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Good afternoon sweet readers! LL must have committed some serious felonies in a past life to be punished with this never-ending cold. News time:
You Can Keep Your Money, Bill Gates and the Walton Family: How about this figure: 40 percent of the teachers offered bonuses under former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee‘s landmark new teachers contract turned down bonuses in favor of keeping some job security. WAMU’s Kavitha Cordoza has the big scoop, along with a more detailed breakdown. This seems to be a bad sign for reform plan Rhee touted, since the bonuses and new contracts were supposed to help revolutionize the way the school district paid—and decided whether to fire—teachers. The two teachers who were offered bonuses of $25,000 both accepted, but listen to teacher Diane Terrell, who turned down a $5,000 check. “You think you can come and wave money in front of us and we will give up everything to you. I could not do that,” she says. LL could.
AFTER THE JUMP: Failure to Communicate; Gray Likes Sports; The Salaries Are Too Damn High…
What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate, Vol. 1: Somebody somewhere must have screwed up pretty bad if the first time Mayor Vince Gray finds out that the new UDC community college is out of money is from Post reporter Tim Craig. Craig reports that the community college, which is kinda of Gray’s baby, needs $8 million fast or its going to start cutting programs. Part of the problem for the college’s money woes, says Allen L. Sessoms, president of UDC, is a deal struck last year by Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry and Gray that had the Patricia R. Harris Education Center in Ward 8 transferred to UDC. The center needs a lot of work, says Sessoms, who called it a “”30 million- to 60 million-dollar problem.” Money quote: “I am not aware of it,” Gray said yesterday Sessoms need for more for more cash. Yikes.
Vince Gray Needs a Dietitian: Gray’s lunch with NBC 4 sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak has hit the airways. Gray reveals that he cannot control his appetite when it comes to Reese’s peanut butter cups. “I love Reese’s … Doesn’t matter how many you put in front of me, I’ll eat every one of them,” says Gray. This is the same man who has McDonald’s value meals memorized. Paging health lunch promoter Councilmember Mary Cheh.
Update from Hardy: Never has LL had to write so much about one middle school. But Hardy is back in the news, this time with a dispatch from Post reporter Bill Turque, who finds parents who think the school isn’t so bad after all. “There is another segment of the parent community that believes that while there are significant issues to address, Hardy is not imploding. They say it is time to move on from the dispute over Rhee’s reassignment of [former principal Patrick] Pope—however ill-advised or clumsily handled it might have been.” Turque admits he’s been “remiss” in covering these types of parents, since the angrier parents tend to get the most press coverage. The Turquester adds the odd line that that DCPS “had no role in connecting” him to happier segments of the Hardy parent populations. Why add such a line? Perhaps it’s because DCPS’s flack Safiya Simmons sent an e-mail to parents asking them to write letters to the Washington Post “disproving the story Bill Turque is trying to sell,” reports the Georgetown Dish.
Dear Jack Evans, LL Is Still Not Sure Where You Stand On Tax Increases: It’s hard to find a news story these days that doesn’t have a quote from Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans talking about his opposition to raising taxes. “We’re at a real crossroad … If the mayor submits a responsible budget April 1st, we’re going to be OK. But if he raises taxes or uses other gimmicks, it’s going to put the city in a bigger hole,” Evans told Jonetta Rose Barras. He’s also in the Examiner criticizing former Mayor Adrian Fenty for dipping into reserves: “That wasn’t helpful, and it’s why I think Fenty made a mistake.” Barras also has the details on how much some of Gray’s top staff make.
Failure To Communicate Vol. 2: Wal-Mart protesters list Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander as a speaker at a protest in front of the Wilson Building tomorrow. Alexander, who wants a Wal-Mart in her ward, says that’s a damn lie.
Mendo wants traffic laws to be better enforced.
TBD says at-large candidate Josh Lopez is full of it.
Missed this yesterday: that conservative group of House Republicans doesn’t just want slash funding to the District and Metro, but also wants to overturn locally enacted law related to gay marriage. Don’t Tread on Me!