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Hill Talk: Scared for Sharks

While enjoying wines such as Great White Chardonnay, Whale Shark Chenin and Reef Shark Red, three groups with a passion for conservation will come together to raise awareness for shark conservation at the National Aquarium on Friday.

San Diego-based Shark Trust Wines will provide the drinks starting at 6 p.m. Though drinks on Friday will be free, Shark Trust Wines donates at least 10 percent of its sales toward shark conservation and research. It joins Oceana and cartoonist Jim Toomey of the strip “Sherman’s Lagoon— to sponsor this event.

Courtney Sakai, senior campaign director for Oceana, said she hopes An Evening for Shark Conservation will educate attendees about the horrors facing sharks internationally, such as finning (the removal of the shark’s valuable fins) and overfishing. The groups will also promote the Shark Conservation Act, which passed the House in March and awaits action in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The bill would prohibit finning in American waters and would allow the United States to take action against nations without similarly stringent laws. Survivors of shark attacks lobbied Senators in support of the bill last week.

“We need to be scared for sharks, not scared of sharks,— Sakai said.

To RSVP for the free event, e-mail or call 202-482-2782.

Art in a Box

Soon the Beatles will make their home on Capitol Hill in a box not far from where they played their first stateside performance. Cultural Tourism DC announced seven new grants for neighborhoods to turn antique police and fire call boxes into pieces of art. Capitol Hill North Neighborhood Association will use its grant to restore the box on the 1100 block of Third Street Northeast, just a couple blocks from the site of the Washington Coliseum (originally called Uline Arena) at Second and M streets Northeast. The Beatles played there following the Chiffons and Tommy Roe on Feb. 11, 1964. Tickets for the concert cost $2 to $4, and about 8,600 people attended the performance. Artist Jason Yen will create a relief sculpture of the band that will fit inside the call box, according to Cultural Tourism DC’s Courtney MacGregor.

The boxes were installed in 1860 but mostly abandoned when the District implemented the 911 system in 1976. Other neighborhood organizations receiving the newest grants include Foggy Bottom/West End (GWU) and the Trinidad Community Association. The group has awarded grants for similar projects in the past, resulting in more than 160 call boxes restored around the District. This is the last time Cultural Tourism DC will administer the grants, though; the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities will oversee it from now on.