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—-‘Fire Brass Likes Parking in Front of Hydrant‘; ‘Pershing Park Case: Plaintiffs Call For ‘Independent Inquiry’‘
IN LL WEEKLY—-Border Dispute: How did Adrian Fenty’s kids end up at a primo elementary school?
Morning all. As part of WaPo’s comprehensive Ted Kennedy coverage today, reporters Hamil Harris and Michael Ruane remember the late senator’s impact on the District. A Kalorama resident, he was a good neighbor and a dog lover. He read to kids weekly at Capitol Hill’s Brent Elementary. He was a Kennedy Center board member. He ‘was part of the Washington social scene, with its emphasis on politics.’ He attended church, lots of them in fact. But most of all, he supported the city’s schools, public and parochial. Yesterday afternoon, the writers note, ‘the Brent Elementary children assembled outside in their green and white uniforms, [and] the school’s brand-new American flag was flown at half-staff.’ Dozens also gathered for a Dupont Circle vigil yesterday evening. Eleanor Holmes Norton remembers that ‘Ted was always there with us and for us’; Mayor Adrian M. Fenty this morning called Kennedy ‘really just a gem of a guy’ and remembered him as ‘a strong supporter of D.C. voting rights’ and ‘philosophically aligned with most things D.C. residents are passionate about.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Fenty again ducks schooling questions; cop shoots man to death early this morning in River Terrace; behind a tattoo artist’s murder charge; cooler weather could be responsible for violence dip; and U.S. Attorney candidates down to three.
FENTY SWATS SCHOOL QUERIES—-This morning on WRC-TV: ‘My kids deserve privacy, and I’m not gonna answer those types of questions. Four years ago I said I was going to send them to public school and Monday we did that. We’re not gonna go any further than that….I think once you start down this line about answering questions about your kids, I think it’s a bad path. It’s a bad precedent. I, for one, am not gonna do it.’
SEE YA, CORA—-Fenty uses past sense when referring to Cora Masters Barry‘s work at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center: ‘The Wish List…was more of a supplement and afterschool component to it and they did some great things. Whether or not that continues…we don’t know yet. But without any question, the services will not be interrupted. In fact, we want to grow the services.’
BREAKING—-WJLA-TV/NC8 is reporting that a police officer shot and killed at man at a Shell station at 34th Street and Benning Road NE at around 3 a.m. this morning. ‘According to sources, police received a call about a man with a gun at a gas station, tapping on a window. When the officer arrived on the scene, authorities say, the man turned the gun on the officer and the officer shot him multiples times.’ Also WUSA-TV and WTTG-TV.
WaPo’s Keith Alexander tells the story of Kristin Kozak, the tattoo artist accused of murdering her husband, Michael Burnette-Bey, in their Hill East shop earlier this month. Kozak has struggled with drug addiction and tested positive for crack cocaine after her arrest. ‘Kozak, 36, had chased her dream, hoping that her multicolored abstract murals and paintings would hang in galleries and homes throughout the country. But she never let go of the drugs, family members say. She could never reconcile her two passions, and ultimately the drugs won.’
ALSO—-‘Kozak was at the center of a high-profile crime in the Washington area in 2005. She and another boyfriend spent a week smoking crack in an Alexandria motel with a prominent Harvard-educated federal lawyer before the boyfriend beat the lawyer to death with a lead pipe.’
Three finalists identified for U.S. Attorney slot, according to Main Justice‘s Joe Palazzolo: Anjali Chaturvedi of Nixon Peabody, Ron Machen of WilmerHale, and interim USA and local favorite Channing Phillips. Chaturvedi and Machen have interviewed with Norton. ‘A lingering question is whether Norton will submit one name to the White House or several. In the past, she plucked her favorite from the commission’s slate and forwarded it to the president.’
Tim Craig with more at D.C. Wire on the firing of DPR aquatics director Brendan McElroy. Turns out he;s the subject of an open IG investigation: ‘The investigation, outlined in a letter the inspector general sent in late July to Ximena Hartsock, interim director of the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, centered on whether a swim team managed by McElroy “dominated” the pool at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. Charles J. Willoughby, the inspector general, said in the letter that his office had received complaints that McElroy’s team “significantly reduced the amount of pool time available to other patrons.”‘ McElroy says part of his job was to build a swim team.
Exmainer’s Scott McCabe posits whether the cool weather has something to do with the city’s drop in violent crime. The 25 percent downturn in killings ‘has occurred as the city has experienced an abnormally cool summer with average temperatures for May, June and July being a full three degrees below average for the past three decades.’ GWU prof says ‘it’s probably true that the cooler weather is responsible for the drop in violent crime.’ But Cathy Lanier says, ‘It’s idiotic….We’re working really hard.’ Other American cities have seen similar correlations.
ALSO WAY DOWN: carjackings. And a joint local-FBI task force is taking credit.
City towings are way up, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner, but at least there’s a new customer service center down at Blue Plains to help you get your car back. ‘The number of tows to the lot so far in fiscal 2009…was 7,593, according to figures provided by the Department of Public Works. That’s already topped the 7,439 vehicles towed in all of fiscal 2008.’ Now, though, folks don’t have to hit a DMV location before deimpounding their cars—-‘customers may pay their ticket, boot and tow fees … at the impoundment lot,’ says DPW chief Bill Howland.
In WCP’s Cheap Seats column, Dave McKenna offers a requiem for Susie Kay and the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund. ‘Although Kay won’t say it, in the end it appears that the early successes doomed Hoop Dreams. The economic downturn crippled the group’s chances of meeting its ever-bigger annual budget. For 2010, that would mean nearly $1.5 million was needed just to maintain the scholarships and related programs…that had become Hoop Dreams’ staples since Kay organized that first tournament.’
And on the WCP cover this week, Christine MacDonald tests local pools, public and private, for cleanliness.
About 100 DCPS support employees are being laid off, Karen Gray Houston reports for WTTG-TV. ‘John Woodall, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 730, says those workers…have been trying to hold up a system that’s been crumbling for years. The union represents about a thousand employees. He says it’s unfair they should be thrown out the door. In a statement, the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization tells FOX-5 it had to make some personnel adjustments because of budget restraints.’
Like Harry Jaffe yesterday, Jonetta Rose Barras today points out the foolishness of reading too much into early DCPS enrollment numbers. (The figure is already north of 40,000.) Her bigger concern is dropouts. And city education officials tell Barras that ‘the city is focused on prevention. OSSE is developing a system that will “track individual kids when they enter the system.” DCPS has school-based committees monitor attendance; monthly reports are reviewed by the chancellor. A new disciplinary code is designed to keep schools safer; support teams monitor student engagement, intervening when there is trouble; and there is outreach to previously incarcerated youth.’
Man is killed in Shaw: Joshua Mack, 21, of Clinton, Md., was one of two transgender males stabbed yesterday afternoon on the 200 block of Q Street. The other man, expect to survive, is Darius Queen. They were transgender individuals, NC8 reports, and ‘sources say a man dressed in dark clothing walked up to two people on a residential sidewalk and stabbed them’ as kids walked home from nearby schools. ‘Detectives are now investigating if this is the city’s latest hate crime.’ Also WTTG-TV.
ALSO—-Man shot at 16th and Spring Road NW yesterday afternoon expected to survive. Suspect said to have escaped on bike.
WaPo editorial board stumps for tough laws against driving while texting, nothing that the practice ‘strikes widely, affecting everyone from excessively social teens to BlackBerry-obsessed business people to the District’s multitasking mayor.’ The solution, the paper writes, is ‘to use federal highway funds to encourage states to adopt bans on texting while driving, modeled on the seatbelt law. Though the ban might not be consistently enforceable, it would help people understand the gravity of being distracted while driving and would help make the unsafe practice socially taboo.’
Examiner covers DCRA’s campaign to educate local college students living off campus on housing issues. The agency, Neibauer writes, is ‘pushing its anti-slumlord campaign to help students avoid bad leases and perilous conditions, and to provide an outlet for complaints.’
Raids of alleged Brightwood Park drug dealer yield $38K and 85 pounds of marijuana, federal prosecutors allege, according to WaPo’s Del Wilber. Winston Williams, 49, is a citizen of Grenada, he writes, and ‘is a permanent U.S. resident and is married with three children, court papers say. He has lived in the District for 23 years.’
WaPo columnist Robert McCartney turns a Florida ‘part seminar, part holiday’ junket with winners of the Post’s Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards into a defense of principals: ‘Principals today are stressed and squeezed, by parents below and bureaucrats and politicians above….The Internet is a major culprit. It has dramatically raised pressure on principals to respond to individual parents’ complaints and concerns, however minor….On e-mail discussion groups and networking sites, a few carping critics whose free time exceeds their good judgment can demand a lot of attention with unfounded or trivial complaints about a disappointing Halloween party, single dirty restroom or bus schedule misunderstanding.’
L’Enfant Plaza Metro station closed for nearly two hours last night due to ‘briefcase covered in a white powder.’
National Endowment for the Arts kicks in $5K to Life Pieces to Masterpieces, the Northeast nonprofit vandalized last week, according to WaPo.
DHCD has picked 10 affordable housing developments for $33M city/federal funding, Jonathan O’Connell reports in WBJ. ‘A DHCD spokeswoman said the agency is underwriting the selections and still determining what mix of local and federal funds to use for each of the projects. Other large projects approved, in addition to the tenant purchase of homes in Wards 1 and 6 proposed by E&G Property Services Inc., include 124 units on Florida Ave. NW by Banneker Ventures LLC and Bank of America CDC; 99 units on Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE by The Community Builders Inc. and Matthews Memorial Terrace; and 82 units on 13th Street SE by William C. Smith & Co.’
Overlook at Oxon Run apartment building to reopen, WBJ’s Tierney Plumb reports, after the former all-Section 8 property was rehabbed to the tune of $73M with the help of H.R. Crawford‘s Crawford Edgewood Management. The building at 3700 9th St. SE ‘will include 181 units on the first seven floors for low-income seniors and 135 units on the top five floors for small families.’
ALSO—-O’Connell says Philly-based Fresh Grocer is looking at Howard Town Center development at Georgia and W; Petworth organic grocer is finally open; WBJ’s Sarah Krouse notes that about half of U Street and Logan Circle condos have been sold. Includes handy map!
WTTG-TV does a piece on downtown morning prostitutes: ‘[N]eighbors say it’s not just the sex. They’re also frustrated by what else the prostitutes do when they walk the streets. Our camera caught one woman leaving a client’s car. She walks to a bus stop and pulls her dress down to fix her bra. She then pulls the bottom of her dress up and does something too gross to describe. In the process, she exposes herself in full view of morning traffic.’
Woman is being evicted from Section 8 apartment due to son’s drug-dealing arrest. NC8 covers.
Hate PACER, the federal courts’ electronic filing system? So does LL. Now you can say something about it, Legal Times reports: ‘The Administrative Office of the United States Courts announced Monday that they are beginning a year-long “comprehensive program assessment” of the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system, the 21-year-old Web portal for perusing federal court documents. The office is asking users for input, and say everything about the system is up for discussion — including whether it should continue to charge for its services.’
Pro-gay-marriage rally set for Sept. 30 at True Reformer Building, AP notes. ‘[O]rganizers say they will outline steps residents can take to help make the anticipated legislation successful.’
Gay youth advocate Andrew Barnett to Metro Weekly: ‘The chancellor has been incredibly supportive of LGBT students in D.C. public schools. One of the pilot programs that they began last year and are expanding this year is a line where students can report incidents of bullying….Chancellor Rhee and her staff have been great allies to SMYAL, helping move the ball down the court to make D.C. public schools a safer place for LGBT students, but it’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint.’
UDC prez Allen Sessoms finds Chinese dance to be ‘really compelling.’
TODAY—-Clark Ray files his candidacy papers. Interesting: ‘The Co-Chairs of his campaign will be Peter D. Rosenstein, Greg Rhett and Judith Terra. The treasurer of the campaign is former First Lady of the District, Diane Williams.’
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:15 a.m.: remarks, Capitol Quarter ribbon-cutting, 1023 4th St. SE; 4 p.m.: remarks, DCPS Advanced Placement gains, Columbia Heights Education Center, 3101 16th St. NW.