Now that Donald Trump has held the first political rally of his 2024 presidential election run, somewhere outside Phoenix in Arizona, those of us still hanging onto a modicum of sanity in our cherished nation that has gone so deeply into a moral, intellectual and political bog ask of ourselves this: Can anything be done?
Author: Nicholas F. Benton
Marking the first anniversary of the inauguration of Joe Biden this January 20, 2022, the numbers in things that matter to the health of the nation and its people are way, way better than a year ago. Just on the economy, initial unemployment claims are down from 812,750 to 210,750, the unemployment rate is down from 6.4 percent to 3.9 percent, and compared to the loss of 9.4 million jobs a year ago, the number is now up by 6.4 million.
The Falls Church City’s School Board is convening in a special meeting tonight at 7 p.m. to take up the issue of whether or not to join other regional school districts that have acted to defy new Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s inauguration day executive order to remove mandates for students to wear masks in public schools.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria has one of the most engaging Sunday morning politically-themed interview shows on all TV. He is not a showman. He is not out to win an audience with a special something. He’s serious, clearly well-educated and dedicated to his task, which is not simply to be an interviewer or a journalist. It is not to be a newsman in the usual sense. No, it has become clear that his goal is to use his skills and acumen for the purpose of making the world a better place.
At the Falls Church School Board’s first meeting of the new year, and first held in person at the new Council chambers in City Hall since before the Covid-19 pandemic kicked in almost two years ago, the Council unanimously elected a new chair and vice chair, Laura Downs and Tate Gould, and was presented the new budget year’s proposed budget by Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan.
In the interest of the ongoing incredible concord on the Falls Church City Council in recent years that has led to amazing achievements – a new, $120 million state of the art high school at no cost to taxpayers, 6%-plus revenue growth rates that have permitted important compensation and other improvements in the City schools as well as police and general government, a projected real estate tax rate cut for the second year in a row, the implementation of an effective revenue sharing policy with the schools and an effective navigation through the significant perils of the Covid-19 pandemic – it is hard to argue that staying the course with the onset of the new year was not the best decision. On that basis, the Council moved swiftly Monday night to unanimously re-elect Mayor David Tarter to a record fifth consecutive two-year term.
P. David Tarter has become the longest-serving mayor in the 74 year history of the City of Falls Church, being elected to a record fifth consecutive two-year term by a unanimous vote of the F.C. City Council Monday night. His fifth term election eclipses the former mark of four consecutive two-year terms held for decades by former Mayor Carol DeLong, still active in the F.C. community, from 1980 to 1988.
Today, January 6, 2022, marks the first anniversary of the massive physical assault on the nation’s Capitol that threatened to overthrow the democratic institutions of our republic at the instigation of then-sitting president Donald Trump. Even now, just one year later, the very notion that this thug, this criminal sociopath had actually held the position of President of the United States seems eerily surrealistic and uncanny to many, myself included. It was like a four-year hiatus of unreality, viewed from hindsight, even as we picked through it day by day for an incredible four full years.
City of Falls Church’s Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly has indicated she is willing to accept should her colleagues on the City Council select her to serve as mayor for the next two years, and we think it is a splendid idea. The Council will vote on the matter next Monday.
Another monster step has been taken to advance the prospects for one of the wider region’s biggest and most comprehensive mixed use development districts inclusive of the City of Falls Church’s 10 acre west end development, the adjacent Virginia Tech site and 23 acres around the West Falls Church Metro station.