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Deborah Simmons — Life As It Happens

Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons was a senior correspondent who reported on City Hall and wrote about education, culture, sports and family-related topics.

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Washington, D.C., Council Chairman Phil Mendelson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2016, before a House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee hearing on whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

The new D.C. agenda

- The Washington Times

Having been duly sworn in on Jan. 2, the new D.C. Council should be preparing to wrestle with the No. 1 and No. 2 issues facing the nation's capital: spending and the pandemic.

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) in action during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.) **FILE**

Who is Dwayne Haskins Jr.?

- The Washington Times

There's something not quite right with the Dwayne Haskins Jr. backstory. The bio for the former "starting" quarterback for the Washington Football Team never seemed, well, to square with his pre-2019 NFL draft story.

Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden and presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala Harris arrive at an event to introduce their nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  **FILE**

No Inauguration Day throngs for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

- The Washington Times

You know what no tickets will be allocated for Inauguration Day means for the D.C. region in general and its Metro system in particular: A day off is likely, and losses in revenue are certain. So now the burning question: Does the buck stop at Joe Biden's desk, with Congress or the ambitious Pete Buttigieg, the boy wonder slated to hold the reins of the Department of Transportation?

District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham, joined by District of Columbia Council member Charles Allen, left and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, speaks during a news conference at One Judiciary Square in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ** FILE **

What is the role of a police chief?

- The Washington Times

Well, Peter Newsham is on his way out the door as chief of the D.C. police. He plans to leave after Inauguration Day events. His departure is not the end of the world, but it does beg a pertinent question: What, precisely, is the role of a police chief?

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, what was the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people in 2015?

Stick to the basics for a happy Thanksgiving

- The Washington Times

Faith, family, village, food and football -- all stirred with loving and giving hands -- and never, ever argue when preparing and cooking food. In other words, ignore the acid and criticism on reality TV and social media, temptations that can lead to "acidic" food, which, in turn, can bring on acute indigestion. Stick to the basics.

Washington, D.C., Council Chairman Phil Mendelson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2016, before a House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee hearing on whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ** FILE **

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, what's up?

- The Washington Times

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has been juggling budgets since the pandemic hit. However, what he has yet to do is hold a press conference to announce how much money the city has spent so far battling COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden pauses as listens to media questions at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

School Joe Biden on education

- The Washington Times

As the husband of an educator who stayed home with their children when they were young, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden likely appreciates the similarities of teaching and learning.

Christina Henderson won a hotly contested at-large seat on the D.C. Council. (Image courtesy of Whitney Porter)  **FILE**

D.C. gals rule the roost

- Associated Press

The complete list of winners and losers from the Nov. 3 elections is lengthy. The District of Columbia, though, is a unique fishbowl. Not only because it is the nation's capital, but because its hybrid status allows RINOs, DINOs, Libbies, Greenies and Shadows to game the democratic system. Women candidates latched on and, if Tuesday's elections results run the current course, will control the political, cultural and socio-economic strings.

Pedestrians stand beside a fence covered in protest signs on the north side of the White House, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, on a section of 16th Street renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, on the day before the U.S. election. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

All eyes on election results 2020

- The Washington Times

Tuesday's the day. Election Day. And the day after, if you live in the nation's capital or around the Beltway, all eyes and ears will be focused on election results after what happened on Election Day 2016, when The Donald beat Hillary.

President Donald Trump greets Jon Voight during a National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  **FILE**

Celebrity families feud over Trump, Biden

- The Washington Times

Let's move onto another platform, a fun-for-the-sake-of-fun platform, like where celebrities stand on Biden-Harris versus Trump-Biden. It's a worthy distraction if you didn't watch the final debate.

This photo taken May 20, 2014 shows the new "Capital Wheel" at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. With a massive new Ferris wheel overlooking the nation’s capital, a children’s museum, a village of restaurants and hotels and a major casino resort on the horizon, National Harbor in Maryland has quickly become a travel alternative to the marble monuments and museums of nearby Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)  **FILE**

National Harbor has a problem

- The Washington Times

National Harbor, a U.S. Census-designated site, is being overtaken by youths and nefarious ne'er-do-wells, including partygoers, restaurant-goers who skip out on their bills and -- get this -- parents and other adults who rent hotel rooms for the careless young people.

FILE - In this 1930s file photo, General Robert E. Wood, president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Julius Rosenwald, chairman of the board, posing for a photo next to an All State tire, outside of the Sears Distribution Center, in Atlanta.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)  **FILE**

Public-private partnerships build schools

- The Washington Times

There has been no rabid public outcry among Prince Georgians concerning the potential to raise taxes and fees and/or create new taxes. But there is measurable agreement about the need to begin erasing the county's $8.5 billion backlog in modernizing schoolhouses, most of which are 45 to 55 years old. Well, the Prince George's County Council disagrees, and somebody, ahem, should set them straight.

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, stickers to be given to people who have voted are seen at a satellite election office at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. In the run up to Election Day, President Donald Trump is seizing on small, potentially routine voting issues to suggest the election is rigged. But there is no evidence there is any widespread voter fraud as the president has suggested. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Protect our voting rights and our votes

- The Washington Times

Two of the most consequential actions voters appreciate on Election Day, after casting ballots, are the election machine verifying it has received their ballots and a precinct volunteer handing them a red-white-and-blue sticker inscribed with "I Voted."