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Thursday, December 1, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Let's hear it for the girls' team!

Editor’s Notebook: Let’s hear it for the girls’ team!

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We have an interesting sports item this week, noting that an all-girls team playing in the 13-14 age division not only competed this fall against mainly boys squads in Arlington Babe Ruth competition, but also went 8-2-1 in the process.

And they did it the old-fashioned way: Having played in the league in the spring with limited success, players and coaches noodled things through and worked out a plan to improve both their “baseball IQ” and on-the-field prowess. The results speak for themselves.

Just as nice, rather than being cranky that an all-girls team was in the mix, “Arlington Senior Babe Ruth was incredibly welcoming and supportive,” said Jen Hammond, who coached the team.

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Good to hear!

REMEMBERING AL EISENBERG: As regular readers may know, I have nicknames for just about everyone who’s anyone in Northern Virginia governance – some said in jest and some with just a little stick-the-knife-in-and-turn to them.

And back in the day, I used to (cheerfully) call then-Arlington County Board member Al Eisenberg “Comrade Al, the Workingman’s Friend” for his political positions that at the time were to the left of center, although given the drift leftward of today’s Democratic Party, his positions back then might (to his chagrin) today be considered to the right of the party center.

Eisenberg, who served a lengthy stint on the Arlington County Board, followed by a couple of years in the Clinton administration and then three two-year terms in the House of Delegates, died last week. He was 76 and had, for the past few years, been the victim of cognitive decline.

I go back a long way in local news coverage (some would say TOO long), but Eisenberg already had been on the County Board for a decade when I arrived. Critics might have sensed just the occasional wee touch of arrogance to his public persona now and then, but on a personal level he was genial and thoughtful. And if you wanted to talk the Civil War with him, he was both knowledgeable and willing to share his insights.

And while he is gone from the local scene, his legacy is very fresh. Just this past week, before I had learned of his death, I once again referred in an editorial as the Al Eisenberg principle of acceptance of new things.

“What is the problem we are trying to solve?” he would ask when proposals were made to change existing policies or procedures. And you’d better have an answer at the ready if you wanted Eisenberg’s support for the change being sought.

It wasn’t that he was against change – in fact, he promoted moving forcefully on a number of issues, including housing – but Eisenberg was against a ready-fire-aim approach to change that, alas, seems to have become more normalized on the County Board dais in the years since he left it.

Sorry to hear that he has passed on, but he certainly made an impact in the time he was here.

– Scott McCaffrey

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