Morning LLDers. Is the MPD dismantling its high-profile Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit? According to WaPo‘s Theola Labbé-DeBose, Chief Cathy Lanier, due to budget pressures, ‘has frozen hires into the District’s award-winning Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit and wants to train patrol officers to respond to the specialty calls, a plan that has drawn anger from the gay community.’ Plan is to give special GLBT training to officers who want it, which ‘will increase the number of available officers to more than 100 after several rounds of training in the next few months. But advocates say it will strike a blow to the unit’s effectiveness.’ And be warned: ‘Lanier said she is going to take similar approaches with units that reach out to the city’s Asian, Latino, and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Cell phone ban actually works, study says; honored teacher got the ax; guy gets abducted, slashed, left for dead, and lives to see his assailants sentenced; Barry leaves hospital; and Kevin Chavous hits basic-cable airwaves.
Study says that the District’s ban on hands-on cell phone use is indeed effective, Ashley Halsey III reports in WaPo, thanks to the, um, vigorous enforcement. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ‘sent observers into the streets this spring in the District and two other jurisdictions that pioneered the ban on use of hand-held phones….Researchers concluded that hand-held use dropped by 41 percent immediately and five years later remains 43 percent below where it would have been without the ban based on statistical models.’ The potential $2.86M in revenue is nice, too, of course.
Another lousy teacher layoff story for Michelle Rhee. WaPo’s Bill Turque speaks to Marie Fonrose, who was one of 20 DCPS teachers with National Board certification honored by the system in February. She was among the layoffs at Dunbar SHS. ‘The District placed her at Dunbar as the school’s pre-engineering counselor, but when administrators tried to change her title to “helper,” she felt the writing on the wall was clear. “Later on, I learned that helper really meant training their new senior counselor before they get rid of me,” she said. “That’s called being a team player, anything else is unacceptable.”‘
ALSO—-Examiner’s Leah Fabel previews D.C. Council hearings on the RIF, set for Oct. 16 and Oct. 29. Question is, who will show up from the Fenty administration? And do note that New Haven, Conn., is voting on a teacher contract; says mayor there, ‘“Michelle Rhee is a great school chancellor, has a lot of great ideas, and has been in a two-year blood bath with the teacher’s union in Washington, D.C.”…The discord in D.C. “may have enabled the national AFT’s interest in seeing an agreement, which they have, in New Haven.”‘
More from Jonetta Rose Barras in Examiner on the Ximena Hartsock ouster. She ain’t buying all this racism talk: ‘It’s about time the council took its confirmation role seriously….Hartsock’s and others’ claims of discrimination are laughable. I’m no Barry fan. But, during his mayoral administrations, he championed Hispanic professionals. Moreover, Hispanics currently lead two District agencies — although smaller than DPR. Truth told, after seven directors — including interim and acting — in eight years, it’s time someone took the agency seriously and appointed a qualified candidate.’
A year ago, Gregory Lyles was abducted, stabbed, slashed, and left for dead on the 4600 block of Benning Road SE. Writes Del Wilber in WaPo: ‘That night, Lyles would be badly beaten and stabbed more than 10 times. He lost half his blood and barely survived what prosecutors have described as one of the most brutal kidnappings they have investigated in recent years. Lyles, 49, has relived the horror of the night over and over as he…watched four of his assailants be sentenced to stiff prison terms. The final two defendants are to be sentenced Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman. The six have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from kidnapping to assault with intent to kill.’
Marion Barry is out of the hospital. Says in statement, ‘By [God’s] grace and the wonderful work of my doctors and the staff at Howard University Hospital, I am able to address health issues more effectively.’ Also WaPo, WTOP, and WRC-TV (headline: ‘Barry Re-Hydrated’).
Washington Gas customers are apparently facing a monthly gas surcharge, according to headline of Michael Neibauer‘s Examiner story today. And, apparently, the charge has something to do with hexane. Unfortunately, the rest is unclear because only part of the story is one the Zaminer Web site.
Fire Chief Dennis Rubin on demo mishap: It ‘looked like a comedy act.’
It’s been a year since the birth of the Center City Catholic-to-charter conversions, and Kavitha Cardoza takes a look for WAMU-FM. ‘Andy Smarick, with the Thomas B. Fordam Institute, who studied the conversion process says the greatest benefit is that the schools remained open. Smarick says one school closed because of under-enrollment. But at each of the other schools, the student population increased by almost 30 percent; one almost doubled in size.’ The kids ‘were often much lower performing than students had been previously, on average they were poorer and they had more special needs.’
Muriel Bowser is looking for more security at high-school football games, Jeffrey Anderson reports in WaTimes, after Friday shooting outside Coolidge homecoming game. ‘Ms. Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, said such violence was unusual for a Coolidge game. “I can’t ever recall such a serious occurrence, so we’re concerned,” she said. “We will engage with police and school officials before the next home game to try and prevent this from happening again.” Police have made no arrests and are still investigating the incident.’ Seven officers had been at the game.
More on the gentleman arrested for making threats in Friendship Heights last week. Examiner’s Freeman Klopottreports that Bangladeshi national Ahamed Pinto Ali has been charged in federal court; authorities say he was heard ‘saying, “I’m not scared to die,” “I will kill people,” and “I will blow people up and the Metro”….He was wearing a backpack, and when it was searched authorities say they found a notebook with “I will kill” written inside and diagrams of bridges, mosques and other buildings located in the Washington area.’
Man, 67, pulled from fire on at Townley Court Apartments on 40th Place NW in Glover Park; he is in stable condition.
Suspect sought in Woodley Park burglary yesterday afternoon.
GWU student attacked by man with hammer in campus bathroom. Yup.
Anyone else see this ad during the Daily Show last night?…
OBAMA VOICEOVER: “We’re losing several generations of kids, and something has to be done.”
KEVIN CHAVOUS: “In Washington, D.C., something is being done. But President Obama is ending a program that helps low-income kids go to better schools, refusing to let any new children in. I’m a lifelong Democrat, and I support our president. But it’s wrong that he won’t support an education program that helps our kids learn.
KID IN SCHOOL UNIFORM: “President Obama, I need a good education right now. You can help. Do it for me!”
DISPLAYED ONSCREEN: “President Obama: Save the Opportunity Scholarship Program…SaveSchoolChoice.com…PAID FOR BY DC PARENTS FOR SCHOOL CHOICE”
THANKS ELEANOR—-Congress fixes court-employee retirement loophole. ‘Staffers [at Superior Court, PDS, and CSOSA] hired before October 1987 were already in the federal retirement system, while those hired between then and 1997 had been in the District’s retirement system — and their years of service in that system didn’t count toward federal retirement. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who has fought for years to right the wrong, got a measure added to last week’s defense authorization bill allowing time served before 1997 to count toward overall retirement eligibility.’
Petula Dvorak wants you to dress someone for success. ‘[W]hile business is booming for a place such as Dress for Success, the government aid it received — a District earmark of $250,000 was more than half of the organization’s operating budget last year — has vanished. So its leaders are scrambling to make up the difference with donations and hope an Oct. 19 luncheon fundraiser at the W Hotel, featuring Michelle Fenty, will bring an infusion of cash.’
AP visits the ersatz Holy Land in Northeast, at the Franciscan Monastery.
UUs talk up D.C. gay marriage to WAMU-FM.
Remember when Cathy Lanier called radar detectors ‘cowardly’? Well, the NYT remembers.
GWU big on Twitter.
Good news and bad news for the Washington Nationals TV ratings: The numbers are up 75 percent from last season. But they’re still lowest in the majors. By a long shot.
WaPo remembers Bruce Robey, ‘who founded the District’s Voice of the Hill newspaper and helped start the revival of H Street in Northeast Washington by establishing a theater.’
Scheduled for Oct. 25 (one day before D.C. Council and BOEE hearings on gay marriage): ‘The People’s Rally,’ at Freedom Plaza. ‘Let the People Decide the Definition of Marriage….Don’t let the Mayor, Delegate, or D.C. Council Redefine Marriage without taking the vote directly to the people.’
TONIGHT—-D.C. Vote’s Champions of Democracy Awards Dinner at the W Hotel. Honored: Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Wade Henderson and Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and Akridge Real Estate. ‘Program highlight: video by Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report, a DC Vote exclusive!’
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-11 a.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation meeting (scheduled), JAWB 123; 2 p.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary meeting (scheduled), JAWB 123.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.