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This Week in Arlington

<sh>Fairfax Sewer Spill Affects Arlington Streams

<bt>Arlington County health authorities have ended the advisory warning residents to avoid the waters of Upper Long Branch and Four Mile Run, due to a sewage spill reported last week by Fairfax County authorities.

Fairfax officials advised Arlington County last Thursday night that a broken pipe caused untreated sewage to be released near Upper Long Branch, which empties into Four Mile Run in Glencarlyn Park. Preliminary estimates indicated that less than 15,000 gallons of sewage was spilled with an unknown, but smaller, amount reaching Upper Long Branch.

All residents were told not to fish in or have any contact with the waters — including wading or swimming — until further notice. It is now safe for children and pets to wade into the streams.

The recreational areas affected included the following parks adjacent to the streams: Glencarlyn; Barcroft; Jennie Dean; Four Mile Run (including areas in Alexandria across from Four Mile Run Park); and the Glencarlyn and Shirlington Community Canine areas.

Additional information about the spill can be found by contacting Fairfax authorities at 703-324-3189. Arlington residents with questions or concerns can call 703-228-3613.

<sh>Whitman-Walker Clinic to Remain Open

<bt>Officials with the Whitman-Walker clinic announced it has renewed the lease for its location in North Arlington for next year and will continue to provide services for people living with HIV and AIDS.

“The major reason we were able to renew this lease is that today the clinic is doing far better financially than it was a year ago,” said Whitman-Walker CEO Donald Blanchon. “In reaching this agreement, we have ensured their will be no interruption in care for our Northern Virginia clients.”

In June 2005 Whitman-Walker officials said they intended to close the clinic, located on the corner of George Mason Drive and Lee Highway, due to financial difficulties. In response, the governments of Arlington and Fairfax counties, along with the city of Alexandria and the commonwealth of Virginia, pledged funds to keep the clinic up and running through the end of 2006.

The clinic’s financial situation has greatly improved over the past two years, officials said, mostly due to an increase in clients. The other major factors is an increase in insurance plans that reimburse the clinic in a timely manner, Blanchon said.

Established in 1993, Whitman-Walker is a nonprofit organization that provides medical care, mental health and addiction counseling, legal services and case management for individuals infected with HIV and AIDS. The clinic also has two sites in Washington, D.C.

In addition, Blanchon announced that Bruce Weiss would be the new director of the Virginia branch of the clinic, and Brent Minor would take over as the clinic’s director of policy and external affairs for Northern Virginia.

<sh>Arlington Wins Census Challenge

<bt>Arlington has won its challenge of the 2005 Census Bureau population estimate for the county.

The new population figure approved by the Census shows that the County grew from 197,955 persons in 2004 to 199,761 persons in 2005— an increase of approximately 1 percent. For the 2000 to 2005 period the County population increased by 10,308 people, nearly 5 percent.

The initial census estimate showed that the population declined by about one percent from 2004 to 2005. The county challenged that estimate based on an increase in housing unit construction in Arlington.

This is the second year that Arlington has successfully challenged the population estimate produced by the US Census Bureau.

Arlington County staff annually reviews Census population estimates due to their key role in several government programs, including linking funding to federal allocations.

<sh>Tejada Named to Urban Task Force

<bt>Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada was selected by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to be part of his Urban Policy Task Force, a cabinet-level group that reviews economic, social, and fiscal conditions in Virginia's urban areas.

The panel plans to develop benchmarks to track the effectiveness of state programs serving residents of urban areas, and recommend approaches that encourage collaboration among localities within Virginia's metropolitan regions.

"I am excited about the opportunity to help shape a 21st century urban policy for Virginia,” Tejada said. “As our county-and its citizens, students and businesses-compete in a global economy in the knowledge era, metropolitan regions will become the most critical nodes to success."

The task force will be chaired by the secretary of commerce and trade, and includes the secretaries of education, health and human resources, natural resources, public safety, and transportation

<sh>Two Hispanic Students Recognized

<bt>Two Arlington Public Schools students have been honored by the National Hispanic Recognition Program for their high PSAT scores and grade point averages.

Patricia Sever, of Washington-Lee, and Kristen Coopman, of H-B Woodlawn, will be honored by the School Board during its Nov. 2 meeting.

The NHRP was founded in 1983 and provides national recognition to Hispanic high school seniors who excel in the academic arena.