City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Gay Marriages Now Recognized in Washington, D.C.“; “Fenty to Help Raise Money for Bloomberg“; “Marion Barry Arrest: Keeping Mum at Press Conference“; “Marion Barry Arrest: The Brighthaupt Memo“
Morning all. If you’re part of a same-sex couple married legally in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, California (in the months it was permitted), or in other countries, congratulations: The District of Columbia now considers you to be married, too. You’re now free to enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage in the District. (That includes divorce, incidentally.) WaPo has a handy Q&A guide to marriage recognition. If you’re looking to celebrate, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club tonight is hosting a “Road to Equality Happy Hour” at Halo in Dupont Circle, 6 to 9 p.m. In the coming months, as the fight to perform same-sex marriages her heats up, expect to hear the “Amtrak argument” a lot—-if all couples have to do is take a train to Connecticut or Massachusetts to get married, why not just let them marry here?
AFTER THE JUMP—-Marion Barry (doesn’t) speak; Tucker Carlson says D.C. is politically ‘out of control’; gun rider may be coming to D.C. budget; Cathy Lanier doesn’t want you avoid your cameras; and why no Metro backup system for flickering circuits?
Marion Barry made his first public appearance since his Saturday arrest yesterday, standing mute behind lawyer Fred Cooke on the John A. Wilson Building steps as Cooke explained why Barry likely wouldn’t be charged and continued attacks on the credibility of alleged stalkee Donna Watts-Brighthaupt. LL was there; Tim Craig and Hamil R. Harris cover the story for WaPo, noting that Watts-Brighthaupt ‘reiterated that she did not want Barry to be arrested. But now, she said, she plans to cooperate with prosecutors deciding whether to move forward with the charge.’ They cite ‘[l]aw enforcement officials’ saying that prosecutors ‘are not likely to proceed with the case,’ citing ‘conflicting statements in the media from Watts-Brighthaupt.’ Read her rambling ‘official statement.’ Also Examiner, WaTimes, AP, WTOP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV, NYT, Wonkette, DCist, WaPo live chat.
God bless Colby King: He runs down the many, many occasions over the years when the mayor-for-life has felt ‘betrayed’—-he cites four occasions, dating to 1985: ‘Someone is always violating poor ol’ Marion, to let Barry tell it….Whether he has a crack pipe in hand, or has failed to pay his taxes, or has one foot in the nursing home and is still chasing skirts, Barry is always the victim — even as he victimizes himself, his office and his city.’
BEST WAPO SERVICE JOURNALISM OF LATE—-‘Many Women in Marion Barry’s Life’: a rundown, by Carol Morello, of all the mayor-for-life’s women, from Mary Treadwell to Kim Dickens, the kidney donor who says, ‘He was raised by three women, and so he truly understands women and he speaks to your need. And if there is no need, he will create the need for you to be with him. He knows how to get into your life.’
The WaPo ed board speaks on ‘Mr. Barry, Again’: ‘Whatever the outcome of this latest brush with the law, certain things are likely: It won’t be the last of Mr. Barry’s troubles, and the city has far more important things to address….We have confidence that prosecutors will tune out the political noise to make a decision that comports with the evidence and applicable law. We have less confidence in Mr. Barry’s ability to reflect on how an official charged with the public trust should act, much less consistently behave that way.’
Bowtied conservative Tucker Carlson reacts in WaPo chat: ‘I love Washington. My wife and all four of my children were born in Northwest. I hope I never leave. But let’s be honest: The city’s not ready for democracy, much less statehood….Washington’s a wonderful place, as you know, but politically it’s out of control.’ Ana Marie Cox can barely muster a response.
Writes the D.C. Universe: ‘I think Marion Barry is one of those charismatic older guys who women are just inexplicably drawn to. He didn’t have to buy her expensive trinkets. He himself was the expensive trinket.’
TONIGHT—-House appropriations committee marks up the D.C. budget, 7 p.m., 2359 Rayburn HOB. For the first time in several years, social-policy riders didn’t make it out of subcommittee. But as Michael Neibauer writes in Examiner, an attempt to add a gun rider is expected. WaPo ed board urges lawmakers to keep the budget clean: ‘Some abortion foes in the House plan to reintroduce the abortion-funding restriction. Federal lawmakers have the right to seek limits on how federal money is used, but not to impose those same limits on states. The District should be treated with the same respect afforded every other sovereign jurisdiction in the country.’
Melissa Giaimo reports for WaTimes on what gay marriage recognition means to area same-sex couples. ‘The law will affect everything from tax filing, employer health care benefits, inheritance and hospital visitation rights to mundane activities, such as gym memberships and car rentals….Before the holiday weekend, the District had not issued a statement to same-sex couples about their new rights. The D.C. Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs is working to release tip sheets and fact sheets, and D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles has requested that all government agencies review their policies so that implementation can proceed as smoothly and timely as possible, a spokeswoman for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said.’
WaPo’s Lena Sun and Lyndsey Layton with the latest speculation on the Metro crash: Leaders of the Bay Area’s BART system report that ‘flickering’ track circuits were a ‘frequent’ problem as far back as the early 1970s, so that system installed a failsafe called a ‘sequential occupancy release system.’ Metro, they write, ‘never installed the backup system.’ Rather, GM John Catoe referred to the malfunction as a ‘freak occurrence.’
ALSO—-WaPo covers continuing Red Line delays: ‘[Riders] say they sometimes watch three or more full trains pass before they can board one during peak travel periods. Yesterday, between 8 and 9:30 a.m., a few dozen people at many stations were left waiting as packed trains closed the doors and continued on….Some riders, tired of watching full trains pass, head away from their final destination downtown toward the suburbs to board a train with room farther up the line, then head back toward the heart of the District.’
And get used to the delays: As Kytja Weir reports in Examiner, WMATA is moving ahead with a $177M rehab of Red Line, though ‘none of the work is slated to address the problems along a stretch of track where one train recently slammed into another….[I]n the area between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations where the crash occurred, the agency said its rehab project would work on the public address system and closed circuit televisions, the power rooms that help run the system, the platforms tiles, and track fencing and station signs.’ That will mean nightly single-tracking starting next year. Meanwhile, plenty of folks are still riding: As Weir notes, the system broke its July 4 ridership record. ‘Metro was able to keep the Smithsonian station open this year, making it easier for riders to get to the National Mall to view the fireworks. The transit system also ran its regular routes, used more eight-car trains and offered free parking. Good weather also helped.’
Crisisblogger on the crash aftermath: ‘Regular crisisblogger readers will recognize my mantra for effective communication in this day of instant news and internet-focused public communication: Speed, Direct communication and Transparency. It appears from what we see so far, Metro and all the responding agencies have failed miserably in each of these three regards….I see an increasingly common problem. Elected officials, such as Mayor Fenty, see in such events an opportunity to emerge as the next Rudy Giuliani. They have the power to stifle the response communication and they use it. But in the process, as this case proves, they make it impossible for trained professionals to do their jobs and enable the National Incident Management System to be effectively used.’
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty introduces legislation to improve interagency communications among agencies dealing with children, in order to prevent a repeat of the Banita Jacks tragedy. Writes Henri Cauvin in WaPo, ‘Sharing information has long been a problem for social service agencies….[T]he Fenty administration said the law it has proposed would go notably further by removing legal barriers and creating mechanisms to foster cooperation among departments that address the needs of children, such as CFSA, Mental Health, Human Services, Youth Rehabilitation Services and the D.C. Public Schools.’ Says child advocate Judith Sandalow: ‘The confidentiality laws were passed over a long period of time after careful reflection….They shouldn’t be taken away without a similar level of reflection.’
Cathy Lanier not a fan of speed-camera-avoidance devices, Examiner reports. She ‘promised her officers would pick up their game to counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints….Lanier said the technology is a “cowardly tactic” and “people who overly rely on those and break the law anyway are going to get caught” in one way or another.’
More from Examiner on the fake SWAT-style raid carried out by MoCo cops in Takoma D.C. ‘The filming was for a show called “Prison Wives,” which is about women who fall in love with and marry prisoners, according to neighbors. The show is in development for the cable channel Investigation Discovery, according to its Web site. Filming went on for half a day and looked like the real thing, neighbors said,’ according to Alan Suderman. ‘The Silver Spring production company, Sirens Media, issued a statement apologizing to the residents for not following the “correct protocol” to notify the District before filming.’
MISSED THIS—-Reliable Source reported Thursday that Fenty’s son Andrew, 9, is playing on a Bethesda-Chevy Chase Little League team. ‘Why was the mayor’s son playing for a Maryland team? Why not one from the District? The short answer: Like their dad, Andrew and twin brother Matthew are jocks who want to play serious baseball this summer — something, it turns out, that is hard to do in D.C.’ A WaPo reader disputes that contention.
Advocates want police-training component added to D.C. Council human trafficking bill, Freeman Klopott reports in Examiner. ‘Aashika Damodar, of Free the Slaves, told the council members of how she recently called police to report a brothel in the Dupont Circle area — only to be laughed at by the officer who answered the phone….At-large Councilman Phil Mendelson, who introduced the human trafficking bill, told The Examiner that he will look into adding police training to it, but “it would be unusual to put into a statute training like that.”‘ BTW—-No police or other executive representative showed at the hearing.
WTTG-TV: ‘FOX 5 Exclusive: Inside New Beginnings’
Dion Haynes covers the rising office vacancy rates in the District and the region for WaPo: ‘The District, which benefited for years from a building boom, hit a double-digit vacancy rate for the first time since 1997, according to the study by CB Richard Ellis. Real estate experts attributed the soaring rates to declining demand from companies seeking new space and a growing inventory of newly constructed properties entering the market….”This is a symptom of the economic condition we’re in when companies start to downsize,” said Ernie Jarvis, managing director of the CB Richard Ellis D.C. office.’
Jonathan O’Connell has updates at Biz Journal on affordable housing projects in Anacostia, U Street, and Brookland. ‘While some builders are hoping to use [stimulus] money to finish projects, others have pulled together plans that seemed dead in the recession, with the hope that some stimulus cash will help get them started.’
Backers of National Women’s History Museum want Congress to move forward with legislation granting them Southwest site, Biz Journal also reports.
Labiska Gibbs, 35, sentenced in federal court to 2.5 years ‘for using the purloined identities of Library of Congress employees to purchase nearly $40,000 in goods,’ Del Wilber reports in WaPo. She ‘enlisted a relative, a Library of Congress worker, to access an internal database and give her the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of at least 10 employees.’
Man found dead early today on 58th Street SE, WTTG-TV reports. And Delonte Elliott, 20, was shot to death Sunday on the 300 block of 34th Street SE, making him ‘the fifth person slain in the city during the weekend,’ WaPo notes. WTTG-TV also does piece on the crime spate.
Jason Cherkis has the new AHOD numbers.
Charles Edward Jones Jr., 47, arrested in Saturday killing of Taylor McFadden, 25, in Petworth, WTOP reports.
This guy really wants DCRA to crack down on his neighbor’s ill-kept Mount Pleasant home.
A WaPo reader asks: Why were Maj. Gen. David Wherley and wife Ann able to be buried so quickly at Arlington National Cemetery? Most folks have to wait a while.
Baton Rouge Advocate: ‘We hope [Michelle Rhee]’s groundbreaking leadership is emulated in Louisiana and in other troubled urban systems. As was said of a controversial 19th-century politician, we love her for the enemies she has made.’
NC8 covers Real World madness.
Nathans in Georgetown is finally closing. For real this time.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-2 p.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation hearing on B18-252 (“Wastewater System Regulation Amendment Act of 2009”), JAWB 123.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.