The holiday was first conceived in the early 20th century in order to complement Mother’s Day. While it was celebrated informally in the intervening years, it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made it an official, permanent national holiday.
So what are you planning to do for dad this weekend? Select the option that represents your primary Father’s Day present this year.
As reported by the Sun Gazette, the proposal would lower the speed limit on the key arteries, between Washington Blvd and Route 110, from 30 to 25 miles per hour.
The lower speed limit is in keeping with the county’s Master Transportation Plan, which calls for a 25 mile per hour speed limit on streets with lots of development and pedestrian activity.
The 17-year cicadas of Brood II, which last appeared during the Clinton Administration in 1996, would emerge en masse from the ground once the soil temperature was warm enough, disturbing the peace with their collective mating calls and littering lawns with their crunchy carcasses.
Alas, in Arlington, it seems like Brood II might be a bust. While points south and west of here do indeed have near-biblical-scale cicada infestations, it appears that most of Arlington has escaped unscathed.
If Arlington is to be invaded by cicadas, it’s most likely to happen during Brood X, which hit the D.C. area in 2004 and will return in 2021.
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
An otherwise cool May has given way to the usual D.C. summer combination of temperatures in the 90s and uncomfortable humidity.
With a “soupy and sultry” weekend in store, how do you plan to beat the heat?
The organization forecasts that 873,500 area residents will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, down nearly 2 percent from 890,600 last year.
Of those traveling, 795,000 (91 percent) will travel by car and 58,500 (6.6 percent) will travel by plane, AAA said. The air travel forecast is 10 percent below the 65,106 residents who traveled by air around this time last year.
The association blamed the drop in travel on the federal government sequester.
“Call it the ‘sequester siesta’ or ‘sequestration frustration’ and it is pulling down government spending across the national capital area,” AAA said in a press release. “Although they traveled at this time last year, many would-be travelers say they are cutting back on their vacation and sunny day travel plans for the time being. The sequester is lasting longer than first expected, and now most local workers are assuming the across-the-board federal spending cuts will continue throughout the summer months, the busiest travel season of the year, and it appears they are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.”
Of those traveling this weekend, almost two thirds are visiting family or friends. AAA says a third of all local travelers are going to a waterfront destination like the Maryland or Delaware shore.
So are you taking a “sequester siesta,” as AAA calls it, or are you planning to travel out of town this Memorial Day weekend?
Election Officials Seek Funding for Scanners — County election officials hope the County Board approves funding for bar code scanners that could speed up voter check-in at the polls. The scanners would read the codes on voters’ drivers’ licenses and voting cards, which would more quickly bring up residents’ information. A final County Board decision might not happen until the end of the fiscal year. [Sun Gazette]
Local Woman to Appear on Jeopardy! — Arlington resident Mary Jo Shoop will compete tonight on America’s popular quiz show, Jeopardy! During her time taping the show, Shoop was able to meet and get photos with host Alex Trebek. The episode will air tonight (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. on ABC 7 (WJLA).
APS Requests $0.005 Tax Rate Increase — (Updated at 10:00 a.m.) — Thursday night’s School Board meeting began with the announcement that the schools have asked the county for a one-half of one cent increase in the tax rate, which adds up to about $3 million. The funds would cover shortfalls in the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget of $520 million. APS Board Chair Emma Violand-Sanchez said the spring 2013 enrollment figures were higher than expected, prompting the need for more county money. [Arlington Mercury]
School Board Appoints Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations — John Chadwick was named the new Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations at last night’s (March 21) School Board meeting. He has served as the interim assistant superintendent since Feb. 1, and has served as the APS Director of Design and Construction since 2011. “John is a calm and reassuring leader as he has worked to collaborate with staff and the community on initiatives such as our recently-adopted ten-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). He has also been an adept manager for all of our recent capital improvement projects, including the construction at Yorktown and Wakefield and the planning of a new elementary school to be built on the Williamsburg site and the addition at Ashlawn,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy. “John’s leadership over the past two years for our ‘More Seats for More Students’ deliberations, as well as his support for the work of our new Multimodal Transportation Committee and our many other collaborative efforts with the Arlington County Government have been a tremendous asset to APS.”
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
By at least one measure, Arlington’s roads — all 376 miles of them – are in better shape than they were last year.
Since Nov. 1, Arlington County crews have filled 1,007 potholes on county-maintained roads, according to Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. Compare that to the 2,184 potholes filled between the start of November and the end of February last year.
McDaniel attributed the big drop in potholes to the mild winter we’ve experienced so far.
Still, a report that came out last summer suggests that Arlington has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to street maintenance. On a scale of 0 to 100, the average Pavement Condition Index for Arlington’s roads was 68.9, down from a PCI in the low 80s about 10 years ago.
In general, how would you grade Arlington’s roads at the moment?
As Arlington residents “fall back,” fire departments across the country are reminding folks that it’s also a good time to replace smoke alarm batteries. The Arlington County Fire Department offers free smoke alarms for those who need them; call 703-228-4646 for more information.
While we’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, the time change also means that it will be dark an hour earlier.
All things considered, how do you feel about the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend?
Flickr pool photo by Mnemosyne2009
We’ve already established that Arlington is a company town — with some 46 percent of respondents to our poll saying they work for the federal government or a government contractor.
Since government is the predominant local industry, one would think that last night’s presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney would have been the programming of choice on most local TVs. But was that actually the case? Let’s find out.
Did you watch all or part of the debate last night?
The official first day of astronomical fall isn’t until Saturday, Sept. 22 but, in all practicality, many of the trappings of summer end with Labor Day.
Gone are summer vacations, outdoor swimming pools, and summer festivals like outdoor movies and the Arlington County Fair. Starting, however, are more mild temperatures, football, and fall events like Oktoberfest, wine festivals and Clarendon Day.
Which do you prefer? Are you sad about the end of summer, or happy about the beginning of fall?
APS chose the latter, and now faces a growing protest from parents whose children are no longer able to take the bus to school due to new busing policies. Many parents affected by the new policies have said that forcing their children to walk 1 to 1.5 miles to school, often across busy roads, puts their safety at risk.
If you had to choose one, assuming a finite school budget, would you invest in a few extra buses or, as the school system ended up doing, spend the money saved on education instead?
Flickr pool photo by Afagan
Do you take off Tuesday or Thursday, giving yourself something of a mid-week weekend? Do you take two days off either before or after the Fourth of July, thus giving yourself a very long weekend? Do you throw caution to the wind and just take the entire week off? Or do you not take any time off work at all, and leave the easy long weekend for next year, when the Fourth falls on a Thursday?
How many days this week — including the Fourth — will you be taking off of work?
Flickr pool photo by Mennyj
Of those who live in Arlington, how many are native Arlingtonians? And how many people came here from outside the D.C. area, for work, school or otherwise?
This morning’s poll seeks to find that out.
Please choose the answer that best describes where you grew up, relative to Arlington.
Town-gown relations started deteriorating in 2007, when the university implemented a restrictive on-campus alcohol policy that forced parties off-campus and into surrounding neighborhoods. Complaints about noisy, drunken students have gotten so loud that D.C. officials are seriously considering a proposal to force Georgetown — the District’s largest private employer — to downsize if they don’t house an unprecedented 100 percent of students on-campus by the fall of 2016.
The Washington Post editorial board weighed in on the proposal over the weekend, calling it “unrealistic” and “troubling,” particularly during uncertain economic times.
“The District seems distressingly disinterested in promoting a knowledge-based economy,” the Post said in its editorial.
While there have been suggestions for less-restrictive ways to satisfy the university, its students and neighbors through a series of policy changes, one other potential solution that has been brought up is to have the university house more of its students and/or programs in Arlington — particularly Rosslyn.
The university already has a presence in Arlington — its Clarendon-based Center for Continuing and Professional Education. An even bigger presence could potentially diversify and strengthen Arlington’s economy. (Disclosure: Georgetown University is an ARLnow.com advertiser.)
Would you welcome an increased Georgetown University presence in Arlington?
On his blog yesterday, Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey reported that some residents have taken note of Republican state Senate candidate Caren Merrick’s propensity for skipping local candidate forums.
“Merrick, who is running against Democrat Barbara Favola for the 31st state Senate seat, has declined to appear at a number of joint appearances in Arlington,” McCaffrey wrote. “It’s happened so often, it must be a strategy rather than a series of coincidences.”
While skipping neighborhood-level political debates may not seem on its face like a great strategy, one wonders how much damage it could really do.
To what degree is your local vote influenced by watching a candidate forum or debate?