5th Straight Year of Less Crime
According to a report from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, crimes like murder, assault, robbery and car theft are down for the fifth year in a row. Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said the downward trend is due in part to better communication and coordination among the various law enforcement departments.
Men and Women in Blue Get Bluer
The Metropolitan Police Department will soon be sporting new uniforms. On Aug. 22, the department tweeted out a sneak preview on its @DCPoliceDept account. The sleek, navy blue color is updated from a lighter blue. The new shirts allow for bullet-resistant vests to be worn outside and the internal suspenders distribute weight better and lessen back pain.
Black Cat Still Lively at 25
The Black Cat celebrated its 25thanniversary with special shows on Sept. 14 and 15. In 1993, owner Dante Ferrando and his wife Catherine opened the venue a few doors down from the current address, 1811 14thSt. NW, to which it relocated in 2001. They have witnessed the complete transformation of the 14thStreet corridor, formerly a warehouse district.
The Jefferson Gives Books for Bookings
The Jefferson, 1200 16thSt. NW, launched its First Library program earlier this month. In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s love of literature, for every reservation made, a book will be donated to a child in the D.C. area. The new program is a partnership with the DC Public Library Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
‘Casting Call’ for New Moxy Hotel
Millennials in need of a job, take note. The hip Marriott brand “Moxy” is opening a hotel in D.C. later this fall. There will be a “casting call” (aka a hiring fair) on Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Moxy Hotel, at 1011 K St. NW, will have 200 rooms, a bocce court and a top-floor restaurant and bar with a retractable roof.
Council Challenges Mayor’s Control of Schools
Members of the D.C. Council are challenging Mayor Muriel Bowser’s control of the public school system. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) is introducing a bill to make the Office of State Superintendent of Education independent of the mayor’s office. OSSE currently oversees federal funding, enrollment and education standards for DC Public Schools. The bill would also extend the term of the superintendent from four years to six.
In addition, the bill would only allow the superintendent to be fired with just cause. Currently, the mayor can hire and fire the superintendent at will. The legislation further gives OSSE the authority to hire all of its personnel, rather than allow the mayor’s office to fill certain positions.
“What we are trying to do is remove politics from education policy as much as we can while still supporting the mayoral control of [DC Public Schools’] work,” said Grosso. “We are trying to give another objective agency the power it needs when it comes to oversight of all these critical and important areas.”
Representatives from the mayor’s office say they don’t support the legislation. “The students of the District of Columbia can ill afford misguided education legislation that moves our city backwards more than a decade and undermines the hard work of our teachers, administrators and staff,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith in a statement. “We need to be working collaboratively in the best interest of our students, and ensuring that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and our schools have the resources they need to make every day count.”
The move comes eight months after the previous chancellor and former deputy mayor of education resigned, following investigations into graduation rates and reports that the chancellor had circumvented the school lottery system to transfer his daughter between schools.