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D.C. Wire: January 3, 2010 - January 9, 2010

District agency facing $10 million budget hole

The D.C. Child and Family Services Agency is facing a budget hole of as much as $10 million after it failed to meet a Jan. 1 deadline to resume billing Medicaid for many of the services that the agency delivers, according to people familiar with the agency's problems. CFSA had...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 8, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Budget , City Finances  
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City pays Banneker $2.5 million despite council's red light

The D.C. Council's sixth hearing on the controversial construction contracts that went to firms with political and personal ties to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) started with more intrigue Friday. D.C. Council members Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) revealed that the D.C. Housing Authority paid...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 8, 2010; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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D.C. taxi commission chair a no-show at council

The star witness planned for the council's hearing today on the taxi industry was a no-show. To the consternation of council members on the dais, the Fenty administration declined to make D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Leon J. Swain Jr. available this afternoon because of his role in an ongoing federal...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 7, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , D.C. Taxis  
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Gray, Evans say Arenas's errors harm city's youths

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. District leaders reacted to the Arenas saga after announcing the finalization of a deal for the city to buy three properties owned by the financially-troubled Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington to ensure that programs continue. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) would not comment...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 7, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Gun Ban Case , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Census estimate: D.C. black population still shrinking

The District has continued to lose African American residents, according to new census estimates released Thursday, while the number of whites and every other census-tracked minority has risen. The city remains a majority African American city, though the numbers and percentage slipped in every year between 2000 and 2008. About...

By Carol A. Morello  |  January 7, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Saunders To Announce For WTU President

Washington Teachers' Union general vice president Nathan Saunders, an outspoken critic of WTU president George Parker, says he will challenge Parker for union leadership in its May election. Saunders' candidacy raises at least the possibility that if Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee fails to secure a new contract with the WTU...

By Bill Turque  |  January 7, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Building The Better Teacher

Anyone interested in the future of D.C. public schools should take a look at Amanda Ripley's new piece in The Atlantic, posted Tuesday. Ripley, whose 2008 Time magazine profile of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee featured the now-legendary broom cover, reports on Teach for America's (TFA) painstaking attempts to isolate the...

By Bill Turque  |  January 6, 2010; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Bill Turque,Education , Education  
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City office sprayed for fleas

Exterminators sprayed the 6th floor of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center after a District employee though she might have carried flea eggs on her clothes into the government building at 14th and U Streets NW, said Sean Madigan, a spokesman in the mayor's office. "Apparently she does a lot...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 6, 2010; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Nikita Stewart  
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GOP Congress members wade into same-sex marriage debate

Thirty-nine congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), have filed an amicus brief in D.C. Superior Court calling for a voter referendum on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. In the filing, U.S. senators James Inhofe (Okla.) and Roger...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 6, 2010; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  GOP , D.C. Council , Tim Craig , same-sex marriage  
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Local activists to ask Obama to talk about voting rights

Community activist Phil Pannell is urging his local committee to join him in asking President Obama to include a nod to District voting rights in his State of the Union address. Pannell started his Tuesday morning with an e-mail to members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee that he...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 6, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Nikita Stewart , Obama , Voting Rights  
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Peebles decides against mayor's race for now

Millionaire developer Don Peebles has dropped out of the mayor's race before he entered. Citing concerns about the serious illness affecting his mother-in-law and the need to be with his family, Peebles wrote to supporters Tuesday that he is not going to run at this time. Here is his statement:...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 5, 2010; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Council gives preliminary nod to elected attorney general plan

The D.C. Council unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday for voters to select the city attorney instead of allowing the mayor to fill the position. But the decision, which still must reaffirmed with a second vote later this month, does not mean there will be an elected attorney general anytime soon....

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 5, 2010; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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Gray: D.C. residents paid $3.6B in federal taxes last year

The tally is in, and D.C. residents shelled out $3.6 billion in federal taxes last year. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) unveiled that number at Tuesday's council meeting to highlight the District's lack of voting rights in Congress. A year ago, just as more than 1 million visitors were...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 5, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Tim Craig , Voting Rights  
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Another 'hopeful' sign in teacher talks?

It didn't take long for the new year's first word of yet another breakthrough in contract talks between DCPS and the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU). Hopeful proclamations about a deal just around the corner have been a part of the negotiations since they began in late 2007, when Joe Gibbs...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 5, 2010; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Early, limited reports on bag tax

It's too soon to say how quickly District residents will adapt to bringing their own bags when they shop for food or booze. The city's new law charging a fee for plastic and paper bags at certain stores went into effect on New Years' Day. But a small sampling from...

By Ann Marimow  |  January 4, 2010; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Rhee tweaks out-of-boundary lottery

DCPS has adjusted the language in rules covering enrollment in out-of-boundary schools. One of the aims, officials say, is to determine with more precision which families are actually eligible to place their children in schools outside their immediate neighborhoods. Parents who don't want the public school assigned to them by...

By Bill Turque  |  January 4, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Bill Turque,Education , Education  
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Sources: Catania is leaning toward re-election bid

D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) is strongly leaning towards seeking a fourth full term this year, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Catania, who most recently pushed through the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, is said to have made his decision over the holiday break. A...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 4, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Mendelson: Atty. Gen. should be elected

Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) is proposing to require an election of the city's attorney general, a measure that will get its first airing Tuesday. The legislation, which would create a four-year term for the city's chief lawyer, comes amid concerns that Attorney General Peter Nickles has acted more...

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 4, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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