Richard England passes away at 93

Yesterday, Mr. Richard England passed away at the age of 93. He was a cornerstone of our region’s philanthropic community and he’ll be dearly missed. Members of the WRAG community shared their memories of Mr. England in today’s Daily. Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, reflects:

I always admired Mr. England, not just as a well-respected community leader and philanthropist, but also as a model for aging. In his 90s, Mr. England was always an expected attendee at WRAG events – a lifetime learner, not only listening in the audience, but a participant asking probing questions to further his knowledge and that of his colleagues…I will miss him, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to know him. He will always be a beacon guiding the work of those whose life he touched. A life well lived.

Related: For Veteran’s Day 2011, we interviewed Mr. England about both his military service in World War II, which left him partially deaf, and philanthropic work with his wife of 67 years, Lois. (Daily, Nov. 2011)

VETERANS | On the subject of veterans, Jon Stewart recently went on the offensive about the gargantuan failures of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than a million veterans are waiting for their benefit claims to be processed. (Hulu, 3/27)

Thanks to the pull of his Daily Show, Stewart was able to draw attention to the issue. PBS NewsHour followed up by interviewing both veterans and department head Gen. Eric Shinseki. They also mapped out where backlogged veterans live. (NewsHour, 3/29)

ARTS | D.C. Councilmember David Grosso is making a push for the District to install art fixtures in neighborhoods. The idea is to draw tourists off the Mall and into less trafficked areas of the city. Lionell Thomas, executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, says (Examiner, 4/2):

People think of the Mall as the place to go for artistic activities…The new strategy creates that whole vision – the city is a vibrant and wonderful place.

Related: Last year, the Commission organized 5×5, a neat series of installations in neighborhoods throughout the city. (Atlantic, Apr. 2012)

HOUSING | Following a lot of foreclosures during the recession, Prince George’s County has become a hot spot for real estate investors. The Post looks at the upward trend. (WaPo, 4/2)


– DCPS’ revisions to school boundaries will not be completed in June, as previously announced. They are now expected to be unveiled in the fall and implemented in the 2014-15 school year. (WaPo, 4/2)

Prince George’s school board willing to reopen superintendent search to fend off critics (WaPo, 4/2)

“180 Days” shows life inside a struggling high school (GGW, 4/2)

HEALTH | Listen: Virginia Task Force Weighs Changes To Mental Health Laws (WAMU, 4/1)

I always travel with a pair of headphones so that I can listen to music whenever I’m not talking to people. It also helps fend off canvassers with their clipboards and fake smiles. New research out of McGill University says music has neurochemical benefits. It can boost the immune system, reduce anxiety, and keep your moods more balanced.

– Christian