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.
For many people, having a place to call home is a far-off dream. An estimated 12,000 homeless people live in the Washington region, and many of them served in the military. With Congress divided over funding for veterans, the problem threatens to grow. Lauren Hodges visited a homeless shelter in Alexandria, Va., to learn more about the challenges facing homeless veterans.
[Music: "Home (Karaoke Version)" by The Karaoke Channel from Karaoke - In the Style of Sheryl Crow - Vol. 1]
The 12th annual Bethesda Literary Festival kicks off April 15, and this year the celebration of modern literature received a record number of submissions in its Youth Writing Contest. The topic was "A Beautiful Place," and Rebecca Sheir heads to a local bookstore to meet two of the hometown winners.
[Music: "Paperback Writer" by Pickin' On Series from The Fantastic Pickin' On Series - Bluegrass Sampler]
As food prices shoot through the roof, local organic farmers are sensing an opportunity to grow their businesses. Armando Trull visits a mother running a small farm in Spotsylvania to find out how she's making her homegrown operation work.
[Music: "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" by Stacey Kent from Let Yourself Go: Celebrating Fred Astaire]
The D.C. region is home to people from all over the world, but it's also a bastion of a distinctly American musical tradition: bluegrass. Next week, WAMU's Bluegrass Country will host the Second Annual D.C. Bluegrass Festival, and festival-goers will see a music legend receive the Washington Monument Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her name is Hazel Dickens, and as Andrew Hiller tells us, at age 75, she's still going strong.
[Music: "Our House (In the Style of Madness)" by Zoom Karaoke...
This week we're all about firsts, starting with the Washington Nationals' first home game of the season. A few days before the opening pitch, Rebecca Sheir heads to home plate at Nationals Park to hear about the exciting "firsts" we'll see with the team -- and at the stadium -- this season.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "Nuts About the Nats" by Charlie Brotman]
Dupont Circle was the site of FRESHFARM Markets' very first producers-only farmers market. Rebecca Sheir visits the flagship market with FRESHFARM's Bernadine Prince, to hear about the "firsts" shoppers will see as spring kicks in, from longer hours... to more space... to on-site services by Compost Cab... to -- provided FRESHFARM can raise $20,000 by month's end -- Double Dollars for low-income shoppers.
[Music: "Fresh Feeling" by The Eeels from Souljacker]
The first forests in our region are long gone. Even that giant tree in your backyard is probably just a few decades old. Environmental reporter Sabri Ben-Achour visits a stretch of woods in Western Fairfax County, to learn what happened to those very first forests... and see what’s growing now.
[Music: "Feels Like the First Time" by Foreigner from Foreigner]
One of the first official signs of spring in D.C. is those cherry blossoms in bloom. And the predictor of the highly-anticipated annual blossom peak is about to call it a day. National Park Service Chief Horticulturalist Rob DeFeo is on the brink of retirement, and as he tells Julia Edwards, he takes very little credit for his role as caretaker of D.C.'s monumental trees.
[Music: "Blossom" by TV Theme Players from TV Themes - Best Of Comedy Theme Songs]
We all know about the Beltway: that six-laned leviathan that encircles our city. But what if there were a second Beltway: i.e. another concentric circle connecting Maryland and Virginia? It may sound far-fetched, but as transportation reporter David Schultz tells us, some transportation advocates say it's the only way to accommodate our region's growth.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Walk Around in Circles" by Soul Coughing from Ruby Vroom]
Ocean City, Md., has become the coveted host city for the only East Coast leg of the 2011 DEW Tour. It's the first ocean-side site for the event, so a surfing competition will join the BMX, motorcross and skateboarding extravaganza. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with Rebecca Sheir about why it's such a big big deal for the resort town.
[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "The Way You Do The Things You Do" by The Temptations from All Time Greatest Hits]
Emily Friedman brings us the story of a local artists' collective aiming to change they way we collect art. Without the traditional wine-and-cheese soirees -- and triple-digit price tag -- the artists of Project Dispatch send their art right to your front door.
[Music: "Artists Only" by Talking Heads from Once in a Lifetime - Disc 1]
We share your questions and comments from the past few weeks. This time around: properly pronouncing a "most-missed monument" and a good-luck tale of accidental love.
[Music: "A Message to You Rudy (Karaoke-Version) As Made Famous By: The Specials" by Charly Karaoke Group from Karaoke World: Here We Go / "You're The First The Last My Everything (karaoke)" by New World Orchestra from The Best Karaoke Album in the World]
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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