On The Look Out

Jack's Boat House in Lease Dispute with National Park Service

December 26, 2012

The Christmas week lease eviction of Jack's Boathouse is on “hold” for now, reports Carol Ross Joynt in The Washingtonian.

Following stalled lease renewal negotiations, boathouse owner Paul Simkin received a letter from his landlord, the National Park Service(NPS) last week informing him of the eviction of the boat rental operation that opened in 1945.
"After the Wednesday afternoon meeting with NPS, Simkin described the nearly one hour discussion as “not productive.” He said, “I told them I was trying to find a win-win solution. They said they were meeting with me only at my request and they had nothing to add or to say.” Simkin said he would be contacting a lawyer as soon as possible and would proceed based on legal advice. “It will cost the Park Service a lot of money if I pursue legal action,” he said.
Read more here.


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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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