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All Opinions Are Local: January 23, 2011 - January 29, 2011

How Sarles can leave his mark on Metro

Dear Richard Sarles,Congratulations on being appointed chief executive officer of Metro. You’ve already made a lot of progress as an interim leader. You’ve started creating a culture of safety and fixing unsafe conditions. You’ve stabilized a rudderless organization. You’ve...

By David Alpert  | January 29, 2011; 9:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network, Metro, transportation  
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What Gray said about grading teachers

On Jan. 18, a Post reporter missed much of a point made in an education panel about fairness in teacher evaluation.  Post bloggers and editorial staffers then twisted the missed point. “It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s got...

By Jay Silberman, Washington  | January 29, 2011; 9:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Vincent Gray, education, schools  
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Nine-hour commute, five stages of grief

As I drove through the storm Wednesday, I learned a few things. I learned how strong a bladder I have, that the five stages of grief are real and that nine hours is a long, long time.I left Washington about...

By Jesse Schoolnik, Fairfax  | January 28, 2011; 7:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, traffic, transportation, weather  
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Driver's ed for D.C.

I was out in the storm on Wednesday night along with thousands of others. I hitched rides nine miles down Connecticut Avenue from Olney to meet my wife to help her get home. My experiences in helping drivers get moving...

By Doug Terry, Olney  | January 28, 2011; 7:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  D.C., traffic  
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Wal-Mart and the Wilderness

Regarding the Jan. 27 news story “Wal-Mart abandons its plan to build store near Civil War battlefield”:As one of those who criticized Wal-Mart’s plans to develop a retail complex near the Wilderness Civil War battlefield, let me be among the...

By Stephen Anderson, Locust Grove  | January 28, 2011; 7:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Virginia, history  
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Bridge sidewalks need to be a plowing priority

The commute on Wednesday for drivers and bus riders was terrible, but once plowing got going, DDOT cleared roads quite efficiently. I was disappointed, however, to still see sidewalks on bridges not among DDOT's snow-clearing priorities. By morning, my...

By David Alpert  | January 28, 2011; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, weather  
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Living with a disability, in a caring setting

The Jan. 24 Metro article “Virginia anticipates sharp criticism over disabled” presented a faceless, one-sided viewpoint, nebulously referring to “civil rights” issues that supposedly favor deinstitutionalization but missing the actual lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.My sister has mental...

By Bradford Wood, Bethesda  | January 27, 2011; 10:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Virginia, health care  
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Take Obama's advice, Pepco: Bury power lines

A few inches of snow fell, and nearly half a million local customers were without electricity, again, because of our quaint custom of distributing electricity by festooning wires between wooden poles. If this nation wishes to return to greatness in...

By Jeff de La Beaujardiere, Silver Spring  | January 27, 2011; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  DMV, economy, energy, weather  
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When will Pepco learn?

One would have thought that after being pilloried by The Post and (supposedly) being put under the microscope by the Maryland Public Service Commission, Pepco might have cleaned up its act. I got a continuous busy signal on the emergency...

By Laurie Neff, Chevy Chase  | January 27, 2011; 6:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  DMV, energy, housing, weather  
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How to avoid another snowy traffic mess

The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) mitigated Wednesday's traffic nightmare by releasing employees two hours early. This allowed many people to get home before the snow even started. Closing even earlier would have been better. To better manage the...

By James G. Titus, Glenn Dale  | January 27, 2011; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, traffic, transportation, weather  
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Lines drawn over McDonnell's transportation plan

Lines are being drawn over Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's ambitious plan to put $4 billion in transportation projects over the next three years, mostly through the sale of state and federal bonds. A group of 15 business executives from...

By Peter Galuszka  | January 27, 2011; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Metro, Va. Politics, Virginia, development, economy, energy, environment, housing, real estate, traffic, transportation  
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A bill-writing basic: Less passion, more precision

Updated, 10:18 a.m. Virginia's annual legislative offering can provide with a reminder of what happened around the state the year prior. For example, Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) wants to add sexual orientation to the state's list of protected statuses....

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | January 27, 2011; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia  
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Cantor the hawk -- except in his own back yard

The Jan. 24 front-page story "Obama and GOP clash on spending" reported that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and leaders in his chamber "plan to immediately pursue the deep cuts they promised in last fall's campaign." Mr. Cantor added...

By Patrick Dozier, Washington  | January 26, 2011; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Va. Politics, Virginia, economy, military  
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Virginia never 'mandated' HPV vaccines

In a 2007 letter, I urged The Post to avoid using the term "mandatory" when reporting on Virginia legislation aimed at getting sixth-grade girls immunized against the human papillomavirus because that legislation allowed parents to "opt out" of the requirement....

By Jonathan Chace, Chestertown, Md.  | January 26, 2011; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia, education, health care, media, public health, schools  
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Where are the women in the at-large race?

Earlier today, this tweet by Elissa Silverman of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute got me to thinking: Why aren't more women running in the upcoming special election for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council? The race is one...

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 26, 2011; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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Rough waters for George Allen

It's no surprise that George Allen wants his Senate seat back. The question for him is whether he understands how much the political landscape has changed in Virginia since his disastrous reelection run in 2006. Republican insiders say that...

By Peter Galuszka  | January 26, 2011; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Prince William County, Va. Politics, Virginia, crime, development, economy, energy, environment, housing, immigration, police, race, real estate, religion, taxes, traffic, transportation  
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Two states, two approaches to guns

William Tunney’s Jan. 24 letter regarding the open carry of firearms prompted me to do a little research. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2009, the latest year for which firm data are available, the commonwealth of Virginia,...

By James Morris, Lovettsville  | January 25, 2011; 10:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Virginia, crime, guns  
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Choosing the wrong hospital

To read Rob Stein’s front-page story, “Reproductive-care restrictions at Catholic hospitals spark conflict, scrutiny” at 8 a.m. on Jan. 20 and, then, watch the Maryland Health Care Commission in action that afternoon was to experience parallel universes.In the first, real...

By Jill Brantley, Silver Spring  | January 25, 2011; 10:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Maryland, Montgomery County, faith, health care  
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What are these weapons for?

The Jan. 23 front page article “In Virginia, high-yield clip seizures rise” included a list of “high-profile mass shootings in the United States involving high-capacity magazines” that was chilling.Can anyone tell me what the purpose of these weapons is, other...

By Linda Haile, Winchester  | January 25, 2011; 10:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Virginia, crime, guns  
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Which part of Baltimore?

Earlier on this blog, William Tunney complained that his enjoyment of Virginia is hampered by the state’s gun laws. He said he grew up in Baltimore and does not recall any problems with crime. His recollection of Baltimore is different...

By Clarence D. Long III, Warrenton  | January 25, 2011; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Baltimore, HotTopic, Maryland, Virginia, crime, guns  
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Hemmed in by the Height Act

Ah, the Height Act -- that singular piece of regulation, whose repeal, many would have you believe, would go a long way toward solving any number of problems that Washington currently faces: from traffic to housing, retail to population...

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 25, 2011; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, development, economy  
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Hardball over HOT lanes in Arlington

D.C. isn't the only place in the area where a Republican legislative majority in a large, mostly exurban and rural geographic area is threatening serious budget blows against a small, Democratic-leaning, urban jurisdiction. In the Virginia legislature, at least...

By David Alpert  | January 25, 2011; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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Overcoming the bystander effect

The Jan. 23 Local Opinions commentary by Allen Haywood, “I was attacked on a Metro platform. Why didn’t you help me?,” brought to our attention, once again, the importance of bystanders taking action when they become aware of someone in...

By Peter Bloom, Alexandria  | January 24, 2011; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Metro, traffic, transportation  
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Yes to transit, no to more roads

The Jan. 20 Metro front-page article “Area’s No. 1 rank in traffic delay leaves a lot to curse about” and the Page 4 continuation, “Groups call for more road capacity and public transit,” made me cringe. Air pollution in the...

By Mary C. Massey, Silver Spring  | January 24, 2011; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  traffic, transportation  
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Sekou Biddle: The accidental insider

Four months ago, no one really knew Sekou Biddle. Now, after a tightly contested appointment process by the D.C. Democratic State Committee and a recent fundraiser attended by Mayor Vince Gray and a host of local power-brokers, Biddle is...

By Martin Austermuhle  | January 24, 2011; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, Local blog network, Vincent Gray  
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Parking innovation at Metro

Parking operations have always been a relatively staid and unexciting part of Metro's operations, but suddenly it's rife with innovation and some of the best communication with riders anywhere in the organization. IMetro is piloting a secure bike room...

By David Alpert  | January 24, 2011; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network, Metro, traffic, transportation  
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Dodge City in Virginia

Regarding the Jan. 18 Metro story “Sticking to their guns, pro or con”: A 23-year-old man stands outside the office of Virginia State Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) with a semiautomatic rifle strung over his shoulder, and no...

By William Tunney, Grantsville, Md.  | January 23, 2011; 8:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, guns  
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