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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: Will we hear the real streetcar story?

Someday, the full story behind the change of heart on the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar projects by County Board members Jay Fisette and Mary Hynes may come to light.

Recent Headlines

Letter: The streetcar’s a curse; here’s the story in verse

Editor: Twas the night after the election, and all through the county,

Comments (1)
Letter: Streetcar decision flies in face of Arlington policies

Editor: You mean it’s OK to build more lanes for more buses and cars, but not OK to build streetcars? It’s OK to build more parking spaces and parking garages and service stations, but not streetcars? It’s OK to build bus-rapid transit through Crystal City, but not streetcars? It’s OK to widen streets and build new roads, but not to build streetcars?

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Letter: Nixing the streetcar will be step toward fiscal sanity

Editor: A big high-five to our County Board for the decision to cancel the streetcar project.  I hope this is a turning point in how our elected officials will proceed in managing their wants and Arlingtonians’ needs.

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Letter: Find a way to put transit under, not on, Columbia Pike

Editor: Now that the Columbia Pike streetcar idea is gone, who would like to join me in channeling the streetcar energy into doing a better job and put a Metro Line under Columbia Pike, like we should have done 20 years ago?

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Letter: Ball is now in court of streetcar opponents

Editor: So the streetcar is dead. What comes next?

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Letter: Streetcar vote will not be enough to save Democrats

Editor: Did the Big Three on the County Board change their mind on the streetcar because it was the correct decision, or are they more concerned with job security? I suspect it’s the latter.   

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Letter: Streetcar decision will fundamentally alter Arlington social fabric

Editor: A few weeks ago, when the weather was nice, I went to shoot some hoops at a park near my house. While I was making shots, I took my wallet out and left it on the side of the basketball court. I left forgetting about my wallet until two hours later, when I promptly rushed back to the park.

It was nowhere to be found, and I walked home upset with myself for the

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Letter: Arlington simply may have grown to its logical capacity

Editor: Rather than try to solve each challenge facing Arlington as a separate issue, the County Board should take a look at the underlying cause for all of the difficult demands made on them.

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Letter: Arlington residents fed up with extravagant spending

Editor: I consider myself an almost native of Arlington County, since I’ve lived here since I was 6 months old. I’ve been reading in the Sun Gazette about pros and cons on the proposed trolley and the proposed super-swimming complex at Long Bridge Park.

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Letter: Area around Arlington park a clear danger to children

Editor: I live near the popular new Rocky Run Park at Fairfax Drive and North Barton Street. A four-way stop sign is needed, as is a better fence to confine the young children.

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Letter: Different voting methods would help Arlington governance

Editor: After years of discussion, planning and investment, Arlington’s streetcar projects have been brought to a screeching halt by Vihstadt’s victory.

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Letter: Woodlawn cannot be substantially enlarged without negative impacts

Editor: Community attention has been directed at the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program’s size and instructional model during the current process to relieve middle school overcrowding.  

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Letter: H-B Woodlawn does not need to prove its worth to anyone

Editor: Did “a proud H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program graduate and engaged Arlington Public Schools parent” really say, in a recent letter to the editor, that H-B has “traditionally struggled to prove itself”?  

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 11/20/14 edition

Our editorial page view on the local scene.

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Letter: Expansion of H-B Woodlan Program must be part of discussion

Editor: As a parent of a student who had hoped to attend H-B Woodlawn Secondary program as a ninth-grader but was put on the waiting list at No. 71 (read: “no chance”), I feel that I need to address a comment by Mary Byrne which was published in a recent Sun Gazette.  

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Letter: Arlington talks the talk but does not walk the walk in sustainability

Editor: Arlington likes to tout itself as a progressive community concerned about sustainability. But any measures Arlington takes toward becoming more sustainable are absolutely futile unless the county decides to realistically address Arlington’s housing crisis – I am referring to the nature of new construction undertaken in Arlington in the last decade, specifically, the nature of the single-family homes being built.

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Letter: Arlington School Board should not be in business of wasting tax dollars with poor decisions

Editor: We cannot allow the School Board’s bad planning to waste taxpayer dollars.

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Letter: New construction at Reed/Westover the wrong choice for Arlington

Editor: As elected representatives of our community, the County Board and School Board have the duty to act responsibly with our tax dollars. They did this when they created the new Reed School-Westover Branch Library in 2009.  

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Letter: Wilson School is wrong site to put Arlington middle-schoolers

Editor: As a Long Branch Elementary School parent who would see my own children and neighbors currently in a walk zone to Thomas Thomas Jefferson Middle School bused to a middle school on the Wilson School site, I strongly disagree with your recent editorial endorsing a Wilson school.

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Letter: Sun Gazette missed boat in pressing for Wilson School site

Editor: I am disappointed by the editorial in the Nov. 6 Sun Gazette regarding where to put a new middle school – not because the opinion differs from my community’s desire to return Stratford to our neighborhood middle school, but because it ignores key, publicly available facts. All of these facts make it evident that Wilson is a poor choice for a neighborhood middle school.

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Letter: Changes would benefit Drew School community

Editor: We have joined together, asking the School Board for action during the current capital-improvement process both to address needed change at, and to open up capacity in the vicinity of, Drew School.

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Letter: Democrats must address fallout from election

Editor: Arlington voters have spoken with a loud and clear mandate. They do not want the County Board to go forward with the Columbia Pike streetcar project.

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Letter: Headlines, text should show more respect for political process

Editor: The recent post-election headline “Vihstadt Thumps Howze Yet Again” was a disappointment. The article it goes on to describe Howze as “pummeled mercilessly,” as if a boxing match or football game were being described.

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Sun Gazette editorial: Arlington Democrats need to heed the message sent by voters

It gives us little joy to pour salt in the wounds of a political party – be it Democratic or Republican – that has felt the wrath of the public at the polls. But there are some truths that must be told in the wake of last week’s stunning County Board victory by John Vihstadt over Democrat Alan Howze.

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Letter: Arlington voters sent clear message on fiscal responsibility

Editor: The election is over, and here’s a message from all Arlington residents to county and school officials: You do NOT have a blank check to run the county or schools. We are not cash cows and will not fund a crony, non-transparent government.

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Letter: Democrats were among those sending message to Arlington County Board

Editor: Perhaps the post-election headline should read: “John Vihstadt helps Mark Warner eke out a statewide victory.”

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Letter: Democrats need to field candidates responsive to Arlington’s new reality

Editor: According to the Nov. 7 Washington Post, Arlington County Democratic Committee chairman Kip Malinosky “said that some voters may have mistakenly thought that [John] Vihstadt was a Democrat because his literature prominently featured endorsements from several members of the party and because he presented himself as a ‘fusion’ candidate.”  

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Letter: Shortchanging Arlington students is a sure-fire recipe for disaster

Editor: I was disheartened to learn that I share a name with a recent opinion writer, who in a letter to the editor criticized the County Board and Arlington school spending.

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Letter: Arlington Democrats need to stop trying out excuses and learn from election results

Editor: Low turnout does not explain the election results that are sending John Vihstadt back for a full term on the County Board.

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Letter: Woodlawn community is seeking assurances it has a place in Arlington’s future

Editor: Hans Bauman’s recent letter recommending that the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program community “seize the moment” and accept a move as a “transformative opportunity,” even though change “kinda hurts,” misses the point entirely.

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Letter: Arlington officials will have to find ways to contend with rising student enrollment

Editor: John Vihstadt won re-election to the County Board on a platform that called for focusing on “needs” rather than “wants.” Two days later, Arlington Public Schools released updated enrollment projections that showed a dramatic increase in those needs.

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Letter: Efforts to bring sanity to pub crawls need to re-intensify

Editor: I read, with dismay, the Sun Gazette’s reporting Nov. 6 on the first permit issued by the county government for a Clarendon pub crawl.  

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Letter: Arlington Senior Babe Ruth needs to reconsider policies

Editor: I write regarding the Senior Babe Ruth league’s obstruction of a new baseball program.

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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: Why not the Wilson School site for a new middle school?

When he was serving as vice president, Richard Nixon once proffered some famous, if scatological, advice to Dwight Eisenhower about the need to stop mulling over options and come to a decision.

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Letter: H-B Woodlawn needs to seize the moment, not squander it

Editor: As a proud H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program graduate and engaged Arlington Public Schools parent, I urge the H-B Woodlawn community to reconsider its stance regarding a potential move to the Wilson site.

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Letter: Moving Woodlawn to Westover would be a big miscalculation

Editor: Moving the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program to the Reed School/Westover Library is a colossal mistake for Arlington residents and its students.

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Letter: Rosslyn would be a good spot for new H-B Woodlawn

Editor: Oct. 30 marks the 5th anniversary of the county government’s $22.5 million renovation to the Reed School in the Westover neighborhood. But as Westover residents celebrate this beautiful new building that plays a central role in our community, we now wonder whether the School Board and the County Board will repurpose this facility – at a high cost to taxpayers and families in Westover and throughout the county – in order to house the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.  

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Letter: Claims of anti-streetcar contingent do not all hold water

Editor: The anti-streetcar group has made many claims when comparing bus rapid transit to the Arlington-Fairfax streetcar system that will run on Columbia Pike. One of the most repeated is how studies show that BRT brings the same investment as the streetcar at a cheaper cost.

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Arlington Sun Gazette editorial: Search for perfect School Board member is elusive

Arlington is blessed with a nearly flawless candidate for the School Board seat being vacated after two terms by Sally Baird. But there is a catch.

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Letter: Time for Arlington to stand up against ruling clique

Editor: Arrogance is wasting $1 million on a bus stop and operating the Artisphere with major losses every year. Arrogance is saying the streetcar initially would cost one-third what the final cost will be. Arrogance is overtaxing to build up a surplus of more than $200 million in government coffers and then not returning the surplus to taxpayers – especially to retired people on fixed incomes. Arrogance is knowingly building a bikeshare program that will run a $700,000 deficit by 2018.

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Letter: Residents are right in opposing APS proposal on Reed School site

Editor: I oppose any plan to move the H-B  Woodlawn Secondary Program to the Reed School site. In fact, the four civic associations surrounding the Reed School strongly oppose moving the program to Reed. The overwhelming majority of 602 surveyed respondents in the community – 82 percent – oppose any such move.   

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Letter: Use Wilson School site for Arlington middle school

Editor: The plan to create a purpose-built middle school at the Wilson site to help address the capacity crisis is the most practical, fiscally responsible and most beneficial to preserving the quality of life in Arlington we as voters have come to appreciate.

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Letter: Putting new H-B Woodlawn on Reed site is impractical

Editor: The school system’s proposed plan to locate a new H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program on the current Reed School site is a mistake.

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Letter: Advocates for Arlington parks, schools, housing need to work together

Editor: I am one of the people who helped to collect 10,300-plus signatures on the petitions by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) for more affordable housing, potentially including housing on county-owned land.

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Letter: Vihstadt is the candidate of community engagement

Editor: I want you to know that as a lifelong Democrat, I am voting for John Vihstadt for County Board on Nov. 4.

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Letter: Howze not telling whole truth in discussing housing

Editor: County Board candidates Alan Howze and John Vihstadt used the Cherrydale Civic Association candidate forum to make the crowd-pleasing statement that existing park space ought not be converted to affordable housing nor schools.  

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Letter: Arlington needs a time-out from population growth

Editor: This is in response to the proposal but some affordable-housing proponents to replace the existing Cherrydale Library.

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Letter: Vihstadt campaign proffers misleading information

Editor: John Vihstadt is misleading voters about county-government spending in his campaign for re-election to the County Board.

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Letter: Vote your pocketbook in Arlington County Board race

Editor: The trolley and aquatic-center projects have no real demand. The costs over their lifetimes will approach a billion dollars, given overruns and maintenance. Taxpayer dollars (increased residential real estate taxes) will rob real demands for these public funds.

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