: News

Clifton Businesses Come to Grips with School Closure Decision

Play associated audio

By Jonathan Wilson

In the historic town of Clifton, Virginia, school board members voted overwhelmingly to close down the town's elementary school last night. Now, some business owners there are trying to understand how that decision will affect their bottom line.

Erin Tengesdal owns the Clifton Cafe, a mile down the road from the elementary school.

Her cafe is where many around here come to chat and even do business over a cup of coffee; she says most of her customers are parents of children at the school.

"Any day that there's a holiday and that school on the hill is closed, our business goes down by at least 30 percent, if not more," she says.

The Fairfax County School Board decided to close the school.

Students were doing well academically, but board members say fewer students are projected to enroll there and the school building needs major renovations.

Tengesdal says she's trying to think of creative ways to attract new customers, but she's concerned Clifton Cafe won't survive the school's closure.

"Yeah, I'm very worried, I employ six or seven people locally," she says.

Across the street in the town square, Patti Hopkins, the school's Parent-Teacher Association president, says the decision has ruined what should have been a perfect summer day.

"It's almost like someone died in the family, and you have no idea when the funeral is," Hopkins says. "It's somber."

Hopkins says residents are exploring their legal options for reversing the school board's decision.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago on Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

Inquiry Into Conflict At D.C. Agency Is Planned By Council Member Cheh

Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) says she plans on holding hearings on a recent staff shakeup at the city department that awards major public construction projects.

NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.