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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Parker to Teachers: Layoffs and Raises Are ‘Distinct Issues’‘; ‘Shooting Victims’ Kin Outraged After Cops Arrest Wrong Kid‘; ‘Drunk Bicyclists, Beware: Court Upholds DUI Conviction‘; and tweets galore!

Greetings all. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced yesterday that all 41 charges have been dropped against the 14-year-old boy alleged to have been at the wheel of a rented minivan while thugs inside sprayed a crowd with gunfire, killing four. Rather, police have arrested two adults in connection with the crime—-Robert Bost and Lamar Williams, both 22—-making four total suspects in custody, with one more at large. So what happened? Why were police and prosecutors so wrong about a boy whose troubled past became great grist for the local journalism mill? Paul Duggan and Clarence Williams report in WaPo that ‘a patrol sergeant made a critical mistake’ by identifying the boy when he was found at a school near the shooting scene. Attorney General Peter Nickles announced yesterday at a news conference that fingerprints and other evidence has ‘absolutely cleared’ Malik Carter of any connection to the shooting. Nickles went on to take a shot at media outlets, primarily the Examiner, for the ‘unlawful’ publishing of Carter’s name. LL Daily reprinted the Examiner’s disclosure, so allow LL to cry from the rooftops: Malik Carter had no part in this heinous crime. Also WTTG-TV, NC8, WAMU-FM, WTOP

AFTER THE JUMP—-Press conference drama; Metro board backs off vast service cuts; new St. E’s opens; Fenty proposes big hikes in vacant property fees; city commits $3M more to Fort Lincoln projects; Barry wants Rhee ‘report card’; will Nats Park have a new name soon?

THE SCENE—-The Fenty administration called a short-notice press conference for 5 p.m. on the steps of the Daly Building. After that, Duggan writes in a blog post titled ‘Was Fenty trying to avoid victims’ family members?,’ news crews hurriedly set up outside. ‘Then a group of angry-looking people arrived outside headquarters….They were fuming, saying they had come to confront the officials about the continuing violence on D.C. streets. Soon a Fenty staffer appeared at the mayor’s podium and announced that the news conference had been moved – it would not be held outside, but inside, on the third floor of the headquarters. The TV crews howled in protest, saying they were on deadline. The standoff dragged on.’ Finally, toward 6 p.m., Fenty et al. emerged, and held the press conference without incident. Afterward, ‘a TV reporter began peppering them with questions about their delayed appearance outside….”Why move it inside?” the reporter asked. “Because you didn’t want to be around the family members?” “We just didn’t want to keep people waiting,” Fenty replied. “We apologize for taking so long.” Then he turned again to walk away. “Thank you all very much!”‘

WHAT HAPPENED—-‘After police chased the van, the four occupants got out in the 700 block of Yuma Street SE and ran, authorities said. It was shortly after 7:30 p.m. Two adults were quickly arrested, and one escaped. Police said the driver ran into Ferebee-Hope Elementary School. The 14-year-old was arrested after officers, during the foot chase, entered the school and encountered him, police said. One law enforcement source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is still being investigated, said that a program was underway in the school and that several young people were there, including the boy, who had registered on a sign-in sheet earlier in the evening. When the boy saw the officers, the source said, he put his hands in the air. He apparently did so not because he had been involved in the shooting, but because he was an absconder from the juvenile justice system in an earlier criminal case and assumed that police had come to arrest him, the source said. The police sergeant, Laswaun Washington, who had been involved in the vehicle chase and had seen the driver, “responded to the scene of this apprehension and identified this subject as the person in the driver seat of the silver minivan,” according to a police affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court. Asked to elaborate on Washington’s misidentification of the boy and whether the sergeant will face disciplinary action, [Chief Cathy Lanier] said, “There’s no police misconduct involved in this case.”‘

THE SUSPECTS—-‘”We feel comfortable now, with all the information we have, that we have all the people responsible for this either identified or in custody,” the chief said. She said four of the suspects were in the silver Chrysler Town and Country van when the shots were fired. A fifth suspect was not in the vehicle, she said. She would not say which man was not in the van or discuss his alleged role in the killings.’

EXAMINER STATEMENT—-From Scott McCabe‘s story on the announcement: ‘The Washington Examiner is aware of no rule or city statute violated by naming the juvenile who at the time was charged with four homicides and numerous other crimes. Mr. Nickles apparently is referring to a stipulation some news organizations entered into under which they would not name the juvenile in return for attending juvenile proceedings. But The Examiner did not sign that stipulation or attend the proceedings. The Examiner’s policy on naming juveniles charged with crimes is the same as many newspapers: In most cases, we do not do it. In very rare cases involving particularly heinous charges, the Examiner believes the public’s interest in knowing details of an alleged crime supersedes a juvenile’s privacy rights.’


WMATA board members stepped from the brink of crippling service cuts at yesterday’s meeting, opting instead to ‘rely instead on additional fare increases and borrowed capital funds to close a $189 million operating shortfall in the next fiscal year,’ Ann Scott Tyson reports in WaPo. ‘The proposal would limit cuts in bus and rail service to $8 million, compared with $33.7 million in the original budget. Meanwhile, the increase in revenue from fares and other fees, such as parking, would grow from $89.2 million to $108.8 million. Board members generally endorsed the new plan, whose emphasis on fare increases is in line with the majority of public comments. The plan also includes higher parking fees and special fares for historic and sporting events. “I think there is a majority” of board members broadly backing the proposal, said board member Jim Graham.’ Still controversial: cuts to bus lines and late-night rail service, and a ‘last resort’ proposal to raid the system’s capital maintenance budget for $30M—-a situation also complicated by delays in receiving promised federal capital dollars. WAMU-FM covers the capital budget squabbling, and Examiner notes that ‘City Administrator Neil Albert voiced concerns that 20 percent fare increases would unduly hit bus riders, and thus city residents, compared with the 15 percent increase for rail fares and 12 percent parking fee hike that would tend to affect suburban riders.’ Also WTOP, WTTG-TV, and WaPo breaks down the gap-closing plan piece by piece.

MORE—-‘As part of a stepped-up safety effort, the board also moved to require Metro to develop a mechanism for tracking all safety recommendations made by oversight agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Transit Administration and the Tri-State Oversight Committee, which oversees safety at Metro. The resolution requires that Metro’s staff provide quarterly reports to the board and Metro’s inspector general on the status of actions to correct problems, including any significant delays.’

The new $161M St. Elizabeths Hospital is now open. Henri Cauvin reports in WaPo from yesterday’s ribbon-cutting that ‘city leaders said the building signaled the District’s commitment to creating a modern mental health system and to putting to rest the troubles that have dogged the hospital for many years. “This is a great day for D.C.,” Attorney General Peter Nickles told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the building for the ceremony. It was Nickles who, as a private lawyer, helped bring a 1974 federal class-action suit over conditions at St. Elizabeths, and it is Nickles, who as the top legal adviser to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has pushed for an end to the 36-year-old case, saying the city’s mental health system has made great strides and no longer requires court supervision. The judge in the case, Thomas F. Hogan, and his appointed monitor, Dennis R. Jones, have expressed optimism that the class action may be nearing its end, and both were spotlighted at the ribbon-cutting….When Justice Department investigators return to the hospital next month for a periodic review, it will be their first visit to the new facility, and their findings could be critical to the court case and to the future of the department’s involvement with St. Elizabeths. On Thursday, the focus was on the nearly 300 patients who will be moving into the building in the coming weeks.’

THE BUILDING—-‘From tranquil courtyards outside patient living areas to functional heating and cooling systems, the building off Alabama Avenue in Southeast Washington is intended to make the hospital a more welcoming place for the people who are there for treatment. “We don’t want it to be anybody’s home,” Patrick J. Canavan, the hospital’s chief executive, said at the ceremony, “but while you stay here, we want it to be very comfortable and we want it to support your healing. “‘

A week’s worth of Michael Neibauer scoops—-now all on one day! The newly minted business reporter leads his WBJ coverage with a look at steep hikes in vacant property fees—-‘an annual registration fee up to 250 times what they pay now’—-proposed in the Fenty budget plan. ‘Fenty suggests charging the owners of more than 900 vacant buildings a graduated schedule of registration fees that start at $250 and soar to a top rate of $5,000. The mayor also proposes to eliminate most existing exemptions, so that the owners of newly constructed buildings, properties under active rehabilitation or renovation, and buildings for sale or rent will have to pay. If the D.C. Council adopts the new rates, a vacant residential building with an assessed value of $250,000 would have a $5,000 registration tab if it remains vacant five years later — roughly double its annual tax bill.’ The fee could raise $4.2M by 2014. A real-estate lawyer calls the proposal ‘onerous on many levels.’

Big scoop from Neibauer on an ‘imminent deal’ to bring a new Giant to 3rd and H Streets NE. ‘A highly placed Giant of Maryland executive confirmed the impending agreement with Chevy Chase-based Steuart Investment Co., the parcel’s developer, but asked not to be named because “the deal is not done,” and the “I’s and T’s [are] not crossed.”…Steuart’s plans for the 286,500-square-foot mixed-use project, on the west end of the H Street corridor, include 212 residential units, 279 parking spaces and a grocery store. But which grocery store to place there has long been the question. Harris Teeter Inc. had a non-binding agreement to locate there, but backed out in 2007. Steuart was in talks with Yes! Organic Market and Trader Joe’s….Kelvin Robinson, chairman of the H Street advisory neighborhood commission, said the community “definitely wanted to have a different level of store” from Giant at that location….Another community leader, Tony Richardson of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C, said most residents would welcome Giant. “What’s so bad about Giant?” Richardson asked.’

The Nei-man also has the latest on the city’s commitment to Fort Lincoln development. Now in addition to sweetening a 2005 $10M TIF deal by an additional $5M, the city is prepared to spend $3M to construct ‘stormwater management ponds’ on the property—-‘part of a major upfront investment in the Northeast community that city leaders expect will pay big long-term dividends.’ Why all the sweeteners? ‘”The project won’t move without it,” said [Kwame Brown]. But Brown said the investment will pay big dividends in jobs and revenue. “We’re looking at $7 million a year in revenue coming into the city,” Brown said. “I think it’ll be closer to $10 million. In three years we’ll pay it back. That’s faster than the Verizon Center.” The Shops at Dakota Crossing is an estimated $120 million project with 2,500 parking spaces. Costco could be joined by Target, Shoppers Food Warehouse and Staples, all of which may demand their own subsidies.’ Let’s pair that story with another Neibauer piece, titled ‘D.C. tax giveaways mounting; critics follow close behind.’ Noting the NoMa hotel tax abatement passed this week, Neibauer notes some inconsistency in Vince Gray‘s position: ‘Tax abatements, [Gray] said, must be reviewed and supported only with evidence “that this is an investment that will pay off.” The responsibility to demonstrate the economic benefit of a tax break, Gray said, generally falls to Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi. A day after he addressed the issue, Gray voted in favor of an $8.1 million tax break for a planned $59 million Hilton Garden Inn in NoMa — a break Gandhi found “no evidence…to justify.”‘

ALSO IN WBJ—-Capitol Riverfront developers, including Forest City and Monument, are turning to HUD-backed financing to get projects moving, Sarah Krouse reports in WBJ; and $1.5M in energy stimulus funds set to retrofit Garfield Hills Apartements with ‘energy-efficient lighting and bathroom faucets, green floor coverings, formaldehyde-free bathroom cabinets, and EnergyStar thermostats, kitchen range exhaust hoods, refrigerators and bathroom exhaust fans.’

Do read the most comprehensive review to date of the Arts Overlay mess, from Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis: ‘The fallout from DCRA’s sudden freeze on the occupancy permits has been dramatic, icing projects already underway, spooking would-be investors, and sending elected leaders into a tizzy. It also reopened old wounds in the body politic. When Housing Complex first reported DCRA’s shocking announcement online two weeks ago, a flurry of heated comments ensued. Neighborhood blogs exploded with indignation. Fingers were pointed in all directions, some directed at this reporter’s portrayal of the situation. One critic even threatened legal action. Participants in this regulatory brouhaha could be almost evenly divided between two camps: Those who want to see more bars and restaurants on U Street, and those who think there are too many already.’

OTHER BIZ NEWS—-Big mixed-use development set for southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW could soon move forward, and ‘signs of progress are appearing’ for Roadside’s O Street Market project, DCmud reports. ‘The project team is now working with the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to obtain construction permits so that in September, Roadside can begin the process of bolstering and securing the existing structure. Construction will likely follow in “Spring of 2011.”‘

Good news: D.C.’s 2010 Census mail-in response rate is improving, Carol Leonnig reports in WaPo. ‘Both the District and Virginia are improving on their 2000 performances, and Maryland has matched its 2000 rate. The ultimate success of the census depends on the next phase. The Census Bureau is hiring about 630,000 temporary workers to go door to door, starting May 1, to find people who haven’t yet returned their forms.’

MORNING VIZ—-Fenty spotted this morning outside the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro station by Park View D.C. blog. ‘While Fenty was speaking with residents, his supporters were encouraging folks to register to vote, offering to deliver yard signs, and asking for their support.’

More voting rights reax, starting with DCist’s Sommer Mathis, now writing on occasion for the WaPo local opinion blog. ‘The staunchest of statehood advocates might be the only ones who came out on top in this latest failure to achieve even a single vote in Congress for the District,’ she writes. ‘[N]ow that the combined forces of the powerful gun lobby, disagreement among city leaders, and lukewarm support within Congress itself have managed to fell the incrementalist approach, the hard-core statehood view could well end up back in vogue….If this thorough, conservative-led mucking up of the D.C. House voting rights bill teaches us anything, it’s that we’re going to need more creative ideas than ever, not fewer, on how to proceed. Limiting ourselves to a statehood-only approach will only prolong the 200-year-old injustice of D.C.’s second-class status.’

—-A Baltimore Sun editorialist also weighs in: ‘The brouhaha over gun control was just another example of the cynical games Congress plays using its constitutional authority to oversee District affairs. Add to that the complicating factors of a hotly contested District mayoral primary this fall in which the two main candidates came down on different sides of the issue, and the timorous Senate Democrats who have their own re-election worries this year, and perhaps it’s no wonder the whole scheme collapsed under its own weight. Still, one wonders whether voters there shouldn’t have bitten the bullet and seized the chance for a historic breakthrough. Surely it would be a pity if years from now and possibly, decades the District’s residents were to find themselves in the same situation they’re facing today, with no vote in Congress and still wondering whether the trade-off between keeping their gun-control laws and losing the franchise was worth it.’

—-Matthew Yglesias airs a fabulous reader question: ‘I still don’t understand why the Democrats didn’t just push through DC statehood while they had the chance, during the brief period in which they had 60 votes in the Senate. Even more so, I really can’t understand why no one within the Democratic coalition even bothered trying to push for DC statehood during this Congress[?]’

—-And at Salon, national politics writer Mike Madden covers the efforts by Shadow Rep. Mike Panetta et al. to exact some revenge on voting-rights opponents: ‘Panetta is trying to get Washingtonians and those who support D.C. voting rights to give money to opponents of the Republicans who have helped keep the city unrepresented in Congress. His “Free and Equal D.C. Fund,” a registered political action committee, will direct contributions through Act Blue to try to defeat targets. First on the list? Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees D.C. affairs.’

—-THE GRAY DOCTRINE—-As expressed at the Judith Terra fundraiser Wednesday night: ‘”With all the energy we spent on getting a vote, why didn’t we just commit that energy on being a state?” Gray asked to roaring applause. “The 51st state.” Gray’s remarks coincide with chatter among D.C. Council members over the effectiveness of DC Vote, a coalition of organizations that has been fighting for voting rights but not heavily engaged in the broader – and much more difficult – quest for statehood,’ Tim Craig reports at D.C. Wire.

TODAY—-Gray appeared this morning on the AFGE’s ‘Inside Government’ radio show.

Latest Brian Betts murder investigation details: MoCo police ‘think at least two people were involved in the killing…based on a witness who reported seeing a vehicle leaving an alley just outside Betts’s house,’ Dan Morse reports in WaPo. ‘The vehicle seen in the alley might be a big clue in the case. Detectives have spoken to at least one person who reported seeing the vehicle at 12:15 a.m. April 15 being driven away from an alley that runs between Betts’s home and an Exxon station near Georgia Avenue and Columbia Boulevard. Starks declined to release more details about what type of vehicle it was. “We believe it may be related to the homicide,” he said. Betts’s Nissan sport-utility vehicle was found Friday in Southeast Washington, and detectives think the apparent theft was related to the slaying. Detectives have been looking for two people seen walking away from the vehicle Friday.’ Also Examiner, WTOP, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV.

Meanwhile, WaPo columnist Petula Dvorak looks at the ‘field of mangled little souls’ that Betts leaves behind at Shaw MS: ‘It might not have been so bad for them if Brian Betts weren’t so good. If he were just another adult who came into these kids’ lives, went through the motions, proclaimed that test scores would be going up and sat in an office issuing orders and shuffling papers, it might not be so hard on the kids right now. But he was a force. This was a guy who got them….The cycle of anger, grief and loss is exponentially more devastating for kids who have experienced such pain before, whether it’s a death, divorce or just a lot of instability in the home. It’s like the economy and the recession: Those with the smallest bank accounts fall off the cliff first when the economy sours. The kids with the smallest reserves of trust, affection and solid adult relationships will have the hardest time facing this loss, trusting again, putting all their emotional capital in another adult. Add to that their age—-wasn’t middle school awful for everybody?—-and there is a lot of damage done.’ Harry Jaffe also looks at the aftereffects in Examiner: ‘Though the Betts tragedy and the abduction took place far from school campuses, they once again raise these questions: Are D.C. schools safe? Can violence in the streets migrate to the halls and ball fields? With all the focus on the teachers contract and school politics and test scores, are the schools under Rhee secure places to send our children? From all indications, official and anecdotal, the answer is yes. There are bullies in every school, and schools in tough neighborhoods are surrounded by dangerous streets, but the city’s schools this year have been relatively serene.’

Teresa Chambers, the chief of the U.S. Park Police fired after speaking out for more funding and more officers, is still fighting her dismissal, Joe Davidson reports in WaPo. And she’s winning: ‘[A] ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit…threw out one of the charges that led to her firing in 2003. More than six years later, Chambers feels she is closing in on a final ruling that will vindicate her relentless effort to clear her name and allow her to return to work. “My goal has always been to go back to my job as chief of the Park Police, and that is what I still seek,” said Chambers, currently police chief in Riverdale Park, Md. But more than her individual goal, the Chambers case is significant because of what it says about how the federal government, under both the Obama and Bush administrations, treats employees who speak truth to power. What Chambers has suffered reveals the unsightly way Uncle Sam deals with whistleblowers, even those whose disclosures seem mild.’

Legal Times covers a brief speech delivered last night by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen at an American Bar Association event, ‘announcing his priorities to a room full of defense attorneys, prosecutors and recent law school graduates.’ His quip: ‘The more indictments, the more business you get.’ ‘Said Machen: “Public corruption is our bread and butter.” Machen said he wants the office to be “very aggressive” in health care fraud prosecution, and he said he wants to pick up securities fraud cases. “We may not be the Southern District of New York overnight, but the SEC is located here and all the filings are here,” he said. “There’s a way to get venue here in most of these cases.” Machen ticked off other areas he wants to focus on, including mortgage fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases….”I think the sky’s the limit, frankly,” Machen said. “So it’s good news and bad news for you guys. The bad news is, when you come to see me, I know the playbook because I was reading from it the past eight years. But the good news is, hopefully, we will keep you guys busy.”‘

A special-ed attorney is accused of practicing without a license, bilking parents mostly in Virginia, but in the District, too. Howard D. Deiner, 53, ‘worked his way into the inner circle by listing himself as a lawyer on a number of Web sites that cater to special education parents, operating in the legal niche for families wanting to challenge the way public schools educate—-or fail to educate—-their children,’ Tom Jackman writes in WaPo. ‘But Deiner wasn’t licensed as a lawyer for much of the time he took those cases, according to court records, and to bypass that issue he allegedly once signed another lawyer’s name on important documents. He lost several cases at a point in the special education process that is the bleakest and the most critical for parents….Virginia and D.C. court documents show a pattern of Deiner’s collecting thousands in retainers, and fees of $285 an hour, then not returning phone calls and e-mails while doing no work. At other times, records show, he did poor work and lost cases because of poor preparation or presentation.’ HE was licensed in the District, and D.C. Bar discipline proceedings are underway.

BEWARE—-Fake DCRA inspector is on the loose! Reports WRC-TV: ‘Here’s how the scam works: The guy approaches homes under construction, posing as a DCRA inspector. He tells the homeowner or construction crew that they could be fined for debris, garbage or other matters concerning the property. He pretends to call “headquarters,” then comes back to the victims and says he will have to fine them. The impostor then offers to forget the whole matter – for a little cash.’

Latest doings on school budget matters: WaPo’s Bill Turque reports on his blog that Rhee claims in a court filing that there was in fact no surplus at the time of last fall’s teacher layoffs, and thus the RIF was legal and proper. Rhee also says in an affidavit that she didn’t learn of a potential surplus until Feb. 26 this year. ‘Nickles, in filings accompanying Rhee’s declaration, said the union has offered only “26 pages of inadmissible hearsay,” including newspaper clippings and blog posts. “The fact that months after the RIF at issue was conducted, there was some indication that the information on the budget available to the Chancellor in August of 2009 might not have been accurate is of no legal significance,” Nickles said.’ Meanwhile, WTU’s George Parker and AFT’s Randi Weingarten want a meeting with Rhee and Fenty ASAP ‘to get “a single, definitive and accurate accounting of the DCPS budget”‘ having had ‘expressed dismay about conflicting accounts of a $34 million surplus in the budget and unanswered questions about how the $140 million labor contract will be funded.’ In other news, the elusive Noah Wepman is set to participate in a May 4 Urban Institute panel: ‘The Big Disconnect: Spending Policies, School Priorities and Student Achievement.’

SHEER BUFFOONERY—-At yesterday’s FY2011 budget hearing, Marion Barry demanded a ‘report card’ from Michelle Rhee on school reform, Deborah Simmons reports in WaTimes. ‘Barry said that as a four-time mayor and a former school board president he has seen a lot of school budgets and lots of school reform plans. But he said he never has witnessed the kind of confusion that surfaced last week….Rhee should deliver her report card to the council before she “utters” another word on the budget, Mr. Barry said.’ Hmm, ‘report card’—-you mean, like the $750K legally mandated independent evaluation that’s already underway? (FWIW, one former teacher has already filled out a report card.)

The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute highlights a $1M cut in the Fenty budget to the District’s Earned Income Tax Credit—-‘a tax benefit that works effectively to reduce poverty and encourage work.’ The DCFPI also lauds the unemployment reform bill passed Tuesday by the council.

The Open Government Act has been introduced by Mary Cheh, billed as a ‘major reform measure of public accountability and transparency’ that ‘covers changes to the District’s freedom of information, administrative procedure, lobbyist disclosure, and financial disclosure laws, and would require agencies to develop transparency plans.’ And she’s got a new Web site on the legislation, where you can review the bill and leave comments.

Ajene Jones—-the man accused of slamming his van into a car driven by a mother of four, killing her—-tried a novel legal argument in his initial court appearance yesterday, WTTG-TV reports. ‘Public defender Santha Sonenberg argued her client should not be charged with second-degree murder because PCP was found in his bloodstream, and therefore he could not form a “specific intent to kill” or consciously disregard the safety of someone else….Magistrate Judge Milton Lee rejected the argument, saying it would require a “high level of intoxication” for someone to be unable to form intent, and the mere presence of PCP in the defendant’s bloodstream does not prove the contention of the defense. Lee also rejected bond for Jones, pointing out his history of traffic offenses and drug and alcohol involvement.’

The D.C. Court of Appeals has spoken: Biking while drunk is illegal.

Woman shot in leg on 700 block of Kenilworth Avenue NE.

Police seek these Nellie’s robbers.

D.C. Jail escapee faces new charges.

Van driver pleads guilty to sexually assaulting Southeast woman, 75.

CHECK IT OUT—-Behold the ‘Get to Know the New UDC’ ad campaign. covers Urban Institute health insurance study showing D.C. as a leader in rates of insured citizens.

Valerie Santos is a Filipina in a hurry,’ reports the Philippine Star. ‘She wants to make a difference as Washington’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development and frets there are not enough hours in a day to get things done to bring growth and prosperity to the district. Appointed in June 2009, she is one of the most visible and highest ranking Filipino Americans in public office.’

Metro bus garage workers will soon be able to park at the underused DCUSA garage.

If you’ve been jonesing for some Vivek Kundra buzzwordage in your life, here ya go.

Charles Krauthammer: ‘For a Nats fan, joy is in the losing

Brooklyn food vendor moves to D.C. because…the bureaucracy is less onerous here.

Nats’ new COO addresses stadium naming rights in WBJ interview: ‘You’ve got the Dallas Cowboys without a naming-rights partner, the [New York] Jets and Giants without a naming-rights partner, and the Nationals. Those three venues are probably the top three venues in the United States that don’t have a naming-rights sponsor. Until the market changes, I think it will be a wait-and-see approach, but what makes our situation different is that we’re in arguably the most important city in the world, the nation’s capital, and there is unique access here beyond just business. There are interests here beyond just sales interests.’

Kwame called for 24,860 Earth Day tweets. That’s ‘a number equal to circumference of the planet’ in miles, in case you didn’t know. ‘Councilmember Brown believes that this will help send a message of hope that we can work together to safeguard our environment and preserve it for generations,’ said a statement. Get ready.

Funeral services for Dorothy Height will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Washington National Cathedral, before her burial at Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, Md. Hamil Harris also notes in WaPo: ‘On Tuesday, a public viewing will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the [National Council of Negro Women]’s Dorothy I. Height headquarters building at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. At 2 p.m. Wednesday at Howard University, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority will conduct the traditional “Omega Omega” farewell ceremony, which is due every sorority member….And at 7 p.m. Wednesday, a “Community Celebration of Life” will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 Ninth St. NW. The celebration is open to the public.’

D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary budget hearing on Department of Corrections, Correction Information Council, Office of Unified Communications, and Fire and Emergency Medical Services, JAWB 500; Committee on Government Operations & the Environment budget hearing on Office of the Inspector General, Public Employee Relations Board, Office of Employee Appeals, Office of Partnerships and Grants, and Office of Resource Management, JAWB 412; Committee on Public Works and Transportation hearing on B18-718 (‘Department of Transportation Streetscape Construction Small Business Relief Act of 2010’), JAWB 120.

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.