The changes include reorganizing and consolidating bus stops, assigning students to specific bus stops, and requiring students to present an APS-issued pass in order to board the bus.
To determine eligibility for the bus passes, APS used a computer program to calculate each student’s distance from their school. Elementary students less than a mile from their school, and middle and high school students less than a mile and a half from their school, will not be issued bus passes, and will be required to walk, bike or be driven to school.
The new distance calculations have resulted in some students who previously were able to ride the bus no longer eligible being to do so. That has many parents up in arms.
So far, more than 275 people have signed an online petition urging the school system to “stop the implementation of the new APS student transportation plan.” More than 185 have joined a Facebook group called “Arlington Parents for Safe School Transportation.” Many of the parents have the same complaints: that forcing students to walk to school risks their safety, and that there was not enough advance notice of the changes.
“I think it is ridiculous that you expect my 5 year old to walk to kindergarten. We are .8 miles away and have to cross over Glebe during rush hour,” wrote parent Jeremy Billy. “And drop off time is at 8:30am… pretty tough for single parents or parents that work. Perhaps this was not properly thought through. Please think this over and allow my child to ride the bus.”
“My 11 year old daughter will be attending Williamsburg MS in the fall. I received a letter stating that she was not eligible for bus service even though we live 1.7 miles from the school,” wrote parent Patricia Molteni. “It would take my daughter 35 minutes to walk to school — never mind how unsafe the route would be. My husband and I are both working parents and right now I don’t know how we are going to get her to and from school. This is extremely bad school policy to make this kind of change and surprise parents two weeks before school is supposed to start.”
“The lack of communication with affected families is really troubling,” wrote Mary Flannery. “People shouldn’t hear two weeks before school starts that their bus has been cut. I also believe bus transportation is a much better choice for our community than dozens more cars on the roads and in school drop zones.”
“There is the already mentioned safety issue of walking in the dark for much of the school year — both to and from school,” wrote another parent. “Why bother to send out alerts about the unsavory characters following, touching and causing distress to students if you are setting up a policy where more of these children are on the streets? It is very likely that there will be much more traffic congestion, pollution, possibility of accidents as the students who live close to the 1.5 mile cut off for bus transport will likely be driven to school.”
Wags n’ Whiskers, which is taking place at the Village at Shirlington on Campbell Avenue, is described as a “community-oriented event for animal enthusiasts and their four-legged friends.” The event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“The afternoon animal extravaganza will feature pet adoptions from local shelters, pet contests, demonstrations, exhibitions, pet portrait photos, live music, and children’s activities including face painting, balloon animals and more,” according to a press release. “The merchants at Village at Shirlington will also host in-store specials, promotions and free giveaways.”
In addition to specials at Shirlington Village merchants, like Dogma Bakery and Ah Love Oil and Vinegar (which will have a booth handing out olive oil dog treats and demonstrating “methods of pet care using extra virgin olive oil”), a number of exhibitors will be on hand at the event.
Those exhibitors include Arlington Welfare League of Arlington, Barkley Square Pets, Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Dog Paws n Cat Claws Pet Care, Fetch! Pet Care, Fur-Get Me Not, Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care, The Mid-Atlantic Chinese Shar-Pei Rescue Operation, Inc., Nova Mobile Vet and NOVADog Magazine.
A man is in jail after allegedly beating up his roommate over money.
The incident happened yesterday (Tuesday) evening in the Nauck neighborhood. Police say a knife-wielding man beat up his roommate after accusing the victim of stealing several hundred dollars. Police responded and swarmed the area when a neighbor called police to report seeing the victim bleeding and hunched over outside the house, with the suspect standing by him with a knife in hand.
The victim — who wasn’t actually stabbed, according to police — was treated and released for minor injuries.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 08/21/12, 3600 block of S. Kemper Road. On August 21 at 4:35 pm, two roommates got into a dispute over money and a physical altercation ensued. One of the roommates pulled a knife and beat up the victim roommate, who had to be transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Jose Alejandro Mendez Cruz, 19, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was held without bond.
On Sunday morning, meanwhile, a suspect cut a hole in the metal security gate of a Pentagon City store and stole $28 in loose change. Police say the suspect could have gotten away with much more — $700 in cash was sitting next to one of the registers.
BURGLARY, 08/20/12, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 9:40 pm on August 19 and 9:40 am on August 20, an unknown subject(s) cut a hole in a metal security gate and entered a business, opting to steal approximately $28 in loose change instead of the $700 in cash next to the register. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this weeks’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
Around 9:45 p.m., a suspect threw hot coffee on the front desk attendant at the Best Western hotel on the 2400 block of S. Glebe Road. The suspect then hopped the counter, stole $450 in cash and a cell phone, and fled the scene in a white sedan, according to police.
A K9 unit and the helicopter were called in, but police were ultimately unable to locate the suspect.
“The suspect is described as a black male, 6’0” tall and 170 lbs,” according to the police report. “He was wearing a black hat, reading glasses, black athletic jacket, white athletic shorts and white shoes at the time of the robbery.”
Are you a cupcake fanatic? When you go to sleep at night, do you count cupcakes instead of sheep? Do you watch television shows about cupcakes? To you, is a cupcake and coffee a perfectly acceptable breakfast?
If you said yes to any of those questions, you’re probably going to like an event that’s coming to Rosslyn next month.
The third annual “CupcakeCampDC” will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Continental Pool Lounge (1911 N. Fort Myer Drive). The event is described as “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment.” Bringing your own fresh-baked cupcakes to the event is optional but encouraged; eating a bunch of cupcakes is expected.
The event will benefit the DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of either $5 or $10, depending on whether you want “VIP” access. Organizers say last year’s event, held at Local 16 in D.C., sold out.
In addition to the consumption of cupcakes and networking with fellow cupcake fans, CupcakeCampDC will feature free gaming at the Continental’s skeeball, shuffleboard, darts, basketball, pool, Wii, and board game stations. There will also be a cupcake competition.
“Bakers will be split between professionals and amateurs giving everyone a chance with fair play,” organizers said. “Local judges include foodies we love — Nikki Rappaport of Cupcakes for Breakfast, The Cupcake Crusaders, and many more”
Tickets for CupcakeCampDC are available online.
Flickr photo by YidaL
Tri360 is located at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, just off of the W&OD Trail. The store is built, stocked and ready for customers, but it’s awaiting its Certificate of Occupancy from Arlington County before it can open, according to the Tri360 Facebook page.
Tri360 will sell athletic apparel, accessories and shoes, and will also feature a “full-service” bike store — everything a triathlete needs to swim, cycle and run.
The store’s owners are hoping to be open by the end of the month.
Photo via Facebook
Justice Dept. Upholds Va. Voter ID Law — A new Virginia law that expands the types of identification accepted at the polls while disallowing a rule that had allowed voting without an ID has been given a green light by the Justice Department, just in time for Election Day in November. [Washington Post]
Cars for Low-Income Families — The group Vehicles for Change has received a $1 million grant that will allow it to provide a couple dozen used cars to low-income families in Arlington, at low cost to the families. [Arlington Mercury]
Arlington Seeks Urban-Agriculture Feedback – Arlington is asking for the public’s thoughts on urban agriculture — including backyard chickens — in the county, via its Open Arlington website. One statement on the forum implores the county to “bring a Walmart to Arlington.” [Sun Gazette]
Cap City Hosting ‘Summer Farewell Party’ — Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) is hosting a “Summer Farewell Party on the Patio” tonight. From 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., the restaurant will be offering $6 burgers, $6 brats, $5 margaritas and $3.50 beer pints. [Facebook]
Arlington Launches Mobile Tourism Site — Arlington Convention and Visitors Service has launched a mobile-optimized website for tourists. The site, which can be accessed via smartphone at www.StayArlington.com, features tools to discover and get directions to local dining, shopping, sight-seeing and entertainment options. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Pam C.