In Ward 8, vigil for Marion Barry moves from mourning to celebrating

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Dana Hall, center, lights a candle during a vigil along Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE as people gathered to remember the life of former mayor Marion Barry on Nov. 23. Barry died early that same day. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Though it could be days before an official memorial honors former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, impromptu gatherings in Anacostia brought hundreds of residents together Sunday evening to dance, sing, shout and pray.

A candlelight vigil began shortly after sunset Sunday at Anacostia’s Big Chair and picked up steam as it went along.

Teenagers leaned on the giant legs of the chair. Babies perched on their parents’ shoulders, peering over the group of Ward 8 residents, who loved Barry so much.

Vigil organizer Damian Bascom passed around a megaphone to speakers who ranged in age from recent college graduates to seniors who remember Barry’s rise to fame.

Hector Rodriguez, 72, was among a small group of Latino residents who yelled “Viva Marion Barry!” Rodriguez worked on Barry’s cabinet when he was mayor. But he also remembered meeting Barry when he “still had his Afro.”

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.

Dashed streetcar plans spread uncertainty along Columbia Pike, Crystal City corridors

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Attila's Restaurant on Colombia Pike, says he doubts another project is going to come to the area any time soon. (Miles Parks/The Washington Post)

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Attila’s Restaurant on Colombia Pike, says he doubts another project is going to come to the area any time soon. (Miles Parks/The Washington Post)

By: Patricia Sullivan and Miles Parks

Arlington County’s abrupt cancellation of two long-planned streetcar projects on Tuesday has upended plans to redevelop the Columbia Pike and Crystal City corridors and poses new uncertainty for those interested in transforming the aging neighborhoods, say business and civic leaders.

Some property owners along the congested Columbia Pike strip are now recalculating prices at which they think they could sell, predicting softer demand from developers who had been intrigued by the creation of a trendy streetcar line. Others, however, said they were relieved to hear that the projects were canceled — because they feared streetcars would bring gentrification that could force them out.

Advocates of revitalization, meanwhile, said county leaders must quickly commit to funding other transportation improvements if they want to preserve the corridor’s potential — a commitment Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette (D) promised to make.

“The risks have risen significantly for those who want to invest,” said Takis Karantonis, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. “There is no credible transportation proposal in the works. So we find ourselves in limbo.”

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Atilla’s Restaurant on Columbia Pike, put his restaurant up for sale more than two years ago for $275,000. He is still waiting to sell and said he’d now take $220,000 if the buyer was willing to pay in cash.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page B1 of The Washington Post.

Andrew Schmuhl denied bond in torture, stabbings of McLean couple

The second Springfield lawyer accused of brutally stabbing a McLean couple last week was denied bond Tuesday after new details emerged about the attack that prosecutors have described as a “torture session.”

Andrew Schmuhl, charged with two counts of malicious wounding and abduction by force, appeared at a hearing in Fairfax County.

Prosecutors say he broke into the McLean home Nov. 9 and left homeowners Leo Fisher and his wife, Susan Duncan, with life-threatening injuries. Prosecutors say Andrew Schmuhl was accompanied by his wife, Alecia, who had recently been fired by a law firm where Fisher is managing partner.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.

To honor veterans, Mall is the stage for a flag-waving night of patriotism, music

This story was my first A1 byline in The Washington Post. I also live-Tweeted the event.

 

Here’s the story:

By: Paul Schwartzman and Miles Parks

Beneath a vast night sky and billowing red clouds, award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson delivered a moment of harmonic splendor Tuesday night as she rang up the start of the national anthem, her soaring voice inspiring the first of many thunderous roars of applause along the Mall.

With the U.S. Capitol as its glowing, iconic backdrop, the Concert for Valorbegan as a somber and stirring tribute to generations of American veterans who sacrificed their lives and well-being through the years.

But the three-hour concert also was a rollicking showcase for a full panoply of American sound — from Rihanna’s passionate R&B to Metallica’s raging heavy metal; from Eminem’s sneering rap to Bruce Springsteen’s soothing acoustic strains. There was alt-rock from the Black Keys and country from Carrie Underwood.

“How you feel out there? The whole world is watching!” actor Jamie Foxx said as the show started at 7 p.m., leading the crowd in chants of “USA! USA!”

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page A1 of The Washington Post.