D.C. for the Labor Day Weekend

On August 31, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

Are you around the D.C. area this Labor Day weekend and looking for some activities? Well, you could start with the DC Blues Festival on Saturday at the Carter Barron Amphitheater! This Festival is fun for the whole family including 6 regional acts playing live music and a workshop for the kids. The workshop includes guitar, vocal and harmonica instruction. The live music is followed by After-Party Fundraiser form 8:30 to midnight.

On Sunday, you should check out the Bethesda Pie Eating Contest at 11:00am. The contest will be held at the Bethesda Central Farm Market, and you can either bake or eat the pie! The competition will be split into two divisions: adults 18 over and children ranging from 8 to 17. All the money raised will go to the Manna Food Center, a food bank located in Montgomery County. Be sure to head to the Bethesda Central Farm Market on Sunday to taste all the pies and raise some money for a great charity!

Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Throughout the weekend, Abbey Road on the River – Beatles Tribute Festival will be held at Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor. This is the first time that this Beatle’s inspired festival visits DC. Each day over 50 tribute bands will be playing. Do not miss out on this opportunity.



DC Drivers: Worst in the Nation

On August 29, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

If you live any metropolitan area then you know that you not only have to be a defensive driver, but you need to also be constantly aware of the other drivers around you. Between traffic, road rage, and distractions, driving can be a dangerous endeavor.

All State recently studied the nations’ 200 largest cities and declared that Washington D.C. is the area with the worst drivers. Drivers in the District are estimated to have an accident once every 4.7 years, which is twice as often as the average driver in the United States who averages an accident once every 10 years. This means that DC drivers are 112.1% more likely to get in an accident than the average driver in the US.

Arlington and Alexandria also make the top 25 list with a recorded crash every 6.2 and 6.5 years respectively.  Baltimore also neared Washington DC coming in 2nd place. The driving situation in DC and the surrounding areas is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Allstate’s field senior vice-president, David Pendergrast, says, “It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can practice on the road that will help make our roadways safer. Minimizing distractions, obeying traffic laws, and using your car’s safety features like turn signals and headlights, are all ways to be safer, no matter where you drive.”



Focus Washington: Wessel on the Politics of the Federal Budget

On August 24, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

The budget deficit situation has never been this bad. The numbers have never been this large. Politicians are unwilling to compromise.

Focus Washington: Red Ink by David Wessel

On August 23, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

David Wessel, Economics Editor of The Wall Street Journal, discusses his new book Red Ink. Mr. Wessel doesn’t seen anything changing any time soon. The presidential campaigns aren’t discussing their actual plan to cut the deficit. To bring the USA out of the red, he sees cuts in spending and increasing taxes a requirement.

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D.C. After the Aftershocks

On August 23, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

Today marks the one year anniversary of the earthquake that shook the Mid-Atlantic region. The earthquake, which measured at a 5.8 magnitude, centered in Mineral, VA, which was 87 miles from Washington D.C. Though the earthquake was far away, it had damaging effects on some of Washington’s most historic landmarks.

The earthquake had a strong effect on the Washington Monument including loosening pieces of stone and mortar toward the top of the monument. Since the damage, the monument has been temporarily closed for repairs and is not scheduled to reopen until 2014.

In addition to the Washington Monument, the Washington National Cathedral incurred $20 million of damage from the earthquake. The Cathedral is currently undergoing repairs, and the extensive project may not be completed for the next decade. During the earthquake, stone finials, gargoyles, and crockets loosened and fell from the building. Today, the Lilly Endowment announced that they were giving the Cathedral a $5 million donation.  The Lilly family has been closely connected to the Washington Cathedral for a long time, and the Washington National Cathedral is very grateful for their sizeable donation.



Martin Luther King Jr. Library celebrates 40 years

On August 21, 2012, in TechView, by Focus Washington

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. Library. On August, 21, 1972, the doors of this beautiful public library officially opened.

Miles van der Rohe, well known architect, designed this modern building. The building received praise and recognition, and Wolf Von Eckardt, the Washington Post’s architecture critic, wrote, “Generosity, airiness and a nobility, or rather an ennobling feeling, are the words that come to mind throughout the building’s four stories of book stacks, reading areas, meeting rooms and offices.”


In 2007, the building was declared a historic landmark, but there has been debate around the building. City officials believe the building is too expensive to maintain and the building is in need of renovations. Currently, the library does not use all 4 floors, and some have proposed to rent part of the library to another tenant.


To celebrate the 40th anniversary, the library has planned a week of events that begin with a kickoff party tonight, August 21, 2012 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Do not miss the chance to celebrate this historic landmark.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 40th Anniversary Kickoff
Tuesday, Aug. 21,
6 to 8 p.m., Great Hall.
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy will deliver a thought-provoking keynote address reflecting the past 40 years of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s role as an integral part of D.C. life.  A reception featuring the Herman Burney Trio will follow the keynote.

40th Anniversary ’70s Film Festival
Wednesday, Aug. 22 to
Friday, Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room A-5
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library with unforgettable movies focusing on the 1970s.

’70s Style Block Party
Saturday, Aug. 25
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bring the family to a 70’s-themed street festival. G Street will be closed in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library for back-to-school giveaways and activities, including dental and health screenings with school forms, school uniform sales. Celebrate Chuck Brown’s birthday with a presentation by D.C. music legend Jimi Dougans of the Young Senators and a performance by ’70s funk/R&B group Cops Come Knockin’.  A table accepting donations to the Library’s Chuck Brown Archive will also be open.

70’s Film Festival lineup
Wed., Aug. 22
11:00 am-5:00 p.m.
“Washington in the ’70s” (2010) Not Rated, 60 min. The WETA documentary charts the District’s rise from the 1968 riots to its emergence as a world-class city, featuring first-hand accounts from those who shaped the events of the time.

“Cornbread, Earl and Me” (1975) Rated PG, 95 min. A 12-year-old is traumatized by the murder of his friend, a star basketball player.

“Talk to Me” (2007) Rated R, 118 min. The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s and 1970s.

Thur., Aug. 23
11:00-5:00 p.m.
“Cabaret” (1972) Rated PG, 124 min. A female girlie club entertainer romances two men in Berlin as the Nazi Party comes into power.

“Car Wash” (1976) Rated PG, 97 min. A group of car wash workers in Los Angeles spend time at work indulging personal pursuits as different levels of oppression that control their lives gradually become apparent.

Fri., Aug. 24
11:00-5:00 p.m.
“Shaft” (1971) Rated R, 100 min. A detective gets caught between underworld factions when a Harlem mobster hires him to find his kidnapped teenaged daughter.

“Dirty Harry” (1971) Rated R, 102 min.  A San Francisco cop with a vigilante streak tracks down a serial killer.

“Chato’s Land” (1972) Rated PG, 110 min. Chato is a half Apache Indian who balances between two cultures.  When Chato kills a vicious sheriff in self-defense, he finds himself hunted by a posse. But when Chato’s pursuers follow him into Apache territory, the odds shift in his favor.




Should DC bid for the 2024 Olympics?

On August 17, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

After a successful end of the London 2012 Olympics, some believe it is time for DC to follow in London’s footsteps and try to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Placing a bid is not only time consuming but it is also an expensive endeavor between finding sponsors and gathering millions of dollars.

According to Robert McCartney of the Washington Post, “A decade ago, our area mounted a respectable effort to win the Games underway in London. We spent $10 million in a losing effort but gained valuable experience in how to compete.” Though unsuccessful, their initial attempt spear headed Dan Knise, CEO of the Washington-Baltimore 2012 Regional Coalition and president of Ames & Goughby  is not holding them back from potentially preparing a bid for the 2024 Olympics.

The thought of DC hosting the Olympic games is risky and exciting, but is DC ready? Currently the DC government is associated with corruption. Maryland and Virginia are unable to reach agreement over the expanding Capital Beltway. The question is can DC overcome any negativity to be prepared to host the Olympics?

DC winning the bid for the 2024 Olympics would be great for the region and the United States considering it will have been nearly 30 years since the Olympics were last held in the United States in Atlanta, GA, the host of the 1996 Olympics. Hosting the Olympics has many benefits including bringing the population together as well as drawing attention to the area.

In order to win the bid, DC must pull together to put forth an impressive presentation.  They need to gain support from the right sponsors and learn from past efforts to create a bid that can not be rejected.



Qorvis Celebrates 12 years of Hard Work and Accomplishment

On August 14, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

Qorvis Communications recently celebrated its 12th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, Qorvis’ GPS Executive Vice President Seth Pietras proudly displayed the Qorvis flag high over Mont Blanc (15,770 ft/ 4,808). Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe and the second highest peak on the continent. Pietras took the Trois Monts route, which includes Italy’s Mont Blanc Tacul and Mont Maudit.


Meanwhile back in the United States, the Qorvis employees celebrated the company’s 12th anniversary with cupcakes and a champagne toast. Michael Petruzzello wrote, “Qorvis began with the promise of creating a new and better strategic communications company that would help global clients succeed in a radically changing environment.” Qorvis has continued to grow and expand while maintaining the same strong core values. Here’s to 12 great years with Qorvis and many more!



Embassy of Bahrain Hosts Weekly Iftar Dinner During Ramadan

On August 13, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

John Reid of Focus Washington attends an iftar at the Bahrain Embassy in Washington D.C.  . An iftar is a meal that breaks the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.


D.C. Restaurant Week: Calling all Foodies!

On August 9, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

D.C. Restaurant Week is almost upon us and while many of you have been prepping for weeks, others of us may have procrastinated…just a little. Not to worry, here are some restaurants that still have openings so that you last minute planners won’t miss out on D.C.’s most delectable time of year.

  • Meaning ‘octopus’ in Spanish, Pulpo, is a great Cleveland Park restaurant that’s new to Restaurant Week. The food there is inspired by Spanish tapas but has an American twist. The extensive wine list features vintages from Spain, Europe and South America or, if you prefer, four different Sangrias.
  • Scoop up a reservation at Mintwood Place to try cuisine from award-winning chef Cedric Maupillier and sous chef Dawn Swaney. A Restaurant Week newbie as well, Mintwood is characterized by its mouthwateringly beautiful dishes that let you feast with your eyes before you eat. Also, seasonal items are flagged on the menu for those of you looking for a last taste of summer.
  • Craving Italian? Make a reservation at DuPont stand-by Floriana. A converted row house, this restaurant is both cozy and upscale and boasts an outdoor patio if you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the surrounding nightlife. The lasagna is to die for and, like most dishes there, will leave you enough for leftovers.
  • For those of you who like beer with a little food on the side Birch & Barley is a good spot to check out. This Logan Circle establishment has over 500 beers and organizes them into categories like “malt” or “tart and funky.” Oh and I hear the food is good too…

While these four aren’t the only restaurants left with openings, reservations are going fast. Pick a place you’ve been meaning to try and go for it. With fixed prices from August 13th to the 19th there couldn’t be a more affordable time to explore the city.


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Author David Wessel and his new book, “Red Ink,” were celebrated last night in a book party hosted by Qorvis Communications. Partner and National Director of Financial Communications, Stan Collender coordinated the event on behalf of old friend David Wessel.

The party was well attended by members of the Washington D.C. business and media community including reporters from Bloomberg, Washington Life and Washington Journal.

The third book by Wessel, “Red Ink” discusses the high-stakes politics of the federal budget in a way that the American public can understand. He examines the 2011 fiscal year in order to explain how the budget process has grown out of control and the people and politics behind it. In his remarks at the party, Wessel acknowledged the brevity of the book saying the federal budget and deficit are confusing especially since they are generally discussed in “vague generalities.”


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