Doctor’s suspicion helps to save family

Mayor targets economy
district from B1 extends to job training. “The fundamental question we face as a city at this moment is whether we will seize our future,” Gray said. “Will we settle for a city where some are increasingly well-off while a large number live nearby in enduring poverty and without opportunity?” After Gray’s speech, an ambulance was called for D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) after he appeared ill. But the call was soon canceled, said D.C. fire/EMS spokesman Lon Walls. Barry, a diabetic, took medicine to control his insulin level, and he was eating at a restaurant late Tuesday, said Joyce Clements-Smith, his chief of staff. In his speech, Gray announced few new initiatives, but he drew applause when he announced the future launch of, a Web site that will allow residents to rate city services and customer service. And he received a standing ovation when he said the city should be able to conduct business without congressional interference. “Yes, we should become a state before the moon does,” he said. Unlike the speech he delivered in March, Gray acknowledged controversies that have saddled his administration. Last year’s speech was fresh on the heels of concerns about questionable hiring and salaries and allegations by former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown that he was paid and landed a city job in return for disparaging then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) in the 2010 primary, on Gray’s behalf. The mayor has denied the accusations, which are the subject of a grand jury investigation. Gray said Tuesday night that he has instituted new hiring policies and has developed an ethics manual. He also noted the


When a Fort Washington father brought his 2-year-old son Monday night to Children’s National Medical Center, worried that the toddler had fallen out of bed, Shireen Atabaki suspected something else was causing the child’s head pain. Besides a headache, the boy was also experiencing dizziness. Atabaki, a medical doctor, questioned the father; he was suffering from a headache and dizziness, too. Atabaki asked the father to call home to his wife and other children. No one answered. The father then called a neighbor who went to the home in the 8300 block of Bernard Drive. The neighbor found four of the five occupants of the house unconscious. Prince George’s County officials said what Atabaki did next probably saved the family’s lives: She had hospital officials call county emergency workers. Firefighters and EMS personnel arrived at the home about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and quickly sent them by helicopter to a Baltimore hospital, where they were treated with a hyperbaric chamber to speed the removal of carbon monoxide from their blood streams. The entire family was said to be “doing very well” late Tuesday afternoon, a Maryland Shock Trauma Center spokeswoman said. The ages of the children in the home ranged from an infant to a preteen. It took less than two hours after the man brought in his son for the doctors to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The medical staff realized the boy’s injuries were probably the result of “environmental factors” after interviewing the father about his condition and the home. “We were very fortunate to recognize the signs so quickly,” Atabaki said. “It happened just in time.” Firefighters found that carbon monoxide levels in the home had reached 450 parts per million when they arrived at the scene. Anything above 5 parts per million is unhealthy. They discovered that a natural gas furnace in the home was malfunctioning and had probably produced the high levels of carbon monoxide.


D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray greets supporters after his State of the District address at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. In the speech, he said the city should be able to conduct business without congressional interference: “Yes, we should become a state before the moon does.”

“The fundamental question we face as a city at this moment is whether we will seize our future.”
Mayor Vincent C. Gray, in State of the District address

city’s suspension Monday of nearly 90 employees for receiving unemployment benefits while they were working in their city jobs. He added that action would be

taken against 40 former employees who were also receiving benefits in an alleged scheme that has cost the city an estimated $800,000 since 2009. All the current and former employees could face prosecution. “This is a start at earning back people’s trust, and I will work every day to continue to achieve that,” Gray said. The mayor also said his administration is restoring confidence in the city’s finances, recently boasting a $240 million surplus. The Fenty administration was criticized for depleting the city’s “rainy-day fund,” but Gray said the fund is now at $1.5 billion under his leadership. In a veiled reference to a tussle

with council members, including Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D), over how to spend the surplus, Gray warned that the city must remain cautious. “Now, there isn’t a mayor or governor in the country who wouldn’t trade their financial picture for ours in a heartbeat, but we are not there yet,” Gray said. “If things improve, let us all be pleasantly surprised, but I won’t go back to the dark days of spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year from our rainy-day fund.” Following his promise to be more engaged with the public than Fenty, Gray will hold his “One City Summit” on Saturday at the Walter E. Washington

Convention Center. The $600,000 event is expected to draw 1,000 people interested in helping to set the mayor’s agenda and to guide the budget. Gray did not acknowledge open contentiousness from firefighters who staged a mass walkout at Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe’s “state of the department” speech last month to protest a proposal to change from 24-hour to 12hour work shifts. Dozens of firefighters packed the chambers Tuesday and did not applaud during Gray’s speech. Staff writer Tim Craig contributed to this report.

A lesson, through Tubman’s eyes
tubman from B1 herself, Charles E.T. Ross, Tubman’s great-great-great-nephew, told the students, but she kept returning to free others. “There was no better person from a historical standpoint, from an inspirational standpoint,” said Dan Rogoski, general manager of the Presidents Gallery. Tubman’s wax figure is the first new addition to the Presidents Gallery, which features other historical figures besides U.S. presidents, since its opening a year ago. She is in the Civil War room, which also has figures of Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. “It’s definitely keeping her legacy alive,” said Patricia Ross Hawkins, Tubman’s great-great-greatniece. But Tubman didn’t exist in a world of high-definition video and high-resolution photos, so making her come alive through wax was a challenge. Artists in London spent four months on the project, relying on paintings and primitive photographs for guidance, Rogoski said. “I think we came up with a perfect wax figure,” he said. “It feels like she’s leading you through the Underground Railroad.” And her family agreed. They circled around her, taking pictures and wiping away tears, grabbing her outstretched hand and memorizing the wrinkles in her face. “I’ve never felt this connected,” Manokey said. “The only thing she needs now is breath,” Ross added. Tubman’s next likeness could be as a statue in the U.S. Capitol, where a nearly year-long battle has yet to be concluded over whether she should be placed in the renowned National Statuary Hall Collection, taking the place of a current statue of Maryland revolutionary John Hanson. But Tubman’s descendants don’t want the abolitionist to be


Collector admits theft of documents



Barry H. Landau, the once-esteemed collector of presidential memorabilia, admitted in court Tuesday to stealing thousands of documents treasured for their national and cultural significance from historical societies and libraries stretching from Baltimore up the East Coast. Landau’s guilty plea in federal court to two criminal counts involving theft of artwork revealed a scheme in which prosecutors said he compiled lists of items to steal and matched the names of historic icons to their “potential monetary value.” Authorities said that Landau, 63, used various means to distract librarians and staffers in four states, sometimes with cupcakes but also by using aliases. He and his assistant concealed documents in secret pockets sewn into jackets and sandpapered off identifying marks. The FBI found 10,000 papers and “objects of cultural heritage” during searches of Landau’s apartment in New York. Court documents say that investigators traced 4,000 of the items “as being stolen from libraries and repositories throughout” America. Federal prosecutors have described the scope of the thefts as “truly breathtaking,” with stolen documents ranging from a 15thcentury manuscript from Lorenzo de Medici to three inaugural addresses delivered by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, 1941 and 1945, with the former president’s handwritten notes and corrections.
— Baltimore Sun

Students from Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Northwest wait to have their photo taken with the wax version of the abolitionist, which was unveiled Tuesday at Madame Tussauds. Artists used paintings and primitive photographs for guidance in creating the piece. I For more photos, visit

recognized at the expense of anyone else. “What if I was that person’s

relative?” Ross said. “How would I feel if Harriet was there and they wanted to remove her? There’s so

many other places they can put her.”

D.C. will lose millions in revenue, opponents of law’s repeal say
gaming from B1 turn to the Internet to gamble. “It’s the residents who lose, including residents who play every day now and will be left unprotected,” Brown said. The council’s action came on the same day that members unanimously agreed to impose a moratorium on adult entertainment in Northeast Washington, reviving a debate about where strip clubs should be located. When Internet gambling was approved, supporters were optimistic that they had avoided a similar cultural divide, which torpedoed proposals to legalize slot machines in the District nearly a decade ago. Internet gaming was quietly added to the city’s lottery contract more than three months after the contract passed a 2009 council vote; it was legalized as part of a 2010 spending bill. Congress, which gets to review all District laws, did not object. But the new law became entangled in a broader controversy about how the council and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) managed the city’s lottery contract, driving gambling opponents to push for repeal. In a report last month, city Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby concluded that Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi added Internet gambling to the lottery program without issuing a written notice that the contract requirements had changed and allowing another round of bids from interested companies. The report also said Brown pursued Internet gambling even though he was working as a lobbyist at a law firm whose clients included members of the gaming industry. Although Willoughby concluded that Brown did not violate any law, he questioned why the council member did not more broadly disclose the potential public conflict. “The train crashed, and we need to regroup to slow this down,” said Marie Drissel, a political activist from Kalorama who led the opposition. During Tuesday’s debate, several council members signaled they were not aware of what they were voting on when they approved the budget provision that authorized Internet gambling. “They didn’t even use the word ‘Internet gambling,’ ” Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said. “They used the word ‘I-gambling.’ . . . We decided as a city that we didn’t want slots. . . . It has to go through a public process. This didn’t go through a public process, but it’s slots.” But council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who along with Brown voted against repeal, derided his colleagues who suggested that they did not know what Internet gambling was when the council approved it. “What kind of legislature are you?” Barry asked. You’re “giving the public the impression you didn’t know what you voted for. This council already has a low approval rating . . . and you are telling me you didn’t know you voted on something?” To try to salvage the law, Brown was willing to scrap the city’s contract for iGaming with Intralot while preserving the legislation that permits online gambling. Brown said it’s unclear whether Congress would reauthorize Internet gambling. He has also raised concerns that “casino interests” are trying to federalize Internet gambling in the District. The repeal, which Gray supports, will cost the city $13.1 million in revenue through September 2015, by some estimates. Brown said iGaming would have generated more than $100 million for the city over 15 years. City officials are working to identify new revenue or spending cuts to account for the change, but there could be some ramifications to Tuesday’s vote. Although city taxpayers have yet to spend a dime on developing the program, its lottery contractor, Intralot, has spent more than $5 million preparing an iGaming system. It’s possible the company could sue to recoup its costs. Byron Boothe, a spokesman for Intralot, declined to comment on possible litigation but said the company was “disappointed in the council vote.” He said the company will work with the city to create “new state-of-the-art technology and city jobs.” The vote on strip clubs also originated from residents’ concerns that they don’t have enough say over policies. Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), the sponsor of the legislation, said four pending adult entertainment licenses and several planned medical marijuana cultivation centers slated near New York Avenue NE were becoming “a nightmare” for residents. With Northeast one of the few areas of the city zoned to accommodate adult entertainment, the council’s decision could further hinder efforts to reopen businesses displaced by the construction of Nationals Park. “They are immoral,” said Sandra Shedrick-Moens, who attended the meeting with dozens of her neighbors sporting “No More Strip Club” T-shirts. Staff writer Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.