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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 6, 2012 at 8:50 am 3,394 48 Comments

Eleventh Street Lounge to Close — An employee says Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon is planning to close by the end of the month. Like its neighbor, Potomac Crossfit, Eleventh is closing to make way for a new office development. [Clarendon Culture]

County Board Candidates Tepid About Streetcar — The five remaining Democratic candidates for County Board spoke at a forum organized by the Arlington County Democratic Committee on Wednesday. On the topic of the Columbia Pike streetcar, most candidates expressed reservations about the pricy project. Only one candidate, Melissa Bondi, expressed full support for the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]

APS an Example of How to Reduce Achievement Gap — Arlington Public Schools’ highly successful efforts to reduce the achievement gap between low income students, Black and Hispanic students and affluent, white and Asian students is the subject of a new book. The book, Gaining on the Gap: Changing Hearts, Minds and Practice, was written by several APS administrators. Its suggested approach to reducing the achievement gap is being called “stunningly reasonable” by one Washington Post columnist. [Washington Post]

APS Adds State Honors — Ten Arlington County schools have earned state honors for learning and achievement this year, a gain from the seven that won awards last year. Arlington was actually one of the few school systems making gains in state recognition — both neighboring Alexandria and Fairfax County won significantly fewer awards this year. [Washington Examiner]

  • Daniel

    A $250 million(+/-) issue is kind of a big deal. Disappointing that some of these candidates don’t have a solid opinion.

  • FYI, we’ve got video of the Democratic County Board candidates’ closing statements, and also their answers to the question, “What is the biggest challenge facing Arlington County?”, here.

    http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/5700/arlington-county-democrats-debate-to-fill-vacant-county-board-seat

    • John Fontain

      Interesting question. Since we have so many armchair experts on this site (myself included), I’d love to know what people think is the biggest challenge facing Arlington.

      My answer: Not letting our budgets and debt creep up to unsustainable levels.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        i think sustainable government.
        1. do we have the money to maintain Long Bridge Park?
        2. our big new schools are energy efficient but the utility bill at W-L is almost TWICE what is used to be because it is bigger and better. do we have the funds?
        3. our aging sewer system. when that sh*t blows it aint’ going to be pretty.
        4. our aging water system. do you know our water travels really far BEFORE it gets to Arlington and then has to travel even further?
        5. progressive policies that have gotten us to where we are today are being push aside for cushy stuff — why weren’t our democratic labor-supporting board members out on Key Bridge the other day? What are great government jobs being contracted out when they should be given to Arlington citizens in exchange for votes?
        6 Land use policies that support all of Arlington not just the chosen ones.

        ok, back to lunch

      • CW

        I think the biggest challenge is diversification of the local economy. NYC is trying to become a more tech-oriented economy and spread out from doing just finance. Here in Arlington and D.C. we’ve done well by working for/with the government, and that will always be #1 more than likely. But maybe now we can leverage the resources that we’ve developed due to this success and spread out a bit.

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    Bondi isn’t even on the board and she is already Zimmerman’s sock puppet.

  • Nancy

    I was really impressed by Melissa Bondi. I got the feeling that she would be breath of fresh air, respecting old school Arlington, but representing….hate to copy….Arlington now.

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      Nancy, glad to know you were impressed.
      Please consider that Bondi is Zimmerman’s hand picked person.
      She is NOT an independent voice and that was proven but her bursting support for the Streetcar which NO ONE really fully understands because it is so complex.

      • Nancy (Arl Taxpayer for 40 yrs)

        1. Love “Arlington County Taxpayer.” Is that anything like the president of the Arlington Taxpayers Association who opposes projects that were approved as bonds by Arlington Taxpayers? As an Arlington taxpayer for 40 years, I have seen my neighborhood in North Arlington evolve into one of the most desirable in the metro area because of transportation. My children live in South Arlington and they have the added joy of watching their neighborhood retain diversity and improve in safety and services. A streetcar is a good idea. I am old and I like Melissa Bondi’s youth and support of keeping Arlington progressing.

        • Ivy

          I totally agree with Nancy. I too have seen my neighborhood get better and better. I am thankful we have a well managed county & not some irresponsible county where paying taxes is “evil.”. I’ve seen lots of places like that and let’s just say you get what you pay for

        • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

          Hey Nancy, we are all Arlington County Taxpayers. My family is now in their sixth decade living in Arlington. It is a wonderful place.

          My name is what it is. But, Melissa Bondi couldn’t use that name.

          She doesn’t own real estate in Arlington (she does own real estate in Ohio, though). And she doesn’t own a car.

          The two major taxes that Arlington citizens pay are: Real estate tax and Personal Property tax. Miss Bondi pays neither. Yet she will be the one who determines what rate YOU and I will pay, if she is elected. She has no idea what impact real estate taxes have on a family budget.

          Go to her webpage — there are SIX people named Zimmerman who support her. She will not be an independent and fresh voice.

    • Jim Webster

      I too was impressed with Bondi because I too believe the streetcar is an exceptionally good idea as part of a broader transportation strategy to reduce automobile congestion.
      But among all the candidates Wednesday night, Libby Garvey was the most impressive, showing (on transportation and other issues) that she would bring the most experience and analytical judgment to the board.

      • ArlingtonWay

        An “exceptionally good” idea? Really? You dont just support it, you think its “exceptioanally good?”

    • ArlingtonWay

      I dont really have a horse in the race, but have you read Bondi’s biography on her website? Read it, and the tell me with a straight face what she does for a living and what qualifies her for the Board. Its just this War and Peace length gobbeldy gook gibberish about boards and commissions and task forces and Roundtables and alliances and coalitions and work groups Good lord, are there any, you know, normal regular human beings running?

      • charlie

        it is a checklist of accomplishments. broad but not deep.

        • ArlingtonWay

          I guess. I’m not even sure what it means. Doesn’t connect with me. I want to know, what do you do? Do you own your home? Pay taxes? Do you have kids in the schools? Do you understand what regular people are up against? Depressing.

          • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

            see my response above. she doesn’t pay taxes in Arlington. Period.

      • jan

        I had the same thoughts when I read it.

        I’d like to see her go back to college and earn a degree.

      • BlueLoom

        “Good lord, are there any, you know, normal regular human beings running?”

        Yes: Terron Sims. West Point graduate. Army officer for 5 years. Deployed to Iraq. Author of a book. Past chair of Arl Fiscal Affairs Committee.

        I’m not a flak for his campaign. Just a supporter.

        • ArlingtonWay

          Ill give him a look. Thanks.

  • Seagrave Holmes

    I’ll go vote in their caucus for any candidate that will oppose the streetcar if elected to the Board. And I’ll bring as many people with me as I can.

    Hope the candidates are reading this.

  • TGEoA

    Anyone but Bimbo

  • Southeast Jerome

    LP is going to be so upset that 11th is closing.

    So is Jerome.

  • jack

    “Only one candidate, Melissa Bondi, expressed full support for the streetcar.”

    And the election has been decided. Welcome to the County Board.

    Darn streetcar.

  • CW

    Unrelated to any of the stories, did anyone catch any pics of that amazing sunset last night over the river?

    • Ed

      The sunrise this morning was amazing too!

  • Suntastic

    Agreed, that sunset was something else CW, so was the sunrise this AM I’m a Southie in Douglas Park and it was a real treat to see the sun setting over Skyline and Four Mile Run last night. I’d love to see a photo too if someone captured it. ARLNOW, why no photo comment uploads allowed? Booo hisss.

  • larry beeman

    So Arlington is proud of reducing the achievement gap. The only problem is that the only schools to get awards by the state are in north Arlington.

    • KalashniKEV

      Smarter people have smarter kids.

      • Larry

        Say word son.

  • novasteve

    The “achievement gap” is the direct result of how families, parent(s) value education and hard work. Unless the hcounty plans on taking away kids from their parents, there’s not much they can do about it, unless they plan to force the parents to get involved under pain of jail, which would be illegal.

    • ArlingtonWay

      I suspect a key factor as well is english proficiency. Students individually and student bodies collectively who are learning english as a second language will generally not perform as well as students or student bodies who have their course material taught in their native toungue. There are exceptions of course, but i suspect this explains some of the achievement gap between north and south county schools.

  • OX4

    Oops, your Washington Post link goes to Amazon.

    • Thanks, fixed.

      • Ben

        And now it’s being misdirected to your own site.

  • Sad to lose Eleventh Street Lounge.

  • Matt in Lyon Park

    Melissa Bondi just lost my vote with support of the street car project. Hell, while we’re at it, lets build a monorail, too! Absolutely stupid idea.

    And losing 11th Street stinks.

    • Ben

      Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car Monorail!

  • Pablo

    Zimmerman has endorsed Bondi.

    Zimmerman refused to endorse Libby Garvey during the last school board vote (very rare in Arlington incumbent politics).

    I will vote for Garvey.

    • anti-Garvey now

      Garvey=School Board=Patrick Murphy If they won’t fire Murphy, we need to fire anyone who hired him. Libby Garvey, you must lose for your support of Murphy

  • Tired, but still voting in January

    Garvey talks about her experience on the school board. Rubberstamping the superintendent ‘s decisions every time isn’t real experience. As for results? Well, let’s look at all school remodeling during her term, for hundreds of millions in cost, and we can’t fit any more kids. Garvey in incompetent on the school board and she was incapable of planning fir growing enrollment? She should resign in shame! We don’t need herdivisive bungling on the County aboard either. Bondi is loyal to Zimmerman and Garvey is loyal to herself. Neither is loyal to the voters. Both of love to claim success and take the credit. Sims, Klingler, and Fallon are the only ones worth looking at in this election.

  • Louise

    Nice job, APS, on working to close the achievement gap. However, that responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of parents. When parents get involved in their kids’ education, kids benefit.

    • jan

      Louise,

      So let’s expel children whose parents have two jobs? Or those whose parents don’t read? What about the kids whose parents are drunks or druggies?

      • Louise

        What? Sorry, Jan, not sure how that’s what you read in my message. Schools have the kids for about 6 or 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 10 months a year. The rest of the time–about 7 hours a day M-F, all day Saturday and Sunday, and July and August–they’re cared for by someone else. It’s a shared responsibility.

        Working two jobs, illiteracy, and yes, even addiction don’t mean someone can’t be involved in (and be a role model for) their own child’s academic success.

        I’ve taught hundreds and hundreds of kids over the years. Some of their parents worked all of the time. Some of their parents didn’t. Some of their parents were illiterate. Most weren’t. Some of their parents were addicts. Most weren’t. 95% of the time, kids of parents who valued education saw more academic success than kids of parents who didn’t.

        In sum: the schools can bend over backwards and spend millions of dollars trying to close the achievement gap. But it’s only really going to close if the rest of society does its share. It’s not a job *JUST* for the schools.

  • After following the streetcar proposals, the basic issue still remains: increasing capacity within the constraints of the existing roads = the age old issue of trying to stuff 10lbs into a 5lb bag.

    Streetcars will cause as much of a headache and stoppage of traffic, if not more so, as the current buses do now.

    Streetcars were meant to have mostly dedicated lanes separate from vehicles. That’s how they work so well all over Europe. Overlaying streetcar and vehicular movement will not solve the issue within the existing lanes.

    Interesting solution, however, in my opinion, wrong application.

  • MC

    For ARLNOW to describe the street car as “pricey” is a bit editorial, don’t you think? Pricey compared to what, exactly? There are many factors that influence the overall net present value of the project, and so just looking at the construction cost is not sufficient.

    • 4Arl

      Pricey in my mind means expensive, like a Mercedes is pricey. You are right on the mark about not focusing just on the construction cost. How much will it cost to operate and maintain it, and will Arlington be the only one paying?

  • Cindy

    The Arlington Yupette blog has a photo of the IRS lien against Bondi. She’s a tax cheat.Plain and simple.

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