President Obama Proposes $4.1 Trillion Fiscal 2017 Budget

President Barack Obama packed his final budget proposal with more than $4.1 trillion in tax breaks and spending, in a plan designed to find a few spots of bipartisan agreement while also laying out a broader liberal policy agenda for a potential future Democratic administration.

The fiscal 2017 proposal, which also calls for more than $2.6 trillion in revenues over a decade, primarily from top earners and businesses, provoked partisan sniping even before he formally sent it to Congress on Tuesday.

This year’s budget proposal also carries less weight because Mr. Obama prevailed on Republicans last fall to ease across-the-board spending caps known as the sequester, striking a two-year deal that raises spending limits through September 2017.

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Microsoft Word - Document3

Mayor Bowser Announces Plan to Close D.C. General, and Open 8 New Shelters Across the District

On Tuesday, February 9, Mayor Bowser announced her plan to close the historically maligned D.C. General shelter, and in its place open up 8 brand new homeless shelters – 1 in each ward. Currently, the new Ward 4 shelter is planned to open at 5505 Fifth St., NW.

Mayor Bowser’s plan to close D.C. General is a large step forward in ensuring that every resident in the District, no matter their economic situation, is treated with dignity and respect.


D.C. Paid Family Leave Coalition Reacts to Changes in Universal Paid Leave Act

Concerns about narrow definition of family and qualifying medical events

Ahead of the D.C. Council’s scheduled public hearing on the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2016, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s office has released an updated version of the bill. The “discussion print,” which was circulated late Monday evening, contains several substantive and significant changes to the bill.

“The Chairman has made it clear with this discussion print that a strong paid family and medical leave program is moving forward in the District of Columbia,” said Joanna Blotner, campaign manager for the D.C. Paid Family Leave Coalition. “We are grateful he has heard the voices of the over 80% of District residents who support paid leave and who know this program will improve conditions for our city’s families and economy. We thank Chairman Mendelson for his thoughtful review of the issues and look forward to a robust process of working out remaining challenges. The revised draft provides a strong benefit for the people it covers—but it also excludes far too many people who live in the District. The DC Paid Family Leave Coalition will continue to fight for a stronger bill.

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DISB Provides Regulatory Relief to Support Local Businesses

New order excludes small venture capital fund investment advisers from District securities licensing requirements

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) issued an order that excludes small venture capital investment advisers from District securities licensing requirements.

“Our goal is to provide a regulatory environment that fosters business growth and opportunity in the District of Columbia,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “This is an example of our commitment to provide modern regulation that protects consumers, promotes innovation, and does not unduly burden our small and local business community.”

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UDC Scholarship Initiative

Provides Long-term Locations for DC Public Charter Schools

Mayor Muriel Bowser, with the Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and University of the District of Columbia President Ronald Mason, Jr. announced the District of Columbia University Partnership (DC-UP). DC-UP will provide full four-year scholarships and housing stipends to the Valedictorians and Salutatorians of DCPS and the District’s Public Charter Schools.

“We are cementing a pathway to the middle class for our students with this innovative program at the University of the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I am proud to continue to work with UDC as we make critical investments in District youth.”

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Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVT) Offers New Hope to Many with Valvular Heart Disease

A little over a year ago, many DC-area Veterans who were considered to have high risk or inoperable valvular heart disease had very few options and a dim prognosis.  This changed when the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center expanded their established Valve program to offer Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVT) to suitable Veteran candidates.

The VA transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)   program allows surgeons from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Valve Clinic to offer TVT, a new minimally invasive procedure.  With TVT, the replacement valve is positioned by a puncture in the groin and a small incision in the chest wall rather than an open heart procedure.

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The Greater Washington Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program Names Musician & Entrepreneur Marcus Johnson As Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The Greater Washington Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program (ECP) is excited to welcome musician and entrepreneur Marcus Johnson as its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence.  In this role, Johnson will assist ECP clients in the development of their ideas. He will also assist in identifying and engaging business professionals and corporate entities, encouraging strategic partnerships and funding support to the program.

Marcus Johnson is an internationally acclaimed, Billboard-charting jazz pianist, and founder and CEO of FLO Wine, LLC.  His current venture, FLO (For the Love of) Wine, LLC, has enabled him to combine his passion for music with his love of good wine.  FLO Wine is available nationally at retail outlets including Wal-Mart, Costco, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Jewel-Osco, and Giant Foods.

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Microsoft Word - Vin Lee.docx


(BlackNews.com) — Vin Lee, a young dedicated entrepreneur from the Washington, DC area, has funded and launched a creative, interactive new simple way for college students to match themselves with the “right internship and scholarship”. In it’s beta version, the website has assisted hundreds of college students all over the country, but mostly in the Washington DC metropolitan area, with easily finding internships they love.

“Getting an internship and working through the summer in a company is one thing, but seeing a lot of information about the company, after you turn in your wishes for an ideal internship, is another thing. This is our focus,” Lee says. “We do most of the work for students so they simply get the recommended companies to intern and work for. Aren’t students supposed to focus on their school work and networking as the most important thing while in school?”

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USS Carney activity

“Why Being There Matters”

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Feb. 6, 2016) Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 3rd Class Jazmine Harper from Dallas, and Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Nana Frimpong (left) from Hyattsville, Md., check oil levels aboard USS Carney (DDG 64) Feb. 6, 2016. Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released)

On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.



Contaminant levels in District fish show improvement; consumption limits remain in place


The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) issued its 2016 Fish Consumption Advisory recommending that residents do not eat American eel, carp, and striped bass caught in District waters. The advisory stated that these fish have elevated levels of toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


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Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s March 2016 Events

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) presents the following events in March 2016:

Fridays, March 4 & 18 – Friday ARTnights: Knit & SipAfter the hustle and bustle of a long week relax, reconnect with your friends and like-minded knitters, in a fun, neighborly environment. Enjoy light refreshments, coffee, tea and wine. Bring your own project or purchase a kit from the instructor to learn the basics. All experience levels welcome. The workshop takes place 7:00pm-9:00pm on Fridays, March 4 and March 18 at CHAW, 545 7th St. SE.  $30 per session + optional $10 for starter ball of yarn and knitting needles. For more information and to register, visit www.chaw.org or call 202-547-6839. 

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Community invited to comment in-person March 3, 2016, online or by mail

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) invites the public to provide input on the Public Hearing Draft of the Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment. The Planning Board will hear public testimony on March 3, 2016.  An electronic copy of the plan is available at ParkPlanning.org.

The plan proposes a new framework of countywide trails called “Loops and Links.” This framework aims to complete gaps in the countywide trail system, design sustainable trails and provide trails closer to where people live or work.  

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DPR to Host the 30th Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will host the 30th Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet (BHISM) to be held from Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14, 2016, at DPR’s Takoma Aquatic Center located at 300 Van Buren Street, NW.  Takoma will close at noon on Thursday, February 12 in order to prepare for the BHISM, and will reopen to the public on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
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wheelchair and vol

Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center Takes Active Stand to Prevent Veteran Homelessness with a Community Stand Down

Following winter blizzard Jonas, 677 homeless and at-risk Veterans from areas of D.C., Maryland and Virginia were transported and welcomed to the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, January 30, 2016.  Over 60 community partners and 490 volunteers were on-hand, under one roof, to offer health care, VA benefits and services, and community resource during the 22nd annual Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down.

The Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s staff brings together federal, local and state government agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, active duty service members as well as corporate and non-profit community partners, donors and sponsors. They come together with one mission – Veteran-centered care, providing primary and specialty health care to include: women’s health, podiatry, optometry, HIV testing as well as mental health and substance abuse, employment and housing counseling. The full day of services address many of the contributing factors associated with homelessness or the risk of homelessness.

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Team registrations are now being accepted for the Central Maryland Soccer Association’s 19th Annual Old Line State Classic soccer tournament.  The Classic is scheduled for the weekend of April 23rd and 24th at venues in the Jarrettsville, MD area. 

The Classic is an open USSF affiliated event open to all school, recreation and club teams located in the mid-Atlantic region. Boys and Girls competition is offered in the single age categories of U8 through U14, and the dual age level of 15/16 and 17/18. 


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Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.5 Million in Community Development Block Grants

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced more than $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for Scott County and the town of Brodnax. Scott County will receive $530,000 for the Scott County Riverside Offsite Utilities Project through the CDBG Community Economic Development Fund, and the town of Brodnax will receive $1 million for the Brodnax Water System Improvements Project through the CDBG Competitive Grant Program.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The CDBG program has been an invaluable tool in Virginia’s ongoing effort to kick start economic development in communities that are ready to grow. These grants will lay a foundation for future vitality and contribute to our work building a new Virginia economy in every corner of our state.”

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Brentwood, Hamilton and Macomb Recreation Centers Remain Closed for Renovations

Due to unforeseen delays related to inclement weather and construction, three DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) remain closed for renovations.   On December 2, 2015, DPR initially announced the temporary closures of Brentwood Recreation Center (2311 14th Street, NE), Hamilton Recreation Center (1340 Hamilton Street, NW) and Macomb Recreation Center (3409 Macomb Street, NW) from Monday, December 14, 2015 through Monday, February 8, 2016. 

Currently, Brentwood is expected to open on Monday, February 22; and Hamilton and Macomb are expected to open on Monday, February 29.  

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Mayor Bowser discussing importance of affordable housing

Mayor Bowser Directs $90 Million to Produce & Preserve 800 Affordable Housing Units

Twelve projects will house nearly 1,800 District residents

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced 12 projects that will provide more than 800 units of affordable housing in the District. These projects represent nearly $82.2 million in public funding and will house approximately 1,760 District residents. 

“Washingtonians in all eight wards should have access to quality affordable housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “My Administration is committed to producing, preserving and protecting affordable housing across the city. First, we put our money where our mouth is, by making historic investments in the Housing Production Trust Fund. And with these 12 projects, we are putting those dollars to work. We will continue to build DC’s affordable housing supply and create more pathways to the middle class for our residents.”

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Ten District Schools Moving to Extended Year

New program to extend school at 10 public schools in the District will get underway in the 2016-2017 school year

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Wednesday that 10 DC Public Schools (DCPS) schools will move to an extended-year calendar in School Year 2016-2017. This announcement comes during Education Week, Mayor Bowser’s week-long effort to highlight how the District is accelerating the pace of school reform and creating pathways to the middle class for District residents.

The extended year includes an additional month of instruction, taking the academic school year from 180 to 200 days.  There will be an additional two weeks provided for students who need extra support, and breaks in October and June to accompany the normal winter and spring breaks. 


Research suggests that time away from school during the summer contributes to the achievement gap.  School districts across the country that have extended the school year have seen significant gains among their student bodies.

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DC Council supports Anita Bonds’ New Communities Right to Return Resolution

 On February 2, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously supported At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds’ New Communities Initiative Relocation and Return Rights Resolution.

The resolution follows last week’s New Communities Public Roundtable held by Bonds, Chairperson of the Committee of Housing and Community Development, in which many public housing residents testified about their concerns over the right to return to the redeveloped communities.

The New Communities Initiative renovates existing public housing developments and converts them into mixed-use communities with public, affordable, and market-rate housing along with additional community amenities. Concerns expressed decry the program as a way to gentrify neighborhoods and deny long-standing residents from returning to the only home they’ve ever known.

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DC Public Library Launches ‘Books From Birth’ Program

Today, Councilmember Charles Allen joined DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan to announce the official launch of the city’s Books From Birth early childhood literacy program.

“I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the official launch of Books From Birth. Just over a year ago, I introduced the bill to create this program, together with all of my Council colleagues, and tomorrow marks an important step forward for early childhood literacy in the District,” said Allen.

“Our support for Books From Birth shows we are serious about confronting the District’s literacy and achievement gaps at their starting point, well before those gaps show up in the classroom. Books are direct building blocks for learning, but children must be exposed to them to use them,” continued Allen.

The Books From Birth program will mail a book to each child in the District every month from birth through age five, while also working to connect families with the full range of DC Public Library resources and educational information, including adult literacy assistance and DCPL’s Sing, Talk, & Read early literacy program. Families may sign up online by visiting http://dclibrary.org/booksfrombirth

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Top 101   Scholarships


(BlackNews.com) — Students and parents looking for financial aid to help pay for college are rejoicing about the release of a new 67-page book entitled, Get That Money, Honey! Top 101+ Scholarships (and Internships) for African Americans and Other Minority Students (exclusively available at www.ebooksandreports.com). The book complements President Obama’s goal by the year 2020 to increase the number of African American students applying to, persisting in and successfully completing college.

Available for just $4.95 as an e-book that can be downloaded to any computer, smartphone or tablet, this publication features more than 100 scholarship and internship programs that are especially for African Americans and other minorities. Plus, it shows you how you can apply, and very single opportunity listed is real and legit!

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Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. will be the Guest Speaker for the NAACP DC Branch February “Black History Month” General Body Meeting on Thursday, February 11, 2016.  Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. served as the National Executive Director & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1993.  At the time, he was the youngest person elected by the NAACP National Board of Directors to serve as CEO of the organization. During his tenure, Chavis introduced new priorities focusing the NAACP on environmental justice, economic empowerment and voter empowerment for communities of color.  Dr. Chavis joined the NAACP at 12 years old and is a lifetime member of the organization.   

In his youth, Chavis was an assistant to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He rose to international prominence as the leader of the Wilmington Ten, a group of civil rights activists who were charged with committing arson. After the conviction of the entire group, Chavis received a sentence of 34 years in prison. Along with the other members of the Wilmington Ten, Chavis walked to his freedom in 1980 after the federal appeals court overturned the convictions.

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Richard Allen stamp

The Postal Service Celebrates Black History Month Issuing a Forever Stamp Honoring Richard Allen

Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

The U.S. Postal Service kicked off the national observance of Black History Month with the dedication of a Forever stamp honoring preacher, activist and civic leader Richard Allen for his inspirational life and profound contribution to American history. The ceremony was held at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded by Allen.

The stamp is the 39th in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage stamp series, which began in 1978 with a stamp honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman. It coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, considered one of the most important institutions in African American life, and Allen’s election and consecration as A.M.E.’s first bishop.

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Mayor Bowser Praises Expansion of Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

The DC Council voted to expand the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) to 22-24 year old residents for two years. Expanding opportunities for young adults to gain meaningful work experience is a top priority for the Bowser Administration.

“I am pleased that the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment program will continue to support our youth, including our young adults, ensuring that they have the skills to transition from a summer job to long-term employment,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Today’s vote is an important step forward, and our next step is to make this critical investment permanent – so that every young person in the District has a clear pathway to the middle class. I am thankful to Councilmember Vincent Orange for his advocacy for youth in all 8 wards.”

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District of Columbia Confirms Seven Consecutive Years of Declining New HIV Cases

The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) released the latest version of the “Interim HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report.” This document presents preliminary data showing the seventh consecutive decrease in annual new HIV cases in the District of Columbia during 2014.

“Last year, I announced the bold goal to cut in half new HIV cases in the District by the year 2020,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Today, we continue to make progress toward that goal and take new approaches that will enable us to ultimately end the epidemic in our city.”

The report shows 396 new HIV cases in 2014, a 29% decrease from the 553 cases reported in 2013. This is also a 70% decrease from 1,333 cases in 2007 when the highest number of HIV cases were reported. This interim report also contains new data reporting elements for DOH, including: new HIV cases among transgender persons and a new reporting category of HIV transmission.

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Giant Food

Giant Food celebrates historic 80th anniversary

 Neighborhood Giant locations to host cake cutting celebrations

On its 80th anniversary this Saturday, February 6, Giant Food invites customers and community members to celebrate this major milestone with complimentary birthday cake available from 12:00 – 4:00pm at all 169 neighborhood Giant Food locations in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

“On this historic anniversary, Giant is honored to invite our valued customers and community members to celebrate our 80-year history,” said Gordon Reid, President, Giant Food of Landover, Md.  “Our customers remain at the heart of our business, and we love helping our customers save money, save time and eat well.”

On February 6, 1936, N.H. Cohen and Sam Lehrman opened Washington D.C.’s first grocery store.
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Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Presents CHAW Summer: Arts Exploration Camps

Online registration is now OPEN for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) summer camp program, CHAW Summer: Arts Exploration CampsFor almost forty-five years, CHAW has offered high quality arts programming in a safe and dynamic space that encourages Confidence, Creativity, and Community, and we are thrilled to once again extend this learning to the summer months.

The CHAW Summer experience provides just the right balance of creativity and recreation in a welcoming community of friends both old and new.  The flexible program fits all kinds of schedules, and, as with all CHAW programs, we offer tuition assistance and payment plans to ensure that a CHAWsome summer may be made available to all.

Camp Director Leslie Mansour said, “To us, it’s not “just” an arts camp, because art is life.  Everything we do should focus and have art incorporated into it.  So kids are not just coming in to learn about art: they’re learning about life, about themselves, and about how to fit into the world genuinely and not lose sight of that.  Art keeps the focus on those authentic feelings of identity and the community you belong to–and art provides a lens on how you can change the world with that perspective.”

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Free Program Helps People Stop Smoking and Improve Their Health

Doctors Community Hospital’s Freedom from Smoking Program is designed to help people during their journeys toward smoke-free and healthier living. In addition to support and education, participants of this free eight-week program receive blood pressure screenings and carbon monoxide level monitoring. 

According to the American Lung Association, smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, diabetes and other preventable conditions. Doctors Community Hospital’s free eight-week program provides participants with in-depth information, reliable resources, interactive discussions, guest speakers and support services – all within a nurturing and compassionate environment.

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DPR Offers “DPR Fun Day” on February 12th During DC Public Schools’ Professional Development Days

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced it will host its third DPR Fun Day for the 2015-2016 school year, when DC Public Schools (DCPS) is closed on Friday, February 12, 2016. DPR Fun Day is a free, single-day program that offers fun and enriching activities (such as sports and athletics, arts and crafts, and more) for children between the ages 6 and 12 years old.

DPR’s third Fun Day is scheduled for Friday, February 12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. DPR Fun Day will incorporate DPR’s “Move, Grow and Be Green” initiative, as DPR continues to plant the seeds of personal development and environmental responsibility. DPR strives to meet the needs of District families when DCPS is closed for Professional Development days. The final DPR Fun Day for the school year is scheduled for Friday, May 6, 2016.

Sites offering DPR Fun Day on February 12th are as follows:
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DPR Announces New Summer Camp Reduced Rate Policies and Procedures for 2016

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced revised policies and procedures for DPR’s Summer Camp Reduced Rate Policy. Federal household income guideline changes went into effect on January 1, 2016.  These new income guidelines will be in effect for the 2016 summer camps season.

DPR’s mission is to offer equitable access to high quality, recreation programs. For this reason, DPR offers a reduced rate for qualified District residents to ensure that summer camps are available to everyone, regardless of one’s ability to pay. The DPR Summer Camp Reduced Rate program allows children of qualifying families to attend with a discount of either 50% or 75% (depending on income and family size) per child, per camp session.

The reduced rate program pre-qualification registration period will start on Monday, February 1, 2016. While applications for reduced rate will be accepted at this time, camp registration will not open until Monday, February 22, 2016. The goal of the pre-qualification period is to assist residents with completing their reduced rate applications so that they can easily register for camp when registration opens on February 22, 2016. Please note that reduced rate applications will be accepted throughout the entire Summer 2016 season.

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Maryland Mortgage Program Sales Increase by 120 Percent in 2015

Homeownership loans through the Maryland Mortgage Program more than doubled in 2015 with the overall value of loans totaling more than $638 million.

The dramatic increase in sales marked one of the program’s most productive years in nearly a decade and is seen as a sign of the state’s steadily strengthening housing market. Sales also were boosted by several successful initiatives that opened new homeownership opportunities to hardworking families throughout Maryland.

“We are committed to increasing jobs, improving the state’s fiscal outlook and putting more dollars back in taxpayers’ pockets,” Governor Hogan said. “A healthy housing market is the key to a healthy economy.

Through the Maryland Mortgage Program, more families are able to put down roots in our state and create long-lasting financial stability.”

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3rd National Scholarship for DREAMers Round Deadline Nears

Applications Must be Submitted by February 15, 2016

TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for highly motivated DREAMers who cannot afford a college education, scholarship application deadline nears. With over 900 DREAMer Scholars nationwide attending over 70 Partner Colleges, the scholarship program looks to grant more than 600 new scholarships to eligible students who apply for either the first time college student scholarship or the community college scholarship. The application and guidelines can be found on TheDream.US websitewww.thedream.us/apply.

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This February, the Shakespeare Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare’s Othello, helmed by internationally acclaimed director Ron Daniels and featuring stage and screen performer Faran Tahir in the titular role and Jonno Roberts as Iago. Director Ron Daniels, an honorary associate director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, brings his sure hand with Shakespeare to one of the Bard’s greatest tragedies. Othello runs at STC’s Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) from February 23 through March 27.

Shakespeare Theatre Company continues its 2015–2016 season with Shakespeare’s Othello, the classic tale of jealousy, duplicity, and destruction. Among the exotic airs and mysterious shadows of Cyprus, newly married Moorish general Othello finds himself the pawn in the manipulative games of his right-hand man, Iago. As his imagination is poisoned, Othello turns on his new bride Desdemona and his loyal lieutenant Cassio, and rapidly spirals from hero to villain in one of Shakespeare’s most haunting tragedies.

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Contract Talks

Union Reports “No Progress” in MontCo Contract Talks

With the last day of contract negotiations with Montgomery County coming up this Saturday, UFCW 1994/MCGEO reports that “We have made no progress on our issues.” The union represents more than 5,000 county workers and notes that “The economic uncertainty facing the County has made negotiations difficult.” Montgomery County is set to take a big hit in tax revenue – upwards of $50 million — thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year that Maryland’s income tax law is unconstitutional. The looming possibility of privatization of the Department of Liquor Control would be another $25-$35 million annual hit, in addition to mistakes by the State Comptrollers’ office that erroneously awarded millions in County tax dollars to local municipalities. “Add to that the Maintenance of Effort law that forces the allocation of 60 percent of County funding to education and negotiators are faced with a deficit that makes decisions nearly impossible,” Local 1994 told its members on Tuesday. If there’s no agreement by Saturday, mediation begins on February 8.




On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) and under the leadership of USCM Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, nearly 300 of the nation’s mayors will convene in Washington, D.C. at the Capital Hilton Hotel to engage with Administration officials, Congressional leaders business leaders to ensure the health and economic recovery of America’s cities.  

First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks to the mayors on Thursday, January 21st at the top of the Plenary Session.

The nation’s mayors will also hold a press conference to unveil their urban agenda – The 2016 Compact for a Better America: A Call to Action — which calls on the Presidential candidates and Congress to INVEST in and PROTECT America’s cities and metro areas.

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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate holds steady at 6.6 Percent in December

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported this week that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in December – unchanged from the reported and revised November unemployment rate.   


“Our unemployment rate remains 1.1 percent lower than a year ago. This demonstrates that our city is headed in the right direction, but we will continue to work to get more District residents back to work and on the pathway to the middle class,” said Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden.  The District’s preliminary December job estimates show a decrease of 900 jobs, for a total of 774,600 jobs in the District. The public sector payrolls increased by 1,700 jobs, while private sector decreased by 2,600 jobs. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.


The number of employed District residents was up 400 from 363,400 in November 2015 to 363,800 in December 2015.


Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released November estimates were revised downward to show an over-the-month (October 15- November 15) total non-farm employment decrease of 100 jobs. 


Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting to kick off the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study on Tuesday February 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  at Trinity University Main Hall, O’Connor Auditorium,  125 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington, DC  The purpose of this meeting is to provide an overview of the project, present existing conditions and data, share key issues, and gather community feedback.  


DDOT is undertaking the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to identify improvements along the east-west connections that traverse Wards 1 and 5, address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. DDOT will work with members of the community and key stakeholders to evaluate and develop a range of physical and operational improvements. The Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study is a key project in the 2-Year Action Plan for MoveDC, the District of Columbia’s multimodal long-range transportation plan.


DPR and Capital Area Food Bank Partner to Provide Food Distribution

 The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in collaboration with the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), the region’s largest hunger relief organization is implementing an emergency plan to meet the food needs of families across Washington, DC who may have run out of food this week.

While DPR and CAFB partner to provide afterschool meals at certain sites, this is the first collaboration where they will provide food distribution at sites.

“The DC Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to continue to help our residents in new, innovative ways,” said DPR Director, Keith Anderson. “Residents having access to healthy, nutritious food is important to us and this week our expanded partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank will assist those in need.”

 “This is a time of real need,” said Nancy E. Roman, the organization’s CEO. “And the food bank is working flat out to meet that need. Our job is to meet food needs any way we can, that means being nimble, creative, and collaborative.”

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Summer Meals

White House calls for $12 billion for summer meal program for children

(UPI) — The president’s fiscal year 2017 budget calls for $12 billion over the next decade for the summer meal program for low-income children, the White House announced Wednesday.

The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children provides meals during the summer for children who are eligible for free and reduced school meals during the school year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also plans to increase access to school meals for low-income students, it was announced, by allowing states to access Medicaid data, reducing the amount of paperwork for applicants. The pilot program, which will start in the 2016-2017 school year, will be implemented in 20 states initially.

The announcement comes after a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers found the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is essential to reducing poverty.


CBC Commends Federal Actions to Better Protect Juvenile Offenders

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s decision to ban solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana recognizing the requirement of sentencing courts to consider a child’s ‘diminished culpability and heightened capacity for change’ before condemning him or her to die in prison:


“Members of the Congressional Black Caucus applaud President Obama’s bold executive action to prohibit the use of solitary confinement for some of the country’s low-level offenders and to ban the practice as punishment for the youngest offenders and the mentally ill.  Solitary confinement has been used throughout American history, but the results have proven to be devastating and often unfitting of the crime.  The CBC has long held that such confinement is a human rights issue, and we commend President Obama for taking another strong and significant step to reform our criminal justice system.


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Fielding Graduate University Fielder Center Launch

Fielding Graduate University Launches Marie Fielder Center for Social Justice Research

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On January 15, 2016, Fielding Graduate University launched its brand new Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education, a multidisciplinary research and advocacy center aimed at advancing diversity and inclusion throughout society. It honors the life and legacy of the late Marie Fielder, PhD, a brilliant and influential African American educator and champion for social justice, who was a member of Fielding’s founding family in the 1970s.


The Center’s goal is to become a significant national entity for advancing public discourse and advocacy on social democracy, leadership and especially education—K-12 through university.

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STEM Professionals

2016’s Best & Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals

STEM workers are in fierce demand and not just in the global epicenter of high tech known as Silicon Valley. According to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — professions will expand 1.7 times faster than non-STEM occupations between 2010 and 2020. That should be welcome news to job seekers with skills in these areas, half of which do not even require a four-year college degree.

Given their growing demand, STEM careers today comprise some of the most lucrative employment, paying higher salaries and boasting far fewer threats of unemployment compared with non-STEM jobs. In fact, the annual average wage for all STEM positions collectively was $85,570 —81 percent more than the national average of $47,230 for all jobs — according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Black Alliance for Educational Options Releases Report on the
 State of Black Education During National School Choice Week 

Report highlights role parental choice and transformational education reform initiatives play in improving educational outcomes for Black children

Black parents, educators, elected officials, clergy, students and other community leaders must remain strong advocates for high-quality educational options inside schoolhouses, at school board meetings, and inside state capitals, affirms a new report released recently by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)— a national education advocacy organization.  The release of the report coincides with National School Choice Week (NCSW) and underscores the need for more high-quality education options for Black children across the country.


The State of Black Education in Black America 2015 shows effective parent choice and education reform policies in action.  The report also makes clear that gaps in the academic achievement of children from low-income and working-class Black families still persist, and more work needs to be done to ensure our children can achieve the American dream. Armed with this information, parents, educators, lawmakers and philanthropists can make better decisions about how parental choice and transformational education reform fits into the nation’s overall educational strategies.


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Fewer Men Estimated to Die From Prostate Cancer

Recently released figures have indicated an estimated 26,120 men will die of prostate cancer in 2016, a 5 percent drop from the 2015 estimate. Based on these facts, a man will lose his prostate cancer battle every 20 minutes. In 2016, an estimated 180,890 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, an 18 percent decline from 2015 estimates

Advances in the treatment of prostate cancer have lead to a steady decline in deaths from the disease, but despite this good news, detection rates have fallen significantly in recent years. This is due to recommendations against PSA testing, causing more patients to be diagnosed in late stage disease and limiting their options for treatment. 

We’re concerned that lack of early detection will lead to increases in deaths in the coming years and urge continued focus on advancing diagnostic tools and technology focused on finding prostate cancer early and determining aggressive from indolent disease.

Learn more about the estimated prostate cancer facts and figures for 2016.


SAMHSA’s 2015 Barometer tracks the behavioral health of America

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) most recent National Behavioral Health Barometer report (Barometer) highlights many important trends in Americans’ behavioral health throughout the nation.


The 2015 Barometer findings cover key behavioral healthcare issues affecting American communities including the prevalence rates of youth and adult substance use, serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and people seeking treatment for these disorders.  The Barometer shows this data at the national level, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.


The Barometer also includes analyses using several demographic categories such as gender, age, income level, health insurance status, and race/ethnicity.  These data representations can help decision makers identify behavioral health differences among these groups.  Information such as this can assist in developing programs to address potential health disparities.

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Wayne Frederick


– Alumni, Business, and Civic Leaders to Raise Scholarship Funds for Howard Students –


(BlackNews.com) — The Howard University Alumni Club of Atlanta (HUACA) will hold its annual Charter Day Dinner on Friday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the prestigious Commerce Club. The event will commemorate the university’s 149th Charter Day Observation and serves as HUACA’s primary scholarship fundraiser for Howard students. The theme for this year’s gala is United in our Legacy of Excellence, Truth, and Service.

The dinner will feature Howard University President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick as the keynote speaker. President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick’s appearance underscores his commitment to engaging Howard University alumni and the broader communities in which we live, says Karen Shropshire, HUACA president.

Howard stands alone as the only HBCU to have three graduates serve as mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities. To celebrate this outstanding achievement, Atlanta Mayors Kasim Reed, Andrew Young and Shirley Franklin have been invited.

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Summer Academy

Princeton University Gearing Up to Host Sixth Summer Academy for Minority Teen Girls

For the sixth straight year, the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be held on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Academy is one of the only summer institutes for minority teen girls to be held on an Ivy League campus.

At the Well Academy is geared towards building leadership skills for minority girls entering the eleventh or twelfth grades of high school. This year’s Academy is scheduled for July 24 – August 5, 2016 at The Friend Center, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. In 2015, almost 50 teenage scholars attended the competitive program.

The Academy offers dynamic speakers, standardized test-taking strategies, critical reading courses, college essay writing classes, tutoring, group activities, and field trips. Each year, special guests provide dynamic presentations. The 2015 roster of speakers included marketing guru Terrie Williams, Brandi Harvey, Executive Director of the Steve Harvey Foundation and Yandy Smith executive producer of the television show “Love and Hip Hop.” 2014 roster included husband and wife actors, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker.
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Top 7th Grade Students With Financial Need Can Apply For Cooke Foundation Scholarships

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The application period is open  for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program. Outstanding 7th grade students with financial need can apply for the program, which provides many benefits and can lead to the Cooke Foundation’s prestigious college scholarship.


Students selected as Cooke Young Scholars get individualized counseling to set academic goals, guidance on applying to colleges, and funding for summer educational programs, study abroad, internships and school expenses.

“The Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program is life-changing,” Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy said. “It gives some of the brightest low-income students in our nation outstanding educational opportunities they couldn’t otherwise afford. On top of that, 96 percent of our Young Scholars have gone on to receive Cooke College Scholarships worth up to $40,000 a year, and many have received Cooke Continuing Graduate Scholarships worth up to $50,000 a year for four years.”

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Brides Run Washington DC: Brides Run series of 5k events brings race to Washington DC

The Brides Run® series of 5k running events is pleased to announce that it is bringing the event to Washington DC for the first time.  Brides Run DC is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 24 at 9:00 am at The Boathouse at Fletchers Cove.  Registration is $45 until Monday, February 1, 2016 after which the price increases to $50. Individuals can register at www.bridesrun.com.


The Brides Run series of races are specialty 5k running events for brides, grooms and the entire wedding party that occurs in cities around the country.  The focus is on providing individuals healthy methods of getting fit within a social atmosphere.  Registrants are encouraged to participate in weekly runs leading up to the main the event and set reasonable goals in the quest to become healthy leading up to their wedding day.


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Governor McAuliffe Announces Highest Employment Level in History of the Commonwealth

Governor McAuliffe announced recently that Virginia’s employment level reached 3,856,100 in December 2015, the highest in the Commonwealth’s history. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent.  Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.6 percentage point from December 2014 and remains below the national rate, which was at 5.0 percent in December. Virginia has created 96,500 net new jobs since Governor McAuliffe took office.


December was the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year employment growth in the Commonwealth, and at 1.5 percent, is the highest growth since September 2011. 


Once again, in December, Virginia had the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the Southeast states and the fourth-best rate among states east of the Mississippi.


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 Does the roar from a lion thrill you? Do birds calling send a chill up your spine? Does the pitter patter of little feet asking where the nearest restroom is bring a smile to your face? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have what it takes to answer the call of the wild and join the Volunteer herd at The Maryland Zoo! The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore will be hosting our annual Open House for prospective volunteers on Sunday, January 31, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Zoo’s Mansion House Porch.

During the Open House, current volunteers and staff will be on hand to discuss all the details including training, scheduling, and the rewards of volunteering. There will also be Zoo representatives on hand to discuss college internships and the Junior Zoo Crew, our unique service-learning program for teens ages 14-17.  There will be Q&A sessions at 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30.  During these short sessions, people will learn about the essential role Volunteers play in conservation education, visitor support, grounds keeping, and more! 

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Visit Annapolis Receives Second Highest 
Maryland Matching Grant Award

The Maryland Tourism Development Board (MTDB) has awarded $271,923 in matching grants to Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) for fiscal year 2016 that ends June 30, 2016. The allocation is second only to Ocean City, which received $479,008 in matching grant dollars.

VAAAC President & CEO Connie Del Signore says the FY 2016 grant award is a reflection of the strategic advertising and marketing decisions her organization made in FY 2015. “Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County performed outstandingly in the three major categories MTDB considered in calculating this year’s grant awards. After investing more advertising dollars year over year in the right media outlets in the right markets, we saw a significant increase in the number of overnights visitors spent in our destination.”  


VAAAC spent $930,873 on advertising and marketing in FY 2015, a 19.36% increase over the $639,050 it spent in FY 2014. The increase in advertising expenditures was second only to Ocean City, which showed a 29.92% increase in advertising expenditures over FY 2014. Combined with a recovering economy and the efforts of its full- and limited-service hotels, VAAAC’s advertising efforts helped yield an 11.67% increase in hotel sales taxes, from $14,372,411 in FY 2014 to $15,151,292 in FY 2015.

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It is 10:45 on a brisk Wednesday morning and the Soup Up Bethesda team is readying themselves for the afternoon lunch rush.  With the cold weather upon us, Soup Up Bethesda, which opened to the public on October 27, 2015, serves patrons eager to find healthy options for lunch and dinner.

Highly anticipated since news of its opening was announced in May 2015, the first-of-its-kind soup bar, which occupies the first floor of Bethesda’s PeriPoint Building located at the intersection of Wilson Lane and Old Georgetown and Arlington roads, provides a dizzying array of homemade and distinctive soups, salads, spring rolls, cornbread and natural juices.  Soups such as Breakfast in Bed, Cashew Chickpea with Shiitake Mushroom, Fresh Herb Roasted Chicken w/ Roasted Corn; Curried Chicken with Basmati Rice, Lasagna Soup, Chili Fiesta, Chicken & Dumplings, Red Lentil Medley, Jamaican-style Stewed Beef w/ Vegetables, and Bone Broth are just a few of its popular entrees.


Donna Henry, who owns Soup Up Bethesda, has been selling soups at Washington, DC’s Union Market since 2012.  While she boasts more than 150 different soups, the soup bar’s daily menu typically features six soups — all made with locally grown vegetables, herbs and spices and without additives, preservatives, dairy, butter, oil or added salt. Vegan, non-vegan and gluten-free soups combine American Spanish, Asian, Caribbean, and Mediterranean cuisines. 

The Washington Sun (WS) recently sat down for a candid discussion with Henry at her soup bar in Bethesda. The following is an excerpt of the interview.

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Steps Toward a Safer, Stronger District

Councilmembers, small business owners and community members joined Mayor Bowser as she signed the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2016. The legislation, which was moved by Councilmember Charles Allen is part of Mayor Bowser’s comprehensive Safer, Stronger public safety agenda, provides rebates to property and business owners, as well as religious institutions who install security cameras. During the signing, Mayor Bowser thanked the DC Council for working with her to advance sensible policies that make the District safer and stronger.


Major snow storm to hit East Coast on Saturday

(UPI) — A nor’easter packing strong winds and snow fall up to two feet in some areas beginning Friday is threatening to rival the 2010 “Snowmageddon” blizzard.

States from Virginia to Massachusetts are beginning preparations for a snowfall that could have “huge impacts to commerce, travel and possibly life and property,” the National Weather Service said. Forecasters said it could pack a punch, similar to the February 2010 blizzard with the moniker Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. Even with the unpredictability, forecasters are warning residents to start getting ready.

The storm won’t just bring snow, but winds with gusts up to 50 mph in cities that include New York City and localized flooding due to a full moon. That means a 12-inch snowfall can make six-foot snow drifts.

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U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Obama’s immigration plan

(UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear arguments on President Barack Obama‘s proposed plan that would shield up to five millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The court will hear arguments in April for a possible late June ruling that could fuel an already hot-button issue during a contentious election year.

A federal appeals court in November ruled the Obama administration overreached its power with an executive action that would allow some immigrant families protections that include three-year work permits under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. Obama’s plan, announced in November 2014, has been challenged by 26 states including Texas, all led by Republican governors.

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New Anti-Graffiti Legislation

New legislation would use preventative measures to deter would-be bad actors from marking local businesses and landmarks with graffiti.

On Tuesday, January 19, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd introduced, along with Councilmember May, the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016.” The legislation would, in part, increase the fines for those who willfully place graffiti on a property without an owner’s consent to $2,500.

Since taking office, Councilmember Todd has committed to ensuring Ward 4 remains a safe place for residents to work, live, and thrive. Additionally, the Councilmember has made the concerns and upward development of small and local businesses a top priority. Graffiti is prevalent throughout the District, and threatens both of these areas of focus – costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Today, Councilmember Todd has taken tangible steps towards deterring would-be bad actors in the community from participating in these widespread acts of vandalism.


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Operation Underground Railroad - Image

doTERRA’s Donation helps Operation Underground Railroad Save Children from Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking often suffer from diseases like hepatitis, urinary tract infections (UTI), and emotional side effects, long after their liberation from the sex trade industry.

/PRNewswire/ — doTERRA‘s Healing Hands Foundation recently provided product donations to Operation Underground Railroad, for the organization’s “Save the Babes” event that raised money to help free children from human trafficking. The event proved successful, with $5,000 of funds raised to enable Operation Underground Railroad to save about five children.

With rescue teams composed of ex-Navy Seal, CIA, and other operatives, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) uses cutting edge technology and human intelligence to liberate children who have fallen victim to human trafficking. The non-profit organization also aims to dismantle sex trafficking networks, and partner with local governments to arrest perpetrators. OUR follows specific procedures and processes to ensure that all of their rescue efforts are done safely and legally.

One important part of OUR’s process is their focus on techniques that will help rescued children transition back into everyday life after their liberation—whether they receive help from a shelter, or return home to their family.
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More Than 520,000 African Americans Have This Problem With Their Eyes

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that damages the optic nerve. It can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. Sadly, approximately 10% of people who get the proper treatment will still experience loss of vision.

Anyone can get glaucoma, but African Americans are at higher risk. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. According to the National Eye Institute, more than 520,000 African Americans have glaucoma. Not only that, glaucoma strikes earlier and progresses faster in African Americans.


The reasons for the higher rate of glaucoma among African Americans are still unknown amongst scientists. However, research does confirm that African Americans are genetically more at risk for glaucoma. This makes early detection and treatment all the more important.


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Black Women Millionaires


Dr. Venus Opal Reese will kick off a ten city business training tour from Jan. 21 to Sept. 8 which includes Prince Georges County, Md

(BlackNews.com) — From sleeping on the streets in urine and beer to becoming a self-made millionaire, Dr. Venus Opal Reese, the Black Women Millionaires Mentor (TM), knows how to “pimp your pain” into a seven-figure business. She is now offering live training seminars for successful black women entrepreneurs who want to build a million-dollar, service-based business.

The Black Women Millionaires Blueprint (TM) Tour is scheduled to take place in ten cities throughout the United States and Canada, beginning Jan. 21st in Atlanta at the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel.

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Negro League Scholarship

SABR’s Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship

SABR’s Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship is open to high school seniors who plan to attend college and work towards a college degree. Two scholarships will be awarded to the students who write the most compelling essay on a topic pertaining to Negro League baseball.

Eligible students must have a grade point average of 2.5 by the end of their junior year in high school. They may apply for the scholarship in their senior year provided they plan to attend a U.S. accredited college or university. To apply, students should be knowledgeable about the history of black baseball as they will be required to write a 1,200-word essay on a topic that relates to the history of the Negro League.


Applications will be judged according to student academic performance, quality and depth of essay writing, and involvement in school, community and church activities. The scholarship rewards students who excel in school and have a strong interest in the Negro Leagues and baseball in general.


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Biochemicals in berries, red wine may help erectile dysfunction

(UPI) — New research suggests foods rich in flavonoids, such as berries, citrus and red wine, may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Flavonoids are the biochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. Researchers identified a link between lower ED rates and three specific flavonoids — anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones.

High levels of anthocyanins are found in berries, especially blueberries, cherries, blackberries, currants and red wine. Citrus fruits boast high levels of flavanones and flavones.

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How Exercise Benefits Joint Pain

If you’re in the grip of arthritis pain—and about 46 million American adults are—we have two words for you: Get moving.

#Whether you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or worn-down joints, pain can make life’s pleasures unbearable. Where once you looked forward to gardening, a raucous racquetball match or playing catch with your grandkids, now you can’t wait to slather on pain cream and curl up on the sofa with the heating pad. Even simple daily activities like carrying laundry downstairs, bringing in groceries and walking to the mailbox can seem nearly impossible.


#Here’s what you might not know: Though it might seem a workout will aggravate your aching joints, the right exercises performed properly actually can be a long-lasting way to tame ankle, hip, knee and shoulder pain. In fact, exercise can improve mobility, muscle strength and overall physical conditioning, plus help you maintain a healthy weight. Here’s how:

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Application Deadline of February 3rd for “Schools of Opportunity” Recognition of Top High Schools

High schools from across the nation are now submitting applications to be recognized as part of the Schools of Opportunity project of the National Education Policy Center. The project recognizes public schools for what they do to give all students the chance to succeed, rather than turning to test scores to determine school quality. The application deadline is February 3, 2016.

The Schools of Opportunity project highlights schools that use research-based practices to close the opportunity gaps that result in unequal opportunities to learn, in school and beyond school.

For example, although schools cannot directly integrate neighborhoods by race and class, they can do their best to integrate classrooms by race and class. And although it is difficult for schools to increase learning resources in neighborhoods or homes, they can ensure that rich, engaging learning opportunities are provided to all students while they are in school.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed in the CU-Boulder School of Education, designed the Schools of Opportunity project as a way to highlight the nation’s best schools and practices. The project is led by NEPC director and CU-Boulder School of Education Professor Kevin Welner, and Carol Burris, director of the Network for Public Education, who was the 2013 New York State High School Principal of the Year.

Each state’s effort will also be assisted by a team of evaluators, including New York State Regent Betty Rosa and Vermont State Board of Education member William Mathis, a former finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. The Ford Foundation and the NEA Foundation have both provided funding assistance.

“This project is about rewarding schools for doing the right things, even if they do not enroll the nation’s top students,” said Welner. “It’s also about highlighting the work of schools that are energetically closing the opportunity gap by engaging in research-based practices designed to make sure that all students have rich opportunities to succeed.”

Burris, whose high school had consistently been given top ranks in popular lists of the nation’s top high schools, points out their limitations. “Current programs aimed at identifying the nation’s best high schools include many high-quality schools,” she said. “But the approach they use tends to reward schools that are affluent and/or those that enroll a selective group of students. It is time we recognize schools that do outstanding work with a wider range of students.”

The Schools of Opportunity project will recognize schools based on 11 specific principles identified by experts in the 2013 book, Closing the Opportunity Gap, published by Oxford University Press, which Welner edited along with Stanford University Professor Prudence Carter. The project will recognize schools that use these principles to help to close opportunity gaps in order to improve academic performance.

“The first step in changing the conversation on school quality requires us to acknowledge that achievement gaps are a predictable and inevitable consequence of opportunity-to-learn gaps, which arise in large part because of factors outside of the control of schools,” Burris said. “However, even as schools are affected by larger societal forces, schools and educators can make decisions that either widen or close opportunity gaps.”

The specific practices include effective student and faculty support systems, outreach to the community, health and psychological support, judicious and fair discipline policies, little or no tracking, and high-quality teacher induction and mentoring programs. All identified practices are listed on the Schools of Opportunity website at http://opportunitygap.org.

The project is grounded in two basic, interrelated truths. Opportunity gaps beyond the control of schools contribute to gaps in achievement. At the same time, excellent schools can help narrow achievement gaps by closing those opportunity gaps within the school’s control.

“It’s because of the first truth,” Welner explained, “that excellent schools cannot be identified by just looking at outcomes. An awful school can have pretty good outcomes if its students are lucky enough to have rich opportunities to learn outside of school. And an outstanding school won’t necessarily have excellent scores if its students are disadvantaged by severe life challenges outside of school.”

“When schools and communities focus resources and efforts on closing the opportunity gaps, they should be recognized, supported and applauded,” he said. “They should also serve as models for those who wish to engage in true school improvement.”

The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog will announce schools that receive recognition in the spring. Top schools will receive acknowledgement at awards ceremonies and in other venues as well.

The Schools of Opportunity recognition process is designed to allow applicants to explain how and why their school should be recognized, and the project will provide any assistance needed to help applicants easily complete and submit their information.

Schools of Opportunity recognitions will be made at gold and silver levels, as well as a special recognition for top schools. Applications are welcomed until February 3rd, with all nomination information and forms available online at http://opportunitygap.org.


New Report, Interactive Map Show Widespread Inequality 
in Chemical Facility

A new report and interactive map just released by the Center for Effective Government finds that people of color and poor residents are significantly more likely to live near dangerous chemical facilities than white and non-poor residents in the United States. All 50 states were graded based on these unequal dangers, and more than half of states received D’s or F’s.


“Our nation’s chemical policies are failing to protect our most vulnerable populations,” said Ronald White, director of regulatory policy at the Center for Effective Government and one of the co-authors of the report. “These include children and the elderly, who are the most susceptible to chemical hazards and among the least able to evacuate should a disastrous release occur.” 

The report, Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards, looks at the 23 million residents living or attending school within one mile of facilities so hazardous they are included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Program. Residents with incomes below the poverty line and people of color – especially children – face the greatest dangers.

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New CAP Report Examines Teacher Quality by Children’s Socio-Economic Status

The Center for American Progress released a report titled “Examining Teacher Effectiveness Between Preschool and Third Grade,” which considers children’s access to indicators of effective teachers between preschool and third grade and how access differs by a child’s socio-economic status. The report is the second of a series of three on alignment from pre-K to third grade, also known as

The report examines three characteristics that are inherently interwoven and contribute to a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom: teacher qualifications; attitudes about teaching; and the teaching environment. The analysis identified some differences in teachers’ qualifications and attitudes across the P-3 spectrum, as well as variability in access to all three characteristics by children’s socio-economic and racial backgrounds. For example, children in center-based preschool classrooms are much less likely than children in the K-3 grades to have a teacher with a bachelor’s degree—a trend that is likely due to the drastically different standards for educators in early childhood versus elementary education. Across all grades, children from high-income households were more likely to be in classrooms with highly educated teachers compared to their lower-income peers. Additionally, fewer than half of all African American and Hispanic children in the sample attended preschool or kindergarten in a very safe neighborhood.

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Winterhaven 1

Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center Takes Active Stand to Eliminate and Prevent Veteran Homelessness with a Community Stand Down

Homeless or at-risk Veterans may not be recognized right away. They look like anyone you might pass at the local bus stop or coffee shop. They are men, women, of various age groups and ethnicities, some with obvious handicaps, and some with disabilities you can not see. The reasons that brought them to this point in their lives are just as numerous as they are.  

According to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there were 47,725 homeless Veterans nation-wide on a single cold night in January and it’s estimated that two times as many Veterans are at-risk of becoming homeless.  With more than 408 of them in DC, 714 in Maryland and 604 in Virginia, the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s staff is bringing together federal, local and state government agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, as well as corporate and non-profit community partners under one roof. The Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down will be held Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 50 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC. The stand down offers VA health care, benefits assistance and services, as well as one-on-one housing and employment counseling, solutions and resources for homeless, at-risk and underemployed Veterans.

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DC DMV is Compliant with Final Phase of REAL ID Act Implementation

The final phase of the REAL ID Act implementation will go into effect on January 22, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that to board a commercial domestic flight, a REAL ID compliant driver license or ID, or one issued from a REAL ID compliant jurisdiction will be required. Without one, passengers will be required to show another form of identification. Additionally, beginning on October 1, 2020, a REAL ID compliant credential will be required to board an airplane; otherwise, another form of acceptable identification will be needed. The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) began issuing REAL ID compliant credentials on May 1, 2014 and is a REAL ID compliant jurisdiction.


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Mayor Bowser Signs Safer, Stronger Law to Deter Crime & Help Solve Open Cases

New Rebate Program Incentivizes Property Owners to Install Security Cameras  


Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed into law the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2016, which creates a tangible and effective tool to fight crime.  The legislation, originally introduced in September 2015 as part of Mayor Bowser’s comprehensive public safety agenda, creates a program that encourages businesses, religious institutions, nonprofits and other property owners to install security cameras. 


“This law allows empowers members of our community to stop crime, and sends a clear message that we will no longer tolerate bad behavior in anywhere in our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “I want to thank the DC Council for working with my Administration to advance sensible policies that make the District safer and stronger.”

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The Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) recently announced the launch of its RiverSmart Innovations Grants Program which will provide funding for innovative projects that positively impact the District’s watersheds and waterbodies. DOEE anticipates awarding multiple grants of up to $20,000 each.  Applications are due by 4:30pm on February 29, 2016.


When rain falls on rooftops, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces in the District, it washes trash, oil, grease, sediment, and other pollutants into District waterbodies. The sheer volume of this stormwater runoff is also harmful as it erodes stream channels and washes sediment downstream, degrading aquatic habitat. Click here for an overview of stormwater-related issues in the District.

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New Agricultural Conservation Program Exceeds First-Year Goal

Resource Management Plans are critical to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup strategy


Virginia is making strides with its Resource Management Plan program, an innovative approach to meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. The initiative encourages farmers to increase their use of agricultural conservation practices while crediting them for practices already in place.


Since the program’s launch in July 2014, 278 resource management plans have been developed for farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This far surpasses the goal of 40 that was set for the program’s first year.


“Resource management plans are critical to Virginia’s strategy to protect and restore the health of rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay — and build a new Virginia economy in the process,” Governor McAuliffe said. “A major factor in this program’s success has been the support of both the agricultural and conservation communities.”

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Governor McAuliffe Helps Open Visa Cyber Fusion Center in Northern Virginia

Governor McAuliffe joined Visa officials to launch the new Visa Cyber Fusion Center Ashburn.  The Center is a secure facility that enables rapid cyber threat detection and centralized command and control for cyber operations.   The launch of the Cyber Fusion Center, which was also attended by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Attorney General Mark Herring, adds to a growing list of significant cyber assets located in the Commonwealth.  


“Our administration has been working hard to build a new Virginia economy and make the Commonwealth the leader in cybersecurity for this nation and around the globe,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “I am proud that the Commonwealth is a key partner with Visa in its efforts to provide world-class security and reliability for its customers. We are committed to creating a highly skilled cyber workforce to make sure that Visa and other companies can continue to grow here in the Commonwealth. Our budget includes funding for cybersecurity scholarships and apprenticeships, as well as support for colleges and universities seeking to establish Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. These investments will enable us to keep Virginia out front in the cybersecurity sector.”


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Free VHDA HomeOwnership Classes

Are you thinking about buying a home, but not sure where to start, especially in challenging economic times? The Virginia Housing Development Authority’s free First-time Homebuyer Class can help.

 In one day of training, you’ll learn the entire homebuying process from start to finish, and how to stay on track as a responsible homeowner. The class is offered in English or Spanish, in person or online – and it’s free, with no obligation.


Attend one of the many free sessions throughout February 2016 in Northern Virginia to learn about the advantages of homeownership.


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13th Annual Black College Expo Tour Returns

“Students can connect to colleges, careers & beyond”

 National College Resources Foundation’s 17th Annual Black College Expo Tour returns to DC/Maryland area Saturday March 5th 2016 at Bowie State University. Black College Expo will team up with community leaders and celebrities, and visit several schools and colleges to help students gain access to college and career opportunities.  Black College Expo has partnered with several corporate companies like Intel, Toyota, Lockheed Martin, Time Warner, Unified Grocers, Emma Bowen Foundation, Peace Corps, U.S. Marine Corps, US Army, and other organizations to create a College Student Career & Resource Center to help high students and college students not only gain access to college, but gain access to internships and careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), and other fields.   With the shortage of minority engineers, especially African Americans and women, Black College Expo will feature a Career Center Pavilion at all the expos, and it will provide a talent pool for companies seeking diverse students majoring in STEAM related disciplines.  It will also serve as a hub for students looking for internships and career opportunities. And to bring excitement and financial resources Black College Expo will be giving away book scholarships every hour in addition to the over $5,000 in scholarships given away expo day.

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Semi-Annual Main Reading Room Open House on Presidents Day Holiday

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room for a special open house to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round.  The first open house of the year will take place on the federal Presidents Day holiday, Monday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.  

Reference librarians will be on hand to demonstrate services, offer instruction on obtaining a reader-registration card and answer questions. They also will be available to demonstrate the Library’s online resources and discuss access to the Library’s vast onsite collections, including services and collections for use in family history research.   No other reference services will be available and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed.  Photography is allowed; however visitors may not use mono-, bi- or tripods.  

The Jefferson Building will open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of the normal tour schedule, docents will be available to talk with visitors about the Thomas Jefferson Building, its history, art, architecture, the Library’s collections and exhibitions between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

An Instagram meet-up, led by the Library’s official photographer will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., beginning in the Great Hall.  Visitors can join the conversation that day using the tag #LibraryOpenHouse.

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“The President’s Own” Presents February Performances

Includes High School Concerto Competition and All-Clarinet Program

Members of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra will present the following free concerts in February. For general concert information, patrons may call the 24-hour Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011 or visit www.marineband.marines.mil.


Concerto Competition Finals

2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13

John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Marine Barracks Annex

7th & K Streets, SE, Washington, D.C.

Venue information: (202) 433-4011 or www.marineband.marines.mil

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Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Be Held on February 4 to Address South Bethesda District

The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will hold a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, February 4 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Discussion will focus on zoning and building heights for the South Bethesda District, a residential area of garden apartments, townhouses and single-family homes situated to either side of Bradley Boulevard. For details about the work session, consult the Planning Board Agenda.

The next work session is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016. Consult the Planning Board Agenda webpage two weeks prior to this work session to find out more specifics about the session. Following the work sessions, the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan will be revised at the direction of the Planning Board and reviewed by the Board before being sent to the County Council later this year.

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Descriptive BaltimoreLink Transit Improvement Maps Now Available for Individuals With Visual Impairments

Thanks to Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMRT), the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), descriptive maps outlining BaltimoreLink, a proposed new transit improvement plan for Baltimore, are now available for individuals who are visually-impaired.


The multi-phase plan will create an interconnected transit system that includes redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes. The plan also will improve bus stop and wayfinding signage and provide additional resources and materials to make the system more user-friendly. Transit changes will be fully implemented by June 2017.


“Due to the way traditional transit maps are designed, individuals who are blind do not always have access to the same information as their sighted counterparts,” said David Bouchard, a designer on the project. “As a result, individuals with visual impairments may not know the extent of proposed service changes.”

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Leggett Announces Six-Year Capital Construction Budget

Focus on Education, Job & Business Creation, Affordable Housing, Transit, Road Maintenance

County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended $4.4 billion FY17 Capital Budget and six-year FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The budget includes nearly $1.9 billion for education, including $1.57 billion for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the highest funding level ever provided, as well as $305 million for Montgomery College.

In keeping with Leggett’s focus on job creation and business growth, the budget provides critical support for such initiatives as White Flint, Smart Growth, Wheaton Redevelopment and the White Oak Science Gateway. The CIP includes $192 million in funding for Purple Line-related projects – including a maximum $40 million County contribution to the State for the Purple Line, and $181 million for road maintenance.  New funding in the CIP brings total investment in the Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation project to $177 million. Planning funds for future bus rapid transit projects along Maryland 355 and Route 29 are also included, as is funding to construct Montrose Parkway East, the latter among the $341 million dedicated to road construction and improvement.

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BGE’s Captain Mercaptan Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge Returns

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced the kickoff of the 2016 “Adventures of Captain MercaptanSM, BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge.” The contest challenges elementary school students at schools in BGE’s service area to illustrate a gas safety message featuring Captain Mercaptan, BGE’s fictional natural gas safety superhero.  The contest, now in its third year, awards $10,000 to the top school for a school enrichment project.

The submission phase is now open, running through March 24. Public and private elementary schools in BGE’s service area are encouraged to use the teacher’s guide at BGEGasHero.com  to review gas safety concepts with kindergarten through fifth students, and begin creating their contest entries.  Beginning April 4, entries will compete for votes during a two-week, online public voting period.  The winning schools will be announced in early May.  Last year’s winning entry was from St. Stephen School in Kingsville, Md.  Overall, $35,000 was awarded by BGE to area schools as part of last year’s contest.

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Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) will host its first-ever celebration for Black History Month, Taking Nature Black, Saturday, February 20, 2016 at its Woodend Nature Sanctuary from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Taking Nature Black: An Audubon Naturalist Society Black History Month Celebration is a FREE event, in partnership with the Choose Clean Water Coalition, Chesapeake Bay Program’s Diversity Action Team and Montgomery Parks.

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Olney Theatre Center, a Mid-Atlantic destination for extraordinary theater performance and education, in co-production with New York’s Tectonic Theater Project, welcomes legendary director and Tectonic Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman, Grammy-winner Arturo O’Farrill, and Broadway phenomenon Sergio Trujillo for the world premiere of Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical. The production runs February 10 through March 6 on the Mainstage.

Directed and co-written by Tony® Award-nominee Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project Cycle), with heralded Cuban-American playwright Eduardo Machado, and music adapted from Bizet’s opera by two-time Grammy Award-winner Arturo O’Farrill, this Carmen brings the action of one of the most sensual stories of all time to Cuba on the verge of revolution in 1958. The star-studded creative team, along with Kaufman at the helm as director and Broadway’s Sergio Trujillo as choreographer (Jersey Boys, Memphis, On Your Feet), turns Bizet’s passion-fueled opera into a sexy, swinging Afro-Cuban Jazz musical. Kaufman’s Carmen is a gun-runner for the rebels, who falls fiercely in love with José, a Batista loyalist. When Cuba’s boxing legend Camilo returns to Havana, Carmen and José’s love falls tragically apart.

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Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan (1947-1955) exhibit opens at Morgan State University

The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) proudly announces the opening of its popular traveling exhibition of the work of photojournalist Paul Henderson on February 2, 2016 at Morgan University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art. This exhibit is nearly twice as large as the show currently on display at the Maryland Historical Society and is free and open to the public. It features over 30 never-before exhibited Henderson works that focus on MSU. The show will be up through the end of March.

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Hyundai ‘Hands-On’ Contest Puts Washington In Touch with a New Car!

Washington’s favorite reality show returns! The Hands-On Contest at The Washington Auto Show® will put a handful of lucky Washingtonians in touch with the chance to win a brand new Hyundai Tucson!


The legendary Hands-On Contest, in which show guests must stay in nearly constant physical contact with the prized vehicle for a period of several days, first wowed Washingtonians in 1999 when the match came down to a test of wills between an officer from the army and navy. This year’s contest, which will run from Tuesday, Jan. 26 through noon on Sunday, Jan. 31, will feature a host of locals who will compete for the chance to drive home in the all-new, completely redesigned 2016 Tucson SE.

“The Hands-On Contest is a hallmark of The Washington Auto Show that puts the thrill of a new car within arm’s reach of Washington,” said Kevin Reilly, president of Alexandria Hyundai and board member of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association, producer of The Washington Auto Show. “We are grateful to the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers for sponsoring this contest and giving away this vehicle, allowing us to showcase Hyundai’s cutting-edge technology and innovative new models such as the 2016 Tucson SE.”

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No. 7 Maryland Edges Northwestern 62-56 in Overtime

(ABC)–Melo Trimble scored 18 points, Diamond Stone made a pivotal three-point play with 1:13 left in overtime and No. 7 Maryland squeezed past Northwestern 62-56 on Tuesday night.

The Terrapins (17-2, 6-1 Big Ten) shot 44 percent and were outrebounded 41-31 by the scrappy, hustling Wildcats (15-5, 3-4).

But Trimble came up big in overtime, opening the scoring with a three-point play and getting assists on two baskets, including the layup by Stone that put Maryland ahead 58-55.

Stone finished with 11 points and Robert Carter Jr. added 10. Despite struggling mightily in this one giving up 16 offensive rebounds and collecting only four the Terrapins swept the season series after beating the Wildcats 72-59 on Jan. 2.

Aaron Falzon scored 13 points for the Wildcats before fouling out with 3:36 left in overtime. Bryant McIntosh had 12 points on 5-for-18 shooting.

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No. 18 Paul VI Takes on No. 2 St. John’s

(CBS)–Newly named McDonald’s All-American, senior guard VJ King, and the 18th-ranked Panthers (12-6) traveled to No. 2 St. John’s (15-2) on Tuesday night for a WCAC showdown.

In front of a packed arena, the Cadets jumped out to an early lead through the help of the three ball. Just a couple minutes into the second quarter, St. John’s held the nine-point advantage, with 21 of 25 points coming from beyond the arc. The Panthers continued the ‘catchup’ game as the Cadets took advantage of possessions and drained shot after shot.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game in the third quarter, going up 40-38. But, the Cadets fought back, using perimeter play yet again to make it a 51-49 game.

Cat-and-mouse became the theme until St. John’s eventually defended their home court and beat Paul VI 62-57.


Three DMV-area Players Named McDonald’s All-Americans

(CBS)–Throughout Maryland, Virginia and D.C., sixty-four high school basketball players were nominated as potential ‘all-stars’ of prep hoops to play in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game.

Paul VI’s VJ King, DeMatha’s Markelle Fultz, and Riverdale Baptist’s Kaila Charles will all head to Chicago’s United Center on March 30 to show off their skills on a nationally-televised stage, as ESPNU will feature the event. With hundreds of players nominated nationwide, the DMV is well-represented with three players selected. In fact, it’s the first time since 2007 that two boys from the area were selected at once.

The boys’ and girls’ teams are both split into ‘East’ and ‘West’ squads, totaling 12 players each.

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Harvard Rallies to Beat Howard 69-61

(CBS)–Patrick Steeves scored 18 points, Zena Edosomwan added 17 and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Harvard rallied to beat Howard 69-61 on Saturday in its final non-conference game of the season.

Corbin Miller scored 15 points on 5 of 12 3-pointers, Tommy McCarthy added 13 points, and the Crimson (9-8) outrebounded the Bison 45-28 and shot a season-high 12 of 23 from long distance.

Trailing 27-26 at halftime, Miller tied it at 33 with a 3-pointer and Harvard pulled ahead on an 8-2 run.

Howard’s Keon Hill tied it at 47 with a 3 with 8:05 to go, but Harvard pulled away on an 11-3 run in which Steeves hit two 3-pointers. The Crimson led 63-50 with 3:29 left and the Bison couldn’t catch up

Damon Collins and Dalique Mingo scored 14 apiece for Howard (8-10), Marcel Boyd had 13 and Hill 10.


Former Redskins, Steelers WR ARandle El Regrets Playing Football

(FOX)–He played nine seasons in the NFL and is a Super Bowl champion. Antwaan Randle El is now 36 years old, but if he had to do it all over again, the former Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver said he would not play football.

Even though he is remembered by many football fans for being the only wide receiver to throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl, Randle El told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t,” he said. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But, right now, I could still be playing baseball.”

Randle El said that he is already feeling the physical effects of his football career. He now has trouble walking up and down the stairs and has trouble with his memory.

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Serena Williams Cruises into Third Round of Australian Open

(UPI)–Defending champion Serena Williams cruised into the third round of the Australian Open, routing 90th-ranked Su-wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday in Melbourne.

Williams, the top seed, recorded seven aces to none for Hsieh, completing the match in one hour. The first serve was a weapon for the 21-time Grand Slam champion, who won 85 percent of her first-service points.

Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian Open champion, also had little difficulty in the second round Tuesday. The fifth-seeded Russian blitzed Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-2, 6-1.

Sharapova said the arm injury that hampered her leading into the tournament was no longer a factor.

“I feel pretty good,” Sharapova said. “I felt I was more confident with my left hand today.”

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Obama makes final State of the Union address a call to ‘fix our politics’

(UPI) — President Barack Obama‘s final State of the Union address energetically looked forward to his final year in office more than it touted his own accomplishments. He also talked tough about the rhetoric of Republican presidential candidates.

Change was a theme in the nearly hour-long speech as the president began his eighth year — “extraordinary change” that was both inspirational as well as something that has stirred the current sense of national anxiety. He said each time the country has faced eras of change, “We made change work for us.”

Because of that, the president put greater emphasis in his speech on where the country needs to go and what still lies ahead rather than spending much time talking about the recovery from the Great Recession, the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear deal, marriage equality or the recent Paris climate change agreement.

Obama continued to push for raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable, sticking with a more internationalist foreign policy and called for a mission to cure cancer, a mission he personalized by announcing he would put Vice President Joe Biden in charge. Biden’s son, Beau, died of cancer last year.

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Join Serve DC for its 2016 MLK Day of Service and Leadership

As the DC Commission on National and Community Service and the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, Serve DC commemorates the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service each year by supporting and promoting service and civic engagement across the city. Serve DC connects residents with volunteer opportunities and community-based organizations with resources and volunteers and tracks the number and locations of volunteers and service projects citywide.

Each year, Americans across the country come together on the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy by serving their communities. The MLK Day of Service is part of United We Serve, the President’s national service initiative, which calls on Americans to work together to solve our most pressing problems. Learn more about national MLK Day initiatives at mlkday.gov.

For more information on the MLK Day of Service in the District, please contact Serve DC.


Mayor Bowser Releases 2015 Accountability Report

Administration is Fulfilling 92% of Promises Made During 2014/2015 Mayoral Transition

Mayor Muriel Bowser released her first annual Accountability Report.  The report shows that in the Bowser Administration’s first year, the Mayor has either delivered, launched or prepared to launch 92% of the promises she committed to during the 2014/2015 Mayoral transition.  Mayor Bowser has made transparency and accountability top priorities for her Administration.  In that spirit of openness, she is releasing the full results of the report to the public.


“When I was elected, I pledged to put District residents first and to help our great city reach its full potential,” said Mayor Bowser.  “I am proud of our first year in office.  We laid the groundwork and positioned the District for future growth and prosperity.  In year two, we’ll ramp up and double down on our efforts, as we continue to create pathways to the middle class in all 8 Wards.”

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(BlackNews.com) — Every year, many organizations give away scholarships in celebration of African American history. These scholarships are usually given to African American students, and are designed to inspire the next generation of Black history makers.

Here are the top 7 Black history month scholarships for 2016 (Some have deadlines in January, but most are in February!):

#1 – Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship: In addition to a financial scholarship, this foundation also provides its scholars with mentoring and leadership development opportunities, and internships. Only for minority high school students in the United States. For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/03/jackie-robinson-foundation-scholarship.html

#2 – Steve Harvey/ Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Scholarship Program: Under the umbrella of the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, this program offers scholarship awards and once-in-a-lifetime apprenticeship experiences to African American youth looking to pave the way for their futures. For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2014/01/coca-cola-pay-it-forward-scholarship-program.html

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(BlackNews.com) — For the sixth straight year, the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be held on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Academy is one of the only summer institutes for minority teen girls to be held on an Ivy League campus.At the Well Academy is geared towards building leadership skills for minority girls entering the eleventh or twelfth grades of high school. This year’s Academy is scheduled for July 24 – August 5, 2016 at The Friend Center, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. In 2015, almost 50 teenage scholars attended the competitive program.

The Academy offers dynamic speakers, standardized test-taking strategies, critical reading courses, college essay writing classes, tutoring, group activities, and field trips. Each year, special guests provide dynamic presentations. The 2015 roster of speakers included marketing guru Terrie Williams, Brandi Harvey, Executive Director of the Steve Harvey Foundation and Yandy Smith executive producer of the television show “Love and Hip Hop.” 2014 roster included husband and wife actors, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. Our guest professors were Dr. Imani Perry from Princeton University and Dr. Brittney Cooper from Rutgers University.

The Academy provides on-campus housing at Princeton University that allows the students to experience college life in an Ivy League setting. The curriculum has been developed to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills along with increasing leadership confidence. Facilitators include business leaders, entrepreneurs, and Princeton University staff who teach select classes.

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MLK Mentor Weekend Is World’s Largest Celebration of the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

500 cities expected to provide mentoring for youth on Dr. King’s Birthday

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 2016 Birthday Weekend, The Black Star Project is organizing the largest commemoration of the great civil rights and human rights leader ever. In 500 cities across America, men and women will mentor boys and girls, and young men and young women, on the life and the practices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the spirit of Dr. King, adults and children of all races are encouraged to participate in this event.

Mentoring organizations, pre-schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, libraries, park districts, faith-based organizations, fraternities, sororities, military veterans, community organizations, youth organizations, sports teams, street organizations (gangs), men’s fraternal and women’s organizations, youth detainment facilities, homeless shelters, prisons, police stations and other organizations will participate in the amazing weekend of commitment to the ideals of Dr. King and service to their communities.
The MLK Mentor Weekend is scheduled to be a full weekend of activities that will include a viewing of a relevant film or documentary on Friday, performing a community service project on Saturday, attending a spiritual service on Sunday and the actual mentor day on Monday.


District of Columbia hospitals and health care providers join successful, cutting-edge federal initiative

Improves patient health and spends health care dollars more wisely


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that in 2016, a total of 11,919 Medicare beneficiaries will be served by Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in District of Columbia.


ACOs are groups of doctors and hospitals that join together to develop and execute a plan for a patient’s care and share information, putting the patient at the center of the health care delivery system. The ACOs are paid not based on how many tests or procedures are performed but by the success of the treatment administered.  ACOs were created to change the incentives for how medical care is paid for in the U.S., moving away from a system that rewards the quantity of services to one that rewards the quality of health outcomes.

The following Medicare ACOs will be serving Medicare beneficiaries in District of Columbia:


·         Maryland Collaborative Care, LLC.

·         Southern Maryland Integrated Care, LLC

·         Matrix ACO LLC

·         MedStar Accountable Care, LLC


Note that a number of ACOs will serve Medicare beneficiaries across state lines.

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On Anniversary of L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station Tragedy, Mayor Bowser Highlights Training of More Than 1,600 FEMS Employees

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that all 1,600 DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) operational employees have been trained in Metro incident response since the tragic incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station on January 12, 2015. One year ago, smoke filled the Metro tunnel and station that resulted in the death of Carol Inman Glover and sent more than 80 passengers to the hospital.

“In the aftermath of the Metro tragedy, I instructed our first responders to evaluate how we could improve our response and ensure the safety of our passengers on public transportation,” said Mayor Bowser. “As a result, we have placed greater emphasis on station familiarization and inspection and improved our communications testing and incident training. Our first responders have the tools and the training they need to serve residents and visitors.”

FEMS has implemented new training processes that focus on Metro’s tunnels and rail cars and how best the Department can communicate with Metro and law enforcement agencies. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), in coordination with the Council of Governments, has also put in place a fire liaison official at the WMATA Operations Control Center in Landover, Maryland, to help improve communications between the two agencies.
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Mayor Bowser Announces Expanded Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives

In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Maria Odom of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign announced a new partnership to increase efforts to combat human trafficking, as well as new anti-trafficking initiatives by the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The partnership with the Blue Campaign – which works with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to prevent human trafficking – will include a public awareness campaign and workplace posters to help the public identify and report suspected trafficking.

“Since 2007, there have been 486 reported cases of human trafficking in the District. This is unacceptable,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our city is better than this, and we do not stand for any abuse of human rights. This new partnership builds on the District’s longstanding commitment to combat and prevent this atrocious crime.”

The Blue Campaign public awareness materials, which urge the public to recognize and report human trafficking, will be placed throughout the Metro system by District government. The workplace posters with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number will be posted at relevant District agencies, and interested businesses will be encouraged to post them as well. The materials will be made available to the public later this month.

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