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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 27, 2012 at 8:30 am 3,784 60 Comments

Parks Department Shortens Name — The Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources is now just the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. The “Cultural Resources” part of the name was dropped after the Cultural Affairs Division (and Artisphere) was moved over to the county’s Arlington Economic Development department.

Doctor Threatens Suit Against VSP for ‘Racial Slurs’ — A Florida doctor is contemplating a lawsuit against Virginia State Police for alleged civil rights violations following an accident. The incident started on July 3, 2011, when Dr. Maria Ferrer crashed her car into an HOV gate on I-395 in Arlington. Dr. Ferrer says two VSP troopers arrived on scene and, at one point, used racial slurs before citing her for traffic violations. [NBC Washington]

ARLnow.com Reaches 100,000 Comments — At some point yesterday afternoon, ARLnow.com recorded its 100,000th published comment. That’s an average of about 137 comments per day since ARLnow.com first launched on Jan. 29, 2010.

  • Smartypants

    I’d like to comment about the comments. There are too many comments on this site. Please, enough with the comments.


    • drax

      More stats:

      17.6% of the comments were about flip-flops.

      12.1% mentioned frozen yogurt.

      1.5% blamed car accidents on automatic transmissions.

      2.7% expressed irrational hatred of homeless people.

      • 21.32% were by drax or an alias of drax. 🙂

        • Josh S

          Actually, such an analysis would be interesting. I think comments by drax would be fairly close in number to comments by OB.

        • Swag
          • Swug

            Awesome image, great point.

          • Swig

            I concur.

          • drax

            That’s stupid. This is not a popularity contest.

            When anyone can steal your identity on a site, sometimes you change it.

          • charlie

            it isn’t a popularity contest? oh man someone should’ve said something earlier.

        • drax


          Sounds low though.

      • outoftowner

        I do often wonder if people actually think they are being witty when they continue to comment about flip flops, cupcakes, etc. every single article

        • Actually,

          they do it just to make you wonder.

        • charlie

          isn’t that redundant because like every article is about etc.

      • bemused bystander

        But what about Donaldson Run?

        • Moses

          Give me a break – I’m working on it. The Red Sea was nothing compared to what’s going on over thattaway!

    • Orange Line

      I fear the vast majority of the comments were by the same people posting under multiple aliases.

  • Dr. Ferrer, while the police officer’s comments may have insulted your education level, I am sad to inform you that many more ethnic groups other than hispanics and latinos eat and work at Taco Bell restaurants. In fact, there is a large demographic of white, male, non-doctors in Arlington who LOVE the place. They couldn’t be less your demographic.

    • Lou

      Burrito doctor sounds like a pretty awesome job, actually. Hmm….Burritos.

    • drax

      So that doesn’t make it a slur?

      Probably more white people eat chicken and watermelon than black people too.

      • I’m offended by that. Time to call my attorney.

        • Josh S

          It’s wonderful that you are not offended. So what?

    • novasteve

      Can we sue her for wasting Virginia resources and damaging our property due to her incompetence. Any wagers on whether her car is an automatic?

    • JamesE

      This post made me think really hard about my times spent inside a Taco Bell and I actually don’t think I ever say a Hispanic in there, just white people.

      • TG3oA

        Did you look behind the counter?

        • JamesE

          Yes, all white

          • Lou


          • drax

            So tacos now have no association whatsoever with latinos. Hookay.

          • Rebarb

            How in the world do you make that association with the comment?

      • Ricky Bobby

        After Wonder Bread, there’s nothing more American than the always delicous, Taco Bell.

  • ArlingtonWay

    They should identify the winning comment. Might put it all in perspective

  • Tabs

    I saw the report, heard the officer attack and insult her. It’s unconscionable that he’s still on patrol.

    • John Fontain

      How does questioning her line of employment outside of her earshot constitute ‘attacking and insulting her.” Are police officers really not allowed to question what people tell them?

      • Tabs

        Why don’t you go ahead and Google the confrontation? He was abusive, insulting, and threatening TO HER FACE.

        • charlie

          but she was an idiot. to hit those gates you have to be drunk (she wasn’t charged with that) or IWD — idiot while driving.

        • John Fontain

          All I heard was her refusing to listen to him as he was trying to explain the ticket to her and him having to raise his voice enough in response to eventually get her to listen. That is in no way abusive or insulting.

          Maybe you have some extra video footage showing something else that you’d like to share?

  • OX4

    “Burrito Doctor” would be a great band name.

  • CW

    This burrito is suffering from dryness…20 ccs of salsa roja, stat!

    • JamesE

      If they just said McDonalds they would have been off the hook.

      • CW

        This whole thing seems to be distracting from the heart of the matter, which is that…she drove her car into an HOV gate…I don’t know what field of medicine she is in but I’d hate to see her with a scalpel…

        • Kirk

          Probably texting while driving.

        • John Fontain

          It’s possible she had an expensive addition problem.

        • drax

          She was in a hurry to get diabetiss meds to Paula Deen.

        • Sam

          But it was the officer’s fault for saying things in the patrol car that she couldn’t hear – but she was offended by, before she actually knew what they said.

          Most likely, the comments in the patrol car were more about the level of intelligence and/or decision-making of the driver who did something so stupid, and less about the ethnicity of the person. (Even though that isn’t very nice either, but hardly discriminatory)

          It’s hard to fault a patrol officer for saying things like the recording we heard, when they see such dumb things happen all around them, all day long. And, it’s awfully hard to prove that it was discriminatory – but she’ll probably win because they’ll just have to settle.

          Goes to show that you can do something stupid, that costs us money (who do you think paid for damage, time spent by emergency vehicles, etc.) – then say that something you heard someone say in a recording, but not to your face, was offensive and you win!

        • She was eating a taco and dropped some cheese down the front of her shirt, distracting her driving.

        • Aaron

          “Hispanic female doctor or gay male masseuse?”

  • John Fontain

    Maria Ferrer is a great example of what is wrong with a lot of people in this country. She committed a crime and then tries to turn the situation around and pretend like she is the victim.

    She claims she was subjected to racial slurs, but the video clearly shows that she was nowhere near the officers when they made the comments doubting her purported line of employment. There is no way she heard them say “for all I know she works at Taco Bell.”

    And even if she did hear them, I don’t believe that saying someone might work at Taco Bell is racist. That comment refers more to the class of job than to the race of the worker.
    If anything, Ferrer would be the racist in this situation because she assumes that people who work at Taco Bell are latino.

    She’s really lucky that all of those original charges were dropped and if she had any decency, she’d be appreciative of that and put her tail between her legs and quitely move on with her life.

  • John Fontain

    whoops, meant addiction. leaving out a single C can mean so much.

  • SomeGuy

    ArlNow, you should consider making a data dump of at least the name, timestamp, and text of each comment (maybe article title too) available on your site for your readers to do some trend analysis on the first 100K comments.

    If you really want to engage your readers, make a contest out of who can draw the most interesting conclusions.

    • CourthouseChris

      That would be pretty neat.

  • ArlingTony

    We’re all looking at the racial issue and missing the important part: She paid $50 for driving her car into the barrier because she managed to get it knocked down to failure to pay full attention! I’m not a lawyer or cop, but that sounds like the charge you get for maybe not seeing a stop sign until your half-way past it then hitting the breaks or maybe for speeding because you didn’t notice the sign saying the speed limit changes from 65 to 15 for the next 2 miles, not for actually hitting something and doing damage. I’ve seen parking tickets higher than that.

    I’m going to use that from now on, “I’m sorry officer, but I just wasn’t paying attention while my bullets went into that guy. Here’s $50.”


      Every time a police officer shoot and kill a loved one by accident. They don’t go to jail. They pay a small settlement.

  • j

    “She struck several of the HOV gates that were in position to prevent traffic from using entering the HOV lanes. Ferrer was treated at the scene by medical personnel. She was charged with failure to possess a driver’s license and reckless driving. When she refused to comply with the trooper and sign the two summonses – as required by state law – she was charged with one count of obstruction of justice and taken into custody. She was then transported to Arlington County Jail.”

    • xc

      she should really just walk away

  • Jus’ saying

    So what did they feed her in The Arl Jail? I hope it was cold bologna sandwichs. That would give her appreciation for the Toco Bell reference.

  • Michael H.

    Will there be an anniversary post on the 29th (which is a Sunday)? Or maybe on Monday? Could be interesting for our small corner of the Web.


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