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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2011 at 8:55 am 2,072 22 Comments

Bomb Threat on DCA Flight — There were some tense moments at Reagan National Airport yesterday after a flight from Dayton, Ohio was sequestered and searched for explosives. Nothing was found, however. An individual who made a bomb threat at the Dayton airport ticket counter was taken into custody, the FBI said. [Bloomberg]

New Principals Named — Arlington Public Schools have named two new principals. Kenwyn Schaffner has been named the principal of Jamestown Elementary School and Bridget Loft has been named the principal of Swanson Middle School. “Ms. Loft was greeted by cheers and a standing ovation when she was introduced to the Swanson staff after the announcement of appointment,” an insider tells us. [Arlington Public Schools]

Rousselot Endorses Areizaga-Soto — Former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Peter Rousselot has endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto in his primary battle against Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola for state Senate. [JaimeForSenate.com]

ART Drivers File Human Rights Complaint — Striking Arlington Transit bus drivers have filed a complaint with the Arlington Human Rights Commission, claiming “ongoing sexual harassment from county contractor Forsythe Transportation.” [Washington Examiner]

Jogging With Grassley — Part-time Arlington resident Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently went jogging through his neighborhood with 15 young constituents who were in town for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. [ECT.coop]

Flickr pool photo by Christaki

  • John Fontain

    Based on the vague-as-possible complaints regarding sexual harrassment within ART, it sounds like union members are complaining that fellow union members sexual harrassed them and now they are blaming it on non-union management.

    • doodly

      It’s unclear what the claims are – but so what? It is management’s responsibility to protect employees from harassment, regardless of the source. It’s not the union’s fault if some of its members are misbehaving. It doesn’t have responsibility for or control of discipline. Perhaps they could expel these members from the union, but that’s about it.

      • John Fontain

        You don’t see any irony in the union striking against the company because of what it’s own members are doing?

        • doodly

          Oh, I see the irony.

        • JammingEcono

          FWIW, previous Examiner story on the strike noted that the sexual harassment allegations are against Forsythe management, not other union members. (Link:http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/2011/06/arlington-bus-drivers-strike-lose-jobs#ixzz1PpjWIe7o)

          “Union spokesman Charles Smith said Forsythe management sexually harassed employees, switched drivers’ schedules unfairly, didn’t pay enough and refused drivers bathroom breaks.”

          Last week, it was reported that the union’s sexual harassment claims stem from female employees allegedly being directed to meet managers in hotel rooms for sexual favors.

          Source: http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/art-delays-continue-as-strike-enters-fifth-day

          • John Fontain

            Each news article, including the one linked in today’s post, says the allegations are against management. But then you have a quote from the union rep saying, “We can’t stand for the sexual harassment of our sisters, and we can’t let our brothers go unpunished when they abuse our women.” Hardly sounds like he’s refering to management.

          • JammingEcono

            It’s unclear whether “brothers” refers to fellow union members or simply ART workers generally. I will grant you that when a union rep says “brother,” they are typically (though not always) referring to other union members. In this case, I would give more weight to the several news articles that note that the concern is with management.

          • John Fontain

            Well, this goes back to my original point. I have no doubt that the union is mad at management, but it sounds like they are upset with management over something other union members did.

          • doodly

            It doesn’t matter. Management is responsible for discipline of employees, regardless of whether they are union members or not. If their transgression happens to involve harm to other union members, that’s irrelevant.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Oh dear. I’m in trouble if Sen. Grassly is in better shape than I.

  • bob

    Does anyone know the story of that pedestrian bridge to nowhere in the picture?

    I’ve crossed over a few times, found a homeless camp in the woods, and didn’t stick around. I thought it might be a good are for mountainbiking.

    • Lou

      I’ve always figured it had something to do with the aborted attempts to reconstruct the bridge that used to go over Spout Run Parkway and reconnect those two neighborhoods.

      • John

        Maybe. But I don’t think there were ever any serious county plans to rebuild the old wooden bridge over Spout Run between Woodmont and Dawson Terrace. The last community-organized attempt to rebuild it was shot down by members of the religious group, the Cedars.

        The pedestrian bridge does (or did) lead to dirt trails on the north side of 66 as of ten years ago (the last time I ventured to the other side of the pedestrian bridge).

        • Smithers

          I read that it was required as part of the agreement to build I-66 so that there would still be access to the area between it and the Spout Run parkway, otherwise that area would be cut off from pedestrian access.

    • edobson

      The bridge was built to provide access to the area between I-66 and Spout Run. There are some land configurations in that area that are related to the Civil War and the Potomac River valley. I-66 was designed to avoid them and the bridge was to provide access. 20+ years of non-activity and growth of plants has made it difficult to continue to identify them.
      The connection across Spout Run still exists on paper and it would be nice to get a bridge built allowing for an easier connection between North Arlington and the bike trail. The right of way is thru the adjacent townhouses, further north/east from this point.

      • bob

        Would be an interesting place to start an adverse possession if they are private owners of the land. I always thought it was part of the parkway property.

        • edobson

          if i understand you correctly, you cannot take adverse possession of public lands.
          you can see that when the townhouses were approved a clear decision was made to keep the potential for connecting the roadway back up.
          it is the right thing to do — increase access to our wonderful Fort Smith and also to the bike trail.

          • bob

            OK. Your comment about “land configurations” made it sounds as if some private owners were stuck back there. Makes far more sense if it was all public land.

            And the bridge would be great. However, it might be expense. Perhaps a giant zip line over spout run would be more fun.

          • Lou

            I don’t think the people on the north side of Spout Run want anything to do with the folks on the south side. At least that’s my recollection of how it went down last time there was serious talk about the bridge project.

          • John

            As I recall the Cedars were very vocal in objecting to the bridge. But there were also very vocal supporters of the bridge in Woodmont.

          • edobson

            my bad. my oblique reference to “land configurations” was more about terrain and about what may have been there. The area has not been officially researched so no one really knows.
            I think a zip line is a fantastic idea. plus it would keep the riff raff out — regardless of who you think the riff raff might be in this case.

  • GM

    I think the real reason why Peter Rousselot endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto is that he was promised no more campaign literature being mailed to him. As I’m moving in about two weeks out of Virginia (I will miss you, Arlington) I’ve just been tossing them in the recycling, but it’s gone from “another?” to “this is ridiculous” over the course of a week.



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