Downtowner DC April 18, 2018

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The inaugural Petalpalooza took place at the Wharf.

Petalpalooza Premieres at the Wharf

Formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza made its debut April 1 as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The celebration at D.C.’s new Wharf development included interactive art installations, games, activities, live music and a beer garden, culminating in a fireworks show by Pyrotecnico.

Howard Students Prevail After Protests

After a nine-day sit-in at their school’s administration building, Howard University students reportedly got the administration to agree to give the student body a greater say in university decisions. Hundreds of students occupied the campus building after learning that an outside audit found that Howard employees mishandled financial aid money for nearly a decade.

Buses Pulled for Safety Inspections

Last week, Metrobus riders were hit with suspended routes due to bus shortages. Earlier this month, 164 buses were taken out of service due to two incidents in which engines cut off at lower speeds. WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel told WTOP that the shortage affected just one percent of scheduled trips. One route affected in particular was the 16G, which operates from Pentagon City in Virginia to Columbia Heights West.

Metro Testing Color-Coded Escalators

Color-coded escalators have caught the eyes of Metrorail passengers recently, sparking debate. The transit agency hopes that the candy-colored handrails — being tested at the Fort Totten station — will help riders find their way to the right trains. One former D.C. resident tweeted: “I would rather have a metro that doesn’t catch fire and cause delays every day than colored handrails but it is a nice stylistic choice of how to avoid the blue, orange and silver lines.” Another tweeted that it was a “cool change,” especially for a “Shady Grove guy who kept getting lost around Metro Center.”

Mark Ein and his family celebrate at the annual Garden Brunch in Georgetown. Photo by Kate Oczypok.

White House Correspondents’ Parties Axed

As they did last year, People and Time Magazine axed their party before the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner. The New Yorker took a pass on its party again, too. Samantha Bee, who hosted the star-studded “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” show and after-party in 2017, won’t repeat that extravaganza. And President Donald Trump is expected to skip this year’s dinner, as he did last year. Now for the good news: Tammy Haddad’s Garden Brunch, celebrating 25 years, will be back at the Beall-Washington House, owed by Mark Ein.

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