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Morning Notes

by Katie Pyzyk February 5, 2013 at 9:01 am 26 Comments

I-66 on dreary winter's day (photo by wolfkann)

School Boundary Meeting on Wednesday — Arlington Public Schools will hold its next school boundary meeting on Wednesday (February 6), at 7:00 p.m. in the Williamsburg Middle School auditorium. APS will share feedback gathered at the January 23 meeting, and present a smaller set of boundary options. After reviewing the options, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to offer feedback. The final set of options is expected to be offered to the School Board in late March.

Metro Region Worst for Traffic — The annual Texas A&M Transportation Institute survey lists the D.C. metro area as number one for the country’s worst traffic congestion, topping Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Boston. The average driver is said to spend 67 hours per year sitting in traffic. Analysts believe drivers will add seven hours to that number by 2020. [Washington Post]

Cuccinelli Backs Alternative Transportation Plan —  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is not backing Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan, but rather a plan that’s considered the conservative alternative. Instead of eliminating the gas tax and increasing the sales tax as McDonnell’s plan proposed, the alternative plan would replace the current gas tax with a sales tax on gasoline. McDonnell’s plan has been controversial, including when the Arlington County Board bashed the proposal late last month. [Washington Examiner]

Free Pancakes at IHOP — Customers at IHOP can get a free short stack of pancakes today. Guests celebrating National Pancake Day are encouraged to leave a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The offer is limited to one stack per customer while supplies last. Arlington’s lone IHOP is at 935 N. Stafford Street in Ballston.

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

  • Chris M.

    I’m not sure if artistic references to Schindler’s List is the most pleasant way to start one’s morning, but to each their own.

    • Max

      Well I’m bawling my eyes out now. Thanks.

      • Jerry Seinfeld

        I’m in the back making out with my girlfriend!

        • Newman

          I saw you, and I’m telling your girlfriend’s conservative Jewish father.

    • Josh S

      Huh. Here I thought they were referencing Rumble Fish.

      (Colorizing black and white photos was hardly invented by Steven Spielberg.)

      • SharkHeart

        And what an odd follow up to The Outsiders.

  • Garden City

    What are the operational differences between a gas tax and a sales tax on gasoline? The only part about the governor’s plan that I like is that it explicitly starts dealing with vehicles that use little or no gas but still use the roadways.

    • drax

      The governor’s plan would ABOLISH the gas tax, so it goes far beyond dealing with vehicles that don’t use gas – it gives a free ride to those that do.

      (And since the gas tax is already so low that about half of road funding is paid for out of other taxes, those vehicles are already “dealt with” now.)

      • Homeowner

        How is anybody getting a free ride if they now pay a sales tax (which they aren’t paying now) instead of the gas tax?

        • drax

          I meant the governor’s proposal would do that.

          If he would just apply the new sales tax to gas (as Cooch supports), maybe there would be some logic to it all.

          • jackson

            Cooch’s plan would eventually cost gas users more, since it’s not a locked-in rate like we have now. There’s nothing awful about that, really. It’s the price of owning a vehicle. But it is a tax increase, so I’m not sure how that is the “conservative alternative.”

          • drax

            Yeah, I don’t know either. Conservatives don’t know what they stand for any more, other than hating whatever liberals want.

    • Scubbsb

      The main difference between a gas tax and a sales tax on gas is that the tax would no longer be a set amount. Currently, Virginia charges about 17 cents per gallon. A sales tax would be some percentage added to the price so that the taxes would go up and down with the price of the gas.

  • JohnB

    The annual Texas A&M Transportation Institute survey always gets a headline but it highlights the wrong metric. The useful metric would be average commute time regardless of mode.

    • cyclist

      Yes, “mobility” rather than simply time in cars. If you look at the study, they talk about that stuff a little too. The fact that the media only focus on car traffic is another symptom of our disease.

      • JohnB

        They talk about it a very little. They also only talk about public transit. They don’t talk about biking or walking. They don’t talk about where people live or the built environment or telecommuting. The probably don’t talk about it because they don’t have good data on it, but I would prefer they say, “We don’t have good data and more research is necessary” than producing an annual report that misdiagnoses the problem.

  • Pancake Joe

    Free pancakes, yum? I’ll gather up the folks at the Courhouse homeless shelter as well as my friends who loiter around the Ballston metro station. Thanks IHOP!

    • CourthouseChris

      Why do people post this bulls hit?

      • drax

        They’re bums, in the virtual sense.

        • CourthouseChris

          Ironically, only in the virtual sense is it a voluntary state.

      • Patrick

        The truth hurts?

        • speonjosh

          Please provide us with a headcount of the homeless patrons in IHOP today.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Even if the homeless are there, why shouldn’t they be? If I were homeless, and I could get a free pancake breakfast, you better believe I’d be there.

          • drax

            I meant posters like Pancake Joe are bums. You know, lazy, don’t contribute anything….

          • Hollywood

            Thank god you’re here since you contribute so much!

          • St Alphonzo

            At the i-hop pancake breakfast
            Where i stole the margarine
            And wheedled on the bingo cards
            In lieu of the latrine


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