As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good morning, all. LL is guessing that school discipline might be a topic of conversation today down at the John A. Wilson Building, where Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is scheduled to testify before the council later today.
IN LL WEEKLY—-Why can’t Michelle Rhee get along with Washington Post reporters? AND: Is Jim Graham trying to dismantle Carol Schwartz‘ legacy?
Gang-related tiffs send Anacostia Senior High School into huge melee. WaPo reports that “five students were taken to hospitals—-three with stab wounds, one who was hurt in a fight and one who had an asthma attack.” Also Examiner piece; AP story; NC8 video
RELATED—-“Meanwhile, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) announced that youths who have been charged as adults will no longer be housed in adult cells at the D.C. jail but in a separate facility next door. The new location has more space for classes and recreational activity, Fenty said in a statement. About 25 juveniles were moved there this week, he said.”
D.C. Republican Committee plans to challenge the Board of Elections and Ethics’ certification of the Nov. 4 election; will announce details this afternoon in a conference call. Hamil Harris writes in D.C. Wire that the local GOP “will present evidence today to show that the general election was riddled with major problems and should not be certified.” LL isn’t so sure that’s what they’re looking at, seeing as their press release mentions the dispute is “regarding the certification of the At-Large race for DC Council” only. LL’s guess: a legal challenge to Michael Brown‘s “independent” party registration.
More on inaugural costs from WaTimes. The key stat: The feds have thus far set aside $15M to reimburse the District for this year’s show. Four years ago, the District spent $17.3M on an inaugural that attracted only 300,000. Meanwhile, Fenty apparently claimed the inaugural will “bankrupt” the District.
Bruuuce Johnson has a fun little scoop: “FBI agents have been knocking on doors in the Spring Valley neighborhood of DC. They are asking Eric Holder‘s neighbors if there is any reason he should not be a solid candidate for US Attorney General.”
MORE HOLDER—-Here’s an old TNR profile of Holder during his U.S. Attorney days.
MUST-READ—-National Coalition for Child Protection Reform slaps Fenty for recent claims that CFSA backlog is being reduced under his watch: “[A Fenty press release] brags about reducing – not eliminating – a giant backlog of cases. But it was Fenty’s grandstanding that caused the backlog. Similarly, the press release brags about hiring new caseworkers – to replace the ones who quit in droves after Fenty scapegoated anyone who came anywhere near the Jacks case.”
OBAMA LICENSE PLATE WATCH—-The Hill ponders whether Obama will put Taxation plates on his official vehicles. “D.C. voting rights advocates are confident that one of Obama’s first reversals of Bush’s policies will be to return the ‘Taxation Without Representation’ plates to the first family’s limo.”
SCANDAL!—-Bill Myers reports in the Examiner that the Fenty’s new crib is unsafe! Toys ‘n’ shit in the crib could suffocate the Fenty’s soon-to-be-born daughter! But Fenty spokesperson Mafara Hobson has a good point: “The Fenty baby isn’t born yet and therefore not a single Fenty has slept in the crib. The toys were simply part of the layout for the Post photo shoot. Once the baby arrives the Fentys will follow all precautions with regard to SID safety.”
Marc Fisher profiles Darian Holton, “the city’s 911 king,” and Catherine Bellamy, whol lived until recently on the streets of Foggy Bottom. Both used to head to emergency rooms for warmth and company. Now both are in “Housing First” permanent apartments. “They still have severe health problems, but now they have regular doctor visits and caseworkers who check whether they’re taking their meds. More important, they’re eating well and sleeping full nights for the first time in years.”
IN DISTRICT WEEKLY—-Harris and Nikita Stewart look at a couple of the jabs the council took at Fenty on Tuesday; Timothy Wilson writes up Shaw’s new dog park, on 11th between Q and R; and ANIMAL WATCH!
WaPo editorial board pats D.C. Council on the back for confirming Peter Nickles, before slamming every councilmember who voted against it. “And what can one say about Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large)? He said not a word—-and then voted ‘present.'”
Jonetta Rose Barras riffs on fiscal rectitude at the D.C. Council, taking a swing at Graham for his proposed parking-fee hike: “The country is in a recession. If he wants to fund ‘critical’
programs, he and his colleagues should cut spending. That’s what residents are doing.”
ALSO—-Is Graham’s pet project, the Adams Morgan late-night taxi stand—-working out?
Local churches line up to woo the Obamas, WaTimes reports. And what’s a WaTimes article on the subject without the following: “Whatever choice Mr. Obama makes it will be in light of his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who was Mr. Obama’s pastor for 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.”
WaPo reports that Shaw gas cutoff was due to—-wait for it—-a valve being closed. Washington Gas has no idea what happened. Examiner headline says “gas pipe fails,” the copy refers only to the “closed valve.” Also NC8 video.
MALIA AND SASHA WATCH—-WUSA-TV looks at the schooling issue.
Slate ponders the power of local Michelles—-Fenty, Obama, Rhee among others.
WAPO BRIEFS—-“Mother’s Boyfriend Charged in Death of Infant”; “City Auditor Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribe”; “Man Admits to Extorting Surgeon Over Affair”; “Police Identify the Victim of a Fatal Shooting”; “Youth Charged as Juvenile in Assault on Uncle”
WUSA-TV covers OTR bribe plea.
Indoor football team heads to D.C. Armory, Biz Journal reports. The D.C. Armor of the American Indoor Football Association will play 10 games starting next April. Andre Johnson, currently Marion Barry‘s press aide, is one of five investors.
WRC-TV profiles radio jock Donnie Simpson.
DCWatchers lay into Vince Gray et al. for their Nickles support.
Gray, meanwhile, pens Informer op-ed patting himself on the back for keeping pre-K funding intact.
IN RHEELATED NEWS—-An iffy intro for Rhee at a recent talk. Daily Pennsylvanian columnist ponders tenure reform. Blogger Adriese has an MP3 of Rhee’s Monday-night talk at Duke U. DC Teacher Chic riffs on discipline issues.
DPW leaflets Petworth; PoP reader gets pissed.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-9 a.m.: Committee of the Whole roundtable on the “Chancellor’s Five-Year Action Plan for the District of Columbia Public Schools,” JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 2 p.m.: remarks, Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting and press conference, Union Station Metro, Columbus Club, 701 1st St. NE.