Washington Metro News

Washington Metro News

Michelle Rhee Goes National

Back in February in this space, I talked about our new D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, calling her tough and talking about the steep hill she has to climb in her effort to reform the District's public schools under Mayor Adrian Fenty (D).

It’s seven months later, and Michelle Rhee is swinging for the fences, working her heart out to bring new energy into the city's public education system, wrecked by years of indifference and inaction by the Teachers Union. She's turning the system on its heels, and, so far, working to create real change.

A Citizen’s Dream Deferred

Many D.C. residents are breathing a sigh of relief now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the city’s longstanding handgun ban. Finally, we are free to protect ourselves from the tyranny of crime!!!

Some of us can’t wait to begin the process of taking our homes back from the thugs and murderers who terrorized the city for years without repudiation. However, D.C.’s proposed regulations, while allowing residents to keep registered handguns in their homes, nonetheless contain restrictions that will keep them from using them for their intended purpose.

Incredibly, the regulations stipulate that the guns have to be kept disassembled and unloaded when not being used. What is the point of having a gun for self-protection when you’ll already be dead and gone by the time you get a chance to use it in self-defense?

Vigilante Justice

Many people have come out in anger against the death in police custody of cop-killer Ronnie White, citing a violation of his civil liberties.

But few have spoken up for the family of Cpl. Richard Findley, who died in the line of duty while trying to protect the public against a murderous car thief. I am sick and tired of people coddling criminals who have no regard for the lives of law-abiding citizens.

The truth of the matter is that White committed a horrible crime that incited the justifiable rage of the slain officer's grief-stricken comrades. I am an uncompromising advocate of law enforcement officers adhering to the rule of law and under no circumstances should they become the judge, jury and executioner of these gun-toting thugs. However, one can certainly understand the frustration and rage of officers who put their lives on the line to protect the public.

Speculation around the AT&T National — HOSTED (?) by Tiger Woods

Is he coming to our capital city over the Fourth of July weekend?

Will he welcome fans, players, military, families, kids and media at opening ceremonies on July 2?

Will he be on crutches?

How long will he stay?

Will he tool around Congressional Country Club's Blue course in a golf cart, acting host?

Running Strong

“There is a ton to do.” That’s what D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty told me recently when he visited my Institute for Education INFO breakfast for his annual “State of INFO” address.

Fenty has drawn headlines recently for his rigorous fitness regimen. He’s up early every day, and runs several miles a few times a week. He runs triathlons, marathons, hustles around town daily, not to mention being a father to two young boys — enough to wear out even the heartiest of souls.

But the mayor’s fitness regimen is a metaphor for his drive to succeed. You can see it in his eyes. During our early-morning breakfast, he captivated the group on a range of topics. He talked about former Baltimore mayor and now-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, one of Fenty’s mentors during his run for the mayor’s seat in 2006.

Our Mayor is Not the New Kid Anymore!

Our capital city’s mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, came to my Institute for Education INFO breakfast last week for his annual “State of INFO” address.

Let’s flash back to last year: Elected by winning every precinct in the District — yes, he won every precinct, trouncing then-City Council Chairwoman Linda W. Cropp — Fenty took office last January and came in charging like a bull. Two BlackBerrys and all.

He quickly took control of the city’s schools and appointed a novice chancellor to lead them. (Read my column about Chancellor Michelle Rhee here. Fenty told us he “drank the Michelle Rhee Kool-Aid” from the start.) He appointed the city’s first female police chief, Cathy Lanier — who rose up the ranks in the department and was supported by highly regarded former Chief Charles H. Ramsey.

Suicide or Murder?

Deborah Palfrey, better known as the D.C. Madam, according to reports hanged herself in a storage shed behind her mother's mobile home in the small Gulf Coast city of Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Who can ever forget the fear and rumblings in our fair city of Washington, D.C, when after Palfrey's indictment she gave volumes of her phone records to ABC News and posted them on the Internet, resulting in public identification of some prominent and powerful clients with families and careers that were threatened to be destroyed?

Remember Palfrey's former employee Brandy Britton, a former college professor who hanged herself in her Howard County home in January 2007, shortly before her scheduled trial on prostitution charges. Is this all coincidental, or do we have the makings of another Marilyn Monroe conspiracy developing?

Mills on the Hill: Mitt Romney's Top Ten

It's that special time of the year here in the nation's capital. The cherry blossoms have bloomed. Our baseball team has cranked out its annual allotment of 150,000 "Wait Till Next Year" T-shirts. And the reporters and politicians are breaking bread as they temporarily cohabitate at any one of 136 annual black-tie dinners honoring the press, the First Amendment, and the 21st Amendment, for that matter ...

The Gridiron. The Alfalfa National Press Foundation. White House Correspondents. Insect World. All God's children have a dinner this time of year and if you ARE someone, or HOPE TO enter into at least the outer fringe of someoneness, you must attend at least one of these dinners sooner or later ...

The Ethereal Pope

April 17, 2008, our capital city, Nationals Park, Mark Tuohey’s suite, 7 a.m.

Nationals Park presents itself as light and airy. The weather has been delivered from heaven. The music takes us to the heavens.

I hear a 65-voice Intercultural Choir with members from 35 countries singing in French, Zulu and Spanish, among others. A 250-voice Papal Mass Choir and a 175-voice Children's Choir singing in Latin. An 80-voice Gospel Choir singing in 10 languages out across the stadium. Now I am in some celestial place.

Inspiration, from Andre Agassi

For 52 years, the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation has been keeping local kids off the streets by providing them a safe haven to do homework, play tennis and set personal goals. WTEF has a 100 percent graduation rate in which kids frequently achieve athletic and academic scholarships.

When tennis legend and world class philanthropist Andre Agassi came to our capital city on April 11 to receive WTEF’s Champion of Tennis Award, it was an event to remember. Agassi hit the courts at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center with Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and various local media and business big shots thrilled to huff and puff with the famous champ.