Downtowner News: March 2023

New Head of 911 Call Center in D.C. Wants Complete Overhaul 

Heather McGaffin, the new acting director of the Office of Unified Communications (the agency that operates D.C.’s 911 call center) is promising a complete policy overhaul. She’s planning to implement new training requirements and increase oversight within the agency. Nominated for the position by Mayor Bowser, McGaffin will need to be confirmed by the D.C. Council. In the meantime, she has a lot of work ahead of her including fixing issues like dispatching ambulances to incorrect locations.  

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) Urges State Department to Ensure Safe Return of Detained D.C. Resident  

Late last month, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken following up on original correspondence from June 2022 regarding D.C. resident Emad Shargi, an American citizen who’s been detained in Iran unjustly and inhumanely since 2018. Holmes Norton wrote: “Mr. Shargi’s family and I are deeply concerned about his well-being. I, once again, request that you prioritize the immediate release of Mr. Shargi and seek pathways to secure his safe return to D.C.” 

Photo courtesy Washington Journal, C-Span.

Lincoln Memorial to Get $69 Million Makeover, Including Museum 

The Lincoln Memorial is getting a makeover. The $69 million dollar affair will be funded through the National Park Foundation and philanthropist David Rubenstein and will include a bookstore and immersive visitor experience underneath the monument. The project is expected to start this month and wrap up in three years, just in time for the 250th anniversary of our nation’s independence. 

The Lincoln Memorial at dusk. Photo by Carol Highsmith. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

D.C. Ranked First in Number of Law School Applications Last Year 

Washington, D.C. has topped the list for number of law school applications per 100,000 people, according to research compiled by law firm Oberheiden PC. According to the report, there were 129.4 law school applications per 100,000 people. The results place D.C. above states like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. According to a Georgetown Law report, D.C. has nine times more lawyers per capita than New York City. Federal government and government contractors drive much of this demand. 

Georgetown Law Center. Wikipedia.

March Predicted to Be Colder Than February in D.C. 

Don’t bid adieu to winter just yet. Forecasts for this month are trending below normal — about 45 to 48 degrees, compared to the normal 47.6. For the first time since 2017-2018’s winter, March could be colder than February. According to meteorologists, a La Niña is currently weakening, which could bring higher rain and snow chances into spring after a dry January and February.  






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