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.
Metro's Transit Police Department receives grants from the Department of Homeland Security to fund its counter-terrorism operations. But the grants don't pay for MTPD to combat the non-national security related crimes -- muggings, assaults, thefts, etc. -- that have been spiking in recent months. Transportation reporter David Schultz finds out what MTPD is doing to combat this spike, and whether its efforts are hampered by this federally driven focus on counter-terrorism.
St. Elizabeths in Southeast D.C. began as the "U.S. Government Hospital for the Insane." These days, it's bringing the Federal and District governments together, as the Federal-controlled West Campus and District-controlled East Campus are slated for significant development over the next decade. Rebecca Sheir visits St. Elizabeths with Rebecca Miller of the D.C. Preservation League, to find out how the impending arrival of some massive federal institutions will affect this local and National...
For more than a century, Mount Zion United Methodist Church was a cornerstone of Georgetown's predominantly black community. But over the years, the neighborhood has changed, and congregants have dispersed to other parts of the city and region. Still, many worshipers travel a long way to come back and participate in Sunday services. Jessica Gould attended a service to speak with members about what keeps drawing them to this local landmark and brings us this audio postcard.
"Green Infrastructure" uses mother nature's original design to control some of the problems we humans create, from pollution-laden storm-water runoff to urban heat islands. The Environmental Protection Agency is gung-ho about it, but it hasn't taken the local streets by storm, yet. Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour visits a garden in Northeast D.C. to find out why.
[Music: "It's Not Easy Being Green" by Ray Charles from Hallelujah I Love Her So!]
Dominick Cardella has been selling eclectic African and Asian wares for 40 years at the Artifactory, right by the National Archives. But now the longtime Washingtonian is closing shop. Rebecca Sheir talks with Cardella about how he's seen the neighborhood change outside Artifactory's doors.
[Music: "Seems Like Old Times" by Guy Lombardo from You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To]
While many people think Washington and federal jobs go hand-in-hand, there's a lot of disparity from ward to ward when it comes to unemployment. Courtney Collins speaks with the Department of Labor Services and frustrated job seekers about common obstacles to securing a job and what kind of support is available along the way.
[Music: "Dirty Work" by Steely Dan from The Definitive Collection]
Gulping, slurping, chewing, and crunching... we do all that and more this week, as we dig in to the region's food scene. But first, we hit the streets to ask Washingtonians: "What specific foods do you associate with Washington, D.C.?"
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
It might be hard to pin down the quintessential "D.C. dish," but award-winning chef Scott Drewno of The Source has his own ideas on cooking "distinctively D.C." cuisine. Rebecca Sheir visits The Source's kitchen to dish with Scott about the D.C. food scene, and to cook up an entree that combines local ingredients with the District's international flair.
[Music: "Maximum Consumption" by The Kinks from Everybody's in Showbiz]
The federal government has long been involved in what we eat. It sent food explorers to the farthest regions of the globe in search of new crops, and was encouraging healthy eating long before the creation of the now-obsolete food pyramid. The National Archives is exploring this little-discussed piece of U.S. history with the exhibit "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" Sabri Ben-Achour visits the Archives for a sneak peek.
[Music: "Sing For Your Supper" by Benny Goodman from Smoke House...
Gusty's... Danny's Bakery... Paul Young's... Little Taverns. For longtime Washingtonians, these names conjure up D.C. food memories of yore. Rebecca Sheir visits a standby that's been around more than half a century, Silver Spring's Blair Mansion Restaurant, where she walks down memory lane with Sheilah Kaufman of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C., and Ramon Zeender, whose family runs Blair Mansion.
[Music: "Dinner Bell" by They Might Be Giants from Apollo 18]
Korean tacos, whoopie pies, cupcakes, milkshakes... you can get all this and more at D.C.'s food trucks. Now that the District's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is releasing new regulations for the booming industry, a food fight between the trucks and local restaurants could be in the works. Transportation reporter David Schultz speaks with both sides, to see what they're hoping the city will do.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Taco Wagon" by...
For all D.C.'s farmer's markets and groceries, you'll still find quite a few "food deserts" in the midst. A local nonprofit is trying to bring farmer's markets to communities that need them most by converting an old school bus in to a vegetable-oil-run, movable market. Reporter Marc Adams hopped aboard to find out more...
[Music: "Caravan" by Rachel Portman from Chocolat: Music From the Miramax Motion Picture]
After years trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to adopt. What they thought would be a relatively simple process was instead a long and painful one. In her latest novel, Gilmore channels these autobiographical experiences into fiction.
A plant scientist at Mars Inc., has appealed to the world's biggest life sciences companies to help him — by sharing what they already know about 100 crops that could provide better nutrition in Africa. But can the kings of agricultural intellectual property get on board with open source agricultural information for Africa?
Amid warnings the proposal would shatter support for the measure, Democrats backed away from a provision that would allow gay U.S. citizens to sponsor foreign-born spouses for green cards. Advocates for gay and lesbian immigration rights accused Democrats of caving in to threats.
You've probably seen it in your inbox before: Someone who claims to have come into a fortune needs your help. You can share in the profits — if you send along a deposit or your bank account number. Boston Globe correspondent Finn Brunton talks about the history of the "Nigerian prince" or "419" scam, which actually got its start long before email.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.