: News

McDonnell Backs Off Metro Threats With Little Time To Spare

Play associated audio

By David Schultz

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is demanding more authority over how Metro spends the Commonwealth's money. He wants to appoint his representatives to Metro's Board of Directors. But McDonnell is backing off threats to withhold funding from Metro until it agreed to his demands.

Metro had to approve its funding agreement so it could honor a contract to purchase new, safer rail cars. It couldn't do that until McDonnell acquiesced, and he did so with just hours to spare late last night.

Metro Board Member Chris Zimmerman, a Democrat from Arlington County, says McDonnell was trying to play hardball, and lost.

"They clearly had not looked into it very well," says Zimmerman. "They hadn't talked to anybody. They sprung this within the last month. And so, they didn't know what they were doing."

Not so, says Thelma Drake, director of McDonnell's Department of Rail and Public Transit. She says this was not a loss for the Governor.

"Governor McDonnell never thinks that it's a loss to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth and the citizens of our great nation who might be using the Metro system," says Drake.

Drake says the McDonnell administration will continue to lobby for the ability to appoint people to the Metro Board.

NPR

Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.