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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Obama Backs Voting Rights Bill‘; ‘CFSA To Cut 54 Employees‘; ‘Rhee, Evans Release Statements On Principal’s Death‘; and tweets galore!
Greetings all. On Friday, President Barack Obama finally broke his longstanding silence on D.C. voting rights, urging passage of the House Voting Rights Act in a short statement noting D.C. Emancipation Day. ‘Americans from all walks of life are gathering in Washington today to remind members of Congress that although DC residents pay federal taxes and serve honorably in our armed services, they do not have a vote in Congress or full autonomy over local issues,’ the statement reads. ‘And so I urge Congress to finally pass legislation that provides DC residents with voting representation and to take steps to improve the Home Rule Charter.’ But should the city be forced to accept a gutting of gun laws that its local officials and citizenry widely support? No way, says the WaPo editorial board—-which not only decries the guns-for-vote compromise but also Obama’s milquetoast approach to the issue: ‘President Obama had the gall Friday to issue a lame statement urging support for voting rights, after exerting no influence whatsoever to help the District avoid this appalling choice.’ But what about Eleanor Holmes Norton? Darts or laurels to the delegate-who-would-be-congresswoman who decided to press forward without widespread backing?
AFTER THE JUMP—-Officials take sides on franchise compromise; Betts murder a whodunit; WTU heads back to court; BRPAA reform gets a shot in the arm; Machen promises community outreach; the preservationist case for streetcars
MORE—-From the WaPo editorial: ‘We have the utmost respect for Ms. Norton; she has worked valiantly over the years to protect the city’s gun laws from assaults from the National Rifle Association, so we know how difficult this decision was for her. But, to borrow her own words from March of last year when she decided to yank the bill in hopes of erasing the gun provision: “There is no choice between a vote for American citizens and a completely unrelated and reckless gun bill….That is an absurd exchange that no one would accept.”….There is a risk of passing up this opportunity for voting rights only to see the NRA employ another legislative device to gut D.C. gun laws. Conversely, it’s possible that Congress could approve the measure, only to have the courts strike down the voting representation while the gun provisions survive. Ultimately, those unknowables have to be set aside and the stark choice faced. Never in our wildest imagination could we have thought that we would oppose a vote to correct the historic injustice inflicted on the people of the District of Columbia. But sometimes compromise demands too high a price. This is such a time.’
ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL—-The gun issue is a nascent issue in the mayoral race, as WAMU-FM notes that Council Chairman Vincent Gray sees some political daylight between his anti-gun position and Adrian M. Fenty‘s pro-vote stance: ‘”The mayor supported this originally. It’s absolutely puzzling as to why anybody would support giving up rights to get a right,” says Gray. “As a matter of fact, I think we’re giving up more than we ultimately get.” Gray says District residents want stronger gun regulations and public safety is the primary concern.’ From Fenty statement: ‘It is with great pride and gratitude that I thank President Obama for his outstanding leadership and support of voting rights for the 600,000 citizens of the District. For over a century residents have gone without congressional representation, but in the coming days we look forward to working with our congressional partners to ensure a swift passage of the DC Voting Rights Bill.’
ALSO—-WaPo assembles various notables to share their views on the matter. Former Virginia congressman and bill architect Tom Davis says, ‘As distasteful as the gun amendments may be, the District should reluctantly accept them as the compromise for a vote in Congress,’ seeing the body would impose its will on gun rights any time it wants. Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign says no deal: ‘The gun lobby’s amendment would endanger residents and tourists and threaten national security by repealing the District’s ban on sniper rifles that can penetrate armored vehicles. It would make it legal for teenagers to possess assault rifles, weaken restrictions on gun possession by drug criminals and the mentally ill, and repeal safe-storage laws.’ Robert Levy, head of the libertarian Cato Institute, opposes the bill on constitutional grounds—-with regard to both guns and the vote. Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights says take the deal. And Kris Baumann, police union chair, agrees, noting: ‘restrictive gun laws are not the answer to addressing crime in Washington.’ If the gun laws are nixed, he writes, ‘politicians will be forced to stop making excuses and focus on more effective ways to fight crime.’ And in a separate op-ed, Gail Anderson-Holness, president of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington, writes: ‘We cannot give in to blackmail, but we must secure our vote. Our opponents think they can stop us by threatening to change our local laws. We must take the long view. The best way for us to prevent congressional interference on local issues in the future is to win passage of the D.C. Voting Rights Act. When we have more power in the Congress, we will have more power here at home.’ Tea Party leaders tell WaPo’s Dave Weigel that they don’t like the bill. Also AFP
STATEMENT—-From Timothy Cooper of Worldrights: ‘If there was ever a reason to be truly cynical about self-serving politicians, this is it….Whatever is Ms. Norton and DC Vote thinking? Have District of Columbia taxpayers shelled out millions of dollars to DC Vote over the past few years to have it now endanger our lives with this loony proposition? Has the District elected Norton ten times to have her propose achieving such ignominious results? Good grief. Does the voting rights brain trust actually believe that winning minimal representational rights in Congress ranks higher on the scale of achievement than protecting public safety and ensuring the right to life? Norton’s bill is a public disaster. New leadership and better ideas are required to move the voting rights cause forward. This is the sorriest moment in 200 years of DC voting rights history.’
Few clues emerge in the shocking, unnerving slaying of Shaw at Garnet-Patterson MS Principal Brian Betts. WaPo reported on Saturday that Betts had been killed by ‘at least one’ gunshot wound in a home without signs of forced entry, and that his Nissan SUV and some household items were missing. Later that day, the SUV was found in well-hidden alley in Congress Heights. WaPo added Sunday: ‘Police are trying to piece together a timeline of where Betts was and who he was with in his final hours. Neighbors have said they saw him in his back yard Wednesday evening. It wasn’t uncommon for him to have friends over. In his back yard Saturday was evidence of those gatherings: two grills, and a hot tub perched on a deck. From the start of the case, detectives wanted to find the Nissan, which residents said appeared in the 3900 block of Fourth Street SE between noon and 1:30 p.m. Friday. “We just figured it was a stolen vehicle, because it was hidden behind our vehicle,” said Sherrita Mullen, who lives and works at the Metro D.C. Kids’ Konnection, housed in the building next to where the car was found. The Nissan was parked off a lonely alley, between a large white van and an embankment, a spot where it could be glimpsed only from a few spots on the sidewalk. Mullen said she returned from lunch Friday to find the Nissan. A neighbor told her that “some young guys just pulled up in the back and parked it there, and then they just came running across and left,” Mullen said….”There have been vehicles hidden here before,” Mullen said. “They had to know the alley was here.”‘ Few details have been released since.
HIS WORK—-‘Betts, 42, worked on the front lines of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee‘s campaign to reform the D.C. schools. In only his second year on the job, he was emerging as one of the school system’s most innovative principals. Lured away in 2008 from the better-performing school system in the suburbs of Montgomery, Betts was given a new staff at a reconfigured school and unusual freedom to hire and fire, train and teach. Betts hired a group of inexperienced teachers at Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson. He eliminated homeroom and recess, deeming them a waste of time, a bold pronouncement from a former physical education teacher. Students liked him so much that Rhee approved an unprecedented request for 100 of them to remain at his middle school for ninth grade….D.C. schools were closed Friday for Emancipation Day, but as word of Betts’s death spread, students and staff members gathered at the school. A group of five teachers walked in, laden with boxes of tissues for mourners. Sobbing students clutched each other in front of the building….Since becoming principal at Shaw, Betts had made the school into a popular stop for journalists and dignitaries eager for a best-case-scenario glimpse at Rhee’s controversial campaign of urban education reform. One of the few white faces at a school of African American and Hispanic children, Betts forged a close bond with his students, reaching across race and class, especially with some children who did not have close relationships with their fathers.’
THE REACTION—-A heartfelt statement from Rhee reads, ‘The unexpected death of Brian Betts is unspeakably tragic for his family, for the Shaw Middle School community, and for all of DC Public Schools….He was an inspirational leader for the teachers and for the students, and that leadership was bringing results. He knew what the children under his care were capable of, and he was determined to show them how to get there. Brian Betts’ death is an incredible loss of a young and dedicated school leader. I considered him a colleague and friend, and my own sense of loss is deep.’ Also see a collection of the many appearances Betts made in WaPo’s pages over the past few years. DCPS is collecting memories of Betts from staff, parents, and students.
THE HOUSE—-WaPo notes its tragic history: ‘The same home was the site of a 2002 double murder that occurred during a crime spree by a prison parolee who was eventually sentenced to four life terms in prison. The house in the Woodside area inside the Beltway is at the intersection of busy Georgia Avenue and Columbia Boulevard….In 2002, Anthony Kelly, 44, broke into the house wearing a long fake beard and bushy wig, according to trial testimony. He pistol-whipped 9-year-old Erika Smith before shooting her and her father, Greg Russell, 47. State and county property records show Betts bought the home from a Russell family member in 2003, although several neighbors recall the property being unoccupied for a few years after that.’
The Washington Teachers’ Union is headed back to court, hoping to convince Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff that new financial revelations mean that 266 laid-off teachers must be reinstated—-reversing Bartnoff’s findings last fall. WTU President George Parker stood outside Moultrie Courthouse Friday, alongside AFT President Randi Weingarten. ‘The union leaders said the disarray raises new questions about Rhee’s contention that budget pressures forced her into the layoffs. “We are very, very troubled and concerned about the utter confusion that has existed this week,” Parker said. Weingarten, leader of the 1 million-member national union, said “three-card monte may be an acceptable game in some places, but it shouldn’t be an acceptable principle to guide DCPS.” “The Chancellor talks a lot about performance,” she said. “What we’re seeing here is a lack of performance.”…The union appears prepared to argue that Rhee’s recent disclosure of the surplus—-and the additional source of money she intends to use as an alternative—-undermines any claims of fiscal duress.’ WaTimes notes this quote from Weingarten, ‘The Keystone Kops nature of their budget projections regarding the dismissal of the teachers and the funding of the new contract would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.’ Rhee says she’s ‘confident’ the earlier decision will stand. A hearing is set for April 23. Also WTTG-TV, NC8.
MORE—-On Saturday, Gray held a DCPS budget hearing that drew Fenty critics on not only the teacher layoffs, but Hardy MS and child-care funding. (Also NC8, WTTG-TV.) Jonetta Rose Barras, for one, lays the blame for the mess at the door of Nat Gandhi. ‘The financial management of DCPS and all agencies in the government rests squarely with Gandhi and his staff. Lately, he’s been doing a lousy job, though few people in the city would say that out loud. He’s a nice guy; I like him, too. Most local leaders worry about Wall’s Street’s reaction should he leave. Forget Wall Street. Gandhi and elected officials should be concerned about how District taxpayers are reacting to news that the financial experts can’t decide whether there is a deficit or a surplus, and continually permit agency managers to overspend their budgets. Quite frankly, it’s time the CFO is held accountable for these displays of either incompetence or inattentiveness.’ ‘Enough already,’ writes WaPo’s Valerie Strauss. ‘Somebody has to intervene, and fast, to figure out who is going to be paid what, and how, in District public schools before the budgeting process becomes a comic farce. Some would say it already is….[Fenty]—-whose signature initiative, school reform, under the chancellor he appointed, Michelle A. Rhee, seems to be lurching from one controversy to another—-should bring together the parties involved to sort this all out, and fast. His reelection bid this year could be affected….It seems that no one has an authoritative handle on the budget, and that raises questions about how Rhee sets priorities and funds schools….I don’t know anybody who wants Rhee to fail in her effort to improve D.C. schools, but if she can’t keep herself out of this kind of trouble, it’s hard to see how she can succeed. If Fenty wants to keep reform efforts alive, he must find a way to get this fixed, and fast.’ The WaPo ed board offers this bottom line: ‘The groundbreaking reforms in the proposed contract are crucial to improving public education. Everyone should be trying to make them a reality.’ And lead editorialist Jo-Ann Armao suggests that city policymakers watch new documentary ‘Waiting for Superman,’ which ‘is harsh on teachers’ unions, board of education bureaucrats and politicians who give lip service to change.’ Meanwhile, a reader takes on the board’s stalwart Rhee defense.
THIS MORNING—-‘I have no confidence’ in DCPS financial information, Gray said at a morning press conference.
Colby King, in an excellent Saturday WaPo column, considers the 14-year-old accused to have been the wheelman in last month’s South Capitol Street drive-by. He sees not so much a loss of innocence as a total lack of it. ‘His is a world absent of innocence. There’s an ugliness to childhoods like his, where relentless, wrongful behavior abides; where babies have babies by men who are boys; where children barely known by their fathers are raised by grandparents, uncles and aunts too worn out to keep up; where the warmest attachment is to older boys with guns and attitudes to match. And that is on us. We know that world exists. We see it. We deplore it. We walk around it—-we keep it at a safe distance with crime scene tape. We accept no responsibility for that world. We just keep on keepin’ on, making our town a “world-class city.”‘ Complicit in that absence of innocence, King writes: DYRS, ‘a progressive idea gone wrong….The mayor knows it. His attorney general knows it. The D.C. Council committee overseeing DYRS knows it. No one knows it better than the juveniles who exploit it.’
BRPAA reform! Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi is advocating for major overhaul of the Board of Real Property Assessment Appeals—-up to and including its abolishment—-calling the tax-appeal body a “major leakage” of revenue, Ann Marimow reports in WaPo. ‘The District and other governments in the region are caught in a perfect storm: a continuing reduction of property values in a down economy and aggressive challenges to assessments that, in some cases, are sapping municipal coffers. In the past three years, the number of tax protest cases reaching [BRPAA] has risen 85 percent to 5,969 in Tax Year 2010, resulting in a loss of at least $51 million, according to the board….At Gandhi’s request, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and Finance and Revenue Committee Chairman Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) have introduced legislation that would replace the part-time, 18-member board of real estate professionals with a commission of a dozen full-time employees who would be required to have greater expertise in valuing complex properties. Gandhi said the current board of political appointees is often too lenient in siding with taxpayers and outmatched by a “battery of high-priced lawyers, who do nothing but appeal.”…Lawyers and tax consultants who represent the owners of the District’s hotels, apartments and office buildings say the problem is not the board but flawed assessments that do not accurately reflect the battered commercial market, in addition to a government office stripped of experienced employees after a tax-refund scandal. “If you got it right to start with, you wouldn’t have so many reductions,” said Michael Allen, a principal with Ryan, a tax consulting firm, who regularly represents clients before the board.’ BRPAA chair Towanda Paul-Bryant has come out against the reform bill, saying there’s no need to hire professionals to handle simple residential cases.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen is profiled by WaPo’s Keith Alexander, starting with a testimonial from Machen’s old boss, now-Attorney General Eric Holder: ‘Machen told his future boss in a job interview that they needed to have a regular presence throughout the District by attending community forums, meetings in church basements, youth summits and the like. Waiting until a crime is committed, Holder recalled Machen telling him, was too late to develop relationships. “He had such fully formed ideas,” said Holder, now the country’s attorney general. “He knew that it wasn’t enough to just show up at a crime scene, but to be there to explain what the office was about in non-stressful times. He had a vision then, and now his time has come.”…[Eleanor Holmes Norton] says his versatility—-experience with cases involving Fortune 500 companies and inner-city crime—-impressed her. “He has to be able to relate to the community, because you cannot deal with crime in a community if people feel estranged from the U.S. attorney here,” Norton said. Machen elaborated: “I’m comfortable in all environments. I can be at the corner of South Capitol and Atlantic streets at midnight. My goal is to represent all people.”…He laughs when he hears of the congresswoman speaking of his “street credibility.” But one sign of Machen’s nonconformist attitude is evident in his left ear, which is pierced from his days of wearing a diamond stud—-a rarity among U.S. attorneys. “You also don’t see too many U.S. attorneys who are Omegas,” Machen said, referring to his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. Machen said he wants his office to be more visible in the community, and that means sending prosecutors to community forums before meeting when a crime occurs. He gets to as many as seven meetings in a week.’
A new St. Elizabeths Hospital is set to open this week, and WaPo’s Henri Cauvin reviews how officials are hoping that the building ‘will restore a little of the prestige the hospital knew and help end three decades of court oversight brought on by chronic dysfunction in the District’s mental health system.’ Currently, the hospital serves 317 patients, most of them criminally committed. ‘When the patients begin moving into the new building this month, many will, for the first time, have single rooms. Bathrooms in the 448,190-square-foot hospital will be for use by only one person at a time, affording a measure of privacy and safety unknown in the communal facilities of the old hospital. And the heating and cooling systems, officials promise, will work. But the new building, constructed over three years at a cost of $161 million, isn’t just about creating a more comfortable setting, officials say. They intend to create a more effective hospital, one focused on stabilizing people’s conditions and, wherever possible, preparing them to return to their communities. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for healing,” said Department of Mental Health Director Stephen T. Baron….Instead of shuttling among more than a dozen buildings for meals, treatment and medical care, patients will be able do almost everything in the new building. That will allow patients and staff members to devote more energy to treatment. For patients having a difficult day, the treatment areas will have escapes, such as a comfort room with soft music, blankets and hot stones. Patients will be able to regroup without going back to the living unit and losing a day of treatment….Many of the wings in the new building have small, enclosed courtyards. Rather than having to be chaperoned for a breath of fresh air, patients will be able to ask the staff to buzz open the door to the courtyard, where they can be observed from the nursing station. Outside, they will find themselves in a little patch of greenery—-with plants whose branches are too small to support the weight of a body were a person to attempt suicide or an escape.’
HEAR, HEAR—-Adam Irish of the D.C. Preservation League explains in WaPo op-ed why allowing streetcars, with their attendant overhead wires and all, is the appropriate pro-preservationist position. ‘Streetcars are no enemy of Washington’s historic streetscape. Indeed, they are a missing link to our urban heritage and should be restored to revitalize neighborhoods that once depended on them….Streetcar wires aren’t pretty, but urbanity isn’t always pretty. In fact, a vibrant, organic city is unabashedly messy, as exemplified by the hodgepodge of architectural styles, the variety of uses and the diversity of people in the District’s thriving historic neighborhoods. It is hardly a victory for historic preservation if struggling areas of the city are cut off from an avenue to rejuvenation simply to preserve an unfettered view or two of the Capitol dome. The monumental core should be the city’s heart, not its parasite. It’s high time we stopped sacrificing the vitality of our city for the sake of a grand and sterile capital. It’s a local tradition that has historically failed both our city and capital, and it’s one that I think isn’t worth preserving.’ Also see WaPo’s Philip Kennicott, who writes: ‘Arguments against overhead wires rest on two essential assumptions: that the city is filled with streets that have historically significant and aesthetically impressive views; and that wires and poles would be ugly intrusions on these grand vistas. The former is questionable, the latter a matter of opinion. But the deeper issue is Washington’s relation to the nation. Do we want to preserve the early 20th-century sense of ourselves as a grand, imperial city that overawes tourists? Or do we want to be a model city for the 21st century, a place where visitors from across the country and around the world can be inspired by innovative experiments in sustainable urban life?…A streetcar system, quiet and pollution-free, connecting neighborhoods once balkanized by race and economic distinctions, would be an important chance for Washington to lead by example.’
The WaPo ed board lauds the strictly drawn medical marijuana regime that is set for a council vote tomorrow. David Catania, they write, ‘[is right to want to prevent abuses that occurred in places such as California, where medical marijuana has become a euphemism for recreational drug use. There, dispensaries are akin to marijuana cafes and people with complaints as minor as back pain caused by wearing high heels qualify for use….It’s commendable that particular attention is paid to the dangers of drug interaction and the need for proper education of consumers. If society wants to legalize marijuana for all, it should do so explicitly. Until then, council members are on the right track in formulating a program that meets the legitimate needs of the chronically ill but guards against those who just want permission to get high.’
The Race to the Top continues: WaPo’s Nick Anderson reports that the District is looking to strengthen its case for a second-round of federal education funding. ‘U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said there might be 10 to 15 winners this time. Will one of them be local? “On the merits, D.C. has the best case of the three,” said Andrew J. Rotherham, an education policy analyst and former member of the Virginia Board of Education. “D.C. has a fairly good chance. Maryland got a bit of a wake-up call. Virginia’s application wasn’t strong, and so its finish wasn’t surprising.”…D.C. officials face two challenges. They must whittle their initial $112 million grant proposal to $75 million. And they hope to obtain endorsement from the Washington Teachers’ Union, which had withheld backing for the city’s reform plan in the first round during contract talks with [Rhee]. The announcement this month of a long-awaited labor agreement, pending ratification from teachers, could smooth the way….”We’re hopeful that we’ll get union support this time around,” said D.C. State Superintendent of Education Kerri L. Briggs.’
WBJ’s Michael Neibauer covers the Kwame Brown for Chairman campaign: ‘Brown said Friday he wants to be chairman to “unite this council, to continue to lead this body to be an independent voice.” He said he wants to “move this city forward and create good sound public policy.” “We’re going to have neighborhood economic development and business that’s open and friendly and part of the community and not isolated,” Brown said. “Our business community is just as much part of the District as neighborhoods are. We have to stop living like they’re two different parts of D.C.”…His greatest successes on the council have come in the areas of small business development and career training, as he championed the reopening of the Phelps Vocational School. But his critics have accused him of plodding on major economic development matters before his committee and of waffling on critical issues – notably his “present” vote on the nomination of Attorney General Peter Nickles. City Administrator Neil Albert, formerly the deputy mayor for planning and economic development, once described Brown’s handling of the Southwest Waterfront project as “the worst example of political leadership that I’ve ever seen in my years in District government.” Brown responded that he took the “responsible” approach on major projects such as the Southwest Waterfront, Poplar Point and Northwest One developments. He said he built affordable housing, first-source hiring agreements and neighborhood demands into bills that the administration wanted to rush through in a down economy.’ Also WaPo.
ALSO—-Don Peebles appeared on WAMU-FM Friday and still wouldn’t announce whether he’s running for mayor or not. SEIU endorses Catania, Graham, Thomas, Mendelson, and Wells. But not Mary Cheh. And at a brunch held by the LGBT Victory Fund, Gray notably introduced Catania for a speech on gay marriage in the District, Metro Weekly reports.
The nomination of Marisa DeMeo as Superior Court judge might finally come to a vote this week, Legal Times reports. ‘Demeo is a former assistant U.S. attorney and a former lawyer and lobbyist for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As The National Law Journal reported in February, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and other Republicans have objected to her nomination because of what DeMint calls a “history of very leftist activism.”‘ Various lobby groups are gearing up for a vote.
UNEMPLOYMENT—-March numbers dip to 11.6 percent from 11.9, WaPo reports. ‘Most sectors showed a sharp uptick in new jobs, according to the city’s Department of Employment Services. Professional and business services gained 3,900 jobs. After losing 1,000 jobs in February, construction grew by 1,900 positions. Leisure and hospitality increased by 1,200 jobs; educational and health services, 300; retail trade, transportation and utilities also rose by 300. “Residents of the District are gaining jobs, but we don’t know where the jobs are,” Orr said. Hiring for the government census only partially explains the gains, he added. “The good news is there are other things going on besides the census that are increasing employment.”‘
Natalie Williams, spokesperson for Marion Barry, has moved on after Barry’s budget was cut, D.C. Wire reports. ‘Williams has been Barry’s public face during his numerous court appearances or public relations crises in recent years. Last summer, for example, Williams would read Barry’s statements as he responded to the drama involving him and his former girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt.’
Three shot on Sunday afternoon in Trinidad; none of the wounds are life-threatening, WaPo reports. ‘The shootings occurred about 4:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Morse Street NE, where one of the three victims was found. Two other victims began driving to a hospital, police said. They were found on North Capitol Street. One was found at O Street and the other at P Street….Police said both were conscious and breathing when found.’
Police identify body left in Riggs Park dumpster in 1990, Examiner reports. ‘DNA and fingerprint tests failed to identify the woman and she was known simply as Jane Doe. But detectives got a break last year from the Department of Homeland Security’s Biometric Support Center. Authorities there ran the U.S. immigration database of nearly 100 million fingerprints against a new Department of Justice missing-persons database and got a match: D.C.’s Jane Doe was Audrey Palmer, a 26-year-old mother of two from Bermuda who went missing in 1990.’ Now to find the killers.
Advoc8te wants to know why no one’s sticking up for streetcars in Ward 8.
How to raise rents when you can’t raise rents.
Dr. Gridlock reviews Metro riders’ budget advice.
What could be next for the Gales School.
Man killed by Metro train Saturday morning at Cheverly station.
Georgetown student reports early Friday sexual assault. ‘Georgetown University’s Department of Public Safety says it happened around 2 a.m. in the 3300 block of Prospect St. NW. The student, who lives on campus, says a man came up behind her, put his hand up her dress, and tore part of her clothing. She was able to escape,’ WTOP reports.
Motorbike hits cop car in Obama motorcade Saturday on Gallatin Street NW; POTUS was on his way to a soccer game.
Protective Services starts government-building bike patrol.
TNR also draws the Tea Party/Taxation Without Representation parallel.
Birther suit thrown out of federal court.
Charlotte Smallwood, lesbian activist and founding member of Transgender Health Empowerment, is dead at 73.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Human Services budget hearing on Department of Human Services and Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, JAWB 500; Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation hearing on ‘Earth Day,’ JAWB 120; 11 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary hearing on B18-595 (‘Neighborhood and Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2009’), JAWB 123; 11:30 a.m.: Committee of the Whole budget hearing on Council of the District of Columbia, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining, Office of Cable Television, and Office of Budget and Planning, JAWB 412.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:45 a.m.: remarks, redevelopment of Congress Heights School, Old Congress Heights School, 500 Alabama Ave. SE.