Archive for July 16th, 2009

My Experience At DC General

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is very active in

Eunik Jones, Writer

Eunik Jones, Writer

the District. They have two different locations–941 North Capitol Street, NE and 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE, better known as DC General. There are summer youth working at both locations.  Recently, I had the opportunity to visit DC General.  I was given a tour of the building and I interviewed Teresa Malone.  Ms. Malone is an administrative worker she has been with DCRA for 8 years. She explained to me that they do not receive a lot of face to face contact with customers and most of their business is handled over the phone.

Ms. Malone stated that work is enjoyable and rewarding once you have helped a customer. After having an interview with Ms. Malone, I learned that any place of business in the District of Columbia has to have a Certificate of Occupancy. Ms. Malone also told me that there are inspection codes to help protect the public.  Inspection codes are very important to DCRA because the purpose of the agency is to protect the consumer. She also talked to me about permits such as: electrical, fireworks, street vending, construction, plumbing, and elevators.

The most important step in construction is zoning. Zoning is important because it helps ensure that every building in the District is properly placed. The people who make codes are engineers, officials, politicians and firemen. The experience that I had at the D.C General was fun and unforgettable and I hope to go back one day again.

Eunik Jones

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Healthy Alternatives for Lunch!

Fresh fruit is always a good alternative to fried snacks.

Fresh fruit is always a good alternative to fried snacks.

Limited funds and time are definitely things to consider while on lunch break. Being situated in the heart of downtown DC makes it even harder to find anything for a reasonable price – but it is possible! It’s important to not go to lunch starving. Bring a small snack to eat right before lunch so that when you do go to lunch you don’t settle for the first thing you see. It’s very crucial that you don’t settle for the first thing you see because this can lead to making expensive and/or unhealthy food choices.

Recently, I took a trip to Union Station to scope out the area. On the Upper Levels there are definitely some healthy alternatives, such as Au Bon Pain, but they also happen to be very pricey.  However I was surprised at Sbarro’s buffet (under $10) which featured several fresh fruit platters, baked chicken, and rice and vegetables. If that doesn’t do it for you Sbarro also offers their famous pizza for around $5 per slice. By the way, don’t feel bad about eating pizza! Depending on your toppings, pizza is actually pretty healthy! The cheese provides you with a daily serving of protein and calcium. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which has been named one of the best foods for men by Men’s Health Magazine. Just DON’T overdue it! If you’re not very active, all the carbohydrates from the bread will cause weight gain.

Some of the healthy choices at Sbarro.

Some of the healthy choices at Sbarro.

While McDonald’s does offer healthy salads and snack wraps for cheap, beware of salad dressing. Dressing is very tasty, but it is also the reason why many of the salads will be high in calories, especially thicker sauces such as ranch and blue cheese.

While at Union Station, STAY AWAY FROM THE BOTTOM FLOOR…well at least until they open the new Subway. The lure of several different ethnic foods is strong on the lower level but many are made quickly and have thick, greasy sauces and fried foods. Not to mention some of them are VERY expensive.

And once you get your food avoid sitting down…you know we only have 30 minutes!

I will be following up with other places to eat in the near future!

Darion Parker