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.
From our recent look at elders and aging to our story on the "golden age of the bus," we share some recent listener letters.
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[Music: "A Message to You Rudy (Karaoke-Version) As Made Famous By: The Specials" by Charly Karaoke Group from Karaoke World: Here We Go / "59th Street Bridge Song by The Symphonic Orchestra from The Instrumental Sound of Simon and Garfunkel"]
May is Older Washingtonians Month, so this week, we pay tribute to our elders. D.C.'s senior population is on the rise, so to kick off today's show, we hit the streets to hear about the important role elders play in Washingtonians' lives.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "Young at Heart" by Joey DeFrancesco from GoodFellas]
Ninety-three-year-old Therrell Smith started teaching ballet in D.C. in the 1940s and still teaches today, both in D.C. Public Schools and at the Therrell C. Smith School of Dance, which she single-handedly runs in Northeast D.C. But with enrollment down, Therrell is struggling to keep her beloved school open. Rebecca Sheir tags along with Smith to find out what might become of her graceful legacy.
[Music: "Shall We Dance" by Cassandra Wilson from Blue Skies]
For the past four decades, 74-year-old Jill Hinckley has been teaching people how to make handcrafted bowls, tea kettles and more, at Hinckley Pottery, her shop in Adams Morgan. She recently spoke with producer Marc Adams about her career, which, she says, wasn't exactly planned.
[Music: "When i Grow Too Old to Dream by Dizzy Gillespie from Dizzy Atmosphere]
The D.C. Office on Aging predicts the local senior population will "increase exponentially by 2025," and of those seniors, DCOA says 17 percent live at or below the poverty level. Rebecca Sheir visits the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home in Northwest D.C., which caters solely to medically-indigent seniors, to learn how it's helping elders make their "Golden Years" even more golden.
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 / "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to" by Benny Goodman from Happy Season]
A few years ago, Metro's SmarTrip cards were on the cutting edge of transit technology. Now they're becoming obsolete, and Metro has to find a replacement soon. David Schultz gives us the scoop on why Metro is facing this problem, and how it might affect commuters.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "I'm Old Fashioned" by Chet Baker from Chet Baker Plays for Lovers]
Principals are often the most senior people walking the hallways of our public schools. But hanging on to a good principal, and getting rid of what might be a not-so-good one, is a difficult process, one that, in D.C. at least, has been overshadowed by the intense focus on evaluating teachers. But as Kavitha Cardoza tells us, that's changing, now that DCPS has created a new evaluation tool for principals.
[Music: "Principal's Office by Young MC from Stone Cold Rhymin']
What if you age, and there's no one following in your footsteps, to take your place? That's a big question when it comes to our local forests, which are unable to replenish themselves, or nurture the next generation, because of too many deer. Environmental reporter Sabri Ben-Achour visits a place where no deer have trod for decades, to get a closer look.
[Music: "A Forest" by The Cure from Seventeen Seconds]
Yvonne Baskerville moved to Washington in 1941, when segregation was still very much a part of life around here. Baskerville is now 74 years old, and she sat down recently with producer Marc Adams, to reflect on growing up as an African-American resident of Washington, D.C.
[Music: "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff from Steppin' Up]
The nation's capital is one of the most competitive cities in the world, according to a ranking by the Global Urban Competitiveness Project. So how does all that rivalry and one-upsmanship affect the way we work and play? We hit the streets to find out, talking with students, businesspeople, actors and other Washingtonians to get their take on our theme for this week.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "The Winner Takes It All (Karaoke Version) by...
The bloody battle between North and South is a key part of our region's history. The city of Alexandria was occupied by federal troops during the war between the states, and it's remembering that time with "Life in Civil War Alexandria," a kick-off for its commemoration of this year's Civil War Sesquicentennial. Rebecca Sheir visits Old Town to learn more about the geographic, political and social role Alexandria played in the Civil War.
D.C. is at odds with the inter-city bus companies that transport people to and from NYC. The District 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. 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 / "Last Ride In (Instrumental) by Green Day from Nimrod]
As one of the first female reporters to be allowed inside the NFL locker room, Tafoya has been a pioneer in her field. But there are still places out there where they believe in cooties, so Tafoya will answer three questions about men's-only clubs.
Does the kind of charcoal you use really make a difference when it comes to grilling up a tasty steak or other food on the grill? Yes — but deciding which one to use depends on what you're after. Both briquettes and lump charcoal — aka "natural" hardwood charcoal — have their advantages and disadvantages.
The Federal Trade Commission is in the early stages of opening an antitrust probe into how Google runs its online display advertising business, according to a report by Bloomberg News, citing sources who want to remain anonymous because the FTC has not announced the probe.
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