Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com September 19, 2012 at 8:45 am 3,968 70 Comments

Park Contracts Approved — The Arlington County Board has voted unanimously to approve contracts for improvements to two county parks. The tiny 0.6 acre Nauck Park at 2600 19th Street S. will get a renovated restroom, new swings, a slide and a “spinner bowl.” Virginia Highlands Park, at 1600 S. Hayes Street, will get the county’s fourth “sprayground” park for children. [Arlington County]

Bus Stop Moved Away from Sex Offender — An Arlington mom has succeeded in getting Arlington Public Schools to move her middle-school-aged daughter’s bus stop further away from a convicted sex offender’s house. The stop was six homes away from the man’s house. APS spokeswoman Linda Erdos called WUSA 9’s story on the situation a “cheap shot.” [WUSA 9]

Board Approves ‘Citizens United’ Resolution — The County Board on Tuesday approved a resolution calling for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse the implications of the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. [Sun Gazette]

  • South Side Chris

    But stop? No wonder she wanted it moved.

    • CW

      The spelling errors have gotten out of control lately. That, coupled with the questionable stories such as the “scooter scam” have made me wonder if ARLnow hasn’t put it on cruise control to focus on the big money up in Bethesda.

      • Tomtom

        Growing faster than the can handle. Started out with Scott then he kept adding staff, who have edit control, so less editing, etc.

        ARLNow, please go back to your roots. Soon this will be TBD, with slideshows and more typos.

        • Ballston

          If you want to complain about spelling issues, I’d suggest you not look at the WUSA 9 article. It’s horrible.

        • novastephanie

          They’d rather spend time deleting innocuous commenter posts than check spelling.

    • QWERTY

      It was intentional. “T” is nowhere close to “S” on a keyboard.

      • CW

        I seriously think that they’re using autocorrect or autocomplete because the spelling errors are always actual words.

        • Tomtom

          would make sense if they want to post first and are a mobile newsroom, doing it from smartphones or tablets

  • James Moron

    Thank goodness the county board is weighing in on federal campaign finance – time well spent. Don’t they have a streetcar to focus on?

    • EFC Observer

      Did the Arlington County Board take a position on the Chinese-Japanese island dispute?

  • Jessie

    Don’t listen to these whiny people, ArlNow. You guys rock.

    • FrenchyB


      • Dezlboy

        ^This two

        • B22201

          I like stories like “Scooter Scam”. There should be a follow up stories interviewing Rosslyn “My kids need shoes” lady.

          Or, “Who buys scooters from stores that also frame pictures and are they safe/reliable?”

          Maybe it’s just me. . . but I like the stories I can relate to.

          • SomeGuy

            B22201, you and I should team up on a story about that lady at Rosslyn Metro who seems perfectly literate and capable of holding a job (other than bumming), yet always has a cash crisis to justify her begging. Seems we both can relate to walking past her from time to time.

    • Cakes

      Seriously. People will b!tch about anything. “Question scooter scam” story. Sheesh.

      • GC2

        I’ll be happy to unwind Citizen’s United, as long as big labor unions agree to allow their individual union employees the right to decide whether their forced campaign contributions financially support a candidate or not. Seems to me the complaint with Citizen’s United is that Labor Unions are no longer the big money players they once were. Do away with Citizen’s United and make Union support more democratic among the union employees – and there – issue resolved.

        • MC 703

          I’d be fine with that.

        • drax

          Citizens United already applies equally to unions and corporations.

          There is no such thing as a forced campaign contribution, by unions or anyone else. Never has been. Unions, like corporations are still banned (even after CU) from donating money to campaigns from their treasuries. Both may only use voluntary donations from their PACs.

          • Typical Republican

            Facts mean nothing to me.

          • drax

            It’s usually liberals and Democrats, like the county board, who oppose Citizens United and don’t have a clue about what it really said. It’s disappointing.

          • Juanita de Talmas

            The Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. What’s not to understand?

          • drax

            Yes, yet plenty do misunderstand it, alot.

            Look at how many people think the decision abolished donation limits to campaigns, for instance.

          • It’s Bush’s Fault

            If you want to know the truth behind union political contributions – go here: http://www.unionfacts.com/article/political-money/

          • drax

            This is one of the most ridiculous, unreliable, biased websites out there.

        • PL25rd
          • drax

            That’s just an extension of a much older case, and it only applies to non-members of a union.

    • South Side Chris

      But if we don’t stop the buts now, then who will!?!?! Think of the children!

  • MC 703

    Still don’t understand why Citizens United went down the way it did. Even McCain is all about transparency and taking big money interests out of elections.

    • liberal

      McCain was the co-author of the law overturned by Citizens United. It was a horrible law that blatantly violated freedom of speech. CU had nothing to do with donations to campaigns.

      You should read the decision, and also the ACLU’s brief that supported it.

    • Swag

      “Still don’t understand why Citizens United went down the way it did.”


      • Scott

        Corporations are people too…

        • really

          I’ll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas
          Executes One.

          • drax

            Citizens United did not say corporations are people. Corporate personhood is never once mentioned in the decision. Just FYI.

          • Mitt Romney

            you are correct- it was I who said it.

          • Just sayin’

            Corporate personhood is never once mentioned in the decision.

            Perhaps not, but by assigning first amendment rights to corporations, the implication is certainly there.

          • drax

            No it’s not.

            Groups can have first amendment rights. They don’t have to be people to have rights. Think of all the groups that have them – political parties, interest groups, unions, religious groups. Nobody said they were people to get First Amendment rights.

            The court simply said it doesn’t matter if you’re a person or not.

          • Arl4ist

            Corporate personhood is also the mechanism by which citizens can sue corporations so be careful of what you wish for.

          • Just sayin’

            So political parties, interest groups, unions, religious groups have the right to bear arms? They have the right to vote?

          • drax

            Of course not.

            Do political parties have no freedom of speech? Do churches have no freedom of religion? Do newspapers not have freedom of the press?

            It’s not an either/or. Rights apply to people, groups, or both, depending on the right.

          • drax

            The 1st Amendment protects SPEECH. The source of the speech doesn’t matter. No law against speech.

  • Mike Hunt

    I was stopped by the guy on the scooter yesterday asking for money across from the lee high way exxon

    • SomeGuy

      Mr. Hunt, you should have told him your name and gotten his. I think he goes by Seymour… something.

  • Patrick

    Good thing the CB for the People’s Republic of Arlington have put their disdain for freedom of speech on record. I gaurantee not one of those clowns has even read the Citizen United SC decision.

    • doug drabek

      The more money you have, the more freedom of speech you have.

      Sounds reasonable to me.

      • drax

        You haven’t read the decision either.

  • OldYeller

    New signs for ACPS: “The But Stops Here”

  • Suburban Not Urban

    “a cheap shot” – No – this is what you get when you roll out a system with about 2 weeks to go to school. Only someone with a lot of arrogance and distain for your “customers” would think that would work well.

    • Really?

      FAIL. the children are not APS customers.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        Really – guess you haven’t been any service training’s in the last 20 years – everyone that consumes your services is a “customer”

  • Ballston Resident

    They definitely had to move that bus stop. What a stupid place to put it.

    • drax

      I’ll bet there are dozens of bus stops near the homes of sex offenders, and nobody knows or cares.

      • Ballston Resident

        I agree, many people probably do not know how close a stop is to the nearest pervert. I have to tip my hat to this mother who actually had enough interest in her child’s safety to speak up.

        If only the administrators took as much time to do the simple research to find out before they made this mistake.

        • drax

          It wasn’t a mistake. There’s no policy, and there shouldn’t be. It would be very hard to locate all bus stops away from them all. And what would the completely arbitrary distance be?

          Any sex offender can simply walk a few blocks or drive his windowless van to any bus stop at any time. This bus stop thing is a red herring.

          • Ballston Resident

            I think they made the correct decision in moving it. It was wrong to put it there in the first place, but now they fixed it.

          • drax

            So you think the schools should put every bus stop at least X feet away from a sex offender’s home?

            Go take a look at the map of sex offenders and tell me if you think it’s feasible.

            And how many feet? Is a kid safe 100 feet away, or should it be 500?

            And all these kids are going to walk home from their bus stops anyway, many passing right by a sex offender’s home.

            It’s a bunch of paranoid nonsense.

          • Ballston Resident

            Not my job to set their policy for them. But I think they looked at this specific case, thought about it, and decided they could move the stop. That’s what is so great.

            I’m happy it all worked out.

          • drax

            They fixed a problem with a whiny mom, yeah.

          • Ballston Resident

            That’s what they get for being stupid.

          • Hattie McDaniel

            If you read this, http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/09/24/120924crat_atlarge_gladwell you’ll see that the ones complaining about the location of a bus stop are the stupid ones.

          • Ballston Resident

            That has nothing to do with this bus stop.

          • Hattie McDaniel

            My point exactly.

      • ScoresMan

        Exactly. For example there is a registered sex offender whose house borders Jamestown elementary.

        • drax

          Now we have to move the entire school!

  • Id

    Their genitals should be collected to save the bus stops.

  • South Awwlington

    County Board Sponsored Resolution: People in Hell Want Ice Water — so give it to them.

    I don’t get these “statements.” Shouldn’t our LOCAL politicians focus on LOCAL issues and leave the FEDERAL issues to those elected at that level.

    This reminds me of the Dear DHS, Can we pretty please opt out of ICE debacle.

  • doug drabek

    8 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices, after this rulling, recommended that a Constitutional Amendment be passed that deals with campaign finance.

    The county board is in agreement with them.

    • drax

      No they didn’t.

      Some may have said an amendment would be required, but they certainly did not “recommend” it.

  • Narlington

    The school’s PR person is the worst. Blaming channel 9 because the schools failed to check the sex offender registry before placing a bus stop. The cheap shot is my taxes are paying for her inability to be a good PR person.

    • drax

      So how far away should a kid be from a sex offender’s home? Give me a distance in feet.

      So every bus stop in the county should be that far away – AND every child must also walk home from the bus stop while staying that far away, right?

      Now take a look at the map of registered sex offenders in Arlington, which you can find here: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/

      Then tell me if you think it’s possible to map out every kid’s stop, and route home, without getting within X feet. (And tell me why you picked X feet).

      Then tell me why a sex offender can’t just leave his house and snatch a kid anywhere he wants.

      Next, tell me why this whole affair isn’t a bunch of massive idiocy.


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