On The Look Out

Evans stalls gambling initiative amid concerns

June 30, 2011

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans has stalled new D.C. gambling programs authorized without public hearings that would bring on-line gaming to District residents and local establishments.

Evans was able to postpone certain parts of the gambling law after calling a hearing for the first time this week on the unprecedented and little-known gambling program passed by the Council late last year under then-Chairman Vincent Gray.

Evans particularly expressed concern over the proliferation of so-called i-gambling "hotspots" where internet gaming could be offered to the public. If the D.C. Lottery would choose Martin's Tavern or other businesses as "hotspot" locations, Evans said, the Georgetown ANC would have no opportunity for input. "It's not quite the level of an ABC license, but [hotspot] locations could be in bars or liquor stores."

"If you don't have a computer, you could go there," Evans said. The ANC would have no say in the matter.

According to the agreement reached after Evans' hearing, the D.C. Lottery will meet with Ward councilmembers to organize community meetings to ensure residents have ample time to consider i-Gaming locations prior to any decisions being made.

Evans, who travels at least once a year to Las Vegas on behalf of the District but said he does not gamble in Sin City, expressed concern that internet gambling could harm District residents. "With gambling in general, you're essentially taking money from people," he said. "With i-gambling, you're in your house, and you can lose your money really fast."

The loss limit in the new law is $250 per week, according to Evans. "There's no doubt in my mind that you will lose that money. Because you'll keep playing. The house usually wins," he said.

The new law, he said, needs more scrutiny. "It did not go through the normal process."  Evans has asked Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi and the D.C. Lottery to answer questions before new internet gambling programs are implemented.

“Our civic groups and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions play a vital role in shaping our neighborhoods,” Evans said.  “We cannot move forward without providing them the opportunity to weigh in on these issues.”

But Councilmember Michael A. Brown (At-large), who spearheaded the effort to pass the gambling legislation, said hospitality businesses hit hard by the weak economy “are aggressively calling the lottery” in support of online betting, according to The Washington Post.

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WWII Girl Scout kit brings HazMat team to Tudor Place

June 13, 2011

Streets surrounding Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens (31st between Q and R) were closed Monday afternoon to investigate a HazMat situation, Mandy Katz, Tudor Place communications officer told The Georgetown Dish.

Tudor Place executive director Leslie Buhler released this note to trustees at 5:55 pm. "During the textile inventory project a early 20th c. girl scout medical box was found. It contained picric acid gauze pads which are highly explosive. After several calls to D.C. government offices, we finally were told to call the police. That resulted in a response by more police, fire, and the bomb/hazardous waste specialists.

All staff and visitors were evacuated from the property and careful instructions were given to the HZMAT team. After 3 hours, they went into the house and removed the pads from the box. They took them out to the driveway area in a protected position and exploded them. All is safe with no injuries or damage."

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Post: Brodsky charged with impersonating police officer

May 31, 2011

Former alcohol chairman Charles Brodsky was arrested Saturday night and charged with impersonating a police officer, according to a D.C. police report, writes the The Washington Post.

The arrest came one day after Charles Brodsky resigned from his appointed position with the board.

"Brodsky was parked in a no-parking zone in Adams Morgan on Saturday night, according to the police report. When an officer approached to issue a ticket around 9:15 p.m., Brodsky was seen entering the vehicle to remove a red dash light and a Metropolitan Police Department placard that read 'POLICE OFFICIAL BUSINESS,'” the Post reported.

Brodsky told the officer that he had recently been the chairman of the alcohol control board and was given the light by the District government to use on official business, according to the Post. He then changed his story and said “a police friend gave it to him,” the police report stated.

Brodsky also allegedly said that he was a police officer in Alexandria, according to the Post, but later recanted that and said he is not a sworn officer and does not have powers of arrest.

Via The Washington Post

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