- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2009


Zoning panel mulls gun stores

A new proposal by the D.C. Zoning Commission could allow for gun stores in every quadrant of the nation’s capital.

The commission has adopted temporary emergency rules that would allow gun shops to open in some industrial areas, throughout downtown and in areas that aren’t zoned for neighborhood retail. The stores would have to be at least 300 feet from a library, school, church, home or playground.

Potential locations include a small portion of M Street Northwest in Georgetown, some stretches of Connecticut Avenue and part of the New York Avenue corridor.

The plan comes months after the Supreme Court overturned the District’s 32-year-old handgun ban.

The commission’s rules will expire March 20. Zoning leaders want to hold a public hearing before permanently adopting the rules.

Norton wants hearing on Muslims’ deplaning

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says she wants a hearing on airline practices after nine Muslims were removed from an AirTran Airways flight on New Year’s Day.

The passengers were removed after other travelers reported hearing what they considered a suspicious remark about airplane security. The flight was departing from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

In a statement Saturday, Mrs. Norton said the reasons given by AirTran officials for removing the passengers - eight of whom are U.S. citizens and one a legal permanent resident - were “ignorantly off the mark.”

Reports of similar incidents among other airlines show that personnel are confused about how to judge security risks and respond to them, she said.

Airlines are allowing “amateurs” to make serious decisions, and that Congress has an obligation to address the incidents, Mrs. Norton said.

Streets will close when Obama arrives

Streets are to be closed around the Hay-Adams Hotel while President-elect Barack Obama and his family stay there through Jan. 15, D.C. Department of Transportation officials said.

Officials say 16th Street Northwest, between I and H streets; H Street between Vermont Avenue and 17th Street Northwest; and Connecticut Avenue between H and I streets will be closed to traffic. Parking also will be restricted and pedestrian access may be limited.

Residents will have access to their homes, and delivery trucks will be allowed to visit area businesses after clearing security checkpoints, transportation officials say.

The closings were to begin at 1 a.m. Sunday.



Newest congressman to be sworn in

Maryland’s newest member of Congress is set to be sworn in Tuesday.

Democrat Frank M. Kratovil Jr. won a very tight race in November, ending 18 years of Republican control in the 1st District, which covers the Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties.

The swearing-in ceremony starts at noon Tuesday on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The ceremony is closed to all but immediate family, but Mr. Kratovil is hosting an open house for supporters at his new office in the Cannon House Office Building, where they can watch proceedings on C-SPAN. Mr. Kratovil also will host a reception in the U.S. Capitol that afternoon.


Girl, 3, burned when candle ignites hair

A 3-year-old girl’s face was burned when a candle set her hair on fire in Cecil County, the state fire marshal’s office said.

It happened when the girl climbed on top of a kitchen table in an apartment in the 3000 block of Telegraph Road in Elkton to look at a burning scented candle about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The girl was taken to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., where she was treated for first- and second-degree burns to her face.

The girl’s mother and a tenant were present in the apartment at the time, authorities said.



George H.W. Bush carrier set to sail

President Bush will deliver the principal remarks Jan. 10 when the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is commissioned in his father’s name.

The George H.W. Bush is the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The commissioning will be at Norfolk Naval Station.

Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch, daughter of the ship’s namesake, is the ship’s sponsor. She will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

The George H.W. Bush will be initially home-ported in Norfolk and assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Once the Navy completes sea trials, the Bush will have a crew of more than 5,000 sailors.


Aging population expected to double

The number of Virginians 65 or older is expected to double by 2030, a report from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service says.

The report was compiled using U.S. Census Bureau data. It was done after a request last year by state legislators who wanted a briefing on the graying of Virginians.

According to the report, there are high concentrations of people 65 or older living in urban areas, in addition to a large population of the same demographic living in rural areas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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