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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! What do are supposed to do if your wife keeps shooting down your awesome ideas for naming your soon-to-be born son? LL is only asking for a friend. News time:
Wal-Mart is Coming: How’s this for breaking news? Last night around 11 p.m. Councilmembers Yvette Alexander and Tommy Wells let the public know, via Twitter, that District residents are about to save more and live better. That’s right, Wal-Mart is coming. WBJ‘s Michael Neibauer pounced like a cat, throwing up this blog post summarizing the scant details Wells tweeted. “He followed up, in response to a barrage of questions from followers, that Wal-Mart ‘promises to pay avg wage for major DC groc stores in city’ and that the retailer will go with a ‘new urban model’ far smaller than that of its suburban behemoths. He did not say where the Wal-Mart might go in the city. Wells’ post followed a vague Twitter message from Ward 7 D.C. Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, who wrote: ‘Big box retailer coming to Ward 7? Stay tuned!’ She later wrote that ‘news should be coming soon.’ And she ruled out Skyland, probably because the eminent domain-related legal proceedings there are still in the briefs stage.” TBD was also up late last night on Twitter; see their version here.
AFTER THE JUMP: Barry the National Advocate; Fenty Budget Hold Up, EHN wants a vote!…
Barry the National Advocate: Mayor-for-life and Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry says he wants to be a “national advocate” on welfare reform, 14 years after the rest of the country reformed welfare, reports Tim Craig at the Post. Barry and Alexander surprised many advocates and political watchers by sponsoring a bill that would put a five-year time limit on cash assistance for needy families. “‘It’s like Nixon going to China,’ Barry said. ‘You learn that times require different approaches. We have been wedded to this system for years and it’s been a miserable failure not to close the economic gap of our people.’ … But Barry, a former mayor with a reputation for being a fierce proponent of government spending, said his proposal is a first step in a broader fight to get more welfare recipients into the workforce. Instead of ‘kicking people off the rolls,’ Barry said his proposal was designed to bolster job-training and employment services within the Department of Human Services.”
Still Waiting Buddy: Still Mayor Adrian Fenty is dragging his feet on coming up with a plan to close a $175 million budget gap, reports the Examiner‘s Freeman Klopott. “Mayor-elect [Vince Gray] has said publicly that he hoped to have a copy of Fenty’s proposals in-hand by the first week in November. The council must wait for the mayor to send down a proposed budget to begin the process of deliberating over it. Gray said last week that he was scheduled to meet with Fenty officials to discuss the meeting [pretty sure, Freeman meant budget], but The Examiner has learned the meeting did not take place. … One source said Fenty is expected to send down his proposal by the end of this week.”
Be Nice To Me!: Eleanor Holmes Norton‘s office trumpeted the news yesterday that EHN had asked incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner to let her keep her vote on the House’s Committee of the Whole, which allows EHN to vote on “amendments on tax and spending bills,” The Post reports. Says Boehner’s office: “No decision has been made on that issue at this time.” Translation: We have not devoted one iota of brain space to this issue.
Choo Choo: Today the Committee on Public Works and Transportation hold a round table on streetcars. WAMU’s Patrick Madden talks to Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert, who says, “There’s a lot of public support for it. The council has identified funding for it, DDOT has done planning on where it starts and ends, what cars to use—now is the time to move forward to get it built.” BREAKING: Vince Gray has canceled the round table. No, wait, he just put it back on the agenda.
Call in the Feds: At Large Councilmember David Catania is among a group of several current and past government officials who agree with Jonetta Rose Barras that the Government Accountablity Office ought to be looking at the city’s finances, specifically the schools budget, reports Barras. Jonetta doesn’t think CFO Natwar Gandhi is doing very well and thinks an outside set of eyes is needed. “But while Gandhi is supposed to be that unimpeachable fiscal sheriff, more often than not he has been missing in action. It’s hard to understand how finance officials didn’t realize until the end of the fiscal year that the DCPS might have an $11.5 million deficit, as I wrote Monday. After all, neither the chancellor nor anyone reporting to her is charged with writing checks. Further, its unconscionable that Gandhi’s team would fail to adequately manage federal grant money, resulting in the possible return of millions of dollars. If this kind of madness is occurring in DCPS, a closely tracked agency, what is happening in other operations that have not received media and political scrutiny?”
Gray’s transition team leader, economist Alice Rivlin, proposes a 6.5 percent national sales tax. Start buying, folks!
Kaya Henderson cancels office hour due to scheduling conflict.
Pop quiz, doc—do you know much about HIV/AIDS?
Fenty punts on Stevens School development. It’s your headache now, Vince.
GGW responds to Orange.
Gray’s transition is low-key.
Finally, someone is holding Metro accountable!
Fenty schedule: Nada.
Council: Streetcar roundtable at 2 p.m.