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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: It’s Thursday, which means there’s a dead-tree, ad-filled copy ofCity Paper in a box near you. Go out and pick it up. Some highlights: On the cover, Shani Hilton examines the history of tensions between the city’s top schools and their comfortable, immovable neighbors, and comes away with a graduate seminar’s worth of wisdom about deeper truths this acrimonious status quo reveals about D.C. Real estate reporter Lydia DePillis ponders whether the giant cafeterias in federal office buildings, unloved outlets that once fed much of Washington’s workforce, are headed for extinction. Contributor Amanda Abrams profiles Paul Emerson’s Company E theater troupe. Food columnist Chris Shott profiles the late-night Chinese restaurants where top local chefs eat after work: Naturally, there are two of them, and dueling views on which one is superior. And LL identifies the most potent political emotion in District politics: Tony Williams nostalgia. Plus: Online, LL gets into the mysterious Case of The Missing Marion Barry Campaign Filing. Spoiler alert: Someone apparently left it on a desk. And DePillis offers a nice slideshow of renderings by architectural students about what ought to be done with D.C.’s neglected Uline Arena, where the Beatles once played.
LL’s Editor is sitting in today, since Alan Suderman has sent a very convincing sick note. Which means he’s either in bed or has gone fishing. If anyone spies him with rod and reel in hand, give us a call. News time!
Graduating from Class Action: The Post’s Metro section fronts the news that a federal judge is expected to approve a settlement ending nearly 40 years of court oversight of services for the mentally ill. The Dixon v. Gray case outlasted the terms of five D.C. mayors. “The widely anticipated settlement marks a major milestone for the city, ending court oversight of a mental health system that has made vast improvements, but that all sides agree has room for more,” writes Theresa Vargas. As Postie Mike DeBonis reported back when he was sitting in LL’s squalid cubicle, ending this kind of court oversights was a major obsession of former D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, who—in a prior life—played a major role litigating for the other side. Data points: D.C. Councilmember David Catania is quoted saying the District now spends more per capita on mental health services than any other jurisdiction. Also, the story notes that 27,000 notices had been sent to ask residents who depend on the system to express objections to the settlement. Only 47 people responded.
Graham Slammed, Again: The Post‘s editorial jihad against D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham continues. The board’s latest scooplet: A city report that causes the paper to wonder “whether, in the effort to thwart a bidder he didn’t like, Mr. Graham lodged an unjustified ethics complaint against a D.C. civil servant.” The editorial focuses, again, on Graham’s role in a series of decisions that allegedly sat at the intersection of a Metro building contract (he served on the transit authority board at the time) and a city lottery contract (which he could weigh in on as a Councilmember). Quote from the report: “The information about [Mr. Graham] does suggest, however, that [Mr. Graham’s] actions regarding the Lottery contract are part of his separate political agenda.” Quote from the editorial: “Two things are disturbing about this. One is the lack of follow-up in investigating possible impropriety by a sitting council member related to a major city contract…Even more disturbing is [investigator Robert] Andary’s suggestion that Mr. Graham’s complaint against Mr. Payne, an employee whom Mr. Andary’s investigation portrayed as diligently doing his job, may have been a politically motivated means of trying to undermine support for his contract recommendation.” Graham has denied any wrongdoing. Having some experience overseeing reporters who have written things that make the Councilmember unhappy, LL’s editor suspects Post editorial page honcho Fred Hiatt will soon be getting an unpleasant phone call from Graham.
Bungling the Test Scandal Response? Post edu-scribe Jay Mathews says that, while D.C. officials promised actions aimed at “restoring and improving confidence” in DCPS standardized testing following last year’s blockbuster USA Today report that suggested widespread cheating was behind the improved scores that had been cited as evidence of controversial ex-Chancellor Michelle Rhee‘s success, their weak-tea investigation “will achieve the opposite.” Mathews says D.C. Inspector General Charles Willoughby “seems to have dedicated few resources to the investigation and has not released a report” and that the number of classrooms an independent contractor will investigate has been cut from 128 to 35. Fun full disclose fact: Mathews notes that the USA Today series was “conceived and edited by my wife.”
In Other News:
Watch out for wedgies! Survey says D.C. will soon have a glut of middle-school students. [Post]
Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown is in for a full lousy year, says Chuck Thies [Georgetown Dish]
Underground retail hub coming to former Dupont Circle trolley space. [Examiner]
Wednesday is your last chance to file to run for Harry Thomas Jr.‘s old seat (the one on the Council, not the one at Hooters). [Examiner]
Just what Georgetown needs: The Sunglass Hut! [Georgetown Metropolitan]
Meet Sarah Hillware, GW student and Miss D.C. 2012. Her focus: Health education. [Examiner]
Suggestion for Hillware’s first mission: Tell classmates to wash their hands frequently, because there’s a Norovirus outbreak on campus! [WAMU]
Smaller new-book budget = longer wait times at D.C. Public Libraries. [Examiner]