Prince George’s water shutdown likened to ‘natural disaster’

BIG RED UPDATE: Just as we were about to publish the Daily, WSSC announced that the Prince George’s water shutdown has been averted by diverting water from another source. No word yet and why this suddenly became a possibility at the last second. We’re not pointing fingers, but this smells like a Big Water corporate conspiracy to force customers to make a run on the grocery stores! Our original Daily post follows…

WATERGATE 2013 | As Prince George’s County prepares to shut down a massive water main for as many as five days, more than 150,000 residents are scrambling to stock up on water.

Meanwhile, businesses – including National Harbor – are preparing to shut down, medical providers are drawing up contingency plans, and county officials are employing grassroots efforts to alert customers who don’t have internet access. (WaPo, 7/17)

WTOP notes the situation as being on par with a ‘natural disaster and has a long list of helpful links about how to cope. Among the most important – how to flush when the water is off. (WTOP, 7/17)

EDUCATION/MENTAL HEALTH | In Fairfax County, students with disabilities represent 14 percent of the student population. But in the 2011-2012 school year, they represented 40 percent of long-term suspensions. Parents of these children are pushing back by saying that the school system doesn’t know how to handle students with disabilities. (WaPo, 7/17)

HOUSING | The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac legislation proposed by Sens. Warner and Corker is picking up co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. (CBJ, 7/17)

Related: When the bill was first discussed at the end of June, we asked Sen. Warner for his thoughts on how the legislation would impact our region, which houses the two mortgage companies. Here’s what he had to say. (Daily, 6/27)

– McDonald’s and Visa put out a sample budget for how people can live on a minimum-wage salary. It was widely mocked, but the Post’s Wonk Blog defends the budget…kind of. At the very least, it makes a valid point that a whole lot of people don’t think about budgeting. (WaPo, 7/17)

– The next step with the “living wage” bill is to stop putting “living wage” in quotes. Then it is for Mayor Gray to decide if he’ll veto it. But before he can do that, he has to receive the bill. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson says, “I don’t even know where the bill is.” (WashTimes, 7/17) Seriously? That does not inspire confidence in D.C.’s legislative process.

– The Post’s Harold Meyerson defends the D.C. Council’s legislation, mostly by bashing Walmart. (WaPo, 7/17)

TRANSIT | The Arlington County Board has approved the next phase of the Columbia Pike streetcar project. (WAMU, 7/17)

VIOLENCE | This will either make your jaw drop or not phase you in the least: Americans own nearly half of the world’s privately owned guns. That’s somewhere between 270 and 300 million firearms. (Atlantic, 7/17)

It’s a question that has long been on nobody’s mind. How much would it cost to be Spider-Man? Interestingly enough, the estimate is fairly reasonable (unless you work for McDonald’s or Visa). 

Also, some Americans are concerned about drones flying over American skies. Could it have something to do with them falling out of the sky and exploding?