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Morning all. How’s this for bipartisanship: Neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) nor Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) is happy with the District’s extended bar hours around the inauguration. “The plan…could seriously strain law enforcement resources that need to be focused on the large crowds and security requirements of the Inaugural,” David Nakamura quotes them writing in WaPo. “There is great cause for celebration at this historic event. But we believe that the benefits of this emergency legislation, passed with little public notice, are far outweighed by its possible consequences.” Meanwhile, Mary Cheh says get a grip: “The prediction of dire consequences is a little over the top.” Jim Graham tells WaTimes: “This is a local issue and is not a matter for the United States Senate.” That’s what Marc Fisher thinks, too. Here’s the hometown story for Bennett.
Says blogger, “Screw them and this posturing bullshit. If they can’t find better things to do with their time they should both resign in shame!”
AND—-Terry Lynch is on the case! From a letter sent by the Downtown Cluster of Congregations head: “The residents and surrounding businesses of the areas most impacted had little to no opportunity to comment on this proposal. It has been known for some time the Inaugural dates, and yet this has been enacted on an emergency basis?….I would note that two months ago Chief Lanier responded to what was described as a crime emergency in Adams Morgan owing to impacts from the night life venues, with a large increase in robberies and assaults. In response MPD dramatically increased coverage for the area. Yet now the proposal is to increase the hours and length of service of alcoholic beverages in a neighborhood with a history of safety problems?”
WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO?—-Well, the council passed 90-day emergency legislation, which includes no built-in congressional review period. But Congress could take a timeout from crafting an auto bailout and pass a resolution disapproving of the council’s law any time before the new hours begin.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty required at least 178 man-hours in police security while riding his bike, Bill Myers reports in Examiner. “The records are incomplete—-some of the data is illegible and at least two months of data are missing—-so it is likely that the total hours are much more.” The records were released “after the city’s police union sued the department to secure their release. Union Chairman Kris Baumann told The Examiner the extra hours were ‘an embarrassment and a waste.'”
Harry Jaffe runs down the money behind the Fenty birthday bash. “About 120 people were listed as members of the ‘senior host committee.’ My sources tell me each was supposed to raise $25,000, in person or in bundles. If my sources and math are correct, that adds up to a cool $300,000.” He says $1M in the bank by Xmas 2009; LL thinks $1M by July 4 ain’t out of the question. LOOK WHO WAS THERE—-“I ran into Nationals owner Ted Lerner as he was leaving — before the masses arrived. Conrad Cafritz…also slipped away early. Other brand-name donors included Richard Marriott (hotels), Jim Abdo (development) and Franco Nuschese (Cafe Milano)….Among those on the host committee were Adam Bernstein, Tony Lanier, Chip Akridge, Bill Alsup, George Calomiris, Chris Smith, Mitchell Schear, and Jair Lynch.”
D.C. murder rate seems to hold steady, Gary Emerling reports in WaTimes. Good news, right? Not when they’re declining everywhere else in the region, “suggesting that city leaders are struggling to maintain significant declines in the homicide rate in recent years.”
WaPo shows up a day late on parking-meter hearing, as does WaTimes. Interesting tidbit from Hamil Harris: “The D.C. Council’s move comes on the eve of a report by the DC AppleSeed Center [sic] titled “Building the Best Capital City in the World.” It says that even though District officials have balanced the budget 11 years in a row and worked hard to be fiscally responsible, the District will never be financially solvent because of a structural imbalance that has existed since its inception.” WRC-TV has video.
EMTs have trouble with new test, NC8 reports. “28 percent of firefighters….failed to pass a new national registry exam for EMTs,” leading to firings. “I’m sad that they would spend the money on me to graduate, shake hands with the mayor and the chief of the fire department and then fire me,” said EMT JaQuante’ Staton.
DEATH AT WALTER REED—-WTOP: “Emergency responders found a security officer with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the 16th Street gate shortly after noon Tuesday, an Army spokesperson says.”
Marion Barry to hold hearing today on HPAP cuts.
Pit bull attack victim doing better, NC8 reports. “Barber was severely mauled about the head and neck until police arrived. Officers shot the dog at least four times, killing it. Police say the pit bull was not fenced in, nor was it chained up….Animal control officers seized a second pit bull belonging to the same owner.”
$50M in tobacco settlement funds going to improve primary and emergency care in the District. Presser this morning at United Medical Center.
WE’RE NOT WORST! From Freeman Klopott at Examiner: “If a biological weapon detonates in the Washington region, Maryland will be the least capable of reacting, a report released Tuesday said. Virginia, however, is one of the most prepared states and the District falls in the middle, said the sixth annual report from Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit that studies the country’s readiness for public health disasters.”
—-THE INAUGURATION SECTION—-
District request 340 L.A. sheriff’s deputies for some reason, only offers to pay for some of them.
WaPo edit board: “It’s safe to predict that Inauguration Day will bring record crowds—-and coordination problems—-to the region.”
Big names cost big bucks, Examiner’s Leah Fabel reports. “One local planner aware of someone trying to deliver diva megastar Beyonce Knowles said he was told the pop phenomenon normally demands half a million dollars for her performance alone, but could be willing to drop it to about $300,000 out of patriotic fervor….Stars like Alicia Keys with just a bit less glow are rumored to have dropped to $150,000 for the privilege of performing during the historic festivities, from a regular price of about $300,000.”
Sez Courtland Milloy: “[B]e prepared to have your mind boggled and blown as the nation’s capital tries to squeeze 2 million to 4 million people onto a 2 1/2 -mile swath called the National Mall.”
Dunbar, Howard bands make inaugural parade cut. “Dunbar Band Director Rodney Chambers tells WTOP the band will play Frankie Beverly & Maze‘s ‘Before I Let Go,’ Madonna‘s and Justin Timberlake‘s ‘4 Minutes’ and the Black Eyed Peas‘ ‘Don’t Phunk With My Heart.'”
—-END INAUGURATION SECTION—-
Michelle Rhee will be on the Bob Edwards Show next month.
DC Teacher Chic speaks out against messing with suspension policy.
Recap of the Watha T. Daniel Library groundbreaking.
Cary Silverman notes DPW’s slogan—-“The Preferred Choice”—-could use some improvement. “‘The Preferred Choice’ sounds more like a motto for an auto parts shop, a handyman, or an insurance company.”
Fire folks respond to FEMS cadets working Jim Graham parties.
Former Anacostia Waterfront Corp. chair Stephen Goldsmith makes a career move.
Barracks Row land for sale!
D.C. actor Robert Prosky dies at 77. Arena Stage vet’s credit included Hill Street Blues.
Dunbar football players get the Skins “Game Day Experience.”
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-11 a.a.: Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs roundtable on the state of the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), JAWB 412; 3 p.m.: Committee on Public Works and the Environment hearing on PR17-1184, JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:15 a.m.: remarks, DOH grant announcement, United Medical Center, 1310 Southern Ave. SE; 10:15 a.m.: remarks, Mayor’s Annual Senior Holiday Celebration, D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol Street SE; 12 p.m.: remarks, Girard Street Park groundbreaking, 14th and Girard Streets NW; 3:45 p.m.: guest, NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt, WJLA-TV/NewsChannel 8.