- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 23, 2008


Noble: The Arlington sixth- graders who led a curbside-pickup recycling program during their free time.

When students at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program noticed litter clogging up Windy Run stream, they wanted to help clean it up. But what they actually accomplished was much more impressive. First, they determined that Arlington’s drop-off recycling program wasn’t working. They surveyed local parents and found that the options available to residents — which included hauling recyclables to a facility and sometimes paying fees for discarded electronics — were leading many to simply toss their unwanted goods.

The students then planned their own program: “We’ll Bring it to You.” Last March, the kids — with the help of some high-school students, parents and teachers — provided their own recycling pickup service. The Arlington County Board even waived the fees for recycling electronics. Not only did they help clean up their town, but the students were also awarded the Mid-Atlantic region’s 2007 President’s Environmental Youth Award from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Staples Earth Force Award, which earned the school $1,000. They will be honored at award ceremonies in March and April.

For showing that every little bit helps in cleaning up the environment, the sixth-graders at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program are the Nobles of the Week.

Knave: The D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency worker who allowed dozens of emergency radios to be stolen.

The Examiner reported this week that emergency radios worth $250,000 had been stolen and sold on the black market. The newspaper obtained an inspector general’s report through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the employee in charge of the two-way Motorola radios had also been using his government-issued computer to look at pornography while at work. Unfortunately, readers don’t know his or her name, because the report given to The Examiner had it redacted.

In 2004, an eBay user discovered that the radio he purchased had actually been stolen from the District. An audit showed that the agency “could only account for 73 of its 151 radios,” according to the story in The Examiner, and that the radios had been taken by employees without first signing them out.

This breach was especially unnerving because it allowed “access to privileged communications,” the inspector general’s report said. It doesn’t help the city’s trust in government workers, either.

For allowing $250,000 of security equipment onto the black market, the unidentified homeland security worker is the Knave of the Week.

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