City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Barry on D.C. Gay Marriage: ‘May Have a Civil War‘”; “Tempers Flare Outside Council Chamber After Marriage Vote“; “Gay Marriage Recognition Passes Council—Did Barry Flip Again?“
Morning all. Jason Chaffetz, freshman Republican congressman from Utah, replaces John Ensign as your congressional bogeyman of the moment. He’s stepped up after yesterday’s D.C. Council vote to recognize same-sex marriages done in other states with a promise to intervene in the local decision. This is what he tells WaPo: “Some things are worth fighting for, and this is one of them….It’s not something I can let go softly into the night….I recognize the Democrats are in the majority, but I represent the majority of Americans on this issue.” On Twitter, the congressman (handle: jasoninthehouse) says this: ‘Why am I involved? Congress is set up to oversee the affairs of D.C. I am one of the Members on the relevant committee.’ He hasn’t responded to some pointed questions from Salon correspondent and LL friend Mike Madden on the issue. Oh, and he’s against the DCHVRA, too.
For a rundown on yesterday’s vote and the chaotic aftermath, first read LL’s dispatches, linked above. Then you can move on to Michael Neibauer‘s Examiner piece, Tim Craig‘s WaPo story, Gary Emerling‘s WaTimes coverage, Brian Westley‘s AP reporting, Mark Silva‘s Tribune item, Bruce Johnson‘s WUSA-TV piece, Jay Korff‘s WJLA-TV story, and Tom Sherwood‘s WRC-TV item. Westley, WAMU-FM, and Congress Matters detail the next steps on the Hill. Also see advocate.com, Lane Hudson at HuffPo, Adam Serwer at American Prospect, Tiffany Bridge at We Love D.C., Right Wing Watch, and HRC statement.
KEY QUOTES —-‘House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said through a spokesman that Congress should not interfere in the D.C. government decision.’ —-Barney Frank: “For this to be overturned, it’d have to pass both houses and be signed by the president, and that’s highly unlikely.” —-Eleanor Holmes Norton: “I do not believe that a serious attempt to overturn the council bill will be made or will be successful.” (Read what she told LL last month.) —-David Catania: ‘This is about acknowledging our families as much as we acknowledge yours….To bring in the issue of morality, I think it is immoral for you to be my friend on the one hand and on the other say: “You are not entitled to the same rights and obligations that I am.”‘ —-Marion Barry: “All hell is going to break loose. We may have a civil war. The black community is just adamant against this.” Though Emerling’s story has this: ‘Barry, who told reporters after the vote that approving gay marriage could lead to civil war, said later that he was “just jiving” when he made the comment. But he said the issue will be contentious in the District, with its majority black population.’
NICKLES V. MENDO—-Phil Mendelson dispatches letter to Peter Nickles, asking him to drop his obsession with suing special-ed lawyers. According to Bill Myers in Examiner, the AG is not taking the suggestion: ‘Asked for comment, Nickles bristled at Mendelson’s latest criticism. “I litigated for 45 years. My friend, Mr. Mendelson, is not even a lawyer,” Nickles told The Examiner. Mendelson has slashed Nickles’ budget in the coming fiscal year….“For 20 years, the District was known around this town’s lawyers as a bunch of patsies,” he said. “When we stand up and defend the District and save this city millions and millions of dollars, he slashes our budget. By what right does he do this?”’
Forgot this yesterday: Jason Cherkis reported Monday that USAO will not prosecute cop in David Kerstetter shooting. He unearthed this fact: ‘In the last 10 years…the U.S. Attorney’s Office has not prosecuted a single cop for shooting a citizen.’ The Kerstetter family has hired Doug Sparks to press a civil case; he says this: ‘The results of our investigation paint a far different picture of the events leading to David’s death….Our expert forensic analysis shows that the officers fired downward….Most if not all of the rounds were fired while David was down and incapacitated.’
At foster-parent recruitment kickoff, Fenty makes a joint appearance with DMC, Nikita Stewart reports for D.C. Wire. Yes, that DMC! As in Run-DMC! ‘DMC are [Darryl McDaniels]’s initials, but Fenty said, “I thought it stood for devastating mic control,” referring to the lyrics of “King of Rock.” That led to a brief, impromptu rap by McDaniels with Fenty chiming in. Fenty said he remembered seeing a concert at the 9:30 Club. McDaniels said that had to be 1986. “I was in high school,” Fenty said after the press conference at the the Post Permanency Family Center in Northeast, a support center for foster and adoptive families….Because of his work on behalf of young people, McDaniels said his initials now stand for: “Delivering my children.”‘ WTTG-TV has video.
CFSA’s court-appointed monitor isn’t satisfied with the agency’s progress of late, report says. Cherkis noted the report by Judith Meltzer yesterday, and WaPo’s Keith Alexander covers today: ‘The report, written for a judge overseeing a 20-year-old class-action lawsuit, said the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency has made strides over the past year, finally catching up on a backlog of investigations under the leadership of a new acting director. But the performance has been inconsistent, suggesting that long-awaited reforms have yet to firmly take hold, the report stated….D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles defended the District’s efforts yesterday and said the agency is being more careful in reviewing cases and homes — a big reason why many children remain in foster care.’ Also Examiner. Parties appear tomorrow morning before Judge Thomas F. Hogan.
ANOTHER OTR SCANDAL PLEA—-Samuel Earl Pope, 62, is sentenced to serve 51 months and pay $1,586,406 in restitution by U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan. Pope, writes Del Wilber in WaPo, ‘helped propel a relatively modest swindle into a massive embezzlement that siphoned nearly $50 million from the D.C. government over two decades, authorities have said. In all, Pope received about $1.6 million in proceeds tied to the scam….Eleven people have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme, and three await sentencing. The ringleader, Harriette Walters, a former mid-level manager in the D.C. tax office, is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Another participant, Alethia Grooms, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.’
WaPo’s Nick Miroff pens a touching feature about last Sunday’s Potomac tragedy that claimed the lives of an 11-year-old boy, whose body was likely found yesterday, and the Vietnamese immigrant who jumped after him. ‘The incident has brought together two families — one from Vietnam, one from Mexico. For much of last week, as police boats, helicopters and recovery dogs swept the river, groups of Hispanic construction workers, Vietnamese monks and the family and friends of both victims came to search the muddy banks and pray at the spot where the two had disappeared.’ Also WTTG-TV, and WRC-TV does river-safety piece.
H1N1 UPDATE—-No need to close schools, authorities say.
Will Michelle Rhee have mercy on Nathan Saunders? The DCPS chancellor today is meeting with the WTU VP and Rhee critic to hear his petition to be put back on leave to continue his union work. “She has a chance to be a hero,” Saunders tells Bill Turque in D.C. Wire.
Bizarre crash in Anacostia: Woman drives car into office building near Big Chair, across from D.C. gov’s Anacostia Service Center at 2100 MLK Ave. SE. Two are hospitalized; woman is arrested. WRC-TV’s Pat Collins is all over it!
The latest NewsHour segment on Michelle Rhee aired last night—-no video yet. ‘Coverage has appeared on the CBS Evening News and Charlie Rose, and in the pages of Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Atlantic. But to turn around Washington’s failing schools, Rhee doesn’t need national press. She needs local support — and her growing prominence may not be helping. In this episode, we examine how Rhee’s media presence has affected her pursuit of a revolutionary new teachers’ contract.’
Dave Bing is now mayor of Detroit, elected in a special vote to replace the disgraced Kwame Kilpatrick. ‘Bing grew up in Northeast Washington, D.C. where his mother still lives,’ writes Mark Segraves for WTOP. ‘He went to Spingarn High School with another NBA legend, Elgin Baylor. He played the bulk of his NBA career with the Pistons, and has been a successful businessman since retiring from basketball.’
OK, with this piece by Susan Kinzie, WaPo is officially dredging the bottom of the barrel on Caps feature stories. These two women, they’re like both such big hockey fans, and they both love the Caps and they go to like all the practices and stuff. And this one time, Ovie gave them a puck! Ohmygod!
In WaPo, Courtland Milloy decries federal mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. ‘The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 doesn’t sound as onerous as, say, the Black Codes of the late 1800s, which legalized arbitrary imprisonment to limit the movement of newly freed slaves. But when it comes to ruthless incarceration, nothing compares with this federal drug law: It has subjected tens of thousands of black people to lengthy prison terms for possessing ridiculously small amounts of crack cocaine.’
WaPo readers react to metered taxis, one year later: ‘I think fares in the District are high enough,’ writes Georgetown ANC member Bill Starrells. ‘A trip here costs more than a comparable one would in New York or Chicago. If a driver feels underpaid, he or she is free to find another vocation….It’s time for cabbies to stop complaining and simply provide cab service worthy of the nation’s capital to the city’s residents, workers and visitors.’ Victor L. Vacanti is less pleased: ‘Since the arrival of meters, however, taxis no longer come by as frequently. One rainy day I waited almost an hour and 45 minutes to catch a cab.’
WaTimes “citizen journalist” Joseph Young covers the summer jobs program. Peaceaholics’ Ron Moten tells him, ‘It’s better for the mayor to try and get every youth a job….If those youth weren’t working, they would be out committing crimes. They learn skills on the job. Sometimes they don’t. Still, giving them the money keeps them off the street.’
You’ve seen his ramshackle farmhouse! Now CP’s Housing Complex shows you David Souter‘s Southwest townhouse!
MEA CULPA—-Yesterday, LLD said a gentleman had stolen ‘$250M’ from WASA, when in fact it was only $250K. Whoops!
GGW wants a traffic circle to replace the North Cap/Irving interchange.
Despite a week’s worth of clouds and showers, Martin Weil writes in WaPo, ‘total rainfall here in the first 125 days of the year remains below normal. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, 10.84 inches of precipitation had been recorded at Reagan National Airport. The normal amount, according to National Weather Service figures, is 12.77 inches, making this year’s total 15 percent below normal.’
7th Street SE: To close or not to close?
Water main breaks all over town; one near 18th and U streets NW said to flood 20 homes.
Barack Obama, Joe Biden head to Arlington for a burger. And allow LL to say, it’s a damn good burger.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-12 p.m.: Committee on Government Operations and the Environment hearing on Bill 18-1 (“Quick Payment Amendment Act of 2009”), Bill 18-2 (“Debarment and Suspension Amendment Act of 2009”), Bill 18-4 (“Placement of Orders with District Departments, Offices, and Agencies Amendment Act of 2009”), and Bill 18-7 (“Procurement Practices Amendment Act of 2009”), JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, 3rd annual Rebuild the Village Month kickoff, Rosedale Recreation Center, 1701 Gales St. NE; 11:30 a.m.: remarks, HEARTH Act announcement with Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), HELP Committee Hearing Room 430, Dirksen SOB, 1st Street and Constitution Ave. NE; 6 p.m.: remarks, Change Agent Awards, Lincoln Theater, 1215 U St. NW.