City Desk

Mourning Shannon Hader’s Resignation: 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!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—"Will DC's Silly Scalping Rules Be Enforced For StrasburgStock?," "Photos: Demonstration at BP Headquarters," "D.C. Teachers 'Livid' About Union Election Debacle," "What About Ward? Robert Wone Case Continues to Perplex," "D.C. General's Family Shelter Back At Capacity"

Howdy. Shocking news out of the Fenty Administration. Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that HIV/AIDS Administration Director Shannon L. Hader—one of the city's best-and-brightest officials—suddenly resigned. WaPo's Darryl Fears has the story:  "After working to turn around a District agency that one city official described as 'dysfunctional bordering on comical' before her arrival, Shannon L. Hader abruptly resigned as director of the HIV/AIDS administration, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced Tuesday....Hader's three-year stint made her the longest-serving director in almost a decade, as other leaders came and went amid criticism for poor management and incompetence. Although Hader is departing to praise, the announcement of her resignation struck some as strange....In his remarks, Pierre Vigilance, director of the city's Department of Health, barely acknowledged the woman who had addressed the District's top health priority, fueling speculation that there had been tension between them. Hader's most ardent supporter in city government, D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), did not attend the news conference. Catania said he had a prior engagement and he would not address speculation that he was deeply upset at Fenty and Vigilance for allowing Hader to resign and accept a position as vice president of a health organization, the Futures Group. 'Her loss is catastrophic,' Catania said." [emphasis added].

METRO MEMORIAL CONTROVERSY: WaPo's Ann Scott Tyson reports that families of the Metro crash victims are upset over their lack of input in the upcoming memorial. Tyson reports: "'All of us are angry and disappointed,' said Kenneth Hawkins, whose brother, Dennis, died in the crash that left nine dead and 80 injured. 'I would have thought the interim general manager would have stepped up to the plate and embraced the families.' Hawkins and other family members only learned of a Metro remembrance service planned for June 22 at the Fort Totten Station when told about it by a reporter. Metro officials said that the families would be invited but that planning is still underway. 'We definitely will be extending an invitation,' said Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. 'We are still firming that up.' Farbstein said a 'logistics meeting' on the event was planned for later Tuesday. 'When the plans are in place, the very first people we will invite will be family,' she said. 'At that time, we will share with them details of what we are planning and how we would like them to participate in the service.' Family members questioned why Metro did not ask well in advance for their input for the ceremony."

AFTER THE JUMP—Michelle Rhee becomes focus of campaigns, Nickles wants to relax FOIA law, Fenty uses focus groups to develop campaign message, and much, much more!

MICHELLE RHEE IS TOPIC A ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL: The Examiner's Alan Suderman notes that Michelle Rhee—and what her future would be under a Gray administration—is becoming a main issue in the mayoral race: "Rhee, who was hand-picked by Mayor Adrian Fenty, has become a shining star of the school reform movement and a major selling point in Fenty's re-election campaign. Under Rhee, test scores have trended higher and teachers recently approved a contract that sets the foundation for the nation's most robust teacher-incentive pay program. But Gray supporters are trying to deemphasize Rhee's role in the future success of the city's schools, saying the school reform laws Gray shepherded through the D.C. Council that gave the mayor control of schools are more permanent and transformative than Rhee's tenure as chancellor. 'He believes strongly that school reform cannot be wrapped around one person,' said Gray strategist Mo Elleithee."

FOIA REQUESTS: AG Peter Nickles fights government transparency with a whiny letter to D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray asking for major leniency in handling Freedom of Information Act requests. The D.C. Wire reports: "Nickles sent a letter to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) last week seeking immediate legislation to extend the amount of time the city has to respond to FOIA requests. Under current law, the city has 15 days to respond to a request with an additional 10 days allowed for 'unusual circumstances.' But Nickles, whose office often processes requests sent to the administration, said he's increasingly unable to meet that deadline. He wants the city to adopt the provision of the federal FOIA law that allows for agencies to request 'unspecified additional time for a response in unusual circumstances,' Nickles wrote." In other words, if Nickles has his way, you can forget about your FOIA request being fulfilled anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the District's convention center hotel lawsuit is back on.

FENTY FOCUS GROUPS: The mayor, WaPo's Mike DeBonis reports, has turned to focus groups to help him develop his campaign message: "The groups, where a dozen or so voters discuss a topic with the help of a moderator, are common to modern, well-financed campaigns. But Fenty has prided himself on embracing the shoe-leather approach above all else, and the new tactics reflect the challenges he faces in moving from an insurgent, outsider campaign to defending his three years as mayor. The utility of the groups, campaign sources say, is seeing how voters react at length to what Fenty is saying and what he's doing."

CAPITAL BIKESHARE: DCist's Sommer Mathis doesn't seem to approve of the name for Arlington and D.C.'s bike sharing program. WaPo's Martin Weil reports that the name selection wasn't so democratic: "After taking a survey, officials in Arlington County and the District have decided on the name for a program that will make it possible to borrow a bicycle in one jurisdiction and leave it in the other: Capital Bikeshare. In what might be viewed as an affront to democracy, Capital Bikeshare did not garner the most first-place votes among the 1,164 people who took part in the online survey. Officials said Tuesday in a statement that 'George' was the favorite of 279 participants, with Capital Bikeshare the top choice of 199. But the survey also asked for second and third choices, and Capital Bikeshare received 512 total votes to 453 for George."

JOYNER SHOOTING: The Examiner's Bill Myers gets D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton to comment after Philly prosecutors have been brought in to investigate the Park Police shooting death of Trey Joyner: "Frankly, what I wanted from the beginning is an independent investigation," Norton said. "The history of police brutality [in D.C.] makes it hard for many communities to believe even in independent investigations....There is a very long and torrid history [of brutality] that has to be taken into account." LL wonders where Norton has been on the issue of police shootings before the Joyner case. It would have been nice to see Norton stand up for David Kerstetter.

Meanwhile, NC8 reports on one Northeast neighborhood plagued by burglaries.

MOCO SCHOOLS: May become a global brand, according to WaPo's Michael Birnbaum: "The school system will be paid $2.25 million to develop an elementary school curriculum that an education company will augment and sell around the world. The school system will also receive a small percentage of sales revenue once the curriculum is completed. The deal, rare in size and scope in the United States, was approved by the school board 6 to 2 Tuesday. Under the terms, Pearson, the world's largest education publisher, will acquire the expertise of one of the nation's top school systems and the right to use its name and its top employees as sales tools. 'I tend to look at it from the standpoint that we are broke,' Montgomery Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said. 'You have to have new ways of doing things when you don't have money.' School officials say that the money from the deal will allow them to double the dozen people who have been working on the curriculum, speeding its completion and saving money on implementation. The curriculum gives more attention to subjects that have been played down in the past."

HOLLOWAY SPONSORS CRIME FIGHTING TOOL: AP reports: "Beth Holloway opened the Natalee Holloway Resource Center at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington. Holloway said it will provide services that she initially lacked when her 18-year-old daughter vanished, such as access to government and media contacts and missing persons posters. 'I feel confident that it will serve as a point of light for all missing,' she said while standing in front of two photos of her daughter."

JONETTA ROSE BARRAS: Narrates one particularly painful mayoral candidates forum in which she is compelled to mention a certain bugle-playing candidate. LL feels Jonetta's pain.

WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT DOG PARKS: Andrew Lightman, the managing editor for the Capital Community News (Hill Rag, East of the River, etc.) sent out an e-mail yesterday to us media types venting that he's plenty sick of reporters believing/implying that streetcars and dog parks=stuff white people like. We thought his point was worth sharing. Lightman writes:

"I hate the recent use of the words 'streetcar,' 'dog park' and 'rec center' as race/class code words. So, I am going to rant to all you, since they have made a recent appearance in each of your respective publications....

Why is that folks can't just say WHITE PEOPLE? I guess it must be because there are no African-American dog lovers. I find that a bit strange being as a frequenter of DC parks and a dog walker at the Congressional Cemetery, both of which are filled with folks of all ages and races. I even work for a black man, who owns a canine. Recently, when I checked the Greenleaf Recreation Center, it was filled with residents from nearby public housing. Turkey Thicket's and Hillcrest's patrons are overwhelmingly African-American. I guess black folk like rec centers too.

Lastly, if you listen to the mostly white elders at the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, there is a perfectly lucid preservationist position against streetcars that focuses on overhead wires. I would suggest you talk to Monte Edwards, but I suspect that none of you has that much time to burn."

This LL is still confused about how dog park can cost $400,000.

MAYOR'S SCHEDULE:  No public events planned.

D.C. COUNCIL SCHEDULE:

10 a.m.
Committee on Finance and Revenue (meeting)
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 120

1 p.m.
Committee of the Whole (Hearing)
Bill 18-801, "Closing of Public Streets and a Public Alley and Dedication and Designation of Land and For Street Purposes in Squares 3765, 3767, 3768, and 3769 Act of 2010"
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 412

2 p.m.
Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (Round Table)
PR18-0860 the "Whitelaw Disposition Approval Resolution of 2010"
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 500

3 p.m.
Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (Round Table)
District Funded Affordable Homeownership Programs: Long-Term Housing Affordability Restrictions
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 500

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  • soda disaster

    I don't think Metro should be holding Memorials or concerning itself with permanent displays of remembrance.

    The only 'memorial' that Metro needs is an unrelenting focus on safety to ensure that such a thing never happens again.

    All respect and condolences to people who suffered losses.

  • LOL

    Maybe Andrew Lightman should assign a reporter to do a story on the issue instead of ranting via email. Isn't that what editors do?

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    jason: that voting style used to name the bike-sharing program is perfectly democratic. it's called instant runoff voting, and is used in democratic countries around the world, including some places in the united states. just because it's not the system that most americans might be familiar with for federal elections doesn't make it un-democratic.

  • Stephon

    Andrew Lightman should hide in a closet somewhere before is legal record is exposed. I believe it has something to do with an under age female.....

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    oh, and bravo to andrew lightman for standing up and saying what he did. the way people are trying to code things for race in this city is offensive.

  • Truth Hurts

    Where was Norton on the Kerstetter police shooting death? Great question, LL.

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