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.
The Anacostia River is more than eight miles long and supports hundreds of species of birds and fish. But these days, you’re more likely to glimpse a soda bottle in these waters than you are a flying or finned creature. Dottie Yunger says that’s not just a shame... it’s a sin. Jessica Gould goes out on the river to meet a minister on a mission.
[Music: "Down to the River" by Ray LaMontagne from One Lonesome Saddle]
Half of Maryland and most of Northern Virginia are now under a quarantine to prevent the spread of an invasive beetle. The emerald ash borer already has wreaked havoc on ash trees throughout North America, and scientists say the destruction in our region alone could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to address. Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour visits a Virginia community affected by this beetle to see what, if anything, can be done to stop it.
Remember taking your chalk and scribbling on the blacktop as a kid? The members of one of the District's newest theater companies sure do. Blacktop Theatre Co. is dedicated to creating boundaries, then erasing them, all the while focusing on the work of local artists. Rebecca Sheir introduces us to the company and its premier production, Pun: (n) A Play On Words, which takes an imaginative look at the struggles to preserve power and status among the dictionary's keywords.
Civil War battlefields in once-rural corners of our region are increasingly being eyed for development. And the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, or CVBT, is working to save much of this "hallowed ground." Courtney Collins heads to Spotsylvania County to visit one of these battlefields, and learn how members of the CVBT work with local developers to preserve historic land.
Kimchi is perhaps Korea's most famous and versatile food. This spicy dish -- most commonly made with cabbage -- is such an important part of the nation's culture that many Koreans, whether in Seoul or here in Washington -- reserve specific refrigerators just for kimchi. Emily Friedman meets with a local chef at D.C.'s Korean Cultural Center to learn the secret behind making this preserved delicacy.
[Music: "The Kimchi Song" by Travel the World with Eric and Grant from Travel the World...
Legend has it a curse was cast on a large, blue diamond after it was stolen from the forehead of an idol in India. Rebecca Sheir visits the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and speaks with curator Jeffrey Post and historian Paul Dickson about the alleged curse, and whether it may have been connected to the ill fortune of the Diamond's last -- and most notorious -- private owner, Evalyn Walsh McLean.
[Music: "Luck Be a Lady" by Bireli Lagrene from Blue Eyes]
Home is where the heart is. It's also where the stink bugs live -- crawling out from cracks and crevices and finding their way into your shower or kitchen cupboards. They're a major nuisance to farmers, and the USDA is now experimenting to see if the invasive insects can be brought under control by importing their natural predator, a parasitic Asian wasp. Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour takes a look.
[Music: "The Obsession Bug (Instrumental)" by Timewarp Inc. from Funkstramentals...
Meeting your soul mate can be tough for anyone, but for some people with disabilities, it can be hard just to get out and form new friendships. That's why DateAble, Inc. started up in the D.C. area. Rebecca Sheir talks with one couple who found love using the service: Lynn Watson and her husband, Robert, who now runs DateAble, Inc. from their home in Brandywine, Md.
[Music: "Baby We've Got a Date" by Bob Marley from Catch a Fire]
Bob Melvin, 91, fought Ocean City and Worcester County for nearly two years to get door-to-door public transportation for elderly and handicapped residents. Prior to that, residents often spent hours switching buses as they tried to get to doctor's visits and other critical appointments. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo shares Melvin's story with host Rebecca Sheir.
[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "I Get Around" by A Bluegrass Tribute from Pickin' on the Beach Boys]
The District is at odds with the inter-city bus companies that transport people to and from NYC. The city is going to start charging the companies to use its curb space. Bus companies say this will force their prices up and that city officials are using their booming industry as an ATM. Transportation reporter David Schultz heads out to the curb to get at the heart of the dispute.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Only Living Boy in New York" by Zoom Karaoke...
Cheryl A. Lofton's family has been nipping and tucking Washington's attire since the 1930s, when her grandfather opened the first African-American-owned tailoring business in downtown D.C. Cheryl moved the family business to a new spot in Shaw, and just opened a shoe-shine shop next door. Rebecca Sheir visits the operation to hear about the family's professional heritage, and how, in a few short years, Cheryl's business has changed the face of the neighborhood.
Light pollution is what happens when too much artificial light spills in to the natural world. A recent study suggests light pollution -- in a light-drenched city like Washington, D.C., -- could be worse for us than previously thought. Emily Friedman shines a light on why we're struggling with the issue, and how we can remedy the situation.
[Music: "Fuzzy Blue Lights" by Owl City from Of June]
Most joggers hit the pavement to get a little exercise and stay fit. And then there's the Dojo of Pain -- a group of hyper-competitive runners who meet regularly in D.C. to push each other to their physical limits. Kavitha Cardoza went to Hains Point to meet the members of the Dojo, and brings us this audio postcard.
[Music: "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead from Polishin' Up Our Act / "Summer Wind" by Boston Pops Orchestra from Night & Day]
China is on a spree to build world-class museums and has opened about 100 of them annually in recent years. Two of the biggest opened on the same day last fall on opposite banks of Shanghai's Huangpu River. But filling these museums — with both art and visitors — is proving more challenging.
The nation's largest group of nutritionists is urging the FDA to reject the dairy industry's petition to change the definition of milk. The petition aims to allow aspartame or other alternatives to be used to sweeten milk in an effort to boost consumption in schools.
Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division dealing with nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status, will not testify on Wednesday despite a congressional subpoena, her attorney says. She is accused of closely scrutinizing conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status.
Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey into becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for more than seven years.
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