Press Club

The Right Note: SMH

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

Yesterday, ARLnow ran a story about “ruffled feathers” over the Washington Capitals banner that appeared in place of the Blues Festival banner on Columbia Pike. By mid-afternoon, all the parties had reached an agreement on what to do with both banners. However, many were shaking their heads that someone associated with the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization felt the need to run to the media instead of trying to solve the problem first and avoid the unnecessary public drama.

Now that we have moved past the “consternation,” there are still at least a few hours left to jump on the Caps bandwagon. Even people who do not follow hockey regularly or even sports at all have been going to watch parties and joining in the excitement.

It is a unifying experience. No one cares (too much at least) if you are a Republican or a Democrat as long as you are #ALLCAPS. Tonight we will be cheering for them to bring home their first ever Stanley Cup and the first major professional championship in 26 years for the Washington teams. In this hyper-politically charged area, it is a welcome shift in the environment, even if it is only a small one.

Also, the issue of airplane noise came back into the news with the announcement that Arlington would chip in to a study on the impacts of the noise on our community. Reagan National Airport, often cited as a tremendous asset for the county, has been generating airplane noise since 1941. Assuming we do not all end up with our own flying vehicles or some new quiet jet propulsion technology in the near future, the airport will still be generating noise for another 75 years.

The only real winners at the end of this process will be the consultants who will get paid a lot of money to tell us how much noise we are experiencing and possibly how to make it marginally less noisy in the future.

Speaking of taxpayer-funded expenditures, the Civic Federation passed a resolution this week calling on the county to get serious about identifying budget savings. This resolution included a much-needed call to give the County Auditor more resources to do his job.

With county leaders arguing tough budget times are ahead, now is the time to move faster than a snail’s pace on identifying ways we can better use taxpayer dollars. If we can afford to chip in to a study that tells us airplanes make noise, we can surely find enough money to immediately double or even triple the capacity of the Auditor’s office at the next County Board meeting.

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