Arlington Approves

Taxicab Surcharge

To help offset rising fuel costs for taxi drivers, the Arlington County Board has approved a temporary 50-cent gasoline surcharge per trip effective immediately. The board will discuss the possibility of extending a fuel surcharge at its July 9 meeting. The amount has not been determined, but it will not exceed $1 per trip, according to a county news release.

A year ago, Arlington's Transportation Commission recommended considering a gasoline surcharge if the price of gasoline exceeded $2 per gallon for a prolonged period.

Other jurisdictions in the region also have authorized gasoline surcharges in response to rising fuel prices. The D.C. Taxicab Commission recently enacted a $1 surcharge on its taxicab fares. The 120-day period that the surcharge is in effect began May 2; after the end of that period the commission will decide whether to extend the surcharge. Montgomery County has a gasoline surcharge of 50 cents.

In May, Alexandria extended a 50-cent surcharge that was enacted more than a year ago. Fairfax County is conducting an analysis of whether to recommend a fare increase.

Shupe Is New Principal

At Jefferson-Houston

Annette Deaton Shupe will replace Marcia Baldanza as principal of Alexandria's Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics as of July 1, Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry said. Baldanza resigned because her husband accepted a new job in another state.

Shupe is one of 10 educators participating in the Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program, a component of Gov. Mark R. Warner's "Education for a Lifetime" initiative. She comes to Alexandria from Roanoke, where she has served as principal of Morningside Elementary School since 2001.

"Dr. Baldanza is an exceptional principal and has made incredible progress at both Patrick Henry Elementary School and Jefferson-Houston since she came to Alexandria in 1999. We are very sorry to lose her," Perry said in a news release. "She has paved the way for Ms. Shupe, who, I am confident, will take Jefferson-Houston to the next level."

Perry said Morningside Elementary School is a Title I school that has been fully accredited every year of Shupe's tenure.