The Night Note: 10/4/10

News you need to know.

By Brendan Williams-Kief
|  Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010  |  Updated 1:03 AM EDT
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The Night Note: Not Uncle Tom's Cabin

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NOT 'UNCLE TOM'S CABIN' NOT WORTH IT TO COUNTY
In 2006, at the height of the housing bubble, Montgomery County paid $1 million to buy a two-story colonial in North Bethesda with a log cabin jutting out on one side. The house had been on the market only a couple of months, but county officials felt compelled to act quickly: This might be their only chance to save the real Uncle Tom's Cabin - the former home of Josiah Henson, the model for the title character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's seminal antislavery novel.

Since 2006, state and county officials have spent another $1 million to expand and study the property, and in recent months, Montgomery has held public meetings to solicit ideas on how to turn the old farmhouse into a public museum. (Washington Post)

CRYSTAL CITY GETS OUTDOOR WI-FI
Imagine taking your laptop to the Crystal City water park and getting work down while enjoying a crisp fall day. If not for the rain, you could be doing just that.

Crystal City is just finishing up an expansion and upgrade to its free public Wi-Fi network, which is available in many of the neighborhood’s public spaces. (ARLNow)

WEATHERBUG TO SHARE DATA WITH HOMELAND SECURITY
Live information from the WeatherBug network is now going to be shared with Homeland Security officials to track atmospheric threats.

The goal of this program is "to provide guidance to first responders as to where toxic clouds might be moving," says Bill Callahan, vice president of program management at AWS/WeatherBug. (WTOP)

METRO RIDERSHIP FALLS
Metrobus ridership plummeted and the number of rail passengers fell well below staff projections during the first month of the agency's new fiscal year -- and the first month of higher fares.

Metrobuses transported 11.66 million passengers in July, nearly 1.3 million fewer than during the same month last year. Metro officials had anticipated a much smaller drop, projecting about 200,000 fewer trips. (Washington Examiner)

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