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D.C. Wire: August 10, 2008 - August 16, 2008

Thomas Lends Support to Postal Workers

Council Member Harry Thomas Jr. has joined in the push to get a government briefing for postal workers at the Brentwood facility contaminated by anthrax in 2001. Thomas (D-Ward 5), who represents the community where the facility is located, said the government hasn't done enough to brief the workers and...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 16, 2008; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council  
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Another Slight to D.C.

No voting rights in Congress. No bust in Statuary Hall. And now, to the list of D.C. insults on the national stage, I offer this image. The offending postcard. (David Nakamura - TWP) It comes from a postcard that was attached to my doggy bag after I took a source...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 15, 2008; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  City Life  
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Summer Jobs Payroll Cut by 3,000

Another payday at the District's summer jobs program ticks by today, this time with more than 3,000 fewer people on the rolls, yielding a savings of more than $1 million, city officials reported today. That meant 18,000 people were paid instead of the more than 21,000 from two weeks ago....

By Marcia Davis  |  August 15, 2008; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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New D.C. Wire Feature: Letters to the Editor

We told you today in the Post's Metro section about infighting in the D.C. Democratic Party, with a slate that includes about a dozen Obama volunteers upsetting the apple cart in its bid for seats on the D.C. Democratic State Committee. Now comes some heated reaction from David Meadows, spokesman...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 15, 2008; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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East Side, West Side

D.C.'s public school teachers have a lot to complain about: disrespectful students, checked-out parents, clueless administrators. It turns out they give pretty high marks to one group....themselves. That's one of the findings in a survey of 3,200 school employees conducted jointly by the school administration and the Washington Teachers Union....

By Marcia Davis  |  August 15, 2008; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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It's Payday for the Summer Jobs Program

It's payroll day for the summer jobs program. That takes on an ominous tone these days, as the program has stumbled its way through a difficult season and getting paid has not been a guarantee. Though the city's own internal investigation, released this week, also shows that some people were...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 15, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Finances , Mayor Fenty  
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Wedding-gate Continues...

A couple days ago we told you of mayoral spokeswoman Carrie Brooks' upcoming wedding to Daniel Kohns, noting that Brooks said Mayor Fenty does not have the legal authority to preside over her ceremony. The Post's Style section followed up today with confirmation from the courthouse. Well, that didn't sit...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 14, 2008; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Cary Silverman: Defender Of Big Tobacco?

Cary Silverman, who is forging a David vs. Goliath race against Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, was called "a gun industry lobbyist" in a news release last week by Evans's campaign. The release attacked lawyer Silverman's comments at a debate between he and Evans, held at the Phillips Collection...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  August 14, 2008; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2008 District Election , D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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Small Group of Teachers Protest at Union

This morning's teacher demonstration at union headquarters turned out to be more of an intimate chat. All of eight public school teachers, interested in the sizeable salary increases placed on the table by Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, turned out at Washington Teachers Union headquarters on L'Enfant Plaza. They met for...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 14, 2008; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Fenty, Rhee Roadshow Goes to Denver

With the world's eyes (and media spotlight) soon to transition from Beijing to Denver for the Democratic National Convention (Aug. 25-28), it only makes sense that the District's media-conscious mayor will be making a beeline for the mile-high city. Mayor Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee are set to appear...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 13, 2008; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Teachers to March on Union Offices

A group of D.C. public school teachers who want Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's salary proposal to come to a union vote say they will demonstrate outside of Washington Teachers' Union headquarters at 9 a.m. tomorrow. The protest is being promoted on the blog D.C. Teacher Chic, and several teachers...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 13, 2008; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Kwame Brown Picks Up SEIU Endorsement

D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), who worked last year as a security guard to understand the plight of the profession, became the latest council incumbent to get the endorsement of the State Council of the Service Employees International Union. The labor group issued a media release, pointing...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  August 13, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2008 District Election , D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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Chancellor Pottymouth?

A group of aspiring young education reformers got some straight talk last night from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee about the challenges of trying to overhaul a troubled urban school district. "Sometimes, being a leader sucks," Rhee told the Education Pioneers Fellows, 28 graduate students who are finishing up...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 13, 2008; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Fenty Takes "Full Responsibility" for Summer Jobs Meltdown

At a news conference today, Mayor Fenty introduces chief of staff Tene Dolphin, who has been named to take over the troubled Department of Employment Services. (David Nakamura - TWP) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today forced the resignation of a top administration official in charge of the city's troubled...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 12, 2008; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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DC CFO Gandhi Gets Mention in Slate Column on ... Edwards Scandal?

Say what? As if the D.C. Tax Office embezzlement scandal wasn't enough, how did D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi make it into this column about the John Edwards affair? We guess that with the last name "Gandhi," the fiscal chief has heard a lot of jokes over the years,...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 12, 2008; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  City Finances  
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Fenty to Release Report on Summer Jobs Program

UPDATE: 3:21 p.m. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said today that Summer Spencer has resigned as director of the Department of Employment Services. Spencer's department was in charge of the administration's troubled summer jobs program. Fenty also announced that Tene Dolphin, his chief of staff, will serve as the interim director...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 12, 2008; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Woodrow Wilson's New Principal Talking Tough

New Woodrow Wilson principal Peter J. Cahall says he intends to shape the Tenleytown school into "the model urban high school in the United States." The former Montgomery County principal and administrator makes no secret of what he regards as his first priority. "We have to establish law and order,"...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 12, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Schwartz and Mara in a Tight Money Race, Too

Competing media releases have gone out in the money contest between Council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) and Patrick Mara, her challenger in the GOP primary on Sept. 9. Schwartz, a longtime incumbent, has raised nearly $110,000, including a personal loan of $40,356, according to campaign finance reports available online....

By Marcia Davis  |  August 11, 2008; 7:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2008 District Election , D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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Fenty to Address Summer Jobs Program Meltdown

Mayor Adrian Fenty returns from a week-long personal trip to Beijing late tonight, then is scheduled to speak to reporters at a 3 p.m. news conference Tuesday about the ongoing problems with the city's Summer Youth Employment Program. Mayoral aides said he will release the findings of an internal investigation...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 11, 2008; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Schwartz Picks up FOP Endorsement

The police union has endorsed council member Carol Schwartz's bid for reelection. She's running against Patrick Mara for the Republican at-large nomination next month. The union's labor committee today issued this statement from union Chairman Kristopher Baumann: "The endorsement of Carol Schwartz by the FOP is an endorsement from law...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 11, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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From Foe to Friend to Fundraiser

Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), running unopposed on the ballot in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, has already turned in his latest campaign finance report, due electronically by midnight. He has passed the half-million dollar mark with the help of lots of $1,000 contributions from developers, including Douglas...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  August 11, 2008; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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City Hall Wedding? Mayor's Spokeswoman to Tie the Knot

Brooks and Kohns, along with Coco, at the Palisades Parade in 2007. (Photo by Lateef Mangum.) Stop the presses. The mayor's spokeswoman is making news. As if Carrie Brooks weren't busy enough as Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's communications director in a busy summer--youth jobs program meltdown, more problems at...

By David A Nakamura  |  August 11, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The School Grounds Inspector

"Can you smell what I'm smelling?" D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) was picking up the scent of mold in a sixth grade classroom at John Eaton Elementary School Friday afternoon. She was pretty sure she had a fix on it. "I'd be interested to see what's under...

By Marcia Davis  |  August 11, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Bill Turque , D.C. Council , Education  
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