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At Independence Day Parades, Expect Floats, Flags — And Politicians

If you make it out to a parade today expect to see the region’s lawmakers asking for your vote.

Independence Day is a day for rest, barbecues and celebration for most of us — but not all of us. “For me it is the busiest day of the year," says Northern Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly.

For most every lawmaker the Fourth of July is a working holiday, especially in an election year. For Connolly his day will start with a couple parades.

“And then there are a lot of neighborhood events. I’m going to try to make as many as I can, although a lot of them unfortunately are sort of scheduled for the same time. So I wish I had the gift of bilocation because then I could do two at the same time, but I’m going to try to make as many events on July Fourth as I can," he says.

While Connolly is in a relatively safe district, if you venture to Alexandria or Herndon today you'll get to see four challengers duke it out on the parade route as they campaign for the region's two open congressional seats.

NPR

'Dragonfish' Offers A Noir Vision Of An 'American Dream Gone Rancid'

The debut novel by Vu Tran is a crime drama involving a white cop, his Vietnamese-born ex-wife and her new husband, a violent crime boss. Maureen Corrigan calls Dragonfish a "haunting literary novel."
NPR

How New Jersey Tamed The Wild Blueberry For Global Production

In the past 10 years, the global blueberry crop has tripled. Yet the big, round commercial blueberry is a fairly recent innovation. It was created by breeders exactly 100 years ago, in New Jersey.
NPR

Just How Arbitrary Is Fox's 10-Person GOP Debate Cutoff?

The top 10 candidates, as determined by Fox's analysis of polls, will debate Thursday. But even when you average polls together, it's tough to tell the difference between the lower-ranked hopefuls.
NPR

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if there anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold."

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