A deliberative, process-oriented roundup of local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!
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Good morning sweet readers! Proud papa LL is back to the old grind today. Many thanks to everyone who sent LL a kind note congratulating him on his very limited role in reproducing. The real cheers belongs to LL’s wife, who gave birth to the 9 pound 8 ounce bundle of joy. LL’s bean has already started showing signs that he has the uncommon strength and intelligence necessary to become the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback, a Winter Olympic gold medal winner, a Nobel prize recipient, and president of whatever they call the first colony on Mars.
In D.C. politics news, it looks like Mayor Vince Gray was able to avoid any embarrassing scandals over the holidays that would have prevented him from taking office. Congratulations, Mr. Mayor. Close readers will notice that LL has changed the tag line at the beginning of this morning’s roundup from “as much local politics as humanly possible,” which LL assumes LL No. 6 Mike DeBonis picked when he started these round ups oh-so-many years ago as a fun jab at former Mayor Adrian Fenty, who, of course, wanted to do everything “as fast as humanly possible.” With Fenty out, LL thought a new line was needed that poked fun at the new mayor. Today, we’ll go with “A deliberative, process-oriented roundup of local politics,” but LL is open to other suggestions.
It also looks like Former Ward 5 CM Vincent Orange‘s dream of getting back his old job may be in serious jeopardy. Tonight’s the night when we find out if the councilmembers’ collective dislike of Orange is enough to propel Board of Education member Sekou Biddle into the vacant at-large seat. Team Biddle tells LL that he’s already got the 40 votes, plus some extra, of D.C. Democratic State Committee members needed to win. Orange has said for a while that he’s got the numbers locked up. Tonight, we see who was lying. News time:
Must Read: If you like great journalism, then you’ll enjoy Jason Cherkis‘ cover story in this week’s City Paper on the abysmal failure of residential treatment centers to do any good for the District’s troubled teens. D.C. spends $61 million a year shipping kids out of state to these centers. “What this money buys the District is a system that has racked up scores of complaints, charges of abuse, and the creeping sense among child advocates that kids put in RTCs—whether they arrive as victims like Jumiya or as underage offenders referred by the city’s juvenile-justice system—come out worse than when they went in.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Vince Gray: The Michael Jordan of GW basketball; No Vote for EHN; Bag it…
We’re Playing Basketball: Hizzoner got a surprised last night when he showed up at a George Washington University basketball game to find that his alma mater had flown in his old race-barrier-bustin’ intramural basketball teammates for a center court reunion at halftime. Apparently, Gray was a two-sport threat back in his day: scouted by pro baseball teams as a teen and able to score at will on the basketball court against pasty future wonks who made up the GW frat system back in the ’60s. Gray and his black teammates weren’t able to play on the all-white varsity team, so instead they lit things up in the intramural league. The reunion may have been a surprise to Gray, but it wasn’t to the Post‘s Steve Hendrix, who files an A1 story about the reunion and Gray’s time as president of Tau Epsilon Phi. How about some possible foreshadowing of the new mayor’s tenure: “Gray would go on to be elected for two terms as president of the fraternity, a post in which he faced the challenge of pulling the chapter out of debt. His first attempt, a plea to basketball star and chapter alumnus Red Auerbach for an emergency donation, flopped. But he eventually balanced the books by cutting meal service and raising dues. … ‘Vince had some moves. He’d kind of fake to the left and go to the right and usually get a layup out of that,'” says former teammate Garry Lyle. The story’s not only some good free P.R. for GW, it’s also a nice way for the U. to get in even better with Gray. Not that GW, one of the city’s biggest land owners, had any ulterior motive in staging this elaborate feel-good reunion for the new big cheese…
Special Ed Problems Persist:A court-appointed evaluation team says “core problems” with the city’s troubled (and very expensive) special ed system continue to linger, despite some improvements, reports the Post.
No Vote For You: Eleanor Holmes Norton failed to fend off the House Republican’s move to strip her of her feel-good vote in the Committee of the Whole. Oh the humanity!
You’ve Been Bagged: The bag tax is working, in that people are not using as many plastic bags as they used to. The Anacostia River, however, still looks pretty unswimable. TBD has an opposing view from Virginia.
Fox 5 gives Police Chief Cathy Lanier an attagirl for cutting down on police overtime. Fire and EMS, we’re looking at you.
Congrats to 62 District students who got full college scholarships.
Golden parachute for United Medical Center’s CEO.
Robert Bobb wants back in.
Housing Complex’ LDP gives a preview of 2011 developments in development.Also mentions that Gray might create “some kind of redevelopment authority to more comprehensively approach the city’s land use strategy.” Comprehensive approach!? That’s right up Gray’s alley.
DCFPI has some rule suggestions for the council, like this great idea: advanced notice on what’s actually in the final budget proposal.
Gray schedule: 10 a.m. visit to Sousa Middle School with Arne Duncan and Kaya Henderson.
Ward 6 Tommy Wells was on Newstalk, as was FOP boss Kris Baumann. Chairman Kwame Brown is a guest on WPFW at 11 a.m.
DCDSC picks the next at-large councilmember tonight, 7:30 p.m. at 430 South Capitol Street SE.
What this money buys the District is a system that has racked up scores of complaints, charges of abuse, and the creeping sense among child advocates that kids put in RTCs—whether they arrive as victims like Jumiya or as underage offenders referred by the city’s juvenile-justice system—come out worse than when they went in.