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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“$144M Powerball Jackpot Claimed“
For our left-leaning comrades in LLD, Happy May Day! For them and everyone else, Happy Law Day! To celebrate, head on down to the H. Carl Moutrie I Courthouse and the newly renovated Historic Courthouse across the street for all sorts of cool programs and activities [PDF], including a town hall meeting with judges in the Moultrie jurors’ lounge at noon.
WaPo editorial board blasts secrecy in DeOnté Rawlings case: ‘What information has been made available has come through the discovery process in the $100 million lawsuit against the city and two officers. It is only through the depositions taken by [Gregory Lattimer] that we know about [James Haskel]’s involvement in two previous shootings, the initial propensity of police officials to clear the officers for immediate return to active duty, the strange circumstances of the minibike’s recovery and the decision of the two officers to leave the scene without securing evidence. City officials are critical of Mr. Lattimer for what they see as his trying his case in public. No doubt Mr. Lattimer and his clients stand to gain financially if they win their lawsuit. But Mr. Lattimer’s motives and his revelations would be irrelevant if Mr. Fenty had honored his promise: to give the public the facts of how DeOnté Rawlings died.’ And WCP’s Jason Cherkis wants the MPD case report!
Taximeters: Still controversial—-sort of! That’s the takeaway from Theola Labbé-DeBose‘s WaPo piece chronicling the first year of the switch from zones. Drivers say they’ve lost 30 percent or more in income; most everyone else is thrilled. ‘Disagreement continues about who has actually gained or lost the most from the switch — drivers or their passengers. The D.C. Taxicab Commission can’t say, because no system was put into place to survey drivers or the public or otherwise measure the financial impact….Some drivers say they are working 16 hours a day to make up for lost income, while others worry about losing homes to foreclosure.’
MEANWHILE—-Council transpo committee recommends suspending new driver exams for two years in order to ‘cull a “potentially catastrophic oversupply” of new cabbies taking to the streets,’ Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner. ‘More than 1,600 people have taken the test since March, and an additional 1,200 potential drivers are eligible….The District could experience a 12 percent to 20 percent increase in drivers if half of all new applicants pass the test, the council’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation wrote in its fiscal 2010 budget report. Any increase beyond 20 percent “would represent a potentially catastrophic oversupply,” the panel warned.’ Read it just to see Phil Mendelson doing his best Grover Norquist impression.
In the regional story of the day, District transpo officials announce that rebuild of the 14th Street Bridge’s inbound span is imminent. ‘Expect “major traffic impacts” during the extensive $27-million rehabilitation project, Mayor Adrian Fenty said Thursday during a morning news conference,’ reports Examiner’s Neibauer. ‘Most affected once work begins in mid-May will be drivers crossing the 59-year-old northbound span, the Virginia side of which was recently ranked the region’s worst traffic bottleneck. Less intensive work on the southbound and High Occupancy Vehicle spans, completed in 1962 and 1972, respectively, will take place mostly during nights and weekends….Wear and tear on the bridge spans has taken a toll over several decades, officials said. The bridge suffers from “surface distress,” which includes potholes, as well as degradation of the piers and bascules driven into the Potomac River.’ Also WaPo, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV, NC8.
Still more fallout from Marion Barry‘s gay marriage flip: ‘”Shame on You!”‘ is the banner headline in today’s Blade, quoting Rick Rosendall. GayWired.com calls him ‘Hypocrite of the Week.’ And it prompts Queerty to recycle the old list of Barry chestnuts (many of them apocryphal).
Jonathan O’Connell files Biz Journal stories on Wednesday’s economic development markup and on the move to break up the Sports and Entertainment Commission. Regarding the former, he writes, ‘No real estate developer has scored bigger in the budget back-and-forth to date than Roadside Development LLC, the city’s partner in redevelopment plans for the O Street Market in Shaw’—-and, LL merely notes, the former employer of D.C. development director David Jannarone. The DCUSA parking subsidy is kaput, too. As for the SEC-WCCA merge, he writes, ‘a marriage between the two agencies is not easily made, especially when the sports commission, which relies on revenue from aging RFK Stadium and the aging D.C. Armory, required a $2.5 million city subsidy in the current fiscal year to stay afloat.’ The WBJ ed board is ‘queasy.’
LOOKEE—-Jack Evans Wednesday night with Don Peebles, Mark Ein, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Warner (via Bisnow).
Anonymous D.C. couple comes forward to claim $144M Powerball jackpot. Why anonymous? Who knows, writes Petula Dvorak in WaPo: ‘A lawyer got in touch with the lottery office this week to claim the winnings on behalf of his clients. [D.C. Lottery spokesperson Athena Hernandez] said the money will be handed over at 11 a.m. Monday, but the lottery commission and the lawyer are wrangling with the details about the handover….This is not necessarily what a lottery commission wants. Officials love the big smile, the news conference, the giant check and dreams made palpable in the form of a real person everyone can relate to….”The one thing I know for sure is that they are District residents,” she said.’
GO GET ‘EM—-‘Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi requested yesterday that the D.C. Council approve emergency legislation Tuesday “to clarify and ensure their authority to withhold District income taxes on lottery winnings of District residents.” David Umansky, a spokeswoman for the office, said the city would receive 8.5 percent of the winnings. If the couple choose to take a lump sum of $79.6 million, that would be nearly $6.8 million.’
Harry Jaffe says mayor-council sniping bodes ill for any changes in congressional oversight. ‘[W]hat Congress has seen in the last two months is a city where the executive and legislative branches are at war. “I have never seen it as bad as this,” says a veteran lobbyist. “There is zero contact between the committee chairs and the executive.” You have to go back to the days when dear departed John Wilson was council chairman and Sharon Pratt Kelly was mayor to find such antipathy between the branches…But now the majority of council members actually despise Fenty. Their antipathy might be justified. Fenty smiles in their faces in public then refuses to speak with them in private on substantive matters. Hardheaded and competitive, he treats them as adversaries, or bugs he must crush.’
Erstwhile DPR chief Clark Ray tells Metro Weekly he ‘agrees…with the substance’ of Stein Club resolution calling his firing a “slap in the face” to the gay community. Says the man, “That resolution is bigger than Clark Ray. That’s about a community who believes, and rightfully so, that it should have a seat at the table. We have plenty of straight allies in the gay community, but there is nothing better than having a member of your community at the table.”
It’s a rainy day, and LL does not merely refer to the light showers early this morning. WMATA board has decided to tap reserve funds to avoid drastic Metrobus cuts, one day after Rep. Chris Van Hollen implored them to do so at a Capitol Hill hearing. Writes Lena Sun` in WaPo, ‘The operating reserve fund is not big enough to close the gap completely, so Metro is eliminating three bus routes and some off-peak service on a fourth route and charging express fares on three routes in suburban Maryland. Five Metrobus routes in Alexandria are also being consolidated into one. There are no service cuts in the District….Yesterday’s decision came after the board met for more than three hours in closed session. Board Chairman Jim Graham said the closed session was dictated by “sensitive” budget issues with legal ramifications. Rider groups blasted the lack of transparency.’ Also GGW and Examiner, which first reported the rainy-day fund’s existence.
SWINE H1N1 FLU—-Two cases in Virginia; eight cases in Maryland—-including a World Bank employee and a White House employee (also NC8, WTTG-TV, and WUSA-TV floods the zone). WHC preps for pandemic, WTOP reports. And Joe Biden be damned, Metro says keep on ridin’, Kytja Weir reports in Examiner. ‘The agency is printing signs for rail stations and buses, urging riders to know the symptoms of the flu and to wash hands or use alcohol-based hand cleaners. The agency won’t have the signs up until mid-May, even though they are printed in-house….The transit agency began making announcements Wednesday in stations, reminding riders to take precautions.’
Former Bush speechwriter, current WaPo columnist Michael Gerson gets an AIDS test in Deanwood. ‘An AIDS clinic in Washington — a new ground zero in the American AIDS crisis — is no place for the squeamish….I was visiting Unity Health Care in Ward 7, an outpost of tidy medical professionalism in a poor section of the city. Here the talk of epidemics has nothing to do with swine flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes a health epidemic as “severe” when more than 1 percent of people in a geographic area are infected. The HIV infection rate in Ward 7 is at least 2.4 percent — higher than the national rate in Ethiopia, Ghana or Burundi.’ It’s a good piece.
Blade’s Amy Cavanaugh does lengthy piece on the Monday WWC-Catania hearings. Oh, and Blade? Way to finally get a picture of Don Blanchon besides the dopey one of him in a tuxedo. And Lou Chibbaro Jr. covers the pre-trial wranglings in the Robert Wone case, including this revelation about suspect Joseph Price: ‘[Prosecutor Glenn Kirschner] disclosed additional information in his April 17 court filing saying the government plans to release a personal profile that Price allegedly used to describe his sexual interests on ALT.com, a sexually oriented web site specializing in S&M practices. The brief says that Price allegedly listed his interests on the site as “various forms of ‘Torture,’ including ‘Electro-torture…Pain…Sadism…’”…Kirschner declined a reporter’s request to provide his rationale for releasing Price’s ALT.com profile, saying the rationale for releasing the information would surface at the trial.’
High-court lawyer kills self in downtown office early yesterday: Mark Levy, 59, was recently laid off from Kilpatrick Stockton, an Atlanta-based firm with offices at 14th and F. He lived in Bethesda. WaPo: ‘Kilpatrick Stockton’s Web site says Levy was head of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Practice. He argued 16 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during his career, it says. Another source familiar with the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is not complete, said that yesterday would have been Levy’s last day at work and that he was given four months of severance pay….The source said Levy left a note in his home saying he loved his family and instructing his wife on how to handle finances and other matters. He apparently had spent some time recently getting his affairs in order, the source said.’ Also Biz Journal, AP, WaTimes, which nods to Vince Foster with this hed: ‘Clinton-era appointee dead in likely suicide.’
Local developments slapped with millions in contractor liens thanks to poor economy, Melissa Castro reports in Biz Journal. ‘In just one week of March, Forest City Washington was slapped with a $191,460 lien for work done at its Yards project near the baseball stadium, while Faison Enterprises Inc. and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds LLC got hit with a $118,674 lien at the nearby Onyx Apartments. The CityVista mixed-use project faces a nearly $400,000 lien for work related to Results, The Gym’s outpost there, and Intrepid Real Estate’s uber-luxury condominium building at 2501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW is on the hook for $154,555.’
Yvette Alexander sits down with WTTG-TV to talk swine flu, budgeting, the 100th anniversary of Nannie Helen Burroughs school, and…baseball tickets!
Maya Angelou visits Oak Hill, the District’s youth detention and rehabilitation center, and tells them, ‘Life isn’t about taking back…but adding to what already exists.’ Writes Robert Pierre in WaPo, ‘Angelou, in town for a fundraiser for a charter school bearing her name, spent more than half an hour lecturing and listening to students such as Darius Watts, a 10th-grader at Oak Hill Academy, who said that he’s reading “Animal Farm” and studying the Russian Revolution….Vincent N. Schiraldi, director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, which oversees Oak Hill, has made it a point during his four-year tenure to expose many of the city’s most delinquent youths to what many don’t get at home: arts, culture and activities such as hiking and canoeing. “You’re smart enough and deep enough to understand Dr. Angelou,” he told the youths in introducing her. “People always underestimate you.” ‘
Area residents willing to spend more for better schools, public safety, according to survey results released by COG-sponsored group Greater Washington 2050. WaPo’s David Nakamura writes it up: ‘Although 54 percent of the 1,313 adults selected at random cited transportation as one of their top two concerns, improving commuting choices ranked ninth out of 16 priorities….The poll, whose findings will be presented at a news conference today, was conducted Feb. 10-20 by the Annapolis-based OpinionWorks and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent. The Council on Governments paid $75,000 for the poll.’ Also WTOP, which ledes with traffic concerns.
WAPO BRIEFS—-Woman, 47, pleads guilty in federal court to bilking nonprofit Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies of @$180K, Del Wilber reports. ‘Wendy Mansfield pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud in the thefts, which took place during a four-year period beginning in 2004. She could face between 21 and 27 months under federal guidelines at her sentencing Aug. 11.’ —-Four D.C. men, ages 20 to 31, admit to affiliations with the Bloods; UDC tuition hikes become final; —-D.C. Council hosts evening reception for the Rev. Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. ‘D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) hosted the event for DuBois,’ Hamil Harris writes. ‘Whatever is on Obama’s agenda, he will need help from the faith community and local leaders, Gray said. “You can’t do this by yourself.”‘
David Souter—-Southwest mugging victim, legendary hater of Washington, and formidable Supreme Court justice—-says he’s finally going to leave town for good. Mary Cheh is quoted in AP story on his penchant for taking on Antonin Scalia.
Dupont Circle Citizens Association election: Is it the gays vs. the non-gays? Or is it the party people vs. the party poopers? The Blade says…
Biz Journal profiles D.C. movie-and-TV czar Kathy Hollinger: ‘I absolutely think that our new local administration and the president’s administration — Hollywood is very intrigued by it. The filmmaking and talent portion are very intrigued by with what happens in Washington. They see that there is a vibrant local mayor who has a very similar energy to our president, and they have this great relationship that has been captured by the media.’ LL SEZ—-I’ll bet they do.
NC8 does the Capitol Hill you-can’t-park-in-your-driveway story.
DDOT does something about the treacherous 5th & Mass NW intersection. LL can’t remember how many times he’s narrowly missed obliteration there while on his bike.
AP covers Walter Reed’s 100th.
Summer opening still planned for W Hotel (former Hotel Washington).
BREAK OUT THE SEERSUCKER—-Gold Cup’s tomorrow.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-11 a.m.: Committee on Libraries, Parks & Recreation FY2010 budget markup, JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:45 a.m.: remarks, DYRS employee summit, Oak Hill Youth Center, 8400 River Road, Laurel, Md.; 11 a.m.: remarks, Summer Youth Employment Program registration update, Merritt Middle School, 5002 Hayes St. NE.