Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Keeping Tabs: Presidents and Pitches

**For the third time since baseball's return to Washington, a sitting President will throw out the first pitch. Last year, President Obama declined the open invitation and instead threw out the first pitch for the All Star Game wearing the colors of his hometown Chicago White Sox. Former President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch for the Nationals in 2005 at RFK stadium. And I was there on the chilly Sunday night in 2008 when President Bush again threw out the first pitch at the just finished Nationals Park, opening the MLB season. If you are going to Monday's opening day game get there early. Gates open at 10:00am, game starts at 1:05. The game is sold out except for game-day $5 grandstand tickets. They go on sale Monday at the ticket booth beginning at 10:00am.

**Another type of pitch will be made this Thursday at a public forum near Mount Pleasant. All Souls Unitarian Church at 1500 Harvard St NW will host one of several Metro open house forums. They're trying to figure out what we think should be done to close the nearly $200 million budget gap for next fiscal year. Reduce services? Eliminate bus routes? Increase fares? I covered some of the worse case scenarios a few weeks ago. Hopefully, none of those will come to pass. But expect changes though. Uncomfortable ones. The hearing will begin at 7:00pm after a half hour open house. Can't make it? At the very least, complete Metro's online survey.

**Usually don't talk politics on the blog, but it looks like there may be serious contenders for two formerly comfortable incumbents. Yes, they are Mayor Adrian Fenty and our Ward One Council member, Jim Graham. Fenty may face the toughest challenge from Council Chair Vincent Gray who has opposed Fenty on some key issues in both substance and style. And Jim Graham may have to face off against Jeff Smith, recently of the DC School Board. They say "all politics is local." And in DC, that's all we really have! Since we're taxed without proper Congressional representation. All the more reason to look at the candidates and make a choice come this fall. Stay off the sidelines people! Democracy is a contact sport.