Marijuana Initiative Threatened
Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) said yesterday that he will introduce legislation to nullify Initiative 59, the District referendum to legalize the medical use of marijuana, if the D.C. Council enacts the measure and if a budget standoff between the White House and Congress stalls a separate city marijuana ban.
"It would be a travesty for Congress to stand by and allow a handful of activists to overturn federal narcotics laws with an argument that is, medically speaking, the worst kind of quackery," Barr said.
District voters approved the initiative in November, 69 percent to 31 percent, but the votes were not tallied until Monday after a federal judge rejected Congress's attempt to seal the results.
Separately, Congress has passed a Barr amendment to pending D.C. appropriations legislation prohibiting any city attempt to loosen drug regulations, although President Clinton has threatened to veto the bill for unrelated reasons.
Deer Reflectors for Telegraph Road
After this morning's rush hour, Fairfax County police will begin installing wildlife reflector devices along eight-tenths of a mile of Telegraph Road in the southeastern part of the county to try to reduce the number of collisions between deer and automobiles.
The pilot program is being paid for by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There are an estimated 50,000 deer in Fairfax, where there have been thousands of deer-related car accidents over the past several years.
Tuesday, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority recommended the continued use of police sharpshooters to kill deer in eight local parks. The County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review that recommendation Monday.
High Ridership at New Metro Stations
Ridership on the first few weekdays of operation of the two new Metro Green Line stations was nearly double the expected level, Metro officials reported.
On Monday, the first full weekday of service for the Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue-Petworth station, Metro recorded that 7,757 passengers used the two stations.
The count on Tuesday was 7,609 passengers. That's nearly twice the 4,000 passengers that had been expected. Ridership levels yesterday were nearly the same, according to Metro spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson.
Cleanup Day for Public Lands Saturday
Saturday is Uncle Sam's yardwork day.
Officially called National Public Lands Day, this weekend more than 190 federal, state, city and county lands--including a dozen in the Washington area--will get a sprucing up, thanks to thousands of volunteers from coast to coast.
It will be the seventh annual public lands day. Last year, more than 17,000 volunteers contributed nearly $1.5 million in improvements at 82 public sites.
Locally, this year's help-needed list includes: in the District, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the C & O Canal National Historical Park; in Maryland, Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Greenbelt Park, Catoctin Mountain Park and Patapsco Valley State Park; and in Virginia, Pohick Bay, Alexandria Seaport, Prince William Forest Park, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge.
For information on volunteering, call the national environmental foundation at 202-628-8200, Ext. 24.
Governor Requests Disaster Relief
Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) asked President Clinton yesterday to declare 11 Maryland counties disaster areas because of flood and wind damage from Hurricane Floyd. The declaration would make residents in those counties eligible for federal disaster relief.
The counties are Harford, Cecil, Charles, Anne Arundel, Kent, Calvert, Talbot, Somerset, St. Mary's, Caroline and Queen Anne's.
The aid Glendening requested includes grants, unemployment assistance, crisis counseling and small-business loans.
Scots Lobby for Official Arundel Tartan
Anne Arundel County has an official seal, an official flag and even an official tree. Now a group of residents has asked the County Council to adopt an official tartan.
John Dodds, president and founder of the Anne Arundel Scottish Festival Inc., the group that sponsors the annual Anne Arundel Scottish Highland Games, said adopting a tartan--the woolen plaid fabric whose unique designs and colors represent Scottish clans--would help promote the games and celebrate many residents' Scottish heritage.
A famous native Scotsman, John Paul Jones, is buried at the Naval Academy, said Dodds, who hails from Dundee, Scotland.
County Executive Janet S. Owens (D) is all for having an official tartan because it would increase the visibility of the highland games, said an aide, Catherine Kelly.
The council is expected to vote on the bill at its Oct. 4 meeting.
Construction Worker Hit by Car, Killed
A construction worker was struck by a car and killed last night while crossing Indian Head Highway near a work site in Fort Washington, Prince George's County police said.
The worker was part of a crew repaving the southbound side of Indian Head near Palmer Road, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman. She said the man, whose identity was unavailable last night, had retrieved something from a parked truck and was heading back toward the site when he was hit by a northbound car driven by a 17-year-old male about 9:25 p.m.
The man was pronounced dead at Fort Washington Medical Center, Richardson said. The vehicle stopped after the accident, she said. Police were investigating.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If the District government is ground to a halt and nothing is happening and I stand on a balcony and say, "Yeah, but I am only paying one person over $100,000,' I don't think I will get any brownie points." -- Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), who says the city must offer higher wages to administrators to bring in highly skilled people to make the improvements in city services that residents are demanding. Page A1.