City Desk

Our Morning Roundup: Performance-Based Pay Raise Edition

Michelle_Rhee_at_NOAAGood Morning, all. You can finally say farewell to that oppressive heat wave; for the next week, temperatures will hover in the low 80s, with mostly sunny skies.

Breaking news today for D.C. teachers: yesterday, the D.C. Council officially ended 2 ½ years of political jostling by approving a contract with the Washington Teachers’ Union that will significantly raise teachers’ salaries, according to WaPo’s Bill Turque. The contract is said to increase the average salaries of D.C. educators from $67,000 to an estimated $81,000, and creates a pay system based on performance in the classroom rather than seniority.  This comes as a huge victory for DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who has a somewhat tenuous relationship with the WTU and its parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers.

In case you missed it, the infamous Robert Wone trial has come to an uneasy close. The three housemates Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky, who were accused of covering up the stabbing of the D.C. attorney, have been exonerated from all charges. D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz said that the prosecution was unable to provide enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. The forensic teams never found the one-armed man after all. For a comprehensive history of the trial, check out Rend Smith’s coverage for City Paper.

If you saw police carrying excessively large automatic rifles in the Metro yesterday, you probably stumbled across an anti-terrorism drill. Metro Transit Police inspected trains and stations on the Red and Green lines for about four hours while staging the drill. Around 150 officers from local, state and federal levels participated. (Maybe next, Metro will work on anti-escalator outage drills.)

In other transportation news, the D.C. Council finally approved legislation to allow overhead wires for streetcars on H Street. The bill may give streetcar advocates some hope; a 120-year-old federal law banning overhead wires in the District has hindered the city's plan to provide more public transportation.

Photo by Iris Harris/U.S. Department of Commerce

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