Morning Read: Could Nightclubs Threaten Ward 5 Development Plan? - NBC4 Washington
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Morning Read: Could Nightclubs Threaten Ward 5 Development Plan?



    Potentially threatening a plan to develop The Point of Arboretum into a family-friendly development in Ward 5, two large nightclubs applied for liquor licenses adjacent to the proposed development.

    The goal of the $77 million development is to transform the rundown, industrial area in Ward 5 with retail stores and, subsequently, hundreds of jobs.

    But according to Ward 5 Heartbeat, the prospect of having two large nightclubs as neighbors is another setback for the Point of Arboretum, which recently lost Lowe’s as a potential tenant.

    The surrounding area already has two strip clubs and a number of nightclubs—leading many to refer to the area as the Red Light District of D.C.

    Via Ward 5 Heartbeat:

    "Now, those plans are up in the air as the developer questions whether its “family-oriented” development is compatible with the growing red light district in Ward 5"

    Walmart is planning to go into the development, and a spokesman for the megastore indicated that plans are currently on track.

    But proponents of the development argue that two more night clubs would threaten the viability of this big investment in Ward 5, Ward 5 Heartbeat reports.

    * United Medical Center’s board approved a cost-cutting plan that would slash $14.5 million in expenses out of its roughly $100 million annual budget, including layoffs, eliminating overtime and shifting employed physicians into a private practice model, according to The Washington Business Journal.

    These cuts are still not enough to solve the District-owned hospital’s financial woes, caused by the Gray administration saying it would withhold more than $6.3 million in expected Medicaid subsides this year and collect $2.8 million in overpayments

    Read the full story here.

    *A federal appeals court struck down a Montgomery County health regulation that requires anti-abortion pregnancy centers to provide a health disclaimer to patients, according to The Washington Post.

    The Montgomery County Council approved the law in 2010. It requires centers to declare to patients that they do not have licensed medical professional on staff and that the county encourages women to find a “licensed health care provider.”

    The Washington Post editorial board supports D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s choice in selecting Robert J. Spagnoletti to lead the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.

    There is no doubting Mr. Spagnoletti’s qualifications; he is a highly regarded lawyer who knows the District and its issues, and he has the experience and energy to manage organizations. His willingness to take on what everyone agrees will be the tough task (for a yearly stipend of $26,500) of starting up this board — writing rules, hiring staff, establishing policies — derives from a genuine desire to help the city’s government turn over a new leaf in how it conducts itself.

    * D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown said a longtime campaign operative has been stealing money from his campaign. Brown issued a statement on Thursday saying that he discovered the theft while personally reviewing his campaign finance reports. He said he immediately contacted D.C. police, who are now investigating.

    According to Loose Lips, D.C. police executed a search warrant Thursday afternoon at the home of Hakim Sutton, who up until very recently was Brown's campaign treasurer.

    The Roanoke Times' Med Beat asks if Virginia should expand Medicaid and form an exchange.

    Dr. Daniel Carey, a past president of the Medical Society of Virginia, said the Medical Society, which lobbies on behalf of Virginia physicians, would support expanding Medicaid only if it was properly funded to reimburse doctors fairly.

    Should the expansion take place as many as 420,000 Virginians would gain Medicaid coverage, according to Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services.

    Additionally, the debate over forming a state-run health insurance exchange continued.

    McDonnell and the General Assembly decided earlier this year to delay action on creating an exchange, partly because of uncertainty over how the Supreme Court would rule. Some legislators and insurance providers have warned that Virginia could run the risk of having the federal government design an exchange for Virginia if the state fails to act.

    Virginia must now decide whether to expand eligibility for the Medicaid program and whether to create its own health benefits exchange, where individuals and small businesses could shop for insurance coverage.