<b>Board Set to Approve 21st Century Vision</b>
<bt>The Arlington County Board members will meet at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 26, for their first regular meeting of 2002. Included on the board agenda is adoption of "A Vision for the 21st Century," the final report by the Task Force on Arlington’s Future.
The report is the end result of the 15-member task force’s interviews with county staff and county residents. Recommendations for Arlington’s future include an electric bus system, increased community gardens growing fruits and vegetables, more buildings generating their own electricity, a living wage policy, and increased Metro service in Arlington.
In their speeches at the beginning of the year, County Board members said the report, when adopted, should increasingly serve as a guideline for county development, as the did last such report, developed in 1986.
The task force report is available on line at the county Website, <a href="http://www.co.arlington.va.us">www.co.arlington.va.us</a>.
In addition, the county will consider approving more funds to encourage the return of business travelers and tourism to Arlington following the after effects of Sept. 11. The county is proposing to allot $150,000 to fund a public relations campaign by Arlington Convention and Visitors Services, a tourism-related nonprofit.
At a February meeting, County Board members will get the chance to see a practice rink for the Washington Capitals, a rink proposed for the Ballston Common mall.
<b>County Feedback on Metro Expansion</b>
<bt>In early December, County Board Chair Chris Zimmerman asked county civic groups and residents for feedback on a proposed expansion of Metro’s Blue Line.
He’s heard some of it, he said last week, and it’s what he expected. "A few people were intrigued," said Zimmerman, who also serves as chair of the Metro board this year. "But on the whole, the biggest reaction was, if they’re going to put a couple billion dollars to run a new line, why put it where they already have one?"
The board of Metro rail proposed a spur of the Blue Line last year that would run between the Rosslyn to East Falls Church stations, with costs projected at $2 billion. The proposal budgeted for three stops in Arlington, at Spout Run and Lee Highway, at North Quincy Street, and west of George Mason Drive.
The expanded service was intended to decrease pressure on the Orange Line, but Zimmerman said it sparked several concerns among Arlington residents.
"If you put those stations in those areas, it would change the nature of the areas completely," he said. "There was a lot of concern, people said, you should be looking at activity centers — go to Baileys Crossroads, go to Columbia Pike."
The county had received some 30 or 40 letters, he said, and was still expecting more from civic associations in the areas proposed for new stations. Zimmerman will pass county reaction on to the Metro board and Metro staff.
<b>Student Arts Awards</b>
<bt>Arlington schools will honor their PTA Reflections contest winners in a ceremony at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, in the auditorium of Yorktown High School.
More than 2,000 students created works of art inspired by this year’s contest theme, "I Hold in My Hand." Works are submitted in one of four arts categories.
The annual Reflections program, sponsored by the National PTA, is designed to promote creativity and spotlight student achievement in music, literature, visual arts, and photography. The program is open to students in preschool through 12th grade. Arlington County’s first-place winners will go on to compete in the Fairfax District level of Reflections.
Arlington schools superintendent Robert Smith, School Board Chair Mary Hynes, School Board member Elaine Furlow, County Board members Barbara Favola, Jay Fisette, and County Board chair Chris Zimmerman will present awards to the students.
The evening will also feature musical performances of prize-winning pieces composed by Arlington students. Arlington Educational Television will videotape the ceremony for later