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Good morning sweet readers! Congratulations to new papa Jason Cherkis and his wife Sara Cherkis. Jonah Miles Cherkis was born yesterday. News time:
We Can Do Better: Look at Pepco, still struggling to restore power five days after the storm. What a joke. Meanwhile, Tim Craig reports at the Post that commute from hell has local government officials worried that the region is not ready at all if and when a real emergency happens. “In the District, efforts to clear downtown streets might have been slowed because, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said, the city’s 70 traffic-control officers were used to help plow snow off city streets. This placed the responsibility of keeping intersections moving freely on the already overburdened police. Gray said the city will have to reevaluate that policy.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Kaya!; Council Catfight; The Control Board’s Long Shadow; What Gray Forgot to Bring Up to the Speaker…
Spotlight on Henderson: Don’t call Interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson a lesser version of her old boss, Michelle Rhee. “Friends say those who who doubt her toughness, or her resolve to preserve Rhee’s emphasis on teacher quality and accountability, are underestimating Henderson,” reports Bill Turque, in the Post‘s first long look at Henderson as she “emerges” from the Rhee shadow. “She has also started filling large gaps in the unfinished reform effort that Rhee left behind. Much of the work is gritty and less headline-ready than Rhee’s operatic fights with the teachers union or the D.C. Council.” There’s plenty more good stuff, like the fact that Henderson has Georgetown basketball season tickets and pulls the occasional all-nighters with the help of Red Bull, on the District’s likely next permanent chancellor—if she wants the job.
Catfight: Check out CMs Jack Evans and Phil Mendelson go at it in Jonetta Rose Barras‘ column. Says Mendo on Evans’ budgethawkism: “[He] can’t take credit for spending cuts while giving away millions of dollars in tax abatements with no analysis of the benefits they provide except for the person in whose pocket the money is going.” Responds Evans: “Councilmember Mendelson continues to show a complete lack of understanding of economic development.” That doesn’t sound very collegial.
Shadow Board: The Post’s Mike DeBonis looks at the legacy of the Control Board, and how it keeps the District’s finances in line and elected officials up at night. Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry has gone from calling the CB a “rape of democracy” to admitting that it was good for the city. Says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: “Its shadow is over every local elected official today … It has promoted, I think, a kind of fiscal responsibility that was not always the case for the District.” Mayor Gray, what say you: “For me, who was born and raised here, went to the schools, it really was a moment of hurt. . . . It just felt like our reputation had been tarnished in a very significant way … It motivates me to never want to have to go through that again.”
Catfight, Round 2: In D.C. Watch‘s mail, Republican at-large candidate Pat Mara and D.C. Watch’s Dorothy Brizill go a round over the cost of the special election that would have to occur for Mara’s Ward 1 school board spot if he were to win the at-large race. Mara says Brizill wasn’t writing negative things about the costs of a special election when Gray, former Mayor Adrian Fenty, or Chairman Kwame Brown decided to seek higher office. “Democracy does not have a price tag,” writes Mara. Brizill’s response include the tidbit that Mara was only a school board member for 17 days before announcing his new at-large candidacy. Democracy might not have a price tag, Brizill writes, but “apparently, neither does blind ambition.”
Colby King just can’t get over the fact that Gray met with House Speaker John Boehner and never once brought up the conservative House Republican caucus’ proposal to slash $210 million a year in federal payments to District. “One of the most anti-District proposals to surface in Congress in decades,” King calls the proposal.
Vouchers Rules: The WaPo editorial board is pro-vouchers, calls Gray’s current opposition “perplexing as it is disappointing.” The board also calls, again, on Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. to fulfill the promises he made three months ago and disclose just who has been giving to his “Team Thomas” operations and how that money was spent.
Looks like Cary Silverman will not be challenging Jack Evans to a rematch.
New Councilmember Sekou Biddle is pro streetcars.
Why didn’t Waiting for “Superman” get an Oscar nomination?
Gray sked: Appearances for “Hockey in the Hood” at 4 p.m., and a “walk-thru” at Florida and North Capitol at 4.30 p.m. with Harry Thomas Jr.