Category Archives: Extra Tape

When I cover a story, sometimes there’s extra tape left over that may never be used, but I think is such a waste to just let it languish and wither without becoming one with a longer, more in depth story, or one from a different angle. This is my attempt to “Save the Tape” and get more use of it. On occasion, I’ll share my thoughts about covering certain events. Yes, she strives to stay impartial in coverage… but that doesn’t mean Ms. Liz lacks opinion!

Extra Tape: Sometimes it be’s that way

Some stories are just plain fun. Others are plain solemn.

Still others are a strange hybrid. That happens when the event itself is fun… but the reason the story emerged in the first place is shameful and serious as hell.

From a hate symbol to chalky walks

Friends, neighbors and supporters of a middle school in Anne Arundel County, Md. showed up with buckets of the sidewalk chalk and their creativity the late afternoon of Mothers Day. They wanted to send a positive message of diversity and inclusion after a noose was discovered hanging from a light fixture on campus a few days earlier. Two suspects were arrested and are facing charges.

Sending a different message

The founder of Crofton Is Kind, an organization dedicated to fostering kindness in children in the Crofton community and beyond, spread the word about Sunday’s event.   A mom whose daughter attends the school came to Kristen Caminiti with the idea to chalk the sidewalks in front of the school with positive messages for students to see when they returned to classes.

“And I thought that was amazing.  So then I just ran with it and started advertising and getting the word out to say ‘let’s get out there and send a message to all the students at Crofton Middle and to the Crofton community as a whole that hate has no place here and that we are a community of kindness and tolerance and acceptance and that kindness will always be louder than hate,” said  Kristen Caminiti.

The goal was to cover the school’s front sidewalk from end to end.

Mission accomplished, and then some.  Chalkwork ranged from colorfully written words of affirmation to drawings celebrating diversity and love, and the labor of love stretched around to the walks on one side of the school.

Sometimes stories just “be’s” that way.  Fun but serious.  And sometimes in that kind, positive fun, it’s a reminder that I really love the volume of kindness… ’Tis music to my ears.

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Free fun, exploration to bookend National Park Week 2017

Prehistoric granaries along the Colorado River above Nankoweap in Marble Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. NPS photo by Mark Lellouch.

Mark this event on your calendar, because it spans “from sea to shining sea.” National Park Week is your chance to partake in some of the United States’ national treasure sites, from beautiful natural locales, to spaces where a nation grappled over its past and its future, and pathways tread by those who sought liberty.

National Park Week runs April 15-23, 2017.

Visitors can enjoy free entry at every national park during the weekends that bookend National Park Week: April 15-16 and 21-23.

If you live in or are planning to visit Washington D.C., a newly restored National Historic Site will be open to peruse during the final weekend of National Park Week: The home of Carter G. Woodson, the man known as “The Father of Black History.” In 1915, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Woodson purchased and lived in his home on 9th Street, Northwest near Q Street from 1922 until his death in 1950. Negro History Week, the precursor of Black History Month, was also established in 1926 while he lived and worked in this home.

The first of a three-phase revitalization project was being completed as Black History Month 2017 drew to a close.

“I know there was a significant amount of work done,” says Carter G. Woodson Home superintendent Tara Morrison.

Morrison says all of the bricks on the home’s facade were taken out, identified by location and catalogued. They were then repaired and placed in their original locations. Historic moldings, frames and decorative pieces were also removed, repaired an replaced. During the first phase of the restoration, fixing structural damage from natural happenings, such as the 2011 earthquake, were a first phase priority. Exhibit development and interpretation will happen during the next two phases.

Not only was the process of structural restoration a painstaking one, but Dr. Woodson painstakingly worked to increase popular consciousness about African American history, work which happened in this home on 9th Street, NW.

Woodson historian and author Pero Dagbovie describes it as a clearing house of historical information about black people.

“He would ship things to people throughout the country who would write him asking for materials on black history. Of course, it wasn’t like things are today where you can just go on the Internet and download anything you want. He singlehandedly launched this movement from this space…”

Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to this mission.

“I mean on average, they say he worked about 18 hour days and didn’t sleep a whole lot, and committed his entire life to popularizing and legitimizing the study of black history at a time when African American history in the broader American society and academy was not seen with great respect, and he used to refer to this movement, this black history movement as a life and death struggle, literally,” Dagbovie says.

Dr. Woodson’s home will be open on April 21-23, the final days of National Park Week. Space is limited. Call (202) 690-5152 to make a reservation, or visit the Carter G. Woodson Home site for more information.


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Extra Tape, more story

When I am out in the field for work, I usually gather way more than enough tape than I need to turn a story around. What a waste if I don’t at least try to use at least some more of what’s gathered to tell more of the story.

That’s the goal of Extra Tape… even though I’m not using tangible tape to record anything anymore.

So let’s get to the story… The rector of a congregation in Silver Spring, Md. arrived to church and found hate-based messages written in two places on the church campus. Both messages read “Trump Nation whites only.” This congregation and its supporters and allies are pushing back with love:

Montgomery County, Md. Police are investigating what they call “hate-based vandalism,” and are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest or arrests.

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