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 deep sand of Ocean City's beaches is generally an inhospitable place for a person in a wheelchair, but that's changing. Disabled vacationers now can borrow beach wheelchairs at specially-designated points along the boardwalk. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with host Rebecca Sheir about the program and how it's changing people's lives.
[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Umbrella Beach" by Piano Tribute Conservatory from Piano Tribute to Owl City]
Many awards, such as the D.C. region's Helen Hayes Awards, pay tribute to theater professionals for their outstanding work on the stage. But a new award in Washington is applauding a different set of theater people: the audience. The Gary Lee Maker Audience Award is named for one of Washington's most loving theater supporters, who recently died of cancer. Rebecca Sheir meets the very first winner, who will be presented with the award on June 11, along with the people who decided to start...
We often hear talk of what's wrong with public education. But figuring out how to fix those problems is a lot harder. Education reporter Kavitha Cardoza talks with local Teach for America alumni about what they'd do to improve D.C. public schools.
[Music: "School Day" by Chuck Barry from The Best of Chuck Barry]
We cross over them, we pass under them, we build them to connect people, places and phases of our lives. On today's show we'll find out why all that traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge might be a good thing, and visit a rooftop garden bridging the divide between city dwellers and their food. Plus, local bridges that could use an extreme makeover, and some rather distinctive companies helping people cope with bridge phobia.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title...
Seven bridges cross the Potomac River in our region, and all of them are major traffic bottlenecks. There's occasionally talk of building a new bridge over the Potomac, but it invariably gets shot down by a lack of funding and neighborhood opposition. Transportation reporter David Schultz hits the road to find out how we were able to build the bridges we have now, and whether another bridge is a pipe dream.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Get Up I Feel Like...
Summer youth programs often serve as a "bridge" between the academic years. But funding for the District's summer school, jobs program and enrichment activities has been slashed in what nonprofit groups are calling a "perfect storm." Many District leaders worry thousands of kids are heading into the long, hot months with nothing to do. Kavitha Cardoza takes a look at the situation and what it means for students.
[Music: "Suddenly Last Summer, Karaoke Version" by The Karaoke Channel...
Many of our local bridges are in major need of repair. The D.C.-based coalition, Transportation for America, recently ranked the 50 states -- and D.C. -- by the disrepair of their bridges. Rebecca Sheir heads to one of Virginia's most troubled bridges with Jeff Corless, president of Transportation for America, to find out why our bridges are crumbling, and what we can do about it.
[Music: "Stand or Fall (Karaoke Version)" by The Karaoke Channel from Karaoke - In the Style of The Fixx,...
More than 360,000 cars will make the trek over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this Memorial Day weekend. And among them will be travelers who have an intense fear of bridges, or "gephyrophobia." In fact, so many people fear crossing the Bay Bridge that you can now hire a driver to take you over the span for $25 per trip. Tara Boyle heads to the bridge to investigate this phobia and the short- and long-term solutions for kicking it.
[Music: "Fear (in the Style of Lily Allen)" by Zoom...
Vacationers en route to the beach hate the multi-mile backups on the Bay Bridge. But businesses on the coast have a very different take on those huge traffic jams. Some say they can determine how busy the weekend will be based on the length of the backups. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with Rebecca Sheir about how traffic jams on the Bay Bridge are not only a a welcome sight, but an absolute necessity for people who depend on tourist dollars.
Bread for the City, a nonprofit serving the District's low-income residents, is constructing what's believed to be the city's largest rooftop vegetable garden. Supporters say it's helping bridge the gap between urban residents and their food. It's also building bridges between people of all walks of life, who work together to plant and harvest these urban crops.
[Music: "The Garden" by Guns N'Roses from Use Your Illusion]
Eighty years ago, in a grove of trees on the National Mall, the D.C. War Memorial was dedicated to the 499 District residents who died in World War I. After years of neglect, a local group hopes Congress will re-dedicate the structure as a national memorial, since no national WWI memorial exists on the National Mall. Stimulus dollars are restoring and re-landscaping the memorial right now, and it's scheduled to open to the public next month. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit with Edwin Fountain,...
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]
Actor James Gandolfini, 51, has reportedly died. Variety magazine reports that he suffered a "sudden stroke." The cause of death is not yet known with certainty, but HBO says the actor may have suffered a heart attack.
The prize is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for food and agriculture." And this year's winners include Monsanto executive Robert Fraley, a pioneer in genetically engineered crops. If there's a single person who personifies the company's controversial role in American agriculture, it's probably Fraley.
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