IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Carlos Allen’s Horrible Music Video Is Vince Gray Already Throwing His Weight Around? Bloomberg Parrots Rhee
Good morning sweet readers! It’s Friday, and you know what that means, tomorrow is Washington City Paper‘s own Crafty Bastards—the best crafts fair on the entire eastern seaboard. LL will be there signing autographs. And possibly knitting. News time:
Cuts!: Almost Mayor Vince Gray says he’ll look at cuts before raising taxes, Freeman Klopott reports in the Examiner. Friction ahead: Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans was more clear: Cut human services and education funding. ‘If we had done it [in April when the budget was debated], then we probably would have less of a problem today,’ he said. But Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells, who heads the council’s Human Services Committee, said the agencies he oversees have already been stripped down and are stretched thin by an influx of needy residents.” WBJ‘s svelte Michael Neibauer goes diving into the budget finds that the city has set aside money it doesn’t have for goofy things like “needs assessments” of business owners in certain parts of the city. Future “needs assessments” in 2011 are planned for “Ward 5” (that’s all it says) and 12th Street NE, and there’s some money set aside for “programs designed to address those identified needs. Another $50,000 from the fund is earmarked to the Cleveland Park Business Association, $35,000 to “business development and assessment services provided to women-owned businesses,” $235,000 to a “clean team” demonstration project along Kennedy Street and Georgia Avenue, and $50,000 to Ward 6 “business assistance services.'” LL is guessing that what business owners really need is a more fiscally responsible government.
AFTER THE JUMP: Can Superman Save D.C.’s Schools?; Opting out of immigration enforcement a no-go; We support the march …
Action!: The Examiner’s asks today on its cover: “Can a Documentary Save Our Schools?” then has a story with a headline: “Despite film’s praise, Rhee may be on way out.” This better be one good movie! Reporter Lisa Gartner asks Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee whether she wished Waiting for Superman had come out before the primary. “Rhee said she ‘could not answer’ if she wished Waiting for Superman hit box offices before the mayoral primary. ‘It is what it is,’ she said. … The thing is, the story is always ongoing. Do you include the fact that the mayor didn’t get re-elected, or that the union threw a lot of money [at Gray’s campaign]?” Gartner also follows up with Anthony Black, one of the child protagonists in the film, to find that he’s doing well at the charter school where he was accepted (SEED, near Fort Dupont).
Reversal!: The District’s plan to opt out of a new federal immigration enforcement program is a no-go, reports the Post’s Shankar Vedantam. “Participation in the program, called Secure Communities, was widely believed to be voluntary—a perception reinforced by a Sept. 7 letter sent to Congress by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. … But the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency now says that opting out of the program is not a realistic possibility—and never was.” Not happy, Councilmember Jim Graham: “If what you say is true, it is extremely disappointing because it means the District of Columbia now has a blurred rather than a bright line between what the Metropolitan Police Department is doing and what immigration officers are doing.”
March!: LL attended a news conference yesterday held by Gray and several councilmembers in support of the NAACP, labor unions, and a planned rally this Saturday on the Mall. The presser dragged on more than an hour and had more speakers than there were reporters. LL wonders if the councilmembers see these kind of events as a type of sport to try and drop the most quotable line that gets reporters’ attention. If that was the case, then Councilmembers Harry Thomas Jr. and David Catania won. Thomas was quoted in D.C. Wire saying: “”Labor unions are under attack and working men and women are under attack … This city is not going to take it.” While Catania got play in both that posting and in this story from WAMU. “If we could make people really angry enough in the country, they would come here and march and spend their money in our restaurants and hotels; it’d be a great way to put our residents to work … If you are marching on Washington, please stay in District hotels and restaurants.” The Tea Party as D.C. economic stimulus plan—it’s brilliant! Catania actually gave a pretty impassioned argument in favor of gay rights, but that didn’t make the cut.
Next!: It’s hard to imagine how you can make a trip to the DMV any worse than it already is, but finding out that you’re HIV positive while you’re waiting sure would suck. Kidding aside, this is a pretty creative idea: “In what District officials say is the first effort of its kind in the nation, the city will partner with a nonprofit group to offer free HIV testing at the Department of Motor of Vehicles office in Penn Branch in Southeast Washington. Participants will receive up to $15 to help defray their DMV costs. The year-long project would be another way to reach residents in a city where a 2008 epidemiology update concluded that 3 percent of the population had HIV/AIDS. That is well above the 1 percent considered to be a general epidemic, advocates for prevention and city officials said,” reports Nikita Stewart in the Post.
Wait!: Peter Rosenstein says in the Blade that he’s looking forward to Gray’s tenure and has these words of advice for the press corps: “I hope that some of the editors of the Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, and those few self-serving columnists always looking for something nasty or outrageous to say, will allow him the time to prove he can succeed before talking gloom and doom.”
The elites shell-shocked by Fenty’s loss, Dave Weigel reports.
More gay couples getting married than straight couples in D.C.
Petula Dvorak writes about how crappy it is to be a poor kid.
Who wants to pay another Pepco surcharge? Not business owners, reports Neibauer.
Great story from the former mentor of Jamal Coates, who died this week after a shooting.
TMI on what Fenty and Bloomberg had for lunch.
Some guys have been watching “The Town” too much.
Myopic Twit Erik Wemple takes on Courtland Milloy
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and her opponent Republican Dave Hedgepeth will duke it out on Kojo at noon.