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D.C. Wire: March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009

Birthday Cheers for Barry

Marion Barry got a rousing 73rd birthday greeting from fellow D.C. Council members and District staff this afternoon on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building after his release from the hospital. Dressed in a D.C. United warm up suit and fedora-style hat, he stepped from his car at...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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More Snow, Fewer Students

School attendance figures from Monday's storm-delayed opening indicate that D.C. students and parents voted with their feet -- electing not to stick them in the snow and ice, despite President Obama's suggestion, seconded by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, that District residents need to toughen up when it comes to winter...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Education  
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Barry Released From Hospital

Ward 8 Council member Marion Barry (D) was released from the hospital at 1 p.m. today, Howard University Hospital spokesman Ron Harris said. Barry, who turns 73 today, had a kidney transplant on Feb. 20. The surgery was deemed a success and Barry was released from the hospital on Feb....

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Pressing Conservative Democrats on Voting Rights

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton met yesterday with congressional allies to strategize about the voting rights bill, which had been moving on a fast-track but suddenly stalled in the U.S. House. Norton and voting rights lobbyists are targeting conservative Democrats who may fear blowback from the National Rifle Association. Read David...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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D.C. Summer Jobs for Marylanders?

Looking for a summer job? Apparently a large number of Maryland residents found employment in the District's summer jobs program last year. Nikita Stewart reports on the D.C. auditor's conclusions about the city program that famously went $30 million over budget....

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 7:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Not Just Dubai: Fenty Got 'Donation' from China, Too

Mayor Fenty raised questions when he returned from an unannounced week-long trip to Dubai last month, then revealed that the United Arab Emirates government paid for his trip (though not for his wife's and kids' expenses). Turns out, the city also received a monetary "donation" from the UAE government. That's...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 5, 2009; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Video: Michelle Obama Pitches In at Soup Kitchen

First Lady Michelle Obama helped serve lunch today at Miriam's Kitchen in Northwest Washington. Post reporter DeNeen L. Brown captured the scene. Samuel Hinton, 52, a Vietnam Veteran, who says he has been homeless three or four years, said he was impressed with the first lady. "I liked what she...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 5, 2009; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Obama , The Homeless  
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Weekly Standard Blogger to Plotkin: You're Rude!

WTOP political analyst Mark Plotkin is known for putting politicians on the spot with his tough questions. That's his job. And when it comes to D.C. voting rights, Plotkin's top issue, his passion is all the more apparent. So it was today during a news conference on the Hill called...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 5, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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New Feature: Fenty Statement Watch

Adrian M. Fenty used to be the go-to guy for quotes, back when he was just a lowly council member. Fenty (D), always easy to reach on his trusted Blackberry, could be counted on by reporters to rip Mayor Williams with a colorful quip or weigh in on subjects that...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 5, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Apple Store Headed to Georgetown

Apple is on its way to Georgetown. An architectural review board today embraced the computer company's revised plans for a store it plans to open on Wisconsin Avenue. The Old Georgetown Board's approval came after it had ordered Apple to redraw plans four previous times, primarily because the building it...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 5, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Economic Development  
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Duncan Touts Weingarten and Rhee

Education Secretary Arne Duncan showed the love to the strong-willed leaders on both sides in D.C's teacher contract dispute yesterday. During a visit with Post editors and reporters, he praised AFT President Randi Weingarten for her recent op-ed endorsement of national standards, which he endorses. He also touted D.C. School...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 5, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Education  
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GOP Senators to Hold News Conference on 'D.C. Issue' Today

UPDATE: Looks as if Ensign is busy on a number of "D.C. issues." Turns out that the news conference was called to discuss the importance of the DC School Voucher program. Watch this space for updates. Apologies if we got your blood racing this morning. ------------ The D.C. vote bill...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 5, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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D.C. Official to Join Obama Today at Forum

When President Obama holds the first in a series of health care forums today, the District will be represented by Angela Diggs, administrator of the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center. Diggs, who has run the center on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue since it opened in 2002, was recruited by...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 5, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Obama  
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Stimulus Money to Build New D.C. Firehouses?

President Barack Obama has said that the billion-dollar stimulus money is not to be squandered, and should go toward "shovel-ready" projects. Well, D.C. Fire/EMS Chief Dennis L. Rubin has a couple in mind. Rubin will be requesting $41 million to renovate seven aging city firehouses and for 14 roof replacements,...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 4, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Browse By Writer , Crime and Public Safety , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Rep. Hoyer Wants More Talk on Voting Rights Bill

It appears the House vote on the D.C. voting rights bill could be on hold until next week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) released the following statement today: "A House vote on the D.C. House Voting Rights Act will be postponed to allow more time for discussion on outstanding...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 4, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Fenty Administration Is a Family Affair

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has faced criticism for appointing close friends and allies to influential positions on the city's boards and commissions. Now, the wife of one of his top deputies has been hired into a full-time government job. Lilian A. Shepherd, 41, who is married to Neil O. Albert,...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 4, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Brown to Fenty: 'Get D.C. Residents Job Training Now'

At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown (D) didn't mince words when naming a bill he submitted in yesterday's D.C. Council legislative session. It's called the "Get D.C. Residents Training for Jobs Now Act." The act would compel Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to create a job training program for adults by opening certain...

By Darryl Fears  |  March 4, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Economic Development , Mayor Fenty  
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In Case You Missed It: D.C. Vote Bill Struggles in House; Council Blasts Gun Riders

Supporters on the D.C. voting rights bill in the U.S. House are scrambling to figure out how to get a bill through without a gun rider, as Mary Beth Sheridan and Nikita Stewart report this morning in the Washington Post. Once again, the D.C. Council finds itself fighting for autonomy....

By Marcia Davis  |  March 4, 2009; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Obama to Tap National Zoo Director for Office of Personnel Management

President Obama has announced his intention to nominate John Berry to serve as the next director of the Office of Personnel Management. A veteran of the Treasury and Interior departments and current director of the National Zoo, Berry also once served as legislative assistant to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Click...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Obama  
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D.C. Vote Bill Hits Snags in the U.S. House

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said today he was trying to figure out a way to bring the D.C. vote bill to the House floor without lawmakers attaching a controversial amendment that would repeal the city's local gun laws. The Senate last week approved the D.C. vote bill...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Barry Absent From Council Meeting

Despite his plans to return to the D.C. Council meeting today, Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) was absent from the dais because of the doctor's orders. Barry was discharged last week from Howard University Hospital, one week after he under went kidney transplant surgery. "He really wanted to be here today,...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Council Confirms Lee For Commission

The D.C. Council voted 9 to 3 to confirm Lori M. Lee, a family friend of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), to be one of three members on the Public Service Commission. The mayor recently withdrew Lee from consideration to head the commission after residents, some council members, environmentalists and...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 3, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty  
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Breaking: Murder Charge Announced in Levy Case

D.C. police and federal prosecutors announce they have charged an illegal immigrant from El Salvador with first-degree murder in the death of Chandra Levy in Rock Creek Park in May 2001. Ingmar Guandique, 27, is already serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking two other women at knifepoint in...

By David A Nakamura  |  March 3, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety  
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Snow Attendance in Deep Freeze at Some D.C. Schools

While D.C. school officials said attendance figures from yesterday's snowy late-start would not be available for a week or so, fragmentary numbers suggest that students and teachers stayed home in significant numbers. At Cardozo High School, 52 students out of 370 showed up, according to teacher Crystal Sylvia. "There really...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Education  
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Giving Up Gun Laws For Voting Rights?

The D.C. Council will hold a special legislative meeting today to approve a resolution that will declare the council's opposition to an amendment attached to the District voting rights bill by Senate Republicans that would significantly loosen the city's gun laws. The amendment would prohibit the District from enacting laws...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 3, 2009; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Gun Ban Case , Voting Rights  
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Update On UDC

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) is expected to withdraw emergency legislation that would reverse recent controversial decisions of the board of trustees at the University of the District of Columbia. Council members learned this morning at a breakfast before today's legislative meeting that Barry would likely pull his...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 3, 2009; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Barry to Attend Council Meeting, Pushing UDC Bill

Marion Barry is set to attend the D.C. Council meeting today, after undergoing a kidney transplant on Feb. 20. He's charging back into the council with a bill that opposes the recent tuition increase at the University of the District of Columbia and the proposed new admission policies. As Nikita...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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New D.C. Website for Stimulus Money

The Fenty administration announced that it has launched a new website, recovery.dc.gov, to offer resources and info about the federal stimulus bill's impact on the District. The site notes that the stimulus package will provide resources for the city in a number of areas, including education, road construction, health care,...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 7:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Finances  
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D.C. Gets Its First AAA Bond Rating

Standard and Poor's gave CFO Natwar M. Gandhi, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and other city officials a boost yesterday with its issuing of a AAA bond rating for D.C. for the first time, as Nikita Stewart reported in this morning's Washington Post. Last night, a very pleased Fenty issued the...

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  City Finances , Mayor Fenty  
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Fenty and Obama, Colleagues on "Snow" Too

Mayor Adrian M Fenty (D), wearing all black clothing and snow boots on his feet, made his third public appearance to talk about the city's response to the snow. Standing at the city's giant salt dome in Northeast Washington, as trucks beeped and scooped up mounds of salt, Fenty said...

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  March 2, 2009; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Browse By Writer , City Life , Mayor Fenty , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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It's 7 a.m....Do You Know Where Your Snowplow Is?

Man, March sure knows how to make an entrance. Public works is on duty. Let us know what time your residential street gets cleared....

By Marcia Davis  |  March 2, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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