Sherwood's Notebook: Hot Times…All Over! | NBC4 Washington
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Sherwood's Notebook: Hot Times…All Over!

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    AFP/Getty Images
    Children cool off by putting their feet in the foutain at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden July 21, 2011 in Washington, DC. An excessive heat warning remains in effect as temperatures soared to above 38C in the region. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Summer’s stifling heat and humidity comes every year.

    And, judging from the almost-hysterical media reports that accompany the heat, it seems like a surprise every year.

    But even recent transplants to the Washington region know the temperature game. Heat and humidity occurs through much of the summer, bitter cold during the winter and mostly pleasant temperatures in spring and fall.

    That’s Washington weather. Short-term trends can vary, and long-term climate change is upon the whole world, not just us.

    Just this past February, the weather folks were reporting record-breaking cold temperatures. We all shivered and couldn’t wait for summer.

    Well, it’s here.

    Maybe the climate change is causing more extreme extremes, kind of like our national politics.

    ■ Trump temps rising. The Trump saga continues on the national stage. It’s now moved on to the presidential candidate’s mocking of Sen. John McCain as not really being a war hero because he was captured by the enemy. Rather than apologizing, Donald Trump insists that McCain should apologize for calling Trump’s supporters “crazies.”

    The national GOP establishment is wincing at this intra-party feuding. Democrats are hoping Trump keeps it up and remains a candidate at least through the first national TV debate in early August.

    The Democrats believe Trump has the ability to severely weaken GOP support among veterans and others who revere McCain’s personal sacrifice as a prisoner of war.

    And Trump still is getting heat from his comment that suggested many Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists.

    Last week on WTOP radio, before the McCain episode, Mayor Muriel Bowser was asked about Trump.

    “I just thought Donald’s comments, though I’m not surprised, were just idiotic,” she said in an “Ask the Mayor” segment on the station. “They don’t make sense. They don’t even stand to reason. I am hopeful he will walk back those remarks.”

    Well, that certainly hasn’t happened. And it looks like Trump is sticking to his statement.
    Bowser rebuffed calls for Trump to yield control of the hotel his company is building at the Old Post Office at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. She noted that it’s a project on federal land with federal control of licensing. And besides, she said, the hotel is a vital part of the redevelopment of a dead zone in the area.

    “It is important that that hotel is successful,” she said. It’s “a big part of the revitalization of that part of Pennsylvania Avenue once we have [the future of] the FBI building settled. We know that will be a huge development.”

    Some hoteliers privately say the Trump hotel already was pricing itself out of the potential market here, with rooms costing as much as $700 and up. In addition to restaurants that have bailed on the project because of Trump’s immigration remarks, it may be hard to find politically sensitive groups or organizations willing to spend that much money only to get grief from activists. You can certainly expect that there will be no District government-sponsored events there until the clouds of discrimination are removed.

    This country has a long history of fighting over immigration, and barring all sorts of peoples. Here’s a history and timeline of interest: tinyurl.com/immigrants-history.

    ■ The heat is on, No. 1. Street prostitution has long been illegal in the District, and anti-prostitution laws allow police to seize the vehicles of suspected “johns” that support the trade.

    But apparently the police aren’t being tough enough.

    Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans has decided to fight what he says is a rising incidence of street prostitution.

    Last week Evans introduced a bill that would require — not just allow — police to seize suspects’ vehicles. He good-naturedly refers to it as the “honey, I lost the car” legislation, a consequence that embarrassed “johns” might find tougher to explain than any court appearance.

    But as any police officer will tell you, prostitution is not a victimless crime and is not funny. There are serious health issues involved. Prostitutes often are cajoled or forced into prostitution. Street prostitution can prompt other criminals to prey on victims who are unlikely to call police.

    Several of the city’s traditional prostitution walks have been erased by new developments and traffic restrictions that make cruising by johns more difficult. But no law is going to eliminate street prostitution. It’s not called the oldest profession for nothing.

    ■ The heat is on, No. 2. Is it coincidence? D.C. police on Monday announced that their “human trafficking” unit had arrested 30 people on prostitution charges, most in the downtown area.

    All arrestees were males who were charged with soliciting prostitutes. There was no word in the news release on how many vehicles, if any, were impounded.


    Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.