A ‘complicated’ safety net

From the armchair perspective, the warning signs for 8-year-old Relisha Rudd were all there: A history of neglect allegations, a mother seemingly incapable of basic mothering, a life spent on the edges. Why didn’t city social workers pull Relisha from her 27-year-old mother’s care before she was given away to janitor Kahlil Tatum? “The answer is complicated,” the Post’s Petula Dvorak explains, and it has to do with a child welfare system that has long sought to balance the imperative to prevent tragedy with the fact that removing a child from a family for a placement in foster care is deeply traumatic and should be a last-resort option. Writes Petula, “This case puts into sharp focus how fragile these families are, how difficult and potentially disastrous each decision about whether to keep a family together can be.”

In other news:

Council digs into Gray budget, challenging heightened spending, traffic camera fees and Tax Revision Commission snubs (Post)

Especially traffic cameras (WRC-TV)

Taxicabs could charge more to app users under council, commission proposals (PostWAMU-FMCity DeskDCist)

Some reasons why that’s a bad idea (RPUS)

A guide to the probable school-boundary freakouts (Housing Complex)

How would new school boundary and feeder policies be implemented? “No one knows the answers yet” (Post)

Deeper into the “menu of possibilities” (GGW)

“To redraw the boundaries and take away our right to send our kids to the schools we’ve worked so hard to make excellent is to punish the very people who made these schools so sought-after” (Post letter)

Nick Majett looks to leave DCRA helm (Housing Complex)

Ellen McCarthy returns to top planning post (@OConnellPostbizPoPville)

David Catania to big-time gay donors: “I can assure you that after I get in this race, these polls will be different” (DofD)

Yvette Alexander and David Grosso look to expand medical marijuana eligibility (WAMU-FM)

Tony Cheng’s lawyers want to know if jurors’ opinions have been affected by D.C. corruption probes (Loose Lips)

D.C. GOP might still put a mayoral candidate on the ballot (DofDAP)

Cory Booker congratulates Muriel Bowser (@CoryBooker)

Also Eleanor Holmes Norton, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Steny Hoyer (@MurielBowser@MurielBowser@MurielBowser)

Why the D.C. health insurance exchange is in a nationally enviable position (Wonkblog)

In praise of federal judge’s ruling rejecting Davis-Bacon wages at CityCenter (Post editorial)

Metro responds to scathing federal audit: “We have to improve our controls and we will do that” (PostWAMU-FM)

Norton bill would explores upscaling one of D.C.’s three public golf courses (AP)

With key transit investments, McMillan won’t be a traffic disaster (GGW)

Petworth residents want Arkansas Avenue traffic calmed (WTTG-TV)

DMV issues self-driving-car regulations (DCist)

City film czar on Hollywood tax incentives: “It’s a game DC can never win” (Loose Lips)

Does D.C. need a “food czar” to direct urban-ag efforts? (ElevationDC)

Some suggested reforms to the council’s tax-lien reform bill (Post letter)

GSA proposes selling Southwest buildings to fund headquarters work, DHS consolidation (Capital BusinessWBJHousing Complex)

Next phase of The Yards, next to Nationals Park, could go to 130 feet (WBJJDLand)

City-owned Shaw lot draws interest from six developers (WBJ)

Superior Court Judge Robert Richter will retire (NLJ)

Man shot by police at Plummer Elementary was Isaac Little, 33 (D.C. Crime Stories)

Chris Brown will be tried separately from bodyguard (Post)

The escalator-riding man sought by police held no clues on Relisha Rudd’s whereabouts (Post)

Driver slams his taxi into Inter-American Development Bank (Dr. Gridlock)

Zoning Commission to rule on whether doggie day care can locate in 14th Street apartment building (WBJ)

ANC commish: “You don’t see bikes when it snows, when it’s raining” (SALM)

Washington Hospital Center makes national Top 100 list (WBJ)

Brookland set to host “first true bike shop/coffee shop concept in D.C.” (City Desk)

Today in casual racism: “Anacostia tea” (Young & Hungry)

No more Dave Thomas Circle? (GGW)

Club Love will be auctioned May 1 (GOG)

This weekend should be prime time for cherry blossoms (CWG)

The corner of 5th and K will never be the same (PoPville)

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 · April 7