as overheard by Dan Steen and Mädi Green
Getting bookish: Barbara Kanninen’s new children’s book, Circle Rolls, was recently reviewed in The New York Times, which said, “In this delightful sneak-lesson in geometry, physics and helping your friends when they’re in a jam, some colorful shapes have a bang-up time when Circle starts rolling. In [Serge] Block’s minimalist, loose-limbed pen-and-ink art, tiny people try valiantly to pitch in, too.”
Getting recognition: Jack Lechner, son of Arlington Dem chief blintz maker and Kitchen Crew member, Susan Lechner, is among the latest band of inductees into the Yorktown High Hall of Fame. Jack, Class of 1980, lives in NYC where he is a TV and film producer, including Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert. S. McNamara. He was also the lyricist for the musical adaptation of Dan Savage’s comic memoir The Kid, which won the 2010 Outer Circle Critics Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical. He is also an adjunct professor at NYU and Columbia.
Diversity in electing: Fairfax City just held elections for the six-member City Council and filled both open seats with Korean-born immigrants, So Lim, a local insurance company owner, and Sang Yi, staff director of a congressional subcommittee. About one-fifth of the city population is of Asian descent.
Pursuing Jeff Davis: After years of discussion, the Alexandria City Council has voted to put the issue of re-naming Jefferson Davis Highway on its June agenda. A task force, to which the city also named two Arlingtonians, has recommended naming it Richmond Highway, the name used in Fairfax County. Because Alexandria is a city, it can name the highway. Because Arlington is a county, it does not have that power.
Latest report on Confederate front: In keeping with our ongoing monumental watch, we can report that the school board in Hanover County (which you drive through on your way to Richmond) has voted 5-2 to keep the names and mascots of its two confederate-aligned schools—Lee-Davis High School (the Confederates) and Stonewall Jackson Middle School (the Rebels). A community survey found the community as a whole as well as parents and, especially, alumni in favor of keeping the names while faculty and staff at the schools wanted new names. Meanwhile, a survey of 788 Virginians taken by Virginia Commonwealth University found 49 percent of residents preferring to leave confederate monuments as they are, 13 percent favoring leaving them in place with additional signage for context, 23 percent advocating moving the monuments to museums and 10 percent preferring to see them destroyed. The remaining 5 percent had no opinion.
Statues in Canada: It’s not just Americans tackling controversial statues. The Regional Council in Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently voted 12-4 to remove of the city’s premier statue, an equestrian work honoring Edward Cornwallis. That’s not the Lord Cornwallis known for losing the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Rather it is his uncle who founded Halifax and was governor of Nova Scotia three decades earlier. He is infamous in Nova Scotia for offering bounties for the scalps of Mi’kmaq Indians—men, women and children—in response for attacks on colonists. The statue is now in an undisclosed location while the city tries to decide what to do with it.