Archive for the ‘Washington DC’ Category

Happy Fiscal New Year

October 1, 2015

Happy Fiscal New Year

May old encumbrance be forgot, and never brought to mind . . ”
– Singer and retired Federal employee Joe Hickerson.

WASHINGTON, DC, October 1 — Today Federal employees throughout the Washington region and across the country observe their traditional holiday, the Fiscal New Year. Fiscal 2015 ended at midnight last night; today is the start of Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016 for short).

The weeks leading up to Fiscal New Year’s Eve were hectic with preparation of the Continuing Resolution. The “CR” is last-minute stopgap legislation allowing the federal government to function despite the resolute obstructionism of our Tea-Party-Republicans in Congress. It provides a few months of funding for the activities of the civil servants who do the work citizens actually need while politicians bloviate about petty, symbolic issues to distract the media and voters.

From Capitol Hill, a Safe & Happy FY 2016 to you and yours.

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Pope Francis Visits DC, September 22 to 24, 2015

September 18, 2015

Pope Francis Visits DC, September 22 to 24, 2015

Everybody’s favorite pontiff, Pope Francis, will visit Washington DC for three days. Unofficial schedule:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
4:00 PM: Pope Francis arrives via Alitalia at Joint Base Andrews from Havana, smokes big cigar on the drive from Maryland to the Apostolic Nunciature on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9:15 AM: White House Welcoming Ceremony; Pontiff shoots hoops one-on-one with President Obama before posing for pics on the Truman Balcony

11:00 AM: Popemobile Parade along the Ellipse and National Mall; brief stop to buy Astronaut Ice Cream at Air & Space Museum gift shop (mirabile dictu!)

11:30 AM: Midday Prayer with U.S. bishops at historically ugly Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in DC; side trip to the Indiana Jones exhibit at nearby National Geographic Museum. His Holiness will address the bishops in Spanish, and many expect him to “no dejar titere con cabeza” (kick butt).

4:15 PM: Greets Native American demonstrators before celebrating Junipero Serra Canonization Mass — in Spanish — at the East Portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University (leave your selfie stick at home).

Thursday, September 24, 2015
9:20 AM: Speech to Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol (in English); crowds gather to watch it on Jumbotron screens on the National Mall (and listen to Spotify’s Pope Playlist while they’re waiting)

11:00 AM:  Brief appearance on West Front of Capitol (possible photo op with former altar boys Biden and Boehner?)

11:15 AM: Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in DC and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, site of the Homeless Jesus sculpture (artist: Timothy P. Schmalz). His Holiness will meet with — and feed — the charities’ clients.

4:00 PM: Departure from Joint Base Andrews for New York City and a decent slice of pizza.

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Double-Good News from Washington DC

August 23, 2015

Double-Good News from Washington DC
In the Nation’s Capital, Congress and the President may be on vacation, but the Smithsonian’s National Zoo has been busy. The zoo’s 17-year-old Giant Panda Mei Xiang gave birth to two cubs over the weekend. The twins are pink, and while new-born pandas are often said to be be the size of sticks of butter, they’re really more like packs of Starburst. The father of the two is Tian Tian, who had a little help from the National Zoo staff. Mother and cubbies are doing fine.

More:

“National Zoo’s twin pandas are only the 3rd set to be born at a U.S. zoo,” Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post

“It’s panda-monium! National Zoo says Mei Xiang has twins,” Jessica Gresko, AP via Deseret News

“Bamboo-zled: Panda surprises with birth of twins,” AFP via Asia Times

“Double the Joy at National Zoo as Panda Gives Birth to Twins,” Daniel Politi, Slate

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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John Oliver on the District of Columbia’s Missing Political Rights

August 6, 2015

Americans who live in the District of Columbia pay Federal taxes, die in U.S. wars, but have no vote in Congress. What they have had, for over two centuries, is Taxation Without Representation. Sound familiar? John Oliver explains it all to you:

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Death of a Young Black Journalist

August 2, 2015

Death of a Young Black Journalist

“The most basic instinct of a local reporter is to take the importance of her neighbors as a given. In a community like Anacostia—where more than ninety per cent of residents are African-American, one in two kids lives below the poverty line, and incarceration and unemployment rates are among the nation’s highest—this is another way of saying that black lives matter.”

— “Death of a Young Black Journalist,” Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

More:

“Charnice Milton Was Killed in Community She Loved,” Richard Prince, The Root

“Charnice Milton,” NotionsCapital

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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The Pope’s Jumbotron

July 13, 2015

The Pope's Jumbotron

Pope Francis will address a Joint Session of Congress when he visits Washington DC on September 24, 2015. Since ticket demand greatly exceeds the capacity of the Capitol House Chamber, huge Jumbotron screens will be set up on the National Mall so tens of thousands of fans and the faithful can see and hear the Pope in real time.

After his Congressional speech, His Holiness will briefly address the crowds outside from the Capitol’s West Front while his Swiss Guards stand on the Capitol steps and fire T-Shirt Guns, pelting the throng with souvenir garb and  panini imbottito. Okay, they won’t, but they should, right?

After concluding his visit to Washington, Pope Francis will fly to New York so he can get a decent slice of pizza.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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4th of July Concert at the US Capitol: Barry Manilow

July 3, 2015

4th of July Concert at the US Capitol: Barry Manilow

In 1776 American colonists defied the British Crown so that the legislators of our great nation could host a concert by Barry Manilow on the Capitol grounds on the 4th of July. The gifted composer of the patriotic classics “You Deserve A Break Today (McDonald’s)” and “Like A Good Neighbor (State Farm is There)” will be joined by the country group Alabama, who featured the Confederate battle flag on the cover of their 1982 album Mountain Music.

God Bless America.

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2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 20, 2015

2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back in Washington DC, June 24th to June 28th and July 1st to July 5th. This year’s festival has a smaller footprint; the site is between 3rd and 4th Streets NW, near the Capitol Reflecting Pool, National Gallery of Art East Wing, and the National Museum of the American Indian.The free Festival features music, dance, craft and foodways demonstrations and evening concerts, all from Peru. Don’t miss the related activities around town.

The festival schedule is here. See you on the line at the food concessions.

Festival map. Festival blog.

More:

“Major Changes Coming to This Year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival,” Mark Segraves NBC 4 Washington

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Charnice Milton

June 13, 2015

Charnice Milton

Washington DC journalist Charnice Milton was fatally shot on May 27th while waiting for a bus. A graduate of Ball State University with a Masters Degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, she is missed by the members of her profession and the community she covered. Her killers, a group of illegal dirt bike riders who have roared through several DC neighborhoods over the past few years, have not been apprehended.

More:

“Charnice Milton Was Killed in Community She Loved,” Richard Prince, The Root

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lrO

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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DC Cat Café Opens June 20th

June 11, 2015

DC Cat Café Opens June 20th

Crumbs & Whiskers, DC’s first cat café, is opening at 3211 O Street NW in Georgetown on June 20th. Kickstarter backers can schedule now, Gentlemeow’s Club members can sign up on June 15th, and the rest of us must wait until June 18th.

So reservations are required; sounds pretty exclusive. Will there be valet parking?

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