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Arlington County Civic Federation

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December, 2001 - Volume 86, No. 4 ------

ACCF Meets on December 4th

    December General Meeting
    7:30 pm, Tuesday, December 4th
    Virginia Hospital Center
    Hospital Conference Center
    1701 N. George Mason Drive

School Board to Visit
Federation's December Meeting

At the December general membership meeting, the Federation will host a visit from the Arlington Public School Board and the APS Superintendent, Dr. Robert Smith. In preparation for the meeting, the Federation�s Schools Committee has developed and forwarded a series of questions for the School Board Members and Dr. Smith to consider. The rules for the meeting and a summary of the questions are contained in this issue of the CIVIC VOICE.

Here�s the agenda for December:

    December General Meeting

    Reports and Special Recognition

    Presentation by School Board

    Q&A with School Board

Federation 911 Scholarship Fund Kick-off Set

At the November meeting, members voted overwhelmingly to establish a scholarship fund for the college-bound children of Arlington�s Firefighters, EMTs, Police, Sheriff�s Deputies and Emergency Communications Center Personnel. A ceremony has been organized by the Federation to mark the initiation of this fund. All member organizations, the public and Pentagon personnel have been invited to attend the ceremony in honor of Arlington�s Public Safety personnel. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 9th and will be held in front of Fire Station 5 at 1750 South Hayes Street, Pentagon City [Ed note. - this is correct -- I fixed this copy]. County Board Chair Jay Fisette will be the keynote speaker. If you have a moment, please stop by to say thank you to Arlington�s Public Safety Employees for responding to the Pentagon attack on September 11th as well as for protecting us throughout the year. Details on the scholarship fund well be forwarded via a separate email flyer to this address group!

Civic Federation Loses A Longtime Member

Federation member and civic stalwart, Ben Winslow passed away on November 13th after a hard-fought battle against cancer. Ben, a Korean War veteran, was a delegate from the Arlington Forest Civic Association, where he lived for over 30 years.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Ben moved to Arlington to work in social services for the Federal government. In his second bid for public office, he was elected to the Arlington County Board and served from 1993 until 1996. In 1998, Ben was appointed by Governor Gilmore as the Director of Policy and Planning at the Virginia Commonwealth�s Department of Social Services where he served with distinction for 2 years. Ben also belonged to the Committee of 100, Knights of Columbus and the Circle of Friends for Homeless Veterans. He was a long-term member of the Arlington Branch of the NAACP, the American Legion and served as the President of the Arlington Optimists from 1997 to 1998. Ben epitomized the Arlington Way.

In recognition of his many civic achievements, Ben Winslow was honored by the Federation in October of this year as an �Arlington Civic Hero.� It seemed ironic and perhaps fitting that Ben passed away the very evening that the Civic Federation was debating and adopting its Legislative Package for the year 2002. Ben�s command of County issues, his sense of civic service and his dedication to Arlington will long be missed by many in the Civic Federation and by the Arlington community as a whole.


The County Board Office (CBO) needs your help to update its list of civic associations and organizations. If you haven�t updated yours, contact Ms. Eileen Feldman (CBO) at 703-228-3121 or via email at countyboard@co.arlington.va.us � Do it today to ensure your organization stays informed!

Questions and Visit Rules for the School Board & APS Superintendent Visit

The School Board and Superintendent will make presentations, followed by a question and answer period. Although the public is invited, only Federation delegates and alternates may ask questions. Questions from delegates and alternates will be entertained as recognized by the meeting�s Chair. Delegates and alternates who are recognized by the Chair will speak via a walk-around microphone (handled by the ACCF VP). Delegates are not required to submit questions in advance. Questions should be concise, no more than thirty seconds in length, and not statements of position. Argumentative, multi-part, and follow-up questions will not be permitted.

Topics for the School Board Visit

The following topics and questions for the School Board were developed by the Federation�s Schools Committee and submitted in advance:

    1) How do you expect the revenue sharing plan to affect the way the APS develops its budget? How would this affect a citizen�s ability to have meaningful input into the budget process?

    2) Currently a student can stay in the ESL program for eleven semesters and be exempt from fulfilling some of the state requirements during that time. What incentive is there for an ESL student to exit the program early? State policy exempts certain students' SOL scores from counting toward their school's SOL accreditation. The result is that two schools could be accredited, but because of their demographics, one may have 99% of the test takers count toward accreditation while the other might have 50%. Where do the exempt students fit into the equation of �how well a school is doing?�

    3. Arlington continues to enjoy success in recruiting (and retaining) teachers. The new evaluation system seems to be a success. If recruiting, retaining, and evaluating are not a problem, why is there a need for the teacher excellence initiative? Which problem is being resolved?

    4. Describe the implementation of integration of special education students into general classrooms. What percentage of special education students are being integrated? What percentage of special education students are in true self-contained classes? When a project's space requirement is determined, is it based on student programming needs, taking into account special education integration, or is it based on the number of teachers in a school's program? How is the co-teaching model factored into space planning considerations?

    5. Approximately four years ago, the School Board stated its intention to have an evaluation component for all new programs. Is this in fact happening? For example, after three years of conducting an elementary school first language pilot program, what is the empirical data showing?

A Public Services Committee Report On The Role Of Citizens In Emergency Preparedness

By Kim Smith and Jackie Snelling

The recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have left many citizens wondering what plans exist in their communities to insure handling of emergency situations. Not surprisingly, President Bush has created a Presidential Task Force on Citizen Preparedness to make recommendations next month for how Americans can help prepare for potential terrorist attacks -- including ways that Americans can help local officials.

The Civic Federation�s Public Services Committee established a working group to study Arlington�s planning in this area and to consider the role the Civic Federation and Civic Associations might have in community education, communication, planning and response to emergencies. The Committee prepared a list of questions on the topic, which were submitted to the County in advance of their public forum on Emergency Preparedness. Transcripts of the County�s Forum are on the County Web site at �www.co.arlington.va.us/emergency/index.htm.� The Civic Federation�s questions and the County responses are also on the County Web site as well as the Civic Federation Web Site. The Committee plans to meet with county staff for clarification on some of the answers. Since County Staff have indicated that the local Red Cross is better equipped than the County to manage and coordinate citizen and volunteer efforts, the Committee will also meet with the local Red Cross staff responsible for community education and disaster planning.

A follow-up interview with Captain Mark Penn of ACFD provided additional insights into the organization of emergency management in Arlington. Captain Penn is the Deputy Coordinator for Emergency Services for Arlington. He and Fire Chief Plaugher work with the other parts of the County�s government that respond to emergencies. Arlington has an Emergency Management Team (EMT) and a Local Emergency Planning Committee. Arlington also participates in a regional task force.

According to Captain Penn, Arlington�s Emergency Management Team consists of the County Manager and relevant department heads. The EMT has various Task Forces, including a Communications Task Force responsible for communication during an emergency. An Emergency Planning Team, comprised of County Staff with expertise in emergency services, now meets weekly to discuss contingency plans. Captain Penn also serves as the coordinator of the Local Emergency Planning Committee that represents Arlington, Falls Church, National Airport and the Pentagon. This group, chartered under Superfund III, is responsible for ensuring that adequate resources are in place in the event of a hazardous materials (HazMat) incident. A number of groups are represented in this committee, as are at-large citizens. The Committee holds quarterly meetings at Fire Station 9, which are open to the public.

The county's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is the document that details the organization and planning for responses to emergencies. The most recent edition of this document was developed for Y2K. Captain Penn remarked that "Because of September 11th, some of our basic assumptions have been challenged" and the Plan is being reviewed and revised.

Captain Penn also explained that the regional task force for Northern Virginia is, by agreement, led by Fairfax�s government. This group, active during Y2K preparations, continues to meet to review regional preparation for emergencies. As part of this effort, Arlington is responsible for updating the regional Emergency Preparedness booklet for public use. Members of the Civic Federation�s Public Service Committee reviewed a draft of the booklet and gave recommendations for changes to Assistant County manager, Mr. Dick Bridges. The revised booklet will be published in the Washington Post this December.

County Establishes Bill Thomas Award

On November 17th, Toby Smith, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission announced that his commission was creating a new awards program to recognize Arlington citizens for outstanding dedication and service to Arlington County parks. The new award will be called the �Bill Thomas Park Service Award� in honor of William "Bill" Thomas. Bill served the Arlington County parks community for more than two decades until he was forced to relocate to the Baltimore area last year for health reasons. As many know, Bill was a tireless worker on behalf of Arlington�s parks and citizens. A long time Federation Delegate, Bill served as head of the Federation�s Parks and Recreation Committee, was a member of Friends of Arlington Parks for more than twenty years and was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission in 1995. The Parks and Recreation Commission plans to present the awards annually at the County�s Arbor Day Celebration. A special note of appreciation goes to Federation Delegate Judy Green who originally came up with the Bill Thomas Award idea and worked with Donald Mozingo of the Park and Recreation Commission to develop the new awards program.

Federation�s Top Five Legislative Priorities

At the conclusion of last month�s legislative package meeting, delegates were surveyed to determine what are the top five priorities for the Federation�s legislative package. They are listed below:

    1. Gun Control.-- Strongly supports requiring mandatory instant background checks on purchasers of all firearms at all gun shows and allowing up to seventy-two hours to complete the check if the instant check is inconclusive.

    2. Crimes and Offenses -- 21-Day Rule. Urges extension of the period for consideration of potentially exculpatory evidence in capital cases from 21 days to 3 years.

    3. Transportation -- Interstate 66. Opposes changes to I 66 inside the capital beltway unless such changes are part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan and are made with community consensus.

    4. Baseball Stadium Authority. Urges repeal of the Virginia Stadium Authority, Virginia Code section 15.1.227-71 and opposes use of public funds for professional sports facilities in Virginia. Supports return of professional baseball to the Nation�s Capital.

    5. Property and Conveyances -- Retention of Local Zoning Authority. Supports legislation to prohibit Commonwealth agencies from overriding local jurisdictional use plans and zoning decisions and ordinances

A Note From Your President

Congratulations are in order to the Legislation Committee for some outstanding work. Led by Ms. Nancy Graham (in her fifth and final year as Committee Chair), the Commission met repeatedly throughout the late summer and early fall to pull together a package in time for all of our member organizations to consider the contents and debate them meaningfully in November. We will sorely miss having Nancy lead this group and are actively seeking a volunteer to assume the Committee Chair. Any takers? At the end of the meeting, delegates were surveyed to determine what the Federation�s top five priorities were. They are displayed in the next column.

Along with everyone else � I, too, was saddened by the loss of long time Federation Member, Ben Winslow. Our heartfelt condolences go to Mickey Winslow and their children. Ben will be sorely missed among all of us.

See you, Tuesday December 4th � Jim Pebley

P.S. � Don�t forget to mark your calendar for the ceremony marking the kick-off for the Federation�s 911 Scholarship Fund. Try to be there if you can. In any case, please consider donating to this worthy effort. Watch your email for details.

ACCF Officers

    President Jim Pebley 703-525-0766 jim+

    Vice President Dan Krasnegor 703-534-4024 dan+

    Treasurer Frances Finta 703-528-2882 (no email)

    Secretary Tim Wise 703-243-8345 tim+

Executive Committee

    Chairman - Dan Krasnegor 703-534-4024 - dan+

    Member - Robert Atkins 703-527-8859 - (voice or fax) - (no email)

    Member - Mileva Hartman 703-841-9287 - mileva+

    Member - Roger Meyer 703-671-3655 roger+

    Member - Patrick Smaldore 703-528-3935 - patrick+

    Member - Kim Smith - kim+

ACCF Committee Chairs

Recipients of this newsletter are encouraged to forward to all and any interested parties

Copies of the Newsletter are available for Download from the Civic Federation website. (That is a paper version statement: this page is the Web version.) the Civic Voice is also distributed by email.

The paper version of the Civic Voice uses a freshly updated design introduced in 2001 by Cheryl Whitehead, who can be reached through email to cwhite229@erols.com. This Web version using the same text but posted within the style confines of our Web page design, is put up by Randy Swart. If you have comments or complaints about either version, please contact the editor, Jim Pebley

This page was last revised on: December 28, 2003.
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