Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mt. Vernon Snakeheads In the News!

One of the great things about living in the 44th District is living right next to the Potomac River.  The 44th District was the home of "The Snakehead Invasion" in Virginia when they were first discovered in Little Hunting Creek and Dogue Creek.

Since then, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has been conducting studies in our creeks to learn more about these fish and how they might impact our ecosystem.  Based on what I've seen, they don't seem to live around shopping carts, bottles or cans....  Any any event, I've written about this previously below:

The big question for Virginia is whether we legitimize them - take them off the invasive species list - so they can be bought and sold, served in restaurants, competitions held and citations issued?  Once that happens, you will see them in every river in Virginia.  They are great sporting fish and I'm told they taste pretty good. 

Today's Washington Post has a great video (much better than the ones I did) featuring DGIF Biologist John Odenkirk and his studies.  John has become one of the preminent snakehead experts in the United States.

You can see the videos I put together on the flip including my trip with Delegate David Bulova with John Odenkirk.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ice Rinks Become Political in 2013

The other day, I dropped my girls off at the Mt. Vernon Ice Skating Rink for the weekly Skate Night.  Skate Night is basically a bunch of 5th through 8th graders skating in circles with disco lights, music, and a bunch of parents huddled in the stands gossiping away.

I've been going to this rink and the Rec Center my entire life.  Skated there and played in the pool as a kid.  We did infant swimming lessons there with my girls.  My children have taken soccer classes and gymnastics at the Lee District Recreation Center.

One night, I noticed a plaque outside the entrance to the skating rink.  It said the following:

In 1978, the Fairfax County Park Authority opened the region's first public indoor ice skating rink significantly enhancing opportunities for healthful activities, competition and leisure time pursuits available to Fairfax County residents.  The Mount Vernon Ice Skating Rink would not have become a reality without the tireless support and effort of:
Warren I. Cikins
Mt. Vernon District Supervisor
During the session, I read Ken Cuccinelli’s new book.  In the book, he wrote the following:

As a result of the unfair competition of the government-owned rec center, not only is the business person essentially prevented from doing business (his liberty—his opportunity to pursue happiness—curtailed), but the citizens are also harmed because everyone has to pay for the rec center through taxes, even if they never use it.  
                                                   - Ken Cuccinnelli, The Last Line of Defense, Page 241
This left me scratching my head.