City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Fenty at Joint Session: Sweet Seat!“; “Nickles vs. Mendo: The Saga Continues“; “More DCVRA Reactions and Explanations“; “Michael Steele: D.C. Vote an “Important Civil Right”“; “D.C. House Voting Rights Act Passes Cloture Vote“
Morning all. LL was relaxing with a cheeseburger and a malt beverage at the Tune Inn last night after attending last night’s joint session of Congress. There he caught Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s appearance on Larry King Live shortly after midnight. Actually, make that Fenty, plus black libertarian Larry Elder, plus blond Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, plus Sacramento mayor and alleged chancelloric love interest Kevin Johnson. Dunno whether it was a long day or the late hour, but Fenty was not the most magnetic mayoral presence on the tube last night—-Johnson talked circles around him, and that was obvious to LL even though he had to follow along via closed caption. Fave AMF line: “I think people have shown opinions.” NOTE TO MAYORAL STAFF—-Grow a pair! Tell Larry he only gets the mayor of Washington one-on-one! Think he’d put Michael Bloomberg on a split screen with Marsha Blackburn? DCist has a similarly dim review.
THE LEDE—-Senate votes 62-34 to move forward with D.C. House Voting Rights Act, marking, as Mary Beth Sheridan writes in her A1 WaPo story, that body’s first action in favor of District voting rights since the 1970s. WHAT’S NEXT? Bill moves this morning to Senate floor debate, with vote to come Friday latest; House judiciary to markup their version today. Harry Reid on possible amendments: “We feel confident that any mischievous amendment will be tabled.” (Also check this handy WaPo D.C. voting rights timeline.) More coverage from Examiner, WaTimes, AP, NC8, WRC-TV, WUSA-TV, WTTG-TV, New York Times, Politico, Firedoglake, National Journal, NPR, The Hill.
THE OTHER LEDE—-New revenue projections are in, and—-surprise!—-they’re not good. David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart report in WaPo that “the city will take in $135 million less in fiscal 2009. For next year, the situations is even worse. Revised projections show an additional $350 million shortfall on top of the $456 million announced in December.” And stimulus money for FY2010 “will cover only one-fifth of the total budget shortfall, meaning city leaders will be forced to slash next year’s budget.” NEED A DRINK, WILL SINGER? LL’S BUYIN’.
SO HOT RIGHT NOW—-Twitter: WTOP’s Mark Segraves delivered tweets from Nat Gandhi‘s presser this morning.
WTU chief George Parker AFT chief Randi Weingarten reacts to supposed Michelle Rhee PR blitz in WaPo article by Bill Turque. His Her take: The change in tone “represented ‘an apology’ to instructors and reflected a conciliatory tone that she has recently struck in contract negotiations.” Her quote: “I think we’ve gotten mixed signals….But the more recent signals have been more conciliatory.” FROM THE RHEE CAMP—-“not an apology but a clarification.”
Examiner follows up on their scoop yesterday on plans that threaten vouchers. House approps chair David R. Obey says DCPS should “promptly take steps to minimize potential disruption and ensure smooth transition” for students moving from vouchers to DCPS.
…AND WaPo editorial board takes a big ol’ slap at congressional Dems for the quiet attempt: “Many of the Democrats have never liked vouchers, and it seems they won’t let fairness or the interests of low-income, minority children stand in the way of their politics. But it also seems they’re too ashamed—-and with good reason—-to admit to what they’re doing….The attention should embarrass congressional Democrats into doing the right thing. If not, city leaders, including D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), need to let President Obama know that some 1,800 poor children are likely to have their educations disrupted.”
Marion Barry is scheduled to appear on April 2 before federal judge on tax matters, WRC-TV reports. He’s still scheduled for hospital release tomorrow. Inspired by Barry’s surgery, USN&WR does piece on live-donor kidney transplants.
Harry Jaffe looks at the question of access: How does the District tap into the White House? “Without question, the top elected officials in D.C. have better access to the White House than at any other time in the capital city’s short history”—-but the District could use another Charles Horsky to advocate for the District within EOP, Jaffe argues. “Obama would show a true commitment by appointing an aide to work directly with District officials on District affairs.”
Kwame Brown, at DMPED/Sports and Entertainment Commission oversight hearing, mulls alternative uses for Armory, according to WaPo’s Darryl Fears: “Mixed martial arts at the D.C. Armory? That’s something…Brown could fight for. He’s also for big ticket boxing and a roller rink for the kids.”
WMATA mulls weekend parking fees, turns out they aren’t as lucrative as you might think, according to Kytja Weir in Examiner: “A $2.50 fee would bring in an estimated $3 million in gross parking revenue if a quarter of the spots were used, according to Metro. But adding the fees could discourage some people from riding the system, thus reducing ridership and fare revenue. It also would cost more to expand the contract with the company that monitors the lots. That would lower the total gain to an estimated $82,865 per year, according to a Metro report.”
WTOP’s Adam Tuss looks at Anacostia streetcar plans: DDOT honcho Gabe Klein promises announcement in next few weeks. “Preliminary work scheduled to take place in Anacostia includes laying the track for the streetcars, installing poles and overhead cables to power them and building the maintenance facility. In addition, a significant street repair and upgrade project will coincide with the construction.”
HARRIETTE JUNIOR—-WASA employee, 28, charged with stealing $236,256 from her employer over three years, WaPo reports.
Generating solar or wind power in the District of Columbia? Get a grant!
LL colleague Jason Cherkis recounts his reporting on D.C. Jail overdetentions, a saga whose latest chapter includes the letter Peter Nickles sent yesterday to Phil Mendelson. Cherk is skeptical of Nickles’ claims of improvement at the jail.
Also from Cherkis: Is a room at St. Elizabeths “The Most Expensive Room In The City.”
Balto Sun editorializes on P.G. United deal: “Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty wasn’t willing to commit public funds to building a stadium and keeping the team in his city, and that ought to raise a red card to even the most die-hard soccer fan. The economic realities of such a project – as the stadium authority’s market analysis last year pointed out – make it, at best, a long shot of a development opportunity.”
Marc Fisher asks a pertinent question at Raw Fisher about Fenty Dubai junket: “Did Free Trip Blind Fenty To Dubai’s Bias?” Meanwhile, OCF decides Fenty is under no obligation to report the value of the UAE’s gift, and Bill Myers in Examiner collects some sorta-angry reax, including from Jewish groups upset over tennis incident and from the usual goo-goos. And Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg says he wouldn’t have gone to tennis tourney. WANT MORE OUTRAGE? Check Cherkis!
Also from Fisher: Coverage of the latest design battle, over the design of a new Mount Pleasant library branch. Fisher sees federal meddling and NIMBYism. “[Ginnie Cooper] has been a great advocate of recruiting creative and respected architects to the District to push the decrepit system into a new era. It’s sad to see the federal authorities once again stomping on innovation and the faint whispers of home rule.”
Local kids from Mary’s Center and others joined Michelle Obama in FLOTUS box at joint session last night, WaPo reports.
Screwed inaugural ticket holders get official apology.
WRC-TV covers skylight burglaries in Dupont/Logan.
Another missing woman: Alice Rafter, 56, “was last seen at about 6:00 p.m., on Thursday February 19, in the 1300 N Street, NW. Ms. Rafter is described as a white female, 5’2″ tall, weighing approximately 140 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. Ms. Rafter may appear disoriented.”
Park Police seek sex assault suspect for attack earlier this month on 5700 block of New Hampshire Avenue.
THE WAPO COLUMNIST YOU’D LEAST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH?—-LL nominates the humorless Courtland Milloy: “What’s So Funny About Madea? Nothing,” he opines today. “And there I sat, silently ranting: There is nothing funny about this black man in pantyhose. And where is all of this cross-dressing-black-man stuff coming from, anyway? First, comedians Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star in high-grossing movies as the fattest, ugliest black women that Hollywood makeup artists can conjure up, and now here’s Perry with his gussied-up version of the same butt of the joke.”
UGH—-Biz Journal: “Washington Post earnings down 77%”
Fenty on Larry King:
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-9:30 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary agency performance oversight hearing on Judicial Nomination Commission, Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission, Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, Office of Victim Services, Justice Grants Administration, Criminal Justice Coordinating, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, JAWB 500; 10 a.m.: Committee on Finance and Revenue hearing on B18-19, the “Real Property Tax Assessment Amendment Act of 2009,” B18-21, the “Processing Sales tax Clarification Act of 2009,” B18-47, the “Non-Individual Income Tax Electronic Filing Amendment Act of 2009,” B18-48, the “View 14 Economic Development Act of 2009,” B18-43, the “14W and the YMCA Anthony Bowen Project Real Property Tax Exemption Act of 2009,” JAWB 120; 10 a.m.: Committee on Economic Development and Committee on Government Operations and the Environment joint roundtable on PR18-11, the “3813-3815 and 3825-3829 Georgia Ave. NW Disposition Approval Resolution of 2009,” PR18-13, the “4427 Hayes St. NE Disposition Approval Resolution of 2009,” PR18-35, the “525 9th St. NE and 1341 Maryland Ave. NE Disposition Approval Resolution of 2009,” JAWB 123; 10 a.m.: Committee on Human Services agency performance oversight hearing on Child and Family Services Agency, JAWB 412; 3:30 p.m.: Committee of the Whole roundtable on PR18-120, “Fiscal Year 2009 Income Tax Secured Revenue Bond and General Obligation Bond Issuance Approval Resolution of 2009,” JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.
UPDATE, 2:05 P.M.: LL screwed up his recap of Bill Turque’s teachers union story in WaPo. It was Randi Weingarten that called Michelle Rhee’s op-ed an apology, not George Parker.