City Paper is not for tourists
IN LL WEEKLY—-“The Haul: Deep inside Adrian Fenty’s millions”
Morning LLDers. According to Bruuuce Johnson at WUSA-TV, Marion Barry‘s lawyers and accountants are “scrambling to finish his 2007 tax returns in hopes of keeping the former four term Mayor out of jail….His accountants are hoping to hand deliver his 2007 tax return to IRS offices by close of business Wednesday.”
WaPo’s Hamil Harris and Del Quentin Wilber look at Barry, his health, and his legal prospects. Of course, no can capture the spirit of the man like his spiritual adviser: “I am very familiar with the medical challenges that he is dealing with….He was focusing on getting reelected, and he is still suffering over the loss of his ex-wife, and both of these things have taken up a lot of his thinking,” says the Rev. Anthony Motley. About the tax return he says this: “When he does file, we believe that he will probably be able to get a refund. It isn’t like he is trying to skirt his responsibility.”
Sam Ford at WJLA-TV fact-checks the I-was-on-dialysis excuse by interviewing actual dialysis patients. One man’s thoughts: “If you can set on the machine for four hours, three times a week, you can get your taxes done while you’re dialyzing.”
ADRIAN FENTY REACTS—-“The citizens always have a right to express their opinion,” he told Barbara Harrison on WRC-TV this morning. As an official in the city, I think it’s good for me to kind of watch the process and support the process….It’s a very troubling situation, but I don’t know the specifics.”
D.C. council holds hearing on stimulus money, nonprofits and other groups line up for a handout that probably isn’t coming. That’s the takeaway from Nikita Stewart‘s story in WaPo: “The hearing stretched to 10 hours, with a majority of the witnesses speaking for nonprofit groups that have become more dependent on local and federal funding as private contributions have dried up in the weakening economy.” In Examiner story, Michael Neibauer has the nut quote from Nat Gandhi: “The federal stimulus package will provide some needed assistance to the District to manage these revenue shortfalls….However, in its final form it is unlikely to address all of the District’s fiscal challenges.” In Biz Journal, it’s all DanTan: “The catchphrase for the federal stimulus bill has been ‘targeted, timely and temporary,’ and I want to underline that last word — temporary. At the end of the day, we are going to have to solve our local budget problems on our own.”
HMM—-Is there a full court press on lowering the corporate income tax rate? First there was the Close to Home piece in Sunday’s WaPo, now you’ve got Jack Evans and David Catania harping on the 9.75 percent figure at stimulus hearing, according to WaTimes.
WaPo takes Tommy Wells‘ $.05-per-bag law, and puts it on A1. “Wells (D-Ward 6) — known as a carless, canoeing, bicycle-riding, pedestrian-friendly legislator — wants to help clean up the badly polluted Anacostia River, and curbing the use of bags is a place to start. The law would apply to liquor stores, grocers, food vendors, convenience stores, drugstores and other businesses.” NC8, WRC-TValso cover.
CRIME CAMERAS—-In WCP cover story, LL colleague Arthur Delaney asks: “How useless are the D.C. Police Department’s crime cameras?” Answer: Pretty. Goddamn. Useless.
THANKS, JOE—-Committee moves efficiently to move D.C. House Voting Rights Act to the Senate floor. WaPo’s Mary Beth Sheridan: “The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the legislation 11 to 1 at its first business meeting in the new Congress. The lone “no” vote was cast by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential nominee….It’s not clear when the legislation will reach the Senate floor for what is likely to be its main showdown.” Harry Reid‘s office says they’ll move “as quickly as we can.” Neibauer covers for Examiner; Natalie Lester for WaTimes.
Just in case you didn’t get the message from Judge Hogan, Peter Nickles, allow the WaPo editorial board to lay it out for you: “The District’s child welfare agency has more reforms to make before it can be free of court supervision.” The board speaks with authority on the latest developments: LL shared a front-row bench in the courtroom gallery last Friday with Jo-Ann Armao.
ALSO—-A response to Ed Board’s harping on Barry’s council obstructionism, from activist Chris Otten: Stopping Watha T. Daniel Library contract “was judicious and served the public interest.”
Student protests at UDC heat up as board prepares to consider tuition hikes, writes Susan Kinzie in a fabulous WaPo story. This didn’t take long: “UDC student leader William Kellibrew IV received a thunderous standing ovation at the meeting of a trustees committee when he demanded that President Allen Sessoms resign, and students later began signing a petition.” Muriel Bowser puts out anti-hike release, and get this statement from Fenty: “as the university leadership moves forward on important reforms, it’s imperative that they maintain UDC’s rich history of inclusiveness toward students of all backgrounds.” WRC-TV also covers protests, and WTTG-TV does a very good story.
WHAT LL DOESN’T GET—-Students were “pointing out run-down conditions.” They “told about slipping on broken steps and walking up nonfunctioning escalators at a campus that has never had enough money for repairs.” Don’t they see a connection here?
LL can’t quite get the point of Jonetta Rose Barras‘ column today—-something about how DOH mismanaged bids on a food program—-but don’t let that stop you from giving it a shot. This seems to be an important line: “The DOH’s detour from success is sponsored by the usual suspects: incompetence and mismanagement.”
IS MARY CHEH FEELING THREATENED?—-David Catania to teach classes at GWU’s School of Public Health.
Marc Fisher examines the state of attire in this town. The verdict: “Other cities may succumb to the infection of informality, but Washington still has enough ‘lawyers, lobbyists, generals and admirals’…to support a handful of restaurants that insist on proper attire.”
Budget cuts not yet under deliberation for Metro board, Kytja Weir reports in Examiner. But soon!
TEE HEE—-Local and federal authorities charge Fox News employee and Dupont Circle resident, 29, with kiddie porn possession, according to Scott McCabe in Examiner. “This was not [Aaron Bruns]’ first arrest on child pornography charges. In 1999, Bruns dropped out of University of Michigan after the Florida Bureau of Investigations informed the university that an individual was using the school computer system to trade images of children involved in sexual situations.
IT’S OFFICIAL—-Library hours will be cut.
ALSO IN WAPO BRIEFS—-Economy forces scale-back of National Law Enforcement Museum; psych evaluation ordered for rifle-toting guy who asked to see President Obama; NE man sentenced to 36 years in 2007 killing; and Superior Court Judge Rafael Diaz, 64, to retire.
LL’s colleague Jason Cherkis raises a pretty damn important question: Did the Fenty administration even consider anyone besides Roque Gerald to lead CFSA? Tommy Wells‘ office doesn’t seem to think so.
Thanks to LLD commenter WARD8RESIDENT for passing on this e-mail, sent by Dawn Slonneger, chief of staff to Vince Gray: “Thank you for sharing your views with Chairman Gray. The Council does not have the authority to remove one of its members. Only the registered voters of Ward 8 can initiate a recall of their Councilmember. And, under the home rule act, a member cannot be recalled in the first 365 days of his current term. CM Barry’s current term began January 2, 2009. I would encourage you to share your views with CM Barry as well. “
IN WAPO DISTRICT EXTRA—-Profile of the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage, an historic black former YMCA; profile of Project Empowerment, a training program at D.C. Jail; District Notebook; In Brief; and ANIMAL WATCH.
FABULOUS—-Marion Barry in pictures, from WRC-TV.
Autistic teen goes missing.
Building on 1900 block of E Street NW evacuated for hazmat incident.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary hearing on Bill 18-10, “Disclosure to the United States District Court Amendment Act of 2009”; Bill 18-68, “Office of Administrative Hearings Amendment Act of 2009”; PR 18-55, “Hearing Procedures for Washington Humane Society Approval Resolution of 2009,” JAWB 123; 10:30 a.m.: Committee on Finance and Revenue hearing on fiscal impacts from the inauguration of President Barack Obama, JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV.