Capital Citizen with Clinton Yates (Apr. 14)

Apr 14, 2014

Local columnist Clinton Yates takes your questions about politics, pop culture, people and whatever else you like from D.C.

What's up gang, glad to be back! We took a couple weeks off for various reasons (vacation, election), but I'm happy to be here taking questions.

By the way, I might have seen one of you at Politics and Prose on Saturday, where I participated in the Ask Roulette show. It was fun! Here are some pictures of the evening

Did you make it down to the Tidal Basin this weekend? The place was awash with trash from visitors tourists just throwing their refuse everything. Nasty

The pictures of this situation are kind of incredible actually. To think that so many people would let a trash heap just pile up to such a tall height and width during the middle of a weekend day is wild. Must have smelled horrible, too.

The National Mall has an inherent problem in that people want it to always be nice, but people are also almost always there beating down the grass, littering on the walkways and generally not helping it stay pristine. It's a Catch-22. How much money do you really want to spend keeping it nice, if its just re-torn up every year.

That said, that trash heap was out of control. You'd think they could just send a bunch of people from the National Park Service with giant trash bags to at least temporarily mitigate the problem.

Here's a question from @EricaMToliver on Twitter: "Do you think the next Mayor will make SE Ward 8 a priority?"

Answer: No. I think there's often a somewhat false construct that because a place has been not considered a priority for a while that the basic construct of "making it a priority" is somehow going to fix everything at once.

What I will say is that for east of the Anacostia River, both wards 7 and 8, both Muriel Bowser and David Catania will be very present.

I spent Election Day with Catania talking to constituents in Ward 7 and I must admit that I was impressed with not only his overall knowledge of the area, but his very real on the ground impact just in terms of people knowing him on working terms.

And of course, Bowswer had her victory party in Ward 8. She also won a straw poll there in January and has said in the past that she'd consider appointing a deputy mayor for East of The River specifically.

D.C.'s Emancipation Day is tomorrow. I hear the plans are bigger this year than usual. How many people do you think even know what I'm talking about?

I doubt that most people in the District have ever even heard of Emancipation Day, nevermind actually participated in the parade. I wrote a column about it a while back. Basically, in celebrating the day that slaves were freed in D.C., (which was before the national ruling), various city leaders use it as a platform to lobby for voting rights.

It is markedly oddball from a strict entertainment standpoint. There are marching bands, pageant winners waving from cars, political types quasi-campaigning, costumed actors dressed up in shackles to symbolize the act of taxation with representation, etc.

This year, Vincent Orange is planning to make it a much bigger thing. The D.C. Council upped the spending on the parade to $350K, which seems like a lot frankly. He claims he's trying to make it a major draw for tourists, which is a good idea, but a tough sell. Though I hear there will be fireworks. Like, actual pyrotechnics.

No Question. Just want to hear a slight squeal and get your thoughts on the next 4 games.

Amazing game this weekend, serious month ahead, are you ready for it?

I see we have some soccer fans here today.

For those who don't know, LFC is Liverpool Football Club. They're team I root for in the Barclay's Premier League, and they happen to be having a pretty phenomenal year.

Personally, I'd say their chances to win a pretty significant. Monster matchup against Chelsea to come, obviously. That last Newcastle tilt is a bit of a trap game if it's not wrapped up by then.

So the first couple weeks of the baseball season are over. I know you weren't looking forward to the new Instant replay rules, but how do you think things have gone so far? Still not a fan?

I don't have a HUGE problem with them, but the challenges are quite annoying. They feel a little too football-y, but they're not the worst.

There was one in the Nats game the other night where Adam LaRoche was tagged out on a play at the plate which was super close, and they went to the replay which was inconclusive. That can get a little annoying.

But if they really wanted to speed up the game, there's a lot more ways to do that. Cut out calling timeout mid-pitches or mid-at-bat stepping out of the box. 

I don't mind replay yet. But then again, I haven't been out to the yard, yet. I don't know how I'd feel sitting through that live. When I do, I'll let you know.

Where do you plan on watching the World Cup matches this year? (#toosoon?)

Lots of sports questions today, haha. I got no problem with that.

As for this year's World Cup? I have one plan. Watch as many games outside as I can. I'm not going all out like I did last time. 

That year, I took off the first two weeks of the tournament entirely, and spent every day watching 3 games a day with different sets of friends all over the city. That was super fun. 

But the other thing I like to do is going to nationality-specific locales for matches where they result isn't hugely important to me. That adds a ton of fun to viewing, obviously.

Have you considered, maybe as an addendum to your "Tweet of the Week" post (which is good, btw) of clarifying or giving the stories behind certain terms or tags you use like #cmonson #bamma, etc.?

I appreciate that! Um, I don't really use a whole ton of hashtags with any real seriousness other than #cmonson. Which is just a basic way of letting someone know that their logic is faulty or shorsighted. I certainly didn't invent it. That you can credit to the almighty Ed Lover, hip hop heavyweight since I was a kid.

As for "bama", if you don't know that, you must not have been in D.C. long. Here's your explainer

No question, just wanted to say thanks for taking my question the other week about who you were voting for in the primary mayoral election. It was really cool to see people on Twitter, journalists and others alike, respond to a comment like that.

Thank you for asking, and I appreciate you circling back. The whole point is to continue the conversation and keep the level of discourse as high as I can, so I try!

Did you happen to see Outkast at Coachella this weekend? Did you see any other acts? What stood out to you, if so?

Yeah, that was weird. There a whole host of issues with that set, but I wouldn't so far as to call it "bad."

A lot of people are angry with the so-called hipsters in the Coachella crowd who didn't appreciate the ATLiens' work. That's bound to happen at any of these huge shows now that so many of them have gone relatively corporate.

I have a personal rule about not seeing rappers over 35 live (with maybe 2 exceptions), but I would have considered breaking it for this show.

Full disclosure, I saw them once in high school and it was awful. That was a completely different era and situation of course, but it is what it is. Mind you, I am very big Outkast fan, I've just always never really enjoyed them live. At least not yet.

I can't remember a big city having a mayoral election in which neither candidate is marrried and neither has children. Unlike DeBlasio, who put his family out front, its interesting that personal lives aren't ever mentioned or discussed. Isn't that odd?

This is a fascinating question. I'm going to presume from tonality and presumptive tone that this person asking is married and does have kids, and probably primarily only hangs out with other people who are married and have kids. 

Also, NYC's mayoral politics are sort of completely different than D.C.'s but that's another matter.

Honestly, I don't find it interesting that their personal lives are not discussed. I'm also going to suspect that such an inquiry is a bit of an age giveaway, too. In the older style of local politics, who you were outside of the office was a very big deal to a certain generation of voters.

I think now, and specifically in D.C., people don't care about that crap. They want to know how you legislate. Call more progressive or whatever, but I'm just not sure that the love lives or family scenarios of the people who write our laws are specifically relevant to their jobs skills. Voters know that, and so do campaign managers do too, which is why it's not stressed.

I'd say what's odd is that it was the other way around for so long.

We know you have a healthy fear of animals getting loose from their cages. How did you feel about that situation at the Kansas City Zoo?

I can't even tell you how scared I am of visiting the National Zoo when an orangutan decides to get out on the ropes for one last spin, then falls to the ground, creating widespread pandemonium.

But to think that a chimp knocked down a limb and built a ladder out of the enclosure, and then proceeded to convince his crew to roll out with him, is incredible. It really is.

Even more nuts is that they lured the animals back with what? Malted milk balls. Totally unreal story.

Alright gang, I'm getting out of here, but thanks again for the time, and we'll see you next week. Have a good one!

In This Chat
Clinton Yates
Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. He was born at GWU hospital the week before Ronald Reagan ended up there for the wrong reasons. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.
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