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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing Development

Plaza West, DC’s first ‘grandfamilies’ project, will deliver over 220 affordable housing units for seniors, families in Ward 6

Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials broke ground on Plaza West, a Ward 6 development that will bring 223 units of affordable housing for seniors and families in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. This unique $84 million development project will provide 50 housing units for “grandfamilies” (grandparents raising grandchildren), the first project of its kind in the District.  

“I believe that every single Washingtonian deserves a fair shot and access to quality affordable housing – regardless of zip code or age,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Seniors built this great city, and they deserve affordable, quality housing so that they can always call the District ‘home.’ Plaza West shows us what is possible when we work together to make affordable a reality for DC families and our most vulnerable residents.”

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Plaza West is part of the first annual “June Housing Bloom,” Mayor Bowser’s month-long initiative that showcases how the public and private sectors are partnering to produce and preserve affordable housing, and revitalize neighborhoods across the District.

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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Improves to 6.1 Percent Citywide

Unemployment rate in Ward 8 hits lowest in more than a decade

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported today that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in May – down 0.3 percentage points from the reported April unemployment rate.  The unemployment rates in Ward 7 and Ward 8 continue to show significant decline, demonstrating a 0.4 and 0.7 percent drop since April.

In Ward 7, the unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, the lowest since 2007. In Ward 8, the unemployment rate is currently 11.3 percent, the lowest since at least 2002 when the data was first calculated by Ward.

“My Administration is working each and every day to ensure that all Washingtonians are getting a fair shot in our city,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are encouraged by the most recent jobs numbers, particularly in Wards 7 and 8 where we know the opportunity gap is most significant. Today’s report demonstrates that our city is on the right path to ensure that District residents have the tools and skills they need to land good paying jobs, setting them on a pathway to the middle class.”

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Events DC to Host Olympic Day DC in Celebration of the 2016 Summer Olympics

#OlympicDayDC will Promote the Olympic Movement with Local Athlete Appearances and Interactive Sports Experiences at CityCenterDC on Friday, June 24

 On Friday, June 24, Events DC will host Olympic Day DC in celebration of the upcoming 2016 Sumer Olympics and will showcase interactive sports experiences for residents to enjoy.  The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at CityCenterDC, located on I St. between 10th and 11th street on the pavilion. 

Olympic Day DC will feature local athlete appearances and interactive sports experiences from pole vaulting and power lifting to wrestling, boxing, fencing and Paralympic basketball.  The event is designed to educate and excite local residents and visitors, while promoting the ideals of the Olympic movement. 

This event is one of more than 2,000 Olympic Day events taking place nationwide during the month of June, supported by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and around the world. There are over 160 countries that take part in the annual celebration. Olympic Day, created in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, focuses on the Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship.


DC Council Approves Lifesaving Hands-Only CPR in Schools Bill in Budget Support Act

American Heart Association celebrates a law which will teach DC students CPR, adding thousands of lifesavers in DC each year.

Students in the District of Columbia will learn Hands Only CPR in high school health classes, beginning in October. The DC Council included the CPR training language in the 2017 Budget Support Act, which also requires an automated external defibrillator at all schools in the District. In May, the Council appropriated $325,000 to purchase AEDs.

Every hour in the U.S. approximately 38 people will have a cardiac arrest event outside of the hospital – more than 326.000 each year. Nine out of ten people will not survive. However, if lifesaving CPR is performed, a victim’s chance of surviving can double, or even triple. This essential life skill will be incorporated into the high school health education curriculum and will ultimately benefit countless families by increasing the number of people with CPR proficiency. In DC, over 3,000 students graduate from public and charter high schools every year – that is 3,000 lifesavers.

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District Government Adopts New Lead Testing Policy

District agencies will support newly released American Academy of Pediatrics action threshold

Deputy City Administrator Kevin Donahue announced that the Department of General Services will move to incorporate a 1 PPB (part-per-billion) action level for lead tests on drinking water sources in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) centers. The effort comes on the heels of last week’s report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity, that lead testing resulting in a reading of more than 1 PPB should be immediately remediated.

“Lead exposure in children is preventable, and we will be working diligently to set policy at our facilities that goes far beyond EPA standards,” said Kevin Donahue, Deputy City Administrator. “By investing the time, training, and resources to follow the new recommendations outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, we will ensure that the District continues to do everything it can to protect our children, and limit students’ exposure to lead.”

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Interior Department Supported $106 Billion in Recreation, Conservation, Water and Renewable Energy Investments

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell  released the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2015. The report highlights that Interior investments in recreation, conservation, water and renewable energy led to $106 billion in economic output, and supported 862,000 jobs. Interior’s activities related to fossil fuel extraction and mining also contributed $179 billion to the national economy, down from $241 billion from the prior year due to market forces and commodity price reductions.

The report found that national parks, national wildlife refuges, national monuments and other public lands managed by Interior hosted an estimated 443 million recreational visits in 2015 – up from 423 million in 2014 – and that these visits alone supported $45 billion in economic output and about 396,000 jobs nationwide.

“This report sends a strong signal to everyone that the Department of the Interior is a powerful, indispensable economic engine,” Secretary Jewell said. “Our parks and other public lands support outdoor recreation, promote renewable energy and allow us to harness other domestic energy resources, create jobs and promote economic development in communities across the nation.”

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HHS awards $1,050,000 to health centers in Washington D.C. to expand oral health services

 Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $1,050,000 in funding to support three health centers in Washington D.C.. The funding will increase access to integrated oral health care services and improve oral health outcomes for Health Center Program patients. Nationwide, today’s announcement includes nearly $156 million in funding to support 420 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This funding enables health centers to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served.

With these awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers across the country will increase their oral health service capacity by hiring approximately 1,600 new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides, and technicians to treat nearly 785,000 new patients.

“Oral health is an important part of our overall physical health and well-being,” said Secretary Burwell. “The funding we are awarding will reduce barriers to quality dental care for hundreds of thousands of Americans by bringing new oral health providers to health centers across the country.”

Oral health problems can be a sign of illness elsewhere in the body. Additionally, lack of access to preventive and routine dental care for underserved populations can result in dental conditions requiring more costly emergency dental treatment.

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( — Diverse women across the country have been challenged to take 10,000 steps a day and limit their added sugar intake to 24 grams a day through Go Red Get Fit and it’s proven to be an effective small step toward healthy living. The results of the challenge have been so contagious that thousands of women have now joined Go Red Get Fit and are taking a stand to be healthy, fit and beat heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women.

Now, the year-long initiative is challenging women to get 30 minutes of cardio per day, at least five days per week, and when making beverage choices, strive to choose water over sugary drinks 100 percent of the time.

Go Red Get Fit is a part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign. As the founding national sponsor, Macy’s has helped to raise more than $55 million for the cause since 2004. Women participate in quarterly challenges by joining the Go Red Get Fit Facebook group. Each challenge lasts about 12-weeks, in an effort to turn a behavior into a habit, and are designed to achieve the best opportunity for a healthy lifestyle. The challenges are:

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U.S. Department of Transportation Partners with DC Solar for Smart City Challenge

Winning city to receive $1.5 million in mobile solar technology

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently announced that DC Solar Solutions, the largest manufacturer of mobile solar technology in the U.S., has become a partner in the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)’s Smart City Challenge. The Smart City Challenge is a competition which will create a fully integrated, first-of-its-kind city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future.  Under the partnership, DC Solar will offer the winning city $1.5 million worth of electric vehicle chargers and mobile solar generators in order to help define what it means to be a “Smart City” and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies.

In addition to offering $1.5 million in mobile solar products to the winning city, DC Solar will assist all seven finalist cities in building strategies for electric vehicle charging infrastructure to encourage and facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles by individuals, businesses and municipalities. Furthermore, DC Solar will help these cities identify applications for its low-cost mobile solar technology, including the upgrading of off-grid power generators from diesel to solar.

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Black, Hispanic Families Still Falling Behind

If they had fared as well as white families, black and Hispanic families would have earned $1,400 more in 2014

Black and Hispanic families continue to face a stark economic reality, according to a new Center for American Progress report released today, leading nearly 90 percent of black and Hispanic women voters in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia to view economic security as one of the most important issues in the upcoming election. While they stand to have an unprecedented impact on the upcoming election, black and Hispanic families have fallen far behind their white counterparts, with gaps in median household income increasing in recent years—to $24,000 for black families and $17,000 for Hispanic families—and still continuing to grow. If black and Hispanic median income had fared as well as its white counterpart, these families would have seen $1,400 more in yearly income in 2014.

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Harris Teeter Shoppers Donate Nearly $800,000 to USO

Company Thanks Customers for Generous Participation during Support Our Troops Campaign

Harris Teeter announced today it is donating nearly $800,000 to the USO, an organization dedicated to supporting America’s service members and their families. The donation was made possible thanks to generous contributions from Harris Teeter shoppers and valued associates during the Company’s fifth annual Support Our Troops donation card campaign.

Harris Teeter hosted the donation card campaign throughout the month of May by inviting shoppers to donate $1, $3 or $5 to the USO at checkout.  The $800,000 donation announced today brings the total amount through Support Our Troops since the campaign’s inception in 2012 to over $3.68 million.

The money contributed by Harris Teeter’s shoppers and valued associates will help fund important programs and services for our active duty, retired and wounded service members, as well as their families. One-hundred percent of all funds collected during the campaign will be allocated to local USO chapters throughout the areas in which Harris Teeter does business.

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Secretary Jewell Announces $452 Million in Payments to Local Communities to Support Vital Services in Rural Communities

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to rural communities, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced more than 1,900 local governments around the country are receiving a total of $451.6 million under the 2016 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

The payments represent the largest amount ever allocated under the PILT program to compensate counties and local governments for their support of national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands and waters as they forego property taxes due to non-taxable federal land in their jurisdictions. A full list of funding by state and county is available at

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( — A new partnership has been established between Merck, a global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, and, the largest social network and career site targeting the students, faculty, and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The partnership is designed to introduce graduating seniors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to Merck’s Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program is an entry-level program designed to create a pipeline of emerging talent who can prepare for leadership positions of increasing responsibility and visibility within key divisions of Merck’s business.

“Merck is a great company with great opportunities. They just needed a channel to communicate these excellent opportunities to the many talented students coming out of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Will Moss, founder and CEO of “These are the types of opportunities that are especially important for us to communicate within the African American and HBCU community, because they are opportunities that transform into leadership positions within a global company! We should be striving for these types of opportunities that offer great pay, great experience, and great exposure.”

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Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Since May 2008

Commonwealth’s Annual Gross Domestic Product Grew at Highest Rate Since 2010

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percent in May and is now at 3.8 percent—the lowest rate since the May 2008 rate of 3.8 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which fell 0.3 percentage points in May to 4.7 percent. 

In May, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 3,902,400 jobs. Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth of 1.8 percent surpassed the national growth rate, which was 1.7 percent. For the eighth consecutive month, over-the-year growth in the Commonwealth has surpassed the national growth rate.

Virginia was tied for the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states and had the fourth best rate among the states east of the Mississippi.

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Get ready for a summer of international fun for everyone!

The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center Celebrates Art, History, and Culture with a Summer Series for the Entire Family

In celebration of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024): “Recognition, justice and development”, The Prince George’s African American Museum is proud to announce ‘Celebrating Black Arts and Culture’, a series of fun, interactive, and educational public programs designed to honor the cultural and artistic contributions of people of African Descent.

The International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) is a timely and unique opportunity to underline the important contributions made by the people of African Descent to our societies and to propose concrete measures to promote equality and to combat discrimination of any kind. [i] PGAAMCC has partnered with different organizations throughout the county to develop culturally-rich programming to encourage community engagement and celebrate cultural diversity.

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Maryland Issuing New Secure Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards

New Cards Incorporate Cutting-Edge Security Features to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)  started issuing  the new secure driver’s license and identification (ID) card on Monday, June 20, for all learner’s permits and new ID cards, and for licenses/ID cards renewed via web, kiosk and U.S. mail.  These are all products currently printed and mailed to customers from a high-security MVA facility.  The new cards feature multiple layers of security to help prevent identity theft and fraud and will arrive in the mail within 7 to 10 business days.  If a customer’s current license or ID is valid and not up for renewal, there is nothing they need to do until it’s time to renew.

“We have engaged in an extensive public outreach campaign to ensure customers, law enforcement, veterans and businesses are aware of the new secure cards and secure printing and mailing process,” said MVA Administrator Christine E. Nizer.  “Printing and mailing cards from a central location enhances security by limiting access to card materials, equipment and personal information.”

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Maryland Department of Transportation’s MTA Debuts 
New Express BusLink Service

New Routes to Improve Suburb-to-Suburb Connectivity, Significantly Reduce Travel Time & Better Link Baltimore Region Residents to Jobs, Other Transit Modes and Life’s Opportunities

Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn praised the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) for launching Express BusLink  as the first new service offered as part of BaltimoreLink. Governor Larry Hogan announced the $135 million transit improvement plan in October 2015 to create an integrated transit system that is easy-to-use and better connects people to jobs, entertainment centers and other transit modes. Express BusLink will greatly improve suburb-to-suburb connectivity. Deputy Transportation Secretary James F. Ports, Jr., and MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort joined media on a ride-along today to officially launch Express BusLink service in the Baltimore region.

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School is out, the weather is great and The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is your go-to place for fun family adventures this summer! Daily, zoogoers can watch the penguin feedings, ride the camels, feed a giraffe and talk to the keepers during Keeper Chats. 

On Saturdays through September 3rd, we offer a free shuttle from the Inner Harbor Visitor Center to the Zoo and back! Leave the driving to us, and enjoy some time in beautiful Druid Hill Park. Check our website,, for details on these and other upcoming events!


JUNE 2610:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.Zoo grounds

Come to the Zoo for a day of special animal enrichment! Watch as the Zoo’s animals receive special treats, such as bags filled with hay and produce, icy fish and fruit treats, as well as paper mache toys filled with fruits and nuts, and listen as zookeepers explain the importance of enrichment activities. Guests can also help make some of these amazing treats alongside our volunteers!

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Teen Photographs Display Thursday, June 23 | 2 – 3 p.m. | Kogod Courtyard

What do photographs say about a person? Find out how teens participating in the IMAGINE=IMAGE Teen Workshop create portraits that reflect key aspects of what makes them who they are. These images expand on ideas seen on the National Portrait Gallery’s walls.


Recycle Your Room Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers and Receive $25 from BGE

Drop off working appliances June 25 at the Columbia SportsPark

BGE will hold a recycling drop-off event in Columbia, Md., this Saturday where BGE customers can drop off their old working room A/C units and dehumidifiers for recycling. For each appliance recycled, customers will receive a $25 reward from the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program® for up to two air conditioning units and/or dehumidifiers per residential account.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Columbia SportsPark, located at 5453 Harpers Farm Road in Columbia. The event will be held rain or shine, and BGE representatives will be on hand to unload the eligible appliances from customers’ vehicles.

Units must be in working condition to be eligible. Customers will receive a check for $25 in the mail approximately four to six weeks after the event. More information is available at /RecycleMyAC or by calling 866.898.1901.

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Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces 2016-17 Season

José-Luis Novo Conducts Symphonic Masterworks Midori Leads Stellar Lineup of Soloists

The Annapolis Symphony is pleased to announce its 2016-2017 season, entitled “The Triumph of Music.” The season will open on September 30 and October 1 with a celebration before and after the pair of concerts featuring superstar violinist MIDORI.

The core of the season comprises five “Masterworks” concerts, each performed twice. This season, Symphony’s 55th, is inspired by the art of Marc Chagall, in celebration of the 130th anniversary of his birth. Two of his works in particular inspired the choice of pieces: the ceiling Chagall painted at the Paris Opéra Garnier, and his murals at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, called “The Triumph of Music,” the source of the season’s title.

The Symphony is honored and delighted to welcome Midori as our opening night soloist. A brilliant virtuoso and a passionate music educator, Midori has founded several internationally-recognized programs which bring classical music education to children and youth, especially from communities with little or no access to the arts.

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Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland selected to participate in 2016 Repair Corps program to help local veterans

Habitat for Humanity and The Home Depot Foundation partner to help build or repair homes of U.S. military veterans and their families through Habitat’s Repair Corps program

Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland has been selected to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Repair Corps program, an initiative funded by The Home Depot Foundation to help build, rehabilitate or repair homes in partnership with U.S. military veterans and their families.

Metro Maryland is one of  more than 45 communities across the country that will partricipate in more than 200 projects slated to take place as part of the 2016 program.

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Mayor Bowser Announces New Program to Improve Housing Conditions in the District

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new pilot program to ensure all multi-family rental properties are safe and healthy. Great Spaces, Healthy Places, a partnership between the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), will improve housing conditions in the District by offering renovation loans for eligible owners to improve living conditions and eliminate safety and environmental hazards on their property.

“Producing, preserving, and protecting affordable housing in the District is a top priority,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Great Spaces, Healthy Places program will support our residents by helping property owners maintain and improve housing units. Working together, we will ensure that every single Washingtonian has access to an affordable, dignified, and safe place to call home.”

The first stage of the Great Spaces, Healthy Places pilot program will kick off in Ward 8 and will run through September 30, 2016. DCRA has already begun proactive, building-wide inspections as a part of this pilot program.

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DISB Encourages Residents to Report Financial Fraud and Abuse of Elders

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) urges residents to value and protect District of Columbia seniors by reporting possible financial fraud or exploitation.

“The growing senior population in the District has unfortunately been increasingly targeted for financial and other types of abuse,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “Help us protect our city’s seniors by reporting elder abuse. Anyone can – and should – report abuse of an elderly person, whether it is physical, emotional or financial.”

Although elder abuse comes in many forms – physical, financial, emotional, neglect or abandonment, financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse costing its victims an estimated $2.9 billion a year according to the Investor Protection Trust. Every year, an estimated 5 million or one in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, and many cases go unreported.

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Strike Force Presents Mayor Bowser with Six Recommendations to Preserve Affordable Housing

Strategies Include New Programs and Funding for Property Investments, Tenants

The DC Housing Preservation Strike Force unveiled six recommendations to Mayor Muriel Bowser and other stakeholders on how the District can preserve its existing supply of affordable housing.

“I charged the strike force with coming up with an action plan to help preserve affordable housing units in the District, and am pleased to hear these recommendations,” said Mayor Bowser. “I am looking forward to reading the formal report at the end of the month so my Administration can begin taking next steps that ensure we preserve our existing supply of affordable housing and capitalize on other opportunities to protect our affordable housing stock.”

The six recommendations were announced during the 8th Annual Housing Expo and Home Show as a part of June Housing Bloom, the mayor’s month-long initiative showcasing how the public and private sectors are partnering to produce and preserve affordable housing, and revitalize neighborhoods across the District. The recommendations will form the basis of a final report that the Mayor will receive by June 30, 2016.

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DISB Exempts Private Fund Advisers from Licensing Requirements

New order provides new regulatory relief to support investing in local businesses

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) issued an order that exempts certain investment advisers to private funds from the District’s securities licensing requirements.

“Providing a regulatory environment that fosters business growth and opportunity in the District of Columbia is a major goal of DISB,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “This action is another way DISB is modernizing its regulations to allow for growth and investment in the District without unduly burdening our small and local business community.”

Previously, DISB had granted temporary licensing exemptions to this group of advisers with between $100 million and $150 million in assets under management. This action makes the regulatory relief permanent and extends it to private fund advisers with less than $100 million in assets under management. In addition, this new exemption enables District private fund advisers to compete better with those in other local jurisdictions.

In February, DISB took a similar regulatory relief action exempting small venture capital fund investment advisers from District securities licensing requirements.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Approves U.S. Airlines To Begin Scheduled Service to Cuba

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved six domestic airlines to begin scheduled flights between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis/St. Paul and Cuba as early as this fall. 

“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”

On February 16, 2016, Secretary Foxx and Department of State Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin signed a non-legally-binding arrangement to re-establish scheduled air service between the two countries.  At the time of the signing, the administration announced that scheduled service would begin later in 2016.

The carriers receiving the awards are American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.

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Photo Credit: Maggie Kloss/Maggie Kloss Photography

( — Tom Joyner, chairman of the Dallas-based nonprofit that helps support historically black colleges and universities, led a historic trip to Havana, Cuba where he led a group of HBCU presidents who explored global exchange and research opportunities for students and faculty in Cuba.

Joyner, the nationally syndicated radio personality, and his son, Thomas Joyner, Jr., the foundation’s president and CEO, lead the four-day mission that took place from May 28 to June 1. Presidents of the following HBCUs participated: John Rudley, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas; Raymond Burse, Ph.D., Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Ky.; Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, Ph.D., Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio; Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D. Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.; and Lester Newman, Jr., Ph.D., Jarvis Christian University, Hawkins, Texas. Michael O. Adams, Ph.D., director, Executive Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Administration also participated. Texas Sen. Royce West, a member of the Foundation’s board, also joined the delegation. During a series of presentations, conversations and meetings, the group visited with representatives from the Ministry of Education, the University of Havana and the Superior Polytechnic School Institute.

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Small Area Fair Market Rents would re-calculate rental subsidies in qualifying metro areas

More than two million American households depend upon the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program to find suitable affordable rental housing.  Yet in some metropolitan areas, the choices these families have about where they live are severely limited, placing high-opportunity neighborhoods out of reach, in part because of the current method of calculating their rental assistance.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing a new method to recalculate rental subsidies in a manner that would expand neighborhood options for households living in these particularly restrictive housing markets. 

For the next 60 days, HUD is accepting public comment on a proposal to change the geography it uses to calculate so-called Fair Market Rents (FMRs).  In these areas, HUD is proposing to transition from a metropolitan area-wide approach to setting FMRs down to the zip code level as a means to expand the options these families have to live in lower poverty neighborhoods. If instituted today, this ‘Small Area Fair Market Rent’ approach would impact 31 metropolitan areas (see list below, though the final list may change). Read HUD’s Proposed Rule. 

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Mayor Muriel Bowser Announces Proposed Changes to Training Requirements for Special Police Officers

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier, and Director of the Department of Consumer of Regulatory Affairs Melinda Bolling announced proposed changes to the training requirements for all commissioned special police officers (SPOs) in the District.

During the announcement, Mayor Bowser also paid tribute to Stephen T. Johns, an SPO at the Holocaust Museum killed on June 10, 2009, during an attack on the museum. The shooter was then subdued by two other special police officers, Harry Weeks and Jason “Mac” McCuiston.

 “Our special police officers are often the first line of defense in an emergency. With our growing and changing community, it is critical that they have the knowledge and training to handle real-world scenarios,” said Mayor Bowser. “These proposed changes to the regulations will equip them with the skill sets they need to not only protect us, but also protect themselves from danger.”

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Principal and students from LaSalle Elementary School receiving school supplies

( — 35 volunteers of Friendship Association Education Assistance, Inc., (FAEA) celebrate 20 years of collaborative giving, supporting teachers and renovating schools and invite the community to discover the joy of helping underprivileged students receive a good education.

In 1986, the Nigerian Friendship Association (NigFA), a nonprofit organization, was formed by Nigerian students and professionals. In 1996, NigFA members established FAEA, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the goal of operating exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.

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Flex Office Space as one of the “Best Co-Working Spaces for Entrepreneurs of Color-2016” in the Washington DC area!

Flex Office Space is a compendium of five work-ready coworking and virtual office locations all along the H Street, NE corridor in the Atlas District. Flex offices are contemporary loft style space and a great place for a business to quickly establish a professional presence.  Flex offers everything from private offices to group work space to modern conference areas to virtual memberships.  Everything a freelancer or entrepreneur of small business needs to establish a presence is included in our plans – reception, dedicated phone number, mail handing, WiFi, Internet, event space, printing plus all the utilitarian needs like cleaning and maintenance.  We really try to make this a one stop, come on in and get to work space.

A great advantage that Flex offers our clients is our address which is in a dedicated HUB Zone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) opening the door to preferential consideration when bidding government jobs.

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Golf Tournament raises $138,000 for Affordable Housing in Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties

Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland holds 11th Annual Golf Classic

On Friday, June 3, 2016, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland (HFHMM) held their 11th Annual Golf Classic at the Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Maryland. The nearly $138,000 in proceeds raised from the event will directly help HFHMM continue its work of building decent & affordable housing for low-income families in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.  This year’s event included an 18-hole round of golf at Whiskey Creek’s award winning course, several golf contests, a silent auction, and a barbeque dinner. The funds raised from this year’s golf classic will be invested in rebuilding and revitalizing vacant foreclosed homes in Prince George’s County.


BGE to Conduct Tree Trimming and Vegetation Management to Help Ensure Continued Reliable Electric Service for Bowie Customers

Work starting in mid-June addresses vegetation along 96 miles of power lines in the city

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) customers in the city of Bowie will notice tree trimming and vegetation management operations taking place along overhead power lines in the city, beginning in mid-June and continuing through late fall in an effort to continue the improvements made by the Bowie Electric Reliability Action Plan (BERAP) that was completed back in 2010.  BGE has seen improvements in the reduced frequency and shorter duration of service interruptions across its service area in recent years, a reliability trend that continues for customers in Bowie.

In 2016, BGE will spend nearly $27 million on vegetation management along approximately 2,300 miles of overhead power lines throughout its service area.  The pruning and removal of trees helps to prevent outages over BGE’s 10,500 miles of overhead power lines that serve hundreds of thousands of customers.  There are 40 percent fewer outages where trees have been recently pruned or removed.  The entire power grid is trimmed on a four-year cycle.  Aside from vegetation management investments, the company recently invested more than $8 million in distribution upgrades and new technology in preparation for the summer storm season.

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Don’t Let Your Party Decorations Cause Power Outages Stray foil balloons can interrupt electric service

Warm weather brings outdoor parties for graduations, birthdays and weddings. However, these can lead to power outages when foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, from those festivities come into contact with power lines.

When a foil balloon contacts a power line or a part of substation equipment, its metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can, in turn, cause the equipment to short-circuit. And the spark could lead to a power outage or fire.

 Outages caused by foil balloons have affected about 7,300 Pepco customers since January 2015.

 Pepco encourages customers to help reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Virginia’s First Transportation Program based on an Objective, Data-Driven Prioritization Process

~ CTB’s historic vote is the culmination of a multi-year effort to renew, reform and refocus Virginia’s transportation program to help deliver the new Virginia economy ~

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) voted on the first wave of transportation projects scored by Virginia’s new data-driven prioritization process. The process (formerly called House Bill 2 or HB2) has a new name, “SMART SCALE, Funding the Right Transportation Projects in Virginia.” SMART SCALE stands for System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation. It is a prioritization process that evaluates each project’s merits using key factors, including:  improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment.

The CTB approved $1.7 billion in funding to build 163 projects that were selected through the SMART SCALE process, which became law under HB2, carried by Delegate Chris Stolle in 2014. The projects, now included in the Six-Year Improvement Program, are fully funded through all phases of project development and construction. 

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The wax figure of the world renowned Chinese actress will remain at Madame Tussauds Washington, DC through September

 Madame Tussauds Washington, DC welcomed the incredibly lifelike wax figure of acclaimed Chinese actress Li Bingbing. The figure, which was first unveiled by Madame Tussauds Hong Kong in 2012, will be featured alongside other international super stars such as Zac Efron, Angelina Jolie, and Marilyn Monroe.

Each Madame Tussauds figure is truly a work of art, involving teams of professional artists working for months on end to create a finished product. Li Bingbing was instrumental in the figure making process as she met with studio artists for measurements, color matching and styling options. The finished figure is an uncanny match to the beautiful star and is dressed in a gorgeous tailor-made George Chakra white gown, which the actress wore to the 2012 Academy Awards. When Li Bingbing helped unveil the figure in Hong Kong, she was blown away by the attention to detail and incredibly accuracy captured by the Madame Tussauds studio artists.

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 Senator puts down payments on recently refreshed and reformed Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Child Care Development Block Grant, and gifted and talented education

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced that the Committee-passed fiscal year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services spending bill protects children and families with funding for critical child care and education programs including the recently refreshed and reformed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and gifted and talented education.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation. Every child deserves their chance to get a foothold on that ladder,” Senator Mikulski said. “In order to out-innovate the rest of the world, we must first out-educate. This legislation will help ensure that America’s children, regardless of the zip code they live in, will have access to quality child care and education they can count on from early childhood to K-12 through higher education.”


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Pepco-Exelon Merger Provides $25 Million to Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for Jobs, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Part of $133 million in merger benefits for Maryland

 Continuing to deliver on their merger commitments, Pepco and Exelon announced they have provided $25 million to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland to support workforce development, job creation, energy efficiency and sustainability programs.

Included in the $25 million are funds to stimulate public and private investment in community solar, electricity storage, microgrids, water conservation in buildings, clean transportation and similar emerging energy technologies.

“We’re investing in our community to create jobs and develop skilled workers to fill them,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings. “From an energy and environmental perspective, these programs will help lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future.”

Velazquez offered his remarks at a news conference in Silver Spring with Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.

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Senator successfully fought to expand Pell Grant program after embarking on Maryland College Affordability Tour and hearing directly from students, parents and administrators

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,  announced that the Committee-passed fiscal year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services spending bill invests in students and families by expanding the federal Pell Grant Program to provide student aid year-round.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

 “Middle class families need a raise and more money in the family checkbook. That means a fair shot at affordable higher education to help them climb the rungs of America’s opportunity ladder,” Senator Mikulski said. “Expanding access to Pell Grants for students working to get ahead is a smart investment in our next generation. Higher education should be part of the American Dream, not a financial nightmare. I will continue to fight so Maryland families have access to that dream with a fair shot at higher education and a government on their side.”

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Muhammad Ali: Boxing legend, activist and ‘The Greatest’

“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali  passed away at the age of 74

Muhammad Ali the three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world was so much more than the sport he dominated by either force of personality or pugilistic skill for close to two decades. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Ky., Muhammad Ali was a man of conscience who put his ambitions on the line over the war in Vietnam. He was a man of faith who stood up for his beliefs when identifying with the Nation of Islam was to invite being marginalized. He was an unrepentantly proud African-American at a time when blacks were just emerging from second-class citizenship sanctioned by American law and custom. Ali was a man of uncommon wit, undeniable charisma and principled action.

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Mayor Bowser Announces Progress in #Fightfor15

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange were joined by labor advocates, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAWM), and other District officials and stakeholders to announce a path forward in the Fight for $15.

“Since day one, my Administration has been fighting to give every Washingtonian a fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser. “These are good days for the District.  Unemployment is down by a full percent since January 2015, and 20,000 jobs have been added during that same time.  However, the tremendous prosperity in our city does not reach every Washingtonian.  There are DC families working day in and day out, sometimes in two or three jobs, but barely making ends meet.  That is why I am fighting for $15.  The Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 will put more money in the pockets of working families, and put more people on the pathway to the middle class. I thank the Council for their swift action on this legislation, and I thank the many advocates, business owners, and residents who came together on this path forward.”

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Remembering, Reclaiming and Honoring Our Roots

By Marian Wright Edelman  

President of the Children’s Defense Fund

“So Dad has joined the other [ancestors] up there. I feel that they do watch and guide, and I also feel that they join me in the hope that this story of our people can help alleviate the legacies of the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners.”
– Alex Haley, from the conclusion of Roots: The Saga of an American Family

On the 40th anniversary of the publication of Alex Haley’s landmark book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a new television adaptation is bringing renewed attention to the story that opened so many eyes to the harsh truth about American slavery and its aftermath — an aftermath that continues under new guises despite much progress.

Roots’ 1976 publication came at a seminal moment in American history. Cities across America were hosting celebrations of the nation’s bicentennial and the founding creed set forth in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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Xbox One is getting Cortana in summer update

Apple TV has Siri. Fire TV has Alexa. And now the Xbox will have Microsoft’s own virtual assistant, Cortana. The company this morning announced a summer update for its Xbox One that will include support for Cortana along with other improvements aimed at unifying the gaming console with the Windows 10 platform, and more. The update will initially arrive for those beta testers in the “Xbox Preview” program, says Microsoft.

Cortana won’t be limited to gaming-related functions when it arrives, although those will be the heavier focus. The assistant – which users activate by saying “Hey Cortana” before their command – will allow gamers to find new games, see what friends are doing, start a party, perform common tasks, and turn on the Xbox (if you’re using Kinect), and more. However, you’ll also be able to do things like get search results from Bing or get info on nearby restaurants, reports Engadget. And if you use Cortana on other platforms, your notebook and history will also be available. Microsoft says more features will come to Cortana over time.

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Report shows that adults with less education may be at higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders

A new report indicates that adults (people age 18 or older) who had less than a high school education (i.e., had not graduated) were significantly more likely to have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year than adults who had higher levels of education.  The study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) looked at the relationship between educational levels and the rate of anxiety disorders among the 12.9 million adults who experience one or more anxiety disorders each year.

The report found that adults with less than a high school education were more than twice as likely to have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year as adults who had a high school degree (12.9 percent of non-high school graduates versus 5 percent of high school graduates).  People with college degrees or higher levels of education experienced an even lower rate of past year anxiety (4.3 percent).

“Mental health is crucial to so many aspects of life – education, employment, and overall well-being,” said SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto.  “All students should have access to evidence-based prevention and treatment programs.  These essential services can improve mental health outcomes and help people lead productive, healthy lives.” 

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Food Safety Tips for Fruits, Vegetables, and Fresh-Squeezed Juices

/PRNewswire/ — Whether from a supermarket, farm stand, or your own garden, fresh fruits and vegetables are highlights of summertime. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds you that safe handling of produce and fresh-squeezed juice is especially important during the summer months, because foodborne bacteria multiply faster in warm weather and fresh fruits and vegetables are often consumed raw. 

To keep nutritious produce and fresh-squeezed juices safe, follow these food safety tips to prevent food poisoning (also called foodborne illness):

Buy Right

Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged. When selecting pre-cut produce (such as a half a watermelon or bagged salad greens), choose only those items that are refrigerated or on ice. Bag fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood in your cart and shopping bags.

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Help Fuel the Simple Joys of Summer for Kids in Need

Summer is about fun and freedom – and to most kids, it means months filled with playing in the sun, swimming at the lake or playing baseball in the park. However, more than 22 million children may lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs when school lets out.

For many children in need, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients it provides that help power the simple joys of summer – are missing. Milk is naturally nutrient-rich and helps power potential, if you have access to it. Milk’s nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein in every 8-ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow this summer.

Although some programs like the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program help to deliver meals when school is not in session, the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program do not reach children during the summer months. That’s why food banks play an even more critical role in helping children access nutritious foods when class isn’t in session.

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Easy Tips to Keep Kids Active this Summer

With the school year complete, kids are excited to relax after a year of hard work, learning and extracurricular activities. However, this may lead to the temptation of sitting on the couch watching TV or playing on a computer or mobile device.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative found that only 33 percent of children participate in daily active play, and for 30 minutes less than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. It’s important for kids to get daily active play because it contributes to their physical, emotional and social development, and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 To ensure kids get the active play they need this summer, try boosting their playtime with these tips:

 Make play time family time. According to the Let’s Play survey, in general, year-over-year younger children’s active play time is more likely to be impacted by busy family schedules. To make sure your family is getting the physical activity they need, find windows within your busy schedule to fit in some play, even if it’s just a brief break. For example, rather than asking about your children’s days at the dinner table, take a pre-dinner family walk to hear more while getting in some steps.

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KidsPeace Launches Redesigned Website

KidsPeace has launched a new version of its popular website,  The site has been redesigned to improve its performance and make it easier for visitors to get information about becoming a foster parent.

 Among the improvements to the site:

·         A new home page, featuring more intuitive navigation of the site’s features

·         New state-specific pages, which include more information about KidsPeace’s operations and offices in those states

·         A new blog

·         A simplified inquiry form, automatically routed to the nearest KidsPeace foster care office

·         And more ways to subscribe to Hand In Hand, the KidsPeace foster care email newsletter

KidsPeace noted that the new features were designed to help prospective foster parents learn about what it takes to be a foster parent, and to make the right decision for them.  The organization expects the redesign to boost traffic to the site from its current 18,000 visits per month.  was launched in 1996.  It serves as the main pathway for prospective foster parents to connect with KidsPeace staff and learn more about the fostering experience.


Mayor Muriel Bowser Cuts Ribbon on New Ridge Road Community Center

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Keith Anderson, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Christopher Weaver, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, cut the ribbon on the new Ridge Road Community Center.

 Ridge Road community leaders and members were also on hand to celebrate the long awaited facility.

“District community and recreation centers are the staple of neighborhoods across the city,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our community centers offer a space for residents to learn, grown, play and even stay fit! Every resident in our city should have easy access to education and recreation opportunities. I am excited that the Ridge Road community can finally enjoy this new facility and all it has to offer.”

The newly constructed Ridge Road Community Center replaces the older Ridge Road Recreation Center, also known as a field house.

 “This ribbon cutting is the culmination of multiple community meetings,” said DPR’s Director Anderson. “The community expressed what they wanted in a new community center and we are pleased that we were able to make this a reality for all to enjoy.”

The $18 million Ridge Road project includes: a new 18,500 square-foot community center with an indoor gym, and fitness center; lounges for seniors and teens; a pool; a concession stand; upgraded pool house and deck; new playground and basketball courts; on-site parking, landscaping, and lighting. The existing field house was preserved and received upgraded bathroom facilities to support the athletic fields.

“Today’s ribbon cutting showcases DGS’ commitment to designing and constructing first- class facilities that elevate the quality of life for District residents, employees and visitors” said DGS’ Director Weaver.


Giant Food announces free ticket promotion for 24th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

New sponsor adds special features to popular annual event

Giant Food of Landover, Md. announced today a free ticket promotion leading up to the 24th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, one of the largest food and music festivals in the country that will take place on June 25 and 26 on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

 For a limited time, shoppers buying two participating items at their Giant store will receive a coupon for one free adult Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket at the Event Admissions Gate. Participating store items are listed in Giant’s weekly ads and marked with in-store shelf tags.

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New Employer Resource to Help End Transgender Employment Discrimination

 The National LGBTQ Task Force and the District of Columbia (DC) Office of Human Rights today published a first-of-its-kind resource to help eliminate workplace discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. The guide, titled “Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees,” provides in-depth best practices intended to help employers across the nation create a genuinely inclusive and welcoming workplace environment for transgender people.

“Everyone, including transgender people, deserves a fair chance at a good paying job and the ability to provide for themselves and their families,” said Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, Trans/Gender Nonconforming Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force. “Transgender people face formidable discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This new resource provides vital recommendations for employers and human resource specialists looking to ensure that transgender people are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.”

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Mayor Bowser Announces Plan to Help District Residents During SafeTrack

District Provides Mitigation Strategies to Address Expected Travel Challenges As Result of SafeTrack

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District’s strategy to mitigate the impact of ‘SafeTrack’, WMATA’s year-long emergency repair program. The Bowser administration’s plan includes expanded rush hour parking restrictions, retiming traffic signals, deployment of additional traffic control officers and discounted fares on Capital Bikeshare.

SafeTrack begins on the Orange and Silver lines in Virginia on June 4.  The first major repairs within the District will occur from June 18 to July 3, when Metro will experience full closures on the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue/Benning Road stations. Metro stations in the District will also be impacted in August and again in October.   

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Serve DC Kicks off National Safety Month with FREE CPR/AED Training

On June 1, Serve DC will kick off National Safety Month with FREE Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training in each of the District’s eight wards. This marks the second summer of free CPR/AED safety training under the DC Be Ready campaign providing safety awareness during the National Safety Council’s annual June National Safety Month.

 The free CPR/AED classes will be held June 1 – 29, 2016 and will run almost every other day from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at various Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities with the exception of the Saturday, June 18th training course at Banneker Recreation Center (Ward 1) which is scheduled for 10:00am – 2:00pm.

FREE CPR/AED training is being provided by trainers licensed and certified by the American Red Cross to people who live, work or are frequently in the District for activities such as worship or athletic programs.

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United Medical Center Board Approves Site Feasibility Study

Vote Signals Support to Create New Hospital East of the Anacostia River

Mayor Muriel Bowser applauded the Board of Directors of the United Medical Center (UMC) for voting to approve a site selection study in support of the District’s plans to create a new hospital east of the Anacostia River.

“This vote by the UMC Board is a positive indication that its members share my vision for a new, more efficient health care delivery system that will further our efforts in improving the health outcomes throughout the District,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The UMC board will reconvene next week to review Letters of Interest (LOI) from firms with experience in conducting site selection studies and will make a decision by no later than June 30, 2016.  Work on the site studies for a new hospital should begin by August 2016.

The current hospital, constructed at a cost of $11 million in 1966, occupies roughly 460,000 square feet of space on 16.8 acres of land.  In the new and shifting paradigm for the delivery of health care services, UMC — in its current structure — is fast approaching obsolescence.

The execution of a site selection study is a necessary first step in the planning and design phase of a new hospital.  The Board’s vote today supports Mayor Bowser’s commitment to ensuring that the residents of Wards 7 and 8 will have access to a full range of quality acute care hospital services.


Governor Announces $1 Million in New Economy Workforce Grants for Incumbent Workforce Training

~ Grants to regional Workforce Development Boards will support small businesses in upskilling and credentialing employees ~

 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that seven regional Workforce Development Boards in the Commonwealth were awarded grants to work with small businesses, community colleges, and other partners in their regions to provide workforce training and credentialing to incumbent workers.

 Grants of $200,000 each were awarded to the Piedmont Workforce Board (Region 6) and, through a joint application, Northern Virginia and Alexandria/Arlington Workforce Boards (Regions 11 and 12). Grants of $150,000 each were awarded to Southwest Virginia Workforce Board (Region 1), Capital Region Workforce Board (Region 9), Opportunity Inc. Workforce Board (Region 16) and West Piedmont Workforce Board (Region 17). Ten community colleges will provide training and assessments for the new Incumbent Workforce Training program, including: Piedmont Virginia, Germanna, Northern Virginia, Mountain Empire, Southwest, Tidewater, Patrick Henry, Danville and Community College Workforce Alliance (a partnership of Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges).

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U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Homeland Security spending bill includes $680 million in funding for our nation’s first responders.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

“The federal funding helps our firehouses hire and retain the first responders they need to keep our communities safe,” Senator Mikulski said. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. This funding will provide our protectors with the equipment, training and resources they need to do their jobs.”

 The legislation includes $680 million in federal funding for our nation’s firefighters through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). This includes $340 million for Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), which funds firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects and public fire safety education. The total also includes $340 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, which fund staffing, recruitment and retention.

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U.S., Maryland Amend Agreement with Baltimore City to Curtail

Sewer Overflows and Improve Water Quality Requires Annual Public Progress Reporting 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U. S. Department of Justice, and the Maryland Department of the Environment recently announced a proposed modification to a 2002 federal consent decree with the City of Baltimore to eliminate overflows from the sanitary sewer system known as SSOs.  The proposed modification establishes additional control measures, and provides more transparency to the public, as well as a new timeline to address the SSOs.

The proposed modification calls for a two-phased approach. Phase I, which is currently taking place, requires Baltimore to address a “significant hydraulic restriction” that impacts sewage flow into the Back River wastewater treatment plant, structural improvements, and a series of pipeline upgrades.  Phase I, which is designed to control most of the overflows, must be completed by January 2021. 

“We anticipate that the work being performed under the initial phase of this agreement will reduce the volume of Baltimore’s current wet weather overflows by about 83 percent within five years,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.  “This modification presents the best path forward to eliminating sanitary sewer overflows, while also providing greater transparency.”

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BGE Readies for Summer Heat and Potential Severe Storms

More than $8 million invested in system upgrades and new technology

 With a potentially higher number of severe storms predicted this summer, BGE has been hard at work to ensure safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy and energy services for customers all summer long. The company has invested more than $8 million in critical distribution projects and new technologies to prepare for heat and storms this summer, including upgraded wires, installation of substation and feeder capacitors, execution of switching only load transfers, and the installation of a new substation and feeder.

“We work hard to provide safe and reliable service to our customers and preparations for severe, damaging weather occur all year long,” said Stephen J. Woerner, BGE president and COO. “BGE’s uses of innovative technology like smart meters, enhanced communication tools and changes to scheduling and dispatching practices are critical to improving customer reliability.”

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MCDOT to Provide Supplemental Bus and Other Services During SafeTrack Surges

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) continues to develop plans to supplement the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) efforts to assist travelers during SafeTrack. SafeTrack is WMATA’s year-long effort to improve the safety and reliability of the Metrorail system. Three planned line segment repairs and around-the-clock single tracking projects, referred to as “Safety Surges,” will affect WMATA’s Red Line service in Montgomery County.

“Montgomery County residents and employees are going to be significantly impacted by SafeTrack and that is why I have directed MCDOT to take the lead in doing what we can to mitigate these effects — not only for Red Line riders but for all travelers in the County,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “MCDOT is closely coordinating our response to SafeTrack with our regional partners – WMATA, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Capital Bikeshare — through a multi-pronged approach in cooperation with our Police and Department of General Services — to do what we can to offer options to our residents.”

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June is Jumping at DPR

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is filled with opportunities for fun! Celebrating Father’s Day, DPR Summer Camp kick off and much more, below is only a glimpse of the many activities and programs you can find at DPR throughout June.

?. Bring your work out gear and train with DPR for FREE at the Ward 7 Funky Fitness First Fridays event on Friday, June 3, 2016 at Deanwood Recreation Center (1350 49th Street, NE) from 5 pm to 8:30 pm.

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Members of Congress and Distinguished Washington Insiders Take the Stage,
Featuring Special Guests Reg E. Cathey and STC Affiliated Artist Tom Story 

On Monday, June 13, 2016, Will on the Hill, a favorite bipartisan event of theatre and political fans alike, returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Now in its fourteenth year, this year’s event features a performance of Heavy Lies the Head, an original play by Peter Byrne, directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul. The cast will include special guest performers, Reg E. Cathey, known for his role in House of Cards, and STC Affiliated Artist Tom Story.

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Muhammad Ali’s Gloves on Display at the National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recognizes the life and legacy of Muhammed Ali (1942–2016), born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky. Ali started boxing when he was 12, winning Golden Gloves titles before heading to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where he won a gold medal as a light heavyweight. Known as “The Greatest,” Ali gained fame for his boxing skills, charisma and the controversy he generated outside the ring.

Ali’s gloves are on display to the public in the museum’s “American Stories” exhibition. At the 1976 donation ceremony, before a crowd of reporters and cheering spectators, Ali predicted that these signed Everlast gloves would become “the most famous thing in this building.” He wore the robe he donated while training for his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” and autographed it in 1976.

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Smithsonian Presents 2016 Annual Folklife Festival on the National Mall

Visitors to the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival can learn about the innovative culture of the Basque country and diverse music of California. This year’s themes celebrate resilient communities around the world with two programs: “Basque: Innovation by Culture” and “Sounds of California.” The Basque program will present renowned Basque cooking techniques, Euskara language lessons, stone-lifting matches and more. Visitors to the California program can interact with artists in music workshops, learn about immigration and migration in the United States and then stretch out on the lawn of the National Mall for an evening concert series.

The 2016 Festival will be held Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10, outdoors on the National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with special evening events beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service. Additional support provided by Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.

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New $500,000 Gift Funds University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Scholarships 
for Regulatory Science, Pharmacometrics & Health Outcomes Research

A $500,000 gift will establish a new scholarship fund at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to help provide support for students and trainees studying regulatory science, pharmacometrics and the use of data to examine the efficacy of drugs and the impact – including economic effects – of clinical pharmacy.

The endowed scholarships were created with a $200,000 donation from Ellen H. Yankellow, PharmD ’96, BSP ’73, president and CEO of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services and chair of the School of Pharmacy’s Board of Visitors, which was matched by an anonymous donor and the Scholarship Matching Program of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Foundation Inc. (UMBF).

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Events DC Engages 1776’s Technology Showcase, Challenge Cup Festival to Launch Immersive Virtual Reality Experience

360-degree/3D Initiative Highlights Commitment to Best in Class Technology to Enrich and Enhance Future Event Experiences 

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, announced today the launch of its virtual reality experience at the 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals & Festival.  The annual Challenge Cup Festival kicks off today the at Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square and brings together entrepreneurs, influencers, policymakers, investors and other startup champions from all over the globe to Washington, DC.

This innovative and emerging technology inclusive of 360-degree and 3D virtual reality is redefining event experiences and providing new dimensions of attendee engagement which will allow Events DC to showcase its ability to produce and host a wide variety of unforgettable events.

“Events DC is taking event engagement to the next level with the unveiling of fully immersive virtual reality experiences across our three lines of business,” said Greg O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.  “We are committed to enhancing and delivering amazing customer experiences and this initiative along with our partnership with 1776 further demonstrates our monumental stride to drive technology initiatives across our venues. Further, we continue to showcase Washington, DC as a tech-focused community that will help propel our city’s economic footprint.” 

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BGE’s Smart Energy Economic DevelopmentSM Program Results in Up To 1,100 Planned Jobs

  Program Aims to Boost Business Retention and Growth in Central Maryland                                                                                                                                        

Since its September launch, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) Smart Energy Economic DevelopmentSM (SEEDSM) Program has approved incentives for 13 businesses, resulting in up to 1,100 new planned jobs. To qualify for the program, businesses must add electric and/or natural gas load to BGE’s system and create new full-time employment.

“The SEED Program is another example of how BGE can positively impact our community. Providing targeted economic incentives to businesses allows them to invest those cost savings in their own growth. This helps to keep Maryland’s economy strong which benefits everyone in our service area,” said BGE CEO Calvin Butler, Jr.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Grant to Accelerate Apprenticeship Program

~ Virginia to receive $200,000 in funding from U.S. Department of Labor for apprenticeships ~

Governor McAuliffe announced recently that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $200,000 Apprenticeship USA State Accelerator Grant to Virginia to expand apprenticeships. The funding constitutes the first phase of $90 million in new federal grants, which aim to double the number of apprenticeships in the country by 2019.

 The new federal investment aspires to accelerate apprenticeships by increasing outreach to employers to start new apprenticeship programs, engaging industry and other partners to expand apprenticeships in non-traditional industry sectors, such as Cybersecurity and Information Technology, and increasing the number and percentage of women and minorities participating in apprenticeships. The grant program also intends to integrate apprenticeships into education and workforce development systems, such as high school career and technical education, community colleges and Virginia’s One Stop Career Centers.

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Reading to our Youth

Mayor Bowser joined second graders at Watkins Elementary School in Eastern Market for a reading session. After a conversation on the importance of public service, Mayor Bowser read, Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio – a story about a student who decides to participate in her school’s mock election when she realizes there has never been a female president.

Mayor Bowser also reminded students to get involved in this years’ DC Public Library Summer Reading Program. All kids over age five and teens who reach their summer reading goal will win two tickets to a Washington Nationals baseball game. To learn more about the Library’s summer reading program, visit your local library or visit

May 17, 1967: Muhammad Ali punches the bag. (Miami News photo)

Legendary Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali dies at 74

(FOX)–He was fast of fist and foot — lip, too — a heavyweight champion who promised to shock the world and did. He floated. He stung. Mostly he thrilled, even after the punches had taken their toll and his voice barely rose above a whisper.

He was The Greatest.

Muhammad Ali died Friday at age 74, according to a statement from the family. He was hospitalized in the Phoenix area with respiratory problems earlier this week, and his children had flown in from around the country.

“It’s a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die,” Don King, who promoted some of Ali’s biggest fights, told The Associated Press early Saturday. “Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world.”

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Maria Sharapova Suspended for 2 Years for Doping

Sharapova indicated in a Facebook post Wednesday she plans to appeal the decision

(NBC)–Maria Sharapova was suspended from tennis for two years Wednesday for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open, and immediately responded by saying she would appeal the decision to sport’s highest court. 

The ruling by an independent three-person panel appointed by the International Tennis Federation said Sharapova did not intend to cheat, but that she bore “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for the positive test. 

 “While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension,” Sharapova said in a statement. “The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

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Muhammad Ali Portrait Added to National Portrait Gallery

Photographer: “Behind his movements lurked suspicion and anger, a waiting for recognition”

(NBC)–As people around the world mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has added a photograph of the legendary boxer.

A portrait of Ali gazing into the camera with his fists at his waist was installed at the museum Monday morning, a museum spokeswoman said. The photograph, taken in 1970 by Yousuf Karsh, can be found on the first floor of the Washington, D.C., museum at 8th and F streets NW.

Karsh wrote about the photo in his 2009 book “Regarding Heroes.”

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Tiger Woods to skip US Open and Quicken Loans National

(ABC)–Tiger Woods will not play in next week’s U.S. Open or in the following week’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Potomac, MD.

Woods made the announcement on his twitter account Tuesday afternoon.

The ‘progress’ Woods mentioned in his tweet is in reference to his continued rehabilitation from back surgery last fall.

Woods certainly raised some eyebrows last month during the Quicken Loans National media day when he hit three consecutive tee shots into the water, although the 14-time Major champion appeared to take the triple splash down with good humor.

Woods’ absence from the Quicken Loans National – a tournament run by the Tiger Woods Foundation, will be his fourth in the tournament’s 10 year history. This will also mark the third time in the last six years that Woods will not play in the U.S. Open due to injury. 

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D.C. Council Unanimously Passes Revised Homeless Shelter Plan – Saves $165 Million by Using Public Land

Two years and three months after Relisha Rudd disappeared, sparking a fierce discussion about the safety of the D.C. General homeless shelter, District lawmakers on Tuesday approved a revised plan to close the facility for good.

The biggest change to the overhauled package, passed initially by the D.C. Council a couple weeks ago, is the Ward 6 shelter site. Now, after a proposed location that currently features a parking deck at Second and K streets NW fell through—owing to bureaucratic complications—the Ward 6 family shelter will go up at 850 Delaware Ave. SW. The District-owned land contains an aging Unity Health Care clinic and had been suggested by neighbors as appropriate.

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Washington Metro’s Unemployment Rate Improves to 3.6 percent in April

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) reported tthis week that the preliminary April job estimates show an increase of 23,100 jobs for a total of 2,638,000 jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Division. The private sector increased by 22,400 jobs, while the public sector gained 700 jobs. The Washington Metropolitan Division’s not seasonally adjusted April 2016 unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, which is down 0.5 percentage points from the March rate of 4.1 percent. The Washington Metropolitan Division unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in April 2015, but has since decreased by 0.7 percentage points to the current 3.6 percent, a key indicator that the Washington area economy continues to strengthen.

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Mayor Bowser Kicks Off ‘June Housing Bloom’

Month-long initiative focuses on affordable housing, begins with major opportunity to develop 25 properties across the District

Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the first annual ‘June Housing Bloom’, a month-long initiative that showcases how the public and private sectors are partnering to produce and preserve affordable housing, and revitalize neighborhoods across the District.

 To kick off the month, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is releasing five Solicitations for Offers (SFOs) for the development of 25 District-owned properties in Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8. The goal is to build projects that promote vibrant, walkable, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhoods, and combat blight in the District.

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National Urban League President Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education proposed accountability guidelines for states to consider as they work to implement the Every Student Succeed Act:

“Accountability without enforcement is meaningless. That is why the National Urban League joined nearly 50 civil rights and education advocacy organizations in urging the Department to use its full authority under the law to issue guidance that clarifies the responsibilities and obligations of states, districts, and schools to be in compliance with the intent of the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

“We remain concerned about the shift of control over schools to states and local districts, which was authorized under ESSA, despite a preponderance of evidence that shows states have not been consistent stewards of civil rights. Those who argue that there is no need for strong federal oversight, ignore the long history of state and local decisions that have shortchanged the needs of vulnerable students like in Brown v. Board of Education.

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There’s A Gender Gap In Sports Injuries,
But Relieving Pain Is Important For All

Many men cultivate a tough-guy, weekend-warrior image, pushing their bodies to the limit with an active lifestyle, and then reaching for an ice pack and a couple of ibuprofen tablets by bedtime.

But it turns out women are no slouch in the weekend-warrior department – or in racking up injuries to limp home with.

“A lot of people might be surprised to learn that women are even more likely than men to suffer many of the most common sports injuries,” says Dr. Ronald Shapiro, medical director of Physicians Technology LLC and co-inventor of the Willow Curve (, a low-level smart laser that treats joint pain.

Those injuries can include ankle sprains, shoulder troubles and knee problems, Shapiro says.

“It seems that people are more active than ever in sports and other activities, so our joints wear out sooner in life,” he says. “And, as has been documented, this can have an even greater impact on women.”

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Women with migraines may face higher threat of heart disease, stroke

Women who suffer from migraine headaches may have a slightly increased risk of heart disease or stroke, a new study suggests.

“Migraine should be considered a marker for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, at least in women,” said lead researcher Dr. Tobias Kurth, director of the Institute of Public Health at Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, Germany.

But, Kurth cautioned that this study can’t prove that migraines cause heart attack or stroke, only that they may make these events more likely.

Also, men may be similarly affected. “We have no reason to believe that this is limited to women,” Kurth said.

Migraines are headaches marked by intense throbbing or pulsing, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. They had previously been linked to an increased risk for stroke, but this new study also ties them to possible heart attack, death and the need for heart surgery, the researchers noted.

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USBC Building International Relations on Behalf of Black Business Owners

USBC’s President’s Ron Busby visits Morocco seeking investment and trade exchange opportunities with Morocco on behalf of USBC’s membership of Black business owners. Busby met with Moroccan dignitaries in Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fez to discuss investment opportunities. View article below to learn more.

Rabat- A business and media delegation representing several African American chambers of commerce is in Morocco this week to explore Morocco’s business, trade, and tourism potential to open up bridges of ongoing communication and understanding between the two countries’ business sectors.

Chaired by Ron Busby, President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), the delegation’s visit came as a follow up to previous American trade and business delegation visits seeking investment and trade exchange opportunities with Morocco.

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DOEE Announces Winners of Inaugural
“RiverSmart Innovation” Grant Competition

A total of $156,500 will fund nine community-based stormwater projects

 Earlier this year, the Department of Energy and Environment launched the RiverSmart Innovation Grant program to provide start-up funding for community-oriented projects that improve stormwater management in the District. Applicants were challenged to propose innovative initiatives from green infrastructure to awareness-raising projects like art installations.

 “The RiverSmart Innovation Grant program showcases the creativity and inventive thinking we need to help address stormwater management issues in the District,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “I’m excited about these nine projects and the positive impacts they will have on our communities and our waterways.”

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Giant Food awards over $2M to local schools through A+ School Rewards

Grants part of Giant’s efforts to support area schools

Giant Food of Landover, Md. announced today a $2 million donation to 1,466 public and private schools in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Delaware.  The funds are the result of the 2015-2016 A+ School Rewards program where purchases made by Giant shoppers help provide funding to area schools. Giant’s total donation saw a one percent increase from last year with a record-breaking 20 schools receiving over $10,000 each in awards. 

“Giant is, once again, thrilled about the success of the A+ School Rewards program. 2016 was a historic year for the initiative, one which saw the largest awards yet all across the DMV,” said Gordon Reid, President, Giant of Landover, Md. “Education is of the utmost importance to Giant and the communities we serve. We are proud to partner with our schools and our communities to ensure that kids have the greatest and most robust educational experience possible.”

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DC DMV Lifts Appointment Requirement to Obtain a Limited Purpose Credential

Obtain a Limited Purpose Credential

 District residents who want to obtain a Limited Purpose driver license or identification card will no longer be required to make an appointment as part of the application process. Effective August 2, 2016, the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) will accept walk-ins Wednesday through Saturday for those applying for a Limited Purpose Credential. Tuesdays will be by appointment only.

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Leading Real Estate Platforms to Integrate Energy Usage Data into Property Listings

Consumers can now easily consider energy efficiency when making real estate decisions

Thee U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) and CoStar Group, Inc. announced a new partnership to display the energy data collected by cities like the District of Columbia in the CoStar Group’s real estate databases and online marketplaces. The CoStar Group, which is based in DC and employs more than 2,500 people, manages a suite of well-known online platforms for commercial and multifamily real estate.

District of Columbia law requires owners of private buildings over 50,000 gross square feet (approximately the size of the White House) to report their energy and water performance annually to DOEE. Until now, this data has only been available on DOEE’s website and on the District Open Data Portal. Beginning this summer, the data will be available on CoStar Group’s online marketplaces. Listings will include a property’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® score, whole-building source energy usage intensity, and annual greenhouse gas emissions (subject to the availability of the information for each building).

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Hospital’s Golf Invitational Raises $170,640 to Support Community Health Programs and Technology Enhancements

 Doctors Community Hospital held its 21st annual golf invitational on May 16 in Queenstown, Maryland.  This fundraiser generated $170,640 in support that will help the hospital acquire new medical technology and provide community health programs.  With a focus on assisting underserved, uninsured and underinsured Prince George’s County residents, these community health programs promote disease prevention and health improvement.  

Doctors Community Hospital Foundation organized the golf invitational.  All tax-deductible donations funded new hospital equipment as well as community outreach programs that provide free health services and education.  One such program is the Wellness on Wheels (W.O.W.) mobile health clinic.

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Returning for its fifth year,as a DC Jazz Festival Jazz in the ‘Hoods partner, the EAST RIVER JAZZFest Series is a “festival within a festival” that presents free and affordably priced jazz performances and programs to thousands of residents east of the Anacostia River, in neighborhoods not often served by live jazz performances. The target audience is Ward 7 and 8 residents of all ages, backgrounds and income levels.

2016 EAST RIVER JAZZFest lineup

Friday, June10/7:30 p.m.
We Act Radio
1918 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE 20020
Blue Note Tribute
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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Launches New “eMuseum”

Digital collection of District artwork now available to the public launches as part of innoMAYtion

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has launched a new eMuseum that makes the District’s fine art and public art collections available to the public in digital format for the first time.

The site will catalogue more than 2,800 pieces of the District’s Art Bank fine arts collection, as well as public artworks commissioned by the DC government. Users will be able to search by different criteria, including artist name, media and year of creation.

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National Philharmonic Performs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony
No. 6 and Brahms’ Choral Works at Strathmore

The National Philharmonic, led by Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski, performs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (“Pathétique”) on Saturday, June 4 at 8pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. The concert will also feature the National Philharmonic’s nearly 200 voice all-volunteer chorale performing Brahms’ Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates) and Nänie.

A free pre-concert lecture with Associate Conductor Victoria Gau will be presented in the Concert Hall at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday. In addition, the National Philharmonic will offer its first free instrument petting zoo, where children and their families can explore and learn about orchestral instruments, from 7-7:30 pm in the Orchestra Lobby. Concert tickets start at $29 and are free for children ages 7-17 through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program. ALL KIDS tickets must be reserved by calling (301-581-5100) or visiting the Strathmore Box Office. Parking is complimentary. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call 301-581-5100.

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Event will mark 72 years since the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, France and will honor the more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded on that day.

The Friends of the National World War II Memorial (Friends) will commemorate the 72 years since 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France during a special commemoration and wreath presentation at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

Honor Flight Bay Area (California) with over two dozen WWII and D-Day veterans will take part in this special commemoration.

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All Maryland Welcome Centers Opened in Time for the Summer Travel Season

The Maryland Department of Commerce announced recently that all of the state’s Welcome Centers that were closed six years ago are now open for business in time for the busy summer travel season.  The re-opening of the Youghiogheny Overlook center in Garrett County and the Bay Country center in Queen Anne’s County demonstrates the commitment by Governor Larry Hogan’s administration to strengthening Maryland’s tourism industry.

“The reopening of these welcome centers is critical to Maryland’s thriving tourism industry and provides an important service to thousands of visitors each year,” said Governor Hogan. “The professionalism of our welcome center staff and their extensive knowledge of the state’s unique attractions ensures that our visitors have a positive experience and will encourage them to return to our state again and again.”

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Long-Delayed Prince George’s Hospital Project Faces New Setback

The long-awaited Prince George’s County regional hospital is too big and too expensive to win state regulatory approval without major changes, according to the Maryland Health Care Commission member reviewing the project.

Commissioner Robert E. Moffit told project leaders last week that they must reduce the number of beds, shave off square footage and bring down the price by more than $100 million before he can recommend approval of a “certificate of need.”

The teaching hospital, projected to cost $651 million, has been touted for years as a crucial part of improving health care for Prince George’s residents and bringing high-paying jobs and economic development to the county. It had strong backing from then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and continues to be a priority for leaders of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly in Annapolis.

But delays in receiving state approval have pushed the hospital’s projected opening date from 2017 to at least 2020 — and that was before the latest round of questions. Twice in the past two years, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has clashed with Democratic lawmakers over state funding for the hospital.


MTA Wins 2016 APTA Bus Safety & Security Gold Excellence Award

MTA Bus Operator Also Earns 1st Place Award in Customer Service Challenge

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) recently received several top national honors for safety, security and customer service at the 2016 American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards ceremony.

The MTA captured both the prestigious Gold Award for Safety and the Gold Award for Security, which were given to agencies with the best overall bus safety or bus security programs, selected by an independent panel of judges at APTA’s Bus & Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, N.C., May 15-18.

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BLocal Announces BUILD College Training Program

To bolster small construction businesses in Baltimore, the companies of BLocal have developed a series of free classes for local minority- and woman-owned firms.

A group of 25 Baltimore-area businesses in April announced the BLocal initiative, an effort to harness their collective influence to create economic opportunities in Baltimore. BLocal’s BUILD College is a 13-session program for firms in the design and construction industry. It’s a way for participating businesses to not only learn tools of the trade and ways to grow their companies, but also to gain opportunities to network and develop contacts with peers, industry experts and BLocal partners, which include some of the largest organizations in the city.

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Sykesville Nominated for Coolest Small Town in America: Vote by June 6!

A second town in Maryland is in the running for Coolest Small Town in America. Visitors to have the chance to vote for Sykesville, a Main Street Maryland community located in Carroll County, to receive this designation. Another Maryland town, Berlin, located in Worcester County, won the honor in 2014.

In a state full of small towns with charm, Sykesville stands out. Traversed by the B&O Railroad, which still passes through the town regularly, the town also boasts a beautiful view of the Patapsco River, along with a thriving main street that has given new life to the community as it rebounded from the recession. Along the town’s main street, visitors can find many independently-owned shops and restaurants. The town also pays homage to its railroad history through train rides for children, model train displays, and a restaurant located in the former B&O Train Station.

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Smithsonian Theaters Celebrates 50 Years of “Star Trek” With Sci-Fi Sundays in June at the National Air and Space Museum

This year marks 50 years of Star Trek beginning with the first television episode in 1966. Smithsonian Theaters is celebrating this milestone by exhibiting three Star Trek films in June at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum before the arrival of the newest installment, Star Trek Beyond July 22:

June 5: Star Trek: The IMAX Experience (2009)

June 12: Star Trek Into Darkness: An IMAX 3D Experience

June 19: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

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Celebrate Babe Ruth’s Life at the National Portrait Gallery

“One Life: Babe Ruth” Is First Exhibition in Series Devoted to a Baseball Star

Known as the Big Bam, the Caliph of Clout, the Bambino, the Sultan of Swat and the Babe, George Herman Ruth is an American legend whose name is synonymous with extraordinary prowess and achievement. The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will explore the man, the legend and the portrayal of one of the greatest immortals of sports through the exhibition “One Life: Babe Ruth,” running from June 24 through May 15, 2017. The press preview will be held June 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

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Free Summer Events Are Featured at the National Air and Space Museum

Visitors Can Enjoy Family Days and Activities at Two Locations

New offerings and old favorites will take place all summer long at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Visitors can participate in educational activities at family days at both buildings and enjoy free musical performances in Washington through August.

For one day only, the Canadian Armed Forces’ Snowbirds, Canada’s elite military aerobatic flight demonstration team, will be on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center, Wednesday, May 25. At the museum in Washington, visitors can experience the first family day in the newly renovated Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the “Milestones in Aviation and Space Family Day,” Saturday, July 16.

Family Days at the building in Washington:

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Stream restoration will improve water quality and promote wildlife growth

On Friday morning, staff from the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) will be on hand to celebrate the habitat restoration at Nash Run. DOEE is working to remediate damaged and polluted habitats and restore them to their former natural beauty. The 1400 ft. stream restoration at Nash Run will help improve the water quality and flow of the District’s waterways and revive the wildlife found along and in the streams and tributaries. As part of this effort, the agency is encouraging the public to celebrate the return of one of the District’s major watersheds. 

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Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and BGE Unveil Plans for Youth Development Park in West Baltimore

Field will be home to James Mosher Baseball – the oldest continuously operating African-American youth baseball league in the country

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) and Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) today announced that West Baltimore will be home to the Foundation’s 59th Youth Development Park. Eddie Murray Field at BGE Park will be home to James Mosher Baseball, the oldest continuously operating African-American youth baseball league in the country. Youth Development Parks encourage healthy physical activity and provide mentorship opportunities through youth sports and enrichment programs. 

In addition to BGE’s financial support, the Park is made possible thanks to additional financial support from Bon Secours Hospital, which will also develop after school programming at the field with Baltimore City Public Schools. Additional supporters include Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, The Cupid Foundation, Under Armour, The State of Maryland and Fields, Inc.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Site for New Veterans Care Center

~ 120-bed facility to be named in honor of the Puller family ~

 Governor Terry McAuliffe this week announced that a site in Fauquier County has been selected for a planned 120-bed veterans care center. 

 “I am pleased to announce the center will be built on land donated by Fauquier County, the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority, and Vint Hill Village at no cost to the state,” Governor McAuliffe stated.  “The new veterans care center will be a state-of-the-art facility providing skilled nursing care, Alzheimers/dementia care, and short term rehabilitative care.  The Northern Virginia region is home to over 200,000 veterans, the second largest concentration in the Commonwealth, and we owe it to them, and their families, to build this new facility.

“I am also very pleased to announce that this care center will be named the Puller Veteran Care Center in honor of the multigenerational commitment by the Puller family to military service and veteran advocacy.”

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