Marion Barry has his say


Barry’s memoir offers a few salacious details but an overly familiar narrative. (Strebor Books)

“I don’t want my life and legacy to be all about what happened to me at the Vista Hotel,” Marion Barry writes in his new memoir, “Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.” Yet he does not shy away from the episode that made him a national and international laughingstock, that forever clouded his legacy as a crusader for black political and economic opportunity in the capital of the free world. For those immersed in Barry’s legend, the tale contains few surprises. Barry says he didn’t go up to Room 727 for the drugs: “I figured Rasheeda [Moore] would have some good sex with me if I agreed to do it with her,” he writes, in what is not quite the tawdriest part of the tome. Despite Barry’s years of protestations, as Marc Fisher writes in his review of the book, “Mayor for Life” is oddly indulgent of a narrative that Barry long resisted: a prodigiously talented politician who, time and time again, let his personal demons get the best of him.

In other news:

Tom Sherwood to Marion Barry’s critics: “It’s better to criticize Barry for what he didn’t do if you understand what he did do” (Post)

CareFirst’s $865 million surplus is again under D.C. regulators’ scrutiny (Post)

After second round of fraud allegations, Public Charter School Board wants more authority to scrutinize school records (Post)

Reaction comes in to new school-boundary proposal — but not from mayoral candidates (PostWUSA-TVWRC-TV)

Deeper into how DCPS high school boundaries would change (Housing Complex)

Feds make Virginia Avenue Tunnel recommendation: Two new tunnels, built in series (PostJDLandWUSA-TVWJLA-TV)

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The gym-tax fight gets some national attention (NYTVox)

Former Senate sergeant-at-arms and assistant D.C. police chief Terry Gainer says Capitol security cordon should greatly expand (Post column)

David Grosso on his recent weekend in prison (Post op-ed)

It would probably not be the best idea to let party committees select AG nominees (Post editorial)

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911 dispatchers are disciplined in Medric Mills death (Post, WRC-TVWTTG-TV)

Michael D. Brown joins crowded at-large field (DofDWashingtonianLoose Lips)

Paul Zukerberg has his AG ballot petitions (DCistWAMU-FMAP)

Yes, Carol Schwartz is still running for mayor (WashingtonianDCistLoose Lips)

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Arrest made in the Thursday killing of Leon Young, 22, in Shaw (Post)

Three get long sentences for the 2012 murder of Jamal Coates on U Street NW (PostWTOPHomicide Watch)

New D.C. Chamber head Harry Wingo says “ban the box” is “forcing you to run your business out of the Wilson Building based on legislation” (WBJ)

Food truck activist Che Ruddell-Tabisola reflects on D.C.’s regulatory struggle (GOG)

Some person is stealing a downtown mallard’s eggs (Post)

More on the big plan to put MetroAccess riders in taxicabs (Post)

ATU looks to organize D.C. transit workers (WAMU-FM)

Gay activists stand up for bar whose employee wrote slur on check (Blade)

Thanks to payroll glitch, some cops see pay cut instead of expected raise (WRC-TV)

Eleanor Holmes Norton says White House is obstacle to DHS consolidation progress (WBJ)

D.C. United has new pretty pictures of the proposed soccer stadium (Housing ComplexDCistWBJ)

DDOT installs temporary barriers at dangerous Maryland Avenue NE intersection (GGW)

Summer movies at St. Elizabeths (DCist)

Capitol Riverfront apartment building would very much like to preserve its Capitol views (JDLand)

Giant may start selling cilantro from Anacostia greenhouse (District Source)

“Cooter” is not a fan of Jim Abdo’s plans for Little Washington (Post letter)

An artist is planning to sink a gas station replica into the Anacostia (CityLab)

Is “The Washington Post March” more recognizable than “Afternoon Delight” or “Da Butt”? So says John Kelly (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 · June 13