Morning all. This morning at 9:15 a.m., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty will brief the members of the D.C. Council on his fiscal 2010 budget submission over breakfast at the John A. Wilson Building, with press conference to follow. Fenty presaged some of the contents in his State of the District speech yesterday and in remarks afterward; David Nakamura reports in WaPo via leak that local spending will total $5.3 billion, down 5 percent from FY09’s $5.6 billion. Cuts, he said, “will be spread across city agencies and…a personnel reduction is likely.” But no tax hikes, he promised.
Nakamura also teams up with Hamil Harris for B1 story on Fenty’s position on the D.C. House Voting Rights Act. To wit, pass it—-gun amendment or no gun amendment: “I do believe a majority of District residents say: ‘Give us the vote. Give us the vote, and we hate this gun law, but we’ll find a way to get rid of that if necessary.'” (He said much the same thing at a public appearance last week.) Eleanor Holmes Norton is not pleased: “Perhaps the mayor has not had time to read the bill….A reading of the bill will show that there can be no coming back if this amendment is attached.” Also Roll Call (if you have a login).
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY—-Fenty vs. Eleanor! As the story hinted, Norton is hard-line against attaching any sort of gun legislation to the bill. She expects House Democratic leadership to whip a vote providing for a no-amendment rule. Whether Steny Hoyer et al. will expend the political capital to pass a clean bill for her when (a) the objectionable amendment could be added to any other legislation and (b) the bill is rather likely to be struck down by the courts is, needless to say, a matter of question.
OCTOgate update: Second employee arrested in connection with alleged scheme. For those scoring their affidavit at home, Farrukh Awan, 27, is “F.A.,” who is alleged to have “worked together to steal money” with Yusuf Acar. Examiner, WaTimes, WRC-TV, NC8, WTTG-TV, and WaPo detail arrest and also break down Fenty OCTO shakeup: Chris Willey takes over from Tommy Jones as interim head of the agency; BDO Seidman will conduct agency audit; systems will undergo security review; and $500K independent contracting authority is being ended by mayoral order. In remarks, Hizzoner took a cue from the Hill these days and said he was “upset and outraged when anyone abuses [sic] the public trust.”
BTW—-Willey kinda looks like Dwight Schrute, but LL is told he is a really competent, really nice guy!
Remember when LL wrote back in October about how then-candidate Michael A. Brown and friends had lost a big lawsuit alleging he had swindled a small businessman out of his share of a joint venture? Well, now said small businessman wants now-Councilmember Brown to pay up via salary garnishment, Nikita Stewart reports at D.C. Wire.
Mark Segraves pens a very nice rant about why Fenty’s attitude toward his secretive foreign travel is so abominable. And be sure to listen to the audio.
When Marion Barry talks, Michael Neibauer listens. He wants job training, people! Catch the subtle irony in this passage: “‘We judge priorities by where you put your money,’ Barry told The Examiner outside his DOES oversight hearing. ‘The Fenty administration puts very little money into job training, something like $1.8 million out of a $9 billion budget.’ Fenty, meanwhile, has committed tens of millions of dollars to the summer employment program for D.C. youth.”
Cabbies testify before council, tell legislators that they’ve lost one-third of their revenue since meter reforms, according to Theola Labbé-DeBose‘s WaPo article. “At a D.C. Council hearing, drivers testified that they want the city to lift the fare cap because it prevents them from charging a reasonable fare for longer trips. The drivers also said city officials should bring back shared rides, meaning drivers could pick up more than one passenger at a time.”
RARE SPECIES—-Police union story not written by Bill Myers. The MPD Youth Investigations Branch “is understaffed and in disarray, with scores of reports of missing juveniles ‘piled on the floor of an office and not assigned to a detective for months or years,'” according to WaPo story by Paul Duggan, based on letter from Kris Baumann to the IG’s office. Also NC8.
WaPo editorial board revisits the case of accused teen murderer Lafonte Lurie Carlton—-rather, the transparency reforms forced by the tragedies he perpetuated. “The reforms during [DYRS director Vincent Schiraldi]’s tenure have markedly improved a department that was once a national disgrace. But they won’t survive, nor should they, if public safety is treated as cavalierly as it was in the Carlton case.”
BILLION DOLLAR BALLPARK—-Nationals Park is the priciest structure in the city, at least when you’re talking tax assessments, Neibauer reports in Examiner. “According to the District’s Real Property Administration, the 2010 taxable assessment for 1500 South Capitol St. SE, the stadium’s official address near Southeast, is $999,982,800 — roughly $4 million more than the city’s assessment of the White House, $400 million more than the U.S. Capitol and $550 million more than either the Library of Congress or the Verizon Center.”
Jason Cherkis was busy on the blog yesterday: He ran down the executive testimony at Wednesday’s crime bill hearing. SNOOZE! And he reported that the D.C. cop arrested for prostitution is apparently a fan of cunnilingus. UNSNOOZE!
SmartBike program gets a big boost, WTOP reports: 50 racks by summer! “The upcoming expansion will not touch all eight Wards, but there will be numerous neighborhoods that get the bikes, including Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill, Anacostia and Georgetown. DDOT has set aside about $3 million in stimulus money to fund the upcoming expansion.”
LL saw this column coming: Harry Jaffe wants Phil Mendelson to pass the crime bill now! NOW! NO TIME FOR NITPICKING, NITPICKER! After all this is a guy who “uses his at-large seat as a proxy for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Defenders Service” and “has stood in the way of tough crime laws for years.” Mendo was late to his hearing, Jaffe says, because “he was getting spanked by Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans,” who “threatened to organize a rebellion and vote the bill out of committee without the chairman.” Vince Gray played peacemaker, “guaranteed a final vote on the crime bill by the full council by July 15.”
AP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV wrap up DCPS visits from Michelle Obama, celebs. “The group included Grammy Award-winning singers Alicia Keys and Sheryl Crow, actresses and sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad, actress Fran Drescher, Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, WNBA star Lisa Leslie Lockwood and Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space. Also participating were Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first woman to achieve the four-star rank; actresses Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross; and Debra Lee, president and CEO of the parent company of the BET cable network.” WaPo has some video.
Michelle Rhee is invited to join advisory board of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, says WaPo‘s Bill Turque. She’ll join Arlene Ackerman, Margaret Spellings, Wendy Kopp, and Louis Gerstner Jr. on the panel associated with the Broad Foundation. Time for LL to add to the networking chart!
Blogger on Rhee: “One Mouth, Two Sides.” He sees dual standards on how teachers will be assessed on student achievement.
MARY LEVY IS SMILING—-Apologies, LL missed this yesterday: Turque informed Arne Duncan that DCPS does not in fact have “more money than God,” as he said to WaPo March 4. “That’s good to know,” SecEd said.
Metro reverses course, decides it will share data with Google Transit et al. after all, according to WaPo‘s Lena Sun. GGW’s David Alpert and Michael Perkins get their rightful props: “Metro’s decision comes after an online petition drive by riders in the fall and after Metro and Google Transit were unable to reach an agreement last year to place Metro’s information on the popular mapping tool.”
Other Metro news: Medical Center station closed “after a custodian who cleaned up a single pill later complained of watery eyes and an itchy throat,” WaPo reports. And fire on Orange Line train; evac’d at Fed Triangle. Oh, and, per Examiner, they’re changing their stimulus spending plans. Again.
LL THE PROPHET—-Jack Shafer indeed debunks WaPo’s PCP-on-the-rise story.
In wake of prize, WaPo’s Debbie Cenziper updates her various housing investigations.
So Matthew Yglesias adds to the chorus of smartypants, liberal, urbanist types who REALLY, REALLY HATE Harry Thomas Jr.‘s gas station subsidy legislation.
Georgetown Apple Store gains CFA approval, according to reports in Biz Journal. Smooth sailing ahead. Hopefully.
Allen Sessoms details his plans for UDC in WaPo video.
EHN introduces legislation to enforce 1993 ballot initiative on nuclear proliferation. Confused? So is LL.
Union-organized protesters hit AIG’s K Street offices.
NC8 covers Borderstan safety walk. ROOFTOP BURGLAR STILL AT LARGE!!!
Cherry blossoms now skedded for April 1 to 4.
Think twice about driving through town early Saturday: National Marathon street closures promise to badly snarl traffic. If you go, wave to LL—-it’s his first 26.2!
William C. Smith Sr., he of the eponymous real-estate company, is dead at 86. “No company has played a larger role in redevelopment of D.C. neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River in the past decade, including the company’s construction and charitable contributions to the education and arts facility in Congress Heights, The Town Hall Education, Arts & Recreation Campus (Thearc),” Jonathan O’Connell writes in Biz Journal.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-2 p.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation hearing on PR 18-79 (“Director of the District Department of Transporation Gabe Klein Confirmation Resolution of 2009”), JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, FY2010 budget plan announcement, JAWB G-9; 1 p.m.: remarks, SunTrust National Marathon kick-off press conference, D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol Street SE; 2:45 p.m.: remarks, DPR Spring/Summer Activity Guide announcement, Hillcrest Recreation Center, 3100 Denver St. SE.