28 Things Everyone Should Experience In Maryland At Least Once

Had to follow the Maryland list with my home state.

25 Things Everyone Should Experience In Virginia At Least Once

WAMU Voter Guide

When our online managing editor left more than a month ago, a lot of his duties fell to me, absent the nice title, salary, or even really the time to do a lot of this stuff. While I’ve been a bit put out by the fact that I haven’t had a lot of time to do many stories, one thing I’m proud to have done was put out the WAMU 88.5 voter guide for the Maryland primaries.

There was a lot wrong with the guide when I inherited it — missing local races, erroneous races that weren’t even on the ballot, misspellings, you name it. But with some intern power we were able to tackle the project in just a few weeks. The election might end up being a non-event, with historically low turnout projected, but I put my stamp of pride on this one.

Welcome to WAMU 88.5 Maryland Primary Voter Guide

Compare candidates on your June 24 ballot. Do side-by-side comparisons of the candidates then print out or email yourself a list of your choices.

Ask Me (Almost) Anything: Gov. O’Malley Faces Reddit Blowback

Since Reddit is kind of my wheelhouse, we were trying to brainstorm how to turn O’Malley’s Reddit into something digestible by the larger news public. The governor at least made a show of things by not performing that well in the space.

If I could do it again, though, I’d probably take a different tack on it. The election in 2016 is too far away for people to really care about what a minor PR stunt means in a presidential context. I’d probably have been better served to identify the questions that he pointedly DIDN’T answer, and thus make the story about the issues. Next time.

Ask Me (Almost) Anything: Gov. O’Malley Faces Reddit Blowback

28 Things Everyone Should Experience In Maryland At Least Once

This was an interesting one to write, because I make a habit of playfully maligning Maryland in the office whenever I get the chance. It turned out to be spectacularly successful traffic-wise, topping the analytics for three straight days.

What I’m especially proud of was the level of engagement with the story. We got 27 comments on our page, and 23 likes and 20 shares on our Facebook page. Even better, NPR’s Local Stories Project posted it on their Facebook page geotargeted to Maryland readers, where it garnered 82 comments, 678 likes and 909 shares. I was careful to sprinkle links to relevant WAMU content throughout, and we saw cascading traffic through old stories.

Really shows why these listicles are so popular, though they’re obviously hard to do while feeling like we’re maintaining a public radio level of editorial standards.

28 Things Everyone Should Experience In Maryland At Least Once

To See Stars, Arlington Students Ask You To Dim The Lights Saturday Night

When I first saw a post about this on Arlington County’s site, I had a sneaking suspicion that it was Arlington’s busybody anti-light pollution brigade bleeding into the area’s schools. But speaking to the kids, they were genuinely enthusiastic about the cause.

I was a little dubious about their claims of the environmental effects which they got from the International Dark Sky Association, but I can sympathize with the desire to see the stars. I’ve still never been to a dark sky site, even as an adult, and seeing the Milky Way proper is on my bucket list.

To See Stars, Arlington Students Ask You To Dim The Lights Saturday Night

Virginia Highlands Park

We’re planning to leave Arlington, Va., within a few months to finally live in D.C. proper. Arlington has treated us well, though, and I wanted to spend my last summer seeing all the cool stuff going on in Northern Virginia.

The plan is to focus on places that will force me to ride my bike for some distance, to incorporate general heart health into this project, but today I was lazy and just went to Virginia Highlands Park down the street from our apartment in Pentagon City.

Heard at least five languages being spoken down there, including Chinese, Portuguese, Russian (I think?), Spanish and English.


Some of our interns at WAMU are doing this project where they ask volunteers and staff questions and post the results on a Tumblr. I was the star this week.

A Moment With Chris Chester

Arlington To Extend County Fiber Optic Network To Businesses

Officials in Arlington are making their pitch to transform the county into a high-tech hub by announcing the expansion of their fiber optic network to area businesses and federal agencies.

The program, called ConnectArlington, is a dedicated high-speed broadband network currently used to connect county facilities and Arlington County Public Schools. County officials say leasing the unused or “dark” fiber to the private sector will make the county more attractive to businesses that require greater Internet speeds and bandwidth

“Arlington will be the only place for businesses to receive this level of service and security and will be the only place offering such dedicated lines to the nation’s top defense and research organizations,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “The opportunities ConnectArlington gives Arlington businesses are endless; we anticipate this game-changing infrastructure will attract jobs and innovative investments to our community.”

To read the full article, visit WAMU.org.