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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Valerie Santos Is New Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development“
IN LL WEEKLY—-Who Can Drive Fenty’s Smart Car? Personal assistant’s use of mayoral auto raises questions. Also: Is Kwame Brown pondering a run for mayor? Or just his dad?
Morning all. In $20M deal, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and colleagues propose buying three shuttered Boys & Girls Club properties: Jelleff Branch, in Georgetown; Clubhouse No. 10, in Columbia Heights; and the Eastern Branch, in east Capitol Hill. Says Gray, in WaPo story by Tim Craig and Megan Greenwell: ‘[W]e think is an excellent deal for our children, an excellent deal for the city and an excellent deal” for BGCGW.’ Also Biz Journal’s Tierney Plumb, who notes, ‘Once a transition has been made, a new governing body will be created, with governmental and community representatives that stand apart from the Boys & Girls Clubs. Gray said a competitive bid process will take place for providing services to the city-owned clubs, which could be BGCGW.’ Also NC8, WTTG-TV.
DRAMA—-‘William Lockridge, the longest-serving member on the city school board, disrupted Gray’s news conference because he is furious that the city is not bailing out a clubhouse on Milwaukee Place in Southeast….”You may not like what I’ve said, but I really don’t care,” Lockridge shouted, generating nods from several others in the audience. “But somebody’s got to stand up for the people in Southeast and provide us the same opportunities that they provided for other citizens across the city.” Gray said the club in Southeast Washington was left out of the deal because there is an agreement to have a local charter school take over its programs. “What he’s talking about? I really don’t know,” Gray said. “It’s sold.”‘
GOOD POINT—-From Dorothy Brizill in themail: ‘In 2003, the District’s Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs merged with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and transferred all of the properties in its portfolio, including Clubhouse #10, to the BGCGW. Why is the District now buying back a property that it had given to the BGCGW at no cost?’ ALSO—-‘I asked to what extent the twenty million dollar bailout by the District government would be directed to preserve facilities and programs in DC, as opposed to the suburbs….[Interim BGCGW chief Pandit Wright] said then that the twenty million dollars in District funds would be used to pay off the BGCGW’s existing debts, establish an endowment, and pay the operational expenses for all club facilities in the region, not just the District.’
More on Valerie Santos‘ appointment as DMPED, from Michael Neibauer at Examiner, who writes that Santos, 36, noted ‘there would be special concentration on initiatives east of the Anacostia River’ and that she referred to Neil Albert as her ‘mentor.’ From Jonathan O’Connell in Biz Journal, we learn that Santos ‘has been closely involved in decision-making on many of the real estate deals Albert managed, including major city projects such as Poplar Point’ and that she ‘has displayed a no-nonsense approach appearing as Albert’s stand-in to testify at D.C. Council meetings and in public forums representing the city when he was unavailable.’ Nikita Stewart in WaPo notes that the announcement took place at the future Walker Jones School, ‘one of the economic development office’s major projects and a model for future projects that features a school, recreation center and library rolled into one.’ And Bisnow’s got some nice pics.
Santos has a political problem in front of her: The council on Tuesday, Biz Journal notes, passed as part of budget additional regulations that threaten to slow down public-private development deals. ‘Neil Albert, the outgoing deputy mayor for economic development, said the measure is too cumbersome. He has asked [Vincent Gray] to reconsider, and some development industry groups are also working behind-the-scenes to seek changes. “We’ll never get anything done in this city,” Albert said. “The amount of documentation, oversight — it’s going to take three or four years before you can get a simple [land disposition agreement].” Albert said Brown should submit the proposals as separate legislation so they can be vetted by all stakeholders.’
WaPo follows up on O’Connell’s convention-center-hotel financing scoop yesterday. ‘It would be a substantial financial and political commitment for the D.C. Council and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who are struggling to close an $800 million budget gap and overcome the perception that the city irresponsibly poured more than $700 million in taxpayer funds into Nationals Park,’ write Stewart and Craig. ‘Several council members expressed unease but said the District cannot afford to let the hotel project languish. Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said the convention center authority needs to prove it has “exhausted every possible option” before asking for a greater share of public financing.’ Also WTOP, WRC-TV.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?—-‘On Tuesday, council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) said he regretted his decision to vote in favor of one bill, out of more than a dozen, that authorized the stadium deal. But Graham, who said he had not reviewed a formal proposal on the convention center project, said he’s open to authorizing it.’
NEIL ALBERT TO LL—-On the debt cap, ‘It’s more of an art than a science.’
Jonetta Rose Barras turns in one of those columns where you’re just not quite sure what exactly it’s about. Is it about DCPS joining with other states to pursue national learning standards? Maybe! Is it about the council interfering with Rhenty reform efforts? That, too—-but she doesn’t cite a single specific instance where ‘squabbles between the executive and the legislature coupled with the council’s micromanaging proclivities have slowed the pace and narrowed the breadth of reform.’ And surely you don’t mean moving the SBOE out from OSSE…
Kwame Brown is investigating Keith Lomax‘s city contracts, WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson reports. ‘Lomax has two properties, one on Minnesota avenue Northeast and another more spacious residence in Fort Washington, Maryland. Interviews with neighbors at both places point to the Maryland residence as the place where he and his family actually reside, where they entertain friends and where their son attends Prince George’s County schools….A. Scott Bolden, Lomax’s attorney said on Wednesday that his client has a residence and office at the Minnesota avenue address, pays taxes and meets the requirements of the small business law that covers preferential points. He carries a DC drivers license and votes in DC.’
Neibauer on Mary Cheh‘s homeless hate crime bill: ‘The National Coalition for the Homeless…has lobbied both Cheh and [Phil Mendelson, who added similar language to his anti-crime bill] for a D.C. bill, said Michael Stoops, its executive director. It would “send a message,” the organization has said, that “homeless individuals are not second-class citizens and deserve the same protections as historically targeted groups.”…Cheh noted three examples of recent D.C. assaults, all of which occurred as the victims slept. There was a man repeatedly struck in the head in McPherson Square, another beating on the 2100 block of K Street, and the brutal murder of 61-year-old Yoshio Nakada last Christmas Eve outside the Watergate complex.’
Maryland ranks last in personal freedom, says study by libtard think tank. And, if District has been included in the ratings, it would not have done well, Bill Myers claims in Examiner. ‘In the last two years, Mayor Adrian Fenty’s administration has handed out automatic rifles to police officers, sanctioned warrantless door-to-door searches, tried to give sweeping authority to police officers to issue subpoenas, promised to increase traffic and parking tickets to help offset its widening budget gap, and set up barricades to grill motorists in the violence-stricken Trinidad neighborhood. The last measure has attracted international attention and landed the District in federal court.’
MYERS STORY MEANS—-Time another game of Rate the Kris Baumann Quote! ‘If the District had been included in this study, we probably would have ranked 85th out of 51….Just look at the Byzantine level of regulation and laws that govern every aspect of the District’s life.’ That one’s a B. Like the hyperbole level in the first part, and the use of ‘Byzantine’ in the second, but can a city have a ‘life’ or just the people in it?
Dwight Bowman of AFGE, which represents guards at District youth center, weights in on the New Beginnings escape in WaPo letter: ‘The public employees who work directly with these youths, as corrections officers in the facility and as case workers after their release, have seen this pattern before from the mayor and DYRS Director Vincent N. Schiraldi. The administration has done well to highlight the superficial changes to the agency, which has been plagued with problems for more than two decades, but it comes at a grave cost….After the incident, Mr. Fenty rightly accepted responsibility for the mistakes that resulted in the juvenile’s escape. But constituents deserve more than lip service.’
HEARINGS COMING—-Tommy Wells sets June 10 date for escape inquest.
Michelle Obama delivers graduation remarks to students of Washington Math Science Technology Public Charter School: “We all had doubts. We all heard nagging voices sometimes we still do asking us, ‘Will we be able to compete in this new arena?'” she said in a Howard U. auditorium. “But in the end, we were all more than ready. … I was more than ready and Barack Obama certainly is more than ready….The doors of opportunity are so wide open to you….Nothing is standing in your way.” She wore, according to WaTimes, a ‘long, dark graduation gown.’ Also NC8, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV.
CALLING ALL ‘MASTER EDUCATORS’—-Michelle Rhee is in search of 36 teachers to be charged with evaluatating their peers, Bill Turque reports for D.C. Wire. ‘District teachers have long complained that the current evaluation scheme—which relies primarily on school principals who may lack expertise in certain subjects, or who may have personal issues with some instructors—is not fair. Rhee concurs, and is prepared to spend upwards of $3.2 million—the jobs will pay $90,000 a year, not counting benefits—to address the problem.’ Requirements? ‘[A]t least five years experience in a low-income school and a track record of raising student achievement.’
DDOE gets $800K grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to cut runoff into Rock Creek, Biz Journal reports. ‘The department’s pilot project spans 14 acres surrounding Rock Creek. Through the funding, the department will install green roofs, vegetation and porous pavement to absorb stormwater at the source.’ Says George Hawkins: ‘If we help nature absorb and filter stormwater, there may be less of it to contain, and less of it to carry pollutants into our rivers and streams.’
NC8 covers UDC’s low graduation rate and the firing of Luke C. Moore Academy principal. ‘Principal Reginald Elliott‘s been a fixture at the school for the past 30 years. The alternative school that used to be called The Street Academy, accepts homeless students and those kicked out of other schools….While lawmakers note Elliott forged partnerships between the school and corporations and is active in the neighborhood, they speculate Chancellor Michelle Rhee is firing him because of low test scores and low attendance.’
IN WAPO DISTRICT WEEKLY—-Hamil Harris on the New Beginnings Youth Center opening; Stephen Lowman on efforts to rename Rosedale ballfield; Timothy Wilson on literacy push; District Notebook (on homeless hate crimes, DMPED objections to budget, and D.C. GOP dinner); home sales; police blotter; news briefs; and ANIMAL WATCH.
Informer’s Shantella Sherman runs down Monday’s statehood hearing.
Metro Weekly writes up GLBT crime meeting, notes that Cathy Lanier committed to leaving gay-and-lesbian liaison unit intact. ‘”I am not going to abolish the central unit [of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit],” said Lanier, answering pointed questions from longtime activist Peter Rosenstein, while granting that this central unit may never have more than about three staff under her watch. Lanier’s strategy instead aims to have GLLU officers operating in all seven MPD districts, working during each of MPD’s three daily shifts. “I’ve never changed my position on that.”‘ Also Blade.
Greater Washington Initiative projection: D.C. regional economy will shrink in 2009 for the first time in 20 years.
Daily Amtrak commuter service from Richmond, Lynchburg, Va., on its way, Examiner reports.
Congressional hearing on Spring Valley munitions cleanup rescheduled for Wednesday.
WMATA sells $300M in bonds, Biz Journal reports, taking advantage of new lower rates. ‘Carol Kissal, chief financial officer…said the good deal came as a result of the agency’s low debt, recently upgraded credit rating and tax exempt status of bonds. Earlier this year, Moody’s Investor Services boosted Metro’s bond rating to an A1 and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised it to an A. The bonds will be used to cover repairs to platforms, tracks and trains.’
C’MON—-WaPo joins trapeze school hype. ‘The temporary location, at H and Ninth streets, will provide a sidewalk show for four months, during which time passersby will be able to watch Washingtonians scream for their lives as they swing high above an asphalt parking lot — and a safety net, of course.’
Prompted by Terry Lynch Adams Morgan screed, Dupont resident remembers in WaPo letter what a good citizen-tavernkeeper is like. The Lynch piece, she writes, ‘reminded me of an incident at Mr. P’s, a since-closed bar in my neighborhood of Dupont Circle, about five years ago. Not because of the mayhem, but because of the neighborliness that Mr. P’s instilled.’
ATTENTION JAWB LUNCHERS—-Reagan Building weekday entertainment series has begun. ‘It’s the ninth season for the series called “LIVE! on Woodrow Wilson Plaza,” featuring a different act every weekday between noon and 1:30 p.m. from now through September.’ You already missed Chaka Khan.
D.C. man convicted of murdering armored car driver in 2004 Hyattsville incident.
You’ll soon be able to use your SmarTrip card on Baltimore-area public transit, WTOP’s Adam Tuss reports.
ListenToLeon.net on ‘DC Politicians and Their Signature Styles‘: ‘Although Fenty is usually pretty well dressed, he has a penchant for fedoras that is starting to irritate me for some reason. I don’t know why his hats get on my nerves, but they do. Maybe I have deep seated memories of Freddy Krueger from those Nightmare on Elm Street films, and Fenty’s hat collection just brings all of the horror right back to the surface. Whatever the case, I had to call him out, hoping that he makes a different choice next time he goes hat shopping.’
How ’bout that weather? ‘In the District, six trees were reported toppled near Rhode Island Avenue and Fourth Street NE,’ WaPo notes. And see NC8, which notes, ‘On 6th and K Street, lightning struck a tree that came crashing down on a brand new playground that was scheduled to open to the community Thursday.’ WTTG-TV, too.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs hearing on B18-42 (“Tenant Protection Act of 2009”), B18-92 (“Omnibus Rental Housing Amendment Act of 2009”), and B18-103 (“Insurance Claims Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2009”), JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 9:15 a.m.: remarks, Columbia Pictures announcement, 1808 Adams Mill Road NW; 3:45 p.m.: remarks, trapeze school opening announcement, 9th and H Streets NW; 4:45 p.m.: remarks, police security update, Kalorama Road and Champlain Street NW.