The Right Note is a weekly opinion column published on Thursdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Next Wednesday, County Board members will hold the traditional New Year’s Day meeting. I started attending, or watching live online, a few years back. If you don’t mind sitting through five political speeches, it can give you some insight into the priorities of Board Members.
Another thing to expect from the Jan. 1 speeches is some good old fashioned Republican-bashing. County Board members usually spend some quality time blaming Republicans in Washington and Richmond. In general, all failures of leadership will be declared to be Republicans’ fault. This is always an interesting perspective from an all-Democratic County Board who rarely takes responsibility for its mistakes.
If you have never experienced it in person, you should consider a trip to the County Board room at 11:00 a.m. on Jan. 1. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see whether the normally collegial dynamic of the opening meeting changes now that Libby Garvey has endorsed Independent John Vihstadt for the upcoming special election.
The 2013 opening day meeting set up an interesting trolley debate for the year as well as saw Jay Fisette’s announcement he would start a personal crusade against single use water bottles. Since Fisette is about to assume the Chairmanship, we will see where this crusade goes in 2014.
The 2013 meeting also offered a preview of incoming Chairman Walter Tejada’s plans. Chairman Tejada wanted a Columbia Pike TIF and to approve chickens in backyards. Tejada was successful in moving the trolley-induced TIF forward, but the chickens did not make it across the road.
As we know, Chris Zimmerman’s upcoming departure once again gives Arlingtonians an opportunity to elect a Board Member with real political independence. Looking back at the columns I wrote over 2013, I identified a number of reasons to make the change, but here are five:
1. Arlington needs more transparency and fiscal accountability. Summed up in a few short words — $1 million bus stop. Or, the never-ending Artisphere subsidies. Or, to shed light on the close-out process.
2. The Board’s reputation of not listening to us is well-earned.
3. Arlington should be open for business. While the latest federal budget deal will put more (borrowed) money back into the local economy, we should not bank on federal dollars alone for our fiscal future.
4. In general, new perspectives are needed.
5. Because it is not too late to stop the trolley.
Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
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9th Street Chamber Music is back in business for its second season! 9SCM is disrupting the stereotypes of classical music as stuffy, dry, and elite through dynamic yet accessible performances and its one-of-a-kind String Quartet Intensive for young musicians in the DC Metro area.[9th Street Quartet](https://www.9thstreetchambermusic.com/9th-street- quartet)’s first concert is on Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 PM. The group will offer, for the first time, a ‘Playlist Shuffle’ themed concert featuring single movements of string quartet favorites. Tickets for this concert can be found here, and are $20 for adults and FREE for all students under 18.
Rehearsals began Monday, September 27 for the String Quartet Intensive, welcoming 32 new and returning members to the program. These talented musicians in grades 7 through 12 represent over fifteen area schools throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, and are an integral part of the growing 9SCM community. Their first performance will take place on Monday, November 28 at 7:30 PM.
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm
Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker