City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Charter High School to Fold“; “Bloodbath at NC8/Channel 7!“; “Fenty Stimulus Priorities: Schools, Cops, and ‘Green’ Stuff“; “Biking the Third Street Tunnel“
Morning all. LL has to issue an LLD correction: On Friday he corrected Harry Jaffe, who had written that only one of 13 councilmembers has kids in public school. LL counted three at the time: Phil Mendelson, Kwame Brown, and Harry Thomas Jr. Turns out, Thomas’ kids were at Bunker Hill ES last year but switched to parochial school this year—-a decision that LL, with his 19 years of Catholic education, wholly endorses. Sorry, Harrys!
Who’s fault was the Purple Tunnel of Doom? Mary Beth Sheridan and Pamela Constable do the WaPo’s postmortem, and most signs point to the Capitol Police: “This much is clear: The Capitol Police and other officials underestimated the turnout among ticket holders. They turned down advance offers of help from volunteers and the National Guard, officials say. And police failed to respond adequately when trouble arose.” LL HEARS—-From inside the Wilson Building, that Capitol Police also declined city help offered early on Jan. 20 and that communication has long been an issue with that agency.
GOOD SUGGESTION—-From Dorothy Brizill: “The next time we have a major event, like an inauguration, that will attract a large crowd, the government shouldn’t try to handle it itself, led by agencies like the Secret Service. It should go to a company that knows how to manage large crowds of people, how to distribute tickets efficiently, how to keep people happy and entertained in long lines and move those lines quickly, and how to provide effective security unobtrusively, without inconveniencing people….Next time, subcontract the inauguration to Disney.”
Why the hell has a parking garage, being erected at the Minnesota Avenue Metro station, taken so goddamn long to put up? Neil Albert answers, via WaPo’s Paul Schwartzman: “missed timelines, escalating budgets, inattention by project managers, poor communications between government agencies and a lack of a single point of accountability.” CASE IN POINT—-“In an effort to save money, the District had not built glass curtain walls around two of the garage’s stairwells. WMATA decreed that it would not accept responsibility for the building without the glass walls….The result? The District needed nine months to design the walls and get the D.C. Council to approve spending $2 million for construction and installation.”
Texas congressman introduces legislation to fix up dilapidated D.C. World War I Memorial, in the process making it “National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial.” Reports Michael Neibauer in Examiner, “[Rep. Ted Poe] argues that, because his bill calls for an expansion of an existing memorial, it is exempt from a federal law barring additional construction on the Mall. Judy Scott Feldman, president of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, disagreed.”
WaPo editorial board begs Obama to fund vouchers in his first budget.
St. Elizabeths employees collected at least $6.3M in overtime in the last three fiscal years, Bill Myers reports in Examiner. This is while “the hospital was fending off a federal fraud investigation and a civil suit claiming that its low staffing was endangering its patients.”
Community college merger means end to UDC open admissions, Jonetta Rose Barras reports in her Examiner column. “Beginning this fall semester, an open door will await only students enrolling in UDC’s soon-to-be-established ‘Southeastern Community College.’ All others will need a minimum 2.0 grade point average and 1400 SAT score for a seat in the classrooms….Sessoms also intends, among other things, to create a new School of Government, Center for Urban Education and School of Public Health; offer a severance package for older faculty; and increase tuition for students enrolled in what he called the ‘Flagship State University,’ which will offer bachelor’s and graduate degrees.”
NPR profiles Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. The tease: “It’s easy to draw comparisons between Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty and President Barack Obama. Like Obama, Fenty is an African-American Democrat, the child of a black father and a white mother. He even has a wife named Michelle. Two years in, Fenty is working hard to forge an image as a can-do risk-taker in a city that sorely needs one.”
Harry Jaffe ponders racial integration in this town: “In business, African-Americans are moving up to leadership positions. Ernie Jarvis, a fifth-generation Washingtonian, is managing director of CBRE Richard Ellis, a major real estate firm. John Ray and A. Scott Bolden manage law firms. Fenty’s peers, like lawyer Matthew Cutts who chairs the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, are becoming leaders. But are African-Americans in ownership positions? Not really.”
Michelle Rhee looks to overhaul DCPS displinary system in the wake of suspension spike, Bill Turque reports: “Rhee’s proposal, culled from what officials consider best practices in other school systems, divides student misconduct into five tiers, reserving suspensions and expulsions for the most serious incidents. In the first and second tier, for example, profanity, dress code violations or pushing and shoving would mean temporary removal from class or a parent-teacher conference. Persistent low-level violations would be met with stronger measures, but still short of suspension.” Blogger reaction.
DID RHEE TALK TO TURQUE?—-At least three words, perhaps: “Rhee says that out-of-school suspensions in the District occur ‘far too frequently,’ putting students behind in their work and increasing the likelihood that they will become truant or drop out.”
DCPS, DPR pull peanut butter from menus after recall.
Banita Jacks is fit for trial, psychiatrist tells Superior Court judge. “In the hospital’s most recent report, filed Thursday, staff members said Jacks had made progress and was no longer taking medication. They also asked the court to keep Jacks at the hospital until her trial to “assure her competency,” writes Keith Alexander in WaPo. Trial could come in July. Also AP.
JERK ALERT—-From Dave Statter at WUSA-TV: Adams Morgan carryout owner Paul Chen “was waiting on the customer in the front when three men came in the open rear door of the business. They forced Chen and his parents into the back and robbed them. Chen’s mother was pistol whipped when she refused to give up her money…According to Chen, the customer saw all of this and walked out the front door, but didn’t call police. Instead, after the robbers were gone the customer returned and wanted to know where his food was.”
Mendo aims to tighten human trafficking laws, Examiner reports: “Trafficking is a much more pervasive problem than most people realize….And there’s no justification for trafficking — it’s human slavery.”
GW sophomore found dead in bed Friday morning; cause of death is still a mystery. Reports the Hatchet: “Roommates discovered Treanor’s body in her bed at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning and immediately called 911. Her nose and pillowcase were bloody, and she hadn’t changed her clothes from the night before.”
NEW EXHIBIT AT MLK LIBRARY—-From AP report: “London-based conceptual artist Matthew Thompson, 42, re-created a plywood shelter from the 1968 encampment on the Mall called Resurrection City, which followed the Poor People’s March planned by Martin Luther King. The event drew thousands of people to set up temporary residence within sight of the Capitol to show the plight of poor people….’The MLK Library is heavily used by the D.C. homeless population, almost like a day center where they can go and rest,’ Mr. Thompson said. ‘I wanted to comment on that because it’s a microcosm of a relevant issue today.'”
Fannie Mae to lay off “hundreds,” WTOP’s Mark Segraves reports.
Politico: Barack Obama is a “one-man stimulus.” ALSO—-Wolfgang Puck ate at Ben’s.
dude dudette Michael Alison Chandler looks at the differering standards for Algebra II across the region. The good news: The District has some of the toughest graduation standards around. The bad news: It’s unclear how many public school students will be able to meet those tough requirements: “At the District’s neighborhood high schools…many students struggle with rudimentary skills. On a national math test given to District eighth-graders in 2007, 34 percent scored at the basic level or better. By 2011, those students will need to pass four years of math, including Algebra II, to receive a regular diploma.”
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION MISHAP—-Fire department called to OEOB for reports of smoke, building evacuated. Wha’ happened? Reports WaPo, “A D.C. fire department spokesman said it appeared that ‘somebody tried to start a fire in a fireplace on the second floor.’…Some sort of obstruction in the chimney, probably on the fourth or fifth floor, ’caused smoke to back up'” on the fourth floor, said Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.”
People lost a bunch of stuff on Metro during the inauguration.
Metro to workers: Thanks for your service during inauguration. Now get lost.
Girl, 14, went missing Friday, now found safe.
District man, 32, shot to death early Saturday morning on 1200 block of Talbert Street SE, near Anacostia Metro station.
Body of District man found Saturday near C&O Canal’s Billy Goat Trail.
D.C. Jail escapee sentenced to 24 years.
District man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend, a charter-school teacher, at her Oxon Hill home.
“Fathering Court” graduates its first class.
“Hundreds” of fans show for NatsFest.
KJ’s D.C. DIARY! Doesn’t dish on Rhee, but does talk about “inaugural event hosted at the Kuwaiti Embassy by Mayor Adrian Fenty’s wife, Michelle. There, I was able to chat with legends like Don Graham, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn (of the Washington Post), Herb Allison (the CEO of Fannie Mae), and George Stephanopolous.”
Mort Zuckerman talks up Cardozo education event in his NYDN column.
Forbes likes the District real estate market right about now.
Who still cares about Kevin Chavous? The Wabash College alumni newsletter, that’s who!
NC8: How to repair the Mall?
YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD SOLVE ALL THE MALL’S PROBLEMS?—-Parking meters!
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: Board of Elections and Ethics Investigation Special Committee roundtable on election process and procedures in the District of Columbia, JAWB 500; 10 a.m.: Committee on Economic Development meeting on organization for Council Period 18, JAWB 123.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-10:30 a.m.: remarks, at-risk youth outreach program announcement, Hart MS, 601 Mississippi Ave. SE; 7:30 p.m.: remarks, Southwest Neighborhood Association community meeting, St. Augustine’s Church, 600 M St. SW.