Local Commentary

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Editorial: Kudos to Harry Shovlin!

Sometimes it can take awhile for the real story to come out, especially if official sources are less than forthcoming. Such has been the case for what’s reported in this edition on the circumstances surrounding the City of Falls Church’s controversial (at the time) acquisition and disposal of the seven acres known then as the Kisling tract which became home to a northern Virginia extension of Virginia Tech (and U.Va. at the time).

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A Penny for Your Thoughts

Wow! It seems this has been the shortest summer ever! The free summer concerts at Mason District Park end on Sunday, August 21 (a few concerts continue at other park properties through August 27); Fairfax County schools resume classes on Monday, August 22; and pumpkin spice-flavored items already are being advertised. I expect to see Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday displays in stores soon!

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What a Fantastic Time To Be In Public Education

In the past two weeks, Falls Church City Public Schools has welcomed back our leaders for a day-long retreat working on how to set a great tone, goals, and outcomes for the coming school year. We also welcomed back our Collaborative Team Leaders (CTLs) to engage in how our new Strategic Plan impacts the quality of education we provide, what best practices in curriculum and instruction look like, and also help set us up for success for the coming year.

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Delegate Kaye Kory’s Richmond Report

Folks ask me why I find holding public office rewarding — how can any political work be positive and worthwhile in this increasingly divisive and nasty political climate? Sometimes the work of researching and developing legislation relevant to real life that also has a chance of surviving the legislative process, being signed by the Governor and ultimately implemented is not only a worthwhile effort which brings attention to an important issue in Virginia and elsewhere, but also actually helps real people. These ‘sometimes’ coupled with effective constituent service constitute a public servant’s job well-done.

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Our Man in Arlington

Got a home owning problem or a beef over county services? Ombuds Ben Aiken may be your man (person). “In the last several years, we’ve been using ‘Ombuds’ rather than the ‘Ombudsman’ title to avoid gender-exclusive perceptions about the job,” said the eight-year, multi-position county employee whose official title, he told me, since autumn 2018 has been director of constituent services.

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Senator Dick Saslaw’s Richmond Report

Virginia’s annual sales tax holiday returns August 5 — 7. Virginians have the opportunity to purchase qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax (currently at 5.13 percent in most localities). Learn more about what items are eligible at tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday. Virginians are also seeing lower prices at the pump.