On The Look Out

All Systems Go for Santa

December 23, 2012

Well-placed sources confirm that Santa Claus is all set. Elves have been extra busy this year preparing for Santa's launch on December 24th.

Using four high-tech systems -- rader, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets, the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa from the moment he leaves the North Pole.

Satellites positioned in "geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat." With his nose so bright, Rudolph gives off an infrared signature, which allows NORAD satellites to detect him and Santa.

The Santa Cam network, started in 1998 (when it was launched on the internet), consists of ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras pre-positioned all around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year to capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their global journey.

(Photo by: noradsanta.org)

Escorting Santa to North America are Canadian NORAD fighter pilots. Once here, American NORAD fighter pilots take over and fly with with Santa and his famous reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph.

For updated information on when Santa will be arriving in Georgetown, visit NORAD.

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D.C. Council Gives Uber Thumbs Up

December 5, 2012

Tuesday, the D.C. City Council unanimously passed a bill that promotes innovation, consumer choice, safety, and economic growth throughout the city. It’s a model for cities across the country who are looking at ways to update their transportation laws for the 21st century. The law makes it explicitly clear that a company like Uber can continue to operate lawfully in Washington, D.C. The law is pro-consumer and pro-innovation; it’s pro-small-business, pro-driver, and progressive.

So what does the D.C. law include?

  • It explicitly defines a separate class of for-hire vehicles, sedans, that operate through digital dispatch and charge by time and distance.
  • It creates a single operator license for taxis, sedans and limousines and requires the D.C. Taxi Commission to actually issue licenses after a long four-year hiatus.
  • It sets new standards for price transparency that will benefit consumers.
  • And, above all, it brings regulatory certainty to the vehicle-for-hire marketplace – making it very clear that Uber and its partners, the licensed/regulated sedan companies and drivers, can’t be regulated out of existence.

Practically, this new approach means that consumers can rely on Uber to connect them to a ride with the licensed car and driver closest to them. It means never wondering if you’ll be stranded in a corner of the city because of how you look or where you live. It means having a reliable form of transportation you can count on 24 hours a day.

For drivers, it means that they can easily fill their downtime, be more productive, substantially increase their income, and continue to invest in and grow their businesses. It will help them live their own American Dream.

And for the city, it means that there will continue to be more transportation options – benefitting businesses of all sizes and boosting economic growth – and that D.C. will be known as a place that welcomes and embraces innovation that improves the quality of life for its citizens.

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Rose Park Playground Design Meeting Nov.29

November 28, 2012


Mayor Vincent Gray invites residents to offer feedback for playground designs in Play DC: The Playground Improvement Project. The initiative for the largest set of playground improvements in D.C. history – is a new, multi-year, citywide project that will drive the evaluation, improvement and ongoing maintenance of the playgrounds in DPR's inventory.

The design of Rose Park Recreation Center Playground will be discussed Thursday, November 29 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Rose Park Recreation Center at 2609 Dumbarton Street in Georgetown.

The feedback sessions are taking place in two phases. The first phase – presently taking place – provides residents and children with an overview of the project and gives them an opportunity to provide feedback on what they want to see as part of the renovations for their play space. The second phase of community meetings will allow architects to present renderings of proposed playground projects based on feedback gleaned in the first round and refine their designs on the basis of further feedback.

For the full schedule of meetings, read more here.

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