Brazil's Use of D.C. Staff Questioned
Employees Say They Worked for Law Practice
D.C. Council member Harold Brazil (D-At Large) isn't talking, but members of his city staff say they have worked for his law practice on his behalf. They said they used leave or vacation time whenever they did.
Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) said any arrangement under which Brazil might have benefited from the work of council staffers would be "very disturbing."
The Office of Campaign Finance will investigate.
Barry Sounds Like a Candidate -- Again
Ex-Mayor Is Said to Be Weighing Council Run
Candidate for Life Marion Barry is back, and this time the former mayor is talking about council member Sandy Allen's Ward 8 seat. No official announcement has been made -- just buzz, but buzz that Barry apparently started.
Allen said he told her that it was nothing personal but that there needed to be a change in the government.
NAACP Effort Blocked at Catholic U.
Students Are Barred From Starting Chapter
Catholic University blocked students from starting an NAACP chapter. Officials said the primary reason was redundancy with existing campus groups. But there was another problem: the civil rights organization's advocacy of abortion rights, which conflicts with Catholic beliefs.
The head of the NAACP called the decision "blatant discrimination." Kweisi Mfume said, "For years, we have had chapters . . . [at] Catholic schools such as Georgetown, Trinity College, Fordham and St. Johns."
University officials defended their decision.
Judge Decides on Minors and Alcohol
Underage Possession Ruled Civil Infraction
A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled that possession of alcohol by a minor is a civil infraction and ordered the city to stop filing criminal charges against underage drinkers.
Police and prosecutors regarded arrests as a deterrent, but plaintiffs said the arrests left them with undeserved criminal records.
D.C. Slot Machine Effort Underway
Proponents Want to Put Question to Voters
Slot machines for the nation's capital? Promoters hope to put the issue before D.C. voters in November. They say they would build a $510 million "family-oriented entertainment complex" with as many as 3,500 slot machines.
Pluses -- aside from a jackpot -- would include jobs, construction contracts for minority firms and an attractive place to take children, they say. Then there's the revenue and the taxes.
Chemical Added to Water in NW
Lead Abatement Efforts Continue
The lead problem in the District was addressed on two fronts. Officials began adding orthophosphate, a chemical that forms a protective coating inside lead pipes, to water in a section of Northwest Washington, with no problems reported.
The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority chairman said the board probably would approve replacement of an estimated 23,000 lead service lines by 2010.
Evans Drops Ballpark Land Plan
Council Member Said Opposition Was Strong
D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) dropped plans to acquire land to build a ballpark near the Mall.
He said he was inundated by calls and e-mails from residents opposed to the legislation, which would link the stadium to the $8 billion campaign to revitalize the Anacostia waterfront.
Two Officers Die in Separate Incidents
One Was Chasing Dog, Other Was Robbery Victim
Two D.C. police officers died in the past week. Sgt. John S. Ashley, 37, collapsed as he chased a runaway dog in Northwest. Sgt. Clifton Rife II, 34, died after an off-duty gunfight with a youth who police said tried to rob him in Oxon Hill. The youth also was killed in the exchange of fire.