Tasty Morning Bytes: Washington is Expensive, D.C.’s Luxury SVUs and a Lost Good Samaritan

Good morning, DCentric readers! In honor of the SOTU, today’s breakfast links have a “Washington” -flavor:

Family of slain D.C. teen met with her alleged killer “…a man they spoke with was allegedly responsible for her death. In an amazing twist, ABC7 shot footage of Frazier’s family last summer talking with Brain Gaither, the 23-year-old man accused of killing their daughter. The footage was taken while the family was searching in SE D.C. for Frazier, who went missing on Aug. 4. The footage shows the suspect dressed in a white t-shirt with his arm around Frazier’s mother as if to comfort her. He even offers to allow the family to search through his apartment on the 1700 block of Trenton Place SE.” (tbd.com)

Ellmers uses congressional health insurance because Washington is very expensive “Although Rep. Renee Ellmers campaigned last fall as an ardent opponent of the new health care law passed by Congress, she was not reticent about taking advantage the health plan offered to members of Congress…“Unfortunately, being here in Washington is very expensive,” said Ellmers. “Yes we do have a salary and we do have benefits. It costs a lot of money to be here. I’ve signed on to the private plan, just like so many in America are on. The benefit is available to me. People need to understand out there it costs a lot money to be here in Congress.” Ellmers, a nurse who is married to a physician, makes a congressional salary of $174,000 per year.” (newsobserver.com)

What Else Could Gray and Brown’s Lincoln Navigator Leases Pay For? “…both Mayor Vince Gray and Council Chair Kwame Brown are utilizing city-funded transportation — luxury SUVs, which, if the vehicle’s manufacturer’s website is to be believed, come with an option for including rain-sensing wipers. Suderman reports that the vehicles, leased by the police department’s “executive protection unit,” cost $1,941 (Gray) and $1,963.28 (Brown) per month — and that the Department of Public Works didn’t put an order in for the vehicles until too close to Gray and Brown’s swearing-ins on January 2, which cost taxpayers another $1,600 in expedited shipping fees.” (DCist)

Random act of violence claims Good Samaritan’s life “Bill Mitchell was the kind of man who stepped up instead of shying away, the kind of person who would help someone even if he didn’t know them, his friends and family say. So on Wednesday night, after he had seen the play “Cymbeline” at the Shakespeare Theatre with his mother, he hopped on the Metro to the New York Avenue Station, walked home along North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue NW and saw a woman who needed help. Mitchell, 33, got involved. He exchanged words and possibly tussled with an unknown assailant who was hassling the woman and who then shot and killed Mitchell.” (The Washington Post)

Boehner: D.C. vouchers test of bipartisanship “The day after President Barack Obama makes education a centerpiece of his State of the Union address, House Speaker John Boehner will try to force his hand on the issue of school vouchers in Washington, D.C. as a test of the White House’s commitment to bipartisanship. The Ohio Republican, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), will introduce legislation on Wednesday to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, the speaker’s office said Monday, making a school voucher initiative that Democrats, including Obama, have strongly opposed as a bargaining chip…” (politico.com)

What happens when the man who can explain everything looks Black? “A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell decided to let his hair grow longer, going back to the hairstyle he had as a kid growing up in Canada. “I’m of mixed race,” the writer said, “and the minute I began to look more like people’s stereotype of a black male, (and) have a big Afro, I got stopped by police, and when I went through customs at the airport, I would always get pulled out. I was getting speeding tickets left and right; it was really kind of a striking transformation in the way the world viewed me. Even though I was exactly the same person, once I had longer hair the world saw me as being profoundly different,”…” (cnn.com)