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D.C. Wire: March 23, 2008 - March 29, 2008

Political Parties Looking for "State" Delegates

Local Dems and GOP'ers are getting ready for the big quadrennial events: the Democratic National Convention in August in Denver and the Republican National Convention in September in St. Paul, Minn. The D.C. Democratic Party is seeking residents to serve as delegates to the District version of a State Convention....

By Sylvia Moreno  |  March 29, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Democrats & Republicans  
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We're Live Sunday Night

DC Wire will be live Sunday for the opening of Nationals Park. And if you live in the neighborhood surrounding the stadium, we're especially interested in hearing from you, your joy and your pain. See you Sunday!...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 28, 2008; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nationals  
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Ready to Be Just a Fan

If you think that District officials are breathing easier because Nationals Park will open on time tomorrow, think about Ronnie Strompf. He has been Clark Construction's chief superintendent at the ballpark for the past 22 months, the point man in charge of making sure everything was finished on time. For...

By Daniel LeDuc  |  March 28, 2008; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nationals  
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Thanks, Mayor Will--er, Fenty...!

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is famous for walking door-to-door across the city to win election. But apparently he missed Brendan Owens, the vice president for LEED technical development for the U.S. Green Building Council. Today, at a news conference to kick off this weekend's opening of Nationals Park, Owens was...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 28, 2008; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Nationals  
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Life After D.C. Schools: Brady, Ackerman

During his 2 1/2 years as then-schools superintendent Clifford Janey's chief business operations officer, Thomas M. Brady made no secret of the fact that he wanted to be the man in charge. Brady, who had trained to become a superintendent at the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, interviewed for several...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 28, 2008; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Education  
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Bus Stops, Parking Signs -- and School Safety

As a city reporter, I often get to story assignments by bus if I can, preferring to see the District through a big bus window instead of a dark Metro tunnel. I have also found the city's winding bus routes an asset if I need to get to a story...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 28, 2008; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  City Life  
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Camera Ready

Mayor Adrian Fenty has never met a camera he doesn't love. The city's top elected leader is so fond of press attention that he holds a news conference every day. Today, though, the mayor turned the tables at an appearance at DC USA, the new mall in Columbia Heights, where...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 27, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Mayor Fenty  
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Making More Plans Against Fenty, Rhee Reforms

Education activists say they may have for now lost their battle to stop Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration from closing 23 schools and to play a larger role in plans to overhaul 27 schools with low-achieving students, but their work is just beginning. There certainly seemed to be evidence of...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 27, 2008; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Education  
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Borbely's 'Good Citizen Principles'

D.C. school activists have a massive task in keeping school system and city leaders accountable to the public on a range of education issues -- from school closings, to restructuring failing schools, to budgets, to fixing dilapidated buildings. Now there's a squabble over how much they should hold each other's...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 27, 2008; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education  
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More on New Security Policy at Wilson

We told you earlier about students from Woodrow Wilson High School who took their concerns over Chancellor Michelle Rhee's new security policies online, organizing a Facebook page to rally student support for an alternate plan. The students from the Northwest school object to Rhee's recently announced plan to have them...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 27, 2008; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Education , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Show D.C. Some Love: Don't Litter

So what's up with all the litterbugs in the District? And why are they the way they are -- especially the biggest offenders, young folks between the ages of 12 and 24? The D.C. Public Works Department wants to find out and today, it's calling in focus groups of...

By Sylvia Moreno  |  March 27, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  City Life  
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Have You Read...

As we count down to the opening of Nationals Park, here are two good reads from Washington Post reporters: Daniel LeDuc on a Washington tradition: The mad dash to Opening Day. And Robert E. Pierre on Positive Nature, an agency that provides a second home for needy children, but, along...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 26, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nationals  
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Washingtonpost.com Reader Poll

Are you going to be like Marc Fisher and drive to the new Nationals Park? We want to hear from you....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  March 26, 2008; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Questions  
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A New Schools CFO Steps into the Budget Morass

Ding. Ding. Ding. That's the sounding bell for the next round of school budget battles. D.C. education advocates have scheduled a public meeting on the proposed $773 million 2009 school budget, seeking to air their concerns about what they consider the lack of transparency in the process and to give...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 26, 2008; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education  
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Away Game

When the Nationals open their season Sunday at their new stadium, Ken Wyban will be far away from the action in Willoughby, Ohio. But he will probably be thinking about the team and what he gave up--and what he got--so that the Nationals could have their new home. (Photo by...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 26, 2008; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Nationals  
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Pols Take the Field

The opening of Nationals Park this weekend gives politicians and city officials a chance to take the field, too. Saturday's exhibition game will feature City Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D) handing over the Nats' line up card to the umpire and D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Chairman Matthew Cutts gets...

By Daniel LeDuc  |  March 26, 2008; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Nationals  
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D.C. Housing Market Woes

The District of Columbia Housing Monitor for Winter 2008, released today, confirms what one might expect, given the national economic woes, the mortgage crisis and the District's own issues with affordable housing. The report findings: condo and home sales are down; single-family home prices are down; and new housing construction...

By Sylvia Moreno  |  March 26, 2008; 7:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Affordable Housing , Sylvia Moreno  
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The Vacant School Wish List

Recreation center? Art gallery? Charter school? Dozens turned out Monday night at Harriet Tubman Elementary school in Columbia Heights to give their ideas for what should happen with two school buildings in Ward 1 that are slated to close. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham (D), ever eager to stay on...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council , Education , Mayor Fenty , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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More On School Fundraising

We told you yesterday about the new D.C. Public Education Fund, which has been established to raise money from the private sector for Chancellor Michelle Rhee's school reform efforts. Today we caught up with the fund's executive director Sara Lasner, who explained that the fund has applied for 501c3 status...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 25, 2008; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Education , Mayor Fenty  
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Want to See How Much $$ Goes to Your Local School?

The school system's finance office has just released school-by-school budgets for 2008. The list is organized by cluster. You can also see the spending plan for the school system's central office, special education programs and other items....

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 25, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Education , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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The New Ward 8

A lot has been made about Mayor Adrian Fenty's consistent appearances in Ward 8, the city's poorest ward that has long been clamoring for the kind of economic development that has swept through much of the rest of the District over the past half dozen years. Some say Fenty is...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 25, 2008; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Economic Development  
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When Should the Public Testify on the School Budget?

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty released his proposed 2009 budget last Thursday, and D.C. Wire has already read and analyzed every page, from the executive summary to parts 1 and 2 of the agency spending plans to the appendices. Okay, maybe not. But as D.C. Wire continues to pore over this...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 25, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education , Mayor Fenty , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Labor's Diss-Union

Given that some teachers may lose their jobs as schools close and others are reorganized in Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's system takeover, it's not unreasonable to think the leaders of the 4,200-member Washington Teachers' Union might be focusing on unity in their current contract talks with Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 25, 2008; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dion Haynes , Education  
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Happy Birthday! Again and Again and Again...

Marion Barry's cake was kelly-green and white (By Nikita Stewart). Marion Barry turned 72. Again. A who's who of development, lobbying and politics showed up Thursday night for a party at The Park, local club mogul Marc Barnes' latest creation. "I'm kind of confused because I think I've been...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 25, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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Turnbull Indicted

Jayrece Turnbull, one of the alleged co-conspirators in the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue embezzlement case, was indicted today by a Maryland Grand Jury on a count of cashing a $410,000 check in funds stolen from the D.C. government. Turnbull is the niece of Harriette Walters, the former tax...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 24, 2008; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Before He Was Mayor

At a news conference today to announce the release of the city's 2008 Summer Fun Activity Guide, Mayor Adrian Fenty, addressing a group of about 100 youth on spring break at the Fort Davis Recreation Center in Southeast, revealed that he spent a summer as a lifeguard at the public...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 24, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Mayor Fenty  
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It's the Council's Own, Uh, Easter Bunny

(Photo courtesy of Vicky Leonard-Chambers) It's Easter Monday, and for one D.C. Council member that means hosting an Easter egg hunt and appearing as the Easter Bunny, complete with bunny ears and gray and yellow Adidas sneakers. Harry Thomas Jr., who represents Ward 5, located predominantly in Northeast Washington,...

By Yolanda Woodlee  |  March 24, 2008; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Blast from the Past

Every once in a while someone pops up out of context, seemingly out of place. Last Monday, as Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) visited Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School in Columbia Heights, in walked Vince Morris. Vince Morris pops up at Appletree. (By Nikita Stewart) He used to...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 24, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer

Jaiya meets Mr. Gray. (By Nikita Stewart) Morris wasn't the only one pushing the pre-K legislation. Five-year-old Jaiya Smith, an Appletree student, greeted Gray in a hallway. He asked her how old she was. She said, "Five," raising her right hand with fingers outspread as proof. "When did you...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 24, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Future of Empty School Buildings

The decision by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and DC Schools Chancellor Michelle A Rhee to close 23 schools still stirs pain in some parents' hearts. But in some quarters another emotion is taking root, fear -- over the fate of soon-to-be empty school buildings....

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 24, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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98 Fired, 11 Rehired

Remember those 98 fired DCPS workers? Remember how Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told the D.C. Council, when she sought its approval to reclassify hundreds of civil service jobs to at-will positions, that they were a financial drain on the city? Remember, according to her, how they were part of a...

By Dion Haynes  |  March 24, 2008; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dion Haynes , Education  
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How Much for Nationals Park?

In our story today about the ballpark district around Nationals Park, we included this graphic about the growing total cost of the project. The cost will go higher, with three of the eminent domain cases still tied up in court mediation. Saturday's exhibition was a warmup, a chance for about...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 24, 2008; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Nationals  
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The Four Rs: Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic, Raising Money

When Mayor Adrian M. Fenty took over the D.C. schools last summer, he announced plans to raise private money to help supplement the system's operating budget--much as Fenty's mentor, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), did when he took over the schools in New York. Bloomberg, a billionaire...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 24, 2008; 7:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  David Nakamura , Education , Mayor Fenty  
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Out Hudson, In Houston: Clampitt makes a change

Council candidate Adam Clampitt is replacing campaign manager Lane Hudson, known for posting the sexually explicit e-mails that led to the resignation of Florida Republican congressman Mark Foley in 2006, with Chicago political operative Jarvis Houston. Hudson "is scheduled to take a less active role in the campaign beginning in...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 24, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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E-Chancellor?

First, there was the YouTube videos of Michelle Rhee at a Democrats for Education Reform event last Fall that had people abuzz because of Rhee's straight talk about her frustrations with the school system. Now the chancellor has made an appearance on Facebook....

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 24, 2008; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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