City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is set to announce his new deputy mayor for planning and economic development in a press conference this morning at Walker-Jones ES. Stay tuned at City Desk and at Twitter for the big name. Biz Journal’s Jonathan O’Connell is reporting that it won’t be Greg O’Dell—-‘a source close to O’Dell says he was offered the job and turned it down. O’Dell would not confirm that, but indicated he would remain in his current post [as WCCA CEO]. “The board and the mayor have every expectation of me completing all the tasks I have here,” he said.’
COUNCIL MEETING RUNDOWN—-WaPo’s Tim Craig ledes with the unanimous vote for the Tommy Wells bag bill (N.B.: it was first reading, not final, as LL said in yesterday’s daily—-mea culpa). ‘But,’ Craig writes, ‘the council members focused most of their energies debating how best to send a message to Fenty about some of his fiscal decisions.’ To wit—-summer jobs and the school funding compromise. Examiner’s Michael Neibauer writes his lede story on bag bill, also noting that Wells has temporarily dropped his curfew proposal, adds piece on schools. In WaTimes, Gary Emerling sticks to the bag bill, as does AP, NC8, WTTG-TV, and Biz Journal. WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson highlights summer jobs, as does WTTG-TV’s Karen Gray Houston. Also: Susie Cambria has lots of good budget info.
LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD—-Marion Barry went 0-for-3 on his emergency bills. Summer jobs and used-car bills went down (the latter failed even after an impassioned speech from Phil Mendelson); Barry withdrew a bill to stop the privatization of city mental health services. WRC-TV notices.
ALSO—-Mary Cheh proposes adding homelessness to the protected groups under the District hate crimes statute.
BEST QUOTE OF THE BAG DEBATE—-Jack Evans on plastic bags: ‘There was a time in our history, not long ago, when we somehow got along without these things.’
O’Connell with a big Biz Journal scoop: The Washington Convention Center Authority is now seeking full public financing for a convention center hotel—-a plan that runs smack into Nat Gandhi and his 12 percent debt cap. ‘The city had planned to finance about 25 percent of the cost of the hotel through a $187 million tax increment financing package the D.C. Council passed in 2006, which would have provided $134 million in construction costs. The rest was supposed to come from private debt and equity partners — a difficult find in the frozen credit markets. O’Dell said development partners Quadrangle Development Corp. and Capstone Development had been dogged but unsuccessful in their pursuit of investors for months. “They’ve been pursuing private financing and in this market, you know, that is very difficult. They’ve spent millions of dollars on this project to try to move it forward. It really is shovel ready with the exception of financing,” O’Dell said.’
Harry Jaffe sets his sights on the city’s replacement for Oak Hill—-he don’t like it. ‘Why call a juvenile jail “New Beginnings Center”? That’s a great name for a yoga ashram in Big Sur, Calif. [Good line!], but the kids who wind up at the 60-bed detention center have reached the end of the road. These are the worst young thugs; they have committed violent crimes such as armed robbery or assaults with intent to kill. Before they make a new beginning, they have to learn the consequences of their actions….Vincent Schiraldi, head of the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, called it the “anti-prison.” Sounds cute — in a touchy-feely, love-the-one-you’re-with kind of way — but what young, hard-core criminals need is a hard-core jail.’
ALSO—-WUSA-TV reports that escapee almost had company: ‘[T]wo more inmates also tried to escape during the same prison break this past weekend….Sources tell 9NEWS NOW three inmates broke for the fence in the courtyard in an attempt to scale a pole attached to a fence. Two of the juveniles were captured by Correctional Officers inside the New Beginnings Youth Center. A third managed to get to the roof and then drop down on the other side of the fence to freedom.’
More than 100 pro-gay-marriage clergy organize and rally at Covenant Baptist Church in Bellevue. Writes Hamil Harris in WaPo, ‘The clergy, who have formed a group called D.C. Clergy United for Marriage and Equality, plan to challenge the efforts of a more conservative group of pastors who are pushing for a referendum on same-sex marriage….The group supporting same-sex marriage — composed of clergy from a wide range of Christian faiths and several rabbis — was formed in response to a group of pastors led by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville. Together with the Ministers Conference of Washington, D.C., and Vicinity, the more conservative pastors have formed the Stand Up for Marriage Coalition to lobby against the D.C. Council legislation on same-sex marriage….The Rev. Robert Hardies, senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in the District, yesterday criticized the language some opponents of same-sex marriage have used in the debate….”I believe it is wrong to use the language of war to speak about a matter of love,” Hardies said, adding, “We can and we must have an open and robust conversation without tearing our community apart.”…The Rev. Alton B. Pollard III, the dean of the divinity school at Howard University, evoked the message of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in which King challenged white ministers to be more tolerant of people of other races.’ Also WaPo video, NC8.
Marc Fisher asks, ‘Is Fenty Vulnerable?’ Says Fish, ‘You’d be less than wise to bet even a halfway decent lunch on anyone coming close to Fenty in the 2010 election, but it now appears that at least two of the mayor’s rivals on the D.C. Council are seriously considering a challenge. Both of the potential rivals are named Brown…. [W]hat made Fenty seem less invincible was the attitude with which he addressed any and all of those mini-controversies. Far from his old confident and genial self, he turned brittle and even snippy, responding to reporters’ questions in a peevish manner that seemed out of character, barely communicating with some council members at all, and generally communicating the sense that he no longer believed in the transparency and accountability that he had preached during his campaign and during his early months in office.’
‘Big announcement’ coming from Vincent Gray on Boys and Girls Club branches slated for closing, NC8 reports.
Family members of Erika Peters, murdered along with her two children by boyfriend, have hired a lawyer to investigate possible police neglect in waiting more than 30 minutes to enter her apartment after receiving a distress call. ‘Donald B. Terrell, an attorney working with the family, questioned why police did not try to break inside sooner,’ Keith Alexander writes in WaPo. ‘”Had they had tried breaking in earlier, they may have diverted [Mays’s] attention long enough to where he may have stopped his rampage and maybe at least one would have survived. Now we’ll never know,” he said.’
Examiner’s Bill Myers is taking the credit after MPD internal-affairs official gets transferred. ‘Inspector Jacob Kishter was transferred into the police’s 3rd District last week….Kishter replaces former Inspector Edward Delgado, who ran afoul of city Attorney General Peter Nickles last year when he urged neighbors in the gentrifying Columbia Heights neighborhood to lobby Nickles for a tougher stance on juvenile crime. Delgado was demoted to captain and transferred to the ultraviolent 7th District….Kishter’s transfer comes barely three weeks after The Examiner reported on accusations by fellow Inspector Hilton Burton that officers were bilking taxpayers by filing phony court overtime reports.’
LL RATES the requisite Kris Baumann quote: “The place is an absolute mess….The environment is absolutely unstable. Everyone stands around on Friday, waiting to find out who has been transferred where and whose career has been ruined.” That’s a solid A-; starts weak, but top-notch imagery in the last sentence.
D.C.’S ‘MOST ENDANGERED PLACES’—-Via Theola Labbé-DeBose in WaPo, the D.C. Preservation League has put the following properties on this year’s list: the Maples (aka Friendship House), 619 D St. SE; Foundry Branch Trolley Trestle, in Glover Park north of Canal Road; the entire Barney Circle neighborhood; Meads Row, 1305-1331 H St. NE; Superintendent’s House-Dalecarlia Reservoir, Washington Aqueduct, 5211 Little Falls Rd. NW; and—-wait for it—-Third Church of Christ, Scientist, natch. Also Biz Journal.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE—-UDC’s graduation rate, under 20 percent, is among the lowest in the nation, study finds.
Trend story of the day: “Urban beekeepers”! Writes Petula Dvorak in WaPo, ‘The White House recently added a hive to the South Lawn, and the Fairmont Hotel in the West End started two hives on its rooftop, where the chefs-turned-beekeepers tend their hives and wax poetic about the District honey they will drizzle on cheese and incorporate into their white chocolate mousse dish….There are several dozen known beekeepers in the city. For years, they have tried to stay beneath the radar, uncertain about whether their neighbors would be pleased knowing several thousand stinging insects are next door.’ IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING—-‘Nothing specifically prohibits beekeeping in the District. But that was also the case in New York City, where a city health code banning animals that are “wild, ferocious, fierce, dangerous or naturally inclined to do harm” was applied to beekeepers.’
Stevens ES developer shortlist: ‘A team made up of Chicago-based Equity Residential and the Neighborhood Development Co., based in D.C….Moddie Turay Company LLC, based in D.C. and founded by former Mayor Anthony Williams‘ special assistant Moddie Turray. Opus East was originally listed as a Turray partner by the deputy mayor’s office but is not included in its list of finalists….A partnership led by Peebles Development LLC, a likely outgrowth of the Peebles Corp., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based firm led by D.C. native R. Donahue Peebles. Peebles is teamed with the Walker Group.’
WaPo reader: ‘Post editorialists seem to have overlooked one important factor that has contributed to D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s arrogance and pettiness: City Attorney General Peter Nickles, who gives his legal blessing to everything Mr. Fenty wants to do, such as letting nonemployees drive city cars. It is Mr. Nickles’s job to uphold the District’s laws for all citizens. Unfortunately, he seems to think he is Mr. Fenty’s personal consigliere.’
Man dies after losing control of motorcycle yesterday morning, slamming into wall of parking garage behind the Mazza Gallerie Neiman Marcus.
NC8: Allegedly high on PCP, man accosts two cops, tries to steal one’s gun. ‘”It appears that maybe he was still a little upset from his prior arrest and decided to attack the officers when he walked into the parking lot,” said Commander Joel Maupin….In those chaotic moments, the initial reports from the scene were that the officers had been shot. There was a massive response during which one motorcycle officer crashed into a patrol car.’
Rundown, from Jack Jacobson, of GLBT-oriented crime meeting with Cathy Lanier.
DCist on possible Kwame Brown mayoral run: ‘OMG Please Make This Happen’
Construction has started early on Chain Bridge, WTOP reports—-one lane only in each direction.
The ‘State of Downtown,’ via WaTimes.
D.C. students debate cash incentives for grades on NPR’s Tell Me More.
$150M in software grants to Howard U.
Blogger really likes OCTO’s new Open 311 API. That would be a ‘RESTful data API,’ which is…good.
Congress Heights on the Rise loves Fenty’s used car crackdown.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:15 a.m.: key personnel announcement, Walker-Jones ES, New Jersey Avenue and L Street NW; 10:50 a.m.: remarks, first Hispanic-owned Marriott ribbon-cutting, 1325 2nd St. NE; 12 p.m.: remarks, National Running Day, Elm Walk at 17th Street NW (in front of the Lincoln Memorial); 4 p.m.: remarks, DPR Summer Blitz and Beautification Day announcement, Barry Farm Recreation Center, 1230 Summer Road SE.