TODAY IS JULY 1, 2011 — DAY 179 OF THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION
PREVIOUSLY — D.C. attorney general will weigh in on tax dispute
Well, that was fast: The D.C. Lottery has announced it will slow down its rollout of Internet gambling — ahem, “iGaming” — while they figure out how to work with neighbors about placing “hot spots” in the city. Michael Laris reports in the Post: “Since [Wednesday’s] hearing failed to allay some of the council’s concerns, the lottery agency wants to schedule community meetings around the city to solicit views from residents about online access points in businesses and government buildings. ‘Their voices will be heard,’ said the agency’s executive director, Buddy Roogow. ‘We have no interest in moving forward with locations that are against the greater interests of the community.’ Some of those voices have been less than welcoming over the past couple of days, as details of the gambling project have emerged. ‘There will be absolutely no online gaming at the Dorothy Irene Height Library or ANY Ward 7 library!!’ Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) tweeted Wednesday.” Roogow pledges to address the “umbrella of misunderstanding that we’re setting up betting parlors.” Rather, he says, “All we’re simply doing is providing an Internet connection for a specific location to offer Internet service, and on that internet service would be igamingdc.com.” OK. Meanwhile, Jack Evans is reassured by the Lottery’s new commitment to community input, reports WaTimes, Examiner, WRC-TV and Patch.
AFTER THE JUMP — Photographer, ACLU sue city over cop detention — D.C.’s a regulation-free tattoo wonderland — GGW still fighting over Fenty vs. Gray — Washingtonian editor gets pwned — happy Fourth of July; enjoy the Palisades Parade without me!
*** MAIN COURSE ***
PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME — The Alexandria man detained by D.C. cops after photographing a Georgetown traffic stop is suing the department in federal court, with the ACLU’s help. Zoe Tillman reports for Legal Times: “[Jerome Vorus] claims that police officers approached him, asked for his identification and questioned him about why he was taking pictures. Four different officers allegedly told Vorus that it was illegal to take pictures or recordings of Metropolitan Police Department officers without permission from the public affairs office. The complaint notes, ‘That is not the law in the District of Columbia.’... The complaint alleges violations of Vorus’ First Amendment right to take pictures of police in public places and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure, since he alleges the officers detained him without any reason to suspect he had committed a crime. Vorus is also suing for false arrest and imprisonment. ... Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, is representing Vorus. ‘We filed this case not only because we thought Mr. Vorus’ rights were violated, but because we think this is a widespread and apparently growing phenomenon,’ Spitzer said this afternoon.” WRC-TV also covers.
TATTOO HAVEN — Betcha didn’t know this: “The District remains one of the few places in the U.S. where tattooing and piercing is unlicensed and largely unregulated,” Martin Austermuhle reports at DCist. Alas, this libertarian wonderland might soon be eradicated: “Recent attempts to impose license requirements and craft specific regulations have been few and far between, though they hint to a more regulated future for tattoo artists and piercers. ... In a questionnaire submitted to the D.C. Council’s Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs, the Board of Barber and Cosmetology, which would be the most likely regulatory body for tattooing and piercing, stated that, in 2010, it started ‘drafting Tattoo Regulations to regulate that practice in the District of Columbia for Apprenticeship, Instructors, and a Regular Tattoo license.’”
ENOUGH ALREADY — GGW’s David Alpert appears to have gotten sick of repeatedly defending his endorsement of Vincent Gray to his blog’s commenters. So he published a let’s-move-on piece Thursday: “I’ve definitely been disappointed by some of what’s happened, especially the hiring scandals. But Gray’s record on our issues has been generally good, though not perfect. Neither was [Adrian Fenty]’s. Don’t forget that Fenty was supportive of progressive transportation until a campaign donor asked him to kill a planned sidewalk, and then suddenly he wasn’t. Or all the development projects that went to poorly qualified developers, or his outright refusal to implement inclusionary zoning. Or Peter Nickles. The Gray administration made a significant funding commitment to streetcars, and Gray has announced his desire to make DC a platinum-level bicycle-friendly city. On the other hand, he didn’t keep Gabe Klein (but elevated his deputy) and his support for cycle tracks is tenuous. ... No mayor is perfect. Maybe in the future we can elect someone that’s better than both Fenty and Gray. We also could definitely have mayors who are far worse than either. We can keep dwelling on the past, or we can fight for a better DC.” The real fun’s in the 80-plus comments.
AUSTERMUHLED — On Saturday, Washingtonian editor Garrett Graff tweeted the following: “Congress might be more willing to give DC more rights if DC elected people who seemed more worthy of power.” He expanded on the thought in an e-mail to City Paper. And then Austermuhle teed off on him at DCist: “Graff fundamentally misunderstands why Congress gets involved in the District at all. Sure, during the Control Board era, there may have been legitimate concern that the city was going belly up — but since then, Congress has only ever really stepped into the District’s affairs to score cheap political points on hot-button social issues. Medical marijuana, abortion, needle-exchange, gun control — these are the types of things that Congress wants to legislate for us, not property tax rates, campaign finance laws, open government standards or regulatory schemes. ... Additionally, Graff seems to miss the irony in what he says. For the District to govern itself, he opines, we have to be “paragons of good governance.” Obviously, no one better to judge that than Congress, right? Or the states? They’re doing pretty well these days, huh? Or maybe a learned council of citizens?”
FREEDOM! — For his Fourth of July column, Harry Jaffe considers the ways in which District resident are free. “We denizens of the District are free to own firearms. ... This has turned out to be a good thing, proven by the fact that gun violence has not increased as a result of the less restrictive regulations; nor has anyone been hurt because of the misfire of a legally registered firearm. We could be free in the near future to gamble on the Internet all over town. ... Let me count the ways this is a rotten idea: It will lure vulnerable, poor folks to descend into debt; it will enrich gambling firms and the lobbyists who assist them; it will open the door to organized crime. Rather than add to our independence, it preys on our dependence. ... As for local control of the city council and executive branch, we have the freedom to vote the scoundrels out of office. Six out of 13 council members — and Mayor Vince Gray — are under ethical clouds. We have the freedom to free them of their public offices.” And because this is in the Examiner, do remember that FREEDOM ISN’T FREE! (But the Examiner is.)
*** SMALL PLATES ***
Ron Moten makes Council run more official (Examiner)
Sandy Allen and Joyce Scott work through their grief together (Post)
Were new extended liquor store hours slipped into the budget like Internet gambling? (Post letter)
DOES jobs site included an exotic dancer listing (WAMU-FM)
Where an Anacostia streetcar might go (GGW)
Business owners heckle Gray at H Street event (NewsChannel 8)
Mom not told about son’s D.C. Jail stabbing (City Desk)
Who got how much of Jeff Thompson’s money (Loose Lips)
The case for killing the Cleveland Park service lane (Housing Complex)
Doug Jemal’s Uline Arena signs might be illegal (GGW)
AU neighbors less happy about Office of Planning report on campus plan than Georgetown neighbors (Georgetown Dish)
DMV fees are going up (Dr. Gridlock)
”Read the South Capitol Street Lawsuit” (Homicide Watch)
Would you jump into the Anacostia River? (WTOP)
*** ON THE MENU ***
Gray appears on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt, 10 a.m. on NewsChannel 8; attends birthday party for Wally “Famous” Amos, 12:30 p.m. at MLK Library, 900 G St. NW — no D.C. Council activity — Roogow guests on the Politics Hour, noon on WAMU-FM