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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Happy stinkin’ Bicentennial!

Editor’s Notebook: Happy stinkin’ Bicentennial!

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The recent news that Arlington homeowners were seeing their garbage piling up because of staffing shortages and other woes with the contractor used by the county government brings two things to mind.

First, the old saying, which I may have originated but I always credited to tax-restraint activist Tim Wise that Arlington provides “Third World services at First World prices.” (Cruel? Yes.)

Second, that there truly is nothing new under the sun, or in the pages of the Northern Virginia Sun, for that matter.

Perusing the July 1, 1976, edition in search of local-history items for next week, I came upon the news that the county government’s garbage collectors (who were municipal employees before the government outsourced the work to save a few bucks) had been engaged in a work slowdown.

In other words, trash was not getting picked up expeditiously and, given that it was in the midst of summer, things were getting a little rank. Funky, even.

SPEAKING OF THE BICENTENNIAL: That same edition of the Sun noted that, after she was finished visiting other places on her swing through the colonies as part of the Bicentennial, Queen Elizabeth II would be headed to Charlottesville on July 10, 1976, for a luncheon hosted by the state government and under the aegis of Gov. Mills Godwin.

Good for the queen not to hold a grudge over what we uppity colonists (which apparently now is a hate-crime word) did to her great-great-great-great-grandfather.

And one wonders, if the queen was being driven through Arlington that week to get from one point to another, she was advised to hold her royal nose over the garbage situation. Peee-yew!

KUDOS TO ARLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS: The school system did a good job in its online streaming of graduation ceremonies for Yorktown, Wakefield and Washington-Lee high schools last week.

Originating from D.A.R. Constitution Hall, the streaming was crisp, the audio easy to hear and . . . perhaps best of all . . . people who spoke were identified by name and, as appropriate, title.

Made it sooooooooooooo much easier for us to do coverage, as we had decided to watch online rather than do the pre-pandemic ritual of schlepping down to D.C. to watch in person. And it also helped all the other folks tuning in to see the ceremonies.

–Scott McCaffrey

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