District Digest: Happy autumn equinox

This week’s digest includes a new season, cute pandas, and a great year of bikes.

File:Red Panda b.jpg

Weather change

This September’s abundance of rain and cooler temperatures have all been leading up to the autumn equinox, which happened today at 5:04am. Meteorologically, fall actually began three weeks ago, but today marks the official start of the season in the Northern Hemisphere.  The sun will begin to shine directly overhead at the equator, causing disappearing sunlight for us Northerners.

Newest District citizens

Yesterday, one of two red pandas born at the National Zoo was finally named.  Born on during a storm on June 17, the zoo wanted to name the two pandas something stormy related.  The first was named “Damini”, which is Nepalese for lightning. The second’s name was put to a vote sponsored by NBC 4. The highest vote scoring name was “Pili,” which means “clap  of thunder” in Chinese.

Happy Birthday, Bikeshare

Yesterday, Capital Bikeshare had their first birthday and one millionth ride. With over 1,100 bikes, the 116 stations, the company served about 16,000 members since its opening last year with the city’s Smart Bike program. The young program has been so successful it even has a copycat in New York.

Other news

Thanks to increasing technology, WMATA opened online SmarTrip reloading to riders yesterday.  After completion of a 150,000-person pilot program, the online system is now up and running, making everyday life a little bit more convenient for avid Metro users. Beginning on October 2nd, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will be closed every Sunday due to an $800,000 cut in the D.C. budget.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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