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This Week in Arlington

<sh>San Miguel Mayor Visits Arlington

<bt>The Mayor of San Miguel, El Salvador, will lead a delegation of civic, business and government leaders in a four-day tour of Arlington this week, in hopes of cementing a sister-city relationship between the two communities.

The San Miguel delegation, led by Mayor Jose Wilfredo Salgado, will participate in a series of activities, including the signing of an "International Friendship Agreement," and visits to Arlington schools, Marymount University and county cultural and historic sites.

On Thursday June 8, the group will visit Washington-Lee High School, where students in a Spanish class will interview the mayor. That evening, the delegation will attend a performance of Guachos at Teatro de la Luna, located in the Gunston Theater.

On Friday, June 9, the county and the delegation will sign an "International Friendship Agreement" in the County Board room in Courthouse at 11 a.m.

The first phase of the sister-city process began in September 2005, when seven members from the Arlington Sister Cities Association, County Board member Walter Tejada and a group from Arlington's Salvadoran community left for a week of meetings in San Miguel.

San Miguel would become Arlington’s fourth sister city, joining Reims, France; Aachen, Germany; and Coyoacan, Mexico.

<sh>Washington-Lee Shut Down for Day

<bt>Washington-Lee High School was closed on Friday, June 2, due to problems with the building’s cooling system.

Students who arrived at 8:15 a.m. were released, and those students who rode buses were returned to their home bus stops.

The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, which were supposed to be held at the school that day, were rescheduled. The school’s Faculty Follies will now be held on June 9. The SAT tests that were supposed to be offered at the school on June 3 were relocated to Jefferson Middle School.

<sh>Allen Raises Cash, Solicits Dem Head

<bt>U.S. Sen. George Allen’s re-election campaign raised more than $1 million between April 1 and May 24, 2006, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission last week.

The FEC pre-primary report showed that the Allen campaign has $7,562,682 in its coffers, and has collected more than $11.6 million during the election cycle.

But his campaign team might want to spend some of that hard-earned cash updating its mailing list.

That’s because Peter Rousselot, chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, received a letter last week from Friends of George Allen, asking if he would join Allen’s re-election campaign and donate money.

“Perhaps it’s just that George hasn’t been spending enough time monitoring his VA-based fund-raising while he hobnobs with potential 2008 GOP primary supporters in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states,” Rousselot quipped in an email to the Arlington Connection.

“Sorry, George, you’ll need to look elsewhere,” he added.

<tgl>— Seth Rosen

<sh>Arlington Grabs Metropolitan Cup

<bt>Arlington runners snagged local bragging rights by winning the 2006 Metropolitan Cup from last month's Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run.

The award is presented to the jurisdiction with the best average time of its top 90 runners in the race. Because Alexandria did not have enough runners, their totals were included with Arlington's.

Phil Stewart, the race's director, presented County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman with the cup during the May 23 board meeting.

Stewart called Arlington "the fittest jurisdiction," as the county supplanted two-time champion Washington as the top locality.

Arlington runners finished in average time of 1:05:48, five seconds faster than the average of the Washington participants. Montgomery County finished in third and Fairfax County landed in fourth place.

Arlington resident Mary Kate Bailey was the top female finisher in the 10-mile run.

<tgl>— Seth Rosen

<sh>County Nets Community Award

<bt>The county has received yet another national award for its leadership in creating a sustainable community and collaborating with local organizations.

The National Association of Counties presented Arlington with its Sustainable Communities Award, which "recognize(s) the most effective and innovative county-led partnerships with private sector, faith-based or community groups in developing economically prosperous, environmentally safe and socially equitable communities."

The county shares the honor with the Rosslyn Renaissance, Clarendon Alliance and Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership.

"Congratulations to all of our partners," County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said during the May 23 board meeting. "It quite literally 'takes a village' to build our sustainable community and we are grateful for all your efforts."

<tgl>—Seth Rosen

<sh>Regional Transportation Plan Gets OK

<bt>The County Board endorsed a new regional transportation plan during its May 23 meeting.

The plan, dubbed TransAction 2030, identifies critical transportation projects over the next 25 years that will require funding beyond the $12 billion estimated as needed for the region's Constrained Long-Range Plan.

TransAction 2030 calls for additional transportation funds to pay for future transit, roadway, pedestrian and bike projects that will meet the travel demands of a region that the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has forecasted will add 1 million residents over the next 25 years.

A study resulted in a project list totaling more than $15 billion in capital costs and $1.2 billion in operations and preservation over the next 25 years. The projects evaluated were deemed essential to decreasing travel times and reducing crowded conditions for both highway travel and the region's transit systems.

"TransAction 2030 is a well-constructed plan based on a thorough assessment of Northern Virginia's transportation needs and feedback from residents surveyed in all localities," said Arlington County Board Chairman Christopher Zimmerman in a statement. "These residents favor improving public transportation over developing highways in the future, and have even indicated a willingness to pay more for effective transportation solutions."