Afternoon Read: "Hunger Strike" Ends at Virginia Prison - NBC4 Washington
First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Afternoon Read: "Hunger Strike" Ends at Virginia Prison



    The hunger strike at Red Onion state prison—Virginia’s only super-maximum prison—has ended, The Washington Post reports.

    About four dozen inmates started a hunger strike May 22 to protest alleged poor conditions, ongoing abuse and the use of solitary confinement, according to attorneys and groups that represent the inmates. But, The Post reports, the Department of Corrections said only 15 inmates at the prison did not eat breakfast Tuesday. By Saturday afternoon, no meals were refused.

    Furthermore, an official said this incident is not technically a hunger strike because the state only considers a situation a hunger strike when someone misses nine consecutive meals or declares a strike verbally or in writing.

    In March, state officials said they would implement sweeping changes to the prison this year as part of McDonnell’s four-year plan to help prisoners reenter society, but the inmates say the changes didn’t come fast enough, according to The Post.

    The prisoners are demanding an end to isolation, fully cooked meals, monthly haircuts and an outside review of the facility.

    * Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday on WTOP that Mitt Romney has not requested documents from him to start the vice-presidential vetting process.

    “I am not being vetted by his campaign,” he said.

    He also said that police drones over Virginia would be “great,” saying that he is open to any technology that makes law enforcement more productive

    * Could the Potomac be the next Las Vegas?

    Some say the proposed casino on National Harbor would bring Las Vegas to the East Coast.

    VIA Baltimore Sun:

    "The sprawling, gleaming development along the Potomac River in Prince George's County boasts expensive stores, a half-dozen hotels, highway access and convention traffic — a combination that has sold many on the idea that it could become Maryland's most lucrative casino location.

    "On the East Coast, this would be the best site," said County Executive Rushern Baker, who adds that he is otherwise no fan of casino gambling. "If we did not have National Harbor, I would not be supporting it. I don't think it would be worth the investment."

    Read the full story here.

    * Washington City Paper pokes a little fun at The Washington Post’s perhaps premature front page Sunday article on speculations of who might be running in the 2014 D.C. mayoral race.

    WCP give its list of potential contendors. Among the highlights:

    • Marion Barry: He's got better name recognition than anyone in D.C. politics will ever have. And his awesome Twitter account would help him shore up the youth vote. Note: He might not win the Asian vote. Or the Polish vote.

    • Ralph Nader: He's not running for president again, is he? If not, he's got room on his schedule.

    • Tom Sherwood: The NBC4 reporter always jokes about making a run for public office. Well, Tom, you're not getting any younger.

    * Metro is expected to get new and cheaper SmarTrip cards this fall, according to The Washington Examiner.

    The current cots of a plastic fare card is $5, but Metro is running of this style of the card and will introduce a new card that costs less.

    "In order to pass these savings along to customers, and to further encourage riders to obtain and use SmarTrip cards, Metro plans to drop the cost that customers pay for the card," General Manager Richard Sarles. wrote to the Riders' Advisory Council this month.