Local Leads: Solar Powered Meters, Tunnels Under the Mall?

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By Michelle Tetu
|  Saturday, Nov 6, 2010  |  Updated 4:29 PM EDT
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Local Leads: Solar Powered Meters, Tunnels Under the Mall?

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The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

DC GETS SOLAR POWERED METERS
(WTOP)
"A test of some new high-tech parking meters around here went so well, they're being installed in new places.   They are single-space meters that accept coins, as well as credit and debit cards. That can come in handy.   They're also smart. If these meters jam or otherwise stop working, they can send an e-mail or text message to a contractor reporting their own breakdown so they can be repaired quickly.   Finally, these meters run on the sun. They're solar powered. The District Department of Transportation has started installing 1,150 of these meters in parts of Northwest and Southwest. "

CASH FOR APPLIANCES DEADLINE
(BALTIMORE SUN)
"Time is running out to get your piece of the federal stimulus under Cash for Appliances.  The rebate program will come to a close Nov. 12, Maryland officials announced Thursday. Already, thousands of consumers have used the money to defray the cost of energy-efficient clothes washers, refrigerators and air conditioners. And nearly 90 percent of the $5.4 million in stimulus funds allocated to Maryland has been doled out.  While economists have debated the utility of such a stimulus — with some saying it juices consumer spending, a major driver of the economy, and others saying it merely gives people a break on purchases they planned to make anyway — the idea has proved popular among shoppers. Nationwide, $300 million was allocated to the appliance incentives, and some state programs rapidly ran out of funds."

TUNNELS UNDER THE MALL?
(WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
"The National Park Service has proposed building a security screening center below the foundation of the Washington Monument, which visitors would reach by tunnels and concrete pathways dug into the grassy mound surrounding the historic landmark.
The parks agency presented blueprints showing four potential routes leading to the underground facility at a Thursday meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission.  The elevator that takes visitors to the top of the monument would be extended below ground to reach the new facility, according to sketches by architect Hany Hassan of the firm Beyer Blinder Belle.  The new security facility would replace the temporary, plywood trailer that has served as a screening center since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

CSX: SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE
(FREDERICK NEWSPOST)
"The crackle of the conductor's walkie-talkie and the clink of train cars were the only sounds during the Thursday morning commute on MARC's Brunswick Line train.  Some passengers fill the travel time with a nap, others prop against a window for additional book lighting.  All though are affected by the train's possible delays.  According to the Maryland Transportation Administration, the Brunswick Line has been late 285 times from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1.  On-time performance during those months was 58 percent, compared with the Camden Line's 79 percent, and 92 percent on the Penn Line.  Nathan Strong, who lives in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said he has been late to the office in the morning and getting home at night because of the trains' delays. Flexible work hours and an empty house have lessened the blow."

EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP
(LOUDOUNTIMES.COM)
"Daylight savings time ends this weekend, so remember to change your clocks before you go to bed Saturday night, Nov. 6.  The official change takes place at 2 a.m. Nov. 7.   Turn your clocks back one hour to make the change, so if you go to bed at 11 p.m. Nov. 6, set your clock to 10 p.m. so the time change will be reflected when you wake up in the morning.
Residents are also advised the change the batteries in their smoke detectors."

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