City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Catania Kicks Off Whitman-Walker Inquiry“
IN LL WEEKLY—-“Clinical Depression: Economic woes land Whitman-Walker in Catania’s sights.”
Morning all. LL’s new buddy Marion Barry is back in the news, albeit buried on WaPo’s B4, for tax troubles. According to sources consulted by Del Quentin Wilber and Nikita Stewart, Barry has not filed federal or District tax returns for 2007. That’s not to say he hasn’t paid taxes, seeing as the council withholds from his paycheck—-hell, he might be owed a refund! Barry’s response: “As with any American citizen, my tax status is a matter between the IRS and the taxpayer and not The Washington Post.” Will this mean further legal trouble for the Mayor-for-Life? Folks WaPo consulted seem to think not.
It’s been a little more than 24 hours since Barack Obama told Washingtonians to grow a pair. (LL apologizes for saying in yesterday’s LLD that the comments were made Tuesday; they were actually made Wednesday morning.) That’s plenty of time for outraged reaction here at City Paper, at DCist, from the WaPo editorial board, and for Daniel de Vise and Michael Birnbaum to work up a think piece for WaPo: “The remarks might have captured Washington’s attention as much as anything Obama has said since taking office a week ago. With those offhand comments, the president homed in on the one thing that riles Washingtonians every winter. His words reflected a common sentiment among recent arrivals from up North or out West: The denizens of Washington are weather wimps. Life around the Capital Beltway grinds to a halt for climatic events that would barely register in, say, Chicago.”
YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT?—-“‘With all due respect for President Obama, the problem with Washington, D.C., is unlike Chicago, we get a lot of ice,’ said Leslie Darr, a Loudoun County mother of three.”
AND…apparently POTUS felt bad about his comments: He and the First Lady visited the Sidwell Friends Lower School in Bethesda today.
Marc Fisher sees progress in Tuesday’s Capitol Hill hearing on voting rights: “For once, a roomful of members of Congress managed to debate the shame of this democracy with only one cavalierly telling half a million people that if they really want voting rights, all they need do is move….Even hard-core opponents of adding a House seat for the District no longer make fun of the constitutional flaw that leaves Washingtonians in the unique position of paying federal income tax, serving in the military and yet having no vote.”
Jack Evans wants his buddies to enjoy at St. Paddy’s Day cigar, introduces legislation to exempt the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick from the smoking ban for the occasion of their March 17 dinner at the Washington Hilton. Problem: David Catania, health committee chair, don’t make no exceptions for no one! so Evans is trying to line up nine votes for an emergency bill.
Jonetta Rose Barras looks at Phil Mendelson‘s bill to elect the District’s attorney general. She’s skeptical—-why didn’t the District press Congress harder to recognize the 2002 ballot initiative doign the same thing? “Why now, after eight years, has Mendelson become so determined to establish an elected position that citizens already, through their vote, told the council and Congress to establish? Answer: Peter Nickles, the city’s current mayoral-appointed attorney general.”
ANOTHER KRIS BAUMANN SPECIAL—-Bill Myers in the Examiner: Cops working jobs related to “concierge desk,” “registration/credentialing/gift bags,” “companion tours,” “transportation,” “hotel security,” and “K-9 sweep” at police conference this week at J.W. Marriott. “Officers from D.C., along with Fairfax, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties were assigned to work the Major Cities Chiefs and Sheriffs conference at the JW Marriott Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The Baumann quote: “I think it’s completely unacceptable that we have police officers acting as a bellboys and coat checks so the police chief can impress a bunch of her friends from out of town while people in this city live with one of the worst crime rates in the country.”
BETTER COP STORY—-Two veteran cops get into fight in 6D lobby, one ends up pulling a gun. WTTG-TV’s Wisdom Martin has the scoop.
City officially says it wants out from under CFSA court oversight, files brief to that end. Sats Mayor Fenty, “We are looking forward to continuing…progress and shedding court oversight as quickly as possible.” BUT NOT AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE?
In addition to LL, Biz Journal’s Jonathan O’Connell also covers Whitman-Walker hearing, and deploys fabulous verb in the process: “Catania lacerated [Executive Director Don Blanchon] for not seeking federal reimbursements or new local funding before announcing 45 layoffs and the closure of its Virginia facility less than two weeks before Christmas.” He missed the key rhetorical excess of the day: When Catania said of the firings, “It was a putsch! A classic Stalinesque tactic!”
On WaPo B1, Paul Schwartzman looks at the Hill East/Reservation 13 development plans the city is about to choose from. “The development teams include area builders such as Anthony Lanier, who has built $1 million condominiums in Georgetown; Jim Abdo, who has revived Logan Circle and part of the H Street corridor; and Chris Donatelli, whose residential projects above Metro stations have helped redefine U Street, Petworth and Columbia Heights.”
District stands to get $120M in transpo money out of House stimulus bill, WaPo reports. Examiner looks at how stimulus money will affect local budgets. And WaTimes’ Gary Emerling looks at how the District will likely use the money to replace local funds, easing budget pressures for FY2010 and beyond.
$200M for Mall renos cut from House stimulus bill. Victims of this Republican rhetoric? “In a Fox News interview last week, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, ‘If you look at the bill that passed the Ways and Means Committee yesterday, for every dollar that is spent to help small businesses, $4 is being spent to help upkeep the grass on the lawns of Washington.'”
From press release, this is what EHN says what the District is getting: “Out of the approximately $900 million for the District, Norton said there will be $148 million for school renovations and a tremendous showing from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, that allocated almost $376 million for transportation infrastructure improvements here. District residents will also benefit from tax credits for public housing repairs, for weatherizing modest-income homes, local schools, and incentives to hire unemployed veterans and disconnected youth, and tax credits for school construction bonds, tax credits for investment in economic development zones, and for energy efficient improvements. GSA projects will greatly benefit the District, with many federal buildings located here.”
Former WaTimeser Brian DeBose, writing at The Root, wants some respect for ministers who were civil rights leaders. “Not one black elected D.C. politician showed up at [Walter Fauntroy]’s retirement. Not Mayor Adrian Fenty, or former Mayor Marion Barry or any of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus which Fauntroy helped found in 1971. Sure it was inauguration weekend and there was a lot going on, but a 10-minute congratulations and thank-you speech isn’t too much to ask for one of the people who worked long and hard to make such a weekend possible.”
In order to make summer opening deadline, construction hours extended at Eastern Market, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner. Don’t worry—-Tommy Wells is gonna watch the noise!
Daily Show interviews local pastors hoping to land the First Family—-Church of the Epiphany, Foundry United Methodist, and World Missions for Christ Church get visits from Wyatt Cenac. Oh, and the Sixth and I Synagogue.
Metro: Jan. 20 service cost $5M extra.
FROM THE DUH FILE—-“Those who live in the center of the Washington region are more likely to take public transit or walk than those who live farther away, according to a local household survey of travel habits,” Examiner reports. “Still, the majority of area residents use cars to get around on weekdays regardless of where they live, the survey showed.”
WASA bonds selling like hotcakes.
WaPo District Notebook;
TONSORIAL MOMENT—-Michelle Obama needs a local hair stylist!
MEDIA MOMENT—-No more WaPo Book World
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-Afternoon: Retreat for members and staff at UDC
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 10:15 a.m.: remarks, Neighborhood Vacant Property Auction, Harriet Tubman ES auditorium, 3101 13th St. NW.