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Arlington Highs & Lows, 4/17/14 edition

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

Recent Headlines

Commentary: Do your part to eradicate invasive species in Arlington

In admiring the pictures in the home profile “Stylish Home Offers Glorious Views of Its Verdant Surroundings” in a recent Sun Gazette, one caught my eye.

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Commentary: Time has come for tax-rate cut in Arlington

Now that the special Arlington County Board election has come and gone, it’s time to get back to governing and adopt the fiscal 2015 budget.

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Letter: Time has come for compromise on Arlington streetcar issue

Editor: County Board members Jay Fisette, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada are right that we should be respectful of the process over the last several years that has led to the streetcar initiative. But Libby Garvey and John Vihstadt are also right that it is human nature to pay close attention to an idea when it is really time to pay for it – and at about $60 million to $80 million per mile, the streetcar is not cheap.  

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Letter: Arlington Democrats have their own leadership skeletons in the closet

Editor: You recently reported on the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s move to an office on Jefferson Davis Highway, and that party chairman Kip Malinosky said he was unhappy that the new space is on a roadway named for the president of the Confederacy and “a man who doesn’t at all represent our values.”  

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Arlington Highs & Lows, 4/10/14 edition

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

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Letter: Study confirms benefits of streetcar for Columbia Pike, Arlington

Editor: Throwing stones at streetcars is dangerous.   But the critics missed in their criticisms of the return-on-investment study recently received by the county.  

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Letter: Story about streetcar success in past forgets one vital difference

Editor: I read with interest Paul Donaldson’s reflections, as published in the Sun Gazette’s April 3 Letters section, on Los Angeles’ former streetcar system and how it was dismantled by the producers of automobiles, gasoline and automobile tires.  

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Letter: Arlington should focus as much on potholes as it does on bicycles

Editor: The county government recently invested $32,000 in a “bikeometer,” a device to tabulate and display – in real time – bicycle use near Key Bridge. Thirty other bikeometers, although they lack the real-time feature, also provide valuable information to county planners.   

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Letter: Arlington voters deserve more credit than Sun Gazette gave them

Editor: I am glad the Sun Gazette endorsed John Vihstadt, but it left me, and many I have talked to, totally perplexed.

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Letter: Republicans in legislatur have it in for moped owners

Editor: Mopeds apparently are a target of Republicans in the General Assembly.

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Editorial: Our pick for the Arlington County Board special election

No matter how the April 8 County Board special election turns out, one thing is certain: Democrat Alan Howze is going to win the seat in November.

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Commentary: Ensuring a bright future for Arlington’s young professionals

Young professionals make up over a third of Arlingtonians, and the voices and votes of our young people are central to the future of our community.

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Letter: Arlington noise ordinance needs to be equitable to all residents

Editor: I am concerned about changes to the county’s noise ordinance. I live off Columbia Pike and am of the mind that I deserve the same rights to peace and quiet as my friends in single-family homes.

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Letter: All Arlington residents should be concerned about noise issues

Editor: I am a member of the Altavista/Berkeley Ad Hoc Committee of Concerned Homeowners. I spoke at the March 12 County Board meeting in support of protection for residents of mixed-use districts from unreasonable human noise, along with committee members Rosemary Ciotti, quoted in your 27 March article, and Theodore Gebhard.

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Letter: Streetcar will lead to revitalization of Columbia Pike corridor

Editor: Arlington must build the Columbia Pike streetcar line. Once the line is completed, I predict that it will be so successful that the county leaders will quickly consider expanding the system to other locations, such as Glebe Road and Lee Highway.

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Letter: Arlington government should provide more parking spaces, not rely on ticket revenue

Editor: In your article “Many Factors Resulting in Fewer Parking Tickets Issued,” the Arlington County government offers no data on revenue from the meters themselves.  

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Letter: Arlington sports leagues must contribute more to field maintenance

Editor: When the Arlington County Board passes the fiscal 2015 budget, it should change the policy regarding the “field fund fee,” the $8 assessment to play field sports.

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Letter: Arlington school officials should not raise rent on important program

Editor: Over the past 20 years, dramatic improvements have taken place in the way children with special needs are educated.

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Letter: Ebbin has right mix of skills to represent 8th District in Congress

Editor: State Sens. Chap Peterson and Mark Sickles and retired state Sen. Patsy Ticer are totally right in supporting Adam Ebbin, my VA state senator, for the 8th District congressional seat.  

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Letter: Arlington school system should provide more smaller secondary programs

Editor: Letter writer Marcy Gessel [“Students Benefit When They Are Provided with Individual Options,” March 27] spoke very eloquently of the positive impact of the small-school education on those lucky students whose number comes up in the annual H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program lottery. Allow me to speak on behalf of the many, many students who are turned away from H-B and end up in one of the large middle schools feeding into Arlington’s three admirable, but giant, high schools.

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Letter: Arlington County Board contender has to explain his true beliefs

Editor: Who is the real John Vihstadt?

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Letter: Howze will support schools from perch on Arlington County Board

Editor: Arlington’s schools are great, and it is important that our next County Board member keep them that way. That’s why I’m voting for Democrat Alan Howze.

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Letter: Could Arlington government crews please be more careful?

Editor: Recently, the county government sent a crew into our neighborhood to flush the fire hydrants, which is normally a good thing and nothing to object to.  

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Arlington Highs & Lows, 3/27/14 edition

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

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Letter: Work still needs to be done on Ashlawn Elementary School plan

Editor: Thank you for your important coverage of the Arlington County Board’s vote on Ashlawn Elementary School’s amended use permit. Your article, however, neglected to mention the County Board spent a considerable amount of time discussing the construction of a new stair and sidewalk that would connect North Montague Street to the school.  

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Letter: Vihstadt was standout in Arlington County Board debate

Editor: This letter is in response to your article posted after the recent candidate forum for the position on the County Board held at Virginia Hospital Center. What I saw at that public presentation does not back up your statement that the event was a “draw” between Alan Howze and John Vihstadt.

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Letter: Library staff are due more respect from Arlington school officials

Editor: I don’t know if you remember your elementary school librarian. Mine was Mrs. Ohanian. She read “Charlotte’s Web” to our class in third grade, and taught me how to find good books. She told me to tell my parents I was old enough to get my own public library card.

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Arlington Sun Gazette Highs & Lows, 3/20/14 Edition

The Arlington Sun Gazette's editorial-page look at the local scene.

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Letter: Technology plan of Arlington superintendent ignores real needs of students

Editor: I would like to second the sentiment of letter-writer Carol Tedder [“Proposed Elimination of Library Aides an Outrage,” March 13] that giving iPads and Chromebooks to students in Arlington schools is not the best use of funding.

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Letter: Voters appear to be getting fed up with Arlington government antics

Editor: In recent weeks, you’ve published several letters which expressed doubts that Arlington could vote a Republican onto the County Board. Then on Feb. 27, you published a letter by Ed Fendley, which made an attempt to identify Republican national stances which go against those of Arlington voters, and said those were reasons to vote Democratic in the upcoming election.  

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Letter: Arlington school officials should leave H-B Woodlawn program alone

Editor: It’s not enough to seek what Arlington Public Schools calls More Seats for More Students. Rather than build education warehouses stuffing 2,000 and more students into buildings, the school system’s leadership should be looking for ways to create a good learning environment for our youth.

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Letter: Arlington school officials should stop thinking about changing H-B Woodlawn

Editor: Eliminate H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program? Are you insane? [“H-B Woodlawn Is Worth Retaining,” Letters March 13.] H-B is a shining beacon in a very dark sea, an example of what every school should be.  

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Letter: Howze has the skill-set needed for Arlington County Board

Editor: Over the past 12 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of local elected officials from across America to improve their communities. I have witnessed first-hand how these local leaders grapple with difficult decisions.

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Letter: Howze is right candidate for the times in Arlington County Board race

Editor: The County Board special election provides Arlington residents with an opportunity to elect a smart, thoughtful, and optimistic leader who champions a positive, inclusive and fiscally prudent approach toward governing: Alan Howze.

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Letter: Arlington candidate can claim to be an independent, but voters know better

Editor: John Vihstadt has every right to run as a Republican or a Tea Partier or whatever other political party he wishes to associate with, but it is a deception of Arlington voters when he tries to palm himself off as an “independent,” or as he sometimes says, “a Republican-endorsed independent,” whatever that’s supposed to be.

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Letter: Arlington County Board’s insistence on streetcar is fiscally irresponsible

Editor: Over the weekend at a party in Maryland, I got talking to a young woman who lives on Columbia Pike. She said she supported the streetcar. I asked why. She said she hated buses, but she might ride the streetcar, because it seemed, well, more modern and comfortable, and she liked the idea of money being spent on the Pike.

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Highs & Lows, 3/13/14 Edition

Our editorial page view on the local scene.

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Superintendent’s Budget Proposal Is Insult to Library Staff, Students

Editor: Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s proposed fiscal 2015 school budget recommends giving iPads to second- and Chromebooks to sixth-graders, with two new grades added per year with the goal that all Arlington Public Schools students will have the electronic devices to utilize for instructional use.

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More People, Not More Technology, Needed for County Schools

Editor: Superintendent Patrick Murphy is now competing with the County Board in a game of “who can propose the most ludicrous funding project.”

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Partisan Attacks on Vihstadt Will Not Play Well with Public

Editor: Shame on Democrat Ed Fendley for his Feb. 27 letter [“Judge County Board Candidate by the Company He Has Kept”], in which he tries to paint independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt as an immigrant-hating, anti-environment, anti-gay Republican.

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Unwillingness to Enforce Snow-Removal Ordinance Is Disgraceful

Editor: As one of the most walkable communities in the U.S., quite a few Arlington residents ought to feel shame for their lack of community when they fail to clear their sidewalks of ice and snow.

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Recent Government Actions Leading to Loss in Confidence

Editor: While I traditionally support the county government in its efforts to maximize livability, the question of the Columbia Pike streetcar is troubling.

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Woodlawn Program Works; School Officials Should Leave It Alone

Editor: Arlington County prides itself on being cutting-edge and experimental, yet its most innovative, successful experiment is on the chopping block, with consideration being given by the school system to eliminating the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

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Highs & Lows, 3/6/14 Edition

Our editorial page view on the local scene.

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Judge County Board Contenders on Service to Community

Editor: You recently published a letter from Ed Fendley [“Judge County Board Candidate on the Company He Has Kept,” Feb. 27]  referring to the candidacy of John Vihstadt, who is running for the County Board as an independent in the April 8 special election.

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In County Board Special Election, Democrats Will Reap What They Have Sown

Editor: Ed Fendley, [“Judge County Board Candidate on the Company He Has Kept,” Letters Feb. 27] makes a very good point. But what other viable option is there besides John Vihstadt for people opposed to million-dollar dog parks, million-dollar bus stops, outrageously expensive trolleys, the Artisphere, the aquatic center, etc.?  

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High-Cost Non-Profits Do Not Help Solve Affordable-Housing Crisis

Editor: Walter Webdale, CEO of AHC Inc., recently wrote in the Sun Gazette that Arlington needs to find new options to support affordable housing in Arlington, including providing free land to private organizations like his.

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Face It: Not Everyone Can Afford to Live in Arlington

Editor: I already expressed my opinion on the closing of St. Charles School in Arlington in the Feb. 13 Sun Gazette.

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There Are Options for Those Seeking Quality Parochial Schools

Editor: Arlington families should not be discouraged by the announced closure of St. Charles School. There are many great parochial-school options in Arlington.

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