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United States and Cuba formally reestablish diplomatic relations; to open embassies

(UPI) — The United States of America and Cuba have formally restored diplomatic relations after 54 years of hostilities inspired by the Cold War. Embassies will be established in Washington D.C. and Havana. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement Wednesday at the White House.

“Today I can announce that the United States has agreed to formally reestablish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba and reopen embassies in our respective countries,” Obama said. “This is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and its people, and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas.”

“A year ago it might have seemed impossible that the United States would once again be raising our flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in Havana,” Obama added. “This is what change looks like.”

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Mayor Bowser Encourages Residents to Know Their Rights as Minimum Wage Rises to $10.50

At Good Food Markets on Rhode Island Avenue, NW in Ward 5, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden and area residents came together to discuss the new $10.50 minimum wage now in effect. According to the Urban Institute, this change will benefit 41,000 people who live and work in the District.

Starting today, all employees working at least 50 percent of the time in the District of Columbia, regardless of where they live, have a right to an hourly wage of $10.50.  For tipped workers earning a base rate of $2.77 per hour, employers are required to pay them a final rate equal to at least the current minimum wage, including tips.

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Independence Day 2015

The District of Columbia government will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.

?. The District will follow normal trash and recycling collection schedules on Friday, July 3.

?. The Ft. Totten Transfer Station* will be closed to residents on Friday and Saturday, July 3 and 4. Fort Totten will reopen on Monday, July 6 between 1 pm and 5 pm.

?. Household hazardous waste/e-cycling drop-off will be available Thursday, July 2, 1 pm to 5 pm and Saturday, July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. Due to the holiday on the first Saturday, the next monthly personal document shredding event will be Saturday, July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. HHW and e-cycling also will be accepted July 11, 8 am to 3 pm. 

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National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Sheila Crowley on Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 Report

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 report, released last week, continues to show that the lowest income households in America struggle to finds homes they can afford.  The report, issued by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, documents that homeownership rates were at a 20-year low in 2014, resulting in record growth in demand for rental homes, soaring rents, and record numbers of cost-burdened renters. 

According to the report, the national rental vacancy rate dropped to 7.6% in 2014—the lowest in nearly 20 years. This has driven the cost of rents up by 3.2%, double the rate of overall inflation. Rental markets are tightest at the low end—the number of vacant units with rents under $800 plunged by 12% from the year before.

The report shows that although new rental units are being built, they are primarily at the high end of the market. The median asking rent of all new units was $1,290 in 2013—about half of the typical renter’s monthly income.

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Implantable ‘artificial pancreas’ tracks blood sugar, releases insulin

(UPI) — An implantable artificial pancreas that monitors glucose levels and delivers insulin as needed was shown to work in lab tests and will soon be tested with animals, researchers said.

The device has been a longtime goal to simplify the lives of Type 1 diabetes patients who monitor, calculate and inject the amount of insulin their bodies need using either a needle or an insulin pump.

The problem with these methods, researchers said in a press release, is the lag between when a dose is needed and when it takes effect in a person’s body.

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Report finds gaps in treatment for some behavioral health conditions among racial/ethnic minority populations and people without health insurance

The “Behavioral Health Equity Barometer” report (the Barometer) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a one year snapshot of the state of behavioral health of youth and adults by demographics and insurance status.  Behavioral health issues include the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.  While gaps in treatment exist for the population as a whole, this Barometer identifies gaps that exist by health insurance status and for specific ethnic and racial populations. Continue reading

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Mayor Bowser Reports Sixth Consecutive Year Decrease in New HIV Cases in D.C.

Mayor announces new public-private collaboration to fight epidemic

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, and Executive Director of the DC Appleseed Center Walter Smith, presented the Annual District of Columbia HIV, STD, Hepatitis and TB report. The report finds that the District continues to make progress in the ongoing fight against HIV.

Since 2007, DC has seen a 59 percent decrease in newly diagnosed and reported HIV cases.  Meanwhile, there was an 87 percent decrease in new HIV cases attributable to injection drug use, which the Mayor credited to the District’s needle exchange programs.  The Mayor also announced that there were no babies born with HIV in the District in 2013.  The presentation of this epidemiological snapshot took place at Whitman Walker Health – Youth Services Freestyle Center.

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Howard University Gets a Fast-Food Upgrade this Fall

BY: Naeemah Kelly

Renovations to one part of Howard University’s building located on 2301 Georgia Ave. NW have begun and the sign has revealed its new tenant. America’s newer and trendy franchise, Chipotle, will be feeding the Bison community come this fall.
Students, community members, and business owners all became aware that something new would be coming when Unit A of the storefront building was cleared and closed this past February.
Damagi Anttissone Jr. is a 21 year old architect major from Chicago. He was sitting outside of two local mexican restaurants, Mama Chuy DC and Dulcinea Bar and Grill, when asked about the new chain mexican restaurant that will soon be just one block up the street.
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NAACP DC Launches “Strengthen the Black Dollar” Campaign

SUPPORTING BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES

The NAACP DC Branch is launching our “Strengthen the Black Dollar Campaign” to educate, encourage and empower Black consumers and Black businesses. Nationwide, the Black community collectively possesses $1.2 trillion dollars in spending power, yet it continues to have the highest rates of unemployment, the highest levels of debt, and the lowest median family income levels compared to other races. This campaign will strategically leverage our spending power into Black-owned businesses to strengthen the economic empowerment within Black communities.  This yearlong campaign is designed to enhance the visibility of Black-owned businesses in DC and raise awareness within the Black community regarding the importance of buying Black—with the hopes of increasing support that Black businesses receive from DC residents and other Black owners.  Like us on Facebook at NAACP DC and follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @dcnaacp using the Hashtag #BlackDollar.

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Essential Health Benefits “Benchmark Plan” Selected for 2017

A benchmark plan determines which health insurance benefits are required by law for all individual and small group plans sold in the District of Columbia 

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) and the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) announce the 2014 Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI) (CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield) BluePreferred PPO $1,000 – 100/80% Plan as the “benchmark plan” selection for plans sold in the District of Columbia starting in 2017. Continue reading

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“Inspire a Life / Keep Pushin’ On” Benefit Concert for Cancer Research at the Howard Theatre

Featuring: Soul/R&B Singer Keyboardist Frank McComb and BET’s Sunday Best Season One Winner Gospel Singer Crystal Aikin

Frank McComb will take part in a benefit concert for Cancer Research Institute at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday July 21st at 8PM. McComb says, “I am honored to play the Howard Theatre to lend hope and support to so many battling cancer, and with the dedicated intention of eradicating this terrible disease.” The Howard concert will be McComb’s first visit to the venue since being invited by the late, great George Duke to perform for the theatre’s grand reopening event on April 10, 2012.

Also joining Frank at the Howard Theatre will be Crystal Aikin who is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to being the top prize winner in Season One of BET’s gospel music program ‘Sunday Best’ blessing all with her song, “Even Me.” She will be doing her own set and, though she’s never met Frank before, plans to prepare one duet to make both nights extra special.

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Bank of America Charitable Foundation Awards $345,000 in Grants to Nonprofits

Tackling Workforce Development and Education Needs in Greater Washington Area

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently announced $345,000 in grants to 20 nonprofits focused on providing workforce development and education opportunities in the Greater Washington area. These grants are part of the bank’s broader philanthropic investment in helping individuals and families in Greater Washington lead stronger financial lives.

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Annapolis Named One of the Top Ten Best All-American Vacations for 2015

Families making plans for Fourth of July weekend are invited to set their sights on Annapolis, Maryland. TravelChannel.com has just ranked Maryland’s capital city among the top ten best All-American Vacations for 2015. The “Travels Best: All-American Vacations” calls Annapolis the “epitome of classic Americana,” and invites visitors to check out the City’s historic homes, maritime heritage, U.S. Naval Academy and Maryland crabs.

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Panel of 4 Experts briefs 
Capitol Hill Congressional Aides on Heroin Epidemic

The severity of the national heroin epidemic was highlighted in a Congressional briefing to staffers and other national and regional criminal justice, police, treatment, health and faith leaders on Capitol Hill by four experts stressing the importance of addressing the epidemic on both ends of the spectrum – prevention/education and treatment.

The Congressional briefing co-hosted by long time proponents of substance abuse education, the Foundation for a Drug Free World and the National Office of the Church of Scientology noted that the heroin epidemic has risen nationwide to almost uncontrollable proportions not only in our inner cities but our suburbs and rural areas and is cutting across all geographical, social and economic boundaries.

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DPR Announces 2015 Independence Day Holiday Schedule


Spray parks, children’s pools and outdoor pools will be open

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced the 2015 Independence Day holiday schedule.  All DPR summer camps, recreation/community centers, indoor aquatic centers and administrative offices are closed for the holiday.

Outdoor aquatic centers and children’s pools will operate from 12 noon – 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th.  Spray parks will operate on their normal schedule.

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THURGOOD MARSHALL CENTER TRUST PRESENTS A FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION ON WILMINGTON 10

On Thursday, July 2, on what would be Thurgood Marshall’s 107th birthday, the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust will screen the documentary film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10.” “Pardons of Innocence” recounts the turbulent history of desegregation from the late 1960s to 1971 as protestors fought for equal education for students of North Carolina’s New Hanover Public Schools.

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Five Washington, D.C. High School Seniors, All Attending Elite Universities, Selected as 2015 Milken Scholars

The Scholarship Program is Unique Due to its Lifetime of Mentoring and Resources

 The Milken Scholars, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, has selected five exceptional high school seniors as 2015 Milken Scholars. The Scholars were chosen based on academic performance, community service, leadership and their ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

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Public Meeting To Discuss Montgomery Village Master Plan Will Be Held on July 7


Residents and property owners invited to comment before Working Draft of Montgomery Village Plan is presented to Planning Board on July 23

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is holding the last of the MV Matters community meetings on Tuesday, July 7 to present the staff recommendations for the Montgomery Village Master Plan. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montgomery Village Middle School at 19300 Watkins Mill Road, Montgomery Village, MD 20886. (Please note the change in the meeting location from the Watkins Mill High School, which is currently being renovated.)

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Leggett Wins Council Approval of Privatization of County Economic Development

The Montgomery County Council recenty approved County Executive Ike Leggett’s initiative to privatize County economic development efforts in order to boost business attraction and retention and further strengthen the growth of good jobs in the County.

“I want to thank the Council for their strong support of this change,” said Leggett. “I also appreciate the support for this from the business community.

From the time I was sworn in last December, I promised that Montgomery County government would change its relationship with the business community. This was a key element in my ‘Six-Point Economic Plan’ I announced as I began my third term as County Executive.

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County to Hold Lottery for Farmer’s Market Coupons for Low-Income Seniors; Limited Number of Coupons Available

A limited number of free farmer’s market coupon books worth $30 will be distributed by lottery to low-income seniors in Montgomery County on Tuesday, July 7 at 10:00 a.m. The coupon books are available to Montgomery County residents age 60 years and older whose income is less than $21,775 (family of one).

The coupons may be used at farmer’s markets in Montgomery County and participating markets in the District of Columbia until November 30, 2015.

The lottery for the coupon books will be held at the following locations:

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STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE SWORN IN AS 73rd PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS

Rawlings-Blake Makes History as the First African-American Female President of Organization

The presidential gavel was officially handed to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today by outgoing U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, appointing her head of the nonpartisan organization during the 83rd Annual Meeting of the USCM Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

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District Opens Legacy Memorial Park Honoring 2009 Metro Accident Victims

On June 22, 2015 on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, City Administrator Rashad M. Young, in partnership with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS), dedicated Legacy Memorial Park to honor the victims of the June 22, 2009 WMATA train accident. The park pays tribute to the nine victims who lost their lives, and the many more whose lives were altered by the collision of two southbound Metro trains between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metro stations.

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District’s Unemployment Rate at 7.3 Percent

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services reported this week that the preliminary May job estimates show a decrease of 1,900 jobs, for a total of 761,200 jobs in the District. The private sector decreased by 1,700 jobs, while the public sector payrolls decreased by 200 jobs. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of the District of Columbia’s employers.  

The District’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in May. The number of unemployed District residents was down 900 from 29,000 in April 2015 to 28,100 in May 2015.

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District of Columbia Receives ‘Safer Choice Partner of the Year’ Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized the District of Columbia as a 2015 ‘Safer Choice Partner of the Year’ award winner for its outstanding achievement in the Purchasers and Distributors category.

The District is among 21 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winners recognized by the EPA for its efforts to encourage the use of Safer Choice labeled products during purchasing decisions, and for demonstrating leadership in sustainable purchasing.

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NAACP DC BRANCH JOINS THE MILLIONS FOR JUSTICE MOBILIZATION TO OCCUR ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MILLION MAN MARCH

 The NAACP DC Branch partners join with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and leaders from across the nation to announce plans for the Millions for Justice convening to demand justice and equality for all in America.  

The Millions for Justice mobilization was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, June 24 at the Metropolitan AME Church, at 1518 M Street NW, Washington, DC.  

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NAACP DC Hosts Race and Labor Movement Townhall

The NAACP DC Branch and AFL CIO partner to host a Race and Labor Movement Town Hall Meeting on Monday, June 29, at 5:00PM at the AFL-CIO located at 815 16 Street, NW Washington, DC.  This program will feature an open discussion on how to improve the racial dynamics within the labor movement.  Speakers will include Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Carmen Berkley (AFL-CIO), Jennifer Bryant (One DC), Jessica Cendana (APALA DC), Tiffany Flowers(UFCW), April Goggans (NTEU), Nikki Lewis (DC Jobs with Justice), Eugene Puryear (Black Lives Matter) and Salvador Sarmiento (NDLON).  Admission is Free and open to the public.  Please RSVP at go.aflcio.org/racetownhall.  

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Mayor Bowser Announces Incentive-Based Face-to-Face Visitation Initiative at D.C. Jail

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that visitation at the D.C. Jail is being expanded to include a new incentive-based, face-to-face component.  This new program will be offered to inmates who meet specific behavioral criteria and are without disciplinary infractions.  Uniformed correctional staff will supervise the process, provide guidance and direction, and conduct security screenings for the visiting public. 

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H Street NE to Launch Twilight Farmers Market at Starburst Plaza

First nighttime farmers market in the District will offer residents after work sustainable grocery shopping from a variety of local vendors

The H Street NE Corridor’s inaugural Twilight Farmers Market will take place on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Starburst Plaza Intersection. Organized by H Street Main Street, the weekly market will feature 10 to 20 local vendors offering fresh, locally grown seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and plants, artisan baked goods, natural meats, food products and food-related products.

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MIKULSKI PUTS FUNDS IN THE FEDERAL CHECKBOOK TO ADDRESS SEXUAL ASSAULT AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Provides funding for programs to protect women and their families from violence

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, recently announced the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CJS spending bill includes $479 million for the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). This is the highest funding level for OVW programs. The overall CJS spending bill provides a total of $27.8 billion to the Department of Justice to fight crime and terrorism, and protect communities and families. The bill was ordered reported by the Full Committee on Appropriations.

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African American Commission and Maryland Historical Trust award $1 million to assist African American Heritage Preservation

13 Organizations Receive AAHPP Grants

The African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) provided 13 grants totaling $1 million to Maryland nonprofit groups, local governments and businesses in fiscal year 2016. These AAHPP grants, made available through a partnership of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) and the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), offer assistance to organizations and private citizens in their sponsorship of successful acquisition, construction or improvement of African American heritage projects.

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KNOWING OUR PLANET, PROTECTING LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, this week announced the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CJS spending bill provides increased funding to monitor and predict changes in our ocean, weather and climate. The bill was ordered reported by the Full Committee.

“One-third of U.S. GDP is affected by climate and weather from farmers trying to protect livestock and crops, to cities relying on energy from wind turbines and solar panels, to air travelers trying to get home safely and on time through storms,” Senator Mikulski said. “That is why this bill increases federal investment to make American weather prediction and American models the gold standard.” Continue reading

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National Philharmonic Fosters Musicians Through Summer Programs

 This summer, the National Philharmonic will teach and coach some of the area’s most promising young musicians at its String Institutes. The institutes, for middle/high school string players, nurture young talent and teach musical skills and techniques while preparing the participants for a performance. In addition, the Philharmonic offers the Adult Summer Chorale Institute, whose participants work with Stan Engebretson, National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director, and Victoria Gau, Philharmonic Associate Conductor.

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Books to Movies Program at Library of Congress National Book Festival
Features Pulitzer Winner A. Scott Berg

 A. Scott Berg, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, will provide a fascinating multimedia overview of the film industry as the opening to the Books to Movies program at this year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The program will run from 8 to 10 p.m., as one of several programs scheduled for the evening. Other events are a Poetry Slam (7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.), a series focusing on romance novelists (7:10 p.m. -9:45 p.m.) and another featuring graphic artists (7:15 p.m. – 10 p.m.).

The festival runs from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (doors open at 9 a.m.).

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Forum Points to Why The American Dream is on Hold For Many in the African American Community

Vast Disparities in Employment, Wealth Compared to Whites

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) heard from Baltimore clergy, community leaders, and academics on Tuesday, June 23, at a forum to discuss the vast disparities in economic conditions for African Americans and whites.

The forum titled: The American Dream on Hold: Economic Challenges in the African American Community, was hosted by Congressman G. K. Butterfield, Chairman of the CBC, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Ranking Democrat on JEC and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Members of the CBC and Congressional Representatives of Maryland were also in attendance.

 

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Governor Kicks Off 100-Day Challenge to Improve Housing for Individuals with Disabilities

Regional teams developed goals to increase integration and housing options  

Governor McAuliffe recently announced the launch of a 100-day challenge to kick off the Commonwealth’s Housing and Supportive Services (HSS) initiative to increase integrated, independent housing options for people with an intellectual or developmental disability in the Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond regions.

“Virginia is committed to providing more housing options for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who desire to live in a home of their own,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “The Commonwealth is making a purposeful shift away from using institutional settings, and helping individuals and their guardians choose where to live, how to live and with whom to live.”

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FREE OUTDOOR SUMMER MOVIES AT MONTPELIER ARTS CENTER

It’s that time again! Come on out and enjoy this year’s movies at Montpelier. Pack a picnic basket and bring a blanket! All movies are free and start at dusk.
Wednesday, July 15
Grease: Sing-A-Long (1978, Rated: PG)
Belt out tunes such as “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Beauty School Drop-out” as you watch Sandy and Danny’s tumultuous romance unfold amidst pep rallies, dances, and drive-ins. Continue reading

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Strasburg Solid in Return, Nationals Defeat Braves 3-1

(ABC)–Stephen Strasburg pitched five shutout innings in his return from the disabled list, Anthony Rendon tied his career-high with four hits and the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Wilson Ramos added three hits for the Nationals, who have won four straight while allowing a total of four runs.
Strasburg (4-5), who missed 21 games with neck tightness, was resilient in his return. He allowed baserunners in four of five innings, but only one got as far as second base.
It was Strasburg’s first scoreless start this season.
The right-hander allowed four hits and a walk while striking out six. He was lifted after throwing 94 pitches in a game that was delayed 2 hours and 12 minutes at the start by rain. Continue reading

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Judge Hears Arguments on Redskins Trademark Battle

Lawyers for Native Americans who object to the Washington Redskins’ trademark say their case has been strengthened by a recent Supreme Court ruling on license plates and the Confederate flag.
A judge is hearing arguments Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria on the team’s lawsuit.
The Redskins want the judge to overturn a decision last year by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registration on the grounds that it may be offensive to Native Americans. The team’s lawyers say the trademark law is unconstitutional because it regulates the content of speech.
Lawyers for the Native Americans say their argument for cancellation is boosted after the Supreme Court ruled last week that Texas was within its rights to ban personalized license plates showing the Confederate flag.

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Brady Appeal Continues into Late Afternoon at NFL Offices

Tom Brady and representatives from the players’ union have been meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell at NFL headquarters for much of Tuesday as the New England quarterback appeals his four-game suspension.
Brady was suspended by the league for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game win over Indianapolis. He arrived at the NFL’s Park Avenue offices Tuesday morning, as did attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who is leading Brady’s defense.
The hearing was expected to adjourn in late afternoon.
The NFL Players Association had asked Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because he could not be impartial and might be called as a witness. But Goodell said it was his responsibility to oversee the hearing to protect the integrity of the league. Continue reading

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Nationals’ Max Scherzer celebrates his no-hitter

(FOX)–A day later, Max Scherzer couldn’t stop smiling.

“I’m doing great,” the Nationals right-hander said the morning after he threw a no-hitter and came within a strike of a perfect game before hitting Pittsburgh’s Jose Tabata in Washington’s 6-0 victory.

“I didn’t get much sleep, but that’s for a good reason, just on a high from the game.”

Scherzer came within one strike of throwing the 22nd perfect game in major league history since 1900.

In his past two starts, Scherzer has retired 54 of 57 batters with a combined 26 strikeouts. He is 8-5 with a 1.76 ERA for the season. Continue reading

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Athletic Trainers Endorse New Standards for Spine Injuries

(CBS)–A national medical group that represents athletic trainers is calling for more rigorous standards to treat sports-related spine injuries, including the immediate removal of helmets and other equipment before a patient goes to the hospital.

A treatment protocol last revised in 1998 recommends that equipment worn by athletes with potential spinal cord injuries not be removed on the field. Advances in safety equipment technology are among the reasons cited by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in its updated policy. Continue reading

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Sotomayor swears Loretta Lynch in as attorney general

(UPI) — Hours before her second official swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, Loretta Lynch joined Twitter to become the first sitting U.S. attorney general to join the social media platform.

In her first tweet, Lynch said she was excited to join Twitter and “share updates.” Her second tweet, about an hour later, said she would use a Bible belonging to abolitionist Frederick Douglass during the investiture ceremony.

“His life is an inspiration to me,” she said on Twitter.

Hello, Twitter! Excited to join the conversation and share updates with you. Busy and exciting first weeks as AG – now I’m joining Twitter.

— AG Loretta Lynch (@LorettaLynch) June 17, 2015

 

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White House receives $4 billion in Clean Energy Investment commitments

(UPI) — The White House announced Tuesday it has more than $4 billion in private sector commitments to invest in clean energy and kick off the Clean Energy Investment Summit.

The amount committed by private organizations, including the University of California, Goldman Sachs and the Sierra Club Foundation, surpassed the initial $2 billion goal.

“President Obama and his Administration are committed to using every tool possible to combat climate change… harnessing the ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs, innovators, and technology is a crucial part of the fight against climate change,” the White House said in a statement. “America is leading the global transition to a low-carbon economy, and thanks to past investments, consumers are already benefitting from major advances in solar photovoltaics, wind power, advanced batteries, energy-efficient lighting, and fuel cells.”

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Kennedy Street Festival – it’s a Centennial Celebration!

The second annual Kennedy Street Festival will be this Saturday, June 20, along Kennedy Street NW from 3rd Street to Georgia Ave. This community-driven, crowd-funded event includes artist and artisan vendors, live music, activities for kids and adults, and information on what’s coming next to our long-overlooked corner of DC.

Highlights will include street performances by jazz, soul, classical, folk and root-rock musicians. You’ll be able to complete a neighborhood scavenger hunt or buy raffle tickets for a chance to win Washington Nationals tickets, donated by At-Large DC Council member Elissa Silverman. Look for specials and guests at local favorites Culture Coffee, Andrene’s Cafe, Tony’s Place and Taqueria D.F. Local arts vendors include our local master wood carver Boluwaji Omisore, our funky thrift purveyor Vintage Glam, new local screen-printers Aniton Ink, and many more. Food trucks including Street Cream, Timber Pizza, and Karat Cakery will be filling neighborhood niches. 

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$4 million Investment In D.C. Public Schools

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson and D.C. Public Education Fund President and Executive Director Jessica Rauch recently announced a $4 million investment by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to support a new curricular strategy across DCPS. The new investments will help DCPS continue to improve teaching and learning at every public school in all eight wards. 

 

“While our schools have made great progress, we need to plow ahead and increase the pace of reform. This investment will be a valuable asset for our students as they prepare for college, job training and careers.” said Mayor Bowser. “On behalf of the students and families in the District, I thank Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation for their support in helping to elevate our school system.”

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CVS acquires all Target pharmacies, clinics

(UPI) — CVS Health Corporation on Monday said it is buying all of Target Corporation’s pharmacies and clinics for $1.9 billion, a move that will put the CVS name inside more than 1,660 Targets across the country.

Under the deal, all pharmacies at Target retail stores will be rebranded under the CVS name in a “store-within-a-store format,” CVS said. Any new Target stores with pharmacy services will also include the CVS rebranding.

Additionally, the clinics inside 80 Target locations will be turned into a CVS MinuteClinic. Any new clinics built will help the pharmacy achieve its plan to operate 1,700 clinics by 2017.

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New report shows steady decline in underage drinking from 2002 to 2013

Yet alcohol still remains the most widely used substance of abuse among youths aged 12 to 20 

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), shows a significant decline in the level of past month (current) underage alcohol consumption, as well as a drop in underage binge drinking.

The report shows that the level of current underage drinking among those aged 12 to 20 decreased from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 22.7 percent in 2013.

Likewise, the level of current underage binge drinking also declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 14.2 percent in 2013.  Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least one day in the past 30 days.

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Expand Your Investment Portfolio With Real Estate

(NewsUSA) – Don’t let concerns about complexity keep you from the benefits of investing in real estate. The advantages of investment properties include rental income, value appreciation and equity growth, and locating, buying and managing property isn’t as complicated as most people imagine.

“Finding worthwhile investment property shouldn’t be a difficult or costly venture, especially in the current market,” said Preston Despenas, co-founder and senior partner of Growth Equity Group. “In fact, there are many opportunities for investors to use real estate to diversify a retirement portfolio and amass wealth today, but the best opportunities might not be right in your backyard,” he explained.

Considering a real estate investment, but not sure where to start? Keep these points in mind:

Find the right market

Real estate may be local, but the best opportunities might not be local to you. Don’t rule out markets just because they’re out of state.

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HEADLINES

Congressional Black Caucus Members Defend Human Right to Water in US, Africa

Letter of solidarity underscores disproportionately harmful effect water privatization has on people of color around the world

On Monday, half of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) issued a letter of solidarity with people in the global struggle to access clean, safe drinking water. In the letter, the signers pointed specifically to efforts to privatize water in Lagos, Nigeria, where the World Bank has pushed privatization as a solution despite its abysmal track record.

The letter was delivered just over two weeks after the Lagos governorship and Nigerian presidency carried out the first peaceful, uncontested transfer of power in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and amid a global movement to defend the human right to water. New leaders have an opportunity to make water access a priority, but have not yet unveiled plans for doing so.

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Mayor Bowser Announces Comprehensive Drug Enforcement Strategy

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District’s Public Safety and Health leadership held a press conference to announce a new comprehensive drug enforcement strategy. In the last decade, the District has seen a significant shift in the nature and tactics used to perpetrate violent crimes. The Bowser Administration has developed a comprehensive drug enforcement strategy to respond to the changing climate.

“Far too many of our residents are still impacted by drug usage – whether because of drug sales occurring near their homes or because they or their family members suffer from drug addiction,” said Mayor Bowser. “It is my duty to provide the safest and healthiest environment for our residents and visitors. We will do that by innovating and adapting, and providing our public safety officials with the tools they need to get the job done. We will also make sure healthcare professionals have the resources to help people get the treatment they need to fight and recover from drug usage.”

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District to Begin DC Circulator National Mall Route Bus Service

Partnership with National Park Service Connects National Mall to the Center of the City

 

Mayor Muriel Bowser, National Park Service Acting Superintendent Karen Cucurullo and District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo recently announced that the DC Circulator will begin passenger service along the National Mall this Sunday, June 14, 2015.

                

The route will begin at Union Station, travel along Louisiana Avenue, NE, and loop around the National Mall via Madison Drive, SW; Constitution Avenue, NW; West Basin Drive, SW; Ohio Drive, SW; and Jefferson Drive, SW. The service has 15 stops, steps away from the most popular District attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History, National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Capitol.

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DDOE ANNOUNCES “RECLAIMING OUR RIVERS” SERIES OF COMMUNITY MEETINGS

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) announced that it will host a series of four community meetings this June focused on restoring the District’s rivers. These meetings will inform the public about sources of pollution, District programs to clean up that pollution, and ways residents can get involved.

“Our rivers and streams are impacted by pollution from many sources, and the District is making huge strides to address them on all fronts,” said DDOE Director Tommy Wells. “From innovative and rigorous programs to reduce stormwater runoff, to creative approaches for eliminating trash and litter, to responding to the legacy of industrial contamination in the Anacostia River, the District is putting in place the tools we need to ensure our waters are healthy, safe, and clean for future generations.”

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DDOE to Begin Enforcement of Signage Requirement for Projects Requiring Erosion and Sediment Control plans

The District Department of the Environment announced last week that it will begin enforcement of stormwater management related signage requirements. Effective July 1, 2015, all construction projects requiring soil Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) plans must post a District-approved sign that notifies the public to contact the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) in the event of erosion or other pollution from the site. This signage requirement will help to protect the District’s natural resources by identifying and correcting sites that are causing erosion and/or discharging sediment to local waterbodies.

 

This is a requirement of the 2013 Rule on Stormwater Management and Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (2013 SW Rule) which calls for the prominent posting of a sign that:

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DC Government and Partners to Mark 25th Anniversary of ADA with “End the Awkward” Campaign

Businesses, Advocates & Allies Use July 15 Event to Increase Awareness on Disability Issues

 

To recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Government of the District of Columbia will sponsor a one-day campaign to share information raising awareness about disability issues. The campaign, entitled “End the Awkward: Focus on the Person, Not the Disability,” will take place on July 15th and include the participation of numerous government agencies, community organizations, businesses and members of the public.

 

Participants will wear “End the Awkward: Ask Me How” pins, prompting questions that are responded to with information on how to act respectfully toward people with disabilities without being awkward. Registration for businesses and members of the public opens today and is free at ohr.dc.gov/page/endtheawkwardDC

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Expanded Newborn Screening Program

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced that Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID, will be one of the disorders that every Virginia-born infant is screened for. The disease, which is fatal if not detected early, affects approximately one out of every 50,000 live births.

 

“Virginia detects various disorders through the newborn screening program, but adding SCID creates the opportunity to save or drastically improve the lives of even more babies each year,” Governor McAuliffe said. “Prospective parents should feel confident that the Commonwealth is looking out for our tiniest residents.

 

Virginia’s newborn screening program, which was first mandated in 1966 and is required by law for all babies born in the Commonwealth, is a partnership between the Department of General Services’ Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Five drops of blood taken by pricking the baby’s heel are used to screen for 29 disorders that range from the well-known Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited disorder affecting the lungs and digestive system, to the relatively obscure metabolic disorder known as Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which prevents a baby’s body from breaking down parts of food protein. Babies with these disorders often look healthy at birth, but failure to diagnose them early can lead to severe sickness, physical or mentally disabilities, or death.

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DISB Encourages Residents to Report Fraud and Abuse of Elders

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking urges residents to value and protect District of Columbia seniors by reporting possible abuse.

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

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

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Launch of Virginia Business Plan Competition

~Virginia Velocity is part of efforts to spur more entrepreneurism in the Commonwealth ~

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced the launch of a key component of his efforts to catalyze entrepreneurism in the Commonwealth.  The Virginia Velocity business plan competition opened today and is overseen by the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  The competition focuses on entrepreneurs in the key strategic growth sectors of bioscience and energy.

 

Speaking about this announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “It is critical to support, attract and retain entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth.  Startup firms are a particularly important source of job sector growth for building the new Virginia economy.  Entrepreneurism and innovation are key to growth in every part of urban, rural and suburban Virginia.  This business plan competition is a great vehicle for encouraging more entrepreneurs to take the next step toward building a thriving and productive Virginia business.”

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A CAPITOL FOURTH CELEBRATES 35 YEARS 
AS AMERICA’S NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY 
CELEBRATION LIVE FROM THE U.S. CAPITOL!

Led by Pop Superstar Barry Manilow, All-Star Cast Joins
PBS’ A CAPITOL FOURTH

Celebrating 35 spectacular years on air, A CAPITOL FOURTH will kick off the country’s 239th birthday with an all-star musical extravaganza that puts viewers front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.  Music legend Barry Manilow will headline the gala anniversary celebration, opening and closing the concert broadcast with a special patriotic medley.  Broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the star spangled party will also feature performances by: the most successful country music group of all time, Alabama; Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, with over 70 million album sales, Nicole Scherzinger; five-time Grammy nominee, CMA Award winner and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes; vocal powerhouse Meghan Linsey ( THE VOICE); Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum selling band, fronted by the Founder of the Dance Revolution, KC and the Sunshine Band; world renowned piano virtuoso Lang Lang; and inspirational classical cross-over global star and Irish tenor Ronan Tynan; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.  In celebration of American icon Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, the award-winning star of film, television and the concert stage Robert Davi will pay tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes.  The 35th annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Saturday, July 4, 2015 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.  The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide. 

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Treasures Unearthed From 
Baltimore’s Washington Monument

1815 Cornerstone Jars as found, courtesy Mount Vernon Place Conservancy

Contents from 1815 and 1915 Time Capsules On Display Beginning July 4

Beginning July 4, 2015, The Maryland Historical Society will proudly display items recovered from not one but two time capsules in Baltimore’s Washington Monument, as well as other important documents surrounding the Monument’s creation. The exhibit, entitled ‘Treasures Unearthed From Baltimore’s Washington Monument,’ will open in coordination with the Monumental Bicentennial, an all-day neighborhood-wide celebration presented by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy and Bank of America. (Visit www.MonumentalBicentennial.org.) Admission to the Maryland Historical Society will be free all day on July 4th. The exhibition will be on public view through December 31, 2015.

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Choral Festival

Classical Movements Presents 5th Annual 2015 Serenade!

Washington, D.C. Choral Festival International Summer Celebration

In its 5th year, the Serenade! Washington, DC Choral Festival has grown to feature 11 choirs from seven countries. The only summer festival of its kind in the US, the event features professional and community choirs with a distinct foreign flavor. In its five years, the festival has attracted 42 choirs from 20 countries.  Multiple concerts in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland (most of them free), a competition, numerous workshops, cultural exchanges and lectures make the Serenade! Festival an exuberant celebration of choral music from around the world.

 

In 2015, the Serenade! Festival will feature choirs from Cuba, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Each concert features three to four choirs presenting own program, allowing the audience to have a unique and exciting international music experience. The “Best of Serenade” at Strathmore (co-presented with Strathmore) on Sunday, June 28, 2015, will feature a rousing grand finale with all the choirs, conducted by the internationally celebrated conductor Doreen Rao.

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FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL RECEIVES $1 MILLION FROM TAYLOR FAMILY

Gift from founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and WWII veteran

Jack C. Taylor and family to fund education programs.

 The Friends of the National World War II Memorial (Friends) has received a $1 million gift from St. Louis, Missouri businessman Jack C. Taylor and his family to sustain education efforts and activities sponsored by Friends and allow for the development of new multimedia education initiatives. This is the largest single gift to Friends in the organizations history.


“Jack Taylor embodies the values and character of the Greatest Generation. It is these values that are at the core philosophy of Enterprise and the World War II Memorial and which we hope to instill in succeeding generations through new education programs supported by this significant gift,” says Josiah Bunting III, chairman of Friends. “We are grateful to Mr. Taylor and his family for their generous support that will help Friends to continue to lead this noblest of efforts. Continue reading

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May Housing Market Continues Strong

May’s housing statistics confirm a healthy residential sales market, according to the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR). Existing homes sales increased statewide by more than 13 percent, compared to the same month last year.

Average price dropped slightly–1.3 percent–while median price rose 0.6 percent, continuing the trend of price stabilization. Pending units, an indicator of future sales, also continued strong, increasing15 percent, or 1,200 homes, over May 2014. Active inventory increased with almost 1,400 homes for sale, almost 5 percent, while months of inventory declined to 4.5 months, the fourth consecutive drop. 

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Mikulski makes Securing Communities a Priority for Federal Checkbook

 Provides funding to give law enforcement the tools they need to protect families, schools, and communities from crime

 

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CJS spending bill includes $2.3 billion in grant programs to help state and local law enforcement fight crime and keep our communities safe and secure. Funds are provided as part of a total $27.8 billion for the Department of Justice. The bill was ordered reported by the Full Committee. 

 

“State and local police around the country say they need help to put more cops on our streets to fight gangs, drugs, and child predators and to prosecute criminals,” Senator Mikulski said. “We have an obligation to keep our communities safe from violent crime.”

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Montgomery County Warns Property Owners About Deceptive Letter Soliciting Payment to Reduce Property Tax Bill

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is warning property owners not to be fooled by a deceptive letter which encourages consumers to pay $99 to petition to have their property tax assessment reviewed.

This direct mail solicitation gives the false appearance that it is from a state or local government agency, provides a return address that is, in reality, a mail-drop location, and fails to disclose that there is actually no cost for property owners in Montgomery County to personally petition for a tax assessment review.

Information regarding this matter has been reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Consumers who have provided credit card information or sent checks to this merchant may file a complaint with Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection.

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Montgomery County Department of Economic Development to Attend the 2015 BIO International Convention

The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED) is pleased to announce it will be exhibiting and participating at the 2015 BIO International Convention being held June 15-18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Montgomery County will be attending as part of the BioMaryland Pavilion, booth #301.

The BIO International Convention is one of the world’s most influential biotech meetings, offering attendees powerful business partnering, education sessions and networking with the global biotech community’s leading experts and partners.

The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development will have representatives on site to discuss the many advantages of its leading location in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the programs and services available for the life science industry. Additionally, representatives will present information on funding, incentives and financing options available to bio-business.

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ChildLink Service Provides Information and Resources to Residents with Young Children

Need information and answers about children from birth to five years old? ChildLink is a free County service provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Services, which provides information, resources and referrals to residents with young children.

ChildLink staff offer assistance to parents to help find services and resources in the community for issues including access to early childhood programs throughout the community; home visiting programs; behavior management; the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program; services for children with special needs, including autism and early childhood mental health; health, nutrition and weight issues concerning young children; and social and emotional development.

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Library Releases New Student Discovery Sets for Tablets


Sets Cover Women’s Suffrage, Japanese American Internment, and Political Cartoons

Pages from the scrapbooks of the activists who fought for women’s suffrage. A political cartoon from the pen of Benjamin Franklin. Photos by Ansel Adams of Japanese Americans living in World War II relocation camps.

The Library of Congress is putting all of these historical documents, along with many more, in the hands of students and teachers through its three newest free, interactive ebooks for tablets.

The Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history and science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details and make notes about what they discover.

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Children’s Science Center Lab to Open June 20 at Fair Oaks Mall

Unique center encourages children to discover and be inspired by STEM

This weekend, Fair Oaks Mall will welcome an interactive, educational and fun activity space where families and school groups can visit any day of the year to experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) firsthand. The Children’s Science Center Lab, open to the public on Saturday, June 20, will offer infinite ways for children to create, explore and be inspired by STEM.

 

“We are so proud to bring the Children’s Science Center Lab, a dedicated resource for children to discover the world of science to Fair Oaks,” said Teresa Truong, marketing and sponsorship director for the mall. “The Lab at our center will provide an engaging learning environment for kids to explore and help keep them actively learning throughout the year.”

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Leggett Offers Recommendations to Enhance Pending Legislation to Curb Overly Aggressive Towing

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today submitted amendments to the County Council in an effort to enhance Bill #17-15, Motor Vehicle Towing and Immobilization on Private Property, introduced by Councilmember Roger Berliner on April 14.

 

The legislation and proposed amendments would change Montgomery County’s current towing law in an effort to curb overly aggressive towing practices in shopping centers and residential parking areas and to align Montgomery County’s law with the recently-enacted statewide towing law.

 

The County Executive’s Office, County Council and Office of Consumer Protection have received an increasing number of complaints from consumers in Montgomery County regarding behavior by some towing firms which appears to be overly aggressive and “predatory” in nature. Such activity, which has been widely reported in national and local news media, appears to violate the intent of Montgomery County’s 25-year-old towing law.

 

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2015 Lake Arbor Jazz Festival comes back home with Expanded Format and Cruise Control

The Prince Georges Cultural Arts Foundation in partnership with The Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) come together once again for the 6th Annual Lake Arbor Jazz Festival (LAJF). This year’s festival activities will Kick-off with the pre–festival jam on Thursday, July 9th and end with an exciting new culminating event, the Jazz Brunch Cruise complete with buffet and live entertainment which will

 

LAJF has quickly become the area’s premier community-based jazz showcase featuring some of the region’s most accomplished musicians. The heart of 6th Annual LAJF centers around the VIP Scholarship Dinner held on Friday, July 10th which will provide $10,000 in youth scholarship this year, and the outdoor concert held on Saturday, July 11th from 11:00am 12:00pm -8:00am on the expansive grounds of the Lake Arbor Community Center.

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Immigrant Heritage Month Sparks Call For Museum To Tell American People Story

As the nation celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month in June, the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People  call on Congress and the White House to consider establishing the museum in our nation’s capital to tell the full story about the making of the American People.

The coalition is composed of 164 organizations representing 62 different American nationality, minority, ethnic and genealogical groups. Together they reflect the broad diversity of our nation.

The museum will tell every group’s story about coming to this land and nation. It will tell about their migrations within the nation after they arrived, starting with the first humans in the Western Hemisphere thousands of years ago through today. The museum’s advocates say their goal is to make this the best story-telling museum in the world. It will explore the history of Americans who came from every corner of our globe to make the United States the leading nation economically, scientifically, militarily and culturally. Continue reading

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Tradition Meets the Digital Age in Korean Film Festival

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. presents composer, multimedia artist,

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. presents composer, multimedia artist, and writer Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky and guest artists as they perform Electric Imaginary, a lush sensory blend of Korean traditional sounds with digital music and video, to close out the Smithsonian’s Korean Film Festival DC in style on Sunday, June 21 at 5 p.m. at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium (1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC ).  

This virtual string quartet/installation performance is based on American cellist Charlotte Moorman’s collaborations with celebrated Korean artist Nam June Paik, known as the father of video art, in his early multimedia experiments, and was commissioned by Asia Society in 2014. Also featured are selections from Seoul Counterpoint, a composition that explores the resonance of the new urban landscape of Seoul in juxtaposition with New York, commissioned by Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2014. Equally inspired by Nam June Paik in this work, Miller collages a new urban landscape in sound and image.

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RISE: The Promise of my Brother’s Keeper to Simulcast on Discovery Channel and OWN

President Obama Featured in Documentary Film Exploring the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER’S KEEPER explores the lives and families of boys and young men of color from across the country that participate in life changing intervention programs. The film highlights four programs that exemplify the principles of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to improve the life outcomes of boys and young men of color.   RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER’S KEEPER will simulcast on Discovery Channel and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 at 7PM ET/PT . The film also addresses President Obama’s challenge to cities and towns to encourage coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategies for improving the life outcomes of all young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they were born. RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER’S

KEEPER is directed by Dawn Porter, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed documentary Gideon’s Army .

In an interview with President Obama conducted on May 18 from Camden, New Jersey, Mr. Obama shared his own personal experiences as a young man as well as his motivation for and commitment to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. He also discussed the goals of the initiative, which include ensuring all youth complete their post-secondary education and training and are employed once they’re out of school.

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Warriors Win NBA Title, Down LeBron, Cavs 105-97 in Game 6

(ABC)–Revived by a fresh-faced shooting superstar and a first-year coach who made them believe, the Golden State Warriors again reign supreme.
Their 40-year NBA championship drought is finally over.
A half century of misery in Cleveland drags on. LeBron James just didn’t have enough help.
Stephen Curry and finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece, Draymond Green recorded a triple-double and the Warriors – using a barrage of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter – won their first title since 1975 by finishing off James and the Cavaliers 105-97 on Tuesday night in Game 6.
For the first time since Gerald Ford was in the White House, disco was in vogue and Rick Barry was flicking in free throws under-handed, the best pro basketball team resides in the Bay Area. Continue reading

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Harper Returns to Nats Lineup But Goes Hitless, Rays Win 6-1

Things started badly for Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals and never got better.

Erasmo Ramirez pitched six scoreless innings and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Nationals 6-1 on Monday night to move into first place in the AL East.

“We got behind early, and (Ramirez) kind of got his confidence going,” said Denard Span.

It was just the opposite for Gonzalez, who didn’t get through the fourth inning when he fell behind 5-0.

“I wasn’t being aggressive. I was falling behind and trying to get back in the strike zone and they were putting it in play,” said Gonzalez, who gave up eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. “They found holes, they found hits … You’ve got a team that’s red-hot right now. You fall behind and give them a chance to score some runs, they’re going to do it.”

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2015 Redskins Training Camp Schedule Announced

Washington Redskins announced their 2015 training camp schedule and will have a total of 23 on-field sessions open to fans.

The Redskins in partnership with Bon Secours Virginia Health System, the City of Richmond, and the Virginia’s Governor’s Office announced the training camp schedule which is set to take place at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond between July 30 and August 16.

There will be a total of 23 public on-field sessions including joint practices with the Houston Texans on August 6-8 and Fan Appreciate Day on August 15.

The public on-field sessions are free for all fans. Redskins players and coaches will give autographs and take pictures with fans after the practices. All of the practice times and scheduled dates are subject to change.

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LeBron James’ Legacy Fades with Each NBA Finals Loss

(CBS)–Two titles in 12 seasons. That’s the current résumé of the greatest player in the world, LeBron James, who single-handedly kept his beat-up Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, only to lose again, falling to 2-4 in NBA Finals and raising questions about his ever ping-ponging legacy.

No one doubts LeBron is the greatest player of his generation. But, at this point, he’s the only player ever to earn that honor who hasn’t dominated the NBA Finals while in his prime — a prime that’s ending sooner rather than later. Is it his fault for not making his teammates better? Is it his team’s fault for not getting him better teammates? These questions are irrelevant and will stay irrelevant if LeBron ends up with a pedestrian amount of NBA championships. There’s no nuance involved in questions about legacy. It’s about numbers, pure and simple.

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U.S. Navy Serviceman Angelo Anderson Eager for Start of Warrior Games

(ABC)–The 6th annual Warrior Games kick off in a few days and U.S. Navy Serviceman Angelo Anderson said he’s looking forward to “kicking butt” in this year’s adaptive basketball tournament.
Anderson’s journey to play in these games was far from easy. “I was shot multiple times on my deployment, said Anderson, I broke my humerus in my upper right arm and I broke my femur on my right leg.”
A former athlete, Anderson feared if he would never return to normalcy—a goal the Warrior Games exist to fulfill. The Department of Defense hosts the games as a fundamental component of rehabilitation, reintegration and the recovery process for servicemen and women returning home with life-altering injuries.
Monday, Anderson and some of his Navy brethren trained for this week’s Warrior Games in a nearby Fort Myer gym. Continue reading

CSA visits Regional Command-South

Obama to Deploy 450 Additional Troops to train Iraqi Forces

(UPI) — President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday the deployment of up to 450 additional troops to “train and advise” Iraqi security forces fighting the Islamic State.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi requested the additional forces, which will be deployed to the Taqaddum military base in Anbar province, where Ramadi, the capital, was captured by the Islamic State in May.
“These new advisors will work to build capacity of Iraqi forces, including local tribal fighters, to improve their ability to plan, lead, and conduct operations against [the Islamic State] in eastern Anbar under the command of the Prime Minister,” according to a statement by The White House. “This effort will complement the efforts of U.S. and coalition trainers at the four previously-established training sites in Al-Asad, Besmaya, Erbil, and Taji, where over 9,000 Iraqi troops have already been trained, with an additional 3,000 currently in training.” Continue reading

HEADLINES

Americans Waste $161.6 Billion Worth of Food Annually

(UPI) — New research suggests Americans waste more food than they realize. People know about food waste, and say they care about the problem, but they underestimate their role in the accumulating waste.

According to recent survey conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University, some 75 percent of the 1,000-plus respondents claimed they wasted less than the national average. Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is thrown out — most of it fruits and vegetables, and most of it tossed by households, restaurants and stores.
Participants in the study listed concerns about food safety and a desire to eat only the freshest produce as the top reasons why they throw out fruit and vegetables. The waste cost Americans more than $161 billion each year.
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HEADLINES

Tri-Caucus Urges Senate HELP to Improve Every Child Achieves Act

84 Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), an

d the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – sent a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act.

The letter, led by the Chairs and Education Task Force Chairs of the Tri-Caucus, as well as Ranking Member Bobby Scott of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, outlines improvements to the Every Child Achieves Act that include: state and school district accountability for all student sub-groups; equal distribution of resources; and transparency in data collection and reporting. The letter also lauds the adoption of amendments that eliminate ineffective assessments and improve quality early education for disadvantaged students.
The full text of the letter with all 84 names can be found online here.

HEADLINES

Serve DC Announces FRESH Summer of Service 2015 Mini-Grants

Grants for Targeted Communities Engaging Youth 5 – 20 Years of Age
Serve DC launched the FRESH Summer of Service mini-grant opportunity to engage young people 5-20 years of age, particularly those in targeted Police Service Areas of the District, in service during the summer months. The mini grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 and are being sponsored by Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, in collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service. Grant guidelines can be viewed on our website at http://serve.dc.gov/summer-of-service. Applications must be received no later than June 15, 2015 at 5:00pm for consideration. All projects and programs must be held between June 29, 2015 through September 30, 2015.
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HEADLINES

Charity Is Not a Substitute for Justice

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words on April 4, 1967 at New York City’s Riverside Church—a year to the day before his assassination in Memphis—he was describing something my friend Dr. David Hilfiker shared in a thoughtful Sunday sermon at The Church of the Saviour called “Justice and the Limits of Charity.”

In his speech the night before his murder Dr King repeated the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan who stopped and helped the desperate traveler who had been beaten, robbed, and left half dead as he journeyed along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The Good Samaritan is traditionally considered a model of charity for his willingness to treat a stranger as a neighbor and friend. Dr. King agreed that we are all called to follow his example and serve those around us who need help. But he reminded us that true compassion—true justice—requires also attacking the forces that leave others in need in the first place.
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HEADLINES

NAACP ANNOUNCES “AMERICA’S JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE”

OUR LIVES, OUR VOTES, OUR JOBS, OUR SCHOOLS MATTER

The NAACP, together with a broad coalition of partners, will announce America’s Journey for Justice at a press conference and rally on MONDAY, JUNE 15, AT 10 A.M. AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL 2 LINCOLN MEMORIAL CIRCLE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20037

Led by NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, America’s Journey for Justice – a historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC – will mobilize activists and advance a focused national policy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs, and equitable public education. America’s Journey for Justice will unite partners from the social justice, youth activism, civil rights, democracy reform, religious, not-for-profit, labor, corporate, and environmental communities to call for justice for all Americans under the unifying theme “Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, Our Schools Matter.”
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Type-2-diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes may be caused by Bacteria

(UPI) — Researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that a primary cause for type 2 diabetes may be persistent exposure to a toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, bacteria.

The potential discovery is in line with recent studies finding microbe interaction with the microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria that colonize human bodies and are essential to the way they operate, can cause illnesses beyond just infections, such as cervical cancer and stomach ulcers.
In the study, researchers exposed rabbits to the staph toxin for prolonged periods of time. The toxin interacted with fat cells and the immune system, causing chronic systemic inflammation leading to symptoms of type 2 diabetes, including insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.

In humans, obesity is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Obesity also, however, alters the microbiome. Previous studies have shown that superantigens produced by the staph bacteria disrupt the immune system and can wreak havoc on the body.
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Apple announces new music streaming service

(UPI) — In apparent bid to cash in on the success of paid music streaming from the likes of Spotify and Pandora, Apple on Monday announced its new streaming service.

Apple Music will be available starting June 30, Apple’s Jimmy Iovine said during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote event in San Francisco.
“Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists,” Iovine said. “Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate.”

The new app will allow a user to access their personal iTunes library along with Apple’s entire catalog of more than 30 million songs in one place. Users can stream any song or album they want or access playlists created by Apple’s so-called curators.
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New Study Identifies Challenges for Family Caregivers, Caregiving Solutions Needed

National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP research provides data and profiles of family caregivers today

The profile of the family caregiver in America is changing as the population ages, according to a new research study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. While the “typical” family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who takes care of a relative, caregivers on the whole are becoming as diverse as the American population.

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 provides surprising insight into today’s family caregivers. The typical higher-hour caregiver (who provides unpaid care for at least 21 hours a week) has been caregiving for an average of 5-1/2 years and expects to continue care for another 5 years. Nearly half of these higher-hour caregivers report high emotional stress (46 percent). Continue reading

HEADLINES

The Little Things for Cancer Partners with the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation

The Little Things for Cancer (TLT4C) is excited to announce it has entered into a letter of intent to merge with the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation (ZACF) effective June 1, 2015. The new partnership is expected to expand the reach of both organizations and have a greater impact on those affected by cancer.

Bringing the two together is a strong strategic fit, leveraging strengths from both organizations. The ZACF currently provides those affected by cancer with scholarships, funding for college internships for cancer research, direct patient/caregiver funding, and provides critical funds needed for research in hopes of finding a cure for this unforgivable disease. The Little Things for Cancer funds services for the little things we often take for granted. Things such as, but not limited to, meals, transportation, child care, house cleaning, utility assistance and so much more. The benefits of this partnership are that in combining our individual talents, we will be able to strengthen our overall efforts and make a bigger impact on finding a cure while supporting patients and their caregivers during their cancer journey.
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HEADLINES

AAA: Gas prices may have peaked

(UPI) — The national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States is likely near its yearly peak, motor club AAA said.

AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of gasoline at around $2.74, a slight decrease from Monday but nearly 3 percent, or roughly 10 cents, more than one month ago. The current national average has held steady for the better part of the week.
“The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has remained steady over the past week and continues to hover near at what many expect to be the highest average of the year,” the motor club said in its weekly status report.

Drivers in Midwest states have suffered the most because of limitations are regional refineries that produce gasoline. The U.S. Energy Department said in a weekly petroleum report last week that Midwest gasoline production was the lowest it’s been since March.
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F.R.E.S.H. Summer of Training-First Aid/CPR Classes Kicks Off National Safety Month

June – September Free Training for Residents of All Eight Wards
Serve DC kicked off National Safety Month with the F.R.E.S.H. Summer of Training – First Aid/CPR classes in each of the District’s eight wards beginning in June through September 2015 providing free training to100 residents in each ward. National Safety Month is observed annually in June and sponsored by the National Safety Council.

“Knowledge of basic first aid can make the difference between life and death. And, knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a vital life skill everyone should have” said Kristal Knight, Executive Director/Chief Service Officer for Serve DC.”
Serve DC knows firsthand that volunteer engagement and response is critical in the event of an emergency, and its preparedness programs ensure residents have the skills and resources necessary to serve their communities in times of crisis.
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Mayor Bowser Announces Final D.C. United Soccer Stadium Agreement

Transaction represents a major milestone for D.C. United and the District of Columbia and paves the way for the stadium construction.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a final agreement between the District government and D.C. United that clears the way for D.C. United to build a new soccer stadium in the District of Columbia. The signed agreements include improved deal terms which will result in better financial protections for District of Columbia residents, clarify the size and timeline of the stadium, and strengthen community engagement. The Bowser Administration will submit legislation to the Council of the District of Columbia for final review.

“Thanks to the hard work of the District government and D.C. United staff, a world-class soccer stadium will call Buzzard Point home – for good,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This agreement will add vibrancy to a neighborhood on the banks of the Anacostia River and generate jobs for District residents as my Administration creates pathways to the middle class. With this agreement, Washington, D.C. remains the #SportsCapital, and Washingtonians stand together to declare: Vamos United!”
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Mayor Bowser Names Ernest Chrappah as Taxicab Commission Chair

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Ernest Chrappah as Interim Chairperson of the DC Taxicab Commission.

“Chairman Ernest Chrappah will lead our efforts to provide top-notch services for residents and visitors of the District of Columbia through the oversight of safe, comfortable, efficient and affordable taxicab experiences,” said Mayor Bowser. “Ernest has a wealth of experience serving District residents and a reputation of finding innovative solutions to complex challenges. His record of delivering for D.C. will make him an asset for District residents, visitors and drivers in the rapidly changing transportation sector.”

“Economic viability is the driving force of the taxicab industry in our growing, world-class city,” said Ernest Chrappah. “I am thrilled to work with residents, visitors, taxicab owners and operators to provide high quality service as we strive to provide a system of fair and transparent rules and regulations.”
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Woman in Stem

Howard Presents Woman in STEM Researcher of the Year Award

Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor, Dr. Paula M. Whetsel-Ribeau, Dr. Georgia M. Dunston, Dr. Kimberly Jones, and Dr. Sonya T. Smith. PHOTO: Leshell Hatley

HU ADVANCE-IT presented its Woman in STEM Researcher of the Year Award to Dr. Kimberly L. Jones on Friday, April 17, 2015. The award, first given in 2014, recognizes the distinguished scholarship and leadership of women faculty in STEM at Howard University. HU ADVANCE – IT was a platinum sponsor of this year’s Research Week which culminated with this award presentation.

Dr. Jones is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Howard University. She earned her B.S. degree in 1990 from Howard and then returned to join the faculty upon completion of her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 1996. Dr. Jones began making contributions toward understanding waste water treatment while she was still studying for her doctorate degree and she continues to make seminal contributions in the field some 19 years later with scholarship derived from a world-class research program that she built at Howard University.
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Carter G. Woodson Home

National Park Service Awards Contract to Restore Carter G. Woodson Home

The National Park Service announced recently that Perini Management Services was awarded a $5.6 million contract to begin restoring the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site. This contract is for the first phase of a three-phase project. Phase one will restore the interior and exterior of Dr. Woodson’s home and stabilize the adjacent buildings.

“This is a major step in opening Dr. Woodson’s home for people to visit,” Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail said. “The National Park Service is committed to sharing our nation’s history, and restoring, preserving and opening his home will help people learn about and honor Dr. Woodson’s work and legacy.”

Phase one of construction will begin in early June 2015 and is expected to last 12-18 months. Once this phase is complete, the public will be able to visit the Woodson Home on a limited basis through pre-arranged tours. Continue reading

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Public Health Advisory: Dangerous Synthetic Drug Use Leading to Overdoses


In recent weeks, District government agencies have seen a dangerous spike in overdoses as a result of the use of synthetic drugs. The spike has led to dozens of individuals being transported to area hospitals in the last month, including nearly a dozen transports yesterday. It is likely that additional overdoses have gone unreported or untreated.
 
”Synthetic drugs are illegal and dangerous,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “These drugs present a clear danger to the public. My Administration is committed to working with all relevant government agencies, residents, community organizations and the Council to crack down on the distribution and consumption of these dangerous synthetic drugs.”
 
Synthetic marijuana is a potent and dangerous hallucinogen that has been found for sale at retail establishments, including liquor stores and gas stations. The products are commonly referred to as K2, Scooby Snax, Bizzaro or Spice. While the chemical composition and branding of the drugs changes constantly, the dangers remain constant. Use of these drugs by young people is particularly dangerous. 
 
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Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical to Celebrate 50 Years of Providing Quality Health Care to Veterans in the Nation’s Capitol

In 1965, with much pomp and circumstance, U.S. Vice President Hurbert Humphrey dedicated the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, ushering in a new era of caring for DC area Veterans. He called the medical center one the “most automated in the world”, with the most modern equipment known to medical science of the day.

Fifty years later, the multi-disciplinary medical center staff is proudly upholding its tradition of providing quality health care to Veterans in the nation’s capitol using the most technically advanced techniques and equipment available. From 3D mammography to Mohs surgery to more than 300 current research studies, the Washington DC VA Medical Center has made a huge impact in health care in the nation’s capital over the past 50 years.

On June 24 at 6 p.m. Veterans Affairs will commemorate its 50 years of service with a formal ceremony and reception. The milestone event will be held at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 50 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20422. The main event will replicate the original ground-breaking ceremony and will be held at the outdoor flagpole at the entrance of the medical center. Major General Jeffrey B. Clark, Director, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will be the keynote speaker and music will be provided by the U.S. Navy Band. Medical center staff, Veterans, federal, state and local officials along with community members will be in attendance. A reception will immediately follow in the atrium. Continue reading

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PGDF Partners with David Lynch Foundation to Study Transcendental Meditation and Alcoholism

The Peter G. Dodge Foundation (PGDF) announces its first research grant, to be awarded to the David Lynch Foundation for a feasibility study on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and alcohol dependence. The study will attempt to establish whether TM is useful in preventing relapse following inpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder.

The David Lynch Foundation will contract with the Friends Research Institute, a non-profit research institution specializing in substance use health services research, to conduct the study. Principal Investigator Jan
Gryczynski, PhD, will lead the project at the Avery Road Treatment Center in Rockville, MD. Avery Road is an inpatient treatment facility annually serving over 400 patients with a primary diagnosis of AUD.
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Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy Exhibit
 Returns IN JULY 2015

Brookside Gardens, a facility of Montgomery Parks, is happy to announce the return of its premier Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit. The seasonal display, starting July 1, features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.
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