Continuing Education

May 3, 2012

In D.C., it seems that no one can hold just one occupation. Slashes abound in everyone’s job titles, as in: “I’m a CEO/mother/philanthropist,” or “I’m a doctor/writer/foremost WWII expert.” This says something not only about the current job market, in which competition is the name of the game, but about the kind of people who live here.

Washingtonians are diverse people with a myriad of interests and even more varied careers. In the District, one career path can carry a person through multiple fields, from one occupation to the next, making continuing education all the more important.

Whether or not you decide to obtain you Master’s or Doctorate, the benefits of continuing your education throughout your life are enormous: the qualifications you receive can help to keep you competitive in the job market; you can learn more about an area of interest that you’ve been curious about; you can receive certification in a new field, expanding your career opportunities.

The District’s universities offer its residents hundreds of educational opportunities, from certification programs to individual classes open to those with curious minds. In Georgetown’s back yard, Georgetown University is a prime example of all that continuing education programs have to offer.
At GU, the School of Continuing Studies offers numerous certificates to supplement the degree or degrees you already might have, including Budget and Finance, Business Administration, Business and Professional English, Corporate Executive Leadership, Digital Media Management, Diversity Strategy, Financial Planning, Forensic Accounting, Franchise Management, Government Executive Leadership, International Business Management, International Migration Studies, Leadership Coaching, Litigation Technology/Legal Project Management, Marketing, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership, Project Management, Social Media for Government, Strategy and Performance Management and Paralegal Studies.

Of course, the school also offers full Master of Professional Studies programs, and many of the people who get their Master’s are working and going to school part time, according to Maggie Moore, Communications Officer at the University.

However, if attaining your Master’s isn’t part of your game plan, Georgetown provides at least one certificate in the department of each Master’s program called an Advanced Professional Certificate. For instance, you can obtain an Advanced Professional Certificate in Journalism through the Master of Professional Studies in Journalism department; similarly, you can get certificates in either Diversity and Inclusion Management, International Human Resources Management or Strategic Human Capital Management through the Human Resources Management program.

Georgetown also has more unconventional learning programs such as Mom Congress, hosted in partnership with Parenting magazine, which gives parents the opportunity to hear from education experts while sharing their own concerns and ideas.

Additionally, the university offers a non-degree program to senior citizens in which those ages 65 and up can audit undergraduate level courses. The School of Continuing Studies can be reached at 202-687-8700. Visit for more information on these and other programs.

Joseph E. Robert Jr. 1952-2011

December 19, 2011

Joseph E. Robert Jr., one of D.C.’s most well-known financiers and creator of “Fight Night,” died yesterday of glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, which he battled for three years. He was 59.
The man who started his life with a troubled childhood, getting kicked out of Mount St. Mary’s University and working odd jobs, finally made his name in his asset management company, J.E. Robert Cos. Inc., since renamed JER Partners.

Robert led a lifestyle befitting his income, yet he also never lost his charitable spirit, giving away millions of dollars. Fight Night, an annual event that benefits underprivileged District children, is one of Washington’s favorite and most rowdy charity events.

Look for an appreciation essay and other stories about Joe Robert in the Dec. 14th issue of The Georgetowner.

D.C. Ranks 22 in FBI’s Most Dangerous Cities List

Washington, D.C. was ranked 22 among the top 25 most dangerous cities in the U.S., according to 2010 data released by the FBI, an improvement since 2009 when it ranked 16.

In first place was St. Louis, Mo., while Camden, N.J. was second and Detroit, Mich. was third.

D.C.’s ranking demonstrates a significant improvement since 2009, and reaches a slightly better figure than in 2008, when it was placed at 21.

Top 25 Most Dangerous Cities

1. St. Louis, Mo.
2. Camden, N.J.
3. Detroit, Mich.
4. Flint, Mich.
5. Oakland, Calif.
6. Richmond, Calif.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
8. Compton, Calif.
9. Gary, Ind.
10. Birmingham, Ala.
11. Baltimore, Md.
12. Memphis, Tenn.
13. New Orleans, La.
14. Jackson, Miss.
15. Little Rock, Ariz.
16. Baton Rouge, La.
17. Buffalo, N.Y.
18. New Haven, Conn.
19. Hartford, Conn.
20. Dayton, Ohio
21. Kansas City, Mo.
22. Washington, D.C.
23. Newark, N.J.
24. Cincinnati, Ohio
25. Atlanta, Ga.

Click here to view a PDF of the complete 2010 rankings, or click here to view 2009’s rankings.


December 8, 2011

Deborah Kalkstein, with her dark hair and eyes, looks just as sleek as her modern, designer furniture, architecture and home décor store, Contemporaria in Georgetown. She sat down with The Downtowner to talk about holiday shopping and to recommend some of her favorite gift-able items in her chic boutique. As the days left to finish your holiday shopping tick away, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy taking in all that the D.C. retail has to offer. At Contemporaria, Kalkstein and her staff will be holding open houses where shoppers can peruse the store’s beautiful pieces with a champagne toast. “People come to browse our new collection and enjoy a bit of the holiday cheer,” Kalkstein says, a scene which sounds even more appealing when described in her lilting Peruvian accent.

The Downtowner: What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received?

Kalkstein: Oh my God, that’s nice and simple. I just got, from my husband, a week in a spa Sedona by myself. So, I tell you, it was the most thoughtful and amazing gift that somebody could have given me because I would have not ever bought it by myself.

DT: How about the worst gift?

K: Also from my husband. He gave me this beautiful gardening James Bond suitcase. And I hate gardening. So, I was like, after being married for 20-something years don’t you know? It’s sitting in my house unopened and unused. It was not awful, but it was really not for me. But I’ll never forget it.

DT: How about your favorite gift that you’ve ever had a chance to give to someone?

K: I’ve given some really nice gifts; I have to think about it! I think one of the best things, for me, was to give my mother the watch that she always wanted and to be able to buy it for her. It gave me a lot of satisfaction.

DT: What are your three favorite gift-able items that you have in the store right now?

K: Right now we are doing, which I love, we have these Missoni throws that are very cozy and plush. You can give it to anybody from older to younger to men or women to use on your bed or couch or anything like that. They come beautifully boxed and they’re a gorgeous gift. Then we have, since we are a design-oriented store, we have the miniatures by Vitra that are all the little miniatures of all their museum-quality pieces. They’re really beautiful to have around because they remind you of design and they remind you of a beautiful thing every day. And the third, I love this new lamp we have by Floss. It has the technology of a LED light, and it’s so cool to put on your desk or a night table or anywhere.

DT: Is there anything that you’d like to say to holiday shoppers who come to Georgetown?

K: Support Georgetown! It’s a beautiful part of town. We are here for a cause because we love it here, and we all want to be here to stay. We all need the support of Georgetowners and the support they can bring to bring people from out of town, and I mean out of town like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Arlington, to come by Georgetown and support business here . . . There’s this misconception that coming to Georgetown there’s only expensive things, but it’s not. You can find everything from all lines of work. It’s one of the only places in town that you can walk around and feel a very European mood and enjoy it and share it.
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Halloween Shooting Victim Dies

November 28, 2011

The 17-year-old boy who was shot on M Street Halloween night died today after eight days spent in critical condition. The teenager is the first fatality among the six victims that were shot that night in five separate incidents throughout D.C.

On Oct. 31, a man was arrested close to the scene of the Georgetown crime and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, according to The Washington Post. The District police have not yet stated whether that man will be charged with the shooting. They also have not released the names of the man who was arrested or the young victim.

Protesters Occupy Georgetown

November 23, 2011

Chants of “Whose streets? Our Streets!” and “We are the 99 percent!” reverberated off buildings and bricks along M Street this afternoon as Occupy D.C. protesters made their way to and across the Key Bridge. The crowd was greeted by multiple cop cars, motorcycles and mounted police as well as officers on foot. The police presence was there mainly for crowd control as the protesters were, except for the noise, peaceful as they made their way across the bridge at 4 p.m.

People who didn’t bring their own signs and T-shirts were handed them, petitions for job creation were passed around and people came out of stores and homes to watch while camera crews recorded the event from the streets and from rooftops. The number of media personnel at the march equaled, in some places, the number of protesters.

To follow the movement of the Occupy DC protests, go to [gallery ids="100390,111377,111382,111387,111522,111503,111484,111465,111446,111372,111367,111362,111342,111598,111579,111560,111347,111541,111352,111357,111397" nav="thumbs"]

Helen Hayes Awards Adopts New Name

October 17, 2011

The Helen Hayes Awards announced today the completion of the re-branding of their organization, unveiling their new name, theatreWashington, which will continue to promote Washington-area theaters. The change in name comes with a new system of governance, a rearranged staff and a revamped website. The Helen Hayes Awards will continue one part of theatreWashington’s main focuses. The 2012 Helen Hayes Awards is set for April 23 at the Warner Theatre.

The organization is now structured into five branches, Theatre Services, Communications and Audience Development,, Operations and Development, all overseen by President and CEO Linda Levy Grossman.

According to a recent press release: “theatreWashington will be governed by a 25 member Board of Directors led by Chairman Victor Shargai, (President, Victor Shargai and Associates); Vice Chairman Betsy Karmin (Partner, DLA Piper); Secretary Robert Winter (Partner, Arnold and Porter); and Treasurer Kurt Crowl (Vice President, Connoisseur Travel. The Board of Directors will also include four members of the professional theatre community.

The Helen Hayes Awards will be overseen by a 20 member Board of Governors comprised of members of the professional theatre community and knowledgeable theatre supporters.”

The new website,, will be completed in phases through the end of the year and will feature a “Find a Show” function which will allow users to search and filter productions.

“It is wonderful to finally do the things we have envisioned for so long,” said Grossman in a press release. “So many partners have worked tirelessly for more than two years to bring theatreWashington to fruition. We are fortified with a great team so the combination of our expanded capacity along with the collaboration and involvement of our Washington theatres, makes for endless possibilities.”

C&O Canal Makes Emergency Flood Preparations

September 9, 2011

As it became clear that the rain clouds hanging over D.C. aren’t going to be blowing over soon, the C&O Canal Trust announced that emergency flood preparations are to be made this week. The towpath, Visitor Centers and all lockhouses will be closed and visitors are being warned about rapidly rising flood waters. The public preview of Lockhouse 10 is postponed until further notice.

The C&O Canal Trust has also issued a call for emergency volunteers to help sandbag around Lockhouse 6 this Thursday afternoon. For assignment details, call the Trust at 301-714-2233. More information about closures and further updates will be available at and on the Trust’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

According to the Trust, this year’s flood is expected to cause more damage than the flood of 2010 and they urge people to use extreme caution.

DMV Amnesty Program

August 10, 2011

In this economy, breaks are a tough thing to catch. But starting Aug. 1, the DMV will be offering just that: amnesty on all overdue parking and moving violation tickets issued before Jan. 1, 2010, meaning that late fees on outstanding tickets will be waived.

The Amnesty Program, which will be in effect through Jan. 27, is applicable only to District residents and does not waive the whole fee, only late charges. The DMV also won’t assess points on moving violations and hearings will not be granted for amnesty tickets. Tickets must be paid within the six-month grace period to receive the waiver.

The program is a method of inciting District residents to pay long overdue tickets. According to The Washington Post, Mayor Gray (D) said that the city expects to collect $6.3 million over the course of the program.

Do you have overdue parking tickets?

visit the DMV’s Website and enter your license plate number to find out.

Georgetown Businesses Close, National Chains Move In

July 26, 2011

Small businesses throughout Georgetown are feeling the strain of the shaky economy. High business taxes and swelling rents, when added to a sluggish retail market, are forcing many businesses to close their doors for good.

Georgetown will sorely miss Griffin Market, long a central part of the community. Owners Riccardo and Laura Bonino could not afford to continue producing their homemade Italian cuisine and selling their specialty groceries after their rent increased by a jump of 40 percent.

Although the business was successful – the shop regularly ran out of Laura’s daily dinners – customer loyalty was not enough to compensate for the enormous rent-hike. Their doors at 1425 28 Street NW officially closed their doors Feb. 20.

Poppy, a jewelry store which also opened in 2008, will be closing its 3235 P Street NW location and moving its business online. After Feb. 26, the official closing date, renovations will be made for a chocolate shop to move into the space.

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar at 2917 M Street closed after the Office of Tax and Revenue revoked the restaurant’s sales tax and liquor licenses for their failure to pay about $80,000 in sales taxes. The restaurant, which serves Californian food and wine, may reopen if it can repay its debt in full.

When his lease runs out at the end of March, Mike Johnson, the owner of Sixteen Fifty Nine, a mid-century furniture retailer on Wisconsin Avenue, will close up shop. If he can sell all his merchandise before then with the help of a blow-out sale, he’ll move out earlier. Johnson’s business has been suffering for the past two years due to the tough economy and a dip in his number of customers.

And the late-night haven and breakfast eatery Georgetown Café, 1623 Wisconsin Ave., will also be closing shop, putting many a young man and woman in a tight spot after bars close.

Yet the closing of these stores and the harshness of the economy has not deterred several new, entrepreneurial businesses from setting up shop in Georgetown. Retailers and restaurants from across the country are moving into the spaces that local businesses are leaving behind.

Rag & Bone, a chic, modern sportswear store for men and women will be moving in early this summer, taking the place of what is currently MAC at 3067 M Street.

“Rag & Bone is contemporary and meets the needs of our urban environment,” says Anthony Lanier, president of EastBanc, a D.C.-based commercial and residential investment firm. “Rag & Bone has a great reputation in New York and will do extremely well with Washingtonians and visitors alike to Georgetown.”

Another well-known name from New York, Serendipity 3, will be expanding into the Georgetown neighborhood. The restaurant, famous for its ice cream and multiple appearances on the silver screen, will reportedly open its new location late next month at 3150 M Street NW.

One more sweets shop, this one from California, is putting a Georgetown link in its national chain. Beverly Hills’ Sprinkles Cupcakes will be opening its newest location just three blocks from Georgetown Cupcakes at 3015 M Street NW. If all goes well, the shop will open sometime next month.

Finally, CB2, a modern furniture and home accessory store, will open its doors on 3307 M Street NW this April. A branch of Crate and Barrel, CB2 offers modern décor that’s creative, simple and clever.
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