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D.C. Wire: May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010

Fenty opens D.C. pools

(Photo courtesy of DPR) D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty kicked off the city's summer pool season Friday by celebrating the reopening of the pool at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Northeast. The pool had fallen into disrepair before closing more than a decade ago. But following a $180,000 renovation...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | May 28, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Hamil R. Harris, Mayor Fenty  
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Gray: 'Certainly going into political life was a risk'

D.C. Council chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray discusses his learning, work and advocacy in the mental health field and his political career in an article in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. "Taking that job was a risk, and certainly going into political life was a risk -- running...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | May 28, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Vincent C. Gray  
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Last-minute D.C. budget move at Marion Barry's request hands Ward 8 building to UDC

The slash to the streetcar program wasn't the only big change to the city budget made in the wee hours Tuesday night. Via little-noticed language that first appeared in budget legislation released after 2 a.m. Wednesday, the Patricia R. Harris Education Center in Ward 8 was removed from the city's...

By Mike DeBonis  | May 28, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Budget, Marion Barry, Mike DeBonis, vincent gray  
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Nurses announce support for Gray in D.C. mayor's race

The District of Columbia Nurses Association, which represents 2,000 nurses and health professionals who work in the city, announced today it is supporting Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty (D) in the mayor's race. "Unlike the current mayor, Vincent Gray has a track record of...

By Tim Craig  | May 28, 2010; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2010 District Election, Mayor Fenty, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray  
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Gray's fence must be lowered or relocated

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray's black aluminum fence must be reduced in height or moved off of the public right of way, a city committee ruled Thursday. In less than 30 minutes, the Public Space Committee determined that Gray's fence did not meet the standard for exceeding the District's...

By Washington Post Editors  | May 27, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow, Vincent C. Gray  | Tags:  vincent gray's fence  
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Fenty giddy as Magic Johnson, local officials reopen Hilton

While his encounters with presidents and world leaders have been special moments in his life, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty smiled like a little kid as he talked about sharing the stage with Earvin Magic Johnson at the Washington Hilton on Tuesday. "With all do respect between the president, Queen...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | May 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Hamil R. Harris, Mayor Fenty  
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Police, firefighters expected to endorse Gray

District firefighters and police officers are expected to announce shortly that they are supporting Vincent C. Gray over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty in the September Democratic primary for mayor. Gray will endorsed by the local fraternal order of police lodge and the Firefighters Association of D.C at 11 a.m. Like...

By Washington Post Editors  | May 27, 2010; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 District Election, Tim Craig  
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Funding restored for D.C. streetcars

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said he has worked with the office of the Chief Financial Officer to come up with money that would allow the city to restore funding for streetcars. Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said $10 million would be made available immediately to purchase streetcars in fiscal...

By Washington Post Editors  | May 26, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Budget, Nikita Stewart  
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D.C. streetcars coming back?

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) is expected to announce Wednesday that the city has found enough money to restore funding for street car service in the District. Earlier Wednesday, the council approved taking $49 million from the streetcars to use to balance city's budget and help fund other...

By Washington Post Editors  | May 26, 2010; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Gray: Street car program will move forward in future

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), who orchestrated a $50 million cut to the city's proposed street car program late Tuesday night without public input, is vowing he will move forward with the program at a later date. Earlier Wednesday, the council agreed with Gray to cut most of...

By Tim Craig  | May 26, 2010; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  City Finances, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray, transportation  
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Council rejects higher taxes for wealthy residents

The D.C. Council Wednesday rejected a proposal to raise income taxes on residents who earn $350,000 or more annually. Although the council continues to debate the budget, it has now all but ruled out property or income tax increases next year. But the council plans to extend the city's 6...

By Washington Post Editors  | May 26, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget, Tim Craig  
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Council votes to strip funds for streetcars

The D.C. Council Wednesday approved stripping funds designated to bring streetcar service back to the city in an effort to close a $550 million budget gap.

By Washington Post editors  | May 26, 2010; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Budget, D.C. Council, Mike DeBonis, Nikita Stewart  | Tags:  d.c. council, street cars  
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Brown fundraiser for council chairman draws school construction crowd

In the next five years, the District is slated to spend $1.5 billion to reconstruct and renovate the city's schools. Many of the construction companies and contractors that will be tasked with overhauling those buildings were in the room Tuesday night for a fundraiser to toast - and write checks...

By Ann E. Marimow and Bill Turque  | May 26, 2010; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 District Election, Ann E. Marimow, Bill Turque,Education, D.C. Council, Kwame Brown  
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Protest by social service advocates disrupts D.C. council breakfast

Dozens of advocates stormed into a closed-door D.C. Council breakfast meeting this morning to protest spending cuts in the fiscal year 2011 budget that members plan to vote on later today. Organized by a group called Save Our Safety Net, the advocates pushed into the meeting shortly before 10 a.m....

By Tim Craig  | May 26, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Budget, City Finances, D.C. Council, Tim Craig  
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Gray aims to extend sales tax in place of fizzled soda tax

Plans for a citywide tax increase on soda in the District haven't fallen flat after all. Last week, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray pulled the plug on a proposal by Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) to assess a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on soda. Diet sodas would have been excluded....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | May 25, 2010; 7:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Budget, D.C. Council, Tim Craig  
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Thanks to dog parks, Albright endorses Ray's D.C. council run

Another Clinton White House notable has endorsed D.C. Council at-large hopeful Clark Ray at a Georgetown fundraiser. Monday night, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave the Democrat her thumbs-up at an event at the tony manse of Dr. James D'Orta. In October, Tipper Gore -- who was Ray's boss...

By Mike DeBonis  | May 25, 2010; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 District Election, D.C. Council, Mike DeBonis  | Tags:  2010 election, Clark Ray, James D'Orta, Madeline Albright, Phil Mendelson, Tipper Gore  
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Cops say there was no 'escort' for bank protesters

A tempest developed in the conservative blogosphere over the weekend, with the D.C. police at the center of the storm. The controversy surrounds a May 16 protest organized by liberal group National People's Action and the Service Employees International Union. Hundreds of protesters targeted two homes in Chevy Chase, Md....

By Mike DeBonis  | May 25, 2010; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Mike DeBonis  | Tags:  Big Journalism, D.C. police, Dan Friz, MPD, Metropolitian Police Department, Montgomery County, Patrick Burke, blogs  
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Housing director not sold on CFO takeover

Adrienne Todman, interim director of the D.C. Housing Authority, said Tuesday that her agency remains independent by law and questioned whether the agency's finances can be taken over by Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi as he plans.

By Washington Post Editors  | May 25, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  City Finances, D.C. Council, Mayor Fenty, Nikita Stewart  | Tags:  Adrienne Todman, D.C. Housing Authority, Harry Thomas Jr, Jim Graham, adrian fenty, housing authority takeover, natwar gandhi, parks and recreation, recreation  
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Brown, social service advocates press for D.C. tax on rich

Council member Michael Brown (I-At large), backed by social service advocates, has launched a final push to try to convince his colleagues to raise taxes on the wealthy to preserve additional funding for human services. On Thursday, a majority of the council appeared to signal during budget deliberations that they...

By Tim Craig  | May 24, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  D.C. Council, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray  
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New FBI crime stats likely to be an issue in D.C. mayor's race

Washington Reporter Jerry Markon reports this afternoon that violent crime was down in the District and nationally in 2009. With crime shaping up a possible issue in this year's race for mayor, look for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to quickly latch onto the numbers to try bolster his argument...

By Tim Craig  | May 24, 2010; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 District Election, Mayor Fenty, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray  
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Nonprofits try to save grants for Latino groups in D.C.

Nonprofits that help the District's Latino community are urging D.C. Council members to restore $1.7 million that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has proposed to slash from the Office on Latino Affairs. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), who heads the committee that oversees the Latino office, said she...

By Nikita R Stewart  | May 24, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Nikita Stewart  
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D.C. makes a statement at RECon retail show

(Excerpts from two posts on The Post's new Capital Business Blog) LAS VEGAS -- The convention center hall at International Council of Shopping Centers is filled with booths - for brokers, property owners, retailers and municipalities. D.C., through its contractor, the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, is one of the largest...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  | May 24, 2010; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Council, Economic Development, Mayor Fenty  
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Due to "billing issues," D.C. running low on free condoms

Even as the D.C. Department of Health tries to broaden its condom distribution program by offering more expensive Trojan products, city officials have been struggling recently to supply condoms to non-profit organizations that partner with the city to battle HIV/AIDS, officials said Monday. Michael Kharfen, a spokesman for the D.C....

By Tim Craig  | May 24, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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