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Good afternoon sweet readers! It’s sunny, it’s Friday and Duke lost yesterday. Win, win, win. News time:
Marion Mandela: Who is likely to be the star of the likely fight over ward redistricting? A safe bet would be Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, who let off some zingers in the Post and the Examiner about the city’s changing demographics. (If you didn’t know, census numbers came out yesterday confirming that Chocolate City is becoming a lot less chocolate.) Barry wasn’t shy about how the city’s political wards should be redrawn: “We’re going to stop this trend — gentrification.” “We can’t displace old-time Washingtonians.” “The key to keeping this city black is jobs, jobs, jobs for black people so they can have a better quality of life in neighborhoods in the city.” “I believe in integration, but I don’t believe in the apartheid we have in Ward 8. You don’t see corner stores in Ward 3. You don’t see the liquor stores.” “The people in Ward 8 are wonderful … The demographics are like an apartheid system, but they’re not responsible for the system.” And on his thoughts about on where his ward should grow: “We can’t expand into Prince George’s County to the south, and we can’t go into Ward 7, which also lost population.” So, will Barry and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells have to play paper, rock, scissors to see who gets the SW riverfront? Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert has come up with a way of forcing you to spend even more time looking at a computer screen with this neat program that lets you decide how to redistrict. It’s actually kind of an amazing tool. Kudos to Lord Alpert!
AFTER THE JUMP: Wells Want You To Drive Yourself; McKinley Tech Madness; Police Soap Opera …
Biddle Wins The Current: If the Washington Post‘s endorsement was as powerful as some people think it is, Adrian Fenty would still be mayor and Creigh Deeds wouldn’t be whittling right now somewhere in rural Virginia (or maybe he would). That said, the Post‘s endorsement will likely have a big role in the upcoming special election, and LL bets the candidates are anxiously waiting to find out who the WaPo picks. While they wait, they can read the Current Newspapers‘ endorsement of Councilmember Sekou Biddle, whose lackluster campaign just got a needed boost. The District’s favorite Swiss correspondent Martin Austermuhle has the details on why the endorsement isn’t what one might call ringing.
Wells on Warpath: Wells wants to hold hearings on whether certain agency heads have assigned chauffeurs in violation of District law, the Times reports. Wells says he suspects that the Department of Health may have some chauffeurs, but an agency spokeswoman says it ain’t true. When LL first reported on chauffeur issues at the DOES, an agency spokesman pointed out that the director’s driver has other duties besides just driving her around, hence there’s no violation of city law. You can look at her driver’s job description here and make up your own mind whether or not that’s legit.
More Bad News For Thomas: The Times reports that Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. is being ordered back to court to answer charges that he didn’t pay student loan debt (LL reported on Thomas’ loan problems back in July). Meanwhile, Fox5 focuses on Thomas’ Audi SUV and how it relates to the recently launched probe by the Office of Campaign Finance.
More Madness at McKinley: Props to the Examiner’s Lisa Gartner, who is all up in the McKinley Tech troubles that include its principal being put on leave over allegations he doctored students transcripts. Today she reports that DCPS is “considering disciplinary action against an investigator who they say lied during his probe into McKinley Technology High School’s grade changing and financial scandals. Eastern Stewart, a DCPS investigator, admitted to The Washington Examiner that he misled interviewees during his probe by telling them that Chief of Staff Lisa Ruda asked him to shove the investigation under the rug.”
Paging Sulaimon Brown, There’s a New Opening at the IG’s Office: Cheryl L. Ferrara, a former deputy inspector general, entered a guilty plea last week for committing fraud in her attempt to get a former babysitter a job at the agency. (H/T: tipster). Ferrara also used to serve as treasurer to the Association of Inspectors General.
Go Ahead, Make My Day: The Times‘ Jeffery Anderson reports on a complicated soap opera that involves Gray supporter Cherita Whiting, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and a fired cop who was dating an alleged drug dealer. Money quote from Lanier to Anderson: “When asked about Ms. Whiting’s role in the Bishop case, Chief Lanier said: ‘If you do an article on her as a complainant in a drug-related case, I’ll make a formal complaint against you.’ When asked to clarify, she replied, ‘Why don’t you write your report and find out what that means.'” So now the report’s written—what did you mean, Chief?
Gray sked: Ron Brown American Journey Awards at 7:30 p.m
Council sked: nada.