Next week, on Flag Day, we vote for our locally elected officials. Because Arlington is the bluest blue district in the US, this is a ‘Democrat Primary.’ This year we’ve had a heated contest between a female incumbent Democrat, who has been around for decades, and an upstart leftist novice who has attracted much attention.
The incumbent is a pragmatic progressive who joined with her fellows on the County Board to block another increase in the school budget (she cut her teeth on the school board where she served for many years) and to block expenditure of funds for super-duper bus stop shelters. Instead, funds have been increased for ‘affordable housing.’
Arlington has been pouring money into the school system forever, and it is one of the best in the US, so why not spend more than before? Because the money for the school budget, as well as everything else comes from property taxes. Although our tax rate has remained low, the property values are over the moon (the taxes you owe are calculated by the tax rate times the value of your home.)
Many long-time residents have difficulty paying the property taxes, and face a time when they might lose their home because they can’t pay them, thus constraining the budget coupled with the construction of affordable housing are critical (like every other city, we have homelessness issues).
Arlington is one of the jurisdictions which funds the area-wide Metro System, famous nation-wide for being out of commission. It seems stupid to build extravagant bus shelters when we have perfectly adequate bus shelters and the Metro isn’t operating anyway. Sheesh, I may be old, but I figured that out.
A few years ago, Brother Dunstan spent time with a heavily tattooed young man named Mike, who had a terrible drug problem. Over time, Mike became sober and eventually he joined the Catholic Church. Mike then decided he wanted to become a member of the clergy.
One day a few months ago, Mike was crossing the street when an impatient driver whipped around the car which had stopped for Mike (in the cross walk), hit him, and threw him into the air many feet. Miraculously, Mike survived, and this week Brother Dunstan is flying to NY to visit him in the hospital.
My local artist friend Kathy was trying to think of a gift she could make for Mike and I suggested a nice lavender sachet to place under his pillow. So she came over and harvested some of my Hidecote lavender, as well as sorrel to make soup for all of us (she is also nursing neighbor Helene who just had surgery, as well as Helene’s little dog Nikki who had back surgery last week).
Below are a few photos from my garden today, an overgrown place for birds and rabbits and Kathy.
A field of mums,veronica and hydrangea
Kathy in the sorrell bed, the rabbits like it too!
Pot grown lavender, so sweet.
And for those who worried I would not receive anymore photos of baby Christopher.