Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight
• Beatriz Otero. The founder of Columbia Heights’ CentroNia education center, Otero is about to take the leap from a grassroots organization founded out of a church basement in 1986 into city government as DC mayor Vincent Gray appoints her deputy mayor for health and human services. Otero’s appointment is a return to the deputy-mayor system that former mayor Adrian Fenty largely abandoned and is a bold move by the Gray administration, which is choosing someone with roots in the community rather than a medical degree to oversee an important health portfolio. We’d love to hear what Otero has learned during 25 years of dramatic change in Columbia Heights and what it’s taught her about the District’s needs.
• Lynn Hampton. Even as low-priced airline JetBlue has come to Reagan National Airport, Dulles Airport just placed ninth on a list of the country’s most expensive places to fly from. As president of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Hampton can’t be thrilled with that news. Public transportation to Dulles may make it easier for travelers to fly from there, but what if the fares don’t prove worth the trip?
• Michael Mann. The former University of Virginia climate scientist (now at Penn State) is at the center of a tussle between the Virginia legislature and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli wants to subpoena Mann’s e-mails to investigate some of the grants he received for his climate-change work, but yesterday the Virginia Senate voted to block him from issuing civil subpoenas for academic work. The bill will probably fail in the Virginia House, but the debate sets up Virginia as a hot spot for debates over academic freedom.
• Rachel Warren. The regional representative for Pabst is helping bring back National Bohemian to the area’s bars. Since 1996, the iconic brand, which once shared an owner with the Baltimore Orioles, has been available only in cans and bottles. Now it’s back in drafts, and drinkers are all over the Washington area are apparently emptying kegs at a record pace. We’ll raise a glass to that.