Loose Lips Daily: Pepco Is The Worst Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! Just so you know: LL's a little short on cash this month and is willing to shovel sidewalks for $50 an hour, plus benefits. News time:
Pepco, You Are the Worst: The front page of today's Washington Post spills the news that of all the electric utilities impacted by the storm, Pepco was way behind when it came to calling in reinforcements. Quelle surprise! "Pepco said it sought help later than other area utilities did because of shifting weather forecasts. The storm brought more wind and wetter snow than the utility had anticipated, and later in the day. Michael Maxwell, the Pepco vice president overseeing the crew call-outs, said, 'I know some people may try and make something of the time differences, but they shouldn't.'" There's nothing else in the article that explains why people shouldn't make something of the fact that other utilities—which had access to the same stinkin' weather forcasts—were more prepared than Pepco. Also, Jimmy Carter's old speechwriter points out that even Pepco's "outage map" doesn't work.
AFTER THE JUMP: Blame Gray; New Overlord Just Wants To Be Called Trey; Don't Cry, Mr. Speaker...
Blame Gray: Couple of pundits aren't too happy with Mayor Vince Gray's Thundersnow performance. The Post editorial page says there's no excuse for how bad some unfortunate's commutes were. "To say that the area was 'well-prepared,' as D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) boasted Wednesday night, is a serious misreading of events. ... Motorists who sat for hours northbound on 16th Street had to wonder why there wasn't some way to take advantage of the largely underused southbound lanes. It is simply inconceivable that in this age of wondrous technology and instant messaging the best government could do was to tell people to turn on the radio and hope to hear something useful." Gray is the only public official called out by name in the piece. And NBC4's P.J. Orvetti writes: It was the first crisis of Vincent Gray’s term as mayor—and Gray failed spectacularly." Meanwhile, Examiner columnist Harry Jaffe says the District gets an A- for its work. "What's changed from the days when broken trucks stayed in garages while the snow fell and cars crashed? Ten years of planning and Bill Howland, who runs the public works department. Howland worked in Fairfax government for years before wending his way through the D.C. bureaucracy, starting in 2001. He's been DPW boss since 2004, under Tony Williams, then Adrian Fenty—and now Vince Gray, who was wise enough to keep him." Drivers, according to WUSA9, blame the feds. Some of the blame seems like it has to fall on, you know, the weather, as long as we're doling it out.
Just Call Me Trey: The District's new congressional overlord, Rep. Trey Gowdy, is taking a "careful, humble tone" to his new role as head of the House subcommittee that oversees District government, says the Post's Mike DeBonis. "I'm going to provide oversight. I'll do it fairly, I'll do it completely, but I'm not interested in being the mayor of the District of Columbia or the overlord or the overseer or whatever else they want to call it," Gowdy says. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says she's impressed with Gowdy's approach but still wary of the new House leadership's intentions. Gowdy is a conservative Republican and has the corresponding views on hot botton social issues you'd expect. As for appealing to his conservative values that the federal government should be as less intrusive as possible and not meddle with decisions made by locally elected officials? "I understand [the] point. It might be a little more complicated than that," Gowdy says.
"People Are More Alike Than They Are Different': Gray went to Capitol Hill yesterday to meet with new House Speaker John Boehner. Here's how Gray's press shop described the event: Gray and Boehner discussed their childhood backgrounds, mutual friends, including Cardinal Wuerl, their Catholic upbringing and their shared interest in education. 'Our meeting reaffirmed what I’ve always believed,' said Mayor Gray. 'People are more alike than they are different.' The meeting, intended to be a meet and greet between the two gentlemen, turned to the issue of vouchers. 'I openly shared with the Speaker my opposition to vouchers,' said Mayor Gray. Education has always been an issue decided by elected state officials and I believe that the elected leaders of the District of Columbia should set the education policy for the District, not the United States Congress.' As the meeting came to a close, Speaker Boehner shared his sentiments that Mayor Gray has a lot of work ahead of him and wished him well.
Richard Sarles is now the official CEO of Metro. Benefits package: $350k a year, plus he gets to ride Metro free for the rest of his days.
Washington Business Journal editorial begs Gray not to revive redevelopment corporation. You can only read the full article if you are a business.
Gray's sked: Going to Women’s Board of American Heart Association 63rd Annual “An Affair of the Heart” with his daughter at 11 a.m., meeting with DOT boss Ray LaHood at 2:30 p.m., chatting with two lobbyists at 5 p.m..
Council sked: Chairman Biddle of the Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy has a 3 p.m. meeting.