Just keep walking

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The problems continue for the Fire and Emergency Medical Services department, and so do Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe’s peevish reactions to being questioned about them. On Tuesday, WTTG-TV reporter Paul Wagner ambushed the chief on U Street, asking him to discuss the decision to hire private ambulances to supplement a city fleet that has been wheezing in the summer heat. Ellerbe kept on walking: “I hear you talking to me, Paul Wagner; I don’t hear the public talking,” he said. “We can discuss it with the public when we have a hearing as we normally do.” Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the department announced the hire of a consulting team that, for $182,000, will start getting to the bottom of the department’s well-documented fleet management issues.

In other news:

Man who saved child from pit bull with handgun eschews role in gun-control politics, agrees to move to Maryland to avoid charges (Post)

City agrees to pay $48 million to settle Chartered Health Plan’s accounts (PostWBJ)

Outgoing teachers union president Nathan Saunders wants a do-over election (Post)

Cathy Lanier: No plans to end All Hands on Deck, thanks for asking (D.C. Crime Stories)

Woman is raped in Howard University classroom (Post)

Woman confronts bike thief on Capitol Hill, has phone stolen, too (Post)

Art Monk and Darrell Green think a Redskins name change should be considered (WTOP)

Budget autonomy referendum could pass congressional review any day now (WTOP)

Cop’s award after winning suit challenging discipline: $2 (AP)

Class action suit alleges D.C. cops are in the habit of striking black motorcyclists (Courthouse News)

If you can’t afford Capitol Hill or Chevy Chase, try these neighborhoods instead (Post)

Eleanor Holmes Norton invites Trayvon Martin’s parents to address congressional caucus (Bloomberg)

Yvette Alexander gets some pushback on her LRAA opposition from a constituent (Informer)

The success of D.C. health insurance exchange is about a lot more than prices (WBJ)

So 14th Street is better, but is it wonderful? (GGW)

Preservation League director: Preservationists saved 14th Street (Post letter)

Remember the old 14th Street downtown, with its “skanky energy”? (Post column)

How can the District make better sense of its “tax expenditures”? (DCFPI)

OTR took speeding fines from tax refund even though tickets were still under appeal (WJLA-TV)

D.C. drivers voted “Least Likely to Understand the Rules of the Road” (Yahoo!)

Events D.C. could buy itself a yearly consumer show (WBJ)

Viola Drath’s Georgetown home is on the market (Dish)

Can Brendan Sullivan’s law firm represent Brendan Sullivan’s son? (Legal Times)

No Yes! Organic Market for H Street NE after all (Housing Complex)

D.C.’s original private bus system wasn’t so fabulous (Post letter)

Why it’s called the District of Columbia (Ghosts of DC)

Suspects sought in assault, flash-mob robbery of Anacostia convenience store (Post)

… as is man who snatched cash from Takoma 7-Eleven (Post)

Who is responsible for 11th Street’s safety-minded graffiti? (PoPville)

Inside the new Coast Guard headquarters (WBJ)

Man quizzing city residents on honesty has his bike stolen (WTOP)

Crafty Bastards is now a two-day affair (City PaperGOG)

Sample corpse flower reaction: “I can’t specify which dead animal … ” (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · July 23, 2013