- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stood up

Actress and United Nations Fund for Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman was on Capitol Hill Wednesday testifying and lobbying for the International Violence Against Women Act. Along with the rest of the eager press contingent, G2 awaited her arrival at a post-testimony press reception … and waited … and waited …

Rep. Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat, kicked off the reception with what - at the time - was his idea of a joke, saying, “I’m here subbing for Nicole Kidman,” which was met with looks of surprise and a barely audible collective groan from the room packed with reporters. “I thought I’d get that kind of reaction,” he laughed.

More than an hour later, after several more speakers took their turn at the podium - still no Miss Kidman. G2 was regularly assured by one representative for the event, “She’s coming.”

Alas, she never did. Perhaps Mr. Delahunt knew better than the rest of us after all.

Puppy love

Proving that compassion and brawn can go hand in hand, tough-guy athletes Shaone Morrisonn of the Washington Capitals and Clyde Simms of D.C. United visited the Whittier Educational Center in the District Tuesday with a couple of canine companions to meet and greet fifth-graders.

Mr. Morrisonn’s date was his English bulldog, Hazel, and Mr. Simms attended with Buddy, a mixed-breed dog belonging to Dan Cohen. Mr. Cohen started Athletes for Animals, a local nonprofit that organizes programs to teach kids how to treat animals with kindness and respect.

“Does Hazel snore?” asked one curious youngster. “Yes, which is why she does not sleep in my bedroom,” replied an amused Mr. Morrisonn.

As for Mr. Simms, he explained to the youngsters that caring for a pet is a big responsibility, especially for an athlete who travels as extensively as he does, which is why he hasn’t owned one. Now that his schedule is winding down for the season, however, he is in the process of adopting a pup.

Mr. Simms and Mr. Morrisonn are helping Athletes for Animals garner support for the Good Pet Parent Pledge online at www.athletesforanimals.com.

Girl power

Members of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues gathered this week for a luncheon sponsored by the YWCA and Women’s Policy Inc. to discuss economic abuse and its role in domestic violence.

“Economic abuse” refers to a victim being prevented from obtaining an education or gaining access to money or employment, usually by their lover, spouse or parent.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, California Democrat, recounted to the packed Cannon Caucus Room her experience with this lesser-known problem, which, like many types of abuse, disproportionately affects women.

When Miss Sanchez was 18, she said, her mother decided she wanted to go back to school, much to the dismay of Miss Sanchez’s father. To take night classes, her mother had to prepare dinner and have it waiting for her father before she could leave.

“That is economic abuse,” Miss Sanchez said, “and it affects people across the economic continuum.”

Music to our ears

Steinway and Sons, legendary makers of handcrafted pianos for more than 150 years, will open its first Washington-area dealership in Tysons Corner Center in McLean. The store’s grand opening is Friday.

Perhaps it was inevitable. As more and more musicians and artists sing the District’s praises, it only makes sense they’ll need a Steinway store nearby for their visits to town.

According to Steinway and Sons, nearly all of the world’s concert pianists choose to play Steinway exclusively, without compensation, including Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Billy Joel, Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr.

Incidentally, Steinway is the piano of choice for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington National Cathedral, and, yes, even the Supreme Court building and the White House.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@ washingtontimes.com.



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