In the news

There have been a number of news articles and letters to the editor (LTE) outlining some of the disappointing and capricious activities in Arlington. Many who have read the articles are relieved – someone is telling the story. When asked to write an article or LTE the overwhelming response is a fear of retribution from the county or APS — fear that their kids will be punished, they will be removed from commissions, or their contributions will be dismissed in other ways. Thus, the ArlWay website was conceived.

We believe that these pieces are an important part of the larger story and wanted to include them on the site. Unfortunately, free Word Press (we are all volunteers) does not allow two blogs. So the functionality that you will find on the blog posts of up-voting or sharing is not an option, but we hope that you follow the links to read the full pieces and come back to ArlWay and contribute your version of the story here – without fear of anyone knowing your name.


Arlington Often Charges Hefty Fees to See Public Records, Or Fails to Respond to Requests

Arlnow September 11, 2018

In recent weeks, Arlington County and its school system have sought to charge ARLnow hundreds of dollars to fulfill public records requests, or simply not responded to them — and others around the county have noticed similar issues accessing public documents.

The county has asked for more than $1,140 in all to provide records in response to three requests by ARLnow under the Freedom of Information Act, using accounting practices that raised eyebrows at one of Virginia’s open government watchdog groups. In another case, Arlington Public Schools has gone more than a month before providing any response to an ARLnow FOIA request, missing a state-mandated deadline by weeks.

Other reporters and political activists told ARLnow they’ve received even larger bills, or similarly been stumped by radio silence from the county on the requests. Read more

Why black parents of Arlington are joining forces

Washington Post September 4, 2019

There is a whirlwind of change afoot in Arlington Public Schools: The appointment of an interim superintendent and the search to fill the position permanently; the hiring of the newly approved chief diversity officer position and of several senior staff positions vacated in the 2018-2019 school year; the anticipation of Amazon adding students to already overcapacity schools; and ongoing debates about education policy and practices in Arlington County. We seek to project a unified voice about shared concerns and have come together to form Black Parents of Arlington. Read more


Letter: APS plan to remove trees is an outrage

Insidenova August 28, 2019

During the planning process, the local civic associations insisted that the massive new edifice conform, more or less, to the footprint of the current building. But plans for the new school show that the western corner of the property, behind 19th Street North and North Madison Street, will be virtually denuded of its majestic tree canopy.

APS will be destroying 40-plus trees on the entire site, with the promise to plant little new ones, primarily around the new staff parking lots. They are planning to pretty much clear-cut the massive trees – healthy, mature, beautiful and home to many kinds of fauna –  well away from the construction, and not replace them. Read more


Arlington Environmental Group Disputes Arlington’s Tree Canopy Study

ArlNow, April 16, 2018

An Arlington environmental group is claiming that Arlington’s recent tree canopy assessment is misleading. The tree canopy study found that, from 2011-2016, the tree canopy increased one percent to 41 percent. The Arlington Tree Action Group claims that the two percent margin of error on the county’s study cancels out its findings. A press release from the tree group also notes that the county failed “to emphasize a decrease from the 43 percent recorded in 2008.” Read more
#CountyBoard#parks#process#transparency


Despite community blowback, Arlington salt dome to be relocated

Insidenova, Sun Gazette Newspapers July 19, 2018

While simultaneously trying to disentangle themselves from a wave of vocal neighborhood discontent, Arlington County Board members on July 18 agreed to move forward with a temporary relocation of the government’s salt dome that had precipitated the angry community reaction.

The 5-0 vote was on a merely procedural motion – setting a public hearing on the matter for late September – but given the immediate need to replace the existing salt-store facility, it effectively cleared the way for county staff to begin moving immediately on the project.

“We have to move forward. There is not a ‘no-action’ alternative,” sighed board member Erik Gutshall, who like his colleagues had been inundated in days leading up to the vote with complaints from neighbors of the Old Dominion Drive facility, demanding they find another way to address the issue. Read more #CountyBoard#parks#process#transparency

Has Arlington Lost Its Way?,

The Washington Post, November, 9, 2018


Arlington is a national leader in many areas, from digital prowess to millennial meccas, but a recent project to revitalize a historically African American community dulls the shine. A flawed public-engagement process illuminates what governments and civic volunteers should avoid. Read more
#CountyBoard#parks#process#transparency


After years of talk – and flooding – Arlington Residents demand fixes to storm drain system,

Washington Post, July 13, 2019

Alexandra Lettow was near tears as she described the losses her family suffered in Monday’s flooding to neighbors and county officials gathered at a home in Arlington’s Waverly Hills neighborhood. Destroyed this time were the family’s appliances, the heating and air-conditioning system, the hot water heater, a couch, her son’s Xbox, a television and more. It was at least the seventh time the neighborhood had flooded in 19 years. “We took a home loan out last year to repair the basement from the last flood,” Lettow said. “We have no more money, and we have mold growing down there.” Arlington officials on Saturday said initial reports put uninsured residential and business losses at more than $4 million. Read more
#CountyBoard#environment#infrastructure#planning

Do not let Arlington government off hook on flooding,

Insidenova, July 31, 2019


The Sun Gazette’s July 25 editorial mistakenly lets Arlington County government off the hook for its failure to properly manage stormwater and control flooding. Read more
#CountyBoard#environment#infrastructure#planning


At Tale of Two APSs,

Arlnow, August 20, 2019


For parents with black children in Arlington Public Schools, hope and wariness accompanies the experience. Like other families, we have hopeful expectations about our community’s excellent schools. We read the headlines. APS Named Top School System in Virginia for the second year in a row. Four of our high schools are ranked in the top 2% of schools nationwide. We hope our children will also be beneficiaries of that excellence. Yet, the data tells a different story. It tells a tale of (at least) two school systems in one County. One which offers countless advantages to white children, the other which offers far less to black children. Read more
#schools#planning #race

Sun Gazette editorial: A cave to e-scooters? Looks like it

Sun Gazette October 24, 2019

Arlington governance often takes the form of kabuki theater – where misdirection is king and little ends up the way anticipated by those who don’t understand how the plot will play out.

But those who know the score will not be particularly surprised at how the government’s interactions with the e-scooter industry are playing out:

• Step 1: County Board members and top staff spend months screaming that they and their constituents are outraged by some of the behavior of riders and the firms that supply vehicles to them, and promise retribution.

Click the link to read more… https://www.insidenova.com/opinion/editorials/sun-gazette-editorial-a-cave-to-e-scooters-looks-like/article_72b6fc0a-f5bc-11e9-83ea-57255939c744.html

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