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County Board Struggles Over Antibiotics Resolution

County Board member John Vihstadt speaks after being sworn inMembers of the County Board were at odds at its Tuesday night meeting over a resolution that would support the federal government’s efforts to address responsible use of antibiotics in health care and food production.

The primary goal of the resolution is to “establish a tiebreaker preference in County procurement policies for the purchase of meat and poultry that has been raised according to responsible antibiotic use policies.”

The resolution also calls for working with Arlington Public Schools on a similar antibiotic policy, which would — other things being equal — prefer the purchase of responsibly produced meats for school lunch programs.

“Although Arlington County has few meat and poultry food contracts and does not purchase large quantities of these products, the preference created today signals to the marketplace the County’s desire to join the national effort to drive changes in food production practices that will create healthier alternatives and support public health,” the county said in a press release.

Board member John Vihstadt, however, opposed a specific paragraph of the resolution that said:

“Supports legislative efforts to prevent the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in food production, such as S. 621, the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2015 and H.R. 1552, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2015…”

Vihstadt made a motion to strike the citations of specific federal legislation from the resolution, citing no Virginia senators nor members of Congress who are co-sponsors of either bill.

“We haven’t been briefed on this legislation, we have not seen the bills, and we haven’t — at least I have not — had any communication with our congressional delegation on these pieces of legislation,” he said at the meeting.

The motion to strike the citations failed, though Board member Libby Garvey also voted in favor of it.

“I don’t think we as a Board should be going on record supporting two specific pieces of federal regulation at this stage,” Vihstadt added. “There may be a time when we ought to do that, but I don’t think so at this stage.”

Board member Jay Fisette, who proposed the resolution, said the measures have been under consideration at least the past six months.

“We have done this before, and it’s not breaking new ground to identify a piece of legislation that this County, with its values, stands behind,” Fisette said.

The majority of the Board agreed, saying this would be an opportunity for Arlington to be bold and show local support for federal action before state legislators or other regional governments.

“This is about our health and our kids’ health,” Fisette added. “It’s making a statement and hoping to build and establish partnerships that allow the purchasing power of our government to help address a serious public health issue.”

The resolution passed, in its entirety, with a vote of 4-0-1. Vihstadt abstained.

“I would be supporting this for all the reasons Mr. Fisette and others have said,” he said before the vote, “were it not for the endorsement of two specific pieces of federal legislation.”

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(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

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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

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Azure Dream Day Spa Grand Opening

Azure Dream Day Spa is hosting their Grand Opening Celebration at their beautiful new spa located at 901 N. Quincy St. on Friday, August 12 from 5-9 p.m.

All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

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