City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. Couple of bits of breaking news: Intralot has been awarded the contract to run the D.C. Lottery—-again. This time, however, they did it without their local partner W2Tech, who caused the Greek outfit much grief before the D.C. Council last year. But now Intralot has another problem: They don’t have any local partner at all, and expect various councilmembers to make great hay out of that. In other news, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray is currently amid a 150-witness hearing on the teacher layoffs. There’s been lots of rhetorical fireworks thus far, not least of which is labor honcho Jos Williams calling on the council to impeach Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (no such provision happens to exist in D.C. law). But the more momentous comments came from At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown, who announced ‘it’s time to think about reforming the reform,’ marking the first time in LL’s recollection that a sitting councilmember has called publicly for an end to mayoral control of the D.C. Public Schools. ‘We have to figure out another way to move the ball forward….Clearly what’s going on right now isn’t working,’ he said. Yikes.
AFTER THE JUMP—-Don Peebles rumored to have $1M for Fenty challenger; Rhee won’t discuss working for a mayor other than Fenty; Evans announces potential chairman run (again); massage parlor opens back up; and District sues sex club
Don Peebles is ready to raise $1M for a Fenty challenger, Harry Jaffe reports in Examiner. That’s a rumor: ‘I tried to reach Peebles down in Florida, but the receptionist said I would have to get on the list. Nevertheless, I am confident my sources are spot on about Peebles’ threat, or promise, depending on where you stand. He is adept at raising funds for political candidates, including Barack Obama. And he has cause,’ citing the Stevens developer pick. LL had heard Peebles was considering a run himself, but, as Jaffe points out, ‘He has some local baggage.’
WAMU-FM’s Kavitha Cardoza asks Michelle Rhee an outstanding question: Will she stay at DCPS if Fenty doesn’t win re-election? ‘Rhee only will say Fenty has been “a huge factor” in her aggressive reform efforts. She was asked whether his reelection was a two for one deal or if she will consider working with someone else who gave her the same leeway? Rhee flashed a grin. “He’s the only politician I’ve met across the country who’s taken a stand on this. It’s easy for people to say things but to follow through is a whole different story,” said Rhee.’
Jack Evans tells Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel 8 that he’ll run for council chairman if Vincent Gray runs for mayor (which is essentially what he told LL last month): ‘If Vince does runs for mayor, and the chair position is open, I would run for chair of the council….God knows who would run against me.’ WaPo notes the announcement.
Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner on Kingman and Heritage Islands, the Anacostia River isles near RFK Stadium once planned for a children’s theme park. Under congressional legislation passed by the House, the islands become ‘a 45-acre park and 9,000-square-foot environmental education center featuring self-guided trails and a memorial tree grove dedicated to the D.C. schoolchildren killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks….[T]he city expected to start building trails, “eliminating invasive plants” and planting the memorial grove before the end of the year. Funding for the environmental center, he said, has not yet been identified.’
Peter Nickles wins one; loses one. D.C. Court of Appeals agrees to stay in document spat with Auditor Deborah Nichols. Meanwhile, federal appeals court refuses en banc review in Trinidad checkpoints case, leaving SCOTUS petition as only recourse.
The District has filed suit against the operators of the 14th Street underground sex club where a man died last week, WCP’s Amanda Hess reports. Says Fenty spox: ‘The District of Columbia believes that the activities occurring at the property located at 1618 14th Street, NW violate the laws of the District of Columbia in that an illegal business entity is operating at the premises. The District has filed a lawsuit to enjoin the business from continuing to operate.’
WaPo picks up story on FEMS fire-demo folly. The union is particularly upset, Mary Pat Flaherty and Theola Labbé-DeBose report. ‘”My guys get brought up on charges when they violate rules, so it’s not enough for the chief to say he accepts all the responsibility,” union President Ray Sneed said Tuesday. “[Dennis Rubin] has to be held responsible in a clear way” by the mayor or council for an event that injured one and “made us a laughingstock” when a video of the scene went public.’ Says Rubin: ‘[B]etween haste and simply overlooking the basics, that was our problem. It was human error.’
ALSO—-Dave Statter, who broke the story, has a slick new Web site!
GWU Hospital chaplain says she was fired after writing about Holocaust Museum victim in WaPo. Rabbi Tamara Miller was told, Jacqueline Salmon reports in WaPo, ‘that the essay and other comments she made to a Washington Post reporter about Johns’s death violated hospital policy and federal rules governing patient privacy. Earlier hospital memos to Miller cited other performance issues. But Miller said that she didn’t reveal any private information and that the firing is in retaliation for her complaints that she was paid less than men in comparable jobs.’ GWU exec says: ‘”The hospital’s viewpoint is that she did release patient information,” even if it had been widely publicized already.’ OMFG.
Massage parlor reopens in Dupont location ‘that has housed previous “spas” that were raided and shut down by the city, which claimed they were brothels,’ Freeman Klopott reports in Examiner. ‘DuPont Circle Therapy Men’s Spa is now open on the fourth floor of 1333 Connecticut Ave., a commercial retail space that has been targeted since spring 2008 when D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles sued to close Supra Spa, citing police raids and prostitution-related arrests.’
Examiner’s Kytja Weir covers K Street NW reconfiguration proposals. Business folks are upset about the lack of parking and effect on sidewalk cafes. Bikers are upset about the bike lane configurations. The Examiner front page wood: “K Street chaos.” As opposed to the current K Street chaos…
CELL PHONES! METRO! TOGETHER AT LAST!—-Starting today, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile customers can user their phones at Metro’s 20 busiest stations. ‘By next fall, the remaining 27 underground stations are supposed to be wired. But full underground service—-including in tunnels between stations—-is not expected to be available until October 2012,] WaPo reports. ‘Non-Verizon customers should expect spotty reception at the start, until multiple antennas are installed for continuous coverage. Customers who get a call on the street might lose reception riding down an escalator….But once they reach the platform, they will be able to make or receive calls.’ Also WaTimes, WTOP, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV, DCist.
WBJ’s Melissa Castro passes on rumors that Bruce Baschuk‘s J Street Development is in dire straits. Says Baschuk: ‘I guess it’s our turn to be the rumor of the week….I’ve got nothing to tell you but good news….We’ve had people talk to us about merging — people want to buy us. They like what they see in our platform.’ And Tierney Plumb says international interest in downtown real estate remains strong, with one real estate rep saying that at German conference, ‘D.C. “is the number one target right now. It was New York and is now pretty much the [central business district] in Washington.” International investors consistently said the first quarter of 2010 is when they plan to pounce on the D.C. market.’
ALSO IN WBJ—-Skanska buys out PN Hoffman share of 733 10th Street NW project; Arena Stage exterior construction is all but done; car-charging station debuts; Vincent Gray to host development summit with WDCEP; GreenHome looks at Nats Park retail space; and coverage of the UDC community college launch.
NC8: ‘District police officers want to know if they were given too much swine flu vaccine during a recent inoculation clinic. At the police and fire clinic in Northeast Thursday police officers stood outside waiting to be seen after learning they’d received more than the recommended dose of the H1N1 vaccine.’ Also WTTG-TV.
Banita Jacks to be sentenced today.
WaTimes covers DCPS math scores announcement.
More on homeless services cuts, from Housing Complex.
Stimulus jobs count is released, and D.C. area has a big piece of the 30,000 new jobs reported nationwide. ‘[R]eports suggest that the stimulus money is providing a particular boost for metropolitan Washington, even though the recession has less impact here than elsewhere,’ WaPo reports. ‘Virginia and Maryland are in the top dozen states for federal contracts awarded, and the District is ahead of big states such as Michigan, North Carolina and New Jersey. ‘
Another Obama appointee with D.C. ties: Commerce nominee Scott Quehl was CFO for the MPD in the ’90s.
DISB ‘is reminding insurers they are not to use information regarding domestic violence or spousal abuse as a factor in issuing life or health insurance policies,’ Insurance and Financial Advisor reports.
Electric sports car showroom coming downtown?
Columnist for the Daily Toreador—-student voice of Tech Tech University—-covers various D.C. local issues.
Local NAACP chapter celebrates 100th anniversary.
Blade looks back on 40 years.
Ben Ali to be remembered today at Lincoln Theater.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on ‘The District of Columbia Public Schools 2009-2010 Equalization Process, Budget Reductions, and Reductions in Force,’ JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, H1N1 vaccine announcement, DOH immunization clinic, 6263 Georgia Ave. NW, Suite 305; 1:30 p.m.: remarks, Vornado electric car station unveiling, 2101 L St. NW.