Mayor Gray backs off controversial proposal on homeless families

HOMELESSNESS
- Mayor Gray is backing off his emergency proposal that would allow the city to deny shelter to families if city officials determined the family had another place to stay. The proposal had received pretty serious backlash from homelessness advocates. According to Gray, fewer families requested shelter when the city ran out of motel rooms and began placing them in recreation centers instead. (WaPo, 2/25)

More time is needed, Gray wrote, to study if emergency measures “are needed as urgently as previously believed.”

“We’re pressing the pause button; it’s not a withdrawal,” said mayoral spokesman Pedro Ribeiro. “We have seen a remarkable decline in the number of people showing up – like 90-plus percent decline – which raises some interesting questions.”

The real question is how is the city going to deal with the fact that there are so many people without long-term, stable places to live.

Related: Gray’s proposal was further complicated on Monday when an administrative law judge ruled that the living conditions in rec centers violated a District law intended to protect the privacy of children. (WaPo, 2/24)

Reminder: WRAG members are invited to a brown bag lunch discussion on homelessness in the region on March 11. More information here.

WRAG | In her monthly column, A Voice from Philanthropy, Tamara explains why we’re having Dan Pallotta, our 2009 Annual Meeting speaker, back to speak to CEOs of WRAG’s member organizations. (Daily, 2/26)

EDUCATION
- Next year’s DCPS budget will include $5 million that schools can apply for to support initiatives intended to improve student satisfaction. (WaPo, 2/25) Just imagine how many pizza parties that could buy.

- Winners and losers in D.C. school renovation funding shift (WaPo, 2/25)

HOUSING | The District has submitted its bid to redevelop Barry Farm as part of the New Communities Initiative. The plan calls for 1,879 new, mixed-income units. (WBJ, 2/25)

HEALTH
- They aren’t entirely sure why, but CDC officials say that the obesity rate among children between ages 2 and 5 has dropped 43 percent. (WaPo, 2/25)

Related: On the flip side, obesity rates have remained high among all other age groups, and actually increased among women over 60. (Boston Globe, 2/26)

- The Obama administration is advancing rules that would ban marketing junk food in schools. (WaPo, 2/25)

HEALTHCARE | After firing the company running its beleaguered insurance exchange, Maryland officials are considering their options moving forward, including potentially joining the federal exchange. (WBJ, 2/25)

BUDGETS | Bulova may seek higher Fairfax property tax cap after $3.7 billion budget plan is proposed (WaPo, 2/25)

AGING | George Mason professor champions shoes with GPS tracking for Alzheimer’s patients (WaPo, 2/26)


74,476 reasons you should always get the bigger pizza – and why I should have paid more attention in math class.

- Rebekah

DC charter board develops new standards for alternative schools

EDUCATION
- The D.C. Public Charter Schools Board has adopted a new policy to help the board evaluate the performance of alternative schools, or those that primarily serve students at high risk of academic failure (WaPo, 2/24)

Evaluating such schools has bedeviled charter school authorities across the country because of the tension between acknowledging the difficulty in serving students with such profound challenges and making excuses for schools’ poor performance.

“You have to have a way to distinguish between schools that are doing a good job and turning kids’ lives around and those that are just collecting public monies,” said Nelson Smith, a charter expert who headed a national working group tasked with studying how alternative charter schools can and should be judged.

- A previously unreleased audit of D.C.’s Tuition Assistance Grant program, which helps D.C. students pay for college tuition at schools outside the District, suggests that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education can’t account for millions in spending. (WaPo, 2/23)

- As High Schoolers Wait For College Notices, D.C. Fights To Get Students To Apply (WAMU, 2/24)

HOUSING | WRAG and the Aspen Institute recently co-hosted an event focused on impact investing and affordable housing. The national housing experts on the panel offered a number of good lessons learned for foundations considering entering the impact investing space. (Daily, 2/24)

Related: A video of this event can be viewed here.

HOMELESSNESS | Over in the other Washington, a group is taking an interesting approach toward ending chronic homelessness – building a community of tiny houses. (NY Times, 1/19)

VETERANS | Report: Military efforts to prevent mental illness ineffective (USA Today, 2/20)

YOUTH | After Fairfax County student deaths, a renewed focus on mental health (WaPo, 2/24)

AGING | To help meet the goal of making the District an “age-friendly” city by 2017, D.C. is conducting an in-depth survey of practically every block of the city to determine what issues need to be addressed to meet this goal. (DCist, 2/21)

HEALTHCARE | Maryland has achieved its health insurance enrollment goal, thanks to a research error (WaPo, 2/24)

TRANSIT | More delays for the Silver Line. (WTOP, 2/21)

COMMUNITY
- The D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation is conducting a survey of the city’s youth workers to learn more about their training and professional support needs. More information and the survey are available here.

- The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County is hosting two tours to local high schools to examine successful practices to prepare students to be college and career ready. More information is available here.


It’s been over a week and it still feels like the entire internet is obsessed with House of Cards. The blog Ghosts of DC looks at the history of some of the places included in the opening segment – like this liquor store on North Capitol Street.

- Rebekah

Middle schools are DCPS’ next big challenge

EDUCATION
- The “looming challenge” for the D.C. public school system, according to the Post, is the high rate of attrition among students entering middle schools. A significant number of families pull their children out of the traditional school system to avoid sending their kids to DCPS middle schools, which are perceived to be substandard (WaPo, 2/18):

After the 2011-12 school year, 11 percent of the system’s fourth-graders did not continue on to fifth grade in a traditional D.C. public school, according to city data. From fifth grade to sixth grade — the city’s usual transition point from elementary to middle school — the system’s enrollment that same year plummeted by 24 percent.

Often, those leaving D.C. schools are those with the most educated and engaged parents, who worry that the city’s middle schools won’t prepare their children for the rigors of high school and beyond. They cite poor academic results, concerns about safety, discipline and culture, and a lack of course variety and extracurricular activities that students need to stay engaged and to prepare for high school.

- Greater Greater Education asks: More and more DC students are taking AP classes, but what are they getting from the experience? (GGE, 2/14)

- In a New York Times op-ed, two foundation leaders, including Kenneth Zimmerman of the Open Society Foundations, highlight positive changes in school discipline policies that have reduced the number of suspensions in California and Maryland schools (NY Times, 2/16):

Ultimately, full-scale change requires giving teachers the tools and resources to effectively manage their classrooms. It also means ensuring that students are not victims of the kind of stereotyping or racial bias that results in unfair punishments. As a nation, we need to embrace the reforms, both large and small, that keep students in school learning rather than out of school misbehaving.

DAILY | Today we’re announcing some changes to the Daily WRAG.

WORKFORCE
- The New York Times has a cool tool to measure how many more hours you would need to work (or debt you would need to take on) to get by on minimum wage in your state. (NY Times, 2/8)

- Intellectually disabled struggling to find work (WaPo, 2/17)

HEALTH CARE | Va. Senate panel proposes alternative to Medicaid expansion (WaPo, 2/17)

ENVIRONMENT | There’s a 443-foot long machine digging a 13-mile long tunnel beneath D.C. that will one day help deal with the wastewater that today runs into the Anacostia, Potomac, and Rock Creek. (WaPo, 2/15)


Here are some cool photos from the first 12 winter Olympics. The outfits were definitely different. The ski jump was just as terrifying.

And, hat tip to Philanthropy Fellow Sara Gallagher, who passed along this video – what a conference call would be like in real life.

- Rebekah

Focusing on at-risk students can improve all students’ achievement

EDUCATION
- A new study found that schools are best served by targeting resources toward at-risk students, as data suggest that having a large number of disadvantaged students in a school brings down the overall achievement level of all students (WaPo, 2/13):

For example, researchers found that children who were homeless or mistreated disrupted their classrooms, pulling down reading achievement and attendance rates among children who were not homeless or mistreated. Along the same lines, schools filled with many students who did not receive adequate prenatal care had overall poor reading achievement, even among those children who did get prenatal care.

- DCPS chancellor Kaya Henderson was on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on Wednesday for a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the city’s schools. (WAMU, 2/12)

- Md. lawmakers debate expansion of education for 4-year-olds (WaPo, 2/12)

- D.C. Lags Behind Maryland, Virginia In AP Pass Rates (WAMU, 2/12)

- A fight is brewing over tests in the Common Core age (WaPo, 2/13)

ARTS | President Obama has named Jane Chu, currently the president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, as his nominee to head the National Endowment for the Arts, a position that has been vacant for over a year.

In reaction to this announcement, Robert Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, said (WaPo, 2/12):

“If there had to be a long wait, this candidate looks like a really great person to have waited for … Her background in Kansas City at the local level is as someone who understands how the arts can transform a community. She talked about the broad array of the arts to the broad spectrum of people, which is an important philosophy to bring to the nation’s highest arts position.”

WORKFORCE | A recent study found that, while more women are getting jobs in STEM-related fields, gender bias still creates challenges to keeping them in these jobs. (WaPo, 2/12)

HEALTH CARE
- Health insurance enrollment on target in January (WaPo, 2/13)

- 74,000-plus have signed up for health care in Va. (WTOP, 2/14)

TRANSIT | Metro really, really needs more Congressional funding. (WAMU, 2/13)

NONPROFITS | IRS plan to curb politically active groups is threatened by opposition from both sides (WaPo, 2/12)


Awww, I guess Vikings weren’t just brutal marauders after all.

For those of you who aren’t in the mood for Valentine’s Day schmaltz, here’s a (depending on your feelings toward heights) thrilling and/or terrifying video.

Enjoy the long weekend. The Daily will be back on Tuesday.

- Rebekah

Family homelessness in D.C. doubles, marking it the biggest increase in the nation

Homelessness in the District has become the hot button campaign topic for the mayoral race. It’s annoying to see it politicized. But it is good that such a critical issue is being brought into the spotlight.

The Post has crunched the numbers to quantify the recent surge in homelessness. Over the last year, family homelessness has increased an incredible 100 percent. An accompanying article looks at Mayor Gray’s policies (WaPo, 2/10):

New York, Los Angeles and many cities in between have struggled with double-digit growth in homelessness in the wake of a deep recession, stagnating wages and escalating housing costs. But no other major U.S. city is on pace this year for its overall numbers of homeless families in emergency shelters to double.

Some applaud Gray’s efforts to streamline a variety of social services for the poor and to prod families from generational poverty toward self-sufficiency. But many of the same people say that he has failed to put together a realistic plan to do so and that the District’s rise in homelessness is the tip of the iceberg of a broader decline in economic security.

Related: On Friday, Gray held an interview with the Post to discuss the spike in homelessness and his policies. (WaPo, 2/10)

PHILANTHROPY
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released its annual Philanthropy 50 list, ranking America’s largest donors. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife top the list, and the combined giving of the top 50 donors is $7.7 billion – up 4 percent from last year. (Chronicle, 2/10)

Related
The Chronicle has a lot of articles about this list. One of them focuses on the Zuckerburg’s gift to the Silicon Valley Community foundation, which is headed by WRAG’s 2013 annual meeting keynote speaker, Emmett Carson. (Chronicle, 2/10)

- Also, check out the rationale behind the list. One name obviously missing from the list is Gates. Bill and Melinda Gates did give a lot of money last year – about $181 million – but it went toward paying off a pledge they had made in 2004. (Chronicle, 2/10)

- The New Yorker has a thought-provoking reaction to the Philanthropy 50 list. Their general question is whether large scale giving from the world’s wealthiest works to justify the equity gap. More specifically, does this giving do enough to relieve poverty? (NY, 2/10)

WORKFORCE | As the debate grows about the merits of raising the minimum wage, quite a bit of new research is emerging from places like the Employment Policies Institute. According to the New York Times, that organization is effectively a front for an interest group – and these sorts of fake organizations are influencing policies (NYT, 2/10):

The campaign illustrates how groups — conservative and liberal — are again working in opaque ways to shape hot-button political debates, like the one surrounding minimum wage, through organizations with benign-sounding names that can mask the intentions of their deep-pocketed patrons.

Ugh, soon somebody will discover the fact that my Institute for Galactic Education (IGE) is just a front to get Star Wars education added to the Common Core standards.

TRANSIT
- Metro might finally be able to take over the Silver Line from contractors. Maybe. (WaPo, 2/10) I wonder whether the Silver Line or H St. streetcar will be running first. We should know by 2030.

- And Metro chief Richard Sarles directly responded to some riders’ questions about the system. For example, why do train operators close the doors on passengers trying to enter? Because riders should have gotten out of the way when they heard the chimes, he says. No mention of how that’s fair to deaf people though. (WaPo, 2/10)


I have two hilarious things for you on this tenth day of February. First – and you might have already seen it – the Russian Police Choir singing Daft Punk’s Get Lucky at the Olympics. It’s truly absurd and I half-expected Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd to shuffle in. Watch the whole thing, because it gets better and better.

And here’s a classic example of eating your words on live television. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

District’s homelessness problem is ‘worse than it sounds’

HOMELESSNESS | The Post has a follow up to yesterday’s City Paper article about the roundtable hearing on homelessness in the District. At the hearing, David Berns, director of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said of the current level of homelessness (WaPo, 2/4):

“It sounds bad, and it’s worse than it sounds,” Berns said.

Berns intimated that, without additional funding, he may in the spring need to close shelters for homeless singles that typically stay open all year, and he told city leaders that he wouldn’t want to have to resort to “equally horrid” measures such as no longer paying for hotel rooms. But, he said, the homeless family crisis has quickly become a long-term fiscal crisis.

EDUCATION/COMMUNITY | Donald Graham, former owner of The Washington Post and a trustee of the Philip L. Graham Fund, announced the launch of a new fund called TheDream.Us. The $25 million fund will pay the full college tuition for 1,000 students who came to the United States illegally as children. As Graham explains, his motivations are rooted in a strong sense of social justice and fairness (WaPo, 2/4):

It seemed terribly unfair that literally everyone else in the [high school] class could get access to federal loans and, if low-income, could get Pell grants, and the dreamers couldn’t get a cent.

EVENT | The Consumer Health Foundation has opened registration for their annual meeting, titled Health and Racial Equity in Turbulent Times: Implicit Bias Examined. The event will be held an March 20th and will feature john a. powell (Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), Carlee Beth Hawkins (Project Implicit), and Brian Smedley (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies). [More info.]

WORKFORCE/GENDER | As The Atlantic points out, the male/female wage gap tends to be over-exaggerated. But the gap between working mothers and women without children is quite significant. This disparity is chalked up to a perception that working mothers can’t be as productive because they are distracted by their children. So, is that true? (Atlantic, 2/4)

PHILANTHROPY
- Nonprofits and Those Who Fund Them Should Talk Openly About Finances (Chronicle, 1/3)

- Opinion - Impact Investing: It’s Time by Harvard University’s David Wood (IFRI, 1/9)

Related: On Feb. 12, WRAG is co-hosting an event with The Aspen Institute on how impact investing can support affordable housing efforts. [More info.]

- New Website Offers Inside Look at Grant Makers, Including Anonymous Reviews (Chronicle, 2/4)

HEALTH
- In a completely pointless but fun exercise, The Atlantic uses life expectancy in each state to comparable countries. The District is omitted, but Maryland and Virginia are most similar to Brunei. (Atlantic, 2/4) I guess Martin O’Malley and Terry McAuliffe should swap their governor titles for sultan.

- And if we want our country to be more like Cyprus than Syria (easy choice), we better cut back on sugar. A major new study finds that consuming too much sugar  can triple the likelihood of premature death from heart problems. (WTOP, 2/4)

LOCAL | The Smithsonian? The Lincoln Memorial? The National Zoo? Forget ‘em! Well, actually don’t, but do check out the District’s newest awesome attraction, St. Elizabeths ice slide! It’s perhaps the greatest idea that the District has seen in a long time, except for my idea of having a zipline from the Washington Monument to the Capitol. (GGW, 2/4)


It is a true shame to have lost Philip Seymour Hoffman, especially to an avoidable death. He was a rare actor who could take any material, no matter its quality, and elevate an entire movie. Two of my favorite characters were Sandy Lyle from the otherwise mediocre comedy Along Came Polly and CIA agent Gust Avrakotos from Charlie Wilson’s War.

Here are two great clips. Fair warning: The first contains a mildly colorful phrase and the second contains a ton of profanity. Maybe save the latter for home, or even watch the whole movie. His performance is excellent.

- Christian

Using educational technologies to reshape workforce development

WORKFORCE | Workforce development was one of the big themes in the State of the Union address. President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with reforming training programs to fit the needs of the current American workforce.

Sarah Oldmixon, director of workforce initiatives, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, reflects on this priority and says that educational technologies are essential tools for the task (1776, 1/30):

Educational technologies have been powerful engines of creative disruption in the K-12 and higher-education arenas, but their influence on the field of workforce development has been less pronounced—particularly among those programs that target lower-income, lower-skilled workers. To successfully meet the needs of the long-term unemployed and address America’s income inequality challenges, adult education and training programs must also innovate.

Related: As Unemployment Rate Falls In Ward 8, A Call For More Job Training (DCist, 1/30)

COMMUNITY/ENVIRONMENT | Last fall the Summit Fund of Washington supported the Federal City Council in developing a new project to address critical restoration needs, including remediation of the toxic sediments, in the Anacostia River.

The resulting, recently-launched initiative, United for a Healthy Anacostia River, brings together advocacy groups, community stakeholders, businesses, and concerned citizens to help raise awareness around the many issues facing the Anacostia. You can learn more about United for a Healthy Anacostia, and find out how to get involved, on their website.

PHILANTHROPY | 17 Foundations Join Forces to Divest Fossil-Fuel Stocks (Chronicle, 1/30)

HEALTH/YOUTH
- Robert McCartney’s latest column in the Post focuses on teen pregnancy, a problem that still has a “stubbornly high” rate in the District’s lower-income wards. (WaPo, 1/30)

- A new report finds that kids who are obese at age five are four times as likely to be obese a decade later than their healthy weight peers. (Time, 1/30)

EDUCATION
- A bill in Virginia’s General Assembly would allow teachers to encourage “differences of opinion about scientific controversies in science classes.” As one education advocate points out, the terms “science” and “opinion” don’t gel very well. (WaPo, 1/30) The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan might have had something to say here.

- As the District’s Petworth neighborhood rapidly gentrifies, can its troubled Roosevelt High School recover at the same time? (CP, 1/30)

HOUSING | How to Tell If We’re Really Entering Another Housing Bubble (Atlantic, 1/30)

TRANSIT | As Metro considers more fare hikes, opponents charge that the new plan would be unfair to the region’s low-income and disabled residents. (WTOP, 1/30)

Also, the hikes are unfair to everyone else since they help pay for silly mistakes like this one. (WaPo, 1/30)


When New Englanders call us snow wimps (and we call Southerners the same), they might have a point – even though their sports teams stink. Here’s a map that shows how much snow it takes to close schools across the country.

Via the same awesome website (io9), here’s a fascinating look at 10 failed uptopian cities in the real world that ended up influencing science fiction. Neat stuff.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow and Monday, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

44 area theater companies take on the gender gap in theatrical productions

ARTS | Only 27 percent of the plays produced in D.C. this theater season were written by women. To address this disparity, 44 theater companies from around the region have committed to producing a new play by a female playwright in the fall of 2015: (WaPo, 1/24)

The Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, encompassing virtually every large, midsize and fledgling theater company in and around the city, is being billed as a landmark event in the effort to put new plays by female playwrights onstage. Its organizers acknowledge that it won’t permanently rewrite the statistics showing that in this country, about four plays by men get produced professionally for every one by a woman. But the festival does throw down a gauntlet, in the cause of striking a more equitable gender balance — especially given that surveys show that women make up as much as two-thirds of the theatergoing audience across the nation.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | In a special piece on the Forbes site, the Advisory Board Company‘s Graham McLaughlin writes about why his company is placing a new emphasis on empathy among their employees:

We want to do this because it will further our mission and our margin. By creating this empathetic workforce…we think we can better understand, at a gut level as well as an intellectual level, the needs of our member hospitals and higher education organizations, as well as those of our communities.

By combining our unique skills and expertise with an empathetic approach to our member and community interactions, we can better anticipate their needs and the needs of those they serve, work with our members as a true partner, and ultimately create transformational, positive change in healthcare, education, and our communities.

HEALTH/WORKFORCE | Check out the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region‘s blog for a video about a new health clinic in Ward 8. The clinic also features a workforce development program, funded by the foundation’s Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, that trains neighborhood residents for positions at the clinic. (CFNCR, 1/24)

EDUCATION | DC schools chancellor Kaya Henderson has announced the creation of a task force on standardized tests to, in her words, “help put testing in the proper perspective.” (WaPo, 1.24)

HOMELESSNESS | Homeless shelters bogged down as cold snap continues (WTOP, 1/23)

LOCAL | ‘Green’ modifications proposed to D.C. clean-water plan; environmentalists are skeptical (WaPo, 1/24)


This time lapse video of a woman teaching herself how to dance has been around for a while but I missed it until now. It’s awesome.

-Rebekah

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia releases new report on NoVA seniors

AGING | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has released A Portrait of our Aging Population in Northern Virginia, which looks at the issues impacting people over the age of 65 in northern Virginia. In conjunction with the release of the report, the foundation announced a $10,000 grant to support a transportation program for seniors.

The research found a number of eye-opening statistics about the demographics of the area:

• Between 2010 and 2030, the number of older individuals in Northern Virginia will increase from 192,589 to 429,300. At that time, over 15% of the region’s population will be 65 or older.
• More than 20,000 older Northern Virginians currently live in poverty, and 28% of older households can be considered economically insecure, and an additional 31% are financially vulnerable.
• The rate of older adults without health insurance in Northern Virginia is about three times higher than the national and Virginia rates.

EDUCATION
- A new poll finds that most D.C. residents still think the city’s public schools aren’t doing too hot, with 51 percent of people rating schools as “not good” or “poor.” Notably, however, some of the highest ratings came from parents of students in public schools, who, one would suspect, would have good firsthand knowledge. (WaPo, 1/17)

- Obamas praise dozens of new efforts to help needy students get into college (WaPo, 1/17)

WORKFORCE | GMU’s Stephen Fuller, in his annual forecast for the region’s economy, predicts that our economy will continue to grow and add jobs. But, the sectors with the most potential growth are those that are often low-paying, like hospitality. (WaPo, 1/17)

PHILANTHROPY | Charitable Deduction Probably Safe for 2014, Say Experts (Chronicle, 1/16)

ARTS | Fairfax will assume $30 million in debt owed by arts center at the old Lorton prison (WaPo, 1/14)

REGION | With Population Growing, Transportation Planners Say They Need To Keep Up (WAMU, 1/16)


I may be easily impressed, but I think this guy’s video tricks on Vine are kind of awesome.

- Rebekah

New research demonstrates how poverty makes people sick

This won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but a new research paper finds that poverty has severe ramifications for health. With unreasonably tight budgets, low-income individuals are forced to compromise on things like healthy eating. Or eating anything at all. This sets off a chain reaction that can end in the hospital, or worse.

What’s especially interesting about this research is that it proves a link between money and health while also debunking an unfortunate misconception that low-income individuals are broadly unhealthy (Atlantic, 1/14):

[I]sn’t it possible that poorer people just tend to be less healthy in general? Sure. That’s why the researchers also looked at when people go the hospital for appendicitis, which doesn’t depend on diet. So there shouldn’t be any end-of-the-month increase for low-income people if tight budgets are the problem. There wasn’t. As you can see above, appendicitis cases were flat across the month for both high (blue) and low (purple) income people.

In other words, poorer people don’t need more care at the end of the month for every kind of condition. Just the ones that get worse when you don’t have enough to eat.

Related
- If you haven’t seen it, check out the documentary series Unnatural Causes. It digs deep into the connection between health and wealth, covering everything from food to geography.

- And, poverty isn’t just about money, according to a new book from economist Tim Harford. It’s also about how individuals perceive themselves, and how they are perceived by others. Harford talked with NPR about his research. (NPR, 1/14)

HOUSING | It’s been about six years since the housing crisis began, but its effects are still getting worse in Maryland. Foreclosures there have skyrocketed, increasing more than 250 percent and landing the state at the number three spot on the list of highest foreclosure rates in the nation. (WAMU, 1/10)

HEALTH
- In order for the Affordable Care Act to be economically viable – and ultimately successful – young adults need to represent a significant portion of health exchange consumers. At this point, the numbers are significantly lower than projected. (WaPo, 1/14)

- Opinion: Maryland’s health exchange has had one of the worst launches in the nation. The Post’s Petula Dvorak calls it “a scandal of incompetence” and goes so far as to use the hilarious phrase “epic bungling.” (WaPo, 1/14)

WORKFORCE | Elevation DC writes about the HOPE Project, which helps bring District residents out of poverty by training them for information technology jobs. (EDC, 1/14)

EDUCATION
- A former interim D.C. state superintendent for education (IDCSSFE) has been named to a new DCPS post where she will oversee a plan to improve traditional middle and high schools. (WaPo, 1/14)

- With More Choices And New Lottery, D.C. Parents Become School Shoppers (WAMU, 1/13)

LOCAL | Fate of Virginia’s Contested Bi-County Parkway Now Lies With McAuliffe (WAMU, 1/14)

TRANSIT | As the H Street streetcar line gets ready to roll, Aaron Wiener points out that traffic will be a long-term problem for efficiency. Since there’s no dedicated lane, the streetcars are subject to traffic jams and double-parked cars. (CP, 1/14)

To this, I say prepare for ramming speed!

BREAKING NEWS | Edward Snowden promised that more secrets would be coming, and one of Iran’s news agencies has dropped a bom…well, let’s avoid that phrase. They’ve revealed a huge secret. Are you sitting? It turns out that the United States is secretly run by Nazi aliens! (WaPo, 1/13)

So, either Iran’s news agency has a fiction department or Snowden managed to sneak the script of John Carpenter’s They Live into his data dump.


The only thing worse than alien Nazis are Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that everybody needs somebody to love!

Also, here’s a gif that was posted with the title “Life.” Very clever. And bleak!

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