CFO Approves DCPS Contract: Loose Lips Daily
CITY CLEARS WAY FOR DCPS TEACHERS CONTRACT VOTE: City Officials announced yesterday evening that they have found a way to pay for the proposed DCPS teacher's union contract (budget cuts, funding reallocation, federal funds). WaPo's Bill Turque reports that after weeks of wrangling, CFO Natwar M. Gandhi prevailed: "Appearing together on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building on Monday evening, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and District Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi said they had devised a $38.8 million package of budget cuts and reallocations to close the $10.7 million funding gap in the contract and $28 million in projected overspending in other parts of the school budget. The funding package delivers exactly what Gandhi had insisted upon in D.C. Council testimony and private deliberations with Rhee and Fenty before he would certify the pact as fiscally sound: a contract funded exclusively by public funds available without condition. About half of the $38.8 million will come from stimulus dollars and other federal funds that the District will be allowed to use for part of the five-year, 20 percent pay increase promised to teachers in the tentative agreement. The rest will come from school programs that aren't due to spend much of their money until near the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. This includes funds for after-school programs, supplies and a math intervention program for the middle schools. Once the Washington Teachers' Union and the D.C. Council approve the contract, about $16.6 million in private foundation money will become available to the District for the teacher raises." More coverage via The Examiner, WashTimes, WTOP.
AFTER THE JUMP—Vincent Orange is back, a delivery truck crashes into a museum, parking meter fees, and much, much more!
D.C. POLICE PROBE RESPONSE TO INTERN'S MURDER: WaPo's Theola Labbe-DeBose reports that D.C. Police are looking into witness complaints that its officers' failed to thoroughly investigate a report of a shooting Saturday evening in the area of Alonte Sutton's murder. His body was not found until Sunday: "Wayne Sutton, 54, said he was upset about the police response, which occurred during an 'All Hands on Deck' weekend when there were extra officers on patrol. 'Your job as law enforcement is to go check it out,' he said. 'He could have slipped and fell. Maybe he could have been saved — we don't know.' Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said officers from the 7th Police District responded to a call of shots fired Saturday afternoon. Because Sutton's body was not found by police until the next day, the department is reviewing the initial response. 'If there is a witness who's indicating that some police officers didn't do what they were supposed to do, we would like them to come forward,' Newsham said. 'If the response was inappropriate, it will be dealt with.'"
VINCENT ORANGE RESURRECTS COLOR ORANGE AS CAMPAIGN THEME: Yes, the man that made the color orange a singular passion is running for Council Chair. NewsTalk's Bruce DePuyt broke this mini-scoop via Twitter. Orange plans on filing papers at the BOEE on Wednesday morning. According to a press release sent out, Orange will then take questions from reporters. He will be taking on the formidable campaigner Kwame Brown in the Dem. primary. One thing in Orange's favor? Linda Greene. The former Barry handler should at least make things fun. In reporting the news, the D.C. Wire went with an almost blog-like lead (circa 2006): "It's official: There will be fresh oranges again on the campaign trail. Former D.C. Council member Vincent Orange is set to enter the chairman's race Wednesday, his campaign said Monday. Orange will face Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) in the primary contest to succeed Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who has his eye on Mayor Adrian Fenty's job. All signs suggested that Orange would get into the race if council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) stepped aside. After initially saying he would run, Evans told WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi he was "unlikely to run." His spokesman Andrew Huff said in an e-mail Monday that Evans is definitely out. Orange left his job as a vice president for government affairs at Pepco late last month. Even before a news release went out Monday, Orange's signs were up along Military Road over the weekend."
HIRSHHORN MUSEUM TURNS INTO ACCIDENT SCENE: NC8 reports that museum got a night time surprise: "A delivery truck has crashed into the Hirshhorn Museum. It happened shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Smithsonian art museum located at 7th St & Independence Ave SW. A UPS truck crashed through concrete barriers and a light pole into front glass doors of the Hirshhorn. Our crew on scene says the cab of the truck was in the building. Bomb squads were brought in because of potential hazardous materials in packages on truck. Hazmat teams also responded because of a fuel spill. Fire officials say the driver may have had a medical condition before the accident. He suffered injuries and is in serious condition." More coverage via WashTimes, WUSA9, WTOP, NBC4, WaPo. Now if all these news outlets would expand their fine arts coverage!
BANDITS LOOT AND VANDALIZE YOUTH FOOTBALL PROGRAM OFFICE: This past weekend, vandals destroyed the the Benning Terrace offices of a Pop Warner youth team. WaPo has the sad scene: "The trophies — spoiled with spray paint — were only part of the ruin left by vandals over the weekend at the Pop Warner program's offices in the Benning Terrace apartment complex in the 4400 block of G Street in Southeast Washington. Outside, the team's van was savaged. The windshield was smashed. The tires were slashed. White paint was splashed on the hood and sides of the vehicle, and the interior was trashed. Inside the spartan three-room headquarters, it was worse: Paint was splattered on the walls and equipment. Food was smeared on the floor. Team photos were defaced. In addition, most of the team's blue, black and white football jerseys were stolen, along with shoulder pads, video equipment and computers, team officials said. The kitchen and small weight room were ransacked. The front desk was smashed."
PARKING METER$: WBJ's Michael Neibauer reports that District officials won't institute $3 per hour parking fees until they get meters that will allow payment via credit card or cellphone: "Gabe Klein, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, said during a budget hearing Friday that DDOT is still looking to raise the rates on roughly 2,800 meters, all in Ward 2, to $3 per hour — five minutes for every quarter. But the agency will not press forward with the creation of “premium” parking zones until it obtains a larger inventory of modern meters."
CLARK RAY WANTS AMBER ALERT FOR JUVENILE ABSCONDERS: Via a press release: "Clark Ray, candidate for DC Council, At-Large, today called on Council to ensure the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) releases the names of juvenile offenders who have escaped custody. 'DYRS must release the names of escapees so that communities affected by violence can work with police to ensure they are recaptured,' said, Ray, a former Reserve Police Officer. 'We need an Amber Alert for offenders, to keep our neighborhoods safe.' Ray's proposal would not require the release of arrest records or other sensitive information.
LL DAILY CORRECTION: Last week, we quoted Police Union Chief Kristopher Baumann's claim that Peaceoholics admitted during a 2009 hearing that it had been paid by DYRS to locate and return absconders. Baumann, after talking to Ron Moten and carefully reviewing the hearing, believes his claim now is inaccurate. He writes via e-mail:
"It is very important to me that the FOP is accurate when providing statements, so I went back and reviewed the testimony. I stand by what I wrote, however, it is not clear from the testimony who was receiving money for what. Ron is right that they never specifically said they were taking money to pick up absconders, although I am not certain what they were receiving the money for. Peaceaholics did testify that they were picking up (or talking to) absconders and there was a good deal of back and forth on whether they would be perceived as snitches if they called the police to turn the individuals in."