Friday, November 28, 2014

My Lawyer Hat: Time to Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage

In my other job, I practice law for a living, including personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice. 

I posted this article below on my law firm blog which is generally applicable to anyone who owns a car. 
Time to Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage
This weekend, I received  a text message from GEICO regarding my policy renewal so I thought I would take a minute to check out my coverages.  Surprisingly, they were not what I thought they were.

The number one problem I see when people come to see me when they are injured is a lack of coverage.  Frequently, the worst drivers on the road are either uninsured or have bare bones minimum policies.
I have settled countless cases for extremely low values simply because there is not enough coverage and the person who injured my client had no assets.  Most people do not realize that you can protect yourself and your family against these kinds of situations. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Squirrels of Capitol Square

I just saw squirrels highlighted in the second issue of the 2014 newsletter of the Virginia Natural History Society.  

Style Weekly has an entire article on it you can read here:

Both articles have a vivid account of the murder of one squirrel by a dog and the attempted murder of a dog by a brick-wielding Capitol Policeman named Mr. Eustice who apologized for only maiming the dog because "he attempted to kill it."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Weekly Column: U.S. 1 Multimodal Study is Done – Now It’s Time for Action

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette and The Mt. Vernon Voice in the week of November 3, 2014.
U.S. 1 Multimodal Study is Done – Now It’s Time for Action

Last week, a long-standing debate in our community was finally resolved – what should the U.S. 1 Corridor look like? It was a long time coming.

When I was a sophomore at James Madison University, one of the first steps that newly-elected Senator Toddy Puller took was to try to generate some consensus around the long-term vision for U.S. 1.

In 1998, Senator Puller won passage of legislation requiring the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to create a master design for U.S. 1 from Alexandria to Fredericksburg. Prince William and Stafford Counties found their consensus, but the Fairfax County process stalled.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Are Race & Class Barriers Also a Problem in FCPS?

I was driving between court appearance last week, and I ran across this story by Kavitha Cardoza on WAMU regarding race and class divisions in the District of Columbia.  As I listened, it occurred to me that much of it might just be just as applicable to Fairfax County as it was the District.

For example, one of the points made during he story was that kids from low income families tend to do better when they go to school with kids from other background.

In the story, a Harvard Fellow with the Century Foundation, Richard Kahlenberg, pointed out that packing low income children into one schools doesn't is problematic.  He said "one of the best things you can do to improve the education of all children is to give them access to an economically integrated environment.... low income kids will do better if you give them the right environment."

He points out that putting low income families in schools where (1) you have parents in a position to engage, (2) peers are academically engaged, and (3) where you have strong teachers, is the best way to maximize the ability of all children to learn.  He pointed out that packing all of the lower income kids into schools doesn't work.

First, Kahlenberg's description of successful schools reminded me of West Potomac H.S. when I attended between 1984-1989.  I had lots of friends from lots of different backgrounds.  As kids, we didn't think or judge - we all competed for the same grades (and in full disclosure, I was nothing special - #74 out of 420 something).

Second, this story brought to mind the existing situation on U.S. 1 where we have multiple schools with over 70% free and reduced lunch populations.  This just reiterates why we need to get to work on U.S. 1.

Listen to the story and let me know what your thoughts!