- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hide your drinks, hide your fries

Metro Board member Peter Benjamin admitted he is taking the system’s no eating or drinking rule personally.

Mr. Benjamin suggested to Metro’s police chief at last week’s board meeting that “there’s value in an officer coming up to a person and saying, ‘You are aware you’re not allowed to eat or drink on Metro.’ “

It has been a sore subject in the past.

In 2000, a 12-year-old girl was handcuffed by a police officer for eating a french fry on a train platform.

In 2004, a scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency was handcuffed, frisked and held for three hours after an officer spotted her eating a candy bar at the Metro Center station.

Mr. Benjamin said he was traveling recently through the Gallery Place-Chinatown station at about 11 p.m. and saw “numerous” passengers eating and drinking.

“I walked up to a few of them and let them know it was against the law to eat or drink on Metro,” he said. “Some of them actually paid attention.”

No word on whether Mr. Benjamin was packing ‘cuffs.

Potholepa-what?

Though his administration is as eager to repair city streets as fast as his predecessors, at a photo opportunity last week D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray seemed hesitant to get behind the name “Potholepalooza.”

Started in 2009, under the more youthful Fenty administration, the name for the city’s pothole-repair blitz is a made-up word derived from the 1990s-era traveling musical festival Lollapalooza.

As he stood behind a podium in the middle of Jasper Place Southeast, just south of Suitland Parkway in Ward 8, the more Woodstock-era mayor turned to transportation officials to ask for a confirmation of the name.

“Potholepalooza? OK, we’re filling our potholes. We’ll go with that,” Mr. Gray said.

Left unsaid

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