Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 28, 2012 at 8:45 am 4,026 96 Comments

Senate Dems Defeat HPV Immunization Repeal — State Senate Democrats are taking credit for killing a bill that would have repealed the 2007 law that requires sixth grade girls be immunized from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Said Arlington’s Sen. Barbara Favola (D), in a statement: “The best way to eradicate cervical cancer is widespread HPV vaccination. In the past, the most successful immunization programs, such as those for smallpox or polio, required universal vaccination. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, but with this vaccination, there is hope for ending the suffering caused by cervical cancer.” [Washington Post]

Favola Criticized for Skipping Budget Vote — State Sen. Barbara Favola is being criticized by Republicans for skipping a vote on the state budget in favor of making a TV appearance. Favola appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ while votes were being taken on the Republican-supported budget plan. In the end, however, her vote wouldn’t have changed the outcome — the budget didn’t pass. [Sun Gazette]

Cat Enters Va. Senate Race — A cat is running for Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat. The “Hank for Senate” campaign has launched, amid a flurry of publicity, with a campaign TV ad and the campaign slogan “Milk in every bowl.” Hank has quite the personal story — including being saved from euthanization by an animal rescue group. [WTOP]

Cherrydale Library Book — The 50-year history of the cozy Cherrydale branch library has been documented in a new book. “Fifty Years of Cherrydale Library,” by Greg Embree, is available online (for free) and in print. [Blurb]

  • MC 703

    Is the main argument against the bill that it will encourage girls to be promiscuous? The “govt shouldn’t tell people which vaccinations to get” thing is bunk b/c there are already mandatory vaccinations to be enrolled in school.

    Sometimes it’s like I am watching Mad Men in VA. Too bad it’s 2012.

    • Amen

      We’re all gung-ho to circumcise baby boys on the reasoning (mostly) that it’ll spare them STDs later in life–so how is this different? We’ll lop off part of a kid’s wang without anesthesia, but giving a 12-year-old girl a shot that’ll keep her from getting cancer of the cervix is going too far? Sad.

      • cut

        Not that circumcision actually does prevent STDs. That’s just the latest lame rationalization for the real reason – because we’ve always done it (which is also not really true, but whatever).

      • BoredHouseWife

        we do not know the effectiveness of the vaccine. for all we know it makes all who take it sterile. it may do nothing against cervical cancer. god only knows what happens when those hela cells lay dormant for decades. they may be the new Epstein barr virus.
        then again it may be absolutely fine.
        i am not treating my little girl like a gunea pig.

        this should not be required since hpv is not the cause of all cervical cancer.
        just use a condom.

        • CourthouseChris

          “for all we know”, “it may” (x2), “god only knows”

          All of the scientific rigour of Michele Bachmann right there.

          • BoredHouseWife

            im sorry but i dont trust baxter or merk or pfizer to have my health in mind considering their history. but you can go ahead and believe their pr if you think they are honest.

          • drax

            So you don’t use any drugs or products made by those companies?


          • BoredHouseWife

            I observe what happens to those who take new meds for at least 10 years before i take anything.

          • drax

            So everyone else should be your guinea pig for 10 years.

          • Josh S

            Come on, drax, don’t be ridiculous.
            She has good reason to be skeptical of the current drug regulatory / approval process. I suspect you are well aware.

          • Not your bro

            Condoms don’t prevent HPV.

          • BoredHouseWife

            yes they do

          • Tabs

            They’re not foolproof, but they help.

          • Teresa

            You are correct – they do not prevent all HPV – according to the CDC anyway:

            “For those who choose to be sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV infection. To be most effective, they should be used with every sex act, from start to finish. Condoms may also lower the risk of developing HPV-related diseases, such as genital warts and cervical cancer. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom – so condoms may not fully protect against HPV.”


          • Not your bro

            HPV, like herpes, can be contracted through skin contact. That’s why both diseases are hard to prevent. Condoms are better than nothing, but are much more effective against HIV than HPV or HSV.

          • Yep Uhuh

            I imagine and hope that Courthouse Chris was coming down on the pro-HPV lobby rather than Bored Housewife there; I wouldn’t pump my kids full of drugs on the off-chance that they *might* work sometime in the future, and with no idea of the potential side-effects, either.

          • CourthouseChris

            Your hopes and imagination is ill-placed. Characterizing the preventative benefits of these vaccinations as “off-chance” is exactly the anti-science BS that I’m objecting to.

          • BoredHouseWife

            are you serious?




            14.8 Immunogenicity
            Assays to Measure Immune Response
            The minimum anti-HPV titer that confers protective efficacy has not been determined (p24)

            it is still in the experimental stages.

          • CourthouseChris

            It’s cute that you pretend to know what that means. However the (admittedly unclear) interpretation you are drawing here is not supported by what you cite. Here’s something easier for you to read:


            “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccines to prevent HPV infection:”

            [So, not in experimental stages.]

            “Gardasil® and Cervarix®. Both vaccines are highly effective in preventing infections with HPV types 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause about 70 percent of cervical and anal cancers. Gardasil also prevents infection with HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts”.

            Also, your first link is just Merck’s Gardasil site? What is that to support?

          • BoredHouseWife

            when someone cherry picks it means they didn’t read. just admit you didn’t read it and you like what you hear from Merck.

            i’ll wait and observe what happens to those who take it.

          • BoredHouseWife

            i just want to clarify, when i talk about experimentation I am talking in scientific standard not political standards( i.e. fda) so yes it is in the experimental stage according to the ethics and rigors of scientific research..

          • CourthouseChris

            I don’t get your respone: you both cherry-picked your citation, and as well didn’t understand what it meant.

            Please do tell us about the ethics and rigors of scientific research. The more you talk, the more my point is made.

          • BoredHouseWife

            it would help you if you knew how to read and comprehend.
            i’m not doing your work for you.
            if you want to know such things, research on your own time.

            i guess its just too easy to regurgitate what big pharma’s pr firms dictate to actually think for yourself.

            take care

            hope it works for you.

          • CourthouseChris

            Yes, the reliance on science has worked quite well for me. I’ve never been stricken with polio, small-pox, mumps, rubella, measles, hepatitis, or meningitis. My home is illuminated, heated, and cooled with electricity. My food is grown on farms with historically unmatched abundancy. In fact, we are communicating my means of a particularly marvelous piece of technology at this very moment.

            Can I assume you spend your days bashing rocks together?

          • Josh S

            Absolutely absurd and uncalled for attacks.

            There are absolutely historical cases of drugs being approved for sale to the public that had unintended side effects later discovered. If bored housewife is concerned about that, she has every right to be, is being perfectly reasonable, and this in no way indicates she is some kind of luddite.

            In general, I think we can and should have faith in the established regulatory regime, but it is hardly infallible and the profit motive is quite demonstrably not always in line with concerns for the safety and health of individual people.

    • drax

      Don’t worry, they’ll be coming after all the other vaccinations next.

    • Anon

      My main qualm is it won’t eradicate HPV nor does HPV have the same life threatening nature as other vaccine related illnesses. It doesn’t cover all the strains or even the overwhelming majority. Furthermore, if a woman gets a pap smear every year it is virtually impossible for her to get cervical cancer. And if she does somehow get it, it will be caught in time for treatment. That is what we should be encouraging. At that yearly pap those women can also be tested for all STDs. My fear is that woman will somehow think this vaccine provides more protection than it really does.

      • drax

        Cervical cancer is indeed life threatening.

        A pap smear doesn’t prevent it, it just detects it early.

        Why would we not provide a preventive measure simply because it’s not 100% effective?

        • Anon

          Pap smears detect abnormal cell growth long before it becomes cancer.

          Cervical Cancer is life threatening for those who do not get regular pap smears.

          There is a lot of money behind this vaccine – I think it should be tested more before its mandated, especially when the disease it seeks to prevent can so easily be treated/detected by other means.

          • Crab

            Yep, sounds like Big Pharma is pulling Barbara’s strings during that interview.

        • BoredHouseWife

          because there is no evidence for its effectiveness? we haven’t gotten to that point. in ten years we will start seeing the consequences of the vaccine good or bad.

          my kids arent gunea pigs. ill home school them before i have them injected with things experimental.

          these requirements are enacted to line the pockets of ceos. they dont care about our health.

          • drax

            This vaccine is not “experimental.” Please stop.

          • BoredHouseWife

            yes it is. look at the guardisil pamplet. they state they do not know the efficacy of the vaccine.

            it looks like merks shills are out in full force.

            it is still in the experiemntal phase because efficacy is one of the main criteria that is tested before it is produced for the masses. except in this case, the company promised more follow up studies (sounds familiar if you have read up on big pharmas tactics and the fda) they dont know if it will work, they dont know if the vaccine itself causes cancer. it is still experimental.

          • drax

            The efficacy is known enough to use it, which is why it is approved. Same goes for the side effects.


            I’m glad you’re an informed consumer who is being extra safe, but you should not spread false or loony information, nor rely on it yourself to make your decision.

      • jslanger

        Actually, you are incorrect. The vaccine covers the strains that are associated with over 80% of all cervical cancers. The key is vaccination early enough in life to prevent initial infection. Although there are strains of the HPV virus that are not covered, this vaccine WILL make a significant effect in cervical cancer rates. And, over time, it may reduce the need for pap smears, which would reduce medical expenditures for all.

        And now my small rant:
        If people actually think that this vaccine will allow their children to be promiscuous–sheesh…kids don’t know nor care what HPV is. We are lucky if they know what syphilis and gonorrhea are, let alone HIV. Should we not attempt vaccines for any of those diseases because people might have sex more freely? Please.

        • Anon

          Uh yea, 80% of cases, that means there are still 20% of cases that will occur. That is a lot.

          And I have discussed this issue with several OBYNs. Yearly pap smears catch if BEFORE its cancer. They catch abnormal cell growth that is YEARS away from becoming cancer. YEARS. That is why nearly every person that has cervical cancer has not had a pap in years. Yearly paps are good for checking for cervical cancer but they also provide an opportunity to screen for STDs, breast cancer, and general reproductive organ health.

          Only one doctor had ever heard of one person in his entire career as a cervical cancer specialist with normal paps suddenly getting cancer on their yearly pap. The cancer was caught in time to treat it. Most OBGYNs agree that if every woman got a yearly pap cervical cancer would not exist.

        • zerosteps

          Thank you for sharing the science of HPV virus and vaccine.
          We should be expanding vaccination against HPV to boys as well.
          Oral HPV and resultant throat cancer is dramatically increasing according to the CDC.

        • J

          I think most of the (legitimate) complaints about the vaccine are its cost/benefit ratio. For the cost of producing and administering the vaccine, someone could buy sunscreen that would be, dollar-for-dollar, far more effective at preventing skin cancer, for example. When we consider other life-saving measures available to us, my impression was that the HPV vaccine ranks pretty far down the list. Many people resent being forced to enrich Merck’s shareholders when the money could be more effectively on other products.

      • zerosteps

        Your science information is very flawed.

  • Favola was elected to serve the people. Skipping a vote to do something else means she is not voting for her people, but rather doing something she deems more important. I don’t care if her vote would not matter. She should be doing what she was elected to do; vote for the voice of the people she is SERVING.

    • Arlwhenver

      Looks to me like Favola was channeling Michelle Bachman.

      Favola’s constituents, for the most part,believe her publicity campaign is serving them. However,she dissed her R colleagues and the process.

      By pulling stunts like this Favola assures that the R’s (and some mainstream D’s) won’t work with her when there is common ground. Arlington will lose out again and again. When you don’t play by the basic rules of legislative civility don’t complain.

      • SteamboatWillie

        The Favola hate is making people delusional. Plenty to criticize I suppose, but this line of attack is weak.

        • SomeGuy

          Serious non-patronizing question directed to SteamboatWillie: What would YOU criticize about Favola? I simply don’t know much about her.

          • SteamboatWillie

            I saw her appearance on Hardball and I didn’t think she was that impressive. Perhaps she was nervous about being interviewed before a national audience, but she was halting and disorganized in her responses. I don’t know a ton about her either, but plenty of Ds in Arlington thought she was too cozy with political contributors during her time on the County Board.

            I voted for her over Merrick because I wanted to prevent a GOP takeover of both chambers in the state legislature. I stand by that reasoning after what we have seen playing out in the past few weeks – the far right culture war Republicans trying to impose a social agenda that would drag Virginia back into the early 20th century.

          • SomeGuy

            Thanks. I’ve seen others question her coziness w/contributors, and I tend to think politicians are corrupt anyway, so it looks a little shady to me. But I haven’t followed news about her closely enough to have a strong opinion.

            Your comments on ArlNow generally strike me as staunchly liberal, which is why I wanted to hear your thoughts in particular. I truly wasn’t trying to bait you, so thanks for the response.

          • Not your bro

            She’s probably jealous of all the attention David Englin got on the vaginal probes issue, and wants her own national profile. It doesn’t sound like she’s off to a promising start. I always thought she was overshadowed by the other board members, and I suspected she didn’t have all that much to offer. Now I’m sure of it.

            I’m a Democrat, and I would not have voted for Merrick, as she doesn’t share my views and values; but unfortunately we’re stuck with Favola, because Arlington Democrats won’t challenge each other once they’re in office.

          • drax

            Let’s just assume she’s jealous and hungry for attention. She couldn’t just, you know, actually care.

          • Not your bro

            She sure made a poor advocate on Chris Matthews if she does. Also, didn’t we just see this kind of grandstanding from her a few weeks ago? Can’t remember what this issue was, but there was an ArlNow piece on it.

        • Josh S

          Yeah, primarily because it includes the humungous assumption that Favola did something unusual. I’m not a state senator, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that skipping votes happens ALL THE TIME. When it’s a forgone conclusion as to the result, I don’t think it’s necessarily a terrible thing.

          • Patrick

            It is not a “humungous assumption” that not voting on the state budget, the primary responsibility of the state legislature, is something unusual. Clearly Favola can’t even carry out her primary responsibility as a state senator. However, I’m sure she will be able to accomplish a lot for Arlington with all the good will she is generating with her colleagues in Richmond.

          • Tackleberry

            People will applaud a local delegate for sponsoring a bill that has zero chance of passing in the GA, yet they give a pass to a senator for not voting on an issue that is a forgone conclusion. These are essentially the same thing. Inconsistencies abound.

          • Suburban Not Urban

            It doesn’t matter if others do it(Didn’t your folks ever ask you the “If your friends jumped off a bridge – would you?” question). The issues are that 1) “Arlingtonian’s” voice would not be on the record. 2)How can you have any confidence that she would be there if it did matter?(As a freshmen, this would weigh more heavily that usual) 3)The budget isn’t some minor issue – it’s probably the single most important thing any elected body does.

          • Josh S

            My initial inspiration for making the comment was a feeling that Favola was being attacked on this issue not because it was something that was so extraordinary and counter to state assembly custom, but because she is new and a Democrat. (And perhaps a little bit because she’s a woman, but let’s leave that aside.)

            In other words, if any of those Republican state senators have never missed a vote, I’d be quite surprised.

            Also, we’re a long way from establishing a pattern. If a year or so went by and she was consistently missing votes, then there would be a problem. But one time?

            It’s smoke and mirrors and rabble rousing.

          • Burger

            You mean missed a vote on a final budget…I doubt it. Her vote was the deciding vote on the issue – now, I fully admit she wouldn’t have voted for the budget but the fact remains her vote matters and she was off trying to compete against Chuck Shurmer on racing to be in front of a camera.

          • ArlingtonChick

            What am I paying her for if it’s not to vote and build coalitions that favor Arlington? This is exactly the attitude that has allowed the US Congress to just sit, squabble, and collect paychecks (and large pensions once they retire after “serving” for 6 years). What a joke.

  • Arlwhenver

    I don’t personally care one way or the other on the HPV issue, but it’s ridiculous to say the grounds are the same for other vaccinations that relate to diseases which can be spread by sneezing, shaking hands or other casual contact. There is legitimacy to the argument that giving an HPV vaccination at a tender age sends a message that sex at a tender age is AOK or free of risks. Parents ought to be able to opt out for their children on this one.

    • drax

      Oh, come on – giving a vaccination doesn’t tell a kid “go have sex, it’s okay now!”

    • Not really…

      A parent could say to their daughter that the vaccination is to prevent infection if, years later, as an adult, she has sex with someone. Perhaps even after she’s married, since there’s no way a woman is going to be able to verify the sexual history of her fiance.

      Or the parent could just not tell the daughter what the vaccination is for. Say it’s for the flu or something.

      • Zoning Victim

        I’m not a parent, but don’t you think lying to your kids will teach them to be liars?

        • drax

          Lying to your kids about sex will backfire because they’ll figure out that you lied soon enough. Then they still won’t know the truth, but they will know they can’t trust you to tell them.

    • bobco85

      Legitimacy that the HPV vaccine sends out a message that sex at a tender age is AOK or free of risks? Unless you are referring to risk compensation, this is a non-sequitur. It will still be up to the child (and doctor and parent/guardians to guide them) to make smarter decisions regarding sex (I personally favor the ABC’s: Abstinence, Be faithful to your partner, and use a Condom). Plus, the child will still be at risk for all the other STD’s.

      I personally think it would be better if the human race could eliminate another disease. (feeling snarky) Or maybe we should get rid of tetanus shots because they’ll make our kids play with rusty hooks, nails, etc.?

      • Zoning Victim

        I hate to sound like a jerk, but you obviously haven’t read up on both sides of the debate if you think that the HPV vaccination is going to eradicate the disease. Even the vaccine makers admit that it will not do that (it doesn’t cover all strains), and there have been bad side affects for some girls. A lot of public health and ethics experts oppose making the vaccine mandatory. A lot of women’s groups have opposed it, as well. You can read more on why here:


        • bobco85

          I understand your point, and admit that after reading your comment I needed to brush up on my knowledge surrounding the issue. It is true that the vaccine will not eradicate the disease as I originally stated, though it will prevent up to 70% of rates of cervical cancer (according to the CDC article on HPV vaccines).

          However, after some research, I still think that the HPV vaccine should be mandatory. I think that it will be more effective to be mandatory than only recommended because more people will end up getting the benefits.

          Also, the only side effect linked to the vaccine (this is also mentioned in the article you linked to) is allergies in a very small percentage. I think that should a girl be determined allergic to the vaccine, then she should not be required to take it. Other than allergies, I do not see any health reason why a girl (or a boy for that matter) should not get the vaccine. I am siding with the CDC and AAP on this one.

          • Zoning Victim

            Hey, I can live with an informed opinion that is different than mine. I certainly agree that if it is so safe as to be made mandatory for girls, it should be for boys, too (the one that’s approved for their use, that is), since they can be carriers of it and there will be people who opt out and states that won’t make it mandatory.

          • BoredHouseWife

            vaccines designed to prevent sexually transmitted diseases should never be mandatory.
            unnecessary medical procedure.
            i know a lot of promiscuous people, and none contracted HPV because they used condoms. all this does is treat people like cattle.

          • drax

            Unless you are a medical researcher, and you clearly aren’t, you don’t know the sexual and medical histories of “alot” of people, BHW. You are making assumptions. You did not go around asking all your friends when they’ve had sex, if they used condoms, and if they contracted cancer. So stop saying silly stuff like that.

            You cannot be sure your own children won’t be promiscuous without using condoms, no matter how hard you try, nor can you be sure they won’t be raped for that matter.

            An ounce of prevention…

          • BoredHouseWife

            none of them have cervical or uterine cancer and were in our late 30s and 40s.
            i understand the concept of research and the criteria that must be met before it can be marketed.
            that ounce of prevention could lead to gulf war syndrome (should ask vets about experimental vaccines)

            but better inject your child with something that may or may not do what they say it does, just in case.

          • drax

            Sorry, but vague knowledge about a few friends is not a valid scientific study.

          • Mitt Romney

            You’re lumping cervical cancer into the STD bucket – is that you Jenny McCarthy?

            Do you still think that autism is caused by Thimerosal and that your “crystal child” was cured of autism?


          • BoredHouseWife

            do you not understand that hpv is a sexually transmitted virus is responsible for 80 percent of cervical cancer?

            so it can be prevented with a condom (for the cervical cancers caused by viruses and or bacteria)

          • Not your bro

            Condoms don’t prevent HPV. Do your homework.

    • T.G.E.0.A….

      We should ban baby dolls because the young girls that pretend being mommy might want to pretend making them.

    • FrenchyB

      Under the existing law, parents are able to opt their daughters out of the vaccination.

    • zerosteps

      We vaccinate for Hepatitis B at birth; one way people are exposed is through sex.

      • BoredHouseWife

        and vaginal secretions

  • nunya

    i believe Hank the Cat would have his way with that squirrel.

  • novasteve

    mandatory vaccines have always been for illnesses that would be communicable from being in a classroom. Unless orgies break out in the classroom, HPV vaccine is absolutely NOT something that should be mandatory.

    • jackson

      If parents can opt out, it is not mandatory. (Please don’t give the argument that some parents aren’t informed enough to know they can opt out. Why is lack of knowledge a valid excuse? Spoon-feeding knowledge isn’t the government’s job; it’s part of the whole “nanny state” idea people are always bemoaning.)

      • Zoning Victim

        Then why bother making it mandatory with an opt out when it can just be an opt in vaccine? If someone doesn’t want to give it to their kid, they still won’t either way and it avoids all the hoopla of arguing about whether or not it should be mandatory.

        • BoredHouseWife

          because it is more profitable this way.

      • ChristianDad

        “…some parents aren’t informed enough to know they can opt out…”

        If a kid’s parents aren’t informed enough to opt out, that might be more reason for the kid to receive it.

        I’ve raised my kids with values to respect their bodies and their significant others, and to save sex for a lifelong committed relationship. And they have, just like their parents did. As for kids who aren’t being raised that way? The last thing society needs is them becoming teenage parents and raising another generation of kids just like them. Give those kids free sex ed, condoms, birth control, immunizations, check-ups, etc.

        Just let me opt my kids out of it.

    • zerosteps

      directly from CDC website:

      400 men who get HPV-related cancer of the penis
      1,500 men who get HPV-related cancer of the anus
      5,600 men who get cancers of the oropharynx (back of throat), but many of these cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use, not HPV.

  • KRS

    I’d vote for Hank over the craptastic Allen and Kaine.

  • T.G.E.0.A….

    What is Hank’s position on urban hens?

    • CrystalMikey

      Tastes like chicken

    • Arlingtonian

      He encourages them so long as he can go outdoors … I saw him licking his chops while he said it

      • Tabs

        He looks like a cat who would harbor homicidal thoughts toward his person if he were kept indoors.

        By the way, cow’s milk is bad for cats.

        • OldTimer

          Cuz Hank is a vegan cat. Soy milk only.

          • Tabs

            Seriously, it’s a myth that cats should drink milk. It gives them diarrhea.

          • T.G.E.0.A….

            Cha cha cha

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Paging Col. Sanders….paging Col. Sanders

  • Zoning Victim

    I don’t get why people who voted for Favola are giving her grief about not being at a vote where all of the Democrats already decided they weren’t going to support the bill. That doesn’t happen by accident; they actually have meetings where they discuss whether or not they’re going to support the bill. Her lack of a vote was just as effective as a “nay” vote.

    • Not your bro

      I think it’s because the optics are bad for a freshman state senator. And because many Democrats were not all that wild about her in the first place – she had a pretty unpleasant primary experience.

      • Yum

        [Post deleted per comment policy]

        • Purple Stater

          Wrong. She beat that rich lady from Fairfax. Merrick.

  • Joe Arpaio



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