Tag: juvenile justice

Fairfax County Public School Board allocates $1 million to remedy isolation and restraint practices

VIRGINIA | In a move signaling a focus on special education, the Fairfax County Public School Board has adopted a $3 billion dollar budget for the next school year, which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The budget includes over $1 million to remedy isolation and restraint practices in the district. (WAMU, 5/24)

Fairfax County Schools district guidelines prohibit seclusion “unless there is a dangerous situation, and seclusion/restraint is necessary to protect the student or another person or person” but last March an investigation revealed hundreds of cases in which elementary students in schools designed to serve students with special needs were secluded and restrained. Next school year’s budget will include funding for multiple teaching-specialist positions, including five behavioral specialists … “All of the people who provide supports to these children through direct education supports or physical supports, we are addressing their compensation with this budget,” said Fairfax school board chair Karen Corbett Sanders, who is also planning on hiring a new special education ombudsman.

CENSUS 2020 | David Biemesderfer, President & CEO of United Philanthropy Forum, has put out a call for philanthropy to help meet the unprecedented challenges facing the 2020 census, amplifying the joint message from the Ford, JPB, Kellogg, and Open Societies Foundations.

REMINDER: WRAG is co-convening, along with 14 funders and other institutions, a day-long forum called Interventions That Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Reach Communities. The event will bring together the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to bridge the gap between information and action necessary to enable an accurate census. Learn more and register here by May 30th.

LGBTQIA | New Trump administration rule would weaken protections for transgender people in health care (WaPo, 5/24)

– The Montgomery County Council has approved a $5.8 billion budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which includes $2.6 billion for schools, an increase of more than $80 million. (WTOP, 5/23)

– Prince George’s teachers reach a deal to restore raises lost during the recession (WaPo, 5/23)

RACISM | In her first official act outside a ceremonial bill signing, newly elected speaker Adrienne Jones sought to remove the last item commemorating the Confederacy from the Maryland State House — a plaque that pays tribute to soldiers who fought on both sides of the Civil War. (WaPo, 5/23)

HOUSING | How Housing Supply Became the Most Controversial Issue in Urbanism (CityLab, 5/23)

DISTRICT | The new statehood effort called 51 For 51 launched on Tuesday as a “coalition comprised of DC -based and national groups committed to equal representation rights for DC’s over 700,000 residents.” (dcist, 5/23)

JUVENILE JUSTICE | Federal Prosecutors Have Opposed Every Request For Early Release Under A Local Law Aimed At Juvenile Offenders (dcist, 5/23)

FOUNDATIONS | Listen Up, Grant Makers: Radio Is a Hot Way to Advance Knowledge and Culture (Chronicle, 5/23)

PHILANTHROPY | Four ways philanthropy can support the diversity of the Asian American Pacific Islander population. (NCRP, 5/14)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Development Associate | Sitar Arts Center – New!
Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Communications, Technology, and Administration | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

Looking for ideas about what to do in DC this Memorial Day?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

– Buffy

Hospitals to be penalized for readmitting Medicare patients…What keeps nonprofit leaders up at night?…Region’s residents are optimistic about local economy [News, 10.1.12]

HEALTH | Starting today, hospitals in D.C. and Virginia will be penalized for readmitting Medicare patients under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The penalties come because the readmission rates for patients with heart failure, heart attacks, and pneumonia are too high. The hospitals are set to lose millions of dollars from the penalties. Maryland is exempt due to a special payment arrangement with Medicare.  (WaPo, 10/1)

Some of the hardest-hit facilities are inner-city hospitals that tend to treat sicker, poorer patients. These patients sometimes end up being readmitted because they have a harder time getting medication and follow-up doctors’ appointments, often because they lack transportation, hospital officials said.

The infographic to the right shows the projected loses in 2013. (WaPo, 10/1)

NONPROFITS | What is keeping nonprofit leaders up at night? That’s what the Chronicle asked its Twitter followers. The answers are worth reading. (Chronicle, 10/1)

Surprisingly, nobody answered “a lumpy mattress,” “the monster in my closet,” or “my spouse dreams about being a swashbuckler and swings his/her arms around all night.”

GGW takes a look at neighborhood development strategies and points out that “no one size fits all.” (GGW, 9/29)

City Paper digs into census data and finds that “D.C. saw a huge influx of non-Hispanic whites into the city, while other parts of the region saw their white populations decline by more than 10 percent as a share of the total population.” (City Paper, 9/28)

LOCAL | Post Poll: 63 percent say Washington economy in good shape (WaPo, 10/1) “Four years after the global financial collapse, more than six out of 10 local residents rate the area’s economy positively, with 54 percent calling it ‘good’ and another 8 percent calling it downright ‘excellent.'”

JUVENILE JUSTICE | October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness about youth who are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. The Campaign for Youth Justice has plenty of information on the topic, including a very compelling infographic to share.

YOUTH | Opinion – Getting to the Next Level: Social Gaming and Child Poverty by Wendy Lazarus of The Children’s Partnership (HuffPo, 10/1)

PEOPLE | Capital Business interviews Stacey Stewart, the new president of United Way USA, about her position, goals, and evaluation standards. (WaPo, 10/1)

Is it really October already? I assume this means that it is appropriate for me to start celebrating Halloween. To get in the spirit, I suggest that you check out Tim Burton’s original (live action) short film Frankenweenie from 1984. The whole thing is available on YouTube, but I’m sure Disney will pull it down pretty soon since an animated remake is coming out. Catch it while you can!

By the way, here’s a useless visualization of information that might fascinate you – how the internet would translate into physical space if you printed it all out.

Local officials leave much to be desired for regional collaboration… ‘Hecovery’ taking a toll on the female workforce…Henderson lays out five year vision for DCPS [News, 4.19.12]

REGION | The Post’s Robert McCartney recounts the story of a Gaithersburg, Maryland, city official who attended a Council of Governments forum with other local officials to discuss the possibility of collaboration on an important transit project. The group discussed the innovative idea of a regional bank to help with important projects, but the end result wasn’t a good one (WaPo, 4/19):

[T]he speeches and discussions made clear that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to set up such a bank given the myriad rivalries that divide our region.

It would be hard enough to get the District and the nearby suburbs to cooperate, speakers said. But it was even less likely that the state governments in Annapolis and Richmond would permit local jurisdictions to go their own ways to work on a regional approach.

McCartney rightly points out the absurdity of the situation and bluntly asks

Are you listening, Washington area leaders? Gaithersburg and scores of other communities need more help from the regional level to solve troubles at the grass roots.

EDUCATION | D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has released a new five-year plan for District schools. The plan lays out specific educational goals to be achieved by 2017 – including raising math and reading scores by nearly 30 percent, expanding enrollment, and increasing graduation rates more than 20 percent. Henderson also lays out the possibility of longer school days. (WaPo, 4/19) 2017 is five years from now? That’s crazy.

Related: Mayor Gray pushes for closing of DCPS schools (Examiner, 4/19)

WORKFORCE | CNN takes a look at the country’s economic recovery and points out that it should be called the “hecovery.” The vast majority of jobs filled have been taken by men, while the share of employed women is even lower than it was two years ago. (CNN, 4/19)

BUDGETS | Thanks to Sen. Charles Cogan breaking party lines, the Virginia Senate finally passed a two-year budget. The budget passed without including $300 million in funding for Metro’s new Silver Line. (WaPo, 4/19)

TRANSIT | The state of Virginia isn’t the only jurisdiction holding up funds for Metro. The second phase of the Silver Line has been delayed while Loudoun County officials debate whether or not to support the project. (WaPo, 4/19)

The debate probably sounds something like, “Well, we’d make hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from the project. And we’d be helping to connect both the region and its visitors. But it just makes too much sense! So we’ll have to twiddle our thumbs, think about it, and delay the project for a while.”

NONPROFITS | Here’s a cool podcast on how strategically choosing words can help nonprofits raise more money. (Chronicle, 4/19) Are fahrvergnügen and hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia good words to use? Yes, I think so.

YOUTH | Our region has become the East Coast hub for the violent MS-13 gang. In response, Arlington County has established a gang prevention program – called the “most extensive” in the region – aimed at keeping children out of the gangs and helping current members leave. (Examiner, 4/19)

LOCAL | One of our hometown celebrity chefs, Jose Andres, has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Among his many good deeds, Andres is a major advocate and fundraiser for D.C. Central Kitchen and its job training programs. (Time, 4/18)

So sad to lose Dick Clark. On each New Year’s Eve growing up, my parents would make us go to bed at 9:00 and then wake us back up to watch Dick Clark usher in the new year as the Times Square ball dropped at midnight. NYE won’t be the same without him. More importantly, Clark was one of the primary reasons that rock and roll made its way into the mainstream. The list of artists he showcased on American Bandstand is incredible.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, but I can’t leave you all on a sad note. So here’s a list of American Bandstand’s top ten moments – including one of the first television performances from some tiny band called the Jackson 5.

Region’s public schools increasingly reliant on parent funding…DC Trust fires CEO…Nonprofits should think about mobile users [News, 4.5.12]

EDUCATION | With budgets declining, schools across the region are becoming increasingly reliant on donations from parents for everything from supplies to teacher salaries. The trend has brought mixed reactions (WaPo, 4/5):

Many educators are concerned that relying on such private largess exacerbates disparities between schools in affluent neighborhoods — where parents sometimes raise hundreds of thousands of dollars per year — and schools in poor neighborhoods, which often make do with public money… Advocates for parent giving, meanwhile, say such philanthropy promotes stronger community connections to public schools and gives families more control over their children’s education.

COMMUNITY | Nonprofit linked to ex-D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. fires president (WaPo, 4/5):

The board of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp. voted to fire Ellen London, its president and chief executive who had headed the group since 2010…Mary A. Terrell, a retired D.C. Superior Court judge, will take over the group’s leadership temporarily.

JUVENILE JUSTICE | D.C. councilman says youth detention facility ‘too permissive’ (Examiner, 4/5)

NONPROFITS | As the number of people using smartphones to surf the internet rapidly increases, the Chronicle points out that nonprofits should be aware of how their websites function on mobile devices. (Chronicle, 4/5)

(DISTRICT) POLITICS | The primary results for the Vincent Orange/Sekou Biddle race is too close to call and it may face a recount. (WAMU, 4/5)

– Here’s an inside look at the newly renovated Howard Theatre – the venue that once feature Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes. I can’t wait to check it out…maybe to see the legendary Chuck Berry this month. (WaPo, 4/5)

– It’s opening day for the Nationals! Stephen Strasburg pitches (by which I mean scorches) the Cubs at Wrigley Field at 2:20pm. Go Nats!

If you’re itching for some new music, Alabama Shakes is the next (deservedly) big thing – you heard it here first! Turn up your speakers and listen to Hold On, the single from their debut album.

There won’t be a Daily tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy what looks to be a beautiful weekend. Happy Easter and Passover to anyone celebrating!

Prince George’s faces unique struggle in recovery…Election results…Vacant DCPS buildings could go to charters [News, 4.4.12]

ECONOMY | Traditionally, areas hit hardest by recessions bounce back strongly. But new research shows that most recent recession is bucking the trend. Prince George’s County is one such troubled area, and the New York Times profiles its continuing economic struggles (NYT, 4/4):

This debt hangover has its strongest grip along the western and eastern coasts, where the scarcity of land helped to drive housing prices and debt burdens to extreme levels. Prince George’s…was particularly vulnerable because it is the least affluent of the Beltway counties. People here, as in other less affluent suburbs, tended to have few investments beyond the equity in their home.

Housing prices in Prince George’s more than doubled from 2001 to 2006, reaching an average of $341,456. The average household, in turn, accumulated debts exceeding 2.5 times its annual income. The crash, when it came, wiped away much wealth and some income — but none of those debts.

ELECTION | The citizens of the District are evidently happy with the council’s leadership. All five challenged incumbents appear to have won their primary races. That said, Vincent Orange’s lead over Sekou Biddle is very narrow and could change. (WaPo, 4/4)

Elections results: District of Columbia | Maryland

Vacant D.C. school buildings could house public charters (WaPo, 4/3) “The law requires that charter operators receive ‘right of first offer’ on surplus school properties.”

Va. officials find testing irregularities in Alexandria adult ed program (WaPo, 4/3)

Fighting Breast Cancer In D.C.’s African-American Neighborhoods (HuffPo, 4/4)

– Today is National Walking Day. The American Heart Association is encouraging all of us to learn more about heart health and the huge benefits of walking for 30 minutes a day.

NONPROFITS | Charities Urged to Learn to Adjust After a Failure (Chronicle, 4/4) Definitely a better idea than encouraging them to fail again.

LOCAL | Opinion: As the District prepares to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Ward 5, Trinity University President Patricia McGuire raises concerns that the new facilities will invite even more crime to the ward. (HuffPo, 4/4) “Chief Lanier and MPD have their hands quite full already. Do they really need more work?”

CRIME/TRANSIT | Here’s a particularly alarming account from a Metro rider who was aggressively harassed by a group of teenagers in the middle of the day – while other riders failed to intervene. Incidents like these are unacceptable, and so are the legal options for victims. Note: post contains implied profanity. (Unsuck Metro, 4/4)

WILDERNESS | Coyotes have long been rumored to roam the region, but now there is finally proof. One of the beasts was caught on tape in Arlington County. Seriously. (WTOP, 4/4) What’s next? Hippos in the Anacostia? Velociraptors in Rock Creek Park?

Here’s something that I think every American should read (and, I would hope, advocate for) – three proposed rules to change the United States presidency. I’d also throw in an extra proposal that House terms should be 4 years with staggered election cycles. That way, Congress members wouldn’t need to campaign constantly.

Measuring uncertainty for our region’s aging adults…’Abandominiums’ in Anacostia…Foundation staff salaries and demographics analyzed [News, 3.22.12]

AGING | The AARP Foundation has released snapshots of what uncertainty looks like for aging adults in each state. The reports look at the poverty, unemployment, and hunger levels of each state’s 50+ population. Of particular note, the poverty level of older adults in the District is about twice the level of Maryland or Virginia.

Snapshots: District of Columbia | Maryland | Virginia

YOUTH | A survey conducted by Fairfax County examines risky behaviors of the county’s youth and explores “issues of substance abuse, antisocial behaviors as well as factors such as mental health and civic engagements.” (Connection, 3/21) Thanks very much to Mary Hallisy at the Carter and Melissa Cafritz Charitable Trust for sharing this.

HOUSING | Greater Greater Washington takes a look at “abandominiums” – a large number of housing projects in Anacostia that are either unfinished or abandoned. The buildings play host to squatters and drug users rather than providing homes, jobs, and tax revenue as they were intended to. (GGW, 3/22)

PHILANTHROPY | Rick Cohen analyzes the 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report from the Council on Foundations, which looks at compensation and demographics. An interesting fact: “only 10 percent of the staff reported by the surveyed foundations was 30 years old or less”. (NPQ, 3/22)

REGION | A new set of rankings says that Virginia is the best state in the country to earn a living, while Maryland ranks 23rd. Since the list only includes states, the District isn’t ranked. But it is safe to say that D.C. falls somewhere between the top and bottom. (Examiner, 3/22)

BUDGETS | DCPS paying $2.2 million for buildings it doesn’t use (WaPo, 3/22) Bill Turque has a great line about the DCPS operating budget: “Like For[r]est Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know quite what you’re going to get when you open up the DCPS operating budget.”

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, so I’ll sign off with three things. First, a lesson on why you don’t play chicken with a Hummer at a gas station. Second, a geography quiz. Can you name all 50 states by looking at them on a map?

And third (and sorta related to the quiz), a very precise map of all of the United States’ and Canada’s regional accents – via the website BeyondDC

District’s wealth gap among largest in the country…Report surveys juvenile justice progress…Virginia’s centers for developmentally disabled in danger of being shut down [News, 3.8.12]

EQUITY | According to a new report by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, the District has one of the widest income gaps of any of the nation’s cities. The city’s top fifth earns an average of 29 times the income of the bottom fifth. The report cites Boston and Atlanta as the only other cities worse than the District. (WaPo, 3/8)

“In some ways, it’s a sign of what a vital, attractive city this is,” said Ed Lazere, executive director of the institute. “But that means the job market is really hard for anyone who doesn’t have advanced skills.”

Full Report: A Big Gap – Income Inequality in the District Remains One of the Highest in the Nation (DCFPI, 3/8)

14 from Washington region make Forbes Magazine’s wealthiest list (WBJ, 3/8)
D.C. has no count of jobs from stimulus (WashTimes, 3/7) The city has received $885M in stimulus funding since 2009.

JUVENILE JUSTICE | The District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) has released its first-ever data-driven annual report.

“This comprehensive look represents an unprecedented approach to our reform efforts,” said Neil Stanley, DYRS Director. “We are allowing not just internal data, but the inclusion of external analysis by national experts to guide and inform our decision making.”

The report, based on DYRS’ approach to juvenile justice reforms, includes three core concepts: promoting Positive Youth Justice, protecting public safety and practicing effective management.

Read:  Press release  |  2011 Annual Performance Report (DYRS, 3/7)

GIVING | Here’s a novel concept – a new local bar has dubbed itself a “philanthropub.” After operating costs are covered, the bar – appropriately named “Cause Bar and Restaurant” – gives its profits to nonprofit organizations. (POP, 3/8)

HEALTH | WAMU looks at the Northern Virginia Training Institute for developmentally disabled residents, one of five state facilities that provides comprehensive care and services. Under a state settlement with the Department of Justice, these facilities could be closed down within three years. (WAMU, 3/8)

PEOPLE | Peter Katz has resigned as Arlington County’s planning director after five months on the job. (WaPo, 3/8)

TECHNOLOGY | The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released its 2012 Technology Guide, where experts give advice on using technology and social media to solve problems and be creative. (Chronicle, 3/8)

Though it doesn’t mean what I wish it would, the guide contains an article titled “Vanquishing trolls.” Best article title ever – and no, it wasn’t written by this guy.

EDUCATION | In response to parent demand for better options, Chancellor Kaya Henderson has announced that three new middle schools will open in D.C.’s Ward 5 in the fall of 2013. (Examiner, 3/8)

68 degrees today. Perfect weather for vanquishing trolls. And for solar storms. And for throwing a football around, which reminds me: Do you think Peyton Manning will land with the Redskins? I sure hope so.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, so I’ll leave you with an international blooper. At a very formal opening ceremony for a ski festival in Kazakhstan, the announcer declares, “Attention! National Anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan.” Hey, that anthem sounds really familiar

Out-of-school time funding has declined 44 percent…CareFirst to give $8.5 million for patient-centered medical homes…The origin and history of HIV explored [News, 2.28.12]

YOUTH | The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation commissioned Susie Cambria to conduct a budget analysis of the District’s out-of-school time funding. The two main findings aren’t good (Susie Cambria, 2/27):

The first is that approved gross funding for OST has declined 44% between FYs 2009 and 2012. The second is that there is no citywide, planned system for out-of-school time services.

Do we really value our children 44% less now than in 2009? (Full Report)

D.C. youth funding, beset by scandal, has dwindled (WaPo, 2/24)

DISTRICT | Here’s a recap of yesterday’s D.C. Council hearing about how Harry Thomas used the Trust to steal city money for his personal use. (WaPo, 2/28)

HEALTH | CareFirst BlueCross Blue­Shield has announced $8.5 million in grants to a dozen safety-net clinics in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to strengthen a coordinated primary-care approach focused on prevention and comprehensive care (WaPo, 2/28):

Over the next three years, the funded programs are expected to treat as many as 66,000 patients with costly chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure…Clinics were asked to submit proposals and were chosen based on how well they could coordinate care for the most needy patients.

HIV/AIDS | The Post has an absolutely fascinating and tragic historical look at the role of colonialism in the origin and spread of the HIV epidemic. It began in Cameroon, around the turn of the last century, when a hunter killed an infected chimpanzee for food (WaPo, 2/28):

Without “The Scramble for Africa,” it’s hard to see how HIV could have made it out of southeastern Cameroon to eventually kill tens of millions of people. Even a delay might have caused the killer strain of HIV to die a lonely death deep in the forest.

EDUCATION/JUVENILE JUSTICE | Lots of important articles to read today, including this one about how two District students have overcome homelessness and criminal records on their way to graduation. (WAMU, 2/28)

POVERTY | In response to yesterday’s article about the decline in youth homelessness, the City Paper cautions that the data cited is three years old. “[T]he positive trends being reported now on concentrated poverty could already be history.” (City Paper, 2/28)

I need an opinion. I feel that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a terrifying, borderline sadistic movie. The Oompa Loompas are creepy and vindictive, and Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka is a bipolar maniac. Others here at WRAG love the movie and think it is a fun kids flick. They are wrong, but what do you all think?

Also, for those of you who saw The Artist, I hope you’ll appreciate how clever this Sesame Street tweet is. Be sure to click on the picture link.

Margaret O’Bryon to step down as Consumer Health Foundation president and CEO [News, 12.19.11]

Late last week, the Consumer Health Foundation announced that Margaret O’Bryon, who has led the foundation since it started its work in 1998 and was recently awarded Grantmakers in Health’s Terrance Keenan Award in Health Philanthropy, will be stepping down as president and CEO next September. She will remain involved with the foundation part-time as a senior strategist.

WRAG’s President, Tamara Copeland, says:

Margaret is an integral member of our region’s philanthropic community. In particular, her leadership within the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers – as both a co-founder of the Health Working Group and a member of the WRAG Board – has been genuinely transformative.

We wish her the very best of luck as she prepares for the next stage of her career.

PHILANTHROPY | The Washington Post has a fascinating, three-part series that looks at the results of a long-term philanthropic project. In 1988, two local businessmen – Abe Pollin and Melvin Cohen – told a class of 59 fifth graders at Seat Pleasant Elementary in Prince George’s County that their college education would be paid for. The ensuing questions – “Would they graduate from high school?  Would they make it to college? What would they make of their gift?” – are answered in the series. (WaPo, 12/18)

– Part I: The Promise
– Part II: The Reality
– Part III: The Legacy

EDUCATION | The Harlem Children Zone’s Geoffrey Canada talks about how early lessons in management and leadership have helped guide him. When asked what qualities one needs in his line of work, he says, “[P]eople need a pretty decent sense of humor to work here.” (NYTimes, 12/18) That should be a requirement in every job!

JUVENILE JUSTICE | Assaults, crowding plague Prince George’s youth detention facility (Examiner, 12/19)

TRANSIT/EQUITY | The D.C. Department of Transportation is partnering with the District Government Employees Federal Credit Union for the “Bank on DC” program. The program uses Capital Bikeshare memberships (awesome) as an incentive for “unbanked” residents to sign up for bank accounts. (DC.gov, 12/19)

BUDGETS | Virginia’s McDonnell unveils $85 billion spending plan (Examiner, 12/19) It’s a “spending plan that boosts funds for education and transportation without any tax increases but cuts nearly $900 million from programs, services and aid.”

Not to start the week on a gloomy note, but I wanted to quickly pay my respects to Christopher Hitchens. His ability to comprehensively observe and critique the world is a tremendously rare quality these days. I didn’t agree with everything he believed – and I can imagine his dedication to atheism being tested in death – but the world was a much better place for the ways in which he engaged it.

I was always amused when his opponents tried to label him – everything from neo-conservative to radical leftist – because the labels were never close to being correct. It was incredibly refreshing to have his aggressive, articulate voice bringing a unique perspective to conversations that were otherwise dominated by narrowly-focused talking heads.

Here’s a touching memorial from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. Rest in peace, Hitch.

New report on juvenile justice…Channing Wickham reflects on World AIDS Day…Region’s older adults not retiring [News, 12.1.11]

JUVENILE JUSTICE | The District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services isn’t perfect, but it has made gigantic strides of improvement in recent years. A new report, Notorious to Notable, released today by WRAG members the Moriah Fund, the Carter and Melissa Cafritz Charitable Trust, the Meyer Foundation, and the Public Welfare Foundation shows how a collaborative effort between local and national funders has supported the transformation of the District’s juvenile justice agency from one of the worst to one of the most notable.

HIV/AIDS | Today is World AIDS Days. To mark the occasion the Washington AIDS Partnership’s Channing Wickham shares a personal story on the Community Foundation’s blog about a friend who died from AIDS and how the event defined his career:

I recently came across his Washington Post obituary from 1989. It lists the cause of death as pneumonia. He was 54. My friend took his secret – that he had AIDS – to the grave.

Looking back, it breaks my heart to know how ashamed he was of his diagnosis – so embarrassed he couldn’t even talk about the illness with his closest friends. I was shocked to learn, after he died, that he was afraid that if he revealed that he had AIDS he might lose his business and worried that his employees would be out of jobs.

Related: The Partnership’s AmeriCorps team is also hosting an event Children’s National Medical Center.

NONPROFITS | A Potential $15-Billion Windfall for Effective Nonprofits (Chronicle, 12/1) Better information = better philanthropy.

AGING | In our region, more than one in five people age 65 or older are either working or looking for work – a trend that is above the national average. Some continue to work for economic reasons while others work to feel younger. (WaPo, 12/1)

FOOD | Maryland, Virginia at top of nation for food stamp fraud (Examiner, 12/1)

EDUCATION | The District spends $92 million a year on transportation costs for special-education students, which comes out to $26,285 per student. (Examiner, 12/1) Which is at least the cost of a solid car, if not a private driver. I’m pretty sure there are better and more efficient ways of spending that money on the kids. (Examiner, 12/1)

Happy December, everyone! This is my favorite month, and I hope we get a ton of snow. Yes, you heard that right.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with something hilarious (which you might have already heard about). Over the summer, an Australian news anchor tried to tell the Dalai Lama a joke about pizza. It didn’t go well – although the joke was great!