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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“This Guy Is Running Your City Today“; “Traveling Fenty Jilts Ward 3 Dems“; “Feds: Barry Stopped Paying D.C. Back Taxes in July“; “Nickles on Mayoral Travel Concerns: “Baloney!”“; “Where’s Adrian Fenty?“
Morning all. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty appears to be out of town again today, and with City Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Deputy Mayor Neil Albert on leave for the week, the reins of city government are firmly in the hands of…Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso. Really.
Here’s the story of the day, from Examiner’s Michael Neibauer: The District government is planning to send an ambulance and a fire truck worth $350K to the city of Sosúa, Dominican Republic. Why? Who the hell knows, but Peaceoholics’ Ron Moten seems to be at the center of all this. “[W]e see the city getting a lot back from it,” he said. “And it’s just a good deed. We believe if you can help anybody, God blesses you 10 times over.” The deal “has struck numerous city officials as unusual, if not unprecedented.” It’s so shady even Peter Nickles doesn’t know what’s going on! “I have no idea….I’m just starting to get involved in this.”
LL had it first yesterday, but you can read all about it on WaPo A1, too: Marion Barry, according to court filing, still owes $277,000 in back taxes and stopped repaying his D.C. back taxes in July. [BTW: Expect a correction from WaPo—-he started paying again last month.] Hamil Harris gets a statement from Barry: “The approach that they are using goes against prosecutorial conduct….The U.S. attorney is, in legal terms, piling on….The attorney knows that the hearing is scheduled for April 2, 2009. Whatever additional information he has since the last filing can be presented in court at that time.” Also Examiner, WaTimes, WTOP, NC8, WRC-TV. American Prospect, Instapundit crack wise.
LL had it first, but you can read all about it in WaPo, too: Nikita Stewart details how Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is raiding the Neighborhood Investment Fund for earmarks for arts groups and other non-neighborhood-investment purposes. “Under the proposed budget, only $5.4 million of the $17 million will be set aside for neighborhood groups. About $1.6 million will be transferred to the Commission on Arts and Humanities and distributed through grants of mostly $250,000 to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington National Opera, the D.C. Jewish Community Center and other groups, all based in Northwest.” Richard Layman reacts.
DCHVRA won’t be coming to the House floor for a while, David Nakamura reports in a WaPo brief. “The bill, which would give a House seat to the District, was not added to next week’s schedule, and the House will recess for two weeks after that….[Steny Hoyer] hopes to bring the bill to the floor after Congress reconvenes in late April.” The Hill says that the delay “indicates Norton’s [no-gun-amendment] argument prevailed” over Fenty’s get-the-vote-regardless position.
Charlene Drew Jarvis will resign as president of Southeastern University at month’s end. WaPo: “Jarvis told students, faculty and supporters of the university that Elaine Ryan, the executive vice president, could be the interim president if the board chooses. The school could merge with the nearby GS Graduate School if the move is approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which voted this year to rescind Southeastern’s accreditation….According to Jarvis, the next president would come from the graduate school.”
CAPCO partisans respond to scathing D.C. Auditor’s report, Jonathan O’Connell writes in Biz Journal. “The venture coalition has commissioned two reports that he says will show that CAPCO has contributed much more to the city than the auditor suggested. One is an economic impact study being performed by University of Missouri-Saint Louis professor Don Phares, a forensic economist, with consultation by George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller. Another is an audit of the auditor’s report, by New Economy Strategies, a D.C. consulting firm.”
WaPo editorial board loves the Tommy Wells bag bill: “The proposal is a creative attempt to discourage the use of plastic and paper bags that end up littering the area’s roads and waterways….Council members will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday, and they should keep an open mind to modifications needed to deal with reasonable concerns of affected stakeholders. But council members should not back away from this sensible proposal.”
Whitman-Walker responds to David Catania‘s bulldog requests with eight boxes of documents, Blade reports, plus this: “The same day, Whitman-Walker released a 54-page review of its operations. Conducted pro bono by law firm Arnold & Porter LLP at the request of the Clinic’s board, the review considers whether Whitman-Walker has moved away from its mission as an LGBT clinic. The review concludes that ‘after reviewing more than 44,000 pages of documents and interviewing 27 people,’ the evidence ‘does not support the charges that the Clinic and its management have abandoned [Whitman-Walker’s] historical commitment to the LGBT community.'”
Harry Jaffe has an inkling of what Dubai wanted out of Adrian Fenty: “Dubai can publicize Fenty and his wife and two sons frolicking freely on the country’s beaches. What better way to bridge the gulf between Dubai’s frowning mullahs, who want to preserve Islamic religious values, and the country’s tourist industry, which relies on foreign visitors, such as the mayor of the capital of the United States?…The $25,000 for Fenty’s visit will pay off handsomely by deflecting attention from Dubai’s harsh social restrictions….Perhaps Fenty sold himself — and the city — for chump change.”
BTW—-It ain’t just us ink-stained wretches doing the finger-wagging. Check this hard-hitting WTTG-TV travel piece yesterday!
Metro board proposes bus cuts. Writes Lena Sun in WaPo, “The service cuts, proposed by the jurisdictions served by Metro, would affect 42 Metrobus lines across the region, with the largest impact in Prince George’s County….Ten lines would be eliminated, including five in Prince George’s. Another 12 lines would have some routes or segments eliminated….And 14 lines could undergo wider gaps between bus arrival times.” Kytja Weir points out in Examiner that “it appears that fare increases are off the table. The District vetoed a proposal Thursday to increase fares by a nickel.” Also WRC-TV.
D.C. SERVICE CUTS—-Fairfax Village-Naylor Road (M2), MacArthur Boulevard-Georgetown (D5) are proposed to be eliminated; 14th Street, North Capitol Street, U Street-Garfield, Crosstown (H2-4), Brookland-Fort Lincoln, Massachusetts Avenue (N2-6), 16th Street (S2-4), Minnesota Avenue-M Street, Benning Road-H Street lines will come less frequently.
In other Metro matters, GGW follows up on the NextBus controversy—-you know, how Metro had the system secretly open to the public, then quickly closed it once the wide world found out. Yesterday, Va. board member Chris Zimmerman says WMATA is “more nervous than [it] need[s] to be” about this stuff.
Blade stays on top of the outrageous $382,200 salary being pulled down by Food and Friends’ Craig Shniderman, reporting he “had the highest salary among the heads of the nation’s most prominent LGBT advocacy groups and groups that provide AIDS-related services in Los Angeles, New York and D.C.”
Tom Sherwood reports at WRC-TV that many councilmembers are willing to forgo their $6,000 COLA. Muriel Bowser, David Catania, Mary Cheh all commit on camera.
Good catch by Nikita: “The proposed budget shows that the Fenty administration wants to save $25,000 in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner by cremating the city’s unidentified dead instead of burying them.”
Bill Turque solves a mystery at D.C. Wire: In the mayor’s 2010 budget, the workforce investment fund—-from which raises for city workers are typically funded—-has been zeroed out. So where are those big teacher raises going to come from? “District officials…have placed it into the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), which would rise by two percent under the spending plan. The increase is fueled by $29.4 million in federal stimulus money.” Says mayoral budget czar Will Singer, “I really can’t disrupt negotiations by disclosing the amount of funding available….However, we believe District and other funds will be sufficient to support a compensation structure that is consistent with the Chancellor’s statements.”
ATTENTION WILSON BUILDING EMPLOYEES—-Empower D.C. will be protesting school dispositions outside Neil Albert‘s third-floor office. “The protesters will don badges reading: ‘Public property police.’ They are accusing Albert of violating legal requirements regarding surplus property when he began seeking development proposals for the closed schools Dec. 23, 2008. Albert, however, won’t be there. He and his family are on vacation spring break from school, according to his spokesman, Sean Madigan.”
Online tix for White House Easter Egg Hunt? Big mess, reports Timothy Wilson in WaPo. “Several people said that they were unable to log on to the White House ticket site or that when they logged on, tickets weren’t available. Some resorted to Craigslist to find tickets, for as much as $50 apiece. A spokeswoman for the White House said it was working with Internet sites to prevent ticket sales.”
WTOP follows up on Roll Call’s homestead deduction story, names names. The congressmen taking the District deduction are: Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who received the deduction in error.
D.C. puts in 2014 Gay Games bid. Fenty wrote letter that promises “‘full support for the efforts’ of MWG on behalf of the D.C. government, along with $1 million. ‘We understand the magnitude of this program,’ Fenty wrote in the letter. ‘Please know that the District of Columbia stands with you as a full partner in this bid. We will work with you to provide the resources necessary to ensure the most successful games in history.'”
Catholicism catfight! Archbishop, church functionary gets in hot water for abortion-related comments referring to Washington Archbishop Donald Wuehrl, Jacqueline L. Salmon reports in WaPo.
DEPT. OF UNDERSTANDABLE CORRECTIONS—-“A March 26 Metro article incorrectly referred to D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (At Large) as a Democrat. Brown became an independent last year when he ran for the council. “
Making performance parking work in Southwest.
NB: Phil Mendelson does not work out at one particular Washington Sports Club.
Pepco wins contract to design/build co-gen plant at British Embassy.
Michael Chertoff to Covington & Burling.
Economy claims…Textile Museum director?
TODAY ON THE POLITICS HOUR WITH KOJO NNAMDI—-Tom Sherwood, WRC-TV; Sommer Mathis, DCist; Brian Moran, candidate for Va. governor; Steny Hoyer, U.S. House majority leader; Harry Thomas Jr., Ward 5 councilmember; 12 p.m., WAMU-FM, 88.5.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Economic Development FY2010 budget hearing on Boxing and Wrestling Commission, Commission on Arts and Humanities, and Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, JAWB 412; 11 a.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation FY2010 budget hearing on Department of Motor Vehicles and Taxicab Commission, JAWB 500; 1 p.m.: Committee on Government Operations and the Environment and Public Safety and the Judiciary hearing on Bill 18-83 (“Metropolitan Police Department Subpoena Limitation Amendment Act of 2009”), JAWB 123; 2 p.m.: Committee on Economic Development hearing on PR18-91 (“Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development Lee A. Smith III Confirmation Resolution of 2009”), PR18-124 (“Center Leg Freeway [Interstate 395] Fee and Air Rights Disposition Extension Approval Resolution of 2009”), JAWB 412.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.