Thursday, September 25



Emendation - A recent story said that some DC students would be paid $50 every two weeks for good grades and approved deportment, but both the Washington Post and Tom Sherwood of Channel 4 say it's $100 every two weeks. So it looks like DC school superintendent Michelle Rhee can count; she just can't spell.

Mike DeBonis, City Paper - This morning, Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi told the mayor and the D.C. Council-and later reporters-that at according to his estimates, the District will take in $131 million less in fiscal 2009 than originally anticipated. (The fiscal year starts Oct. 1 of this calendar year.) The shortfall, Gandhi explained, is primarily, but not exclusively due, to a foreseen decline in revenue from capital gains taxes paid by individuals-a consequence, he said, of 'the worst financial crisis sinnce the Great Depression.'. . .

The Washington Post may still love Michelle Rhee but if the paper lost 8% of its readers in one year it might think it was time for a change in leadership. That's what's happened in the public schools but the officials and the media haven't seemed to notice.

Washington Post - D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby and Auditor Deborah K. Nichols laid out a damning account of the failings of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's summer youth jobs program today, citing problems with contracts, technology, training and budgeting, as well as policy decisions, leading to a budget overrun of $30 million. . . Among Willoughby's findings: Contracts between the city and companies where the youth would be placed were not finished until after the program began in June; a new technology system to track participants and work hours was installed just two weeks before the start date, leaving no time for testing and training; and the poorly trained staff was unable to enter data into the computer system. The Fenty administration, which had sought to expand the program to accept any student looking for work, eventually ordered the agency to pay all students the maximum amount, Willoughby said. Willoughby said his office has accounted for $39 million of the $49 million the administration has spent on the 10-week jobs program, but is still trying to figure out how the remaining $10 million was spent.

Washington Blade - Two years after local gay activist Frank Kameny moved his archives to the Library of Congress, those papers are now available to researchers. Charles Francis, organizer of the Kameny Papers Project, said the 50,000 items were "organized to perfection" by library staff and would be an invaluable resource to people reviewing the earliest days of the gay civil rights movement. "The Kameny Papers, documenting the evolution of the gay rights movement in the United States, are now available to study for many years to come," he said. Kameny is credited with playing a lead role in launching the modern U.S. gay civil rights movement in the early 1960s after government officials discovered he was gay and fired him from his job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service.

Those think about voting
for Michael A. Brown for council at large might want to take a look at a USA Today story from 1997 that begins: "The son of the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown Thursday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor election-law violation as part of a deal with Justice Department prosecutors investigating campaign fund raising violations. Michael A. Brown pleaded guilty to one count of making donations to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's 1994 campaign that exceeded the $2,000 legal limit for an individual donor. Prosecutors said in court papers they had evidence that Brown asked three people to make donations totaling $4,000 and he reimbursed them. Such conduct could be prosecuted as a felony, but Brown was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor as part of the deal.". . .


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