Michael Pope | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Michael Pope

Reporter

Pope is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for WAMU, Connection Newspapers, the New York Daily News and the Tallahassee Democrat. A native of Moultrie, Ga., he grew up in Durham, N.C., and graduated high school in Tampa, Fla. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Pope is the author of Shotgun Justice (2012), Hidden History of Alexandria, D.C. (2011) and Ghosts of Alexandria (2010), all published by History Press in Charleston, S.C.


Articles Written by Michael Pope

WAMU 88.5
The parking lot for the Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria sits at the foot of King Street, a space that Planning Director Faroll Hamer wanted to transform into a new public park. But the club was unwilling to move its parking lot, so now she's scaling back her proposal."It does include a sort of reality check," she says.The new plan dumps a space Hamer once called the...
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"Children were aging out of the foster care system without the necessary supports," says Valerie Cuffee, chief of the division. "They didn't have families. They didn't have any connections to family or any adults."Over the past five years, the county has cut the number of children who are sent away by half."The alternative is for them to stay in the community, stay in th...
WAMU 88.5
Opening up an acid-free box and pulling out a pale blue file folder, Special Collections Director George Combs produces the library's latest acquisition: a letter from Feb. 14, 1862, written by Lee to his cousin, William Cazenove."It's so exciting, and it's great to be able to actually hold in your hands -- but very carefully -- something that was in the hands of Robert E. Lee ...
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"It's just a mindset I do not understand because once an investigation is over, there's just no reason to protect those people anymore," says Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.Dalglish says she'll push again next year to get documents in cases that are closed, such as the 2008 shooting of a 19-year-old who was pursued by Fairf...
WAMU 88.5
City Council members in Alexandria will soon be facing a stark choice that will radically change three industrial spots on the waterfront: Should the land become hotels with more than 600 rooms, or should that space be reserved for a maritime museum and parks?Boyd Walker, chairman of the Greater Alexandria Preservation Alliance, says allowing hotels would be a big mistake....
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Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan has proposed increasing the funding for the grants in 2012 by $630,000, bringing the total up to $6.6 million from the 2011 adopted budget for the housing program.Arlington is the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia that offers such a program, which offers direct rental subsidies to those most in need.The Fiscal Affairs Advis...
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The idea is to help inmates with the root causes of their problems instead of having them cycle back through the criminal justice system again."Well we employ ten full-time therapist positions, which is huge," says Liz Wixson, director of clinical and emergency services at the Alexandria Community Services Board. "That does make Alexandria very different from a lot of other jur...
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Police Chief David Rohrer and County Executive Anthony Griffin say one of the reason citizens don't need to be involved in oversight is the anticipated installation of cameras in police cruisers."The very fact that the citizens know that the encounters are being videotaped is a way to reassure the public that they have some measure of protection or proof of what happened," says...
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Fifty years ago, the city of Alexandria condemned parts of an African-American neighborhood to create Fort Ward Park in time for the centennial of the Civil War, then started driving trucks over unmarked graves. Now that the sesquicentennial has started, the city has started a project to identify burials in four parts of the park.Glenn Eugster, who lives in neighboring Marlboro...
WAMU 88.5
Instead of having a panel of citizens investigating allegations of police misconduct, Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin will recommend having the county's auditor conduct a review of the police investigation."That is something that the county executive feels would give an independent review, independent of the Police Department," says Board Chairman Sharon Bulova....
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When American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, Major General James Jackson turned to the Arlington County Fire Department:"And said, 'What do you want us to do? And from there on, we were in a supporting role for them until they cleaned up the facilities and did what they had to do and turned it back over to the FBI and then back to us."N...
WAMU 88.5
Arlington Police officer Jim Wasem was one of the first responders who arrived on the scene after American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into west side of the Pentagon. Now that the Army is presenting a part of the building's stone facade to the Fire Department, the details of that day are coming flooding back."It's a little overwhelming, honestly. It brings back a lot of memories...
WAMU 88.5
Last February, a man named Jorge Torres abducted and raped a woman in Arlington, then drove her to Prince William County and tried to kill her. She survived, and Torres was given five life sentences. But Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Trodden says there's more to the story."After the trial was over, I got a call from a juror who said, 'Hey, how come you didn't try hi...
WAMU 88.5
The rich may finally be getting richer now that the recession is over. But for the poor, it's a different story."There are people who are middle-class people who lose their jobs and have trouble paying the rent," says Kurt Larrick, communications manager for Arlington's Department of Human Services. "There are people who are in the lower income levels when the bottom fell out, ...
WAMU 88.5
Mary Jane Solomon's daily commute can last as long as an hour. But when more than 6,000 people move in to the building next door, her commute could be as long as three hours."Well, let's do the math," she says. "I need to be at work at eight, so I would be needing to get up at four or five in the morning, I guess."Three years from now, a new ramp will alleviate some of t...
WAMU 88.5
Alexandria Government Employees Association President Brenda D'Silva says her members are unhappy that their paychecks would go down by $50 to $120 for as long as 11 months."Unhappy is a kind word, actually. It's disheartening. It's making people frustrated and stressed," she says.Budget officials say they are responding to increased personnel costs. But that argument is...
WAMU 88.5
Strolling through the streets surrounding Colonial Village Apartments, Jeanette Jones stops at a gray Cadillac and starts scribbling on her clipboard."So it's an out-of-state tag. I'm going to write it down, investigate it, see if I can find an Arlington address and send him a letter to see if he lives here, he'll have to register the vehicle," she says.It's called the P...
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The disparity concerns Thomas Suydam, the chairman of the Commission on HIV/AIDS in Alexandria. But he also thinks it's possible the widely available testing has driven the numbers up."In fact, that may in part, at least, explain the higher incidence in Alexandria is that we have been successful in encouraging people to be tested," he says.Most people living with HIV and...
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Every week, zoning inspectors in Arlington County, Va., confiscate hundreds of directional signs that point toward open houses. Realtor Pat Neuman says she has about 30 of her signs taken by county workers ever year."Well, it helps the sign companies. But it's wasteful for metal and the posts that the signs are on, they're metal as well. You have to buy those. And it's expensiv...
WAMU 88.5
Kerry Corso is a speech pathologist at Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., where she works in a room that's: "As a teacher earlier today said, 'Oh, my walk-in closet is almost this size."Maury and every other school in the city is bursting at the seams. That's why Superintendent Morton Sherman is asking for $164 million to build four new elementary schools."If yo...