Talk:Washington, D.C./Archive 4

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Name

There is no discussion of a common question of where the name is derived from. This website, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/COLUMBUS/col3.html, says: "...and the new capitol in Washington was subtitled District of Columbia, in deference to those who would name the country after Columbus." Is this true?67.8.85.33 (talk) 04:14, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, yes and no. The name Columbia is certainly derived from Columbus. However, by the 18th century the name "Columbia" became a popular name for the United States; this is explained in detail in the article Columbia (name). It is clear that the commissioners charged with developing the capital named the territory because of its association with America, not as a tribute to Christopher Columbus himself. If you substitute the names, the city would be the "District of the United States", which absolutely makes sense when you think about it.
As for the source you cite above, I would be careful about using it. The website seems to be a class assignment and is therefore not a Reliable Source. The fact that they claim that Washington was "subtitled District of Columbia" is completely inaccurate and makes me question the second part of the paper's uncited claim. I hope this answers your question. Best, epicAdam(talk) 05:42, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Other Uses

The hatlink at the top of the page is to help guide users who may have been misdirected to this article. The state of Washington already exists in the primary article namespace. The only way to get to this article is to specifically type "Washington, DC", "District of Columbia" (or some variant thereof) or to link from another article page. Given this situation, it is highly unlikely that those looking for Washington state would be mistakenly directed to this article. Best, epicAdam(talk) 21:36, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Black population history

Hi. Thank you for contributing to the article. I wanted to lay out my reasons from removing the information to the history section. One, I did update the percentage of freed black in DC. The information was actually already in the citation from the Library of Congress, so there's no need to add an additional reference. I did, however, remove the statistic about the number of freed blacks following the Revolutionary War. That 10% figure was for the nation as a whole, not just the District and therefore is inappropriate. That is clearly true because the District didn't exist during the American Revolutionary War; it was formed years after.

Since this article is an FA, I also think the H-Net source is problematic. H-Net is a community website. While scholars do submit information to the site, not all of the people there are. Nor, for that matter, is the information verified or reviewed in any manner. The particular article you cited was actually a book review from an "independent scholar", and probably would not pass WP:RS.

If you have another source for the information about the freed black communities in DC, please feel free to re-add it, but possibly to the Demographics section. Thanks for your help. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:38, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Of course, not all of the information is demographic history. Believe me, when I rewrote the article for FA a while ago, I went through and added in information about the city's freed slaves, DC emancipation, black culture in the city, contributions to music and art, and made sure that the city's black history was reflected in the article's main photograph. I'm just a stickler for sources, and I have a pretty good feel for which sources pass muster and which ones don't. The fact is that almost anybody can post to H-Net. If the UMD scholar has this information published in another source, or better yet if the information is in Washington History (that's HSW's publication, right?) then that would be the appropriate source to cite. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:56, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I readded much of the removed material back into the demographics section. I think it makes more sense there since it can be tied into the information about the city's current black population. I'm hesitant to add additional details given the article's current size. I appreciate your comments. Best, epicAdam(talk) 21:28, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Education and Health Care

Currently, the images in this section include a school and university building. Should one of them be replaced with an image of a hospital since the section is titled Education and Health Care? I have pictures of Howard University Hosptial, George Washington University Hospital, and Georgetown University Hospital if they're needed. APK is not a Womanizer 13:37, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Hey APK. I don't have any objections to adding an image of a hospital. My only concern is that hospital buildings tend to be rather drab and generic. Like, if I had to pick between an image of Founder's Library and HUH... Founder's Library is the much more iconic image. I also think that GW and Georgetown are already well-represented in the article (main image and economy section). If you do have a good image of a hospital (maybe Washington Hospital Center, since it's the largest?) then we could replace the image of Georgetown Prep. Best always, epicAdam(talk) 17:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
On second thought, you're probably right. Hospital architecture doesn't scream fabulous. ;-) APK is like a firecracker. He makes it hot. 17:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Puerto Rico, Guam, and federal laws

Unlike U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, citizens of the District of Columbia are subject to all U.S. federal laws and taxes.

I removed "laws and" from the above sentence. As far as I know, everyone in Puerto Rico and Guam has to obey U.S. federal law. Tempshill (talk) 18:20, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Famous Lafayette

I see why you chose to remove "famous", but I think you're wrong. I wasn't saying he was famous, although he undeniably is, and that is not a matter of opinion, I was saying that he was the Lafayette we all know about from the Revolution, not some other Lafayette who happened to be a Major General. Stop reverting everything I'm doing here. You do not own this article, and I know what I'm doing. --Milkbreath (talk) 15:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

If you have noticed, I have not reverted everything; just instances in which you have unnecessarily added commas. Not everybody is familiar with revolutionary history and calling somebody "famous" is not going to aid readers in that respect. The Wikilink to the appropriate Lafayette is sufficient, should any readers be confused as to which one is being referenced. Best, epicAdam(talk) 15:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Right. I apologize for getting a little hot there, but I'm putting in work that's being wasted. Who has the right to just revert like that? --Milkbreath (talk) 16:24, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Please read WP:PEACOCK. --Golbez (talk) 15:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
It would be a peacock word in an article about Lafayette, but it's simply an identifying word here. And I believe I've edited the peacock page. --Milkbreath (talk) 16:24, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I am with EpicAdam on the commas. Those that he reverted back out made the text harder to follow, rather than easier. There is no virtue to copyediting in that case. As for "famous", perhaps there is another way to make the point. "Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame" identifies him without the flavor of evaluation, of assessment, that the simple adjective "famous" conveys. JohnInDC (talk) 16:06, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
This comma is not susceptible to our judgment here. They are a part of the printed English language and have been for a long time. Why are we talking about this? This is a wiki, and I'm allowed to put in what are mandatory commas in the real world if I want to. As for "famous", I understand the objections and agree that "Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame" is better. --Milkbreath (talk) 16:24, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I still dislike the use of the word "fame" and other variations of it. To say "of Revolutionary War fame" supposes that readers have knowledge of American history, which is certainly not the case for many Wikipedia readers. If you didn't know who Lafayette is, his "fame" isn't going to help your understanding. Best, epicAdam(talk) 16:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

(undent)OK, then, how about "the Marquis de Lafayette"? My problem with "Major General Lafayette" was that the specifying of the rank made me wonder whether this was the Lafayette of Revolutionary War, well, fame or some other one I was unaware of, since I'd never heard him referred to that way before. It was like encountering "General Alexander" for "Alexander of Macedon". He has always been "the Marquis de Lafayette" or, more usually, simply "Lafayette", which, come to think of it, works. --Milkbreath (talk) 17:44, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I propose simply stating "arrived in the American colonies with Major General Lafayette during the Revolutionary War". I doubt there can be too many Lafayettes who arrived during the Revolutionary War, and the edit also conveys the time period. Best, epicAdam(talk) 16:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Commas separating elements of a place name

There is disagreement concerning the comma after "D.C.". There must be a comma after it for the same reason there always is after the name of a state in sentences like "He was born in Feefer, Utah, in 1902." This is not open to debate; it is common practice in every edited printed work since the dawn of time. Our Manual of Style is silent, so we should adhere to common practice, not decide helter-skelter on an article-by-article basis, letting whoever shows up "decide" something that was decided long ago by experts unlike ourselves. --Milkbreath (talk) 16:33, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I'll pretty much repeat what I said above. Punctuation that creates ambiguity or makes a sentence harder to read is not helpful even if it is correct. Those commas aren't helpful. I suspect this has something to do with the way we tend to parse "Washington, D.C.", which is as a unitary name for the place rather than the city/state formulation that it technically follows. I'd be just as happy to leave out the comma between Washington and DC. Indeed if we did that then the comma after "D.C." would track fine. As in so many other things, Washington, D.C. appears to be a bit of a special case. JohnInDC (talk) 16:43, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The great thing is that language is that it does evolve. For example, I was taught in journalism school to never include a secondary period at the end of a sentence like you've done with "D.C." By the same token, I very rarely see such commas either. This brings me back to my original argument: people can debate endlessly about orthography, that's why we do rely on deciding things on an "article-by-article" basis. I think that the addition of the commas is unnecessary because they do not help readers. I also believe the addition of a comma after "D.C." changes a sentence's structure. For example, the addition of a comma in "If Washington, D.C., were a state," I believe transforms "were a state" into an apposition (a phrase used to describe the subject). To me, if the addition of punctuation is unhelpful in better aiding readers and potentially changes the grammar, its inclusion is unnecessary. And, for what it's worth, I do agree with JohnInDC that "Washington, D.C." is a bit of special case in that it does not follow standard place names. Best, epicAdam(talk) 16:48, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Have you guys been through this before? You seem to have prepared statements handy. The comma in question is invisible if you're not looking for it. Please look at any, and I mean any, reputably edited printed matter of the last 50 years. Yes, language changes, but there is a school of thought that says "That's what the guy who made a mistake said." Language has historically changed by a process of mistakes becoming accepted, but I'm mystified by those who take that to mean that we should go out of our way to make mistakes and defend them to hasten the process. Let's do our best to get it right as it stands. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and its duty is to be accessible. We should not invent new typographical conventions here; it distracts the reader from the material. (That was not a double period, by the way. The quotation mark intervenes. Nobody taught you not to do that, and if they did they screwed up.) --Milkbreath (talk) 16:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about Adam, but I'm just writing this stuff down as it comes to me. It's very easy to do when what one is saying makes sense! JohnInDC (talk) 17:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I've worked at different publications which have several separate sets of style guidelines. At times, guidelines at each publication directly contradicted each other. Does that mean that one is right and the other is wrong? Perhaps they're both wrong. Here on Wikipedia, since we don't follow any particular set of editing guidelines, we make our own based on consensus. Just because a particular consensus does not reflect what you see as "standard" doesn't mean that it's wrong or needs to be changed. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:11, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Show me a stylebook that allows that comma to go. --Milkbreath (talk) 17:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I drift through Wikipedia copyediting, and I like to touch up the FAs before they hit the street, so to speak. Those habits lead me all too often into confrontation with [,the word "troll" being taken and meaning something else,] badgers who turn to face me snapping and snarling no matter how I come at an article to fix it. I think I have a better sense of that aspect of Wikidom than a lot of editors do, having prowled the hinterlands so much. The badgers are always wrong. Sometimes it seems to be some form of mental illness on their part, sometimes they are fighting to preserve their cherished POV, sometimes they are so caught up in the subject of "their" article that they inflate its importance. One shibboleth is "special case". Every true believer thinks that his article involves a special case. The dog people want to capitalize every word having to do with dogs, for example. The bio folks think there is some wonderfulness in their logic that justifies "bacteria" in the singular. We have an article called Antlion, for crying out loud, and we narrowly avoided Antivenom. Consensus, sure, for subject matter, but the language is above it all. --Milkbreath (talk) 17:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Your copyediting prowess is appreciated. I can't show you a style book that "allows the comma to go" as proving a negative is notoriously difficult. To me, however, this comma debate is akin to the fights over British and American English. The British have a few problems with American spelling and punctuation. Americans point out that our language is different, the British point out that they've been writing it longer (they may, in fact, say "since the dawn of time"). Who is right? I certainly couldn't tell you. What I can say is that edits on Wikipedia are made with the benefit of the reader in mind. To me, the inclusion of the comma provides no discernible benefit to the reader and is archaic at best. And with that, I've exhausted all thought on this matter. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:56, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, though I have yet to exhibit much prowess here. I forgot to mention that not only are the badgers always wrong, they always win. That is one of the flies in the ointment around here. So you are saying that the quirky aversion a few editors at a single Wikipedia article have to a comma that the rest of the world uses makes them a dialect unto themselves on a par with an ancient country. It's hard to type while scratching my head. Um, ?????? And the benefit to the reader is that he doesn't wonder where the comma went, the comma that every other printed thing he's ever read uses. I could explain the rationale behind its use, that the higher-level place name is parenthetical and that the preceding comma makes it necessary to finish off lest the reader sense a false continuation, but that all goes without saying. To label a usage "old-fashioned" is mere name-calling, and the only equivalent reply is "Oh, yeah? Newfangled." I think I've countered every argument presented here in favor of reverting my commas, and nobody has effectively countered mine. Is that consensus? --Milkbreath (talk) 18:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying that this small group of editors is like a country, more like Wikipedia itself is. A people with its own norms, standards, etc. And, as much as I would like Wikipedia to be based on logical debate, that's not always the way it works. However, I will not stand in the way of other editors if they think the comma should be included. That is how consensus works. Best, epicAdam(talk) 19:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Layout of the city would be nice.

Can someone please download a map of the layout of the city similar to the one issued by the National Park Service? My personal opinion is that it would greatly improve the article. Does anyone agree? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.3.16.1 (talk) 14:22, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

What kind of map? Something like a road map or a map of the national parks? If so, I think that sort of material would be best left to a travel guides like WikiTravel. You'll notice that Washington, D.C.'s entry on that site includes those sorts of maps. Best, epicAdam(talk) 16:53, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I think a demographic map would be very useful for the Demographics section, and I certainly need to re-do the infobox map which was done when I was a newbie. The infobox map could show the city closer-up with some of the layout, along with an small inset overview map of showing DC's location within the region. --Aude (talk) 17:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, note that DC's GIS data, which is very rich with details, is usable [1] within our licensing terms. So, I could make new neighborhood maps or locator maps for other places in DC. --Aude (talk) 17:13, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Aude: Go for it. Not sure what kind of demographic map you'd like... just total population? race? gender? income? I'm thinking of the ones at Demographics of Philadelphia, which I do not find particularly helpful. They just look like colored mosaics to me. The other issue is that census 2000 data appears to be severely outdated at this point. I don't think anybody can claim that this is the same city that existed 9 years ago. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:32, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Census data is available to the census tract, census block group, and census blocks level. The decennial census data is most detailed, providing data at census block level, which is finer detail than neighborhoods but there is an issue with the age of the data. The Census Bureau does annual surveys, such as the American Community Survey, but they don't sample enough people to provide data at a fine level of detail that can be mapped. There are other types of data that are recent and at a fine level, such as crime, vacant properties, food stamps, and probably other types. Or it would be possible to provide a time series, showing demographics (e.g. race) for the 1960-1980-2000 census years. The Philadelphia maps could be a lot cleaner, with less noise, but mine would be similar with color shading (probably light to dark red). Multiple colors is a problem, since people might print them as black and white, and some people are color blind. --Aude (talk) 18:04, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Washington or District

The Act of Congress of 1871 states

this portion of said District, included within the present limits of the city of Washington shall continue to be known as the city of Washington

The name of the city in the infobox has been modified without consensus, and I suppose it must be restored as "Washington" --Jalo 14:12, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

WP:NAME says "Convention: In general, there are no special naming conventions for cities, unless multiple cities with the same name exist." the official name seems to be "District of Columbia (see [2]). -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:52, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Both "District of Columbia" and "Washington" are official. The website you link to uses both terms. —D. Monack talk 06:32, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I haven't been able to find a link to the articles of incorporation, but the official name seems to be "The Municipality of the District of Columbia". The page I linked above, http://www.dc.gov/ is titled "District of Columbia". Also, I note at http://about.dc.gov/symbols.asp, titled "District of Columbia: About" and headed "Official Symbols of the District of Columbia", shows the Official Seal, which is embossed "District of Columbia". However, I note that the U.S. Census reports statistics for places named "District of Columbia" and "Washington city" within the "District of Columbia Incorporated" (see Table SUB-EST2002-10-11-District of Columbia Incorporated Place Population Estimates, Sorted within County: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2002, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, July 10, 2003. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 21:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
D. Monack is right. One can argue that both names are "official", as each named is used in a number of various capacities from legislation to license plates. There is, however, only one "legal" name, the District of Columbia. That is affirmed over and over again. While Jalo does provide that one line from the 1871 Organic Act, he fails to mention that the legislation then says: "And upon the repeal of the charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, the District of Columbia be and is hereby declared to be the successor of said corporations, and all the property of said corporations, and of the county of Washington, shall become vested in the said District of Columbia". As such, I see nothing wrong with the Wikipedia article's current language. It's accurate, precise, and does a good job explaining a complicated situation to casual readers. Best, epicAdam(talk) 14:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Hoyas in VZ Center caption

Adam, just a quick note about an old question. I hate cluttered captions as much as the next guy, and pride myself on being extra concise. I also see the point about each of the previous teams being "The Washington so and so's". My first thing is that there is very little about college sports in the section (not that I'm saying there needs to be more) but if there was to be a note, you might mention the Hoyas. The second thing about the caption was that it completes the list of tenets, and shows how the arena is central to DC sports at all levels. Lastly reading it over, it should go "and the NCAA's Georgetown men's...", but I hesitate to add even more text. As a side note, if more college sports were to be added, we might mention that EagleBank Bowl at RFK.--Patrick «» 07:00, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Hey there. I don't have so much of a problem with it. I just know that it was added and then removed in the past, I think by one of the copy editors before FAC. Honestly, it's just a caption and nobody else has brought it up. I'm not sure we should be adding more college sports to the article. Colleges and universities already get a lot of mention in the article. Additionally, to add more info to this article we'd have to show that the college athletics have been in some way adopted by the city as their own. For example, USC and UCLA act (essentially) as LA's football teams. Besides perhaps Georgetown basketball, I don't think any other schools or teams in the District really approach that level of city-wide recognition. Best, epicAdam(talk) 14:15, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Top Hat redirect

A hat link was added recently to redirect to Columbia District, in case users who type in "District of Columbia" get to this article. I made the top hat link more general by directing users to Columbia, which includes all variations of the word, including the Columbia District. Either way, I'm not sure the redirect is necessary. To me, a redirect is only helpful for very close terms. I'm just not sure how many people would actually type in "District of Columbia" and not mean the city. Thoughts? Best, epicAdam(talk) 19:29, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Voting rights act

Kudzu1 has inserted some information about the new DC voting rights act that passed the Senate. I think we should hold off mentioning it in this article for a number of reasons:

  1. Per WP:CRYSTAL, Wikipedia doesn't report on future events. i.e., what is likely is not relevant here
  2. A number of provisions, such as the Kyl amendment that overturns DC's gun laws are highly controversial and will probably be rejected by the House, leaving the bill in limbo (again)
  3. The way the legislation is written basically sends the issue to the Supreme Court as soon as the bill is signed (if it passes). We will therefore have to wait until the court issues a ruling on the law's constitutionality before the law is actually implemented.
  4. The proposed legislation is covered adequately in District of Columbia voting rights.

I think any information should be added to the main article only when it is "concrete". Best, epicAdam(talk) 00:41, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Washington leader in foreign investment

An editor has clarified a statement saying that Washington, a city not noted for huge capital investments abroad, is the world leader in investing in foreign real estate. I would believe New York city. DC seems a bit of a stretch. Student7 (talk) 17:59, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Reducing median family income

Thanks for deleting the Washington Post reference about median family income in DC. They were quoting the US Census. But you can't trust the Post, can you?Student7 (talk) 17:59, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Burning of Washington

There is actually no occurrence of the phrase "burning of Washington" in this article, and no link from this article to that one. This should probably be corrected. 68.34.11.192 (talk) 00:29, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

The link is there. It was originally under "burned the capital" but I broke it out. Best, epicAdam(talk) 01:39, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

From the article: "On August 24–25, 1814, in a raid known as the Burning of Washington, British forces invaded the capital during the War of 1812, in retaliation for the sacking and burning of York (modern-day Toronto)."

This is wrong, as is clearly stated in the article it references, the Burning of Washington. Rear Admiral George Cockburn had planned an invasion of the National Capital soon after he arrived in the Chesapeake, but lacked sufficient forces to carry it out. When Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane and Major General Robert Ross arrived, they were determined to sack Baltimore, because it was the homeport of many Privateers that were harassing British commerce the world over. Initially, they were reluctant to attack Washington, since it was of little military significance and was likely to be well defended, and the effort might lessen their available forces and risk the success of an attack on Baltimore (which turned out to be exactly what happened), but Cockburn was able to convince them otherwise.
Though Cockburn arrived in the Chesapeake after the Battle of York, he had conceived his plan to invade Washington long before he learned of it. Remember that, before the railroad and the telegraph, news only traveled as fast as a man on horseback. TCav (talk) 19:26, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Hi. While a number of reliable sources claim that the burning of Washington was in retaliation for the burning of York, I am aware of the source in the main article that says that Cockburn never mentioned York. Although Cockburn himself may not have thought of the burning of Washington as direct retaliation, it is probable that the Battle of York was used to rally British troops. However, considering that there are probably multiple motives for the burning of Washington, I have edited the article to use the word "following", thereby making the sentence more neutral. Best, epicAdam(talk)
Actually, no. If you look closely, you'll see that there is only one source that claims that the burning of Washington was in retaliation for the burning of York, and all the rest have just plagiarized the first. That does not consititute "a number of reliable sources." In fact, quite the contrary. But thanks for the edit. "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." TCav (talk) 14:34, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

AIDS highest in US?

wonder if this information is correct and encyclopedic. --Docku: What's up? 04:26, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know, if it's the hightst in The US, but 3 percent is quite a lot. Here is an article in the Washington Post: At least 3 percent of D.C. residents have HIV or AIDS, City study founds, Rate up 22% from 2006 and I think the information is correct and encyclopedic. --Cyrus Grisham (talk) 11:29, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
done. --Docku: What's up? 13:45, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
The 3% figure is the official estimate, but most sources (one example: Newsweek) suggest it's actually higher (because 1/3 of the people carrying the virus don't realize it; people not getting tested, etc.) But I guess we should stick to the official numbers? APK thinks he's ready for his closeup 15:47, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

jibberish

Can someone tell me what the jibberish (dfhyijli) is that's located between two templates in the EL section? When I click on the "edit" button, it's nowhere to be found. Is it vandalism? APK thinks he's ready for his closeup 15:36, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey APK. It was vandalism in the capitals of north america template. I removed it. Best, epicAdam(talk) 12:14, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Periods

Not sure if this has been brought up before - but the Washington D.C. official government website does not place periods after the D and C--158.59.194.251 (talk) 14:28, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

This lexical ambiguity is based on the fact that U.S. states are shortened to two letters (MD, VA, DE, etc) and the District of Columbia has requested congress to be admitted as a state, but has been continuously denied. As a way to protest the continuance of being a colony that is subjected to Taxation Without Representation the District of Columbia government chooses to use DC instead of D.C.Justicelovespeace(talk) 1:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Quality of living in DC (with reference)

{{editsemiprotected}} Please add the following to the end of the Economy section (reference included):

The UK consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Washington, D.C. 44th worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.[1]

Thanks. 67.100.127.253 (talk) 06:26, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Request fulfilled. -Porchcrop (talk|contributions) 07:07, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not going to remove the information now, but I just question whether its really necessary. The ranking is relatively meaningless as doesn't provide any additional information about the city itself. I'll leave the question up to discussion. Best, epicAdam(talk) 13:35, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I didn't think it added much. I'm sure there are lots of entities that rank "livability" of a lot of cities. JohnInDC (talk) 13:44, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Alrighty then. If there is no objection from anonymous user 67.x.x.x, Porchcrop, or another editor, I will remove the information added shortly. Best, epicAdam(talk) 07:18, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Secret Service Police Car Picture

I would like to remove the good faith addition of the picture of the Secret Service police car to the article for the following reasons:

  1. The Secret Service isn't even mentioned here; it's left to the subarticle.
  2. The Secret Service is not directly related to the city but rather the federal government and the President.

As such I have opened the topic up for discussion. Best, epicAdam(talk) 00:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Makes sense. I've made an effort to keep the images tip top, and don't see the reliance of this one. A D.C. police car (see here or here) makes more sense. There is also, a plethora of available images on Flickr from one Andrew Feinberg. I like this one or this one, of his arrest series. Alternatively, we do have graphs, or perhaps we don't need every section to have an image.--Patrick «» 00:52, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
As a side note Adam, how do you feel about replacing the license plate with this "voting rights mural" or an image of Norton, like this? I may also try to set up a better photo of that mural this week.--Patrick «» 01:04, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Hey Patrick. I think it would be best to just remove the image rather than trying to replace it with other photos of law enforcement. My reasoning is that Crime is described as a sociological phenomenon as it relates to demographics; police and law enforcement isn't even mentioned in this section at all, except for the "see also" to the MPD... As for the other question, I do like the license plate; I think its unique, iconic and easily understood. I don't think too many people would get the relevance of a picture of a mural in the section, especially since the text is difficult to read as a thumbnail. Plus, I think there may be copyright issues with the image... just because the mural is public art, doesn't mean that the painter has granted a free license. The DC Vote rally may push WP:NPOV just a little too far. I know a few editors (User:SMP0328. comes immediately to mind) who would have a serious problem with the image. Let's see what other editors think. Thanks for your input; it's always appreciated. Best, epicAdam(talk) 02:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I like the mural idea, especially since I took the photo... It was on the Dc voting rights page for a while, but removed as NPOV by SMP0328. -- Autopilot (talk) 20:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

The car looks pretty much like every other police car one would see in any other jurisdiction in the country. I don't see that it adds anything to the article. JohnInDC (talk) 02:47, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Whoever removed it is kind of not following what wikipedia is built on, and that is the ability to communicate with the editors. I added that picture last night so I would say about 3/4 of a day passed and it was already gone. Thats not how you do it. Next time I ask you to please talk about it before automatically removing it and then deciding to create a discussion. The point of the discussion was to see if it should remain, and I quite don't see the point of this discussion since its been removed. Thanks for pointing out the D.C. police car photos, I missed those, we could put that back up in the crime section, I like MPDC_cruiser_130.jpg. I think that that it also takes common sense to pickup the fact that the secret service has a substantial presence in the city, but I think since its not "officially"(bureaucratically) correct why don't we put up a picture of the that D.C. cruiser. ZStoler (talk) 20:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we need a picture of any police car. Maybe if DC had an all-amphibious fleet or something else special. As it is, people know what police cars look like, DC's look like everyone else's, and a photo here doesn't add anything particularly enlightening about Washington. JohnInDC (talk) 20:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

District of Columbia

I think we should split this article into two pages: Washington (City) and District of Columbia, as they are not the same thing. The District of Columbia is a seperate thing from the city, as Washington, D.C. is only a part of the federal district. The District of Columbia page would have info on it's history, origin of name, size, and the return of part of it to Virginia.--Carolinapanthersfan (talk) 22:21, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Nowadays I think this distinction is meaningless. But if they were to be separate, what would be in the Washington (City) article? And, how would we sensibly write up that article separately from Washington, D.C.? JohnInDC (talk) 22:30, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
On wikipedia, when two entities are coterminous and politically identical, we combine the articles. For example, there are not separate articles for:
  • Orleans Parish and New Orleans (the city is coterminous with the parish)
  • San Francisco County and San Francisco (consolidated city-county so it's a single entity anyway)
  • Monaco the city and Monaco the country (the city is a coterminous city-state)
  • Singapore the city and Singapore the country (see above)
  • Washington, DC, and the District of Columbia (the city is coterminous with the district and the two share governments completely)
The only exception I'm aware of is Philadelphia County and the city of Philadelphia, not entirely sure why it's treated differently from New Orleans. But the point is, the trend seems to be to use one article. Washington and the District are politically the same entity, and share the same borders. There's zero point to split them. --Golbez (talk) 00:06, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I could not disagree more with Carolinapanthersfan. The argument that the District of Columbia is a separate entity from Washington, D.C. is erroneous and perpetuates a misconception of the uninformed. --epicAdam(talk) 00:54, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

The District of Columbia may not be separate entity from the City of Washington but it is enough that the District of Columbia should be treated like a state (D.C. statehood movement) and the City of Washington like the City of New York. Mr Taz (talk) 19:52, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. I can think of precious little history and few facts that apply to one and not to the other. *Even if* Washington DC achieves statehood, I can't imagine what you could say about one that you wouldn't say about the other. If in the future we wind up with a "state", including the "city of Washington" and some smaller, separate, included "federal enclave" - then, maybe, you'd have a conceptual reason to split the article. (It would probably still be a silly thing to do even then.) But today? It's a pedantic distinction, and would only confuse users of the encyclopedia possessed of the popular and commonsense notion that "Washington" and "D.C." are coterminous and indistinguishable. JohnInDC (talk) 19:58, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Totally disagree with Mr Taz. First, Washington, DC is a unitary entity. End of story. Doesn't matter if you call it a city/state/federal district; all the information belongs in a single article. Further, not since 1871 has the City of Washington even existed. Finally, the article split tag is ridiculous. There is 53KB of readable prose, well within Wikipedia guidelines at WP:SIZERULE. Best, epicAdam(talk) 23:09, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Why Split:

Mr Taz (talk) 14:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Umm... okay, and on what lines would you split it? We've repeatedly established that Washington City and the District are - politically, geographically, culturally, fundamentally - the same entity. --Golbez (talk) 17:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 combined the City of Washington, the City of Georgetown, and the County of Washington into the District of Columbia. It should be noted that at the top of nearly all legislation that comes out of Congress, they use "City of Washington," at the beginning and not the District of Columbia. Justicelovespeace(talk) 1:51, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you may be confused as the situation in regards to Congress is exactly the opposite. All legislation from Congress makes reference to the District of Columbia... Check out the Library of Congress and try searching for each phrase. "City of Washington" does not appear in any bills, whereas the "District of Columbia" is referenced in almost 150 pieces of legislation. As such, I think the lead is just fine. Additionally, there's no reason to use color and bold font on a talk page; some people may interpret it as being uncivil. Best, epicAdam(talk) 13:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Moving the Federal Capital

I believe that it is worthwhile to mention that after the British looting and burning of Washington during the War of 1812, there was some serious consideration in Congress of moving the Federal Capital inland to a much more defensible location. Have read that the new location that was most discussed was an are in or around Cincinnati, Ohio. However, as a long peacetime was settling in across our country, nothing was ever done about moving the capital, and the idea died out.

It is interesting that several states have moved their state capitols several times apiece. For example, there is Georgia, which moved its capital the last time, following the War Between the States, from Milledgeville, GA to Atlanta, GA. That might seem like a long time ago, but it really isn't. Among other states that have moved their capital cities are Alabama, California, Iowa, Tennessee, and Virginia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.67.175.127 (talk) 20:37, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

September 11, 2001 in the History Section

The following paragraph seems out of place in the history section:

"On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and deliberately crashed the plane into the Pentagon in nearby Arlington, Virginia. United Airlines Flight 93, believed to be destined for Washington, D.C., crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers tried to recover control of the plane from hijackers."

The history section focuses entirely on the land apportionment, districting, and governing of the city. The brief mention of events that take place outside the city and have nothing to do with the geographic development of the city should be excised. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.56.22.12 (talk) 12:45, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

There has been much discussion about this point at every stage of the article's development through the multiple peer reviews, good article review, and featured article reviews processes. The general consensus has been that the September 11 attacks are largely viewed as being attacks on New York and Washington, despite the fact that the Pentagon is physically located in Arlington. This is acknowledged in many news reports and even the Pentagon itself maintains its ceremonial connection to Washington in its signage and address. In addition, many argue that the attacks affected D.C. to a much larger extent than elsewhere in the nation in terms of the new layers of security added around the city, permanent street closures, airspace restrictions, etc. as a result of the attacks. These reasons have been enough to keep the information in the article for that last eight years, but of course, consensus may change and I would wait for the thoughts of other editors. Best, epicAdam(talk) 13:54, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree, epicAdam. The September 11 attacks changed the entire country, especially DC. APK that's not my name 14:41, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Columbia

I have several objections to including the information and sources that User:Bostonian Mike included within this article:

  1. I believe the information too far out of scope. The assertion that the name "Columbia" may have been first coined by Samuel Johnson is not entirely important to the history of the city. This tidbit of information is important to the broader scope of the name, and is therefore entirely relevant to the main article at Columbia (name).
  2. The citations added to the article are largely irrelevant and only provide a brief mention of the name "Columbia" (and in the case of the "Debates in Parliament", just a thesaurus-like directory). There is nothing to be gained by readers wishing to know more about the history of the District of Columbia by referencing those sources.
  3. Neither source claims that Samuel Johnson first coined the term. Providing a primary source does not back up the claim that Samuel Johnson first coined the term and most likely constitutes original research.

Additionally, two editors have reverted the additions to the article, showing that there is no consensus for the addition of the material. I would ask that other editors make their comments here and keep the three revert rule in mind before making additional changes. Best, epicAdam(talk) 00:44, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

For the record, I concur with Epicadam. This tidbit may have a place in Columbia and perhaps Samuel Johnson (though surely it's one of his lesser accomplishments) and I see no reason to shoehorn it into this article as well. JohnInDC (talk) 02:30, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

The reason the source is not out of scope is it gives the origin of the term Columbia as a poetic name for America, which DIRECTLY follows the original text and sources it, whereas the initial source that follows it doesnt inform anyone of this fact, Its completely uniformative.

On the page Washington District of Columbia, to know where the name Columbia comes from is an absolute minimum, especially given there isnt a seperate District of Columbia page. Of the cities name, where does Washington come from - Answer: George Washington, and name Columbia is from where???? The initial text informs nothing. Granted while Johnson in all liklihood coined the term, i propose that a concise variation of its source be used..such as Columbia being a poetic name for the United States termed in Britain (with the 1738 source), and in use at the time. Wikipedia is about informing, providing sourced, relevant, documentated , factual information that refers specifically to the subject in question, hence this needs addressing, in a concise manner. Bostonian_Mike(talk) 00:44, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Except Wikipedia isn't about including every known fact about every subject in the subject's article. As written, the article explains that the District of Columbia took its name from the term "Columbia", a poetic term then in use to mean the United States. This article, about the District of Columbia, thus explains how "Columbia" came to be applied to the District of Columbia. The term "Columbia" is wikilinked, to an article that in turn explains the next level of depth, namely, how the word came to be applied to the United States. Anyone who finds the matter intriguing and wants to know that too can simply click the link and they are transported to another article that gives them the answer. Explaining how the term "Columbia" came to refer to the United States, here, answers that question at the same level as explaining how the Washington family came by its name. Interesting information, useful to many no doubt - but this article is not the place for it. JohnInDC (talk) 04:16, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
E/C -- The article text and the referenced link to the DC Historical Society states very precisely that Columbia was a poetic name for the United States in use at the time. However, for editors to go back and discuss the etymology of every word would be like, to use your example, explaining how the name "Washington" came to be from the small English town in Tyne and Wear. I believe the explanation and source provided in the article works just fine. Totally agree with John. Best, epicAdam(talk) 04:31, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Damn, think i killed myself there with the Washington comment..lol, ok guys, still feel though that its undersourced (not the text in the page as granted this is not specifically about Columbia) but the source itself in only saying it was popularized.Bostonian_Mike(talk) 04:44, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Notable people lists

There is currently the following three lists with notable people from Washington, DC, and/or its metro area:

This seems rather redundant, not to mention that the "List of..." articles are also highly prone to vandalism by all sorts of people adding individuals that really aren't notable (e.g. garage band members that fail to meet WP:BLP, high school friends, etc). I think, for the easiest maintenance, the two "List of..." articles should be merged and redirected into Category:People from Washington, D.C. By going with the simple category listing, maintenance would be much easier, as editors of articles can directly add the category to their biography page. Vandalism and non-notable edits would also be drastically reduced or eliminated because there wouldn't be a page for people to add people to. Dr. Cash (talk) 13:49, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Being quite honest, I think the "notable people" lists are pointless. However, I will note that there are some who are quite adamant about differentiating those people who are from the city and those who are from the Washington metro area; to many editors, it's a significant point. But, in response to the proposal, I do not have any aversion to eliminating the lists and moving to a category-only classification. Best, epicAdam(talk) 14:58, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
What I would plan is to have a Category for "People from Washington, DC", where all the people specifically from the District are in. Within that, there would be subcategories for people from various suburbs surrounding the District (e.g. category:People from arlington, virginia, category:people from bethesda, maryland, etc). Dr. Cash (talk) 18:17, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Seeing no opposition, both separate list articles have been merged & redirected to Category:People from Washington, D.C. Dr. Cash (talk) 02:37, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

editsemiprotected

One of the main reasons for the move from Philadelphia was the 1780 Gradual Abolition Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It allowed owners of slaves from other states to bring their slaves into Pennsylvania with them, but they were only allowed a temporary residency of six months. If the slave owner stayed longer than that, their slaves were given their freedom by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Because Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 – 1800, the “Father of Our Country,” George Washington had to deal with the temporary residency issue. In fact, at least two of his slaves escaped while Washington resided in Philadelphia. At first, Washington rotated his slaves between Mt. Vernon and Philadelphia, within the six-month limit; and he never brought more than one member of a slave family to Philadelphia, lest it create a greater temptation to escape to freedom. Eventually, in deference to the 1780 act, Washington used German indentured servants. President Adams also had to deal with temporary residency for his slaves. The temporary residency clause in the Gradual Abolition Act was a key factor in the decision to move the national capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., where slavery was law.

From the Alison-Antrim Museaum in Greencastle, PA http://www.greencastlemuseum.org/ Georgep4055 (talk) 20:31, 29 August 2009 (UTC) georgep4055

I have a few issues with including this information in the article:
  1. The information comes from this page: [3], a portion of a newsletter by an unnamed author; I question whether this constitutes a reliable source. Other sources about the 1780 act do not make a similar claim that the law was a "key factor" in moving the capital. (Independence Hall Association) Nearly every other source puts the decision to move the capital squarely on the Compromise of 1790, and the fact that Maryland and Virginia legislatures passed laws to grant land to the Federal government; Pennsylvania did not.
  2. There is also a bit of a logical fallacy in the argument that this act was a key factor in moving the capital. The Gradual Abolition Act was in effect while Philadelphia was the capital until 1873, when the Congress was run out of town; it seems like this would have been a reasonable problem at the time as well. When the founders wrote the new constitution in 1787, the capital remained in New York City. When the federal capital did return to Philadelphia, the founders knew full well that the law was still in effect, yet again, this did not prevent their return. In fact, based on the above text, Washington seemed to remedy the problem himself through the use of indentured servants. In addition, slavery would have been legal in any federal district if Congress approved. It therefore seems peculiar that a state law would have been a determining factor in where to put the federal District.
Any other editors have thoughts? Best, epicAdam(talk) 01:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Demonym

What's the demonym for people who are from DC? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 143.231.249.141 (talk) 18:53, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Washingtonians. APK that's not my name 21:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
And what if theyre from seattle? Washington-but-more-of-to-the-north-west-and-slightly-ranier-ians? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.73.107.90 (talk) 17:35, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Same word. That's allowed. --Golbez (talk) 14:42, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

avenues in the district

the statement that all 50 states are represented by avenues is not correct. Ohio and California DO NOT have avenues named after them. California STREET is in NW, as well as Ohio DRIVE. these 2 states dont have avenues, and not all avenues radiate off of a circle. trivial facts, but the article is misleading nonetheless. also theres avenues not named after states, etc look at a map. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.55.122.77 (talk) 13:25, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

The original statement didn't say that all states had avenues, but it did imply it. Regardless, you point is well taken and I've removed the line. —D. Monack talk 00:55, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Sports Teams

The last listing of the Washington RFC as a Super League team is now outdated. Washington RFC is now only a Division 1 team playing in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union, along with three other teams in the immediate DC-metro area.

PAC (Potomac Athletic Club) is now the only Super League rugby union club that plays out of DC. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.220.39.189 (talk) 15:49, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Right you are. I made the change. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:46, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Include ASL as a language in DC

It is estimated that ASL could be the 4th most commonly used language in the United states (see source below). The census bureau has ignored this language in its estimate of languages used in the US. Because of the presence of the world's only University for the Deaf, Gallaudet, there should be some mention of the use of ASL as one of the commonly used languages in the District. Finding a good estimated number would be difficult for the reasons stated in the source below, however; officials at Gallaudet might be able to assist in this.

http://gri.gallaudet.edu/Publications/ASL_Users.pdf —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.183.73.254 (talk) 17:18, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi. Thank you for bringing up ASL. If anybody can find figures dealing with specifically the number of people who communicate using ASL in the District itself, I think those numbers should absolutely be included. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:42, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Comments from user talk page

Hi all. A number of editors have left comments on my personal talk page regarding the content of the article. I have reposted them below so that other editors have the chance to respond as well. Thank you all for you interest and support. Best, epicAdam(talk) 17:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

DC Architecture and a Few Miscellaneous Items

Dear Adam:

I read the Post article with interest. Thank you for correcting the misinformation about the DC building height limitations! I have a few other minor corrections or revisions of nuance to propose to you.

1. The article indicates that the McMillan Plan is regarded as the "completion" of L'Enfant's plan. Indeed, it is widely regarded as such, but in fact, the urban design proposed by the McMillan Commission was thoroughly different from L'Enfant's. First, it's worth noting that, strictly speaking, it was not L'Enfant's plan that was executed in the first place--it was that of Andrew Ellicott, which was based on the work of L'Enfant, but contained a number of important differences (including the exact routes of certain major avenues, the designs of some of the major public squares and parks, and the layout of what became the National Mall). The McMillan Plan (officially called the Senate Park Commission Plan) did indeed call for a resurrection of the basic spirit of the L'Enfant/Ellicott plans, but the later design was heavily influenced be prevailing architectural attitudes at the turn of the 20th century. The Senate Park Commission envisioned a much grander and more elegant monumental core than did L'Enfant.

2. The article describes the original Library of Congress building as "French Second Empire." Although there is evidence that aspects of its design were inspired by the Opera House in Paris, most architectural historians would argue that the LoC building is more of a "German Renaissance" design.

3. The article refers to the Old Stone House as the oldest building standing in the District of Columbia. This is actually a very tricky issue. While the Old Stone House is regarded as the oldest LARGELY INTACT building still standing on ITS ORIGINAL SITE in the District, there is at least one other building that could claim to be the OLDEST BUILDING IN the District. The Lindens, a private house in Kalorama, was built in 1754 -- more than a decade before the Old Stone House -- but the catch is that it was built ELSEWHERE and later moved to its current site. There are also several PARTS of other buildings in the city that are older than these structures and remain standing, but have been absorbed into larger structures.

4. The article's mention of the National Building Museum could be misinterpreted to suggest that the museum is a federally operated institution like the Smithsonian or the National Gallery of Art. While it was indeed chartered by Congress, the National Building Museum is a private, nonprofit institution. It also includes some long-term exhibitions, in addition to temporary and traveling shows.

5. When Sharon Pratt Kelly was elected mayor, she was still Sharon Pratt Dixon. She later remarried while in office and took the name Kelly.

Thanks for your efforts!

- A local architectural historian —Preceding unsigned comment added by ArchDes (talkcontribs) 15:52, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Regarding item 1, above:
That's not all that the McMillan Commission did. L'Enfant's original plan called for a "Grand Avenue, 400 feet in breadth, and about a mile in length, bordered with gardens, ending in a slope from the houses on each side" in the center of the present National Mall.(See "The L'Enfant Plan for Washington"). Ellicott's revision of L'Enfant's plan retained this avenue. (See Andrew Ellicott's "Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia") As you can presently observe, L'Enfant's "grand avenue" in the Mall does not exist. Blame or thank the McMillan Commission and others for this largely overlooked demonstration of the truth of the old adage: "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray". Corker1 (talk) 00:40, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi ArchDes. Thanks for taking the time to review the article and contribute. I have adjusted the article to reflect many of the points you have brought up here. You've really hit what is a very nuanced situation with Wikipedia whereby the summary articles are almost inherently less precise than the more detailed sub-pages. In particular, the information about the McMillan plan is particularly difficult to explain in a succinct manner. Whether you believe that L'Enfant or Ellicott is more responsible for the design of the city is really a more philosophical question: What is more important? The overall concept or the gritty details? Those who say the former (myself included) credit L'Enfant, whereas those who believe the latter are more likely to credit Ellicott. As it is, I think the article does do a good job of explaining L'Enfant's overall vision of the city (i.e. the grand avenues, large parks, traffic circles, etc.) while still crediting Ellicott with the final design completion and then the McMillan commission's role in largely preserving their work. Should you have any more ideas, please be bold and dive right in, or feel free to comment here. Best regards, epicAdam(talk) 18:18, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Washington DC minimum elevation

Hey, I just read the good article in Washington Post re your WP improvement work. Great going! Out of curiosity I scrolled thru the DC article, and was indeed impressed by its quality. However, I noticed one factoid that could be an error; it states the maximum and minimum elevations in the District. It says the minimum is sea level at the Potomac intersection. I doubt that is true; otherwise the river would not continue to flow southeast-ward. If you have access to a USGS 7.5' quadrangle map (WASHINGTON, D.C. EAST, probably), you could see what it lists as the riverfront elevation. Thanks in advance. Raymondwinn (talk) 22:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the comment above by Raymondwinn:
The southwest boundary of the District of Columbia is the Potomac River's mean level at the Virginia shore. The River is therefore entirely within the District.
The River is tidal below Chain Bridge. The lowest point at the bottom of the river within the District (probably near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge) is the lowest point in the District.
In a tidal area, the intersection of river surface and land at mean tide is the same elevation as the mean sea level. The lowest point in the District is below sea level.
During the incoming tide, the Potomac River flows northwest-ward, not southeast-ward. -- Corker1 (talk) 01:29, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
That's actually fascinating. I never knew that. So is that why when I cross the Key Bridge, and swear that the river is moving upstream, it could be the tides? I assumed some sort of multi-layer thing was going on.-- Patrick {oѺ} 19:33, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't have much to say beyond what Corker1 outlined, but the U.S. Geological Survey (referenced in the article) says that the lowest point is the Potomac River at sea level. I don't know a much more authoritative source than that. Best, epicAdam(talk) 02:44, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

L'Enfant Footnotes

User:Corker1 recently added some information regarding Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant and the spelling of his name. I have removed much of this information from this article because I believe it to be too far out of scope. In my opinion, what name L'Enfnat used isn't directly related to the city and therefore should be included on his biographical page instead. Best, epicAdam(talk) 18:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I had much the same thought when I saw the original edit, and concur with condensing it. JohnInDC (talk) 19:30, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

District of Columbia as county-equivalent

ok, as you said, i have posted it there as Wikipedia:Content noticeboard#.22county.22 - .22County-Statistically Equivalent Entity.22 84.60.246.98 (talk) 00:46, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

solved, archived under Wikipedia:Content noticeboard/Archive4#.22county.22 - .22County-Statistically Equivalent Entity.22 84.60.223.172 (talk) 00:04, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
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