Each week, WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection reaches across D.C., Maryland and Virginia to gather the sounds and stories that capture the current events, culture and personalities driving the Washington region.
When Flight 77 hit Wedge One of the Pentagon, the area was five days away from being completely renovated. Walker Lee Evey managed "The Phoenix Project," a year-long endeavor to rebuild the Pentagon after the crash. Rebecca Sheir tours the building with Evey, who credits the project's success to efficiency, teamwork and the commitment of the hardest-working, most passionate people he says he's ever known.
Ten years after the attacks on the U.S., September 11th is still a day of mourning. But what if that date is also the day you were born? Emily Friedman speaks with local residents about what it's like to celebrate your special day on our country's most solemn anniversary.
September 11, 2001 is now seen as an epic day: one that swept the world and rewrote history books. But many people have more personal stories - especially when it comes to loved ones they lost. Sarah Clark, a 65-year-old teacher from Columbia, Md., was engaged to John Milton Wesley, an author and communications specialist. They had been together for seven years, and friends for twenty, when Clark died in the plane crash at the Pentagon. Rebecca Blatt talks with Wesley about how he honors...
We kick off the holiday weekend with a look at the world of work and labor. We'll meet people who toil deep under the city streets to keep Washington running, and hear from a man with a job that hearkens back to a much earlier era. Plus, we'll find out why the local film industry is booming, and chat with the road warriors who brave Washington traffic for a living.
The latest unemployment data show that the jobless rate in the District is now at its highest rate in decades. But that number obscures as much as it reveals. In some neighborhoods, the number of people looking for work is negligible; in other areas, the unemployment rate approaches 25 percent. Sabri Ben-Achour checks in with a local economist for an explanation of this unemployment imbalance and what it means for the city's future.
A new barbering school known as "54th and Cutz" is working with young men in some of Northeast D.C.'s most troubled neighborhoods. The school is housed in the Richardson Dwellings public housing community, and serves teens who've been through the juvenile justice system. Kavitha Cardoza explores the role barbers play in the African-American community and meets some of the apprentices at 54th and Cutz.
[Music: "Barbershop" by Tom Waits from Foreign Affairs]
For many Washingtonians, the daily commute to and from work is the most unpleasant part of the day. But for others, being on the road is how they make a living. Jim Hilgen talks with people who spend a lot of time on the road and hears how they cope with the stress of spending their 9 to 5 behind the wheel.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Highway to Hell" In the Style of AC-DC by Prosource Karaoke]
Two hundred years ago, town criers played an essential role in America's colonial towns. These days, we've got many other ways to get important information. But the job of town crier still exists in some communities -- and Alexandria is currently on the hunt for the perfect person to fill that role. Sabri Ben-Achour meets one town crier who calls himself "Squire Frederick" and learns more about a job that hearkens back to a very different America.
It might still look and feel like summer, but the first day of school in D.C. is just around the corner. So we're heading back to school, too - and bringing you an hour of stories and interviews all about reading, writing and 'rithmetic in the D.C. region. Pack your lunch, grab your backpack and let's go!
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "School Days" by The Benny Goodman Orchestra from A Salute to Benny Goodman]
The gleaming, new H.D. Woodson High School in NE D.C. replaces the 1972 building many knew as the "Tower of Power." The more than $100-million project was part of a $1.8-billion overhaul of some the city’s school buildings. Rebecca Sheir attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and learns more about the state-of-the-art facility from Robert Hannan and Renard Alexander: Program Managers with the city's Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization.
The D.C. charter school system recently closed several schools, and more than 700 students and their parents have been scrambling to find new placements. Charter school advocates defend the decision to close ineffective schools… they say it's the charters' "tough-love" approach that makes their test scores outshine those of traditional public schools. But parents say in the short term, these decisions often leave them and their children hanging. Education reporter Kavitha Cardoza has the...
Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.
The revival is partly based on the humble sour fruit's growing reputation as a superfood. And in Michigan, a scientist is on a quest to introduce a whole new world of hardier, tastier tart cherries by breeding American trees with ancestral varieties from Eastern Europe.
The partisan war over judicial nominees has accelerated in recent years. It took nearly a year to win Senate confirmation for Sri Srinivasan to the important federal appeals court for the District of Columbia, though he had no formal opposition.
A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year.
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