ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper teens. http://wj.la/72e8x6
‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Preview of tonight’s State of the Union address; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.
ROBERT G. MARSHALL: Of defending Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Terry McAuliffe will not appoint special counsel to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. He announced his decision in a letter Monday to Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, who had urged the governor to appoint special counsel to defend the state and its constitutional amendment in this week’s hearing in Norfolk.
“Also Monday, Marshall said he is working with lawyers to file a complaint with the Virginia State Bar against Attorney General Mark R. Herring over his refusal to defend Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban and for siding with the plaintiffs. Herring said last week that he believes Virginia’s 2006 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” http://bit.ly/1fjsJb2
HIDDEN VIOLATIONS: Hidden no more, per the Washington Post, “The automated traffic cameras that have issued hundreds of thousands of tickets to drivers who speed or run red lights in the District began spitting them out for several other traffic infractions Saturday. The cameras, which have produced hundreds of millions of dollars for the city, now will be positioned to catch drivers who block intersections, roll through stop signs, fail to yield to pedestrians, pass through an intersection at an unsafe speed or take an oversize bus or truck on a street too small to accommodate it.
“The fines for blocking and intersection or rolling through a stop sign are $50. All of the other violations carry a $250 fine. The cameras have been in place since November, but the District extended the normal three-day warning period until Feb. 1. “Motorists have been duly forewarned,” said John B. Townsend II of AAA. “Now it is incumbent upon motorists to drive safely and to completely heed all traffic laws and to obey all traffic signals and signs.” http://wapo.st/L3M9VN
D.C. STEETCAR LINE STALLED: Or at least behind schedule, per WJLA-ABC7, “On NewsChannel 8 last year, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray predicted that streetcars would start carrying passengers on H Street NE by early February. But at this point, that seems unlikely. The transit system is still being inspected and DDOT is still hiring staff to operate it.
“On Monday, a DDOT job fair at the Department Of Employment Services headquarters in Northeast D.C. attracted about 700 applicants – mostly District residents – competing for just 34 full-time positions with the new streetcar line.” http://wj.la/1cnWDdL
GOP TACKLES IMMIGRATION: Well, kind of, per the New York Times, “The House Republican leadership’s broad framework for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws will call this week for a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million adult immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to aides who have seen the party’s statement of principles. For immigrants brought to the United States illegally as young children, the Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
“But even before the document is unveiled later, some of the party’s leading strategists and conservative voices are urging that the immigration push be abandoned, or delayed until next year, to avoid an internal party rupture before the midterm elections.” http://nyti.ms/1e42Pt9
DATE NIGHT: A bygone gimmick?, per Roll Call, “Seems like “date night” just isn’t a thing anymore. Three years ago, many dozens of Republicans and Democrats arranged to sit side by side at the State of the Union. The break with decades of tradition was orchestrated in hopes of persuading the country that civil discourse and bipartisan collegiality had gained renewed value in Congress after the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
“The roster of cross-aisle seating arrangements remained plenty big the next year, but there was a noticeable falloff in 2013. And, unless the situation changes in the last hours before President Barack Obama arrives at the Capitol on Tuesday, spotting crossover seatmates in the House chamber looks to be a genuinely difficult task this year.” http://bit.ly/1nbQgOM
POLITICO PLAY: “Sen. John McCain said a censure from Arizona’s Republican Party is “regrettable” but that it will not dissuade him from running for reelection in 2016.
“The Republican senator and former presidential candidate said that the formal reprimand from the GOP over the weekend only serves as a motivator as he weighs whether to pursue a sixth term in the chamber. The state Republican Party passed a resolution over the weekend that derided his record as too liberal and “disastrous and harmful” to the country.” http://politi.co/1f8yrua
PETE SEEGER: Dead at 94, per the Associated Press, “Pete Seeger, the banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage, died on Monday at the age of 94. Seeger's grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson said his grandfather died at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he'd been for six days. "He was chopping wood 10 days ago," he said.
“Seeger - with his a lanky frame, banjo and full white beard - was an iconic figure in folk music. He performed with the great minstrel Woody Guthrie in his younger days and marched with Occupy Wall Street protesters in his 90s, leaning on two canes. He wrote or co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." He lent his voice against Hitler and nuclear power. A cheerful warrior, he typically delivered his broadsides with an affable air and his banjo strapped on.” http://bit.ly/1dKuDwu
MARYLAND GOOGLED: Or something like that, per the Baltimore Sun, “Oh Maryland, my Maryland, why are you so rich, boring, expensive and liberal? Rich, boring, expensive and liberal? No, we're not trying to imply that Maryland is a giant Takoma Park.
“Those are the top results that autocorrect suggests when you type "Why is Maryland so" into Google. Perhaps the results shouldn't be such a surprise since Maryland does lead the nation in median household income. That, of course, helps explain why things can be so expensive here. And seeing how long Maryland politics have been dominated by Democrats, it's no great surprise that people see our state as liberal. But boring? Please.” http://bsun.md/1jYGc9b
ECSC IN PERIL: Surf’s down, per the Virginian-Pilot, “The East Coast Surfing Championships – the oldest continuous-running surfing competition in the country and a very lucrative event for the city of Virginia Beach – may be in jeopardy.
“A new city law would almost double the fees charged to the Virginia Beach Jaycees, which owns the ECSC – from $40,000 to $77,000. The fees pay for the various services provided by the city during the event, which include police presence and trash collection. “This is a crushing blow,” said Grant Hummer, president of the Jaycees and a former chairman of the ECSC. “We can try to move it elsewhere or not have it.” http://bit.ly/L5B6v7
OF MAMMOGRAMS: Just the facts, per the Frederick News-Post, “New legislation in Maryland requires health care providers to notify women if they have dense breasts after they have a mammogram. The reason? It’s harder to detect breast cancer with standard digital mammography in dense breast tissue, which is more fibrous than fatty.
“Dense breasts are not abnormal or unusual. About half of women have this tissue type, which is most common in younger women. But standard mammograms miss early cancer about 50 percent of the time among these women, which was a major driver of this law, according to Dr. Peter Kremers, a radiologist and section chief for Mammography and Breast Intervention for Frederick Regional Health System.” http://bit.ly/Lj0YEp
KENNEDY CENTER MAKEOVER: Of continued tinkering, per City Paper, “More renderings of the Kennedy Center's planned $100 million expansion have been filed with the National Capital Planning Commission, and they offer a fuller picture of what the center may look like in 2017.
“The new images from Steven Holl Architects include something we haven't seen yet: interior photos of the planned entry pavilion. Kennedy Center spokesman John Dow also points out that one pedestrian bridge to the Potomac River pavilion has been eliminated, leaving just one walkway over Rock Creek Parkway. (Though a bridge-free design is also possible: one rendering shows just an at-grade pedestrian path and no bridge at all.)” http://bit.ly/1jDGQvl
PEPCO CHIEF TO STEP DOWN: Amid problems, per Gazette.Net, “Joseph M. Rigby announced Monday he will retire as CEO and president of energy company Pepco Holdings toward the end of the year, after a successor is named. The company is the parent of regulated utility Pepco, which provides electricity to more than 500,000 residential and commercial customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
“Rigby, 57, will remain as executive chairman of Pepco Holdings’ board until the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders. The decision to retire was Rigby’s alone, Myra Oppel, a Pepco spokeswoman, said in an email. Pepco has faced complaints over reliability issues in recent years. In 2011, the Maryland Public Service Commission fined Pepco $1 million for failing to properly maintain power lines and its electricity system that the commission said resulted in prolonged outages.” http://bit.ly/M8IsyG
TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A deadly crash near a private Gaithersburg school has recast the spotlight on teen driving safety. Police are investigating whether street racing played a role in the crash Friday afternoon that killed Teressa French, 16, and seriously injured her friend, Emma Lowe, 13, who were walking along the sidewalk when two cars collided and ran them over.” http://wj.la/LhodyF
NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. political activist Doug Sloan, who will talk about the public's lukewarm support for the proposed soccer stadium in Southwest, the mayor's forward-not-back re-election strategy and our recent discussion on voting rights.