Sunday, December 31, 2017
AY's contributors were asked to assess the state of County Government at the end of 2017. All of them gave the County Board, County Manager, County Staff, Civic Organizations, and Advisory Commissions negative grades and said County Government is going from "bad to worse".
Among their observations:
Transparency: Citizens are increasingly kept un-informed by County Government about all manner of decisions, ranging from what's been promised to Amazon to what's been promised to developers and special interests in closed meetings and secret meetings. Expensive programs and projects are placed on the County Board's Consent Agenda and are off-limits for discussion by citizens at County Board meetings. Residents have to file freedom of information requests to determine what's been promised, and much of the FOIA material is redacted or off-limits (attorney-client protected). Local media owners and publishers are so greedy for profits that they essentially serve as County Government boosters.
Process: Expensive and comprehensive programs and projects are either rushed to the County Board for approval without adequate time to analyze costs and benefits (e.g., housing conservation districts), or delayed for years until the desired outcomes based on "handshake deals" can be facilitated by County Staff (e.g., Four Mile Run Valley Arts District). (County Staff is currently being re-trained in advanced facilitation techniques to quell community opposition). "Community Leaders" are increasingly expected to facilitate whatever is proposed for their neighborhoods, with no regard for consequences. Advisory Commission members are appointed based on their willingness to rubber-stamp whatever is placed before them.
Inclusiveness: County Government does not reflect the social, economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the County's population, and County Government is becoming less inclusive. Although one-third of the electorate votes for Independent candidates, Independents are ignored and disparaged by Democrats who have run Arlington for more than 35 years and, decades ago, adopted New Urbanism as the County's sole planning paradigm. Committees, commissions, and civic groups are packed with persons who will do as they're told. County Staff is increasingly hired and promoted based on non-residency. Although the County Board states it wants citizens to attend County Board meetings, persons with grievances are told by Democratic ward heelers that they will be arrested if they attend and speak at meetings. County government includes an expensive and expansive public information bureaucracy that constantly promotes whatever the County Board wants. The Civic Federation and the Civfed's component civic associations are also becoming less inclusive. This year the County embarked on a program to remove all low-income residents still living in market-rate apartments by creating so-called housing conservation districts.
Fiscal Responsibility: This year the County's traditional lack of long-term fiscal responsibility reached the point where fiscally responsible Independents became alarmed. All public infrastructure is extravagant and is referred to as "Taj Mahal" (both as a noun and a verb). Schools continue to be planned with every possible amenity but too few classrooms. Spending for parks and recreation infrastructure is so extravagant the the County has become a regional provider of upscale parks and rec infrastructure on Arlington's borders. County Board members routinely use expensive projects and programs to buy votes from special interest groups.
Sustainability: County Government is committed to packing as many people into as little space as possible over the next two decades, between 50,000 and 70,000 by 2040 (depending on who one talks with at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard). There is no estimate of the cost of extravagant public infrastructure to support the increased population. The County Board allows significant amounts of impervious surfaces to be created while allowing Arlington's tree canopy to be destroyed. County Government reached a new low in renewable energy this year by approving a $67.5 million aquatics center with no renewable energy on-site. Extravagant public infrastructure is approved without thought to maintenance and replacement funding.
All this made possible by the current national state of emergency that's been ongoing for 16 years, with no end in sight, and constant warfighting in the Third World. Arlington's future appears to be the County becomes an expensive gridlocked mess during the next decade.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
I live in an older well-maintained apartment building in Westover. Watched the Limo Liberals approve so-called "Housing Conservation Districts" at the Arlington County Board meeting yesterday. What a charade.
It's obvious the primary purpose of Housing Conservation Districts is to remove "undesirables" the Limo Liberals can't stand from Arlington. Like one of my neighbors who's a part time graduate student and drives for Uber and his female roommate who's a college student who also works part time in one of the stores in Westover Village. They're barely scraping by.
On the other hand I have a good income and have been living here for a number of years. I would also be removed, primarily because the Limo Liberals aka "Progressives" want to make a lot of money expensively renovating the building where I'm living so they can obtain huge subsidies and tax breaks renting to people who earn between $55,000 and $85,000 per year. They also want to help their friends who own real estate trusts by forcing me to move to a newer and much more expensive apartment like those being constructed all over the County.
Then there's the County bureaucracy which thrives on neglect and decay and needs a steady stream of old buildings in the planning pipeline to bulldoze into new 5 story brick boxes. They can't stand a property owner renovating an older building. Any older building.
Fortunately, I have housing options that don't require me to continue to live in Arlington and be part of the ongoing charade. I hope my young neighbors won't be evicted before they graduate.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Tolls on I-66 Express Lanes start tomorrow, December 4th. Representatives from VDOT attended the November 28th County Board meeting, told everyone to buy an EZPass transponder, and generally responded with "Don't Worry, Be Happy" to concerns expressed by County Board members.
One would hope commuters who commute to Arlington one-per-vehicle on I-66 will purchase transponders, or choose a "Smart Growth" alternative, like riding a bicycle to MetroRail stations this Winter. One would hope employers of low-wage workers who commute on I-66 will subsidize the cost of EZPass transponders.
But one apparently-upscale commuter has posted the following question to several local news blogs:
"Why should I freeze or bake on the Vienna MetroRail platform waiting for a train that will stop at three MetroRail stations before Ballston, where I work in a new office building, with loads of parking beneath the building, when I can drive my Don Beyer SUV directly from my home to my Ballston workplace via brand new Express Lanes?"
I have to agree that the people who are responsible for the MetroRail mess are our elected representatives, who also are WMATA Board members, who've given commuters about a dozen transportation and transit alternatives to NOT ride Metrorail. I-66 Express Lanes are only the latest.
Why should we pay more in taxes to subsidize the transportation disaster our elected representatives created over the past 25 years?
Cindy in Ballston 22203
Monday, November 20, 2017
Ever wonder about the Estate on Wilson Boulevard at McKinley with a big old mansion and acres of open space? The Estate may be for sale. Longtime owner Randall Rouse died at age 100 early this year. He was a noted builder, developer, equestrian, and philanthropist.
The Rouse Estate consists of a historic mansion, some decaying outbuildings that may have once included stables, and about 10 acres of open space.
Did a Google search and can't find what may happen to the Estate. Mr. Rouse contributed substantial amounts to build equestrian facilities for equestrian groups out near Middleburg.
A woman who fox hunted with Mr. Rouse and his wife told me the Estate on Wilson and McKinley will be sold. What the County would do if the property came on the market is not known.
Thanks for this blog.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
I live in Fairlington, not far from where Smart Growth Boosters Scott Brodbeck (ArlNow) and Scott McCaffrey (Inside Nova) live.
What they, and apparently most in the neighborhood, haven't yet learned is the County Board made a secret deal a couple months ago to redevelop the Park Shirlington Apartments on South 31st Street, adjacent to Fairlington.
The former owner of Park Shirlington, Home Properties, sold Park Shirlington in September to Standard Property Company, Inc., an affiliate of Home Properties. Standard Property formed a joint venture with a housing non-profit, the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions, jointly the "Project Sponsor". Park Shirlington contains 294 1, 2, and 3 bedroom market-rate apartments on 15.79 acres.
Arlington County proposes to include Park Shirlington in a Housing Conservation District (HCD). Housing Conservation Districts include zoning incentives, such as preservation, infill, and redevelopment options, aimed at preserving the affordability of market rate properties. County Board will take up HCD creation on November 27th. At its November 9th meeting the Housing Commission approved lending $6 million in Affordable Housing Investment Funds (AHIF) to the Project Sponsors ($20,408 per unit). Total acquisition costs of Park Shirlington would be $72.4 million or $246,341 per unit. Unknown at this point whether the Project Sponsor would be going to the County for more AHIF funds once construction commences. County Board will also take up approval of AHIF funds for Park Shirlington on November 27th.
But wait. There's more. According to comments made during this week's Housing Commission meeting the Project Sponsors want to build as many expensive townhomes as possible on-site when Park Shirlington is redeveloped. Number of townhomes most often mentioned was 154. The townhomes would sell for about $1 million each. Do the math.
Then there are the external costs. Abingdon School adjacent to Park Shirlington was recently renovated for $32 million and only 132 seats were added to the school's capacity. Fairlington residents who live near Abingdon School are already furious that so many use permit conditions were violated during Abingdon School construction and are apprehensive that another phase of building construction will take the remaining open space for a larger building and more parking and student drop-offs.
Then there are the workforce housing activists, who are angry about the exclusionary practices related to "affordable housing", which excludes people who are in desperate need of housing that's actually affordable and who work close to where so-called affordable housing is being constructed (e.g., Shirlington Village). They see low-wage worker and other low-income residents being forced out of the County while the County Board enriches real estate trusts, developers, law firms, financial institutions, and various consultants, to the point that the activists complained to the Housing and Urban Development Inspector General that the County's affordable housing program is de facto fraud.
County Board meetings later this month should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Monday, November 6, 2017
When it came to decide which candidate to endorse this year for Arlington Board the decision wasn't even close. We again endorse Audrey Clement.
Given his existing and potential conflicts of interest as the owner of a regional residential construction company, Erik Gutshall shouldn't have been appointed to the Planning Commission, let alone been selected by the Arlington Democratic Party as its nominee. Erik flat-out lied when he stated that his company won't benefit from re-purposing homes and townhomes into accessory dwelling units. But that's what occurs when one political party runs a county for more than 35 years.
As for Charles McCullough II the Green Party nominee, like the Arlington Greens who nominated him he's big on promises and short on performance. Before running for County Board this year Charles was another Washington attorney who was part of the status quo. Unlike Audrey Clement, he hasn't attended Planning Commission and County Board meetings and spoken when big issues came up for vote. Completely like the Arlington Greens.
Audrey Clement has been completely engaged in County Government's decision-making process, insofar as the County's often-secret decision making will allow her to be involved. She shows an in-depth knowledge of fiscal and other data at meetings and takes sound positions on planning for the future, not more development-for-the-sake-of-development.
Unfortunately, local media are so focused on profits that they're addicted to supporting and promoting the status quo, the primary reason Audrey's not been endorsed. Time is overdue for truly independent media in the County as it's time for a majority of real Independents on the County Board.
Friday, November 3, 2017
Think Arlington Public Schools and Department of Parks and Rec are over-funded now? Arlington's returning County Board members and current Planning Commission Chair, Erik Gutshall, have already decided to massively fund every want of APS PTA parents and Parks and Rec's 'soccer parents' if Gutshall is elected to County Board on Tuesday.
With Gutshall on the County Board all the Board's Democratic members would have children or grandchildren attending APS. Current County Board members, e.g., Katie Cristol, have already made extravagant promises to parents, and not just about schools and soccer. Promises made in secret meetings about daycare in residential neighborhoods just got the County sued by angry neighborhood residents who were the last to know.
Oh, and Erik is going to get rich quick converting McMansions into multi-family apartment buildings, and no one knows how many more students that would add to APS's enrollment, and to neighborhood parks and rec.
So look for APS to get 50%, or maybe more, of County Government's annual revenues with Erik on the County Board.
What can you expect when Smart Growth has become the Oxycodone of County Government and Democratic County Board members are the biggest addicts?
We have a choice on Tuesday. Fiscal sanity or fiscal insanity. I'm voting for Audrey Clement.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
I listened to the hour-long "candidate forum" for the County Board candidates on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday.
Who does Erik Gutshall (aka, Gut$hall) think he's fooling? According to several Arlington VIP Democrats the #1 reason he's running for County Board is to get rich building unaffordable housing and converting single-family homes (especially McMansions) and townhomes into apartment buildings, boarding homes, bed and breakfasts, and de facto motels.
Erik recently re-purposed and re-branded his "home services" company into a regional residential contractor. He's not waiting to be selected for County Board to create so-called "missing middle" housing. In fact, Erik is partnering with the affordable housing non-profits, like APAH, to build workforce housing that APAH refuses to build.
Erik is furious that workforce housing activists have outed him as another limo liberal who's out to get rich from the affordable housing racket. But Erik only has himself to blame by advertising what he's up to on his company's Web site. Don't believe me, take a look at the screen shot I've attached (click to enlarge).
Why am I not surprised that Audrey Clement and Charles McCullough weren't treated kindly by the hosts of the Kojo Show yesterday? WAMU is thriving because of contributions from limo liberals who live in tear-down McMansions.
As always, thanks for your blog.
Fed-Up Democrat 22205
Monday, October 23, 2017
In the event you wondered what Arlington's affordable housing activists have been up to lately, they've been complaining to Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General about the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH).
Arlington's housing activists, who in recent years lobbied for a Housing Authority to replace APAH and other housing non-profits, examined the County - APAH - AHIF - Arlington Presbyterian Church redevelopment deal passed by the County Board last May, with the exception of Independent County Board member John Vihstadt.
Housing activists were incensed to learn that the financing deal for Arlington Presbyterian Church redevelopment (a 498 page document) is likely to provide no housing to Arlington residents who work in low-wage restaurant and retail on the Pike, at a cost of almost $400,000 per unit for apartments that are almost all one-bedroom.
Consequently, several housing activists recently complained to HUD's IG that the Arlington Presbyterian Church deal is out and out fraud.
According to several housing activists HUD already has APAH and CPDH on a short leash because of poor accounting for HUD funds used in Arlington's housing programs.
It gets worse, because APAH is being criticized for other so-called "PTL" (Pass The Loot) redevelopment deals with non-profits recently passed by the County Board which produce negative community benefits.
Coming to an older residential neighborhood near yours, sooner than you think.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
In the event you haven't seen the latest about Westover the latest plans (discussed at the Housing Commission meeting last week) are to implement a housing conservation district in Westover and other older Arlington neighborhoods (e.g., Lee Highway corridor). A key component of the plans are to grant property owners increased density in return for preserving older apartment buildings. The legal basis for establishing Housing Conservation Districts would be implemented by the County Board soon after next month's elections and would require changes to the County's General Land Use Plan.
That would be in addition to the current densification of Westover by tear-down McMansions, accessory dwelling units of all types, and homes converted into daycare facilities. Westover will also experience many more vehicle trips in the near future by people who don't want to pay tolls on I-66 and parents dropping off and picking up students at an expanded Reed School. In line with the County's so-called Smart Growth planning Washington Boulevard, Patrick Henry Drive, and some other minor arterials are being narrowed.
Washington Boulevard is currently close to capacity at rush hours and it's a no brainer that gridlock is going to occur within another year or two, given the County's "development for the sake of development" agenda.
Thanks for your blog.
Ted - 22205
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Anyone at AY checked out this week's Planning Commission meetings? More Smart Growth on Steroids on the agenda. Planning Commission Chairman / County Board Candidate Erik Gutshall and his fellow Smart Growth (also spelled $mart Growth) Democrats are going to vote to drastically increase the density of redeveloped Courthouse, including Courthouse Plaza, "Clarendon" the Kirkwood-Washington Boulevard neighborhood, and densify Arlington's residential neighborhoods with in-fill accessory dwelling units.
In anticipation of being elected to County Board Erik is significantly expanding his home improvement company, Clarendon Home Services, to include construction management.
So, if you're a Yellow Dog Dem with a McMansion you would like to become an income-producing apartment building, Erik's the guy to talk with.
Planning Commission meeting starts at 7 tonight, if anyone's interested in attending.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
I sometimes run in 5K events and joined up to run the Army 10 Miler this past weekend. What a disaster. Runners and some spectators became very dehydrated and race-related injuries ranged from cardiac arrest to many, many, runners and spectators becoming very dehydrated. Ten miles is actually 16 kilometers. Not 5 kilometers. Also, temps this morning were about 80 degrees and about 80 percent humidity.
Not nearly enough hydration available along the race course. Same U.S. Army that's been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for about 16 years. Duh. Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, DC, EMS were overwhelmed. Duh.
I finished the race and realized that I wasn't feeling well. Drank down a quart of Gatorade my sister brought along and felt better. Too little hydration for 16 kilometers.
That's what happened. Thanks for your blog.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
I'm a former Arlington Civic Federation Delegate (before being replaced by the Yellow Dog Dems who control my civic association - hint, I live in Greater Westover). I was intrigued by the CivFed's October newsletter I received in my e-mail about the CivFed's reorganizational meeting on October 3rd.
So, after first hearing statements from unopposed Yellow Dog Democrats running for re-election the CivFed will turn it's attention to a panel discussion about how the County manages its fund balances and reserves. (Someone could ask the County's financial VIPs why so much tax revenue is parked long-term with a few banks at virtually zero interest). Then CivFed Delegates and Alternates will be advised about proposed modernization of the CivFed's governance. That includes new bylaws to replace the Civfed's current bylaws which date from the CivFed's inception, a hundred years ago.
Also appears the County will pick up the tab for liability insurance for CivFed officers and the CivFed generally. In return for what? CivFed is being advised by the Bean, Kinney law firm, and as anyone who's active in development and redevelopment knows, Bean, Kinney is always on the lookout for site plan approvals from civic associations. Duh.
Anyway, it's all in the CivFed's October newsletter, which should be posted on the CivFed's Web site, www.civfed.org, any day now.
CivFed meeting is tonight at Virginia Hospital Center. Starts at 7 PM.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Nice to see members of the Regime gathered to celebrate yet another challenge to the Metrorail system they want to spend billions of dedicated tax dollars to preserve. Anyone actually believe former Governor McAuliffe is going to ride Metrorail to downtown DC next year? Nope, he's going to be chauffered from his McLean mansion to meet other VIPs like Muriel Bowser via I-66 Express Lanes to help concoct another deal where people who don't, won't, or can't use Metrorail will bail out WMATA.
Reality check: Metrorail was designed 50 years ago as a two track system with no express capability to serve a medium-density DC and low-density suburbs. Metrorail came with a number of design and construction deficiencies (like escalators and water intrusion) that took decades to fix. About 20 years ago Metrorail's infrastructure was allowed to deteriorate, to the point where life-threatening safety issues were ignored. About the same time the Region's so-called "Progressive" elected officials who served on WMATA's Board of Directors began massive gentrification of the working class and middle class out of their jurisdictions, to be replaced by Smart Growth upscale urbanization with plenty of parking under the expensive mixed-use buildings.
WMATA's Board members and their colleagues in local jurisdictions simultaneously began the transportation charade known as the "Car Free Diet" which has evolved into a transportation nightmare where more motor vehicles generate more vehicle trips, whether from Uber, Lyft, Express Lanes, Car2Go, Zip Car, massive parking garages, increased student drop-offs, more vehicles per household, and the near-complete gentrification of the middle class out of DC and adjacent urbanized suburbs.
Can't fail to mention the proliferation of bicycles and free range bicyclists (who also own one or more motor vehicles). Then there are the connector buses, like ART, that parallel Metrorail.
So, why be surprised that Metrorail lost riders? Why tax people who don't, won't and can't ride Metrorail to impress Amazon (among other large corporations DC, Arlington, and other localities want to locate or relocate in the region)?
Twenty years of an ever-growing transportation mess. Enough.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Did you read in the ArlNow blog about the County Board's giveaway to Phoenix Bikes - prime space in the Arlington Mill Community Center for $9,000 per year? Who's on the Board of Phoenix Bikes? Bicycle fanatic Libby Garvey, among others. Did Libby recuse herself from voting for the give-away deal (Consent Agenda Item 30 for the September 16th County Board meeting)? Nope. Libby was greatly annoyed that Jim Hurysz pulled the item and then read a statement to the County Board at the September 19th recessed meeting asking for a county-wide multi-modal traffic safety program, including enforcement of traffic ordinances for bicyclists and pedestrians.
This was another taxpayer-funded give-away to another pet special interest group in return for votes. Political patronage by Arlington Democrats has reached the point where it's borderline-legal, if not illegal. I can't believe the County Attorney and County Manager signed off on this.
Only what we deserve from a one-party regime that's controlled Arlington for 35 years. No way will I vote for any more "Progressives" for County Board.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Several Arlington Residents who contribute to the AY blog attended yesterday's Civic Federation Candidates' Forum.
The only surprise was from Green Party endorsed Independent Charles McCollough, who went after the urban Hipster vote.
No surprises from Erik Gutshall, the Democratic Insiders' hand picked candidate to implement Phase 3 of Smart Growth in Arlington - massive urbanization of both urban and residential neighborhoods to benefit the Democratic Old Guard and Yellow Dog corporate and non-profit crony plutocrats.
No surprises from Audrey Clement. She consistently promoted preservation of workforce housing and reducing taxes through more efficient and less wasteful government during the debate.
Audrey has my vote in November.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
County Board meetings resume in three weeks. More of the same on the agenda as before the Summer break.
How did this County get into a Car Free Diet program which is putting more vehicles in more new parking spaces and creating more vehicle trips?
How did the County get into an Affordable Housing program which is not building housing for low wage workers? Or students? Or interns? Or elderly persons living solely on Social Security benefits?
If all the County is doing is enriching real estate trusts and automotive dealers, why waste tens of millions every year on programs that are complete charades?
Something to think about before next month's County Board meeting.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Thanks for this blog.
I grew up in a county of about 5,000 in a rural part of the Midwest and my Dad was a farm equipment dealer. My younger brother runs the business today. Population is still about 5,000.
Where did we go for news fifty years ago? A woman in town published a weekly community newspaper with upcoming events that was distributed to the stores around town (population about 800) with a few ads to pay for the cost of printing.
Current local news and events were broadcast on the county's 500 watt daytime AM radio station. What did the station have in common with local media in Arlington County today? Nothing.
Our local AM station was all about the community. Starting with farm news at daybreak. Perhaps 10% of the station's broadcast time was dedicated to commercials. Lots of music played during the day, a little rock n roll. Interviews and local news were non-controversial and were about topics that directly affected our daily lives, e.g., curriculum changes by the State Board of Education. Someone from the County Board of Supervisors would announce whatever new they had planned for the county and invite everyone to attend meetings and comment. No open meetings to hold closed meetings to approve what was decided in secret meetings, like today in Arlington.
Also, although there were farm accidents and highway accidents the station's emphasis was on accident prevention, not chasing the volunteer fire department around the county to report accidents. There were lots of public service ads for seat belt wearing and getting farmers to replace old unsafe farm equipment. If you wanted to listen to Rock n Roll and the national controversies of the day you could tune to a 50,000 watt station in Chicago or Denver or Des Moines after dark.
Owner of the radio station also owned a big family farm. His father started the station in the 1930's. His son later started an FM station and both the AM and FM station are still broadcasting, with about the same format.
No one had the time to publish the "fake news" the Amazon Post, InsideNova and ArlNow publish today.
Brad - 22207
Friday, August 25, 2017
What's worse than "fake news" -- the infomercials published by news blogs like ArlNow and Inside Nova? The Media keeping us ignorant in the news sections of print and blog publications and then calling us stupid on the editorial pages.
Like information about immigration. If you visit the Department of Homeland Security's Web site and look for immigration data you will come across the following: Number of immigrants granted permanent legal residency in the U.S. during 2016 - more than 1 million; number of persons with student, travel, and work visas who overstayed their visas in 2016 - more than 600,000; number of persons who crossed a U.S. border illegally and weren't apprehended - more than 300,000. Why do the Media keep us ignorant of these data? By the way, the number of immigrants granted permanent legal residency in the U.S. has about about 1 million per year, for many years, including during the 2008 - 2013 economic recession.
How about the Media Elite which keeps us ignorant and calls us stupid? New York Times Board of Directors doesn't include any minority group members. Of course, Mexican mega-billionaire Carlos Slim, who financially bailed out the Times in 2009, has a lot to say about what appears, and doesn't appear in the Times about immigration. A search of Amazon's Board of Directors doesn't reveal any minority group members. Amazon owns and operates The Washington Post.
Anyone see any socio-economic diversity on ArlNow and InsideNova?
Dey shu be all White to me, Homey.
John Smith in Nauck (but you can call me Dwayne). RIP Doc Muse.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Anyone else read yesterday's ArlNow feature about the BrickHaus beer garden's travails with DES inspection services, and the negative comments about DES, Arlingrton Economic Development, and County Government in general? Had to be a first for ArlNow which is usually a shameless County Government booster. Maybe Scott Brodbeck was dizzy from too much eclipse watching.
It's long been obvious to me that County Government hates essential small businesses, especially those that try to grow by renovating existing buildings in low-density neighborhoods. County Government also hates workforce employees who are essential to small businesses and wants them out of Arlington.
I have a cat and took her to NOVA Cat Clinic this month for her 6-month check-up. NOVA Cat Clinic's plans were stalled for years over DES approval of its renovation of the building on Cathedral Lane the clinic's owner purchased from the Catholic Archdiocese. DES finally issued a certificate of occupancy and the clinic is moving from the re-purposed home the clinic occupies on Kenmore Street.
I agree that this is the local government we get when we allow 1-party government to rule us for decades.
Thanks for your blog.
Patricia from Cherrydale
Sunday, August 20, 2017
County Board held a work session on August 15th about restricted parking in residential neighborhoods. Meeting was announced a week in advance and there were no open public meetings in advance. Supposedly, the work session was about "fairness" and who gets to park in residential neighborhoods, besides neighborhood residents. Actually, restricted parking was hindering County Government's "More Car Diet" and Smart Growth urbanization.
County Board members can't make secret promises to special interests like sports groups for neighborhood parks re-purposed into regional lighted athletic fields with synthetic turf if parking is restricted in the neighborhoods. County Government can't implement re-purposing McMansions into apartment buildings, child care facilities, and small businesses like yoga spas if parking is restricted in the neighborhoods. County Board members can't promise residential neighborhoods will be used for special events if parking is restricted in the neighborhood.
Consequently, the County Board decreed a complete moratorium on additional restricted parking, including neighborhood applications already in the pipeline.
In fact the "selfish" neighbors who want to restrict parking are only reacting to the reality that their residential neighborhoods were never designed for Smart Growth urbanization.
Again, this is what we get when one political party stays in power year after year for more than 35 years.
Here's a photo of Libby Garvey's and my Fairlington neighborhood which is already parked out while Libby makes more promises to more people and groups for more use of the Fairlington Regional Sports-Recreation-Activity Center.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
For several years we've endured the antics of the ArlNow News blog, and its Owner and Publisher, Scott Brodbeck.
Who is Scott Brodbeck? Another Rust Belt refugee (from Pittsburgh) who's growing rich imposing "Smart Growth" urbanization aka "Millennialization" on suburban Arlington. Like Jay Fisette, Chris Zimmerman, Mary Hynes, Barbara Favola, and a laundry list of others, present and past
Like the other local media e.g., WJLA just across Wilson Boulevard from ArlNow's corporate headquarters, ArlNow thrives on hype, hysteria, and hedonism. ArlNow is heavily censored and about 80% of those who are allowed to post comments are Chamber of Commerce and Smart Growth boosters, like Scott. Some of them work for developers and the County's pro-urbanization bureaucracy. Don't like Smart Growth? Don't waste your time posting on ArlNow.
Like WJLA and the other local television stations, ArlNow features "scare the soccer Moms" hysteria. Motor vehicles are routinely demonized, 'cause the County's priority is to work towards a total ban on motor vehicles in favor of bicycles. But Scott's free range urban hipster buds can do anything they want on and off their bicycles. Just don't get caught or Scott will put your photo on ArlNow.
Implications? Consequences? What are they? The County's gonna become an expensive urban mess, so why not make as much money as Scott can helping it happen, running County-supplied press releases as news and packing as much advertising, sponsored content, infomercials, and other paid advertising masquerading as news into ArlNow?
Who's to blame when bad things occur, like flash floods because of massive in-fill urbanization? Audrey Clement, of course. Never County Government, developers, Smart Growth America, or anyone else who's actually responsible.
Thanks for this blog and going after the jerks who are destroying Arlington as a livable county.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thanks for this blog.
Where is the County's tax-borrow-spend one-party government taking us in 10 years? County's budget is $1.3 billion this fiscal year and County's population is set to grow by 30,000 to 40,000 over the next decade. Given that, and the County Board's extravagant spending the past few years, it's likely the County's FY 28 budget will be about $2.3 billion. We're in Year 16 of the 30 Year War on Terrorism, so that's going to continue sucking money into the region from the rest of the world for at least another decade.
So, figure the County will spend about $18 billion over the next decade. About $5 billion will be used to maintain County Government's Smart Growth addiction (i.e., as many people, vehicles, events, and activities packed into Arlington as possible with no thought to costs or consequences). Another $5 billion will be spent unnecessarily on Taj Mahal public infrastructure and all kinds of corporate welfare and extravagant pet projects and programs for the County Board's pet for-profits, non-profits, and making the County into a regional program and service provider, paid for by Arlington residents.
That leaves about $8 billion for essential services and infrastructure spread out over 10 years, or $800 million per year. About right for a county Arlington's size that's not addicted to Smart Growth and extravagant spending otherwise.
People making the spending decisions for the County either don't live here now or will be outta here in 15 years, or less, so why should they care?
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Last year I was having problems with my mortgage lender over signing up to having my real estate directly debited taxes by the County Treasurer. So I called the County Treasurer's Office and spoke with a nice woman who helped me with the process.
I have arthritis and don't want to have to peel off and remove any more vehicle decals. I recently called the woman back and asked her why we still have to peel off and affix decals every year. Fairfax County residents don't. She replied: "It's completely unnecessary and a big waste of time and money. We use license plate cameras and share data with other jurisdictions and DMV. The decal program is a public relations stunt. Please, don't tell anyone I told you that. Carmen doesn't like me as it is because this office is full of political hacks who do little and are paid a lot, and I resent having to do my work and theirs also."
Thank you for this blog. It's obvious that the waste in County Government goes on because the local media not only allow it but promote it.
anon from Arlington Ridge
Monday, July 24, 2017
What's Arlington's "future"? All essential infrastructure bulldozed out from all arterials in all neighborhoods as a consequence of Smart Growth 2.0, aka "Smart Growth on Steroids". Replaced by mixed-use infill - bars, restaurants, upscale national chain retail. Want to refuel your vehicle? Be prepared for a long wait at the few remaining service stations. Be prepared to drive awhile to a garden store, veterinarian, appliance store, auto repair shop (unless you own a vehicle with a dealership in Arlington, and how many of those will there be?), hardware store, and so on.
Public and private infrastructure on Lee Highway, 10th Street, Washington Blvd., Glebe Road has been allowed to deteriorate while the County builds Taj Mahal public infrastructure and approves more mixed-use inflll with more parking. If you drive through vibrant Clarendon on Wilson Boulevard that's the County's future. The entire County will be Clarendoned sooner than anyone thinks. So, think about buying a plug-in hybrid now and save yourself a lot of aggravation a year or two from now.
Monday, July 10, 2017
It's that time of year again, Arlington County Board's semi-annual give-away to pet people, developers, and special interests, in accordance with its wants-not-needs Smart Growth agenda.
Unfortunately, taxpayers can't do much about it, since almost all the giveaways are on the part of the Consent Agenda that you need permission from a County Board member to discuss.
This year the County Board is outdoing previous Christmas in July celebrations by giving Bloomberg another corporate welfare gift, awarding stipends to wealthy performing arts groups, and appropriating millions for new outdoor sports infrastructure for the Arlington Regional Park System, in addition to the promised new performing arts center and team sports field house on Four Mile Run Drive.
Then there's the usual developer give-away site plan with no developer contribution for schools and essential public infrastructure.
Same County Board that last week discussed punitive means testing for seniors seeking real estate tax relief.
All but the most embarrassing (not that much embarrasses Arlington's one-party government anymore) consent agenda staff reports should be on-line at arlingtonva.us by Friday. So check them out.
L.K. from Williamsburg
Friday, June 30, 2017
So more talk about so called Taj Mahal schools, this time by last-minute County Board candidate Charles McCullough II? Earth to Chuck -- County isn't just about Taj Mahal schools, the County has been about Taj Mahal EVERYTHING for the past decade...schools, parks, sports fields, and lots more. Like Taj Mahal LED street lights that don't light the street, like a Trades Center full of expensive construction equipment. Like police, fire, and EMS providing Taj Mahal security for bar crawls and earning lots of overtime. Like Taj Mahal parking lots for school buses and ART buses. In fact, everything this tiny County does is very expensive. But what can you expect when one-party government's been in power for more than 35 years and getting elected and re-elected depends of buying votes with tax dollars....lots of tax dollars?
Carolyn from Ashton Heights
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
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I had a near miss with a bicyclist running a stop sign without slowing down and making a left turn a week ago. An Arlington police officer was stopped at the intersection. The bicyclist waved to the cop and sped on.
What I'm finding, checking news blogs and talking to Arlington residents in several neighborhoods, is that the Arlington Police are more reactive, and less effective, than ever. They respond to a huge number of complaints phoned into the County's communications center every year. Whether these complaints have merit or are meritless nothing is done to remediate whatever generates the complaints. A-Town is an excellent example. Goes on being a big drain on police resources. As for bicyclists, like A-Town they're another special interest group that's allowed to do it's free range thing. But if you drive a motor vehicle Arlington Police are becoming increasingly punitive. You better stop for that free range jaywalker, even if he or she is not in a crosswalk.
Arlington Police apparently can't effectively deal with armed robberies of convenience stores and domestic arguments. If you want to argue with your significant other about who gets to take out the garbage don't let your neighbors hear you. Police have begun considering domestic arguments hostage situations. Then there are the malicious complaints called in by neighbors, whether it's the butterfly garden on your front lawn or because you don't go along with what your Democrat-controlled civic association wants for your neighborhood. All taken seriously by the ACPD.
It's more than obvious that policing in Arlington is just a paycheck for 80% of Arlington police who don't live in the County. The other 20% enjoy zooming around reacting to whatever is called into the communications center. But that gets old after a few years. Best advice for now, until there's significant reform of the ACPD is - stay away from the police unless you have to contact them for something important.
And stay safe navigating around the Smart Growth mess the County's become.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Discussion continues about which Young PlutoCrat is going to own the Reeves Farmhouse, which the County Board decided to sell last month rather than renovate and turn into an environment education center.
For years speculation has been that the Arlington County Board and Arlington Democratic Party wanted the Reeves Farmhouse to go to a deserving Democrat, perferably someone who works at home and has a thriving and expanding business.
Lately the sentiment around ACDC is for a self-employed Democrat with a family to more into Reeves Farmhouse rather than the farmhouse become a law office or real estate office.
So a tentative decision has been reached among the ACDC movers and shakers to give County Board candidate Erik Gutshall, who is a successful self-employed gentrification contractor, the right of first refusal on buying the farmhouse. Of course nothing will be announced until after November's elections.
Meanwhile the County (Parks and Rec) is spending several hundred thousand dollars fixing up the farmhouse in advance of a sale.
Decision to sell the farmhouse to a deserving Dem was made years ago, and now it's just a matter of which Dem finally gets it.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
I tuned to last night's Planning Commission meeting via AVN and saw the plans for the County's latest Space Age Elementary School. To be crammed onto the TJ Middle School campus. At least 292 total parking spaces planned on-site, for now, and likely many more in the future. Energy efficiency? What's that? As for the school's design, it's back to the future - 1962. Since the architects obviously lifted the school's design from an early-60's futuristic cartoon series the only possiblity for a name is "The George and Jane Jetson Elementary School".
Thanks for your blog.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
In the event you missed the announcement in the Post a couple weeks ago VDOT is planning another another I-95 Express Lanes extension from Exit 148 in central Stafford County to Exit 133 at the City of Fredericksburg. Length of the Express Lanes extension will be about 10 miles. This will add to the 2 niles of Express Lanes currently being bulldozed on the median North of Exit 148.
Entire "planning" phase for this project will occur between now and January 2018. As with previous Express Lanes extensions, many thousands of trees in the mixed hardwood and evergreen forest on the I-95 median would be destroyed to construct Express Lanes.
Nothing stated by VDOT about the impact of more Express Lanes traffic driving to Arlington, Alexandria, and D.C. No one ever told anyone in Arlington that 1-95 Express Lanes would be lengthened 10 miles.
For more information you can visit VDOT's Web pages at:
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
I live in the neighborhood of A-Town in the B-R Corridor and it appears that A-Town's live entertainment permit that's going to the County Board on Saturday (Consent Agenda Item #4) is another gimme. The antics at A-Town since last September are worse than during the previous 6 months, with a couple of Millennials who were ejected from A-Town last Sunday fighting each other and then the police who were called to break up the fight. And we're barely into the St. Patrick's Day and March Madness mayhem.
So I am sending this to Arlington Yupette because the neighborhood (which does not nescesarily include the civic association - a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic "Party's Over Here" Party) has had enough of A-Town and wants A-Town to move away - far away - from Ballston.
Members of the Public are allowed to remove Consent Agenda Item #4 on Saturday for discussion by the County Board next Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM . To do that you have to attend Saturday's County Board meeting at 8:30 AM and submit a slip to the County Board Clerk. Or you can write to the County Board at: firstname.lastname@example.org asking that one or more County Board members remove the item for discussion on Tuesday.
I think if this goes on with A-Town we are going to have innocent bystanders in this neighborhood hurt. Too many handguns out there being legally or illegally carried concealed. Anyway, thanks for bringing these issues up in your blog.
Mark from Utah Street
Monday, March 6, 2017
I gotta wonder what's next for the Reeves Farm farmhouse. None of the groups that expressed interest in saving the farmhouse for historic purposes could raise the $2 million or so needed to create a museum or historic learning center. As we all know, there is no real philanthropy in Arlington, so some wealthy person isn't going to come forward to buy and restore the farmhouse and turn it over to the County or a non-profit.
Which leaves the County. Same Arlington County that just went $1.9 million over budget for five 1-block residential street improvement projects. Same County where Parks and Rec pays $800,000 to tear down a perfectly good home next to a park to create a vacant lot. Same County that just gave Nestle' a $6 million relocation gift. Same County that's building $500,000 bus shelters that don't shelter (reduced from $1 million). Same County that gives APAH tens of millions to build affordable housing that's not affordable to the working class who work in restaurants and retail next door to, or across the street from, the affordable housing. And so on.
So, Arlington being Arlington, I have to wonder who will finally own the Reeves farmhouse. I have to believe it's will be someone VERY politically connected who was promised the farmhouse years ago. Guess we will have to stay tuned for news.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Twenty years of Gentrification Jay, aka Gourmet Jay, Fisette...Enough. So what does he do for an encore after two decades of facilitating doggie spas, live theater, and aquatics...everywhere? Anyone who's been around for awhile will remember the various antics Jay and his former domestic partner, now spouse, Robert Rosen pulled on behalf of the Signature Theater, ranging from the lengthy and convoluted theater-library planning process in Shirlington to the multiple taxpayer-funded financial bailouts of the Signature over the years.
So, what Jay's planning now, together with Arlington's various live theater and performing arts groups, is nothing less than a performing arts district in the western portion of the Four Mile Run Valley that will share the entire 4MRV with the sports and recreation groups. Never mind the businesses located in the 4MRV and the neighbors who want businesses like motor vehicle repair (and the good-paying jobs that go with the businesses) to stay in the 4MRV. Everything that isn't bulldozed will be renovated and repurposed for sports, recreation, and entertainment. Promises were made a year ago over lunch at Busboys and Poets.
That's when Jay isn't spending time at his retirement estate on Florida's Trump Coast. So hold on to your wallets after tax-paying small businesses are gentrified out to be replaced by taxpayer-funded and taxpayer-subsidized sports, recreation, and entertainment venues. The 4MRV is another target of New Urbanists who deliberately allowed public and private infrastructure (like the Signature's off-site scenery shop, owned by the County) to deteriorate for decades to facilitate re-development.
Susan in Shirlington
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Thanks for this blog. County Board's February 25th and 28th Agenda is posted and the County Board will again defer discussing whatever deal or deals have been made / are being made regarding Land Bay C in Potomac Yards, owned by European supermarket giant Lidl, until April.
Land Bay C is one of the last undeveloped commercial parcels of any size in Arlington. Residents of Arlington Ridge and other neighborhoods near Potomac Yards are already unhappy about future traffic from I-395 Express Lanes and future Pentagon City development.
Meanwhile, County's New Urbanist Elite is evaluating residential neighborhoods for siting a new 750 student elementary school and a new 1,200 student high school. The choices range from bad to terrible.
It remains to be seen if the County Board even allows Land Bay C to be removed from the Consent Agenda, as it did last month.
Friday, February 10, 2017
AY was recently able to acquire copies of County Board members' desk appointment calendars for Calendar Year 2016 from an Independent who (like those who publish this blog) doesn't "go along with the program". The desk calendars were obtained via a FOIA request. More than 27% of County voters didn't go along with the program last election and voted for Independent Audrey Clement for County Board.
Libby Garvey's desk calendar indicates that she spends about 85% of her time on things that have little or nothing to do with day-to-day governance. How did she win? Primarily through buying votes with tax dollars.
For example, it's obvious that the complete "de-industrialization" of the Four Mile Run Valley is a done-deal, no matter how many millions the County spends on 4MRV planning charades. Libby met with sports, recreation, and performing arts groups throughout 2016 in various local restaurants (e.g., Busboys and Poets, Alexandria Pastry Shop, Bayou Bakery) and promised that every sports and recreation activity - from dog parks to soccer - would get quality space once industrial buildings in the 4MRV corridor are torn down. Same promises to performing arts groups. In the event anyone wondered why there has been no discussion in 4MRV work sessions about preserving collision repair shops, etc., on Four Mile Run Drive.
Oh, Libby also met repeatedly with the local media, especially ArlNow owner and publisher Scott Brodbeck, and promised they would continue to receive favorable treatment from the County's public information, aka smart growth propaganda, machine.
Whew, what a lot of work. No wonder Lyin' Libby asked for a big increase in her County Board salary.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Another month, another corporation Arlington Economic Development is poaching by offering corporate welfare deals they can't refuse. This time it's Nestle', an international corporation capitalized at $250 Billion.
Did Economic Development and the Limo Liberals who run County County Government know that Nestle' is being sued for child slavery in Africa and the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that the plaintiff's case can go to trial?
Check out this YouTube video:
Meanwhile County Government can't gentrify essential small business out of the County fast enough.
Thank you for your blog.