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The Right Note: Two Events, One Night

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Last night, Scott McGeary was inducted into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame. McGeary was recognized for his significant contributions, not only to the business community, but to Arlington as a whole. It was a well-deserved honor.

McGeary currently serves as secretary of the Arlington Electoral Board, but has also been a leader in the Civic Federation, Committee of 100, Arlington Chamber and Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Arlington’s Board of Zoning Appeals and served on George Mason University’s Board of Visitors.

He’s well regarded across the political spectrum for his work ethic and for the professional and respectful manner he has gone about both his work and community service for the past three decades. Not only do our elected leaders know him, but he has built relationships with them.

He is exactly the type of person who would make a great county board member, but his longstanding association with the Republican Party would make such a run an uphill climb.

Speaking of the County Board, local Democrats hosted a forum last night for their candidates to take on incumbent John Vihstadt, who, like McGeary, made a name in the community long before his surprise wins in 2014.

Common themes at the forum included a “tough” budget, economic growth, housing, transportation and education. The forum questions also touched on the gondola, guns and immigration.

Tough budgets, economic development and transportation have recently been addressed in this space and are things the County could address in some very common sense ways.

Arlington’s policies on housing have done little to overcome market forces. In addition to our high level of taxation, Arlington also makes it more expensive to build new housing than it should be through its zoning regulations. Those costs are passed directly onto homeowners and renters. The candidates offered little in the way of specifics to change our present course.

One disappointing theme from the opening statement of Matthew de Ferranti invoked the need to run against President Trump this fall. Unfortunately, that strategy probably plays well with party loyalists.

When I campaigned for County Board in 2010, I was told by a voter that Ronald Reagan was to blame for the problems in Arlington. Never mind that he has not been in office for twenty years or that Democrats had controlled the County Board since then.

Chanda Choun closed by saying he should win because he was the candidate who could bring change. Except the Board is controlled by Democrats 4 to 1. If you have a problem with what they are doing, defeating Vihstadt will not really change anything. One could really argue things would be more likely to stay the same because no one from outside the dominant political party will have a microphone or a vote to change it.

Both candidates struggled to answer the questions of what Vihstadt has done, or how he has voted, that they specifically oppose. In other words, he has done a pretty good job, which is precisely why Vihstadt stands an excellent chance of being re-elected.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

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