Arlington Public Schools need a full-time residency verification specialist, according to Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, but such a position isn’t provided for in the school system’s proposed budget.
Dr. Murphy listed the residency verification specialist as an “unfunded operational need” during his school budget presentation last month. So far, APS has only employed a part-time residency specialist to complete the “very labor intensive” process of researching the residency of students.
“One of the issues that we often hear from time to time is there are folks that are attending our schools who do not actually reside in our school division,” Dr. Murphy said. “While we’ve had a part-time position dedicated to that on a very small basis, I’m finding the need [for a full-time position] as we look at… the number of students that may be attending our schools that are not residents.”
“I think it’s a responsibility incumbent upon us as an organization using citizen tax dollars to make sure that those kids who are getting an education here are, in fact… residents of Arlington,” Dr. Murphy added.
Word that non-residents may be attending Arlington schools comes as APS is facing a system-wide capacity crisis.
While the need may be there, the residency verification specialist is listed along with an expanded elementary school foreign language program, additional Montessori classes and new print shop equipment as needs that won’t be funded in the FY 2013 budget currently under consideration. Dr. Murphy is hoping to find money for those and other unfunded needs in a future budget.
The Arlington County School Board will present the proposed budget to the Arlington Civic Federation tonight. A public hearing on the FY 2013 budget will be held at Thursday’s School Board meeting around 7:30 p.m.
Expect to see a lot more bicycles in Crystal City this weekend. Saturday is the inaugural Crystal City Diamond Derby.
Unlike most other bike races, this one takes place indoors at the parking garage at 1850 Crystal Drive. Both amateur and competitive cyclists will take part in events and attempt to win awards and prize money.
Spectators can enjoy a free party throughout the day at the lounge, which includes a large screen to watch the action, live music and a cash bar. An outdoor midway will be set up with vendors, food and a bicyclist sprint lane.
Activities start at 2:00 p.m., but the major competitions take place from 4:30-9:30 p.m. They’re immediately followed by an awards ceremony, then the Diamond Derby Ball which runs from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
Although the event is free and open to the public, registration and fees are required for competitors.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Prosecutors say Ryan Ackroyd, Jake Davis, Darren Martyn and Hector Xavier Monsegur — alleged members of the “hacktivist” group LulzSec — hacked into PBS servers last year in retaliation for what they perceived to be unfavorable coverage of Wikileaks by the PBS news program “Frontline.” At the time, news outlets reported that LulzSec defaced PBS.org and posted a fake story on the PBS NewsHour website suggesting that the late rapper Tupac Shakur was actually alive and well in New Zealand.
PBS is based in Crystal City and the PBS NewsHour is produced in Shirlington, though prosecutors say the organization’s computer servers were actually located in Alexandria.
Ackroyd and Davis, of the United Kingdom, and Martyn, of Ireland, are each charged with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy. In addition to the PBS hack, they’re also accused of hacking into the systems of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Rockville-based Bethesda Softworks, and other companies.
Monsegur, of New York City, has already pleaded guilty to a host of charges connected with those hacking incidents. See the full list of charges from a United States Attorney’s Office press release.
The Reading Connection is hosting the event on Friday at the Boeing Conference Center (1200 Wilson Blvd). Attendees can enjoy a wine and beer tasting, food from local restaurants and a silent auction.
WJLA Meteorologist Brian van de Graff will emcee and children’s book author Jarrett J. Krosoczka will be the literacy honoree. Lyon Hall‘s Executive Pastry Chef Rob Valencia has earned the distinction of being the event’s first ever Chef Chair.
The 8th Annual Of Wine & Words runs from 7:00-10:00 p.m., and the VIP reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, or $115 including the VIP reception.
A bomb squad investigation has shut down part of Washington Blvd and is causing significant traffic backups.
Washington Blvd in the eastbound/southbound direction has been shut at S. 2nd St, near Route 50. While the investigation continues, there will be various closings in the area, including on S. 2nd St.
Drivers are advised to avoid the area altogether if possible.
The investigation involves a pipe wrapped in some sort of packaging found lying in the bushes.
Shortly before 9:00 a.m. a suspicious envelope was found at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Cherrydale, which is a polling place for today’s presidential primary election. Police and fire units were on the scene, in addition to the bomb squad. The scene was cleared around 10:30 a.m.
Contrary to our earlier reporting, the polling place was not closed during the brief investigation, according to Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg.
While the bomb squad was on the scene of the suspicious envelope investigation, a second suspicious package incident was reported near Washington Blvd and S. 2nd St. At that scene, VDOT workers came across a pipe wrapped in some sort of packaging, lying in the bushes. All eastbound (southbound) lanes of Washington Boulevard were closed at Second Street as a result of the investigation. See our subsequent article for updated information.
Virginia is one of 10 states with presidential primaries today. Only two of the Republican contenders are on the ballot here, however. Thanks in part to the state’s stringent requirements for getting on the ballot, neither Rick Santorum (a Great Falls resident) nor Newt Gingrich (a McLean resident) were able to qualify. Voters in Virginia will have to choose between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, with no write-in option.
A local election official said all 52 of Arlington’s polling places opened around 6:00 this morning without incident. Voting will continue through 7:00 tonight. Any registered voter is eligible to vote in the Virginia primary, regardless of party affiliation.
Will you be voting today?
New Long-Haul Flights Coming to DCA — Three new long-haul flights to western cities are being added at Reagan National Airport. A new United flight to San Francisco will start in May, and flights to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles will start in June. While travelers may be happy about the new nonstop options, some Arlington residents are concerned about the potential for added noise from the larger planes necessary for the long-haul flights. [Sun Gazette, Washington Business Journal]
Metro Track Work This Week — Metro is working on the Blue Line this week, and those who travel between the District and Arlington around midday may experience some delays as a result. Metro is single-tracking between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day through Friday. Crews are performing “rail, fastener, tie and insulator renewal.” Riders should add an extra 10 minutes to their travel time, according to Metro. Orange Line passengers may also experience brief delays as a result of the Blue Line work. [WMATA]
Pricey Rehab Options for Reeves Farm — The historic Reeves Farm, located near Bluemont Park, is in need of rehabilitation. According to a new report, it will cost between $1.1 and $1.3 million to convert the Reeves farmhouse to a learning center or demonstration kitchen. [Arlington Mercury]
Retailers Helping Arlington’s Car-Free Diet — The Arlington County Commuter Services Bureau has partnered with 327 local retailers to help promote its Car-Free Diet campaign. You can find a map and a list of specific options for getting to each retailer without a car on the Car-Free Diet web site. [TBD]