When D.C. cops vent about the department’s brass, they use a special term to describe their bumbling bosses: “white shirts.” Police Chief Charles Ramsey today took care of that problem: In the midst of a management shake-up, the chief ordered higher-ups to start wearing blue shirts. That’ll stop the griping!
Top cops may have a new shirt color, but it seems their other features have the same hue as ever: that slightly yellow tint you get when you have egg all over your face. It seems that the police department was about to become the latest city agency to miss out on federal grant money after forgetting a deadline. Assistant Attorney General Eric Holder—a former U.S. Attorney for D.C.—accidentally saw a letter this week that prompted him to lobby to get our bumblers in blue an extension.
Another District bigwig, meantime, is off to a more traditional form of lobbying. And who would have guessed that being savaged in the Washington Post for bullying subordinates, alienating colleagues, and generally being considered a jackass would be an entree to K Street? Mayoral hatchet man Max Brown today announced his impending move to a job at a D.C. consulting and lobbying shop. As reporters wondered whether he’d been pushed out, one question was left unanswered: Now that he’s gone, who’s going to take the hit when Williams pisses people off?
Minneapolis certainly won’t be hiring Brown as its civic lightning rod. Instead, the Minnesota city apparently wants to import another District resident to do that job: the scaffolding from the Washington Monument. Target today announced plans to buy the Michael Graves edifice and re-erect it in a Twin Cities park.
Maybe we shouldn’t get rid of all those metal bars just yet. After all, if U.S. Attorney Wilma Lewis gets her way, marijuana dealers could start getting sent away on felony counts. In D.C. Council testimony today, Lewis suggested that upping the pot penalty would stem neighborhood dope dealing. Opponents say it would merely pack the jails with more young D.C. men.
And also: Marlene Ramallo Cooke apparently doesn’t rate the same cushy treatment currently given to the average young cannabis convict. D.C. Superior Court Judge William M. Jackson today ordered the former Jack Kent Cooke wife to jail for a week on DUI charges. What to wear?
Centenarian Charlotte Filmore’s visit to the White House today—soon after a Washington Post profile revealed her lifelong dream of meeting the president—wasn’t all that remarkable. But a sentence in the Post’s next-day coverage was: “A White House aide said Clinton read the Jan. 6 article in the District Weekly and immediately asked his staff to make arrangements for Filmore to come to the White House.” Who says nobody reads the District Weekly? Maybe the president has a little more time on his hands than we think.
Maybe Clinton was angling for his own
District Weekly puff piece today, when he joined with D.C. kids to do volunteer work at a Boys & Girls Club. A choir sang at the MLK Day event—or was that the Weekly’s reporting corps?
And maybe Clinton needs to be doing a little more repair work on the massive gap between the city’s have-everythings and the have-nothings. Two left-leaning think tanks reported today that D.C.’s wealthiest fifth makes 27 times as much as its poorest fifth. Ten years ago, the rich made only 16 times as much as the poor. In 1980, the figure was just 12 times as much.
And also: At least our hometown richies will get to start spending their money in town: Fresh Fields began construction of its new P Street store today.
Michael Jordan’s here!
Michael Jordan’s still here!
And also: The Commission on Fine Arts has announced plans to join efforts to limit the number of new memorials in order to preserve open space on the Mall. We assume, of course, that they’ll grant a waiver for the Michael Jordan memorial. Because, as everyone knows: Michael Jordan’s here!
The folks at Bell Atlantic have own their ways of getting around those pesky open-space advocates. With environmentalists threatening to physically block today’s construction of new cell phone towers in Rock Creek Park, crews showed up at 1 a.m. to do the job. By the time the greens awoke, the towers were done. Has D.C. ever thought of hiring the telecom giant to, you know, fix school roofs?
Attention ticket scofflaws! The Common Denominator reported today that Kmart wants to build a new store atop D.C.’s Brentwood Impound Lot. Check out the special on illegally parked BMWs in Aisle 7.
The sky is falling! Help! Oh, wait a minute: That nonstop TV news blitz is just about snow. Our mistake.
Sorry to interrupt the snow hysteria, Mr. Ambassador, but there seems to be a big ol’ passel of arsenic in your back yard. The residue from American University’s World War I weapons experiments just grows and grows and grows. The Army announced today that removing the poison from the Korean Embassy’s garden will start in April and take two to three months.
Patricia Roberts Harris, former cabinet member and failed 1982 opponent of Mayor Marion Barry, was honored on a U.S. postage stamp released today. No word yet on whether other vanquished Barry foes—former Ward 8 councilmember Wilhelmina Rolark, say, or former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly—can expect similar honors.
Ask the researchers at Syracuse University and Governing magazine, and they’ll tell you that the whole city deserves a postage stamp—for effort. Despite the scholarly “Nice try,” D.C.’s C+ was worse than most other municipalities in a 35-city study of government services released today. At least we beat the likes of Buffalo, Anchorage, and New Orleans. And, of course, our grades can only get better since…Michael Jordan’s still here! —Michael Schaffer