Morning all. Today the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties will hear testimony on the D.C. Voting Rights Act. WaTimes’ Timothy Warren tees up the proceedings, as does The Hill. Show’s at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2141 if you’re free!
LEAD SCARE WAS REAL—-According to blockbuster upcoming study obtained by WaPo’s Carol Leonnig, hundreds of District children had dangerously high levels of lead in their blood during WASA crisis. “The study, based on a detailed analysis of thousands of children’s blood tests from 2000 to 2003, contradicts the public assurances issued by federal and D.C. health officials starting in 2004. At the time, although officials acknowledged that the amount of lead in city water were at record-breaking levels, they said repeatedly that they found no measurable impact on the general public’s health.”
BYE BUT NOT BYE—-Robert Bobb hired by Michigan governor as “emergency finance chief” for Detroit public schools, Bill Myers reports in Examiner. But fear not: Bob Squared will be keeping his home in the District. “Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has declared the state’s $1.2 billion school system a ‘fiscal emergency.’ Bobb is charged with rescuing the system from a $130 million-plus deficit.” Jonetta Rose Barras broke the story yesterday afternoon.
Cops shoot man living in Northeast group home: Osman A. Abdullahi, 36, was “holding a large kitchen knife in one hand and a metal pole in the other,” Paul Duggan reports in WaPo. “After swinging the pole at the officers…he lunged at them with the blade.” WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO READ is Jason Cherkis‘ in-depth reporting on the matter. No reporter owns police-involved shootings like that guy! Not even Pat Collins!
WaPo editorial board tells Marion Barry to knock it off already with the disapproval resolutions—-namechecking LL’s reporting in the process (read it here with Barry’s response here). THE OH SNAP LINE—-“The council should revise its rules to require, as used to be the case, the disapproval of more than one council member. Unless, of course, it thinks Mr. Barry should still be calling the shots in D.C. government.”
WORD IS—-Jo-Ann Armao might come out of this one looking good. Jack Evans and David Catania cornered Barry at a Jan. 13 council meeting and told him to knock it off, threatening just such a rules revision. Barry, LL is told, said he’d cut it out.
In less sanguine editorial developments, WaTimes board goes off on bill that aims to improve the gay adoption process by allowing non-biological lesbian parents on birth certificates. The culture warriors, though, see it as “establishing a disposition favoring a gay marriage policy in the foreseeable future” and as a “a ruse to obscure the District government’s desire to legalize gay marriage.” The council “should not be doing that without the full consent of the people and an open and honest discussion….The District seems bent on avoiding any possible opposition from voters by slipping their agenda through the back door with the passage of this legislation.”
UH, WATIMES?—-You should call up David Catania. The council is about to embark on the least “back door” gay marriage process in the country. He’ll tell you all about it!
Phil Mendelson introduces bill to elect District’s attorney general, according to Michael Neibauer in Examiner. “And once D.C. elects its first attorney general, Mendelson said, it can take the next step of transferring the U.S. attorney’s prosecutorial powers to the city office, with congressional approval.” WHAT DOES P-NICK THINK?—-“Current Attorney General Peter Nickles supports the idea of an elected AG, he said Monday….[BUT]…Despite his support of an elected AG, Nickles said he opposes Mendelson’s bill due to several ‘troublesome’ provisions, including one that bars the mayor from firing his appointed AG without cause.”
WaTimes covers elections hearing. On the table are same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting. Mary Cheh “also questioned elections-board members about such concerns as not creating meeting agendas in advance when discussing Election Day problems and not having a fully automated system to process voter-registration information from such agencies as the Department of Motor Vehicles.”
EVEN MORE FAWNING THAN USUAL!—-Another Michelle Rhee profile from the national media—-this time, from the Christian Science Monitor! Here’s the article’s complete acknowledgment that some people aren’t on board: “Yet not all the teachers she’s fired so far have inspired plaudits from members of the Washington Teachers’ Union and some local parents. Some fault her for acting too hastily, others for jettisoning good instructors.” But kudos on working Bruce DePuyt in there!
WaPo’s Daniel de Vise and John Wagner do up local jurisdictions’ stimulus hopes. The sum total of their reporting on the District: “D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) wrote Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), at her invitation, requesting funds to modernize schools, build a police forensics lab and replace the Eleventh Street and South Capitol Street bridges, among other projects.” HUNGRY FOR MORE?—-LL broke that shit! Read his exhaustive analysis!
More city money for Peaceaholics, via CYITC, Hamil Harris reports for D.C. Wire. LAYC also pulls in grant funds, which together total $239K. No coincidence that the presser was held at Hart MS.
NC8 has more on City Lights PCS closing
New Smithsonian chief installed, offering Chief Justice John Roberts the opportunity to make a joke.
Fire in tony Adams Morgan building, two injured: “One suffered smoke inhalation, and the other suffered burns. One person was carried from her apartment by firefighters,” reports WaPo.
Get yer Duke Ellington-reverse D.C. quarter!
GGW’s David Alpert: The 3-Minute Interview.
SOUNDS LIKE OBAMA NEEDS TO HIT PRIMANTI BROS.—-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist does piece on Ben’s and Obama: “When I sat down with [Nizam Ali] in the restaurant’s Cosmopolitan Room, a television crew was packing up and several print journalists had already been through to do interviews that morning. He looked exhausted, but insisted he was up for another round….’We’re going to be on “Ellen” at 3,’ he said wearily. The Tom Joyner radio program had just decamped from doing a live program at Ben’s Chili Bowl the day before.”
LANIER’S ORDERS—-“Have fun with the crowd and don’t look at the president as he passes by. [Your] attention should be on the crowd.” Via Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
No K Street bus lanes until 2017, earliest.
Paul Strauss still dropping Hayden Panettiere‘s name.
WaPo has more on Sharlynn Bobo‘s passing: “She was remarkable among the ranks of city officials for her exotic jewelry, close-cropped hair and regal bearing. Some said she carried herself like a gazelle, head high during the toughest of trials before the D.C. Council, the mayor and the families of abused children.”
Paul E. Kay, lawyer who fought to allow the blind to serve on juries, is dead at 71.
YES, LL CLICKED—-WRC-TV Web site uses stock picture of giant breasts to illustrate some story LL may or may not have read.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee of the Whole meeting, JAWB 500; 11 a.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation meeting, JAWB 123.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10 a.m.: attendee, congressional hearing on D.C. voting rights, Rayburn HOB, Room 2141.