The District Digest: Bitch set him up

No matter how poorly your 4th of July went, it’s safe to say it was probably better than former “Mayor for Life” and current D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry‘s (D—Ward 8). Saturday evening Barry was arrested by the Park Police and charged with stalking his ex-girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt.

The stalking charges were dropped on Wednesday, but not before it was revealed that Watts-Brighthaupt received $20,000 in city contracts after her relationship with Barry began. City Paper‘s Loose Lips columnist (and former Voice EIC!) Mike Debonis got the scoop of the week when he obtained recordings of some of Barry and Watts-Brighthaupt’s phone conversations, leading to the greatest City Paper cover line of our time: “You put me out in Denver ’cause I wouldn’t suck your dick!

Meanwhile, the fallout from the Red Line crash continues. A couple more lawsuits have been filed against WMATA and commuters are getting cranky about the delays and crowding caused by the ongoing investigation. Metro also announced that it is planning a $177 million overhaul of the line to begin in 2010.

After months of fights about whether or not the recognition of same-sex marriages could be put up to a referendum vote and concerns about congressional interference, D.C. officially started to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states at 12:01 a.m. this Tuesday. D.C. Councilmember David Catania (I—At Large) is expected to introduce legislation that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the District soon.

After the jump: Metro’s new “one strike” texting policy, the Onion takes on the Nat’s kiss-cam, the summer youth jobs program is going broke, and more!

A Metro train operator was caught on camera texting, prompting WMATA to implement a new “one strike” texting policy. Now any operator caught texting or using a cell phone will be immediately dismissed.

The Nats’ kiss-cam got some not-so-gentle ribbing courtesy of the Onion‘s “Baseball Fans Delighted By New Between-Innings Fuck-Cam.”

The congressional review of D.C.’s annual Appropriations Bill is always a stressful process since congressmen can attach all sorts of regressive riders to it. Although there was some concern that the gun amendment that doomed the voting rights bill would find its way into the budget, but it passed the House Appropriations committee very smoothly this week. They allowed D.C. to use locally-raised money for abortions and to hold a referendum on medical marijuana—just like a real state!

This year’s D.C. summer youth jobs program—which has a long history of being spectacularly managed—only has enough money to run until July 22nd. With the city facing a $340 million budget shortfall, that may not be quite so easy.

20-year-old Jennifer Bowlin wins the local genius award for getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol twice within the span of five hours.

Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the 5-cent bag fee into law this Tuesday. The fee will take effect this January, so start stocking up on reusable bags!

Six kids managed to escape from the “New Beginnings Youth Development Center,” the newly-opened youth rehabilitation center. The incident is the second successful escape from the center in a little more than a month.

Image via Alex Balk.

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