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Norton Reintroduces Anacostia Initiative Act

At a screening of a new CBS “60 Minutes” profile last Thursday which highlighted the Earth Conservation Corps’ efforts to engage Washington’s at-risk youth in the restoration of the heavily polluted Anacostia River, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) announced the reintroduction of her Anacostia Watershed Initiative Act for the 109th Congress.

The legislation would authorize $150 million in federal funds to help enlarge the capacity of D.C.’s antiquated sewer system, which many local environmental groups cite as the biggest polluter of the city’s waterways.

“The Anacostia, which runs 2,000 yards from the Capitol Dome, is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, and every time a Member of Congress or Congressional staff member flushes a toilet in a rain storm some part of it goes right to the Anacostia,” said Doug Siglin, an environmental lobbyist and director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Anacostia River Initiative. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue; every Member of Congress should agree to focus on the environmental issue at the foot of Capitol Hill.”

Norton’s bill, which was originally introduced in the 108th Congress, already has several regional co-sponsors as well as supporters from around the country, including Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Tom Davis (R-Va.).

A parallel piece of legislation is expected to be reintroduced in the Senate in the coming weeks.

Ford’s to Stage Free ‘Purlie Victorious’ Reading

Ford’s Theatre will pay tribute to the late actor Ossie Davis tonight with a reading of the satire “Purlie Victorious.”

Davis, an actor and social activist who died earlier this year, wrote and starred in the original version of this take on black and white relations when it debuted on Broadway in 1961.

Michael McElroy, who starred in the Ford’s-Deaf West Theatre production of “Big River” earlier this year, will read the title role of Purlie Hudson, a black preacher who needs $500 to save his church. Eric Ruffin of Howard University will direct.

The reading “Purlie Victorious” will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Ford’s, 511 10th St. NW. This is a free event, however reservations are required. Call (202) 434-9545 or e-mail to RSVP.

— John McArdle and Amy Carlile

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