City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“D.C. Gay Marriage Referendum Supporters Petition Court“
Morning all. Adrian Fenty‘s big problem: ‘Donor Fatigue’! That’s what Nikita Stewart looks at this morning on WaPo B1. ‘These days, with the economy struggling, supporters say that Fenty’s relentless fundraising is wearing holes in their pockets….Some contributors are asking: When is enough enough?’ To wit: ‘Last week, Doug Patton, a lawyer and former deputy mayor, held a closed fundraiser for Fenty at the Georgetown Club, where contributors paid a minimum $500 for a reception and $1,000 to attend an intimate dinner with the mayor. “Normally, an event like that would have raised $50,000,” Patton said. “We raised about $35,000….The economy plays a role. Where people would have given $1,000, this year people are like, well…”‘
AFTER THE JUMP—-Gay-marriage referendum proponents go to court; WaPo rails on crime-bill debate; and Monty Hoffman to city: Don’t you dare pull my subsidy!
ALSO—-Chuck Thies on Fenty’s late jerkish tendencies: ‘Supporters are asking, “Which Fenty are we being asked to reelect? Is this the Adrian from the council days or the Adrian Fenty of the past six or nine months?”‘ To that, Bill Lightfoot tells Stewart ‘that Fenty has acknowledged his mistakes…”He listens to constituents, and he responds.”‘ LL SAYS—-Yeah, just not reporters.
LL QUESTION—-Any LLD readers heard of any telephone polling calls on city issues or city leaders in recent weeks? If so, please e-mail LL.
WaPo editorial board is ON FIRE today. First, the opinion leaders take the D.C. Council to task for their ‘Injunction Delusions’ on gang measures debated Tuesday—-who was most ‘misinformed or disingenuous,’ they ask? ‘Was it Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who claimed that under the proposal his children could be arrested as they walked home from sports practice because they wore matching uniforms? Was it Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) or Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), both of whom bemoaned the proposal as essentially a racial profiling measure that would randomly sweep up innocents? Was it Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), who claimed unequivocally that civil gang injunctions never work?’ Better: ‘Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), one of four council members who supported the measure, got it right when she voiced support for civil liberties protections for the accused but asserted unapologetically that “the residents of my ward have a right to go out of their homes without fear of being shot.”‘ They want the gang injunctions reconsidered for the permanent bill.
SECONDLY—-A well-targeted volley at the ‘certain relativism in world view’ from disgraced Sen. John Ensign. ‘Mr. Ensign, you see, is the senator who attached to the D.C. voting rights bill a noxious amendment that would strip the District of the right to write its own gun laws. He claimed his interest was in gun rights, not in blocking democracy for the District. If that were so, he might have simply moved to disallow the District’s gun-regulation legislation; he didn’t bother to try. More to the point, he would never, in a million years, strip Nevada officials of their right to write local laws or in any other way visit upon them so extreme a sovereignty-stripping measure. But then, what works for Mr. Ensign at any given moment is the only thing that seems to matter.’
Proponents of a gay-marriage referendum file suit in Superior Court; whether a ballot question will be allowed is now in the hands of Judge Judith Retchin (she of the Jonathan Magbie tragedy). INITIAL HEARING TODAY AT 3 P.M. Again, LL has the most complete rundown of the argument at City Desk. Also do check Keith L. Alexander in WaPo, who has the Harry Jackson comment: “We are not going to sit by and allow an unelected board of bureaucrats to deny voters their rightful say on this issue and, by their action, allow the institution of marriage and the entire structure of our society to be radically redefined.” Also Examiner, WaTimes, WAMU-FM, Informer.
The referendum probably won’t happen, concedes Jonetta Rose Barras. ‘But the war to preserve “traditional marriage” in the nation’s capital certainly isn’t over.’ You see, there’s always Congress: ‘The congressional resolution that would establish a Defense of Marriage Act in the District could be attached to almost any existing federal bill making its way through the legislative process.’ Barras also poses ‘the larger question’—-‘Are gay couples in the District truly discriminated against if same-sex marriages are prohibited?…After all, if gay couples registered as domestic partners already have a wide variety of rights, including visiting each other during hospital stays, participating in workplace health benefits programs, filing joint tax returns, adopting children and generally being as happy or as miserable as every other couple, where is the discrimination?’
Yesterday, Biz Journal’s Jonathan O’Connell reported that city leaders were pondering pulling some development finacing deals in order to build convention center hotel. Before the end of the day, Monty Hoffman of PN Hoffman had a response—-that taking money from his Southwest Waterfront project ‘would be a horrific business, legal, and community tragedy for the city.’ Also from the letter, sent to Vincent Gray and Tommy Wells: ‘During this sensitive period, the mere threat of the District giving serious consideration to reneging on a $198 million commitment to fund public infrastructure on SWW has a profound chilling affect on our ability to raise capital. The integrity of our public/ private partnership with the District must not be in question.’ Also see SWDC blog, JDland, DCist, and Metrocentric.
IT WORKED—-From a Wells press release today: ‘I am asking the Chief Financial Officer and my Council colleagues to cease discussion about the possibility of delaying the TIF and PILOT funds promised to the Southwest and Capitol Riverfront communities and incorrectly stating the projects are not on track. It is unwise for the City to even suggest going back on its commitment at the exact moment the project is moving forward to attract private financing.’
Following up on yesterday’s WaTimes story, WaPo’s Petula Dvorak and Yamiche Alcindor have much more on the June 7 death of Renee Paige, 50, on a bench outside the CCNV homeless shelter. ‘Accounts varied of how she came to be outside a shelter the night she died. “They kicked her out of the shelter. They put her out because she couldn’t keep herself clean, her bowels and so forth, because of her AIDS,” said Tamela Bowens, 46, a friend of Paige’s who helped arrange a memorial service for Paige on June 8….But city officials said she wasn’t kicked out of the shelter. “On this particular night, she just decided to sleep outside,” said Mafara Hobson, spokeswoman for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D). “Apparently, when the weather is nice, there is a drop in shelter check-ins.” But three weeks before she died, in Street Sense, the newspaper written primarily by homeless people about homeless issues, Paige said she had been without a place to stay even when the weather wasn’t so nice.’
GOTTA LOVE ‘CITIZEN JOURNALISM’—-WaTimes piece had different name spelling, age for Paige.
The Summer Youth Employment program has begun, with a three-day orientation at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Wisdom Martin reports for WTTG-TV.
Examiner’s Scott McCabe and Freeman Klopott run down the WASHINGTON AREA’S MOST WANTED! They include: ‘Richard Morton slashed his girlfriend’s throat outside a D.C. women’s shelter [more on him]….Eric Justin Toth taught at the Washington National Cathedral’s Beauvoir Elementary School before disappearing last summer after he was tossed from the campus when authorities found pictures of naked boys on a school-owned camera…. Frederick “Freaky” Mercer was part of a gang that terrorized a neighborhood in Southeast Washington.’ AND MORE!
Airports Authority backs slightly off of plan to levy per-trip fees on shuttle buses, Elinor Flynn reports in Examiner. The authority ‘originally proposed charging hotels $2.50 for each trip hotel shuttles make to the airports, an idea that faced major opposition from local hotels. Under a proposal presented at an airports authority meeting Wednesday, vehicles holding fewer than 17 passengers would be charged $500 per year each, and vehicles carrying more passengers would be charged $750 per year. Each shuttle would be allowed 300 trips per month and then charged $1 for each additional trip. Permit costs would be cut in half for vehicles running on alternative fuels.’
P.G. UNITED UPDATE—-The soccer team is surveying fans on potential homes in lower Montgomery County, Loudoun County, or the District, Derek Kravitz reports in WaPo. ‘”We’re engaging fans for some thoughts on a few different municipalities,” said Doug Hicks, a D.C. United spokesman. “We’re working toward a continued conversation with a few of those municipalities in the coming weeks.” He emphasized that the discussions are preliminary and that no decisions have been made.’ GOOD LUCK—-Says Loudoun official: ‘It might be better to say that public financing, in this climate, might be a non-starter….It might stop the conversation from even beginning.’ Also Biz Journal’s O’Connell, who notes the choice of locales ‘shows how badly things went in Prince George’s County.’
Cathy Lanier profiled in More magazine—-‘the leading voice of today’s sophisticated, affluent and accomplished woman, who is enjoying the richest years of her life.’ As Erik Wemple points out, it’s not the most hard-hitting piece in the world. A snippet from Judy Oppenheimer‘s piece: ‘Lanier may be chief, but her heart remains stubbornly with the foot soldiers, the beat cops who, she says, “can tell you exactly when certain crimes are going to pick up in certain neighborhoods.” And with the single mothers (and aunts and grandmothers) whose profound strength and influence she feels are vastly underestimated. Reaching, appreciating, serving and, ultimately, utilizing the underdogs, both within and outside the department, has been a hallmark of Lanier’s administration. Some might call it her obsession.’
MAP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SEX OFFENDERS—-New police tool adds function that ‘allows a user to type in any address in the city and view information on offenders living or working near that location,’ writes Paul Duggan in WaPo. ‘With the enhancement, a user can enter any address in the city and choose between a list of offenders living or working within a quarter-mile radius or a half-mile radius.’
WaTimes covers Harry Thomas’ cameras-on-guns proposal. Reporter Andre F. Radzischewski points out that ‘[s]imilar legislation died in the council’s public safety committee last year after opposition from police, who say the cameras are bulky and fail to capture crucial evidence because they only begin recording once the officer draws the weapon.’ That hasn’t changed: ‘Kristopher Baumann, the head of the D.C. police union, said the cameras would come with high costs and no benefits….”As a fiscal matter and as a training matter, it’s not workable…,This isn’t well thought out.”
BAUMANN QUOTE RATING—-C-. Fiscal matters? Who cares!
Paul Strauss finally talks to WCP about his DUI charge! Sort of.
Puprle Line light rail gets OK from planning board.
WaTimes does long interview with Harry Weeks, the former D.C. cop who took down James von Brunn at the Holocaust Museum. ‘The memory of that day is still raw, evident in Mr. Weeks’ distant eyes and tense body as he described how he’s used time with loved ones, cigarettes and prayer to help him cope. “It’s not going to be the same anymore,” Mr. Weeks said during an interview in the family room of his White Plains, Md., home. “You always knew that threat was there, well, I actually lived that threat.”‘ Also NC8.
Socialist Worker covers the Trey Joyner shooting.
D.C. GOP: ‘Mendelson Goes Soft on Crime’
Biz Journal: ‘Foreign real estate investors still check D.C. as the top U.S. city to lead recovery in the U.S. real estate market, but Boston has now squeezed its way into the top five, according to a new survey from the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.’
Examiner owner Phil Anschutz buys Weekly Standard from News Corp.
CORPORATE SYNERGY—-Win tickets to the ‘Nine Lives of Marion Barry’ documentary, premiering Saturday night at Silverdocs. (WTTG-TV has more on the movie, so does WUSA-TV; WAMU-FM’s Kavitha Cardoza interviews filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer.)
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 3 p.m.: remarks, Stoddert Elementary School groundbreaking, 4001 Calvert St. NW; 5:45 p.m.: guest, Washington Post Live, Comcast SportsNet; 7 p.m.: remarks, New Beginnings graduation ceremony, Maya Angelou Public Charter School, 1851 9th St. NW.