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The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Silas Kennedy. The senior resident inspector at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland is always responsible for safety at the facility. Now he’ll have to ease nuclear-power jitters in the wake of the catastrophe sweeping Japan. Fortunately, Calvert Cliffs isn’t near an earthquake fault line, and it has a different reactor design. But it’s hard to blame residents in the evacuation zone if they’re feeling antsier than usual.

• Muriel Sue Kerr. The former secretary at the Veterans of World War I of the USA chapter just lost her final member: Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of the war, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. From her years of helping aging military retirees, we’re sure Kerr has a wealth of knowledge about how to treat veterans—and how to handle the elderly—that the military and the rest of us could learn from.

• Gray Delany. What is it with Virginia college students and Senate races? In 2006, George Allen’s insulting of University of Virginia students S.R. Sidarth may have cost Allen his Senate seat. This time around, Delany, a University of Richmond student, claims that former Democratic governor Tim Kaine has confirmed he’s definitely running against Allen for the Senate in 2012, a claim Kaine’s camp denies. Lesson for Virginia politicians: Stay away from college kids, at least at sensitive moments. You want them at the polls, not in the news cycle.

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Posted at 02:23 PM/ET, 03/16/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Kevin Brennan. Islands in the Chesapeake Bay keep disappearing under rising sea levels. But Brennan, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers team tasked with restoring Poplar Island, is going to make sure that at least one gets saved from the waters. And it turns out that saving the island where Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman used to vacation is good for business: Restoration provides a use for the material dredged up from the Port of Baltimore so ships can get in and out of the city.

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Posted at 02:40 PM/ET, 03/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Chris Cooley. The Redskins tight end just read through more than 1,000 fan letters dating back to 2008, sent back responses to a lot of soon-to-be-surprised fans, and blogged about it. In a town hungry for appealing sports heroes, it’s a great gesture. And for future fans, real-estate agents, prison inmates who love the Redskins, and brides and grooms who are inviting their favorite stars for the wedding just for kicks, Cooley has written an invaluable guide about how to reach out to pro athletes.

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Posted at 02:11 PM/ET, 03/10/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Paul Wiedenfeld. The executive director of Baltimore-Washington International Airport has a tricky new role: figuring out how to get Americans to Cuba. The Obama administration has given permission for charter flights, and charter flights only, to fly into and out of Cuba from six new airports, including BWI, tripling the number of American cities that are access points to the isolated island. The U.S. and Cuban governments will still have to approve each flight, so for Wiedenfeld, new business comes with new requirements for diplomacy.

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Posted at 02:54 PM/ET, 03/09/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Thomas Watkins. The president of Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences is waiting anxiously on a Food and Drug Administration decision about whether to approve a new drug for lupus. A go-ahead would approve the first new treatment for the debilitating disease in 50 years and provide a bump to the region’s biotech industry.

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Posted at 03:38 PM/ET, 03/08/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

Paul Bognanno. Never heard of Bognanno, or the Reston-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Corporation, of which he’s president? Turns out this obscure company has been allegedly taking over property records from government agencies for years—and it’s trying to foreclose on homeowners. As the New York Times said yesterday, “How can MERS claim title to those mortgages, and foreclose on homeowners, when it has not invested a dollar in a single loan?.” We imagine there are a lot of property owners with a lot of questions for Bognanno.

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Posted at 01:17 PM/ET, 03/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Lauranett Lee. The African-American history coordinator of the Virginia Historical Society has an exciting new project on her plate, one that will bridge the gap between past and present. The group has just won a big grant to create a database of names and personal information about people who were held as slaves in Virginia, drawing on the manuscripts in the society’s collections. In doing so, the society will give a lot of people more information about their family history.

• DeMaurice Smith. The National Football League Players Association executive, whom The Washingtonian profiled in January, is working on down-to-the-wire negotiations with the NFL and owners to try to make sure there’ll be a football season in 2011. The players and owners are sharply divided over how to share the league’s revenue and an owner-backed plan to extend the football season at a time when the news is full of stories about traumatic brain injuries in the sport.

• Johnny Barnes. The director of the DC chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is teaming up with his counterparts in Maryland and Virginia to sue Metro to stop random searches of riders’ bags. We’d love to hear their thoughts on alternate plans to keep riders’ bodies and belongings—as well as their civil liberties—safe.

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Posted at 12:45 PM/ET, 03/04/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

David Neuman. The University of Virginia’s historic Jefferson Rotunda is in a worrisome state of decay. But the university is restricted from using its endowment on capital construction projects, and the state legislature adjourned for the year without allocating the $51 million it would take to restore Thomas Jefferson’s monument to learning. Let’s just hope that Neuman, UVA’s architect, can find a way to hold it together for another year.

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Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 03/02/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight By Alyssa Rosenberg

• Brian Kelley. The former CIA officer spent four years under suspicion for passing secrets to the Russians, crimes that were actually committed by FBI mole Robert Hanssen. Kelley is finally speaking about his ordeal—and illuminating how hard it can be to catch a traitor, particularly the right one.

• Gibby Dean. The president of the Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association is worried after his members got hit with a terrible rockfishing season, done in by poachers and poor weather. We’d love to know how to cut down on waste from confiscation and poaching while eating local fish to support a local industry.

• Albert Small. The real-estate developer is giving a huge collection of Washingtoniana to George Washington University—and kicking in $5 million for a new museum at the university and the renovation of Woodhull House, a 156-year-old historic home. The District’s rich history sometimes gets lost in the political events that happen here. We’re glad Small is laying down a marker in favor of his hometown’s own stories.

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Posted at 02:44 PM/ET, 03/01/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Susanne Eisner. Arlington County’s human-services director must be doing something right in the programs she oversees—ranging from public-health services to aging and disability programs: The American Human Development Project just announced that Virginia’s 8th Congressional District is the healthiest in the country. At a time when health-care costs are spiraling, anything that keeps people from needing care is good health policy and good business.

• Paul Quander. We’d like to ask the District’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice a few questions after learning that furloughs of city employees left 200 emergency calls unanswered February 22. We know times are tight. But emergency services probably aren’t the place to start cutting costs.

• Pat Ronsteel. Speaking of tough times, the director of Frederick County Head Start is trying to use $250,000 in new budgets to talk Head Start teachers who have left for higher-paying jobs back into the program. That money doesn’t match the $2.3 million in funding the program lost earlier this month, and it remains to be seen what will happen as a federal contractor takes over. But 135 children are about to be cut from the program unless teachers come back.

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Posted at 01:16 PM/ET, 02/28/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()