Help in the Heat

The mayor's office last week announced a heat emergency plan to help District residents on days when the heat index reaches 95 degrees. The heat index measures how hot it feels when humidity is factored into the actual temperature.

The D.C. Energy Office's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will distribute a limited number of electric fans to District residents who meet certain requirements. To be eligible to receive fans, families must meet federal income guidelines. The household also must include at least one person younger than 6 years old or age 60 or older; or one person who has been diagnosed with a respiratory condition or who has a doctor's note testifying to the need for cooling assistance.

Families can have their air conditioners replaced if they meet federal income guidelines and if a family member has been diagnosed with a respiratory condition or has a doctor's note indicating the need for cooling assistance. The D.C. Energy Office also will give a $50 rebate to District residents who buy an Energy Star-rated air conditioner and present a proof of purchase.

To help homeless people avoid the heat, two shelters for men and one for families will be available during the day. Homeless men can go to 1355 New York Ave. NE or to the 801 East Building at St. Elizabeths Hospital, at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. Homeless families can go to 25 M St. SW.

Eligible households can pick up fans and air conditioners at two cooling centers: One Judiciary Square, at 441 Fourth St. NW; and the Reeves Center, at 2000 14th St. NW. Families can call 202-673-6750 for more information. Persons needing transportation to a cooling center should call 800-535-7252.

Rewarding Checkups

Children will receive free backpacks with school supplies when their families schedule an appointment for immunizations and annual checkups through July 30 at one of the Children's Hospital health centers in Northwest and Southeast Washington.

The hospital is offering the backpacks as an incentive to encourage parents not to wait until school begins to have their children immunized. Children without up-to-date immunizations are not allowed to attend classes.

To schedule an appointment, go to or call 202-884-BEAR (2327).

Principal Recognition

The D.C. Area Writing Project this month honored the principal of Malcolm X Elementary School in Southeast Washington for his dedication to improving writing instruction among the school's teachers.

Vaughn Kimbrough was honored at Howard University's Blackburn Center. Previous honorees include principals Theodore Hinton of the P.R. Harris Educational Center and William Lipscomb of Sousa Middle School.

New York Avenue Hearing

The D.C. Department of Transportation will host a public meeting on the draft of the New York Avenue Corridor Study from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Reeves Center, 2000 14th St. NW. The meeting will be held in the second-floor community room.

The two-year study focuses on proposed changes to one of the District's busiest transportation routes and has been revised several times because of recommendations presented at previous public meetings.

Scheduled topics include traffic safety and efficiency; addressing the needs of the many nearby businesses, government agencies and private institutions; potential land acquisitions; financing; and environmental impact.

The plan can be reviewed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, at 901 G St. NW, or online at under the Transportation Plans/Studies link.

-- Compiled by BRUCE C.T. WRIGHT

Proposed changes to New York Avenue, one of the city's busiest transportation routes, will get another public airing this week.