City Desk

Hydrants, Hydrants Everywhere: Loose Lips Daily

As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!

Morning all. Gotta love this: D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services may be having a hard time reading maps of water mains these days, but not for a lack of mapping technology. As Water World reports, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, back in July, 'received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award for its innovative use of GIS technology for managing data on public fire hydrants....A DC WASA in-house technical team integrated GIS technology into the Authority’s existing Computerized Asset and Maintenance Management System enabling DC WASA’s operations department to share the data, features, and functions of both GIS and asset management systems. DC WASA and DC FEMS personnel use the system, which utilizes mobile computing technology, to collect and extract geographical location and condition assessment data on fire hydrants. This provides near real-time status information for asset replacement planning and execution.' Feel safer already, right?

AFTER THE JUMP—Fenty still best buds with Graham; jail guard pays incarcerated prostitute's pimp for sex with said prostitute (he got a receipt); speed bumps overwhelm Chevy Chase; there's a co-op tax now; and A. Scott Bolden has yet another client!

WTTG-TV, citing '[l]aw enforcement sources familiar with the investigation,' reports that the 'corruption probe centered in the office of D.C. City Councilmember Jim Graham has widened,' saying that 'federal agents are taking a close look at Graham and his role in shaping taxicab legislation.' Meanwhile, WUSA-TV's Bruce Johnson polls cab drivers on a medallion system (they don't like it) while adding a fun Teddy Loza fact: He applied for utility assistance!

IN OTHER NEWS—Graham appeared yesterday morning with Fenty to unveil the new Columbia Heights civic plaza. Fenty said nice things about Graham ('Columbia Heights has come a long, long way in the 10 or 11 years he has been in office'), but declined to discuss the Loza case. (DCist, NC8 cover the unveiling.)

Allegations have it that a corrections sergeant 'had sex with an inmate after paying for it through her pimp,' according to Examiner's Scott McCabe. Said sergeant has been suspended, along with two other corrections officers. 'Jessica Rubio, 32, who described herself in court documents as a prostitute with a drug problem, was an inmate at the Correctional Treatment Facility....She charged in her lawsuit that she had sex with correctional counselor Sgt. Aundra Powell after he paid $50 to her "Sugar Daddy" for her to satisfy his sexual urges. She claims Powell paid for her sexual services on four occasions.'

ALSO FROM MCCABE—The District has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against William Gresham, chief of the MPD photography division, for $200K. It's the second time the city has settled a harassment case against the man. Lawyer Ted E. Williams says 'Gresham...believes his association with high-ranking police officials allowed him to sexually harass his workers with impunity...."It's clear the District failed to protect its employees from this sexual predator."'

LL, a co-op owner, is miffed to learn from Bill Myers' Examiner reportage that the city has implemented a 2.2 percent tax on co-op sales (2.9 percent if the sale's over $400,000). 'Cooperative owners and real estate experts say they're not sure what will happen when the law takes effect Thursday....The D.C. Council passed a final version of the tax last week but hasn't handed over the new law to the city tax office, spokeswoman Natalie Wilson said. Yet that won't stop the tax office from collecting the tax starting Thursday.'

MPD loses again: Arbitrator John C. Truesdale, in a brief ruling, declines to revisit his earlier decision striking down All Hands on Deck, Bill Myers reports at Examiner. On to PERB!

Hill East residents ticked off over cops' 'nonchalant attitude' toward the burglaries in the neighborhood, WaPo reports in a listserv special. 'Since the middle of July, according to police and neighbors, there have been 14 burglaries in that area of Southeast Washington, typically while the residents are at work, on vacation or just out running errands,' Matt Zapotosky writes. 'Some say the muted response has left them wondering: In a city that saw more than 180 people slain last year, what does it take to get the police focused on curbing a rash of break-ins?' Sez cops: 'It's not like we're sitting here just twiddling our thumbs and not doing anything....Once the thing came on our radar screen, we had people out there,' says Lt. Daniel Ewell.

Census data shows that poverty in the District is bad, but it has not gotten much worse. 'The poverty rates for District children diverged widely by race and ethnicity,' Carol Morello and Dan Keating write in WaPo. The rate was 36 percent for black children; 17 percent for Hispanic children; and 3 percent for non-Hispanic white children. Virginia and Maryland also had large racial and ethnic gaps in childhood poverty, but none as great as in the District. The data was virtually unchanged from 2007.' (BTW guys—it's Ed Lazere, not 'Lazare.')

WaPo's Michael Birnbaum covers the reaction to the DCPS pullout from Accotink Academy. 'Dozens of parents, teachers and advocates have pledged to fight' the system's decision to take special-ed kids out of the Springfield, Va., school. Get this: 'The walls of the chapel where [parents] met were festooned with protest signs, one of which said, "Fenty gets to choose for his children — we get to choose for ours."' Oh, and get this: 'Elaine N. McConnell, the long-serving, now retired Fairfax County supervisor who founded Accotink Academy in 1964, said Monday that the school plans to fight back, too. She said she has retained a lawyer known for tangling with D.C. government, A. Scott Bolden, and is "reviewing a course of action."'

SCLC leader Rev. Eric P. Lee of Los Angeles comes to D.C. to support gay marriage, Tim Craig reports at D.C. Wire. 'Lee, who is heterosexual, has become a leading black advocate for same-sex marriage, a stance that has put him at odds with many of his peers in the faith community....In a series of private meetings and media events around town this week, Lee will be trying to erode African-Americans' long-held suspicion of same-sex marriage. You can call him a countervailing force to the Bishop Harry Jackson, the Beltsville preacher who is leading the campaign against efforts by the D.C. Council to legalize same-sex marriage.'

Housing First lives: The city is 'quietly preparing to take nine homeless people off city streets and put them into publicly funded apartments,' thanks to a $950K HUD grant, Darryl Fears reports in WaPo. 'But there is significant doubt over whether the city can reach its goal [to develop or subsidize 6,000 units of affordable housing between 2004 and 2014] amid the recession as tax revenue falls and the number of unemployed and homeless people rises. Amber Harding, a staff attorney for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, said Friday that the city cannot succeed unless it increases the budget of the department's housing initiative.'

Williams, Adley & Co. is axed by the District for botching the Statewide Longitudinal Data Warehouse project. Bill Turque reports at WaPo that the city cites 'missed deadlines, software defects and failure to make available the personnel it promised' in removing the Oakland-based company from the $12M replacement. Finding a new vendor will take a 'couple of months.' Mark Lerner reacts.

Prince of Petworth spots some of those 'Draft Kwame Brown for Mayor' signs that LL has been hearing about last couple of weeks. But his readership, for the most part, loves Hizzoner.

$28M in federal grants will bring cameras to Metro buses and trains, James Hohmann reports in WaPo, 'the first step in what could become a systemwide surveillance network that officials say will help them better manage crowds and investigate criminal activity....Most of the money will put more cameras on buses, in ventilation shafts, at station entrances and near the end of platforms over the next few years. Just more than $7.1 million is set aside to surveil passengers inside rail cars — something that is done in other cities but that continues to trouble some privacy advocates.'

The Upper Georgetown Circulator is saved: Fenty swoops in to save the day. And how's this for forward-looking journalism? Examiner's Kytja Weir realizes that Circulator cutbacks will wreak havoc on the cherry Blossom festival, in six months.

Jonathan O'Connell follows up on Housing Complex news yesterday detailing the new Franklin School RFP. 'Many ideas for reuse of Franklin have been floated in recent years, including a hotel by Western Development Corp. and Jarvis Corp., but Fenty is making it available during a time when frozen lending has made it difficult for developers to finance major rehabilitation or construction projects.' DCist also weighs in.

100-plus DCPS high school students walk out of class, gather at 825 North Capitol to protest teacher layoffs. NC8 covers.

NPS denies Bike DC usage of Rock Creek Parkway for a couple of hours; GGW readers go nuts.

Randi Weingarten to WaPo: Don't call those laid off teachers 'ineffective'! 'Perhaps The Post is privy to information not shared with the teachers whom it so cavalierly dismisses. Or maybe The Post simply decided to make a statement not supported by facts. Sadly, this editorial was an example of the finger-pointing that has hindered true public education reform.'

Dapper dude robs downtown bank, McCabe reports in Examiner: 'Around 9:15 a.m., police said, a man in a dark suit and fedora hat walked into the Presidential Bank in the 1600 block of K Street Northwest. Once inside, the man passed a note demanding money. The clerk handed over cash and the robber fled the bank.'

Local coppers team up to catch ATM robbers. You know, the ones with the Jaws of Life...

Holocaust Museum killer James von Brunn has been sent to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., for a competency evaluation. AP reports: 'Earlier this month a judge ordered von Brunn to undergo the evaluation requested by his lawyer despite von Brunn's objections.'

Fenty gets the American Spectator treatment: 'Certainly Fenty isn't the next Marion Barry. But at this rate, Fenty may neither live up to his reformist billing or to the successful reputations of former mayors such as New York's Rudy Giuliani and Indianapolis's Steve Goldsmith. He may not even outshine Anthony Williams.'

NC8 covers Michael Brown's church parking bill.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority seeking $280M in stimulus funds for Dulles rail and road improvements, WBJ reports.

A year to go before the new Arena Stage opens. WRC-TV has a preview.

EagleBank Bowl seeks 40,000 fans—that's 10K more than last year.

Gay Games 2014 pick expected today. Will D.C. edge Boston, Cleveland?

BAH—Caps hold annual convention at...National Harbor?

Distracted driving: Just don't do it!

Fenty to appear this morning, with Cory Booker, on NPR's On Point.

Catholic U. bans City Paper!

D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—10 a.m.: Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary hearing on B18-124 ('Single Sale of Cigar Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2009') and B18-428 ('Prohibition Against Selling Tobacco Product to Minors Amendment Act of 2009'), JAWB 120; 2 p.m.: Committee on Public Works and Transportation hearing on B18-252 ('Wastewater System Regulation Amendment Act of 2009'), JAWB 123.

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—9:15 a.m.: remarks, Circulator route announcement, Wisconsin Avenue and Whitehaven Place NW; 4 p.m.: remarks, Washington Convention Center art installation ribbon-cutting, 1116 7th St. NW.

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  • Ward 5

    100-plus DCPS high school students walk out of class, gather at 825 North Capitol to protest teacher layoffs

    Haven't seen anything about this in the Post

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Fenty saved the red bus route up Wisc Ave! Man, my white neighbors & I complain, & within days, Fenty fixes what we wanted fixed.

    Maybe he ain't so bad after all - NOT! He's still a tool of the rich white capitalist developers ... but Adrian, you did well on this one.

  • Ward 5

    HA!
    Hey Al, I live in Trinidad and have a list of items that need to be fixed - can you put in a request for me? That may go over quicker than me doing it myself... thanks ;-)!

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