As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good morning, and greetings to Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who spent yesterday in Seattle at a Gates Foundation conference focusing on “how to improve high schools so that students could succeed in college.”
WaPo editorial board gives Vincent Gray and the D.C. Council a pat on the back for making the cuts the Fenty administration wouldn’t. So lemme get this straight, WaPo: taking a look at school construction contracts is too much fiscal responsibility?
Fire investigators say they were forced out of their jobs for saying Eastern Market blaze was arson, reports NC8/WJLA. “As two of the most experienced arson investigators, Pennington and Bowyer were also on a covert team searching for a person responsible for a rash of dumpster fires. Five months later, 28-year-old Joel Ramos emerged as a suspect. He was picked up by police on a malicious burning charge for setting a fire in an alley near Eastern Market….Sources said the arrest wasn’t publicized because arson didn’t fit with the department’s original theory. According to police records, Ramos never stood trial because a couple of months later, his body washed ashore in King George County, Va. After his death, which investigators deemed natural, the dumpster fires stopped.”
MPD assistant chief Winston Robinson to head up training, Bill Myers reports in the Examiner, replacing the demoted Joshua Ederheimer. Robinson has quite the history. Bonus—-gratuitous Mary Cheh quote!
Is Jim Graham already dismantling the Carol Schwartz legacy? Public works committee chair floats charging for parking on Saturdays, in addition to a 50 percent across-the-board parking meter hike. Also WTTG-TV.
MALIA AND SASHA WATCH—-At RealClearPolitics, Clarence Page asks: “Are they willing to put their school-aged daughters where daddy’s political promises have been?” NPR’s News & Views gets in on the act, in response to (LL friend, wife of boss) Stephanie Mencimer‘s open letter to the Obamas. Terence P. Jeffrey of CNSNews.com says Obamas “poised to commit a classic act of limousine-liberal hypocrisy—in this case, turning their backs on tens of thousands of inner-city kids in Washington, D.C.” (Reprinted at conservative news hub Townhall.com.) Indian Web site reprints CNN story on school search.
Matthew Yglesias wants Obama to keep an eye on the Public Charter School Board, keep it away “from the vagaries of municipal politics.”
THE BELGIANS ARE COMING! THE BELGIANS ARE COMING! Metro asks federal judge to stave off mussel-eating, Chimay-sipping creditors, Lena Sun reports in WaPo. “If the judge rules against Metro…the agency would be forced to slash more than $25 million from the current year’s $613 million capital budget….That would mean less money for much-needed capital projects, including overhauling escalators, fixing tunnel leaks, upgrading train communication equipment and buying buses.” Also NC8/WJLA; WUSA-TV video.
Fenty promulgates new camera-net rules, reports Michael Neibauer in the ‘Zaminer. Says privacy advocate Melissa Ngo: “A ubiquitous, centralized surveillance system raises a number of privacy and civil liberty risks, and the Fenty administration has failed to create regulations that would adequately protect D.C. residents and visitors from misuse or abuse of this system.”
LL missed Fenty’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, but his is how one blogger described it: “There was a clip with DC Mayor Adrian Fenty talking about school reform, and afterwards all the hosts engaged in a little teacher-union bashing.”
WaPo revists the Shaquita Bell cold case. Killer says he buried her in the Maryland woods, but he can’t remember where. 12 years’ll do that sometimes.
What was Michelle Rhee doing in Sacramento? A SacBee columnist has it: “The woman screening candidates for [new mayor Kevin] Johnson‘s chief of staff is Michelle Rhee, chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C. Google her. She could be Secretary of Education someday. Yet here she is, in Sacramento, helping out our new mayor.”
LL’s going to step on Housing Complex‘s turf here: “Home values in the Washington metro region have declined 20.4 percent since their peak in the second quarter of 2006, while some areas have seen their values drop by double digits in the last year.” Worst declines in D.C.: Zip 20005—-20.4 percent; Woodley Park—-16.3 percent; Logan Circle—-14.5 percent; Georgetown—-11.8 percent; and Glover Park—-11.6 percent. Still going strong: Palisades—-up 9.3 percent; AU Park/Tenleytown—-up 5.4 percent; Zip 20036—-up 4.7 percent.
Marc Fisher explores a possible Rhee backlash: “After 17 action-packed months on the job, D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is finally reaching the deep part of the pool. She’s still the darling of many politicians and parents—-and especially of Mayor Adrian Fenty—-and she’s still on a collision course with the city’s teachers union, which is avoiding a vote on Rhee’s proposal to trade much higher salaries for much more accountability. But there’s been a change in the atmosphere, as teachers, school activists and some D.C. Council members and parents are grumbling more and more loudly about Rhee’s bull-in-a-china-shop manner and her continued badmouthing of the schools under her charge.”
D.C. Vote holds Veterans Day rally on Capitol Hill. Also reporting: citizen reporter, pingpong hater Frank Winstead, who has some strong words for Tom Sherwood—-“Maybe NBC would be more successful at selling off local stations if they cut costs by eliminating reporters who have trouble dressing themselves and need ‘dedicated drivers’.”
FER CHRISSAKES, THERE’S NO INAUG TICKETS—-Eleanor Holmes Norton, to WaPo, on her decision to stop taking inaugural ticket requests: “We stopped counting at 3,000….No member of Congress wants to put herself on a ‘do not call’ list, but my constituents have forced me to ask them to wait while I ask for more information.” Also NC8/WJLA video.
“Norton Rmembers [sic] DC Soldier on Veteran’s Day,” writes Hamil Harris.
DPW changes 40-year-old trash routes; if you have a Supercan, your trash day’s probably changing as of Dec. 1. Bill Howland: “We feel we can do a better job than what was designed 40 years ago….We’re using new technology and more updated routes. We feel the most efficient way to operate is to be in one area at a time.” Also WTOP.
Fire at FBI HQ yesterday afternoon.
WaTimes writes up homeless vets.
SUBURBAN SHOUT—-Another friggin’ Wilson Bridge story
GGW guy has lot of time on his hands, counts parking spaces in Mount Pleasant.
Blue America ascendant: Atheists to launch Metro ad campaign, writes John Kelly. “The humanists said the Metrobus campaign is the first of its sort in the country. It was clearly inspired by British atheists, who have been raising money to launch a campaign on London’s buses. Those ads, which should start appearing next month, will read: ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.'” Also WTOP; AP.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No events today.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:15 a.m.: guest, Russ Parr Morning Show, WKYS 93.9 FM; 10:30 a.m.: remarks, Emergency Medical Services update, FEMS Training Academy, 4600 Shepherd Parkway SW; 3:45 p.m.: guest, NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt, NewsChannel 8.