Thursday, July 2, 2015

World Police and Fire Games - Anti-Terrorist Training Exercise

Hey, Yupette,

My husband is employed as a civilian with the Fairfax County Police Department, but we live in Arlington. I work for a NGO that operates worldwide and frequently see and hear reports of police violence against civilians, often by dictatorships.  I love your blog. My husband is quite unhappy with the Department's emphasis on anti-terrorism. That's not why he started a career in law enforcement. So we are counting down the years until he is able to retire.

You should be aware that, yes, thousands of police officers from nations with horrible human rights records are participating and competing in the World Police and Fire Games. They include police from Russia, China, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Azerbijan, Turkey, Israel, and Kazakhstan.

And, yes, there is a big "anti-terrorist" shooting competition which is off-limits. Also lots of secret meetings where information about "anti-terrorism" is shared and "anti-terrorist" tactics are discussed among participants. And the CIA is involved in a major way. According to my husband, there is little doubt that some of what is shared in the way of "anti-terrorist" tactics will be used by American police officers against American citizens.

The Washington Post and other media absolutely know the World Police and Fire Games are all about. But they are censoring information in the interests of "national security". Same Post that went after fraternities at UVA based on fiction in "Rolling Stone". So much for 21st Century "Journalism".

M.B. 22207

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dorsey, Abingdon Parents Throw Renewable Energy Under SUVs, Call Police on Nearby Residents

Hey, Yupette,

I live in Fairlington Villages in a townhouse that's directly adjacent to Abingdon School. First of all, we are NOT low income housing, as Christian Dorsey's fellow Abingdon PTA parents would have everyone believe. Townhomes in our neighborhood are selling for $450,000 and up.

So, APS held  a so-called 'Gallery Walk' at Abingdon School last Wednesday to show off the plans for the school's renovation and expansion. This was also supposed to be a County Board Meeting. Nearby neighbors showed up with e-mails (obtained via FOIA requests, exchanged among County Planning Staff, APS Staff, Planners, Consultants, and 'Community Leaders') and the use permit conditions (including architectural drawings) and demanded to know why the promised on-site renewable energy and building and classroom upgrades were eliminated from the architectural plans in favor of large expenditures for landscaping, and parking lots for SUVs. And every TDM 'improvement' in the Smart Growth Dictionary is going to be imposed on the neighborhood adjacent to the school, whether it's needed or not.

Hearing their country day school infrastructure being threatened, Christian Dorsey and his fellow PTA Parents called the Arlington Police to attempt to intimidate Abingdon's neighborhood residents from asking more embarrassing questions. Cops showed up and neighborhood residents were incensed and complained bitterly. Oh, turns out that APS can't afford to construct both state-of-the-art building infrastructure and upscale parking infrastructure for SUVs so new building infrastructure (including renewable energy) was thrown under the Parents' SUVs.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Clement Opposes Secret County Board Deals, Will Make C.B. Appointments Calendar Public

On June 15th, Independent Candidate for County Board, Audrey Clement, e-mailed a press release to the local media regarding the secret deal the Zimmerman County Board made with developer Penzance to demolish Wilson School and trade County-owned parkland in Rosslyn for a fire station. Because the local media in Arlington have chosen to ignore Dr. Clement's campaign, we print her press release verbatim, in the interest of better government in Arlington. Cindy.

Audrey Clement Will Make Her County Board Appointments Calendar Public

It was recently revealed that Arlington County Board signed a secret deal with Washington-DC developer Penzance in 2013 to trade County owned parkland for a fire station to be financed by Penzance as part of a mixed-use and office development at the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) site.

The deal was outlined in a Letter of Intent in January 2013, the existence of which WRAPS itself had been ignorant until three months ago. By sacrificing parkland to private development, it also violates the County's Natural Resources Management Plan, which mandates "zero-loss of County-owned natural lands".

The Washington Business Journal reports a Rosslyn vacancy rate of 30.8 percent. "Keeping a deal secret that would add to Rosslyn's commercial vacancy rate is irrational and irresponsible," Dr. Clement stated.

"Consequently, when elected to County Board, I will make my appointments calendar public, with no redactions. Arlington residents deserve to know with whom the County Board meets in the County Board offices and the substance of their conversations. If confidential matters need to be discussed, that's what closed meetings are for."

The advertisement for WRAPS hearings concerning Rosslyn redevelopment was approved by County Board on June 16th.

Monday, June 15, 2015

County Staff Operates in 'Free Range' Mode With REITS, Developers, Corporations, Non Profits

Hey, Yupette,

Ever wonder why so many bad mixed-use redevelopment projects reach the County Board and are approved? Like the Rosslyn WRAPS project going to the County Board for advertisement tomorrow night? No brainer. Deals are made, site-plans pre-approved, REITS, developers, and non-profits are given the go-ahead to proceed with whatever site plan conditions they want to implement based on facilitation meetings with planning staff members who don't bother informing anyone but applicants and fellow planning staff members what changes and additions in site plan conditions are being made until site plans are filed. Did I mention the basic outlines of redevelopment deals are approved by the County Board before they are passed along to County Staff? Since everyone appointed to the Planning, Housing, and Transportation Commissions are adherents of the New Urbanist religion, (cult, belief system, whatever you want to call it), site plans are essentially rubber stamped all the way up to the County Board. Oh, also forgot to mention that almost no one on planning staff lives in Arlington, so they never suffer the bad consequences of their "planning". Stay tuned for tomorrow's planning charade, starts about 7 PM.

Wendy, 22201

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christian Dorsey Wasted $2 Million, Killed On-Site Renewable Energy at Abingdon School

Hi Yupette,

I'm a nearby resident of Abingdon School (but I don't live in Fairlington) and am appalled by what's occurred during the so-called "planning" for Abingdon School's renovation and expansion. APS has out-and-out lied to us about how many more seats for students will be required at Abingdon and elsewhere, per the Civic Federation's Schools Committee report earlier this month.

Thanks to a few people who live close-by Abingdon School who are very concerned about the consequences of a vastly-expanded elementary school that would serve as another regional park, recreation, and activity center, like the South Fairlington Regional Center, we obtained documents from FOIA requests to the Arlington County Manager that indicate the intentions of both APS Staff and Arlington County Staff will be to focus on transportation, sports, recreation, and activities, rather than on education, at Abingdon.

To that end, Arlington Board of Education Chairman James Lander appointed Christian Dorsey to Abingdon's Building Level Advisory Committee. Mr. Dorsey is another SUV soccer parent who has, with APS Staff and County Staff, wasted at least $2 million facilitating state-of-the-art so-called "transportation planning" to benefit SUV soccer parents at the expense of educational and environmental infrastructure on the Abingdon campus.

Why did I laugh when I read the Washington Post report today which  mis-characterized Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol as "fiscal conservatives'? Because that's flat-out untrue. Only fiscal conservatives on the ballot who want to put an end to wasteful spending by APS and County Government are Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin.

Mary, 22206

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Free Range Car Sharing to Compete With Free Range Bicycles

Hey, Yupette,

Thanks for the info about the free-range bicyclists. So guess what's on the County Board's Consent Agenda (#39 ) this Saturday? Free range electric automobiles! Yes, those lovable County Staffers who don't live in Arlington are at it again with another vibrant New Urbanist transportation scheme. The Zip cars zipping around and generating who knows how many vehicle trips per day and who knows how much demand for parking aren't enough. County Staff want to bring Car2Go to Arlington, starting with 200 'test' vehicles. Duh.

So what's Car2Go? A German company that takes Zip cars one step further --- like why bother with dedicated parking when you can pick up a car parked anywhere in Arlington and drive and park it anywhere in Arlington (federally-owned property is off-limits), including the County's parking garages, metered parking spaces, and residential permit parking spaces. So how many vehicle trips will those 200 vehicles generate every day? How many parking spaces will the 200 vehicles require every day? As usual, Transportation Staff didn't bother conducting a transportation impact analysis, a pilot program with 20 vehicles, or even bother telling residents in parked-out neighborhoods what to expect.

It gets worse. Can Bike2Go be far behind? So, in a year or two, when residents of an urbanized neighborhood try to find an on-street space to park at 6 PM in a permit parking zone they find Car2Go vehicles parked in front of their homes and a Bike2Go bicycle chained to a tree next to the vehicle. I have to agree that we are headed for multi-modal gridlock in 5 years.

Terri, 22204

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Peter Fallon Would Be Another Chris Zimmerman on the County Board..."


Like almost everyone who even occasionally votes in Democratic Primary elections we have been deluged by large postcards from Arlington County Board candidates, as well as candidates for the 45th Assembly District -- from would-be successors to Delegate Rob Krupicka.

We aren't impressed by any of the candidates. We are especially not impressed by Peter Fallon who's running for County Board and Mark Levine, who's a candidate for the General Assembly. It appears that Mark wants to be elected primarily to wage ideological warfare against Republicans in the General Assembly.

As for Peter Fallon, who's heavily endorsed by the Arlington Democratic Party's Old Guard Yellow Dog Dems, he served on the Planning, Housing, and Transportation Commissions at the height of the Zimmerman era of Smart Growth when loss of open space, loss of affordable housing, and school capacity progressed from concerns to problems to crises. It's nice that Peter's concerned about Reeves Farm now, but Reeves Farm's been owned by the County the past 14 years. It's disconcerting that the local media continue to use resumes rather than results as criteria when endorsing candidates. Speaking of resumes, where was tax accountant and auditor Peter Fallon when it came to wasteful and extravagant programs and infrastructure approved during the last few years Chris Zimmerman served on the County Board when Peter served on the Planning Commission? It's obvious to us that, if elected, Peter Fallon would be another Chris Zimmerman on the County Board.

As for the rest of the candidates, there is way too much emphasis on party ideology and way too little about what they would do for us when elected. Too bad write-ins aren't permitted or we'd write-in Independents Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin.