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.
Morning all. The District government is being told it needs an overhaul of its economic development strategy, Jonathan O’Connell reports in WBJ. ‘Mayor Adrian Fenty’s economic development efforts focus almost exclusively on real estate development. Unlike many economic development outfits, the office of Valerie Santos, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, is filled with real estate project managers and does not set targets for or measure the number of jobs it creates.’ The focus, according to a report commissioned by DMPED and Downtown BID’s Richard Bradley, needs to be on creating jobs. Specifically: attracting ‘industries primed for growth by the federal government,’ such as the ‘three sectors where the government is making or planning profound changes: finance, health care and energy.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Yeah, more on the Fenty schooling thing; Shaw stabbing death investigated as hate crime; firefighter arrested for obstruction of justice; Monument Realty steps back from the brink; and a brutal beating on Kalorama Park.
REVOLVING DOOR—-‘Santos has hired Brian Kenner, formerly of Fannie Mae, as her chief of staff to pursue new attraction and retention strategies.’
Examiner headline: ‘Angry Fenty evades questions about sons’ schooling.’ Michael Neibauer stayed out of it himself, but wrote a nice little piece about the controversy. His quotes: ‘”I don’t think where the mayor sent his children to school is the issue,” said D.C. watchdog Dorothy Brizill, co-founder of D.C. Watch. “It’s the process that people are concerned with. He doesn’t seem to get it.”…Sekou Biddle, Ward 4 member of the State Board of Education and father of two, said the matter should be private. “We should consider at what point we’re intruding on a person’s private life,” Biddle said. “It’s a funny situation, but I’m glad the mayor’s children are in a public school, in a place that they’re happy.”‘ D.C. Wire also covers the dust-up, with Nikita Stewart reporting that ‘sources say the boys skipped the city’s lottery system to win their spots at the high-performing Lafayette.’ And two bloggers look at the situation under the ‘school choice’ lens.
NB—-The confrontation happened after the champion Washington Kastles were handed a key to the city.
Wednesday afternoon’s stabbing of two transgender women is being investigated by police as a possible hate crime, Paul Duggan reports in WaPo. That news is ‘based on “a shred of information” that detectives obtained from the survivor, said acting Lt. Brett Parsons [sic—-Parson!], the department’s top liaison to the city’s gay community. The surviving victim told a detective that the attacker might have used an anti-gay epithet during the incident, Parsons said. But it would be “extremely premature” for authorities to definitively classify the crime as having been motivated by the victims’ gender identity, he said….Detectives conducted a brief interview at the scene, Parsons said, before the surviving victim was sedated. Authorities hoped to talk more with the victim Thursday.’ The attack killed Joshua Mack, 21, aka Nana Boo. Also see NC8, WTTG-TV, and Sexist, which notes that a $25K reward is on offer.
The police shooting of a man at a River Terrace gas station is under investigation. WaPo’s Theola Labbé-DeBose writes that the still-unidentified man was killed after he ‘refused to comply with an order to drop his weapon.’ The shooter, a 38-year-old 6D officer, is also unidentified (natch) but ‘has been a member of the department for five years [and] was “in imminent fear of his life and the lives of others [and] fired his service weapon at the suspect,”‘ according to police.
The good news: DCPS students’ Advanced Placement scores are up, Bill Turque reports at D.C. Wire. ‘The number of students scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on at least one AP exam increased by 26.5 percent, with 166 more students passing an exam in 2008-2009 than in 2007-2008,’ he writes. But SAT scores were slightly down: ‘Mean scores in critical reading went from 470 to 466, while mean math scores dropped from 455 to 451. Rhee said the numbers appear to be following national trends.’
Roy Pearson Jr., he of the $54 million pants, has taken his case to federal appeals court, Legal Times reports. He’s seeking reinstatement as a D.C. administrative law judge.
A D.C. firefighter has been arrested in connection with an obstruction of justice probe, WTTG-TV’s Paul Wagner reports. ‘D.C. Police believe Dominique Taylor, a firefighter assigned to Engine 19 in Southeast Washington, witnessed her boyfriend shoot the father of her baby as they stood outside her apartment on a Tuesday afternoon a little over two years ago. Despite several witnesses placing her on the scene in uniform, she has claimed under oath she couldn’t identify the shooter.’
WUSA-TV’s Armando Trull covers National Organization for Marriage’s move into D.C. ‘The group is vowing to use part of its $6 million budget to defeat attempts to establish gay marriage in the District. Brian Brown, NOM’s Executive Director told 9NEWS NOW that…its “the definition of hypocrisy” for District officials to complain about lack of voting rights in Congress yet deny District residents an opportunity to vote on whether to accept gay marriage.’
Blade’s Lou Chibbaro Jr., meanwhile, reports thatpro-marriage activists are planning a Sept. 30 meeting to plan for a marriage fight. ‘Long-time leaders of the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Men & Women organized the ad-hoc group, saying they hope to prepare the LGBT community and its allies for an expected battle in the City Council this fall over a same-sex marriage bill.’
ALSO NOTED—-‘The announcement of the marriage equality convocation came just days after Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Robert King called on his fellow commissioners to support a ballot initiative next year on same-sex marriage in the District. The Aug. 22 meeting King organized at Mount Zion Baptist Church drew only five other ANC commissioners, and most said they oppose a ballot measure on marriage. The meeting was scheduled to take place at 8:30 a.m. But church employees did not arrive in time to unlock the doors, forcing King to convene the meeting on the sidewalk outside.’
Harry Jaffe looks at why ‘few of the collegebound kids’ heading to school this fall ‘will come from D.C. public schools.’ He profiles the efforts of the D.C. College Success Foundation and its executive director, ex-deputy mayor Herb Tillery. ‘Starting in March 2007, Tillery’s group selected 160 sophomores from six high schools east of the Anacostia River. It mentored them. It schooled them in four weeks of residential enrichment programs in the summer. It guaranteed them scholarships worth up to $50,000 for five years. And it didn’t shove them off and forget about them.’
WBJ’s Melissa Castro does a thorough rundown of how Monument Realty is ‘slowly digging itself out from the rubble’ after being driven to the brink by the credit crunch. Its equity gone in several signature projects, the developer has tried to ‘salvage any value left in projects started during the boom’ by becoming ‘the public face and behind-the-scenes development adviser’ for them. Says principal Russell Hines: ‘I think when the market turns around, you’ll see a lot out of Monument, as you have in the past….Things will be tempered as people are licking their wounds, but we expect to have our share of activity going forward. So far, so good.’
ALSO—-Castro notes at the WBJ blog that Monument’s Half Street SE apartment/hotel plans are as dead as ever. But there is some good news: ‘The 55 M St. SE office building Monument erected — the only one of the four buildings planned that has been completed — is still empty but has experienced “a distinct change in the level of activity” over the past two months, with a few seriously interested tenants, Hines said.’
The WaPo ed board has some ‘Beach Reading for Mr. Obama.’ On vouchers. ‘As we’ve said before, vouchers aren’t the answer to Washington’s school troubles; we enthusiastically support public school reform and quality charter schools, too. But vouchers are an answer for some children whose options otherwise are bleak. In Washington, they also are part of a carefully designed social-science experiment that may provide useful evidence for all schools on helping low-income children learn.’
GGW capsulizes Current stories on Ward 3 sidewalks, OTR’s new homestead deduction requirements, and Tenleytown development. One of these days, LLD will start doing Current stories. Maybe.
Eleanor Holmes Norton to WaPo: ‘”This District may not have a Senator, but it had Ted Kennedy,” said Norton, who took time from her vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to reflect on the Kennedy’s legacy in terms of the District’s struggle for self determination. “He was a deal maker. When you had a really tough issue like the NRA amendment that was when Teddy Kennedy was needed most.”‘
ALSO—-NC8 interviews the Brent ES student who was Kennedy’s final protege. And D.C. Vote’s Ilir Zherka, via press release, tells a story from a 2007 fundraiser: ‘Ted Kennedy became animated, his hand slicing the air in front of him. “It’s just outrageous how this country treats the District of Columbia,” he said. “In the next Congress, we’ll have the votes. And I’m with you, Ilir, on this House vote. It is a first step. But it is not enough. We have to get two senators for DC, and we have to get statehood. You tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. Whatever it takes, I’m there for you. We have to end this national disgrace.”‘
In Examiner, Bill Myers examines a fabulous Capitol Hill neighbors’ squabble that’s ‘led to seven years of vicious litigation, with charges and counter-charges of harassment, libel, assault, tossed wine glasses, wicked hose-downs and even maliciously potty-trained cats.’
Another fab column from Petula Dvorak, on her immigrant mom’s ahead-of-its-time green cred. ‘My mother, who’s 63, does bags of bags. When I was growing up, she also crocheted sacks from string and brought them to grocery stores. I nearly died each time she asked for a discount for bringing her own bag….Come January, in an effort to encourage District residents to switch to reusable bags, the city will begin taxing anyone who uses a store’s plastic bags. Maybe our mothers got to Mayor Fenty.’
In D.C., ‘even show business takes a back seat to politics,’ which, Sarah Abbruzese reports in WaTimes, is why today ‘three Obama administration Cabinet secretaries are scheduled to visit the [Extreme Makeover]’s construction site, the Fishing School in Northeast Washington, to talk about education, safety and green building.’ Steven Chu! Arne Duncan! Hilda Solis!
ALSO—-You can volunteer!
Examiner calls it a ‘crash’; Metro calls it an ‘unintentional coupling.’ Whatever it was, it happened ‘about 6 p.m. at the West Falls Church rail yard off the Orange Line when a two-car train drove slowly into the shop and hit a two-car train already stopped there.’ Two workers were on the train, but were unhurt. Also WRC-TV.
WTTG-TV covers a ‘brutal attack’ in Kalorama Park: ‘On Thursday night, the sidewalk was still stained with signs of the attack. According to one witness who was too afraid to show his face on camera, a group of five young people were relentless in their attack….”It was a horrible, vicious attack,” the witness told FOX 5. “There was blood on sidewalk and the victim. These kids were just having a fun time kicking the (expletive) out of this guy.”‘
NC8 says crime is up at the Rhode Island Metro station. ‘Metro Transit Police says at least 17 assaults and robberies have been reported there this year….Eight attacks alone have occurred since early July and authorities believe some are going unreported. One day laborer tell ABC 7 News, “The thieves first asked for [$5]. I didn’t have it, then they attacked.”…Those who congregate looking for work outside the station believe they are targeted because they tend to carry a lot of cash and the criminals know most of the men won’t run to the police.’
City First Bank wins $700K ‘Enterprise’ award from feds, WBJ reports. ‘The award was one of 55 presented nationwide Aug. 20 to recognize financial institutions for increasing lending during 2008 in economically distressed communities where at least 30 percent of the population lives at or below the federal poverty line and where unemployment is 1.5 times greater than the national average.’
WCP’s Erik Wemple evaluates DPR’s aquatics achievements.
THERE IS A GOD—-A new Ray’s Hell Burger to open yards from LL’s office.
METRO DELAYS—-Per WaPo: ‘From Friday at 10 p.m. until the stations close Sunday…Red Line trains will only run once every 20 minutes between Shady G rove and Medical Center….Orange Line trains going both ways will share a track between East Falls Church and Ballston-MU….On the Green Line, from 8 p.m. Friday until Sunday at 6 p.m., trains will share a single track between Georgia Avenue-Petworth and Fort Totten. As a result, all Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square-Seventh Street-Convention Center from 8 p.m. Friday to closing Sunday.’
TOMORROW—-Columbia Heights Day! Lots of political activity. For one thing, it’s being held at ‘Adrian Fenty Field’ at Tubman ES (11th Street b/w Irving and Kenyon Streets NW). Phil Mendelson, Clark Ray, Kwame Brown, Jim Graham, and the D.C. GOP will have tent space. Also: Cupcake eating contest at 3:30! See the full schedule.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-11:30 a.m.: remarks, personnel announcement, One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW; 2 p.m.: remarks, HIV/AIDS public awareness campaign launch, Chartered Family Health Center, 3924 Minnesota Ave. NE.