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The Right Note: Be A Good Neighbor

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.

Seeing all of the reports from the flooding throughout Arlington County yesterday reminds me of the responses Arlingtonians have made to previous natural disasters in the area.

In 2003, Hurricane Isabel wiped out power throughout much of the county and the region. However there were areas where houses on one side of a street had power and their neighbors on the other side had none. We live on one of those streets.

We asked a neighbor if we could run an extension cord across the street to run a few essentials, including a mini refrigerator to keep a few things cold, a couple of lamps and a fan for sleeping through a few warm nights. All of this came in especially handy as we had a toddler running around the house.

Soon, we noticed extension cords running all over the neighborhood. And then we heard stories of it happening all across the area as power outages stretched out for a week.

During one of the more severe winter storms a couple years back, a neighbor told another that his wife was in the hospital with late term pregnancy complications. Next thing you know, there was a small army shoveling out the street so he could get his vehicle out of the neighborhood.

These things happen regularly here in Arlington, not just in my neighborhood. It is what living in a community is all about.

Two weeks ago, the author of the Progressive Voice suggested Republicans represented a “cacophony of terrible.” It does not quite rank up there with Senator Barbara Favola’s 2017 line that Republican candidates were “evil”, but it does reflect a troubling partisan tribalism in our society today.

Both sides have been guilty of falling into it. But, this attitude is dangerous to the social fabric of our communities.

As neighbor helps neighbor again this week, may we all feel more connected and invested in making Arlington a great place to live, work and raise a family. May it also be a time to re-evaluate the emphasis we put on politics. And may it be a reminder to treat each other the way we want to be treated at all times, not just in times of crisis.

Mark Kelly is a 19-year Arlington resident, former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

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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.

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