Stir It Up

J. R. Martinez hosts National Rehabilitation Hospital Victory Awards

December 6, 2011

Dancing With the Stars champion, actor J. R. Martinez emceed the 25th Anniversary Gala Victory Awards® last Thursday, December 1, 2011 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The celebration was for the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), which was founded in 1986 by Ed Eckenhoff, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident during college. Eckenhoff worked for many years as an administrator at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, before coming to D.C. to build NRH. He retired as president in 2009, but continues to serve as president emeritus and works in philanthropy.

Robert David Hall (Photo by: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images) Robert David Hall

Eckenhoff was one of the Victory Awardees this year, along with four other distinguished individuals who have all overcome significant disabilities to make a contribution to society. The other honorees this year included actor Robert David Hall, from the CBS-TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, who has made strides in getting disabled actors and actresses roles in Hollywood and is very active in Washington, D.C., fighting for the rights of those with disabilities; country music legend Mickey Gilley, who is performing again after suffering a near-paralyzing injury moving furniture a few years ago; U.S. snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a brain injury during a training run just before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; and opera star Marquita Lister, from the Washington, D.C. area, and also a former NRH patient, who nearly passed away from a terrible lung infection. She was treated and helped back to full strength with the help of Robert Bunning, M.D., NRH’s Associate Medical Director and director of the NRH orthopedic rehabilitation program.

Yolanda Adams (Photo by: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images) Yolanda Adams

Other performers who appeared during the star-studded evening included Grammy and Dove Award winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams; two-time Grammy and seven-time Country Music Award (CMA) musician, composer and violinist Mark O’Connor, who has performed with Yo-Yo Ma; famed defense attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., Kevin Pearce’s uncle, who presented him with his Victory Award®; renowned opera star Alvy Powell, who presented Marquita Lister with her Victory Award®; and Kathleen Martinez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy.

Notable past Victory Awardees include: Sen. Bob Dole, one of the first recipients of the prestigious award, in 1986; James Brady; Sen. Daniel Inouye; Patty Duke; Ben Vereen; Sandy Duncan; Sam Donaldson; Robert Guillaume; Kirk Douglas; Stevie Wonder; Bob Woodruff; and Sen. Tim Johnson.

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No more “Russian Roulette” on Wisconsin Avenue

November 29, 2011

Wisconsin Avenue from Massachusetts Avenue to Whitehaven Parkway will undergo a major upgrade and traffic change to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians and enhance the overall area. According to a Monday evening presentation by the District Department of Transportation to Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, a center median, delineated by pavement markings, will be created on Wisconsin Avenue along with new time-of-day traffic patterns, as follows: at peak times, two traffic lanes with no parking, plus a left turn lane at intersections; off-peak, parking permitted, with one lane of traffic and left turn lanes.

Looking north on Wisconsin Av towards Calvert Street (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Looking north on Wisconsin Av towards Calvert Street

Brian Cohen, chair of ANC 3B, speaks for the Glover Park transportation project (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Brian Cohen, chair of ANC 3B, speaks for the Glover Park transportation project

According to Brian Cohen, chair of Glover Park ANC 3B, the DDOT project follows a 2006 Office of Planning study that recommended wider sidewalks, better street lights and traffic controls and other measures to improve the area, particularly for traffic and pedestrian safety.  Citing two pedestrian deaths over the last few years, he said, “you can’t play Russian Roulette” any more on Wisconsin Avenue.

Paul Hoffman, DDOT project manager, assured ANC 2E that the traffic flow will be the “same as before” the project, with clearing times of one traffic cycle or 110-120 seconds.  After a year, DDOT will analyze the traffic patterns while keeping in mind installing a “hard,” raised median to replace the pavement markings.

Paul Hoffman, DDOT project manager, listens to a question from Commissioner Bill Starrels (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Paul Hoffman, DDOT project manager, listens to a question from Commissioner Bill Starrels

ANC 2E unanimously approved a resolution by Commissioner Bill Starrels endorsing the project, while explicitly excluding approval of a permanent median.

The project will affect the following intersections of Wisconsin Avenue: Garfield, Fulton, Edmunds, Calvert and 35th Streets, Davis and Hall Places and Whitehaven Parkway.

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Tasti D-Lite swirls into Georgetown Law

November 6, 2011

The guilt-free ice cream-like indulgence that starred on Sex and the City and continues to expand its cult following is swirling onto the Georgetown University Law Campus with a Grand Opening and free tastings Thursday.

Founded in the kitchen of a tiny New Yorker (of course), the delicious, low-cal dairy dessert now comes in more than 100 flavors and has become an international franchise that is taking the globe by (icy, swirly) storm. It's easy to understand why. Each creamy bite seems like a sin, but it's not. Tasti D-Lite's formula means 70 calories (or less), with fewer than 1.5 grams of fat and 14 grams of carbs per four-ounce serving.

The treat has famous fans. Financial Times U.S. Managing Editor Gillian Tett said she survived on Tasti D-Lite to take off pounds while writing a landmark book on Japan. Nice trick.

“There are so many D.C. transplants from New York and business people who travel regularly between the two cities who know and love Tasti D-Lite,” Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite’s chairman and CEO, told Washington City Paper's Young & Hungry. Amos, a Vietnam veteran, will join First Lady Michelle Obama and military leaders for an announcement of new veteran hiring commitments by the franchise industry.

Georgetown University Law Center Tasti D-Lite Grand Opening is Thursday, November 10, 2011 1:00 -2:00 pm, 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, use 2nd St. entrance.

More information about the treat is here.

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