D.C. bar and club owners attended a D.C. council hearing Thursday to urge council members to support a proposal that would extend alcohol sales by an hour and keep bars in the district open for that extra hour.
Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposal would allow bars to serve alcohol until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends and is expected to bring an additional $5 million to the District.
Bar owners argued that keeping bars open later would actually make the streets safer, spacing out the time that people leave the bars and preventing fights that often occur when a rush of people exit onto the street at once, according to The DCist.
But one councilman, Jim Graham (Ward 1), was vocally opposed to the proposal. He feared that the extra hour would cause additional crime, traffic and noise.
"This is an urban environment, but I think it’s reasonable for people to expect that it’s quiet —or as quiet as possible," he said, complaining that bar-goers would get more drunk and cause more trouble.
Police said that the extra hour shouldn’t be a problem for them and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration said it was ready to implement the measure if enacted, according to The Post.
Gray still plans to hold another hearing on this issue, but if it is passed, it would be enacted in October.
WashingtonBlade.com said that the proposal should be passed, writing that the proposal is ‘economically-savvy.’
"Growing this local revenue generator and strengthening the city’s reputation as an evolving world-class dining and entertainment destination is economically savvy — certainly as an alternative to increasing taxes already among the highest in the nation. Other international East Coast cities popular with business, leisure and tourist trades — such as New York and Miami — understand the importance of this hospitality service distinction.
Any fear that Washington nightlife would suddenly rage with debauchery is to overlook the inherently conservative culture in this button-down locale. Only a relatively small number of specific venues would find merit in remaining open later during the week, with a slightly larger number of establishments choosing later hours on weekends. Most early-closing restaurants, and many bars, would not find it profitable or consistent with their business model."
* Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is endorsing Bruce Springsteen for governor.
O’Malley has long been a fan of “The Boss” and just last week he distributed a Rolling Stone interview with the musician to members of his cabinet.
In an interview with Politico posted Thursday, O’Malley said that Springsteen is an unusual figure because he is one that everyone can agree on—a musician that both him and Gov. Chris Christie can support.
He revealed just how far his fandom goes, saying he’s lost count of how many Springsteen concerts he’s been too and probably owns every album. Springsteen, he said, has been “the soundtrack of my life.”
“I think he’d actually make a very good governor. Part of the discipline and the practice of governing is surrounding yourself with very talented people and knowing what song to call next,” O’Malley said.
“The reason I think he would make a very good governor is because he has that clarity of purpose, that clarity of vision. He has the humility to surround himself with people that one would hope would be much more expert in their given area, whether it was public safety or public health or public education. And I think that’s much of the challenge of leadership in these times, is clarity of principle and clarity of purpose and communicating that broadly with a respect for the dignity of every individual, and I think that’s what he does very well in music. It’d be fun to see him try it in governing.”
* Flyers distributed on car windshields in Ward 8 Thursday morning warned residents to stay away from D.C. Council candidate Jacque Patterson—one of many candidates trying to unseat Councilman Marion Barry.
Loose Lips reports that the flyer includes 11 reasons why residents shouldn’t vote for him.
Among the reasons: Patterson worked for the Federal City Council and was endorsed by The Washington Post, two organizations the flyer says are enemies of the "poor and disposed."
Loose Lips is still trying to get to the bottom of which campaign is responsible for the flyers, but said a source told them that Barry’s campaign was not responsible.
* An adviser for Virginia Democrat state Sen. Chap Petersen plans to run for governor in 2013, according to The Washington Post.
The only thing that could derail his plans would be if Democrat Sen. Mark Warner—and former Virginia governor—was to enter the race.
The Post said that Petersen was “coy” when asked about his plans earlier in the week.
“The question is, am I interested in being a statewide commitment in 2013? Yes, I am. Have I started raising money? No, I have not,” Petersen said, adding that he could only say he was not interested in another run for the lieutenant governor. “If I do run I want to control my own destiny,” Petersen said.
Four Virginian Republicans filed petitions in time to be placed on the June 12 U.S. Republican primary ballot, according to the Republican Party of Virginia.
Assuming all the petition are eligible, James Radtke, George Allen, Bob Marshall and E.W. Jackson will be the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.
David McCormick, who was expected to run, failed to submit signatures by Thursday’s deadline.
Candidates had until 5 p.m. to collect 10,000 signatures, with at least 400 coming from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.
* For the first time since he’s been governor, Gov. O’Malley on Thursday commuted the prison terms of two inmates serving life sentences for murder, according to the Post.
The decision could free Tamara Settles, a Prince George County women who was convicted of setting up a robbery 27 years ago in which her boyfriend killed someone, and Mark Farley Grant, a Baltimore man convicted for a shooting when he was 14 in the mid-80s, but the only independent witness in the case has since his recanted his testimony.