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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: One must learn to swim in one’s own lane

Editor’s Notebook: One must learn to swim in one’s own lane

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One of the biggest challenges for those new to positions of authority in the public arena is to constantly remember that people – all kinds of people – are watching your actions.

That includes li’l Scotty, who is always ready to pounce when a person in a position of power says something, well, let’s not use the word “loopy,” let’s just say “newsworthy.”

Such was the case last Thursday, when brand-new-for-’22 Arlington School Board member Mary Kadera opined that, if the Arlington school system’s ban on sports and extracurriculars is extended past the current Jan. 14 end date, or is reimposed later, then the school system should get on the phone, give a ting-a-ling to county-government leaders, and ask them to shut down county-government recreation programs, too.


Why? Because, according to what I was reading between the lines, too many kids are legitimately asking, “why the [heck] are we not allowed to do extracurriculars but adults are packing into recreation centers and having a good time?”

It’s a fair question, but needs to be turned on its head. The real question is: “Why, out of 133 school districts in Virginia, have 132 managed to continue with athletics and extracurriculars and one decided to stop?”

Of course, Kadera’s comments — why not just shut everything down? — is in line with the general view of local leaders vis-a-vis COVID: When in doubt, shut down as much as possible, then shut down the critics as much as possible, too.

But this time, I’m really not sure that the Department of Parks and Recreation, having just gotten its programming back up and running after the COVID shutdowns, is willing to kowtow. Nor, would I wager, are County Manager Mark Schwartz and County Board members.

Well, it was just a suggestion she offered. Kind of a loopy (er, “newsworthy”) one, but not an end-of-the-world sin. Kadera will get the hang of it.

If she’d wanted to go all the way, though, Kadera actually missed an opportunity. She shouldn’t have stopped at Arlington’s borders. She should have called on ALL Northern Virginia jurisdictions to shut down recreation activities for adults and youth, if Arlington Public Schools decides it’s the right call.

After all, Fairfax County officials love to receive unsolicited advice from the minor-league jurisdictions that ring it, right? Mwa-hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

FOLLOW THE SCIENCE? APS SAYS ‘NOT THIS TIME’: Another one from Thursday’s Arlington School Board meeting, where school leaders effectively said “science be damned.”

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health have issued guidelines that students who have contracted the Wuhan sniffles of inconvenience can be back in the class after sitting out five days. But Arlington Public Schools is keeping them locked out for 10.

Why? Anybody got an answer?

Neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools has cut the time down to five days. So what is the justification for Arlington avoiding the current federal and state recommendations?

What a train wreck ……..

  • Scott McCaffrey
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