District Digest: Baby panda is a girl, and smile for free coffee

New D.C. state superintendent
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has chosen D.C.’s new state superintendent after the previous one, Hosanna Mahaley Jones, stepped down to care for her husband. Director of D.C.’s parks department Jesús Aguirre was selected and will assume his new position on October
Aguirre has been working in education since 2007. He first served as the schools system’s director of operations and then headed the Department of Parks and Recreation in 2009. Mayor Vincent Gray stated that he is a “natural choice to direct OSSE’s efforts to ensure every child in the District has access to a high-quality public education,” according to the Post.
OSSE assists students with receiving financial aid for college and administers standardized tests. Recently, however, OSSE has been battling with its hold on charter schools. Many argue that charter schools should not be under the same regulations as public schools.

Make D.C. Smile launches free coffee project

Make D.C. Smile, a local group whose mission statement is to spread cheer throughout the District like it’s Christmas time – let’s ignore the forecast of 97 degrees – has launched its newest campaign for free coffee.

Partnering with Blind Dog Café on Florida Avenue NW, A new pay-it-forward style project hopes to provide D.C.-goers with their much-needed coffee fix. “Individuals will be randomly selected throughout the day and surprised with a coffee or tea that has been pre-paid by another member in the community,” the group wrote.

Make D.C. Smile targeted commuters last month by holding up signs on the Key Bridge with cute messages like “Today is Awesome” and “Chin Up, Buttercup.”

Make D.C. Smile proves it’s all about the little things in life. So stop studying for that Organic Chemistry test, switch to pre-dental, and head on over to Blind Dog Café for a free decaffeinated tea!

It’s a girl!

Vox covered the birth of a new panda cub at the National Zoo last week and, this week, the National Zoo revealed the sex of the two-week-old panda. And it’s a girl!

The waiting game is not over just yet, though. Though her nickname is Butterstick II, the National Zoo has chosen to follow Chinese tradition and wait 100 days before giving the black and white ball of joy an official name.

What we do finally know, however, is the identity of the baby’s daddy. Mei Xiang was inseminated with the sperm of two different pandas so the zoo underwent an investigation last week to determine the father. Mei Xiang is keepin’ it in the family. Paternity tests reveal that the father is in fact D.C. native Tian Tian.

Sadly, FONZ, or Friends of the National Zoo, has yet to comment. If you’re still waiting for the last piece of the puzzle – Butterstick II’s official name – then check out the Zoo’s panda blog.

Vox sends its warmest regards to the entire happy panda family: Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Butterstick II.

Photo: Roadsidepictures via Flickr

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