber stamped into the Metro position.

Prior to his WMATA position, Tangherlini was in charge of the District’s transportation department.

This originally appeared on Metroblogging DC.

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In search of…Big Red

Big Red soda logoAchtung Texpatriates! I have been tasked to find Diet Big Red Soda in the National Capital area. For the uninitiated (like me) Big Red is a Big Deal in the Lone Star State. Here is what their Web site says:

Big Red has become the dominant player in the “red” category. For the unfamiliar, the taste is described as similar to a cream soda but also as a fruity, vanilla taste, similar to bubble gum. The fact is there is nothing to describe the unique delicious taste of Big Red. It just tastes “Red” and if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing a real treat.

A look at the marketers & distributors page lists the closest bottling company in Virginia Beach. Anybody know of anywhere closer that sells it by the case or on fountain? A thirsty Texan wants to know.

Originally appeared on Metroblogging DC

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Redskins radio debuts today

Even though WTEM has been jokingly called “Redskins Radio” for years, team owner Dan Synder is not content to let the independent media, who hates the Redskins, cover the team. Today, he takes action by launching Radio Pravda Triple X ESPN Radio – The Home of the Redskins. The planned debut is at 4 p.m. with The John Riggins Show.

Spread over three stations with signals (94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and 730 AM) coming from outside of the immediate DC area, Triple X ESPN Radio may be hard to hear inside the Beltway, particularly at night when 730 AM powers down to 5 watts. Let us know if you can actually pick up any of the signals from where you are located.

What the papers are saying

Snyder Is Getting Radio ActiveThe Post

Sports radio station hits airwaves todayThe Wash. Times

Jim Williams: Red Zebra sounds like 800-pound gorillaThe Wash. Examiner

Minutiae!

Also, I could not help but notice that one of the helmets on the Triple X ESPN Radio site has black stripes and a black facemask. Is Snyder finally adding cliched black trim to the Redskins look like the 49ers, Eagles, and Lions did?

Paul Lukas has already been advised.

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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The Vienna Inn: Just about the same as it ever was

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When I still lived in Vienna one of the places I would regularly take visiting family and friends was the Vienna Inn. They all loved the old tavern for the chili dogs, beer and unpretentious atmosphere. I did too, though they may have even loved it too much as it was frequently the only place they wanted to go. Thankfully, we have a much wider variety of happy hour spots right now, but it is always good to go back to our old haunt like we did last Thursday night.

The Inn, opened in 1960 by the late Mike Abraham, is frequently described as a dive. Abraham himself called it a “crummy beer joint.” Until about 2000, the place was really a hole, with surly waitresses, a perpetually slamming screen door, old windows, and a ceiling blackened by cigarette smoke. I think this all got replaced after the health inspector informed new ownership, “we were letting Mike slide a little bit, but YOU are going to bring this place up to code.” Even now, following those renovations, the tables are unsteady. The cushions in the booths have needed to be re-stuffed since at least the Reagan administration and don’t count on your fries and dogs coming out the same time. Soda is self service too. The surly waitresses seemed to have disappeared — even the remaining mean one (regulars know who I mean) was no where to be found on Thursday.

Generally, all of these things I have mentioned rarely make for an enjoyable meal, but it all works because there is an uncompromising authenticity to the Inn. It is a small town gathering place in suburbia, an oasis from the generic sprawl of TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, and fast food joints. The Inn helps set Vienna apart from other Fairfax County communities that are merely a series of intersections, strip malls and gas stations.

Everything is really cheap too. The Inn’s signature chili dogs with everything (mustard, raw onions, chili, and cheese) go for $1.50. A burger is under $4. Drafts cost no more than $3 and come in frosty mugs. Hot and crispy fries will set you back $2. Budweiser, which the Inn has sold so much of over the years that Annhauser-Busch regularly sent the Clydesdales to the Vienna Halloween parade, will set you back about $1.75. Bud tastes better there than anywhere else too and the chili dogs are pretty special. I have been told the carrot cake is also quite tasty.

Over the years, the Inn’s casual atmosphere has made it a favorite to people from all walks of life, from the laborer to the executive. It was so popular with CIA staff that Langley banned them from going there because the KGB had discovered it as well — or so the legend goes.

The Vienna Inn is located at 120 Maple Ave. E (VA 123) in the central part of Vienna. Don’t forget to a designated driver!

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Orange line 20th anniversary

Twenty years ago today, the Orange Line was completed with the opening of the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, and East Falls Church Metro stations. The line, built in the median of Interstate 66, returned passenger rail service to the Vienna, Dunn Loring, and Falls Church communities 35 years after the W&OD Railroad ended commuter trains. At the Vienna station, WMATA offered free rides to Dunn Loring as part of the celebration. I took my first Metro ride that day.

The stations have large (though seemingly never large enough) parking lots and very little — if any “transit orientated development.” In practice, the Orange Line in Fairfax County has served a “commuter rail” function, unlike the urban subway in the District and near suburbs. It has only been in the last decade that development has started at some stations, like Dunn Loring. The MetroWest development near the Vienna station is expected to begin construction in 2007 after significant debate and revisions.

If you want to learn more, Scott Kozel’s Roads to the Future has an excellent article on building I-66/Orange Line multimodal corridor.

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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