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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — January 15, 2013 at 9:10 am 2,069 126 Comments

Foggy night at the Marine Corps Memorial by Wolfkann

Arlington Earns ‘B+’ For Budget Transparency — Arlington has earned a grade of “B+” from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government for the ease of finding budget information on the county’s website. While better than average, the score is below Fairfax County’s “A+” grade. [Sun Gazette]

New Optometrist Open in Clarendon — A new optometrist clinic has opened in Clarendon. New Era Eyecare opened at 3105 10th Street N. last week. It’s the company’s second location; its original clinic is located in Clifton. New Era isn’t the only optometrist to recently open in Clarendon’s main business district. Visual Health Doctors of Optometry opened at 3102 Wilson Blvd in 2011.

APS Offers Car Maintenance Course for Women — Arlington Public Schools is offering a car maintenance course specifically for women as part of its adult education program. The course “is designed specifically for women who have limited to no knowledge of car maintenance.” It’s the only gender-specific class currently offered as part of the program. As of this morning, there was only one remaining student opening for the class, which begins on March 11. [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

  • Ralph

    Eh, this is off-topic I know.

    Yesterday DarkHeart mentioned “CoPi” in his comment, as an abbreviation of an area here in Arlington.

    What was he referring to?

    • Quoth the Raven

      Columbia Pike, I think.

    • DarkHeart

      Rather than write out Columbia Pike…not meant to be SoHo, NoLita, etc.

    • Wow&Flutter

      Columbia Pike?

      • G Clifford Prout

        Trolleytown

    • Ralph

      Thank you.

      This has bothered me all day.

      And I realize, “nobody says that”.

    • JohnB2

      I use “The Pike.”

  • dallynd

    That car maintenance class is probably taught by a man. It will be mostly lecture, little that is practical. He’ll then ask them to fix it, and tell them they did it wrong. Then resume his spot on the sofa while they clean up.

    • drax

      I think he’ll take them out for a spin while they all tell him how to drive.

    • Quoth the Raven

      WTF?

  • Just Wondering

    Is the auto maintenance class really just for women? Sounds like a discrimination suit waiting to happen. Does “specifically for” mean “only for”?

  • dallynd

    Columbia Pike, Ralph.

  • CW

    Makes perfect sense. Because, you know, bolts act differently based on who is tightening them.

    • drax

      Thanks for demonstrating exactly why they want this class.

      • CW

        Because I think that cars are a neutral medium which do not behave differently when men versus women are working on them?

        • drax

          No, you’re right. I was just joshing. Or was I Josh Essing?

  • Jeff

    Another great photo, Wolfkann!

  • dallynd

    lol – Raven … just such a ridiculous stereotype to have a class for women only.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Sorry, missed the joke entirely!

    • John Fontain

      Maybe some women want to learn about auto repair but might not feel comfortable taking a class with a bunch of heathens gawking at them the whole time? Maybe this course is offered because women requested it. Did you ever consider this possibility?

      • SomeGuy

        John, by your logic, should they screen out lesbians who might gawk? “Fashionistas” who might gawk while being silently critical of another woman’s wardrobe? Or was your mention of “heathens gawking” just a reference to men? And are all men gawking heathens?

        I couldn’t care less if they target a specific audience. It’s about whether they’d refuse a man’s entry to the class. I won’t be getting that answer firsthand, but maybe another brave male soul would like to risk being gawked at by those female heathens and attempt to sign up. Report back please.

        • John Fontain

          “John, by your logic, should they screen out lesbians who might gawk?”

          Only if that had been a legitimate concern of women wanting to take such a course and a sufficient number of such women asked for a course in which they could learn about auto repair without concern of being intimidated.

          But of course, your question is silly and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Namely, the class is completed booked up and also on a waitlist status. Looks like the free market is working and women actually want such a class. Good for them!

          Oh, and there are plenty of auto repair classes that men can take too (just in case any men on this site are legitimately concerned about their need to take such a class).

          • yeah, but….

            I demand a men-only class in something.

          • drax

            Suppose a class offered to whites only was booked, would that be okay?

          • Observer

            The “free market” argument says that whites only class would also be OK.

          • John Fontain

            drax said: “Suppose a class offered to whites only was booked, would that be okay?”

            Of course not, because (as you know) no reasonable person would view as legitimate a white person’s concern about taking a auto repair class with non-whites.

          • novasteve

            John, how could a reasonable person view as legitimate a woman’s concern about taking an auto repair class with males?

          • dk (not DK)

            Oh please, people. Of course the class is open to all comers, regardless of sex or sexual preference.

          • John Fontain

            steve said: “how could a reasonable person view as legitimate a woman’s concern about taking an auto repair class with males?”

            As a male, I can very easily see how and why a woman may be interested in learning about auto repair without a bunch of heathens around.

            It sounds as if you didn’t take any industrial education-type classes in high school. In addition to the one shop class that most middle schoolers take, I went on and took several more years of shop class in high school because I enjoyed wood working. I was the only kid in these classes who was also taking classes such as Calculus BC. And let me tell you, the type of people who typically take industrial ed classes aren’t the folks that would make an auto repair class a comfortable place for women to be. Deny it all you want, but that’s the reality. I know from firsthand experience. And that’s why I can completely understand womens’ desire for a class like this.

          • drax

            Would you support sex-segregated schools, John, for the same reason?

          • novasteve

            So John you think segregation is a good idea then, at least gender segregation? So you would deny men from a course due to your stereotypes about people you think would take such courses?

      • novasteve

        So i should be denied an education opportunity because someone else is insecure? That’s really logic.

        • Life is Fair

          assumes facts that do not exist. Take the class — no one is stopping you.

        • John Fontain

          Are you saying there are no other classes offered in this area that you could take to learn about auto repair?

          • novasteve

            I want the same opportunity as the women here do. This class is taxpayer subsidized. Why should I have to pay more or be denied benefits as a resident and taxpayer due to my gender?

          • John Fontain

            steve said: “I want the same opportunity as the women here do.”

            No, you don’t. You want to continue to make ridiculous arguments to ensure that no one takes them seriously.

          • jackson

            If you pay $50 to take the class, how is it taxpayer subsidized?

          • novasteve

            Beacuse non residents pay more to take the class. Look at the link. It is SUBSIDIZED.

          • jackson

            Time for a lawsuit? No, just want to complain about it here? Okay.

  • Hofstra Fail

    Car maintenance is for yuppies.

  • arlingtongal

    Optometry must bring in the $$$. It seems like there are so many of them. There must be a really high markup on glasses.

    • John Fontain

      Yep, they are cash cows. There is one up on a prominent street in Clarendon that will tell you you need glasses whether you do or not and charges twice to three times as much for their frames as most other places. Yet the place is packed every weeknight and weekend with people getting hosed left and right.

    • dk (not DK)

      Orthodontia is the real cash cow. The profit margin on invisalign must be over 90%.

  • novasteve

    Isn’t it sexist to presume that only women would need a class like that? There are men out there who are absolutely clueless about automobiles. And taxpayer funds are used for this sexism?

    • JamesE

      Good lord you are just a miserable human

      • novasteve

        I’m miserable for pointing out sexism? Do you tell that to feminists too?

        • JamesE

          No, because you complain about EVERYTHING

      • 350sbc

        +111111111000

    • wimmer201

      We all saw this comment from a mile away. Let’s complain about EVERYTHING shall we?

      • drax

        No, just things that are worth complaining about.

        And maybe he’s just posing a point for conversation. Is that so hard to handle?

        This is a class that commits gender discrimination. It’s worth talking about at least.

    • John Fontain

      steve said: “And taxpayer funds are used for this sexism?”

      You do realize that participants have to pay for this class, right?

      • novasteve

        John, Are you suggesting that no taxpayer funds are used in the program? Why do you think there is a resident rate and a non resident rate for these adult education classes, John?

        • John Fontain

          I don’t know. Please share with us the answers to your rhetorical questions so that we can become educated.

    • Rory

      Steve, I agree with you here. Plenty of men don’t know anything about cars, why can’t they take the class???

      • novasteve

        Because the people behind this have stereotypes about men and women, but that’s somehow not sexist.

    • John Fontain

      steve said: “Isn’t it sexist to presume that only women would need a class like that?”

      Logic fail. Offering a class to one group does not presume that others groups don’t need it. If I offer an excercise class for senior citizens, does logic follow that I my offering of the class is making a statement that young people don’t need such a class? Of course not!

      So tell me Steve, do you get incensed at the thought of excercise classes for seniors. How about this APS class “Cooking for the Busy Professional”? Does it make you irate that this class isn’t for non-professionals too? How about “Bread for Beginners”? What if you are an intermediate bread baker?

      • drax

        But there’s no men-only class being offered, so yes, it presumes that.

        Gender is one of those classifications that isn’t supposed to involve discrimination. A senior’s exercise class has a rational basis – much like a childbirth class for women would. Busy professionals aren’t a class protected by law.

        • John Fontain

          drax said: “But there’s no men-only class being offered, so yes, it presumes that.”

          Logic fail: Affirming the consequent.

          • drax

            False, John.

            There’s a class for women but not men. Perhaps men need a men-only class, in something.

            All I’m saying is the burden of proof is on you to justify a class that discriminates by gender, which is normally illegal by federal law. I’m not saying this class is illegal, or even a bad thing – but you should be able to explain why without just dismissing the point, like you did with steve.

          • jackson

            What happened, the DNA results come in and you’re Steve’s dad?

        • AL

          You’re wrong! Age over 40 is a protected class!

        • novasteve

          Gender based distinctions get heightened scrutiny, not rational basis, so it’s a tougher standard to meet. There’s no important government interest being served by having a for women auto maintenance class.

          • Babby

            Fail. Assumes facts that do not exists.

            If ANYONE wants to take the class, then sign up.

          • Loocy

            The interest being served is that there was interest in an auto repair class specifically geared toward women, and the class is already full. It sounds like fun. Most women I know would rather take a class like that with other gals rather than a bunch of dudes who roll their eyes and groan at naive questions and mutter about girls trying to fix cars.

            Presumably, any dude who did sign up for a class like this would think about what he was getting into and how outnumbered he was and adjust his behavior accordingly.

  • Hollywood

    The course “is designed specifically for women who have limited to no knowledge of car maintenance.”

    Why couldn’t they just offer a class about basic car mechanics and maintenance? Why does it need to be exclusionary?

    • novasteve

      It’s like women only swim hours at universities, becaues they are “too bashful” is the excuse usually given why it’s okay to discriminate against men. Some equality.

      • Hollywood

        Right. It’s not only discriminatory against men, but reveals the belief that women are too sensitive or frail or whatever their crazy notion is to participate in an activity that includes men. I am not a woman, but I would hate to feel babied by someone who thinks I need to be protected in this way.

        • SoArl

          I’m a woman and I totally agree with you

      • John Fontain

        A guy complaining about sex discrimination against guys.

        LOL x 100!

        • drax

          Why would you LOL about that?

          Do you think discrimination against men is okay, John?

          • novasteve

            Probably for another sexist reason like “man up, deal”. Would he say that to a woman who has been discriminated against “woman up” whatever that even means?

            These terms like man up, be a man, etc are all stereotypical and sexist.

          • John Fontain

            drax said: “Why would you LOL about that?”

            You’re right, men have it so hard in this world. It’s about time things change to finally make it fair for us.

          • drax

            True. But “woman up” is pretty clever. It evens the playing field.

          • novasteve

            John: Men have lower life expectancies, much higher homicide rates, much higher on the job death rates, men are less likely to be university educated, less money spend on medical research, etc.. it’s not all fun and games for men

          • John Fontain

            Steve, woe is us.

          • drax

            John, answer my question. Do you think discrimination against men is okay?

            It’s illegal, by the way. But is it okay?

            Is discrimination against whites okay too? Or Christians? Must you be only be in an historically oppressed class to be protected from discrimination?

          • John Fontain

            drax said: “John, answer my question. Do you think discrimination against men is okay?”

            drax, if this class is the worst of all wrongs committed against males in the world, then yes I am fine with it. The idea that men should be upset that the women in our lives are being offered an opportunity to learn about auto repair in an unintimidating environment is completely laughable (as you know).

          • drax

            So John, you are on record as supporting discrimination by gender.

            And the funny thing is, you think you are the one who is being pro-woman here.

          • John Fontain

            drax, please try to use the terms gender and sex appropriately. gender refers to the masculine or feminine forms of nouns. sex refers to biological charistics that make one a male or a female.

            so to answer your question, no i don’t support discrimination based on the masculine or feminine forms of a noun.

            your views are generally reliably wacky on the liberal side, and yet today you’ve decided to take a wacky view on the conservative side. i don’t get it.

    • DarkHeart

      I don’t see too many shade tree mechanics in Arlington. There should probably be a men only class as well.

  • Vincent Verweij

    Little unfair considering Fairfax owns approximately none of its roads.

  • arlimprov

    Not suprised we didn’t get an “A+” in budget transparency like Fairfax Co.

    AC board seems to like to act as a rogue model and hide their spending. Case-in-point—the overly expensive and unneeded aquatic center was not mentioned on the ballot—it just had a box ‘are you in favor of parks and rec.’…of course most people voting ‘yes’ didn’t realize they just voted for the hugely over-expensive acquatic center.

    • Josh S

      You may have an argument to make about ARlington hiding its spending, but the example you give is not that argument. For several reasons, one of which is that the ballot issue in question was not exclusively about the aquatic center.

  • 350sbc

    This blog needs a “troll filter” to remove irrelevant rhetorical comments from certain people.

    • Life is Fair

      +1

    • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

      i’d never visit a site like that. trolls make the site.

  • 350sbc

    Great photo, though! The fog helps capture amazing shots.

  • Trev

    I’ll be one of the teacher’s assistants overlooking the ladies handywork and while at it I’ll be checking out their cute garage outfits that say PINK on their a**

  • novasteve

    For those claiming this isn’t a big deal that they are discriminating against me, but deny the class is taxpayer subsidized, please see this.

    http://registration.arlingtonadulted.org/FeeBreakdown.awp?&Course=13WTI104&CrseName=Car+Maintenance+for+Women

    Residents pay less than non residents, meaning the class is subsidized. This means that taxpayer money is used to fund a class that denies half of the county to attend because they were born male.

    • jackson

      Just file a lawsuit, along with the one over an award for promoting women’s issues from earlier.

      In fact, just sue the county now. Your list of grievances is very long.

      • Dezlboy

        @jackson, I am not aware of any occurance when novasteve put his money where his mouth is, or took any action related to his views other than post on in this forum. Easy to complain and spout off. Harder to take action or follow through. Case in point in the Tehada thread novasteve stated, “To hell with arlington r ules then. i refuse to obey them since they selective obey federal law.”

        Many people have had the courage of their convictions and broken the law accordingly. Chaining themselves to the South African embassy to protest policies, etc.

        Apparently novasteve had not the courage of his convictions.

        novasteve, the ball is in your court.

        • drax

          Yeah, we’re all still waiting for steve to move away and Kev to start an armed rebellion.

          (The latter is truly scary though).

      • drax

        A law professor at GW has sued against such other innocuous discrimination as lady’s nights at bars, women-only hairdressers and single-sex dorms. I think he’s won a few of them.

    • John Fontain

      The fact that non-residents pay more than residents doesn’t necessarily mean that the cost for residents is tax subsidized. It could just mean that we are making an extra profit off of non-residents. Steve, why don’t you find out the facts instead of just assuming. Seriously, call up the county and find out if your unsubstantiated assertion is true.

  • novasteve

    Say if they offered a cleaning and cooking and homemaking class for men only?That would be okay?

    • 350sbc

      Would it be fair to ban you from this forum? Yes.
      Why? Because it’s the internet.

      • novasteve

        Wow that’s really on point 350sbc, adds so much to the topic.

        • Dezlboy

          @novasteve: ROFL at your remark! Thanksf for the laugh. Not adding to the topic! hehehehe. I guess you would know.

    • John Fontain

      Yes, that would be great. And I’m sure most women who have a man in their life would be more than happy if their man was enrolled.

    • second shift

      Are you serious? Do you really expect women to be upset about a class in homemaking for men? Take my husband, please!

      • drax

        Why would we need a homemaking class just for men?

        • novasteve

          Dunno, why would we need a auto maintenance class just for women?

          • AL

            How can we expect women to maintain cars when they aren’t even allowed to drive them?

          • drax

            Women aren’t allowed to drive cars?

  • Fed up

    People (men) seem a little confused about what is going on here, so let a woman explain it to you. I realize this is a foreign concept to those of you who are accustomed to doing your own “mansplaining.”

    Some women are interested in car maintenance and repair. However, for a number of reasons, they suspect that a class in car maintenance and repair appeals to many more men than women, and for a number of reasons they feel uncomfortable about the idea of being THE ONLY WOMAN in a class on car maintenance. These suspicions/concerns might keep them from enrolling in the class.

    This is a class that ANYONE can take. I can assure you that enrollees are not required to possess lady parts. But because it has a title that explicitly invites women to enroll, a woman who might previously have been reluctant to enroll now might feel more comfortable doing so, because she will assume that there will be other women in the class. And, among other benefits, the presence of other women in the class will reduce the amount of “mansplaining” she will have to listen to.

    • novasteve

      How do you make an auto maintenance class for women. Does car maintenance differ based upon the gender of the driver? Do I need such reassurance if I wanted to take a Womyn’s studies class that I won’t be the only male in it? I mean what about my feelings? I will need the reassurance of knowing there will be fellow men in my womyn’s studies class to the reduce the amount of womynsplaining” he will have to do. Right?

      • Yawn

        Back under the bridge, you. There a goat coming.

    • drax

      Ah, so you’re saying this class aimed at women, but men can still take it.

      If so, that changes everything.

      Your “mansplaining” comment is sexist and insulting. If I said I didn’t want to be in a class full of women because of all the whining and yakking, you’d find that sexist too.

    • lady gaga

      Can I enroll in the class?

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I think having an auto maintenance class is a great idea. While some people are having a mess in their drawers about it being for women and isn’t it that discriminatory toward men and yada, yada, yada until the eyes fall out of one’s head, I’ll simply note that all too often, mechanics rip off women when they bring their cars in for repairs or maintenance. I’m not saying that mechanics don’t rip off men as well…they do. But if the women I’ve known over the years are any indication, it seems that mechanics are more likely to rip-off women because they think they can get away with it because they think women don’t know anything about cars. To help women do their own repairs and/or become more familiar with cars so they can know when some jerk is trying to rip them off is a good thing. And I would think that if a man wants to take the class so they can learn, they’d be welcome and good for them! Many mechanics will try to cheat everyone, regardless of gender.

    • John Fontain

      Bluemont, there is no room for level-headed thinking here. So cut it out!

    • drax

      So we should have a class for anyone who doesn’t know much about auto maintenance and doesn’t want to be ripped off, male or female.

      • John Fontain

        If you are really so interested in this, I suggest you offer up your mechanical skills and teach a class for this very purpose here in Arlington. Let me know when enrollment begins.

        • novasteve

          It’s fascinating John that you proudly boast of you not caring about discrimination against men, and you laugh at equal protection.

          However the moment something happened discriminatory against a group you care about, I can only imagine how loudly you would scream in outrage.

          • John Fontain

            “the moment something happened discriminatory against a group you care about, I can only imagine how loudly you would scream in outrage.”

            I am a member of the male sex. You are saying this is a horrible case of discrimination against us males. And yet, here I am not screaming loudly in outrage. Keeping on imagining, steve, it’s all you’ve got at this point.

          • novasteve

            John, I bet you would have told all the men drafted in prior wars, many of which who didn’t return, to “man up” and not complain , right? For as “good” as men have it despite the lower life expectancies, lower education rates, high homicide rates, men have been treated as disposable by society. Open your eyes.

    • 350sbc

      I second this. I think it’s a great idea and more women should enroll. The skills learned last a lifetime and could aid in difficult situations.

  • drax

    Time for girls-only schools. Can’t have girls being intimidated by boys. Especially in math class.

  • FED

    Basic questions need to be asked. Like how did we get to the point where we are spending $450,000 for two small brick walls in Penrose Park, $1,000 each for bikeshare bicycles, and more than $100,000 every year for a car tax decal program?

  • WhyClassesForWomen?

    Sssssshhhhhh – don’t go telling, but the REAL reason there are women-only classes is that we want to be able to talk about periods, childbirth and the menopause without making you boys uncomfortable. We know you’re sensitive that way.

  • John Fontain

    Novasteve and drax – Would it trouble you if Arlington County offered a pole dancing class to women only?

    • novasteve

      Pole dancing not equal to car maintanance. Almost everyone drives a car (despite the car free diet), very few people pole dance.

      • John Fontain

        So putting aside those nonrelevant points, what is your answer?

      • John Fontain

        And by the way, your analogy failed as well because the class doesn’t teach people how to drive a car, it teaches them how to repair a car. Just like pole dancing, this is something that very few people do themselves.

  • Babby

    The professional complainer on this site hates women — he is always complaining about women. How sad.

  • ShirliMan

    How about this class on page 15 of the catalog? This seeems more controversial than a car maintenance class for women. (Although there is not a another car maintenance class a basic as the “women’s class”. I guess all men know how to check the oil and change a tire.)

    A Smart Woman’s Path to Negotiation in the Workplace
    Despite the advances in gender equality women still face challenges in the workplace that are largely unknown to men. Learn real reasons your male colleagues earn a fatter paycheck. We will discuss how to snag the promotion you deserve, negotiate a pay raise, and avoid a variety of mistakes that suppress your career and income growth potential both now and in the future.

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