Sunday could be a good day for sleeping off New Year’s hangovers, since tickets for that day’s mayoral inaugural ball have all been claimed. The 7,500th ticket was grabbed at about 11 a.m. Wednesday. DCist says Vincent Gray’s big bash “is expected to host approximately 10,000 people on the whole -- that’s a slight decrease in attendance from Mayor Adrian Fenty’s 2007 bash (15,000 guests), but still a lot more partiers than Fenty predecessor Anthony Williams had at his 2003 celebration, which only attracted 3,000 people.” But Williams “charged attendees $35 for the privilege of getting in the door; Fenty’s party was, like Gray’s, free.”
But D.C. Watch’s Dorothy Brizill is not pleased by the process. As Gray prepares to take office, she wrote, “there is widespread concern and speculation about a Vince Gray administration and specifically about ‘what kind of mayor he will be.’ I can only hope that the manner in which the transition team distributed tickets to the inauguration gala today at the convention center is not a harbinger of the future administration, because it showed both poor planning and an arrogant staff.”
Elsewhere in the DMV:
* At Greater Greater Washington, Joel Lawson expressed disappointment on the lack of specifics coming from the eight contenders for the D.C. Democratic State Committee’s interim appointment of an at-large D.C. Council member. Lawson wrote that with the exception of Board of Education member Sekou Biddle, who has emerged as one of the top candidates, the Council wannabes have simply “stated their repeated beliefs that serious issue X or Y ‘should be looked at,’ ‘needed to be addressed,’ ‘must be discussed,’ and more.”
* Exiting District Department of Transportation chief Gabe Klein looks back on his tenure on the DDOT blog, listing 25 high points of his time in charge. One nice goodbye gift: The City Fix names Capital Bikeshare one of the best new innovations in transit in 2010. Meanwhile, Greater Greater Washington looks ahead to the growth challenges facing the city in 2011.
* Homicide Watch D.C. has the sad news that 131 people “died on D.C. streets this year, nearly three quarters of them in gun violence. Of the victims whose identities were released, 13 victims were under the age of 18 at the time of their deaths, [and] 24 were under the age of 20.”
* DCist’s Aaron Morrissey recalls that several New York congressmen “had a grand old time taking potshots about Washington’s lack of strength in the face of overpowering snow accumulation” last winter, and wonders what they’re thinking now, with their own city suffering its own slow blizzard cleanup.
* Virginia Delegate Joseph Morrissey “is proposing a bill that would codify in state law that the Virginia National Guard is subject to the same eligibility requirements as the US military, a proposal designed to ensure that gays and lesbians can serve openly in the Guard,” the Washington Post reports. His legislation is intended to counter Del. Bob Marshall’s bill “that would declare that gays cannot serve in the Virginia National Guard, regardless of Congress’ vote this month to repeal the policy.”
* The Post reports a consortium of 26 “business, transportation and construction groups has endorsed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s plan to spend $4 billion on roads over the next three years, $2.9 billion of it borrowed money -- with the caveat that the plan is merely a down payment” on further transportation infrastructure spending.
* The Washington Examiner reports two Maryland legislators plan to introduce a state version of the defeated federal DREAM Act. The Maryland bill “would allow illegal immigrants who graduated from Maryland high schools and whose parents or guardians pay taxes to receive the in-state rate of $8,416” for the University of Maryland system. They currently pay the out-of-state tuition rate, which is three times as high. The Post says that while Gov. Bob Ehrlich vetoed a similar bill in 2003, Gov. Martin O’Malley “is expected to take a more sympathetic view, the measure’s supporters say.”
* Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch has announced committee assignments for the next session. Maryland Politics Watch has the list.
* Edwards Smith, lawyer for Maryland political operative Julius Henson, argued in a court motion that Henson’s deceptive Election Night robocalls were protected by the First Amendment, the Baltimore Sun reports. The motion reads in part, “The so-called ‘dirty tricks’ of politics have been well-known to the body politic of the United States of America,’ the filing says. ‘Not only discrediting tactics, but voter psychological manipulations have been allowed in the media since the early 1960s to the present day. … Government should not regulate political messages for truthfulness.”
* The Examiner reports incoming Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said “her office will not put up with any sort of corruption.” While she declined to comment directly on the FBI probe into Jack and Leslie Johnson and other county officials, Alsobrooks said, “We will be firm, we will be fair, and we will be consistent in our prosecutions without respect for people’s title. We don’t care who you are. If you are not law-abiding, people in this county have made it 100 percent clear to me that they do not wish to tolerate it in their community.”
* The Falls Church News-Press reports that its editor, Nick Benton, has been named to the new Stonewall Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Though Benton is a newspaperman, he is also an active Democrat.
* The Annandale VA blog checks in with two local day laborers “in the winter, when people have to stand out in the cold and the jobs are few and far between.”
* DCentric’s Anna John joins in the criticism of the Post’s D.C. Twitter poll, writing, “In communities such as ours where a good portion of the population still doesn’t have access to reliable and/or affordable Internet service and where most homes do not have a computer or access to one, a big part of the population becomes disenfranchised, even in purely entertainment contests such as this one.”
* DCist points us to this awesome video of a squirrel who’s assertive even by National Mall standards:
Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC