wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Local

Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 07/15/2011

DeMorning DeBonis: July 15, 2011

TODAY IS JULY 15, 2011 — DAY 193 OF THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION

PREVIOUSLY — Natwar Gandhi to portray Mahatma Gandhi

Is this how the unraveling of the District’s latest education reform push begins? Under prodding from the Washington Teachers’ Union, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has agreed to allow exceptions to the two-strikes-and-you’re-out rule for veteran teachers evaluated under the IMPACT system, Bill Turque reports. The practical impact, however, looks to be minimal; school principals would have to ask for exemptions for teachers twice deemed “minimally effective.” Henderson says only a “handful” of teachers will be saved from the meat-ax and the new policy “doesn’t mean we’re backing away by any means.” The groundwork was laid when DCPS itself proposed exceptions for new teachers who have shown promise of improvement; that decision opened the system to age discrimination charges. WTU President Nathan Saunders is talking up his political influence with Mayor Vincent C. Gray: “He always defers to Kaya, but when I remind him of how he got to be mayor and where he was on issues like this as [D.C. Council] chairman, he’s always thoughtful,” he tells Bill. Henderson, for her part, said Gray did not discuss any change with her. In a robocall to WTU members, Saunders said: “This is a positive change in requiring walking a fine line to include all teachers while not denying some teachers. This reason indicates why you should begin to believe in brighter days in the near future.”

AFTER THE JUMP — Fenty speaks — Jim Vance presses POTUS on voting rights — Guns in police stations? — More blather about Kwame Brown — Martin Luther King Drive approved

*** MAIN COURSE ***

FENTY SPEAKS — WRC-TV’s Tom Sherwood got Adrian Fenty on camera for a couple of minutes shortly after it was announced he was restarting his legal career. His comments made little news — he declined, for instance, to address the state of the government: “One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that the best thing you can do when you leave office is to give the new administration a real good chance to get things done and to stay out of their way, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I’m a supportive citizen of the District of Columbia.” And he (again) ruled out a return to politics: “I had a great run, 10 years in office, 12 years in city hall. ... That doesn’t mean I won’t be involved in different ways, you know — whether it’s in my own community in Ward 4 or helping out some other way I can be helpful. There are other ways you can help out without being in elective office, and I’ll find ways to do that.” Fenty also sat down with WTTG-TV’s Shawn Yancy, who asked him about the Sulaimon Brown allegations: “I really don’t follow the issues that closely. ... I’ve made a public decision just to let any investigations or any process follow their course.” He said he had not been contacted by investigators. He added: “The city always lands on its feet. ... I think everything will turn out great in the end.” WBJ’s Ben Fischer speaks to new boss Bruce Klores, who said his-former-honor “will spend about one day per week at the Dupont Circle-based boutique practice” and “will help the firm’s other lawyers strategize cases, bring in new clients and develop non-traditional, contingency-based billing arrangements.” And he “will not be in the courtroom.” Says Klores: “I don’t think that’s any surprise. ... I’ve spent 30 years in the courtroom and I’m not necessarily sure a client would want to substitute him for me at this point in time, only because that’s what I’ve done my entire career. He’s been a mayor and a politician.” Do note this: “Klores and Fenty discussed whether the firm or its clients would pose any political problems if he ever runs for office again (they came to the conclusion it would not).”

JIM AND BARACK — In the other WRC exclusive, veteran anchor Jim Vance sat down with President Obama, who said the following: “Well, look, I’ve said before and I’ll say again: I’m fully supportive of voting rights for D.C. citizens. I’m fully supportive of home rule. I’m fully supportive of making sure that Washington, D.C., government has its own budget authority. I’m supportive of folks in D.C. being treated like people everywhere else in the country — in Maryland or Virginia. We have not gotten a lot of support from the other side on that issue, but I will continue to stand by those in D.C. who believe they should not be paying taxes like everybody else, serving in the military like everybody else, doing everything that is expected of citizens and yet not have the same voting rights as everybody else in America. ... I’ve been pretty public in my belief on this thing. It requires action by Congress, and Congress has a tendency to move slowly on things, even when they’re the right thing to do.”

GUNS IN POLICE STATIONS? — Housing Complex and the Examiner both top stories about the latest gun developments with sensational headlines. “Guns Could Soon Be Sold At Police Stations”? “D.C. wants to open gun shop in police facilities”? Well, sort of. City officials are trying to find a government space for gun dealer Charles Sykes to operate on a temporary basis while he looks for commercial space. Sykes does not sell guns himself, but instead is federally licensed to receive handguns purchased by District residents outside its borders. To effectuate the stopgap, the Gray administration yesterday proposed a zoning change allowing firearms businesses to set up shop at a “District law enforcement or licensing agency.” In an accompanying statement, Deputy Mayor Paul Quander said there’s “an immediate need to preserve the safety and welfare of District residents” by giving them “a reliable means to complete out-of-state handgun purchases.” In other words, there will be no retail gun sales in police stations.

BROWN BLATHER — Opinionmongers continue to weigh in on the D.C. Council shake-up. Yours truly spruces up his Tuesday evening blog post by adding a smattering of Shakespeare, MoDo style. Meanwhile, Mark Plotkin calls Kwame Brown “unfit to lead,” while the Examiner’s Harry Jaffe declares Brown “Machiaveliian” in his brilliant rejiggering of his colleagues’ assignments. He quotes an anonymous council member “who’s not a fan” saying that Brown’s “the most powerful chairman in the city’s history.” The chairman himself speaks to Jaffe: “Brown tells me he thought he would make Capitol Hill’s Tommy Wells happy by moving him from transportation to parks and recreation — with the addition of planning. ‘He’s a livable, walkable guy,’ Brown says. ‘Now he has the whole city to work with.’ When Brown told Wells of the change, he stormed out of Brown’s office. Lovers of bikes and trolley cars howled on blogs. Was Brown punishing Wells for investigating the chairman’s leasing a luxury sport utility vehicle on the city’s dime? Perhaps. But Brown gave the rest of the members what they wanted. The vote: 12-1. In political hard ball, that’s a win. ... Is he like John Wilson, who ruled like a Mafia don? Or Linda Cropp, the den mother who kept everyone happy? ‘A mixture of the two,’ Brown says.”

*** SMALL PLATES ***

“Clarification: Ron Moten Not Physically Erect While Helping People” (Loose Lips)

A Martin Luther King Drive there shall be (The Post)

3D cop charged with sexual abuse, the 18th officer charged with a crime in 2011 (WTOP, The Post)

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: District needs to step up fair housing enforcement (The Post)

Would-be United Medical Center owner sues former UMC owner (WBJ)

DCPS staffers don’t have job descriptions, union complains (the Examiner)

GWU prof sues Catholic U. over single-sex dorm plan (WTOP)

At DCPS, accountability for thee, not for me? (Answer Sheet)

Gray made a stop at Mary Cheh’s constituent service fundraiser (@lashercorson)

Bullying bill should move through council in fall; notary wedding bill needs to be overhauled (Blade)

Bus-driver-impersonating teen is still up to his old tricks (the Examiner)

In wake of murders, Columbia Heights wants ongoing police attention (WaTimes)

Alleged graffiti artist won’t be teaching “lettering” as D.C. library (DCist)

Man involved in Tony Randolph Hunter death is back in jail (Blade)

Sheila Dixon could return to Baltimore politics. This, of course, makes her “Baltimore’s Marion Barry” (the Sun)

I’d have stayed on the line, too. Probably wouldn’t have tweeted about it. (TBD)

Here’s a picture of Jack Evans sipping a rickey (WaTimes)

Support Tune Inn staff tonight! (The Post)

*** ON THE MENU ***

Gray tapes Episode 2 of “Inside One City,” 9:30 a.m.; attends benefit for D.C. Metropolitan Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, 7 p.m. at Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave. NE — Cathy Lanier and Phil Mendelson appear on “NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt,” 10 a.m. on NewsChannel 8 — Tommy Wells appears on “The Politics Hour” (with special guest analyst Jim Vance!), noon on WAMU-FM — D.C. Council recess begins

By  |  11:09 AM ET, 07/15/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company