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October 11, 2013

It took nine months for Bill Black to discover the tax lien sale on his D.C. home because tax officials had mailed the bills to Iowa. (The Washington Post)

Let’s take a break from shutdown drama for minute to revisit our friends at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. The Post investigative team that uncovered abuses in the city’s practice of selling delinquent tax debts has a new report on how the tax office failed to notify thousands of property owners about debts – leading them into the treacherous tax sale process. The reasons were simple: Bad addresses. Lots of bad addresses: “Using the agency’s address records, The Post mailed notices to more than 1,800 delinquent property owners this summer and found that nearly 400 — one in five — were returned as undeliverable.” Auditors identified problems in 2009 but only recently have improvements been made.

In other news:

In address, Vincent Gray rallies residents to pressure Congress to lift shutdown (PostWJLA-TVWNEW-FMWTOPWRC-TVWTTG-TV)

More tales of woe from service providers — including Sasha Bruce Youthwork, which furloughed 46 (Post columnDCistWTOPWRC-TV)

City’s Medicaid freeze is bad news but could be worse (WBJ)

“The federal government shutdown has put the District of Columbia in a familiar position: political pawn” (Politico)

David Grosso: “We’re no longer going to ask for permission. We’re going to stand up for our rights and spend our local money.” (National Journal)

Latest bright idea: Make budget autonomy referendum take effect Oct. 1 rather than Jan. 1 (D.C. AppleseedLoose Lips)

No more charades for Charles Allen: He’s running for his old boss’s soon-to-be-abandoned council seat (Loose Lips)

What has Harry Reid ever done for the District, anyway? (WRC-TV)

Nurses protests succeed: Yvette Alexander finally schedules hearing on staffing bill (WBJ)

Bulk of lawsuit challenging school closings is tossed by federal judge (WTTG-TV)

District isn’t doing enough to juvenile offenders in juvenile courts, national group says (WaTimes)

The campaign against a D.C. United stadium subsidy has a name (Post)

Police investigate death of two-week-old baby in far Northeast (Post)

The federal cops who shot at Miriam Carey violated local-cop rules against shooting at moving vehicles (Washingtonian)

Federal law enforcement officers rep: “They followed Secret Service policy” (WaTimes)

Lawmakers are giving the cops the benefit of the doubt (Government Executive)

Cab drivers are suing in long-shop class action lawsuit (WAMU-FMWashingtonianDCistCity Desk)

Despite burial accord, Frank Kameny’s ashes are still above ground (Blade)

Styrofoam ban among Gray sustainability bills submitted to council (WBJ)

Dunkin Donuts would really prefer to keep using Styrofoam cups, thank you very much (WBJ)

Bakery owner won’t put store in Wal-Mart development because she is anti-Wal-Mart (Housing Complex)

Ward 6 Dems election is being challenged over faulty notice (Blade)

Members of cellphone theft ring also had hiphop careers (Post)

Unruly man is pepper-balled by Metro police at Farragut West (Post)

Two suspects sought in Rock Creek Park stabbing death were co-workers of victim (Post)

Former D.C. jail officer gets three years on smuggling rap (WTTG-TV)

Someone splashed paint on one of the new stop-sign cameras (WJLA-TV)

D.C. Water explains how it is using McMillan cells to save Bloomingdale from floods (YouTube)

“D.C. Is the New U.S. Bike City to Watch” (HuffPo)

Read about the great lost restaurants of D.C. (Post column)

Another open letter involving the Redskins name (Post column)

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 | October 10, 2013