Local News from WAMU 88.5

Friday, March 25, 2016

At The Tidal Basin, It's All About The Yoshino Cherry Blossoms

Trees of the Yoshino variety make up 80 percent of the nearly 4,000 specimens at the Tidal Basin, and there are still dozens left from the original Japanese gift to the United States.

Writing About Taboos And 'The Lonely City' With Author Olivia Laing

Author Olivia Laing waxes poetic about loneliness, art history and more in conversation with The Kojo Nnamdi Show books producer Tayla Burney at a recent event at Kramerbooks.

Both D.C. And Montgomery County To Consider $15 Minimum Wage

Both D.C. and Montgomery County will take up bills this year to raise the minimum wage to $15, just like in 2013 they agreed to coordinate on raising it to $11.50 an hour.

Legendary D.C. Jazz Club Bohemian Caverns Swings For The Last Time

One of the oldest jazz venues in the country — the D.C. club Bohemian Caverns — prepares to close its doors.

D.C. Now Has 'Budget Autonomy.' But What Does That Even Mean?

A judge's ruling on the 2013 D.C. budget autonomy referendum means that city officials have wrested more flexibility from Congress on spending the locally raised dollars that make up the majority of the city's budget.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

If Trump Wins GOP Nod, Gov. Hogan Says He'll Consider Voting For Another

Maryland's governor told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he's "not a Trump fan,'' and he doesn't think Trump should "be the nominee.''

Inspection Of Metro Electrical Issues Finds Hundreds Of 'Non-Emergency' Repairs

Metro officials are offering an update on the conditions that led to a Metro fire earlier this month — with board members offering stern criticisms about the transit agency's maintenance regime.

Mayor Bowser Doubles Down On D.C. School Modernizations In New Budget

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she's setting aside $1.3 billion to speed up the modernization of aging public schools in the city, pledging that by 2022 the city will be closer to finishing a campaign that started in earnest in 2007 under her mentor, Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

D.C. Regulator Approves Exelon's Takeover Of Pepco

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission has approved Exelon's nearly $7 billion takeover of rival utility Pepco.

FTA Inspectors Found 189 'Safety Defects' On Metrorail In New Oversight Role

It remains unclear whether inspectors for the FTA ever visited portions of Metrorail where damaged jumper cables ultimately prompted a 24-hour shutdown of the system, but in a WAMU 88.5 exclusive, they did detail much of the work they have accomplished.

Extended Closure Of L Street Cycle Track Angers Cyclists, D.C. Lawmakers

While developers knock down the old Washington Post building, the popular L Street cycle track will disappear for a block along with the sidewalk, creating conditions cyclists and advocates say is dangerous.

Building Trust, Note By Note: High School Band Program Integrates Immigrants

An after-school program in Prince George's County is attempting to bridge the divide between two groups of students who share a campus but attend different high schools.

Should Student Surveys Inform Teacher Evaluations? Educators Call It 'Bad Choice'

Research has found that student surveys are one of the most effective methods of assessing teacher performance, but educators that have already implemented a plan DCPS is looking at are cautioning teachers here to think again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LISTEN: The Capital Weather Gang Explains How Weather Affects Cherry Blossoms

Jason Samenow of The Capital Weather Gang and Jonathan Wilson of WAMU 88.5 talk about "peduncle elongation" and other aspects of cherry tree blooms.

Bowser To Propose Raising D.C.'s Minimum Wage To $15

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will introduce a bill raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, joining a growing number of cities across the country that have adopted the higher wage as a means to combat income inequality.