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.
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]
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]
Telemundo announced that its telenovelaEl Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for an unheard of second season. This is a radical departure from traditional telenovelas, which have a clear beginning and a definitive ending.
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