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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

House committee defeats D.C. concealed gun amendment

The House Judiciary Committee easily defeated a proposal Thursday that would have allowed out-of-state residents to bring concealed weapons into the District, an unusual vote in which conservative members put their allegiance to states' rights ahead of their frequent forays into D.C. affairs. Published October 13, 2011

David A. Catania

D.C. at crossroads on collecting commercial property taxes

D.C. Council member David A. Catania says the city must "fish or cut bait" regarding how it collects certain taxes on commercial properties in the District — a confusing topic that nonetheless has put millions of dollars at stake during the past decade. Published October 12, 2011

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown likened the new Department of General Services to a multimillion-dolar company with council as its board of directors. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council pins hopes on new General Services office

A newly formed D.C. agency that consolidates the city's capital projects and maintenance duties under one roof should benefit the District financially, but its team must act quickly to justify the faith of city legislators who stepped "out on a limb" in support of the endeavor, council members said Tuesday. Published October 11, 2011

Slain D.C. teen was DYRS ward

A D.C. teen fatally stabbed Saturday was a ward of the District's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services who had fled the agency's custody, The Washington Times has learned. Published October 11, 2011

Medical marijuana applicants facing D.C. deadline

Applicants hoping to dispense medical marijuana in the District have until Halloween to submit their plans to city officials, pushing the long-awaited program forward even as federal prosecutors put a scare into the cannabis industry's prospects in California and other states. Published October 10, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. officials revisit contract regs after lawn mowing deal

District officials agreed Friday to take another look at city regulations on awarding contracts, following a dispute about a company awarded a landscaping job with the lowest bid but no D.C. residents as employees. Published October 7, 2011

Redskins, celebrities get behind D.C. rights

A trio of Washington Redskins players and actress Della Reese of "Touched by an Angel" TV fame are among the celebrities who taped pro-D.C. rights segments as part of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's push this month for city autonomy. Published October 6, 2011

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Why are Maryland, Virginia students in D.C. schools?

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown wants to find out why students from Maryland and Virginia are attending the District's public schools illegally, forcing city taxpayers to subsidize their education and potentially robbing students of a "quality seat" in their own schools. Published October 5, 2011

Ward 4 D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser has promised to deliver a comprehensive ethics reform bill for consideration by the end of the year. "I recognize the urgency we're dealing with. But I also recognize the need to follow our process," she said on Tuesday. (The Washington Times)

Orange's ethics reform effort defeated; Bowser to offer bill

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser on Tuesday promised to deliver a comprehensive ethics reform bill by the end of the year, positioning herself as a sobering voice on a hot-button issue that at times has descended into political theater. Published October 4, 2011

D.C. lawn-mowing contracts come under scrutiny

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh wants to "clear the air" concerning a pair of city lawn-mowing contracts that raise questions about political influence and what it means to be a District-based business. Published October 4, 2011

Peaceoholics co-founder Ronald Moten testifies Monday before the D.C. Council about an audit of his anti-gang nonprofit, Peaceoholics. The D.C. auditor found grant-compliance mistakes. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Graham requests new audit on Peaceoholics

D.C. Council member Jim Graham requested a supplemental audit Monday on the nonprofit Peaceoholics, reigniting political controversy around the group as its co-founders prepare to run for office. Published October 3, 2011

LANDMARK: Entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong performed at the Lincoln Theatre during a time when segregation barred patrons from downtown theaters. The venue faces a financial crisis. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Lincoln Theatre seeks cash infusion

The historic Lincoln Theatre, the 1920s-era stage often described as the heart of the District's "Black Broadway," will close before the end of the year if it does not get a cash infusion from the city, its board members said Thursday. Published September 29, 2011


Gray lauds language in plan for D.C. spending

Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Wednesday praised the insertion of language into a short-term federal spending plan that allows the District to use local funds for the fiscal year that begins on Saturday while Congress continues to debate its financial plan for 2012. Published September 28, 2011

D.C. officials to meet on police funding

D.C. officials will meet Tuesday to make sure spending pressures do not trip up plans to keep at least 3,800 Metropolitan Police Department officers on the street — a goal that was established during budget talks for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. Published September 26, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. tax hike on top earners took tortuous route to passage

A contentious and unexpected vote to raise taxes on the District's highest-income earners took shape largely behind the scenes, as council members revived an old proposal, wrangled votes and found common ground with reluctant colleagues. Published September 25, 2011

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Mayor strengthens nominee process to avoid surprises

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray says his administration will alter its policy for reviewing nominees for city oversight bodies by sending them through the city's Office of the Attorney General before they are announced to the public. Published September 25, 2011