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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-‘Which Smurf is Adrian Fenty?‘; ‘Claim: Cora Masters Barry And Co. Weren’t Properly Notified Prior To Eviction Notice‘
Morning all. Another slooow mid-August news day here, but there was one development you knew was coming: Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, in a statement, are standing up in support of Cora Masters Barry and her leadership of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, saying it would be ‘tragic’ if her Recreation Wish List Committee were evicted from the center ‘because of a paperwork mistake.’ The statement continues: ‘We were there when the Center was opened, and have returned many times since. We have contributed resources and support because of the RWLC’s positive and continuous work for children….It is our hope that Mayor Fenty understands the critical need the RWLC is serving, and we are confident that he will resolve this issue as quickly as possible.’ Barry’s longtime friendship with the Williamses and their mom, Oracene Price, has paid another political dividend.
AFTER THE JUMP—-Metro riders down, lawyers up; Michelle Rhee makes Oprah’s ‘power list’; valet parkers get the squeeze; voucher pushers give it one last shot.
Since the Red Line collision in June, Metro ridership is down considerably, Kytja Weir reports in Examiner. ‘Metrorail ridership dropped 2.3 percent in July compared with the same time last year, according to Metro statistics, after a long period of booming ridership. “We don’t know at this point if it’s the incident or the economy, with people taking fewer vacations,” Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said earlier this month.’ Bus ridership is down even more. Weir writes that the trend is ‘prompting questions about whether the deadly train accident may have undermined rider confidence in the system while leaving lasting budget implications on the financially strapped agency.’
ALSO—-Legal Times reports that WMATA has its crash litigation team: ‘Partners William Gandy and Robert Wallace of Philadelphia-based Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker are leading WMATA’s defense efforts with the help of Thomas Tobin, a partner in the firm’s White Plains, N.Y. office, according to Wallace. Gandy and Wallace practice in Wilson Elser’s McLean, Va. and Washington offices, respectively.’
TRANSGENDER SHOPLIFTER—-Jonathan Bradley, 20, was arrested by police last week in Southeast after a routine traffic stop and charged by Montgomery County cops with stealing a $2,000 Chanel dress from the Wisconsin Avenue Saks. Click on the WaPo story for the picture if nothing else. Also WTOP.
O MY—-Oprah’s first-ever ‘Power List’ is out. Michelle Rhee is one of 20: ‘In the two years since she took over the ailing Washington, D.C., school system, Rhee has made some very unpopular moves—she fired her own children’s principal, closed underperforming schools, and quickly became known for her take-no-prisoners management style—but she’s gotten results. Within her first year, the number of schools with proficiency rates below 20 percent dropped by almost half.’ Also on the list: Donna Brazile.
Do you own a business that uses public space for valet parking? Well, now you’re gonna need a permit, Biz Journal reports, which will cost you $50 to apply to the DDOT Public Space Committee, plus 50 cents for per hour per day for 20 linear feet of curb space.
Will D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Vanessa Ruiz‘s hefty opinion backlog keep her off the federal appeals bench? Legal Times seems to think it might (you’ll need a subscription).
ALSO IN THE LEGAL SPHERE—-Appeals court upholds sanctions against L&T don Kenneth Loewinger.
Should cops have to open up their financial records to prevent corruption? Some folks tell WaPo that P.G. cops should think about it: ‘[A]s federal investigators continue to probe whether veteran Prince George’s officers took money to protect a high-stakes gambling ring frequented by drug dealers, experts say the department should examine employees’ finances more closely and more often….No major police department in the area requires rank-and-file officers to complete financial disclosure forms after they are hired, and police unions fight such rules vigorously.’
Voucher advocates kick off a last-ditch, certain-to-fail effort to convince feds to revive the Opportunity Scholarship Program for new students, Tim Craig reports in WaPo. ‘The advocates, led by D.C. Parents for School Choice and DC Children First, are planning radio, newspaper and Internet ads. The advocates, who have formed www.savethe216.com, are also holding a vigil at noon Thursday outside the U.S. Department of Education. The campaign, billed as a major escalation of their efforts, is designed to get [SecEd Arne Duncan] to reinstate the scholarships before the school year begins.’
More blockbuster allegations leveled at president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority: ‘[T[he organization’s embattled president, Barbara McKinzie, allegedly received nearly $500,000 in checks from the sorority’s general funds, according to an attorney for the members seeking to depose the current leadership,’ Melissa Castro writes in Biz Journal. ‘The payments — which were apparently written in June and July and were designated on the ledger as being for “retirement” — add another twist to the unfolding controversy that has roiled the nation’s oldest black sorority.’
NC8 covers DCPS school renovations. Gotta love the attitude of this kid at Eastern SHS, which is operating out of trailers this year: ‘I like it! It’s OK. It’s going to be a new experience to be in a trailer.’
Major crash last night on 295 at Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenues NE; five adults, four kids hurt, none critically. See NC8.
NC8/WJLA-TV has more on the rash of suspicious Capitol Hill fires.
Nogoodniks vandalize Life Pieces to Masterpieces youth center in Lincoln Heights, WRC-TV reports, causing $10K in damage. ‘Glass was broken, paint was tossed across the floor and on a flat screen television, hateful graffiti was scrawled across walls, and numerous pieces of artwork were damaged or destroyed.’
Researchers find that 95 percent of circulating bills in D.C. contain traces of cocaine. WUSA-TV gets a quote from Marion Barry.
A plea for answers in the Saturday shooting death of Ryan Collins, 26, via WTTG-TV.
Winner of your Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program: Alexis Valentine, Duke Ellington junior, who pitched a ‘delivery service for seniors,’ according to Biz Journal. ‘Obi Ukaegbu, a junior, won second place for a business that distributes children’s toys and Brenda Reyes, a senior, won third place for a Latin-flavored, nutritious cake business. Both attend Benjamin Banneker Academic High School.’
UDC has a new basketball coach, Jeff Ruland, WaPo reports. ‘Ruland was an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers last season and coached Iona for eight seasons, leading them to three NCAA tournament appearances.’
WaPo prints letter on pro-cycling editorial: ‘There are many people who would love to commute on their bikes if it weren’t so terribly dangerous. Why couldn’t one lane of Connecticut Avenue be given over to cyclists? Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, are you listening? ‘ And one from a from bike curmudgeon: ‘Every day I see bicyclists riding on sidewalks (often recklessly), going the wrong way on one-way streets, running red lights and traveling the streets at night without lights….’ Yadda, yadda. Long live the Sensible Scofflaw!
To be honored by the D.C. Center: Phil Mendelson, Jonathan Blumenthal of Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, and Clergy for Marriage.
Washington National Opera will simulcast ‘Barber of Seville’ at Nats Park on Sept. 12.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.