The Washington Times - June 29, 2011, 12:38PM

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is among the nation’s most popular governors, the Associated Press reports. An independent Quinnipiac University poll shows that “55 percent of those polled said they approved of McDonnell’s performance during his nearly 18 months in office. Governors in Virginia are limited to a single, non-renewable four-year-term. Twenty-six percent disapproved of his performance and 19 percent were undecided.” The poll also shows that 52 percent oppose gay marriage in Virginia while 41 percent would support it.

Maryland residents will be allowed to receive home wine shipments but will have to pay slightly more on virtually all alcohol purchases, thanks to a 3-percentage-point increase in the state sales tax on booze, David Hill reports in The Washington Times. The two measures are among scores passed in this year’s General Assembly session that will go on the books Friday. So far the state has received applications for direct-shipment permits from 13 wineries, eight of which were in Maryland.


Residents of Ward 8 have been “greatly neglected” by previous mayors, D.C. Council member Marion Barry tells Tom Howell Jr. in The Washington Times. So it was good news when Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a friend and political ally, signaled a follow-through on his pledge to help areas east of the Anacostia River. In bold remarks, the mayor on Monday said “the future of development in the District will be centered in Ward 8” through a full slate of projects in government, the private sector, retail and real estate. Barry’s happy with the news, but he and other council members have mixed views about how effective the planned development can be in revitalizing the city’s poorest ward.

Bicycle lanes on L and M streets are endangered, the District’s incoming transportation director said, according to the Washington Examiner. “Terry Bellamy said during his confirmation hearing as director of the agency that the dedicated lanes were ‘on hold’ and at the risk of cancellation,” the paper said. D.C. Council member Tommy Wells acknowledged that cutting parking downtown to accommodate the spaces was a tough political sell, but he framed the debate as local bike riders versus out-of-town commuters (who don’t pay city taxes).

A Fairfax County police officer who shot and killed unarmed motorist David Masters in 2009 has been fired for improper use of deadly force after a nearly 18-month internal investigation, The Washington Post reports. David Masters, a former Green Beret, was the victim. “David Scott Ziants, 28, was the officer who was standing alongside Masters’s Chevrolet Blazer truck on Nov. 13, 2009, when it started to roll slowly away from him and several other officers. Ziants told investigators he thought one of the other officers had been struck, and that Masters was reaching for a weapon.” Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh ruled that the shooting did not warrant criminal charges and the paper reports that “police department observers” could not recall an officer being fired for his involvement in a fatal shooting.

Montgomery County police say a 40-year-old man died in custody after he was subdued by a taser, NBC Washington reports. The man was involved in a car accident at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday night on Route 29, near Briggs Chaney Road. The man crashed a 1993 two-door Cadillac into a barrier that separates lanes on the road. Fire officials said the man was acting aggressively when they tried to pull him from his vehicle, and they called police for help. An officer used a taser on the man in order to take him into custody. Investigators said a vial of PCP was found inside the car involved in the accident and a female passenger in the man’s car said he had taken PCP before the crash.