<sh>New Democratic leadership elected in Arlington

<bt>Members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee elected Peter Rousselot to serve as chairman for the next two years, replacing James Turpin.

Alfonso Lopez will serve as vice chairman. Rousselot has been active in the county’s Democratic party for the past six years. Last year he was the precinct operations chair and previously served as campaign finance chair. In 2004 he represented the 8th Congressional district at the Democratic National Convention.

Rousselot’s top priority is for the party to do a better job of reaching out to the county’s Hispanic and black communities and encouraging young residents living in high-rise buildings to become more active in politics.

"We have to look at all things we do from the standpoint of how this will help us better connect with more voters."

Rousselot’s other goals for his term are to enhance the party’s use of technology to attract more voters and increase the organization’s fundraising efforts.

The ACDC is already gearing up for the November elections. U.S. Rep. Jim Moran is running for re-election and Rousselot expects Chris Zimmerman to seek another term on the County Board, though he has not publicly announced.

School Board member Mary Hynes has yet to decide if she will run again, but could make a final decision as soon as next month.

—Seth Rosen

<sd>Food Services Committee Created

<bt>During it’s meeting last week, the School Board voted to create a School Food Services Advisory Committee to study the nutritional value of food provided in schools.

The committee will review existing policies and make recommendations to Superintendent Robert Smith regarding supplying students with healthier food and beverages as part of the school breakfast and lunch programs.

The group will also develop public awareness activities that promote healthy lifestyles and good eating habits in students, parents and staff.

The 20 members will be appointed for two-year terms, and will be comprised of parents, residents, school officials and staff

—Seth Rosen

<sd>Students to Continue Using Outdoor Lab

<bt>Last Thursday the School Board approved an extension of a contract with the Arlington Education Association, allowing students to continue using the Outdoor Lab facility.

Approximately 9,000 Arlington students visit the lab each year. The contract gives the school system exclusive use of the property on all week days during the year, and on week days during six weeks of the summer.

The contract runs for three years, and the school system will pay $90,000 the first year to cover operational expenses.

—Seth Rosen

<sh>Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

<bt>Arlington will honor the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through song, dance, and the spoken word in "The Dream" on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006 at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Theater. The theater is located at 125 S. Old Glebe Rd. and the event is free.

Headlining this year’s celebration is the internationally-acclaimed Gospel-Jazz recording artist Kim Jordan. Jordan has toured with jazz musician Gil Scott Heron and performed on Broadway.

The Virginiaires, a vocal ensemble from Chesapeake, Va., will perform. The winners of the Arlington Public School system’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Contest will read from their essays.

<sh>Christmas Trees Collected

<bt>Christmas Tree Collection will continue until Jan. 16, on regular refuse days. Since trees will be ground into wood mulch, please remove the tree stand, lights, and decorations. Please do not place the tree in a plastic bag.

Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than six a.m. After Jan. 16th, holiday trees will be collected on regular refuse collection days, but they will not be recycled into mulch. After Jan. 16th, residents may also resume making requests for special curbside pickup of unbundled brush and metal by telephoning the Department of Environmental Services at 703-228-6570, the day before regular collection from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.

<sh>Metro Services Change

<bt>Several service changes on Metrobus have been implemented on nine lines in Virginia . The changes are in response to customer requests and will improve service reliability and improve transfer connections between buses and trains.

2A Washington Boulevard Line

The weekday 2A eastbound bus that leaves Dunn Loring-Merrifield station at 5:28 a.m. will leave at 5:23 a.m. to improve connections with Orange Line trains at East Falls Church station.

7C Lincolnia-North Fairlington Line

The 7C southbound bus that leaves Pentagon station at 7:05 p.m. will be rescheduled to pass intermediate time points and arrive at Park Center three minutes earlier than currently scheduled.

13B, 13F, 13G Reagan National Airport-Pentagon-Washington Line

In response to customers' requests, 13B and 13F buses will be rerouted between southbound Virginia Rt. 110 and Pentagon station via Army-Navy Drive, Fern Street, South Rotary Road and Eads Street to the Pentagon Transit Center. This change will permit 13B and 13F buses from D.C. to serve the bus stop on westbound Army- Navy Drive at Eads Street and make it easier for customers to transfer to other buses or walk to Pentagon City. On weekends and holidays, 13B, 13F and 13G buses that leave Reagan National Airport will continue to run via northbound Eads Street to the Pentagon Transit Center. Customers may continue to get off the bus at the northbound stop on Eads Street at Army-Navy Drive and cross Army-Navy Drive to transfer to any bus from the Pentagon.

16A, 16B, 16D, 16J Columbia Pike Line

The weekday schedule will change for buses that leave Pentagon station between 5:42 and 8:32 a.m. Buses will be rescheduled to leave the station at 10 minute intervals.

For more information on Metrobus, or call 202-637-7000.

<sh>Financial Aid Workshop Offered

<bt>Arlington high school students and their families are invited to attend a free workshop on applying for financial aid on January 18 from 7 - 8 p.m. at Wakefield High School, 4901 Chesterfield Road, 22206 (Snow Date: January 19).

The Arlington Community Foundation and the Arlington Public School’s Counseling Program will host a workshop on financial aid and completing the Free Application for Federal Assistance (FAFSA) form. Many college scholarships require indication of financial need and the FAFSA determines eligibility for these scholarships.

The workshop will be held in room 110.

For more information contact the Arlington Community Foundation at (703) 243-4785.