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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! It’s Thursday, and Washington City Paper has once again cheated the inevitable death of print journalism for one more week. This week’s paper has some good reads in it, starting with Jonetta Rose Barras asking whether D.C.’s black middle class has given up on neighborhood schools. Barras wonders why the same energy for school improvement found among white residents of Capitol Hill isn’t found in black middle class neighborhoods. LDP surveys the not-perfect possible locations for where the H Street streetcar will begin/end near Union Station while quoting Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh quoting Shakespeare quoting Brutus. And LL’s column this week looks at Gray’s likely new chief of staff Chris Murphy, and whether the mayor is sending a message with the non-old guard hire. Would you like more details on any of the above mentioned stories? Well, give us some clicks.
AFTER THE JUMP: Better Than Barry?; Best Friends; Summer Jobs = Horrible Idea…
Better than Barry?: The Informer takes the temperature of Ward 8 to find out if anyone’s got the juice to defeat former Mayor for Life Marion Barry, who in case you were wondering, plans to run for re-election. “‘To me, age is just a number,’ says Barry. ‘My health is fine. My kidneys are operating well and my high blood pressure is under control.’ In response to grooming a successor, Barry said that he is ‘grooming about a dozen people to take his place.'” The Informer reports that newer residents of Ward 8 aren’t as enthralled with Barry as some of the older residents. “‘A lot of rhetoric that is against Barry is coming from Historic Anacostia,’ James Bunn, executive director of the Ward 8 Business Council, said. ‘These are newcomers and they don’t see eye-to-eye with the rest of the ward. In some ways, the Ward 8 is shaping up as Anacostia vs. the rest of the ward.’ Bunn said that he knows there are a number of people who are dissatisfied with Barry, but questions whether they have enough people to unseat him next year. ’A lot of people are complaining that the ward is not prospering the way it should,’ he said. ‘Some people are saying that Barry is not paying enough attention to the ward as he should.'”
Best Friends: Remember back in March when Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh released a preliminary report into the nightmare that was the Gray administration’s hiring practices? At-Large Councilmember David Catania called it a “whitewash” while Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. went on and on about how great it was that Cheh hadn’t released the report earlier to the media, a not-very-subtle jab at Ward 6 Councilmartyr Tommy Wells, who had released an early draft of his Navigatorgate report to the public before holding a committee hearing.* Yesterday, Catania said nice things about Cheh’s nearly-final report, while Thomas was nowhere to be found. Cheh’s committee voted 3-0 to approve the report, and Gray issued a statement thanking them for their work and pledging to do better. LL’s noted this before, but the report calls for scaling back the number of political hires mayors get to make. That’s a good idea, just like making more of the council’s committee staff merit-based bureaucrats is a good idea.
Summer Jobs Program, A Bad Idea?: The Examiner editorial board says kudos for Mayor Gray for keeping the summer jobs program out of the headlines this year, but the program still stinks. “But it is still a ‘fake work’ program. It still teaches youngsters that jobs are magically created through government spending. In many cases, the city is providing subsidized summer jobs that don’t even fulfill the program’s promise of a ‘meaningful work experience’ needed to ‘obtain and maintain long-term employment.’ The program’s 19 percent dropout rate attests to this fact. Meanwhile, the program is funded by taxing productive businesses that employ people to do real jobs that support their families. Unfortunately, those most harmed by our politicians’ economic illiteracy are often on the lowest rung of the economic ladder.” Wait, jobs aren’t magically created through government spending?
In Other News:
- Schools Without Walls is the only school closed because of earthquake damage. Yes, that’s funny because of the school’s name.
- Earthquake miracle.
Gray sked: So many appearances! Some highlights: Civil Rights Pioneers Luncheon at 11:45 a.m.; East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative Ward 7 job expo at 2:15 p.m.; Poster-making for D.C. Full Democracy Rally at 4:30 p.m. Mayor’s reception for MLK Memorial dignitaries at 5:30 p.m.
Council sked: recess.
*This post has been updated.