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All Opinions Are Local: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

A better road to the vote: Retrocession, with a twist

There is a new Congress in town, but The Post and others continue to push for what the last one would not do: Enact a purely political, and likely unconstitutional, plan to give the District a full-fledged and almost certainly...

By Michael Wein, Greenbelt  | January 8, 2011; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, DC Vote, HotTopic  
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Cast as a walk-on in 'security theater'

Metro is disingenuous to suggest that the fact that “no customers to date have refused to have their bag searched,” as Capt. Kevin Gaddis of the Transit Police put it, should be construed as “supportive” public opinion [“Metro bag searches...

By Neil Spiller, Silver Spring  | January 8, 2011; 8:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  D.C., Metro, crime, transportation  
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Out in the cold at Metro headquarters

I went to Metro’s headquarters at 600 Fifth St. NW last week to turn in a cracked SmarTrip card and obtain a replacement. The building contains an attractive and spacious lobby. Upon inquiry with the lobby security personnel, I was...

By William J. Camarinos, Alexandria  | January 7, 2011; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Metro, transportation  
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Maryland's school funding baseline: Right in principle, wrong in practice

Maryland officials, facing a $1.6 billion state budget gap for the coming year, may try to cut support for education, mental health and other vital services and shift the cost of teacher pensions to counties. But we in Montgomery and...

By Valerie Ervin, Silver Spring  | January 7, 2011; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  HotTopic, Montgomery County, education, schools  
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Sekou Biddle's ugly victory

Just as they say that witnessing laws being made will make anyone lose faith in the legislative process, watching the D.C. Democratic State Committee make an interim choice to fill the seat vacated by D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown...

By Martin Austermuhle  | January 7, 2011; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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Behind Virginia's textbook flap

The embarrassing textbook flap in Virginia comes as several trends converge -- technology changes allowing printing of limited runs of niche textbooks, little oversight of Internet-based research and the Old Dominion's el-cheapo philosophy regarding education spending. The controversies, of...

By Peter Galuszka  | January 7, 2011; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, economy, education, history, media, taxes, traffic, transportation  
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As 'American' as a tuition break

I read with bemusement Maia Werbos’s lamentation that she “read with outrage” statements arguing against giving in-state tuition benefits to “undocumented” immigrants in Maryland. She cited the story of a friend who apparently left the country and became a Canadian...

By Al Sartor, Walnut Creek, Calif.  | January 6, 2011; 7:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Prince George's County, University of Maryland, immigration  
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A path to citizenship -- in Canada

I read with interest Maia Werbos’s letter on the Maryland “Dream Act.” The fact that her friend from China excelled in school in this country but became a Canadian citizen is not all bad; it is fortunate that there is...

By William F. Tell, Silver Spring  | January 6, 2011; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Maryland, University of Maryland  
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Siloed thinking and Metro's bag search policy

To most riders, WMATA's bag search policy is intuitively foolish. But as statements at recent Riders' Advisory Council meetings make clear, within the mindset of the Metro Transit Police (MTPD), they're entirely logical. This is another example of how...

By David Alpert  | January 6, 2011; 5:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, crime, transportation  
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Counting Georgetown

Last December, an event happened that GM has been waiting for for years: the release of the five year estimates from American Community Survey. Sounds terribly dry, yes, but what it means is that data on a host of...

By Topher Mathews  | January 6, 2011; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Georgetown, HotTopic, Local blog network, housing  
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Taking toys from foster kids won't fix D.C. child services

In light of the difficult decisions reflected in the budget amendments passed last month by the D.C. Council, it is particularly important to ensure that the discussion of budget cuts affecting vulnerable children and families is as accurate as possible.In...

By Marcia Robinson Lowry, New York  | January 6, 2011; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  D.C., child services  
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What's our bicycle 'social contract'?

With the frequent calls for cyclists to "start behaving," it's clear that a number of people driving and walking are unsettled by the conduct of at least some people on bikes. But people in cars speed all the time,...

By David Alpert  | January 6, 2011; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, traffic, transportation  
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Bike lanes or homeless shelters?

Regarding the Jan. 3 front-page story “Tax hike possible, Gray says”: The authors wrote that “demographics regularly pit issues such as adding bike lanes and dog parks against providing day care, homeless shelters and job training for the needy.” This...

By John Glad, Washington  | January 5, 2011; 9:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, traffic, transportation  
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Where the Va. textbook flap is leading

“Textbook follies” was an apt headline for your Jan. 2 editorial. The “dozens of errors” in a Virginia social studies textbook are factual trivia that only a nincompoop teacher would ask students to learn. The textbook is being excoriated not...

By John Hoven, Silver Spring  | January 5, 2011; 9:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Virginia, education, history, schools  
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Teaching history starts with the facts

Thanks to The Post for pointing out the mistakes in Virginia’s history textbooks. They are part of a larger problem: a lax and even cavalier attitude about historical accuracy. Granted, history can be the world’s most fascinating subject to study...

By Constantinos E. Scaros, Newmanstown, Pa.  | January 5, 2011; 8:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia, education, history, schools  
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D.C. special election suddenly gets interesting

Special elections tend to be sleepy affairs, and the one to fill D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown's now vacant at-large seat was shaping up to be something of a snoozer. No longer. Just this week, a number a shake-ups...

By Martin Austermuhle  | January 5, 2011; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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Cheh, Wells try again to fix snow fines

Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells reintroduced a bill this morning to set up fines for failing to clear sidewalks. During last year's storms, many residents and businesses toiled to keep their sidewalks clear, but some did not. The biggest...

By David Alpert  | January 5, 2011; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, weather  
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Maryland's pension problem isn't state workers' fault

Regarding the Dec. 22 editorial “Pension tension”:No one disputes that a pension liability exists in Maryland. Where the editorial flew in the face of facts was in its characterization of this problem and how to resolve it.First, the pension problem...

By Patrick Moran, Baltimore  | January 4, 2011; 9:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Maryland, economy  
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Friedgen's scrambled priorities

I am a passionate sports fan, but I was appalled by the comment of fired University of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen on his coaching vs. the work of an English professor who wondered why $2 million was wasted on...

By Eric A. Green, Arlington  | January 4, 2011; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, University of Maryland, sports  
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Emotional about the Height Act

If you haven’t yet read Lydia DePillis’s Washington City Paper cover story on D.C.’s Height Act, it’s worth a look. She makes some good arguments in favor of ending the act, though probably none that a person versed on...

By Rob Pitingolo  | January 4, 2011; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, development  
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Mixing up Mount Vernon and Monticello?

What's worse? A textbook that mixes up Mount Vernon and Monticello, or one that claims the Confederacy included one too many states? Oddly enough, that's a decision being made by Virginia educators as they select textbooks that cover all...

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | January 4, 2011; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, education  
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Taking away immigrant students' chance to 'Dream'

I read with outrage the statements of Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert) on the Maryland “DREAM” act [“Md. to weigh own ‘DREAM’ tuition act,” Metro, Dec. 30]. He argued against giving in-state college tuition benefits to undocumented...

By Maia Werbos, College Park  | January 3, 2011; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, education, immigration  
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Lemonade from textbook lemons

Regarding the Dec. 30 Metro article “Va. may tighten approval process for textbooks”:I know what to do with the thousands of error-filled history books in Virginia. Use them! But first put a warning label on every book, and glue an...

By Jan Z. Olsen, Bethesda  | January 3, 2011; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Virginia, education, schools  
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Why not set up an ice rink at the waterfront?

As part of an occasional series, GM stops to ask “Why Not?” Today he asks: Why not set up an ice rink at the waterfront? The idea came to GM over the holiday as he was skating in an...

By Topher Mathews  | January 3, 2011; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Georgetown  
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Crosswalks are hardly ubiquitous

It's becoming somewhat of a token addition to stories involving struck pedestrians around the Washington region -- whether or not the person struck was utilizing a crosswalk or not when they were hit. But when digesting stories which involve...

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 3, 2011; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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