Downtowner Town Topics


Jonathan Banks’s Battle for D.C. Statehood

Folks watching the AMC hit series “Better Call Saul” have probably seen the D.C. Statehood commercials that play during the show. The initiative, intended to reach the program’s national audience, was in part the product of D.C.-native Jonathan Banks. Banks plays Mike Ehrmantraut, a terrifyingly stoic enforcer who works occasionally as a “fixer” for the show’s main character, Saul Goodman. Banks has been working closely with D.C.’s shadow senator Paul Strauss for quite some time now. The D.C. Statehood delegation went to Iowa to push D.C. statehood as an issue to be included in caucus voting. Two commercials starring Jonathan Banks played in Iowa during the caucus urging viewers to contact their congressman and demand a change.

Second 15-year-old Murdered at Deanwood Metro in Two Weeks

The day after a stabbing at Deanwood Metro Station on April 12, police arrested 18-year-old Javonte Hall in connection with the incident. The victim, John Rufus Evans III, 15, was the second killing at the Deanwood Metro in two weeks. On the Saturday before Easter, Davonte Washington, also 15, was fatally shot while standing on the Metro platform. Police have charged Maurice Bellamy with Washington’s murder. Police have promised to step up patrols at the Metro station.

New Metro Chief Safety Officer appointed

The General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Metro, Paul J. Wiedefeld, announced on April 12 that Patrick Lavin has been hired as Metro’s new Chief Safety Officer. Lavin’s previous position was at the New York City Transit where he was the second in command of the Office of System Safety. One of Lavin’s previous positions in New York Transit involved managing signal system reconstruction after the attacks on September 11, 2001. With over 30 years of experience in transit safety, Lavin remarked in a press conference “I look forward to making a difference in Washington,” and with the shutdowns, delays, and malfunctions that have been occurring in recent months, change is something D.C.
desperately needs.”

Terrapins Dance Video Goes Viral

Nobody really knows why things like this get so popular, but it is, in a big way. It all began when Maryland sophomore basketball player Jared Nickens posted an Instagram video of himself and teammate Jaylen Brantley dancing to “My Boo,” a song that came out in 1995. The Terrapins performed this song and dance in the locker room, in an office, on the street and even in a convenience store. Now players from schools like Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech have picked up on the trend. Internet denizens will likely be pummeled with dozens of “My Boo” videos.

900 Arrested So Far in Democracy Spring Protests

Last week protesters from D.C. and every corner of the country marched on Capitol Hill and were peacefully arrested with the aim of getting money out of politics. From the beginning of the protests, on April 11, to the end of the week, on April 16, over 900 people were cuffed and charged. Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the protesters arrested were charged with violating a D.C. statute prohibiting “crowding, obstructing or incommoding.” On their second day of protesting the police had to stop arresting the protesters sitting in front of the Capitol because they ran out of space to put them. Those arrested are only detained for a brief time and levied a $50 fine, unless they cause damage or act violently. The fine is paid in order to waive the right to a trial and cover administrative costs. It makes the process of being arrested easy for everyone.

National Cannabis Festival coming to RFK on April 23

An all-day festival to listen to music and get educated on the topic of weed is coming on April 23. Festivities begin at noon and last until 8 p.m. Music performers include Jesse Royal, Congo Sanchez, Backyard Band and Nappy Riddem, with the hip-hop trio De La Soul headlining. There will be food and drinks, games and educational talks. The festival was established at the beginning of 2015 by business owners, policy advocates and enthusiasts in order to recognize the spirit of the marijuana movement and the organizations who fought for the cause. Tickets for the event are $35 and you must be 21 or older to get in.

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