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The District’s only public psychiatric hospital has operated without running water since last week. Patients at Saint Elizabeths Hospital haven’t been able to shower for days and some even contracted pink eye. FYI: This isn’t the first time this has happened. The facility was without water for five days in the summer of 2016.


Strange. Scary. Sometimes shameful. 

Childbirth is stigmatized for so many reasons—there’s C-section and home birth shaming, not to mention the whole debate about epidurals. And let’s not forget the public outcry over Meghan Markle’s birth plan

But what if we looked at childbirth differently? Heidi Daniels wants to use photography to normalize an experience that happens every minute of every day.  

“There’s this sort of stigma against it too, like well it’s kind of messy and gross and we don’t want to talk about that too much,” Daniels tells City Papers Kayla Randall in today’s cover story. (Read it in print or online now.) “Sure, it’s messy, but the emotional journey that a woman has to go through to give birth to a baby is such a huge deal and I wish people would talk about it more and share it more.”

The community of local birth photographers find strength in what they do and in one another. The goal isn’t just to normalize but revel in the feat of childbirth. People document and share climbing Mount Everest right? Then why not celebrate the arrival of new life? Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)


  • Benjamin Ordoñez became a symbol for D.C.’s meaningless “sanctuary city” status. But his story is a lot more complicated than the initial headlines suggested. [WCP]

  • DCPS inches closer to having every staff member cleared of background checks after a parent-led outcry over the summer. [WCP

  • In the latest installment of her Mumble Sauce column, Jordan N. DeLoach explains why D.C. needs to stop criminalizing sex workers. [WCP]

  • No justice, no parking ticket: the latest Scene and Heard column. [WCP

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser extends renewal periods for medical marijuana cards to two years. [Twitter]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • With no committee to staff, where did Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans’ committee staff go? [DC Line]

  • Coast Guard lieutenant and self-avowed white nationalist Christopher Hasson is expected to plead guilty in federal court. [Post]

  • Cops raid the Dupont rager mansion that turned into a weed pop-up. [DCist]

  • Fuck you, pay me (a living wage). [WAMU]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Meet the family behind one of D.C.’s favorite lunch buffets. [WCP]

  • Astro Beer Hall opens Friday with a grilled cheese and bacon doughnut sandwich and other fried delights. [WCP]

  • Little Havanawill close and become Anafre this fall. For real this time. [DCist]

  • Big time sports reporter didn’t like paying a little over a dollar for restaurant workers’ health insurance. [Eater]

  • Meanwhile in D.C., practices like that are catching on. [Eater DC]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Three local arts and culture event organizers are creating consent culture. [WCP]

  • Washington Stage Guild’s Candida is a class conflict comedy. [WCP] 

  • Visit the Newseum while you still can. [DCist]

  • The verdict on cannabidiol wellness treatments. [Washingtonian]

  • Artists and the arts lose in the mayor’s political slugfest. [DC Line]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Dixon Hemphill, 94, refuses to let cancer or his age stop him from doing what he loves most: running. [WCP]

  • Elena Delle Donne‘s MRI revealed a small disc herniation. An update on her status for Sunday’s Game 3 will be given on Saturday. [WCP]

  • The Caps spoiled the St. Louis Blues’ championship banner night with a 3-2 overtime win. [SI]

  • Maryland football is searching for answers after getting dominated by Penn State last week. [WCP]

  • It’s official: Capital One Arena will have a sportsbook. [NBC4]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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