It sounds like a helicopter hovering about a block away, our colleague Tom Jackman reported Thursday in his blog, The State of NoVa, and it keeps buzzing, 24 hours a day.
The building houses the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, where they deal with national security data such as the no-fly list. There is probably “a lot of heavy-duty computing going on,” Jackman writes, “which needs to be kept cool while running around the clock.”
The noise comes from 23 air-conditioning units atop the building, each with 10 whirring fans. And it’s been driving residents crazy for two years, penetrating homes even with their windows closed and the AC going full blast.
The neighbors have been complaining mightily, holding meetings, and trying to get some relief from local and federal officials, the owner — Goldstar Group of Bethesda — and the General Services Administration. (The former tenant, the CIA, was much quieter.)
A Goldstar representative said Wednesday that changes were being made and that the landlords were “optimistic” the moves would reduce the noise.
Rough on the diamond
The dust had barely settled after the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game and the team made up of lawmakers was already plotting a comeback.
“We’ll be back next year, so we can take that trophy back,” predicted Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
, one of the team’s captains and a co-founder of the charity game benefiting young breast cancer victims. On the House floor Thursday, the Florida Democrat congratulated (though “not too enthusiastically,” she cautioned) the team of journalists that beat the pols.
More cheerfully, she announced that Wednesday’s game had raised more than $50,000 for the Young Survival Coalition. And she vowed that the bipartisan team would “use the friendships we build on the field and take those into the chamber so we can work together on the problems facing our country.”
Despite the predictions, early scouting reports for next year show some grim news for Wasserman Schultz’s team: Some of its best players may not be there when the Lady Lawmakers seek their revenge. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) — an avid marathon runner who’s speedy around the plates — lost her primary. And two hot bats, Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), are facing tough reelections fights.
Alas, with job security in the media industry being what it is, the Bad News Babes’ roster could always winnow, too.
No working for bad guys
Attention, lobbyists! The fiscal 2013 financial services bill approved Wednesday in the House Appropriations Committee includes a provision that trims a lucrative client base for former presidents, members of Congress, top spies and senior political appointees.