Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Clement Requests Congressman Beyer: Act Immediately to Eliminate Helicopter Noise


Thank You, Audrey Clement, for proposing that Congressman Beyer immediately act to eliminate noise from the Vietnam-era helicopters that continuously fly over our Arlington neighborhoods, including my Fairlington neighborhood where Libby Garvey, and local Media VIPs Scott McCaffrey, and Scott Brodbeck live.

From Audrey's press release today:

"While campaigning around Arlington I've heard many complaints from residents about noisy helicopters. My opponent has been talking about trying to mitigate helicopter noise for years. But residents in her Fairlington neighborhood tell me helicopter noise is worse than ever.

Many of the helicopter flights are so-called VIP flights, transporting flag officers and senior-level Pentagon employees between the Pentagon and close-by military installations.

Turns out that many of the helicopters are Vietnam-era. The UH1N helicopters (photo attached) responsible for much of the noise in my opponent's Fairlington neighborhood were first deployed in 1970.

Therefore, I am asking Congressman Beyer to accelerate retirement of UH1N and other older helicoptere and work with NASA to make development of quiet helicopters a priority. Congressman Beyer sits on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives, which includes NASA. Congressman Beyer and his family have owned a Land Rover / Range Rover deslership for decades. Land Rover not only manufactures Range Rover SUVs but armored Range Rover SUVs (photo attached) used throughout the world for secure VIP transportation.

Consequently, when elected to County Board, I will work with Congressman Beyer to retire obsolete noisy helicopters and replace then with high-security SUVs. Given that VDOT will soon have a network of Express Lanes in Northern Virginia, it makes no sense for Arlington residents to suffer from noise and air pollution caused by VIP helicopter flights."


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Garvey Spends Less-Than-Full-Time On County Board Matters


Another week begins, another inaccurate media report about another local VIP. In this case a Post feature about Libby Garvey, who is running for re-election to the Arlington County Board. Libby wants the salary of County Board members doubled, from about $55,000 to about $110,000.

AY heard years ago that Libby Garvey spends as much time socializing as she spends on matters related to the County Board and County Governemt, but we didn't have proof.

However, one of Arlington's independent activists recently shared a trove of records obtained from the County via FOIA requests, including recent desk calendars of County Board Members.

From perusal of these records, and the way the County Board operates, it's obvious that Libby Garvey was being disingenuous when she told the Post "this is more than a full time job". The County Board has been packing as much into the Consent Agenda as it can get away with. Often the County Board members are unaware of what they are voting for on the Consent Agenda. The County Board doesn't meet in August, which gives Libby Garvey and the other County Board Members a two month vacation - from mid-July to mid-September.

The way the County Board operates since Chris Zimmerman retired is for County Board members to pre-approve so-called done-deals - like the I-395 Express Lanes deal the County Board will approve today - in 1 hour meetings with developers. Jay Fisette serves as the County Board's de facto Chief of Staff. After County Staff provide preliminary plans for a program or project the plans are sent around the County to be rubber-stamped by the County Board's hand-picked advisory commissions and civic association facilitators.

The plans come back to the County Board for a final discussion and vote, a legal requirement. Since three County Board members have day jobs their incentive is to make County Board meetings as short as possible. After all, these are done deals.

As for Libby Garvey, yes she spends a few long days every month attending to County Board matters. But most days she has a meeting or two with some pet developer or pet non-profit and then socializes with political cronies and personal friends, often at a vibrant local restaurant.

BTW, Libby's opponent, Audrey Clement, has a full-time job and bicycles to work.

As for the Post, what can one say about a Post reporter who takes voluminous notes at every meeting she attends and publishes so little of substance?


Monday, October 3, 2016

County Board's Priorities: Massive Urbanization and Massive Spending for Vanity Infrastructure

Hey Yupette,

So what has the County Board been all excited about the past few County Board meetings? Imposing massive urbanization on what remains of a suburban county and spending massive amounts for vanity public infrastructure projects. Same Libby Garvey who was dead against a streetcar system on Columbia Pike and million dollar transit shelters on the Pike just voted for a $4 million Taj Mahal pedestrian bridge across Wilson Boulevard while hundreds of acres of brick sidewalks on Wilson Boulevard, Fairfax Drive, and elsewhere in the B-R Corridor badly need replacing. Then there's the deteriorated street lighting and street paving all across the County.

Looks like we're going to be short a few hundred classrooms in ten years but the County Board's focus is going to be on a $40 million cross-Potomac gondola, a $60 million aquatic center, a $250 million convention center, and spending $100 million repurposing neighborhood parks, and even residential streets, into multi-purpose activity centers while the County is being completely urbanized. Oh, insofar as their "Car Free Diet" is concerned it's another Smart Growth charade, the County is on course to be not only saturated with vehicles of all types, but grilocked at rush hours. We can also ride bicycles everywhere 24/7/365, something they're going to spend another $50 million on because Jay Fisette and Libby Garvey like bicycles.

What else can we expect from one-party government for the past 35 years that's been in the pockets of New Urbanist developers for the past 25 years? Time for a change. Keep our suburban county suburban. Elect Audrey Clement to the County Board.

PR, MK, CJ, and other Democrats for Intelligent Growth

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bicycle Eating Potholes Invade Libby Garvey's Neighborhood

Hey, Yupette,

It's nice that County Board Chair Libby Garvey is so infatuated with bicycles, to he extent she wants County residents to bicycle 24/7/365. But she could at least show some concern for her bicycle buddy neighbors in South Fairlington. A few months ago my and Libby's neighborhood only had serious cracks in the pavement. Now we're being invaded by bicycle eating potholes. You would think that Libby could take some time off from fast-tracking the Rosslyn-Georgetown Gondola to at least survey which streets need immediate repaving, but I guess not.

Fairlington's First Hipster, Scott Brodbeck, is staking out a raccoon den off South 31st Street and Nanny Newsie Scott McCaffrey is out covering affordable housing galas. So they're no help.

Since Libby went head over handlebars after hitting a pothole on South Buchanan Street several years ago, we decided to warn her of potholes ahead in her neighborhood.

Libby's opponent, Audrey Clement, has been riding a bicycle for decades and Audrey HAS promised to make street repaving a priority when she's on the County Board.

Thanks for your blog.

Larry, S 36th St.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Westover Tenants Protest Gentrification, Call for Westover Tenants Organization

Hello, Yupette,

I live on North 10th Road in Westover and have become quite familiar with the affordable workforce apartments gentrification saga. Latest news is that two more apartment buildings in my neighborhood will be torn down for luxury townhomes.

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is no longer interested in buying older apartment buildings like those in my neighborhood. APAH is very interested in expensive and complex mixed-use redevelopment deals, like the Arlington Prysbeterian Church redevelopment. APAH's President and CEO is Nina Janopaul and the Chair of APAH's Board of Directors is John Milliken. Look them up on the Web. Majority of APAH's Board of Directors (working and retired) have major-league experience with expensive mixed-use redevelopment.

APAH has announced that APAH will purchase 8 apartment buildings in Westover for renovation. Deal is going to the Housing Commission this week. That ONLY occurred because of the anger over the apartment teardowns in my neighborhood several months ago.

It gets worse. The owner of the Westover apartment buildings that were torn down and the apartment buildings that will be torn down for luxury townhohouses offered to sell all his Westover real estate holdings to APAH in early Spring. APAH refused his offer. Moreover, APAH never bothered to approach other Westover apartment building owners with so-called "first refusal offers" so APAH has the right of first refusal when owners want to sell.

It gets evern worse. When APAH buys and expensively renovates older apartment buildings not only do rents typically increase by $200 per month but only people with a narrow range of incomes (typically $50,000 to $65,000) are allowed to live in APAH's renovated apartments

I looked at the historic designation proposal and that's another part of this big charade. County Government (i.e., the Arlington Democratic Party) wants to see our neighborhood gentrified and historic designation is how they divide the community between homeowners and renters. That's what we get from having one-party government for 35 years.

So I attended the Westover Community Meeting in Westover Park yesterday. Needless to say, no County Board member bothered attending, but I left before the event ended. Green Party was there. So I and other Westover tenants absolutely want to form a Westover Tenenat's Organization, for people who rent apartments, condos, and single family homes. That's something like 60% of Westover's population.

I also want the County's Independent Auditor to audit the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to see where the money is going that's supposed to build affordable housing. I also want the HUD Inspector General to audit APAH. It's also time for Ms. Janopaul, Mr. Milliken and others who want to make APAH into a REIT to be replaced by people who want to build affordable workforce housing, not gentrification housing and millennial housing.

Thanks for your blog.

N. 10th Road Resident

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Audrey Clement Wins CivFed County Board Debate


Two AY contributors attended last night's Arlington Civic Federation Candidate Forum. They both took good notes and both stated that Independent Audrey Clement clearly won her debate with Born Again Democrat Libby Garvey.

Although Libby Garvey was glib and rattled off both accomplishments and future possibilities if she is re-elected, it's clear that those accomplishments and possibilities depended and will depend on John Vihstadt (who Libby was instrumental in electing) continuing to serve on County Board. In the year before Chris Zimmerman resigned and John Vihstadt was elected Libby said little during County Board meetings. And things like a 72 Hour Transparency Rule, which both Libby and Audrey say they want implemented, could be postponed indefinitely if Libby is reelected, in deference to the Democratic Old Guard. Much of Libby's agenda appears to be based on being able to finesse reforms past Old Guard Democrats over a number of years. And Libby has to be held partly responsible for significant problems with school and public infrastructure that have occurred over the past decade. After reviewing Libby's presentation we had to ask "What would she be saying if Chris Zimmerman were still on the County Board"?

Audrey Clement is committed to changing County Government for the better - and soon. Her message is succinct. Needs first. No more back room deals. Hands off scarce park land. Put renewable energy on all public buildings. Require a financial impact statement for all major site plans. Reduce taxes for residents and businesses. No more expensive vanity projects - build schools first.

So we have a clear choice for County Board, someone who will spend years finessing projects and programs through the County Board so as not to offend VIP Democrats, or someone who will help us obtain what we need when we need it from County Government.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

County Board Democrats to 'Repurpose' Residential Streets Into Parks to Benefit VIP Dems and Developers

Hi, Yupette,

Thanks for your blog. The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola wasn't the only "done deal" presented to the Transportation Commission on September 1st. The Commission also heard a presentation by County Staff about amemdments to the County's Master Transportation Plan (Streets Element) to go to the County Board on September 24th.

The amendmants would create two new types of streets - "Pedestrian and Bicycle Priority or Shared Streets" where motor vehicle operation would be severely restricted, and "Pedestrian Streets" where motor vehicles would be banned.

The proposed new street types would help alleviate the demand for open space by repurposing streets into parks, would allow developers to forego dedicating land for open space on redeveloped sites, using neighborhood streets instead, and would allow VIP Democrats like those who live in Jay Fisette's and Libby Garvey's neighborhoods to opt out of through traffic. There was no discussion about what would occur across an entire neighborhood, like Ashton Heights, if traffic were blocked, where residents would park their cars, and who would use the new parks. Arlington Democrats have been discussing whose upscale neighborhoods will get the "Pedestrian Streets" for several months.

So check the County Board's Consent Agenda for Septmber 24th in 10 days, when it's posted on-line.

John at 2100