Thursday, December 31, 2015

County Board's Theme for 2016 - 'Portland on the Potomac'



Hello, Yupette,

Whatever County Board members may say in their New Year's Day speeches (meeting starts at 11 AM at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.) Smart Growth decisions for 2016 start being made at the Recessed County Board Meeting to be held at Jay Fisette's home Friday afternoon. County Board will vote on whatever is decided New Year's Day at a closed meeting at 6 PM on January 5th.

The County Board has generally decided - in a number of closed meetings over the past year - that Arlington should become a clone of Portland Oregon, and the sooner the better. So the removal of non-trendy people and non-trendy infrastructure will be accelerated. We'll start seeing cargo bikes on our streets and sidewalks, together with groups riding bicycles. All commercial buildings over 20 years old are being evaluated for replacement. Replacement of single family homes by expensive townhouses in Bluemont will be accelerated. So will the replacement of the non-trendy commercial strip on Glebe Road between Pershing Drive and Route 50. Whatever the County Board may say about "diversity" what the County Board will do is make Arlington increasingly unfriendly to residents who don't have large amounts of disposable income.

Thanks for your blog. Happy New Year.

2100


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Westover Village on AED's Short List for Mixed-Use Redevelopment



Hey Yupette,

I had a talk with one of Arlington Economic Development's so-called 'planning staff' about what's in store for my neighborhood  on Lee Highway, not far from the East Falls Church. As you may be aware, there are quite a few older single family homes in my neighborhood and AED is looking to tear many of them down for expensive townhouse redevelopment.

The topic eventually came around to Westover Village, and AED and CPHD are planning Smart Growth mixed-use redevelopment, along the lines of Clarendon - 6 story apartments buildings with ground floor restaurants and retail.

As with Lee Highway, a Westover redevelopment committee will be formed within the next year and packed with Smart Growth boosters. So you can expect Westover Market will be transformed into something very much like Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon. Italian Store may remain as-is since the owner just spent massive amounts of money renovating the old 7-11.

As for the older garden apartments in and around Westover they're going to either be redeveloped into unaffordable-affordable housing by APAH or demolished for expensive townhouses by developers.

So that's the Smart Growth 'plan' for Westover.

Barbara, 22205

Thursday, December 10, 2015

VDOT Proposes I-395 Widening for HOT Lanes Through Arlington to DC





Hello,

Here are JPEGs of the brochure some residents in the I-395 Corridor received early this week from VDOT. County Board is discussing whether or not to facilitate this project. AY opposes any plan or project that will bring more traffic into Arlington. Click on JPEGs to enlarge.

Cindy


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Urbanism Severely Stressing Arlington Police and OEM Resources


Hey, Yupette,

The County Board held a work session with Arlington Police Chief Murray Farr and Arlington Office of Emergency Management Director Jack Brown yesterday afternoon. To the surprise of no one who works at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., both Chief Farr and Director Brown told the County Board that the Police Department and Office of Emergency Management are severely stressed, largely as a consequence of so-called New Urbanism.

Although Arlington's population has grown by about 20,000 over the past 17 years, the Police Department has fewer officers than in 1998. Demands by Homeland Security have signficantly reduced the number of the Department's patrol officers.

Most problematic is the amount of mandatory police overtime generated because of pub crawls and similar Millennial events in Clarendon, Ballston, and Rosslyn. OEM Director Brown reported his staff are similarly stressed because of the increase in the number of calls for service. Cell phones are currently the source of 75% of the calls to 911.

Obviously, the County Board is going to have to increase Police Department funding in the FY 17 Budget. The Arlington Fire Department will hold a working session with the County Board in the near future and it's expected that the Acting Fire Chief will report that Fire and EMS resources are even more stressed than the Police and OEM.

Thanks for your blog.

2100

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New Urbanist Guru Victor Hoskins Mesmerized County Board Chair During 'Invitation Only' County Board Meeting


Hello,

We were, and are, appalled by the secretive antics the County Board and County Staff engaged in scheduling the 'invitation only' County Board Meeting on November 20th, to celebrate County Board Chair and WMATA Board Member Mary 'Safety Last' Hynes's so-called 'planning' for Arlington's so-called 'economic future'.

The County Board's Brain Trust's invitation-only Breakfast Meeting on November 20th was more of the same old, same old, with a bunch of middle-aged geezers toasting and applauding County Board Chair Mary Hynes's and New Urbanist Guru of Multi-Modal Gridlock Victor Hoskins's agenda for Arlington - neighborhood-by-neighborhood urbanization, while poaching in DC and other jurisdictions for more Millennials with extravagantly-compensated Top Secret security clearances.

No minority group members are ever seen on  the video of Arlington's decision makers. Obviously, County Government isn't about us, it's about yet another in-group of VIP Democrats appointed to another advisory group that, after much deliberation, tells County Board members what they want to hear.

But what else is new in Arlington?

Cindy, 22206

Friday, November 27, 2015

Obama Administration Asks Inside-the-Beltway Democratic Pols to Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees



Hey, Yupette,

Latest at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard is not fast-tracking our neighborhoods for urbanization. The Obama Administration is asking Democratic politicians whose jurisdictions lie inside the DC Beltway to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. The feeling by the pols in the Administration who make such decisions is the DC area economy is robust enough to resettle at least 10,000 refugees. At least 1 million legal immigrants have been admitted to the United States every year for the last 25 years.

Whatever the Administration may say about Syrian refugees being thoroughly vetted before being allowed to resettle in the United States, the fact is the Administration is under tremendous pressure from NATO allies to accept at least 100,000 Syrian refuges during the next year. The people in the Administration who make such decisions will be gone in a year, unless Hillary is elected and some stay on. Look for statements during next month's Christmas County Board meeting from Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada (who have a month left in office) about resettling "several thousand" Syrian refugees in Arlington County.

Given its increasing secrecy, any decisions the County Board makes about resettling Syrian refugees in Arlington will be in closed meetings. So it's likely the first we will know about Syrian refugees resetling in Arlington is when we see them.

Thanks for your blog.

2100

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Urbanist Agenda - Communities Into Canyons by 2040


Hey Yupette,

I watched several hours of the latest County Board meetings.

There's no doubt that the County Board (including incoming members) will adhere to to the New Urbanist Agenda - Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood  Redevelopment - until the County is completely urbanized by 2040. Yes, New Urbanism is an ideology. They all belong to the same congregation. They don't even want to talk to anyone who has the slightest misgivings about New Urbanism.

Our communities will become canyons. If you want to see what Arlington will look like in 25 years just visit the neighborhood around Nationals Stadium in DC.

It's been the same old same old with the County Board for at least the past two decades. Neighborhoods are allowed to deteriorate while the New Urbanists -- non-resident property owners, non-resident County Staff, non-resident developers, non-resident architects, non-resident consultants, and so on -- make the "planning" decisions. Latest were Florida consultants Dover-Kohl facilitating the "vibrant" mixed-use redevelopment of Lee Highway.

Their non-resident New Urbanist Guru, Victor Hoskins, completely controls the New Urbanism 2.0 agenda -- total urbanization of everything via mixed-use redevelopment.. It's disconcerting to watch so many otherwise-sane community leaders (Planning Commission, Housing Commission, and so on) mindlessly mouthing the same old same old New Urbanist platitudes while they rubber stamp anything Arlington Economic Development sends them.

It was really appalling to watch the County Board bail out Ballston Common Mall's owner and operator -- Forest City. Forest City should have been treated like the Mall's shoplifters and banned from the Mall. Instead Forest City was given an open checkbook on the County's revenue.

County Government hasn't thought about what's going to happen during the next economic recession, when the Millennials decide to take themselves and their businesses to less expensive venues.

Person who posted that Arlington's going to become an "expensive mess" on AY is exactly right.

Tom from Barcroft

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Urbanism 2.0 'Community Facilities Study' Released


Hey Yupette,

County Board met with Parks and Rec Tuesday afternoon and discussed Parks and Rec's 'vision' for the next few years, essentially new 'pocket parks' across the county that would serve new residents of massive new mixed-use redevelopment.

County Board and School Board also met Tuesday night and discussed APS's latest demands for more classrooms and more tax dollars. Also, a new Lubber Run mixed-use facility, which would include office space for Parks and Rec, Pre-K classrooms for APS, and a small amount of indoor recreation and meeting space for community needs. Oh, and a much larger parking lot.

But the main event was the release and discussion of  the County's New Urbanism 2.0 'Community Facilities Study' by the County Board and School Board.

Chair of the Community Facilities Study Committee which produced the report is New Urbanist John Milliken who served on the Arlington Planning Commission during the 1970's, served on the County Board from 1981 to 1990, and served as Vornado's outside legal counsel from 1993 until he retired last year. So he spent the past 10 years helping Vornado figure out what to do about all those vacant buildings Vornado owns that he planned and voted to construct while he was on the County Board. LOL.

Vice-Chair of the Community Facilities Study Committee is New Urbanist Ginger Brown, the Planning Commission member who is tasked with imposing New Urbanism 2.0 on the Lee Highway corridor.

Usual group of non-resident New Urbanist County Staff who will not move to Arlington no matter how much they are paid and, therefore, suffer no consequences of New Urbanism, facilitated the Committee.

The Committee's Final Report is another New Urbanist charade. Reality was, is, and always will be that a small group of New Urbanists makes all the 'planning' decisions for the County in secret, together with New Urbanist developers, REITs, consultants, law firms, etc.

Arlington Community Facilities Study Final Report is on-line, just do a Web search.

Susan, 22201


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time for Victor Hoskins to Move On

Hello, Yupette,

I manage a restaurant in Rosslyn and we're going out of business in a month or two. We can't compete with the food trucks. Whose bright idea was it to allow food trucks into Arlington to compete with restaurants? No matter. They're here now.

Current Economic Development Director is Victor Hoskins. What's he done for restaurants like mine? Nothing. I can't afford to give our restaurant workers raises. None of them can afford to live here. If my wife weren't teaching we couldn't afford to live here either.

From my understanding of what's occurring here economically, Arlington Economic Development is actually a bloated arts organization. Duh.

It gets worse. Victor Hoskins is all out for "Growth for the Sake of Growth". What kind of "Growth"? One of Arlington's "Growth" industries is used car lots. Arlington supermarkets recently converted as many full-time jobs into part-time as possible, with few or no benefits. County is going on another development spree, this time it's expensive apartments and condos. With ground floor bars, restaurants, and retail. Which will be surrounded by food trucks.

Meanwhile, I have to drive to Alexandria to buy a new battery for my cell phone, paint for my home, and flowering plants for our restaurant's patio.

I voted for Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin because they have some sympathy for small business. All the Democrats will do is what they've always done - tax us to death to pay for their extravagances.

Thanks for your blog.

Mike

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Choice for County Board - Elect an Eagle



Dear Yupette,

We have a choice tomorrow. Elect an Eagle, or elect more Turkeys.

No choice for me. I'm voting to elect an Eagle  - Audrey Clement. Audrey has never been out for herself, she's always trying to make life better for the rest of us.

It's obvious from delving into the personal ambitions of Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Mike McMenamin that they will be all-out to enrich themselves if elected to County Board. Katie Cristol will enrich herself through education consulting. Christian Dorsey will enrich himself through affordable housing. Mike McMenamin will enrich himself through his wireless law firm.

All will say YES to any number of for-profits and non-profits looking for taxpayer-funded handouts from County Government. Same old. Same old.

I'm 60 years old, and will retire soon, and can't afford to elect any more of these selfish turkeys to the County Board.

Audrey Clement is an Eagle who has my vote. She should have yours also.

Peggy, Westover


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Parent: 'I Can't Afford Cri$tol and Dor$ey on the County Board'



Hello, Yupette.

I'm a parent of two children who attend Arlington Public Schools.

Yes, hundreds of APS students aren't legally Arlington residents. Neither parent lives here. The all-Democrat School Board, Arlington Education Association, and apparently the County Board, go along with this. We are afraid to say anything, though we see the parents driving kids to Campbell School from Fairfax County.

But what is really disconcerting is that virtually everyone who is in a decision-making position in this County is promoting "Growth for the Sake of Growth".

What does it matter if we have Taj Mahal schools if, a few years after they're constructed, my kids are placed in trailer classrooms? What does it matter if there are 23, rather than 22, students in a classroom?

The Democrats want to grow Arlington by 66,000 by 2040. They also want massive amounts  of expensive so-called "affordable housing" which typically costs $250,000 per unit to construct.

Looks as though we are going to face some steep tax increases to pay for "Growth for the Sake of Growth". Endorsed by Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey.

Well, I'm sorry, I need to save for my kids' college education. Looks to me Katie Cristol is out to make some money through her educational consulting and Christian Dorsey will be good chums with the "affordable housing" providers. Mike McMenamin says he won't cut anything.

Bottom line for my family - we can't afford to elect Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol to the County Board.

I'm voting for Audrey Clement.

Thanks for your blog.

Barbara

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board



Hello,

Several of us who contribute to this blog attended most of this year's candidate forums. We also attend most County Board, Planning Commission, County Board and School Board work sessions, last year's County Board and School Board CIP work sessions and read County Board's consent agenda and peruse agenda items. We do Web searches, read other local blogs and local newspapers, and talk with Arlington residents, at meetings and events and in neighborhoods.

Consequently, Arlington Yupette endorses Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board.

In making this endorsement we evaluated first, what specifically candidates promise to do if elected to the County Board and, second, what they have done over past 10 years years to actually move Arlington forward.

We determined that Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Mike McMenamin support the status quo that resulted in a voter revolt and John Vihstadt's victory last year. All support New Urbanism 2.0, which doubles down on Smart Growth, despite the many problems New Urbanism 1.0 caused.

Katie Cristol is all about vague promises and feel-good rhetoric. Christian Dorsey is for "Growth" without many concerns about consequences. Mr. Dorsey was insensitive to the environmental concerns of Abingdon School neighbors as an appointee to the Abingdon Building Level Planning Committee. Despite repeatedly saying he isn't pandering to special interests, he supports removing 170 mature trees to create another bike trail to benefit BikeArlington. Mike McMeanmin proclaims himself "an experienced leader", but his service on the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and Civic Federation produced no significant results.

On the other hand, Audrey Clement sued VDOT to stop the widening of I-66, worked hard to make "affordable housing" affordable, and has attempted repeatedly to make APS more efficient, most recently by running for School Board last year and this year calling for APS to determine why Arlington's public education system costs so much compared to nearby school systems. Dr. Clement has also called for greater transparency in County Government, a reduction in business taxes to largely benefit small business, preservation of historic buildings like Wilson school, and acquiring open space outside Arlington for multi-jurisdiction field sports facilities.

Audrey Clement deserves our votes on November 3rd.


Cindy, 22206


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Parents Report Non-Residents Attending Arlington Public Schools 'Out of Control'


Hello, Yupette,

Worried about SUVs running Stop signs near Arlington's public schools? Ever wonder where the SUVs are coming from? Lots of them are driven by a parent who lives outside the County, typically a County employee whose family moved out of Arlington years ago and is keeping its kid(s) enrolled in one of Arlington's excellent schools until the kid or kids graduate.

It was one thing when 400 families were doing this. Number of families now using some address in Arlington to enroll their kids in our school system is at least 600 and increasing. These are not refugee families from Central America, they are families who are economic refugees from Arlington's Smart Growth gentrification. Do the math $20,000 x 600 = $12 million per year.

Oh, APS, Arlington Education Association, PTAs, Arlington Democratic Party, and parents know all about this illegal abuse but no parent will say anything for fear of reprisals. The Democratic Party that controls the Arlington Public Schools has been using this as patronage for decades.

You can be assured that I will not vote for any Democrat on November 3rd.

Thanks for your blog.

L.K.
22204

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

SUV Parent Scofflaws Endorse Dorsey



Hi Cindy,

What is it with so many parents running Stop signs mornings and afternoons at Abingdon School and other schools in Arlington where dropping off and picking up students is so prevalent that school buses are a third full?

At Abingdon School, PTA parent and County Board candidate Christian Dorsey promised parents who drive their kids to school there would continue to be no enforcement of Stop sign and speeding traffic ordinances during school arrival and dismissal times. Dorsey and his family live near Columbia Pike, not anywhere near Abingdon School.

Like most Abingdon parents who don't live in the Abingdon School neighborhood Christian Dorsey believes that Abingdon neighbors are 'nuisances' whose quality-of-life concerns should be ignored. Not hard to imagine what kind of County Board member he'd be.

Even worse, the Arlington Education Association, which endorsed Christian Dorsey, is well-aware of scofflaw parents zooming through residential neighborhoods in Arlington. But AEA won't say anything for fear of offending teachers and school staff who also zoom through neighborhoods when they're late for work.

As for the Arlington Police, we have a 100% reactive police force so I expect nothing from them. They are so bad that two of them live near S. 29th and S. Abingdon and have zero concern about our neighborhood.

Given Christian Dorsey's F--- Y-- attitude towards this neighborhood there is no way I'm voting for him on November 3rd.

Thanks for this blog.

Carol
S. 29th St.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Clement Vows to Reform County Board Consent Agenda



Hey, Yupette,

I attended the Columbia Pike County Board candidates' forum at Walter Reed Community Center on Wednesday.

There is a huge difference between Independents Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin and Democrats Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol. Cristol and Dorsey appear completely unconcerned about fiscal responsibility and are primarily concerned about massively growing an already densely-populated County.

When asked about reforming the County Board's Consent Agenda to prevent extravagances like the $350,000 spent to decorate a fence at the wastewater treatment plant and $522,000 (including $108,000 design costs) for a tot lot in a neighborhood park from appearing on the consent agenda, Audrey Clement responded that she would work with the County's new independent internal auditor to prevent such abuses from occurring, and as a County Board member would otherwise pull wasteful and extravagant spending items from the Consent Agenda for full discussion by the County Board.

The other Independent candidate for County Board, Mike McMenamin, echoed Audrey's concerns about wasteful, extravagant, and unnecessary spending being approved by the County Board without any discussion.

Ted - 22204

Monday, October 12, 2015

Surprise - Artisphere to Become a Daycare Center


Hey, Yupette,

I attended the last Planning Commission meeting where Bluemont residents were infuriated about the lack of transparency by County Government concerning a redevelopment on Glebe Road. County Board candidate Audrey Clement attended the meeting and spoke forcefully for much greater transparency by the County Board.

Well, how about this for an encore? The Artisphere is going to be a daycare center. Yes, unannounced by anyone in County Government and the media and placed on the Consent Agenda for Saturday's County Board meeting (Item 2). You can go to arlingtonva.us and read for yourself.

According to the Staff Report the property at 1401 Wilson Blvd is going to be redeveloped and the Rosslyn Children's Center will move to the Artisphere at 1101 Wilson Blvd. The County will also lease a small space it owns for a child's play area.

What is it about the local media (e.g., Sun Gazette) ignoring important local news while deluging us with all sorts of trivia?

Thanks for your blog.

Mark, 22201

Friday, October 9, 2015

Arlington Sun Gazette Shouldn't Endorse Anyone


Hey Yupette,

I see that Scott McCaffrey aka the Sun Gazette has been endorsing the same old same old for local office.

The Sun Gazette shouldn't be endorsing anyone. Sun Gazette's management allowed Scott McCaffrey to serve on the Chamber of Commerce's Executive Committee for years while problems turned into crises. Where were the Chamber, Sun Gazette, and Scott McCaffrey five years ago regarding the unacceptably high and growing commercial office vacancy rate? Endorsing the same old same old County Board members for re-election who said nothing and did nothing.

It's the same this time around. While we're at it, the Washington Post is in the same moribund state when it comes to endorsing local candidates. A recurrent rumor is that summer interns research all local candidates for public office and make recommendations to the Post's Editorial Board.

Aside from Scott McCaffrey's conflicts of interest, I have no confidence in a news organization that repeatedly crashes my laptop while I attempt to read on-line Inside Nova articles which I pay Inside Nova to read. Oh, since I don't live in North Arlington a print edition of the Sun Gazette isn't delivered to my home every week free of charge. Duh. Thanks for your blog. I'm voting for Mike and Audrey on November 3rd.

Julie

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Christian Dorsey Has Little Sympathy for Abingdon Neighborhood Flood Victims


Hello Yupette,

I am a close-by neighbor of Abingdon Elementary School and there is no way I will vote for Christian Dorsey for County Board or anything else. Like many other Abingdon parents Christian Dorsey lives miles away from Abingdon School and could care less about our neighborhood. All he apparently cares about is more pavement for parking and bigger SUV turn-arounds on the Abingdon campus.

Christian Dorsey was appointed the Abingdon Building Level Planning Commitee (BLPC) and attended 3 meetings. My neighbors had to demand to have one representative for our condo associations appointed to the BLPC. Mr. Dorsey supported the Abingdon PTA parents who drive their kids to school and then drive to work, usually running the Stop signs in the neighborhood.

Mr. Dorsey has little sympathy for those of us who live on the steep slopes between the school and Four Mile Run. We have suffered from flood damage from Abingdon School stormwater and were very concerned that the hurricane that missed us this past weekend would likely have caused flash flooding into our homes. APS has done little about the flash floods we already experience.

We have had to spend thousands of dollars hiring an Arlington land use, planning, and zoning attorney to get Arlington Public Schools and the County Board to listen to our concerns. We are now having to hire a civil engineer as well. All we are to Christian Dorsey are 'neighborhood nuisances' who want to slow down people who speed through our neighborhood running Stop signs and didn't want the money that was supposed to be spent on renewable energy on campus spent instead for big impervious parking lots and SUV turn arounds.

Please do not vote for Christian Dorsey on November 3rd.

C.B. 22206

Saturday, September 26, 2015

County Board Approves $522,000 Tot Lot, Cost $108,000 to Design


Hey Yupette,

Wonder why the September 24th Recessed County Board Meeting video is 'experiencing technical difficulties' and is not yet available for viewing on-line. Maybe because the recessed meeting is full of embarrassing moments, like the County Board taken to task for approving a new tot lot for Butler Holmes Park in the Lyon Park neighborhood which will cost $522,400 to build including $108,423 to design. Parks and Rec included a couple picnic tables and grills near the tot lot. So let's see, if you divide $108,423 by 100 that's $1,084.23 per hour to design the tot lot over 2 1/2 weeks. I thought we put an end to $1 million bus shelters and $1.5 million doggie spas last year. Guess not.

Cindy, 22201

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Luxury Schools are a Charade. Relocatables Will Stay.


Hi Yupette,

County Board approved the plans for Abingdon School on Monday. A dozen new classrooms will be added, and capacity will be increased by 136 seats. Huge amounts will be spent on infrastructure not related to education on the school campus. The school won't even be certified LEED Silver. Indoor environmental quality will be mediocre at best. Cost for the school's renovation and expansion will be at least $30 million.

But the biggest surprise of the County Board's approval process was when APS's architect admitted, when questioned by John Vihstadt, that relocatables will be back on the Abingdon campus by 2019.

Based on the County's population growth it's likely the relocatables won't ever leave the Abingdon campus. Same for other schools being renovated and expanded. But parents want expensive country day schools and that's what the school architects like to build. No modular construction allowed.

Susan - 22206

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Which Neighborhood Will Wear the Smart Growth Cult's Ring Next?



Hey Yupette,

Just read about the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Beatles film HELP! I saw the film when I was a kid, now I'm 59. So I bought a DVD of the film and watched it again as an adult. The thought struck me that Smart Growth is a Cult and our neighborhoods get to be sacrificed, one by one, to the Developers. People who run the Smart Growth Cult don't even live here. I live in Leeway-Overlee and we're being set up to be one of the next neighborhoods to be sacrificed. The High Priests of Smart Growth never seem to suffer the consequences, they just get richer off mixed use redevelopment. Thanks for your blog.

Sandi, 22205

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

'Shared Streets' Coming to Your Neighborhood


 Hi Yupette -

Seen what those lovable New Urbanists are up to lately? Next phase of 'Complete Streets' will be 'Shared Streets'. I found a depiction of what 'Shared Streets' will look like in plans for Courthouse redevelopment, going to the Planning Commission and County Board this month. Just approved by the Millennials who now run the Transportation Commission. So what are 'Shard Streets'? Let everyone onto a street - motor vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, pedestrians, parents pushing strollers, seniors on mobility scooters, food trucks...everything. Traffic moves as fast as the slowest pedestrian. So here's the artist's depiction.

Shannon 22201

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mary 'Safety Last' Hynes Should be a PAL - Retire Now from WMATA Board



Hey, Yupette:

I am tired of hearing sanctimonious sermons from Mary Hynes about Metrorail. What's happened to Metrorail during the five years she's been on the WMATA Board? More derailments, more accidents, more problems. Decades of dirt, rust, grease coated everything in the Metrorail tunnels....to the point power sources to the trains shorted out and caused fires. Every month another significant problem is discovered.

It gets worse. Mary's brought her 'safety last' mindset to Arlington via her service on the County Board. What kind of stupid safety slogan is "Be a PAL"?  We are risking our lives walking on the sidewalks in Shirlington Village, Westover, Clarendon, Rosslyn, etc. Why? Because Mary and the others with the authority to put a comprehensive multi-modal safety program in place, including enforcement, instead trade free range behavior by Bikeshare, Bike Arlington, and the other bikster bozos for votes.

Four months remain in Mary's term on the County Board. Time for her retire now from the WMATA Board.

Thanks for this blog.

Roger, 22205


Monday, August 24, 2015

Arlington Police Are Completely Reactive - Who Will They Chase Next?


Hey Yupette,

I was talking to a friend who's employed by and will retire from the Arlington Police Department in the near future. In the event you haven't heard by now, the Arlington Police Department is 100% reactive and only responds to anything when there's a report or complaint. There are a few exceptions like special events and providing security for bars, restaurants, and malls. And putting entire groups under surveillance for any reason or no reason. Latest group is Millennial males carrying backpacks. So don't expect any 'community policing' from ACPD anytime soon. This is the last week before summer interns go back to school and if  I were between 17 and 25 I would not venture into the pub crawl zones this weekend, especially after Midnight. Thanks for your blog.

Mark - 22201

Sunday, August 16, 2015

APS Planning Is Inadequate for Arlington's Projected Population Growth



Hey Yupette,

I watched the School Board meeting last Thursday and saw APS's Planning Guru John Chadwick's, AFSAP (Arlington Facitities and Student Accommodation Plan 2016-25) presentation. It's on the apsva.us Web site under the August 13th meeting agenda.

What a bunch of ad hoc planning and wishful thinking. Everyone in County Government knows the County is dedicated to massive population growth and urbanization over the next 25 years. We are talking about at least 20,000 more pre-K through 12 students among a projected population increase of 66,000.

The Taj Mahal high schools that were just completed (Wakefield and Yorktown) will soon have additions. More trailer classrooms were installed over the Summer. Any additions to existing schools (e.g., Abingdon) will be at capacity when the additions are completed. APS will have to build a new school on the TJ Middle School campus and build large additions to the elementary schools near TJ.

So much for vibrant New Urbanism which has made Arlington into an expensive mess, with much worse in store for us in the future. I don't even want to think about how much our taxes will increase over the next 10 years.

Thanks for your blog.

Julie
22205


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Free Range Special Interests Persuading Jay Fisette Not to Retire from the County Board


Hey, Yupette,

As most Democrats who are active in the Arlington Democratic Party know by now, Jay Fisette decided to retire from the County Board next year after thinking it over for almost a year. But a dozen free range special interest groups that Jay not only helped but empowered over the last two decades don't want him to step down from the County Board. They range from LGBT advocacy groups, to bicyclists, to dog owners, to performing arts groups, to soccer parents. Over the years Jay's become the go-to guy for expensive gimmes for his special interests. Like a $1.5 million doggie spa, a $20 million bailout for the Signature Theater, and a $50 million aquatics center that's still under discussion. If it's hard to persuade the County Government to fund your vanity project with Jay on the County Board how's it going to happen with Jay off the County Board? Meanwhile, Democratic insiders report that Jay is unhappy about how much APS is taking from revenue that could be spent on sports, entertainment, and recreation. Stay tuned to see what occurs after this year's elections.

Barbara, 22201


Monday, August 3, 2015

Reeves Farmhouse Likely to Become an Upscale Home with Home Office



Hello,

Details of the Reevesland deal began to emerge at last Wednesday's Reeves Farmhouse Open House meeting, held in the County Board Room.

A large pipestem lot will be created and the present driveway will be widened to Manchester Street at the County's expense. The County will permit the future owner to add an addition to the farmhouse. The structure will be zoned R-6. The zoning will allow for a realtor's, consultant's, or other professional home office with 2 1/2 outdoor parking spaces.

The present garage will be torn down and other improvements made to to the site at County's expense before the sale, using the $410,000 left over from the funds that were supposed to be used for fixing up the farmhouse.

Other of the left-over $410,000 funds will be used to make the milk cooling shed into a historic exhibit and for future "community amenities" like playground equipment.

The Reevesland site improvement proposals will go to the Historic and Landmarks Review Board's Design Review Committee for evaluation on August 5th and to the full HALRB for a public hearing on August 19th.

Planning Commission and County Board will vote on the pre-sale site improvements in September.

Cindy

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Arlington Planners to Penny Gross - 'Don't Clarendon Our Exclusive Neighborhoods'



Hey, Yupette,

Your blog's commenters are 110% correct about Arlington County's 'Planning' being a huge charade run by New Urbanist Cult members who live in Fairfax County. But don't believe me, just drive 5 miles up Columbia Pike from the Arlington border and you will see the pleasant suburban lifestyle of the Super Nimbys who are inflicting Supersized Smart Growth on Arlington.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross was given a loud and clear message in the form of facing a challenger in a Democratic Primary this year, the first in many years - 'Don't you dare Clarendon our exclusive neighborhoods'.

So it's going to be years before Mason District catches up to the Pike in Arlington County. Arlington's Senior Planners and the Developers, Architects, Consultants, Lawyers, etc. who work with them want nothing to do with Smart Growth, apart from work and attending Cult functions.

2100-2
22204

Friday, July 10, 2015

County Board to Double Down on 'Smart Growth'


Hi, Yupette,

I checked out the recent work sessions for the Second Generation "Smart Growth" redevelopment of Rosslyn and Courthouse. Rosslyn Sector Plan is going to the County Board for approval on July 22nd. Rosslyn and Courthouse will be luxury enclaves and affordable housing that's affordable for the people who will clean office buildings and wait tables in upscale restaurants will be miles away from Rosslyn, if any is available at all in Arlington.

New Urbanists have set a population goal of 283,000 Arlington residents by 2040, up from 217,000 today, which means Arlington's population would increase by about 2,600 per year, Building heights for most new office buildings will be at least 300 feet (or more if the FAA will go along with the developers' demands) and the buildings, with the usual ground floor mixed-use restaurants and retail will surround larger plazas which will be as densely populated as the small first generation mixed use so-called "open space" plazas because the surrounding buildings will be much taller. As for sports and outdoor recreation, Rosslyn and Courthouse are about built-out. Existing neighborhood parks will increasingly be repurposed into dedicated upscale playgrounds. The next generation of "complete streets" will use residential and commercial streets as "open space" for various events, and for activity and recreation space.

As for the "car free diet," redeveloped Courthouse and Rosslyn will see more parking for more motor vehicles and  bicycles. Bicycles will actively compete with motor vehicles for street space and with pedestrians for sidewalk space.

Bottom line - Arlington in 2040 is going to be an expensive urban mess.

2100

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.

K.L.

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..."


Hello,

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.

Cindy

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Civic Federation Forsees Arlington Becoming Urban and Expensive

Hey Yupette,

Arlington Civic Federation met last night. On the agenda were the election of new officers, economic development presentation by the Revenues and Expenditures Committee, report and vote on a resolution drafted by the Schools Committee, and report and vote on a resolution drafted by the Housing Committee.

Taken together, the three presentations point to an Arlington that will become both urban and a much more expensive place to live over the next 20 years, with open space gradually eliminated to cram as much public and private infrastructure into the County as possible.

According to the Revenue and Expenditure Committee's report, filling vacant office buildings will not be quick or easy, and Arlington is competing with DC and other jurisdictions for the same kinds of corporations.

According to a report by the Schools Committee, APS has significantly underestimated the number of new classrooms that will be required because of K-12 enrollment growth over the next decade.

County Government is likely to significantly increase the number of affordable housing units in the County by significantly increasing bonus density, rezoning single family residential neighborhoods, and building affordable housing on what are now parks.

Led by North Arlington's so-called 'Limo Liberal' Elite, Civic Federation delegates voted for no limit on building affordable housing in parks and for a large amount of affordable housing to be constructed across the County.

Only a few speculative comments were heard about what the quality of life will be in 25 years - 2040  But at least 2/3 of the Civic Federation delegates who attended last night's meeting are elderly and appear to not be interested in future consequences.

The draft resolutions and presentations can be viewed on the Civic Federation's Web site, civfed.org.

Susan, 22203

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

County Board Democrats, Candidates, Endorse Potomac Skycar

Hi Yupette,

I knew there had to be an expensive follow-on to the Pike streetcar because Arlington Democrats pursue expensive vanity infrastructure projects like Bill Clinton collects girlfriends. Thanks to Arlington's new Guru of Multi-Modal Gridlock, AED Director Victor Hoskins, both the County Board Democrats and  the Democratic candidates for County Board are all on-board the County's next big vanity infrastructure project, the Potomac Gondola from Geogetown to Rosslyn, aka the Potomac Skycar. Projected cost? Depends on who you talk with in County Government, anywhere from $25 million to $250 million. Meanwhile, as has been noted in previous postings to your blog, Rosslyn streetscapes are crumbling, but there are no plans to renovate and repair anything, only to build more expensive buildings. Too bad write-ins aren't allowed in Tuesday's Democratic Primary, or I would just write-in Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin. Thanks for your blog.

Julie - 22205

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Audrey Clement Wins Arlington Chamber of Commerce Q and A Forum



Hi Yupette,

I also attended the Arlington Chamber of Commerce County Board Candidate Q and A Forum yesterday.

Audrey Clement clearly won. She directly answered the five questions related to business and economic development issues as they relate to Arlington, did not talk about herself at all, she only laid out what she's going to do for us on the County Board, and also clearly and succinctly laid out a positive economic future for Arlington. She was the only County Board candidate who advocated for tax relief for Arlington's businesses as a driver for economic growth.

The thing that most impressed me about Audrey's presentation was her assertion that the County must do something to reverse the ongoing deterioration of the Rosslyn, Ballston, and Columbia Pike streetscapes.

I was appalled to see the deterioration in the Rosslyn streetscape, around the Artisphere. Broken pavement and broken sidewalks everywhere. Is that World Class? I don't think so !!

So I'm voting for Audrey in November. You should too. The other candidates at the Chamber's Q and A session are pretty much for the same-old same-old.

Thanks for this blog.

Wendy, 22205

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Deal to Save Artisphere Being Negotiated





Hey Yupette,


I attended tonight's Chamber of Commerce County Board County Board candidates debate (which cost $25 to attend). Audrey Clement won the debate.

Spoke with a number of corporate movers and shakers and it appears a deal is being negotiated to save the Artisphere, as long as Arlington's taxpayers don't have to pay for the Artisphere's operation after June 30th. Closing the Artisphere WOULD be a loss because Arlington's sheeple taxpayers were reportedly fleeced for $7 million to pay for conversion from the Newseum, and the Artisphere is impeccably maintained. Depending on who you speak with in County Government the Artisphere cost Arlington's taxpayers $10 million to $15 million in operating expenses over the past 5 years and has never been in the black, although Economic Development has operated the Artisphere the past 3 years.

Although the wealthy performing arts crowd is lobbying the County to bail out the Artisphere again, that's unlikely to happen after the County Board voted to sell the Reeves Farm farmhouse last week. So the performing arts elite are going to have to dig into their own pockets for once to keep their party going. Of course all contributions by local fat cats to keep the Artisphere open are tax deductible, but the County's Limo Liberal and Country Club Republican Elites are notorious misers who are constantly looking for corporate welfare handouts from the County. So stay tuned for the details of the Artisphere rescue deal.

Ted - 22207

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dozens of Rolling Thunder Patriots Hurt in Fights


Hey Yupette,

I thought it was bad with the Pub Crawlers last year.

Last night fights broke out among Rolling Thunder Patriots up and down the B-R Corridor and elsewhere in Arlington, mostly at hotels in Crystal City and Rosslyn and at bars everywhere. Several dozen Patriots were taken to hospitals in and around Arlington by EMS, or otherwise sought medical treatment.

Fighting also broke out in hotels and bars in neighboring jurisdictions, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax County. Fighting broke out between rival Patriot motorcycle groups, and people who have nothing to do with Rolling Thunder were assaulted.

What happened to the ordinances enacted by the County Board to reign in pub crawls? Appears Arlington Police told the Patriots: "Thank you for your service to our country, please go to bed and sleep it off".

Several years ago Arlington Yupette recommended that Rolling Thunder move elsewhere. It's time.

Mike, 22201

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

County Board to Sell Open Space At Reeves Farm

Hey, Yupette,

Check out the latest version of the County Board's agenda for tonight's meeting. Regular agenda item just added is the sale of open space surrounding the farmhouse at Reeves Farm to a developer or developers. From a County Government that's supposedly desperate for open space and which is paying $30 million to acquire 6 acres and a couple of older office buildings across Quincy Street from the School Board's offices. Check it out at arlingtonva.us.

2100

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dorsey and Lander Pushed APS to Waste Millions on Abingdon School Boutique Parking

Hello,

Abingdon School Neighbors are outraged about the time and money APS has so far wasted designing Abingdon School's boutique parking lots and SUV turn-arounds for Abingdon PTA parents, Staff, and Teachers -- at least $2 million over 8 months and most likely a lot more. So much time and money has been wasted on parking lots that APS's Facilities and Operations Staff and its architectural firm had to redesign the school to eliminate much new infrastructure inside the renovated and expanded school.

As approved by the School Board at it's last meeting, the schematic design for Abingdon is a bare-bones renovation and expansion costing just over $30 million. You can see for yourselves at apsva.us/moreseats/abingdon and go to the April 21st Building Level Advisory Committee meeting presentation. APS's Facilities and Operations Staff admitted to the School Board at its April 23rd meeting that a significant schematic redesign of Abingdon School was necessary because of cost escalations over the months when boutique parking was being designed and debated.

Moreover, according to conversations with APS employees, huge amounts of time and money were expended on designing parking and vehicle turn-arounds to Abingdon SUV Soccer Parents' specifications. Abingdon School Teachers, Staff, and PTA so controlled the Abingdon design process that transportation to and from the school AM and PM is designed to allow maximum convenience for parents dropping off and picking up their children, with school buses running almost empty.

Who were instrumental in  facilitating the aforementioned Abingdon School "planning"? School Board Chair and County Board candidate James Lander, and County Board candidate Christian Dorsey, who was placed on the Abingdon Building Level Planning Committee by Lander to facilitate boutique parking.

It gets worse. APS is well-aware that Arlington Economic Development's quest to attract tens of thousands of Millennials to Arlington will likely push Arlington Public Schools' student population over 35,000 by 2025.

So the relocatables will stay and new schools and additions will be constructed on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus, and on a dozen sites elsewhere. And the APS-County revenue split will be more than 50% to APS.

As we at AY see it, the extravagant waste of tax dollars by APS on Abingdon "planning" amounts to de facto misuse of public funds. Neither James Lander nor Christian Dorsey should be elected to anything, let alone the County Board.

Cindy


Friday, May 8, 2015

Lander Castigated for Four Mile Run Pollution from Ashlawn School

Hey Yupette,

In the event you missed last night's School Board meeting, School Board Chair and County Board Candidate James Lander was severely reprimanded for the silt pollution of Four Mile Run from Ashlawn School construction. Latest in a series of environmental foul-ups by APS's Facilities and Operations staff and APS's construction contractors.

Oh, turns out APS will have to raid slush funds to be able to complete Abingdon School's planned renovation and expansion because APS spent so much time and money on boutique parking lots and SUV turn-arounds that the construction costs for the school building significantly increased.

Appears that APS is clueless about Arlington Economic Development's plans to recruit thousands of Millennials for new business start-ups, so it will be interesting how "More Seats for Students" plays out in the future.

Thanks for your blog.

Barbara

Monday, May 4, 2015

UPDATED - New Economic Development Director Briefs Planning Commission About Arlington's Economic Future



Hey Yupette,

Arlington's new Economic Development Director, Victor Hoskins, briefed the Arlington Planning Commission tonight about his and AED's agenda for Arlington's economic development over the next five years. Basically, it's recruiting high tech Millennial-owned start-up corporations from all over the world to locate and re-locate in Arlington -- especially in those old vacant office buildings in Crystal City. Tens of thousands more Millennials are in Arlington's future. Nothing at all mentioned about the impact of more - 30,000 or so - just-out-of-college Millennials on Arlington's public infrastructure, especially the already-stressed Arlington Public Schools. Oh well, County Board and School Board will get around to handling the resulting crises when they occur.

Youtube video is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPcUfnizduU

Thanks for your blog,

Pike Rider 22204





Thursday, April 30, 2015

Audrey Clement Wins Westover County Board Debate



 Hello,

A.Y. sent two correspondents to cover the April 29th Westover Candidate's Debate, held at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Westover. The clear winner of the debate among County Board candidates was Audrey Clement, who was the only Independent among the County Board candidates (the others who attended are Democrats) and the only candidate with a clear, across-the-board vision of how to move the County Board, and the County forward -- cut taxes for residents and businesses, stop making bad give-away deals with real estate trusts, make County Government more resourceful so new small businesses can prosper. The Democratic County Board candidates continued to promote 'resumes rather than results'.

The two Democratic candidates for School Board -  Sharon Dorsey and Reid Goldstein -- offered no significant solutions except to continue to 'muddle through' APS's problems related to the growth in school population.

One thing all the County Board candidates agreed on is 'The Arlington Way' is seriously broken.

It became obvious during the debate that Democratic candidates for anything in Arlington can't get beyond 'more of the same'. So Audrey Clement was a refreshing change.

Cindy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

APS, Special Interests, Will Control County Government Next Year



Hey Yupette,

Want to give you a heads up. If you thought this year's Budget process was insipid, wait until next year where there will likely be two new County Board Members with children enrolled in Arlington Public Schools.Then there's Libby Garvey, who's running for re-election and won't say no to anything or anybody. The tough fiscal decisions have been made about the Pike streetcar, Artisphere, and so on. Time for more tax-borrow-spend.

So look for the two new County Board members, together with Libby Garvey and Jay Fisette, to give in to all but the most outrageous demands by APS and the for-profit and non-profit special interests. For example, look for a 50-50 revenue split between the County and APS. Look for joint decisions to be made behind closed doors by the County Board and School Board about which neighborhoods will get new Taj Mahal schools. Look for more VIP Smart Growth boosters to retire to places a hundred miles from the nearest New Urbanism.

I'm not optimistic about the independence of the County's new Independent Internal Auditor, who will have to obtain approval from a committee before he or she audits anything.

It's nice that our elected VIPs want to bring some new and different economic development here, but the sad fact is that Arlington is just too expensive a place to do business and will become more expensive.

Thanks for your blog.

Terri,

22203