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 Virginia woman is feeling the heat as she fights to get treatment for her four-year-old son, who has a rare form of brain cancer. Brennen's condition only responds to expensive proton radiation, but his mom was just laid off and lost her insurance. Now she's considering leaving the state to accept another position because she's so desperate to have benefits again. Courtney Collins talks with the family about how they're coping.
[Music: "Fire and Rain" by Various Artists from...
Here in the District, heat often goes hand-in-hand with crime. And for young people with little to keep them busy during the summer months, staying out of trouble is often easier said than done. Kavitha Cardoza met with two young men who've had brushes with the law, to hear how they're trying to avoid mistakes of the past.
[Music: "Fever (Instrumental)" by Essence from Eccentric Soul 009: The Big Mack Label]
What would you do if you lost a string of big-money breweries to fire? In the case of Christian Heurich, you build the city's first fireproof home. Rebecca Sheir visits the Heurich House, to see how extreme personal pyrophobia resulted in a remarkable 19th century house, which soon could become a National Landmark.
[Music: "Burning Down the House" by Tom Jones & The Cardigans from Reloaded - Greatest Hits]
On a blisteringly hot day, one of the most popular guys in town is the air-conditioning repairman. Emily Friedman tags along with an A.C. crew as they rescue homeowners and businesses from the summer swelter.
[Music: "Cool" by Andre Previn from West Side Story]
The tinkling music of an ice cream truck is an iconic sound of summer. But one local driver is serving up much more than ice cream to some of the District's poorest neighborhoods. Customers call him "Mr. Leigh," and as Lauren Landau finds out, he's something of a legend to the residents who visit the truck for guidance and advice.
[Music: "I Melt With You" by Richard Cheese from Silent Nightclub / "Hot And Cold (In The Style of Katy Perry) [Instrumental Only]" by Keynote Karaoke from...
What do a wooden gavel, a double-tiered baseball trophy and an 80-year-old restaurant menu have in common? They're among the 4,000 artifacts in the U.S. House of Representatives collection. Rebecca Sheir visits the Capitol to talk with the House's very first curator, who's tasked with tracking down, conserving and preserving the artworks and artifacts that give a human face to the federal government's lower legislative body.
[Music: "Dill Pickle Rag" by Flatt and Scruggs from Bluegrass...
Maybe you're trying to conserve energy this summer, and bravely turning off, or turning down, the A.C.? Or trying to save money, and forgoing your daily extra-tall-grande-venti iced coffee? Or thinking about digitizing old photos... bronzing baby shoes... transferring all your old vinyl to mp3? Whatever the case, we'll capture that spirit of Conserving and Preserving on this week's show.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
The National Gallery of Art houses thousands of valuable paintings, all of them susceptible to damage from sunlight, humidity, grime, and natural aging. Kavitha Cardoza talks with the National Gallery's head of conservation about the science behind restoring a painting and why such painstaking effort is worth it.
[Music: "Sentimental Journey" by Juan Garcia Esquivel from Space Age Bachelor Pad Music]
New toll roads are cropping up around our region, and existing toll roads are increasing their fees. Transportation experts say this affects not just long-distance travelers but also commuters and, indirectly, neighborhoods. Transportation reporter David Schultz finds out what's behind this trend and how it could affect your travel budget.
[Music: "From A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Freeway of Love" by Pepper Mashay from Electro House BOOM BOX]
The Anacostia River is more than eight miles long and supports hundreds of species of birds and fish. But these days, you’re more likely to glimpse a soda bottle in these waters than you are a flying or finned creature. Dottie Yunger says that’s not just a shame... it’s a sin. Jessica Gould goes out on the river to meet a minister on a mission.
[Music: "Down to the River" by Ray LaMontagne from One Lonesome Saddle]
Half of Maryland and most of Northern Virginia are now under a quarantine to prevent the spread of an invasive beetle. The emerald ash borer already has wreaked havoc on ash trees throughout North America, and scientists say the destruction in our region alone could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to address. Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour visits a Virginia community affected by this beetle to see what, if anything, can be done to stop it.
Remember taking your chalk and scribbling on the blacktop as a kid? The members of one of the District's newest theater companies sure do. Blacktop Theatre Co. is dedicated to creating boundaries, then erasing them, all the while focusing on the work of local artists. Rebecca Sheir introduces us to the company and its premier production, Pun: (n) A Play On Words, which takes an imaginative look at the struggles to preserve power and status among the dictionary's keywords.
Civil War battlefields in once-rural corners of our region are increasingly being eyed for development. And the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, or CVBT, is working to save much of this "hallowed ground." Courtney Collins heads to Spotsylvania County to visit one of these battlefields, and learn how members of the CVBT work with local developers to preserve historic land.
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