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June 11, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Here’s a problem: cities weren’t designed for seniors.

AGING/CITIES | Fun fact: city planners have traditionally timed crosswalks based on people walking four feet per second. As you can imagine, older people don’t move quite that fast – and that’s a big problem as the Silver Tsunami is rolling in and seniors are staying in cities. The problem is bigger than just crosswalks though (Atlantic, 6/11):

Crosswalks are only one piece of a deep-rooted problem composed of many subtle environmental details most of us never even notice: Is there a park bench to catch your breath? How about a curb cut for your walker? The pace of city living feels entirely different when you need an extra beat to read a road sign, or when you don’t have a license to drive at all.

The picture above is from the intersection of 15th and Massachusetts NW. It might be hard to see, but the walk and stop signs are concurrently lit. Should we cross? Should we wait? Total chaos for people of all ages! Some people were sprinting and others were frozen stiff. I crossed like this.

YOUTH | U.S. News has released new rankings of the 50 healthiest counties for kids, based on factors including poverty, death from injuries, teen births, and more. Montgomery County ranks 9th, Howard ranks 26th, and Fairfax ranks 28th. That’s a pretty solid regional representation considering that there are more than 3,000 countries in the nation. (USNews, 6/11)

Related: Mapping the Well-Being of Children in the District of Columbia (School of Data, 6/11)

EDUCATION
– One of Chancellor Henderson’s current reform tools is “reconstitution” which is not, as you’re probably assuming, knocking down a spectacular Lego kingdom and rebuilding it piece by piece. It is similar though – DCPS can require all of an under-performing school’s staffers to reapply for their jobs, which gives the administrators a chance to weed out bad teachers. (WaPo, 6/11)

- Greater Greater Education is taking a detailed look at each one of Council member David Catania’s seven proposals for education reform. Part one is about school funding and autonomy. (GGE, 6/11)

COMMUNITY | Last week, we shared the sad news that former Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation head Anne Allen had passed away. Her funeral arrangements have been made. A service will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church on MacArthur Boulevard on June 19th. Full details can be found here.

HOUSING | Our region’s housing market just hit a record high. The median price is almost a whopping half-million dollars. (UrbanTurf, 6/11)

GIVING | 42% of Its Donor-Advised Fund Gifts Are Unrestricted, Fidelity Says (Chronicle, 6/10)

LOCAL | If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a politician takes a bribe, your dreams have come true! The Post has pictures of disgraced former Council member Michael Brown grinning as he accepts a coffee mug (!) full of cash. (WaPo, 6/11)


It was always a fun trivia fact to know that Dr.¬†Seuss’ real name was Theodor Geisel. I did not know, however, that his middle name was actually¬†Seuss! What’s more, I never would have guessed his method for curing writer’s block.

Also, here’s one possible solution to helping seniors keep up with the pace of city life.

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