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​National Building Museum Displays
Apartment that Transforms for Efficiency

 An exhibition showing now at the National Building Museum is designed to demonstrate how housing can be made more versatile to appeal a broad array of residents.
     Designed by Italian architect Pierluigi Colombo, the "Making Room: Housing for a Changing America" exhibition seeks to respond to demographic and economic changes.
     About 30 percent of American adults live alone. A quarter of renter households spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent.
     The exhibition’s main feature is “Open House,” a 1,000-square-foot model apartment with movable walls and furniture that can either be moved out of sight or transformed to more than one use. One piece of furniture is a bed that can be transformed into a desk.
     Open House will be changed into three formations during the exhibition to demonstrate how it can appeal to different groups of tenants: single roommates/students, multigenerational or extended families and retirees who want to age in place.
     Other parts of the exhibition displays housing solutions like backyard accessory cottages in Seattle and tiny houses for the homeless in Austin.
     The National Building Museum is located in downtown Washington at 401 F Street NW near the Judiciary Square Metro Station.

Latest News

World’s First Political Hotel
To Open in D.C. Next Spring

By Tom Ramstack, The Legal Forum
     A hotel that its developer describes as the world’s first politically-motivated hotel is set to open next spring in downtown Washington, D.C.
     The amenities at the Eaton Workshop are designed to appeal to liberal activists looking for an outlet for their political advocacy, or what its promoters say is “merging hospitality with progressive social change.”
     It is being redeveloped from the old Sheraton Four Points Hotel at 12th and K streets Northwest.
     A video montage of recent presidential elections will be broadcast continuously in the lobby. The in-house amusements will be more cerebral than most hotels. They will include a lecture series on liberal topics.
     Guests will be able to use a co-working space with priority given to progressive startups and activists. The minibar will offer “activist toolkits” that tell readers how to contact their congressmen.

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Book on Boston Marathon Bombs
Shows Lone Wolf Terrorism Rises

   A new book that reports on the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and trial of the convicted killer shows the attack was only an early example of more coming soon.
   Boston's Bloody Marathon uses the bombings by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother as an example of the lone wolf terrorism increasingly encouraged by Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
   Lone wolves refer to terrorists who plot their attacks alone, usually with no organization to support them and no official links to violent groups. There is almost no way to know their next target until they strike. U.S. intelligence agencies call them perhaps the biggest terrorist threat to the United States and its allies.
   Boston's Bloody Marathon, by Tom Ramstack, is available on and
Click here.

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Letters to the Editor

Museum of the Bible Opens
After Fines for its Artifacts

     The Museum of the Bible opened last weekend in Southwest Washington, D.C. only after resolving a legal dispute over part of its collection.
     The $500 million redevelopment of the block-long complex was led by the arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores, whose president, Steve Green, is chairman of the museum’s board.
     In July, Green paid a $3 million fine for illegally smuggling Iraqi biblical artifacts he wanted to display in the Museum of the Bible.
     He was forced to forfeit thousands of tablets and bricks written in cuneiform, one of the earliest forms of writing.
     They were among about 5,000 artifacts prosecutors said were being shipped to the museum without proper documentation.
     Nevertheless, the museum was able to obtain about 1,000 biblical artifacts. They are displayed on six floors of the 430,000-square-foot museum.
     The museum is designed to educate visitors on the history and impact of the Bible.

D.C. Mayor Defiant Despite Justice Dept.
Threat on Immigration Policy

By Tom Ramstack, The Legal Forum
     The District of Columbia’s mayor and attorney general are refusing to yield to a Trump administration threat to change their immigration policy or lose $1.7 million in law enforcement grants.
     The threat was prompted by Washington’s role as a “sanctuary city” in which police will not question residents about their immigration status.
     A federal court in San Francisco agreed this week the Justice Department is overstepping its authority by demanding cities collect information on immigrants and report it to the federal government.
     The Justice Department sent a letter last week to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser setting a deadline of Dec. 8 for the city officials to explain whether they will comply with a 1996 federal law the Trump administration says requires them to share information with the federal government on the immigration status of some individuals.
     The information-sharing could be used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport illegal immigrants.

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Business Briefs

Legal Briefs

Big Referral Fees
For Little Work

   Do you know someone who wants to sell a home, office or other real estate?
   If you do, you could earn thousands of dollars with a quick phone call or e-mail. The Legal Forum pays a base fee of $1,500 for referrals to sellers’ property that sells for at least $200,000. Each $100,000 of value to the property over $200,000 gives the person making the referral an extra $100. A $700,000 dollar property value, for example, would earn a referral fee of $2,000.
   Your only obligation is to phone or e-mail Tom Ramstack with the name, address, phone number or e-mail address of the seller. In most cases, it should take no more than 10 minutes of your time.
   For more information, click the Real Estate icon on the menu above or contact Tom Ramstack at 240-421-6395 or e-mail
   The referral fees are offered to anyone in the District of Columbia but only real estate licensees in other states. However, non-real estate agents can receive credits equal to the referral fee toward the purchase or sale of property in Virginia and Maryland.
   The brokerage for the Legal Forum is Fairfax Realty at 3091 Fairview Park Drive, Unit 100, Falls Church, VA 22042, phone: (703) 533-8660. 

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D.C. Lawyer Sues Kennel
After Bigger Dog Killed Her Pet

By Tom Ramstack, The Legal Forum
     A Washington, D.C. lawyer returned from week-long cruise recently to find that her pet dog was killed by a bigger dog at the kennel where she left him.
     Now she is suing the Wagtime Too dog-boarding kennel for $150,000, claiming negligence in the death of her 4.5-pound teacup Yorkie at the company’s Navy Yard facility.
     The Yorkie’s owner, Falen LaPonzina, says the money she claims in damages is not only for financial loss. It also reflects the important role pet dogs can play in their owners’ lives, she says.
     LaPonzina told The Washington Post she will advocate for regulatory reform in the D.C. government to improve standards for dog-boarding facilities.
     Wagtime Too officials say the dog’s death was a freak accident. The dogs are allowed to roam in a cage-free environment.

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