Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Notes from the News

Not Happy Today: The $54 million lawsuit against the Cheung's continues in the D.C. Court of Appeals. They closed their SE store, but currently operate Happy Cleaner's in Shaw. AP Photo.

License to vote. The District is considering requiring Taxation Without Representation license plates and taking away the option to have instead. Another example of DC focusing on symbolic, feel-good PR measures rather than addressing substantive, Home Rule issues.

Failing grade. D.C.'s public schools were rated last in the nation, according to Education Week's annual "report card" released today. Maryland and Virginia came in 1st and 4th, respectively. Chancellor Rhee reaction: Comparing a city to states is apples to orangles. True, but if you move to the county level, it doesn't get any better. Nearby Montgomery County, Maryland and Fairfax, Virginia are known as having the best public schools in their states -- which complicates D.C.'s efforts to retain residents who have children. Here is the executive summary and the full state-by-state analysis. Council Chair Vincent Gray is considering hiring an independent evaluator to assess the District's progress in reforming its school system.

Pressing on with the pants suit. Roy Pearson, the former administrative law judge who sued his cleaners for $54 million claiming that it had not lived up to its statement "satisfaction guaranteed" posted on the wall after it purportedly lost his pants, strikes again. After losing his appeal before a panel of the D.C. Circuit, he has requested review by all 9 appellate judges of the court. (Read the actual petition here). Pearson, as you may recall, brought the suit under the District's Consumer Protection Act, which, as it reads, provides any person can sue for damages of $1,500 per violation regardless of whether he or she was actually injured by an allegedly deceptive practice. The owners of the cleaners, the Cheungs, ultimately closed the location Pearson used and moved back to their original location, Happy Cleaners, on 7th Street across from the Convention Center. From the press release of their attorney, Christopher Manning:

“Mr. Pearson’s Petition is sad and unfortunate. Amazingly, despite two resounding defeats, Mr. Pearson has, once again, decided to prolong the needless agony of this case for the Chungs, for the DC taxpayers and for everyone involved. The Chungs and I hope the DC Court of Appeals will deny Mr. Pearson’s Petition and will put this case to rest in this jurisdiction. Most importantly, the Chungs and I call on Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council to amend the very vague and often unfair DC Consumer Protection Act so that cases like this cannot happen again."

Buy high, sell low. While D.C. gives away valuable property such as the Southwest Waterfront for a mere $1 a year, it is simultaneously buying up dilapidated properties from absentee owners for far above the market and tax appraisal values, reports The Examiner.

1 comment:

citizenw said...

"6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for publick uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the publick good."

From the Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776

Do we still believe this? Or do we not? Or is it only applicable WEST of the Potomac?