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Campus Notebook: Don’t Shoot

When Michael Gorbey walked near the Capitol with a loaded shotgun last winter, he spurred a drawn-out court case and a flurry of (often critical) media attention on the Capitol Police.

[IMGCAP(1)]But there’s at least one silver lining in that cloud. Capitol Police Officer Peter Geyer has received an award for his actions that day. He was the first officer to approach Gorbey, who was heading toward the Supreme Court in a military flak vest with a camouflage shotgun and dozens of rounds of ammunition.

During Gorbey’s three-week trial, Geyer testified that he came within seconds of shooting Gorbey, who only put down his weapon after two or three commands. “It seemed like a half-hour, but it was probably no more than a minute or two,” Geyer testified.

That calm and cool arrest has earned Geyer the Officer of the Year award from the local branch of the National Exchange Club, a national service organization that “promotes national pride,” according to a Capitol Police press release.

Geyer acted “without hesitation or consideration for his own safety,” the press release says.

Not everything that day went smoothly: Police missed a handmade device in a search of Gorbey’s truck, finding it weeks later. In the end, Gorbey was convicted of 14 charges, including the attempted manufacture of a weapon of mass destruction.

Solar Senate. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee is holding its first public hearing today on greening the Capitol.

The hearing will feature all the usual greening players, including acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers and representatives from the U.S. Green Building Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Terrell Dorn, the director of Construction and Facilities Management at the Government Accountability Office, will also testify.

While the House has offset its carbon footprint with its Green the Capitol Initiative, the Senate has been implementing its own efforts, said Howard Gantman, spokesman for Rules and Administration Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The Senate recycles 12 different products (including sawdust), uses compact florescent bulbs and there have been studies on putting solar panels on Senate office building roofs. Officials have also looked into putting a green roof garden on the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

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