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Good morning sweet readers! Well, it’s come to this: we’re on our way to eating only chickens who died peacefully in their sleep. News time:
It’s Payback Time, Mary Cheh: The Washington Post editorial board has not forgotten Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh‘s endorsement of Almost Mayor Vince Gray over the paper’s preferred choice, Still Mayor Adrian Fenty. And today, the paper avenges that wrong by endorsing Cheh’s opponent’s Republican Dave Hedgepeth in the upcoming general election. Hedgepeth will likely argue that the Post endorsed him because he’s simply the better candidate, but LL thinks the editorial speaks for itself : “Ms. Cheh has done some good work in her first term on the council, most notably on the environment and in her efforts to make the government more open to public view. But she’s been heedless in pushing legislation (such as lengthening the school day) that, no matter how well intentioned, is impractical, given the city’s finances. She insisted on overly ambitious election reform and, when the inevitable problems arose, blamed the people who had urged a more cautious approach.
On the single most important issue facing the city, school reform, Ms. Cheh failed to provide the principled leadership her constituents should expect. Ms. Cheh argues that school reform has been central to her work on the council. She did, along with a majority of the council, vote for mayoral control and confirm Michelle A. Rhee as chancellor. She stood by the chancellor’s decision to shutter schools, an easier stance for her than for others since Ward 3 was spared any closings. But as the decisions became increasingly difficult, and when Ms. Rhee most needed support, Ms. Cheh was nowhere to be found, instead joining the choirs of criticism and micromanagement over teacher layoffs and the transfer of a middle school principal. Her graceless criticism of Ms. Rhee when the chancellor tendered her resignation was emblematic.
In short, Ward 3 can do better, and Mr. Hedgepeth offers a grounded approach to the complex issues facing the District. He has expressed strong support for school reform, crossing party lines to endorse Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in an effort to keep Ms. Rhee. He is most impressive when it comes to the fiscal issues the District faces, rightly arguing that the city cannot tax itself out of its hole but needs to reassess exactly what it is providing residents for the estimated $21,000 in taxes per household. He also would relieve burdens that discourage the growth of new business.”
The Post editorial page’s endorsements clearly don’t mean that much when it comes to citywide races (just ask Fenty and Vincent Orange) but you’d think it would find a lot more receptive audience in Ward 3. Will this make it a race? LL doesn’t know, but it’s interesting to note that despite Cheh’s endorsement of Gray, he still got walloped 4 to 1 in Ward 3. Which begs the question, did Cheh’s endorsement have any impact? Was a smarter move on her part to pull a Tommy Wells and keep quiet?
AFTER THE JUMP: More Post endorsements; DYRS mishaps; Bikes Lanes!…
The Post also endorsed Republican Tim Day in Ward 5, which isn’t much of surprise how much the paper dislikes incumbent Harry Thomas Jr. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham gets rewarded for supporting Fenty with an endorsement that doesn’t make a mention of his Ted Loza problem. Wells gets the nod, as does At-Large Councilmember David Catania. Phil Mendelson gets ignored.
More Mistakes at DYRS: Another day, another story of juvenile justice mess ups . “Repeated failures by District agencies to communicate about criminal charges allowed at least two wards of the city’s juvenile justice agency to be on the streets—where authorities say they committed murder. Detailed within documents obtained by The Washington Examiner from three juvenile criminal cases are examples of warrants slipping through the cracks among the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies,” reports Freeman Klopott.
If Loving Bike Lanes is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right: The Examiner‘s Harry Jaffe chats with DDOT director Gabe Klein about bike lanes and how they became code words during the last election for Fenty’s white-resident favoritism. “Fenty’s foes used bike paths as a way to insinuate the mayor was favoring white folks who live west of Rock Creek Park; they, after all, are the ones who bike. Right? Wrong, according to Gabe Klein, head of the transportation agency that stripes the streets. ‘If anything, it’s about age,’ Klein argues. ‘The newer and younger types coming into the city are demanding a livable, bikeable town. I visit Ward 7 and people say ‘We need more bike lanes over here.’ So why are most bike lanes downtown and uptown in white neighborhoods? Klein and his assistants say they stripe streets where the population density is high and streets are broad and crowded, as they are in the ‘old city.’ Most neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, they say, are bike-friendly already. It might shock bike path naysayers to know the city has spent most of its bike money east of the river. The Watts Branch Trail in Marvin Gaye Park soaked up $3 million. The Anacostia River trail needed $7 million. Millions more went into trails along Alabama Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue East, according to transpiration officials. ‘Where we put trails has nothing to do with race or class,’ Klein says. ‘It has more to do with density and parking pain. Race is a red herring. We want to create equal opportunity for everyone to choose what they want.'”
Summer Job Embezzlement? At Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown is going to ask the D.C. auditor to look into allegations that a city employees engaged in some monkey business with payroll records of a half dozen kids involved with the summer jobs program, according to WUSA9.
It’s Farting Time: PETA plans on making farting noises outside of an undisclosed steak house today.
Vincent Orange is Already On the Council, Says Vincent Orange: In a bold move, Vincent Orange has essentially declared himself the winner of the Democratic State Committee’s choice to fill Almost Councilmember Kwame Brown’s seat, the Post report. “Former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange, who recently lost his bid for chairman, has been telling local Democratic leaders he has secured nearly all the votes he needs from the D.C. Democratic State Committee to win appointment to the soon-to-be vacant council at-large seat. … Jacque Patterson strongly disputes suggestions that Orange has nearly locked down a majority of the state committee. ‘I don’t buy it,’ Patterson said. ‘I think everybody is nice on the state committee, and they will tell you things, but I just don’t think 40 people have dedicated themselves to Vincent Orange. ‘ Patterson has invited state committee members to Buddha Bar for a happy hour (which will feature an open bar) Friday to begin discussing his potential candidacy.” Whoa, an open bar!? Smart move, Patterson!
Franklin School is All Gray’s: Michael Neibauer looks at the future of the historic, and vacant Franklin School, and finds Gray will be the third mayor to try and find a suitable use for it. “Most recently a homeless shelter shuttered in 2008, the Franklin School building is the focus of intense interest. Various parties say the National Historic Landmark, comprising only 38,000 developable square feet, could be so many things: a hotel, a shelter, a charter school, a law school, a cultural center. … Despite its high-profile location, the Franklin School offers few cost-effective redevelopment opportunities because it is relatively small and protected as a landmark inside and out, said Ben Miller, president of Western Development. Renovations alone would run upward of $35 million, he said, citing his company’s estimates, and there’s not enough room to amortize the cost.”
Gray imposes $25,000 cap on donations to transition fund.
Mendo wants to regulate synthetic marijuana, also known as spice. Paul Muad’Dib isn’t gonna like that.
GW students wants Christian only swim hour.
Fenty schedule: nothing.
Council: Roundtable on security at DPW sites, 2 p.m., Wilson building.
Kojo and Tom speak with Police Chief Cathy Lanier at noon.