Bandalong water cleaner

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LL and ace photographer Darrow Montgomery trekked this afternoon to one of the most isolated spots in the District of Columbia to see if Mayor Adrian M. Fenty would have any comment on the budget passed today by the D.C. Council.

Fenty, after all, had maintained in previous questioning on budgetary matters that he would let the council process run its course before addressing the various swipes legislators have taken at his spending plan.

So now? “I’m going to take a look at it,” he told LL at a press conference in Kenilworth Park along the banks of the Anacostia.

Entertaining a veto? “Again, let me just take a look…”

Reaction to having Victor Reinoso‘s budget cut? $20 million cut from summer jobs? “Again, I haven’t looked at the specifics.”

Setting aside the fact that local reporters have spent weeks reporting on these “specifics” and that the mayor employs a staff to keep him apprised of said “specifics,” LL then asked the mayor how many days he needed to review the “specifics” before LL asked him again. One day? Two? More? “We’ll look at it as soon as humanly possible,” before suggesting LL get in touch with mayoral spokesperson Mafara Hobson.

In his vain search for substantive answers, LL pressed Hizzoner on the prospect of the council refusing to grant extra money to the summer jobs program (“I think everyone supports a full summer jobs program”) and the firing of longtime mayoral photographer Lateef Mangum (“Can’t comment on personnel matters…It’s best just to avoid it”).

But, hey, here’s some news:

LL was treated to the unveiling of the Bandalong Litter Trap, a $55,000 contraption (pictured) that is now floating on Watts Branch catching all sorts of litter. Five days worth of trash had collected this afternoon and was being hauled out by members of the Earth Conservation Corps. The detritus included bottles, bags, and a basketball.

The device, sold by Atlanta’s Stormwater Systems, was installed as part of a two-year pilot program to reduce trash in the Anacostia. In addition to the Bandalong, the city’s testing screens on storm drains and catchbasins to see what’s most effective at keeping trash out of the river.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery