City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. Your must-read for the day: New York Times columnist and Bethesda resident David Brooks alights his sociosatirical eye upon what he dubs “Ward Three Morality”: “Thanks to recent and coming bailouts and interventions, the people in Ward Three run the banks and many major industries….The good news for rich people is that people in this neighborhood are very nice and cerebral. On any given Saturday, half the people in Ward Three are arranging panel discussions for the other half to participate in….Nonetheless, many people in Ward Three do have certain resentments toward those with means, which those of you in the decamillionaire-to-billionaire wealth brackets should be aware of.” (Full disclosure: LL is a subscriber to “Ward 1 Morality,” meaning he has certain resentments toward those with “Ward Three Morality.” And David Brooks.)
CAFR! CAFR! CAFR! CAFR!—-Yes, fiscal nerds, it’s that time of year again! The COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT is released! Let that warm your loins on this snowy late winter’s day. So yearly conundrum for you: You’re a metro reporter, perhaps for the city’s preeminent daily—-how do you sex up the release of this godforsakenly boring document? Hasn’t been a problem of late, actually. Last year, there was this little tax-office glitch. This year, there’s STIMULUS! As David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart report in WaPo, District officials expect to lean heavily on stimulus dollars to close impending budget gaps. In the Examiner, Michael Neibauer ledes with the FY08 news: As predicted, there was $87M extra there to plug FY09 deficit. But $455M have to be cut for FY10. Fun!
DR. NO IS BACK?—-WaPo: “[Nat Gandhi] said city attorneys and economists are examining the stimulus package to determine what restrictions might be applied to how the money is spent. ‘I will not sign anything that is improper or goes against the spirit of the stimulus,’ he said.”
BEST METAPHOR—-‘Zaminer: David Catania “referred to the stimulus as an ‘avalanche of money.'”
GOOD NEWS FOR NAT—-WaPo: “The budget discussion came yesterday as the District received its 12th consecutive “clean” audit from an independent accounting agency….The audit released yesterday showed slight progress toward fixing chronic problems related to the financial management of D.C. public schools and the Office of Tax and Revenue.”
WaPo edit board urges no override of mayoral veto of DCPS discipline legislation: “Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), a sponsor of the bill, has asked for the measure to be put on today’s agenda so a motion to override can be considered. Encouragingly, it appeared yesterday that five members — the number needed to sustain the veto — had reconsidered their support. We hope that is the case, and that the council does not want to backtrack on its decision to give the mayor and school professionals the authority to run the schools.”
Juvenile arrests way up, reports Bill Myers in Examiner. “There were about 3,500 kids arrested in 2007. In 2008, nearly 4,500 kids were arrested, for crimes ranging from public urination (two cases) to felony murder (three cases), statistics kept by the city show.”
WaPo’s Keith Alexander follows up on the arrest of Lafonte Lurie Carlton: “His arrest last week highlights concerns among D.C. Superior Court judges who have been frustrated as they watch juveniles come to their courts after being released from the custody of Youth Rehabilitation Services.” Lee Satterfield, Superior Court chief judge, offers rare public criticism: “We can order [violent youth] be committed to the city and hope that the city will keep them in a secure situation for a long period of time…But sometimes, they could be out the very next day.”
Long-awaited WTU counteroffer to Michelle Rhee contract has been released, WAMU-FM’s Kavitha Cardoza reports. “The highlights released were just one page and were very broad….While there is no mention of Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s two-tier compensation package…the contract does talk about the need to increase base salaries and for school-wide financial incentives. There weren’t details about how teacher evaluations would be conducted either….The highlights emphasize the need to improve school conditions and implement a strong discipline and safety program.” Blogger Teacher Sol has letter from WTU.
Eric Holder, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, is your new attorney general.
FOGGY BOTTOM DUMBASSERY—-“Crosses used in an antiabortion demonstration at George Washington University were defaced last week, and the school’s College Democrats organization has apologized for the vandalism,” Susan Kinzie reports in WaPo (following the GW Hatchet). “Student Republicans later found drawings and writing in black ink on some of the crosses. One depicted a stick figure of a crucified Jesus. Another, hung upside down, had a condom stretched over it. One had the name of a College Democrats leader. “
PWNED INDEED—-From Hatchet: “One was pinned upside down on a bulletin board and draped with a condom. Another featured a depiction of Jesus on the cross along with the words ‘pwned’ and ‘lol,’ and others were emblazoned with ‘Darwin,’ ‘Take a condom’ and ‘Amelia West,’ the vice president of the CDs.”
FIREBOAT WRECK VIDEO! That’s why Statter’s the best, ladies and gents.
Marc Fisher not a fan of Mary Cheh‘s letter-grades-for-restaurants idea.
DDOT to District, via Examiner: Report yer potholes, dagnabbit! “Residents should call 311 to report a pothole, making sure to have the exact location and as much detail as possible about the hole, including its approximate size and depth.” Also an occasion for Terry Lynch griping…
Georgetown hydrants still a problem 22 months after library fire, WTTG’s Roby Chavez reports: “This is an issue that strikes at the heart of Georgetown. The community was stunned tonight over what they heard. Numbers show that 59 of Georgetown’s 200 fire hydrants still need some sort of maintenance.”
YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PUT YOUR WEED IN THERE—-Marijuana bag found in city ambulance—-WaTimes buries in a BRIEF! Which is the bigger crime here?
Dread NOROVIRUS sickens 36 CUA students. BUT HOYAS STILL RULE—-“More than 200 Georgetown University students were sickened by norovirus in October.”
Metro farecard security is lax, says IG’s report, as related by Kytja Weir in Examiner. “Metro Inspector General Helen Lew wrote in a report that the agency had vaults with broken locks, emergency buzzers that didn’t work and a system that allowed already redeemed farecards to be turned in for new cards….The audit was done after a Metro sales office supervisor was charged with mail fraud last spring in connection with the theft of more than $560,000 from Metro farecard sales offices.”
JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE?—-NC8: “Prosecutors say a Southeast woman charged with her husband’s murder may have committed the crime due to a dispute over a young child being left home alone….Family members agree the ordeal began when 43-year-old Mozella Jones‘ five-year-old grandson wandered away from home in nothing but pajamas at 3 a.m. Sunday morning.”
More from Biz Journal on Barry’s irate reaction to Poplar Point pullout.
Small fire Monday afternoon at McPherson Square Metro.
GOOD JOB, DAVE—-Procurement chief David Gragan gets a pat on the back from trade mag: “Six months of planning and hard work led to a well-received presidential inauguration ceremony that came off without a hitch. “
EHN attended White House Super Bowl bash, tells Hamil Harris she “stayed until the bitter end.” DUH—-BITTER END WAS THE BEST PART!
Ford’s Theatre (fancy spelling, please, WUSA-TV) to reopen Feb. 17.
TRAGEDIC—-Rare baby horse dies in National Zoo custody.
Hey, Prince of Petworth? Columbia Heights goes north to Spring Road, end of story. It also goes west to 16th Street and east to Sherman Avenue, you gots? Now the southern border is a matter of dispute—-I say Florida Avenue—-but those three other lines—-those are sacred. TIVOLI NORTH, my ass.
MEDIA MOMENT—-Examiner not getting less conservative.
WAPO WX—-More snow? Flint up!
WRC WX—-Not much snow. No flint necessary.
Willem de Looper, D.C. artist and former Phillips Collection curator, is dead at 76.
CONDOLENCES—-To former WaPo city-hall reporter Yolanda Woodlee, on the sudden death of husband Richard over the weekend. Vince Gray expressed his own at yesterday’s council presser.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: second legislative meeting, JAWB 500
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, DMV e-mail renewal service announcement, Francis A. Gregory Branch Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE