Sunday, June 18, 2017
Who besides the County Board and VIP Democrats are responsible for the Smart Growth mess? Try the local media, starting with Arlington County's huge Democratic Party-Smart Growth public information aka propaganda aka brainwashing operation, at least a hundred PR employees embedded in County Government, ranging from the County Managers Office to AVN and AIM. APS has its own crew of Smart Growth propaganda specialists. All paid by us, the taxpayers.
Heading up Arlington County's Smart Growth Propaganda Team is Bryna Helfer, Arlington's Director of Communications and Public Engagement. Before being appointed Arlington's de facto Minister of Smart Growth Propaganda Bryna served as Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Obama Administration, at a time when tens of billions were squandered on showcase projects like streetcar systems while the nation's highways and bridges crumbled. Before that, Bryna was employed by several charitable non-profits whose main mission was and is employing upscale progressives in do-nothing positions.
Bryna was thoroughly vetted by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Smart Growth America, and various Smart Growth adherents on County Staff and the County Board before being hired
Since Bryna became head of Arlington's Smart Growth Propaganda Team she's proved she's a loyal Smart Growth cheerleader and booster. She's helping promote massive redevelopment of Ballston even though the resulting traffic is negatively impacting her own Westover neighborhood. She's communicated effectively with Smart Growth Boosters at the Washington Post, Inside Nova, and ArlNow, among other media outlets.
So don't just blame the County Board for the Smart Growth mess. They have plenty of help, paid for by taxpayers.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Then there's Arlington's public infrastructure mess. Primary proponent (since Mary Hynes retired) of extravagant programs for every family-neighborhood-neighborhood school is Katie Cristol, who's Arlington's First Soccer Mom while Erik Gutshall is Arlington's Second Soccer Dad (second to Christian Dorsey).
What a team. Katie makes extravagant promises in private meetings to pet developers, fellow VIP Progressives, and pet special interests like soccer parents. Erik gets to rubber stamp the deals as Chair of the Planning Commission. On-the-job training for Erik's selection by the Regime to replace Gourmet Jay. Erik's all set to become rich from his home renovation company converting McMansions into apartments for the missing middle (people who earn under $40,000 and work in the vibrant B-R corridor).
If you think Arlington is building Taj Mahal schools now, wait until you see what the future will bring -- massive spending on more extravagant energy-inefficient schools with too few classrooms but plenty of live theaters, art space, performing arts space, sports activities, and swimming pools. What can you expect when the incoming County Board majority will all be soccer parents who make promises to other soccer parents in return for votes?
The fact there won't be nearly enough open space for future Smart Growth infill doesn't bother Katie Cristol at all. Just repurpose neighborhood parks into sports-recreation-activity areas at a cost of millions per park. If non-residents want to use the repurposed parks, that's OK too. Next will be repurposed streets. Parking? Traffic? Don't worry. Be Happy. County Planning Staff who live in Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford, and Loudoun Counties will make it all work -- somehow.
Joan from Williamsburg
Friday, June 2, 2017
Long as we're at it let's tell the truth about who's responsible for Arlington's education mess. Same Arlington Democratic Regime that's been been micromanaging our lives for more than 35 years.
Kudos for making a mess of Arlington's Public School System over the past 25 years have to go to School Board / County Board members Libby Garvey and Mary Hynes. Libby and Mary came onto the School Board in the pre-SOL era and opposed SOLs. Since Libby's still on the County Board let's focus on her sterling political career. Pre-SOLs Libby didn't give a rat's a$$ about how Arlington's children were being educated. In fact, Libby's own neighborhood elementary school "crashed and burned" academically her first years on the School Board.
Libby eventually came around to supporting the SOLs the General Assembly mandated, together with the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind federal legislation. Things kept moving along until about 8 years ago when Chris Zimmerman's New Urbanism / Smart Growth and the influx of federal employees after 9-11-2001 stopped the outflow of families and parents from Arlington and encouraged families to stay in Arlington, buy much larger tear-down McMansions and enroll their children in Arlington's public schools. A choice made easy by the County Board and School Board members with children enrolled in the school system who decided to build Taj Mahal schools to try to solve APS's enrollment crisis. Taj Mahal schools designed with too few classrooms and too many energy-inefficient social spaces.
Same Smart Growth paradigm is in play today, 8 years later. Growth for the sake of growth without regard to consequences. Chris Zimmerman retired to inflict Smart Growth on the rest of America. Smart Growth remains as Arlington's sole planning paradigm.
Where does Erik Gutshall fit in to what happens next? He's not only C.Z., on steroids but a Smart Growth soccer parent on steroids and a Smart Growth developer out to urbanize every Arlington suburban neighborhood. Stay tuned for massive spending for more Taj Mahal education infrastructure with Erik on the County Board. Gotta put those lighted synthetic soccer fields somewhere, your neighborhood needs the density, don't be a NIMBY.
Margaret from Williamsburg
Saturday, May 27, 2017
As long as you're at it, what about Arlington's transportation mess? Who's to blame? Start with the last three Democrats appointed to the WMATA Board -- Chris Zimmerman, Mary Hynes, and Christian Dorsey. More than a decade of "Don't Worry. Be Happy" while Metrorail went from terrible to horrible. Continuous massive construction in Metrorail corridors, but Metrorail was never designed to operate in a high density urban environment. It's a two-track system. Consequently, Metrorail is a bottomless money pit.
So what would Erik Gutshall do about it? Same as he's done on the Planning Commission -- more density, more unaffordable housing via AHIF gifts to developers and non-profits. Erik will also make a fortune building apartments that are actually affordable...in single family homes and townhomes, will defer to County Staff who won't live in Arlington no matter how much they are paid, keep raising taxes to pay for his and the other PlutoCrats' Smart Growth addiction, and gridlock the County with a more car, more bicycle, more pedestrian diet. Look at what a mess Erik and the Planning Commission made of Rosslyn. No one was happy except the developers who received corporate welfare from Smart Growth addicts like Erik. Same is occurring in Ballston.
Bottom line -- we can't afford any more Democrats on the County Board.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
I wanted to know why Arlington's housing is such a mess and who's to blame. So went back 20 years and the answer is --- Arlington Democrats and the Arlington Democratic Party. As soon as Jay Fisette, Chris Zimmerman, Paul Ferguson, and Barbara Favola come onto the County Board they embraced New Urbanism / Smart Growth, which meant gentrifying the poor, working poor, and middle class out and replacing then with an upscale elite. That meant no more affordable housing that was / is actually affordable. So they didn't allow any to be constructed in Potomac Yards. Or anywhere else where there were large parcels of land to be developed.
So, having gentrified the middle class out of Arlington the gentrifiers, like Jay Fisette and Erik Gutshall, complain about the "missing middle" and their "solution" is to re-purpose older residential neighborhoods for "Accessory Dwellings", a code word for re-purposing single-family homes and town homes into 2, 3, 4, or more apartments. Coming to your quiet neighborhood soon.
Of course it's all a big joke, sham, charade to Erik and Jay. Erik is going to make millions when his construction company, Clarendon Home Services, converts single-family homes and town homes into apartments. Jay will be retiring to his estate on Florida's Trump Coast, until recently referred to as the Treasure Coast. And Jay's kept Smart Growth out of his Ashton Heights neighborhood for two decades.
Jay, Erik, and the others are nothing like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt who promoted the construction of middle-class housing in Arlington eight decades ago. Arlington Democrats like Jay and Erik are Bill and Hill wannabes.
No way will I vote for any Arlington Democrat on the ballot in November.
Thanks for your blog.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Think Chris Zimmerman was/is a fanatic for Smart Growth? Wait until you see what Erik Gutshall has planned when he's on the County Board.
Right now Erik's the Chair of the Planning Commission and rubber stamps any and all plans for mixed-use redevelopment. Never mind the County's car-free diet is a more-car diet, never mind affordable housing is for people who earn $50,000 to $80,000 a year and costs $200,000 to $300,000 per affordable unit. Erik and the other Smart Growth Cult members on the P.C. only care about enriching their fat cat Democrat corporate cronies, as anyone can see from what they've approved.
That's now. In the near future Erik and the Smart Growth Cult's VIPs are going to bring Smart Growth to your quiet residential neighborhood in the form of all types of so-called Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADs. These will range from the home next to yours being converted into a boarding house, a Bed and Breakfast, a dormitory for college students, a dormitory for interns, a daycare facility for between 5 and 30 children, a granny cottage in the back yard, another granny flat in the basement, live-work offices use for business with up to 20 employees, and other uses yet to be determined.
Who will get the gold mine from all that? Besides Young Plutocrats emulating their elders (e.g., Bill and Hill)? None other than Erik Gutshall and his residential construction firm, Clarendon Home Services. Erik's firm is already involved in luxury upgrades to small homes in older neighborhoods. Erik stands to make a fortune from Smart Growth II if he's on the County Board and the County Board approves infilling older neighborhoods with any and all types of ADs.
BTW, the other three Democrats running in the Caucus are also Smart Growth Cult VIPs. So yeah, I'm going to attend the Caucus, sign the stupid pledge, write-in Audrey Clement, and leave. You should too if you want to continue living in a suburban residential community, rather than an urbanized mess.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Do you plan to vote at the Democratic Caucus next week?
If so, you should first consider that the Democratic Caucus will not be run like County Government runs a Primary election under State election laws. The Democratic Caucus will be run under the Arlington County Democratic Committee's rules. So candidates are free to do anything they can get away with to win. Meaning surrogate voting, persons who are no longer legally Arlington residents voting, and campaigns gaming instant runoff voting. So, it's going to be a charade "selection" to begin with.
Second, when you look at what all four of the Democratic candidates say they intend to do if elected to County Board it's clear what they intend to do is put Smart Growth on steroids. That is, massively in-fill the County with more upscale people, vehicles, events, and activities in both residential and commercial neighborhoods. They will, in effect, do to our suburban lifestyle what Donald Trump is doing to Obamacare.
What to do? If you don't want your neighborhood to be "Clarendoned" attend the charade caucus, sign the charade pledge, write-in "Audrey Clement for County Board" (don't let the ACDC ward heelers see you) and leave.
If you want to vote for a School Board candidate you could just write-in "Same Old Same Old".
We don't need any more Smart Growth destroying our quality of life. We need Intelligent Growth.
I'm for Audrey but I don't have anything to do with her campaign.
Fed Up Dem