Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Marion Barry on Weekly Standard’s Cover‘
Morning all. Redemption has come for A. Scott Bolden: Nearly three years since his embarrassing loss to Phil Mendelson, the lawyer has jettisoned his electoral ambitions and recast himself as the ‘superattorney’ for local political types in trouble, according to WaPo’s Nikita Stewart. His client list includes accused tax scammer Diane Gustus, accused Ward 8 nonprofiteer Brenda Richardson, and mayoral crony Sinclair Skinner. (Stewart neglects to mention Christopher Barry, Jonetta Rose Barras, and Cora Masters Barry.) Says Bolden: ‘I’ve gotten a second life…There’s a better way to serve than having a referendum on my personality, my cockiness, my arrogance.’ Says anonymous council staffer: ‘You know what I call him? The devils’ advocate. S-apostrophe.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Harry Jackson is back for another smackdown; Maya Angelou can’t get a mayoral meeting; Pizza Mart murder weirder than you thought; the Cuddler returns; and Adrian Fenty is a bad tweeter.
Didn’t think we’d get rid of him that easy, did you? Bishop Harry Jackson is back with another attempt to put gay marriage on the ballot, Tim Craig reports in WaPo, saying he plans today to file initiative papers. ‘If approved by the board, the initiative would give District residents an opportunity to vote sometime next year on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Jackson, who says he believes that most city voters oppose same-sex marriage, is hoping his proposal will slow efforts by the D.C. Council to legalize those marriages.’ But, given the failure of his last attempt, the law is not on his side.
WATCH—-Video featuring Jackson on D.C. marriage targeting his usual Christian right cronies: ‘Let me share with you, one of the unique dynamics of DC that makes your prayer, your involvement, your writing your Congressman so very important: Currently, every law that is passed in DC has got to be approved by the Congress. In other words, DC does not really have ‘home rule.’…We have an opportunity to block the rise of an overt same-sex marriage law by having your Congressman say, ‘Not on my watch.’…And we can say yes to marriage, no to same-sex reciprocity, no to the land becoming a modern Sodom and Gomorrah, because you’ve reached out and responded to your Congressman.’ (via Metro Weekly)
The Southeast Tennis and Learning Center drama continues: Cora Barry had lined up friends Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height to plead her case to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, but Fenty canceled on them—-twice! Writes Stewart: ‘[S]everal sources in the John A. Wilson Building say [Fenty] canceled a Saturday meeting with them and may have canceled another meeting Monday…..Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who oversees recreation, said the mayor’s office is underestimating the national reach that Barry established for the tennis center.’
Michael Neibauer at Examiner has the (almost) final figures for the coast of the 2009 summer jobs program. Not cheap: The SYEP will cost nearly $28M, and that is ‘a troubling omen for 2010, when the initiative will be limited to six weeks and only $20 million.’ At that rate, Fenty ‘will be challenged…to stay within budget as the D.C. Council has restricted the program to six weeks, 21,000 participants and $20 million. The $7.25-per-hour pay rate plus other costs threatens to bust next summer’s budget by the fifth week or earlier.’ Says Jack Evans: ‘[R]ight now we’re in severe economic times and $20 million is as much as we have — well, unless the mayor can identify funds spent somewhere else and transfer it to this program.’
PETWORTH KILLING—-One man dead, three men wounded in shooting at house on 900 block of Hamilton Street NW. Reports WaPo: ‘The shooting was reported about 6:30 p.m….No motive was immediately available. The killing came on the last day of an eight-month period in which the number of homicides has declined about 25 percent from the corresponding figure for last year.’ NC8 adds: ‘The aunt of the man who died says he was only 23 years old. She fears that an ongoing feud may have sparked the shooting.’ And WTTG-TV adds: ‘[S]ources close to the family of one of the possible victims tells FOX 5, he may have been a witness to another crime and was supposed to testify in court.’
Fascinating twist in the Pizza Mart murder: WaPo’s Paul Duggan reports that a witness had told police that Shahabuddin Rana‘s murder ‘was tied to an immigration scam in which the victim had agreed to pay a Maryland woman $500 a week to marry his brother, then reneged on the deal after the wedding.’ A police affidavit indicates that ‘Rana had been paying [suspect Shanika Robinson] to continue in a sham marriage with his brother, a Pakistani national who helps run the Pizza Mart in the Edgewood neighborhood. The scheme was intended to improve the brother’s immigration status and help him eventually get his green card, the affidavit says. The deal fell apart, however, after the brother, whom police have not publicly identified, found out that Robinson “was having sexual affairs,” Cephas wrote. Even though the brother and Robinson were married only on paper and did not live together, Rana “became upset” with Robinson and told her “that she would not be getting paid the money that they agreed upon anymore,” the affidavit says.’ Also WRC-TV, WTTG-TV.
WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson reports on big first-day problems with the city’s special-ed busing system. ‘On Monday, more than 100 special education students missed their buses. They were at their homes, but David Gilmore, director of special education transportation for DC schools, concedes their buses never showed up. Gilmore blamed a new computer system that changed the bus routes and in the process, kicked out a lot of names and addresses.’
Leah Fabel, in Examiner, covers similar ground to colleague Barras, highlighting think-tank report on violence in D.C. schools. ‘D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee “and her team have been incredibly effective about communicating school accountability and reforms, but there’s been very little in the way of communicating school safety,” said Don Soifer, a member of the D.C. Public Charter School Board and one of the report’s authors. “And poll after poll tells us that parents care a lot.”…Dunbar Senior High in Ward 5 and Anacostia Senior High in Ward 8 saw the highest number of police response to crimes, according to the report. Dunbar reported 55 calls for assault, while Anacostia reported 47.’
ALSO—-Fabel covers school H1N1 prep.
Bill Turque writes up the SBOE budget veto at D.C. Wire.
Jonathan O’Connell covers the Fenty Friday appointments at WBJ. Ousted DISB commish Tom Hampton says that he is ‘appreciative for the Fenty administration for allowing me the opportunity to lead such a dynamic financial-services regulatory agency, especially during the current economic crisis….We were able to help residents prevent foreclosures, provide financial literacy and investor-education seminars throughout the city, and increased our consumer education and outreach presence at community events.’ Also see National Underwriter and Insurance and Financial Advisor, which quotes DISB spox Michelle Phipps-Evans saying that Hampton’s ouster was not related to upcoming CareFirst hearings ‘as far as we know.’
ABOUT THAT—-Ahead of Sept. 10 DISB hearing, D.C. Appleseed determines that CareFirst owes the District $300M in surplus reserves, D.C. Wire reports.
DCist slams Hizzoner for ‘broadcasting mostly inane non sequiturs’ over his Twitter feed! ‘Memo to the EOM: this Twitter feed is making you look pretty dumb…Whoever is updating this feed currently, stop it. Stop it right now. Give the mayor the password to the account and slowly walk away.’
AP reporter Dena Potter covers the HPV vaccine mandates in D.C. and Virginia: ‘In the nation’s capital, where students started school a week ago, girls will be held out of classes after Friday if they haven’t either gotten the shot or turned in a form saying their parents opted out.’
Deborah Ann Brown, 48, shot Saturday night in Columbia Heights ‘was a bystander caught in the crossfire,’ NC8 reports. ‘According to sources, a group of males was sitting on the steps in front of the Greater Washington Urban League when a suspect on a bike rolled up and opened fire on the group, just as Brown was walking past. She was shot, sources believe, by a bullet intended for someone else.’
THE CUDDLER STRIKES AGAIN?—-From The Hoya: ‘A burglary similar to the series of recent break-ins attributed to a so-called “Georgetown Cuddler” took place at the 33rd Street home of a Georgetown student early [Sunday] morning….An unidentified male gained entry to the residence on the 1200 block of 33rd Street NW through an unlocked door. “The suspect lay down on the couch with the complainant. The complainant was startled awake and told the suspect to leave. The suspect subsequently left the residence, heading north on 33rd Street, then west on Prospect Street,” the Department of Public Safety said in a public safety announcement.’ Also NC8, WTTG-TV.
WTTG-TV covers DPR child-care privatization lawsuit. Legal Times has a nice breakdown of the complaint: ‘The suit, filed on Aug. 28 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that agency heads made an “unapproved and clandestine” decision to move funding away from the Department of Parks and Recreation — funding that the D.C. Council had intended to pay for the department’s day-care programs. “One of the things we’re worried about is that they’re manipulating numbers to achieve the end of their policy objectives,” said Donald Temple of Washington’s Temple Law Offices.’
Bloomingdale house fire was result of domestic dispute, WUSA-TV reports.
WaPo letter writer takes issue with Fenty’s assessment that ‘We’re all at risk’ for HIV. ‘Really? Everything I have learned about HIV/AIDS is that it can be avoided with some common sense. The message that we’re all at risk contradicts the facts of how this disease is spread. HIV/AIDS education apparently has a long way to go.’
Ed Lazere and Elissa Silverman examine the D.C. Council budget gap-closing plan in Hill Rag. Also in the Rag: Uneven exemptions to the Ward 6 singles ban; progress on H Street streetcars; Capitol Hill Cluster School renos not coming soon enough; and the case for backyard chickens.
CHECK OUT—-John Capozzi‘s new green home! In Hillcrest! (Beware: PDF)
Clark inked to build $435M Coast Guard HQ on St. E’s campus.
Howard U. has a 14-year-old sophomore.
The Jefferson Hotel, at 16th and M, reopens.
DID YOU KNOW?—-Petula Dvorak and Jaycee Lee Dugard both grew up in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.? Now you do!
BE A D.C. VOTE INTERN—-‘DC Vote is looking for a few good interns! You’ll be part of history—join the only organization that works full-time to secure full congressional voting representation and full democracy for DC. We are currently seeking bright, energetic and hard working undergraduate or graduate student interns to support the Public Affairs team….The successful candidate will have excellent communications and organizational skills, work well independently and as part of a team and be very comfortable with public speaking. Read the full job description…Send me your resume and cover letter at email@example.com.’
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:45 a.m.: remarks, Verizon FIOS announcement, 1600 19th Street SE; 4:30 p.m.: media availability, National Capital Region Homeland Security debrief, Ronald Reagan International Building & International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room C.1-47.