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The Buzz: February 27, 2011 - March 5, 2011

Are you a Washingtologist?

Go to our Washingtology page to take Cultural Tourism DC's latest quiz and see how well you know the nation's capital.

By Kyle Balluck  | March 5, 2011; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Orioles auditioning ballboys, ballgirls

The Baltimore Orioles are holding open tryouts to find ballgirls and ballboys for the 2011 baseball season.

By The Associated Press  | March 5, 2011; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Chocolate lovers descend on Fairfax

The city of Fairfax is holding its annual Chocolate Lovers Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

By The Associated Press  | March 5, 2011; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Last train home: Musical reminders of this weekend's Metro closures

Weather closings policy revised

By Maggie Fazeli Fard  | March 4, 2011; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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ACLU to sue Metro over random bag checks

A passenger is diverted to a security checkpoint at the Braddock Road Metro stop Dec. 21, 2010. (Gerald Martineau/Post) The fight against Metro's controversial bag searches could end up in court, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepping up efforts to end the "security theater," reports the Examiner.Metro "is on a collision course with the ACLU and its partners," said Johnny Barnes, executive director of the D.C. chapter, during a news conference in downtown Washington on Thursday, indicating that Metro ignored requests to meet with the activist group. In response, the ACLU is launching an anti-bag search campaign -- including educational fliers, a petition and even plans for two "symposia" -- and the D.C. chapter of the organization is inviting those who have been searched to step forward."If they're interested in legal recourse, we'll give consideration to their legal merits," Barnes said.Metro officials reportedly reached out to the...

By Maggie Fazeli Fard  | March 4, 2011; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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A.M. Buzz: Metro closures, rain, nurses strike

Happy Friday, An army of volunteers are bringing you Lori's A.M. Buzz this morning while Lori takes a break. The Capital Weather Gang says to enjoy the mild weather today and Saturday, because Sunday is looking like a soaker.

By Jane Elizabeth  | March 4, 2011; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Report: Coyotes in D.C. area are here to stay

A coyote in New Jersey. (AP) Sightings of coyotes are becoming increasingly common in parts of the D.C. area and some biologists say the animals are here to stay, according to a report on WAMU. Since they first appeared around 2004, coyotes have been found in Rock Creek Park in D.C., near Lake Thoreau in Reston and even in Baltimore. The animals are not native to the Mid-Atlantic, but they have been able to thrive here because we have eliminated their top predators, according to a Wildlife Society official quoted in the story. If the idea of coyotes roaming our area makes you a bit apprehensive, you may want to skip this next part: The local breed is known as the eastern coyote, which is about 50 pounds larger than the western coyote, according to the report. What's more the animals will eat anything from garbage to small pets....

By Washington Post Editors  | March 3, 2011; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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A.M. Buzz: Cherry blossoms, Charlie Sheen

Good morning! It's Thursday, and we're bringing you the A.M. Buzz while Lori's on vacation. Let's just get this over with: It's not going to feel quite like spring today. Temperatures took a nosedive overnight, and the Capital Weather Gang says it's not going to get much out of the 30s today.

By Jane Elizabeth  | March 3, 2011; 6:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Frederick girl shushes First Lady

A fourth-grader from Frederick gets to shush the First Lady in a new public service announcement promoting Michelle Obama's national fitness campaign, Let's Move. Nine-year-old Alexa Orlando's mother said Wednesday that Mrs. Obama's involvement was kept secret from the participating families until the night before the video was shot last month. The one-minute spot shows Mrs. Obama watching a tennis match between Alexa and another girl at The Tennis Center in College Park. Alexa shushes the First Lady to make her stop talking during Alexa's serve. Mrs. Obama silently mouths the word, "Sorry." Read about Mrs. Obama's appearance as a "Cat in the Hat" character in Reliable Source....

By Associated Press  | March 2, 2011; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Mardi Gras in D.C.? D.C.'s blogs

Good afternoon. A lovely day outside this Wednesday. Enjoy it because, according to The Capital Weather Gang, it's going to be a lot cooler on Thursday. Just because you can't be in New Orleans, doesn't mean you can't celebrate Mardi Gras. From Eating Around DC, some tips on where to find Mardi Gras fun in D.C. An app here, an app there. And before you know it, between Angry Birds and Zombie Farm, you've run up a sizable tab in Apple's app store. So this post from Sweating the Big Stuff is especially welcome: How to be a frugal iPhone owner. Arlington has a new sister city-- Ivano-Frankivsk is a historic city in southwestern Ukraine. ARLnow.com has the details. The upside of the Internet? There's so much information. The downside of the Internet? There's so much information. Surprising Science offers some guidelines for sorting out the good from the bad...

By Lori Aratani  | March 2, 2011; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Area job market sizzles

It may seem like the area's economy is just limping along, but Gallup ranked D.C. and Maryland as the second- and fifth-best job markets in the nation for 2010. What's more: the District was also the second most-improved job market in the country. The polling outfit credited the growth of the federal government for both the District and Maryland's high placement on the new survey. Virginia didn't fare as well: Gallup ranked it as one of the states with the least improvement in job creation. One caveat: The survey is based on workers' perceptions rather than hard economic data. Gallup conducted nearly 200,000 interviews with workers across the country and aggregated the results to create the rankings....

By Justin Jouvenal  | March 2, 2011; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Signs of spring: blooms, baseball and more

Check out our "signs of spring" gallery to see what Post reporters have spotted and add your own springtime photos. What are you seeing out there?

By James Buck  | March 2, 2011; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Sprinkles Cupcakes: Georgetown's new sugar fix

A Sprinkles Cupcakes store in Palo Alto, Calif. (Bloomberg) Think the cupcake craze has hit a sugar crash? Think again. Beverly Hills heavyweight and Food Network star Sprinkles Cupcakes is set to open its latest store in Georgetown on Thursday. The Los Angeles Times calls the shop "the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze," and Oprah declared her love for the sweet treats on her show, so the shop has some sweet bona fides. Even better: Sprinkles will offer a free dark chocolate to the first 50 people to whisper "M Street" at the shop. Here's everything else you need to know in bite-size bits: Location: 3015 M Street (cross 30th Street) Cupcake flavors: In all, their Web site lists 24, including Ginger Lemon, Chai Latte, Vegan Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Chip, Banana and Cinnamon Sugar. Price: $3.50 each or $39 for a dozen. Order here. Number of stores:...

By Justin Jouvenal  | March 2, 2011; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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A.M. Buzz: Fed workers, iPad, potholes

Good morning. It's Wednesday and it's a big day for fans of Apple. The Cupertino-based company will show off he next generation of iPad today at 1 p.m. ET; more details below. Closer to home, efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland hit an unexpected snag on Tuesday. In D.C., officials received some good news about the budget. But at the University of Virginia, funds are desperately need to repair the Rotunda, the iconic structure which Thomas Jefferson modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.

By Lori Aratani  | March 2, 2011; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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The four-legged lawnmower: D.C.'s blogs

Good afternoon. Did you know you can use bacon to help you clean a rusty skillet? Macheesmo has the details. It's also a new month, which means new things to look out for when you're out and about. The Natural Capital has a primer. Don't let a little rust scare you. Macheesmo offers tips on how to fix a rusted cast-iron skillet. (And guess what? It involves bacon!) Happy 1st birthday, EatMore, DrinkMore! And guess what? In celebration, they're giving fans and readers gifts. Courtesy of Surprising Science -- meet Quagga, the lost zebra. You can help the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, George Washington University and the Interagency Council on Homelessness in their efforts to ensure that youths and young homeless adults have the programs and services they need by encouraging them to participate in the housing needs and services survey. Susie at Susie's Budget and Policy Corner has...

By Lori Aratani  | March 1, 2011; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Local Libyans look to remove "Gaddafi flag"

Washington-based Libyans seeking to replace their embassy's flag today failed to gain access to the building, but were placated when members of Congress entered to find a pro-opposition ambassador still apparently at his job. Brandishing green, black and red flags of the former monarchy, two dozen protesters railed against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and against the State Department, which they believed had recognized a Gaddafi loyalist appointed to replace Ali Aujali, the ambassador who last week called on Gaddafi to resign. However, a a senior State Department official said today that "Ambassador Aujali continues as Head of Mission at this time." The official added that the department had received "a fax from the Libyan government regarding its representation in Washington and we are still reviewing its authenticity." During the protest, six U.S. Congress members - Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Donald Payne (D-New Jersey), John Conyers (D-Michigan), Barbara Lee (D-California), Lynn...

By Tara Bahrampour  | March 1, 2011; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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'I Miss Fenty' bumper stickers - Would you buy one?

'I Miss Fenty' bumper stickers, pins, baseball caps, T-shirts and a sticker asking, "Miss Rhee Yet?" are now being sold. Would you buy one?

By Maggie Fazeli Fard  | March 1, 2011; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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National Pancake Day: Free pancakes for a good cause

The Buzz is a bit dubious about the proliferation of "holidays" -- see Squirrel Appreciation Day -- but one that offers free pancakes sounds too good to pass up. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, the International House of Pancakes is offering a free short stack for National Pancake Day. The chain is asking diners to consider leaving behind a donation for the Children's Miracle Network and other charities. Last year, the event raised $2.1 million for good causes. IHOP restaurants in Arlington, Columbia Heights and Takoma Park are participating. Break out the syrup!...

By Justin Jouvenal  | March 1, 2011; 8:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A.M. Buzz: Batter up! It's National Pancake Day.

It's Tuesday and it's a new month. It's also the first day of meteorological spring. Impress your friends and co-workers by casually dropping that tidbit into conversation today.

By Washington Post editors  | March 1, 2011; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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See Oscar winners and nominated flicks

The Academy Awards are over, but that doesn't mean it's too late to get your Oscar fix. Many winners and nominees are still making the rounds at local cinemas, while others are now available on DVD and Netflix. Check out our list for the details.

By Washington Post editors  | February 28, 2011; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fame & fortune in Bowie? D.C.'s blogs

Good afternoon. What a crazy day. Wind, thunderstorms, flying cows (okay, no flying cows, but it's kind of fun to imagine.) It looks like the worst of it may have passed. The tornado watch for most of the region has been dropped. Today in the D.C. area blogosphere, we've got some signs of spring: According to 14th & You, street sweeping is set to resume in the District next week. Want a warm-up before your "American Idol" debut? How about singing for the Bowie Baysox? An excellent reminder for residents of D.C. from 14th & You -- street sweeping resumes next week. As part of its Lost Capitol Hill series, The Hill is Home writes about the first leader of the band -- the Marine Band, that is. Meet Francisco Maria Scala. A night out with girlfriends, visiting family, happy hour with your co-workers? D.C. Ladies has suggestions for a...

By Washington Post editors  | February 28, 2011; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Peeps Show V: It's diorama time

The 2009 winner was a tribute to Edward Hopper by Melissa Harvey of Arlington (James M. Thresher/Post) If you look at Marshmallow Peeps and are filled with artistic inspiration, this contest is for you. The Post's fifth annual Peeps diorama contest, has officially opened, so start planning your own Peeps Show. Last year's contest drew 1,100 sugary-sweet entries, with themes from the Korean War to "Goodnight, Moon" and everything in between. Need inspiration? Check out Peeps Show galleries from 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. To enter, design and build your marshmallow masterpiece and send us two photos by Monday, March 14, at 11:59 p.m. We'll choose 5 finalists to bring to the Post and professionally photograph, and announce the winners on April 17th. Semifinalists will win $50 American Express gift certificates and an executive Peeps box, and the grand prize winner will receive a $100 American Express gift certificate...

By James Buck  | February 28, 2011; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Dalai Lama to perform ceremony in D.C.

(Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) The Dalai Lama will visit D.C. in July to perform Buddhism's largest ritual open to the public, the Kalachakra, according to the Capital Area Tibetan Association. The 11-day event, which includes prayers and teachings, culminates with the creation of giant sand mandala at the Verizon Center. Tickets are available, but they're not cheap. A Ticketmaster search turned up a pass that cost $506 for the entire event, although cheaper single day and multi-day passes are available. Bonus: the Dalai Lama will celebrate his 76th birthday during the event. Want more details? This is how the Tibetan Asscociation describes Kalachakra: When you attend the entire 11-day cycle of the Kalachakra, you will see the building of the great Kalachakra sand mandala; extensive opening rituals with prolonged periods of beautiful harmonic chanting; ritual dances to prepare the hall as a sacred ground; three days of teachings from His Holiness,...

By Washington Post Editors  | February 28, 2011; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Adams Morgan: Party zone becomes construction zone

Adams Morgan neighborhood along 18th street. (Sarah L. Voisin/Post) Popular shopping and dining spot Adams Morgan is about to become a construction zone, Dr. Gridlock reports. According to District Department of Transportation plans, the neighborhood is about to undergo street construction along 18th street from Florida Ave. to Columbia Road, a vibrant stretch filled with restaurants and bars. The District plans to reconstruct the road, widen the sidewalks, improve the water main and more in the Adams Morgan Streetscape project, which is slated for completion in May 2012. The construction will leave one lane open in each direction for traffic, and DDOT has stressed that they want to leave Adams Morgan "open for business" during the work. The construction hours will take place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and the work will be completed in phases to minimize disruption. DDOT has hired a community liaison,...

By James Buck  | February 28, 2011; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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A.M. Buzz: Oscars, gay marriage, tornadoes

Good morning. It's the last Monday in February and it looks like weather-wise it could be a wild one. Lots happening today. We have a full story and analysis from the Virginia General Assembly, which wrapped up this year's session on Sunday. For you movie and fashion fans, we also have our post-Oscar wrap-up today. James Franco in drag? Oh my.

By Lori Aratani  | February 28, 2011; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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