This Week in Arlington

This Week in Arlington

<sh>Democrats to Oppose Marriage Amendment

<bt>The Arlington County Democratic Committee voted during its monthly meeting to formally oppose the Virginia Marriage Amendment and urged residents to vote against the measure in November’s election.

For the second year in a row the Virginia General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage during its 2006 session.

If approved by voters in a November referendum, the amendment would not only prohibit gay marriage, but ban civil unions and potentially jeopardize contractual agreements between individuals of the same sex.

Critics of the amendment, including Arlington’s entire delegation to the General Assembly, contend its language is overly restrictive and may have ramifications beyond its original intent.

Arlington Democratic Committee Chairman said the amendment was an attack on residents’ basic civil rights and vowed that local Democrats would speak out against the bill.

"We will campaign hard against it, defeat it, and send it back to where it belongs — which is in the trash can," Rousselot said.

Democrats plan to include a "No" vote on the amendment on its sample ballot that the party hands out at polling centers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported over the weekend that Gov. Timothy Kaine plans to vote against the marriage amendment.

<tgl>— Seth Rosen

<sh>Off-duty Arlington Cop Arrests Bank Robbers

<bt>An off-duty Arlington officer who was in the Arlington Virginia Federal Credit Union while it was being robbed on April 7, chased down and arrested two of the suspects, police officials said.

At approximately 1:40 p.m., a man entered the credit union, located on the 2100 block of N. Glebe Rd., demanded money from the teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

After being told what had happened by the teller, the off-duty officer ran after the robber and saw him leaving in a car with another man.

The officer, who had driven his take-home police cruiser to the bank, radioed a description of the suspects — including a third man who fled on foot — then followed the suspects in the car.

He stopped them in the 2000 block of N. Glebe Rd., and took them into custody without incident. The third suspect was arrested a short distance away.

The Arlington County Police Department and the FBI are working together on the investigation, and, as of press time, had not released the names of the suspects.

<sh>Washington-Lee Groundbreaking Set

<bt>Arlington Public Schools will officially break ground on the new Washington-Lee High School on April 20, at 10 a.m.

The School Board awarded the construction contract to a firm last month after a long and contentious public process. The project’s final budget will exceed $99 million, compared to the $74 million approved by voters in 2002 and 2004 bond referendum.

During the first phase of construction, a four-story academic building will be built on Stafford Street parking lot, in the northwest corner of the site.

After that is completed, students will occupy the classrooms and the rest of the current building will be demolished. Then common spaces such as the auditorium and swimming pool will be built. The project is set to be completed in 2009.

In addition to the current stadium, the new school will have a four-story academic wing, a large gym, a 10-lane swimming pool, an 800-seat theater, and two new rectangular athletic fields.

<sh>Arlington Teen Summer Expo Set for Next Week

<bt>More than 1,000 Arlington teenagers will flock to the Arlington Teen Summer Expo on April 22, to look for the ideal summer job or volunteer experience.

Now in its 10th year, the event offers students a chance to meet with 200 local businesses and nonprofit agencies from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 4301 Wilson Boulevard.

Sponsored by the Arlington County Employment Center, the event follows a week-long series of workshops. A new addition to the event will be the "Options Fair," geared toward students who do not intend to pursue a four-year college degree.

Program events include:

* Job Interviewing Techniques, 9 a.m.-noon, April 17;

* High School Seniors’ Job Fair, 1-4 p.m., April 17;

* Job Spot "Ribbon Cutting," 10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 18;

* The Options Fair, 4-6 p.m., April 19.

<sh>Bar Foundation Grant Deadline

<bt>The Arlington County Bar Foundation announced the deadline for applications and proposals by community groups for its Bar Foundation grants is May 1, 2006.

The Bar Foundation provides grants annually to nonprofit community organizations to fund projects that help further the mission of the Foundation.

In the past the organization has funded the annual alcohol-free high school graduation parties at Arlington high schools, provided grants for minority law students, and supplied scholarships to girls who have gone through the juvenile court system.

Applications can be obtained at Arlington County Bar Association offices on the ground floor of the Arlington County Court House, 1425 North Courthouse Road, Ste. 1800, Arlington, VA, 22201 or by calling the Bar offices at 703-228-3390. To be considered, applications must be received at the Bar Association office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 1 or must be postmarked by that date.