Sunday, February 18, 2018
What's the latest in waste and mismanagement by the Arlington Public School System? It's not what you might suspect, the multi-million dollar interior makeover of recently-constructed Yorktown High School, approved by the School Board last Thursday.
No, latest APS Taj Mahal project is the crosswalk under construction on South Abingdon Street near Abingdon elementary School, which is on-track to cost between $100,000 and $200,000 when completed sometime this Spring. Work has yet to commence on the raised portion of the crosswalk across South Abingdon Street, which may cost another $50,000, or more.
Neighborhood residents, who are still fuming over the number of use permit condition violations that were allowed to occur during Abingdon School's renovation and expansion, never wanted a Taj Mahal crosswalk, which will only be used an hour in the morning and in the afternoon, but wanted a crossing guard on Abingdon Street at 29th at the vehicle entrance to the school. Fairlington's NannyCrat civic association and Abingdon PTA didn't want parents to be slowed down dropping their kids off and picking them up at the school, so they decided to go with an extravagant crosswalk down the street instead.
Neither of Arlington's two news bloggers, Nanny Scott McCaffrey and Scott-the-Bro Brodbeck (both live close to Abingdon School) is going to write a word about this huge waste of money, so thanks in advance for running a feature and publishing a photo.
L.D. South 29th Street
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
I work for the County in Public Safety and I can't wait to leave County employment. Have resumes in 4 counties and a couple cities in NoVa. I'm not uniformed. Work in admin. What's the problem with Arlington's Public Safety employees? We're under-compensated and over-worked. Hiring hasn't kept pace with population growth for two decades. Police Department and Fire Department are way under-strength for the work load and population growth.
Yeah, lots of Arlington cops are a$$holes. They're really stressed, like the firefighters and paramedics. Too many calls for service. Too many complaints. Too much overtime required because the County really doesn't want to hire any more uniformed employees. Pols and the people they appoint keep telling us to "suck it up". That sucks.
It's always the same old problems, only more every year. Altercations at convenience stores, shoplifting in the malls, thousands of complaints against african americans, latinos, and homeless persons, parking lot fender-benders, domestic disputes, and suspicious person complaints by anyone about anyone else. The Fire Department is stressed by an increase in medical emergencies caused by an aging population.
If you're wondering why there's no community policing in the County, that's why. Everything in Public Safety is reactive, except for the employees who plan for events that will never occur.
So I'm looking forward to working in a less stressful environment in the near future.
Friday, February 2, 2018
What's going on with the County Board, besides the usual secret meetings, closed meetings, and handshake deals made over lunch at local restaurants? Well, Chair Katie is dissatisfied with the appearance of the County Board Room (i.e., Room 307 at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.) and has ordered a makeover. Makeover will include a new LCD screen or screens and advanced technology AV equipment, a completely new lighting system which will allow natural light to steam in through new window treatments, and makeover of bench seating and the dias where the County Board and County Government VIPs sit. And a laundry list of other stuff. Oh, and some hush hush biometric security improvements.
I can go with a new LCD screen and letting natural light into the room, but why go beyond that? Fewer and fewer residents attend County Board and other local government meetings (e.g., Planning Commission). Many times County employees are the majority of those present. Not surprising with County Staff (like me) being trained to treat residents as neighborhood nuisances and facilitate done deals with selected community leaders.
Thanks for your blog and letting us post comments about the unpleasant reality of County Government. Like many others here I'm counting down the months until I can retire.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
A Y sent a contributor to cover County Board Member John Vihstadt's kickoff re-election campaign event at the Lyon Village Community Center this afternoon.
The event did not disappoint. The number of Vihstadt supporters who attended reached the capacity of the Communty Center. Leaders of same coalition that elected Mr. Vihstadt 4 years ago attended the event together with many new Vihstadt supporters - Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, and Libertarians. Democrats Libby Garvey and Carmen De La Pava endorsed Mr. Vihstadt. So did former Republican Congressman Tom Davis.
It appears that whatever advantages the Arlington Democratic Regime may have against the Regime's usual County Board opponents may well be again negated this next election.
Monday, January 22, 2018
I'm a long time Arlington resident and my significant other is employed in an administrative capacity at the County's Economic Development Office on Glebe Road.
If you wondered why Chair Katie is being coy about the total cost of the secret corporate welfare giveaway to Amazon it's because the deal will cost Arlington taxpayers more than $3 billion.
Succinctly, here's what Amazon's getting from the County: a $500 million direct corporate welfare stipend from the County, another $500 million in tax breaks, and at least $2 billion in new infrastructure (e.g., schools) to serve the needs and wants of 50,000 new residents who would live in Arlington by 2025 associated in some way with Amazon.
Amazon is looking to build a second headquarters every bit as as extravagant as Amazon's Seattle Headquarters. So you can kiss the "urban village" goodbye if the County Board and Economic Development succeed in bribing Amazon to locate another headquarters here. Here's a photo of Amazon's Seattle HQ, in the event you've never seen it.
Thanks for your blog.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
A.Y. attended Congressman Beyer's helicopter noise meeting at Abingdon School last night. We didn't see Scott McCaffrey, Editor of the Arlington Sun Gazette, or Scott Brodbeck, Publisher of ArlNow at the meeting, though they live close to the school.
The meeting was similar to Congressman Beyer's last aircraft noise meeting, held at Reagan Airport. Lots of questions, few answers from the Military and FAA. Democratic "community leaders" from Fairlington were present as facilitators. Arlington cops were there to keep "undesirables" away, e.g., Latinos. Dandy Don was his usual slick self. But he's a car dealer, right? Libby Garvey and John Vihstadt also attended.
So what's really going on? Turns out the Obama Administration greatly expanded the number of VIP helicopter flights to and from the Pentagon, Reagan Airport, Dulles Airport, Belvoir, Quantico, and elsewhere inside and outside the Beltway.
Not a huge secret. But you have to know where to look. Go to google.com then search for: These Elite Military Helicopter Units Fly Washington's Power Players
So again, what can you expect from one-party government for the past 35 years but constant lies and charades?
Monday, January 15, 2018
Thanks for your blog. Like many other Arlington residents and voters I'm sick of "development for the sake of development" in my Ballston neighborhood. Whatever County Government may say about a "No Car Diet" what it's inflicting on Ballston is a More Car / More Vehicle Trips Diet.
What the County says it wants is for everyone to take Metro if you want to go somewhere. Or ride a bicycle 24/7/365.
So why build Express Lanes? Why sell so many expensive vehicles in Ballston? Why so many more Uber and Lyft trips? The Merlex used vehicle lot on Glebe Road is full of pre-owned Mercedes and other luxury vehicles. Merlex used to sell used Nisan Sentras. Why so many big new buildings with big underground garages? Why does the County keep a dozen people on the transportation staff who commute to Arlington from 40 miles away and tell everyone to ride bicycles in the Winter?
Because this County is completely screwed up, that's why. The pols tell us so many lies they can't keep track of the lies anymore. Affordable housing means un-affordable housing. No Car Diet means More Car Diet. Urban Village means Millennial Ghetto.
Where does the County's so-called "planning" take us in 5 years? Another expensive Metro entrance and 5,000 more underground parking spaces. This neighborhood is a mess right now. I am not going to vote for any more Democrats for anything. Thanks again for your blog.