City Paper is not for tourists
Happy Presidents’ Day all. LL gave himself three hours off for the holiday this morning, so enjoy a special BELATED HOLIDAY EDITION of LLD.
LL somehow missed this on Friday: Michael Neibauer in Examiner covers the Lori Lee withdrawal, but he adds a few tasty nuggets—-two of his running buddies have been appointed to big-deal boards. To BOEE goes Omar Nour, “chief executive officer of a Hyattsville-based call center and Web hosting firm….Nour majored in biology, French and Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University, according to his resume. A quick Internet search brings up numerous local races in which he and Fenty have run together.” And to DCPL board goes Max Maurice, “a clinical social worker for the D.C. Public Schools, a personal fitness trainer and consultant to triathletes. He and Fenty are both members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.” Says Fenty spokesperson Mafara Hobson: “It’s hard to just look at someone’s resume and say they’re not qualified….What’s the proper formula to get you prepared to serve on the board?”
Dorothy Brizill, needless to say, isn’t happy about the BOEE appointment: “Not Qualified,” she says in themail.
Nei-man also does piece on the possibility of D.C. United moving to Prince George’s, quotes player saying, “At least someone respects us enough to give us a stadium.”
WASA WATCH—-Mary Cheh, Jim Graham want investigation of controversial 2007 paper that concluded there was “no identifiable public health impact” due to waterborne lead in D.C. Says Cheh: “There ought to be consequences….If people are responsible for this…they ought to resign.”
ALSO—-WaPo ed board gets in on the WASA scolding, demands independent water testing. “D.C. residents understandably may be confused about the quality of their drinking water; it’s clear that they can’t rely on the city’s water authority for answers.” SCOOP THEREIN—-DDOE is exploring “a comprehensive, peer-reviewed testing plan and to identify funding for it.”
Keith L. Alexander profiles the survivors of tragic New Year’s Day fire in Brookland that killed six. “Everyday tasks are tinged with trauma. For a mother who was in her nearby supermarket two or three times a week buying juice, milk, cereal and pork chops, shopping for two is difficult, especially when she sees her children’s favorite cereal or snack. ‘It took me three hours to shop the other day because I kept running out of the store just to go sit in my car and get myself together,” [Michelle Wilson] said.”
The final stimulus tally for D.C.: $300M for Medicaid, $227M for schools, $124M for roads, $125M for mass transit, $63M for food stamps. Plus: “The bill provides $650 million to start construction of the new Department of Homeland Security headquarters on the site of St. Elizabeths Hospital, east of the Anacostia River, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). That has been a priority for Norton, who sees it as kick-starting development in the area.”
Allen Lew, to WUSA-TV, on how stimulus money will help school construction: “We have dozens of schools that are ready for us to begin construction and those schools can either be accelerated or we can move quicker to modernize these facilities. We can also add certain features that may have been options, that may have been alternatives, such as upgrading the green technology that is going into some of these schools to a higher level, a higher standard.”
PLUS—-Check biz community stimulus priorities, via Barbara Lang.
D.C. House Voting Rights Act to go to Senate floor next Monday, Josh White reports in WaPo. “Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) decided Friday night to send the bill to the Senate floor for debate Feb. 23, the first major bill on tap after Congress returns from the Presidents’ Day break. A preliminary vote is scheduled for Feb. 24.”
WaPo editorial board doesn’t care for the Louie Gohmert plan for District political equity: “Aside from the practical problems of his proposal (do we really want to turn the nation’s capital into a tax haven for the rich?), Mr. Gohmert insults the men and women who make this city their home and simply want a voice in their government. Exempting them from taxes makes them lesser American citizens.”
GOHMERT LAYS OUT HIS BILL at Human Events, the “Headquarters of the Conservative Underground.”
Banita Jacks to judge: “I am not insane.” That account comes from WaTimes’ Deborah Simmons, who sets the scene thusly: “Miss Jacks, who was shackled and wore dark gray prison garb, respectfully answered the judge’s questions. She said she is 35 and explained to the judge that she left school in ninth grade because she was pregnant. When asked, ‘Do you read and write,’ Miss Jacks responded, ‘Yes, sir.’…On Friday, Miss Jacks told the judge that she understands each of the charges leveled against her and that she could get ’25 years to life’ on each murder count. Judge [Frederick Weisberg] corrected her and said she would get ’30 years to life without the possibility of release’ if convicted.”
Commercial real estate is in a bad way, WaTimes’ Anne-Laure Buffard reports. “Inside the District, new leasing activity declined to 5.2 million square feet last year, the lowest level in a decade, according to Cushman & Wakefield.”
AP looks at Michelle Obama‘s busy schedule of late, which has taken her to various spots around town: “Her trips outside the gated White House compound serve several purposes, including giving her a chance to learn about the complexities of a city she decided against relocating to after Barack Obama became a senator in 2005.”
WaPo’s Darryl Fears explores anxieties among DMH clients over impending privatization. “Emma Dent is worried. Dent, 53, has spent the past three years using the Spring Road clinic in Columbia Heights, and these days—-like more than a dozen other clients interviewed—-she’s distraught over the idea that her world could be overturned. Plus, Dent said, she’s had her fill of private clinics….The city’s Spring Road facility has given her better care, Dent said, adding: ‘My doctor is fantastic. I love her to death.’…Dent’s story is a case in point for some in the mental health-care industry who argue that private clinics can be inadequately staffed, can cherry-pick patients and sometimes even close unexpectedly, leaving clients hanging.”
Teen shot early Sunday morning at Anacostia Metro station. WaPo: “The shooting, which is unusual for the Metro system, occurred about 12:20 a.m. after a confrontation between two groups spilled off a Green Line train and onto the train platform, said Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates….The victim, described as under 18, was hit in the abdomen. He was taken to a hospital, where he was described as stable last night.” Suspect was found in “nearby wooded patch,” along with weapon.
Dry cleaner on 5000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW robbed at gunpoint; another cleaners on Eastern Avenue in Chillum robbed soon after.
WaTimes’ Timothy Warren profiles the Palisades Museum of Prehistory—-the home operation run by Doug Dupin. BUT FOR THE COMPLETE DUPIN TREATMENT, read Huan Hsu‘s 2005 profile for WCP. MEDIA NOTE—-Dupin’s married to WJLA-TV’s Rebecca Cooper.
AFT head Randi Weingarten speaks up for national academic standards in WaPo op-ed: “From my office in Washington, I can see beyond the Capitol to Virginia. I can ride a few stops on the Metro and be in Maryland. These three jurisdictions are so close in miles yet have very different standards for what their students should know and be able to do—-just as every state in the union has its own standards. The result is 51 benchmarks of varying content and quality.”
Michelle Rhee to speak at March 9 education conference in Sacramento hosted by…Mayor Kevin Johnson, natch.
CATCH THIS TIDBIT FROM OBAMA PRESS CONFERENCE?—-“[T]here are areas like education where some in my party have been too resistant to reform, and have argued only money makes a difference. … [B]oth sides are going to have to acknowledge we’re going to need more money for new science labs, to pay teachers more effectively, but we’re also going to need more reform, which means that we’ve got to train teachers more effectively, bad teachers need to be fired after being given the opportunity to train effectively, that we should experiment with things like charter schools that are innovating in the classroom, that we should have high standards.” (Hat tip to Papa Bear, aka Mike Allen and POLITICO PLAYBOOK)
Harry Jaffe covers the closing of Margery Goldberg‘s Zenith Gallery—-a tad dramatically. Headline: “Zenith Gallery’s closing leaves a hole In city’s soul”
WaPo readers react to Marion Barry tax trouble. Says one, “[A]fter the two highly publicized cases of tax antics, or, as some say, oversights, by high-ranking, well-heeled federal civil servants, it’s ludicrous to go after Mr. Barry with such zeal.” Another letter writer says of the Tommy Wells grocery-bag law, better to make it a deposit program.
“HONK! AGAINST SCAMERAS”—-Well-groomed protesters hit Connecticut Avenue to rail against supposedly unfair speed cameras, WRC-TV reports. Boo hoo.
Gary Imhoff is in a querying mood: “It occurs to me that we in DC don’t really know what we want….Are most people satisfied with the status quo? Do most people want a floor vote for the DC delegate and, if most people want that, would they be satisfied with it? Do most residents of DC want the District to be an independent state, or want the District to be returned to Maryland? And how important is it to most people to make any of these changes; how high a priority do Washingtonians place on them? Are there any recent, reliable, independent, non-advocacy polls that tell us what citizens of DC want, and how fervently they want it? Is there even any way to write poll questions that would state the issues clearly, plainly, and fairly, and produce reliable results?”
EVEN THOUGH DAVID CATANIA WILL BE WORKING FOR FREE—-Super-expensive GWU hikes tuition still more; a year with room, board, and fees will now cost $51,775. LL SEZ: Would it save any money to drop the “the” from “The George Washington University”?
Southwest 7-Eleven, billed as the neighborhood’s “Second Largest Grocery,” will be closing within the year.
NatZoo’s baby gorilla is a girl.
60 try out for Nats presidents race.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-No public events scheduled.