Sunday, September 13, 2009

HeraldTrib Today, Sept. 13, 2009

"APS Snapshots" debuts for new schools head honcho...

I watched the new superintendent of Arlington Public Schools on his “APS Snapshots” video. (I missed it on TV, so I had to turn to the APS website, find it here; I had to download it in order to see it).

"APS Snapshots" first episode. (Click to enlarge the image.)

The press release for the video says that it was to be a view inside the school system, and this one wasn’t that really, more a welcome back speech.

“I’ve really emphasized the importance adults play in students’ lives, in building positive relationships,” Dr. Pat Murphy said in the two minute, 24 second address.

He started his run as the schools’ chief in July after long-time superintendent Robert Smith retired.

This is Mr. Murphy’s first video for the weekly series.

One little irony: After saying that any achievement requires a plan somewhere behind it, he added, “One is: get organized.” It is important for children to collect their materials and find a quite space to complete homework and to stay on top of assignments. Parents can help with daily reminders or nudging children to organize their academic lives and establish a routine.

There was no “Two.”

(I mean, if you’re going draw up a plan about planning and you say, “One,” shouldn’t you say, “Two”? If not, you sound disorganized!)

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode and am even hoping for a little more meat. It’s a great bully-pulpit, the superintendent should use it. I’d love to get some behind-the-scenes footage, or a clearer understanding of decisions.

According to the APS Web site, “APS Snapshots” is filmed and produced by the Arlington Educational Television Department (AETV) in cooperation with the Arlington Public Schools Department of School and Community Relations.

You can see “APS Snapshots” on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41. Snapshots aired: 10:51 a.m.; 11:25 a.m.; 12:56 p.m.; 6:24 p.m.; 6:55 p.m.; and 10:27 p.m., and Frank Bellavia, a spokesperson for the schools, said the times it may run in the near future “is fluid.” I’ll try to keep you posted.

B'ham high schoolers to present at Housing Commission, County Board...

Buckingham Youth Brigade members at a June meeting. (Click to enlarge the image.)

The Buckingham Youth Brigade will present its report on immigration and affordable housing to the Arlington County Housing Commission next Thursday and then to the County Board on Saturday Sept. 26.

The group of high schoolers took on the task of interviewing immigrants, their families and random people in Buckingham as part of a larger research project answering the question, “Who are Arlington’s Immigrants?”

The idea for the 12 page report started at the end of last year during the county’s “Diversity Dialogues.” The group’s findings boil down to three major recommendations: improving access to services for immigrants; improving affordability in housing; and preventing racism and promoting understanding.

I’ll have a larger story on this the week after next.

The BYB is funded by and supported through the BU-GATA Tenants Association. The report was funded by BU-GATA and the Arlington Community Foundation Education Trust.

Champagne, pizza and missed names...

This story was edited to include the names I missed. --ST

There’s nothing quite like a wine-and-cheese function at an arts space to just make you feel creative and energized. The third Creative Arlington meeting in the Tiffany Gallery of Arlington Arts Center on Thursday did just that. Didn’t hurt that the cheese was on pizza provided by Liberty Tavern and the wine was a sparkling Italian champagne.

I like Creative Arlington, started by Ashton Heights civic association former president Ted Bilich.

Ted Bilich in the Tiffany Gallery. (Click to enlarge the image.)

The group aims to bring the different “creative classes” in Arlington together to create a stronger economy. The idea is to have a community online (find it here—it’s open to everyone, even people without arts degrees) that meets regularly in person to mingle, exchange ideas, and to see if some synergy can be created.

County board member Mary Hynes, Arlington Independent Media President Maurice Martin, planning commission member Terry Serie and about 25 others were there.

I was not planning on covering this, just went for the fun, but at the last minute, I tried. Cell phone photos, notes called into voice mail, and I missed a name: that of the Doorways representative. It was Kerri (Kerry? Carrie?) Something. Coming back off a hiatus is always way harder than I think it will be. (If Kerri Something wants to let me know her real name, I would love to post it.) Took a few hours, but she is: Kerry Goldstein, Donor Relations Manager for Doorways.

Stephen Fedorchak of Liberty Tavern was there, and he and Ms. Goldstein talked about just the sort of relationship Creative Arlington is trying to make.

Doorways is a shelter for abused women and children; Liberty Tavern is upscale food at moderate prices. They share a building in Clarendon.

The two have worked very closely, and Doorways has changed its philosophy of how it works with companies after its experience with Liberty Tavern.

“We want to work with you…It’s not just about writing a check,” Ms. Goldstein said. She said they now ask, “How can we help you, to get your name out, to get your word out?”

Returning that sentiment, Mr. Fedorchak said, “A restaurant is uniquely positioned to feed those children in a nourishing ways.”

Mr. Fedorchak’s business will be expanding into the former Murky Coffee building at the corner of Wilson Blvd. and N. Fairfax Drive in Clarendon. He said they plan to keep it a coffee shop, with expanded hours and menu.

He said they plan to “Tri-brand” a coffee—Counter Culture, Doorways, and whatever his coffee company will be called (he’s taking suggestions)—and $1 per bag of that coffee will go to Doorways.

Doorways recently started the PAWS animal rescue shelter with Caring Hands Animal Hospital for the pets of abused women—women often won’t leave without their pets, for fear that the pet will take the abuse.

“We’ve had one animal in our animal shelter so far, and unfortunately, he tore the thing to shreds, so we had to start over again!” she said, laughing.

My two cents: the new coffee shop should be called "Gitcher Coffee."

The Week’s Headlines…
As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

Headlines since the last HeraldTrib Today:

  • Buckingham Villages Update, A Summary
  • Police Notes Sept. 3 to Sept. 11
  • Police Notes Aug. 27 to Sept. 2
  • Labels: , ,

    Hey Steve-
    Just a small comment. The idea for the BYB project actually started before the Diversity Dialogues. BYB students have historically been very involved and interested in immigration issues in the area, and decided to use Walter Tejada's county agenda for inclusion last year as an opportunity to do some more work around the issue. However, since our report did come out after last year's diversity dialogues, they two initiatives coupled nicely and the students were able to generate some ideas and enthusiasm as a result of the dialogues.


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