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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Pershing Park Case: Peter Nickles Continues To Fight Discovery‘; tweets galore!

Morning all. A merry Christmas Eve to all you LLDers. This will be the last LL-penned Daily of 2009; he has retired to more slushless climes for the coming days, meaning LL emeritus Erik Wemple will assume aggregation duties for next week. And, because you need to get back to your last-minute shopping or present-wrapping and because LL wants to hit the beach at a decent hour today, this is going to be a quick-and-dirty edition. Do check in at City Desk next week as LL runs down the memorable quotes of 2009, and also check out reflections on last year and predictions for 2010 from LL, Tom Sherwood, Marc Fisher, Terry Lynch, and others brought together by WAMU-FM’s Kojo Nnamdi.

AFTER THE JUMP—-Machen nominated as U.S. attorney; PreventionWorks! is having money problems; Nickles answers (some) mayoral security questions; D.C. approaches 600K population; murder charges filed in bus-stop tragedy; DPW worker buys Christmas tree for snowed-in AU Park lady

Ron Machen, 40, has been officially nominated as the District’s next U.S. attorney by President Obama. WaPo’s Del Wilber broke the news. He notes: ‘Machen, who lives in Silver Spring, is expected to move to the District while he holds down the job….The U.S. attorney job is one of the most coveted in federal law enforcement. As the District’s top law enforcement official, the U.S. attorney oversees the largest federal prosecutors office in the country, with about 340 prosecutors who handle local and federal criminal cases.’ From Legal Times: ‘Machen is a partner in the Washington office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he specializes in white-collar defense, and has handled major government and internal investigations for companies such as Boeing. A graduate of Harvard Law, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C. between 1997 and 2001, handling a variety of cases including homicides. At the time he was hired, that office was headed by the current attorney general, Eric Holder Jr.‘ Also Main Justice.

WaPo’s Tim Craig covers the earmark report issued by D.C. Auditor Deborah Nichols, which found ‘significant financial and management deficiencies’ in the council grant regime. He notes the reponse from the council: ‘In the report, which can be amended, Nichols calls for greater oversight from the council’s budget office. But in his official response to Nichols on Tuesday, Council Budget Director Eric Goulet wrote that it would be “impossible” for his office to dedicate substantial amounts of time to monitoring earmarks….In his response, Goulet said that all future earmarks should go only to registered nonprofit groups, which would eliminate the need for fiscal agents. Goulet also said that responsibility for monitoring future earmarks should fall to executive branch agencies that have more staffing resources.’

PreventionWorks!, the District’s largest needle-exchange provider, is in serious and ongoing fiscal straits, Debbie Cenziper reports in WaPo. ‘The agency’s cash crunch had been simmering for months, with bills to consultants and vendors unpaid and clients turned away without supplies, interviews and records show. Three employees said the agency ran out of biohazard containers over the summer, forcing staff to stash dirty syringes in bags and boxes….A series of e-mails, obtained by The Washington Post, chronicles the agency’s struggles. In August, the program director of Prevention Works, Mary Beth Levin, e-mailed a colleague: “Tried to use the [Prevention Works] credit card today at Staples but was rejected.” In October, she wrote: “We are short $13,831.95 for payroll.”‘

Peter Nickles very politely responds to Phil Mendelson‘s questions on the mayoral security detail, as prompted by BIKEGATE 2009. Any changes to the security arrangements, he notes in a letter [PDF], have had a ‘positive fiscal impact.’ He declined to fully answer several questions, citing security concerns, but did note: ‘[T]he security details do not intentionally disregard traffic law when accompanying the Mayor on bike rides. To the extent there may have been a violation, the Mayor expresses his sincere regret.’ See Craig’s D.C. Wire wrapup.

IG probe finds that many city urgent care clinics are not licensed or inspected by the city health department, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner. That’s because ‘D.C. law defines a medical facility as a “hospital, community residence facility, maternity center, nursing home, group home, hospice, home care agency, ambulatory surgical facility or renal dialysis facility.” Those facilities are checked for cleanliness, food safety, accident hazards and pests, among other areas.’ Legislation adding urgent care facilities to the list ‘will be ready in January.’

Jonetta Rose Barras‘ spiel about ‘underground gay reporters’ blows up. The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer is all over it. Barras, meanwhile, pens a Christmas column, touching on the incident between a cop and snowball fighters: ‘Couldn’t they have found a field? Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has spent untold political capital improving athletic fields and parks. Surely there was one where a bunch of overgrown children could romp. But even if common sense failed them, did the detective really feel so endangered by his vehicle being pelted with snow that his only option was to pull out his weapon? Can’t we all get along?’

Bob McCartney plays a game of what-will-happen-in-2010?: ‘When D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) runs for reelection, he will: a) Lose narrowly in the Democratic primary to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), who forges a coalition of blacks who feel neglected by Fenty and voters of all races worried about cronyism. b) Narrowly defeat Gray by pointing to improved schools, reduced homicides and better services. c) Easily defeat multimillionaire developer R. Donahue “Don” Peebles, as Gray stays out of the race. Peebles reestablishes himself as a player in District politics but suffers as reporters dredge up past controversies involving him in the District and Florida, his base in the past decade. d) Cruise to victory as Gray, Peebles and council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) all run and divide the opposition.’ Macca says…(c).

Lou Chibbaro Jr. covers medical marijuana for DC Agenda: ‘[C]ity hall observers noted that while Gray and [Eleanor Holmes Norton] hash out whether to send the law to Capitol Hill for congressional review, city officials were quietly expressing concern over whether the city government or private non-profit groups should take the lead in cultivating and distributing marijuana for medical purposes.’

The man who struck and killed a mother of three on Southern Avenue on Tuesday will be charged with murder, police announce. Glendale S. Ogburn, 33, ‘was traveling at twice the speed limit, was high on PCP and never tried to stop his car before jumping a curb in his Cadillac,’ WaPo reports. Dead is 50-year-old Mary Jones, 50, remembered as ‘warm, no-nonsense, straight-to-the point.’ Also NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.

Body of Deonte Payton, 16, found at Stanton Glenn Apartments after resident there ‘complained of a “foul odor” on Tuesday. Building engineers located the apartment in which the smell originated and discovered’ the remains of Payton, who had suffered a gunshot wound, AP reports.

FEEL-GOOD STORY OF THE WEEKEND—-WaPo’s Paul Schwartzman on DPW employee Toran Felder, who not only made sure an AU Park side street got plowed, but bought a Christmas tree out of his own pocket for a family on the block that couldn’t get out. The D.C. government’s week of well-deserved, positive PR continues.

Examiner covers Anacostia blogger’s holiday party stick-up.

Metro Weekly’s 2009 in review: ‘If ever there were a roller-coaster year, 2009 was it. Oh, there were highs, much like the one that helped close out the year with the signing ceremony of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009. But there were also lows, particularly in the area of crime and punishment — and others lost by illness or accident.’

Sacramento Press: ‘[Mayor Kevin Johnson] said he’s looking for a new education liaison; someone who will work with STAND UP. Rumors and speculation has Michelle Rhee, lightening rod Chancellor of Washington DC Public Schools as a leading candidate.’ ALSO: Rhee to keynote Jan. 30 Cornell dinner in NYC.

Brookings expert tells Capitol Riverfront folks that ‘neighborhoods and business improvement districts along the Green Line [need] to band together to tout the economic power waiting to be unleashed along that corridor,’ WBJ reports.

Has the District hit 600,000 residents? Ryan Avent says new Census Bureau projections say we’re awfully close.

Ward 8’s Stanton View affordable-housing development, financed by DCHD, appeads to be in trouble, DCmud reports.

DC Agenda profiles David Franco of Level 2 Development.

DDOT unveils Ward 8 transpo plans.

Live nativity scene on 14th Street NW in Columbia Heights, complete with camel.

‘Wintry mix’ expected this weekend; residents urged to clear storm drains to prevent flooding.

Jay Leno Monday night: ‘Of course, the storm is the big story, it is unbelievable. It actually paralyzed Washington more than Joe Lieberman. In fact, there was so much white powder in D.C., people thought Marion Barry was mayor again.’

D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.