The Night Note: 05/11/2011

News you need to know

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    McDonnell Seeks Mark Center Delay

    Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is asking the Defense Department for more time to prepare before 6,400 employees make the move to Alexandria’s Mark Center as part of Base Realignment and Closure. A May 6 letter sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlines the need to make improvements to address the traffic impact from the significant shift in commuter volume.“To ensure that these transitions are successful and do not result in gridlock for commuters and military personnel alike, we must work together to ensure that our transportation system is ready before we shift large numbers of new employees to our military bases,” McDonnell wrote. “ That is why I am asking for better coordination of these DoD efforts with the Commonwealth and a phased-in approach at the Mark Center to ensure a seamless and successful transition.” (Washington Business Journal)

    DC Employee Pay Freeze?

    Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh caught more than a few people off guard today with a proposal to freeze pay increases for all city employees (except for members of the Washington Teachers Union) as a way of saving about $11 million. Cheh is proposing "eliminating all within-grade step increases and cost-of-living adjustments" for District employees, which would break some of the collective bargaining agreements the District has with labor unions. (The amount of the raises Cheh would freeze varies depending on which department city workers are in.) "Breaking the District’s promises to unionized employees risks losing their trust. Nevertheless, in the current economic climate we recognize that shared sacrifice by all is warranted," Cheh's committee report says. (Washington City Paper)

    Officials Worried about Regions Capabilities During Terror Attack

    Local officials said Wednesday they're worried the Washington area still isn't prepared for a terrorist attack 10 years after Sept. 11, as demonstrated by the region's woeful handling of a January snowstorm."The reality is this region continues to fail to have the capability that other cities have had for years," Falls Church Vice Mayor David F. Snyder said about alerting residents of an impending crisis. (Washington Examiner)

    White House Defends Rapper's Invitation to Poetry Event

    The White House on Wednesday defended the decision to invite the hip-hop artist Common to a celebration of poetry hosted by President Obama and his wife, Michelle, saying they disavow some of the rapper’s controversial lyrics but accusing critics of blowing the issue out of proportion.“He’s spoken very forcefully out against violent and misogynist lyrics,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, adding that Mr. Obama has strong support for the nation’s law enforcement.  (Washington Times)