Sunday, January 31, 2016

County Board - County Manager Held No Winter Emergency Planning Meetings During the Fall of 2015


One of the contributors to AY was able to obtain copies of the County Board's and County Manager's appointment calendars for the months of October, November, and December. Although the County Board (with the exception of John Vihstadt, who works full-time) and County Manager held plenty of personal, political, and social meetings, as well as many deal-making meetings with pet developers, the County Board and County Manager had no appointments related to winter emergency preparedness whatsoever. So whatever winter emergency plans were made for the County were made in the week leading up to the first (and most likely not the last) major snowstorm of 2016.

It's decidedly NOT true that the "the County Board doesn't listen". The County Board DOES listen, repeatedly, but only to the same 100 Arlington residents and to the same 100 non-residents. Rather than focusing on the basics, like snow removal, the County Board, County Manager, and Economic Development Director are making Arlington into a number of neighborhood-by-neighborhood 'redevelopment opportunities' without bothering to tell the neighborhoods. Whatever deals are made with developers are passed down to the Democratic Party-controlled advisory commissions and Democratic Party 'facilitators' who control almost all Arlington's civic associations.

Too bad the local media are also facilitators for the status quo. We deserve to be informed about important decisions that directly affect us and the livability of our County, not continually deluged with second-hand feel-good propaganda and warmed over press releases.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Arlington Planning Commission: Rubber Stamp for County Board-County Staff Redevelopment Deals

Hey Yupette,

In the event you missed the announcement, Arlington Planning Commission meetings are now being recorded - audio only - and are available for review on the Web site. So I listened to the Planning Commission's January 11th organizational meeting and January 13th business meeting.

What's clear from both meetings is that the Planning Commission is no longer free to show independence, or even question Smart Growth redevelopment deals reached by the County Board and County Staff with developers.

It gets worse. Civic associations, like the four in and around Crystal City, were characterized by the Commission as constantly reacting to infill urbanization rather than appreciating the benefits of redevelopment like Pentagon Row.

Although the County has collected comprehensive transportation, traffic, transit, and multi-modal data for more than a decade the data are yet to be used in a comprehensive manner, in 22202 and elsewhere in the County. During the January 13th business meeting Planning Commissioners expressed their dismay at having to approve a GLUP change and site plan for the Washington Vista condo development before the plans were heard by the Housing Commission.

Everyone can draw his or her own conclusions from the last Planning Commission meetings. But it's obvious to me that the Planning Commission has become a rubber stamp for whatever plans County Staff and the County Board approve.

Mike 22201

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thirty Five Years of Yuppies


In the event it's slipped everyone's attention, we just passed an important milestone. Yup, it's been 35 years since Ronald Reagan was first inaugurated President. Can you believe the first yuppies (including the First Yuppie, born in 1961) are eligible to join AARP this year? We're on the third generation of Yuppies, GenX, GenY (aka Millennials) and now Gen Z. Hard to believe that 35 years ago there were no McMansions, no SUVs, no epidemic of Homelessness, and we were still fighting the Cold War with the Evil Empire. Stay tuned for Gen Z hitting the streets of Arlington as summer interns this Summer. Stay warm in the meantime.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Don Beyer is Ambassador to Land Rover and Volvo in the 114th Congress

Hi, Yupette,

I also toured beautiful run down South Four Mile Run Drive last week together with the local VIP pols, including Congressman Beyer. Entire strip needed a makeover 20 years ago. Worst are the auto repair and collision shops.

So what has Congressman Beyer been doing for his district? Sponsoring limo liberal resolutions and environmental legislation in the House of Representatives. Which are bottled up in committee by the Republican Leadership.

But what Congressman Beyer is REALLY doing in Congress is acting as unofficial Ambassador to Land Rover and Volvo. Based on hundreds of hours of one-on-one deal making and diplomacy with South Carolina's Republican and Democratic Members Volvo and Land Rover will soon be manufacturing gas guzzlers in South Carolina.

Thanks to Congressman Beyer's quiet diplomacy with AB Volvo, Congressman Sanford and Congressman Clyburn will soon have a brand new Volvo manufacturing facility spread across their districts near Charleston. Congressman Beyer is also working with South Carolina's congressional delegation and the Land Rover organization to build a Land Rover manufacturing facility in South Carolina.

Meanwhile the Beyer Auto Group continues to earn tens of millions every year selling gas guzzling, environment destroying Volvo, Land Rover, and Ranger Rover SUVs, like the supercharged 510 horsepower Range Rover SVR in the photo. Congressman Beyer's many Republican friends, and some of his Limo Liberal close buds, typically use these vehicles to destroy fragile ecosystems throughout the World. But don't believe me, do a Web search on 'Range Rover off road'.

Don Beyer is a Democrat? He's more like a Country Club Republican who bought his election to Congress.

Thanks for your blog.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

WETA 'Seriously Considering' Leaving Arlington


Several Fairlington and Shirlington residents who contribute to AY attended the County Board's community walking tour of Shirlington-Nauck last Sunday afternoon. They met several WETA staff who stated WETA is 'very unhappy' with the 'grimy industrial environment' in Shirlington and along Four Mile Run, where WETA has its studios. WETA Staff cited the 'serious deterioration' of the entire area, ranging from heavy construction vehicles and ART buses parked along Four Mile Run Drive to the 'outdoor food court' that Shirlington Village has become. WETA's Board of Directors tolerated the move of the day laborers' drop-off and pick-up to next door to WETA's studios ten years ago but is increasingly unhappy that Arlington County has done next to nothing to stop the area's deterioration, especially since the County now owns many buildings in the area. Consequently, AY and others believe County Government has only itself to blame if WETA follows NSF out of Arlington.

Cindy, 22206

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Focus of 2016 General Assembly Session - Guns, Guns, Guns

Hey Yupette,

I noticed that the First Yuppie will be in Fairfax today, preaching against guns, guns, guns. Are guns a problem in Virginia? There have been two murders in Arlington during the past 3 years.

Meanwhile, it's easier, much easier, to buy a handgun in Virginia than to have solar panels installed on your home. Appears that after focusing on date rape, date rape, date rape in 2015 the General Assembly will focus on guns, guns, guns this year.

Meanwhile, North Carolina and Maryland are fast-tracking solar installations.

Appears the Virginia General Assembly is focused on fighting and re-fighting battles in the Liberal vs. Conservative Culture War.

Oh, photo is of a typical solar home installation in Maryland. They typically cut electric energy consumption by 1/2 to 2/3.

Thanks for your blog.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

County Board's Theme for 2016 - 'Portland on the Potomac'

Hello, Yupette,

Whatever County Board members may say in their New Year's Day speeches (meeting starts at 11 AM at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.) Smart Growth decisions for 2016 start being made at the Recessed County Board Meeting to be held at Jay Fisette's home Friday afternoon. County Board will vote on whatever is decided New Year's Day at a closed meeting at 6 PM on January 5th.

The County Board has generally decided - in a number of closed meetings over the past year - that Arlington should become a clone of Portland Oregon, and the sooner the better. So the removal of non-trendy people and non-trendy infrastructure will be accelerated. We'll start seeing cargo bikes on our streets and sidewalks, together with groups riding bicycles. All commercial buildings over 20 years old are being evaluated for replacement. Replacement of single family homes by expensive townhouses in Bluemont will be accelerated. So will the replacement of the non-trendy commercial strip on Glebe Road between Pershing Drive and Route 50. Whatever the County Board may say about "diversity" what the County Board will do is make Arlington increasingly unfriendly to residents who don't have large amounts of disposable income.

Thanks for your blog. Happy New Year.