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Morning all. The federal government has the day off. The District government has the day off. But LLD is still here! And LL will, of course, be on the job tomorrow for the annual Palisades 4th of July Parade. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, when he gets back in town for that event, will be greeted by this unwelcome WaPo A1 headline: ‘Missteps in Crash’s Aftermath Dull Fenty’s Luster.’ Prime among those missteps is blowing off all but one of the Metro crash victim funerals, and not even bothering to send a proxy. Come on, why not deploy some of these best-and-brightest types you’ve hired and whom you’re always crowing about? Then you wouldn’t have read stuff about how ‘the mayor and his staff were noticeably absent from a string of memorials, funerals and wakes’ and how ‘Fenty showed up at services for train operator Jeanice McMillan, but he was an hour late and was wearing a light-colored summer suit that some said was inappropriate.’ Oof…even Terry Lynch gets in on the beatdown!
LL SEZ—-Is this as bad as Marion Barry dallying at the 1987 Super Bowl during a massive snowstorm? Well, the ‘optics,’ as they say, are nearly as bad. Fenty was right here during the crash—-the most important local disaster since 9/11—-and he simply could have canceled his vacay, or sent the wife and kids on their way while he tended to some pretty standard mayoral duties. But he didn’t, neglecting one of the basic rules of local politics: Fruit baskets and ‘parking logistics’ are nice, but showing up matters. And, that no subordinates were detailed in his stead demonstrates either that (a) he’s insanely tone-deaf or (b) his need to be at the center of all public happenings in his administration is pathological.
AFTER THE JUMP—-MoCo cops raid D.C. home—-for ‘Prison Wives’; FEMS flack gloriously sells out his soon-to-be-former boss; meet Gabe Klein; and no more Reagan for National Airport?
A Superior Court jury has found Melvin Jackson Jr., 56, guilty of the 1983 rape and murder of Frenchwoman Raymonde Plantiveau in Glover Park. It’s a landmark decision, Keith Alexander reports in WaPo, as it’s ‘one of the first cases in the District in which DNA was used as key evidence in closing a decades-old investigation.’ The evidence has been stored ‘for decades’ in the MPD evidence warehouse. ‘Detective James Trainum of the D.C. police department’s Crime Review Project, along with several unpaid police interns, discovered the box in 2004 and sent it to the FBI. In 2005, the FBI matched the DNA sample to Jackson’s DNA profile, which was kept in a Virginia database after he was arrested in the 1970s for robbery.’ Sentencing to come in September. Also WTTG-TV.
Well-known Capitol Hill homeless man, Alex Lascaris, is victim of brutal attack, Theola Labbé-DeBose reports in WaPo. ‘Police said the beating was one in a number of apparently unrelated attacks against homeless people….Lascaris, 60, was sleeping on a steam grate June 2 near the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station when he was accosted about 1 a.m. A stranger roused him, Lascaris said, and struck him several times in the head, arm and leg with a metal object. Police have made no arrests.’
MoCo cops stage raid on Takoma D.C. home—-but it was all fake! For a Discovery Channel TV show! And residents are outraged, NC8 reports! ‘The scene played out in front of a home in the 300 block of Aspen Street NW, about two blocks from the Maryland border along Eastern Avenue. As a result, residents say they were unnecessarily frightened and inconvenienced.”I think it’s just outrageous,” said neighborhood resident Simone de Lima. “If they’re going to do a film or a photo shoot or whatever, the neighbors should be notified.”‘ The D.C. filming office didn’t know about it.
METRO CRASH INFORMATION CONTROL—-Do read WUSA-TV’s Dave Statter this morning at Statter911.com. He responds, in devastating detail, to Dennis Rubin‘s claim yesterday on WTOP that Statter’s earlier reporting that public communications were ordered stopped for more than an hour by the mayor’s office shortly after the crash: ‘About five hours after WTOP’s interview on Thursday I contacted Alan Etter, who is leaving his job as the DC Fire & EMS Department PIO on July 10….Etter said at about 6:10 PM, 70-minutes after the crash was reported, he received a page from Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s press office ordering that he give no further interviews about the collision. According to Etter, the page indicated Mayor Fenty would be speaking at 7:15 PM. Despite that order, Etter said in some cases, he attempted to keep the information going on background and not for attribution.’ Also: ‘Police Chief Cathy Lanier…admits that she gave the order to have the press removed from the New Hampshire Avenue bridge near the crash site primarily because the chief did not want photographers taking pictures of bodies.’ MUST READ.
Red Line will be back to normal-speed operation, 11 days after the crash. ‘And after this weekend?’ asks the WaPo ed board. ‘Metro officials warn that Red Line train speeds could be restricted again, depending on the NTSB investigation. Trains will be under manual control “for several months,” according to Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. That means jerky rides and abrupt stops but not necessarily a slower commute….Continued “acts of consideration and kindness” are more important than ever as riders grapple with delays.’
Jim Graham on Wee-Z bonds, to WTTG-TV: ‘This circuitry should be replaced. There are 3,000 circuits of this type. This is one of the things we want to replace as part of our infrastructure modernization.’ ALSO—-WTTG-TV on WMATA finances.
It’s principal-axing time, according to Candi Peterson at the Washington Teacher. She says she’s confirmed the firing Andriana Kalapothakos, principal of of Stoddert ES, which ‘met AYP in 2008 in both reading and math according to the OSSE website and students were 88.10 % proficient in reading and 78.57% proficient in math in the white and non-hispanic grouping….These draconian tactics of firing even principals whose schools do well begs the question, why would termination even be a consideration. Of course in an at-will environment, anything and everything is possible.’
THE COLUMBIA HEIGHTS SHIN-KICKER—-WRC-TV’s all over it.
Affordable-housing developers lust after $33M in stimulus money, Jonathan O’Connell reports in Biz Journal. ‘The developers applying for funds are working on projects all across the city, in neighborhoods including Anacostia, Brightwood, Mount Pleasant, Petworth and Trinidad. The city’s own sources of affordable housing subsidies have been deeply hampered by the slow real estate market.’
ALSO IN BIZ JOURNAL—-Condo sales rebound
‘FOX 5 EXCLUSIVE REPORT’—-‘Documents show an unknown amount of firefighters with criminal backgrounds are working for the D.C. Fire Department,’ Roby Chavez reports for WTTG-TV. ‘FOX 5 obtained exclusive internal affairs documents from the department that show many have records, but are issued little more than a written reprimand by Chief Dennis Rubin.’
Perhaps cognizant that juries are not likely to smile upon well-publicized alleged child killers, Banita Jacks wants a bench trial. Writes Alexander: ‘Jacks’s attorneys requested a bench trial last month, and Judge Frederick H. Weisberg granted the motion. Her trial is set to begin July 13, and legal experts say the case has generated so much publicity that her attorneys were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to find an impartial jury.’ Also AP.
H.R. Crawford, as chair of Airports Authority, reportedly ‘told fellow Board members that he has heard talk on Capitol Hill about yanking former President Ronald Reagan’s name off the local airport and returning it to its previous generic moniker: National Airport. “It was just a discussion. We’re not aware of anything specific,” MWAA spokeswoman Tara Hamilton later told The Examiner.’
Examiner has the deets on this year’s supposed ‘fireworks crackdown’: ‘Police and fire personnel in the District are going to be more aggressive this year in their efforts to stop the use of illegal fireworks and cut down on the number of fireworks-related injuries….[O]nly 20 people in the 70-person fire prevention division were assigned to fire investigations. That means only 20 people are available to meet police officers in the field to identify illegal fireworks or work on roving teams with them. The department plans to patrol through midnight July 5, as firework stands are legally allowed to stay open until that time.’ Yeah, yeah…WRC-TV, too.
Apartment building catering to single homeless women set to open on unit block of O Street NW, WaPo reports: ‘The Dunbar, developed by Open Arms Housing, is designed for women who have been homeless for more than a year or who have been homeless at least four times in the past year….Unlike residents of emergency shelters, Dunbar residents can stay as long as they want….Although some housing programs require residents to enroll in counseling and treatment programs, Open Arms will just encourage them to seek help. The approach is part of its “housing first” philosophy that people should be housed before being required to get more help.’
Where in the District in Harry Jackson? Per Cary Silverman, via Rick Rosendall: ‘”Rumor is that Rev. Jackson claims he has now ‘moved out’ of the Whitman and rented an apartment near Nationals Park.” So the heterosexually married Bishop Jackson has moved out of the one-bedroom apartment he shared with another man to a place within shouting distance of Ziegfeld’s and Secrets. How convenient!’
Streetsblog does big Gabe Klein interview.
Local WWII vet, member of all-black regiment, to get French Legion of Honor, after one of his fellow comrades got it during Obama’s Normandy visit. Long story—-read it at WaTimes.
NC8 covers Kristopher Baumann‘s lawsuit, allegations of Fenty interference in hostage sitch. Cathy Lanier reax: ‘This is the most phenomenally unbelievable fabricated story I’ve ever heard.’ WTTG-TV, too.
Caps rank high in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings, Biz Journal notes: ‘The Capitals took the No. 6 spot, shooting up from its No. 45 ranking last year thanks to Alex Ovechkin and a surge in ratings and attendance. The rest of D.C.’s teams hovered near the bottom, with the Washington Redskins at No. 92, the Washington Nationals at No. 97 and the Washington Wizards at No. 98.’
Julie Camerata, executive director of the D.C. Special Education Co-Operative, defend charter schools’ record on accepting special-ed kids in WaPo letter: ‘Nonselective by law — unlike some city-run public schools — D.C.’s public charter schools are serving a share of special-needs students that is similar to that of the traditional public schools. By more closely meeting their students’ diverse, individual needs, many charters serve them better.’
Well, all right: No less that 93 percent of local drivers use their seat belts, according to DDOT/MPD survey—-that’s ‘up 3 percent from last year and 10 percent above the national average.’
Obama administration to establish Office of Urban Affairs, WaPo reports, ‘which seeks to redefine the word “urban.” It aims to establish a policy agenda not just for inner cities, but for the suburbs that surround them, and it views these metropolitan regions as the country’s economic engines.’
Biz Journal on the local office market, per Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers: ‘In D.C., net absorption was negative 230,900 square feet, pushing D.C.’s vacancy rate to 9.6 percent.’ Regional rate is 12.3 percent.
HOLY CRAP—-Real Central Texas barbecue finally headed to town! Suck it, Capital Q! LL demands real post oak smoked brisket!
SPOTTED—-Harold Brazil, at the Tune Inn. No word on whether he was drinking white wine.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.