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June 26, 2012 / Christian Clansky

NoVa street car plan is about much more than transit…Huge demand for District charters…MoCo faces budget shortfall [News, 6.26.12]

TRANSIT (AND MORE) | There are critics of Northern Virginia’s proposed Columbia Pike Transit Initiative. Some think it is unnecessary and a waste of funds, but the Post illustrates the broader importance of the street car line (WaPo, 6/26):

They are trying to put into place a vision that would turn the traffic-clogged, sun-blasted camino of concrete into a tree-lined boulevard fronted by a diverse set of businesses. They also want to entice new businesses that will cater to the 7,000-plus new residents expected to move into 3,900 new apartments over the next 30 years.

They are talking about preserving affordable housing amid growing development pressures and expanding the counties’ tax bases. Last but not least, they want to change societal behavior by coaxing residents and commuters out of their cars and into public transit.

– This week, a group of WRAG members will visit a number of sites along the proposed streetcar line to consider how the expected economic boom caused by the project will affect the low- and moderate-income families who currently live there.

Neighborhoods Plan Envisions Greater Density for Columbia Pike (ArlNow, 6/26)

– Sharon Bulova, chair of Fairfax County, talks about plans for Tyson’s Corner. (WaPo, 6/25)

EDUCATION | Demand for charter schools is huge in the District. The Examiner reports that there are 17,396 students on waiting lists (Examiner, 6/26):

That’s 51 percent of the total number of students successfully enrolling in the city’s public charter schools in the fall, or 33,699 children. This year, 31,562 students attended charter schools, while 45,630 attended DC Public Schools.

DEMOGRAPHICS | Slate has a short piece that looks at the District’s racial demographics from a quasi-statistical point of view (Slate, 6/26):

Because most Americans aren’t black, if a bunch of “people” go move somewhere that’s currently majority black the tendency will be for the influx to dilute the existing black population.

BUDGETS | Montgomery County facing a $71 million shortfall in fiscal 2014 budget (WaPo, 6/25) The gap is the result of increased debt payments, retiree health benefits, and rising costs for teacher pensions.

CRIME | Two little kids and an adult camp counselor were shot in Southeast yesterday in the middle of the day. Some idiot fired a dozen rounds at another man and didn’t seem to care that there were 30 kids standing there. (WaPo, 6/25) It is utterly unacceptable that these kids aren’t safe playing outside at 12:30 in the afternoon.

ENVIRONMENT | Dirty water puts Washington’s stretch of the Potomac River off-limits to swimmers (WaPo, 6/26)

So it was 66 degrees when I walked to work this morning, and the cool breeze felt like San Francisco. But since this little slice of paradise is going to be replaced by 100 degree heat at the end of the week, here’s some relevant trivia for you.

As everyone is scarfing down ice cream, slurping blended coffee drinks, and crunching ice this weekend, you can impress all of your friends by telling them what causes brain freeze!

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