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All Opinions Are Local: January 30, 2011 - February 5, 2011

One way Virginia can get kids moving

Rather than mandating more time in gym class ["Va. assembly approves PE bill in effort to curb obesity in kids," Metro, Feb. 2], Virginia lawmakers could promote physical activity for schoolchildren by requiring municipalities to provide safe walking and bicycling...

By Joyce Migdall, Falls Church  | February 5, 2011; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, education, health care, schools  
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What school vouchers have bought for my family

[The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was created in 2004 to allow students from low-income families to attend private schools. The program stopped enrolling new students after 2008, but Congress is considering legislation that would reopen it. This is one participant's...

By Vivian Butler, Washington  | February 5, 2011; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, education, schools  
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Wine freedom in Maryland: Just a taste won't do

In January, lawmakers in Maryland’s General Assembly introduced legislation to legalize the direct shipment of wine to consumers from out-of-state wineries and retailers. In the lower chamber, 83 of 141 representatives signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. In the...

By David White, Washington  | February 5, 2011; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, public health  
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The dangers of D.C.'s commuter National Guard

During the chaotic commute of Jan. 26, major thoroughfares throughout the District became paralyzed with anxious commuters trying to get home. According to several reports, it took as long as five hours for some commuters merely to make the trip...

By Steve Trynosky. Washington  | February 4, 2011; 6:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  D.C., weather  
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Snyder needs to focus on his team

I hope Daniel Snyder’s advisers and lawyers are telling him (even though he obviously listens to no one) that suing the Washington City Paper [“Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s face-off with City Paper gets uglier,” Style, Feb. 2] will be about...

By Joe Berman, Chevy Chase  | February 4, 2011; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, sports  
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Did Gray miss a chance with Boehner?

On Jan. 27, Mayor Vince Gray held a closed-door meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). It was a valuable opportunity for Gray -- who had recently marched up to the Hill to scold Republicans for taking...

By Aaron Morrissey  | February 4, 2011; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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What I discussed with Speaker Boehner

In his Jan. 29 column, Colbert I. King wrote that I missed an opportunity, when I met with Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, to discuss a GOP proposal that would eliminate the District’s federal payment. Mr. King’s column...

By Vincent C. Gray, Washington  | February 4, 2011; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Vincent Gray  
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It's time for Montgomery to embrace charters

In the Jan. 31 Metro article on the Maryland State Board of Education reversing Montgomery County's charter school decision ["Frustration for champions of charters"], a county Board of Education member expressed concerns about the budgetary impact of charter schools. An...

By David Borinsky, Baltimore  | February 3, 2011; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, education, schools  
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No. 1 in road safety

An article that appeared in USA Today last week describes an interesting metric for measuring road safety - traffic fatalities per 100,000 population and per 100 million miles driven. Using this metric, big cities come out on top. DC...

By Rob Pitingolo  | February 3, 2011; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network, traffic, transportation  
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Maryland’s uncharacteristic proposal: Ronald Reagan Day

February 6, 2011 marks what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday -- and while there's plenty of national chatter about celebrations of the Gipper's centennial, some legislators in Maryland apparently want to bring it closer to home. According...

By Aaron Morrissey  | February 3, 2011; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland  
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Grow up, Arlington County

I was dismayed to read how the Arlington County Public Schools treated Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso and her daughter Zoe ["Girl's suspension a sign of the times for potty training," front page, Jan. 30]. As an Arlington resident, I am keenly...

By Kim A. O'Connell, Arlington  | February 2, 2011; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Arlington, day care, education, schools  
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Don't rush to judge officers in Takoma Park standoff

I am happy to hear the police are going to review the shooting incident in the Takoma Park hostage standoff Friday. The possibility that the hostage, police officers, media, bank personnel, shoppers and others were at risk from rapid gunfire...

By Michael J. Bolton, Arlington  | February 2, 2011; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Montgomery County, Takoma, crime, guns, police  
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Don't detach names from government salaries

What's more fun than a database where you can look up how much your school superintendent is paid or what that annoyingly gruff DMV worker down the street makes? On the other hand, it's not that much fun realizing...

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | February 2, 2011; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, economy  
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Hyde-Addison on the verge of an historic shift

Last week DCPS initiated the annual Out of Boundary (“OOB”) lottery for the 2011-12 school year. This is the process by which students who do not wish to attend their designated local school take open places in schools outside...

By Topher Mathews  | February 2, 2011; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Georgetown, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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'Urban' doesn't have to mean more dense

It is one of the great myths of suburbia that most suburban households live in detached houses, and that therefore suburbia should be arranged exclusively to cater to detached households. Consider U.S. Census results from Montgomery and Fairfax Counties,...

By Dan Malouff  | February 2, 2011; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fairfax County, HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland, Montgomery County, Virginia, housing  
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How does the D.C. Council stack up?

We love comparing ourselves to other cities throughout the country, so why not put the District's august legislative body against 14 of its counterparts to see how it stacks up? That's exactly what the Philadelphia Research Initiative of the...

By Martin Austermuhle  | February 2, 2011; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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Gray is right about vouchers

Regarding the Jan. 29 editorial “School vouchers”:D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) was right to oppose vouchers for D.C. students, if for no other reason than to agree with what District residents have expressed in the past. Most of us...

By Christine Matthews, Washington  | February 2, 2011; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Vincent Gray, education, schools  
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The traffic planners let us down

Regarding the Jan. 28 front-page article “In post-snow blame game, no one wins”:The article, though well written, did not address with enough emphasis the failure of the emergency management teams of the District, Virginia and Maryland. I drove through all three...

By Azik Schwechter, Silver Spring  | February 1, 2011; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Maryland, Virginia  
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How a storm can break the ice

Despite all the traffic, power outages and inconveniences, last Wednesday’s snow broke the ice between many people.On Thursday morning, I was able to make rounds in the hospital where I’m a doctor, thanks to the help of three children, two...

By Faheem Younus, Baltimore  | February 1, 2011; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Baltimore, HotTopic, Maryland, weather  
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Needed: Better bagels

I've been meaning to comment on Scott Reitz's City Paper cover story for a while now. If you haven't read it yet, the gist of the article is that there are restaurants in DC going to absurd lengths to...

By Rob Pitingolo  | February 1, 2011; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network  
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Webb should worry more about earning his pay

Why fix Social Security when you can brag about banning earmarks and freezing your salary? That seems to be the attitude of members of Congress who are fixated on minutiae such as earmarks and congressional pay. Both parties make...

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | February 1, 2011; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia  
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'Michelle Lite' isn't the answer

Is there really anyone (parents, teachers, unions, D.C. residents) opposed to school reform? Critics of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee are not opposed to reform, and their concerns go far beyond methods or style.Richard Whitmire [“Rhee’s necessary toughness,”...

By Lynn Bergfalk, Washington  | January 31, 2011; 7:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, education, schools  
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A satisfied Pepco customer

I would like to commend the heroic efforts of Pepco and Montgomery County during the recent snowstorm and its aftermath. We live in a picturesque neighborhood lined with mature trees. Last Wednesday night, we could hear the ominous creaking of...

By Conrad May, Kensington  | January 31, 2011; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, energy, weather  
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You can count on Pepco

I would like to offer my congratulations to the executives at Pepco for bringing more certainty into the lives of their customers. Now, in addition to death and taxes, we can be sure of prolonged power outages....

By Jerilyn Schweitzer, Bethesda  | January 31, 2011; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Maryland, energy, weather  
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A sandwich and a bed for a stranger in need

Caught on Connecticut Avenue in the Jan. 26 snowstorm, I headed dangerously downhill after turning to avoid traffic. I careened into a school entrance, leaving my car partially in the street. I was in Chevy Chase, Md., completely lost and with a...

By Luann Battersby, Fairfield, Pa.  | January 31, 2011; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, traffic, weather  
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Shelter in the storm

Last Wednesday evening, after exercising at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, I tried to drive the four miles home to Aspen Hill. Traffic was snarled, and I found myself sandwiched between cars on Rocking Horse Lane in Rockville....

By Jeffrey Frances, Rockville  | January 31, 2011; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, traffic, weather  
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Lessons in transit courtesy

So when a MARC or VRE train runs into trouble and Metro offers to shuttle those riders for free -- a regular occurrence during the morning rush hour -- how much does that actually cost WMATA? That's a good...

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 31, 2011; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, traffic, transportation  
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One storm in the city, another in the suburbs

Last year during snowpocalypse I observed that while most suburbanites spent the post-storm days stuck at home waiting for plows to clear their roads, many urbanites treated the days off like a big community party, and moved about their...

By Dan Malouff  | January 30, 2011; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network, weather  
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