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Tuesday, October 4, 2005

THE REGION

D.C. Armory Shelter to Close Tomorrow

The Red Cross announced yesterday that the D.C. Armory will close at noon tomorrow for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina.

Six evacuees remain at the armory, which has served as a temporary shelter for the past month. Workers have been searching for motels where the Red Cross can place the six people.

Three hundred to 350 evacuees passed through the shelter, including 295 who arrived by plane Sept. 6, Red Cross spokesman Cameron Ballantyne said. As of Friday, he said, 55 remained, 49 of whom were placed in hotels and motels over the weekend.

Summer Takes Heavy Toll on Bay Oxygen

An agency that monitors the health of the Chesapeake Bay said oxygen levels in the bay this summer were the worst since scientists started measuring them more than 20 years ago.

Scientists with the Chesapeake Bay Program estimated last May that oxygen levels in the bay would be low this summer. But a dry summer and low winds made the situation worse than expected.

About 3 percent of the bay was anoxic -- or almost without oxygen -- and 21 percent had low oxygen levels. Oxygen levels are lowest in the summer because excess nutrients washing into the bay and bright sunshine fuel the growth of algae blooms, which block sunlight for underwater plants. Low oxygen levels make survival difficult for fish, crabs and oysters.

THE DISTRICT

D.C. Taxis Testing Meter System for Fares

More than 20 District taxicabs outfitted with meters began cruising city streets yesterday as part of an eight-month study that will try to gauge the financial impact of converting from the current zone system.

The meters will be used to gather data and will not determine the fare. For comparison, drivers will record both fares, but passengers will be required to pay the zone rate. The meters have been set to charge $2.50 for the first sixth of a mile and 25 cents for each additional sixth of a mile. That amounts to $3.75 for the first mile and $1.50 for each additional mile. Officials said the rates are comparable to those in surrounding counties and in other major cities.

The study is being conducted by the office of the deputy mayor for planning and economic development. The current system divides the city into eight zones and charges a flat rate. The results of the study will be made public.

High-Rises Recommended for GWU Lot

An Urban Land Institute panel convened by George Washington University has recommended building high-rise office and residential towers where the university's hospital once stood.


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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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