The Washington Times - April 5, 2011, 08:31AM

VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS are back in Richmond to adjust legislative district maps. During the last of eight public hearings Monday, residents, legislators and others criticized the plans for splinter communities to preserve political power. One group even brought a stuffed snake into the Capitol to protest the serpentine boundary lines being proposed, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The hearings were before the House and Senate Privileges and Elections committees, which determine which redistricting plans reach the full House and Senate.

VIRGINIA GOV. ROBERT F. MCDONNELL is considering whether to try to derail proposed regulations developed by his Democratic predecessor that for the first time would allow gay couples to adopt children in Virginia, The Washington Post reports. Mr. McDonnell has less than two weeks to act on the regulations that would force state-licensed private and church-run agencies to allow unmarried couples — heterosexual or homosexual — to adopt children. Conservatives, including Del. Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, are lobbying Mr. McDonnell to ask the State Board of Social Services to kill the proposal because they do not think it is healthy for gay couples to raise children. Mr. Marshall said that he considers the change part of a “radical anti-family proposal” and that he does not even think single people should adopt, which currently is allowed by law.


A SUPPORTER OF D.C. MAYOR VINCENT C. GRAY, who landed a city government job despite Mr. Gray’s knowledge of her failure to disclose a 2001 felony wire fraud conviction on her application, is leaving her position, city officials said Monday. Cherita Whiting will leave the Department of Parks and Recreation, where she served as a “special assistant” earning $65,000 a year, according to two city officials who spoke with The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter. In February, The Times reported that, despite holding previous positions as an advisory neighborhood commissioner and administrative assistant for a D.C. Council member, Ms. Whiting never disclosed a felony conviction and federal prison sentence on her job applications.

D.C. MAYOR VINCENT C. GRAY’s former campaign chairman, Lorraine A. Green, withdrew her nomination Monday to be the chairman of the Washington Convention Center and Sports Authority, The Washington Times reports. Her decision follows a statement last month by D.C. Council member Jack Evans, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, which has oversight of the authority, that he would postpone indefinitely the nomination pending the results of investigations into the Gray administration’s personnel practices.

THE PAUL GAUGUIN MASTERPIECE attacked Friday by a woman at the National Gallery of Art in Washington “sustained no damage,” the museum said Monday. The painting, “Two Tahitian Women,” is owned by the Metropolitan Mu­seum of Art in New York and valued at $80 million. It is expected to be back on view at 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. A museum visitor, identified in court documents as Susan Burns, 53, of Alexandria, Va., has been charged with attempted theft. She is scheduled for a “mental observation hearing” Tuesday, court documents also state.

INVESTORS FROM OIL-RICH QATAR stepped in over “skittish” American lenders two years ago to fund CityCenterDC, the redevelopment of an empty lot that is the site of the old Washington Convention Center. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a Democrat, at the ground-breaking ceremony Monday called the $700 million project of proposed retail, apartments and office space the “last big piece of the puzzle for downtown,” The Washington Times reports.

AN FBI EMPLOYEE struck two Voice of America camera operators in her personal vehicle and carried one of them on her hood after she became agitated they were blocking traffic on a busy downtown Washington street, according to court documents obtained by The Washington Times.

MARYLAND LEGISLATORS reached a compromise Monday on changes to the state pension system, resolving one of the key undecided issues remaining in the state’s fiscal 2012 budget. House and Senate committees reconvened talks in the morning after skipping sessions Friday and Saturday because of vast differences in their respective chambers’ versions of the $34.2 billion spending plan, The Washington Times reports.

HOMICIDES IN THE WASHINGTON REGION increased 17 percent in the first three months of the year, fueled by a spate of killings in Prince George’s County. Sixty-two people were killed in the first quarter of 2011 compared with 53 in 2010, the Washington Examiner reports.