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D.C. Wire: March 14, 2010 - March 20, 2010

Karim denies Peebles cronyism allegations, denounces WMATA deal delay

Omar Karim, owner of Banneker Ventures, said in an interview today on Kojo Nnamdi's Politics Hour on WAMU Radio that he never had told millionaire developer R. Donahue Peebles that Peebles would have to go through him and a "new inner circle" of D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to...

By Nikita Stewart  |  March 19, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Mendelson challenger rips detention of White House protesters

If someone chains himself or herself to the gate of the White House, undoubtedly distracting the Secret Service and police from efforts to protect the president and his family, do they deserve to spend at least one night in jail? Clark E. Ray, who is challenging Council member Phil Mendelson...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 19, 2010; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Gandhi warns against more borrowing

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi is cautioning the mayor and council against borrowing any more money for projects as the city gets closer to hitting its 12 percent debt cap. A $200 million budget gap remains for fiscal 2010, and a $500 million gap looms for fiscal 2011....

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 18, 2010; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  City Finances , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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How many black voters in D.C. opted for McCain? Here are three.

Here something to ponder today: How many African Americans in the District voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz. ) over President Obama in the 2008 presidential elections? No one knows that exact answer, but there are at least three. The D.C. Republican Committee announced this week that it will be...

By Tim Craig  |  March 18, 2010; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 District Election , D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Baltimore says 'no thanks' to D.C. plastic bag approach

It appears, for now, Baltimore will not be joining the District in implementing a bag tax. After the District's 5-cent bag tax law took effect, Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry proposed a 25-cent bag tax for Charm City. But the Baltimore Sun reports a Baltimore City Council committee instead endorsed...

By Tim Craig  |  March 17, 2010; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Mendelson to look into EMS overtime

The District's Fire and Emergency Medical Services department has spent $5,188,642 on overtime this fiscal year, and it can thank a handful of firefighters and paramedics who have been making more in overtime than their base salaries. Records show that one firefighter/paramedic, who makes $66,986 a year and was hired...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 17, 2010; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  City Finances , D.C. Employees , Nikita Stewart  
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Alexander: I'll back Graham over staffer's spouse

Blood is thicker than staff blood, according to Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7). Education advocate Jeff Smith is vowing a primary challenge to incumbent Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) for his seat. Smith's wife works for Alexander. But Alexander told a crowd at Georgia Brown's restaurant Tuesday night that...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 17, 2010; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 District Election , D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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D.C. council debates: What's best for jail inmates?

D.C. Council members spent about 90 minutes today debating whether it is better and more humane to release inmates from the city jail during the day or during the overnight hours. The lengthy discussion, which sparked some tense moments among members, stemmed from a proposal by Council member Phil Mendelson...

By Tim Craig  |  March 16, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Gray backs bill to let more sunshine into council proceedings

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), a potential candidate for mayor, has signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill that would open up more city government and council meetings to the public. The legislation, introduced by council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), would probably end the council practice...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 16, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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Council hearing on Rhee, continued: Chancellor compared to 'Harry Potter' character

Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has been called many things. But it was likely a first Monday afternoon when a student from Hardy Middle School compared Rhee to the pernicious Harry Potter character, Dolores Umbridge, a cruel teacher at Hogwarts Academy. One by one, middle school students lined up in the...

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 15, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , Education  
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Teachers demand apology from Rhee at D.C. council hearing

Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee watched from the front row of the D.C. Council chamber Monday as educators fired by her administration last year demanded an apology and questioned her budget practices. About a half dozen former public school educators wore T-shirts that read: "I am not a child molester." The...

By Ann E. Marimow  |  March 15, 2010; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , D.C. Employees , Education  
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City, Interfaith Network launch weatherization jobs program

More than a thousand District residents are expected to pack a church tonight to hear Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and ministers from the Washington Interfaith Network announce that they plan to train jobless residents and put them to work weatherizing homes. In a city where the unemployment rate recently reached...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 15, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Church and State , Mayor Fenty  
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