Arlington Names New PRCR Head

Arlington County has named Dinesh V. Tiwari as its new director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR), effective Sept. 6.

Tiwari, 54, comes to Arlington after six years as Richmond's director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, a department with 340 employees and a $20 million budget. He was director of Parks, Recreation and Facility Management for Suffolk from 1992 to 1999.

County Manager Ron Carlee named 27-year Arlington County employee Jeffrey M. Marin as deputy director of the department, also effective Sept 6. Marin, 51, is now PRCR's assistant director for administration and operations. He also is sports division chief.

Tiwari's background includes public facilities management, business operations, capital outlay program development, facility planning and construction, citizen participation processes and urban planning, according to a county press release. He also has worked for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in Richmond and for the city of Roanoke.

Tiwari, a native of India and a Virginia resident since 1971, has a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Bombay and a master's degree in urban design from Virginia Tech. Tiwari and his wife, Nancy, will live in Arlington.

Board Approves School Transfer Options

The Arlington School Board unanimously approved superintendent Robert Smith's recommendations for transfer options for the six Title I schools that have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) as measured by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) categories for two consecutive years.

The approved recommendations were based on the school board's criteria adopted in May 2004 and include the following school pairings:

School Board policy stipulates that a receiving school must make AYP in the year in which the transfer option is offered, be likely to make AYP in the future and have space for additional enrollment based on projections through 2006-07. The criteria also require that the distance between the sending school and the receiving school be reasonable and that the identification of the receiving school for potential transfers limits costs and disruption to the school system.

Information packets in English and Spanish were mailed to parents of students at the six schools last week. The packets detail the options approved by the school board. Parents wishing to transfer children must respond no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday. The first day of school is Sept. 6.

Complete details about the school system's NCLB results for the 2004-05 school year are available online at www.arlington.k12.va.us.

Arlington Opens Free Wi-Fi Hot Spot

Arlington County will celebrate the launch of its first free, outdoor wireless Internet hot spot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, at Courthouse Plaza. There will be entertainment and giveaways.

"Providing wireless Internet access in our public spaces adds to the vibrancy of our tech-savvy community," County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a press release. "By attracting more people to this 'electronic town square,' Wireless@Courthouse benefits our residents, visitors and businesses alike."

County officials said Wireless@Courthouse builds on the success of the wi-fi hot spot that was created at the County's Central Library last year. Courthouse Plaza is next to the County Government Center, at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., and is accessible by Metro at the Court House station on the Orange Line.

Plans call for broadband hot spots at the new Shirlington and Westover libraries. And the county is exploring partnerships with the private sector to provide free or reduced-cost wireless Internet access in some of its parks and community centers, officials said.

West Nile Virus Detected in Del Ray Area

Two mosquito collections that were positive for West Nile virus were made on Aug. 17 around Monroe and Dewitt avenues in the Del Ray area, city officials announced.

In 2002 and 2003, two people who lived in that area received West Nile virus diagnoses, the officials said. The first detection of the virus this year was Aug. 3, when samples were collected from mosquito pools in the Fort Ward Park area on West Braddock Road.

Residents are being asked to help eliminate standing water and protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Health officials said most mosquitoes do not pose a threat to public health because they are not infected with viruses or other pathogens. Less than 1 percent of people bitten by mosquitos carrying West Nile virus will become ill.

People most at risk for developing symptoms of West Nile fever are those over 50 and those with weakened immune systems.

Everyone, however, should continue to take measures for protection against mosquito bites, health officials said.