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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: Ups, downs of county manager’s tenure

This week marks the first time since the early 1980s that Barbara Donnellan is not part of the Arlington County government workforce. After spending 32 years rising through the ranks, including the last four-and-a-half as county manager, she has moved into a well-deserved retirement.

Recent Headlines

Letter: Arlington housing proposal raising all kinds of red flags

Editor: When it comes to the proposed Affordable Housing Master Plan, I foresee the Trolley Folly all over again.

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Letter: Critics of Arlington housing plan need to be more transparent

Editor: How sad! Judging from the full-page advertisement sponsored by “Concerned Arlington County Homeowners” in recent issues of the Sun Gazette, it seems Arlington civic life has degenerated to the point that some disgruntled residents apparently feel comfortable engaging anonymously in public mudslinging and fear-mongering.

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Letter: Arlington needs discuss on changing school names

Editor: It is easy to cast stones at the Southern states that have maintained Confederate symbols on their license plates and state flags, even flying a Confederate battle flag on the grounds of a state capitol. And yet here at home we generally ignore our own veneration of the Confederacy.

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Letter: Confederate names have no place in modern Arlington

Editor: In the wake of the Charleston massacre, Arlington needs to purge itself of monuments to the Confederacy, especially Washington-Lee High School, which my daughter will attend this fall. The school is named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 6/25/15 edition

The Arlington Sun Gazette's editorial-page view on the local scene.

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Letter: Siting of Arlington fire station deserves broader discussion

Editor: Apparently the county government has learned little from the events of the past several years, in which the County Board was forced to retreat on high-profile decisions after community backlash regarding fiscal irresponsibility and lack of transparency.

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Letter: Arlington board does its duty on Reevesland vote

Editor: Has the Sun Gazette lost its objectivity and balance in its reporting? It certainly seems so in its recent coverage of Reevesland.

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Letter: Vihstadt appears obstuctionist on housing issue

Editor: John Vihstadt raised issue after issue at the June 13 County Board discussion of the  affordable-housing task force’s report.

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Letter: Advertising attacking housing plan should come out of shadows

Editor: It would be a benefit to the community, and I would like to invite the leadership of the “Concerned Arlington County Homeowners” to a public discussion about the “Trojan Horse” they claim the proposed Affordable Housing Master Plan is [advertisement, June 18].

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 6/18/15 edition

Our editorial page view on the local scene.

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Letter: Is Vihstadt going wobbly on his Arlington constituents?

Editor: After reading two stories in the June 11 Sun Gazette, I am a bit concerned about the recent behavior of County Board member John Vihstadt.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 6/11/15 edition

The Arlington Sun Gazette's editorial page view on the local scene.

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Letter: Supporter of Arlington gun shop paints false choice

Editor: Robert Molleur of Manassas, in defense of a gun shop in Arlington, asked in a June 4 letter to the editor if a parents discovered an intruder, would they call the County Board or wish they had a firearm.

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Letter: Critics of Arlington gun shop need to be consistent

Editor: If the anti-gun-store crowd wants to stop a retired Marine from exercising his constitutional right to lawfully sell guns and ammo in dear old Arlington, then we better order the pawn shop a half-mile away to stop selling the guns and ammo it’s been selling for 30-plus years.

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Letter: Demise of surface parking would negatively impact Courthouse area

Editor: County-government staff are completing their “Envision Courthouse” plan. It calls for a substantial increase in density, and also calls for an attractive open area where the main surface parking lot is now. The County Board could take this matter up as early as this fall.

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Letter: Garvey represented Arlington well on Sister City journey

Editor: Thank you for covering County Board member Libby Garvey’s recent working visit to Reims, France, and Aachen, Germany. Mrs. Garvey represented Arlington at several important commemorative events, and also held substantive discussions with elected officials and community leaders in both cities.

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Arlington Sun Gazette endorsements in County Board Democratic primary

Last week, we eliminated from consideration two of the six contenders in the Democratic County Board primary. We had no specific complaints against Bruce Wiljanen and Katie Cristol, but felt they had not brought to the table sufficient civic-engagement bona fides compared to the rest of the field.

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Letter: Arlington liberal angst on display again

Editor: Arlington liberals against a local gun store? What do you expect? Perhaps the Arlington County Police Department should turn in its guns for cotton-candy-dispensing machines.  

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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: First take on County Board race

With two weeks until the pivotal Democratic County Board primary, the time has come to start culling the field in terms of an endorsement.

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Letter: Arlington leadership fails on Reevesland decision

Editor: Nelson Reeves owned and operated the last dairy farm in Arlington, and his storied agriculture legacy should inspire today’s children and future generations about growing food and community. He was my neighbor, and he was an exemplary person and gardener extraordinaire.  

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Letter: Faulty decisions on affordable housing will have lasting impact

Editor: In April, you published a cogent letter from Maura McMahon highlighting that Arlington County’s draft Affordable Housing Master Plan would abandon the county’s longstanding goal to “distribute committed affordable housing within the county, neighborhoods and projects.”

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Letter: Cherrydale is wrong location for gun store

Editor: If you believe a May 19 confirmation from the company, it’s a surefire deal: Nova Firearms will be opening in a vacant spot in Cherrydale. It’s the storefront formerly housing Curves and, needless to say, it’s thrown local residents a curve. To put it mildly.

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Letter: Time to address Va.’s ballooning Alzheimer’s needs

Editor: Thank you, U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th),  for cosponsoring the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which will provide care and support services to those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. I hope we can count on you to support the $300 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal 2016.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 5/21/15 edition

The Arlington Sun Gazette's view on the local scene.

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Letter: Time to celebrate Arlington school-bus drivers

Editor: There seem to be recognition awards for a number of different Arlington Public Schools employee categories, but where is the award for bus drivers?

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Letter: Come together to make Arlington housing plan work

Editor: I have served as the Arlington County Civic Federation representative to the Affordable Housing Study Group for the past two-plus years, along with 17 other community representatives, county-government housing staff and consultants from George Mason University.

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Letter: Arlington affordable-housing plan far from world-class

Editor: As a development consultant, I have visited myriad “affordable”/subsidized housing projects throughout Latin America. I am struck by the fact that Arlington County, which purports to be a “world-class” urban community, is beginning to show symptoms similar to those in poor urban areas one typically finds in the Third World.  

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Arlington Sun Gazette endorsement: Our pick in Democratic School Board caucus

The looming departure in December of School Board member Abby Raphael after eight years of service will leave a challenging void to fill. While some will grumble she has been too big a backer of Superintendent Patrick Murphy, we have found Raphael’s sharp mind and oversight skills beneficial during her two terms in office.

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Letter: Arlington civic engagement should not be limited to just those who have time

Editor: A recent sentence in a Sun Gazette article on the Democratic School Board caucus struck a chord: “Sharon Dorsey said that APS tends to listen to the ‘squeaky wheel’ while those who don’t have the time, energy or connections to press their case are often largely ignored.”

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Letter: Candidate explains why he opposed Arlington school bond

Editor: In a May 7 letter [“Goldstein Needs to Explain Some Past Positions”], I was criticized for questioning the 2006 school-bond proposal. I am happy to respond.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 5/7/15 edition

Our editorial page view on the local scene.

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Letter: Candidate Goldstein needs to explain past positions

Editor: There’s a troubling omission from the community-engagement list at School Board candidate Reid Goldstein’s Web site:

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Letter: Must have been a slow news day to focus on Arlington dog licenses

Editor: I’m writing in response to the divisive article, “Arlington: Many Dogs, But Does Anyone Pay the Required Taxes on Their Canines?” [April 23].

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Letter: Goldstein does not have temperament for elected office

Editor: Reid Goldstein is a candidate for Arlington’s School Board. But if we evaluate Mr. Goldstein’s past actions, it is apparent that he is unfit for any elective office in Arlington County.

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Letter: There is help for new mothers experiencing post-partum issues

Editor: Having a new baby: the happiest time of a woman’s life, right? Not always.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 4/30/15 edition

The Arlington Sun Gazette's view on the local scene.

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Letter: New voting equipment will be a plus for Arlington

Editor: Regarding “Current Voting Machines to Be Scrapped Now” [April 23], I couldn’t be happier to hear this news.

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Letter: Arlington needs more consistent resources for gifted students

Editor: In your April 2 article “Arlington School Board Chair Still Wary of Sending Students to TJ,” James Lander expressed his concern about Arlington’s ongoing participation with the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, and discussed a possible future alternative in Arlington.

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Letter: Arlington school leaders unresponsive to needs of Montessori students

Editor: I am writing in response to your article a few weeks ago entitled “Search Ramps Up in Quest to Find Seats for Students.”

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Letter: Arlington students helping to do part to bridge gap with Champions Together effort

Editor: In my 20-plus years in Special Olympics I still, on occasion, make the same mistake. I miss the boat. I underestimate the abilities either cognitive or physical of our Special Olympics athletes; athletes with intellectual disabilities.

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Letter: Goldstein has commitment to serve Arlington students

Editor: We had the pleasure of working along with Reid Goldstein on the Long Branch PTA and when he led the H-B Woodlawn Parent Advisory Committee. Goldstein’s dedication to inclusion of all students and families, and his relentless work to ensure information was shared with parents were remarkable and demonstrate his passion for education and ensuring success for every student.   

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Letter: Goldstein has worked tirelessly on Arlington school issues

Editor:

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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: Is County Board field up to the task

Since the field of contenders to succeed Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada on the County Board began to coalesce a few months ago, there have been whispers among those we respect in what can be loosely described as the Arlington Democratic establishment that those entering the race may not quite be ready for prime time.

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Letter: South Arlington schools provide solid educations

Editor: Recently, there have been letters and talk about the relationship between affordable housing and the percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students in schools in South Arlington. Having taught 20 years in South Arlington, I am particularly sensitive to the content of these discussions.

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Letter: All candidates should get attention from media

Editor: I found your April 9 editorial opinion [“Our View: The Conundrum for Non-Democrats”] disturbing.  

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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: The threshold for independents, third-party candidates

About 20 intrepid souls gathered at Shirlington Library last week for a forum put on by the Arlington Green Party, discussing ways that independents and third-party candidates could find success in running for local office.

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Letter: Affordable-housing effort taking Arlington in wrong direction

Editor: Your coverage of the County Board’s work session regarding the draft Affordable Housing Master Plan [“County Board Takes its First Formal Look at Housing Plan,” April 2] was grossly incomplete.  

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Letter: Artisphere will not be missed

Editor: My wife and I have visited the Artisphere at least six times, and never found many folk there. And small wonder: there was little to see.

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Letter: Let those who want the water park pay for it

Editor: Folks who live here and are often desperate to stay are not dreaming of a dip in the pool or laying down as they wend their way along the lazy river [“County to Take Another Look at Aquatics Center,” March 26].

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