Thursday, June 11, 2009

Volunteers Sought to Help Spruce Up Parks, Centers

The D.C. Parks and Recreation Department seeks volunteers for its first Beautification Day, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at 61 sites throughout the city.

Volunteers, community organizations and parks department staff members will prepare recreation centers and parks for summer by picking up trash, cleaning interiors and doing light landscaping. Volunteers do not need to register in advance. A complete list of sites is available at

For information, call 202-258-6021 or e-mail

Libraries Sponsor Contest Of 'Then and Now' Photos

The D.C. public library system is conducting a contest, "D.C. Then and Now," to help identify and improve information on rare, historic photos posted on Flickr's "The Commons" site. Prizes include an HD camcorder, a wireless SD memory card and a Holga lomography camera.

Contestants can log on to, find buildings and locations and photograph them. Before uploading pictures, contestants must grant a creative commons license at

The library has placed 154 images from its E.B. Thompson collection on the site. Thompson owned one of the city's first camera stores. The library holds more than 1,800 historic photos that he shot between 1904 and 1944, many from antique lantern slides. The prints, part of the library's Washingtoniana Division, include early views of federal buildings, memorials, national parades, historic houses, street scenes and prominent Washingtonians.

Survey Aimed at Clarifying Needs of Small Businesses

The D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development is conducting an online survey of small businesses in the District.

The data will help guide the agency's understanding of the issues and needs of D.C. small businesses.

The anonymous survey takes about 20 minutes. Respondents can save their work and return to it without having to start over. The department is sponsoring the survey in conjunction with the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership and Social Compact. To take the survey, go to

Episcopal Ministry Awarded Seniors Contract

The D.C. Office on Aging has awarded a contract to Episcopal Senior Ministries to provide lead services to older adults in Ward 5.

The contract supports services to more than 2,000 older adults each year. Ward 5 has the second-largest population of older adults among the city's eight wards.

Episcopal Senior Ministries manages 11 meal centers for its congregations and coordinates home-delivered meal services and elder supportive services. The 85-year-old nonprofit group also directs the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Older Adults in Ward 5 and provides services citywide.

For information, call the Office on Aging at 202-529-8701, e-mail or go to

Triathlon Camp Opening At 3 Recreation Centers

Achieve Kids Tri Inc., a nonprofit triathlon training program for youths, has scheduled a summer camp starting Monday and running through July 24 at three District recreation centers: Turkey Thicket, Kenilworth Parkside and Benning Park.

The program meets from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and features coaches trained by the USA Triathlon Association.

Training will focus on swimming, cycling, running and triathlon racing, as well as the essentials of proper nutrition, stretching, strength-training and flexibility. The program concludes with a timed short-course triathlon race.

Achieve camps are free but rely on donations for athletic equipment. For information or to register, go to

On the final day of camp, children will compete in the 3rd Annual DC Kids Triathlon, a USAT-sanctioned event. The race features a 100-meter swim, 5K bike ride and a 3K run and will be at Kenilworth Parkside Recreation Center.

Howard Offers Free Tests For Breast, Cervical Cancer

The Howard University Cancer Center has scheduled free breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income, uninsured District women June 24 and 26 at the Cancer Center, 2041 Georgia Ave. NW.

The tests are also available to women whose health insurance does not cover such screenings. An appointment is required. For information, call 202-865-4655.

"Women in the District of Columbia continue to have the highest mortality rate of breast cancer in the nation," said Wayne Frederick, a physician and director of the Cancer Center and chief of Howard University Hospital's Division of General Surgery. "Early detection through screening with a clinical breast exam and mammogram will help change that trend."

National Cancer Institute statistics indicate that although Caucasian women are more likely than African American women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, African American women are more likely to die from the disease. The rate at which African American women die from the disease annually is more than twice the rate for Asian and Hispanic women, according to the NCI.

Spring Soccer Tournament Saturday at Takoma Center

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation's spring soccer season ends Saturday with the Citywide Spring Soccer Championship/Transition Cup at the Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW.

The tournament was originally set for last Saturday, but it was rescheduled because of wet fields. Games will be played throughout the day beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at about 5 p.m.

During Saturday's championship games, more than 250 athletes, ages 5 to 18, will compete on 19 teams in the tournament. The day will end with a trophy and awards presentation. For information, call 202-671-1700.

Transportation Agency Extends Online Access

The D.C. Department of Transportation has a Facebook page where viewers can access traffic advisories, a calendar of upcoming public meetings and contact information for service requests.

To locate the agency's page, users can go to and click on the Facebook announcement under "DDOT News."

The department also is available on the social network Twitter at District residents can "tweet" their service requests to DDOT via Twitter and sign up for e-mail alerts at the agency's Web site,

Those Who Know Trees Could Aid Forestry Survey

Casey Trees is looking for volunteers with skill at identifying trees for a forestry survey. Survey data will help gauge the environmental benefits of the city's trees.

To volunteer, contact Holli Howard at 202-349-1905 or

The most-recent survey was completed in 2004. Casey Trees, a nonprofit group, hopes to update the survey every five years on the same group of trees.

The survey is based on a U.S. Forest Service model. The 2004 inventory reported 1,928,000 District trees with a canopy covering 28.6 percent of the city. The most common species were the American beech, red maple, box elder and tulip.

For information, go to

-- Compiled by TERENCE McARDLE

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