City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. The Board of Elections and Ethics today will consider whether to allow a referendum on the law passed last month recognizing out-of-state gay marriages. The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. in Room 220 South of the One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW. Check City Desk throughout the day for live updates.
AFTER THE JUMP—-DCHVRA going nowhere for now (thanks, Barack!); unanswered questions on Trinidad police shooting; new Biz Journal blogs; and naked, allegedly-PCP-using individual steals ambulance.
The D.C. House Voting Right Act is dead for now, with Eleanor Holmes Norton‘s blessing, after strategies to rid the bill of gun provisions go nowhere. LL had it first. WaPo’s Tim Craig and Paul Kane describe the machinations leading up to the decision as such: ‘[Steny Hoyer]’s announcement came after an attempt by Norton on Friday to salvage the legislation, which until recently was viewed as the District’s strongest effort to get a voting member of Congress. After Norton and Hoyer met Friday, they tried to hammer out a compromise that would weaken the gun amendment, but they were unable to sell it over the weekend to D.C. government officials and other interested parties, according to an e-mail Norton sent to congressional leaders yesterday.’ In Examiner, Michael Neibauer notes that ‘Norton was forced to pull the legislation as Hoyer, D-Md., was unwilling to go forward without consensus, and President Barack Obama did not involve himself in the fight.’ At WTOP, Mark Segraves has Norton saying she’s ‘disappointed in the administration.’ Also WaTimes and Salt Lake Tribune, with the Utah perspective.
The WaPo editorial board wants to know what in fresh hell is going on with the teachers contract negotiations: ‘It is a stalemate that threatens education reform in the District….The first session was May 7 and, to date, there has been little sign that the two sides are any closer to agreement….Maybe it’s time for parents to get a look what’s going on in these closed-door talks. More than pay scales are at stake. Every aspect of classroom life — from the size of bulletin boards to teacher planning times to when principals can ask to look at lesson plans — is being decided. Given that secrecy hasn’t helped [Michelle Rhee] and [Randi Weingarten] work out their differences, why not give the public more than a glimpse and some sound bites about the competing proposals? Each side claims to have a plan that will further the interests of students. Let them prove it.’
WaPo’s Clarence Williams and Theola Labbé-DeBose follow up on Monday’s Park Police shooting of Trey Joyner, 25, in Trinidad. Dozens show up at Holy Name Church for a police-held meeting: ‘Maj. Jeanne O’Toole of the Park Police referred many questions about Monday night’s shooting…to D.C. police, who are investigating the case. D.C. police officials also declined to answer many questions at the meeting, citing the ongoing probe, and they would not address the belief held by many residents that Joyner was shot in the back as he fled the police….Lt. Paul Wingate of the D.C. police homicide unit apologized to residents last night for not being able to give details of the incident….”If you can’t give out any information, what’s the purpose of us being here?” asked Antoinette McNeely, 50.’ Also NC8, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
THE NARRATIVE—-‘O’Toole said an interagency police task force was acting on a tip that Joyner had a weapon and that officers later found one when they followed him into an alley. Witnesses gave a different account yesterday, saying that Joyner pulled his car over in the 1200 block of Holbrook Street NE and ran into an alley. They said federal officers gave chase and briefly restrained Joyner before he broke free and ran again. According to witnesses, police then shot him in the back.’
Obama has named Stuart Nash, an associate deputy attorney general and director of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces, to the Superior Court bench. His was not among the three names passed on by the Judicial Nominating Commission, Legal Times reports. [CLARIFICATION: Nash did appear on a previous JNC list.]
Biz Journal has a couple of sweet new blogs, Breaking Ground and Top Shelf! Yesterday, Jonathan O’Connell compared the D.C. convention hotel project to Dallas’ experience, covered the pending schools disposition, and covers a meeting called by Kwame Brown ‘to clear the air with about a dozen real estate folks’ on BSA provisions (‘After a short slide show and about an hour of discussion, I would say the enduring sentiment was, of all things, more confusion’); and Tierney Plumb writes on the demise of M.L. Clark, the brokerage firm that negotiated ‘the massive 20-year deal at 225 Virginia Ave. SE to the D.C. government. The Police Department was supposed to take the space and never did, and the city continues to cough up $6.5 million a year for the empty building.’
ALSO—-O’Connell on the sudden withdrawal of the forensics lab contract. Peter Nickles explains that ‘officials failed to evaluate the competing firms properly….Contracting officials “discounted the experience and money of Turner” in choosing Whiting-Turner, Nickles said. “The contract appeals board felt that the contracting officer had not appropriately considered the fact that Turner was a part of the deal. So we are doing the reevaluation.”‘
Erik Wemple has it first: Petula Dvorak will join Robert McCartney as a WaPo Metro columnist.
Several important questions were asked yesterday by LL’s WCP colleagues: “Why Not Turn All D.C. Fountains Into Spray Parks?“; “Are D.C. Public Schools a Lost Cause?“; and “Why Even Print the Washington Post?“
Kaiser Foundation Study: ‘Black women in the District suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and generally poor health in alarmingly high numbers, and white women do not,’ writes Darryl Fears in WaPo. ‘In the District, the study also found wide gaps between black and white women in the incidence of other illnesses such as cancer and HIV and AIDS. According to the study, black women’s poor health is tied to low education, poverty, unemployment, stress, bad living conditions and poor health care coverage.’
Paul Duggan in WaPo has more on Monday-night shooting at Washington View apartments that wounded three. ‘Police said a crowd of mainly youngsters was hanging around on the walkway outside the building’s entrance…when a car pulled up. Witnesses later told detectives that the car was big and green, police said….Someone in the vehicle sprayed shots into the group on the walkway, and then the car drove away, police said. Investigators do not think either of the wounded youngsters was the intended target of the attack, a police official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the shooting was under investigation last night.’ Also WRC-TV.
OOF—-Check this rowback from Bill Turque, on his reporting Monday that Terry Golden had been involved in luring an Army general to DCPS: ‘Another more nuanced exchange with our source, familiar with the workings of the Federal City Council, suggests that we might have misunderstood him. He said today that “Terry and others helped by proposing names” but that he could not be certain that Tata was among them.’
On the occasion of his daughter’s graduation from Wilson SHS, Harry Jaffe pens a ‘valentine for D.C. Public Schools.’ ‘The school system that is much maligned as “dysfunctional” or “worst in the nation” or “needs to be blown up” has helped me raise and educate three daughters. If it takes a village to nurture children, the public schools in the capital were the center of mine. Each school was the glue for our neighborhood….My appreciation for D.C. Public Schools came a decade before Rhee came to town to shake up the system and focus on the classroom. Before Mayor Adrian Fenty hired Allen Lew to fix schools, build new ones and renovate the athletic fields.’
Nikita Stewart runs down Fenty speech to Wilson grads: ‘Fenty said it was the first time he was speaking to the school as mayor and he encouraged the class of 2009 to “always reflect on your time in high school.” He talked about good times, like the Tigers’ homecoming game against Dunbar Senior High School. “The Tigers did not win, but it didn’t matter,” Fenty said, explaining that it was still a memorable moment.’
NC8: ‘Suspected PCP User Allegedly Hijacks Ambulance’…’We’re told he took off all of his clothes, assaulted both firefighters and then managed to crawl through the ambulance to the front seat and hijack the vehicle. Back at the station, firefighters with Engine 30 hear the distress calls and move into action. They get to the area within minutes and are able to block the runaway ambulance. The patient crashed the ambulance into the side of the fire truck. He was taken into custody and another ambulance was called to take him to the hospital.’ Also WUSA-TV.
Woman reportedly dies this morning in NE house fire.
Former cop pleads guilty to tax charge.
Park Police find body in Constitution Gardens.
Langston Golf Course is 70 years old. Harry Thomas Jr. is there to celebrate, natch.
Tysons mall ad pulled because it looks little too much like the Vietnam memorial.
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, of Detroit, is the new chair of the Catholic University board.
Army-Navy Game to FedExField in 2011.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-1 p.m.: Committee on Housing and Workforce Development roundtable on FY2009 Summer Youth Employment Program, JAWB 500; 2 p.m.: Committee on Human Services roundtable on corrective measures taken by Department of Youth Employment Services to prevent future escapes, JAWB 123.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-12:45 p.m.: remarks, OPM facility plan announcement, Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road NE.