- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2011

D.C. OFFICIALS ARE BEING PAINSTAKINGLY CAREFUL in proceeding with the city’s medical-marijuana program, even rejecting applicants for such seemingly simple mistakes as failing to sign and date letters of intent to grow or dispense the drug, reports Tom Howell Jr. of The Washington Times.

The city’s Department of Health has sent out 31 non-acceptance letters to businesses and individuals who showed interest in the program but failed to follow the letter of the law during the first step in the application process. The agency received 170 letters of intent from more than 80 entities that wanted to apply for a cultivation site, a dispensary or both. They are competing for just 15 registrations — 10 in cultivation and five on the dispensary side.

THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY appears at an impasse over how to redraw lines for the state’s 11 congressional districts, with Republicans and Democrats unable or unwilling to compromise on competing maps. The Republican-controlled House is pushing a plan that would largely keep intact the districts of the state’s 11 congressional incumbents, which critics are calling an “incumbent-protection plan” to help preserve the GOP’s 8-3 majority, according to The Washington Times.

TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION, the luxury lodging brand that bears the name of the New York real estate magnate, has proposed transforming the historic Old Post Office Pavilion into a nearly 300-room luxury hotel complete with conference meeting space, a spa and museum, reports The Washington Post.

Though listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol, the Old Post Office has been deemed underutilized by the government. The General Services Administration began soliciting proposals to redevelop the property in March, setting a July 20 deadline.

D.C. HAS THE HIGHEST RATE of drug and alcohol abuse in the country, reports the Washington Examiner. Experts say the wide availability of drugs, high stress levels and difficulties getting abusers into treatment fuel the city’s persistently stratospheric rates. The new report is by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

DELEGATE ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, the District’s non-voting member of Congress, was involved in a minor traffic accident Sunday with a police car, according to The Washington Post. The accident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. on North Carolina Avenue SE when Mrs. Norton was returning from a shopping trip to the Eastern Market. Her vehicle — a Ford hybrid with the license plate EHN1 — was hit by a Metropolitan Police Department vehicle, headed south on Eighth Street SE.

ALEXANDRIA HAS THREE RED-LIGHT CAMERAS in operation today, according to WTOP Radio. They are at the intersections of Duke and South Walker streets, South Patrick and Franklin streets, and South Patrick and Gibbon streets. The fine for running a light is $50. Alexandria installed the cameras at the same intersections in 2009, but the program was never fully operational because of problems with the state code.

A TWITTER ACCOUNT THAT APPEARED TO BE RUN BY THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE was actually fake, according to the Roanoke Times. The social networking website suspended the Twitter account called @VaStatePolice after the agency requested its removal. A police spokeswoman said the Twitter account had nearly 130 followers.