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Week In Arlington

Wireless Network Coming To County

Arlington County officials are set to approve a deal that would allow a private company to build a wireless internet network that would span the entire county.

If the County Board approves the plan at its April 21 meeting, EarthLink, an Atlanta-based internet service provider, will be contracted to build a network that could be tapped into with any wireless-capable computer in the county.

Robert Billingsley, who works in the county’s information technology department, said that the wireless network would be an "Amenity to help enrich the environment economically."

He said that computer users could tap into the network, which would be completed nine to 12 months after its approval by the County Board, by paying a fee of $21.95 per month to EarthLink. Billingsley said that this was the standard fee that the company charges to its public wireless customers nationwide.

If approved, he said, there will be a few areas in the county the wireless network will not cover. These areas include Fort Myer, Arlington National Cemetery, The Pentagon and Reagan National Airport.

Billingsley also said that there will be 33 "free hot spots" around the county where the fee will not apply. These spots would include community centers, parks and all county libraries as well as other areas.

The county currently has free wireless connectivity at the government complex in the Courthouse area and in the Central Library.

"People will sit down [in the Courthouse area] and… use the internet," Billingsley said. "It’s very convenient."

The City of Alexandria also approved the construction of a wireless network late last year. Billingsley said that Alexandria’s network should be operational in a few months.

— David Schultz

Clinic Continues Client Services

A local health care clinic is able to continue its breast health services for lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients.

The Whitman-Walker Clinic, a non-profit health care provider established in 1973 that specializes in serving the Washington-area homosexual community, recently received a $75,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, an organization that seeks to eradicate breast cancer.

The grant will allow the clinic’s Lesbian Services Program to continue providing breast cancer information, mammograms and breast examinations to both homosexual and heterosexual women in the capital area.

"We are thrilled to receive this funding," Annie Shaw said in a statement. She is the director of the Lesbian Services Program for the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which has three locations in the district and one in Arlington.

"This is such a critical issue for women’s health," Shaw said. "It is vital that we reach out to these underserved communities with information, examinations and medical care."

The Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia is located at 5232 Lee Hwy. Contact the clinic by phone at 703-237-4900 or by e-mail at wwcnova@wwc.org.

Yorktown Performs Monologues

The award-winning Yorktown High School Theatre Arts Department will be performing a series of one-person shows in Arlington later this month.

The 30-minute shows will focus on the life of a character — either historical or fictional — that is of the students’ choosing. Some of the characters include Muhammad Ali, Charles Manson, Willy Wonka, Princess Diana, Satan and many more.

The students themselves oversaw every aspect of their one-person shows, from writing the script to designing the costumes to working on the lighting.

The shows are being held at The Comedy Spot in Ballston Common Mall and will take place from noon to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May 6.

Tickets for an entire day of performances will cost $10 and all proceeds will go to benefit the Yorktown Theatre Arts Department.