D.C.'s budget now awaits the signature of Mayor Adrian Fenty. The city council has passed the spending plan for next year, but it wasn't without some twists and turns.
Even the council's breakfast, a traditionally laid-back affair, was interrupted when activists burst through the doors demanding the council spare cuts to social services.
Later, in a move that caught many off guard, Council Chair and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray announced funding for the city's street car system would be stripped for at least a year, leaving the programs main backer, Councilmember Tommy Wells fuming.
"I was stunned," says Wells.
The reaction was immediate. Street car proponents began firing off emails to the council, and perhaps sensing the political fallout, Gray announced funding was back on track.
"There was never any intent to not do street cars, we are committed to this," says Gray.
In the end, the council passed its budget, although few seemed pleased with the result. One member called the spending plan a "mess," another said it was "mismanaged," and Councilmember Jack Evans even voted against it.
Linguist Geoff Nunberg says he feels a little defensive about choosing "selfie" — a word that wears its ephemerality on its outstretched sleeve — as the word of 2013. But not only was this a year when we couldn't stop posting photos of ourselves online; we couldn't stop talking about it either.
Sarah Ramirez left a high-prestige career to bring California's bounty of unsellable fruit to food banks in the state's Central Valley. Her grassroots organization is trying to address a regional conundrum: While many area farms end up with imperfect fruit that can't be sold to supermarkets, local farmworkers struggle to afford fresh produce.
Washington took two big steps toward more normal times. First, the Federal Reserve said it will modestly taper down its easy-money program. And then Congress completed the first bipartisan budget agreement in years. But some other obstacles loom.
Young professionals "co-living" in San Francisco-area mansions say they're doing more than cutting costs and promoting sustainability — they're building communities, and tech-powered social networking makes it easier.
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