City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Man Dead in Police Shooting Near U.S. Capitol“
IN LL WEEKLY—-Boss for Life: How Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry commandeered $1 million for his patronage machine
Morning all. OK, folks—-it’s for real now: The WaPo editorial board calls Marion Barry‘s funding of suspicious nonprofits ‘even more troubling’ than the contract he gave to Donna Watts-Brighthaupt. Furthermore, ‘the seriousness of the charges and the fact that the council’s own lax oversight is implicated demand separate investigations by the D.C. inspector general and the U.S. attorney’s office.’ And while A. Scott Bolden, representing key Barry aide Brenda Richardson, isn’t talking to LL out of spite, he is talking to WTTG-TV. Here’s how he explains Richardson’s caught-on-tape comments that Barry had directed grant funds from Sharon Wise to his addiction sponsor: ‘It’s easy to understand Ms. Richardson’s comments, while a poor choice of words, meant that this was Mr. Barry’s feeling in regards to poor performance out of Ms. Wise, but that doesn’t mean he was controlling the dollars.’ Good luck with that one, Scott. Barry, meanwhile, was on CNN early today to discuss his recent troubles. He tells anchor Carol Costello, ‘In those instances where you call it “trouble,” it’s been other people who have done that.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Fenty applauds council investigation; District cash-flow crisis hits charter schools; needle exchange back on the congressional burner; girl gang attacks!
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was asked this morning on WRC-TV if he supported tougher restrictions on council contracting: ‘Yes. Yes, there should be….I do know that there probably needs to be a little bit more review then is in place right now. But give the council a lot of credit—-they’re looking at it, and I think they’re going to come up with tougher standards.’
Late-afternoon Hill drama: Motorist flees traffic stop near Columbus Circle in his white Mercedes sedan, drives wrong way down Louisiana Avenue NE to intersection of New Jersey and C Street NW, injuring two officers in the process. There, he pulls a gun on cops; cops shoot him dead. All very dramatic, witnesses say. Oddly, the man has still not been identified. See LL’s uberaggregation from yesterday, and read WaPo, which notes that “[t]here was no indication that the shooting,” on the edge of the Capitol grounds, “was related to the [Sonia Sotomayor] hearings or any government business.” Also AP, WaTimes, WTOP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
CASH FLOW PROBLEMS—-As noted yesterday by Mark Lerner, the District was not able to make its $103M quarterly payment to charter schools, endangering paychecks at some. Bill Turque reports for WaPo: ‘Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has asked Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi to dip into contingency cash reserves to come up with $57 million, about half of the amount due, which should be available to the schools early next week….The District traditionally advances the July payment to the schools against the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. But…Gandhi said the law prohibits any advancing of funds from the 2010 budget until submission to Congress.’ That hasn’t happened, of course, because the economy sucks. Also Examiner, WAMU-FM. WUSA-TV.
BANITA JACKS TRIAL BEGINS—-From prosecutor Deborah Sines‘ opening statement: ‘Her secret was the rotting bodies of her daughters. And that secret unraveled when the marshals arrived on Jan. 9, 2008.’ Allow WaPo’s Keith Alexander to continue: ‘When the federal marshals, who were there to serve an eviction notice, forced their way into the rented rowhouse, they found the bodies of Jacks’s four daughters…in two upstairs bedrooms.’ Now the defense opening: ‘This was a tragic event. But Ms. Jacks was in no way responsible for the death of her children.’ GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE. Also WAMU-FM, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV. —-THE TAPES ARE IN: Examiner’s Hayley Peterson on Judge Frederick Weisberg‘s decision to allow police interrogation tapes into the trial: ‘[A]ny police officer confronting that scene would be reasonable concluding [there was a crime committed] and Ms. Jacks was highly likely, or probably, the person who committed it.’ And don;t try pulling that whole competency thing: ‘No one could watch this tape and not recognize Ms. Jacks is a highly intelligent individual…articulate.and educated….She just had a very strong religious interpretation.’ —-THAT DAY: ‘Jacks answered the door wearing only a white T-shirt and a white head covering. She spat on the ground and wouldn’t let him and the other marshals in, [a U.S. Marshal] said. After the marshals pushed the door open, he said, he had to cover his face because of the stench. “It smelled like rotting meat, like stink bait,” he said. “I just thought it was rotten or spoiled food.”‘ —-ALL-IMPORTANT DEFENDANT DESCRIPTION GRAF: ‘During Sines’s opening statement, Jacks, 35, dressed in a navy-blue prison jumpsuit, often shook her head and pursed her lips. But she kept her eyes forward, away from Sines. As was the case at earlier hearings, Jacks was an active participant in her defense. She wrote notes or used a yellow highlighter to communicate with her attorneys, who sometimes whispered to ask whether she had additional questions.’
District budget congressional update from Examiner’s Michael Neibauer: House rules committee rejects floor amendments, but an amendment banning needle exchange within 1,000 feet of a ‘public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, college, junior college, or university, or any public swimming pool, park, playground, video arcade, or youth center, or an event sponsored by any such entity’ somehow got re-attached in the appropriations markup. Says Phil Terry of PreventionWorks!, ‘There’s virtually no area in D.C. that would meet those restrictions, except maybe Capitol Hill. It makes it very difficult to implement programs that we know are effective in reducing hepatitis and HIV.’ It could still be removed in the Senate or conference committee.
SAYS A WAG—-‘I guess the only riders that are OK are those that end up killing D.C. residents.’
Is Peter Nickles ‘starving’ special ed litigators? Michael Birnbaum reports for WaPo that the city ‘has slowed payments to lawyers who help families obtain special education services, which lawyers say is limiting the number of students they can assist and city officials say…that a new law that removed a cap on the fees the lawyers can be awarded has forced it to review invoices far more closely than in the past.’ Lawyers say the slow payment means fewer filings; Nickles says there’s ‘no intentional delay.’ DCPS, incidentally, is citing the decreased filings as proof of an improving special-ed system.
ALSO—-Leasing companies sued by Nickles in church-kiosk scheme strike back in court.
Columbia Heights ‘girl gang’ melee resulting in girl’s stabbing may have been touched off by a MySpace posting, NC8 breathlessly reports. ‘Authorities believe a gang from a Morton Street NW housing complex armed itself and set out looking for a 16 year old girl Tuesday night. The gang members apparently thought the teenager was responsible for lies being posted on the MySpace social networking Web site. The girl gang apparently caught up with the girl, who was with her own crew, about 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Kenyon Street NW.’ Says witness: ‘I looked and they had hammers and sticks and stuff—-just walking down the street hollering at the other girls.’
Metrobus management changes are backfiring, some employees tell WaPo reporter Lena Sun. ‘Managers who are supposed to be on the street responding to bus accidents or helping buses get back on schedule say they are often tied up with administrative paperwork instead….The managers, previously known as street supervisors, are assigned to geographic locations and are responsible for responding to accidents and monitoring bus performance. Under the new structure, each also has to manage 25 bus operators. That means conducting the investigations and writing reports when operators have accidents.’ Drivers grouse, but Metrobus chief Milo Victoria—-his real name!—-stands by the changes.
Trains, meanwhile, are stopping short—-and not in the Frank Costanza sense. Kytja Weir reports in Examiner that ‘[a]t least seven Metro trains have pulled into stations at the wrong place since the deadly June 22 crash, potentially leaving passengers inside tunnels….Metro officials initially said they had four incidents, but later acknowledged the additional cases after The Examiner asked about specific cases. At least one operator has been suspended.’ Also on the rail beat, escalators at Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom are set for replacement under Red Line rehab plan, Weir reports in Examiner.
Metro union chief Jackie Jeter to WTOP, on recent videos: ‘Being watched 24/7 is a problem. I don’t think any of us would like that. And I ask (riders) to respect the operators and the jobs that they do….The majority—-most operators—-do their job and they do what they are supposed to do.’
Takoma station will be closed until 3 p.m. today, most of the day Saturday, for crash investigation.
Watergate Hotel is set for Tuesday auction, Lisa Rein notes in WaPo. ‘The hotel has been shuttered since 2004, when [Monument Realty] bought it. It is not the first commercial property in the region to go on the auction block in recent months. But the sale of the hotel, part of the complex of six buildings made famous by the 1972 burglary that led to President Richard M. Nixon‘s resignation in 1974, is a signal that even such a prominent property is not immune.’ To bid, you’ll have to be ready to put $1M down.
Former NPR editor to be charged today in child-porn possession case, Scott McCabe reports in WaPo. ‘More than 100 people wrote to D.C. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle vouching for [David Malakoff]’s character. Friends argued that Malakoff was sexually assaulted at about age 9 and would not hurt anyone….Prosecutors, meanwhile, have filed written testimony from a Washington state teenager who was bound and raped by her father as a young child and whose videos Malakoff downloaded to his NPR laptop computer last year. She has asked that her statement be read in court.’
MISSING—-From NC8: ‘Larry Tyrone Bishop, 39, was last seen leaving his home in the 3300 block of 16th Street on June 6, police say. He is described as 6 foot tall dark-skinned black male who weighs around 160 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair, police say.’
TNR’s Noam Scheiber notes that a politician with same name as a disgraced Bank of America exec has hope: ‘Despite having the same name as the man widely scorned for botching the response to Hurricane Katrina, this Mike Brown managed to get himself elected to the DC City Council (in 2008). So did fellow councilman Kwame Brown, who happens to share a name with the one of the all-time least popular members of the Washington Wizards, the local NBA franchise.’
Wiseacre WaPo reader: ‘I urge the D.C. Council not to rein in Mr. Barry’s spending on staff. Fifteen thousand dollars is cheap entertainment for the millions of people living in the area.’
One David Yacobucci of suburban Virginia has an ‘Existential Parking Dilemma,’ John Kelly reports. He received a missive from the D.C. DMV saying that his vehicle got a $30 ticket last fall on the 2000 block of Fourth Street NE. ‘Because the $30 ticket had not been paid on time, David owed $60. David was perplexed. He didn’t remember even being in the District. He decided to fight the ticket.’ Thus begins a saga of the type that can only be resolved by being aired by a columnist of the local metropolitan daily.
OK: WaPo Metro columnists tackle the Purple Line dilemma. Who holds the moral high ground: Tree-hugging environmentalists or pro-transit urbanists? Marc Fisher, last December, determined ‘that pretty much all of them are right.’ Say what you will about Bob McCartney, the guy’s decisive: ‘Maryland’s inner suburbs should bulldoze 17 acres of mature forest and spoil an enchanting walking and bike trail to protect the environment.’ The coda: ‘What the region really needs, in the long term, is a full-fledged, heavy rail Metro “Circle Line” parallel to the Beltway. That would be serious smart growth.’
D.C. Action for Children, the kid-oriented nonprofit run by philanthropist Diane Bernstein, will cease operations indefinitely, Tierney Plumb reports in Biz Journal. ‘The nonprofit said it will take the time it is closed to reassess its business model by chatting with national and local colleagues to find out how similar nonprofits have used advocacy to help kids and families—-a task the D.C. nonprofit says it has struggled with….”Before the New Year, our goal is to define how a reframed, multi-issue advocacy organization can most effectively bring about broad-based improvement and accountability on behalf of our most vulnerable and valued population in the District of Columbia,” stated the nonprofit.’ Also: Informer covers Hoop Dreams shuttering.
Fenty, Muriel Bowser, Kwame Brown, Jim Graham cuts ribbon on Chris Donatelli‘s Park Place development at Petworth Metro station. According to Housing Complex, the building ‘includes 161 apartment units, 20 percent of which are designated affordable….Residents will also be able to enjoy “the landscaped rooftop [with] a sundeck and a bocce green lawn,” plus views of the National Cathedral, the Washington Monument and the US Capitol, according to a city press release.’ Also PoP, NC8, WRC-TV, touting ‘Petworth revitalization.”
A heretofore unknown councilmember ‘Miriam Bowser’ tells WUSA-TV that she’s sent a letter to the mayor’s office asking for pedicab regulations.
Gary Imhoff on plans for Barack Hussein Obama Park (located a half-block from his house): ‘This would be something of an insult to any president, since the park is just a basketball court with a seating area, and its most prominent feature is a pair of restrooms.’ SNAP! Furthermore, ‘On Monday morning, the future Obama Park failed city inspections. It was closed to redo a substantial amount of the work that has been done; it’s expected to be closed for several weeks.’ DOUBLE SNAP!
ALSO IN THEMAIL—-D.C. elections vet Bill O’Field registers concerns about same-day voter registration proposal: ‘I support same-day registration but…I have serious concerns about the Board’s bloated voter roll [which]could enable voter fraud. I recommend that a thorough review of the voter roll be undertaken by an independent outside consultant….After that is done, I would feel better about same-day registration, but I must caution that the District of Columbia is not like the states that have same-day registration, where their voters may be less transient. With the surrounding jurisdictions so close to our ten square miles that make up the District, nearby outside intruders can play mischief with our elections by crossing their state lines and come into our city.’
DCmud reports that DDOT asked developers to place a Smartbike rack at the convention center hotel, along with Zipcars, as part of a transportation plan. The Zipcars they were OK with, the bikes not so much. React from Bellows, GGW.
Blogger on her ‘mad love’ for Barry: ‘One, he gave me my first summer job when I was barely 14. Two, I believe he singlehandedly help create the black middle class in what’s affectionately known as ward 9, Prince George’s county, Maryland. Making it the richest black county in the country. I believe many a black person has him to thank for their first summer job, government contract, high ranking government work, and real estate and wealth creation. Marion Barry gets “The Creation Of The Black Middle Class”….Pass.’
Kudos to why.i.hate.dc’s Dave Stroup for actually doing a spot of research into the history of D.C. vending regulations, in light of a less-than-wholly-informative news report earlier this week.
Veteran local courtroom artist Bill Hennessy is publishing a book, WTTG-TV reports: ‘The book is called “All Rise—-Courts, Crime, and Courtroom Art.” Among the subjects sketched by Hennessy are Marion Barry, John and Lorena Bobbit, Marv Albert, and Michael Vick.’
Florida Rock hires Jones Lang LaSalle (former employer of DMPED Valerie Santos, incidentally) to help find a partner to develop waterfront site adjacent to Nationals Park. Under current plans, the ‘project—-branded RiverFront—-has plans to include a hotel, office space, a residential building, a glass-enclosed retail galleria, and a public plaza that would sit next to Diamond Teague Park.’
Did you know that ‘Advocates Successfully Lobb[ied] the DC Council to Increase the Self-Support Reserve for Child Support Obligors’? Neither did LL!
The Washington Teacher lists the 24 DCPS schools that need principals for next year.
Biz Journal: D.C. is eligible for nearly $568,000 in stimulus funds to ‘give rebates to consumers who buy EnergyStar appliances.’
Meet Miss D.C., via DCist.
YESTERDAY…was summer jobs payday. Did you/your kid get what he/she was owed?
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled. Chairman Vincent C. Gray will appear on NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt at 4 p.m. on NC8.
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, West End redevelopment proposal announcement, West End Neighborhood Library, 1101 24th St. NW; 2 p.m.: remarks, Hopkins Playground ribbon-cutting, 1000 K St. SE, rear.