City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Michelle Rhee Annoyed By Council’s School Governance Moves“
IN LL WEEKLY—-Nada. LL’s lights are out this week due to WCP’s Summer Music Guide.
Morning all. Is movement coming on the D.C. House Voting Rights Act? Eleanor Holmes Norton told Bruce DePuyt on Tuesday that “an announcement” on the bill is coming soon, following the intervention of senior White House officials on the gun amendment problem. Who exactly? “Administration leadership, let’s leave it at that.” As to what shape the final bill will take: “We think we can keep[same-sex marriage] off of it….I think I can keep some of guns off.” But not all.
Tony Williams has a new job! The former two-term mayor and Harvard Law grad will be shuttering Primum Public Realty Trust, an affiliate of fast-fading FBR, to start a state/municipal finance and management legal practice at fast-growing Arent Fox. ‘At Arent Fox, Williams will have about 10 lawyers working under him,’ writes Nikita Stewart in WaPo. ‘He said he considered taking a job with the law firm when he left office but wanted to go with the investment firm. In the past four or five months, talks resumed and he agreed to establish the new practice. “There is a tremendous appetite for innovative solutions,” Williams said.’ But no District government work for him, he pledges.
WHAT WILLIAMS TOLD LL LAST WEEK—-About his last job: ‘My little pizza stand got hit by the hurricane.’
The MPD Emergency Response Team is no more; Chief Cathy Lanier has disbanded the eight-member unit responsible for hostage negotiations and other crisis situations and dispersed its members throughout the department, Theola Labbé-DeBose reports in WaPo. “Lanier said yesterday that she will actually quadruple the number of negotiators. But they will be doing other police work between calls, she said.” But, of course, “The move is drawing opposition from leaders of the D.C. police union, who warned of the consequences of losing a squad with such specialized expertise in handling highly volatile situations.”
LL is nominating the headline on Jonetta Rose Barras‘ Examiner column today as understatement of the year: ‘Blacks and gays in D.C.: It’s complicated.’ She writes, ‘Black Washington is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” world. If people know, there’s a “don’t-rub-it-in-the-face” attitude….There is an unofficial covenant that seeks to prevent an intersection or damage the core conservative, Christian-based, African-American culture. Some people believe homophobia is central to the black community’s “silence” doctrine. Certainly, I have met African Americans who are repulsed by homosexuality; a few have even disowned relatives. But, as I have traveled around the city, talking with heterosexuals and gays, I found that most often they tolerate and respect each other.’ But, ‘[a]ll that is changing.’ Barras says she’s for civil unions.
Blade’s Lou Chibbaro Jr. tallies 10 solid votes for full-fledged gay marriage in D.C. Only Harry Thomas Jr., Yvette Alexander, and, duh, Marion Barry have not committed. Several members take swipes at WaTimes for printing that they were undecided.
Peter Nickles tells WaPo’s Nikita Stewart that he’s all moved in to his District domicile. And, no, he still won’t tell where. ‘”I have moved. I have a D.C. license plate. I have my picture on a D.C. license. I’m paying D.C. taxes,” Nickles said. Has his wife also moved? Nickles chuckled. “Did my wife move?” he asked. “My wife has been a participant in the move. Is it perfect, no? It has furniture.”‘
Joe Lieberman convenes Senate hearing on reauthorizing the D.C. voucher program; gotta love the lede on Bill Turque‘s WaPo story: ‘The Senate’s most outspoken supporter of the D.C. voucher initiative orchestrated more than two hours of uniformly glowing testimony for the program at a committee hearing yesterday and said the dissenting voices he invited turned him down.’ Mr. Joementum ‘said yesterday that he has a commitment from Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to bring the matter to the floor for debate and a vote this year.’ The WaPo ed board, natch, heard a lot to like, especially ‘the judgment of an objective researcher that—-contrary to the claims of some critics—-vouchers are indeed working.’ Also NC8, WUSA-TV.
HIZZONER—-Was not there, choosing to submit written testimony instead. But “Deputy Youth Mayor” Ronald Holassie was there, Turque reports: ‘Holassie, a sophomore opportunity scholarship student at Archbishop Carroll High School, offered the committee an impassioned appeal for reauthorizing the program….He said afterward that he was not speaking for Fenty, however, and that he was “disappointed” that the real mayor was not there. “I think it would have helped,” he said.’
Today, incidentally, is the House approps D.C. budget hearing. Fenty, Vincent Gray, and Nat Gandhi set to testify.
The Sunlight Foundation has a fun tidbit: UDC, according to lobbying disclosures, is seeking five earmarks, including ‘a green law school, and grant for agricultural facilities, the creation of a Veteran’s Affairs Office, and the creation of a Career Center Program.’
WHA HAPPENED?—-So LL yesterday noted that he thought BOEE nominee Omar Nour‘s name had been pulled by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. But he was wrong—-Hizzoner was merely restarting the clock by resubmitting the name. Mary Cheh, despite widespread confusion, continued with yesterday’s hearing. Dorothy Brizill is all over it: ‘[O]nly one of the scheduled witnesses, aside from Nour himself, actually appeared to testify. Nour presented his management of a telephone answering service company as a technology background that qualified him to resolve the BOEE’s problems, and he testified that he would advocate a significant staff restructuring of BOEE — showing that he shares the Fenty administration’s policy of blaming line staffers for management’s problems. Cheh did recess today’s hearing in order to give the public some advance notice of the confirmation hearing on the new nomination; it will resume on June 1.’
Great Fox 5 story on the longstanding mess of a parking situation down by One Judiciary Square/MPD HQ/Moultrie Courthouse—-you got cops ticketing cops, ticketing city workers, all of whom need to park and have nowhere to do so. ‘So FOX 5 caught up with the mayor after he appeared on FOX Morning News and demanded answers for the parking problem. “There are two sites down by the Metropolitan Police Department where the Police Department has secured more parking,” says Mayor Fenty. “One of them is the Verizon Center and the other one is our old Convention Center site.” The Mayor says he expects these two parking spots to become available almost immediately. But the FOP says it was told the same thing nearly five years ago and officers are still waiting.’
Michael Neibauer writes in Examiner about how charter schools were just barely spared from the enrollment-based cuts that the Council made Tuesday. ‘Council Chairman Vincent Gray and staff initially sought to take one-third from the charters and two-thirds from DCPS, but ultimately chose to spare the former.’
Violent DCPS incidents drop to 1,117 between August 2008 and April 2009 from 1,353 during that period last year, Leah Fabel reports in Examiner. ‘But Washington Teachers Union President George Parker doesn’t believe the news is quite as good as it sounds. “Overall, based on the number of calls we receive, teachers feel discipline is worse this year,” Parker said. “I don’t feel the incidences have gone down, but that maybe the reporting of incidents has gone down.”‘
The day officials announced that the school would be ‘reconstituted’ due to poor performance, Michelle Obama visits Ferebee-Hope ES in Washington Highlands, reads “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” AP reports. ‘Mrs. Obama told the students that everybody has bad days. “Nobody is going to have a great day every day. Everybody has a bad day—-even me,” she said. “Even the President of the United States has a couple of bad days.”‘
Michelle Rhee paid a visit to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.—-not to gather counterintel on Randi Weingarten but to deliver remarks celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month. ‘No text was available,’ Turque writes, ‘but CIA spokesman George Little said Rhee told an audience of several hundred about the challenges she faces in her work and that the phrase “anything is possible in America” has meaning only if children receive a good education.’ Gee whiz!
In Biz Journal, Jonathan O’Connell details three proposals to redevelop Park Morton. The developers are Landex Corp.; Community Builders Inc./Neighborhood Development Co.; and Pennrose Properties LLC. ‘The city issued a solicitation for the project in September and announced it received three proposals in March. The city plans to pick a developer later this year.’
Also O’Connell: Following budget vote, the old Sports and Entertainment Commission is all but extinct.
WaPo Federal Diary covers how some D.C. courts employees are getting screwed on their retirement benefits. A ‘few hundred employees at the court, the Public Defender Service, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency…fell victim to a 1997 law that treated these workers as federal employees for retirement purposes. Only years later did they find out that up to 10 years of D.C. service did not count toward their federal retirement eligibility.’ EHN is ready with a legislative fix.
Meet Fenty’s new photog: Ron Thomas, former WaPo and AP photojournalist who’s spent time at DCPS and OCTT in recent years. Several folks tell LL that Thomas is as good as they get—-except, you know, for Lateef.
TOTAL BUMMER—-Caps get their butts kicked. But they still performed the true MIRACLE ON ICE: They made LL care about hockey.
John Kelly profiles an Arlington man who is the self-appointed keeper of the District’s fascinating boundary stones.
TOMORROW IS BIKE TO WORK DAY—-There will be a morning ‘pit stop’ at Nats Park, with Dan Tangherlini, Tommy Wells and Michael A. Brown. Transit systems are preparing, Examiner’s Kytja Weir reports; VRE is kicking off a pilot program to allow bikes on trains, and Metro will ‘consider such options as adding bike cages to parking garages that can be entered only by cyclists with key swipe cards.’ What won’t be ready is the planned DDOT bike depot at Union Station, which has been delayed until July.
WTOP’s Adam Tuss reports District has stopped paying $400K a month to Metro for ‘deadheading costs’ associated with closing of Southeastern Bus Garage next to ballpark. ‘As a way to make up the missed payments, D.C. leaders now say they will take out the difference from the sale of a future real estate deal between the city and Metro. That deal is expected to be the sale of D.C. Village, a former homeless shelter in Ward 8 which will be turned into a new Metrobus facility. However, that sale has not been completed.’
Federation of Citizens Associations awards dinner was last night at Fort McNair; Examiner took home a press award, as Bill Myers so trumpeted this morning. Also receiving honors: DCRA’s Linda Argo; Michigan Park’s Dino Drudi; Penn Branch activist Alberta Paul; ex-DCPS archivist Nancye Suggs; and Gary Imhoff, who recounts his remarks in themail.
More Justice Norton chatter…
Roll Call covers volunteers’ efforts chronicling Eastern Market, ‘to create a living history of the rebuilding process under way since a fire devastated the neighborhood landmark two years ago.’ It’s part of the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project.
The Socialist Worker on ‘Washington’s chancellor of union-busting’
IN WAPO DISTRICT WEEKLY—-Timothy Wilson on how the city is tapping kids for energy-saving ideas; Turque covers WaPo-award-winning D.C. educators; District Notebook; home sales; police blotter; and ANIMAL WATCH
Whitman-Walker Clinic gets $150K from DCPCA to renovate NW, SE clinics, reports Biz Journal.
Biz Journal also has more on Third Church of Christ, Scientist demo decision.
So long, Screen on the Green.
INAUG AFTERMATH—-Class action filed on behalf of 15,000 kids who attended “Presidential Inaugural Conference.” ‘The lawsuit filed in Washington says Vienna, Va.-based Envision EMI promised middle, high school and college students across the country special access to the inauguration, parade and a black tie inaugural ball on Jan. 20. But the lawsuit, filed by attorneys of two students, says once the students got to Washington, they had no tickets for the inauguration or parade. And the balls they attended were not official events connected to the inauguration.’ Also WTTG-TV.
Eastbound Benning Road NE down to one lane today, Friday, and Monday.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING—-Backyard chickens are illegal in D.C.
Destination D.C. unveils $1.6M campaign.
BOSSGATE—-WTOP’s Mark Segraves says Nickles is investigating oversold Bruce Springsteen concert; WTTG-TV, too. ALSO—-Condolences to Segraves: He’s retired the Malcontent Minute, after signing off with one last curmudgeonly message. Hey, CBS! When Andy Rooney finally kicks it…
RuPaul will be your Capital Pride headliner.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation roundtable on “Going Green,” JAWB 500; Committee on Finance and Revenue meeting on B18-150 (“Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009”), JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:30 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 9:15 a.m.: witness, U.S. House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, 2362A Rayburn HOB; 3:45 p.m.: attendee, walk-through of renovated Eastern Market, 306 7th St. SE; 5:25 p.m.: guest, Washington Post Live, Comcast SportsNet; 8 p.m.: remarks, D.C. Building Industry Association annual awards dinner, Hilton Washington, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW.