City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Has Your Child Gotten a Splinter at Walter Pierce Park?‘
Greetings all. Does this sound like someone who wants to run for mayor? ‘What I hear contrasted a lot is an inclusive, collaborative, collegial style of leadership versus one that some have characterized—-I’m not necessarily using this word myself—-but some have characterized as almost dictatorial leadership.’ Those words come from Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray‘s ‘wide-ranging interview with reporters and editors at The Washington Times,’ contrasting his leadership style with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s. ‘I think there is a lot of dissatisfaction in the city…Decisions are not made in a collaborative manner, not in a collegial manner, not in an inclusive manner. And I think it is a style of leadership that bothers a lot of people who live in the District.’ Gray tells WaTimes he has ‘made no decision’ on a mayoral run. He says much the same thing to WAMU-FM.
AFTER THE JUMP—-Summer jobs costs the city $41M; WaPo editorialists want real oversight for WMATA; the George ‘n’ Nathan show is back in full swing; feds might let us have a piece of Walter Reed after all; and what does it take for a former Ward 7 councilmember to get arrested around here?
The final SYEP budget numbers are out: Summer jobs cost the city $41M, Nikita Stewart reports in WaPo. That’s ‘significantly less than last year, when the mayor promised a job to any youth who wanted one, but enough to eclipse similar programs in most big cities.’ The 10-week program employed 19,680 kids. ‘Many of last year’s problems appear to have been addressed by the new director of employment services, Joseph P. Walsh Jr., who implemented a new computerized payroll system and earlier registration….Still, this year’s program had problems. Community e-mail lists and blogs lit up over the 10 weeks, complaining about the Mayor’s Conservation Corps, a program that put 2,700 participants to work beautifying neighborhoods….Walsh said he and his staff are looking at ways to improve the conservation corps next summer.’ Keep in mind the counil has allocated only $20M for next year’s effort: ‘Fenty said he is determined to find a way around the council’s caps on next year’s program. “There’s a long time between now and next summer,” he said.’
‘Metro’s “trust us” isn’t good enough anymore,’ says the WaPo editorial board. Real oversight is needed—-not the ‘toothless, penniless and powerless’ Tri-State Oversight Committee. ‘For years, the transit system’s benign complacency toward the oversight committee went largely overlooked, including by The Post, owing in part to the enviable safety record Metro had compiled. With no passenger fatalities in a crash since 1982, Metro seemed to have no pressing need to explain itself. That was a delusion.’ The call to action: ‘State, federal and regional officials, in concert with the Metro board, must examine ways of creating a brawnier oversight regime.’
GOOD JOB—-After Labor Day PR debacle, Metro takes no chances getting the word out about Columbus Day disruptions: L’Enfant, Waterfront, and Archives stations will be closed for track work from Friday through Monday. See WaPo, Examiner, WTTG-TV.
Hadn’t heard anything about the George ‘n’ Nathan show in a while, had you? Well, it’s back: Washington Teachers’ Union prez George Parker and general VP Nathan Saunders are back at it, this time over disclosures of secret contract talks by teacher and blogger Candi Peterson. In Examiner, Harry Jaffe covers the latest dustup, which includes Parker sending a letter to teachers calling Peterson out by name. Saunders replied with a letter of his own, accusing Parker of ‘ineptness and disgraceful governance…ineffectiveness and poor leadership skills…desperate and dangerous.’ Writes Jaffe: ‘Who wins this war? Not the teachers and their union….The winner would be Rhee, who gets to implement her work and pay rules with or without a contract.’
The District could get 61 acres for development at Walter Reed Army Medical Center when it closes in 2011, Jonathan O’Connell reports at WBJ. Both the State Department and GSA passed on the property. ‘The Army will work with city officials to form a development plan for the acreage….[T]he next steps are for D.C. to create a local redevelopment authority and begin soliciting public input on the best uses for the site, whether commercial, parks, education or otherwise.’ The feds do have to get paid for the site, one way or another, but no plan is expected before late 2010.
OMAR LIVES—-Thieves try to burgle drug dealer’s heavily guarded Brightwood Park home. When they fail to find a way in, the thieves call the cops on the dealer. So reports WaPo’s Del Wilber, working from police court filings. ‘Federal prosecutors disclosed last month that police seized about 85 pounds of marijuana and $40,000 in cash in several searches and arrested the home’s owner, Winston Williams, 49, on drug charges. But they didn’t explain the tangled tale of how police were first directed to the house….That was left to a search warrant affidavit written by D.C. police officer Joseph Abdalla and filed in D.C. Superior Court. The affidavit lays out a story that sounds like a plot line from HBO’s “The Wire” and other crime dramas. The officer wrote that a confidential informant, a veteran burglar he has known for 10 years, called him about the house in July. The informant has made a career out of stealing from narcotics traffickers, the officer wrote, and his team had been watching the Northwest house for weeks.’
ALSO FROM WILBER—-Saul Ewing legal secretary is accused of using company card to finance a $47K trip in connection with side business providing exotic male dancers.
Kevin Chavous and other pro-voucher advocates headed down to Department of Education HQ yesterday morning to engage in a little civil disobedience, block the entrance, and hopefully get arrested in order to bring back the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. But, as WaPo correspondent Nick Anderson watched, the cops wouldn’t arrest them: ‘[T]wo lines of uniformed officers from the Federal Protective Service stood guard at the entry and made no effort to handcuff them….After about 20 minutes nose to nose with the police, Chavous and his five comrades in purported civil disobedience realized the standoff would continue indefinitely unless they made physical contact with the officers and risked more serious jail time for assault. So they backed off.’ Also showing up: Marion Barry, who ‘scooted away from the scene before the confrontation with police, saying he had an appointment elsewhere.’ Also WaTimes, NC8.
Nonprofit wants to open downtown market during Thursdays this fall, and Adam Tuss at WTOP and Bill Myers at Examiner both do snotty stories about it. Why snotty? Because that would require shutting down Vermont Avenue NW just north of the White House during rush hour. (WTOP don’t like that.) And ‘FreshFarm staff have bragged about their talks with the first lady—-a vocal supporter of open-air markets.’ (‘Zaminer don’t like that.) DDOT says the application is still under review. Also NC8, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
BUT—-The controversy is giving Jack Evans a good excuse to jawbone about the closure of E Street NW south of the White House.
LL missed this from yesterday: Michael Neibauer‘s Examiner story on the city’s efforts to crack down on out-of-District users of the D.C. HealthCare Alliance. ‘[N]ew rules that take effect Sept. 15 will require that all alliance applicants verify their city address by providing one of several documents, like a driver’s license or voter registration card, or by partnering with a nonprofit or proven District resident on a proof of residency form.’ The change is expected to cut 8,200 from the rolls.
Capitol Hill family wants to raise chickens in their backyard. City says no way. But WTTG-TV reports that the family is ‘working with the office of DC Councilmember Tommy Wells to try to get the law changed.’
Cathy Lanier explains to WTTG-TV’s Paul Wagner why crime is down: ‘About a month and a half ago Chief Lanier says she sat down with her staff and came up with a strategy. Pinpointing hot spots where crime was likely to occur. “The officers were given a mission. They did everything they were asked to do and they did it extremely well. So I think the combination of good predictive analysis, good deployment and just great police work over the weekend.”…”Information is flowing now inside the department better than I have ever seen…but then information coming in from outside the department is better too.”‘
Tom Sherwood covers the annual delinquent property tax sale for WRC-TV.
Fenty announces renovation of 56 moderate-income units at vacant apartment buildings near Eastern Avenue and Dix Street NE. At D.C. Wire, Stewart sees the project as Fenty fulfilling his affordable-housing pledges to the Washington Interfaith Network. More details on the deal at WBJ.
‘A northwest Washington homeowner said he was able to leave work, follow a burglar’s trail, confront a suspect and chase the man for two blocks—-all in the time it took police to respond to his initial 911 call,’ WRC-TV reports. Douglas Johnson says it took 43 minutes after his alarm was tripped for cops to show up. ‘I don’t blame the officers….There’s definitely something wrong with 911 and the dispatch.’
MPD detective shot at during police chase this weekend talks to NC8. Det. Sgt. Joe Thomas ‘said the teens jumped out of the car, one of them pulled out a gun and fired one shot at the veteran detective’s head. “The reason why I didn’t fire back is because there were a lot children out there – a lot of innocent people.”‘
Timothy L. Towell, former ambassador to Paraguay, is accused of misdemeanor sex abuse, according to court filing. And NC8 is all over it. ‘Detectives say Towell invited his 18-year-old accuser to his upper Northwest home for dinner on August 9, 2009.’ Towell denies it all.
District resident Paul Raymond Green, 24, sentenced to 52 months for ‘arranging sex with three young girls for an acquaintance who paid Green in April and May 2007.’
Two arrested in robbery of Cleveland Park CVS, WTTG-TV reports. ‘Police say two white male suspects grabbed several items off the shelves then ran out. They say one of the men had a police badge around his neck and appeared to be impersonating an officer.’
Michael Thomas Haresign, reported missing since Friday, has been found safe.
Bill Turque follows up at D.C. Wire on why he never got any formal report on the suspected DC-CAS cheating. Peter Nickles tells him that’s because there was no report—-at least, no report that was ever written down: ‘He says the actual erasure analysis was more like an erasure conversation….”Discussion regarding those [data tables] and any analysis performed was apparently done verbally between OSSE staff and the staff of the two firms. Thus, what we provided to you represents the full set of responsive documents.”‘
WAMU-FM covers the opening of the National Collegiate Prep charter school.
Washington is the No. 4 metro area for attending college, ‘according to academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities,’ report says. We trail New York, San Francisco and Boston.
Coming out for Clark Ray: His old boss Tipper Gore. Ray was Mrs. Gore’s chief of staff during the 2000 presidential campaign.
More WaTimes ‘CITIZEN JOURNALISM’—-this time on the D.C. Youth Advisory Council! The mayoral organ is ‘not the meet-and-greet organization it used to be. Today, its actions are more focused and structured.’ Director Sean Gough says the DCYAC ‘DCYAC ‘mirrors the structure of the city council.’ Wonder which council Fenty respects more?
Your September Bike Advisory Committee notes!
Genre fiction master David Baldacci on his latest: ‘I wrote a Parade Magazine article on Cathy Lanier, the D.C. Police Chief and used some of the research in the novel.’
This year’s Kennedy Center Honorees: Dave Brubeck, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Mel Brooks, and Grace Bumbry.
You could have taken a water taxi to yesterday’s Nats game.
MEA CULPA—-LL screwed up the link to the AP story on the Dixon mental health case at the top of yesterday’s LLD. Here you go!
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:45 a.m.: remarks, U.S. Coast Guard headquarters groundbreaking, St. Elizabeths Hospital, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.