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.
While millions of Americans were settling in to watch the Rose Parade on Wednesday, I fired up the computer to stream the 90 minute New Year’s Day meeting of the Arlington County Board. The Board offered a handful of new insights.
We learned that the Board has jettisoned the idea of using any federal dollars for the Columbia Pike trolley project. Outgoing Chairman Walter Tejada even suggested accelerating the process now that federal dollars were no longer in the equation. Each defender of the trolley repeated a core message in their speeches yesterday: we decided to build this boondoggle project over the past decade — to question us, or turn back now, is unacceptable.
Of course, the Board has largely ignored all of the legitimate objections over that time — including the Board’s rejection of trolley opponents’ claims their cost estimates were low. The Board insisted the projections were correct right up until the time the federal government rejected the grant request over cost concerns. The federal government rejected the $250 million cost estimate. Instead, the cost was pegged nearly 25 percent higher, at $310 million.
Outside of their positions on the trolley, little new was offered in the speeches of Walter Tejada or Mary Hynes. Libby Garvey, the lone voice against the trolley project, responded predictably. Chris Zimmerman spoke briefly, saving his farewell speech for a later date.
Most of the time on Wednesday was taken by Jay Fisette in a lengthier than usual speech by an incoming Board Chairman. The speech had a few interesting elements, including an emphasis on economic development. As one who believes strongly we should hang a big “open for business” sign on our door in Arlington, I will watch this initiative with cautious optimism. At the same time, Fisette’s agenda may be far more ambitious than a single year as chairman allows time for.
While reviewing my other notes on Chairman Fisette’s speech, I received an email from civic activist Wayne Kubicki. In his message, Wayne asked if I heard Chairman Fisette’s call for Arlington to move to generate “zero waste” in regards to trash. Then Wayne asked, “does the zero waste concept apply only to trash? Why not the county budget?”
And that is my New Year’s resolution for the County Board — a zero waste county budget.
Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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