IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Breaking: Ingmar Guandique Charged With Chandra Levy Murder“; “Way to Be Flinty, Obama“
Morning all. LL shoulda known better. Yesterday, he welcomed Marion Barry back to the D.C. Council after his kidney transplant surgery, taking at face value reports that the Mayor-for-Life was going to attend yesterday’s legislative meeting a mere 11 days after major surgery. Well, of course, Barry’s didn’t show. Said chief of staff Bernadette Tolson to WaPo: “He really wanted to be here today, but the doctor wants him to get more rest.” In fact, WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson is reporting this morning that Barry is back in the hospital after doctors “saw something they didn’t like” and is “expected to remain at the hospital at least through the end of the week.” WRC-TV says “there appear to be post-operative complications to his kidney transplant, but there doesn’t appear to be an outright rejection.”
D.C. House Voting Rights Act runs into snags on House side. The NRA presses the guns issue in the rules committee—-yes, the rules committee—-telling legislators it may score a vote for a rule that limits amendment or debate. “Supporters of the vote bill had assumed Democrats would use their majority power to pass a rule that would bar gun amendments,” says Mary Beth Sheridan and Nikita Stewart‘s WaPo article. What now? Rules committee debate had been postponed; the DCHVRA is in a holding pattern till Steny Hoyer and EHN figure something out. Also Examiner, Fox News, Deseret News, WaTimes, which has John Boehner quote: “The Democratic leadership repeatedly has made promises for a return to ‘regular order´ in the House, but this is added proof of just how hollow that promise has become.”
MEANWHILE—-At yesterday’s legislative meeting, the D.C. Council passes resolution opposing the gun language, rallies on the Wilson Building steps with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence afterward (WaPo video).
LEGISLATIVE MEETING WRAP—-Nikita Stewart in WaPo ledes with Barry absence (and concomitant decision to hold off on emergency UDC tuition legislation), kicks with confirmation of Fenty friend Lori M. Lee to the Public Service Commission (Mary Cheh, Phil Mendelson, Michael A. Brown dissenting). Examiner covers Lee vote and Cheh introduction of “light pollution” bill. Oh, and the Brookland SAP passed.
UNDERNOTICED—-View 14 development in Columbia Heights got a big Council bailout, Ruth Samuelson points out.
MICHAEL BROWN’S ‘SPECIAL PROJECT’—-“[T]he council approved the formation of a Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination to press for more autonomy for the District.”
Fun little scoop for David Nakamura: AG’s office hires Neil Albert‘s wife as a criminal section trial attorney. Lilian A. Shepherd, he writes, “was hired Feb. 2 [and]…is being paid $81,563.” Peter Nickles says he didn’t even know: “She went through the regular channels.” SAYS NAK: “Still, the whiff of patronage is hard to escape.”
UPLIFTING WAPO A1 HEADLINE—-“Long Insulated By Government, Region Dragged Into Downturn” tops Neil Irwin and Dana Hedgpeth‘s story. Comes with this uplifting lede: “This is the state of business in Washington: BearingPoint, a titan in government contracting, is in bankruptcy. Chevy Chase Bank, with nearly 250 local branches, has sold itself under distress. Allied Capital, the District-based buyout firm, has defaulted on more than $1 billion in debt. Meanwhile, countless small businesses that have called this region home for decades are struggling to stay afloat.” BUT, HEY, THERE’S THIS—-“Region insulated from worst of unemployment crisis,” says WTOP. And the Nats are hiring…concession workers.
OH, BY THE WAY—-Prosecutors announced an arrest warrant in some old murder case yesterday. Anyone heard of this Chandra Levy person? For starters, read Jason Cherkis‘ rundown of the affidavit filed in Superior Court in support of the arrest warrant. Most of the evidence comes from jailhouse informants. Unsettling stuff: “Guandique had boasted to the witness that he was a member of MS-13 and that he had committed many robberies and that he had a nickname, Chuckie, ‘because he had a reputation for killing and chopping up people.’ He also confessed that he had committed many crimes against women, including rapes.”
HOW GOOD IS THE CASE?—-Not open and shut, reports Bill Myers in Examiner: “Those are not always very strong cases,” former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers tells him. “Those kinds of cases have severe deficiencies because those witnesses are being given something.” And the public defenders seem confident.
Harry Jaffe thinks Bush appointee Jeffrey Taylor could remain as U.S. attorney for a good stretch: “Reason One: Taylor has done a terrific job since taking office….Reason Two…Norton has been consumed by getting the D.C. voting rights bill through Congress….Reason Three: Obama is in no rush to engage U.S. attorneys.” LL DOESN’T BUY REASON TWO….
JUST READ IT—-“McGruff the Crime Dog, the stern but beloved police mascot who teaches kids how to stop crime before it happens, became a victim himself this weekend when a Metro bus driver punched him in the face as a stunned group of children watched, authorities said,” reports Scott McCabe in Examiner. Assailant driver “later told a supervisor that he was trying ‘to be funny.'” Also WaPo, WTTG-TV.
IN OTHER BIZARRE VIOLENCE NEWS—-Employee at 16th and U Starbucks shoots self in leg. WaPo: “The employee was hit in the right leg when the handgun discharged accidentally, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of an injury that police said was not life-threatening. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, police said.” Also WTTG-TV.
Michelle Rhee to appear at Sacramento education summit with Al Sharpton and Joel Klein, hosted, natch, by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Blogger Eduflack calls out Rhee for refusing to share consultants’ report saying teacher pay plan is sustainable: “[W]aiving around an unnamed research study that supposedly proves your point, no questions asked, but refusing to provide details, identifiers, or even the study itself is just amateur grandstanding….a ‘Trust me, I’m with the government’ approach just doesn’t cut it in the new era of 21st century school improvement….Until Rhee releases this economic study on the sustainability of her pay proposal, she can’t win the day.”
Are D.C. auctions of used fire equipment possibly abetting terrorists? WUSA-TV’s Dave Statter says they just might.
National Synagogue rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld wants Fenty apology for attending Dubai tennis tournament, WTOP reports. Says letter: “Shame on you. You should have known better.”
National Zoo chief John Berry tapped by Obama to head Office of Personnel Management.
RUMOR—-Vivek Kundra OMB move to become official today, finally?
Examiner: DCRA launches consumer-protection Web site, also follows up used-car crusade with auto-repair and towing crusade. The Web site is at consumer.dc.gov. INCLUDES THIS ILL-PRODUCED YOUTUBE CLIP…
DCPS attendance on Monday: Not looking so good.
Catholic schools hike financial aid.
Woman dead in fire on 400 block of Emerson Street NW late last night. WaPo: “The woman, who appeared to be in her 50s, was pulled from a bedroom on the second floor and pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said. The cause of the fire, which was reported around midnight, was not immediately known.” Also AP, NC8, WTTG-TV.
Park Police officer has accident with SUV while escorting Gordon Brown on Rock Creek Parkway, says AP.
WaPo letter writers dish on Jim Graham: “Maybe if Mr. Graham had to wait more than 15 minutes for a train and then 25-plus minutes for a bus, he would be a little more motivated to do something about Metro’s inconvenient and inadequate weekday evening service.” And on Marion Barry: “It’s a testament to the equality of our (flawed) health-care system that even a recidivist criminal can get a new kidney. I hope he heals well and quickly. Then I hope he goes to jail.”
ANOTHER WHITE-SHOE MASSACRE—-Orrick lays off 300 nationally.
Blogger In Shaw rates dc.gov vis-a-vis other city Web sites.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary agency performance oversight hearing on Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, Office of Unified Communications, Corrections Information Council, Department of Corrections, and D.C. National Guard, JAWB 412; Committee on Economic Development meeting, JAWB 123; Committee on Public Works and Transportation agency performance oversight hearing on D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council, D.C. Taxicab Commission, and Department of Motor Vehicles, JAWB 120; 2 p.m.: Committee on Human Services agency performance oversight hearing on Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:15 a.m.: remarks, 2009 Washington Construction and Development Summit, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon St. NW; 10:30 a.m.: remarks, Takoma Park Neighborhood Library announcement, 416 Cedar St. NW.