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D.C. Wire: October 25, 2009 - October 31, 2009

No TRO For WTU, Yet

The Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) failed today in its bid to secure a court order barring the District from formally discharging the 266 public school instructors and staff it laid off Oct. 2. But a D.C. Superior Court judge left the door open to taking action next week. The educators...

By Bill Turque  |  October 28, 2009; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Words Matter in Hartsock Feud

In the battle over whether Ximena Hartsock remains interim director of the parks and recreation department, words matter. First, Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) insulted Latinos by stating Hartsock didn't understand "black and brown" culture. After the council voted 7 to 5 to reject Hartsock, she responded to Barry...

By Tim Craig  |  October 28, 2009; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Religious leaders say Washington Post undercounted rally

Several local religious leaders are furious with the Washington Post for reporting that about 150 people attended their rally on Sunday demanding a public vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized. The crowd estimate came from a Washington Post reporter who attended the rally. One of the rally organizers,...

By Tim Craig  |  October 28, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Tim Craig , same-sex marriage  
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Nickles bears flowers for Cheh

D.C Attorney General Peter Nickles offered a gesture of apology to Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) after calling her an "angry woman" in a Washington Post story over the weekend. A few minutes before council members met Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) for breakfast to discuss the swine...

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 28, 2009; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Council will send delegation to meet Fenty

The D.C. Council plans to send a five-member delegation to meet with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to discuss how the two sides can end the showdown over the reappointment of the director of parks and recreation. Fenty reappointed Ximena Hartsock on Friday as interim director, three weeks after...

By Tim Craig  |  October 27, 2009; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Council meets behind closed doors

The D.C. Council is having a meeting in Chairman Vincent C. Gray's (D) conference room, but members will not let reporters view the discussions. When a Washington Post reporter opened the door to try to enter, citing the open meetings law, Gray told the reporter to leave. Gray said the...

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 27, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Fired DC principals go to court again

District teachers are not the only ex-school employees turning to the courts for redress. Last week a group of principals and assistant principals dismissed by Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee in 2008 refiled an $84 million lawsuit alleging, among other things, age and race discrimination, defamation and civil conspiracy. The plaintiffs...

By Bill Turque  |  October 27, 2009; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Another vote for same-sex marriage

There may be another vote on the D.C. Council in support of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Nine council members are co-sponsoring council member David A. Catania's (I-At Large) same-sex marriage bill. Council members Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Harry Thomas...

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 27, 2009; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Church and State , City Life , D.C. Council , Marion Barry , Tim Craig , same-sex marriage  
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WTU asks for Wednesday hearing to stay layoffs

With laid off teachers scheduled to be dropped from the District payroll on Nov. 2, the Washington Teachers' Union asked a D.C. Superior Court Monday for a temporary restraining order to keep them in place until legal issues can be sorted out. The 266 teachers and support staff represented...

By Bill Turque  |  October 26, 2009; 7:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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New Haven teachers pact: message to Rhee?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten have been pounding the blackboard in praise of the recently completed New Haven teachers contract, hailing it as a model for what's possible when unions and elected officials collaborate in good faith. The agreement calls for teacher evaluations...

By Bill Turque  |  October 26, 2009; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Rhee: Not All Laid Off Teachers "Poor Educators"

When Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee first announced plans for teacher layoffs last month, she made clear that she was using what she described as a $43.9 million budget shortfall as an opportunity to rid the system of ineffective teachers. "As we are having to downsize staff are we [looking...

By Bill Turque  |  October 26, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Brown wants Nickles to apologize to Cheh

Did D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles take his political battle with the D.C. Council a bit too far when he referred to council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) as an "angry woman?" Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) thinks so. Brown, a potential candidate for mayor next year,...

By Tim Craig  |  October 26, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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