Tag Archives: D.C. Metro area

Jim Vance stepping down as 11:00pm news co-anchor

I can’t believe it.  Long time news anchor Jim Vance will be leaving his co-anchor spot at 11:00pm for NBC4 Washington (or known as WRC Channel 4).  He will remain as the 6:00pm co-anchor until 2017.  Jim has been co-anchoring the 6:00pm and 11:00pm news for 25 years with Doreen Gentzler.

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Jim Vance, the anchorman who has been synonymous with local TV news in Washington for more than 40 years, will step down as the co-anchor of the 11 p.m. newscast for WRC (Channel 4) at the end of May, the station said Wednesday.

Vance, 73, has been a fixture at NBC-owned WRC, known as “News4,” since 1969, and became an anchorman at the station in 1972. He is also a living link to a formative era of local television; Vance was among the first wave of African Americans to anchor a local broadcast, as stations around the country began to integrate their ranks in the early 1970s.

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Jim Vance is an institution in the Washington, D.C. news arena.  It will be strange not seeing his face on the 11:00pm news.  According to NBC4.com Jim is ready for an earlier bedtime.  I don’t blame him.

Check out this article about Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler from Washingtonian Magazine in 2011.

Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler can’t remember what line it was that they both refused to read one night on the 6 o’clock news. She says it was his line, it wasn’t a good one, and he was trying to foist it off on her.

“We got into a contest at the end of a broadcast,” says Gentzler. “We played chicken on the air.”

They sat there, two seasoned newscasters on live television, until a producer yelled into Vance’s ear from the control room: “Somebody say something!”

“She’s incredibly stubborn when she wants to be,” Vance says. “It occurred to me that I might as well give up.”

“I won,” Gentzler reminds him. “And you could not believe it.”

In 22 years together co-anchoring the evening news, there have been lots of unscripted moments. If she mispronounces a word, he’ll ask her to repeat it; if he fumbles a line, you might hear her laughing.

What a summer

I tell ya. This summer has been a bit much around here.  Days and days of 90 degree plus temperatures, thunderstorms, lightning, strong wind gust and power outages.  When will it end 😦  I know I bitch and moan about hot summers but the summer of 2010 has got to be the worst I’ve ever been through. Early this morning a serious storm came through here.  Strong winds, drenching rain, thunder, lightning, lights flickering, trees falling everywhere.  And I thought the winter of 2010 was bad with all the snow we had.

I was working from home today and I was worried about the power going out. The lights flickered a few times but otherwise the power stayed on. But other neighborhoods in the D.C. metro didn’t fare so well. A huge tree fell onto an apartment building in Gaithersburg, MD this morning.   A tree crashed through the ceiling of a house in Chevy Chase, MD where a two month old baby was sleeping.   According to the Washington Post the baby is doing fine.  Trees fell onto the tracks of the Red Line along the metro this morning as well.  Cleveland Park metro station was closed due to flooding.  Some folks got stuck on the roofs of their cars cause the roads were flooded.  Thousands of folks had power outages and as usual Pepco said that it could take up to a couple of days for some folks to get their power back.

Check out this photo gallery of storm photos from Washington Post readers.

As storm cleanup begins, region braces for possible afternoon deluge

By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 12, 2010; 3:03 PM

Thursday morning’s deluge is receding across the area, as the sun dries the roads and yet another cleanup begins.

But forecasters warn that there could be more weather trouble in the afternoon, if the sun heats up the still unstable atmosphere again.

What a morning, though.

Shortly after 7 a.m., with the temperature already in the low 80s and the humidity in the upper 70s, the sky grew as dark as doom and then cut loose, as a 60-mile-long squall line sliced through region from the suburbs of Baltimore to just south of the District. Almost an inch and a half of rain was dumped across the area in roughly an hour, forecasters said.

The torrent flooded streets across the area, at one point carrying a minivan on a 15-foot wall of water a quarter-mile along Rock Creek in Northwest Washington, while the driver fled and then clung for his life to a fence.

In Montgomery County, stranded motorists reportedly took to the roofs of their vehicles as muddy water inundated an area around Viers Mill Road and Connecticut Avenue. Canal Road in the District became a lake, witnesses said, as did Rhode Island Avenue, and Route 1, in Beltsville.

In Chevy Chase, the downpour brought down a tree that punched through a roof and showered debris on an infant sleeping in his crib. The child was unhurt.

And in Gaithersburg, rescue workers responded to a report of a tree that had fallen through the roof of an apartment building in the 500 block of Frederick Avenue.

Workers found that the tree had damaged a common stairway, so they used 24-foot ladders to rescue residents. No serious injuries were reported, but two people were taken to an area hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, according to initial reports from Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. A search for trapped residents was undertaken, but authorities believe everyone is out of the building.

So more bad weather is coming this evening 😦

I can’t wait for cooler temps to get here this fall.  60 degree weather is more my speed.

Young folks brawl on the metro

Most folks in the D.C. metro area have heard by now about the brawl on the metro last Friday evening involving up to 70 teens and young adults. The incident began at the Gallery Place Metro where dozens of young folks were fighting. The brawl continued on the subway platform at L’Enfant Plaza Station, terrifying other riders and causing a stampede.

So far three people have been arrested and four were injured. I’m surprised only 3 people were arrested. Two of the arrested were sixteen year olds.

Amid Metro brawl, family’s night out turns into ‘pandemonium’

By Valerie Strauss and Phillip Lucas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 9, 2010; A01

It was bad enough when Kimberly Hay’s family, riding the Metro to the Kennedy Center on Friday night to watch “Mary Poppins,” saw three youths assault a terrified young rider reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” by aiming an aerosol can at his face and spraying.

But the brawl they witnessed on the way home several hours later, which involved at least 70 youths fighting each other in a frenzy, left Hay’s nieces “freaked out” and the 43-year-old wary of riding the Metro in off-peak hours.

“It was pandemonium,” said Hay, who had traveled to the District from Charles County with her husband, sister-in-law, 25-year-old niece with special needs and two grandnieces, 11 and 14.

“We were pushing our kids out of the way, trying to plaster ourselves against the wall so nobody would hurt us. There were five fights right in front of us. . . . Metro is very accessible but not safe all the time. I don’t know if I would ride it again in non-rush hours.”

It was the second reported big fight involving young Metro riders in the nation’s capital this summer, and some elected officials called Sunday for better security and new approaches to deal with the problem.

The melee highlights the difficulties authorities have in dealing with teen violence and how it can encroach on a Metro system that routinely carries commuters, families, tourists and late-night revelers.

In June a youth was beaten over his shoes.

Violence among young people during the summer is a longstanding problem in the District, and it is the reason there is a curfew that requires city residents 17 and younger to be off the streets by midnight.

In early June, a fight that started on a Red Line train left a 16-year-old boy beaten unconscious by a group of people who had attacked him over his Air Jordan shoes, the boy’s mother said. Union Station was closed for about 30 minutes after a Transit Police officer responded and was backed up by more than a dozen other officers.

I only take the metro during the weekday to go to work and then go home from work.  Even then you have to worry about some of the young folks who board the train during the school year.  They can be very loud, obnoxious and down right vulgar. The young girls can be worse than the young boys.  I blogged about this back in 2007 and from reading yesterday’s article their behavior hasn’t changed one bit.

It was bad enough when Kimberly Hay’s family, riding the Metro to the Kennedy Center on Friday night to watch “Mary Poppins,” saw three youths assault a terrified young rider reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” by aiming an aerosol can at his face and spraying.

This_right_here. Spraying something in someone’s face? How trifling can you get? I swear it seems like some of these young folks don’t have any type of home training at all.  These kids (thugs, hooligans, whatever you wanna call them) are being raised on the streets by wolves!!

It would be nice if we can see more metro transit police on the trains.  But seeing how some of the young folks act they might fight the police.

The DMV?

Yesterday’s Washington Post had an interesting article about a new way to describe the Washington, D.C. area.  Some folks are now using the nickname ‘The DMV‘ (District, Maryland and Virginia).

After initial obscurity, ‘The DMV’ nickname for Washington area picks up speed

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 30, 2010; C01

New York is “the Big Apple” and Chicago “the Windy City,” but unless the earnest and obvious “Nation’s Capital” is your idea of a cool handle, Washington and its environs have never gotten very far in the civic nickname game.

We are pleased to report, however, that this could be changing. A nickname has recently emerged that could put the Washington area on the regional nickname map: the DMV. As in, D for the District, M for Maryland, and V for Virginia.

Sleek, succinct and inclusive, the name has been in common use for several years among the area’s — ahem, the DMV’s — hip-hop and go-go music crowd. It’s familiar to listeners of black-oriented radio stations such as WKYS-FM and WPGC-FM, whose DJs decorate their patter with mentions of it. It also pops up as geographical shorthand (“DMV man seeks woman”) on Craigslist, the classified-ad Web site.

It’s safe to say, however, that most of the rest of the DMV’s populace is unaware that the DMV refers to anything other than a certain sluggish city bureaucracy. Although the phrase has appeared irregularly in The Washington Post, most mainstream news sources haven’t picked up on it.

When I think of the phrase DMV I’m thinking the Department of Motor Vehicles. Though in Maryland it’s the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration).  I have noticed that The DMV is used while listening to the radio when they do news bits but I don’t listen to WKYS and WPGC.  I tend to use the D.C. Metro area.

As hip locutions go, “the DMV” might even be displacing “Chocolate City,” the olde tyme designation for black Washington. For all its racial echoes and connotations, “Chocolate City” is increasingly limited; Washington’s suburbs have grown exponentially since the term was in vogue and are now home to more African Americans than the District itself.

I definitely remember the phrase Chocolate City when describing Washington, D.C.   D.C. use to be Chocolate City back in the day when the black population was hovering around 70%.  The group Parliament had an album back in 1975 titled Chocolate City.

According to Wikipedia:

The album takes its name from the term “Chocolate City,” which had been used to describe Washington, D.C. where blacks had been becoming a majority through migration (as explained in the cover notes included with one recent CD release of the album). The term had been used by Washington’s black AM radio stations WOL-AM and WOOK-AM since the early 1970s to refer to the city. Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, a DJ on WOL, told the Washington Post in 1998 “Chocolate City for me was the expression of D.C.’s classy funk and confident blackness.

But like yesterday’s Post article stated black folks have spread out to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.  D.C. is more diverse now.

I guess with other cities using various nicknames like Atlanta (the ATL or the 404), Houston (H-Town), San Francisco (the Bay area), Los Angeles (Southland), Chicago (Chi-town or the Windy City), Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), New York City (the Big Apple) some folks in the D.C. Metro area are looking for a similar type of nickname.  But The DMV?  Sorry but I’m not feeling this one.  Folks looking for a nickname need to go back to the drawing board.

Whew it’s hot!!!!

I stepped outside earlier today for just a minute to get my mail and boy is it hot!!!!!  This is stay at home day for me today.

Right now according to the Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post it’s 100 degrees in most of the D.C. Metro area and the heat index is close to 110.

The extremely hot weather may have been the cause of death of a young male cyclist biking along the Potomac River.

Record heat scorches tourists and may be responsible for cyclist’s death

By Carol Morello and Naomi Nix
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 24, 2010; 3:40 PM

The Pos family knew when they traveled from the Netherlands to the United States for a month-long road to the United States that Washington in July would be hot. But they didn’t think it would be this hot.

“It’s just our luck that we have to come to Washington on the hottest day ever,” said Janyne Pos, 42, who sat perched under a tree outside of the White House.

Call it bad luck or just bad timing, but the National Weather Service has for the first time this year issued an excessive heat warning along the I-95 corridor. Meteorologists say they expect temperatures to be above 110 heat index to be above 110 degrees for two or more hours. Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gangsaid that as of 2 p.m. Saturday, the temperature at Reagan National Airport was above 100 degrees, breaking the record high of 96 degrees which was set in 1987.

The Prince George’s fire department warns that high temperatures can result in heat related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Officials on Saturday said heat may have contributed to the death of a 20-year old male bicyclist while riding in the Potomac River Park, according to the Prince George’s fire department. The man was on a bike path that runs between the Oxon Hill Farm and the National Harbor when apparently he went unconscious and fell from his bike. Witnesses reported seeing the male hit his head on a tree as he fell from the bike causing some abrasions.

“While an official cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, paramedics feel that high temperatures and humidity more then likely played a role in this young mans death,” the news release said.

Young, middle age and elderly folks have to be very careful about hot and humid weather like this.

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