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  • Good morning sweet readers! This is something else. News time:

    Dunbar’s Got Problems:The Post puts on A1 the problems at Dunbar High School, which prompted interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to ditch the contractor former School Chancellor Michelle Rhee had hired to turn the school around. “Nearly half the senior class is not on track to graduate, more than 100 students are taking courses they’ve already passed and the campus is growing increasingly unsafe,” reports Bill Turque of school officials’ findings. The contractor, Friends of Bedford, disputes those findings, and has said politics came into play in Henderson’s decision. Henderson has said that’s not true. The bigger question is what does the whole Dunbar mess say about Rhee’s legacy? “[C]ommunity leaders say Bedford’s experience at Dunbar suggests that sustainable reform must come from the ground up, beginning with parents, teachers and other stakeholders,” writes Turque. Does that sound familiar? The Examiner has an interview with Henderson, who says Rhee’s job was to start a revolution, and her job is to smooth things out: “Rhee had to come in and break some china … We’re tired of breaking china.” Henderson also says she never wanted the gig, but didn’t want to see all of Rhee’s top aides abandon ship when Rhee left. Zaminer has a shot from new teachers union boss Nathan Saunders, who refers to himself in the third person and says he won’t be a pushover like the last guy was with Henderson: “What she did with George Parker is totally different than what she’s going to be able to do with Nathan Saunders.” BTW, officials unveiled modernization plans for Dunbar yesterday, and Still Mayor Adrian Fenty and Almost Mayor Vince Gray (a Dunbar alum) joked about how bad the Redskins are. Gray also tells Bruce Johnson that he really likes Henderson.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Lew!; Ben’s Chili Bowl, Anacostia?; Breathalyzer Problems …

    Lew Lew Lew: Gray’s spokeswoman Doxie McCoy told LL this morning there will likely be another presser tomorrow announcing more members of the future Gray administration. In the meantime, NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood joins the love parade for hard charging Almost City Administrator Allen Lew, saying the pick is a break in Gray’s “moldy image.” “Lew is polite to a fault in public, but he can be steel-willed and brutally blunt in private when dealing with contractors or others who aren’t getting the job done. … We’d love to be inside one of the first cabinet meetings when Lew decides one or two cabinet members aren’t pulling their weight.”

    Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander teases that “Ben’s” may be coming to her “side of town.”

    Dude, I Blew a .89: More problems for the MPD’s “Breathalyzer Unit” reports Fox 5. “Two and a half months after taking over the Breath Alcohol Testing Program, Ilmar Paegle, a retired U.S. Park Police officer, wrote a detailed four page memo in which he claims the protocol to ensure the machines were properly calibrated has not been followed since at least 2000.” The A.G.’s office says that’s just Paegle’s opinion. Earlier this year, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said there were problems with the last two years of breathalyzer testing.

    The Senate’s appropriations bill would knock off $11 million in federal funding for the District. Also includes a $100k earmark for former first lady Cora Masters Barry‘s Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.

    Segregated City: It seems like every few months a new “news” story comes out saying that the D.C. region is the smartest, best-paid region in the country. Yawn. But the Post‘s version of that story today also has some interesting info on racial segregation. “William Frey of the Brookings Institution has started to mine the data, concluding that segregation is declining nationally and locally. In his analysis of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, 61 experienced declines in segregation between blacks and whites. In Washington, Frey found that the average white person lives in a neighborhood that is 63 percent white, the average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 79 percent African American and the average Hispanic person lives in a neighborhood in which one out of four neighbors is Hispanic. That represents a small but noticeable improvement since 2000. The District exhibited the most segregation overall under a measurement called the Index of Dissimilarity or, more commonly, the segregation index. It estimates what percentage of people would have to move for races to be distributed in the same proportion in which they’re represented overall in a region, with zero being the ideal and anything more than 60 considered high. At 74 percent, the District had the fifth-highest segregation level in the nation, and Virginia had one of the lowest, 50 percent. Maryland was in between, with 65 percent.”

    District ready for snow storms that probably won’t come.

    DDOT boss Gabe Klein is going to wear a Santa suit, have a few beers, and ride his bike around town with his smart growth fans next week. Seems about the right way to leave a job.

    CM Tommy Wells talks bikes, for 13 mins. Wishes he could have spent more money on beer in college than car repairs. Kinda chides his fellow councilmembers for cruising in SUVs.

    Rough news day for Metro. First, the Post suggests that the Russians are better at operating escalators than we are. The Times piles on, with an inspector general’s report that says three Metro engineers didn’t have engineering certificates. And the Examiner reports that the agency has more vacant positions than it would like.

    CM Michael Brown is on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt today, talking online gambling.