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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good afternoon sweet readers! It’s still early St. Patrick’s Day and LL’s bosses have already informed him that they are drunk and will not be coming in to work today—or ever again. It’s also Thursday and a new dead tree edition of The Washington City Paper—or, as the French would call it if they spoke English, the Paper of the City of Washington—has hit the streets. Be sure and check out the cover story, “Confessions of a Black Gentrifier” by Shani O. Hilton. In this week’s column, LL looks at how Republican Pat Mara couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for the April special election, and how lobbyist David Wilmot will get to keep his group homes for the developmentally disabled after all. News time:
Hall & Oates, Minus Hall: NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood was first with the news yesterday that Mayor Vince Gray‘s chief of staff, Gerry Mason Hall, resigned. What’s still a mystery is the timing of mayor’s decision to fire Hall. Hall was all set to testify yesterday on hiring practices in the Gray administration before Councilmember Mary Cheh, but was canned just before she was set to go on. Judging from Sherwood’s video, Hall was obviously not expecting to get fired yesterday (though talk of her resigning has been in the winds for days). Gray’s decision also came shortly after the mayor had a pow-wow with the city’s business Brahmans to talk about the mayor’s problems, though Gray said that meeting had “absolutely” nothing to do with Hall’s dismissal. But Dorothy Brizill says otherwise. Meanwhile, The Washington Business Journal‘s Michael Neibauer gets a hold of a new mayoral order that requires his political hires to be fingerprinted and undergo FBI background checks.
AFTER THE JUMP: Barry’s Bad Advice; DYRS’s New Boss; Rhee Hagiographer Doubts Gray…
Barry’s Take: Who is behind Gray’s recent troubles? Well, according to former Mayor for Life Marion Barry, it’s the media and the “Fenty four” (Councilmembers Jack Evans, David Catania, Jim Graham and Muriel Bowser, though she’s a maybe). Post columnist Bob McCarthy, who gave Barry a platform to bash his colleagues and promote himself, says Gray shouldn’t listen to Barry.
DYRS’ New Boss, Same as Old: Yesterday Gray named Neil Stanley as the boss of the District’s troubled juvenile justice system. “As Gray’s nominee, Stanley will serve on an interim basis until he gets approval from the council. Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham, who heads the committee with oversight of DYRS, said he’s looking into Stanley’s nearly three months as DYRS chief to see if he balanced law enforcement and rehabilitation,” reports the Examiner.
Rhee Hagiographer Doubts’ Gray Intentions: The guy who is trying to make a buck by writing a book on former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee doubts Gray’s resolve to stick with education reform. Nevermind that Gray picked Rhee’s top deputy to be his schools boss and has pissed off the teachers union royally in his first three months. “Bringing in his own chancellor would have meant taking ownership of the D.C. school system, which for years has been Washington’s weakest public institution. With Ms. Henderson, if things don’t work out, Mr. Gray can always say he gave the Rhee reforms a serious try,” write Richard Whitmire.
In Other News: Metro blowing through overtime, also paying a bunch in worker’s comp. UMC has bedbugs, probably somehow David Catania’s fault. Feds investigating where grant money for McKinley went. Vincent Orange to launch campaign. Walter Reed belongs to the District, most of it.
Mayor’s sked: 4:30 p.m. skatepark ribbon cutting in Shaw.
Council sked: 10 a.m. hearing on Navigators and other SUVs.