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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com July 6, 2011 at 8:33 am 2,149 46 Comments

Power Returns for Most — Only 10 Dominion customers in North Arlington are still without power after Sunday’s powerful storm. Crews worked overnight to restore power to hard-hit neighborhoods. As of 11:00 last night, there were nearly 220 homes without power, compared to 1360 customers early yesterday morning.

$800,000 to Gussy Up Sewage Plant — Arlington’s Water Pollution Control Plant is set to receive $700,000 to $800,000 worth of landscaping and other visual improvements, if a contract is approved by the County Board this weekend. [Sun Gazette]

Reading Aloud to Dogs at Central Library — “Paws to Read” is a program that allows children to read books aloud to dogs in Arlington Central Library. Dogs, unlike humans, are non-judgmental when it comes to reading ability, inspiring confidence among the young readers, according to the volunteers who help run the program for the nonprofit group People Love Animals. [Examiner.com]

Mysterious Mansion’s Celebrity-Filled Past — Charlie Clark examines the history of “The Cedars,” a “mysterious mansion” in Arlington’ Woodmont neighborhood. The historic property is owned by the Fellowship Foundation, which runs the nonpartisan National Prayer Breakfast. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by Mennyj

  • G Clifford Prout

    Awe. More puppy stories.

  • Arlwhenever

    $800K to dig flower beds, plant trees and buses, and install a few appurtenances? Hey, go up the road to the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, ask Andres Tobar to round up a crew and he’ll get the work done for a small fraction of that price. If Arlington County insists on having the resource it might as well use it for the benefit of its citizens.

    • Arlwhenever

      Bushes that is.

    • Josh S

      The expert speaks.

    • doodly

      No, $800k for “site clearing, restoration work, drainage, masonry and concrete work, excavation, metalwork, planting, tree removal and tree protection.”

      If you would bother to read the article at the link instead of just assuming, you’d know that. But don’t let us get in the way of your ignorance.

      • CW

        Yeah, and I also get the feeling that this poster has not seen the SIZE of that sewage plant either…

      • Arlwhenever

        The day laborers can do everything listed except possibly the metal work. But don’t let your ignorance of what skills are available and required get in the way when their is a cushy contract to be let.

        • doodly

          So you admit you were full of crap when you claimed it was nothing but planting a few daisies?

          As for day laborers just walking in and taking on a long, large, complex contract like this, thanks for showing your ignorance of construction and landscaping. Your goofy teabag mentality is showing.

    • CW

      I want to see them plant buses; that would be awesome.

      • Skeptical

        +1

  • V Dizzle

    I used to read to my grandma, and it was just like that. She was way less judgemental when she passed away.

  • Steve

    How about read to humans? Like old people in nursing homes who are lonely and could use companionship? not to animals who have no idea what you are saying to them?

    • doodly

      It’s about reading therapy for the kids.

      • novasteve

        And that’s great if they become good readers for dogs, but in real life, they’ll have to read to people.

        • doodly

          Steve, you should, like, actually read the article. And try to comprehend it too. Read it to an old lady if that helps you get it.

          • KalashniKEV

            OK… so it’s for kids with developmental learning disabilities, but how are they supposed to learn? I don’t know where there’s a nursing home around here, but at least if they read to humans they can tell them what they’re doing wrong.

            I guess I missed the point too, since that would obviously hurt their feelings.

          • Louise

            While I’m not sure I’m keen on dogs in the library, practicing reading out loud is a good strategy for kids who struggle with reading (ie, the reading is, in fact, the learning). And reading for an audience can make it more meaningful. Many struggling readers are not keen on reading in front of people–they get tripped up and worry about making mistakes, some so much so that they don’t even have the energy to focus on the story they’re reading.

          • KalashniKEV

            I wonder if it would be easier or harder for them to read to the Bums at ASPAN? It’s only a couple blocks from Key Elementary School…

          • Or..

            The reading program sounds fine. I hope the dogs are read to outside the library building. The only animals that belong inside are working seeing eye dogs. Libraries are for people.

          • doodly

            Damn, took you long enough to find a reason to spit on bums. You’re slacking.

            What about all the veteran bums. Do you spit on them too?

          • doodly

            Libraries are for people, except for dogs that are assisting disabled people by helping them get around or helping them learn to read.

          • KalashniKEV

            On second thought, putting small children in the vicinity of the multiple sex offenders housed at ASPAN would be a recipe for disaster.

            And yes, I am in fact more critical of homeless veterans because there are more programs available specifically for them.

          • doodly

            It’s explained right there in the article, poorly-written as it may be.

          • Or..

            Not sure if you’re responding to me, doodly.

            If so, I did read the article. Seeing eye dogs enter libraries to support a person in navigating the physical site. Storytime listeners can help these kids just as effectively outside the library building.

          • doodly

            I wasn’t responding to you with that comment.

          • doodly

            So you use extra spit for the veteran bums? Or do you just spit twice?

          • KalashniKEV

            I don’t spit on anyone.

            If they were once functioning though, I’m sure they could again. They just haven’t been provided with purpose and motivation.

          • doodly

            You spit on them metaphorically though. I’ll bet you’d like to spit on them for real. Go ahead, spit on one and get it out of your system.

  • Frank Alfred

    This kind of program has been around for many years. It’s surprising it’s taken so long for Arlington to bring the program to our public libraries.

    The dogs utilized for this program in other jurisdictions are registered therapy dogs and the children utilizing this program tend to be children who have learning disabilities for a variety of reasons. The children are chosen to participate in this program after recommendations by teachers, therapists, social workers, etc.

    It’s a great program that allows for children to feel safe and protected when struggling through the process of reading and gives them the confidence they need to progress to reading aloud to humans.

  • darrel

    meanwhile, planetariums are struggling to remain open, and our children are getting stupider.

    • doodly

      How much money is the dog thing diverting from the Planetarium?

    • KalashniKEV

      Couldn’t this potentially destroy a child’s self esteem for life… i.e. “You’re not smart enough to read in a way that people can understand you, so practice reading to this dumb animal until your brain functions on a human level.” This is the worst idea ever.

      • doodly

        KK, you really really don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • KalashniKEV

          Acknowledged… and this is one case where I’m glad I don’t!

          • doodly

            Well, then, maybe you shouldn’t have opinions about things you clearly don’t understand.

          • KalashniKEV

            If that were prerequisite to having an opinion we would have very few posts here… and very few members of Congress!

          • Stu Pendus

            If that was the case this forum would mostly be doodly talking to himself. Which happens quite a bit anyway.

          • KalashniKEV

            Correction- it would be doodly talking to his dog.

          • doodly

            We agree on that one, KK.

    • South Arlington

      Last time I checked, the National Air and Space Museum and their state of the art planeterium 2.5 miles from Arlington was well funded, open to the public, and available to students.

  • Frank Alfred

    It’s a program using volunteers, it’s been around for years and has a successful track record of improving children’s confidence and reading skills.

    If anything, it seems to help their self-esteem because they now read much better than before and won’t be subjected to the teasing they might receive at school when reading and stuttering, or reading aloud and freezing due to embarassment for some other disability such as dyslexia.

    I’d say this program, provided at no cost, using volunteers, costing the taxpayers nothing is a pretty good alternative to special education classes that may not be as effective for certain children, or to do nothing at all. Anything that helps children who want to learn, but might have a disability preventing them from learning to the best of their ability is a good program in my book.

    A learning disability in no way is an indicator of intelligence and most kids referred to programs like these have had people around them who make sure they aren’t made to feel less “smart” due to their disability.

    • Zoning Victim

      I don’t know enough about the program to know if it’s good or not, but I will say that self-confidence is only good when it’s backed by ones skill. American scool-aged children only rank #1 in one thing, that being self-confidence. American children rank 25th in math and 21st in science, but again, #1 in confidence. So perhaps we should worry a lot less about the self-confidence of students and a lot more about their lack of skills by comparison to their global peers.

      If it actually helps them read better as opposed to helping them be more confident about how well they read, then great, but one thing we don’t need to be doing is proping up our students opinions of their skills. They’re already sky-high.

      • KalashniKEV

        +1

        How about the parents sit down with the kid and TEACH him or her how to read??? Why is it better that some Volunteer tell the kid, “Go read to the dog” and then praise them on their substandard performance?

        • doodly

          KK, how about you read the article? It’s not like the answers to your questions aren’t there. Although your simplistic, dictatorial attitude doesn’t surprise me.

      • doodly

        Educating or raising a child, especially a kid with special needs, is a balancing act between skill and confidence. They go hand-in-hand. Confidence is much more important at an early age. That’s why you give lots of praise when a toddler does even the most basic thing, very badly. As kids get older, skills matter more and they develop the ability to feel confident on their own. But with kids of this age, and who are already behind their peers in skill level because of a disability, confidence is much more important to get them to continue to work on skill development.

  • V Dizzle

    I was picturing motivational dogs…ones that would growl if words were pronounced incorrectly, and might go nuts on you if you stopped reading. Maybe their idea is a better one.

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