‘Tell them I am ubiquitous’


D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe at his office in the Reeves Center. He says he has brought accountability to the department; some of his firefighters call it a culture of fear. (Melina Mara / The Washington Post)

The Post’s Amy Brittain delves into the tumult of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and the contentious tenure of Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe, whose management has pitted much of the rank-and-file, complaining of intimidation and unfairness, squarely against him: “The rancor has intensified in the past year. Ellerbe’s face was digitally imposed onto Osama bin Laden’s body and circulated in text messages among firefighters,” Brittain writes. “During the holiday season, a photo of the chief’s face was shaded green and transposed onto the body of the Grinch.” Among the D.C. native’s favored managerial tactics: Roaming the city in a black SUV, keeping a watchful eye over the ranks. “I’m all over the place,” Ellerbe said in an interview. “I am omnipresent if that’s what they want to think. I am watching all of the time. Because I care about what happens in this city.”

In other news:

Snow emergency is declared — now do your part! (Capital Weather GangRandomduck)

Four are killed late Friday and early Saturday, bringing 2014 homicide toll to 25 — double last year’s count (PostHomicide WatchWRC-TVWTTG-TVAP)

Fire rookie embroiled in Cecil Mills death was well-trained, deputy mayor says: “He may have been under extreme pressure when things were happening” (PostWTTG-TVSTATter911)

D.C. United looks to rally support for stadium deal (Capital Business)

Hizzoner attends small fundraiser in house owned by notorious scamster Vincent Abell (Post)

Neighbors wonder whether fundraiser is connected to DYRS group home contract (Loose Lips)

Officials are pondering whether to switch standardized testing regime (Post)

Chuck Thies: “If Vince Gray cured cancer, The Washington Post would come out in favor of cancer” (National Journal)

ACLU says secret shoppers show police aren’t handling complaints appropriately (WaTimes)

Rating D.C.’s bike-friendliness: “better than London, worse than Amsterdam” (Post)

Power-line undergrounding bill gets mayoral signature today (DCist)

Gray proposes creating “technology corridor” up 7th Street and Georgia Avenue (WBJHousing Complex)

A survey of DCision 2014 to date (WTOP)

Women for Gray! (Dish)

Figuring out how to deal with family homelessness “should not be placed on the back burner” (Post editorial)

David Grosso pens bill to implement instant runoff voting (AP)

Complaints about DMV’s handling of botched tickets go before council committee (WJLA-TVWTOP)

Former aspiring nun pleads guilty to killing her newborn (PostWRC-TVHomicide Watch)

With POTUS focusing on young black men, who will be “My Brother’s Keeper” in the District? (Post column)

Can the educational equivalent of management consultants help get better results in D.C. ‘s lowest-performing schools? (GGW)

Metro fare increases could reduce the value of a transfer (GGW)

Vines are suffocating our city’s native flora (Post op-ed)

National Park Service director defends relocating black-history archives to Maryland (Post letter)

D.C. cops risked their lives to save federal workers. Time for voting rights. (Post letter)

Streetcar wires go live (WTOP)

“Locking People Up for Public Marijuana Smoking Is Not the Answer” (HuffPo)

Two months till the first-ever Funk Parade! (DCist)

Not sure what this TENAC flyer has to do with tenant policy (PoPville)

A toast to Stan’s (WAMU-FM)

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 · February 28