An open letter to the Board of Education and the community: Recently, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) decided to consider moving the Potomac Elementary School (PES) to the Brickyard site.
Two weeks ago I attended a meeting of the Potomac Elementary School PTA and other concerned residents of Potomac. The topic of the meeting was the long-awaited modernization of Potomac Elementary School (PES).
Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Greenberg’s ruling, entered April 23, 2013 in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County:
Several of this year’s WMCCA meetings directly or indirectly focused on our area’s tree canopy. There is good reason for this attention to tree canopy — everything from the quality of our streams to our enjoyment of the outdoors is dependent on trees. The need for trees to remove pollution from the air and water, reduce flooding and limit the heat-island effect cannot be overstated.
Residents rally in Vienna to support stricter gun control measures.
Less than six miles from the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, more than 100 people gathered on the Vienna Town Green Saturday, April 13, to urge Congress to support stricter gun control measures.
General Assembly puts more information out of public reach, but other factors also limit access.
The first paragraph of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, passed by the General Assembly in 1968, states that all public records "shall be presumed open." It doesn’t add, “except when we don’t want to,” although that provision does seem to be available in many cases. Individual government entities have a variety of ways of making it hard for the public to access public information.
That is the percentage of diagnosed lung cancer patients who survive beyond five years, according to The National Cancer Institute’s SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009, in a graph published in the Feb. 26, 2013 Washington Post’s weekly Health & Science section. As a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) survivor beginning his fifth year post-diagnosis, charting my prospects in such a cold and impersonal manner is both chilling and arguable. “Chilling” in that facts speak for themselves and are hardly made up of whole cloth, to invoke one of the late Jack Kent Cooke’s more famous quotes. And “arguable” in that charts, statistics, etc., may very well measure the mean, but it sure doesn’t measure the man (this man, anyway). Meaning, from my perspective: sure, the chart is scary as hell, but I’m not sure I’m on it, if you know what I mean? (I know you know what I hope.)
Governor, state panel must accept coverage for 400,000 Virginians without health insurance.
More than 140,000 residents of Fairfax County have no health insurance. That’s more than 13 percent of the slightly more than 1 million people who live in the wealthiest county in the nation. Arlington and Alexandria have similar percentages of uninsured.
Having never attended medical school (and not really having had the grades or commitment to do so), and having only completed 10th grade biology and freshman year astronomy, and rarely even driven by a medical school growing up, my understanding and/or instincts regarding how a medical professional plans and/or prepares for his day is as foreign to me as sugar-free chocolate (if I’m going down, I’m going down swinging; in truth however, considering the anti-cancer, alkaline diet I’m following, I do need to swing a little less frequently).
As far as anniversaries go–and I hope this one “goes” a lot further; acknowledging, dare I say celebrating my four-year survival anniversary from “terminal” stage IV (inoperable, metastasized) non-small cell lung cancer, a diagnosis I initially received on Feb. 27, 2009, along with a “13-month to two-year prognosis” from my oncologist, is certainly column-worthy.
Discouraging innovation in high-tech Virginia.
Consider this as a possible scenario (although perhaps we should have saved this for April 1): Fewer people are smoking, and many of those who do are smoking less. Virginia’s cigarette tax, the lowest of any state at 30 cents a pack, is a declining revenue source. Higher cigarette taxes are proven to reduce smoking. Under current logic in the commonwealth, there would be two courses of action to raise revenue: a) cut the cigarette tax, and b) charge non-smokers a fee to make up the difference and to compensate for the fact that they don’t pay cigarette taxes.
My oncologist is a man. He has e-mail. He works for an HMO that encourages/advertises its connectivity and responsiveness – electronically, to its members. If I want to get medical answers in a reasonable amount of time – save for an emergency, typing, “mousing” and clicking is the recommended methodology. No more phone calls, preferably. Though pressing keys on a keyboard rather than pressing buttons on a phone might have felt counter-intuitive at first as a means of receiving prompt replies, it has proven over these past few years to be a fairly reliable and predictable information loop. Not in minutes necessarily, but more often than not during the same day – and almost always by the very next day. In fact, I’ve received e-mails from my oncologist as late as 9:18 p.m. (time-stamped) after a sometime-during-the-day e-mail had been sent.
March 18: Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), 7:30 p.m.
It has taken two years, but the Brickyard Community has prevailed in its mission to stop the proposed soccerplex at the Brickyard school site.
Just two years ago, at West Montgomery County Citizens Association’s March 2011 meeting, we learned that there was to be a commercial soccer complex on Brickyard Road’s 20 acres owned by the Board of Education as a future school site and used as an organic farm for the past thirty years.