Wednesday, February 17, 1999; Page B9
Audit Finds $1.8 Million Lost in Phone Charges.
The District is paying $1.8 million a year for more than 9,000 telephone lines that either are not being used or were somehow assigned to users outside city government, including a liquor store and a military base, according to a new report by the D.C. inspector general.
D.C. Bureaucracy: A Day in the Maze.
An examination of city services in the District turned up mixed results disorder and drift in some agencies, friendly competence in others.
Williams Sets Goals for Improvement.
Street sweepers will work into the night, boarded-up government-owned housing will be sold, city offices will be opened late on Wednesday evenings and graffiti will be erased more quickly, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams promised.
District Fires Special-Ed Drivers.
Nineteen bus drivers who transport D.C. special-education students have been fired and the FBI is doing background checks on the rest of the bus force after administrators discovered that some drivers have drunken-driving convictions or have exhibited other behavior that could be dangerous to children.
Md. to Help Handle Special Ed Backlog.
In an unusual collaboration, a Maryland state agency has agreed to provide administrative judges to the D.C. public school system to help D.C. Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman reduce a long and illegal backlog of special education cases.
Delays at Oak Hill Irk Judge.
Frustrated with repeated delays and missed deadlines in upgrading the
school at the Oak Hill youth detention center, a D.C. Superior Court judge sharply criticized District public school administrators. Educators had reported to the judge that continued failings by D.C. administrators have "led to a demoralized staff and compromised services."
In D.C., Many Addicts and Few Services.
Because drug treatment is so scarce in the District, prisoners who need
help routinely spend extra time behind bars, just waiting. In some cases, inmates' sentences expire before they receive mandated treatment, leaving them armed with little but their battered willpower when they return home
Report: D.C. Special Ed System in Disarray.
A report filed with the U.S. Department of Education shows that there has
been little improvement in the District's special education programs in the last year and that thousands of disabled children still are on long -- and illegal waiting lists for proper testing, evaluation and schooling.
D.C. Test Results Seen as 'Progress'.
D.C. public school students showed improvement at most grade levels in the latest scores from standardized tests, but overall results revealed a still-troubled school system where most students have only partial mastery of basic reading and math skills for their grade levels.
D.C. Ticket Writers: Target Is 90 a Day.
D.C. Chief Management Officer Camille C. Barnett challenged the city's parking ticket writers to come up with a fairer system of ticketing than the current one, which involves a 90-ticket-a-day quota. The city's ticket writers produced 2.1 million citations last year, worth $49 million.
Good Causes Set Multitudes of Volunteers in Motion.
Through an accident of timing, more than half a dozen major cleanups, fund-raisers and demonstrations took place almost simultaneously across the city and in the suburbs.
D.C. May Boost Education Funding.
District officials are considering seriously a $121 million boost in funding for the city's public schools next year, a dramatic increase of more than 25 percent that would support an ambitious new academic program and spiraling special education costs.
Barnett Gets a Glimpse of Neighborhood's Woes.
City manager Camille Barnett got a first-hand view of city problems when she walked through alleys near 14th Street NW strewn with beer bottles and a flattened rat about a foot long. At one point she declared: "I get the message!"
Police Building Neighborhood Ties.
Mike Bunner is a D.C. police sergeant who is winning acclaim not only as a cop but also as a community activist for his work in Northwest Washington. Within the last six months, he has helped clean up a park, organized parties for children and increased patrols by his officers.
Barnett Cautiously Backs Police Change.
A congressional proposal to strip Mayor Marion Barry of his remaining power over the D.C. police department received cautious support from Camille C. Barnett, the city's top manager.
Clearing the Wreckage in D.C..
The District government has embarked on an ambitious attempt to reverse a 30-year decline in the delivery of some of its most basic and essential services, a decline that has imperiled and inconvenienced virtually everyone who lives in, works in or visits the nation's capital.
Barry Asks Barnett to Cabinet Session.
Mayor Marion Barry scheduled a full Cabinet meeting for the first time in months, inviting independent Chief Management Officer Camille C. Barnett and all nine of the department heads who report directly to her.
Mayor, Council Praise City Manager.
Mayor Marion Barry and D.C. Council members met with the city's new chief management officer and came away convinced that Camille C. Barnett is serious about working closely with them to improve services.
D.C. Manager Off to a Fast Start.
Snow, the very stuff that paralyzed this city two years ago, provided the perfect backdrop for the debut of the woman who was hired to overhaul the system that fumbled while Washington froze.
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