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Top Stories With Washington Post Columnist Robert McCartney

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Testimony Begins On Gray Administration's Hiring Practices

Hearings on the hiring practices in the Gray administration started this week in the D.C. Three officials said Gerri Mason Hall, Gray's former chief of staff,, was determined to get a job for former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown. The officials' statements tend to support Brown's allegations that he was promised a job in 2010 in return for attacking then incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty.

McCartney said Brown's own credibility suffered as details emerged about why he was fired, including poor performance and erratic behavior.

On the question of nepotism, "it was clear...the mayor's office ignored concerns that were raised about actual or apparent nepotism and that they were concerned about getting maximum pay for political supporters rather than trying to save taxpayers' money," McCartney said.

Hall, who will testify about Brown's hiring, is also a part of the council's probe on nepotism. Hall's son, Nicholas, was hired as a writer/editor in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

"To the extent that there was any good news," he said, "all but one of the offspring of Gray officials or supporters has already been pushed out."

There will be another hearing on April 7 and possibly a third on April 11. Still to testify are Brown himself, Hall and Lorraine Green, chair of the campaign and transition.

Virginia Governor Vetoes, Amends A Number Of Bills

McCartney says McDonnell may be getting ready for running for national office by visibly enforcing conservative principles: The governor has vetoed four bills this year, when he didn't veto any his first year in office. McDonnell has made amendments to several other bills, including the recent [autism insurance legislation]http://wamu.org/news/11/03/30/virginiagovernorsignsautisminsurancebillproposes_changes.php).

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A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

The office has long been seen as a symbol of boredom: It's a killer of spirits, a destroyer of spontaneity. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says a new book brings out its entertaining side.
NPR

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
WAMU 88.5

On National Mall, Native Americans Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

Native Americans from across the country are visiting Washington this week to protest the construction of a controversial pipeline in the Midwest.
NPR

Life Outside The Fast Lane: Startups Wary Of Web Traffic Plan

The Federal Communications Commission's proposal would let Web companies pay for faster access. But entrepreneurs, like Reddit's co-founder, are wondering how they would have fared with such rules.

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