Sign up for our free newsletter
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Best D.C. Council Budget Typos“
Morning all y ¡Feliz Cinco De Mayo! Gonna be an absolute zoo down at the John A. Wilson Building this morning. For one, you’re going to have the Washington Interfaith Network folks rallying against certain councilmembers raiding the Neighborhood Investment Fund for earmarks (of course, they’ll be silent when it comes to the original NIF raider—-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty). For another, you’re going to see scores on both sides of the gay-marriage issue packing the chamber for the second-reading vote on a measure to recognize other states’ same-sex unions here in the District. Leave now if you wanna get in the chamber!
WaPo’s Tim Craig goes B1 with gay-marriage story about the battle to control the language of the debate. ‘For gay rights advocates, the campaign so far largely centers on an effort to remove the terms “gay” and “same sex” from a debate that ultimately could be resolved by Congress, the courts or voters. Instead of having their supporters talk about same-sex marriage, advocates want the phrase “marriage equality” to be used.’…[Stein Club] President Jeffrey Richardson said that advocates fear the term “gay” has become too closely linked with sex. “Sex is a difficult thing to talk about, so in a way the term ‘equality’ allows us to start talking about the core of the issue, to get folks talking beyond the sexuality component,” he said.’ Opponents, meanwhile, are all “gay marriage’ this and ‘homosexual agenda’ that. AP, NC8 also mention.
Craig also covers yesterday’s D.C. Council press conference, where one “Dorothy Brazile” apparently made a fuss about earmarks. Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who pledged last year to crack down on the practice, defended his porky colleagues with usual verve: ‘Gray said he’s not sure if the Council will prepare a comprehensive list of the earmarks approved by committees before the full body votes on the budget next Tuesday. But Gray said he’s confident the organizations receiving the funds will be “subjected to a very high level of scrutiny.”…”We put in place some guide posts that will constrain the dollars involved with earmarks,” Gray said.’ ATTENTION SOME WAPO EDITOR—-Will you please give Craig the Brazil/Brizill/Brazile talk already? I mean, it’s not 1998 anymore—-only one of those Killer B’s is still making regular headlines (um, well, if it weren’t for that whole tattoo thing).
Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner that the council is preparing to disapprove another $140M in executive contracts. Those, if you know the lingo, would be ‘IDIQ’ contacts—-that means ‘indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity,’ meaning we have basically no idea what they’re for. ‘[T]hey simply “establish a relationship” with the respective business,’ Neibauer writes. ‘The city is then expected to issue multiple work orders with each company over the next year for as little as $500 and as much as $3 million….By approving the deals, the legislative branch would relinquish its coveted authority to review every work order of more than $1 million, council members say. Fenty is “circumventing the rule,” Gray said….“We’re saying $3 million is just too much to say the council won’t have a role in this,” the chairman said.’
LOVE THIS KICKER, NEI-MAN—-‘The contract dispute is the latest tiff in the ongoing war between the legislative and executive branches over just about everything. Whether tussling over witness testimony, budget maneuvers, baseball tickets or board nominees, the two branches agree on very little these days.’
Things are getting testy within the WTU ranks, Bill Turque reports in WaPo. On one side you have President George Parker and his chief of staff, Clay White. On the other, you have Candi Peterson, Nathan Saunders, and this fellow: ‘A meeting last Tuesday evening of the WTU’s representative assembly — made up of union leaders from each school — was disrupted when [White] had to be separated from Jeff Canady, a union activist and outspoken critic of Parker’s. Witnesses said Canady, who teaches at Emery Education Campus in Northeast Washington, was questioning Parker about [Saunders], the union’s general vice president, who was sent back to teaching duty. Parker ruled Canady out of order. When Canady persisted, White rushed him and began to threaten him with bodily harm, according to attendees. A verbal confrontation continued in a hallway at McKinley Technical High School, the site of the meeting, and D.C. police were called, several teachers said.’
IS THIS THE GEORGE SHOW OR THE RANDI SHOW?—-‘[AFT Prez Randi Weingarten]’s status became an issue at a WTU executive board meeting last month. Saunders and Peterson said she sought the board’s endorsement as the chief union negotiator. “She said she wanted the authority to go in with Rhee alone,” Peterson said. Weingarten and Parker vehemently deny the claim. They said that the board had approved a motion supporting Weingarten’s role and that they wanted to have it reaffirmed. “I wanted to make sure that they still wanted me involved,” Weingarten said in an e-mail Friday. “George Parker and I both reaffirmed that he is still the principal negotiator.”‘
THE FACE OF THE $144M JACKPOT IS…David Wilmot? Yup, the longtime lobbyist lawyer and famed associate of Marion Barry has been retained by the anonymous lotto winner, Nikita Stewart and Hamil Harris write in WaPo. ‘Wilmot, did little to enlighten things. He offered a thumbnail sketch of the winner, an 82-year-old widower from Southeast Washington with 10 children and 47 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is a lifelong District resident who “works in his community,” Wilmot said….Technically, the $79.6 million lump sum goes not to the man but to Rockson LLC, a limited liability company. Lottery officials said such a partnership permits the winner to protect his anonymity….The octogenarian has created three trusts: one to educate his heirs, one for their health care and one for philanthropy, Wilmot said.’ Also WTOP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV.
SOME KIND OF ANONYMOUS—-‘Yesterday, at a modest house on a quiet street where a neighborhood activist said the lottery winner was rumored to live, two men emerged from the back door. They identified themselves as the owner’s sons. Asked whether the lottery winner lived there, one of the men said, “It’s supposed to be anonymous.”‘
Not every day you see this: WaPo ed board has the knives out for David Catania and his WWC crusade. ‘There are legitimate questions about what’s happening with the 31-year-old clinic. But the rhetorical fire raining down on the organization from Mr. Catania, chairman of the council’s Health Committee, could undermine the very institution he says he’s trying to save….Mr. Catania’s efforts to hound out the person brought in to put Whitman-Walker on a more secure path only undermine the institution’s stability. It took three years for the organization to find a chief financial officer who wasn’t spooked by its shaky financial infrastructure. Imagine how long it would take to find a new chief executive willing to endure a torrent of abuse that distracts from the clinic’s important mission.’ Also from 1150 15th: Roses for Jack Kemp, friend of the District.
WASA employee admits to stealing $236
MK by manipulating payroll records, Scott McCabe reports for Examiner. ‘Sonia R. Coleman, 28, of Fort Washington, faces up to 10 years in prison but is expected to receive between 18 and 24 months, prosecutors said. Her sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 14. For more than a year and a half, Coleman, a former payroll specialist in WASA’s downtown D.C. office, electronically increased the pay of 40 fired or on-leave employees without their knowing. She then changed the employees’ direct deposit information so that the money would land in her own account and a friend’s account.’ Also WaPo.
Loeb’s Perfect N.Y. Deli turns 50, gets full WaPo feature treatment from Petula Dvorak. The 15th and I institution, she writes, has become a family institution. ‘Over those five decades, the Loeb children bickered, kvetched and grew up amid stacks of corned beef and pastrami, between bowls of matzoh ball soup and trays of knishes. They scowled through summer work shifts, defied their parents, moved out and went away to college. But eventually, they came back.’ Yeah, came back to sell treyf soup! Shame!
H1N1 UPDATE—-D.C. total’s now at four; two each at HU and GWU. And Our Lady of Victory School in Palisades will be closed today, after Maryland-resident staff member contracts probable case. Also WTTG-TV (w/ chyron: ‘SWINE FLU FEARS’).
Thanks to $5M in city gap financing, Petworth development project gets started, Biz Journal and Housing Complex report. ‘Jair Lynch Development Partners, picked to develop the project in 2006, will work with Affordable Housing Developers to transform the property into 130 residential units on top of a new health clinic.’ It’s called Georgia Commons; it’ll open next fall.
So much eating on Metro, so few tickets! ‘People eat and drink on the Metro system every day, despite the signs and station announcements warning against it. But transit police on average give just one citation for the crime a week,’ reports Examiner’s Kytja Weir. ‘Last year, Metro’s police force issued 584 written warnings for eating or drinking but issued just 52 actual citations.’
Michelle Obama visits Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School for early Cinco de Mayo event, strangely avoids talking education politics, Examiner is pained to learn. ‘Students at the school, some dressed in traditional Latin American clothing, danced and sang for the first lady, who also took questions from students and touted a White House internship program for D.C. Public Schools students.’ Also WaPo‘s DeNeen Brown.
‘RECESSION-PROOF’—-Cherry Blossom Fest breaks records.
Fascinating one from WaTimes’ Jim McElhatton: ‘Juror No. 6’ on a 2007 drug case here in the District has ignited a nationwide debate on federal sentencing practices. ‘[A] handful of senior federal appeals judges and attorneys across the country are citing [Jim Caron]’s letter – including in a recent brief sent to the U.S. Supreme Court – in railing against a little-known practice called acquitted conduct sentencing. The policy lets federal judges mete out tougher sentences based on what lawyers call “acquitted conduct,” or the criminal charges for which a defendant has been acquitted in court.’
WSJ opinionater writes up voucher rally, namechecks Fenty, Tony Williams, Kevin Chavous.
GGW hails DDOT call not to extend Minnesota Avenue NE to Sheriff Road. ‘Adding an arterial road along the edge just for its own sake, costing money, adding pollution, and potentially inducing more traffic and lower Metro ridership elsewhere doesn’t make sense. Instead, DC should invest in Ward 7 through other, better projects. DDOT has reiterated its commitment to the Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Avenue Great Streets, rehabilitating the Watts Branch trail, and improving alleys and sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.’
Recap of Neil Albert‘s recent comments to Downtown Neighborhood Association, re convention center hotel, CityCenterDC, Arts at 5th & Eye, Franklin School, and Louis Dreyfus 395 air rights project.
WUSA-TV swipes Bill Myers‘ speed-camera-overtime story.
Dr. Gridlock: More multispace parking machines on the way.
Deadly stabbing in Petworth Sunday night: ‘Fourth District police and EMTs were called to the 800 block of Crittenden Street NW about 6:10 p.m. Sunday for for the report of a stabbing. First responders found 26-year-old Marvin Acosta-Argueta, of the 900 block of Decatur Street NW, lying on the sidewalk and suffering from an apparent stab wound to the body, police said,’ according to NC8.
Tattoo Blog: ‘Harold Brazil Will Kick Your A**’
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: eighth legislative meeting, JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, Child and Family Services Agency foster care campaign announcement, The Washington Jesuit Academy Building, Post Permanency Family Center, 900 Varnum St. NE; 6:30 p.m.: remarks, Woodridge Civic Association and Brentwood Community Association meeting, Washington Center for the Aging, 2601 18th St. NE.