Morning Notes

Grandfather Accused of BASE Jumps — Police believe that a 70-year-old grandfather — a former local runner — is the prime suspect in several BASE jumps from area skyscrapers. It’s possible that Chuck Moeser got away with as many as six plunges, including a 32-story plunge over evening traffic. [The Washington Post]

Local Houseplant Swap Today — Residents can swap houseplants today at 1 p.m. at Reston Regional Library. Registration is required for the event. [Reston Regional Library]

Taxi Certificates on Hold — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to maintain the area’s current fleet of taxi cabs. The limit for taxi certificates stands at 654 as demand for other transportations options like Uber and Lyft grows. [Sun Gazette]

Metro to Restore Some Cars — Metro may begin restoring some 7000-series railcars as the system transitions back to service. The move comes after a go-ahead from the Washington Metrorail Satefy Commission, which said it has no technical objections to the plan submitted by Metro. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]


Morning Notes

A Warning About Building Fires — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is encouraging residents to take an active role in practicing and promoting safe behavior during Get in STEP, which stands for Safety Takes Every Person, with FCFRD this week. This week’s highlight is heating safety. [FCFRD]

Plastic Bag Tax Goes into Effect Soon — A five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags provided by retailers in grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores will go into effect on Jan. 1. The county’s board passed the tax on Sept. 14. [Fairfax County Government]

Deep Dive into Effects of Segregation in Northern Virginia — A new report by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation and the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University offers new insights on the history of exclusion and segregation in Northern Virginia. [Reston Patch]

Photo by Marjorie Copson


SoberRide (Image via Washington Regional Alcohol Program)A local nonprofit organization once again is trying to make it safer, and cheaper, to get home during the holidays after drinking a little too much eggnog in the D.C. area.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is covering taxi fares up to $30 as part of its annual holiday SoberRide campaign. The free cabs will run from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day until Jan. 1.

“Last December, nearly 1,500 (1,456) Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson said in a statement. “For SoberRide’s hours of operation during just last New Year’s Eve, alone, such ridership (580) translated into the removal of a would-be drunk driver from our shared roadways every 49-seconds.”

To get a complimentary ride, call 800-200-8294.

Image via Washington Regional Alcohol Program


Uber X driver in Rosslyn/ARLnow.comfile photoThis is an op-ed from S. John Massoud, Vice-President of Dulles Airport Taxi and Arlington Blue Top Cabs.

For the past several months, I have been reading and hearing about how my industry has been holding back Uber and other ride sharing apps from being allowed to operate. It is time to clear the record about some falsehoods and other spin being put out by these ride sharing apps and those who are speaking on behalf of the ride sharing apps.

The taxi industry in Virginia has no issue with Uber and other ride sharing apps being allowed to operate. To the contrary, we are very proud of our industry and the job that we do transporting passengers from one location to another. We fear no competition. However everyone should be concerned with the concept of Uber X.

For those of you who do not know what Uber X is, it is a low-cost ride sharing service in which a passenger calls for an unlicensed driver to pick them up in their private vehicle and is transported in that vehicle. The average Uber passenger does not really understand the inherent dangers of this system. And they are as follows:

1. Uber X drivers carry no commercial insurance, only standard vehicle insurance. Meaning that if an Uber passenger is injured while taking a trip, they will not be covered by the driver’s insurance as the driver is using his/her private vehicle for commercial purposes while not having commercial insurance. And while Uber states they have $1 million dollar insurance coverage on all of their vehicles, such insurance is not available on the open market. And Uber has not filed to be self insured under the laws of Virginia, meaning each Virginia passenger in an Uber X vehicle is being transported in an uninsured motor vehicle.  (for those of you who think I am making this up, talk to the family of the 6-year-old girl in San Francisco who was run over by an Uber X driver last year.) Read More


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