DAYBREAK DAILY: Merriweather Post Pavillion in for major facelift

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs near 80.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Lanham townhouse fire; New speed cameras set for D.C.; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

SOUND INVESTMENT: Or something like that, per the Baltimore Sun, “Howard County government and developer Howard Hughes Corp. have agreed to a five-year, $19-million renovation plan for Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion, County Executive Ken Ulman announced Monday.

“Renovation is expected to be complete in 2019 and will include a raised main roof, new restrooms and concessions, a new stage and new artist dressing rooms. Construction will be carried out during the off-season, beginning at the close of the concert schedule in the fall of this year. The plan also ensures ownership of Merriweather be handed from the developer to a county-created nonprofit, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, after completion of the renovations.”

JIM WEBB FOR PRESIDENT?: He hints that he’s thinking about it, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Jim Webb, who left the U.S. Senate after representing Virginia for one term, said in a Washington radio interview Monday that he’s thinking of running for president. Webb, 68, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, former secretary of the Navy and author of 10 books, appeared on “The Diane Rehm Show” on WAMU to discuss his memoir titled “I Heard My Country Calling.”

“Guest host Susan Page noted that two callers had said they hope Webb will run for president. Page asked the Democrat whether he would consider doing so. “My wife and I are just thinking about what to do next,” Webb said. “And I care a lot about where the country is, and we’ll be sorting that out.” ’’

CAN’T DO IT: So says the judge, per the Washington Post, “The District’s bid to win more spending freedom from Congress through a ballot referendum is not legally permissible, a federal judge ruled Monday, dealing a setback to officials who argued that voters had the power to amend the city’s charter and change its relationship with overseers on Capitol Hill.

“In a 47-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ¬acknowledged “extraordinarily powerful” policy arguments in favor of granting the District government more latitude in spending locally raised funds without a congressional appropriation. But he said that only Congress, not the courts, could make that change.”

BOB MCDONNELL: Ruling expected today, per the Virginian-Pilot, “At the end of a 90-minute hearing Monday, a federal judge said he would rule today on requests to toss out many of the public corruption charges against former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife - or at least separate their cases.

“U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer told federal prosecutors and defense lawyers for the couple that he plans to "resolve these issues swiftly. And when I say swiftly, I mean tomorrow." Spencer said a "flurry of other decisions" would follow, including on the broadened jury selection process sought by the former governor because of public awareness of the case. An estimated five- to six-week trial is scheduled to start in late July.”

SPY GAMES: And legal issues, per the New York Times, “By indicting members of the People’s Liberation Army’s most famous cyberwarfare operation — called Unit 61398 but known among hackers as the “Comment Crew” — the Obama administration has turned to the criminal justice system to reinforce its argument that there is a major difference between spying for national security purposes, something the United States does daily, and the commercial, for-profit espionage carried out by China’s military.

“The Chinese argue that the distinction is an American artifact, devised for commercial advantage. They believe that looking for business secrets is part of the fabric of national security, especially for a rising economic powerhouse. And while American officials are loath to admit it, Washington’s view has relatively few advocates around the world. The French, for example, were notorious for conducting state-backed corporate espionage long before the Chinese mastered the form. And if they choose, Chinese leaders has ample opportunity to retaliate by making life even harder for American companies.”

MOONBEAM MUSINGS: Kidding, per the Los Angeles Times, “Gov. Jerry Brown continued to sound the alarm about climate change on Monday, saying people need to find a way to "live with nature" and "not to collide with it. . ."We have to adapt," he said. "The climate is changing. There's no doubt."

“Brown's speech, at a Sacramento event organized by the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, touched on deforestation in Brazil and the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet. He also discussed the challenge of pushing mass transit in California, where 38 million residents drive almost 1 billion miles per day. "We can't do this overnight," he said.’’

MEANWHILE: On a similar front, per The Hill, “Vice President Biden plans to headline a Democratic fundraiser at climate activist Tom Steyer's home. Two sources close to the event planning, including one DNC official, told The Hill that Steyer would be hosting Biden for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at his San Francisco home on May 28.

“Steyer, a staunch advocate of climate policies and Keystone XL opponent, has raised his political profile in the past year, vowing to funnel a significant amount of money into 2014 races. Republicans have pitted Steyer as the Democrats' version of the Koch brothers, and have blamed him for Democrats' insistence on what they consider dangerous climate policies.”

POLITICO PLAY: “New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger on Monday pushed to seize control of the narrative about Jill Abramson’s termination in public remarks at a press group dinner and a new interview with Vanity Fair, his first since his abrupt decision to fire the former executive editor.

“The interview, published just hours after Sulzberger praised Abramson at a media awards ceremony in Manhattan, included some of Sulzberger’s most direct criticisms of Abramson’s tenure as executive editor.”

NEW DISTRICT CANDIDATE: We give you Elissa Silverman, per City Paper, “The ever-fluctuating field of candidates seeking to win David Catania's at-large D.C. Council seat got a little clearer Monday, with Elissa Silverman declaring for the race and outgoing Councilmember Tommy Wells announcing that he won't run.

“Silverman's entry into the race has been expected since she left her job at the lefty-wonk D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute last month. Still, Silverman, a former Washington City Paper reporter who came in second to Anita Bonds in April 2013's at-large special election, tells LL that she only decided for good that she would run recently.”

SILVER LINE: Of an end game, per ABC7-WJLA, “The Silver Line may finally have a finish line in sight. During a conference call with reporters on Monday, Metro General Manager Richard Sarles announced May 27 as the target date for WMATA to take possession of the Silver Line.

“But before that can happen, the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority and its primary Silver Line contractor must complete a series of “Punch List Items” including major items like: replacing public address speakers at all stations, obtaining certificates of occupancy, fixing a bobbing track circuit at the junction with the Orange Line, and relaying a stretch of track where the rails are a fraction-of-an-inch too close together.”

MEANWHILE: Seeing red, er, purple, per Gazette.Net, “Those who don’t want to see the Purple Line run through Chevy Chase — be they human neighbors or tiny crustaceans — are getting some financial help from the town.

“The town of Chevy Chase council agreed Wednesday to give Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail $15,000 to help it combat the Purple Line light rail segment that is proposed to run along the trail. The council voted 4-0 to approve the organization’s request, with council member Patricia Burda recusing herself, according to meeting minutes.”

BEER AND BACON BUMMER: When demand becomes overwhelming, per the Frederick News-Post, “Beer Bacon Music festival ticket holder Irene Hafner spent $125 and almost two hours in line Saturday and didn’t even get to smell bacon, she said. Ticket buyers for the two-day Frederick festival were promised an all-you-can-eat bar with 2 tons of bacon, 10 bands, more than 100 varieties of beer and vendors from at least 30 breweries.

“Event promoter Kenneth MacFawn said they delivered on those promises, but some of Saturday's 5,000 attendees were disappointed by long lines and empty buffet trays. According to MacFawn, supply wasn't the problem; the cooks couldn't keep up with the demand for bacon.”

SPEED CAMERAS: Smile – or not, per DCist, “Here are the locations of fourteen new speed cameras that will be deployed starting "on or about" Tuesday, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. There's also one camera that will enforce oversized vehicles. The new cameras are primarily in the Northwest and Northeast quadrants of the city. One is located near where Kelly Dillon was struck by a drunk driver, nearly costing her a leg.”

FATAL ACCIDENT: Just the facts, per ARLnow, “A construction worker has died after a large excavator tipped over and fell on him at a construction site on George Mason Drive. Rescue crews were called to a construction site on the 400 block of N. George Mason Drive around 3:30 p.m. for a report of a large piece of construction equipment that fell on a person. The victim, believed to be the equipment’s operator, was pronounced dead on the scene by medics at 3:40 p.m.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 4-3 against Cincinnati in 15 innings.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “President Obama stopped by a local Little League game earlier today, surprising players and their parents. He threw the first pitch in the Orioles vs. Tigers game -- and one lucky boy got to keep the ball.”

NEWSTALK: D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8).

--Skip Wood