Saturday, June 28, 2014
Just heard from a neighbor who's an ACDC insider. Bob Brink is retiring from the House of Delegates. Mary Hynes has had enough of the County Board. Abby Raphael is tired of the School Board.
So decision was made by ACDC insiders to have Bob Brink retire from the House of Delegates and replace Bob with Mary (who would be running for re-election to the County Board next year). ACDC insiders also decided to replace Mary with Abby (who would be running for re-election to the School Board next year).
Since several strong candidates emerged during the last Democratic caucus for School Board, ACDC isn't worried about finding a strong candidate to replace Abby.
Selection of Mary continues the trend over the past decade for Democrats on the School Board to move to the County Board and County Board Democrats to move on to the General Assembly.
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Friday, June 27, 2014
Just returned from vacationing in Europe. Visited Las Vegas last Winter.
Bus Rapid Transit vehicles have no difficulty operating on city streets in traffic and in dedicated bus lanes. In fact, that's how they usually operate.
So can we please save federal, state, and local taxpayers about $525 million and have a few test BRT vehicles operate on the Pike for a few weeks. Including a double-articulated BRTs (like the Van Hool AGG 300 which operates in Arlington's Sister City, Aachen, Germany).
I am tired of the streetcar fanatics, who are backed by the mega-infill developers, lying like cheap carpets about Bus Rapid Transit.
Check out this YouTube video about the double-articulated buses in Aachen:
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Another County Board-County Manager 2015-2024 CIP Work Session this afternoon. More from County Staff about VERY expensive infrastructure expenditures in the works: For Environment, Water, Wastewater, IT, Public Service.
As usual, Barbara Donnellan wasn't fazed at all. Told the County Board to have their CIP markups prepared by mid-July and she'd have her Streetcar financing plan in place the same time.
How Arlington taxpayers are going to afford a streetcar system and pay for new schools and expensive public infrastructure is something that had several County Government insiders in the County Board Room wondering. But I guess we'll find out in about 3 weeks.
Based on documents a Fairlington resident pried out of Arlington County Government via a contentious Virginia Freedom of Information Act request, it's apparent that County Planning Staff has secretly worked with Fairlington's 'Community Leaders' for months to permanently remove minority residents from the redeveloped Park Shirlington apartments on South 31st Street.
According to the final submitted site plan, the redeveloped Park Shirlington Apartments will greatly increase in size from 294 to 750 units and the number of parking spaces will triple to 904. The site plans request a rezoning from a maximum of 380 townhouse units. One hundred of the new apartment units would be 'affordable'. The applicant, Home Properties, Inc, has owned the current site for years. The site plans depict an apartment complex that would attract high income yupster tenants, like those who live in Shirlington Village and Clarendon.
However, a number of Fairlington's Community Leaders have a longstanding antipathy towards the largely-Latino minority residents of Park Shirlington, and want them all removed. A number of increasingly upscale Abingdon School parents believe the presence of Latino children, who live with their families in Park Shirlington, degrades the performance of all Abingdon School students.
Consequently a 'Park Shirlington Redevelopment Advisory Committee' was formed by the Fairlington civic association and a number of the aforementioned Community Leaders have been meeting secretly for more than six months. Attendance is by invitation only. If you're not invited you may be arrested if you try to attend. To its credit, Parks and Rec won't allow them to meet in the South Fairlington Community Center so they meet in North Fairlington.
Officially, the Planning Commission's Site Plan Review Committee met for the first time last month and did a walk through and review of the site plans for Park Shirlington and was uniformly negative.
So, the Community Leaders and their secret committee and County Planning Staff will meet tonight, June 24th, in North Fairlington and reveal the secret deal or deals they've been concocting.
Sorry it took so long to get this news out but it was a struggle to obtain FOIA information from the County Manager's office.