Thursday, June 07, 2007

O'Leary, Concerts, Burglar Video

ENDORSEMENT: O’Leary Tuesday June 12
Bob James is running for the wrong political office. He is running for Treasurer of Arlington, a constitutional office in the county, against long-time incumbent Frank O’Leary. The primary is this Tuesday (June 12) for the Democrats, and though James and O’Leary are on the same ballot (both Democrats, both running for Treasurer) I get the feeling that Mr. James should not be there.

His answers during a Democrat-sponsored debate last night, statements on his web site and quotes in various local papers all point to a man who wants to change the Treasurer’s office into something it is not. I do not see the need for the change.

The treasurer’s main function, Mr. James admitted last night in the debate, has three parts: collect the taxes and fees; invest the county’s money with a priority on safety, liquidity and yield; and spend the money in accordance with county board.

Raising the visibility of the office is not one of the priorities, but it is one of Mr. James’ priorities. Last night he mentioned that he wanted people to know that there was a Treasurer of the county, that he wanted to hold forums on personal finance, and that he wanted to raise financial literacy in the county. Those are laudable goals, but I’m not sure it’s really the job of the Treasurer.

The county board, the school board and other social agencies in the county should take on the job of raising financial literacy if Arlington residents think it’s a priority.

[I teach at Montgomery College in Rockville, and I can tell you I have seen first hand the troubles financial illiteracy has caused my students. Education in that area would be good for all of us.]

Mr. James’s ideas regarding an elimination of the vehicle decals on the windows sound OK, but again, it’s not really the Treasurer’s job to decide that (though hefty lobbying by the Treasurer, as Mr. James promised wouldn’t hurt).

Mr. James—and I primarily know him only from last night’s debate—strikes me as a passionate man, maybe a little too polished or ambitious for my tastes. Still, I could see him doing a great job on the county board or, potentially, the school board.

Frank O’Leary has had a strong record as Treasurer for 20-odd years. I don’t see any reason to get rid of him, and Mr. James has not given me a reason to feel differently.


Steve Songs ROCKED THE HOUSE at Lubber Run Amphitheater last Saturday. The singer/songwriter played some of his greatest hits including “Gravity,” “On a Flying Guitar,” and his version of “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain.” The mosh pit was a swirling dervish of sweating bodies under the trees that evening as Steve played “Spinning.”

The crowd rushed the stage at numerous points during the evening prompting Steve to hold off playing. Parental Security often stepped in to remove the worst abusers from the stage.

Ticket sales benefited the Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool, with many of the school’s members and alumni (including my children) in attendance. Some of the families spent dinner on the grassy hill above the amphitheatre before filling the bleachers.

For Lubber Run’s summer performance schedule,

click here, and then scroll down to the listing.

“Swamp Romp” Lived Up to Its Name Sunday
Beautiful thing about concerts like the “Lousiana Swamp Romp” at Wolf Trap last Sunday is the way people, often fueled by not a little alcohol, become instant friends, sharing food and beers.

I have a rather long history of participation in the Newport Jazz Fest at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York (that jazz fest is sponsored by the cigarettes, not the place). I’ve gone at least a dozen times to that fest as part of the Sullivan’s Lakeside Villa crew, two of those trips were weekenders from Wichita, Kan. to Saratoga (27 hours at 75 mph, one way). For about 40 bucks that my friend Damian collected from everyone, you got tickets to both days of the fest, all the beer and good food you wanted. Damian is a good cook.

Pete's in the Red shirt, I'm waving with my beer in green.

So it was with that background that I and my family were the guests of Pete and Jean Eisen at the a concert Sunday that was as much swamp as romp with the rain at times pouring down on us. Pete, a chef and pre-school teacher, did not disappoint. His smoked brisket and sausages, along with a choice of craft brews and wines, ‘bout made me swoon. He concocted a horseradish dip, sweet and tempting.

We were already soaked on the lawn when Dave, on the next tarp over, traded some of his jambalaya for some of Pete’s brisket. Probably not the best jambalaya, but very nice.

The music was good, but not enough of it. I could go for about six or eight hours, instead of the four. Still, Geno Delaphose and French Rockin’ Boogie opened the show and set the tone. Excellent music. Two of the players were nice enough to pose for a photo, though I cannot find their names anywhere. They told me, but the combination of beer and loud music confounded the problem. (I can barely hear myself on my voice mail where I left their names so that I could report them here. I can’t find them on the web site. If you know who they are, please tell me.).

And New Orleans Social Club closed the show—they’re a powerhouse and worth the price of admission. One of the two bands between was a not-worth-the-bother-of-mentioning, southern rock-hybrid thing that really had no business on the stage reserved for cajun, blues and zydeco (though the press on both is good).

Police Release Video of Pawn Shop Bandits
Arlington County Police released a video surveillance tape of two men who broke through the roof of First Cash Pawn Shop at 89 N. Glebe Rd. on Sunday.

They are asking anyone with information to contact Lisa Roosa at (703) 228-4169 of the police department or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Scroll down to yesterday’s post for the full story.


Thanks for the food shout out. Glad you had a good time and a happy birthday!

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