IN LL WEEKLY—-The $300 Million Grab: Under new insurance boss, will the city plunder CareFirst’s cash reserves?
Morning all. Another police shooting in the District, but this time it wasn’t the Metropolitan Police Department doing the shooting. Wasn’t the U.S. Park Police, either. Nope: The Prince George’s County police killed Theodore Blandford, 51, of Lothian, Md., at Minnesota Avenue and Ridge Road. ‘He emerged from his car with his gun drawn, and on the opposite side of a fence, nine officers fired dozens of shots his way,’ Theola Labbé-DeBose and Matt Zapotosky write in WaPo. ‘One source familiar with the incident said Blandford fired in the officers’ direction; [PGCP spokesperson] said only that he was brandishing a handgun….D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said D.C. officers did not join in the chase but monitored it and responded to the scene of the shooting, as is the policy….”When we’re talking about pursuing a homicide suspect, the county remaining in pursuit was the proper thing to do,” Lanier said.’ Blandford is said to have murdered his wife and a relative in Maryland. Also WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
AFTER THE JUMP—-The Holocaust Museum shooter speaks; Washington Highlands library too modern for Ward 8; Jonetta says Fenty’s a regular old scofflaw; and to shoot the deer or not shoot the deer?—-that is the question.
James W. von Brunn at last appears in a Prettyman courtroom. Writes Del Wilber in WaPo: ‘”The Constitution guarantees me a speedy and fair trial,” von Brunn, 89, said in a halting voice. Wearing a blue jail uniform, he appeared frail and sat quietly in a wheelchair….Von Brunn has not been able to walk since the shooting and has difficulty speaking and hearing, his attorney, A.J. Kramer, said in court.’ Prosecutor Nicole Waid ‘alleges that ‘von Brunn was on a suicide mission and did not think he would “come out alive.”…”If given a chance, there is no doubt he would try to kill again.”‘ Judge Reggie Walton ordered von Brunn held pending a competency exam and trial. Also WAMU-FM, AP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
Washington Highlands leaders are speaking out against new library plans, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner, calling the design ‘bizarre and utterly out of touch with their neighborhood.’ A Tuesday BZA hearing ‘provided a handful of neighborhood leaders the chance to deride the library’s ultramodern look—-a design from renowned British architect David Adjaye. “It’s not designed for us, and it’s not designed for the culture of the neighborhood,” Theresa Jones, a Washington Highlands advisory neighborhood commissioner, told The Examiner on Wednesday. “I want a library like I want oxygen, but I don’t want that.”‘
Jonetta Rose Barras is demanding that the D.C. Council sue Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for breaking the law. ‘In May, the council passed legislation that prohibited the mayor from privatizing DPR day care services until Fenty presented an impact report. While that bill was approved unanimously, it was superfluous.’ Fenty, she says, also ignored a law establishing ‘procedures for privatizing any government service.’ AFGE is now suing on behalf of DPR workers, but ‘[e]nforcing the law shouldn’t be the responsibility of an employees’ union,’ Barras writes. ‘The council should step in….District elected officials are becoming a lawless bunch.’
Regional politicos are ticked off at the short notice from WMATA on this weekend’s closing of the National Airport Metro stop and others. James Hohmann writes in WaPo: ‘[A]t the end of a difficult summer for the beleaguered Metro system, riders and officials are especially sensitive. “The public wants answers, and we don’t have them,” said D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large), a Metro board member. “They usually are very good with communications.” Board members plan to discuss the closures in a conference call Thursday, said Metro board Chairman Jim Graham (D), the Ward 1 D.C. Council member.’
And that difficult summer is getting no less difficult: A pedestrian was struck by an empty Metrobus this morning at Connecticut and Florida Avenues NW and is said to have life-threatening injuries. A bus also caught fire yesterday evening in Hillcrest.
ALSO—-With the back-to-school season here, Metro cops are cracking down on no-good kids, Kytja Weir reports in Examiner. ‘The police are increasing patrols near schools each afternoon to encourage kids to keep moving and remind them that food and drink are banned in the system….Minors can get written warnings or even be arrested if they don’t comply. The transit system is also setting up a special hot line for riders to report unruly teens, the transit agency said Wednesday. Also WTOP, WTTG-TV. And Metro police are speaking with other local law enforcement groups daily in a conference call about juveniles.’ And Metro will be getting $3.9M to cover inaug expenses.
WAMU-FM covers yesterday evening’s Rock Creek deer meeting: ‘The Park Service’s deer-management plans inspired comments from nearly half the audience, many of whom have lived near the Park for years – like Mary Clark. “Bambi has to go,” Clark says. “I only came tonight because I was afraid there wasn’t gonna be anybody here that would say it!” But many echoed Clark’s support of lethal culling methods, such as sharpshooting and euthanasia.’ Also NC8, WTTG-TV.
In themail, Gary Imhoff remembers Columbia Heights murder victim Deborah Ann Brown, a former neighbor. ‘We knew her, casually. She was a tenant in the rooming house next door to our house for several years, and we talked over the fence several times. When our house was burglarized while we were on vacation, she tried calling the police two or three times before she was able to flag down a passing patrol car and get the officers to investigate. She was a nice and friendly person who had what the news stories about her death called, vaguely, “personal problems” — when she drank too much she could become loud and argumentative. But she was recovering from her days of heavy drinking. In a way, Debbie represented Columbia Heights, both its past and its future.’
ALSO IN THEMAIL—-‘The Libertarian Party of the District of Columbia is in the process of re-forming after a hiatus. You can find us at http://dclibertarians.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter at @DCLibertarians.’
The Nose spends a lot of ink [PDF] calling out Jack Evans for being a closet Republican: ‘He champions tax cuts no matter what, gives away big chunks of the city’s future revenue base to developers, and is the lead council supporter of publicly-funded, money-draining monoliths such as the convention center headquarters hotel and the baseball stadium.’ Good line: ‘The Nose has lots of reasons to question Evans’ decision-making skills, not small among them his devotion to Harry Potter ties, fratboy sports rock, and being seen at Café Milano, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, or, really, anywhere, with Mark Plotkin.’
WaPo’s Jacqueline Salmon has more on Archbishop Donald Wuerl‘s entry into the local gay marriage debate: ‘It seems like an unusual move for the quiet-spoken archbishop, whom Stephen Schneck, director of the Life Cycle Center at Catholic University, calls a “raging pragmatist.”‘ Also see Lou Chibbaro Jr.‘s Blade story; Catholic Exchange; Catholic News Agency; The Advocate. And DCist points out that Bishop Harry Jackson apparently now lives in a 13th floor apartment by the ballpark.
In other Catholicism news, the Archdiocese of Washington is directing its parishes to send ‘a significantly larger portion of their offertories next year toward education funding,’ in particular for tuition assistance.’ Leah Fabel writes in Examiner: ‘Parishes that do not already support a school will give 9 percent of donations to educational assistance beginning in July 2010, while parishes that do support a school will give 3 percent. In past years, all parishes contributed 2 percent of offerings to K-12 education.’ Also WAMU-FM’s Kavitha Cardoza, who notes new archdiocese policies also ‘spell out what it means to be a Catholic school. For example, there’s a section on [C]atholic identity which requires students attend mass, that all meals be blessed and a crucifix hung in every classroom.’
More on Ron Moten‘s testimony at Peaceaholics sex assault trial, from Nikita Stewart at D.C. Wire.
Not just Shiloh anymore: Vermont Avenue Baptist is also under fire for allowing its nearby real estate to deteriorate, NC8 reports. ‘For years boards have covered the windows and work permits have faded into oblivion, such as one from 2003. The nearby Vermont Baptist Church owns the [Logan Circle home] and has applied for renovation permits and gotten property tax reductions, but never done any work. Some neighbors believe the church intends the same fate for the house as many of its other properties – disintegration to the point of condemnation. But one church elder assured ABC 7 reporter Stephen Tschida that renovations are underway.’
Phil Mendelson demands answers on Tom Hampton‘s firing at DISB.
WaPo’s Martin Ricard covers attempts by Latinos to organize to protect their soccer fields. Their ability to play ‘is threatened as gentrification and permit requirements to use athletic fields contribute to a shortage of athletic spaces. The players aren’t able to speak up and protect their ballfields because most are undocumented Latino immigrants who fear contact with authorities.’ Enter the Urban Soccer Initiative, ‘which promotes the development of small soccer fields in urban areas.’ And DPR’s John Stokes says that his department ‘is working…to bring structure to pickup soccer games throughout the District.’
Four finalists named for Gallaudet president, WaPo reports: ‘The finalists are: T. Alan Hurwitz, president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf; Roslyn Rosen, director of the National Center on Deafness at California State University at Northridge; Ronald J. Stern, superintendent and chief executive of the New Mexico School for the Deaf; and Stephen F. Weiner, provost of Gallaudet….The school’s trustees are seeking a replacement for Robert Davila, whose term ends in December.’
Nine D.C. post offices remain on the USPS possible-closure list: Columbia Heights Finance, Fort Davis, Ledroit Park, Naval Research Laboratory, Navy Annex, Northeast, Petworth, Randle, and Woodbridge.
IN WAPO DISTRICT WEEKLY—-Yamiche Alcindor on Men-in-Motion, ‘part of a growing network of groups…that provides parenting support and therapy to men, many of them ex-offenders, through roundtable discussions’; home sales; health code violations; police blotter; news briefs; and ANIMAL WATCH.
Claire E. Morra, 23, has been missing since Friday from Mount Pleasant. ‘Morra, of the 3300 block of 16th Street NW, is described as a light-complexioned white female, 5 feet 9 inches, weighing 105 pounds, with hazel eyes and short brown hair. She reportedly was last seen wearing a black shirt and black pants. Police consider her a “critical” missing person because she needs medication. As such, Morra might appear to be disoriented.’
Suspect in Silver Spring murder walks out of Washington Hospital Center.
Wendy Mansfield, the former CFO of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, has ‘admitted to using the group’s credit card for $184,000 in makeup, casino junkets—-and a really expensive birthday cake,’ Bill Myers reports in Examiner. She’s looking at a possible two years in prison.
From Housing Complex: A City Vista resident fights with developer to have ADA-compliant shower installed.
Union job-training program will weatherize your house for free, WAMU-FM reports.
More than you ever wanted to know about the Howard Town Center project.
Greater Washington Sports Alliance to honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver on Sept. 15.
D.C. judged to have fourth-worst traffic in country.
Per WRC-TV: ‘Christina Schwarzenegger (daughter of the Governator and Maria Shriver) and Grace O’Malley (daughter of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley) are starting their first year at Georgetown University….Meanwhile, Nat Kaine (son of Va. Gov. Tim Kaine) is heading back to The George Washington University as a sophomore.’
Sept. 19 may be your last chance to tour St. Elizabeths before DHS moves in.
My God, Dan Snyder is a greedy little prick.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 10:30 a.m.: remarks, OSSE testing announcement, One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW;4 p.m.: remarks, S&T ribbon-cutting, 17th and S Streets NW; 7 p.m.: attendee, South Central Community Association meeting, New Canaan Baptist Church, 2826 Bladensburg Road NE.