Tasty Morning Bytes – Disconnected Utilities, Denying the Homeless, Longer School Days

Good morning, DCentric readers! Welcome back from the weekend.

Beyond Bread: A Wild Goose Chase for Utility Assistance “The Social Services Department here at Bread for the City is consistently returning phone calls and meeting with clients that are on the verge of being disconnected, with very few resources to protect them and their family from living without utilities this winter. We see this as a most pressing issue. In our Northwest Center, my colleagues and I fielded 126 phone calls this September and October, before the most high-cost winter months. This is an increase of 34% since last year.” (breadforthecity.blogspot.com)

Some Advocates For Homeless Say Residency Requirements Could Backfire “Some advocates for the homeless, however, say they’re concerned the plan will backfire. Nassim Moshiree, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, doesn’t mince words. “My main concern is that people will die of hypothermia on the streets when they can’t get any services,” says Moshiree.” (wamu.org)

DC Teacher Arrest Sheds Light On School Problems “I understand they both were wrong,” said Rayshad Anderson. “At the same time, Mr. Coleman is not the type of man to do something like that. So I think something needs to be done at the school to prevent these types of things. Tthis school is out of control. It has no structure whatsoever.” Volunteers Byron Ezell and Taria Nelson agree. They run a non-profit called Come Back to Give Back. This past year, they’ve spent Tuesdays and Thursdays working with Rock Creek students, who have a variety of disabilities. They said they believe an assault was “bound to happen.” (WUSA Washington, DC)

Looking Back: National War College “The conspirators of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination were hanged at Fort McNair. Mary Surratt, one of those hanged, was the first woman ever executed under federal orders. So the next time someone mentions this huge, old-school building they saw across the Anacostia you’ll know about Roosevelt Hall, of the National War College.” (DCist)

Extended school days under consideration in District public system “It is also a response, she said, to complaints from public school parents that the time committed to preparation for standardized reading and math tests has squeezed art, foreign language and physical education to the margins. “What we should do is think about a longer day,” Cheh said.” (The Washington Post)

Meanwhile, over in Georgetown… “It seems to be that time of the year when all those stores of Wisconsin Ave. start having those fake “going out of business” sales. As far as GM knows, only Commander Salamander is actually going out of business. Although last year Hardwear actually went out of business after throwing a going out of business sale, so who knows.” (georgetownmetropolitan.com)

  • http://twitter.com/SaheliDatta Saheli Datta

    That article about the non-resident families needing shelter during hypothermia season is so sad. As someone who routinely bundles up and keeps the heating off in my rickety Berkeley house, I’m used to spending a lot of time with an ambient temperature of 60 degrees, and am acutely aware of how quickly additional clothing doesn’t help when the temperature drops below 55. Many homeless families won’t even have adaquate clothing–heat robbing cotton instead of the synthetic fleeces and down jackets of the skiing classes. And that’s not even taking into account wind chill and precipitation. Humans evolved in much warmer climes and their physiology changed with the taming of fire.

    The bureaucratic problem speaks to a wider issue. Our system of municipal governments and jurisdictions evolved when there were real rural gaps separating towns and there were no such things as ‘Greater metropolitan areas.’ Governments really need to come up with better standards and tools for enabling–and requiring–’greater metropolitan area’ cooperation. This is obviously not just a DC problem, but a problem with origins in Virginia and Maryland municipalities. They should be part of the solution. (The same can be said of our own Bay Area, of course.)