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Yo. Lots of big news so lets get down to it.
FREED WEED: Yesterday, the D.C. Council unanimously passed the medical-marijuana bill. Fenty is expected to sign off on the legislation. Who the hell knows what congress will do? If the bill becomes law, WaPo reports doctors may have some questions: “The exact dosage and means of delivery — as well as the sometimes perplexing process of obtaining a drug that remains illegal under federal law — will be left largely up to the patient.” Doctors, WaPo notes aren’t used to this. More via WTOP, Wash Times, NC8/WJLA.
IMMIGRATION BEAT: The D.C. Council has entered into the Arizona immigration fray. The Examiner’s Alana Goodman reports that Councilmember Phil Mendelson introduced a bill that would prevent a federal immigration enforcement program from going operational in the District: “Last November, city officials announced that the District would join Secure Communities, a national program that matches fingerprints of arrestees against a database of suspected illegal immigrants. All of the city council members have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation that would keep D.C. from taking part. ‘The Metropolitan Police Department has its hands full dealing with violent crimes in the District, and the issue of immigration is not the MPD’s responsibility,’ Mendelson told The Examiner.” WaPo notes that the D.C. Council also registered its support for a boycott of Arizona businesses. More via WTOP. Let’s hope we get to see Mendo on “Hardball.”
AFTER THE JUMP—-Betts murder suspects had extensive criminal records, Rhee picks out her wedding dress, Dan Snyder actually apologies for something, and much, much more!
BETTS MURDER SUSPECTS: WaPo’s Dan Morse and Keith Alexander run the rap sheets of the three suspects charged in principal Brian Betts’ murder. The reporters note that all three had extensive criminal records; it had been widely reported on Monday that at least two of the three were under some kind of DYRS supervision and were wanted by the police at the time of the murder. WaPo reports: “The three 18-year-olds charged with killing a well-known D.C. principal have lengthy criminal records that include violent crimes and in one case charges of a sex offense at age 11. In addition, one had absconded from a juvenile detention center, another had been released to his mother against the wishes of a judge and the third was wanted at the time of the slaying for failing to appear in court, according to court records in Montgomery County and the District.”
The Washington Blade‘s Lou Chibbaro Jr. tracks down a number of similar violent incidents stemming from phone-sex chat lines—-though not quite enough incidents to call it a trend. This is the not first time in recent months that a murder has been tied to a phone sex line. Chibbaro Jr. reports: “On Dec. 27, gay D.C. resident Anthony Perkins, 29, was shot to death in his car in Southeast D.C. by a suspect who met him through a phone chat line, according to D.C. police and the U.S. Attorney’s office. Authorities have so far declined to name the chat line. D.C. police charged 20-year-old Antwan Holcomb with first-degree murder while armed in connection with Perkins’ death.” The Examiner spins another angle out of the Betts murder—-this was the third gay man to be murdered during a robbery in recent months.
And Harry Jaffe, in his Examiner column, thinks its time for DYRS to toughen up. He writes: “The juvenile justice system in the nation’s capital is broken, badly. Just as Fenty took over the schools and installed a tough leader named Michelle Rhee, the city needs to blow up the alleged system for handling young criminals.” Did Mr. Jaffe forget that DYRS is Fenty’s project all the way? Jaffe’s Examiner colleague Bill Myers reports that at least seven juveniles under DYRS supervision have been charged with murder. Fox gets Shaw students react to the arrests. WJLA reports on”the danger of chat rooms.”
RHEE NEWS: Reliable Source reports that Rhee has picked out her wedding gown: “The D.C. schools chancellor and fiance Kevin Johnson were strolling through a White House Correspondents’ after-party when we demanded a tidbit about their September nuptials. “What wedding?” teased Johnson, who then revealed Rhee has picked out her gown. He asked her to wear something “classic but contemporary”; the bride-to-be said she bought a Monique Lhuillier dress she found in a Georgetown bridal salon.” I have a followup—-band or DJ? Also science scores are up.
VOICE OF THE HILL RIP: Yesterday, Cap. Hill’s great news source (and fantastic presence on Twitter) announced it was closing shop. And with that, let’s steal the paper’s entire statement:
“It is with great regret that the Voice of the Hill must announce the closure of our publication. Covering Capitol Hill’s neighborhoods at the level of excellence that our readers expect and deserve comes at a substantial cost. Due to the recession, advertising dollars from community businesses are not sufficient to support a high quality, home-delivered community newspaper.
We think the Hill is a fabulous place for a community newspaper such as the Voice, and we have cherished our years serving your community. We appreciate that our efforts have been recognized by both area business and civic groups as well as by many individual residents.
The Voice began life as a Web site, soon evolving into a monthly newspaper. Founder Bruce Robey sold the publication to The Current Newspapers in 2006.
We have been happy to participate in Hill activities and donate our time and our newspaper’s space to great causes. We will continue to reach out to the Hill community as we concentrate our efforts on our weekly papers serving the Northwest areas of Washington.
We hope, in the not too distant future, to be able to serve you again.”
MUST-SEE TV: NewsTalk’s interview with teacher’s union honcho George Parker.
The owner of United Medical Center say the hospital’s financial problems are the District’s fault. WaPo reports that the hospital’s owners blame the District for its “refusal to fully reimburse the facility for patient care and city officials’ decision to ‘divert’ $25 million in hospital funding to other projects. Specialty Hospital of Washington denied in a filing in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday that it had hidden financial problems from city officials, whom it contends unlawfully seized control of the hospital last month. The company says Attorney General Peter Nickles chaired monthly meetings on hospital operations and knew the medical center, formerly known as Greater Southeast Community Hospital, was in trouble.” Specialty Hospital is fighting with the District over control of the facility. Last week, the District filed court papers asking to take it over. This is the first response from Specialty. Sounds like they are not going to give up on the SE hospital without a fight. Key quote: “It’s all about politics,” Specialty co-owner Jim Rappaport said in an interview. “It’s all about unwillingness to pay for the cost of care for those who use a safety-net hospital.”
METRO: Work is apparently being promised to fix Red Line congestion, and escalator breakdowns.
DAN SNYDER APOLOGIES FOR SOMETHING: It has to do with a marine returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the veteran’s wife (a Redskins cheerleader), and threats/arguments over which TV station should get exclusive rights to their surprise reunion on Redskins property. Guess who ended up looking not cool? Also, our own Dave McKenna has an amazing story on the Snyder-Six Flags debacle.
MARION BARRY HAS AWKWARD MOMENT ON DAIS: The Sexist reports a tip that Barry got a little personal with Councilmember Mary Cheh saying: “Ms. Cheh you are attractive, glamorous, and have great femininity.” As the Sexist noted, it beats calling Cheh an “angry woman” (Peter Nickles). We don’t think Barry needs to send her flowers.
MAN CRASHES SUV INTO LIBRARY: Yesterday afternoon, a driver of a black Escalade crashed into Mount Pleasant’s interim library. The driver failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DUI. The library will be closed for a week, reports NC8/WJLA. DCIST has awesome pictures of the crash scene and busted Caddy. More via WaPo.
UDC LAW SCHOOL GETS TOP 10 RANKING FOR CLINICS: From the press release: “his month, US News and World Report ranked UDC’s David Clarke School of Law tenth in America (out of 188 ABA accredited law schools analyzed) for clinical legal education. In its annual Best Law Schools analysis, US News ranked UDC’s clinical program more highly than those of numerous well-heeled and prestigious law schools, including Harvard, Stanford and Columbia. UDC’s tenth place ranking in 2010 was up from a top-twenty-five ranking in 2009. While the School of Law faculty and administration were pleased with the recognition, many were indignant that the School of Law did not rank even higher. With the nation’s largest clinical requirement of 700 hours, plus a 40 hour first-year community service requirement, and the addition of an Immigration and Human Rights Law clinic this fall, the consensus was that UDC should and will rank even higher in years to come.” US News link.
D.C. Court of Appeals hears arguments on same-sex marriage bill. D.C. Wire reports: “Lawyers arguing against allowing the marriages argued that D.C. voters should have been allowed to vote on the issue. Attorneys for the District, however, argued that D.C. Council acted within District laws in voting on and eventually passing the legislation.”
GROUP HOMES: The District is petitioning to take over two group homes. It filed papers making the request last Friday in D.C. Superior Court, according to the D.C. Wire.
MAYOR’S SCHEDULE: 10:45 a.m., remarks at Remarks the kick-off for “DC Streetcar Showcase” at City Center DC, 9th and H Streets NW.
D.C. COUNCIL SCHEDULE: More budget hearings. This time, Council focuses on social services, transpo, housing, workforce development, and DPW.