City Desk

Loose Lips Daily: Nothing Juvenile About Justice Edition

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Good morning sweet readers! Has anyone else seen the trailer for the new movie about Facebook "founder" Mark Zuckerberg? Creepy. Just watching that thing makes LL want to delete his account this instant. But first things first—the news:

Hit the Road, Marc: There's a new boss in town for the city's troubled juvenile justice system. Marc Schindler was shown the door yesterday; he was replaced by Robert Hildum, a top aide to Attorney General Peter Nickles.  "[H]is appointment took many people inside and outside DYRS by surprise and raised fears among some advocates that juvenile justice reform in the District could be set back," reports Henri Cauvin in the Post. Also gone: "Deputy director David Brown and head of internment David Muhammad resigned from the agency, citing uncertainty about its future, a source with knowledge of their decisions told The Washington Examiner," Freeman Klopott reports. Klopott says the move was a power grab by Nickles in a sidebar:  "Neither outgoing DYRS interim director Marc Schindler, nor his predecessor Vincent Schiraldi, reported to Nickles as other agency heads do, one source said. By placing Hildum at the top of DYRS, Fenty has added another agency to Nickles' zone of influence."  LL once visited Nickles' zone of influence. Nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.

AFTER THE JUMP: Gray's education plan panned; cash rules everything around Gandhi; more on Bullet Proof...

Been There, Done That: DCPS gives D.C. Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray a smackdown over his proposed education plan, reports the Examiner's Leah Fabel. "D.C. Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray's campaign promise of 'birth-to-24' public education is already under way and succeeding, according to school officials aligned with Gray's opponent, Mayor Adrian Fenty." It's hard to tell how much of the pushback from DCPS is the usual sort you'd expect from bureaucrats defending the system after Gray criticized it—and how much has something to do with schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's obvious preference for a Fenty win. LL prediction: Gray will keep pushing the education plan, even if DCPS says it's redundant; his camp knows he needs to demonstrate commitment to school reforms.

Love Letter:The Examiner's Harry Jaffe has the  news that CFO Natwar Gandhi is composing a letter to the mayor and the council about his recent visit to Wall Street and its bond rating agencies. "The good news is D.C. gets to keep its gold-plated rating for now; the bad news is that if our politicians add to the debt and keep dipping into the savings account, the ratings will go south and the cost of borrowing will go north and add millions more to the cost of government. Gandhi has tried to be a reliable 'Dr. No,' forcing the pols to spend within their means. He needs help now from the only council member to veto the budget: Jack Evans, chair of the finance committee. As a tag team, they might be able to rein in the pols freely spending our cash. Otherwise, the city goes broke—or we pay higher taxes."

Pay No Attention to What I Said Last Time: Speaking of Evans, on D.C. Wire, Nikita Stewart reports he pops up in the latest round of Fenty TV ads. "On Saturday, the Fenty campaign unveiled three new 15-second testimonials, including one in which Evans (D-Ward 2) addresses one of the criticisms of Fenty: 'Some people say that Adrian Fenty doesn't play well with others.' 'Some people' would include Evans. In November, he told The Washington Post that Fenty has always tended to 'operate alone.' In 2006, when Fenty successfully ran against then-Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, who was endorsed by Evans, the Ward 2 council member made a number of unflattering statements about Fenty."

If You Build It, Pols Will Come: NBC 4's Tom Sherwood braved the heat to report on a library groundbreaking in Ward 8 yesterday.  Both Fenty and Gray are taking credit for the project. LL invites readers to check out the awkward bro-hug at the 10-second mark.

What's In a Name? The Post's Mike DeBonis has even more to share about Kwame Brown's boat, Bullet Proof:  "Brown insists the name is 'not about violence.' Rather, Brown said in interviews that his wife, Marcia, named the boat. He was somewhat fuzzy on the precise inspiration, but he said it was a reference to President Bill Clinton—'a comedy type of thing' involving either Chris Rock or Saturday Night Live. (Brown has worked in the federal Commerce Department during the Clinton administration.)"

Crash photos [NBC4]

Proposed pot site draws concern [NEWS 8]

Murder house for sale [FOXDC]

Mayor and the Council, no public schedule

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  • Ward-8

    Fenty is pulling straws however,it is a start.The whole management team need to be replace because the previous director has turn them into timeout day care specialist who refuse to listen to the employees who are charged with carrying out the misguided policies of the Agency. Fenty should have listen to the real employees a long time ago,before he built the modified day care center -aka- known as New Beginning.Hopefully someday they may realize that some of these thugs have to know and realize there are true and serious consequences for their actions and not just a slap on the hands and back to Momma!!

  • Shoulda been done long ago!

    The Examiner headline hit it right on the head...and Colby King is giving Fenty a standing ovation. Cleaning house at the baby-thug day care center is long overdue. And after the various murders of and by DYRS "clients," nobody in their right mind should fret that this endangers "reform."

    The next reform should be a modified Amber alert. Every time one of these little darlings absconds, the name and photo of the baby-thug should be broadcast and e-mailed all over the place. Fenty has finally started to clean house at DYRS. At long last. Stop coddling these criminals.

  • DCDem

    Too little, too late. This is reactionary election year politics. This administration has used Ward's 7 and 8 as their experimental laboratory by releasing dangerous youth back to their communities against court recommendations where they have killed or assaulted innocent citizens or been killed themselves. This has gone on for the entire administration. And this appointment only promises the practice will continue in fast forward.

    Isn't it odd that this administration has made two cabinet level terminations within a month during an election cycle and both were troubled agencies that the Mayor was made aware of repeatedly since 2006. Both DYRS and the D.C. Office of Risk Management. The latter took an FBI investigation of it's director, Kelly Valentine, before Fenty decided it best to place she and her chief of staff on PAID administrative leave.

    Election year folly. Fenty was hardheaded and turned a blind eye to the corruption of the DCORM and dangerous practices at DYRS until the public eye focused on them and his job was at stake. Again I say, too little too late.

  • John

    Moderation? For what?

  • candycane1

    When New Beginnings first opened the doors as a "campus" and they walked away as soon as the doors opened, they should have realized they has a serious problem and dealt with it effectively then. Now after all the escapes, violence and murders associated with the joke of "New Beginnings", it's a little late to show some interest and initiative. Needed, but it has taken too.......long!