Final edition of the 2014 summer recess--hearings and votes start again next week.

D.C. is the Wild West when enforcing tickets for traffic violators, audit finds | Ashley Halsey,

September 9, 2014

On Monday, the D.C. inspector general issued a report that portrays the District as the “Wild West of traffic enforcement” when compared to neighboring jurisdictions. A look back at the nearly 2.5 million parking and traffic tickets in fiscal year 2013 finds that many drivers got speeding tickets for violations they don’t commit and for vehicles they’ve never owned.

Shackling D.C. juvenile offenders should not be routine | Editorial Board, September 9, 2014

No matter their age or the nature of offense, juveniles in the District are shackled when they are brought before judges in D.C. Superior Court by both the U.S. Marshals Service and the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. We agree with the Editorial Board, “a change is in order.”

#WhyIStayed: She saw herself in Ray Rice’s wife, Janay, and tweeted about it. So did thousands of others. | Sarah Kaplan, September 9, 2014

#WhyIStayed, is yet another powerful example of social media bringing communities together. If you were ever interested in just a glimmer of what domestic violence survivors and victims have gone through, check out that hashtag on Twitter.

The Rise of the SWAT Team in American Policing | Clyde Haberman, September 7, 2014

The NY Times examines the increasing role of SWAT teams in policing American cities and towns. They have been the principal beneficiaries of the military equipment the Department of Defense has been transferring to local law enforcement. As you can imagine, the rise of SWAT now being used to deliver drug warrants or even execute eviction notices has altered the way police and the public interact.

Minneapolis schools ban suspensions of youngest students | Alejandra Matos, September 5, 2014

The Superintendent of Minneapolis public schools has banned the suspension of the district’s prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade students for nonviolent behavior. The moratorium comes after the suspensions for kindergartners through fourth grade students jumped 32 percent in the past year.

The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys | Jenny Nordberg, September 8, 2014

In a system where gender segregation is among the strictest in the world, families in Afghanistan have started to raise their daughters as sons. “The health workers say that families who disguise their daughters in this way can be rich, poor, educated, or uneducated, or belong to any of Afghanistan’s many ethnic groups. The only thing that binds the bacha posh girls together is their families’ need for a son in a society that undervalues daughters and demands sons at almost any cost.”

MRAPs And Bayonets: What We Know About The Pentagon’s 1033 Program | NPR, September 2, 2014

NPR obtained data from the Pentagon on every military item sent to local, state and federal agencies through the Pentagon’s Law Enforcement Support Office –known as the 1033 program—for the past eight years. They’ve made the data set available to the public and the findings are alarming.

DC Parking Study Proposes Rules that Change from Neighborhood to Neighborhood | Lark Turner, September 3, 2014

A new report issued by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) last week outlines DDOT’s plans for the future of parking in the District. Interesting approach being proposed by the agency.

Teach for America has faced criticism for years. Now it’s listening—and changing | Dana Goldstein, September 5, 2014

For years, TFA has faced criticism for the relatively little training it provided to Corps members before sending them to the classroom. They did evolve over the years, improving how the organization trains Corps members to teach. But the core quick-prep, short-commitment model did not budge. Until now.

In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student | Petula Dvorak, September 8, 2014

Truancy is certainly an issue in the District that deserves oversight and consideration. Research shows that attendance is important to student learning. Dvorak takes a look, however, at how DCPS’ enforcement of truancy may be a bit subjective based on the zip code of the school. DCPS has responded.

How an Innovative Nonprofit Uses $700 to Prevent Families From Becoming Homeless | Scott Keyes, September 8, 2014

ThinkProgress takes a look at the Boston-based nonprofit, HomeStart, which acts as a middleman between a tenant and landlord when the tenant is unable to pay their rent. HomeStart covers the rent and then helps set up a feasible payment installment plan for the tenant if the landlord agrees not to evict.

In D.C., Most Gunshot Happen Near Schools | J.B. Wogan, September 3, 2014

A new study by The Urban Institute uses gunshot-detection technology instead of police reports to track gun violence during school hours. Of the gunshots fired during school year 2011-12, about 54 percent occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. What impact is that having on kids?

#CosmoVotes: How We Decided Which Midterm Candidates Are the Best for Women | Cosmopolitan Magazine Editors, September 8, 2014

Cosmopolitan, an international magazine for women, has begun to endorse candidates for the first time ever. The will be announcing endorsements every Tuesday until Election Day, November 4. Certainly an interesting development when it comes to the women’s voting bloc.