City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“WaPo: Public Schools AD Troy Mathieu Resigns“
IN LL WEEKLY—-Running the Numbers: How BET founder Robert L. Johnson and political vet Robert B. Washington Jr. are pursuing the D.C. Lottery contract.
Morning all. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty this morning took what he hopes is the last question he’ll ever have to take from WRC-TV’s Barbara Harrison about why he wouldn’t hand over Nats tickets to the D.C. Council. His response: “I think the whole time, people have been working on it, staff have been working on it.” Uh, not really true, but Fenty then made a nice pivot when Harrison asked about “other tickets”: “I think people have parking tickets and this always comes up at community meetings and we strike the right balance there as well.” Then Harrison asked Hizzoner if residents deserved to know where he’s traveling before he goes: “No.”
BREAKING—-Victor MacFarlane is selling his interest in D.C. United; partner Will Chang to assume control.
Dorothy Brizill unearths this shocker: Almost needless to say, Peter Nickles declared nothing on his city financial disclosure form. But he didn’t even fill in the once de rigueur address and phone number. Actually, no one in city government did this year: ‘According to Wesley Williams, the public information officer for OCF, the FDS form for 2009 filers was changed to delete all “personal information” at Attorney General Nickles’ request,’ Brizill writes. ‘Thus, to accommodate Nickles’ effort to shield himself from public scrutiny regarding his residency and other personal information, OCF, which is supposed to be an independent agency, has completely redone the disclosure form to require less public disclosure. Moreover, OCF has temporarily removed all past FDS reports from its web site so that it can remove the personal information that has already been filed on those reports.’ Also: BOEE has no record of Nickles registering to vote.
ALSO IN THEMAIL—-Readers send in their “Anyone But Fenty” picks. Mentioned: Kwame Brown, David Catania, Phil Mendelson, Carol Schwartz, Kevin Chavous, Kojo Nnamdi, Kathy Patterson, Bill Clinton, Vincent Gray, Harry Thomas, and Marie Johns—-target of an incipient draft campaign.
Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner on IG’s finding that the Office of Tax and Revenue has passed up some $25 million in revenue over three years by failing to fine commercial property owners. Some owners, the report finds, should have been penalized for failing to file income and expense forms. ‘Owners who do not file face a penalty equal to 10 percent of their property’s assessed value….But the property tax administration, until recently, had no system in place for identifying commercial property owners who did not file, filed late, or filed inaccurate information, the D.C. inspector general found in a recent audit. There was no system for penalizing owners. And there was no enforcement of the reporting provisions in at least a decade.’
Marc Fisher stands up to defend the D.C. START program from D.C. Council meddling. START, he writes, is “a strategy that gets at the roots of the behavior woes that plague the system…an audacious and promising stab at confronting behavior problems where they begin.” Yet “political sniping between the mayor and the D.C. Council is getting in the way of helping kids deal with the violence and anger of poverty and letting teachers teach”—-that’s because START is under Deputy Mayor Victor Reinoso‘s purview, as part of the Interagency Collaboration and Services Integration Commission, and Vincent Gray wants ICSIC under DCPS. That’s a no-go, Fisher says, because ‘innovation tends to come from outside core structures—-from Bell Labs, not the phone company….”This is moving forward in large part because it’s apart from the school system,” Reinoso argues. “The council is essentially undoing parts of mayoral control of the schools just two years in, when they committed to trying this for five years.”‘
WaTimes ‘EXCLUSIVE’: Matthew Cella reports that Rafael Sa’adah, defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week, was named assistant chief for EMS in March. ‘The lawsuit charges that Chief Sa’adah thought [Johnquan Wright] had been shot in the head and ordered emergency workers to stop treating him, thinking he was dead. The complaint says an autopsy revealed Mr. Wright had not been shot in the head and that the gunshot wounds were to his torso and leg.’ He later died. An IG report cleared Sa’adah.
Troy Mathieu has resigned as DCPS athletic director after only 10 months, Alan Goldenbach reports for WaPo. ‘Mathieu’s hiring last summer was heralded by many involved in D.C. scholastic athletics as a break from the past, as he was the first athletic director hired from outside the Washington area in more than three decades….A source who has worked closely with Mathieu said it became difficult for him to enact change, due to the structure of the DCPS administration. “He has so many people over him that it’s impossible to do anything,” the source said. “The problem with this job is, nobody is going to allow you to make any major moves because they just want to save their job.”‘
Jonetta Rose Barras doesn’t like the bag bill, pointing to DDOE report that found ‘that placing a small fee on “free” bags could eliminate up to 47 percent of the trash in the tributaries and 21 percent from the river’s main stream.’ Asks Barras, ‘Doesn’t that mean less than half the trash would be eliminated? Should the solution yield better results?’ Her suggestion: ‘Perhaps the better, less punitive, approach might be for the council to implement its education campaign first. After a year or two, it could assess the results of that effort. And then, only if necessary, a punitive tax could be established. The proverbial carrot is far better than the stick.’ No mention of the CFO’s projections that the fee will be stunningly effective.
More on North Capitol shootings: WaPo’s Paul Duggan reports that one victim had been targeted earlier this year “when someone fired more than 40 rounds into the nearby house he shared with his mother.” That victim, 18, was in “grave” condition last night; three others are expected to recover. Three suspects are now in custody: ‘Police said the suspects, who have yet to be charged in the shooting, range in age from 22 to 26 and that two have lengthy criminal records.’ Also WAMU-FM, WTOP, NC8, WTTG-TV.
WaPo editorial board says the time has come for President Barack Obama to get involved in D.C. voting rights legislation in a big way. ‘We have to wonder why Democratic supporters of the bill, and that includes President Obama, aren’t doing more to define the real issues. Foremost among these is, of course, the civil rights of some half a million American citizens. As the first African American president, Mr. Obama is in a unique position to talk about the injustice of disenfranchising the people of the District, many of whom are African American. Mr. Obama’s election gave heart to the residents of the city, who thought they would finally have a champion in the White House. But to date his administration has been reticent….This is also noticeable in the administration’s apparent unwillingness to engage in a discussion of the real-world implications of the Ensign amendment. If the bill is approved with the gun amendment, the District would be the only place in the nation where individuals could cross state lines to purchase firearms; and .50-caliber, armor-piercing rifles and other military-style assault weapons would be permitted. Yet when we asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano how this might affect security in the nation’s capital, she made it clear that she was unwilling to discuss the issue. To do so is to take on the powerful gun lobby, which is using its muscle to threaten lawmakers; Democrats seem to feel they are particularly vulnerable. Though Mr. Obama has much on his plate, there should surely be time for finally bringing democracy to the nation’s capital—-while keeping it safe.’
LL IS HEARING—-That Eric Holder is considering weighing in on those ‘real-world implications’ in a letter…stay tuned!
Biz Journal’s Jonathan O’Connell covers the ICSC happenings in Las Vegas. Economic Partnership’s Steve Moore tells him that ‘that although fewer deals were done, the recession had sharpened the District’s position as a place to be for retailers given predictions that it will bounce back more quickly than the rest of the country. Moore said major retailers want to be in D.C. more than ever. “That includes Macy’s, Bloomie’s, Target, Armani Exchange all the way to some of the most sought after New York restaurants,” Moore said. “They are all saying we’re definitely on the radar screen.”‘
ALSO FROM O’CONNELL—-He, too, is hearing that Greg O’Dell is at the top of the DMPED list. ‘O’Dell, CEO and general manager of the Washington Convention Center Authority, said Wednesday he has not heard from either Fenty or Albert about the opening….”The mayor or Neil has not sat down with me and I would be presumptuous to even consider the possibility at this point,” O’Dell said. That doesn’t mean he isn’t interested. “If the mayor were to ask me about it, of course I would listen,” he said.’
GOOD CATCH—-‘Fenty thanked O’Dell and Santos-Young in his remarks to the D.C. Building Industry Association May 14, something Ben Soto, president of Premium Title & Escrow LLC and Fenty’s campaign treasurer, took note of. “He made it a point to call out Greg O’Dell and Valerie Santos-Young. Based on that, maybe he is looking at them,” Soto said. “He’s got some people on his team that he likes a lot and trusts a lot, and Valerie and Gregory are some of them,” Soto added.’
Entrpreneur looks to move old-timey diner to Trinidad, runs into a DCRA nightmare when it turns out his plans were not up to spec. WCP’s Tim Carman has been all over this one; so have DCist, We Love DC, WTTG-TV, and NC8.
SecTreas Tim Geithner to Congress on his new deputy: ‘[T]he President has announced his intention to nominate Dan Tangherlini to be our Assistant Secretary for Management. Consistent with the President’s mandate, I will look to Mr. Tangherlini to scour the Treasury budget for efficiencies and cost savings. He comes to the job with an impressive track record of working on budget issues with District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty, and I am convinced that he will bring the same results-oriented approach to the federal government.’ Dan Tan, incidentally, gets an A in bike-friendliness.
Virginia transportation department honcho is all ticked at DDOT for short notice on 14th Street Bridge construction, WTOP’s Adam Tuss reports. ‘The issue came to a head Wednesday during a meeting of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. Virginia Department of Transportation representative Jo Anne Sorenson lashed the D.C. Department of Transportation for a lack of a heads up with upcoming projects. “I’m really getting rather disappointed with the fact that we are having projects brought to us without any explanation ahead of time,” said Sorenson. “I’m particularly sensitized about the 14th Street Bridge project that we found out about just a couple of weeks ago, and which will be causing significant problems in Virginia.”‘
AP’s Brian Westley and Gillian Gaynair cover the black divide over gay marriage in the District. ‘Although black churches tend to be socially progressive and have a history of fighting for equal rights, most are theologically conservative, believing that Scripture condemns homosexuality, said Anthony B. Pinn, a professor of religious studies at Rice University….They also view gay marriage as a threat to the traditional black family, which is struggling with high divorce and low marriage rates, he said.’ ALSO—-Informer covers Ward 8 Dems vote.
ALSO FROM STATTER—-Phil Mendelson calls Dennis Rubin‘s threats to close fire stations “scare tactics.”
Man shot to death early this morning on 5000 block of Call Place SE.
D.C. cops deliver baby in car outside 1D substation.
PANDA POLITICS—-First off: No panda babies. Bummer. And WaPo’s Michael Ruane covers the high-level diplomatic negotiations now underway over the future of…Tai Shan, the panda. ‘[M]any zoogoers forget or don’t even know that the zoo’s three pandas are Chinese property, on loan for a limited time….”Yes, Tai Shan is going back,” zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said yesterday. “But I can’t tell you when or how.” She said that the dialogue between zoo officials and the Chinese is in the early stages. It will be complicated by import and export regulations, the devastation wrought by last year’s earthquake to China’s Wolong panda reserve and the fact that the zoo’s adult pandas are scheduled to go back to China next year.’
ALSO—-‘D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has called Tai Shan Washington’s most important citizen.’ Is that like Harry Jaffe calling the Fenty crime bill the ‘most important work the government will do this decade’?
Destination D.C.’s Bill Hanbury, Biz Journal reports, ‘does not believe the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will suffer from Disney’s presence in Prince George’s County, whether it be from conventions booking with Disney or the Gaylord National Resort, also at National Harbor. “From a convention perspective, we’re from different markets — people come to the convention center when they want an urban, pre-eminent convention facility,” Hanbury said.’ Also WaTimes.
Also from Notebook: Peaceaholics honchos Ron Moten and Jauhar Abraham are scheduled to speak at tonight’s Park at 14th fundraiser for Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson.
Susie Cambria talks SYEP at GGW: ‘[T]here is another issue that has long lurked below the surface of the youth employment discussions in the District: the linking of youth employment to family economic well being. This is far more troubling than the two other critical issues [Brookings’ Martha Ross] raised. Why? Because summer youth employment as family support is just wrong and it is terrible public policy.’
Wall Street Journal on Nats: ‘The World’s Most Excruciating Baseball Team’
Another blogger gets screwed on a parking ticket, whines.
WaPo’s John Kelly: Logan Circle communications firm has prospective employees complete a personality test that includes such questions as, ‘Do you prefer ordinary sex?’; ‘Would you go to a wife-swapping party?’; and ‘Would you take part in an orgy?’
New affordable housing opens up in Columbia Heights; applicants camp out for a chance.
The Cleveland Park Magruder’s is closing after Saturday.
Aldus Higgins Chapin, former executive director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and ‘a major influence on the arts in the city for four decades,’ is dead at 78.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Finance and Revenue hearing on B18-204 (“Studio Theatre Housing Property Tax Exemption and Equitable Tax Relief Act of 2009”), B18-211 (“KIPP DC-Douglass Property Tax Exemption Act of 2009”), B18-220 (“Union Station Redevelopment Corporation Payment In Lieu of Taxes Act of 2009”), B18-221 (“Square 50, Lot 87 Limited Real Property Tax Abatement Act of 2009”), B18-222 (“Kelsey Gardens Redevelopment Project Real Property Limited Tax Abatement Assistance Act of 2009”), and B18-231 (“Park Place at Petworth, Highland Park and Highland Park Phase II Economic Development Act of 2009”), JAWB 412; 11 a.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on PR18-170 (“Historic Preservations Review Board Christopher Landis Confirmation Resolution of 2009″), JAWB 500; 12 p.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on PR18-159 (“Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia Konrad Will Schlater Confirmation Resolution of 2009″), JAWB 500; 2 p.m: Committee of the Whole hearing on PR18-180 (“NoMa Vision Plan and Development Strategy Approval Resolution of 2009”), JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:30 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor with Barbara Harrison, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 10:30 a.m.: remarks, pool opening announcement, Anacostia Swimming Pool, 1800 Anacostia Drive SE; 7 p.m.: remarks, Champions Tennis Celebration, Australian ambassador’s residence, 3140 Cleveland Ave. NW.