Morning Brief: Local Leaders Want Green Jobs

Local leaders are looking for a piece of the green jobs pie. With President-elect Barack Obama already drafting an economic stimulus package that could provide up to $1 trillion, local elected officials combined forces Wednesday to pursue support for environmentally friendly public works projects.

According to a report by staff writer Christopher Twarowski, county supervisors, council members and civic leaders from across the Washington area urged Obama and Congress not to overlook initiatives that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and revitalizing the economy.

"We want the president-elect to know that local governments are uniquely positioned to put the president's vision and plan into action," said Ken Brown, executive director of Climate Communities, a national coalition of local governments, a sponsor of the event.

Loudoun County Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac) pointed to a planned Brambleton public safety center as an opportunity. The $7.2 million, 22,350-square-foot facility would house a county fire and rescue station and sheriff's office and use a geothermal system for heat and air conditioning, among other energy-efficient features.

In other news, Georgetown University got its largest gift ever, the school said on Thursday. The estate of a New York mortician and early investor in the computer giant IBM has bequeathed $75 million to the school.

Georgetown officials told staff writer Ian Shapira that they were ecstatic about the donation, given the state of the economy and rapidly declining endowments at many universities. The biggest previous gift to the university was a $30 million donation from Robert E. McDonough to the business school, which bears his name.

School officials said the gift, like many university donations that come with conditions, also must support faculty compensation, research and other infrastructure needs meant to raise the school's profile and produce work of "national and international distinction," according to a university statement.

And the wild marketplace for inauguration lodging continues to reach new heights. A 550-acre estate in Rappahannock County is being advertised for $50,000 night.

According to a post by staff writer David Nakamura on The Post's "Inauguration Watch" blog:

"The estate has a manor house, a carriage house, a pink house, two private cottages, separate pool/spa complex with a large heated swimming pool, Turkish steam room, Finnish sauna and table tennis, commercial-sized movie screen, bowling alley, Snooker table and a large conference room."

"But wait, there's more: chauffeur driven cars, golf carts, massage therapy, petting zoo, horseback riding and guided tours. And guests will be given a concert at a private theatre featuring The Amstel Quartet from The Netherlands on Jan. 18."

By Alejandro Lazo  |  December 11, 2008; 9:06 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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