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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 31, 2011 at 8:37 am 2,100 41 Comments

Arlington Preschool Makes Headlines — Claremont Elementary’s Montessori preschool program is receiving lots of attention for its decision to suspend a three-year-old who has “difficulty making it to the toilet on time.” The Wall Street Journal opines: “Potty training poses a tough challenge for dual working-parents.” [Washington Post]

Virginia Primary Will Be Held in August — Virginia’s primary date has been pushed back to Aug. 23 to allow more time for the state to complete its contentious redistricting process. Normally, primaries are held on the second Tuesday in June. [Washington Post]

Cuccinelli Suing Bank on Behalf of Arlington Retirement Fund — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is suing the Bank of New York Mellon Corp., accusing the financial giant of ripping off several state retirement systems, including the Arlington County Employees’ Retirement System Fund. The complaint alleges that BNY Mellon overcharged for foreign exchange transactions. [Wall Street Journal]

Draft Beer at the Clarendon Whole Foods — You can now get 32- or 64-ounce growlers filled up with draft beer at the Clarendon Whole Foods. Recently, the selection included Avery Brown Ale, Lagunitas IPA and Eggenberg Pils. Sorry, Whole Foods diners, “sales are for takeout only.” [Patch]

Transportation Group Calls Out Arlington — The pro-HOT lanes Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance is taking a dig at the county in response to our article about the anti-Arlington budget amendments proposed by Fairfax Republican Del. Tim Hugo. Says the NVTA: “It is unfortunate that the Arlington Board’s actions could cause Arlington citizens and businesses to lose state revenue and potentially pay even higher taxes. However… Bad Decisions Can Have Bad Consequences.” [NVTA]

  • Burger

    I hope Whole Foods has enough bathrooms.

  • I think I saw that bird eating a squirrel near my home. Felt bad for the little guy, but it was awesome and grotesque at the same time.

  • BallstonDude

    Why does Arlington provide “public” pre-school services? I’m not familiar with this, but this seems absurd. The article states “Arlington Public Schools’ Montessori preschool at Claremont Elementary” which would lead me to believe it is public and taxpayer funded.

    • mehoo

      It’s not free. Montessori preschool kids in Arlington public schools pay tuition. For Montessori kindergarten and up, it’s free like any other student.

      There is free preschool for special ed kids in Arlington schools, which is designed to give them an early developmental start. This is mandated by federal law.

      • Greg

        It’s heavily taxpayer subsidized and free to many, but that’s besides the point. I don’t really get the objection of the initial commentor. Is there a problem with public education, now? Particularly for lower-income families who can’t afford to have their kids in Arlington’s daycares (of which there are too few anyway) this seems like a good program. What would be the issue here?

    • SD

      I’m curious why you think this is absurd?

      This has been around in Arlington for 30+ years. You can find info here: http://www.arlingtonmontessori.org/arlington.htm

      Important to note that is is not entirely free and 2/3 of attendees are from families making less than $80000.

      Tuition for three-and four-year-old Montessori students is charged on a sliding fee schedule based on family income. Children in their 4-year-old year and whose parents’ income is at or less than the amount specified in the annual income guideline do not pay tuition.

    • Westover

      If America wants to remain competative, we should be considering public pre-school to get the basics down easy in a fun way. It is amazing how many kids show up to kindergarten without the ability to read or write their own name.

      • Arlwhenever

        So what? There are right-brained dominant people (yes, children are people) for whom reading and writing and rote mathematical skills come later rather than sooner. Trying to force reading and writing down their throats before they are ready actually impedes emotional and intellectual development. Children aren’t widgets. They have brains, style and personality that are even more diverse than the colors of their skin.

        • mehoo

          You’d like the Montessori method alot.

          • Arlwhenever

            Right, Montessori is a good way to start for some, but eventually, a few years later, the tyranny of SOL’s and NCLB sets in, imposing teach to the test structure. More than ever, elementary education has become about proving what the teachers are doing as opposed to what is best for each kid, one by one. That does not and will not result in national competitiveness.

          • mehoo

            That’s when you send your kid to the K-6 Montessori program at Drew School…

          • Arlwhenever

            Tried and failed to get my kids into Drew.

          • mehoo

            Sorry to hear that. Guess the next step is to lobby for expansion of the program.

          • Arlwhenever

            Been there, done that.

  • Lacy Forest

    It must have been a really, really slow news day at WaPo for them to think this article could possibly warrant the expenditure of ink and newsprint.

    • Lacy Forest

      And yes, I’m not talking about redistricting.

    • david

      And yet it was the number one read article on their website for a good part of yesterday.

  • Mothership

    Having APS take on so much of the preschool market pushes out the private schools and businesses who run these kinds of schools in other jurisdictions. APS should offer less, not more, early childhood services.

    • mehoo

      Wrong. Space in private daycare or preschools in Arlington and the surrounding area is tight, including Montessori programs. There are waitlists.

    • Greg

      I really doubt this is the case. There are a very limited number of slots for the County preschool program. On the other hand, there are years long waiting lists at the good private daycares/preschools.

      More likely, the fact that the County has adopted higher preschool standards (which is a good thing), along with the cost of running a preschool business in the County (there is a high real estate to revenue ratio) has created a shortage of daycare.

      It’s strange, because Arlington’s location would be great for a preschool business. Even for attracting Fairfax parents. Drop your kids off on the way to work. You can leave work in DC later and still get them on time on the way home. But the costs are just too high.

      • mehoo

        Yeah, rent for space is probably really tough to cover for preschools/daycare in Arlington. Most of them are in private homes or churches for that reason.

        • Greg

          Exactly. People not from here think that’s bizzare when I try to explain that daycare is in a church, but is not a religious program.

  • shirley

    i wonder aloud if Whole Foods has the proper ABC permit for this?

    and I agree, what is APS doing offering montesorri? no wonder we have no room in our buildings. And isn’t Montesoori school a social/political movement?

    • mehoo

      Oh jeez.

      Look above – Montessori kids in preschool pay tuition.

      And “social/political movement?” No. It’s just an education philosophy, one that’s been adapted to regular education in many ways. Does anything you know little about and has a funny name have to be some kind of political “movement?” I’ll bet Glenn Beck thinks Montessori was a Nazi atheist communist.

      • shirley

        i went to Montessori myself. and look at me now!! 🙂

    • SD

      The Whole Foods in Tysons has been doing this for a while now. The growler is to be consumed after leaving the store, the same as buying other alcoholic beverages from there. The difference is that is refillable.

  • BoredHouseWife

    Unless they plan on hot lanes for the nightmare that is 295 I say no HOT lanes.

  • KalashniKEV

    1 x Growler = 64 oz. > 40 oz.

    Look for increased public urination by the Bums all tanked up on high class swill… I see a lot of yellow snow around their nest in Courthouse…

    • Frank Zappa approves.

    • mehoo

      Yeah, right, bums buy Eggenberg Pils at Whole Foods. Arlington bums maybe, the ones so poor that they drive used BMWs and wear second-hand brown flipflops.

    • CJR

      Do we know the price for the Growler? and the price to fill it up? I’ve got my own growlers from different area restaurants, is there a trade-in option?

      • CJR

        I guess I should have read the article: Growlers themselves cost $3.99 apiece (although you can bring your own if you’ve already bought one from one of the area’s brewpubs or beer bars). A refill for a 64-oz jug costs $8.99 and for a 32-oz bottle, $5.99, regardless of the beer. That’s a special introductory offer and it might change, cautions Justin Pogue, who oversee the store’s beer department. Sales are for takeout only, although at some point in the future, Whole Foods might offer on-premise beer sales as well.

  • Arlwhenever

    Arlington sure knows how to pick them. Bank of New York Mellon is the custodian for the Arlington County Retirement System.

    Go Cooch! And to think, he didn’t ask Mary Margaret Whipple’s permission to sue. I have to wonder if she would have acceded after checking in with her investment office buddies who hired Mellon.

    Fee lawsuits are the tip of the iceberg. There is a culture of corruption among investment advisors, managers and public employees who engage bankers and other financial professionals known within the industry to comp procurers with lavish trips, conferences and gifts or to charge excessive fees in return for favors. Many public employee fund overseers and trustees are not doing their jobs.

    Significantly, quarterly Arlington County Retirement Office reports do not publish one iota of data or information concerning the fund expenses and fees charged by retirement fund custodians, managers, investment advisors, and brokers.

    See, for example,




    The comprehensive annual financial report publishes retirement fund broker expense data which no doubt is a small portion of the total fund expenses charged by the managers, broker/dealers, investment advisors and custodians.



    Nowhere in any of the County’s periodic investment fund reports are fees paid to Bank of New York Mellon disclosed. This is in keeping the “trust us” and keep the public in the dark approach to financial management that makes the County a sitting duck for fraud, mismanagement and corruption.

  • RB

    Where is Del. Ebbin and his bill to curtail the state attorney general’s ability to file civil actions when we need him? It’s obvious that Cuccinelli is devoting taxpayer dollars and scarce government resources only to promote his own agenda and political career. How dare he file a suit on behalf of people in the Arlington County Employees’ Retirement System Fund.

    • mehoo


  • westcoastgirl

    anyone know the cost of the growlers? and how frequently they’ll change up the taps?

  • westcoastgirl

    sorry, patch wasn’t loading on my phone earlier. just found the answers to my questions…

  • DK

    That “large bird” is probably a Red Shouldered Hawk

    • jan

      It’s a great photo

  • Give the three year olds growlers.

  • terri

    great pics of the eagles of spout run and the columbia pike hawk.


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