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.

December 11 Q&A Cafe with Bob Woodward

On Friday, December 11, Bob Woodward will talk with Carol Joynt about his new book The Last of the President's Men.

The event take place at The George Town Club and the cost is $35, all inclusive.   Learn more and make reservations.

The book is available at DC Public Library and Politics & Prose.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Safe Shores Holiday Giving Drive 2015

The Safe Shores holiday drive is underway.

This holiday giving effort is more than giving to make holiday wishes come true.   It's about giving to kids who are victims of abuse.

If you are interested in participating in the giving drive, register online.   Or, participate in one of two wrapping parties.

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Thought you might be interested Thursday: Enough of the pink already

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Community input needed in 2016 editorial calendar

The DC Editorial Calendar, based on the fabulous LightBox Collaborative ed calendar, is a staple to communications, fundraising, and advocacy folks.   To get ahead of the curve, I'm seeking community input earlier about DC-specific events.

If you are interested in contributing to the 2016 DC-specific calendar, please go to the 2015-getting-ready-for-2016 calendar and edit DC-specific items.   Add links, edit descriptions, and add week- or month-long celebrations.   Make all changes in bold and in bright pink.

November 3:   COW and Legislative Meeting

On Tuesday, November 3, the DC Council will convene the Committee of the Whole and for a regular Legislative Meeting.   Watch online.

At 10:00 am, the COW will meet.   At 11:00 am, or immediately following the COW, the council will meet for a regular leg meeting (see the November 3 agenda (PDF)).   There is a rather long list of emergency measures being taken up at the leg meeting; part of the list is shown below.   The complete list was published October 29 on the DC Council website.

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Watch Chairman Mendelson at media briefing for November 2 COW and legislative meeting

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Monday, November 2, 2015

ICYMI: October 30, 2015 The Politics Hour on Kojo Nnamdi Show

November 2: Mendo briefs media, public on November 3 Legislative Meeting

From the advisory:

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will hold a Media Briefing to preview the Council’s upcoming Legislative Meeting.

Monday, November 2, 2015
10:30 a.m.

John A. Wilson Building, Room 412
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004

Chairman Mendelson will hold a media briefing to discuss major actions to be taken at the Council’s legislative meeting on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. or immediately following the Committee of the Whole.

...For additional information, please call: (202) 724‐8032.

Unable to make it to the Wilson Building today?   Watch the briefing streaming live on the council website.

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

The latest EOM appointments

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced EOM appointments October 30:
  • Arthur Espinoza, Jr. as the new Executive Director of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (release)
  • Eugene Kinlow as Director of the Office of Federal and Regional Affairs (release for Kinlow and following two)
  • Michelle Bonner as Director of the DC Corrections Information Council
  • Sandra Mattavous-Frye reappointed as People’s Counsel

Free social media webinars for nonprofits

OnGood and Nonprofit Tech for Good are offering the following free webinars for nonprofits to skill up in social media "to showcase their programs and fundraise online."
  • How to Create Visual Content for Your NGO, Tuesday, November 10, 10:00 - 11:30 am
  • What Your NGO Needs to Know about .NGO, .ONG and OnGood, Tuesday, November 17, 9:00 - 10:00 am
  • The Science of Social Networks: 10 Tips and Tricks for NGOs, Tuesday, December 1, 10:00 - 11:30 am

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