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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com June 28, 2011 at 8:28 am 3,374 16 Comments

Shirlington Oktoberfest Returns — A date has been set for this year’s Oktoberfest event in Shirlington. The annual celebration of all things German and beer-related will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8. Tickets are $25. [Shirlington Village Blog]

Pike Library, Career Center Renovations — A series of improvements is planned for the building on S. Walter Reed Drive that houses the Columbia Pike Branch Library and the Arlington Career Center. Over the next 9 months crews will replace the building’s windows and front doors, roof and drainage system and the entire heating and air conditioning system.

Firefighters Endorse Areizaga-Soto — The Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association has endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto for state Senate. “Jaime understands the needs of Firefighters in Arlington County and across the 31st
District,” said local union president Sean O’Connell. Areizaga-Soto is facing a tough primary battle against Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola.

Don’t Blame Metrobus Drivers — County Board Chairman and former Metro board member Chris Zimmerman says overpaid drivers are not to blame for the transit agency’s troubles. Metrobus drivers make more than their counterparts at suburban bus systems like Arlington’s ART or the Fairfax Connector service. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

  • drunk

    Shirlington Oktoberfest is getting to be as crowded as Taste of Arlington. And it’s not really much of an Oktoberfest, just another beer tasting. Plus it’s in October, unlike the real Oktoberfest.

    But as long as I get my beer I’m okay.

    • JimPB

      Oktoberfest is incomplete without polka music — and polka dancing in which all can participate. Of course, those who dance will drink little beer but instead will get high on dance swings. Not good for the Shirlington Octoberfest sponsor, but great for health and spirit.

  • Lou

    That story on Zimmerman and bus driver pay must leave out a lot of context. It sounds like he completely dodged a question about relative pay between bus agencies and went into defensive mode about how Metro drivers’ pay is not a big problem for WMATA.

    How about an answer to the basic question, why so much disparity between agencies?

    • JimPB

      The “Devil” is in the details:

      What is the total compensation (regular salary plus fringe benefits + overtime) for Metro bus drivers vs. that for country bus drivers?
      (Compensation data should include medians and distribution of compensation across the range.)

      The data should enable a ready calculation of how much Metro would save if it compensated its drivers as does the county. Then we would see the extent to which Metro’s compensation for drivers is a problem.

  • Shane

    1. Capital City Brewery is nowhere to be found on the County’s list of establishments delinquent on their meals tax payments. So, if it’s between them and Extra Virgin or Bistro Bistro (both of whom are delinquent as of 5/31/2011), then reward good behavior.

    2. Arlington Firefighters. What a laugh. These are the people who sought to immolate our County Government so they could bargain for a better pension. Affordable housing, funding for schools, etc. all to be sacrificed because the firefighters were mad about their dealings with Ron Carlee and the County Board. They even used convicted felons to gather signatures, and now can see said felons and the head of “Signature Masters” under indictment.

    So, you know, forgive me if I don’t take Sean O’Connell’s words about the “needs” of firefighters very seriously. Just sayin’.

    • doodly

      Bonus points for the use of the word “immolate.”

    • Thes

      I heard the firefighters union is under new management, so to speak. The guy who organized the Change of Government fiasco is on his way out.

      Also, there have been two felony *convictions* (not just indictments) so far in last year’s Change of Government fraud. Two more felony indictments are pending against one of the ringleaders from Signature Masters. He goes on trial later this summer. It remains to be seen if anyone else will be indicted higher up the chain.

      • Webster

        Didn’t the Fire Fighters “contract out” the signature gathering process? I don’t really blame our fire fighters directly for the felonies of their contractors. Kind of like we should not blame Arlington County directly for their bus contractor allowing sexual harassment in the workplace.

        Unless it’s strictly to gain political points.

    • Why?

      Shane,

      That is a pretty rude thing to say when you don’t have any of the facts. The truth is the firefighters and paramedics lay their lives on the line for the citizens and endure life long consequenses in some cases because of the conditions they are exposed to over their years of service. You shouldn’t hold these folks responsible because a contractor didn’t fulfill their obligation. You may not agree with the political strategies of the Local but they are entitled to their opinion and it wasn’t to improve the pensions. The truth is that the current board members have no checks or balances and they are not held responsible for their actions. This affects County residents more than the members of the Local. If they were responsible for a district instead of being “at large” they could be held responsible if the residents of that district were not happy with their actions. Right now they can just do what they want and blame it on someone else… Don’t get me wrong the board members are all good people and I don’t mean anything personally but the system is broken. Please try not to attack good people who have dedicated their lives to serving the citizens of Arlington.

      • Barbin

        1. On the firefighters and police officers trying to change the form of County government–when I was asked to sign the petition, I asked what the petitioners were trying to do. I was told that the County government wasn’t supporting them. When I said that I heard that these public safety officers were trying to change the whole form of Arlington County government, I couldn’t get any information for the man asking me to sign the petition. My take was the petitioner could get people to sign if he talked about support for public safety officers, but wouldn’t have gotten people to sign if he said what was true–the the petition was asking for a change in the form of governance.
        2. I personally like the form of government Arlington has now because it keeps the County Manager out of politics so that s/he can use there energies on behalf of the County instead of raising funds for re-election.

      • Joe

        What facts am I missing, exactly? They most certainly own the failures of their signature gatherers. They most certainly own responsibility for the damage that would have accrued to myriad other elements of the County, elements that would have lost special discretion won over the years due to Arlington’s unique (for Virginia) form of government. That’s not just Mike Staples, but the firefighters who elected him as the head of the Firefighters’ association.

        The same goes for the Arlington Patrolman’s Association. I would hope Ken Dennis has enough sense to sit this one out. He didn’t show very good judgment, as a law enforcement officer, with the acceptance of Signature Masters as a partner. Just sayin’.

        • Why?

          Okay… if you are happy with not having any say in the governance of the County knock yourselves out, you are also welcome to your opinion, however, I respectfully disagree… : )

  • Cherrydale

    Capital City has been replaced by the Samuel Becketts pub.

  • Me

    Yes, the annual “wait in line for 20 minutes for a 2oz shot of beer limited to 10” festival. Yes, can’t wait.

    • niceguy

      True dat my friend. You spend THE ENTIRE DAY waiting on lines … drinking urine-sample sized “tastes”. Lame

      • Arlingtonian

        Agreed. I found it a serious waste of $25 last time.

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