Friday, July 25

DC FRIDAY

GREAT MOMENTS IN THE FENTY ADMINISTRATION

Michael Birnbaum Washington Post Samantha Baskin gets paid to be patient. One of thousands of students across the District who had pay problems in the summer youth jobs program last week, Samantha, 14, said that she doesn't actually do anything at the Washington East of the River Academy. "We don't do nothing," she said. The director "holds us in a room for hours." Although she was owed several hundred dollars, Samantha was paid a nickel Friday and was finally paid in full . . .

Pay problems are just one of the administrative issues in the D.C. summer youth jobs program, as was apparent at a news conference yesterday at the academy. . . . At least 200 of the 800 students in the academy indicated by a show of hands that they had not received their proper pay. In interviews, many students echoed Samantha's complaint, saying they were spending their days sitting silently in classrooms.

Dianna Robinson, the summer academy director, said students were stuck in the auditorium for the first two weeks because proper permissions for the site -- the P.R. Harris Elementary School -- had not been secured from the school system. She said programs in the next two weeks had been delayed because she was registering more than 500 students not on the payroll.

Students are supposed to be doing arts programs, such as jewelry-making, painting and singing in a choir, Robinson said, as well as learning such "life skills" as job readiness.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL STRIKES AGAIN


Lou Chibbaro Jr, Washington Blade An official with the Office of the D.C. Attorney General, acting on behalf of Mayor Adrian Fenty, startled gay activists by arguing that a domestic partnership bill pending before the City Council would give "unusual" and "unprecedented" parental rights to same-sex couples, jeopardizing federal funding for the city’s child support programs.

In written testimony submitted to a City Council committee, Tonya A. Sapp, director of legislative affairs for the Attorney General’s Office, said her office has "significant concern" that the Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination of Parentage Act of 2008, violates a federal law pertaining to city child support programs and could result in federal sanctions against important city programs that benefit children.

But nationally recognized gay rights attorney and American University law professor Nancy Polikoff said Sapp’s five-page written statement raising objections to the domestic partners bill "demonstrates an astonishing ignorance" of same-sex civil union and domestic partnership laws in other states.

According to Polikoff, civil union and domestic partnership laws in states like Vermont and Connecticut, among others, provide the same parental rights provisions for same-sex couples that the D.C. Council bill would provide. "No ill effects on federal funding or conflicts in federal guidelines have occurred in any of these other states," Polikoff said.

ROBERT NOVAK IS JUST YOUR AVERAGE DC DRIVER

DC Examiner -
D.C. drivers are more likely to be in auto accidents than drivers in any other city in the country, and Alexandria and Arlington drivers follow closely behind, according to a new study. D.C. drivers average one accident every 5.4 years, making them almost three times more collision-prone that drivers in Sioux Falls, S.D., which ranked as the safest driving city in the 2008 Allstate America's Best Drivers report.
The number means D.C. drivers are 84 percent more likely to be in an accident than the average driver nationally and places the city as the most dangerous for drivers among the 193 studied.

DC SHORTS

Michelle Rhee's new teacher pay plan is bizarrely confusing, but stripped to its essence, it does away with tenure and seniority by making them contingent on a complex variety of factors and replaced by a complex variety of others, some of which remain obscure such as what criteria will be used for granting awards. Perhaps the most telling item is that some of the pay increases Rhee wants to use as a bribe to get teachers to give up their rights will be funded by non-profit organizations. Presumably these non-profits don't plan to subsidize the city budget in this manner into the distant future, so there is more than a hint here that Rhee plans to use the money just long enough to con teachers into going along with the scheme and then getting rid of a lot of them.

WTOP reporter Mark Segraves gives an hour by hour account of trying to buy a gun as city thumbs nose at Supreme Court decision

Courtland Milloy talks with the corner boys in Trinidad

READER COMMENTS

GUN LAW

You are misinforming readers. DC law requires that firearms must be unloaded, disassembled or trigger-locked, not both. Disassembly is usually done when transporting firearms outside the home, and just means releasing the cylinder, no big deal. Trigger locks are free from MPD


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