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RECENTLY, TBR shuttled between two camps in the continuing fight over the merger between Pepco Holdings and the Exelon Corp. Each group includes reputable individuals and companies, many known personally to TBR, making it difficult for her to take side. But the issue is too important for anyone to sit on the sidelines.

On the surface it may seem the battle is over rate hikes, jobs, and retaining a corporate presence in the District. Don’t believe the hype. This is mostly about who gets the edge in the budding solar energy market.

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Crossing the River

DISTRICT politicians famously promise, primarily through sloganeering, to connect communities. Their delivery often falls short; neighborhoods remain mostly a string of silos. Former Mayor Vincent C. Gray, for example, repeated with passion his “One City” mantra. Instead of being the sealant people wished for, he proved to be more divisive than his predecessor, albeit for different reasons. Muriel Bowser marketed “All Eight Wards” during last year’s mayoral campaign. Once in office, she quickly jettisoned that catchphrase for “We Are DC.” That motto has jockeyed with her “Pathways to the Middle-Class.” It’s as if an ad agency is appended to the Bowser administration churning, at a moment’s notice, glib dicta.

What does any of it mean? Is there any significant and measurable effort to connect all District residents, marshaling collective talents, expertise and resources to tackle seemingly intractable problems? Does anyone believe the whole is only as strong as its parts?

THE GIFT: An Interactive Arts Healing and Reconciliation Experience

REGISTER NOW for THE GIFT. Seating is limited. Oct. 20, 2015, from 5:30 pm through 8:00 pm at the Frank Reeves Center-14th and U Sts. NW, Washington, D.C., You won’t want to miss this powerful program, designed to bring healing to those suffering or who have suffered a traumatic loss. Presented by Esther Productions, Inc. and jonetta rose barras, the ultimate intent is to bring participants closer to self-reconciliation, greater self-appreciation, self-love and forgiveness, diminishing potential violence against themselves and others.

Call 202-829-0591 or write to estherproductionsinc@gmail.com for more information and to reserve your space.


Is the D.C. Public Schools Sufficiently Investing in its Libraries?

IT’S hard to fathom how District of Columbia officials expect public school students, particularly those from low-income families, to become proficient in reading when they consistently fail to provide them all the resources they need. A dedicated group of education advocates has been fighting D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and others over the quality of school libraries. As this new school year began, it was clear the battle continues.


HOW many other children are put in harms way each day because of neglectful parents or a cavalier government agency—sometimes both? Far too many, is the conclusion TBR has reached.

Consider seven year-old James,* whose well-being and safety the District of Columbia government, including the Child and Family Services Agency and the D.C. Superior Court, seemed to have given little regard, when it allowed his mother, Ismahan Elmoge, to swap custody with a neighbor, Christina Dinkins. That swap occurred without notification to the father, and as other relatives pleaded to have the opportunity to care for James. His story reveals indisputable and dangerous gaps within D.C.’s child welfare system.