We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Morning LLDers. The New York Times editorial board this morning sets their sights on the D.C. House Voting Rights Act. They’re for it: “The bill is not ideal, but it would redress a longstanding injustice. Congress should pass it….Washington’s lack of representation is profoundly undemocratic. Its residents are American citizens who pay taxes, vote for the president and serve and die in the military….Of course, in a perfect world, fixing the disenfranchisement of residents of the nation’s capital would not be conditioned on giving another House member to a state that has not been wrongly deprived of one. But the compromise is still worth making.” The piece kicks with an EHN quote: “It’s 200 years too late….But we’ll take it.”
DEUS EX MACHINA—-UDC manages to avoid a divisive tuition hike thanks to “stimulus money” that will allow the university to phase in proposed hikes, writes WaPo’s Susan Kinzie. Mighty convenient! Instead of one-year $3,200 in-state undergrad tuition hike, students will pay $1,600 more first year, $1,700 more second year. Reax from student leader: “‘That is certainly a step in the right direction,’ said William Kellibrew IV.”
Also on the UDC beat, Jonetta Rose Barras writes a fabulous, fabulous column about the dissonance between the student’s demands and the needs of the university: “They can’t see the direct connection between UDC’s deplorable physical plant, its antiquated course offerings, its abysmal ranking in the academic community, and its lack of resources — financial and human….UDC is struggling. If it’s ever to become a first-rate university, it needs additional resources — now.” LL CONCURS! And mag Diverse Education also writes up the UDC controversy.
IS P.G. COUNTY IN FOR A STADIUM BATTLE OF ITS OWN?—-D.C. United, Maryland politicians try to convince suburban residents that publicly financed soccer stadium won’t eat into unrelated budget items. The only problem: “[T]eam co-owner Victor MacFarlane acknowledged that Maryland would be ‘on the hook’ if revenue generated by the stadium falls short of projections, a scenario he called unlikely because of the team’s ‘proven track record,'” reports Ann E. Marimow in WaPo.
TOTAL RECALL—-Calling United move “all but certain,” Biz Journal‘s Jonathan O’Connell lays out what the District stands to lose: “It isn’t just the team that is moving, from RFK Stadium on Capitol Hill to Prince George’s, but United corporate offices, amounting to about 85 jobs and no corporate functions will remain in the District, team officials said. Payne estimated that another 40 to 50 permanent jobs will be created to manage a stadium, as well as dozens more part-time positions to help manage roughly 20 soccer games and another 40 events every year. Players from visiting teams will no longer stay in District hotels either; they will stay in the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor.”
THE FORMULA—-WaPo: “MacFarlane, sketching the outline of a possible deal, said the authority would own the stadium and the team would pay about 25 percent of the cost through rent, which he estimated would add up to $50 million. The remainder would be funded through new revenue generated by the stadium, primarily from ticket sales, he said.” WHAT, NO GROSS RECEIPTS TAX?
ALSO—-Mark Segraves at WTOP, with angry Marion Barry reax; WTTG-TV story; and Bruuuce Johnson at WUSA-TV with some AAA on team’s departure from city—-plus amazing Jack Evans standup. And soccer fans react.
Marc Fisher, in his Binary Man persona, ponders exactly what Marion Barry deserves for his tax laxness: “Even if a couple of months in the slammer wouldn’t change Barry’s ways, even if he is 72 and in shaky health, the feds and the judge ought to see value in holding Barry not to some astronomically high standard of ethical purity, but just to some minimal, basic standard of acceptable behavior….Embarrassment didn’t work, probation didn’t work, tough talk didn’t work. It’s time to send a message, both to Barry and to the broader public.”
Clifford Janey spotted on V-Day in Dupont Circle by charter-school advocate Mark Lerner. “My wife looked at him and remarked, ‘Well I hope they are treating you better in Newark then they did in D.C.’…’Some people just don’t want to be saved,’ Mr. Janey responded with a wry smile.”
WaTimes ed board (WaTimes ed board?) calls out HAA for historically poor tracking of HIV/AIDS deaths, but acknowledges progress under Dr. Shannon Hader. “The HIV/AIDS Administration is issuing a new updated report this month with the new numbers. It’s a start, but this agency has a long way to go before it can gain the confidence of city residents.”
Thanks to economy, Old Soldiers’ Home development is scrapped for now, reports Paul Schwartzman in WaPo. The decision to freeze plans with Crescent Resources came last fall and went unannounced. “The home’s decision was a disappointment for the development company, which had ‘invested a tremendous amount of time, effort and money’ in the project’s planning, said Bobby Zeillor, Crescent’s regional vice president….’To be shut out is unpleasant and not what we wanted.'” Says Harry Thomas Jr.: “When you abandon the developer in midstream, it leaves a difficult taste….We had a good partner. That was not a prudent decision. I was very eager to move forward.”
What will the new Eastern Market look like? Not too many folks seem to care, Darryl Fears reports in WaPo. Two options for the sidewalk: “cobblestone or Holland paver. Molded red brick was the only option provided for the sidewalk. New landscaping, manhole covers, gutters and other improvements will follow, officials said.” Weigh in with ANC member Mary Wright or e-mail DDOT engineer Abdullahi Mohamed.
Adrian Fenty named “least loathsome politician” by gossip Web site Jossip. He gets honors “for being able to host the inauguration without anyone getting killed. In fact, that whole shebang went way more smoothly than most could have hoped for, with the exception of Ted Kennedy‘s stroke. And we’re like 90 percent sure that Fenty had nothing to do with that.”
EXCLUSIVE! EXCLUSIVE! EXCLUSIVE!—-WaTimes pumps up kinda boring story by Mark Chenoweth about how D.C. Bar is cracking down on lawyer-info Web site Avvo.com grabbing lawyer licensing info.
CVS somewhere in the District—-LL wishes he could tell you where—-bans “school kids” from its premises, reports NC8. CVS corporate response: “[T]he unauthorized posting of the signs was the result of an incident…last week…. a large group of youths disrupted the store…attempting to shoplift.”
OBAMA SWAG: IS IT WORTH ANYTHING?—-That’s the weighty question Theola Labbé-DeBose examines in WaPo: “Skilled collectors, like novices, usually buy what they like, said Larry Krug, co-owner of Americana Resources, an antiques and collectibles company based in Gaithersburg. But, he said, they are more patient. ‘If you went down around the Mall after inauguration, you could have bought up an awful lot of stuff very reasonable. But most of it is not going to go up in value in any great degree,’ Krug said. ‘For serious collectors, we say wait six months until after the campaign to start collecting, because by that time, if things are worth collecting, they’ll still be around and still be available.'”
GW Hatchet looks at Tee Guidotti scandal.
ICH BIN EIN CLOTH-BAGGER—-Berlin resident stands up for Tommy Wells bag bill in WaPo letters. Meanwhile, Tom Sherwood, back from vacay, does WRC-TV piece on the bill, complete with fab shots of Wells on windswept Anacostia shores.
DOG PARK WAR…erupts in Cleveland Park/McLean Gardens, WTOP’s Kate Ryan reports, over plans for dog run at Newark Street Community Garden. Epic ANC meeting tonight—-7:30 p.m. at MPD 2D!
AFT honcho (not Randi Weingarten) on DCPS contract talks, via Alexander Russo: “Only in a few places, like DC, can tenure be part of the discussion since tenure is usually defined at the state level. What makes the Rhee proposal unusual is that it divides teachers with the same status into two different groups in terms of pay and tenure. Randi Weingarten’s ‘everything on the table’ speech at the National Press Club opened up the discussion of tenure, but didn’t concede it. Chancellor Rhee has not responded to the counter-proposal put forth by the DCTU, which Weil describes as ‘extremely progressive’ in addressing many of the issues raised by Rhee in a recent Washington Post story.”
TIERS OF RAGE IN NYC?—-Gotham Schools has recap and video of Rhee talk at Pace University. Red/Green plan, she told crowd, has “made such a splash that Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg asked Chancellor Joel Klein if they could bring a similar model to New York.”
DDOT meeting tonight on Anacostia waterfront development.
What’s up with changes to DCPS’ FOI rules?
WaTimes gets around to covering DPW’s boot expansion program. Fun quote from AAA spokesperson: “D.C. just wants to pick every motorist’s pocket of every dime they can.”
MUSICAL MOMENT—-Jazz drummer Louie Bellson is dead at 84.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee of the Whole meeting, JAWB 500; 4 p.m.: Board of Elections and Ethics Investigation Special Committee roundtable on election process and procedures in the District of Columbia, JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.