Loose Lips Daily: The Blue Line Is Painted
Morning all. Inauguration Madness approaches ever closer; last night, city workers painted the traditional "blue line" marking the inaugural parade route, along Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 3rd to 15th. This morning, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is scheduled to host a Wilson Building presser with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Va. Gov. Tim Kaine, and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff (though LL hears Chertoff will likely beg off).
WASA wants a 10 percent rate hike for fiscal 2010, Examiner's David Sherfinski reports, in addition to fee hikes: "The cost of repairing and upgrading the city’s aging water, sewer and wastewater treatment systems, as well as increasing costs for utilities and chemicals are driving the proposed increase, WASA says. The agency has approved a 10-year, $3.2 billion capital improvement program to upgrade the systems and to meet federal water pollution control regulations."
ADDING INJURY TO INSULT—WaPo on yesterday morning's water main break.
CLEVELAND PARK MESS—Connecticut Avenue, Red Line closed this morning while cops investigated suspicious construction vans, WTOP reports. All clear came just before 8 a.m.
Politico reporters get "Fenty's view of Obama's Washington" in extended interview....
...Q: What does Obama mean for your administration in terms of policy? Are there particular things that you’re looking for? Statehood is the one that everyone talks about.
A: Statehood is the premier D.C. issue, ... though there are a couple of other issues that are very important to the District. We need federal funds to clean up the Anacostia River ...
Q: What about statehood? What do you expect Obama to do?
A: I expect Obama to get behind a pragmatic but aggressive advancement of voting rights. I think anyone who tells you they know what that would be would be lying. I think the minimum people are hoping for is for a full voting member of the House — but beyond that, it’s just a matter of how far you can go, and that’s a matter of not just executive politics, but the politics of the House and the Senate....
Biz Journal's Jonathan O'Connell looks at interest in closed school properties: "More than 150 people crowded into a 'pre-bidder' meeting Jan. 9 to hear details on 11 former D.C. school buildings that city wants to put to new use in partnership with private developers. In the crowd were representatives from a bevy of developers, including Donohoe Development Co., Four Points LLC, PN Hoffman Inc. and William C. Smith & Co. The meeting also attracted charter schools looking for new space, including some that asked for room in empty schools last fall."
HMM—"With the difficulty in financing new development, interest has waned in bidding for some D.C. projects, such as the Park Morton housing development."
MORE COLUMBIA HEIGHTS VIOLENCE—Bullets erupt outside Columbia Heights rec center, 14th and Girard Streets NW, at about 7:30 last night. Jim Graham to WaPo: "This appears to be more gang-related violence."
Between June 2007 and June 2008, at least 14 people died in D.C. hospitals due to medical errors, Bill Myers reports in Examiner. "D.C. doctors sliced open the wrong breast on a cancer patient, operated on the wrong part of a patient’s spine, sewed up patients with needles and sponges still inside and tried to revive a stricken patient with a broken ventilator, a new city report has found."
Before allegedly killing three in Trinidad this summer, suspect disabled his court monitoring ankle bracelet by wrapping aluminum foil around it, Scott McCabe reports in Examiner. Says CSOSA: "Since the Trinidad shootings, the company that provides the bracelets has developed alternative technology to make sure authorities can continue to monitor the offender."
Graham introduces bill that would allow two federal members on Metro board in exchange for $1.5B in federal funds over 10 years. Md. and Va. would have to pass similar legislation to make federal reps reality.
DCist looks at the "DC Statehood Now" signs that have appeared all over town ahead of the inauguration. Thank you, Statehood Delegation Fund!
Biz Journal follows up on Examiner's scoop yesterday that UDC is exploring a merger with Southeastern university.
WAPO BRIEFS—"Test Tutoring Program to Begin" [Saturday Scholars program to prepare kids for DC-CAS begins Jan. 24]; "Gas Leak Evacuates School" [City Lights PCS on unit block of T Street NE closed as a precaution, has reopened]
—THE INAUGURATION SECTION—
THEY'RE ALREADY COMING—Examiner profiles some early inaug arrivals, including fellow who says "I have a spiritual father — that’s Jesus....I have an Earth man — that’s Barack. I’m sure when we get to Washington, D.C., God will bless us."
CUE WEATHER FREAKOUTS—"Area has 33 percent chance of snow on inauguration day," Examiner says!!! Alberta Clipper on Monday!!! LL chooses to heed ace WUSA-TV meteorologist Topper Schutt: "When you’re talking six days out, you can’t get too specific....What you can say with more confidence is that it should be very cold." And here's WaPo's Michael Ruane: "So far, the forecast looks okay: Most agencies are calling for sunny weather, or partly so, with highs in the 30s." But, but..."there is a weather system way out in the northern Pacific Ocean, according to AccuWeather, which might or might not come this way Monday and might or might not bring snow."
Get to parade early, 'cause once the sidewalks fill up, checkpoints will be closed, reports WaPo's Lena Sun. "Officials warned that could happen well before the parade begins between 2:30 and 3 p.m." ALSO—Judiciary Square and Mount Vernon Square Metro stations will close at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 20. (Too close to ball sites.)
And where are those checkpoints? WTTG-TV has 'em.
EHN held lottery to choose who's going to get her swearing-in tickets.
RIGHT ON, BROTHER FISH—Marc Fisher rails against "orgy of security."
Biz Journal has more on why MTV canceled their ball at the Reagan Center.
Muhammad Ali slated to appear at "Bluegrass Ball" at Wardman Park Marriott.
BOB MALSON ON THE JOB—D.C. Hospital Association honcho lobbies Congress on behalf of member hospitals for $$$ to pay inaug-related expenses.
MARC tix may be sold out, but some VRE billets remain, Examiner sez.
NC8 registers neighborhood parking concerns. Apparently some streets that shouldn't have been were marked for emergency no parking.
WTTG-TV has more "alternative" inaug viewing locations.
SCHOOL TIES—Folks from Obama's almae matres descend on Washington.
WaTimes covers Dunbar band's parade prep. Possibly on the playlist: the Black Eyed Peas' "Don't Phunk With My Heart"
BANZHAF!—GW prof threatens "potty parity" suit due to inaugural commode specs.
Bathrooms will be open at Old Post Office Pavilion, Reagan Center.
Local Popeyes: "INAUGURATION DAY TURKEY IS AVAILABLE"
FINALLY, YOUR JAN. 20 TUNE INN AGENDA—6:30 a.m. coffee; 7 a.m. breakfast; 8 a.m. booze. (Courtesy of GOG)
—END INAUGURATION SECTION—
Bruuuce Johnson follows up on HALF-SMOKE MANIA: "Ben's is drawing thousands of new customers following the new President's visit....[Sonya Ali] says, 'We ran out of half smokes this morning and that's a first.'" Perez Hilton weighs in, as well.
D.C. not doing so well in the solar cooperative department.
Homeland security honcho pleased with Norton, D.C. government on St. E's progress.
GW Hatchet: "Cheh seeks intern rights"
Woman arrested for drunk driving after crashing car near South Cap and Southern Avenue. She had three kids in the car. No life-threatening injuries.
New "cupcakery." Ugh.
Desperate Nats, they of the 8,000-strong TV audience, put games back on broadcast TV, Biz Journal reports.
PAGING JAWB MALT FREAKS—Newly renovated Willard Intercontinental features a Scotch bar.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—2 p.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing, JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—10:35 am: remarks, inaugural press availability, JAWB G-9 (with Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley, Va. Gov. Tim Kaine, and homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff); 3:45 p.m.: remarks, D.C. Bread & Brew Restaurant ribbon-cutting, 1247 20th St. NW.