City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Inaugural Ball to Be Held at John A. Wilson Building“; “Crash Fenty’s First Fundraiser!“; “Nickles’ Dilemma: Rent or Buy?“
Morning all. LL had a fine time Saturday night at the “Owl’s Nest” in Forest Hills, where hundreds of revelers—-and a couple dozen protesters—-gathered to toast Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s birthday (and hand Ben Soto their checks). More on that later, but let LL say now that meeting John Thompson III on the premises made his weekend. Incidentally—-seen taking in Georgetown’s thrashing of American U. Saturday at the Verizon Center: Kojo Nnamdi and GW partisan Mark Plotkin.
On WaPo Metro front, Bill Turque examines Michelle Rhee‘s image after Time cover. “Closer to home, Rhee’s media stardom has inspired a mix of praise, puzzlement and resentment,” he writes. Schools advocates Cathy Reilly, Margot Berkey, and Kerry Silvia provide the not-so-happy quotes. Kathy Patterson also weighs in, and here’s Tommy Wells on the Time appearance: “I want to get it autographed.” And for the record, there’s no Rhee quote—-just a statement from Dena Iverson.
Sacramento Bee looks at Rhee’s relationship with their town’s new mayor, Kevin Johnson. “Rhee…and Johnson have seemed inseparable lately. Since Johnson’s election, Rhee has been in Sacramento almost every other week.”
Harry Jaffe also riffs on Time cover: “Seems to me Rhee replenishes the strength she needs to reform our decrepit schools from three sources: unwavering support from Fenty; cheers from parents and students and many teachers who actually go to D.C. schools and see improvement; and accolades she gets from fans all over the country who read articles like the one in Time.”
Examiner’s Bill Myers gets 300-plus pages of internal e-mails about MPD checkpoints. “The e-mails, sent to and from Lanier and her deputies, show department leaders at cross-purposes — with one executive issuing one order, only to be countermanded by a colleague — and bickering over everything from bringing over traffic cones to writing up ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Web sites for the controversial program.” Best part is that Assistant Chief Diane Groomes complained that “extra officers sent to staff the quarantines were ignoring emergency calls from within the neighborhood.” Includes completely nongratuitous Mary Cheh quote!
Money for Mall levee will come out of Eastern Market money, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner today. But city says that shouldn’t mean any delay to Eastern Market renos. How is this possible? Short answer: It just is.
From Sunday: WaPo’s Debbie Cenziper debuts investigative piece on former Ward 7 Councilmember H.R. Crawford‘s real-estate dealings. A mere taste: “At Walter E. Washington Estates, records show, Crawford used hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund his own property management firm even after paying his company more than $3 million in developer’s fees, a practice developers and HUD officials say amounts to double-billing. He doled out contracts to consultants with ties to the government, including a former HUD administrator who had supported the project. Although he had agreed to return some of the proceeds from the home sales to HUD, he under-reported that income in documents to the agency and paid nothing back.” Crawford’s killer retort: “Have I done everything right? Probably not.”
Marc Fisher looks at “The Tragedy of H.R. Crawford” vis-a-vis Marion Barry. Great moment—-when he watched Crawford silently hand Effi Barry an envelope (full of money?) in Fisher’s presence.
CAN’T GET ENOUGH H.R.? Check out this 2005 WCP classic about his shady dealings with a Shaw apartment complex.
David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart do a lovely job exposing the big money behind the inaugural bar hours extension. The centerpiece, of course, is Marc Barnes, who “estimates moving 1,500 people through the luxurious four-story Park [at 14th] at $100 a head and calculates raking in $150,000 a night—-not including food and alcohol….But that’s chump change compared with what he might make at Love, his mega-club in Northeast…Barnes expects that 3,500 people will circulate inside and another 3,500 through a tent in the parking lot, with revenue topping $700,000 a night.” Jack Evans‘ view: “In an economy where people are struggling, why not throw them a bone?”
CAN’T GET ENOUGH BARNES? Check LL’s September piece on the nexus between nightclubs and politics in the District. And yes, Kwame Brown voted to extend hours at Barnes’ clubs.
WAPO EDITORIAL PAGE DRAMA—-For much of the past few months, WaPo opinion columnist and former editorial board member Colby King has been on a crusade regarding D.C.’s juvenile justice system, holding out particular scorn for DYRS chief Vincent Schiraldi. Saturday, with King taking the week off, the ed board gives Schiraldi a pat on the back, calling reform efforts “revolutionary”: “Three years into the reforms, problems persist—-as made evident by some of the cases tenaciously chronicled on the opposite page this past year by columnist Colbert I. King. It’s also clear, however, that progress has been made and that this troubled department is headed in the right direction.”
House to vote on D.C. congressional representation on Lincoln’s birthday? That’s what Eleanor wants.
Jonetta Rose Barras examines Allen Sessoms‘ tenure thus far as UDC president. “Sessoms’ moves have some folks cautiously optimistic. But, thus far, many of the changes are cosmetic. He has yet to demonstrate he can actually manage the university’s finances, living within its budget while implementing needed capital improvements.”
Thief swipes collection money at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill; priest gives chase. “[Rev. Bill] Hegedusich, 48, a priest for 2 1/2 years, eventually got close to the thief. But, fearing that that the man could be armed, Hegedusich kept his distance and yelled that he just wanted the money back. The man, who had swiped two bags, threw one on the ground on North Carolina Avenue SE and continued running with the other….Hegedusich picked up the bag and went back to the church, in the 300 block of Second Street SE, where he celebrated 11 a.m. Mass a few minutes late,” writes Matt Zapotosky in WaPo.
License plates defaced in Mout Pleasant! Vandals seem to be targeting out-of-town cars, which raises the question—-vandals or freedom fighters? In possibly related news, Mt. P’s Jack McKay decries ban on clear license plate covers in themail.
Fenty stands by 5M inaugural attendance prediction.
Biz Journal takes a look at inaugural contracting. Here’s a taste, from one of the four publicly accessible grafs of Jonathan O’Connell‘s story: “Associated Builders Inc. of Hyattsville is busy erecting the presidential inaugural stands in front of the White House and the Wilson Building, a $2.8 million project. Two other local companies, A & E Limousine & Tour Service of D.C. and Spirit Tours and Travel of Forestville, have signed transportation contracts.”
Street vendors worried District will screw them on inauguration, Stewart reported in Saturday’s WaPo. The city is handing out vending spots for Jan. 20 by lottery, and “[l]ocal vendors complained that they are being treated the same as out-of-towners. And they don’t want to give up their lucrative assigned sites in heavily traveled parts of downtown.”
Biz Journal weighs in on taxi fares.
WaPo lists Top 10 D.C. Public Schools—-in order, Janney, Lafayette, Key, Mann, Murch, Hyde, Emery, Ludlow-Taylor, Oyster-Adams, and Eaton. No District public schools merited mention in recent USN&WR ranking issue. Also, Key seems to be inside some sort of ill-defined toxicity zone.
Ballou band wants a spot in inaugural parade, AP reports.
NAVY VS. WAKE FOREST AT RFK—-Eagle Bank Bowl matchup is set, reports D.C.’s best byline, Tierney Plumb.
Fight over Mormon meeting house in Ward 4 heats up, Neibauer reports in Examiner. Neighbors nix plans for three stories and 105-foot spire at 16th and Emerson Streets NW; now church claims religious discrimination. It now goes to the BZA.
WaPo writes up demise of Brian MacKenzie Infoshop, described as “Anarchist Hangout.” Why will the center, at 9th and P Streets NW, be closing at month’s end? “A lack of people stepped up to lend the commitment and work needed,” one founder tells Stephen Lowman.
“A driver for Metro’s van service for the elderly and disabled has tuberculosis, and as many as 762 riders might have been exposed to the disease,” WaPo reported Saturday.
MPD doing a good job solving homicides, WTTG-TV says. Says Lanier: “The Mayor mentioned we are at a 67 percent closure rate right now—-that is 7 percent higher than at this point last year….Last year we had the highest closure rate in twelve years.”
Paul Strauss apparently forgot to pay his Web guy, DCist reports.
Former restaurant manager says longer bar hours are a bad idea. “Another consideration is that the estimated 3 to 4 million visitors will be operating under ‘Out of Town’ rules. They have no relationship with the bars they will patronize or the city streets they will loudly wander as they return to hotels. The social contract that aids in modulating the behavior of bar patrons will functionally not exist at worst, or have watered down provisions at best.”
Greta Van Susteren wants to know how you feel about bar hours legislation.
The concept of “emergency legislation” is lost on LA Times blogger.
Fire at Chinatown building leads to flooding at National Museum of Crime and Punishment. NC8 somehow finds people who wanted to actually wanted to go there.
PROBABLY, EH? “Tap water in the District and parts of Northern Virginia contains small amounts of herbicides, gasoline additives and industrial solvents—-although the concentrations are so small that there is probably no risk to consumers,” David Fahrenthold writes in WaPo.
“Rhee-style reformer unlikely for Secretary of Education,” Examiner’s Leah Fabel writes.
Omnibus Crime Bill hearing roundup! Thanks, Jack Jacobson!
It’s COLD out there!
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Public Works and the Environment roundtable on “increasing parking meter rates to restore essential services for District residents,” JAWB 500; 12 p.m.: Committee of the Whole roundtable on Bill 17-1049, “D.C. Public Schools and Public Charter Schools Suspension Reform Act of 2008,” JAWB 412.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-3:15 p.m.: remarks, Girard Playground ribbon cutting, 1480 Girard St. NW.