Martin Austermuhle | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Martin Austermuhle

Web Producer & Reporter

Austermuhle joined WAMU as a web producer and reporter in April 2013. Prior to that, he served as editor-in-chief for DCist.com, and has written for the Washington City Paper, Washington Diplomat and other publications. Born in Switzerland, Martin lived throughout Latin America before coming to the U.S. to attend Penn State University and later Georgetown University, where he received a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. He lives in Columbia Heights with his wife Carolina, a school teacher, and daughter.


Articles Written by Martin Austermuhle

WAMU 88.5
Throughout the government shutdown, D.C. officials loudly complained that their budget was unfairly being held hostage by debates they had no say in. But as part of the agreement that ended the shutdown on Wednesday night, D.C. is being given the authority to spend money from its 2014 budget, regardless of whether the federal government is open or not. The agreement passed b...
WAMU 88.5
The D.C. government announced today that it will collect trash at national parks within city limits that have been closed by the federal government shutdown. Close to 90 percent of D.C.'s parkland is owned and operated by the federal government, which means that technically access to the public has been limited and services are not being provided during the shutdown. ...
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Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe holds a five-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Virginia's top elected office, according to two new polls. The polls, one by the Hampton University Center for Public Policy and the other by the ...
WAMU 88.5
With many of Washington, D.C.’s most iconic sites shuttered by the partial federal government shutdown, tourism officials say that visitors are canceling trips and an extended impasse could have a negative impact on the city’s economy. “It's affecting everyone and the decisions they make,” says Theresa Belpulsi, vice-president of tourism at Destination D.C., the city...
WAMU 88.5
The party will go on along U Street. The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board today unanimously rejected a proposed moratorium on liquor licenses for the U Street corridor, saying that imposing one could blunt the neighborhood’s dramatic revival. In a written order, the five-person commission said that a moratorium on new bars, restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, ...
WAMU 88.5
If you're a smoker in D.C., you'll soon have fewer places to feed your habit. On Tuesday the D.C. Council passed a bill forbidding smoking within 25 feet of city playgrounds, parks, recreation centers and bus stops. There are some 300 parks, playgrounds and recreation centers within city limits, as well as hundreds of bus stops. The bill won't apply to federal park...
WAMU 88.5
The shutdown of the federal government is being felt across the country, but it is having an outsized influence within the boundaries of the District itself. At the same time that the National Park Service started placing barricades around the Lincoln Memorial this morning, it locked the gates around a playground in Lincoln Park, a popular neighborhood gathering site in Capi...
WAMU 88.5
If running up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or stopping to admire the statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. along the Tidal Basin is part of your morning routine, you'll have to change your habits during the shutdown of the federal government. With Congress having failed to agree to a spending plan for federal agencies, the National Park Service isn't only shuttering parks a...
WAMU 88.5
Happy New Fiscal Year! It's Oct. 1, and that means that new laws, budgets and policies are going into effect in various local jurisdictions, including Maryland and D.C. Here are some of them. Gun Control: Maryland new strict gun control measure takes effect today, banning 45 types of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and mandating that gun buyers g...
WAMU 88.5
If the federal government shuts down tomorrow, you won't be able to get into the Smithsonian museums or the National Zoo. But according to zoo officials, that shutdown won't be limited to the physical campus in Northwest D.C.—it will also affect the many web cameras that stream live images of everything from naked mole-rats and pandas to viewers across the country. In a se...
WAMU 88.5
It might sound unlikely or unbelievable, but it's true: D.C. is decreasing a tax. Starting tomorrow, the sales tax in D.C. will drop a quarter-point to 5.75 percent. The move comes in the wake of back-to-back budget surpluses and reverses an increase of the same amount passed by the D.C. Council in 2009, when the city faced a budget gap. With the 5.75 percent tax g...
WAMU 88.5
The federal government could be closing its doors, but Metro is keeping doors on trains and buses open to commuters, whether or not they have a job to go to. The regional transit agency announced this morning that it will continue its usual weekday service during the shutdown, which w...
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While the federal government could shut down at midnight tonight, D.C. government employees, offices and services won't follow suit. "The District government will be open tomorrow," says Pedro Ribeiro, Mayor Vince Gray's spokesman. City officials now say that D.C. will be spared a shutdown by paying its 32,000 employees out of a $144 million contingency reserve fun...
WAMU 88.5
With a potential federal government shutdown only days away, D.C. officials are preparing to defy Congress and keep the D.C. government's 32,000 employees on the job. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said Thursday that he plans on introducing legislation next Tuesday that would declare that legislative and executive branch employees are "essential" and should remain on t...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today declared that the city's 32,000 employees were all "essential" and should be allowed to remain on the job during a possible federal government shutdown that could start next week. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Burwell, Gray wrote: "I have determined that all operations of the District of Columbia are 'excepte...
WAMU 88.5
This week D.C. officials are celebrating a continuing decline in the number of new HIV cases in the city. But it isn't just the lower numbers that they are cheering, but also how they got there. According to the D.C. Department of Health, the number of HIV cases linked to intravenous drug use dropped by 80 percent from 2007 to 2011, with the number of cases decreasing from 1...
WAMU 88.5
Let D.C. grow. That's the message from the D.C. Office of Planning, which is pushing a federal panel to allow some of the city's buildings to grow taller than they currently can. In a document submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission last week, the Office of Planning said changes should be made to the 100-year-old law that keeps most buildings in the city from r...
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D.C. Services That Would Close Services To Remain Open Recreation centers Police Libraries Firefighters DMV Schools Earlier this week, the ...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. officials are celebrating a continuing decline in the city’s HIV/AIDS rate. According to a new report from the D.C. Department of Health, the number of new HIV cases in the city decreased by 46 percent from 2007 to 2011, falling from 1,33...
WAMU 88.5
A set of proposed regulations that would apply to tattoo artists and body piercers in D.C. could violate federal law. Tucked in the 66 pages worth of regulations proposed by the D.C. Department of Health in late August is a rule that would require tattoo artists and body piercers to deny service to customers that “may have a communicable disease, skin diseases or other condi...