Thursday, December 31, 2015

TA: Tracking participant progress in a workshop

If you are leading a workshop and the participants are working on laptops, try using sticky notes as a way to gauge where everyone is in the process of completing the assigned task.   UCLA teacher Miriam Posner, in A better way to teach technical skills to a group, describes how assigning students to small groups combined with the sticky note strategy serves her students well.   This could easily be adapted for work not on computers.

Additional ideas are on Hacker News in the responses to the Posner blog post.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ABC7's Chris Papst interviews Mayor Muriel Bowser

Another good DC history read

Relive the good ol' days of The Bayou Jan. 3

The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint Trailer from dave lilling on Vimeo.

From murder to redemption, from jazz to rock and roll, from striptease to Kiss, from Mister T to misadventure, from business-as-usual to anything-goes, the documentary, like The Bayou itself, will arouse the senses. (The IDA)

Relive the concerts or learn about this famed club Sunday, January 3 at midnight (Saturday night); watch "The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint" on WHUT.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mayor Bowser on NewsTalk Dec. 29

Mayor Muriel Bowser will guest on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt Tuesday, December 29 at 11:00 am.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here,, to see the conversation.

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email ( the show.

December 29: Tech advice on @kojoshow

DMHHS staff list, updated

As of December 22, staff in the office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services are:

The phone number for the office is (202) 727-7973.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

More book recommendations

Hacker News readers talk good and so-so reads in 2015: Ask HN: Books you read in 2015?.   And Adam Grant offers up 10 non-fiction must-reads in 2016: The 10 New Books to Read in 2016.

Know of other lists?   Leave them in a comment.

TA: Getting the most out of Google Analytics

Shift Communications offers good advice and clear instructions in 3 Google Analytics Issues to Correct for Better Data.   If you're looking for something to do over the holiday that is work-related but something different, take a look at these three fixes::
  1. Fight referrer spam
  2. Use Google Analytics to track your social media channels
  3. Connect the Google search console

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Changes at Washington Business Journal

WBJ's Editor-in-Chief Douglas Fruehling announced in Note to readers: We are ending our TechFlash email newsletter a number of changes.   In addition to the TechFlash news, Tina Reed's portfolio will be expanded, Andy Medici will cover additional topics, and James Bach will cover things I just don't understand.   Read the piece for the details.

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Kaya Henderson guests on Harvard EdCast

Monday, December 21, 2015

CM David Grosso recaps 2015 in video

January 8: Miss Pixie’s Presents: Street Sense Rising

Miss Pixie's Presents: Street Sense Rising, Friday, January 8 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, will feature two short films: Fairness Rising and Raise to Rise.

From the event website:

In Fairness Rising, follow the amazing men and women of People for Fairness Coalition - an advocacy group of unhoused and formerly unhoused individuals - as they fight against the odds to win housing for all.Then, in Raise to Rise, experience D.C. General from the inside as a brave mother raising her two-year-old maintains a secret iPhone diary of their time at a shelter notorious for its uninhabitable conditions and structural neglect.

The event also features a Q&A with the film-makers.

Space is limited.   The event is free, with a suggested donation of $7.00.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Track Santa as he makes his way around the world

NORAD Santa Tracker has a new look and some new functionality but retains the distinction as THE place to go to follow Santa around the world as he delivers presents.

The tool is available in English, Español, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, 日本語, 中文, and Português and provides the following information in Santa's Village:

  • Learn about Santa, his magic sleigh, and holiday traditions
  • Santa's favorite holiday songs
  • The Arcade in which you can play a new game every day
  • The Theater which shows movies about Santa and NORAD
  • NORAD HQ where you can learn about NORAD, its mission and work

If you are on the go December 24, you can still follow Santa.   The Santa Tracker app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The December 18, 2015 DCR Tweeted

TA: Leveraging Twitter for Nonprofit Initiatives

While the podcast Leveraging Twitter for Nonprofit Initiatives dates to 2014, the ideas shared by Caroline Barlerin, Head of Twitter for Good, and HandUp director of business development Sammie Rayner are still spot-on.   So take 40 minutes to listen to this podcast.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Diane Rehm guests at February 11 Q&A Cafe

Diane Rehm joins Carol Joint at the Thursday, February 11, 2016 Q&A Cafe at the George Town Club (1530 Wisconsin Ave NW).   Expect Rehm to talk about her career, life, retirement, and her new book On My Own.   The event will start at 1:00 pm with seating starting at 12:30.   The fee is $35; call the George Town Club to make a reservation, (202) 333-9330.

Sharing because this makes me smile

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

GGW chat with WMATA's Paul Wiedefeld (transcript)

Several worthwhile reads

THere are several pieces you might enjoy or find interesting:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 17: "Dream City" at 21

District of Columbia Affairs Section of the DC Bar is holding the lunch program "Dream City" at 21: The Life and Legacy of DC's Most Important Political Book Thursday, December 17.   RSVPs are required; click on the link above.

From the event notice:

Come and join us for a light brunch and have a candid conversation with the authors of the seminal book on District politics and government - Dream City: Race, Power and the Decline of Washington, DC - which was republished last year as a 20th Anniversary edition. What do authors Tom Sherwood and Harry Jaffe think about the District’s stature and outlook now, 21 years after the publication of their chronicle of corruption and decline? What is the state of race relations and politics in the nation's capital? What has changed for better or for worse and what remains unchanged? Is the District in decline today, or are we on the rise?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December 11 DC Register in Tweets

Respond to the call! Brentwood PO needs Christmas wish fulfillers

Approximately 600 children (and their parents, grandparents, etc.) are relying on Santa―the Brentwood Post Office―to fulfill their Christmas wishes this year.    The post office needs our help to make Christmas morning a happy one.   According to Dana Wyckoff, from Friends of Rosedale Library, "one little boy wrote this is the 2nd year he's asking for something, since he didn't get a reply last year."

There are various ways to help.

  • You can fulfill all or part of the requests in a letter
  • Swap out more general age-appropriate gifts (book, hat and gloves, doll, socks)
  • Individuals can pick up to 10 letters
  • Organizations and offices can take up to 25 letters
  • Fpr those who cannot get to the PO, Friends of the Rosedale Library has 20 letters.   You can fulfill all or part. or make a donation. Contact Wyckoff via email,

How to make this happen: With your driver's license in hand, go to Brentwood Post Office (900 Brentwood Rd NE) Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am - Noon.   At post office, ask for Sherry/Secret Santa Helper.   When you return the gifts, they must be gift wrapped, marked with the number of the letter, and returned to the PO in a sealed mailing box (with number of the letter on the outside) NO later than Monday, December 21.   Donors pay for mailing (though they sometimes waive that if you're donating a lot).

Take the WBJ unusual tourist destination quiz

The Washington Business Journal's How well do you know Washington's unconventional tourist spots? will test what you know about the city's "quirky landmarks."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Free two-part webinar: The Hidden Financial Lives of America's Poor and Middle Class

Stanford Social Innovation Review, with support from Citi Foundation, is hosting a two-webinar series in 2016.   The Hidden Financial Lives of America's Poor and Middle Class take place Thursday, January 21, 2016 and Thursday, February 4, 2016.   From the website,
An unprecedented look at the financial lives of working Americans and new insights for designing policies, programs and products that can help make their lives better.

There’s no question that the American economy has undergone dramatic change over the last 30 years—stagnant wages, rising inequality, automation, freelancing, and globalization. The impact of these economic changes on the lives of low- and moderate-income Americans has been difficult to see, until now. New research indicates that current programs and policies for helping families escape poverty, build stability, move up the ladder, and invest in the future are based on an outdated understanding of what their financial lives looks like—one that no longer reflects reality.


In this complimentary two-part SSIR Live! webinar series, researchers from New York University and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, will be joined by experts from the Aspen Institute, and Pew Charitable Trusts, the University of Michigan, and the Urban Institute to present new research findings, their implications, and insights for designing new policies, programs, and products to help improve the lives of low- and moderate-income Americans.

Anacostia Park: good for people now and in future

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New data about financially vulnerable families and news about innovative workforce program

Last week, Citi Community Development and the Corporation for Enterprise Development released new data about family financial security in DC.   The data is found on in Building Financial Security in the District of Columbia: A Data Snapshot (PDF)—a snapshot is shown in the image above.

As reported in the blog post DC's unbanked population twice regional rate, may DC individuals and families are financially vulnerable.   According to Family Assets Count,

  • 74% of single-parent households, 55% of households with children, 54% of renters and 73% of households with no education above a high school diploma live in liquid asset poverty in the District.
  • 18% of the District’s population receives the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but only 4% are utilizing free tax prep services to receive their refund.
  • 12% of District households do not have a checking or savings account—nearly twice the national rate. So, nearly 32,000 households are more susceptible to using alternative, often predatory, financial services. Even among those households that have bank accounts, a full 25% still relied on alternative financial services, such as check cashing or payday loans in the last year.

Family Assets Count is a project of CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development) and the Assets & Opportunity Initiative along with Citi Community Development, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB), and United Way of the National Capital Area.

In related news, Mayor Bowser announced the new Asset Building @ Work program, a partnership between CAAB and the Department of Employment Services.   The partnership represents an "innovative model of integrating financial capability services with workforce development program over three years." (Mayor Bowser, Citi, CAAB Launch Partnership to Strengthen Employment Services Programming).

Friday, December 4, 2015

Encouragement to make DC smoke-free

The District of Columbia was not one of the 50 communities selected as a Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion grantee but there is much we can learn from the national and local partners starting with ways to reduce the tobacco use and smoke exposure.

DC has taken numerous steps to reduce resident, worker, and visitor exposure to smoke but more can be done.   Young people continue to experiment with smoking.   According to the 2012 OSSE report District of Columbia PROMOTE. PREVENT. PROTECT. Youth Risk Behavior Survey (PDF), 5% of middle school students reported having smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days and 14% of the high school students reported having smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.   And the number is likely higher; surveys relying on self-reports are known to under-report.

If you are interested in tackling this important public health issue, read the Partnering4Health project's Where You Live, Work and Play Should Be Smoke-Free, below.

National Orgs Success Stories Tobacco (002)

Unfortunately, CFSA reverts to bad old practice

DC's unbanked population twice regional rate

Nationally, one in every nine households (11%) in American cities with 200,000 or more residents are unbanked.   This means that people don't have a checking or savings account.   Those unbanked in DC amount to 11.8% of the population.   Regionally, 4.3% of the population is unbanked.

This information and more is available in the new estimates from CFED in their Assets & Opportunity Local Data Center.

There is deeper meaning to this data.   Consider how much more powerful the DC Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could be when claimants have bank accounts.   Unbanked tax filers, according to Brookings' Alan Berube and others, commonly use high-priced refund loan products.   Berube et al. also write,

In the Washington, D.C. area, taxpayers claiming an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) of $1,500 spend, on average, more than 10 percent of this amount on tax preparation, electronic filing and a refund loan if they use a commercial tax preparer. One local preparer’s prices were typical of those for national chain preparers: $60 for preparation of a federal return with the EITC, $34 for a state return, $20 for electronic filing, and up to $90 for a refund loan, for a total of $204. (The Price of Paying Taxes:How Tax Preparation and Refund Loan Fees Erode the Benefits of the EITC (PDF))

In 2002, University of Michigan Law School's Michael S. Barr testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs about the unbanked.   In a related essay, he described the high costs:
  1. Basic financial services cost a lot.   Without a bank account, people must rely on check cashing establishments.   In 2000, the FDIC estimated that a worker making $12,000 a year would spend $250 to cash paychecks.
  2. Saving is hard without a savings or checking account.   "Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution has shown that, after controlling for key factors, low-income households with bank accounts were 43 percent more likely to have financial assets than households without bank accounts."
  3. "the unbanked are also largely cut off from mainstream sources of credit necessary to leverage their hard work into financial stability. Without a bank account, it is more difficult and more costly to establish credit or qualify for a loan. A Federal Reserve study found that a bank account was a significant factor - more so than household net worth, income, or education level - in predicting whether an individual holds mortgage loans, automobile loans, and certificates of deposit." (Banking for the Unbanked (PDF))

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Whaddya think? Sherwood for council?

Thought you might be interested: Why trigger warnings are bad, from personal experience

Rachel Edwards' (@naughty_nerdess) Trigger Warnings: Or how to create a generation of assholes without really trying may rub some people the wrong way, like the commenter Lori Williams.   But this piece in Medium is a personal account of triggers.   I may (or not) agree with everything written, but it is a counterpoint for the current narrative of must-have trigger warnings.
I think the answer for why trigger warnings exist is pretty simple. There is a desire to protect people from harm, even if it's psychological harm.


I'm going to say the one thing that needs to be said about this, but that no one will utter. If you need people to put trigger warnings on everything for you to live your live normally, then there is a place for you to go. It's called a mental hospital, and it's where people go to get stabilized. If you are the kind of person who'll see a dick pic online and then go to the closet and hang yourself, then you aren't healthy enough to be living in the real world.


In creating a world of trigger warnings, you also create a world where people are less able to deal with hardship. We learn how to endure and prepare for certain hardships by reading about them in books or seeing a character overcome them in a movie. It is through encountering the unexpected, that we can become inoculated against it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 12: Students, get ready for the ACT and SAT

Felicia Fort, founder of One Step Closer: Finding the Fun in Math Tutoring Company, invites 8th grade and high school students and their parents to attend the Saturday, December 12 event Choosing the Right Test! SAT vs ACT!.   The event is free.

This event will feature workshops, question and answer sessions, and giveaways.

The event is being held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St NW).

Get learning!

Here's a super resource from Kristyna Z. (on Medium, @kristynazdot on Twitter): The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New.

Categories of learning Kristyna Z. writes about are:

  • Take An Online Course
  • Learn How To Code
  • Learn To Work With Data
  • Learn New Languages
  • Expand Your Knowledge
  • Bonus

Kristyna Z. has created a list including the best of reader recommendations to her list.   There is a link to that list.

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Sign up for Lit Picks by DC Public Library Foundation

Like to read?   Want to know what is new or interesting?

DC Public Library Foundation compiles a list of books each quarter.   The curated list is an insider's guide, a look into what the staff are reading and enjoying.   Subscribe to Lit Picks for the list along with a discussion of "a variety of zany topics at the intersection of literature, art, technology and pop culture."

Sign up for the free newsletter; previous editions are on the sign-up page.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TA: Engaging New Voters in 2016, Dec. 10

Engaging New Voters in 2016 is the latest webinar from Nonprofit Vote.   The free session takes place Thursday, December 10 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm.   Registration is required.

The session is grounded in Nonprofit Vote's new report, Engaging New Voters: The Impact of Nonprofit Voter Outreach on Client and Community Turnout (the report will be released December 2).   According to the organization,

One of the report's key findings is that when nonprofit staff and volunteers help their community members to register to vote or to sign a pledge to vote, those individuals turn out to vote a higher rates than other registered voters, regardless of demographic factors like age, race/ethnicity or income.

TA: Digital trends in 2015 and 2016

Want to learn more about trends in digital?   Interested in exploring the platforms were most useful for effective digital campaigns in 2015?   Want to learn from recent successful movements and nonprofit campaigns?

If so, register today for the free NetSquared DC December 9 event Digital Trends - Look Back at 2015 & Ahead at 2016.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Apply now for DPR athletic facility permit for spring/summer 2016

Need a parks and rec permit for the spring or summer of 2016?   The Department of Parks and Recreation is accepting permit applications Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 11, 2015.

Permits are required for athletic use of DPR ball fields and basketball courts.   The Spring/Summer season runs from March 21 – September 6, 2016.   Notifications will be made during the week of January 18, 2016.   More information is on the DPR Athletic Facility Permits page.

Image from Adriano Santi on

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Save the dates for Politics and Prose author events

Politics & Prose has a number of author events scheduled through early 2016.   Here are some that caught my eye:
  • Wired To Create: Unraveling The Mysteries Of The Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman And Carolyn Gregoire, Tuesday, January 5, 2016
  • The Idealist: Aaron Swartz And The Rise Of Free Culture On The Internet by Justin Peters, Tuesday, January 26, 2016
  • Exit Right: The People Who Left The Left And Reshaped The American Century by Daniel Oppenheimer, Sunday, February 7, 2016
  • The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, And A Group Of Extraordinary Men Invented The Government by Fergus Bordewich, Friday, February 19, 2016
  • Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell And The Struggle For Racial Justice In The Nation's Capital by Joan Quigley, Sunday, February 21, 2016

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#dcfy17 budget requirements resolution on December 1 leg meeting agenda

The council will consider PR21-0423 Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Submission Requirements Resolution of 2015 at the December 1 Legislative Meeting.   The significant element of the proposed resolution is the due date of the FY 2017 budget by Mayor Bowser to the council: March 24, 2016.

The good, bad, and ugly of social media

Yesterday Steve Buttry, on his blog The Buttry Diary, wrote about the good, bad, and ugly on social media.   Read Social media bring out extremes in compassion and rudeness for inspiration and some head shaking.

The inspirational:

I will note only briefly, with appreciation, the many people whose outpouring of support has uplifted and touched me the past couple of years. When I lost my job last year, the encouragement and support on social media (and tips and introductions to people who actually offered me jobs) were overwhelming.

But that support paled in comparison to the virtual hugs I have received since my lymphoma diagnosis last December. During my treatment, which has included some setbacks I won't repeat here, the digital embrace on Facebook, Twitter and CaringBridge was tremendous. But it went beyond words of encouragement and promises of prayers. People I never or barely met in person, as well as friends of Facebook friends whom I truly didn't know, even digitally, sent me a journalism game, a handmade prayer shawl, a personal note about baseball, headgear when my hair disappeared, and, I'm sure, other gifts I'm not recalling at the moment. A person I've met only digitally shaved his head in support of me and another person undergoing chemotherapy.

And now the bad and ugly:

... I mostly mention the positive extreme to provide the necessary contrast to the primary point of this post: Facebook trolls.

Consider other social situations: Political arguments are common, whether at an office holiday party, a meeting of friends in a bar or restaurant or a family gathering. But I can't imagine one of those situations, even in settings that involve lots of drinking, where a stranger would decide to join a conversation that's already under way and take it over, insulting the others in the group and even calling names, without ever making sense.

That happens to me multiple times in a week on Facebook, not just with politics, but politics and cultural issues are the most common settings in my experience. Who, in overhearing a political discussion in a restaurant or at a party where you're mostly or entirely an outsider, would butt in, however certain you were in your position, belittling people to their faces and calling names?

Buttry supports his views with numerous examples of rude, antagonistic, just plain anti-social behavior.

What are your experiences?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Upcoming COW and leg meeting info

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will brief the media on the December 1 Legislative Meeting Monday, November 30 at 10:30 am in JAWB, Room 412.   The chair will cover the major actions to be taken December 1.   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building for the briefing, you can watch it on the DC Council's Watch Hearings page.   Have questions about the briefing?   Call the chair's office: (202) 724‐8032.

Tuesday, December 1, the council will meet for the Committee of the Whole additional meeting at 10:00 am.   The Seventeenth Legislative Meeting follows the COW.   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch it on the DC Council's Watch Hearings page.

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@hgil's November 27 DCR Tweets Storified

December 11: Working Towards Achieving Economic Inclusion in DC, A Call to Action for 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Shorenstein Center videos: the intersection of media, public policy, and politics

A successful Thanksgiving dessert: Buttermilk Coconut Pie

Wanted to try something new for Thanksgiving so gave the Our State Coconut Buttermilk Pie a try.   It was a huge success.   Easy and tasty.   The only modifications I made were that I used four eggs (my daughter has chickens and the eggs are various sizes) and 1 1/2 cups of coconut.

I will definitely make this again.

I've added the recipe to the Recipes page to make finding in the future easy.

Some thoughts about Thanksgiving

InsideSources has compiled several pieces about Thanksgiving:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Useful new app from the FDA

Do you wonder what the generic equivalents of your prescription drug are?   Take a look at Is There a Generic Equivalent to My Brand Name Drug? Find out with FDA OB Express to learn about Orange Book Express.   This new app from the FDA makes the Orange Book accessible to users of all types (the main users for the past 35 years have been pharmacists).

The app is free and is available for the iOS and Android platforms.

ICYMI: CM Brandon Todd's State of the Seniors address Nov. 5

Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday closures: Tax Sale Resource Center

The DC Bar Tax Sale Resource Center located at DC Superior Court will be closed Wednesday, November 25; Wednesday, December 23; and Wednesday, December 30.   There will be no tax sale docket on those days, ergo the center being closed.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New from WAMU: What's With Washington?

WAMU recently launched What's With Washington?, a new way to tell stories about the Washington area.   What's With Washington? relies on user-submitted questions and user-voting to identify the questions which will be investigated by a WAMU reporter.

The three links are:

The first three questions are waiting for your vote.

Gloria Steinem on @kojoshow

Saturday, November 21, 2015

@hgil's Tweets of the November 20, 2015 DC Register Storified


The new Washington Parks & People campaign #ThinkOutside is encouraging people to get outside.   Why?   According to the organization, "we invest very little in taking care of these spaces, let alone protecting, connecting, and programming them for the benefit of all."

What are the ways that you, your organization, your family, your community can think about do your work outside and incorporate the outside into your work.   Share your plans and ideas with Washington Parks & People on Twitter, @WashingtonParks.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tats for Tom, Kojo, and Mary

December 8: CFED Financial Well-Being Summit

On Tuesday, December 8 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), and Citi Foundation are sponsoring the all-day Financial Well-Being Summit.   Highlights of the free event include the launch of the new book What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation and discussions involving policymakers and employers about innovations driving family financial success as a result of taking down barriers.   Conversation topics run the gamut from education to housing to the economy to gender to age to politics.

The event will be streamed live; more information (agenda, registration link, more) is on the CFED website.

About the book, from the summit registration and more info page:

Through more than 30 essays authored by experts from across a broad range of fields, What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation will provide a 360-degree view of the financial problems and challenges millions of American households face, the enormous creativity and innovation already happening to increase financial well-being, and how we can implement proven and emerging solutions.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Neighborhood Legal Services Program intake, November and December

Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP) recently announced intake changes from the normal schedule:
  • Closed for intake Wednesday, November 25
  • Closed for intake from December 21, 2015 - January 1, 2016 except for emergencies. Intakes will re-open Monday, January 4, 2016.

NLSP does intake Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.   Intake is available by phone and in person.   Call (202) 832-NLSP (6577) or visit one of their three offices:

  • 680 Rhode Island Ave NE
  • 2811 Pennsylvania Ave SE
  • 4609 Polk St NE

More information is on the NLSP website.

Today is the Great American Smokeout

Still smoking and want to quit?   Know someone who wants to quit?   Cajoling a friend or family member to quit smoking?   The American Cancer Society can help.

Visit the ACS smokeout page for links to resources and information that will help people stop smoking.

Thought you might be interested Thursday: Diana Nyad on perserverance

Watch this Blue Sky Innovation video featuring champion swimmer Diana Nyad to learn what made Nyad's epic swim from Cuba to Florida possible at age 64.

Reporter Amina Elahi's talk with Nyad brought out the important backstory of the recent record-setting swim.   There are many useful lessons and an abundance of inspiration in this must-watch talk.

Want to learn more about Nyad and the Cuba-Miami trek?   Read Find a Way, available at Politics & Prose and DC Public Library.   To whet your appetite (from the book's page on the Politics & Prose website):

Diana carried three poignant messages on her way across this stretch of shark-infested waters, and she spoke them to the crowd in her moment of final triumph:
  1. Never, ever give up.
  2. You re never too old to chase your dreams.
  3. It looks like a solitary sport, but it's a Team.

Millions of people around the world cheered this maverick on, moved by her undeniable tenacity to be the first to make the historic crossing without the aid of a shark cage. At the end of her magnificent journey, after thirty-five years and four crushing failures, the public found hope in Diana's perseverance. They were inspired by her mantra find a way that led her to realize a dream in her sixties that had eluded her as a young champion in peak form.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mayor and CFO sued for spending money in FY 2016

December 7: The ins and outs of blogging

Greater Greater Washington is teaching folks to blog Monday, December 7 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave NW).
We'll go through everything you need to know to be a fantastic blogger, like how to pick a topic and organize your thoughts. We'll also have plenty of time to answer all your questions.

Register on the GGW website.

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Test your knowledge of DC history in Teaching for Change quiz

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wards 7 and 8 calendar undergoes facelift

The Wards 7 and 8 calendar, part of the Community Board hosted by East Bank DC (, has a new look.   The new calendar has some new features Marie Fritz, owner of East Bank DC, and I hope to implement soon (including a submit an event button!!).   As Marie wrote in New Community Board Calendar, "We hope you like the changes and look forward to connecting."   We've already made one change, adding a link to the monthly calendar format.   Other thoughts?   Let us know.

In the meantime, we hope you will continue to use the calendar and submit events.

It's World Antibiotic Awareness Week

For more information, visit the UN's World Antibiotic Awareness Week web page.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ta da: The 2016 DC editorial calendar is out

The DC version, LightBox Collaborative's 2016 Editorial Calendar for nonprofits (businesses and government, you can use it, too!) is here!

Highlights of the DC version are the DC EITC Campaign, hypothermia season, oversight and budget hearings, Child Abuse Prevention Month, the April primary elections, Bike to Work Day, Emancipation Day, Truck Touch, and the annual candlelight vigil for youth victims of homicide.   If I missed something, all you have to do is add it.   Be sure your addition is in red and bold.

A super huge thank you to LightBox Collaborative for their heavy lift on the original 2016 editorial calendar.

What the heck is #NorthEndShaw?

Borderstan has reported in Poll: Is 'North End Shaw' a Valid Neighborhood Name? that there's a new 'hood in town: North End Shaw/North End of Shaw.   What?   Yup, North End Shaw.

According to the Borderstan story,

Earlier this week, "a healthy mix of journalists, tastemakers and culture vultures" gathered atop the newly opened Atlantic Plumbing Company building at 8th and V streets NW to raise their glasses and toast the official unveiling of a new neighborhood, "North End of Shaw."

Borderstan is polling the community: Is North End Shaw a valid neighborhood name?   Results as of November 13 at 5:00 pm are below.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thought you might be interested Thursday: A lovely tribute to people with Alzheimer's

Remembered: The Alzheimer's Photography Project is a must-watch video.   The short video (five minutes) presents an interesting set of before and now pictures of people in various stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

There is an accompanying slideshow and write-ups of those featured.

Photo from

Monday, November 9, 2015

Like data? You're going to love this site.

Data is Plural is the new kid on the block and the site is definitely worth a visit.   This site is new but links to some interesting data sets including registered firearms dealers and the FCC of offending telemarketers and robocalls.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Congresswoman takes issue with DC's FY 2016 budget

The Virgin Islands Consortium reports that Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI)
fought back a provision in the District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2016 Budget that listed the U.S. Virgin Islands among 39 countries recognized by the local D.C. Government as tax havens, according to a press release issued by Mrs. Plaskett's office on Thursday.

The "fighting back" involved having Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduce, and the council pass, an emergency measure to remove the US Virgin Islands from the list of tax havens included in the budget.

This will not have an impact on the FY 2016 budget.

As a member of the committee with oversight over DC, it would have been nice had the congresswoman referred to the council in the proper manner rather than as the DC City Council (see release).   And taking issue with the DC government's budget and the role Congress plays was also the opportunity for her to support the city's efforts to get out from under congressional control.

Miss the November 6 Politics Hour? Watch it here.

Catch Mo Willems with Kojo Nnamdi Nov. 10

Children's book author and illustrator Mo Willems will guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show Tuesday, November 10 at Noon.   They will discuss Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play!, at the Kennedy Center November 25, 2015 to January 3, 2016.   They also talk about Willems' last book I Really Like Slop!

The books are available at DC Public Library and Politics & Prose.

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DC fails babies, scores "C" on preterm birth score card

The District of Columbia has received a grade of "C" from the March of Dimes for the 2014 preterm birth rate of 9.6%.

The 2015 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card finds "persistent racial, ethnic and geographic disparities within states."   DC failed on this measure, with a disparity index score of 45, leading the city to the bottom of the rankings; DC is number 50.

The disparity index measures the racial differences in preterm births.

Preterm births are important; babies born early die more often than full-term babies.   And, according to the March of Dimes, premature birth is the "number one killer of babies."    When preterm babies live, they "often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays." (score card release)

To put DC's grade in perspective, the US received a "C."   Maine was first on the list regarding disparities and in the evaluation of city data, Portland, OR received an "A" while Shreveport, LA failed miserably.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day will be observed Tuesday, November 17.   Learn more and get involved.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Anacostia home to WAMU bureau

Changes east of the river seem to be everywhere and increasing in number.   Noticeable changes include the Department of Homeland Security at St. Es; the expansion of the Arc; the development of Minnesota Ave NE by the metro and exemplified most recently by the opening of Sala Thai; new housing off of Kenilworth Ave NE; and the renovation and building of new Department of Parks and Recreation facilities.

But did you know that WAMU has a bureau in Anacostia?   The station is part of the 15-city Localore: Finding America program which brings funding to underserved communities to cover relevant issues.   Katie Davis "will work with the community to teach them to produce short pieces for the radio and online."   Brendan Sweeney will assist.   Production began November 1 and will conclude July 31, 2016.

Stay on top of the project by following the hashtag #FindingAmerica on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Read about previous Localore projects in What's Outside? Public Media 2014.