News & Politics

Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

About Guest List

Guest List is Washingtonian’s monthly roundup of the fantasy cast we’d like to see for dinner this month.

• Silas Kennedy. The senior resident inspector at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland is always responsible for safety at the facility. Now he’ll have to ease nuclear-power jitters in the wake of the catastrophe sweeping Japan. Fortunately, Calvert Cliffs isn’t near an earthquake fault line, and it has a different reactor design. But it’s hard to blame residents in the evacuation zone if they’re feeling antsier than usual.

• Muriel Sue Kerr. The former secretary at the Veterans of World War I of the USA chapter just lost her final member: Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of the war, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. From her years of helping aging military retirees, we’re sure Kerr has a wealth of knowledge about how to treat veterans—and how to handle the elderly—that the military and the rest of us could learn from.

• Gray Delany. What is it with Virginia college students and Senate races? In 2006, George Allen’s insulting of University of Virginia students S.R. Sidarth may have cost Allen his Senate seat. This time around, Delany, a University of Richmond student, claims that former Democratic governor Tim Kaine has confirmed he’s definitely running against Allen for the Senate in 2012, a claim Kaine’s camp denies. Lesson for Virginia politicians: Stay away from college kids, at least at sensitive moments. You want them at the polls, not in the news cycle.

• Mary Levy. Former DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has complained that the District’s schools bureaucracy hindered reform and that she shrank the size of the office under her control. But Levy, a city budget analyst, says the system’s central office actually grew under Rhee. As newly appointed chancellor Kaya Henderson moves forward with changes to the city’s education system, she might do well to talk to Levy about what the central office has—and what it actually needs.

• Sam Gray. The captain of Fairfax’s Urban Search and Rescue team is working far from home—in Ofunato, Japan, helping the city find residents who are still missing after the country’s massive earthquake. Once he’s back, we’ll be curious to hear what he learned from the disaster and whether there are lessons in architecture or disaster preparedness for the Washington area.

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