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This Week in Arlington

<sh>Independence Day Activities

<bt>There'll be no fireworks displays in Barcroft Park this Fourth of July, but residents can still watch the national fireworks display from several prominent spots in the county.

Popular places to view the fireworks are from the Iwo Jima War Memorial, Gateway Park in Rosslyn, the Key Bridge and points along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Arlington's Barcroft community will host its annual parade on July 4, starting at the Barcroft Community House at 10 a.m.

In observance of Independence Day, county and school administrative offices, courts and libraries will be closed.

Additionally, several road closures will be in effect through midnight on Independence Day:

* Memorial Bridge/Memorial Circle and the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial;

* Eastbound Washington Boulevard between I-395 (exit 8B) and Memorial Bridge;

* Eastbound Columbia Pike (Route 244) between S. Joyce St. and the Pentagon;

* N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50;

* Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street;

* Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive;

* Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn St. (Rosslyn exit);

* Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade St. (Rosslyn exit)

From 5 p.m. to midnight:

Eastbound Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive (detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Boulevard).

<sh>Arlington Disputes Census Estimates

<bt>How many people reside in Arlington? Depends on whether you trust the U.S. Census Bureau's figures or those of the county government.

Last week the Census Bureau announced that Arlington's 2005 population was 195,965, which represents a decrease of 1 percent from the previous year. That would make Arlington the 16th fastest-shrinking area in the nation.

Yet the county's own estimates show Arlington's population actually increased last year to 200,226.

In 2005, Arlington successfully challenged the July 2004 Census Bureau population estimate for the county, which found a population loss of more than 3,300 from the Census Bureau's 2000 figure for Arlington. County officials plan to challenge the Census Bureau's recent finding.

"As with last year, we disagree with the Census Bureau's estimate," said Justin Clarke, an analyst for the County's Community Planning, Housing and Development Department.

Clarke said that the County's own estimate, based on certificate of occupancy data, demonstrates that the population increased between 2004 and 2005, although he said the county is still finalizing its data on the size of the population growth.

The discrepancy in the county and federal estimates stem from a difference in methods, Clarke said. The Census Bureau relies heavily on migration, birth and death data, while Arlington's population estimates are based on new housing unit construction and occupancy rates.

<sh>Columbia Pike Library Closed

<bt>Columbia Pike Library will be closed from Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30, 2006, for emergency repairs to the building's HVAC system.

The library, located at 816 South Walter Reed Drive, will reopen by Saturday, July 1, 2006, at 10 a.m.

The performance by Bill Wellington and Radio WOOF, scheduled for Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m., may be moved to a nearby location at the same time; call 703-228-5710 or visit www.arlingtonva.us/library for information.

The Spanish language book discussion of La Calle de las Calas Grises by Jorge Victoriano Alonso scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m. has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. at Columbia Pike Library.

<sh>Moran To Help Businesses Affected by BRAC

<bt>Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) successfully added an amendment to a Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations bill enabling a small business resource center to be located in Crystal City to help local entrepreneurs affected by the impending relocation of defense workers.

The resource center will help small businesses recover from the adverse affects of the federal Base Realignment and Closure process, which will lead to the loss of 17,000 jobs in the county, most of which will be from Crystal City. The bill directs the Small Business Administration to pay for the construction of the center.

"The decision to vacate millions of square feet of leased office space in Northern Virginia by the BRAC Commission and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was unprecedented and unwarranted," Moran said in a statement. "Despite this fact, we need to do everything possible to help the affected communities make a successful transition as the BRAC plan is implemented. This amendment should create a full-service resource center for small businesses affected by BRAC."

Under current law, communities affected by BRAC are eligible for economic support from the Small Business Administration, but not if the impact from BRAC was a loss of leased office space.

Moran's amendment ensures that the resource center will offer free counseling to small businesses affected by BRAC.