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TheRootDC
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Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 05/23/2012

D.C. traffic improves

We have an update on the Chuck Brown funeral situation. The viewing is set for Tuesday, May 29, at the Howard Theatre, and the funeral for Thursday, May 31, at either Verizon Center or the Washington Convention Center. Let's hope the latter.

Traffic is getting better in the area, believe it or not. For those of you who drive to work, your commute may seem insufferable, but compared to other cities it's a lot better. New data show that drivers spent an average of 45 hours wasted in gridlock in 2011. That's nearly two days of your life you just won't get back. The Post's Ashley Halsey III breaks down the data and compares the D.C. area to some of the most congested places in the country.

A nice park can really do wonders for a neighborhood. From a quality of life standpoint, they serve as good community gathering spaces and strong play spaces for kids and dogs. Good thing D.C. has a ton of them. The Trust for Public Land released the results of their national survey, which shows that 96 percent of the city's residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park and ranked D.C. fifth in the inaugural ParkScore rating system. The Post's Lori Aratani details what those numbers mean.

Foreign lifeguards have become a fact of life at many community pools across the area recently. In the past five years, I don't think I've met one at any of my friends' complex pools that wasn't from Eastern Europe. The practice of bringing in foreign labor for seasonal help is not new, but the rules have changed. No longer are factory or warehouse jobs allowed for student workers. The Post's Pamela Constable explains how more local kids seem to be losing jobs to internationals.

Some people really go the extra miles for their pets . Whether it’s the super-expensive food, the pricey clothing and outfits or whatever, a lot of folks are really serious about animal love. So much so that some owners are shelling out money to get their dogs acupuncture. Yes, the ancient Chinese medical practice is growing in popularity for pets. The Post's Emily Wax reports on the trend, and the story features a woman that might be considered a "whisperer" in some circles.

The Nationals looked strong last night. The team roughed up Roy Halladay and put together some good pitching performances and relief to beat the vaunted Phillies. People will tell you that the balance of power is shifting in the NL East, but I'm still not buying that. The Phils won 100+ games last year and are injury-riddled. The Nats aren't exactly healthy, either, though. The Post's Adam Kilgore has the gamer.

Extra Bites

• The trailer for "The Great Gatsby" was released yesterday, and public reaction was definitely mixed. Yes, the main song is by Kanye West and Jay-Z. Take what you want from that, but this flick is certainly a departure from previous versions.

• If you missed "Hip Hop Squares" on MTV2 last night, that's a shame. It was every bit as good and stupid as the old show. Check it out here.

• Five words: Grilled cheese happy hour bar. You're welcome.

Here's how to get at me. There's Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and you can e-mail me at clinton.yates@wpost.com.

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By  |  12:25 PM ET, 05/23/2012

 
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