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All Opinions Are Local: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

A chance for a new day in Prince George’s

I moved to Largo 19 years ago because of the opportunities in the Washington metropolitan region and the promise of a high quality of life for my family. I’m still optimistic about the promise that is Prince George’s County.Yet, our...

By Anthony G. Brown, Largo  | February 19, 2011; 10:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Prince George's County  
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Bethesda braces for a BRAC traffic nightmare

On Sept. 15, the gates will open at the new Walter Reed Medical Center on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. But will anyone be able to get there?The new Walter Reed sits in the heart...

By Patrick L. O’Neil, Bethesda  | February 19, 2011; 10:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Maryland, Montgomery County, traffic, transportation  
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Childish politics over vouchers

Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) threaten to impose financial penalties on more than 45,000 D.C. Public Schools students over a $14 million political hot potato [“Senators tie funding for D.C. Schools to voucher program,” Metro, Feb....

By Marc Osgoode Smith, Washington  | February 18, 2011; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C., education, schools  
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Downcast eyes at the scene of the crime

I was in Miami a few weeks ago when my roommate in the District sent a link to a story from The Post: “Random act of violence claims man’s life.”On Jan. 19, Bill Mitchell was walking home after seeing a...

By Karl Wirsing, Washington  | February 18, 2011; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C., crime  
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Who's demonizing who?

When I devoted an entire day to come to Annapolis and engage in a civil debate on the same-sex marriage bill on Feb. 8, I never envisioned receiving such an insensitive and denigrating response from any elected official as the...

By Robert Nelson, Gaithersburg  | February 18, 2011; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, same-sex marriage  
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D.C.'s hospital troubles demand a new approach

Regarding the Feb. 16 Metro article “D.C. Mayor Gray pulls bill that would’ve let him tap United Medical Center chair”:The D.C. government is looking for a buyer for United Medical Center, once known as Greater Southeast Community Hospital, which it...

By Mark Legnini, Washington  | February 17, 2011; 10:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  D.C., Vincent Gray, health care  
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Centreville students' real-life civics lesson

The bill passed by the Virginia Senate would make texting while driving a primary violation, so police officers could pull over anyone they see texting. This bill was introduced by Sen. George L. Barker (D-Fairfax) at the request of the...

By Terri Ritchey, Clifton  | February 17, 2011; 10:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fairfax County, Virginia, environment, transportation  
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A stumble by Sekou Biddle

A few days after turning in his nominating petition for April's special election, interim D.C. Council member Sekou Biddle has made quite a political error, one which could prove costly as he campaigns to legislate a city in budgetary...

By Aaron Morrissey  | February 17, 2011; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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Moving more people, not just more vehicles

In their attacks on Arlington, Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity [Local Opinions, Feb. 13] and The Post [editorial, Feb. 10] distort both the reasons for the county’s litigation in the high-occupancy-toll (HOT) lanes case and its effects. They also give Arlington...

By Chris Zimmerman, Arlington  | February 17, 2011; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, HotTopic, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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What's O'Malley thinking on Metro's board?

This morning, Peter Benjamin shocked his colleagues on the WMATA Board by announcing his imminent departure. Gov. Martin O'Malley will be replacing both of Maryland's voting members on the board. His colleague, Elizabeth Hewlett, had previously revealed her intention...

By David Alpert  | February 17, 2011; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Martin O'Malley, Maryland, Metro, traffic, transportation  
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Dead ends for Arlington traffic woes

Arlington may think it has dodged a bullet. But it is in for a surprise in the fall when the Defense Department project at Mark Center opens and traffic on Interstate-395 halts. Traffic is like water: It will find a...

By Carolyn Clark Miller, Alexandria  | February 16, 2011; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Arlington, Va. Politics, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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Bridging Virginia and D.C.

Regarding the Feb. 13 Local Opinions commentary by Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity ["Arlington roadblocks to traffic relief"] chastising the Arlington County Board for its objections to widening Interstates 395 and 66: Let me point out that there are not...

By William K. Stover, Arlington  | February 16, 2011; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Arlington, D.C., DMV, HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia, development, economy, traffic, transportation  
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Don't discourage D.C. artists

Regarding the Feb. 13 Arts story "A new NEA bomb: Too many arts venues?": National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman's for-profit Broadway sensibilities are clouding his judgment. He's supposed to be encouraging growth in the arts. Why go...

By Harry M. Bagdasian, Silver Spring  | February 16, 2011; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, arts  
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McDonnell MIA on Metro funding

Congressional Republicans are trying to take away the federal contribution to fixing Metro's safety problems. While he's clamoring for a seat on the WMATA Board, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is staying silent on this crucial need, as is Republican...

By David Alpert  | February 16, 2011; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Metro, Va. Politics, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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Law of unintended consequences

Regarding the Feb. 14 editorial “Doctors and self-dealing”:In general, restricting prescribing doctors from performing CT scans and MRIs is a good idea. But this editorial glossed over one defect in Maryland’s self-referral law. As a Maryland legislator, I tried to...

By Saqib Ali, North Potomac  | February 15, 2011; 9:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland  
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'It never leaves you'

Thank you for publishing the account of Halle Shilling [“Running for my life,” Outlook, Feb. 13]. There is a sisterhood of women who have experienced similar horrific events. My own terror came on a run in late September 1987, when...

By Audrey Rasmussen, Alexandria  | February 15, 2011; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, crime  
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House Dems come to defense of Metro and D.C.

We're still looking over the 2,400-plus-page budget released by President Obama yesterday to figure out how it will affect the District, but a Republican resolution introduced in the House on Friday also warrants mentioning: the Continuing Resolution, HR 1,...

By Aaron Morrissey  | February 15, 2011; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, Metro  
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Late-night Metro: A life saver?

The Feb. 14 Metro story on the proposal to close Metrorail at midnight on weekends [“For some, Metro’s idea to curb late-night service is a buzzkill”] quoted a rider who, while waiting for the last train, jokingly asked, “Are we...

By Adam Wenner, Bethesda  | February 15, 2011; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Metro, traffic, transportation  
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HOT lanes myth and reality (part two)

The facile claims of many leaders and a number of news reports have fed misconceptions about the Virginia HOT lanes project. The biggest danger of all with this project is that it's very likely to slow down, not speed...

By David Alpert  | February 15, 2011; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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HOT lanes myth and reality

Arlington's lawsuit over the I-95/395 HOT lane project has drawn a constant drumbeat of scathing editorials from The Post and others, and critical letters from certain politicians and road activists. But do the editorial writers and reporters covering this...

By David Alpert  | February 15, 2011; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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Commuters shouldn't call the shots in Arlington

Whenever I read a letter or an opinion from a politician from outside of Arlington County, usually a Republican, demanding that Arlington knuckle under to pressure and widen Interstate 66 or Interstate 395, it makes my blood boil [“Arlington’s roadblocks...

By Steve Jaeger, Arlington  | February 14, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, HotTopic, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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The real culprit in Fairfax's traffic problems

As someone who’s spent the past 12 years living in Arlington and now Fairfax, I could foresee Fairfax’s traffic problems many years ago. While Arlington was committed to building high-density, mixed-use developments near Metro stations, Fairfax was expanding sprawl ever...

By Umang Varma, Falls Church  | February 14, 2011; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Arlington, Fairfax County, traffic, transportation  
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Va. boat bill: More than just a tax cut for the rich?

Is it more a tax cut for rich yachtsmen or a jobs-booster for Virginia's marinas? Those are the questions behind a new bill filed by Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland), who wants to allow counties to cap personal property taxes...

By Peter Galuszka  | February 14, 2011; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Local blog network, Prince William County, Va. Politics, Virginia, development, economy, energy, environment, taxes, tourism, transportation, weather  
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Rhee didn't play by the rules

The Feb. 11 editorial “What does it take to fire a teacher?” was quick to question why arbitrator Charles Feigenbaum would reinstate 75 “bad teachers.” It sadly and predictably missed the most important point of the ruling. Mr. Feigenbaum made...

By Randi Weingarten and Nathan A. Saunders, Washington  | February 14, 2011; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, education, schools  
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Census is a wake-up call for Maryland GOP

Want to better understand Martin O'Malley's 14-point victory margin over Republican and former governor Bob Ehrlich in Maryland? Look no farther than the just released Census data for Maryland -- all of Maryland's population growth over the past decade...

By Todd Eberly  | February 14, 2011; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Local blog network, Martin O'Malley, Maryland  
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New member of our Local Blog Network

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new independent blogger to The Post's Local Blog Network: Todd Eberly of The FreeStater blog. Todd's bio is below, along with those of the other participants in the network. If you're...

By Washington Post editors  | February 14, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Local blog network  
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Commuter jams aren't Arlington's fault

The Post needs to stop blaming Arlington County for congestion on Interstate 395 and stop believing the fantasy of high-occupancy toll lanes that someone living 50 miles from the District will ever be able to drive alone to his D.C....

By Michael Andrews, Arlington  | February 13, 2011; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, traffic, transportation  
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