Microsoft Word - Document16

Pepco Ready for Summer Heat and Hurricane Season

New Pepco Mobile Command Vehicle Enhances Storm Restoration

Pepco announced today that it has another new tool to help customers in case of severe storms – a mobile command vehicle that will assist in dispatching crews and assisting people if hurricanes or major storms hit.

The command vehicle will complement the work Pepco has invested in recent years to make the power grid serving 2.3 million people more resilient than ever. And it comes two months after Pepco’s merger with Exelon, which creates a new source of shared resources and work crews to assist in case of emergencies.

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District of Columbia Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.4 Percent in April

The District has added 25,000 jobs and decreased unemployment by 1.3 percent since January 2015

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported recenty that the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in April – down 0.1 percent from the reported March 2016 unemployment rate and down 1.3 percent since January 2015.  Notably, the Ward 7 unemployment rate was 9.9 percent, the first drop below 10 percent since 2007’s annual average rate of 9.3 percent.

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District Employers Recruit Youth at Department of Employment Services 2016 Summer Jobs Career Expo

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) hosted a career expo for participants in the 2016 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) at Arena Stage in Southwest D.C.  The Career Expo provided youth the opportunity to explore career choices, meet with employers, and gain additional information about available summer jobs. Nearly 100 employers participated in this year’s expo, including employers from local and federal government agencies, community-based organizations, the academic sector and the private sector.

“MBSYEP opens the door of opportunity for our young people,” said Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden. “The Bowser Administration is committed to ensuring that every District resident has a fair shot, and MBSYEP ensures our young people have summer work experience that sets them up for success in college and career. I want to thank our supporters including Citi Foundation and the more than 100 employers who spent the day interviewing candidates at today’s Career Expo.”

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City’s Annual “Truck Touch”

Free family festival features city vehicles and activities for children of all ages
Mayor Muriel Bowser invites the public to attend the annual summer kick off and citywide “Truck Touch” Saturday, June 4, 2016, from 9 am to 2 pm at RFK Stadium, Lot 7. The event will feature a variety of free activities for kids and adults. A host of DC government agencies will present and demonstrate nearly 30 vehicles used to clean and repair streets, change traffic lights, collect refuse, clear snow, provide emergency services, administer mobile health care, and more. Free boxed lunches will be provided to kids age 18 and under.
Free, boxed lunch will also be offered to children and teens by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education to heighten awareness of the DC Free Summer Meals Program, funded by the US Department of Agriculture.

Microsoft Word - Document14

More people quit smoking in 2015 than in decades

(UPI) — The number of people in the United States who smoke cigarettes declined at a faster rate last year than it has in more than two decades, according to new research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today that just over 15 percent of adults in the United States smoked cigarettes in 2015, a two percent drop from the year before and largest one-year decline since 1993.

The decline continues a decades-long downward trend in the number of Americans who smoke cigarettes, and the 16.8 percent reported by the CDC for 2014 was the lowest in history — until the new report.

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Drink spiking a problem on U.S. campuses

Drink spiking may be prevalent on U.S. college campuses, and women are at much greater risk than men, new research finds.

Women were also more likely than men to cite sexual assault as a motive for drink spiking — where someone secretly adds alcohol or drugs to another person’s drink.

Men were more likely to say the motive was “to have fun,” according to the study of more than 6,000 students at three U.S. universities.

These findings show it “is more than simply an urban legend,” said study leader Suzanne Swan, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of South Carolina.

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Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Youth of DC Now!

Franklyn M .Malone,  CEO  the 100 Fathers inc.

There is much concern in the D.C. community by community leaders about the lack of options presented to our youth in the area of Sustainable Community Programs! After attending a Community meeting in the Mayfair Community last week   with Charles Eaves of  the Ward 7 Drug Free Community it became clear that in order for our community and our youth to co-exist peacefully there must be many more   “Sustainable” community supports in place. Incarceration is the way of the pipeline to prison and supports over the years  an unsustainable alternative s  that has now created a return of” hundreds of Returning Citizens  to a city that must be prepared to offer jobs, counselling, fatherhood support groups, flexible and accessible services, long term connection services, access to work,  family focused services, housing and character enhancement just to name a few.

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Segregated Housing Undercuts Educational Equity

Educational opportunities, and therefore life chances, have long been tied to family wealth and to housing, with more advantaged communities providing richer opportunities. Recognizing the key role of housing in this system, equity-minded reformers have proposed five types of interventions: (a) school improvement policies; (b) school choice policies; (c) school desegregation policies; (d) wealth-focused policies; and (e) housing-focused policies.

In a new brief released today, Housing Policy, Kevin Welner and William Mathis discuss each of these interventions, with an emphasis on housing-focused policies.

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DOEE Announces $100,000 of Funding Available For Community Solar Demonstration Projects in the Distric

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) announced today $100,000 of funding available to qualified entities to develop a model for financing and building Community Solar Projects (CSPs) in the District. CSPs are an innovative way to increase access to clean, renewable energy to residents who may not own their home, or who live in multifamily buildings. Successful project proposals must be financially sustainable and should clearly demonstrate how private properties can be leveraged to transfer the benefits of renewable energy to low-income District residents.

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Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops Below 4.0%

Rate is lowest in the Commonwealth since June 2008

  Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point in April and is now at 3.9 percent—the lowest rate since the June 2008 rate of 3.9 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which was unchanged in April at 5.0 percent. 

 In April, Virginia’s over-the-year employment growth of 2.2 percent surpassed the national growth rate, which was 1.9 percent. For the seventh consecutive month, over-the-year growth in the Commonwealth has exceeded 2.0 percent and surpassed the national growth rate, which has been in the 1.9 to 2.0 percent range.

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Forbes Names Pepco One of America’s Best Employers

Company recognized as 5th best midsize utility in country

Pepco has been named among the best midsize employers, and 5th best among utilities, in the nation according to Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers 2016.”

The ranking builds on Pepco’s ongoing commitment to employee engagement and empowerment and ensuring a rewarding workplace for the company’s more than 1,400 workers.

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CHILDREN’S AUDITIONS FOR THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY’S PRODUCTION OF THE SECRET GARDEN

Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) announces today casting news for the upcoming production of The Secret Garden, part of STC’s 2016-2017 Season. Daisy Eagan, who was awarded the 1991 Tony® for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance of Mary Lennox in the original Broadway production of The Secret Garden, joins STC’s production in the role of Martha, Mary’s maid and caretaker.

STC will hold a local open call for young actors ages 9–13 to audition for the roles of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven on Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9. Auditions will be held at the Shakespeare Theatre Company Administrative Offices (516 8th Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003) on the fourth floor in the Melton Studio.

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WILL ON THE HILL, THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY’S
 ANNUAL BIPARTISAN COMEDIC EVENT, RETURNS JUNE 13

On Monday, June 13, Will on the Hill, a favorite bipartisan event of theatre and political fans alike, returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Now in its 14th year, this year’s event features a performance of Heavy Lies the Head, an original play written by Peter Byrne and directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul.

The annual Will on the Hill event welcomes Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and distinguished Washington influencers onto the Shakespeare Theatre Company stage to perform a political satire infused with Shakespearean language and references. The event pays tribute to the unique dynamic of our city and provides a wonderful way to engage new audiences.
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VETERANS TO GATHER AT NATIONAL WWII MEMORIAL ON MEMORIAL DAY

TO REMEMBER 400,000 AMERICANS LOST DURING WORLD WAR II


The Friends of the National World War II Memorial (Friends) and the National Park Service will remember and honor the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during WWII, and pay tribute to the 16 million who served, during a special Memorial Day Observance at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 30, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
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Washington Recognized as 2016 Playful City USA Community

257 communities exhibiting Playability to be recognized as part of 2016 Playful City USA Program

Washington, DC is being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation for the third time. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable. In recent years, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), along with the Department of General Services, has led a multi-year, citywide effort to renovate and improve dozens of play spaces to strengthen the District’s commitment to using world-class, innovative practices to improve how residents and visitors work, live and play.

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Mikulski Continues Fight to Support Health and Well-Being of Women Veterans

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced the Senate-passed fiscal year (FY) 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA), and Related Agencies funding legislation supports the health and well-being of women veterans. Senator Mikulski will continue to fight for the resources to make sure promises made to veterans are promises kept.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the House and Senate will work out the differences between their versions of the bill, which will then be approved a final time by both legislative bodies before being signed into law.

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County to Begin Issuing Birth Certificates June 1

The County’s Department of Health and Human Services will begin issuing birth certificates on Wednesday, June 1 at the Dennis Avenue Health Center in Silver Spring.  Death certificates will continue to be issued as well. 

Birth certificates are available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Birth certificates are available for any individual born in the State of Maryland.  Individuals seeking a birth certificate must present a valid, unexpired, government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or U.S. passport.  The identification must have an issue date and an expiration date.   Only parents or legal guardians (must provide proof of guardianship) may obtain a child’s birth certificate. 
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Military Veterans to Attend Academic Boot Camp at Georgetown University

Intensive program helps prepare enlisted veterans for transition from military to four-year college

For some military veterans, the first day of school at a new college or university is as challenging as a deployment to a foreign country. Immersion in a new culture and reintroduction to a demanding academic environment can make the transition from military to higher education difficult. To ease the transition, the Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) is hosting an intensive one week-long academic boot camp at Georgetown University beginning May 28th. 

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Encryption Technology for Your Privacy

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Encryption and controversy seem to go hand in hand lately in the technology community. Case in point: When The FBI sought to compel Apple to assist in unlocking a cell phone in the case of the San Bernardino shooter last December. Ultimately the FBI was denied its request by a California district court.

This type of technology can be a gray area, yet one that tech companies take seriously.

On the one hand, the government insists it needs access to technology in which crimes have been perpetrated, noting that encryption also allows terrorists to communicate in ways that agencies can’t track — all the while, using encryption to secure its own communication. Privacy advocates argue that if the government is using it, private citizens should be allowed to as well, without prying eyes looking over their collective shoulder.

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Twelfth Annual Health Freedom Walk And Grand Opening of Woodlawn Visitor Center

Montgomery County’s African American Health Program (AAHP), in collaboration with Health Freedom, Inc. and Maryland National Capital Park and Planning will host the 12th annual Health Freedom Walk:  A Path to Wellness Celebration Walk and the grand opening of the Woodlawn Visitor Center on Saturday, June 11 at the Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park in Silver Spring.  The event will take place rain or shine.

 

The three-mile walk will begin at 9 a.m.  Following the walk there will be interactive activities for children, including crafts and living history demonstrations, as well as guided hikes on the Underground Railroad and health screenings and literature.  The Washington Revels’ Jubilee Voices will perform following the walk.  Walk participants will also have free entry to the new visitor’s center, which includes multimedia exhibits.

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DPR Announces 2016 Memorial Day Weekend Pools and Facilities Schedule

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced that all outdoor pools, spray parks and Park View children’s pool will open for the summer on Memorial Day weekend (May 28, 29 and 30) from 12 pm to 6 pm; and will operate on a weekends-only schedule (Saturday and Sunday) through June 12. Starting June 18, all outdoor pools will operate on their individual summer schedules.

?. All spray parks will open for the summer on Saturday, May 28 and will operate daily, from 10 am to 7 pm, for the entire summer season. Spray parks will close on Monday, September 5.

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Microsoft Word - Document15

Touchstone Foundation for the Arts and New Community ArtSpace present: I Belong Here

Art of the Shaw Community  June 3-26

“I Belong Here” Art of the Shaw Community is a juried show of student work from the Touchstone@ArtSpace project, which brings the artists of Touchstone Gallery to Art Space DC in Shaw, to share their skills and passion with children and parents in a series of workshops.

This project is supported by Touchstone Foundation for the Arts generous donors.

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No Affordable Housing in Virginia for Minimum Wage Workers

In order to afford a modest, two- bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent in Virginia, renters need to earn $22.44 per hour. This is Virginia’s 2016 Housing Wage, revealed in a national report released today. The report, Out of Reach 2016, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, DC- based research and advocacy organization, and the Virginia Housing Alliance.

Every year, Out of Reach reports on the Housing Wage for all states, counties, and metropolitan areas in the country. The report highlights the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to afford rent at fair market value.

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DPW to Observe Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th

The DC Department of Public Works will observe Memorial Day, Monday, May 30; therefore, sanitation services and most parking enforcement will be suspended until Tuesday, May 31. Sanitation services will be suspended for the holiday and will resume Tuesday, May 31. Trash and recycling collections in once-a-week collection neighborhoods will “slide” to the next day for the remainder of the week. In twice-a-week collection neighborhoods, Monday’s and Thursday’s collections will slide to Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday’s and Friday’s collections will slide to Wednesday and Saturday. Street sweeping will be suspended Monday and resume Tuesday, May 31.

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Even Before Easy Win, Good Day for Serena Williams in Paris

(ABC)–Even before Serena Williams quickly and easily seized control of her first-round match Tuesday, things were shaping up rather well for her at the French Open.
Williams’ bid for her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would equal Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, began with a nothing-to-see-here 6-2, 6-0 victory over 77th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in all of 42 minutes.

Not that she wished it had been more of a workout.

“It was a little short for me, but I think in my career, if I don’t have it by now, I need to look into something different. So I’m OK I’m OK with that,” said the top-seeded Williams, who took the last 10 games after a so-so start.

What happened earlier on Day 3 was more surprising and perhaps just as significant for the defending champion: Two of the top five seeded women exited the clay-court tournament.
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Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles Selected to Host Super Bowls

If you spend billions of dollars to build it, they will come.

Three times over.

The NFL awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, three cities that made significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one. Atlanta will host the game in 2019, followed by Miami (2020) and Los Angeles (2021), it was announced Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

“I think if they find guys like me that are willing to do it, I think they want to show them that it is worthwhile,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.

Atlanta will host its third Super Bowl, but the first at its new $1.4 billion stadium which opens in 2017. The previous two were at the Georgia Dome.

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NFL Sought to Influence Study on Brain Injuries: Report

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone says the league tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project away from a researcher that the NFL feared was biased

(NBC)–National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease, according to a senior House Democrat in a report issued Monday. 

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone says the league tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project away from a researcher that the NFL feared was biased. 

The NFL had agreed to donate $30 million to the NIH to fund brain research but backed out after the institutes refused to take a $16 million grant away from prominent Boston University researcher Robert Stern. He’s a leading expert on the link between football and brain diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Taxpayers are instead bearing the cost. 

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Microsoft Word - Document8

President Obama Is Bringing Overtime Pay To Millions of Workers

The Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled the final version of a long-awaited and controversial rule to extend overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers, which marks one of the administration’s most significant moves to address stagnant wages.

Officials said many workers will earn more money, an estimated total of $12 billion over the next decade, while others will work fewer hours for the same pay.

“More than 4 million workers are either going to be paid more or get time back to raise their family, go to school  or retrain to get a better job,” Vice President Joe Biden said during a phone call with reporters on Tuesday.

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Parking Meter Rate Increase Scheduled for June 1

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to implement adjusted parking meter rates as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015. The new rate structure was ordered by the Council of the District of Columbia last year, and establishes parking meter rates at $2.30 an hour for commercial and passenger vehicles citywide.

Approximately 14,850 parking meters across the District will be reprogrammed over the next several weeks. DDOT and the city’s pay-by-phone vendor will update software to accommodate the new rate structure, which takes effect June 1, 2016.

Following are the new rates:

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Senate dedicates $1.1B to Zika fight following House’s $622M pledge

(UPI) — One day after the House passed legislation to spend more than $620 million to fight the Zika epidemic, the Senate on Tuesday advanced its own legislation that earmarks $1.1 billion to the cause.

The Senate’s pledge is about $800 million shy of the amount requested by the Obama administration to fight the disease, which has spread across continents and landed in the United States over the past year.

A proposal for the entire $1.9 billion was rejected, as was a bill that pledged the cash but included spending cuts in other areas to offset the cost.

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White House Names Washington, D.C. a Summer Impact Hub

The Summer Opportunity Project will support the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program through targeted support, increased private sector involvement

The White House recently announced that Washington, D.C. was selected as a Summer Impact Hub, part of President Barack Obama’s Summer Opportunity Project. This effort, led locally by the Workforce Investment Council (WIC), will expand access to opportunities this summer and beyond through the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP).

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The U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index Shows America Will Have to Depend on Foreign Workers to Fill STEM Jobs

Despite gains in education and hiring, gender and racial gaps remain

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. will be dependent on foreign workers to fill future STEM jobs, according to analysis of the third annual U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index, unveiled today at usnews.com/stemindex.

While the 2016 STEM Index shows increases in STEM degrees granted and STEM hiring, America continues to have a shortage of STEM workers. There were 30,835 additional STEM graduates and 230,246 additional STEM jobs from 2014-2015.

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HEAVENLY CULTURE, WORLD PEACE, RESTORATION OF LIGHT (HWPL) HOSTS PEACE WALK IN FRONT OF SUPREME COURT

On May 21, 2016, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) invites the community to march for peace in its “”World Peace Walk:  Third Annual Commemoration for the Declaration of World Peace.”  Starting at 10:00am, roughly 100 activists, volunteers, community members, and local leaders will peacefully march starting from the top of the Supreme Court’s steps and make their way through the Capitol Hill area until around 12:00pm.  

The peace walk’s main goals are to commemorate HWPL’s first declaration of peace walk , that occurred on May 25, 2013, and to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, an international law document hoping to be signed and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly.

“To see the community [of DC] come together to unite for peace and the cessation of war, it moves my heart,” says HWPL’s Director of the DC Branch Joseph Sung.  “Especially in an area rich in history and social justice, we wish to implement our mark in the world and relay the message that peace is possible.”

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SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES 60 DAYS OF IMPACT CAMPAIGN TO CELEBRATE 60 YEARS OF PAST SUCCESS

DOZENS OF MAYORS, AMBASSADORS, AND THOUGHT LEADERS UNITE TO TELL THEIR STORIES OF CITIES, DIPLOMACY, AND GLOBAL IMPACT

Sister Cities International (SCI) along with dozens of notables and partners are launching a digital campaign called 60 Days of Impact. This online campaign will live on its Medium publication and will highlight 60 years of the past in building peaceful global relationships through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation as well as looking forward to the future through innovative stories told by dozens of current thought leaders. The campaign will feature unique content every day for 60 days ending with its 60th Anniversary Celebration and the first-ever Sister Cities International Day on July 15.

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RIHANNA LAUNCHES GLOBAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM VIA HER CLARA LIONEL FOUNDATION

– The deadline to apply is June 16, 2016, and awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 –

(BlackNews.com) — Multi-platinum international superstar Rihanna started the the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Grants funded by the foundation are used to promote global programs in areas that Rihanna is most passionate about including health, education, arts and culture.

Current programs include the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program and the Barbados Micro Grants for Schools Program.

Applicants to the scholarship program must be citizens or natives of the following countries: Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, or Jamaica. They also must have already been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year.

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DC Homeless Families Need 
More Than Low-Cost Housing

In a recent release of the “Homelessness in Washington” 2016 Point-in-Time survey” revealed that family homelessness in the city has increased an alarming 30 percent since the last survey taken only one year ago. This statistic bears out in Central Union Mission’s experience, as the Mission serves 17 percent more families this year through its Food PLUS Center and Family Ministries. (In addition to free food, the Mission offers families free clothing, housewares and social services, as well as providing school supplies, summer camp and Christmas presents for program participant’s children.) In response to the Point- In-Time survey’s findings, Central Union Mission instead stresses another equally critical approach to helping families survive in the Nation’s Capital: employment.

While housing costs certainly play a role in family homelessness, unemployment prevents families from escaping the poverty cycle. Central Union Mission’s new Ready2Succeed programs help parents get suitable jobs to pay for housing. According to Central Union Mission Executive Director David Treadwell, “Once a family finds affordable housing, how can they afford to stay in it? Parents need to be equipped for decent jobs so they can take care of their children. That is our focus in the homelessness debate.”

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National Harbor to Hold Job Fair on May 24

More than 50 businesses including hotels, restaurants, service providers and Tanger Outlets will be looking to hire

National Harbor will hold a large Job Fair on Tuesday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oxon Hill Manor (6901 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, Md. 20745).  More than 50 National Harbor businesses including hotels, restaurants, service providers and Tanger Outlets will be looking to hire all positions.

 National Harbor offers an exciting work location with easy access from I-495, I-95 and 295; high volume stores and a tourist destination (as well as a vibrant residential neighborhood).  In addition to employee discounts, employees also enjoy affiliation discounts as well as the opportunity to participate in the many activities and events at National Harbor.

For a list of participating stores and job descriptions at National Harbor, visit www.NationalHarbor.com/jobs.

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DOEE AND DDOT AWARD FUNDING TO IMPLEMENT CANOPY 3,000
 SCHOOLYARD AND PARKLAND TREE PLANTING

The Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have awarded funding to Washington Parks & People (WPP) and Casey Trees to provide tree planting services in support of Canopy 3,000—a public-private partnership aimed at expanding the number of trees planted on private property and public spaces throughout the District.

 “This is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to make the District a greener, healthier, more beautiful city for current and future generations,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Increasing the number of native trees in our schoolyards, parks, and private properties improves air quality, effectively manages stormwater pollution, and helps mitigate the effects of climate change.”

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Mayor Bowser Launches OpenBudget.dc.gov to Enhance Transparency, Announces Creation of Open Government Officer Position


Officer to lead District FOIA process improvements, online portal to provide deep-dive into District budgets

Mayor Bowser recently launched openbudget.dc.gov to provide greater insight and transparency into the District government’s budget, going back to Fiscal Year 2012. The portal is yet another step by the Bowser Administration to improve accountability at every level of government. The Mayor also announced the creation of an Open Government Officer position in her executive office to support agency compliance with the Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act.

The launch of openbudget.dc.gov and the establishment of Open Government Officer are part of the administrations ongoing effort to improve transparency in District Government and are part of InnoMAYtion, Mayor Bowser’s month-long initiative that showcases DC’s innovation ecosystem.

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Secretary Burwell on the National Health Interview Survey

This report is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The uninsured rate fell to 9.1 percent in 2015, making it the first year in our nation’s history that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans lacked health insurance, and the report documents the progress we’ve made expanding coverage across the country. Meanwhile, premiums for employer coverage, Medicare spending, and health care prices have risen at exceptionally slow rates. Our country ought to be proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going.

The Affordable Care Act made everyone’s insurance better, not just the people who have coverage through the Marketplace or even the 20 million people who have coverage because of the law. Today in America, there’s a father who can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition; a mother who can no longer be charged more because she’s a women; and a child who can stay on their parent’s plan up to age 26. Those rules benefit millions of people, and thankfully, they’re now part of the fabric of America.

There’s still more work to do as we build a health care system that works for everyone and results in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. But our country is unequivocally on stronger footing today because of the Affordable Care Act. That’s progress to celebrate.

Children's Inn

The Children¹s Inn at NIH Annual Fundraiser Redefines the Meaning of Healing

An Evening for Hope¹ Gala Leads a Legacy of Commitment to Children and Healthcare

 The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) celebrated its annual fundraising gala, An Evening for Hope, drawing a sold-out crowd of nearly 800 government and industry attendees and raising a record $892,000. The Gala donates all net proceeds to The Children’s Inn whose mission is to reduce the burden of illness and empower the work of NIH clinicians who work tirelessly to find treatments and cures for life-threatening childhood diseases.

“It is honor to be a part of this community and healthcare ecosystem, and I am inspired by all of the generosity of the people who joined together for a great cause,” said Todd Pantezzi, 2016 An Evening for Hope  Gala Chair & Senior Vice President, ICF International. It is not everyday that families from The Inn, supporters and sponsors get to celebrate together and recognize the bravery of the children and their families, as well as the work of The Inn.

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Saving Teen Lives through Interactive Educational Experience

On average, seven teenagers die every day on American roadways due to motor vehicle crashes. Teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than any other age group. For this reason, DRIVE SMART Virginia has partnered with State Farm to bring interactive driving education programs to high schools across the Commonwealth.

The highlight of this program is an in-vehicle texting-while-driving simulator funded by State Farm. This high-tech tool is installed in a full-sized vehicle and allows participants to experience the dangers of texting while trying to navigate a simulated road scenario.

“Simulators give teens the opportunity to practice their driving skills in a controlled and safe setting,” said Kip Diggs, State Farm Public Affairs Specialist.  “Giving teens this experience helps them prepare for the various situations they may approach on the road and helps create safer drivers.”  

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Goodnight, Smartphone

Powering down before bed for a good night’s rest

(Family Features) Checking email or flipping through channels instead of sleeping? Playing video games or browsing social media in bed? If you want to catch some quality ZZZs, you should put down that smartphone.

The National Sleep Foundation reports nearly 90 percent of adults sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. However, staring at a screen after 9 p.m. can zap your body of energy, turning you into a zombie the next day. To get a good night’s rest, consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.

How Electronics Affect Your Sleep

Your body functions on a 24-hour internal clock. This clock is influenced by your physical environment and daily schedule. Using electronic devices around bedtime can throw off your body clock and negatively affect your quality of sleep.

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Navigating Volatile Markets for a Secure Retirement

(Family Features) Persistent and significant stock market swings, combined with shifting workplace structures and an outdated retirement benefit system, are profoundly impacting Americans’ ability to save and prepare for a secure retirement.

In fact, a quarter of Americans age 50 and over exhausted all of their savings during the 2008 recession, according to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute report. And, at the same time, almost one-third of older Americans said their home declined in value, meaning they could no longer count on rising home values to help fund their retirement.

In order to protect your nest egg against market volatility, experts recommend ensuring you have a balanced financial portfolio that includes conservative, low-risk products that are less impacted by stock market volatility.

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End of time: Time Warner Cable Sold for $55 billion

By Martin Smith

(UPI) — Time Warner Cable has been sold for $55.1 billion. New owner Charter Communications Inc.announced it had completed its acquisition Wednesday, two years after it launched a hostile takeover bid for the New York-based cable provider.

Charter will phase out the Time Warner Cable name, said company spokesman Alex Dudley. Also included in the rebranding is Bright House Networks, which Charter bought last year for $10.4 billion.

“While Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers will not see any immediate change, the company will be called Charter and the products and services will be marketed under the ‘Spectrum’ brand,” Dudley said.

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AFT Testifies on Education Department’s ESSA Draft Rules

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten today argued that the U.S. Department of Education’s draft fiscal accountability rules concerning the Every Student Succeeds Act are counterproductive and violate the law.

Weingarten testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on draft regulations involving federal education funding for needy students that are supposed to be used to supplement, not supplant, state and local dollars.

“The pursuit of equity and excellence for our children is part of the AFT’s DNA,” Weingarten said, noting there are several ways to accomplish this and that she would like a discussion on “leveling up” spending, not “leveling down.”

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ASSOCIATION FOR ENTERPRISE OPPORTUNITY RELEASES “TRUSTED GUIDANCE” RECOMMENDATIONS TO ASSIST BUSINESSES IN LOW-WEALTH COMMUNITIES

With microbusinesses making up almost 90 percent of the nation’s businesses and even more of the businesses in low-wealth communities, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) issued a report of the “Trusted Guidance” that is available to help these Main Street and neighborhood businesses realize their potential as “engines for wealth-creation and employment growth.”

The report, generously supported by Capital One, included findings from interviews with non-profit organizations involved in the microbusiness industry and a meeting of more than 80 non-profit lenders and service providers.

 “The passion among Main Street and neighborhood business owners in low-wealth communities is electric,” said Connie Evans, AEO’s President and CEO. “However, when it comes to being able to access the resources available to assist microbusinesses, the knowledge and information about these resources too frequently doesn’t reach entrepreneurs in underserved communities. We want to change that with our new strategy and approach that will lift barriers to services in low-wealth communities and allow business owners to achieve their dreams, contribute to the economy and create jobs.”

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SRB COMMUNICATIONS WINS 3 INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATOR AWARDS

Honoring Excellence in Marketing and Communications

SRB Communications has received three International Communicator Awards of Distinction for work on campaigns with one of our agency’s largest clients, Baltimore Gas and Electric in Baltimore, Md. BGE, Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.

SRB Communications was recognized for the BGE Communications and Marketing Annual Report,

BGE SEED Smart Energy Economic Development Brochure and the BGE Focus 25 Supplier Diversity Brochure. All three marketing and communications campaigns were completed this year. “We are honored to receive such distinguished honors,” said Sheila Brooks, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of SRB Communications “It is a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of our team.”

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April Home Sales in No. Virginia up Nearly 9 Percent: ‘Moderate Sales Growth’ Forecasted

The Northern Virginia market showed a boost in total existing home sales this month in the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®’ footprint. This trend is expected to be sustained in May, according to NVAR member forecasts. While the number of homes listed did rise by more than 3 percent, inventory levels dipped slightly from last year’s 2.73 month’s supply to April’s 2.6 month. Months of supply is the measure of how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of home sales.  Average sales prices rose 1.54 percent, and the median sales price rose 1.03 percent.

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All Veteran Career Fair Washington, DC

RecruitMilitary helps military veterans and military spouses connect with employers that seek to attract, hire and retain America’s best talent.

  RecruitMilitary and DAV will host an all Veteran Career Fair. This free hiring event is for veterans, transitioning military personnel, National Guard members, Reserve members and spouses.

The Career Fair will take place on June 23, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

at FedEx Field, 1600 FedEx Way, Landover, MD  

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Swim into May
 with DPR


The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is filled with opportunities for fun! Celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, outdoor pools season and much more, below is only a glimpse of the many activities and programs you can find at DPR throughout May. 

?. DPR to Hold 2016 All Staff Professional Development Conference
 on Friday, May 20, 2016. All recreation and community centers, aquatics facilities and administrative offices will be closed.
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Bike Repair Stations Installed Throughout D.C.

The Department of General Service’s Sustainability and Energy division is making sure that District bikers have access to all the tools needed to make their rides trouble-free. With the installation of eight bike repair stations that can be found throughout the city.

The bike stations are equipped with an air pump and eight retractable tools. The team has coordinated the installation of the first eight stations at:

?. Banneker Recreation Center (2500 Georgia Ave NW – Ward 1)

?. Takoma Aquatic Center (300 Van Buren St NW – Ward 4)

?. Rosedale Recreation Center (1701 Gales St NE – Ward 6)

?. Francis Gregory Library (3660 Alabama Ave SE – Ward 7)

?. Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW – Ward 1)

?. Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave NW – Ward 3)

?. Penn Center (326 R St NE – Ward 5)

Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Ave NE – Ward 7) 

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MARYLAND ZOO AND SERVICE PHOTO OFFER WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Join the photo experts from Service Photo and Nikon for two special workshops on wildlife photography! On June 4th and June 5th staff from Nikon and Service Photo will lead an indoor/outdoor program on wildlife photo proficiency which includes venturing around the Zoo to take photos at various exhibits.  Participants will test their new skills using the latest in cameras, lenses, and photography accessories, all supplied by Nikon.  Workshop leaders will be on hand at Zoo exhibits to lend advice and help you capture the perfect shot!

            Interested adults can come to either the June 4th or June 5th workshop which run from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm in the Penguin Education Center at Penguin Coast. Members pay $25 and non-members are $35, which includes admission to the Zoo. All loaner equipment is free and the photos you take are yours to keep! Bring your own SD card to use in the cameras to store your files.  Participants must be 18 years and older, advance registration is required. Some familiarity with photography is recommended.

            For more information or to register, visit www.marylandzoo.org

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31ST ANNUAL CHILDREN’S DAY ON THE FARM AT JEFFERSON PATTERSON PARK AND MUSEUM

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM) will host the 31st Annual Children’s Day on the Farm on Sunday, June 5, from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. This is a free family event open to the public.

Children’s Day on the Farm features opportunities to learn about some of the traditional rural skills of Southern Maryland through hands-on activities and interactive displays from local organizations. Animal lovers will enjoy multiple petting zoos from local farms including Happy Critters Farm, Serenity Farm, Dowell Farm, Billy’s Goats and Shadow Box Farm. Children and adults alike will enjoy wagon rides to the historic Smith’s St. Leonard site. Oxen cart rides and milking demonstrations, pony rides and scenic train rides throughout the park will also be available.

Antique tractors, cars, trucks, and farm machinery will be on display. Pedal tractors and small engines will complement the antique equipment.  The antique tractor and car parade will take place at 2 pm. This year’s parade grand marshals are 6-year-old Karter Lorenzini and 12-year-old Thomas Welch.

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Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards $17,000 in Literacy Grants to Local Schools, Nonprofits and Literacy Organizations

Grants provide funding for adult, family and/or summer literacy programs

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded $17,000 o local organizations to help fund programs aimed at supporting youth, family and summer literacy programs. These local grant awards are part of over $7.1 million in grants awarded today to more than 900 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states the company serves.

Award recipients include:

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SENATE PASSAGE OF FY17 ENERGY AND WATER BILL

INCLUDES INCREASED PUBLIC INVESTMENTS IN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CREATE AND SUSTAIN PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Senate passage of fiscal year (FY) 2017 Energy and Water Development funding legislation, which includes $112 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in Maryland making public investments in waterways that support private sector jobs. As Vice Chairwoman, Senator Mikulski will continue to fight for more funding for Army Corps of Engineers projects which net $16 of economic benefits for every one dollar spent.

 “These public investments in Maryland’s waterways create and sustain private sector jobs. This is a federal investment in the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on clean and open waterways. It will keep businesses open and keep Marylanders working,” Senator Mikulski said. “The Corps’ dredging of the Port of Baltimore keeps our economy rolling. The Port means jobs, from the dock workers who unload the ships, to the manufacturers who rely on cargo transported by the ships. It’s also crucial in preparing us for the bigger ships that will soon be sailing through the widened Panama Canal. These investments make our country safer and Maryland’s economy stronger.”

Senator Mikulski has been a longtime advocate of promoting job growth through Maryland’s ports and waterways. The bill includes $20.575 million for annual maintenance-dredging of the Port of Baltimore shipping channels, a major economic engine for America and Maryland that support more than 25,000 jobs across the state – including 14,630 direct jobs. These jobs generate $3 billion in salaries for hardworking Marylanders and their families and $304 million in state and local taxes. Among U.S. ports, Baltimore is the largest port for international automobiles and receives the top rank for handling light trucks, farm and construction machinery, and imported forest products, sugar, aluminum and gypsum. 

The spending bill includes funding for the following U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects throughout Maryland:

?. $20.575 million for annual maintenance dredging of the Port of Baltimore’s 50-foot shipping channels making it one of the few East Coast ports deep enough to accommodate the super container ships coming through the Suez Canal and, beginning next year, from the Panama Canal. The channel goes up the Chesapeake Bay from the Virginia Capes to Fort McHenry, a distance of 175 miles.

?. $21.622 million for the C&D Canal for annual maintenance dredging of its shipping channels, which serve as a shortcut for vessels traveling between Baltimore and points north. Approximately forty percent of the Port of Baltimore’s shipping traffic goes through the C&D Canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River.

 ?. $62.3 million for the continuation of the Poplar Island environmental restoration project, which is taking clean dredged materials from the shipping lanes leading to the Port of Baltimore and using them to stabilize the shoreline, create habitat area and restore the wetlands of one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most valuable island ecosystems off Talbot County. The Maryland Congressional Delegation, in an effort led by Senator Ben Cardin, reauthorized the expansion of Poplar Island in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (Public Law 113-121).

Poplar Island is the Port’s only operational dredge placement site. Without the expansion, either the Port will be forced to overload the existing site which will compromise the environmental benefits of this project, or the Corps would have to reduce its annual dredging of the Port’s channels. The latter would put the operations of the Port in jeopardy by requiring reduced ship drafts, causing a rippling effect across Maryland’s economy.

?. $325,000 for Baltimore Harbor drift removal to remove trash and debris from the Port of Baltimore’s shipping channels.

?. $450,000 to allow the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District to investigate conditions of federal channels when bay pilots and the public raise concerns about shoaling.

 ·    $1 million for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration program to continue efforts to increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay by building new oyster habitat in the Choptank River in a Maryland Department of Natural Resources-designated permanent sanctuary. Once oyster reefs are established, larvae will be carried by the tidal cycle to open-harvest areas for the watermen.

·    $600,000 for Assateague Island to prevent and repair island erosion caused by Ocean City jetties.

·    $2 million for the Wicomico River for maintenance dredging of the upper river channels where the Port of Salisbury, the second largest port in Maryland handling petroleum products and grain, is located. This waterway also supports barge traffic, which is crucial to maintaining adequate fuel supplies for the Delmarva Peninsula.

 ·    $186,000 for the City of Cumberland to support the operation and maintenance of a project that protects Cumberland and Ridgeley, W.Va. against flooding.

·    $1.95 million for the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan to develop a plan for the restoration and conservation of the entire Chesapeake watershed.

 ·    $2.151 million for the operation and maintenance of Jennings Randolph Lake in Garrett County, which provides flood control and recreation to Western Maryland and water quality and water supply for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. This funding includes $61,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District to coordinate the operation of this project.

 ·    $119,000 for annual levee system inspections on seven levees in Prince George’s County, two in the Town of Kitzmiller in Garrett County and three in the City of Cumberland in Allegany County.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the House is expected to debate the bill and then work out its differences with the Senate before being approved a final time by both legislative bodies.

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Walmart Donates $1.42 Billion in FY16 to Advance Commitments to Economic Opportunity, Sustainability and Local Communities

In Maryland Walmart Provides More Than $6,000,000 to Charitable Organizations During Last Fiscal Year

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $1.42 billion in cash and in-kind contributions to support extensive social and environmental work. The contributions have furthered Walmart’s “whole systems” approach to continue advancing its commitments to creating economic opportunity for associates and others in the retail and related sectors, enhancing the sustainability of Walmart’s operations and product supply chain, and strengthening communities in places where Walmart operates. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated $6,660,400 last fiscal year to support Maryland, nonprofits like The Light House, Food Link, Vehicles for Change, Blessings in a Backpack, Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services, Living Classrooms, Maryland Community Connection and Real School Gardens.

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Culture Keepers ‘Exploring Black Innovation’ Exhibition Opening

Art by Local High School Students will be Featured in PGAAMCC’s Newest Exhibition

A new exhibition at Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center will celebrate Black innovation and feature artistic works by local high school students. The exhibition, entitled Exploring Black Innovation, will feature the work of PGAAMCC Culture Keepers students from Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. and Northwestern High Schools.

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4th Annual Professional Summer Dance Intensive

Take advantage of this special discount for Dance Metro DC members and join CKM&A for a 2-week summer dance intensive designed to inspire, nurture and challenge serious pre-professional and professional dancers.

The intensive includes modern, ballet, contemporary jazz and improv classes taught by Artistic Director Christopher K. Morgan, Assistant Director Tiffanie Carson, company dancers and special guests. By incorporating improvisation and composition exercises into the creative process, participants will contribute to the creation of one of the repertory works. Additionally, participants will dance in a re-staging of a work from the CKM&A repertory.

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“Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions” Examines the Artist’s Creative Process

Exhibition Includes Drawings, Sculptures and Prints That Provide an Intimate Look at the Mind of Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear is best known for refined, handmade sculptures primarily made of wood. Puryear’s drawings and prints are less well known but are essential to his studio practice. “Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions”is the first exhibition dedicated to showing works on paper in context with the artist’s sculptures and offers an unprecedented look into Puryear’s inspirations, methods and transformative process. This exhibition explores the way in which Puryear takes an elemental form and reworks it, sometimes over many years, through experiments in scale, material and medium, often switching between two and three dimensions.

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FREE DUPONT-KALORAMA MUSEUM WALK WEEKEND

Stretch your legs and your mind during the 33rd Annual Dupont Kalorama Museum Walk June 4 and 5.  Six diverse museums will open their doors free of charge for this weekend long celebration in one of Washington, D.C.’s most beautiful neighborhoods.  Discover Anderson House, Dumbarton House, Heurich House Museum, National Museum of American Jewish Military History, The Phillips Collection, and the President Woodrow Wilson House  free of charge.

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Port Tobacco, Md. Native supports the future of naval aviation

By Navy Office of Community Outreach

A 2005 Maurice J. McDonough High School graduate and Port Tobacco, Maryland native is serving with Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) supporting the future of naval aviation aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

 Petty Officer 2nd Class William Peterson is an aviation electronics technician with NTWL, responsible for government oversight of civilian contractors on the testing and evaluation of the newest and advanced naval aircraft for the fleet.

“What I enjoy most about my job is being a part of the future of naval aviation,” said Peterson. “I get a sense of pride knowing that the aircrafts complete their missions both effectively and efficiently due to my diligent work ethic and attention to detail.”

 NTWL is responsible for safe and efficient execution of developmental ground and flight testing across all naval aviation platforms and systems.

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Tiger Woods Says He is ‘Progressing Nicely,’ No Date for Return

(CBS)–Tiger Woods grimaced as he took three warmup swings after sitting in a chair for 30 minutes on a cool, blustery Monday morning at Congressional talking about his upcoming tournament. Hitting a ceremonial shot from a forward tee on the par-3 10th hole, he chunked his first attempt into the pond short of the green.

He asked for another ball. That one splashed, too. With officials from his foundation egging him on, he tried one more time. The last one cleared the pond, but not by enough. It landed on a steep bank and rolled down into the water.

His efforts at Congressional — home to the Quicken Loans National, which he hosts and which benefits his foundation — put to rest most of the lingering questions about whether he’ll be ready to return to competitive golf anytime soon.

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IOC’s Bach Threatens Bans Over Sochi Doping Allegations

The results of a doping investigation will “greatly influence” the participation of Russian athletes in Rio, the IOC president said

(NBC)–Just as Russia’s track and field federation was suspended by the IAAF, some of the country’s winter sports bodies could be banned if allegations of state-supported doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics are proven, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

Bach wrote in a newspaper op-ed piece that accusations that Russian officials subverted the drug-testing system at the Winter Games “represent a shocking new dimension in doping” and an “unimaginable level of criminality.”

Bach said the International Olympic Committee will act with “all the appropriate measures within its powers” to deal with claims by Russia’s former anti-doping director that he ran an organized doping program for Russian athletes at the Sochi Games and helped switch tainted samples for clean ones.

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Zika More Worrying but Rio Olympics Shouldn’t Be Moved: UN

In February, WHO declared the explosive outbreak to be a global health emergency

The World Health Organization’s chief said Tuesday the agency is increasingly worried about the Zika virus, even though it does not recommend canceling or postponing the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in hard-hit Brazil.

“The more we learn about Zika, the more worried we get about it,” Dr. Margaret Chan said in a briefing in Geneva, saying she herself would be going to the Rio Games.

Chan noted that although Zika has been around for decades, it is only recently that the virus has been proven to cause severe birth defects and neurological problems — including in newborn children.

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Mayor Bowser signs Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act of 2015 into Law

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act of 2015 into law. The CARE Act requires that hospitals provide patients with an opportunity to select a caregiver after hospital admission, and it requires that hospitals record contact information for the caregivers and consult with them about the patient’s care plan after discharge.

“As a city, we are committed to making sure that every Washingtonian can live in their homes independently, for as long as they choose.  The CARE Act will ensure that patients have the kind of support they need to transition back home safely, and will reduce hospital readmissions,” said Mayor Bowser. “This law also gives caregivers the kind of support they need to take care of their loved ones.  Caregivers do so much for their family and friends, and we owe it to them to provide maximum support for their important work.”
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Be Aware of DC Parking Tickets Scam

Residents of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area are cautioned to be aware of a phishing scam to collect money from past due tickets. With this scam, customers receive an email that has “Notice of Overdue Parking Violation(s)” in the subject line. In the email, customers are asked to pay the past due fines and a late fee immediately with the threat of their vehicle being impounded; then, they are directed to a dot com website.

DC DMV contacts customers via email if they have registered for DC DMV’s email ticket alert system. Then, they will receive an email notifying them to log into their account when there is an update.
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Insurers File Proposed Rates for 2017 District of Columbia Health Plan Offerings

DISB begins its rate review process to negotiate the best rates for District of Columbia residents and small businesses

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) received 170 proposed health insurance plan rates for review from four major insurance companies in advance of the fourth year of open enrollment on DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace.

These filings mark the beginning of DISB’s rate review process where department actuaries engage with the insurers to determine if the rates are reasonable by law and should be approved for sale in the District of Columbia. Last year, DISB successfully negotiated lower rates from all insurance companies offering plans to be sold through DC Health Link.
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Voting in DC: So Many Options, So MUCH Time!

As the June 14th primary election approaches, the District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) wants you to know that you don’t have to wait or even go to a polling place to register or vote. The simple absentee ballot option and extended Early Voting opportunities are available to make voting easy and convenient for the more than 400,000 registered voters in DC.

DC voters have until June 7th to request an absentee ballot online at www.dcboee.org or with the Vote4DC mobile app. Absentee ballots must be received by Election Day, June 14th and you don’t even have to provide an excuse.
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ACLU RELEASES REPORT ON DCPS’s “EMPOWERING MALES OF COLOR INITIATIVE”

Report finds no justification for single-sex educational programs – DCPS chooses to leave girls behind    

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-DC) have released a report, Leaving Girls Behind: An analysis of Washington D.C.’s “Empowering Males of Color” Initiative. The report, which summarizes the results of a Freedom of Information Law request, focuses on the exclusion of women and girls from the programming launched under this this new, $20 million initiative. Despite statistics showing that girls of color in Washington DC are suffering from many of the same serious educational disparities facing boys of color, the programs launched under this initiative appear to be open almost exclusively to boys, with no plans for any similar programming for girls. While the report commends the Mayor and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for directing critically-needed attention and resources toward some of the District’s most underserved students, it also points to significant legal vulnerabilities in the exclusion of girls of color from these programs, and recommends that the programming be opened to girls going forward.
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The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce

New U.S. Department of Education Report Finds Holes Throughout Teacher Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Education released a report today titled “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,” in conjunction with the National Summit on Teacher Diversity held at the Department. The report reviews trends in the diversity of elementary and secondary school educators, and examines the teacher pipeline from enrollment in postsecondary education to entrance into the teaching workforce and beyond.
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U.S. gasoline prices hold steady

(UPI) — Retail gasoline prices in the United States remain relatively stable as markets tilt toward balance, though motor club AAA said that could end come summer.

AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.20 for Tuesday, slightly less than the previous day and 0.7 percent, or 2 cents, lower than one week ago.

Prices started moving higher in the spring as refineries made the shift to a summer blend of gasoline, which is more expensive to produce because of additional environmental safeguards. As one blend moved out of the market and the other moved in, market dynamics became skewed.
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Critical-Care Drug Shortages Continue, Despite FDA Action

Shortage of drugs needed in acute and critical-care facilities are still widespread, despite federal regulation to curb the problem. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration passed the Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), which was designed to give administrators greater authority to respond to crisis situations involving drug shortages.

In a report, published in Health Affairs, Yale University researchers sought to assess the impact that this legislation has had since its implementation. According to the authors, despite early evidence that there were reductions in total drug shortages, there still remains, however, reports of shortages in many drugs used in acute and emergent situations.
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MBDA Announces a $2.5 Million Investment for its First-ever Capital Project

Agency launches a grant competition to generate greater access to capital for minority-owned businesses

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has announced a competitive solicitation for candidates interested in operating a new MBDA Capital Project. MBDA will award one cooperative agreement totaling $2.5 million over a five-year period – from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2021 – to operate the project in any of the 50 states or Puerto Rico.

The Capital Project, the first of its kind in the Agency’s history, is designed to serve as a hub for minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the country seeking financing solutions to grow and expand their businesses. It is a key component of the Agency’s overall portfolio of business development services that will result in MBE clients securing debt, equity, mezzanine financing and alternative sources of capital.
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Obesity Rates Still Rising Among U.S. Kids

Obesity rates in children in the United States—which began their ascent nearly three decades ago—continue to rise unchecked, with the largest increases in severe obesity, a new study warns.

“Despite some other recent reports, we found no indication of a decline in obesity prevalence in the United States in any group of children aged 2 through 19,” said lead author Asheley Skinner, associate professor at Duke University. “This is particularly true with severe obesity, which remains high, especially among adolescents.”
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Fatmata Bangura, Erica Rodgers, Dr. Patricia Oneal, Alain Ghonda, Beth Akiyama-600K

SICKLE CELL DISEASE EXPECTED TO REACH EPIDEMIC STATUS BY 2026

On Thursday May 5, the nonprofits Youth for Human Rights International and Drepa-Hope Inc., hosted an evening roundtable and panel discussion on “What can we do to help with sickle cell disease here and in Africa.”  Headlined by Dr. Patricia Oneal, Co-Director of the Howard University Sickle Cell Disease Center, the panel also featured Drepa-Hope Inc. Vice President, Mr. Alain Ghonda; Miss Sierra Leone Culture USA, Fatmata Bangura; and Youth for Human Rights representative, Washington, D.C., Ms. Erica Rodgers. Beth Akiyama, Executive Director of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office introduced the event and moderated the eye-opening discussion.
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Raise Good Cholesterol Levels With Exercise

One study showed black women experienced a decline in total cholesterol through exercise.

Exercise seems to be a magical elixir for most ailments. That’s because it’s medicine, according to exercise physiologists. It’s better than a pill. It’s free and has few, if any, side effects. And if you participate regularly, you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone weakness and several types of cancer. You can even improve your mood.

According to several studies exercise also has an impact on cholesterol levels, and when paired with healthy eating, is often the first line of attack to control cholesterol and fats in the blood.

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DHCD Increases Funding to Assist Small Businesses to Over $3 Million

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has awarded an additional $1.1 million in grant funding to 10 community based non-profit organizations to conduct small business support activities in targeted commercial corridors within the District. The announcement is part of the District’s effort to promote and assist local businesses during National Small Business Week.

In November 2015, DHCD awarded nearly $2 million under its Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) Program. The additional funding announced today brings the total to more than $3.1 million.

The SBTA program, which provides specialized support services to start-up and established businesses, is intended to attract new businesses, create and retain jobs, and revitalize targeted commercial corridors. The funding is made available through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG).

The 10 awardees are:

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W.K. Kellogg Foundation backs Walker’s Legacy Foundation efforts to empower single mothers of color through financial empowerment and entrepreneurship

Foundation to pilot technology and cohort programming in

Baltimore and Detroit

 According to research, low-income-single-parent-working-mother led households represent 65 percent of African American and 31 percent of Latino low-income households.  Asset-limited, income constrained, employed (ALICE), women are often challenged with both financial and business training supports needed to advance their entrepreneurial pursuits, yet entrepreneurship presents a great opportunity to create pathways out of poverty for women and their children.

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Financial firms can’t stop you from joining class action lawsuits

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a rule  to restore consumers’ rights to join together to hold corporations accountable when they break the law. The proposed rule would limit the financial industry’s use of forced arbitration—an abusive practice in which corporations bury “ripoff clauses” in the fine print of take- it-or-leave-it contracts to block consumers from challenging predatory practices such as hidden fees, fraud, and other illegal behavior.

The CFPB’s current proposal does not prohibit the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. But it does stop companies from using one of the most damaging elements of forced agreements—a ban on consumers joining class action lawsuits. Keeping customers from joining class actions prevents them from joining collective lawsuits on behalf of all consumers who have suffered similar harms, effectively leaving consumers with little to no redress and allowing corporations to break the law without consequence. Because most consumer claims are small, and individuals don’t have the wherewithal to sue individually, class actions are an important form of consumer protection.

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Education Department to colleges: Don’t let criminal record deter applicants

(UPI) — The U.S. Department of Education wants colleges to limit inquiries of a prospective student’s criminal record.

The department released the recommendation Monday as part of a new resource guide called, “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals.”

“We believe in second chances and we believe in fairness,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. “The college admissions process shouldn’t serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students.”

King made the announcement at UCLA, which doesn’t ask about legal encounters on its admission applications.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch also supports the recommendation.

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DOEE ANNOUNCES $12,750,000 FOR INNOVATIVE PROGRAM TO INCENTIVIZE COST-EFFECTIVE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) seeks eligible entities to assist with the development and implementation of a Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) Purchase Agreement Program.  The Program will give property owners and others who voluntarily install runoff-reducing green infrastructure the option to sell SRCs from these projects to DOEE. Only new green infrastructure projects within the roughly 2/3 of the city that drains without treatment to District waterbodies will be eligible.

The SRC Purchase Agreement Program builds on the innovative SRC trading program DOEE established as part of the stormwater management regulations that took effect in January, 2014.  Under these regulations, large development sites must reduce stormwater runoff, but can comply with half of their obligation by buying SRCs from voluntary green infrastructure projects.  Through the SRC Purchase Agreement Program, SRC generators will still be free to sell SRCs to regulated development sites, but they will also have the option of selling SRCs to DOEE per the terms of an SRC Purchase Agreement. In effect, this creates a price floor in the SRC market and provides some certainty about the return that an investment in green infrastructure may provide.   

 

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Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland and Lowe’s volunteers help families build strength and stability

In celebration of Habitat’s National Women Build Week

More than 150 businesswomen, teachers, builders and community leaders from across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties  volunteered alongside Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers over the course of two weeks, helping local families build a decent and affordable place they can call home. This year, women from Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties raised over $70,000 in support of National Women Build Week and volunteered a total of 1,120 hours, helping to rehabilitate four homes in Prince George’s County. The work completed also supports “Home for the Holidays,” a nationwide initiative launched by Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity to work alongside 1,000 families to help them build or repair their homes by December.

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EPA Awards $1.95 million grant to Alexandria, Va., Foundation To Study Stormwater Alternatives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1.95 million grant to the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) of Alexandria, Va., to develop tools that will help communities nationwide choose the best ways to control stormwater runoff.

Due to aging water infrastructure systems and regulatory requirements, stormwater management is an expensive challenge for many communities.  WERF’s research will focus on the most cost-effective options. This will include green infrastructure practices that enhance natural ecological functions, such as growing gardens on roofs or building artificial ponds, to help manage stormwater and combined sewer overflows.

“Green Infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing stormwater runoff that provides many community benefits,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This research grant will provide an understanding of the costs and benefits of stormwater infrastructure alternatives using tools assessing expense, design and performance.”

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Virginia to Receive More Than $3.1 Million from Federal Housing Trust Fund

Funding to address affordable housing and homelessness  

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Virginia will receive more than $3.1 million in first-ever federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Federal Housing Trust Fund.  Nearly $174 million was allocated through the national Housing Trust Fund to provide a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of safe affordable housing for extremely low-income households and families experiencing homelessness. The funding is targeted to work in tandem with current Housing Trust Funds.

“The Virginia Housing Trust Fund has been a smart resource for ensuring affordable housing is available throughout Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Access to safe and affordable housing is essential for building a new Virginia economy, and through the Federal Housing Trust Fund, we will continue to create healthy, safe and affordable communities for all.”

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The District of Columbia Office on Aging Raise awareness of Older Americans

This month we acknowledge the many contributions of older adults to our nation, and we raise awareness about important issues facing the older members of our community. The District of Columbia Office on Aging will be hosting and participating in events all month-long.

Older Americans Month Activities

May 14th from 2 pm to 4 pm
Artists’ Reception
to celebrate the participants in IONA’s Adult Day Health Program for those with memory loss or other dementias, or physical challenges. IONA Wellness & Arts Center, 4125 Albemarle St NW. For more information, call (202) 966-1055.

May 19th from 11 am to 2 pm
Ward 5 Senior Community Day.
Seabury Aging Services, Ward 5, at North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1331 Emerson Street NW.  For more information, call (202) 529-8701.

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Letter Carriers’ annual food drive set for this Saturday

The 24th annual Letter Carriers‚Äô “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive is set for this Saturday, May 14. The food drive, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), is the world‚Äôs largest one-day food drive, taking place in more than 10,000 cities and towns across the country. Leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup; canned vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta; peanut butter; rice or cereal next to your mailbox on Saturday and your letter carrier will take it from there.

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All Bets Are On at the Horse Races This May in Maryland

Maryland’s equine heritage remains strong from iconic races to timeless traditions

Maryland is celebrating its horse heritage this month by highlighting a variety of activities including the 141st running of the famed Preakness Stakes on May 21. Saddle up and grab the reins for an exciting ride amongst Maryland’s oldest traditions.

“Maryland is rich in equine history, from Thoroughbred racing to jousting to steeplechase,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. “With a wealth of equestrian centers, legendary tracks and a collection of riding trails across the state, horse enthusiasts can enjoy a wide variety of events and activities celebrating the state’s horse heritage.”

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BIPARTISAN SENATE HELP COMMITTEE HEARING ON DYSLEXIA

As most common learning disability, Senate hearing focused on understanding dyslexia and ensuring students get resources they need so they are not left behind

 

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today co-chaired a bipartisan HELP Committee hearing together with Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La). The hearing entitled Understanding Dyslexia: The Intersection of Scientific Research & Education focused on dyslexia, the most common learning disability, and how to get students the resources they need to ensure they are not left behind.

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Smithsonian’s National Zoo Presents “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea”

On exhibit for the first time in the Washington, D.C. region, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo presents “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” from May 27 through Sept. 5. Made completely of plastic debris collected from beaches, the colorful and dramatic sculptures of marine animals represent the more than 315 billion pounds of plastic in oceans today and underscore the need for wildlife conservation. Admission to the Zoo and this exhibit is free.

Made possible with the support of Friends of the National Zoo, visitors are invited to get up close to view the sculptures, which range from a 12-foot-long shark and 16-foot-long parrot fish to an 8-foot-wide octopus and a 20-foot-long coral reef. Seventeen sculptures of marine life will be installed along the Zoo’s Olmsted Walk, in the Visitor’s Center and at the Amazonia exhibit. Visitors can see marine animals affected by waste—including sea lions, brown pelicans and corals—on view at the Zoo’s American Trail and Amazonia Science Gallery, respectively.

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CAPITAL HARVEST FARMER’S MARKET OPENS

Capital Harvest on the Plaza (CHoP) is returning for another season on Friday, May 13.  CHoP, now in its 8th season, is downtown DC’s busiest weekday farmers market. Every Friday the Woodrow Wilson Plaza is filled with excited market-goers patronizing stands filled with fresh foods, vegetables, fruits, flowers, baked goodies and much more. The market is open every Friday, spring through fall from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the corner of 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

In addition to fresh produce, CHoP features local specialties and artisanal novelties including olive oils, sausages and salamis, jams, jellies, nuts, homemade salsas, gourmet coffee beans and locally produced honey. The market is a popular destination for nearby workers as well as tourists visiting our nation’s capital.

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SECOND QUARTER STARTS ON A POSITIVE NOTE

The month of April confirmed the trend of market stabilization in the State of Maryland with a 13.8 percent increase in home sales, according to the Maryland Association of REALTORS(r), (MAR).  Average and median prices grew by 3.9 and 5.2 percent respectively as compared to the same period in 2015.

The Spring market has been a brisk market, with inventory not keeping up with demand.” Said 2016 MAR President Bonnie Casper. “We’ve seen some growth in prices, but overall there’s been stability and a very good environment for buyers and sellers.” added Casper. “We’re very optimistic that we have conditions for sustained, long term growth.”

We are pleased with the pace of sales across the state in April,” said 2016 MAR President Bonnie Casper. “Once again, our chief area of concern is with the declining inventory,” added Casper. “Overall the months of inventory stand at just 3.9 months as compared to 4.8 months in April of 2015.”

 

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Office Depot, Staples cancel merger after antitrust block by judge

(UPI) — Office Depot and Staples, the largest U.S. office suppliers, on Tuesday canceled plans to merge after a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission over antitrust concerns.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan blocked the $6.3 billion deal because the FTC met the “burden of showing that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed merger will substantially impair competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large business-to-business customers.”

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Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School Wins $10,000 Top Prize in BGE’s Natural Gas Safety Contest

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School as the winner of the third annual “Adventures of Captain Mercaptan℠, BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge” at an all-school assembly in Baltimore.  The contest challenged public and private 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, for a chance to win the $10,000 top prize towards a school enrichment project. Overall, $35,000 is being awarded by BGE to area schools as part of the contest.  The winning image will be featured in a BGE natural gas safety advertisement in the spring.

“The teachers and students at Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School should be extremely proud of their winning illustration, which demonstrates both creativity and knowledge of natural gas safety,” said Christie McMullen, vice president of Gas Distribution, BGE. “I congratulate Principal Dr. Faith Hibbert, Ms. Claudette McLish and the students on a job well done.”

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‘A Top-Notch Athlete': Unbeaten Nyquist Wins the 142nd Kentucky Derby

It is the second Kentucky Derby win for Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez

(NBC)–The racing world wondered if there was a worthy successor to last year’s Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

Enter Nyquist.

The bay colt who lacks any distinctive markings won the Kentucky Derby by 1 ¼ lengths on Saturday, improving to 8-0 in his career as the fourth consecutive favorite to win the race.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist ran 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.31. The 3-year-old colt became the eighth unbeaten winner in the race’s 142-year history, and the first since Big Brown in 2008. He paid $6.60, $4.80 and $3.60 as the 2-1 favorite in the full field of 20 horses.

“We got a beautiful trip from the start to the end,” Gutierrez said.

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SEASON OVER: Caps Eliminated After 4-3 OT Loss to Penguins in Game 6

(FOX)–Nick Bonino put a rebound past Braden Holtby 6:32 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night to wrap up the hotly contested Eastern Conference semifinal in six games.

The Capitals rallied from a three-goal deficit over the final 22 minutes of regulation, but Bonino’s second goal the playoffs sent the Penguins to the Eastern Conference final against Tampa Bay.

Holtby made the initial stop on Carl Hagelin but Bonino, camped right outside the crease, tapped in the winner.

Washington forward Jay Beagle made a remarkable save from his belly in front of the net on Patric Hornqvist early in overtime but there was no stopping Bonino’s tap-in.

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Nationals Announce 7-year, $175 million Deal with Stephen Strasburg

(FOX)–So all these years later, it sure sounds as if Stephen Strasburg signed a $175 million, seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals precisely because of their decision to end his 2012 season before the playoffs — not despite it.

“As a competitor, it was a very tough pill to swallow,” Strasburg said Tuesday about the much-debated shutdown to protect his surgically repaired right elbow.

“But I think, at the end of the day, you have to look at what their intentions are. And I think their intentions are that it’s an investment, and they want me to be here pitching at a high level for a long time. Hopefully with this group of guys, we can have more opportunities to be in that spot again.”

Flanked by agent Scott Boras and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo at a news conference, Strasburg smiled often. He laughed at his own jokes.

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Stephen Curry -  NBA KIA Most Valuable Player

Warriors’ Steph Curry in Awe of Latest MVP Accomplishment

When Stephen Curry got the news on Tuesday morning that he was the NBA’s first unanimous KIA MVP award winner in the league’s history, not to mention one of 11 players to have won the honor in back-to-back seasons, the Golden State Warriorsstar did what anyone faced with that kind of humbling reality would.

Picked his jaw up off the floor.

“I looked at the list of every single MVP award winner, and to know that I’m in that group, and to be part of that club …,” Curry, whose Warriors went a historic 73-9 during the regular season, told USA TODAY Sports by phone before pausing. “At the start of the year, you have goals that you want to accomplish and what not, but you don’t know how the story is going to end, standing on the stage with two MVP trophies is something I never would have imagined before. I’m definitely appreciative of the journey. …I still have a lot to accomplish, but the fact that that’s something that nobody else did before, that’s crazy.”

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