Hizzoner vs. the Secret Service


Benjamin Netanyahu’s stay at the Willard Hotel fouled downtown traffic for days. (Mark Gong/The Washington Post)

Taking a page out of his federal-shutdown playbook, Mayor Vincent C. Gray saw an opportunity to make some noise Tuesday when, once again, federal Washington infringed on business as usual for local D.C. The infringement this time was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s visit to town, in particular his accommodations at the Willard Intercontinental, which required the closure of parts of 14th Street NW for several days. Hizzoner was blunt in a letter to the Secret Service: “To treat the District with such disrespect is simply unacceptable,” he wrote to Director Julia A. Pierson. The response: The agency “makes every effort to minimize traffic disruptions when implementing security plans.” Gray got a better response from traffic-jammed commuters.

In other news:

It’s done: Barring congressional intervention, marijuana possession is no longer a criminal offense (PostLoose LipsRoll CallWTTG-TVWJLA-TVDCistReasonHuffPo)

The mayoral candidates on the issues (Post)

… And on housing and homelessness in particular (Housing ComplexGGW)

Barack Obama goes to Powell Elementary to launch his 2015 budget plan, while Michelle visits Yu Ying ahead of China trip (Post)

The Obama budget proposal includes D.C. budget autonomy language (APInformer)

Not that that means a whole lot (DCistCity Desk)

But, hey, Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss has enlisted Mario Van Peebles in the statehood fight (WTTG-TV)

Where city tax assessments have risen the most: Trinidad, Petworth, Brookland (WBJ)

Fox 5 executive to Kenneth Ellerbe: Resign or be fired (WTTG-TV)

Vincent Orange fails to dislodge stalled nurse-staffing bill (DofDWBJ)

Jim Graham looks to require liquor licenses for party promoters (WaTimes)

David Grosso bill would require candidates to have “clean hands” from Office of Campaign Finance before launching campaign (DCist)

D.C. Promise scholarship program quietly gains final passage (Post)

Some ideas for new FY15 revenue: school adequacy, higher TANF payments, more Housing First (DCFPI)

Vince Gray wins D.C. Chamber nod (DofDLoose Lips)

At-large candidates on education: All support longer school day (GGW)

Marion Barry might leave inpatient rehab today (WUSA-TV)

Muriel Bowser has a signature cocktail (Post)

How Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr conquered D.C. with Le Diplomate (Post)

Shovel your sidewalks, people! (Post)

In case you care when the cherry blossoms will peak (Post)

How to go all MacGyver on your new Supercan (Post letter)

You probably shouldn’t sneak into a half-demolished concrete church, but … (DCist)

This guy might like to buy you dinner (City Desk)

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 · March 4