- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2011

Commuter friendly?

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart says the District isn’t friendly enough to commuters. Discussing slug lines with reporter Mark Seagraves on WTOP’s “Ask the Executive” program last week, Mr. Stewart boldly declared that big companies are leaving the city because of its hostility to out-of-town workers.

“That is something that I would like to talk about with the mayor because the reality is that businesses are moving out of Washington, D.C., precisely because of some of these issues,” he said. “It’s a bad thing, it’s a loss, for D.C. So D.C. would be wise to be a little bit more friendly toward those of us who come there to work every day.”

Not that we question his concerns for his commuting constituents, but Mr. Stewart — who is strongly considering running for the Republican nomination for retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s seat — kind of sounds like a guy who thinks he might soon have a job in the city himself.

Chancellor Mom

Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee was profiled last week on NBC’s “Today” show. During one exchange in the five-minute segment, Ms. Rhee recounted how she justified to her daughter firing the principal of the girl’s school in 2008.

“I said to my daughter, ‘Do you think that your principal is a great principal?’ She said, ‘Well she’s OK.’ And I said, ‘Don’t you think you and the other kids deserve better than OK? Don’t you think you deserve the best?’ She said, ‘Yes, I do.’”

Maybe she should have used that approach last year instead of famously telling Fast Company magazine after she fired 266 teachers that she “got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school.”

We’re just sayin’.

State of the District

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has posted a public service announcement on YouTube advertising his upcoming State of the District address.

The 40-second video — a handful of D.C.-themed still photos dissolving over an oddly foreboding new-age musical track — invites residents to the March 28 address at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The “program,” which begins at 6:45 p.m., marks a return to prime time for the annual speech. Former mayor Adrian M. Fenty delivered the address during the daytime at community centers and elder-care facilities around the city.

Former mayor Anthony A. Williams routinely delivered the address from the stage of the historic Lincoln Theatre on U Street in Northwest — but his last two years in office he spoke to an invitation-only crowd.

Generally an opportunity for the mayor to roll out fresh, reassuring statistics and proposals unencumbered by details, the speech is often noteworthy for what’s left unsaid.

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