News Bullets, Dirty Harry Tuesday;

I'd like to encourage you all to submit your personal stories of what grinds your gears about DC. Remember, two lucky winners will receive awesome random grab bag prizes. I will be posting some photos of what you'll receive on Wednesday, and I'll post the winner on Thursday. I reserve the right to select the winner by whatever method I deem fit, which will likely be the two entries I find to be MOST AWESOME.

Tragedy strikes Metro again with the deaths of two track workers at the Rockville station. If you missed it earlier, two workers were struck by track equipment at Rockville. Red Line service is affected this morning. I'll have more on this as more information becomes available.

Stop the fucking presses, there's a white woman panhandling in Silver Spring. So we already know that DC social service agencies are stretched very thin. There are plenty of homeless people in DC, and shelters have been closed due to budget problems. Those stories, the stories of people turned away from social services in DC, or stories of families on the street, those aren't really worth covering. What's worth covering is the fact that there's a white woman panhandling in Montgomery County. Yup, WJLA-TV did a whole piece on this woman:
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The bad economy is taking a big toll on local social service agencies. In Montgomery County the need is so high some people say they're being turned away.

More than seven months ago Kathleen Waltos lost her $70,000-a-year job. She says she's been unemployed or underemployed ever since. She says she's used up all her savings and her 401K and, at times, has actually turned to panhandling.

Waltos told us, "In order to survive I have to do something...and that's stand on a corner and collect money."
Wow, it's like someone took People's District, vomited all over it and then bottled it and sold it at Whole Foods saying it's healthy. While I'm sure that Kathleen Waltos is suffering, I do have a bit of a hard time feeling for someone who made $70K and has only been unemployed for seven months. How about those people who made $20K and have been laid off for a year? Yes, Waltos has faced some obstacles getting access to social services, but I have a hard time sympathizing with any of this. I don't wish her any ill, but I don't see why this deserves the 11 o'clock news treatment. Meh, of course it makes sense. It's TV news.

WaPo: What the hell is this? Thanks to the City Paper for a glimpse at the new Washington Post Business publication. Apparently going retro and issuing a retro-looking paper publication is a great way to earn some extra profit. Seems like the staff at the WaPo couldn't even make a mock-up with recent articles, some of these were from last fall. Wouldn't it have been better to just fill it with some Lorem Ipsum? I'm actually a little torn on this--at least it's the Washington Post pretending to still be a newspaper. Sure, they'll compete with the Washington Business Journal, but they do have a leg up as they still have some sort of news-gathering infrastructure. Maybe? I'm happy to see the Post actually focus on something local, but they seem to be late to the game. Sort of like the lame "news round-ups" they have been posting. Leave round-ups to the blogs, that's our strength!

Javaris Crittendon pleads guilty to gun charges. Crittendon's testimony at the hearing makes him out to be a total idiot. He claims he brought the gun to practice because he legitimately feared for his life. He took an unloaded gun because he was honestly afraid that Gilbert Arenas was going to shoot him. HOLD UP TIME OUT. So, let me see here, he claims that he was really really afraid that Gilbert was going to waste him with a Desert Eagle, sooooooo... he decides to bring his own gun, but with no bullets. So was he going to pull a Dirty Harry here? In all this commotion, Crittendon doesn't remember if he brought ammo or not... did Arenas feel lucky? He's been sentenced to one year unsupervised probation and community service with the NBA. Someone actually believed this tale? That he took an unloaded gun with him? Is the Verizon Center really the goddamned wild west?

Rhee's hot water gets boiling. Rhee discussed the controversial school layoffs Fast Company magazine, and said "I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school." Obviously this throws up some red flags, as teachers who had sex with or abused children should have been fired and charged with a crime--not just laid off. The DC Council is livid about this, threatening subpoenas and with good cause. Mike DeBonis looks at who might be on the hook for not reporting this as a crime, and brings up some good points. Rhee's claims that it was a matter that was under investigation, but that doesn't sit too well either. One has to ask just what was she thinking even mentioning "sex", especially given the hot water her fiance has been in. Martin over at DCist seems to think her comments might have played better at the DC Council hearings last year, but I'm not so sure about that. Any teacher who abused a student should be fired on the spot, not shuffled out with the "trash" when doing budgetary layoffs. I think this would never have played well with the Rhee-unfriendly Council.


  1. Funy, I took Rhee's comments a shade differently - if there was sex etc., why wait half a year to disclose it? And all of the 300 laid off were engaged in illicit activities? Unlikely.

  2. Wow!! Just read about the white woman panhandling in S.S., MD and she was covered by the local news. I agree with the writer that she doesn't deserve ill-will but a featured story on the news? Really? I didn't see it but I believe it. Have to do it but it's about race too. There are tons of people (including myself) who are unemployed and looking for work. I still consider myself fortunate because I have some means to keep looking for work without resorting to panhandling or WORSE! I will say, if I make $70K a year, I will make sure to have more savings for a "rainy day". It is very helpful to have money saved instead of not saving at all. Maybe the news channel wanted to make an "example" out of her past earnings to what's going with her now. Oh, BTW, I hate DC's "human social services" department -- they are the worst and after that Metro.