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DC Department of Employment Services is supposed to use a $5 million fund for job training. Instead, hundreds of thousands of dollars are going to events, marketing, and a rebranding campaign.


Ward 8 residents had several reasons to be angry at DC Public Charter School Board’s meeting on Monday, but one parent’s testimony to the board was especially harrowing: Her sons were nearly abducted at school. 

As first reported by Fox 5, on Oct. 11, 30-year-old Antonio Burnside, a registered sex offender,walked inside Rocketship Rise Academy Public Charter in Southeast, and started talking and playing basketball with a 9-year-old student. He then walked outside the school with the 9-year-old and his brother until an employee intervened. Burnside was later arrested. 

Two weeks later, the mother of the boys told PCSB that Rocketship has not handled her situation accordingly. The mother said one of her boys is already traumatized, having been molested once before. 

“I heard six different stories from six different people, and I don’t know what to believe,” the mother told PCSB. “Right now, I feel like I have been thrown under the bus because I don’t feel like my situation has been taken care of.” 

I watched a member of Rocketship staff immediately run up to meet the mother at the mic so that he could start speaking the moment she finished. He assured PCSB that Burnside was arrested, but conceded to a communication breakdown with the mom. Rocketship parents also told Fox 5 they didn’t know of the incident until Tuesday. 

Rocketship wasn’t the only charter that failed to effectively communicate with the community. DC Prep was also under fire on Monday. More than a dozen Ward 8 residents carrying “#NoDCPreponFrankford!” signs told PCSB that DC Prep failed to engage with them when they looked into building a middle school at 1619 Frankford St. SE. 

“As a neighbor living 25 feet away from this proposed building, there was zero outreach from this school,” Stephanie Belltold the PCSB. “The only reason that I know about it is because surveyors trespassed on my property while doing a survey for DC Prep.” 

Residents do not want another school because four schools, including two middle schools, are within a mile of the Frankford Street location. They worry another middle school would add to the traffic, loitering, and have adverse effects on their homes’ property values. 

People City Paper spoke with say the conflict is symptomatic of the city’s lack of formal planning for where to build schools. DC Prep and Rocketship will have to answer for both incidents during PCSB’s November meeting.Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com


  • October 30, 2019 was the most D.C. of days. [WCP]

  • Rocketship cuts ties with after-school provider, Springboard, after attempted abduction. [WJLA

  • ICYMI: Here’s where to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos this weekend. [DCist]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Barry Farm public housing complex inches closer to historic landmark status. [Post]

  • Airbnb hosts still confused about D.C.’s new regulations [Post]

  • No early voting site for Silver Spring. [WAMU]

  • North Virginia’s last Republican. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The Call Your Mother team is opening a “sorta South American” all-day dining destination in West End with Chef Johanna Hellrigl. [WCP]

  • How restaurants are putting climate change on the menu. [Post]

  • Line cooks on the future of kitchen culture. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The National Geographic Museum thoughtfully celebrates women with its photography exhibition Women: A Century of Change. [WCP]

  • Quotidian Theatre Company returns to Port Authority for the first time since 2001. [WCP]

  • DMV Colorat the National Museum of Women in the Arts highlights the work of local women of color. [DCist]

  • The Confetti Project, which douses people in confetti for photoshoot sessions, comes to Bethesda this month. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • “I almost lost my life,” Trent Williams told reporters yesterday. Williams said he had a rare form of cancer and that a lack of reaction from the Washington football team’s medical staff led to the rift between him and the team. [ESPN]

  • Metro is running extra trains tomorrow to accommodate the expected tens of thousands of fans for the Nats World Series parade that begins at 2 p.m. [WTOP]

  • The Nats have accepted an invitation to visit the White House on Monday after being invited by President Donald Trump, who was booed twice at Nats Park in the span of a few days. (Trumpattended Game 5 of the World Series, while his campaign ad played on the outfield screen during a Game 7 watch party.) [Post]

  • The viral video of Jason Turner, the 19-year-old Nats fan featured in a recent City Paper article and tweet, went international, as fans all over the world saw the 13-second clip of his shirtless slip and slide at Nats Park. [CNN]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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