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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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A man sits alone inside a Metrobus in downtown Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) **FILE**

When the public strikes against the public

- The Washington Times

Some transit workers in Northern Virginia are jawing about their pay or lack thereof. Indeed, one bus driver told WRC-TV that he and his coworkers plan to strike later this week if they don't get a raise in pay that's comparable to the cost of living. Unfortunately, that action would mean that riders of Metrobus and the Fairfax Connector would be inconvenienced. What a bother for negotiators on both sides.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Liberty and Justice Celebration, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)  **FILE**

Kamala Harris' school-dazed proposal

- The Washington Times

Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who wants to occupy the Oval Office, has proposed building her own school-to-prison pipeline and she wants you to pay for it.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at Maryland's State Capitol, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) ** FILE **

Flagging the thin blue line

- The Washington Times

The crime-related headlines about Germantown, Maryland, could be a testament to those routinely published about for D.C. Yet the politician chiefly responsible for ensuring public safety in Germantown has decided to backhand law enforcers and effectively stifle their free speech.

Job searches may be in vain if the D.C. Department of Employment Services isn't doing its own job. (The Washington Times/File)

D.C. Council probes job training agency

- The Washington Times

When "Ruth Black" lost her job a few years back, she began staying in close contact with the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES). Now 58 years old, she's still in search of employment -- and she's at wit's end.

Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joins striking Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 members for a speech on the picket line outside Oscar DePriest Elementary School on the West Side, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) **FILE**

Democrats' education plans should focus on students

- The Washington Times

The truth is that Ms. Warren would have gained a measure of respect had she said "I'm here to stand with children," because it's children who deserve her time and attention and it's children who will, at some point, have to pay the salaries and benefits of future teachers, presidents and members of Congress.

NBA players use their smartphones to film fans gathers outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai, China, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday that the league is still expecting them to play as scheduled this week, even while the rift between the league and Chinese officials continued in ways that clearly suggested the two planned games in Shanghai and Shenzhen were anything but guaranteed. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

It's un-American to tell China's critics to 'shoosh'

- The Washington Times

"Shoosh," as Big Mama would say. "This is 'Merica, and in 'Merica we have the right to free speech." We do, indeed, and that's why Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey is one of my heroes of the week for tweeting that we Americans, here and abroad, should support the protesters in Hong Kong demanding the basic human right to speak their minds.

D.C. overspends on bureaucracy, not student achievement

- The Washington Times

It's time for parents and other taxpayers to adopt the erstwhile financial control board's cardinal rule, because here's what happens when school funding doesn't follow students into their classrooms. The central bureaucracy sucks it up, and -- worse -- the educrats bleed the system and create a deficit.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, left, testifies next to veteran Kerwin Miller, of Washington, and Roger Pilon, with the Constitutional Studies department of the Cato Institute, during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on statehood for the District of Columbia, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ** FILE **

D.C. should stay a federal district as it was written in Constitution

- The Washington Times

Understand, the founders of the capital never intended for D.C. to be a state but a federal district to house the federal government. Yet, some advocates for statehood want to flip the script of the U.S. Constitution, and some quasi-supporters even want to grant the District's nonvoting House delegate full voting rights.

 In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. California Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce an executive action Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, to confront youth heath concerns related to vaping.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) **FILE**

Vaping the new crack cocaine?

- The Washington Times

Remember the push for the V chip? The TV technology that helped parents control what their children were watching on television? Well, for young people, vaping seems to be the new crack cocaine.

In this Aug. 5, 2017, file photo people make their way to RFK Stadium in Washington before an MLS soccer match between D.C. United and Toronto FC. The stadium, the former home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals and Senators, and Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, will be demolished by 2021, local officials in Washington said. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) **FILE**

Washington Redskins stadium talks should resume in D.C.

- The Washington Times

RFK Stadium is headed for the graveyard. Sniff, sniff. Plans call for the aged structure to be demolished in 2021. Up 'til then, though, Dan Snyder has a decision to make, Congress has a decision to make about the site and both should place their bets on a guaranteed moneymaker -- a new home for the Washington Redskins.

Dave Chappelle speaks at the press conference for "A Star Is Born" on day 4 of the Toronto International Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Toronto. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) **FILE**

Dave Chapelle's 'Sticks & Stones,' guns and scaredy cats

- The Washington Times

To his credit, Mr. Chappelle's standup routines about the so-called cancel culture on Netflix's "Sticks & Stones" special has a lot of eyeballs rolling. Give him and public schools a hand, because much is -- and will become -- history. Now let's be frank in the here and now.

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019 file photo, Meek Mill performs on day four of Lollapalooza in Grant Park in Chicago. The NFL and Roc Nation announced Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, that Mill and Rapsody will perform in a free pregame concert Sept 5 before the season-opening game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The concert is an early sign of how the league’s new social justice partnership with rapper Jay-Z and his label may work out. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

The NFL at 100

- The Washington Times

The 100th anniversary of the National Football League kicks off Thursday, and it's hoped you're not one of those fans who let the league's Kaepernick thing become and remain a cloud over your enthusiasm for football, American football.