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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! LL is making his debut appearance on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt at 10 a.m. to discuss LL’s favorite food: cheese. Or maybe we’ll talk city politics instead. Also, it’s Thursday, which means LL’s column has dropped again. This one’s about Project Match, a tiny non-profit that has a strong record of helping D.C. students but can’t get any love from DCPS. LL is already bracing for the onslaught of completely unjustified hatemail from School Chancellor Michelle Rhee fans. Bill Turque, how do you manage?! Also, be sure and check out Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells‘ slavish devotion to handheld electronic devices in our cover story by Michael Grass. News time:
Good Intentions, Meet Reality: Implementing a plan that would require a certain percentage of workers on D.C.-funded construction work go to D.C. residents could cost the city $17 million a year, according to a fiscal impact statement from the CFO Nat Gandhi‘s office, WBJ‘s Michael Neibauer reports. The plan’s sponsor, Councilmember Michael A. Brown, says yikes, that’s a high cost that the cash-strapped city probably can’t afford. “Now that it’s out, folks, whether it’s labor or the business community, now have something to digest and see if they buy those numbers. I don’t know if my colleagues will have the stomach for $67 million over four years when we’re about to do massive cuts,” Brown says. More discouraging news: “Even if the council found the money to mandate [Project Labor Agreements] and D.C. resident hiring, Gandhi expressed some doubt that the bill’s goals could be met. ‘According to [Department of Employment Services], government contracts have been able to fill only 34 percent of their labor hours on average with District residents, compared to the required 51 percent … In order to meet the proposed PLA requirements, government-assisted construction projects would have to hire approximately 750 to 900 additional District residents annually. This is equivalent to an 18 to 22 percent increase in hiring of construction workers who are District residents.” LL predicts this will get a lot more interesting, as part of Almost Mayor’s Vincent Gray‘s stump speeches, both pre- and post-election, include talk of making sure District jobs go to District residents.
AFTER THE JUMP: Politics-Free Zone Violation?; Tough Call; Baltimore is Alright …
People Addicted to Losing Their Independent Living Facilities for At-Risk Youth: WCP‘s LDP has the scoop that Peacoholics, the non-profit whose fast track to city funding is over, won’t be running two independent living facilities for at-risk young men. The two buildings in SE are going to be used as homeless shelters instead. “If the Peaceoholics lost out, they might have brought in on themselves. At a hearing on their real estate activities in July, Ron Moten and Jauhar Abraham hurled insults at Councilmembers Michael A. Brown and Harry Thomas, saying that racism and politics were at the root of their inquiry (‘Man, this ain’t right, man. You got to check yourself, brother,’ Moten huffed. ‘Put politics in the way of our children?’)” The news comes a day after Gray got one of his biggest cheers at his Ward 5 townhall when he said he’ll cut off the Peacoholics gravy train.
Umm, You Can’t Do That Here: The Post‘s Tim Craig calls out the Gray campaign for having three of its townhall meeting at schools, which are supposed to be politics-free zones. “Earlier in the year, city officials warned principals on at least three occasions that school grounds should be kept free of politics. In one instance, school operations director Evan Smith wrote the ‘prohibition covers every kind of partisan political activity.’ Traci Hughes, a Gray spokeswoman, said the campaign decided to hold the events at some schools because, they say, there is ‘some wiggle room in the statue.’ ‘DCPS has a discretion to approve these events,’ Hughes said. Hughes added principals at all three schools signed off on the events, but she conceded top school officials had yet to weigh in on the matter. ‘They haven’t told us to stand down, but they are scheduled,’ Hughes said. ‘We will see what happens.’ Small potatoes? Sure, but do we really want to send a message to our children that rules concerning schools are meant to be broken?
Look Northeast: Post columnist Bob McCartney suggests D.C. look at (gulp!) Baltimore as an example of a more collaborative school reform effort. McCartney makes some good points about how maddeningly oversimplified the narrative on D.C.’s reform efforts have been. “That black-and-white caricature about the choices in education—recently highlighted in the celebrated documentary Waiting for “Superman” and on Oprah Winfrey‘s television show—confuses and undermines the discussion of how to fix urban schools.”
We Did An Amazing Job, Okay? Postie Mike DeBonis reports that Board of Elections and Ethics Executive Director Rokey Suleman says the BOEE can be “proud” of how it handled the primary election, and the D.C. Council loaded too many changes at once. “‘We do wish that some reforms had been delayed,’ he said, reading from a preliminary report. ‘While reform is a necessary and important thing, it does not follow that every reform should be implemented at once. … We succeeded, but at great cost, and the election did not go nearly as smoothly as we would have wanted.'”
Tough Call: What do you do with homeless families that aren’t “from” the District? Well, you could try and screen them so they don’t receive D.C.-funded social services, as Tommy Wells suggests. But that’s probably illegal, as LDP points out. “In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled on equal protection grounds that neither the states nor D.C. could deny people welfare benefits on the grounds that they had not resided there for at least a year (one of the plaintiffs in the case was a Washingtonian who tried to move back to the District in 1966 and couldn’t get assistance for her children).”
Stay Classy, Examiner: Only reporters care about scoops, LL gets that. But LL still feels compelled to call out the Examiner for stealing Rend Smith‘s story in the City Paper about a possible “golden parachute” for Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s senior staff without giving any credit. LL knows first hand, having worked at the Examiner, how its editors become filled with righteous rage whenever the Post cribs an Examiner story without giving credit. So it’s pretty damn hypocritical to do same exact thing. And this isn’t the first time either. Rant over.
Kudos to the Post’s Matt Zapotosky for simply awesome work about the Prince George’s County police department.
Labor relations at Washington Hospital Center are tense.
Is a Marion Barry “memorial” in the works? And by memorial, we of course mean a “major development in Southeast Washington with a plaque honoring Marion Barry.”
More on Fenty write-in.
Everyone sure got excited that some unclaimed baseball cards were found.
Sucks to have the same name as a dog-killing cop.
Lots of binge drinking in the District.
Jack Evans to have hearings on a bunch of bills at 10:15 a.m. at Wilson Building.