UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY RECLAIM “SILENT SENTINEL”
The Loudoun County chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has offered to provide a new resting place for a Confederate monument under consideration for removal. Installed in 1908 on the courthouse lawn in Leesburg, the “Silent Sentinel” cost the United Daughters and Sons of the Confederacy $2,500.
In a statement, Phyllis Randall, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, said:
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice…. History proves the Civil War was fought because Confederate states wanted the right to own human beings. They believed this so fervently, they chose to secede from the United States and declare war on our nation. Their five-year cause resulted in the bloodiest war in our Nation’s history and their ultimate defeat.
The UDC has been as silent as the sentinel regarding plans for the statue’s new resting place.
MYRTLE BEACH SC EXPORTING COVID TO PITTSYLVANIA TO DANVILLE
In just two days last week, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District added 18 cases of COVID-19. According to the district’s Health Director, there are several reasons for this increase, but one known factor in several recent cases involved people who have vacationed in Myrtle Beach. The director cautioned, “It’s a balancing act. For example, with the Fourth of July coming up, if people want to get together outside, put their chairs farther apart and wear masks. And if you’ve been around a group of people, wash your face, in addition to practicing the normal hygiene procedures including hand washing. There’s no substitute for these things.”
Folks seem to continue to insist that the virus does not cross borders. Oh well.
FAIRFAX TEACHERS REVOLT AGAINST IN-PERSON FALL CLASSES
The Fairfax County Superintendent of Schools last week announced a hybrid learning program under which families in the Northern Virginia district, which serves 189,000 students, would be able to choose between 100 percent virtual learning or part-time in-person schooling. A similar plan has been proposed for Loudoun County. Fairfax families and teachers must choose an option by July 10.
The plan drew criticism from some parents and educators almost immediately for a lack of specifics. The three major teachers’ associations in Fairfax issued a stark rebuttal, writing in a joint statement that the plans for face-to-face teaching imperil teachers’ health and that officials failed to provide sufficient time for families and staff members to make their decisions. A schools spokeswoman said the school system is sticking to its July 10 deadline and noted that teacher associations participated in the back-to-school planning process. She wrote in an email that the superintendent’s plan provides teachers and families with a choice, as many had requested in recent weeks via school-commissioned surveys.
The president of the Fairfax Education Association said her organization’s view is that no teacher should return to work until a vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus becomes widely available.
Sounds like an impasse.
VIRGINIA COUPLE CHARGED IN $1.5-MILLION VIRUS FRAUD SCHEME
Never let it be said that no one will try to take advantage of others during an emergency.
The couple, from Ashburn and Woodbridge, received nearly $1.5 million in federal funds meant for businesses struggling under the coronavirus pandemic. They filed 18 different loan applications under the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Four loans totaling more than $1.4 million were approved.
Federal prosecutors say the couple were arrested at Kennedy International Airport in New York after buying one-way tickets to Poland [emphasis added].
RACIAL DISPARITY IN FAIRFAX POLICE USE-OF-FORCE INCIDENTS GROWS
A report released last week by Fairfax police shows a rising number of use-of-force incidents involving blacks. For 2019, the number was 315 (v. 228 for whites); for 2018, 248 (v. 186), and for 2017, 200 (v. 194). In total, according to the report, blacks are involved in 46% of such incidents, even as they make up just under 10% of the county population.
The Fairfax NAACP President characterized the data as unsurprising, and in line with similar statistics nationwide, and has called upon the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to address the disparity.
This is but one facet of the steps needed to be undertaken in efforts to improve policing in communities.