It’s Not About The Bike(s): Loose Lips Daily
As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: "Howard Theater Set To Break Ground In August,"Dennis Sobin Is Offended By Anti-Fenty Booing," "Witness: Joe Price 'Pulled The Knife Out' of Robert Wone," "The Blotter: They Don't Call It A 'Hack' License For Nothing," "World Cup Roundup"
Good morning. Mayor Adrian Fenty went into heavy damage control mode on Monday. Not for his Attorney General's absurd stance on FOIA requests. Not over mismanagement inside DYRS. No. Yesterday, he took full responsibility for the bike thefts from his home. The Examiner's Bill Myers, who broke the story yesterday morning, has a follow up. In his latest piece, Myers reports that Fenty has had a tense way with his security staff. It doesn't look fun over there in Crestwood:
"Records obtained by The Examiner show that at least two officers have been disciplined in previous incidents on the Fenty property. In June 2008, vandals sprayed 'Bact3ria' and 'MC Gang Member' on the mayor's garage door. As in the bike theft, the crime was caught on surveillance tape while an officer was in the nearby guard post. That officer was given a written reprimand for dereliction, internal police documents show. In December 2009, a neighbor knocked on Fenty's door, carrying some pamphlets for the mayor. The veteran officer who was on duty in the guardhouse at the time has been transferred from the mayor's security team and given a 15-day suspension for failing to keep the woman away, records show. The officer is fighting that suspension, arguing that rules requiring the officers to remain in their guard posts and to respect 'the privacy of the mayor, his family, friends, neighbors and visitors' meant that he had no right to interfere with the pamphleteer. According to internal police documents, Fenty walked to the guardhouse and demanded that his neighbor be escorted off his lawn."
WaPo's Nikita Stewart has more on the mini controversy: "Fenty's delay in publicly acknowledging the theft earlier and a policy that prevents officers on duty from easily patrolling the mayor's property renewed concerns about Fenty's secrecy, which have included questions about not being more forthcoming with his public schedule and out-of-town travel as well as shunning police protection. The mayor has said his travel and family outings are private. Kris Baumann, who heads the local Fraternal Order of Police, said he learned about the incident Saturday when the union was informed by police brass that [the Mayor's security guard] was being investigated and would possibly be disciplined for allowing the theft. Baumann said officers are required to continuously monitor surveillance cameras from a guard booth at the Fenty property and must immediately contact the commanding officer of the executive protection unit when there is an emergency. The unit's policy does not allow officers to adequately patrol the 17th Street NW property, because officers risk being disciplined for leaving the booth, Baumann said. He added that two officers assigned to the mayor's home have been disciplined since June 2008. 'This was a huge miss for the mayor. He could have said this happened. . . . Instead, he tried to hide it,' said Baumann, whose union has endorsed Fenty's leading primary rival, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. 'How do you go from not commenting and acting like this didn't happen to taking full responsibility for it in 24 hours?'" More coverage via WTOP.
AFTER THE JUMP—DCPS to overhaul six failing schools, Wells vs. Fenty over DYRS hearing, a petition mystery, Metro announces casting call, and much, much more!
BONUS BIKE LINK: WUSA9's Bruce Johnson makes a good point on the bike-theft issue: How did the police not arrest those bike thieves? Johnson writes: "Taft Snowdon, a neighbor, wanted to know what were the thieves thinking as the Mayor's house has police security round the clock including an officer stationed in a guard shack on the front lawn with his cruiser parked in full view across the street. Nine News Now also counted eight security cameras mounted on the house and garage. It was from inside the guard shack that an armed officer monitored at least two figures entering the open garage then disappearing with the stolen bikes."
WELLS VS. FENTY: WaPo's Henri Cauvin reports that at yesterday's hearing on the problems at DYRS, Councilmember Tommy Wells ripped Mayor Fenty "for blocking D.C. police from addressing a hearing on juveniles who escape supervision by the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Wells, whose Human Services Committee oversees DYRS, said the administration's last-minute decision 'really defies belief.' The hearing, originally scheduled for last month, was prompted by recent high profile crimes alleged to have involved juveniles, including the slaying of Brian Betts, a D.C. school principal killed in his Silver Spring home. DYRS Interim Director Marc Schindler is scheduled to appear late Monday at the hearing; the Fenty administration decided that Schindler's presence would be sufficient. But Wells made clear that the police are supposed to play a significant role in locating juveniles and should have been at the hearing."
DCPS: Six D.C. schools are set to be overhauled reports WaPo's Bill Turque: "About 150 teachers at six low-performing D.C. public schools must reapply for their jobs under a shake-up announced Monday by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Three of the schools — Ballou Senior High and Garfield and Stanton elementary — are in Ward 8. The others are Davis Elementary in Ward 7 and two Ward 5 schools: the Hamilton Center for special education students and Luke C. Moore Academy, an alternative high school for those who drop out or have trouble adjusting to traditional schools. One of the six, Stanton, will be operated beginning this summer by a Philadelphia-based charter school organization, Scholar Academies. The changes are mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which gives Rhee options to address problems at schools that have consistently failed to make what the law describes as 'adequate yearly progress' on standardized test scores. Overall, about 90 of the District's 123 schools are under some form of federal notice to improve. The six schools cited Monday, with a combined enrollment of about 2,200, have undergone waves of federally mandated improvement and restructuring. Four of them — Ballou, Stanton, Hamilton and Garfield – have not met annual progress benchmarks for at least seven years. They will undergo what the law calls staff 'reconstitution.'"
D.C. COUNCIL RACE MYSTERY: WaPo's Mike DeBonis, reports on another petition issue: "D.C. Council candidate Kelvin Robinson abruptly switched races last week, abandoning his bid for an at-large council seat in order to challenge incumbent Ward 6'er Tommy Wells in the Democratic primary. Robinson's since explained that he wanted to focus more on close-to-home issues in his neighborhood east of Capitol Hill — particularly crime. But one crime may have had a more direct bearing on his decision to change campaign gears. The week prior, a scoundrel had broken into his car and made off with his ballot petitions. In other words, he was faced with collecting new signatures from at least 2,000 registered Democrats — and probably many more in order to forestall any challenges — by July 9 to get on the Sept. 14 citywide ballot. To challenge Wells, Robinson faces the somewhat more manageable goal of finding 250 Democrats registered in the ward. At the time of the theft, Robinson says, he was investigating a constituent complaint about traffic near Eastern High School in his duties as an advisory neighborhood commissioner. Besides the petitions, he says, the thief made off with his laptop and several digital drives. Robinson said the theft was 'not a major factor, but one of many things that let me know there's something happening in my ward.'"
This LL would like to see the police report before he believes Robinson's story.
DCRA NEWS: WBJ's Michael Neibauer reports that inspection scheduling can now be had 24/7: "The system (reachable at 202-442-9557) picks the earliest available date for an inspection, assigns an inspector and then keeps track of that inspection until the results are available, usually 48 hours after the work is done. 'We're well aware that in this economic climate, time wasted standing in line or waiting on hold translates into money wasted,' Linda Argo, director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, said in a news release. 'The IVR system recognizes that our customers' time is a precious commodity, and the less time they have to deal with bureaucracy, the more time they have to spend on growing their businesses.' To reach the IVR system, dial the number above then enter your building permit number, inspection code, select a date and receive a confirmation number."
NBC4 SUCKS TODAY: Why? Because the network chose to use a sexist photo to illustrate a very serious stabbing in Chinatown. We're all for web snark. But this is just frat boy nonsense. More coverage on the stabbing via WTOP.
CATHOLIC U: Picks a new president.
ROBERT WONE: An account of Day 14 of the conspiracy trial.
APPLE STORE: finally opens in Georgetown on Friday.
10:45 a.m. Remarks
Rebranding of DC WASA
Location: Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW
D.C. COUNCIL SCHEDULE:
10 a.m. The Committee of the Whole Committee meeting.
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 500
11 a.m. Thirty-Eighth (Additional) Legislative Meeting
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 500