City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. Hope everyone enjoyed a fab Super Bowl. The question of the day: How much has Adrian Fenty raised toward his 2010 re-election campaign? Today is the first reporting deadline since Fenty kicked off his bid, and there was plenty of early speculation that his first tally might hit seven digits. That talk has died down as the economy has continued to crater. Anyway—-LL will be checking ocf.dc.gov all day waiting for the number.
MICHELLE VS. RANDI—-On WaPo Sunday A1, Bill Turque tees up the pending battle royale between Michelle Rhee and American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten: “At stake is not only the fate of Rhee’s ambitious attempt to transform the District’s failing schools, but also a significant early battle in a nationwide campaign by a new generation of urban school reformers. They want to dramatically elevate the quality of teaching and learning, even if the effort sparks labor tensions with politically influential teachers unions. That could produce ripple effects for the Obama administration, which enjoyed heavy union support in last year’s election but has also placed school improvement high on its domestic agenda.”
OOF—-WaPo editorial board smacks Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for his support of family friend Lori Lee as Public Service Commission chair. “By selecting a woman most notable for her friendship with his wife, Mr. Fenty opens himself to criticism that the District’s days of political patronage and cronyism aren’t entirely in the past.” READ LL’s PREVIOUS COVERAGE.
SO WHAT WILL MURIEL DO?—-“D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), who presided over Ms. Lee’s confirmation hearing in December, made it clear she wasn’t going to move the nomination forward. But now jurisdiction over the PSC has moved to a committee chaired by council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), an ally of the mayor, and Mr. Fenty is pushing for a vote.”
Clark Realty pulls out of Poplar Point deal, “citing risks in the struggling capital market,” according to city officials consulted by WaPo’s David Nakamura. Clark exec: “He said the company told the city all along it wanted flexibility in its timetable and financing. The credit market meltdown last fall convinced the company that the District should take some of the financial risk.” Needless to say, Marion Barry isn’t happy.
BURIED LEDE—-“It also appears the proposal for a 27,000-seat soccer stadium at Poplar Point, which would cost as much as $225 million in public money, has all but died, also because of the credit market crunch, officials said. United owner Victor B. MacFarlane has not talked with Fenty aides in months.”
WHAT’S NEXT—-Via Biz Journal: Now “the city will take on the millions of dollars of planning and engineering work needed to prepare the 110-acre property for development, before picking another partner at an undetermined date….Once some of that work is done – exactly how much the city has not decided – Albert will reissue the land in a new competitive bidding process rather than select one of the other companies that originally bid.”
CFO’s office scraps $120M computer system, Bill Myers reports in Examiner: “The finance office had relied on Accenture LLP to build and run its automated tax system for more than a decade. In a memo dated last week, Councilman Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, introduced emergency legislation to replace Accenture with Pembroke, Mass.-based Revenue Solutions Inc.”
The city has sought permission to jam cell phone signals at the D.C. Jail, according to WaPo story by Spencer Hsu. “[C]orrections officials won permission from the FCC for a brief test of jamming technology at the D.C. jail last month, after citing the ‘alarming rate’ of contraband phones being seized at prisons around the country….’Cell phones are used by inmates to engage in highly pernicious behavior such as the intimidation of witnesses, coordination of escapes, and the conducting of criminal enterprises,’ D.C. corrections chief Devon Brown wrote to the federal agency.”
Harry Thomas Jr. ponders legislation requiring drivers to clear their cars of snow and ice before driving, reports Michael Neibauer in Examiner. Says Thomas, “You’re behind people, trucks, and sheets of ice come flying at you. It’s something that could be avoided just by people taking a little more time and brushing their vehicle with a broom.” Hurry up—-don’t let New Jersey beat you!
D.C. fireboat struck by Spirit of Washington on Saturday afternoon as the cruiser attempted to turn around, Aaron C. Davis reports in WaPo. “Alan Etter, spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said the damage to the 70-foot John Glenn was ‘considerable.’ The gash was on the starboard side, above the water line, and will have to be fixed before the fireboat can be returned to service, he said.” Says cruise rep: “We’re obviously going to take care of the fire department.” Also Examiner.
Jose Sanchez, the man who lay beaten on a Columbia Heights sidewalk for 20 minutes before help was summoned, has died, WJLa/NC8 first reports. Two suspects in custody identified as Maxmillo Argueta, 32, and Humberto Escobar, 57. WaPo report: “According to a charging document, Escobar told detectives that he punched Sanchez and knocked him to the ground after Sanchez ‘called him a homosexual.’ Escobar said others also struck Sanchez while he was on the ground.”
PAGING COLBY—-Arrest made in murders of two young men—-including Darrell Goins, killed Dec. 10 in Adams Morgan. Jim Graham tells WaPo’s “Debbie” Wilgoren and Paul Duggan that suspect Lafonte Lurie Carlton had been convicted of 2006 murder and had been “placed in the custody of the D.C. Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services and sent to the city’s Oak Hill juvenile detention center in Laurel….Carlton was released last fall. Graham said that at the time the 22-year-old victim was shot, police had a warrant for Carlton’s arrest on a robbery charge.” (Colby was dealing with matters national this week.)
Jonetta Rose Barras looks at Michael Steele‘s RNC triumph. Says D.C. Republican Committee’s Paul Craney, “He brings a unique understanding of District politics. He is for voting rights and is agreeable on most issues D.C. cares about….[Steele’s] going to put the resources behind us. He knows we are trying our best to give District voters a two-party system.”
Superior Court judge has little patience for Franklin Shelter advocates, WaTimes reports. “Judge Brooke Hedge appeared agitated during a hearing for plaintiffs in the bid to reopen the Franklin Shelter on 13th and K Streets Northwest….”I’m not a legislator, I have no authority to rule that,” said Judge Hedge, reacting to the plaintiffs’ request that the court reopen the shelter. The closing of Franklin Shelter has caused outrage among homeless advocates, who say that those who were moved out are now suffering on the street or in run-down conditions at other shelters across the District.”
WaTimes’ Dan Leaderman does piece on new DCPS discipline policy.
THINK-TANKERS’ $0.02—-Brookings’ Alice Rivlin and D.C. Appleseed’s Walter Smith give their thoughts on stimulation for the District in WaPo Close to home. The upshot: “As Congress and the White House embark on major infrastructure investments for the 21st century, they should make the critical infrastructure needs of our nation’s capital a high priority.”
More on lead report: “Scientists say they might never know how many children were harmed when lead levels in the District’s water spiked early this decade. The number could be as few as 700 or as many as tens of thousands,” says WaPo. “The effects could include the loss of two to three IQ points and a higher risk for behavioral problems, even in children whose bloodstream lead stayed below the threshold of concern set by federal health officials.”
IN CLOSE TO HOME—-In the wake of shocking lead study, new WASA chair says his agency is “deeply concerned about public health and safety, particularly as it relates to the community’s children. The agency’s most important job is to provide clean, quality drinking water, and we view that job as a solemn trust.”
IN MEMORIAM—-Grant Stockdale, father of the Tuition Assistance Grant program, has passed, and Harry Jaffe remembers: “Why, he wondered, did parents around the country get to send their children to great, land grant colleges for low, in-state tuition? D.C. kids have no such college or opportunity….He buttonholed President Clinton at a breakfast at Sidwell Friends in 1997, when both had children at the school. Clinton liked the idea. Using napkins and scraps of paper, they sketched out how it might work. Clinton assigned an aide to hammer out details; Rep. Tom Davis and Eleanor Holmes Norton got it through Congress.”
29 homes put on the auction block by DHCD go quick, WaPo’s Hamil R. Harris and Darryl Fears report. FACT CHECK—-304 13th St. NW? $400K? Really?
FLINTYGATE CONTINUES—-WaPo reader: “Hey, Mr. President: Let Us Have Our Snow Day Our Way”
Gary Imhoff, in the course of a voting-rights debate, explains the three-fifths compromise.
In Dr. Gridlock’s column, Metro riders ponder coming service cuts. Dr. G himself chimes in: “Cutting service when demand is rising defies common sense. It’s not a good practice in the private sector, and it certainly isn’t part of the public service concept.”
WaPo ed board likes letter writer’s pay-for-Mall-parking idea.
Prisoner escaped Saturday evening from United Medical Center by climbing through bathroom vent.
Man, 45, killed by woman early Sunday morning on 1500 block Tubman Road SE. Cops say killing is “domestic-related,” according to WaPo.
D.C. man and his nephew sentenced in string of robberies in late 2006 to early 2007. “In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said the robbers ‘by various means’ would get a clerk to open the cash register. Then the uncle would show a ‘4-barrel derringer type pistol,’ and the nephew would take money.” Michael Gray, 47, got life; Dante L. Gray, 22, got 144 months.
Gas odor interrupted Chinese New Year parade.
More than 100 homeless men took in the Super Bowl yesterday at the Central Union Mission in Logan Circle. Bill Turque has the scene for WaPo.
Foggy Botttom liquor purveyors want exeception from singles ban.
WX MOMENT—-January was really cold!
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee On Health hearing on bills B18-32, B18-33, B18-35, B18-39, and B18-90, JAWB 500; 11 a.m.: press briefing, JAWB 412.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-3:30 p.m.: remarks, Spanish educational development center ribbon cutting, 4110 Kansas Ave. NW; 7:30 p.m.: remarks, Rosedale Citizens Alliance meeting, Rosedale Recreation Center, 17th and Gales Streets NE.