City Paper is not for tourists
ALERT—-LL on Kojo! WAMU, FM, 88.5, noon.
Morning LLDers. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has caved to LL, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Post, goo-goo-types, Mary Cheh, and a whole bunch of other people and pulled family friend Lori Lee from consideration for chair of the Public Service Commission. Nikita Stewart got the scoop. The news came in a brief memo sent Wednesday; Lee, however, will still be nominated to a slot on the three-member PSC. To make room for Lee, Fenty wants to put current member Betty Ann Kane in the chair’s seat.
FUN FACTS—-Not only is Kane a former at-large councilmember (1979-1991), she’s a former elected nonresident commissioner for Rehoboth Beach. And she has an impeccable resume in utilities regulation. And she gave $200 to Fenty’s re-election campaign.
SO LONG, VICTOR—-D.C. United owner Victor MacFarlane meets with Prince George’s County lawmakers, tells them he’s committed to taking his team there if the government can manage to pay for 75 percent of a stadium. From WaPo: “He told Prince George’s senators that the team is looking at three sites for the stadium in the county. One is at the Morgan Boulevard Metro Station, owned by Metro, and a second is at the same station, owned by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. A third site in Largo is also under consideration, he said.” Also Biz Journal, WaTimes.
WaPo editorial board wants answers in the case of Lafonte Lurie Carlton, the teen who killed two in recent months after being released from DYRS custody for an earlier murder. And confidentiality rules means no one’s getting any. “That point was made powerfully clear by Superior Court Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield, who…chided council members for asking questions that they—-by virtue of laws of their own creation—-made it illegal for him to answer.” BUT THEY STILL LOVE VINNY—-“Cases such as this could undermine the useful reforms [DYRS chief Vincent Schiraldi] is attempting in the treatment of young offenders. For that reason, and even more for the public’s safety, discussion is needed on how decisions are made regarding the placement and release of juvenile offenders. The first step has to be lifting the secrecy that makes facts so hard to come by.”
On WaPo A1: 2007 study widely cited in assurances that lead-contaminated water was safe violated ethical standards. Report author Tee Guidotti “did not disclose a contract that appears to require that he get WASA’s approval in writing before publishing information about the utility.” Moreover, the included a conclusion that experts “had rejected…as scientifically dubious, and the author had said he would delete it.” Editors of Environmental Health Perspectives say they’re “embarrassed that the controversial conclusion had been published and that they rely somewhat on authors to follow through on agreed changes. But they said they are more concerned about evidence that Guidotti had not disclosed his agreement giving WASA the right to approve his paper.”
LL KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP—-Jack Evans tells Biz Journal he’ll be proposing cuts in corporate income tax and commercial property tax. “D.C.’s corporate income tax rate…is 9.975 percent, third highest in the country behind Massachusetts and California. Maryland’s rate was 8.3 percent last year and Virginia’s was 6 percent. ‘In good times it doesn’t matter as much,’ Evans said. ‘But in tough times, when every dollar counts, all of a sudden the disparity of almost 4 percent in an incorporated business tax is huge.'”
Examiner, WaPo, Biz Journal cover inauguration-costs hearing. The total: $48.5M “Overtime and holiday pay ate up almost $16 million, and about $15 million was spent on commodities, goods and services….Transporting 4,000 visiting police officers from 99 jurisdictions and putting them up in 2,000 hotel rooms cost nearly $5 million. The purchase of 1,000 new 800-megahertz radios set the city back almost $4 million, and new fire and emergency resources rang up to about $3 million.” QUOTE OF THE DAY—-Jack Evans to Nat Gandhi, who was lowering expectations on revenue boost: “Your testimony takes lemonade and turns it into lemons.”
How much should Metro board talk about budget-gap-closing options? Perhaps not that much, board members suggest to Examiner’s Kytja Weir. Says one members, “There’s anxiety about how much anxiety to cause.” Says Jim Graham, “We’ve just created a lot of agitation that we didn’t need.”
LL colleague Jason Cherkis has a question about CFSA director search: Did it violate a court order that the city consult with LaShawn A. plaintiff? Sure looks like it.
Payroll for Summer Youth Employment Program, so problematic last year, might be outsourced to payroll giant ADC, David Nakamura reports for D.C. Wire. “Although the District has not entered into a contract with the company, ADP representatives have been sitting in on meetings between Fenty administration officials and D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi’s office, sources said.”
Harry Jaffe has kudos for David Catania‘s fine work to save the former Greater Southeast Community Hospital: “What’s happened at the hospital, now called United Medical Center, is akin to a second coming. From the ashes of a hospital that had more mold than antiseptic lotion, residents of the city’s poorest wards now have a clean, well-appointed, functioning health care facility. It’s not a stretch to say United Medical Center could be the model for community health care in the Washington region.”
Stimulus bill is in, and the District’s take is still undetermined, according to WaPo: “In the District, Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi said he hadn’t seen the final numbers in the House-Senate compromise reached on the legislation. ‘However, we know that the stimulus package will likely provide significant budget relief to the District and will be of great assistance to our residents and many of our businesses and institutions,’ he said.”
Suit alleging retribution by DCPS against special ed student is allowed to proceed, federal judge rules.
Dave Statter still all over fireboat accident story! Repair bill: $93K!
ALSO IN WAP0 BRIEFS—-Georgetown restaurateurs forced to pay neary $100K for illegal rockfish buys; rifle-toting Obama visitor released—-he “wanted to show Obama’s staff drawings for a hydroelectric invention that could harness power from river flow.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) introduces his gimmick legislation to expect D.C. from federal taxes, also proffers retrocession bill.
AP, NC8, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV cover Tommy Wells‘ bag bill. “Conservative Examiner”—-“There are several problems with this proposal….” The New Republic‘s Michelle Cottle: “This plan…seems half-assed at best….Honestly, I’m kinda hoping this plan proves so cumbersome and broadly unpopular that it dies. There’s just something about it that smells like overreach.”
IN BIZ JOURNAL PRINT EDITION: More green space for McMillan site plans; Chip Akridge talks Mall restoration; economy slows bidding on former school properties; Forest City stops construction at Yard development near ballpark.
WaTimes is all over DCPL’s decision to cut library hours.
WaPo readers react to Michelle Rhee‘s op-ed with letters.
MARION BARRY MAKES LENO—-“Prosecutors have asked a Federal judge to send Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., to jail for failing to file tax returns for the eighth time in nine years. Hasn’t paid taxes for eight years straight. So for Barry, it’s either jail or a cabinet position in the Obama administration. Either one.” From Wednesday night.
Steven Colbert does extended piece on D.C. House Voting Rights Act, inverviews EHN: “She is like a fly that keeps buzzing no matter how often you swat it away.” WATCH:
DPW to start booting cars with outstanding photo-enforced tickets. WTOP: “A vehicle is eligible for a boot if it has two or more tickets that remain unpaid for 60 days without a request for adjudication.”
GOOD SUGGESTION—-Better than pothole doofus’, anyway. From suburban WaPo reader: “Why not [invest] in daylight-sensing switches for the oversize ‘snowflake’ streetlamp decorations in the Navy Yard area in Southeast—-you know, the ones that have been lit 24 hours a day since late autumn? Or, better yet: How about just taking them down?”
People upset over high utility bills! So says WaPo!
WX MOMENT—-Windy as hell out there!
Reminder: Metro’s gonna be a mess this weekend.
MEA CULPA—-LL gave the wrong link for LL Weekly yesterday. Read it here!
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation roundtable on DDOT parking meter management services contract POKA-2005-C-0048-KH, JAWB 123; 12 p.m.: Committee on Human Services roundtable on a whole bunch of contract approval resolutions, JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, Diamond Teague Park groundbreaking, Diamond Teague Park, First Street and Potomac Avenue SE; 12 p.m.: remarks, Project Empowerment graduation, Central Detention Facility (Employment Readiness Center), 1901 D St. SE.