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.
A time-honored pastime here in D.C. is the lobbying game, and the multitudes of lobbyists on Capitol Hill play it well. But Congress isn't the only local governmental body that gets lobbied. Lobbyists also have their sights set on Metro. Transportation reporter David Schultz gives us the lowdown on how former chief executives of Metro are lobbying the transit agency.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Games People Play (Karaoke Version)" by Stingray Music (...
Active Cultures Theatre Company's newest endeavor is a play about a play. "The Resurrectionist King" takes us back to the 1880s, as the most famous grave robber in D.C. history prepares to put on a one-man show. Rebecca Sheir visits a rehearsal to learn more about this legendary character, and the theater company that's bringing him to life.
[Music: "It's My Life (Karaoke Version)" by Stingray Music (Karaoke) from Karaoke - In the Style of No Doubt - Vol. 2]
Coming out was just the beginning for D.C.'s oldest troupe of performing Drag Kings; today they come out and play their created male characters for a crowd of adoring fans once a month. Yet, as members of the D.C. Kings tell Lauren Hodges, it took practice, and a lot of courage, before they found applause.
[Music: "Sharp Dressed Man (Streetlab Mix)" by ZZ Top from salacioussound.com]
Turns out you can teach an old dog many new tricks: After 25 years of rocking the D.C. music scene, the Cravin' Dogs are coming out with a new CD, an anniversary concert at Wolf Trap and, as Andrew Hiller tells us, some very hot pupusas.
[Music: "I'm Coming Out (As Made Famous By Diana Ross) [Karaoke Version Without Backing Vocals]" by The Original Hit Makers from Sing It Like an Idol: Pure R&B, Vol. 4 (Karaoke Version)]
Montgomery County, Md., launched the nation's first "Weed Warriors" program in the late 1990s: a group of volunteers certified to fight invasive plant species in area parks. Rebecca Sheir heads to Wheaton Regional Park with Weed Warriors founder Carole Bergmann and certified Weed Warrior Kathy Jentz, to hear about the group's latest struggles battling such a tricky foe.
[Music: "Warrior" by Patty Smyth/Scandal from Greatest Hits]
Several of D.C.'s public-school buildings have been renovated recently, but others are just crying out for repairs. The task of maintaining the schools, and preparing them for children and teachers each day, falls to a certain someone who often goes unnoticed: the school custodian.
DCPS has approximately 450 custodians, and education reporter Kavitha Cardoza tells Rebecca Sheir more about these "keepers of the school buildings."
The 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital is presenting a special Chesapeake Bay program, featuring films that highlight preservation and cleanup efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. Rebecca Sheir heads to the water to talk with the artists behind "The Last Boat Out" and "The Runoff Dilemma", as well as the woman who kicked off the festival to begin with.
[Music: "Familiar Ground" by The Cinematic Orchestra from Ma Fleur]
Spring Valley used to be a chemical-warfare testing ground; now it's an upscale neighborhood in Northwest D.C. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending $180 million to clean up the community, and has been at it for almost 20 years. But as environmental reporter Sabri Ben-Achour tells us, there's still work to be done.
[Music: "Fields of Gold" by Hank Marvin from Guitar Man]
A cleanup initiative on Delaware's Rehoboth Beach picked up more than 7,000 cigarettes in just one block. Now it's kick-started a campaign to ban smoking altogether in the southern Delaware resort. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with Rebecca Sheir about how resorts up and down the coast are all considering smoking bans in one way or another.
After an end-of-the-year shake-up in management, many higher-ups at Metro are trying to clean up the transit agency's act. Transportation reporter David Schultz speaks with Rebecca Sheir about efforts to improve Metro's service and image.
[Music: "Blue Train" by John Coltrane from Blue Train]
Washington, D.C., attracts some of the most educated, literate individuals in the country. But for every Ph.D., there are many more District residents who just struggle to read. In fact, more than one-third of D.C. residents lack basic literacy skills -- 20 percent higher than the national average. Emily Friedman finds out what's being done to help clean up the record.
[Music: "Reading Rainbow" by 8bit bEtty from Too Bleep to Blog]
When economic times are tough, there are plenty of ways to tighten your belt. You can clean out your home and try selling your stuff at a pawn shop, yard sale or Craigslist -- or you can start shopping at a place that offers discounted secondhand goods. Lauren Hodges visited a local re-saler that's pretty much been cleaning up in this struggling economy.
[Music: "The Bargain Store" by Dolly Parton from The Love Album]
Poplar Island was once a thriving place stretching across 1000 acres. It had a town, a school, a post office -- until it started to sink, thanks to sea-level rise, erosion and land-mismanagement. But as WAMU environmental reporter Sabri Ben-Achour tells us, with a pile of luck scooped from the bottom of the bay, Poplar Island is coming back, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use it as a wildlife refuge.
[Music: "I Am an Island (Karaoke Version)" by Stingray Music from...
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.
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.