City Desk

Virginia Is For Meddlers: 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—"Media Seats Up For Grabs At Wone Trial," "Jim Graham On Developer Donations: 'Ain't No Corruption In Me'," "ABC Board Lifts Georgetown Liquor Limit," "Argument Over Marijuana Quality Led To Triple Shooting"

Good Morning. It was a slow news day. So why not continue linking to Fenty bike theft stories? D.C. Wire's Nikita Stewart reports that the theft had been omitted from D.C. Police crime stats: "The June 3 theft of two bicycles from an open garage at Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's Crestwood home is not listed on the Metropolitan Police Department's crime statistics Web site. The Web site, crimemap.dc.gov, allows anyone to see what crimes have been committed in their neighborhoods by typing in an address. The mayor's address comes up empty when looking at the past 30 days when the theft occurred. Fenty and Attorney General Peter Nickles said they did not know why it was not listed. Fenty said he reported the crime right away. Mafara Hobson, the mayor's spokeswoman, did not respond to further inquiries. Kris Baumann, chairman of the local Fraternal Order of Police, has long argued that the police department is not accurately recording crimes. The absence of the theft at the mayor's home 'calls into the question the accuracy of the crime reports we're giving to residents,' Baumann said. 'This is yet another example of why people do not have any confidence in this administration.'" You know what's a little annoying about all this? It's all the I-don't-knows and the no comments. Let's hear from the D.C. Police Department on why the stat hadn't been logged into the website, and whether or not the officer is being investigated for the incident. Or does the Fenty administration want Baumann to have the last word? He is pretty eloquent after all.

Oh wait, WUSA9's Bruce Johnson interviewed D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier about the bike thefts. And she exonerates the cop: "DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier tells 9NEWS NOW that the officer on guard duty did his job when thieves entered the Mayor's open garage on June 3rd and stole two bikes. The police officer remained in the guard shack monitoring surveillance cameras that captured the thefts rather than leave his post and try to arrest the suspects. The Fraternal Order of Police say the Chief's rules prohibit the officer from leaving his post. The chief refused to comment on security procedures but said the thefts took place in 30 seconds, and the garage door was up only because it was broken....The officer is still assigned to the Mayor's home." So finally, maybe this controversy has been cleared up!

MCDONNELL'S HISSY FIT PUTS METRO IN TROUBLE: WaPo's Lisa Rein and Anita Kumar report that VA's governor is threatening to withhold Metro funds. Here's why: "Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's administration threatened Wednesday to unravel a $1.5 billion federal funding plan for Metro unless the state gets two members on the agency's board of directors. The governor's transportation chief said McDonnell (R) wants more accountability for an investment that would cover more than half of Virginia's contribution to Metro. The state and local jurisdictions both provide funding. The federal government is providing the money for capital needs during the next 10 years but requires the District, Maryland and Virginia to match it. 'We are now the largest contributor from this side of the Potomac, and we don't have a seat at the table,' said Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton, explaining his push to take two of the four Northern Virginia seats away from the jurisdictions that appoint them. The state is 'extremely concerned about management, operation and safety' in the wake of last year's fatal Red Line crash. If Virginia reneges on the pledge to match the $150 million from the federal government, the repercussions would be immediate, Metro officials said: An $886 million contract for 428 rail cars that the federal program will fund will be in jeopardy." KEY QUOTE: Metro board member Jim Graham: 'This is very serious mischief. It's a serious breakdown of regional cooperation, which has been the essential element of Metro."

AFTER THE JUMP—Sen. Jim Webb whines about traffic on the National Mall, farmers responsible for Chesapeake cleanup issues, Fenty finally nabs an endorsement, and much, much more!

MAYORAL RACE PUNISHES CHILDREN: Or maybe not. But WaPo's Bill Turque thinks it may behind the delay of a children's center: "Back in March, it looked like the pieces were in place for construction of a $12 million early-childhood education center in the Parkside neighborhood of Ward 7, financed by a philanthropy run by the daughter of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The Buffett Early Childhood Fund announced on March 23 that it hoped to break ground this summer on land adjacent to Neval Thomas Elementary School. All that remained was agreement on a land lease from the District, which Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was expected to send to the D.C. Council for approval within two weeks. But in the nearly three months since, that lease has yet to make its way from the mayor's office to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. The Gray camp privately attributes the slow walk to primary politics, with Fenty loathe to facilitate anything that will make his opponent look good. Pre-K and early childhood issues are a political sweetspot for Gray, who has championed several initiatives on that front. And Ward 7 is his home turf. Buffett Fund president Daniel J. Pedersen said politics are not in the picture, and that the project has been slowed up because the parcels of land next to Neval Thomas are owned by multiple government entities."

ONE MORE REASON WHY WE HEART MARY CHEH: WBJ's Michael Neibauer reports that Councilmember Mary Cheh opened up about campaign donations: "Ward 3 D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh on Wednesday took the unusual step, at the start of a hearing on a number of proposed developments, of revealing that her campaign received money from members of the development teams. She didn't have to do it. It's not like the council has any role in choosing the development partners — that's purely an executive function. And it's not like she's facing a tough primary challenge as she bids for a second term — she's running unopposed. 'I have undertaken a personal responsibility, not required, but still I just decided that I'm going to do this for whatever it's worth,' said Cheh, chair of the government operations committee. The council has been asked to approve the disposal of several city-owned parcels — Hine Junior High School, three buildings on the West End, the Hurt Home at 3050 R St. NW, the M.M. Washington Career High School and 4800 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE — so that the properties can be redeveloped. Cheh said she asked her staff to scrub her campaign filings for any contributions from the developers associated with those projects. Anthony Lanier, president of EastBanc, the West End developer, gave Cheh $300 in 2009 while Lanier's wife gave $500 and Joe Sternlieb, another EastBanc executive, gave $200. The Jarvis Co. LLC, working on a separate project, gave Cheh $250."

SUMMER=HUNGER: D.C. Programs face a lot of hungry kids this summer.

SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM: The D.C. Council is seeking tighter oversight over the summer youth program.

ROSECROFT TO CLOSE: The Maryland race track is set to close on July 1, the Examiner reports: "Maryland's Rosecroft Raceway will close July 1, laying off more than 200 employees and leaving just one harness racing track left in the state, officials announced Wednesday. 'We're losing over $100,000 a month,' former owner Mark Vogel told The Washington Examiner. 'Rosecroft has no means to generate income and stay in business.' The 60-year-old Fort Washington track filed for bankruptcy last year because it could no longer afford to simulcast races across the U.S. The racetrack was paying $500,000 a year to the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association for the simulcasts. Vogel said he tried to negotiate a cheaper fee, but the association would not compromise. 'It's a mess that I thought I could straighten out and obviously I didn't do that,' said Vogel, who had planned to buy back the racetrack from Cloverleaf Enterprises. Layoffs will become effective Saturday and the track doesn't have enough money to pay employees any severance, Cloverleaf President Kelley Rogers said. 'We'll proceed to liquidation and after that, the track will probably be bulldozed — or else it will just sit there and be an eyesore,' Rogers said."

FENTY WINS SOMETHING: Like the endorsement of a construction union. WaPo reports: "Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, trailing chief opponent Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in endorsements, picked up a major nod Wednesday from Laborers Local 657. The union, which represents about 3,000 construction workers, announced that it is endorsing Fenty whose push for new recreation centers, schools and other facilities have kept bulldozers busy around the city. Anthony Frederick Sr., an officer with the union, said about half of its members live in the District. 'We have a partnership with him to put D.C. residents to work. Mayor Fenty is the only candidate in the race who is supporting jobs for the residents,' Frederick said."

MCCARTNEY: WaPo columnist thinks farmers are standing in the way of a clean Chesapeake: "The potent national farm lobby is poised to block a pair of bills that would set a firm deadline of 2025 for cutting the flow of pollutants by enough to restore the bay's health, according to both supporters and opponents of the measures. Two Maryland Democrats, Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Elijah Cummings, are the leading sponsors of the similar bills. They would give federal and state governments genuine authority for the first time over all kinds of polluters — including farmers — in the six-state Chesapeake watershed. That would be a major advance, not just for our region but also the rest of the country. For nearly four decades, the farming industry has succeeded in preventing the federal government from extending mandatory measures to stop it from polluting the nation's water. Many other major polluters, such as sewage treatment plants and factories, succumbed to such regulation long ago. To their credit, the nation's farmers have cut back on pollution to a significant degree through voluntary steps encouraged by government subsidies. It hasn't been enough, though. Farm runoff is the largest single source of pollution in the Chesapeake."

SEN. WEBB: Wrote Mayor Fenty to complain about the traffic problems on the National Mall. WaPo's Mike DeBonis writes: "It, of course, rankles District residents (such as myself) when federal lawmakers suggest that the city can't handle its own business. That said, Webb's letter was very polite, addresses a real problem, and concerns an area of undeniable federal interest. Still: The city government has done quite a bit under Fenty to improve the transportation options on the Mall — and it's the federal government, NPS in particular, that might be the bigger obstruction to improvements. Take the city's $1 Circulator buses. They've been a great hit across the city, and they would go a long way to draw tourists and others out of their cars and motorcoaches, easing traffic. But Tourmobile, a private concern, holds an exclusive contract with NPS to run bus service on Mall thoroughfares — a service for which it charges as much as $27 a head. The Circulator service is left to operate on Constitution and Independence — still convenient to Mall tourists, but much less visible."

NEW YORK-FLORIDA AVENUES: The two critical streets are sucking right now.

BP OUTRAGE: Goes local, apparently.

SUICIDE: At Dunn Loring Metro stop.

D.C. BAR: Elects a new president.

NAV SCREEN: Is your GPS having problems figuring out D.C. 's construction zones?

ROBERT WONE: An account of Day 16 in the conspiracy trial.

MAYOR'S SCHEDULE: No public events.

D.C. COUNCIL'S SCHEDULE:

2 p.m.
Committee on Goverment Operations and the Environment (Meeting)
The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment meetings will be held at 2:00PM on Third Thursday of each month.
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 120

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
...