Monday, December 26, 2011

Cash Surpasses Gift Cards as Favorite Holiday Gift to Arlington Decision Makers

Hello, Yupette,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays.

Consensus opinion around 2100 Clarendon Blvd. is that good old American cash (gently used $20 bills are the favorite denomination) has surpassed gift cards as the favorite Holiday gift to Arlington County's Corporate Crony 'Decision Makers' whether they be County Board members, County staff, Advisory Committee members, or members of the local Media.

Turns out that gift cards are too hard to use when they're traveling to visit Sister Cities, for their kids away from home in college, when they're shopping at an outlet mall in Delaware, or when they're dining at a favorite local restaurant in beautiful Clarendon.

Thanks for your blog. Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alexandria Smart Growth Elitists Export Middle Class to Dumb Growth Outer Suburbs

Hey Yupette,

As you may have seen, Alexandria City Council voted 6-1 last Saturday to gentrify the middle class and working class out of Arlandria (older neighborhood just across Four Mile Run from Arlington). Older apartments will be replaced by 478 units of upscale housing with 28 units being set aside as 'affordable' (rents ranging form $1100 to $1450 per month). So look for the middle class who work and live in Arlandria to move to Spotsylvania and commute back and forth one to a vehicle. Who said that only the Arlington County Board is in the pockets of developers?


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Proposed Homeless Shelter - More Bad Planning by County Staff

Hello Yupette,

I had the opportunity to view public comment and discussion of Item 35 at the last County Board meeting - purchase of the building at 2020 N. 14th Street for a year-around homelessness mitigation program and for County office space. More bad planning and poor management by the County Manager's Office. The building is likely to cost $30 million to purchase and another $10-15 million to renovate. For $40-$45 million we could have gotten a brand new homelessness treatment facility and a brand new County Office Building custom-built on industrial property the County owns in Shirlington. The building at 2020 N 14th Street currently serves as a small-business incubator and generates $155,000 in real estate tax revenue. The purchase only makes 'sense' in the megalomaniacal world of Chris Zimmerman and County Manager Donnellan, who shares his 'vision' of totally urbanizing Arlington. Of course, Barbara Donnellan lives in Clifton, and most her staff are not disposed to live in the 'urban village' (an oxymoron concocted by Donnellan's PR / propaganda team who also choose not to live in Arlington). Then there are the ward heelers Zimmerman appoints to the Economic Development, Planning, Transportation, etc., advisory commissions who rubber stamp whatever 'smart growth' in-fill project is placed in front of them. When it comes time for THEM to retire they're outta here to live in a good old fashioned dumb growth community far away from Arlington.

Tom 22201

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Longbridge Sports-Recreation Complex May Cost $165 Million

Hello Yupette,

I want to give you a heads up on Longbridge Park. What you heard at Saturday's County Board meeting was finally an admission that the County Board promised the soccer interests an indoor soccer arena, something that was denied by county staff until after the elections.

So, about $35 million has been spent on what exists at Longbridge Park now, another $50 million will be spent on the aquatics center. The indoor soccer arena, field house, and mixed-use recreation facility (which will include every imaginable sports and recreation activity) will cost another $80 million. So all that adds up to $165 million.

The insiders all knew about this deal months ago, but it was kept quiet because Audrey Clement raised fiscal responsibility as a campaign issue when she ran for County Board.

Longbridge Park will be discussed at the continued County Board meeting Tuesday night (agenda item 21) so maybe we'll hear more about how massive, and expensive, the arena will be. Stay tuned.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Arlington's Most Influential NIMBYs - Non-Residents

Hey Yupette.

I had to laugh out loud when I read Patricia Sullivan's article in the Post yesterday about Courthouse area residents being upset about a 24/7/365 homeless shelter / homelessness prevention program in their neighborhood.

Who made the decision to locate a homeless shelter in the Courthouse-Clarendon neighborhood? Our non-resident County Manager (she lives in Clifton) and her non-resident staff.

Oh, Patricia Sullivan lives in D.C. Post's editors almost all live in D.C. or Maryland. Only media presence in Arlington are the blogs.

BTW, no one who's on the County Board now or who's among the top three contenders for Barbara Favola's seat on the County Board lives anywhere near Courthouse.

Thanks for the A.Y. blog.

Mike - 22201

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Board Your Horse 1 Mile from Arlington - Where the 'Smart Growth' Redevelopment Decision Makers Live.

Hi Yupette,

Thought you'd be interested in knowing that you can still board your horse a mile from Arlington. Just drive up Chain Bridge Road from Chain Bridge about a mile. You'll see the signs.

Oh, in the event you wondered where the Elitists who make all the 'smart growth' planning decisions for Arlington residents live, they live in Fairfax County, mostly in upscale communities like McLean, Great Falls, and Clifton.

I see them discussing which Arlington neighborhoods they're going to redevelop next at the McLean Family Restaurant.

Happy Holidays,

Peggy, 22207

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bondi Is Controlled by Zimmerman, Developers

Hello, Yupette,

I received Melissa Bondi's slick brochure in the mail the other day. I've been observing her for several years because I'm concerned about gentrification along the Pike. She's another of Zimmerman's pro-mega development ward heelers.

She's served on the Economic Development Commission and Housing Commission. Responsible for rubber stamping East Falls Church, Crystal City, and Columbia Pike mega-development. Responsible for rubber stamping mega-development close to her own neighborhood, Lyon Park. Endorsed by Inta Malis and James Lander. Need I say more?

I don't want another Zimmerman on the County Board. Only Democrat who is more under Zimmerman's control is Inta.

fed up Dem

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Citizens Share County Board's Skepticism About Artisphere's Finances

Hello Yupette,

I generally support the performing arts and I'm happy to see the County Manager's Office reorganized the Artisphere's management and implemented a new business plan. But I can't understand why the performing arts community can't make the Artisphere totally non-profit and self-sustaining. These are the same upscale people who raised $60,000 in one evening for dogs and cats.

It's my understanding that at least two more large live theater buildings will be constructed in North Arlington, one in the area near Courthouse Plaza and the other on the site where the Arlington Funeral home is presently located.

If the County Board is skeptical about the Artisphere's long-term viability why not ask the performing arts community to give the Artisphere the financial assistance it needs to succeed? That's only fair to the taxpayers who have endured several years of poor Artisphere planning and management.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zimmerman Mis-Characterizes Shirlington Re-Development


I and other Fairlington residents were dismayed by County Board Chairman Zimmerman's mis-characterization of Shirlington redevelopment at the County Board's ceremony yesterday honoring Fairlington resident Nancy Hunt on her retirement from the Planning Commission. Ms. Hunt is also retiring from FDIC and moving from the cul de sac where she lives in Fairlington "to the country" near Charlottesville. Another prime mover in Shirlington redevelopment was former County Member Paul Ferguson, who moved on to become Clerk of the Arlington County Circuit Court. According to several Fairlington residents Mr. Ferguson "avoids visiting Shirlington".

Shirlington is a prime "dumb growth" example of how commercial areas should NOT be re-developed, according to many in the planning community, including several planning consultants who are responsible for "smarter growth" revitalization planning. There is no affordable housing in redeveloped Shirlington, there is massive parking, massive commuting by drivers of single-occupant vehicles (SOVs), no public sports, recreation, or community infrastructure, and "public space" consists of a public plaza next to restaurants and retail. The only "traffic mitigation" concomitant with Shirlington re-development was the installation of asphalt speed tables on South 31st Street between Shirlington and Fairlington, which are crumbling because of increased SOV traffic.

As has been mentioned before, in this blog and elsewhere, Chris Zimmerman is all for massive "dumb growth" redevelopment, as long as that doesn't include the wilderness area across the street from his home in Douglas Park.

Susan, Fairlington

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homeless Facility to Be Included in County Board Mega-Deal for Courthouse Plaza

Hello Yupette,

So, people think County Board decided to build a year-around homelessness treatment and prevention facility in a building the County wants to acquire at 2020 North 14th Street?

Wrong. The County Board wants to make a new homelessness prevention and treatment facility a minor part of a mega-deal for the massive redevelopment of older buildings around Courthouse Plaza and the parking lot between Courthouse Plaza and Courthouse Road (which the County owns). Another Shirlington. Another live theater. Hundreds more units of unaffordable housing. Big underground garages. Cost to the taxpayers? At least $150 million.

Big beneficiary in the short term will be a foreign REIT, Brookfield Asset Management, which will reportedly sell 2020 North 14th Street to the County for close to $30 million. Building is worth maybe $17 million. County Board will also tear down the County-owned Court Square West office building on North Uhle Street and move County employees to a renovated 2020 N. 14th Street. Most of that building's current small business tenants will be forced to relocate. But, unlike working class minorities who live along the Pike, the County Board will give tenants of the North 14th Street building a generous relocation allowance.

As for the homeless, it will be years before they see any benefits from the County Board's wheeling and dealing. And, as usual, Barbara Donnellan and other non-residents in the County Manager's office were and are the key players in the corporate welfare deal making.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Euille, Wash Post Company, Chamber of Commerce, Local Media Push Alexandria Mega-Development

Hello, Yupette,

Latest news from Alexandria is the Mayor-Developer Bill Euille, the Washington Post Company, the local media (Alexandria Times, Gazette-Packet), and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce are pushing for massive redevelopment of Alexandria's waterfront over the increasingly vocal objections of the Citizens for An Alternative Alexandria (CAAW). Battle is between pro-megadevelopment corporations like the Post Company and citizens who are looking to keep Old Town Alexandria a liveable community (waterfront parks, museums, citizen access to the Po5omac River). The Post Company is pushing for megadevelopment to compensate for lagging revenue from its media operations. Local weekly newspapers, like the Times and Gazette-Packet, are recovering from years of depressed advertising revenues and concur with the Post. As usual, there is no philanthropy or any sense of noblesse oblige evidenced by any of the corporate waterfront property owners.


Monday, November 21, 2011

House SuperCommittee Impasse Mandates A Fiscally Responsible Arlington County Board

Hello, Yupette,

Looks like the Repubs and Dems are at an impasse about Federal spending over the next five years. So, if GS salaries are going to be frozen and federal spending around the Beltway is going to be drastically cut, why are Arlington residents still supporting the profligate tax-and-spend agenda of Chris Zimmerman and the Arlington County Board? And, why support the welfare-for-the-wealthy Arlington County Republican agenda, which includes unlimited tax dollars for warfighting in third world ratholes?

Only County Board candidate who cares about us - residents, voters, and taxpayers - is Audrey Clement. That's why I'm voting for her again next year for County Board.

Joan - 22207

Developers to Dictate Crystal City Mega-Development

Hello Yupette,

Out-of-state developers (e.g., Vornado) and their out-of-state law firms (e.g., Venable) got together with non-resident County Staff (e.g., CPHD Director Robert Brosnan) to re-codify the Crystal City zoning ordinance amendments to provide for block-by-block redevelopment of Crystal City, rather than through a previously agreed upon phased development site plan. Maximum density will vary from block to block, with no maximum density established by the County Board. This Christmas gift for Vornado is going to the Planning Commission on November 28th and to the County Board on December 10th for rubber-stamp approval. Check out agenda Item 38 on the County Bord's November 19th agenda, including a video discussion via the County's Web site.

BTW, no one from Crystal City, Aurora Hills, or Arlington Ridge bothered to show up on Saturday when this item was discussed by the County Board.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Arlington Homeowners to be Hit With Big Tax Hike Next Year

Hi, Yupette,

Here's a heads up from 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington homeowners are going to be hit with a big tax hike next year to pay for the County Board's pet projects and for educating an increased school-age population caused by the County Board's mega-development agenda. County Board is alredy orchestrating 'don't worry, be happy' budget charades. See you there....


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Survey Indicates 8th District Voters Want 'Generational Change'


A.Y. has obtained the results of a recent telephone survey of Eighth Congressional District voters. Former congressional candidate Jim Hurysz paid for the survey, which obtained responses from 500 randomly-selected voters from across the 8th CD.

What do 8th CD voters want in their next Congressman or Congresswoman? They want a person in his / her early 40's, who is moderate-to-progressive, and who will work to solve outstanding problems. They do not want a person who's been a long-term incumbent on a board of supervisors or in the General Assembly and who's supported the status quo.

So, the voters don't want another Jim Moran or a Patrick Murray. They want a young and energetic person representing them in Congress who will get things done.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Sorry Your Candidate Lost...'

Hello, Yupette,

Sorry the candidate you endorsed lost. Audrey Clement was and is the best candidate. I understand she may run again in a special election for County Board. She did well for someone who was only able to spend, what, $8,000? That's less than 10% of the contributions Hynes and Tejada received.

A big reason Audrey lost is the media. The Post's Editorial Board only wants to relate to the region's mover's and shakers. Check out their bios. They live in Maryland and DC. They don't want to relate to anyone who isn't upscale and trendy. They will never have positive things to say about a candidate who would question the Washington Post Company's inside the beltway development deals.

As for the local media, you have a yellow dog Democrat publishing the Falls Church News Press. And the Sun Gazette? When a newspaper's ad sales person approaches a campaign at a public event and demands the campaign make a big ad purchase in return for positive campaign coverage, that tells me that 'journalistic ethics' is dead at the weekly newspapers.

Finally, if the voters want mega-infill redevelopment, they will suffer the consequences --- sooner than they think.

Thanks to Audrey Clement for running for County Board.

Kathy - 22203

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board


We carefully evaluated the three candidates for Arlington County Board for several months. We attended debates and forums, viewed County Board meetings, and watched the three candidates interact with voters. Arlington Yupette does not accept advertising. We do not have any connection to local businesses, corporations, non-profits, or lobbying groups (e.g., Arlington Chamber of Commerce).

We endorse Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board. She has proven herself to be by far the best candidate.

Moreover, we urge voters to vote for Audrey Clement and only for Audrey Clement on Tuesday. We simply cannot afford four more years of helter-skelter mega-development, planned in secret by the County Board's crony capitalists, that ignores the costs and effects of vastly increased density on taxpayers, schools, transportation, housing, and the environment. Nor can we afford four more years of expensive wants funded before basic needs. Both Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada used increasingly disingenuous statements and platitudes about housing, transportation, and education needs as the campaign progressed. They cannot be trusted to protect and preserve, let alone improve, Arlington's suburban quality of life.

As for the claim that Audrey Clement is 'too negative' one only needs to examine her platform. What's 'negative' about retrofitting renewable energy to older schools? It's done all the Alexandria.

The endorsement of County Board incumbents Hynes and Tejada by the Washington Post and Sun Gazette should be discounted. Both newspapers are riddled with corporate and editorial conflicts of interest.

The choice for County Board is clear, four more years of the same or a turn towards fiscal, social, and environmental responsibility. Therefore, we endorse Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board.

Cindy and Susan

Friday, November 4, 2011

Post Editor Rants at Clement for Being 'Anti-Growth'

Hey, Yupette,

Think Patricia Sullivan's article in yesterday's Post Metro section was biased towards the County Board incumbents running for re-election? Post Editor Lee Hockstader, who's on the Post's Editorial Board, ranted for fifteen minutes at County Board candidate Audrey Clement last night for being "anti-growth."

Hockstader would not let Audrey explain she's not anti-growth but wants the County Board to carefully evaluate the potential effects of future mega-development on neighborhoods like Crystal City before actual planning begins.

The Washington Post Company has generated considerable anger among Alexandria residents who recently learned that the Post engaged in secret negotiations with the City of Alexandria over mega-development of its warehouse properties on the Alexandria waterfront.

Appears that the Post's Editorial Board had its mind made up long ago about any political candidate who, for any reason, opposes unrestricted high density growth inside the Beltway.

15th Street

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Washington Post Should Not Endorse Anyone for County Board

Hello, Yupette,

After reading Post Staff Writer Patricia Sullivan's article in Sunday's Post Metro Section regarding redevelopment of the Alexandria waterfront, I am appalled that the Post is endorsing local candidates where development and redevelopment are major issues.

The Washington Post Corporation owns several large warehouses on the Alexandria waterfront, which it wants to massively redevelop. The Post also supported the massive gentrification of Washington D.C. by Adrian Fenty and has been waging an editorial jihad against Fenty's successor as Mayor, Vincent Gray.

Patricia Sullivan recently interviewed Audrey Clement, Mary Hynes, and Walter Tejada in preparation for the Post's endorsement later this week. According to sources within the three candidates' campaigns, Sullivan's interviews of Hynes and Tejada were cordial and friendly, but Sullivan treated Audrey Clement like a nuisance. This, apparently, is in accordance to the Post's news and editorial policy regarding third party and independent candidates in Northern Virginia.

If you feel, as I do, that the Post should not endorse County Board candidates, given the Post's conflicts of interest regarding redevelopment, you can send an e-mail to the Washington Post Company's CEO, Donald Graham, at grahamd at washpost dot com.

South Arlington

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Clement Trounced Hynes and Tejada in League of Women Voters Candidate Forum

Hello, Yupette,

Audrey Clement trounced Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada during the combined League of Women Voters, AAUW, and NOW Candidate Forum. The debate was held this afternoon at Arlington Central Library.

It's obvious that all Hynes and Tejada are interested in doing over the next four years is allowing developers to massively gentrify and urbanize Arlington. Based upon their opening and closing remarks, and their responses to written questions by the audience, Mary and Walter will rubber stamp any and every mega-development scheme by any and every out-of-state REIT, planner, and law firm.

On the other hand, Audrey Clement clearly indicated that she would get back to basics and set priorities when elected to County Board. Her priorities are libraries, schools, roads, public safety, and affordable housing that's truly affordable.

Our choice is clear. Time for a change on November 8th. I'm voting for Audrey Clement and only Audrey Clement for County Board.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Janet Howell for State Senate


The redrawn 32nd Senate District includes ten precincts in North Arlington. The 32nd includes Rt 50, I-66, Washington Boulevard, and Rt 29. The district also includes Metrorail's Orange Line and the East Falls Church Metro station. So transportation decisions made in Richmond have and will have a significant impact on the quality of life on Arlington residents who live in the 32nd District.

We blame bi-partisan Rail-to-Dulles, BRAC, and high-growth boosters for Arlington's infrastructure problems. That includes the leaders of the major political parties. They want growth, but they don't want to pay for sufficient infrastructure concomitant with growth. We fault both Janet Howell and Patrick Forrest for their immature and irrational approach to transportation funding. Not surprising since their fellow Republican and Democratic legislators exhibit the same behavior.

We, therefore, endorse Janet Howell based upon her concerns for human needs and human rights. Patrick Forrest has a lengthy resume' based on assignments and junkets during his service with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard in the Bush Administration. He opposes women's rights to make their own healthcare decisions. He opposes organized labor. He is not only anti-privacy, he supported the worst abuses of the Patriot Act by the Bush Administration, abuses that only ended when President Obama took office.

Consequently, we endorse Janet Howell for re-election to the Virginia State Senate.

Cindy and Susan

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ebbin vs. McGhee - No Endorsement


The redrawn 30th Virginia State Senate District runs along the Potomac River from I-395 to Ft. Belvoir. The 30th District now includes, Crystal City, Pentagon City, Potomac Yards, much of Mark Center, I-395, I-495, Wilson Bridge, National Airport, Route 1, Route 7, and Mt. Vernon Highway. So it would be appropriate for Democrat Adam Ebbin and Republican Tim McGhee to focus on what's important to residents and voters in the 30th. But that's not what their campaigns are about. They're about Tim McGhee and Adam Ebbin and their interests and a few special interests. It's good that Delegate Ebbin was able to obtain a solar energy tax credit for homeowners. But in the context of Virginia being so far behind in renewable energy the legislation was long overdue.

Consequently, we are not endorsing either candidate.

Susan and Cindy

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Janet Murphy for Delegate in 48th District


We would have endorsed Delegate Bob Brink for re-election, had the 48th District included only North Arlington and McLean. We would have also endorsed Delegate Brink had his Independent Green opponent, Janet Murphy, based her campaign solely on the Independent Green mantra "more trains, less traffic".

However, the 48th District now covers a huge swath of Arlington, and as a country club Democrat Bob Brink does not represent the views of many of his new constituents.

To her credit, Janet Murphy did not base her campaign solely on trains, but also on issues that concern progressive Arlingtonians in the 48th District, like vastly more renewable energy and imposing a renewable portfolio standard on Dominion. She's also concerned about issues like human needs and human rights.

Kathy Gillette-Mallard is a nice Neo-Con from McLean. But her conservative views are out of touch with at least 75% of 48th District voters.

We are disappointed that none of the candidates running in the 48th has yet proposed strategies to deal with infrastructure needs resulting from Virginia's population growth.

Susan and Cindy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Favola vs. Merrick - No Endorsement


We attended several candidate debates, and we were not impressed by most of the candidates. We were especially unimpressed by candidates for Virginia State Senate Barbara Favola and Caren Merrick.

It's become obvious that the election for State Senate will the prelude to a culture war in the next session of the General Assembly, with guns and abortion becoming the main battlegrounds.

So we were disappointed that neither Barbara Favola nor Caren Merrick has yet uttered the words "family planning" during a debate.

We also heard no reasonable discussion about firearms. Yes, there are too many firearms inside the Beltway, where the police arrive in minutes after a 911 call. And yes, there is a lot of hunting, fishing, and sport shooting done outside the Beltway. There was no mention of the biggest danger Northern Virginia residents face - injuries from traffic accidents.

And neither candidate has a comprehensive plan for dealing with Virginia's population growth, typically 90,000 - 100,000 more people each year (Virginia's population grew by 927,000 between 2000 and 2010).

So, AY makes no endorsement for Senator for Virginia's 31st District.

Cindy and Susan

Saturday, October 22, 2011

South Arlington Residents Furious About County Board's Boeing Deal

Hello Yupette,

Like many South Arlington residents who live in the I-395 corridor I was furious that the County Board approved the Boeing site plan over the unanimous opposition of the Planning Commission and Transportation Commission. This office complex will put more than 3,000 more vehicles on 395 and the Parkway every weekday, most single-occupant. The County Board will also spent another $50 million for an aquatic center and $65 million for a massive multi-purpose recreation center designed to serve Boeing's employees. According to the County Staff I've spoken to, the County Board could care less about Arlington residents and taxpayers, but is looking for more mega-deals to totally urbanize Arlington County.

Arlington residents should also be aware that the County Board is in secret negotiations with WalMart for a mixed-use redevelopment of the industrial site north of Shirlington Village, which would generate at least 5,000 vehicle trips per day, most on I-395.

Finally, the County Board is also in secret negotiations with several real estate investment trusts to tear down the 10 floor buildings that have been abandoned by the federal government and contractors because of BRAC 133 and wants to replace them with 20-30 floor mixed use office buildings. Maybe 600 parking spaces under every building.

I don't know about you, but I've had enough. I'm voting for fiscal and environmental sanity on November 8th. I'm voting for Audrey Clement and ONLY Audrey Clement for County Board.

anon. S 35th St.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cherrydale Debate - Hynes Evasive About Libraries, Firefighters, Traffic Ordinance Enforcement

Hello, Yupette,

Another candidates' debate, more evasions by Mary Hynes about basic needs. Walter Tejada did not appear. As at previous debates, Ms. Hynes was asked about full funding for Arlington's public library system and restoration of hours and librarians. Same Mary Hynes who voted at Tuesday night's County Board meeting to spend $425,000 for one piece of public art for Penrose Square (check out agenda item 28). Same Mary Hynes who also voted on Tuesday for a major "Christmas on October" gift to the Boeing Corporation (check out agenda item 43). She again gave evasive answers about full library funding. Audrey Clement: 'Libraries are an essential public service, fund the libraries".

Mary's platitiudes, promises, lack of commitment to basic needs, and failure to remedy the problems she and the County Board created are causing serious concerns in neighborhoods like Cherrydale. Unlike Audrey Clement, she would not commit to immediate enforcement of neighborhood traffic ordinances (as the debates ended a resident of the assisted living facility near the fire station was hit by a vehicle while crossing Lee Highway in a motorized wheelchair). She became enraged when asked by the President of the Cherrydale Civic Association whether the County would allow two members of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department to bunk with the paid firefighters in Fire Station 3, responding that it was an unfair question and she would have to 'check out the site plan' first. Audrey Clement's response to the same question: "No problem".

It's obvious that Mary Hynes is extremely comfortable making major commitments to out-of-state developers but refuses to make even minor commitments to improve the quality of life for Arlington residents, taxpayers, and voters. So I'm voting for Audrey Clement.

In a related debate, Caren Merrick became fed up with County Board member, and Cherrydale infrastructure procrastinator, Barbara Favola's repeated playing of the abortion and firearms cards and told it like it is about Barbara - a politician who wants to be elected to wage a jihad against the Republicans in Richmond. Oh, in case you're interested, neither Merrick nor Favola mentioned the phrase 'family planning'.

Thanks for your blog.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clement Repeatedly Warned Hynes About Dangerous Overcrowding in Metro Stations

Hello, Yupette,

I live in Lyon Park and commute to work via Metro. Also use Metro to get downtown on weekends. Again this past weekend the Metro Center station was dangerously overcrowded. County Board candidate Audrey Clement has repeatedly warned WMATA Board member and County Board member Mary Hynes about dangerous Metro station overcrowding, especially when there is an emergency situation. Most recently at the Lyon Park candidates' forum last week.

No doubt about it, Metro station overcrowding is a disaster waiting to happen. When Audrey Clement raises this issue with Mary Hynes during candidates' debates all we hear from Ms. Hynes are platitudes.

Why this insane spending of $200 million for an unnecessary Pike trolley when Arlington's Metro stations need emergency stairs and exits right now?

Linda, Lyon Park

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sun Gazette Editor Scott McCaffrey is Completely in the Pockets of Developers.

Hello Yupette,

I had to laugh out loud when I read that Scott McCaffrey's chief reason for not endorsing Audrey Clement for County Board is because she believes 'developers are the power behind the scene in Arlington governance'.

Scott McCaffrey is a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Executive Committee, and, when not writing features and editorials in favor of mega-development in Arlington, serves as Vice-Chair of the Chamber's Economic Development and Government Affairs Division, where he facilitates mega-development in Arlington.

Scott McCaffrey is the second-worst local newspaper editor to be endorsing anyone for anything. The worst is Yellow Dog Democrat and Falls Church News-Press Editor Nick Benton.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Clement Wins Lyon Park, Aurora Highlands Candidate Debates

Hello Yupette,

We attended the Aurora Highlands and Lyon Park candidate debates last night. Audrey Clement won both, hands down

All Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes did was support the status quo, and respond to resident concerns about mega-development with platitudes, excuses, and vague promises to 'see if we can do something'. It became obvious that, as Dr. Clement asserted, the County Board IS in the pockets of developers. Hynes and Tejada also supported more of the same 'planning' in Crystal City, Rosslyn, East Falls Church, and elsewhere that's predicted to cause significant quality-of-life problems in nearby residential neighborhoods. Hynes and Tejada also brushed aside residents' concerns about their exclusion from the planning process.

When asked about cutting wasteful programs, neither Walter nor Mary could think of one program to cut out of a $1 billion budget, while Audrey Clement recommended cutting the proposed $100 - $120 million Longbridge aquatic center / sports-recreation complex. As with the bar and nightclub mess in her own Clarendon neighborhood, Hynes admitted the County Board's share-the-road program is so dangerous its 'frightening', and 'needs to be looked at'. Audrey Clement responded that she doesn't own a motor vehicle and it's too dangerous to ride her bicycle in the evening commuting home from work. Dr. Clement followed up with a promise to work for a comprehensive transportation system before vehicular traffic reaches crisis levels.

Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes didn't adequately address the concerns of Aurora Highlands and Lyon Park residents, let alone propose solutions to problems created while they've served on the County Board.

It was obvious by evening's end that Audrey Clement is by far the best candidate for County Board.

Cindy and Susan

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Clement Won Yorktown Debate

Hello, Yupette,

Audrey Clement did it again tonight. Beat Mary Hynes hands down (Nada Tejada didn't bother attending).

Appears Mary and the County Board are getting even more irrational about the Pike streetcar, because now they want an expensive bus rapid transit system installed before installing an expensive streetcar system. Perhaps that's because Alexandria has always wanted BRT rather than a streetcar system. Or, maybe Arlington Democrats took a poll and discovered that Pike Corridor residents don't want a streetcar system.

Dr. Clement also lectured WMATA Board member Hynes about tonight's near-panic in the Rosslyn Metro station because of an apparent suicide attempt by a passenger at the Clarendon Metro station. It appears Metrorail's emergency station evacuation procedures are a mess, but what else is new at WMATA?

Oh, Audrey said it's time for VDOT to "grow up" about I-66 and Northern Virginia transportation planning and abandon its "shoot, fire , ready" approach. She's also for establishing an inspector general office in Arlington that would establish whether the County Board's budget priorities are rational.

As for Mary Hynes, except for her irrational endorsement of a BRT-streetcar system it was more of the same "don't happy...the County Board knows what's best" that we've seen all campaign season.

Cindy, 22207

Audrey Clement is Clearly the Best County Board Candidate

Hello, Yupette,

I attended the Lyon Village Civic Association's candidate debate last night. It seemed to me that the only candidate that wasn't for more of the same old that's gotten Arlington mired in traffic congestion, school overcrowding, and mega-development that's of, by, and for developers is Audrey Clement.

Dr. Clement wants the County Board to grow up, set priorities, (first is adequately addressing school overcrowding) and bring the problems caused by mega-development under control.

I was shocked to hear a Lyon Village resident describe the shambles that weekend revelers make of Mary Hynes's own neighborhood. I was dismayed by Walter Tejada's priorities - funding the hugely expensive Longbridge aquatic-recreation complex - projected to cost $130-$145 million for soccer fields, aquatic center, and multi-use recreation facility / soccer arena.

It was refreshing to hear Dr. Clement's 'fund basic needs first' approach to county government. That's EXACTLY what Arlington County needs. Audrey Clement has my vote on November 8th.

Ken, Lyon Village

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Peter Katz - Mr. Mega-Dumb Growth - Fired by Sarsota County Hired by Arlington County


Heard who was just appointed Arlington County's Planning Division Director? None other than Mr. Mega-Dumb Growth, Peter Katz.

Peter was/is America's prime proponent of massive Smart Growth aka Dumb Growth aka Resegregation Through Gentrification aka Massive Urbanization. He was the lead proponent of Arlington's Dumb Growth 'planning', including the Pike's Form Based Charades and Pike Revitalization, aka Pike Plenary Charades.

Peter moved to Sarasota County, Florida three years ago to inflict mega-infill mayhem on Sarasota County, as Director of Smart Growth/Urban Planning. Peter's 'vision' for Sarasota County was mega-infill beyond anything yet seen in Arlington. Peter was a very Bad Kitty and managed to anger just about everyone - affordable housing activists, environmentalists, slow-growth advocates, and so on. Everyone except the developers, REITs, and mega-infill 'planners' who he couldn't do enough for. Peter is not only Mr. Mega Dumb-Growth, he's also Mr. Mega-Arrogance. Peter's mega-infill 'planning' was such that Sarasota County residents were told they should use bus transit to avoid congested streets and roads, even though the buses would be stuck in traffic.

After three years the Sarasota County Commissioners had enough and told Peter his services were no longer required. Sarasota County's loss was the Arlington County Board's opportunity to totally urbanize Arlington. So the County Board hired Peter without a second thought. After all, the five urban village idiots on the County Board are only slightly less arrogant than Peter.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Clement Won CivFed Debate

Hello Yupette,

I attended the Civic Federation County Board Candidates debate this evening at W-L High School.

It's obvious that Arlington voters will have a choice this year - more of the same with Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, or a change to 'back to basics' with Audrey Clement.

I will vote for Audrey Clement.

It's also obvious that Audrey is about positive change and Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada are for more of the same, aka "Don't Worry, be Happy, the County Board Knows What's Best for You".

I don't want the stupid and outrageously expensive Zimmerman Trolley. I don't want a County where the entire middle class has been "gentrified out". I don't want a County where 500 homeless humans wander the streets while the needs and wants of the canine population are addressed. I don't want a county that's so paralyzed by gridlock in 2016 that everyone HAS to walk or ride a bicycle. I don't want a County Board that's in the pockets of developers.

Audrey Clement was eminently sensible tonight. All I heard from Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes were platitudes.

Audrey Clement is the best candidate. I'm voting for her, and only for her, on November 8th.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Closed Door Planning for Massive Re-Development of Shirlington Continues

Hello Yupette,

The closed door re-development planning of Shirlington's industrial sites by non-residents continues. Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan, County Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer, Planning Director Bob Brosnan, and County Planning Staff headed by Richard Tucker (all non-residents) are coordinating an effort with several developers and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce to massively re-develop what's referred to as the Shirlington Crescent (bounded by Shirlington Road, I-395, and south of S. 24th Road).

Phase 1, the Lower Shirlington Special Study began with closed door meetings in late September to develop policy guidelines for re-development of three industrial sites - the concrete batching plant, the lumber distributor and Rosenthal's vehicle storage yard. Phase 1 planning will continue until February 2012. Phase 2 of the planning effort will entail development of a comprehensive Shirlington Crescent / Four Mile Run plan, which will commence in early 2012 after the Special Study process is concluded. Phase 2, which will last for 2 years will develop site plans and zoning along the lines of Shirlington Village with the addition of at least two major retail outlets. At least 1,000 vehicle parking spaces will be constructed, there will be little or no affordable housing, and the open space will consist of small plazas and medians.

BTW, the County Board's ward heelers in the Shirlington neighborhood civic associations know all about the 'planning' for Shirlington's industrial sites but are only allowed to talk with residents about 'big box' zoning.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Audrey Clement Impressed AGLA, Republicans, at NRECA

Hello Yupette,

The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance held its monthly meeting at National Rural Electrification tonight as did the Arlington Republican Party. The AGLA candidates' debate didn't happen because Patrick Forrest didn't show up and AGLA decided to call the debate off and socialize with the candidates. County Board (except for Zimmerman) showed up and a lively discussion occurred among the candidates and AGLA leadership. Unfortunately, only a few of the AGLA rank and file attended.

Audrey Clement made a good impression on the AGLA leadership, who are on a first-name basis with the County Board. Audrey then stunned AGLA and the County Board by moving next door to the ACRC monthly meeting and addressing and taking questions from Republicans. She received loud applause for her fiscally conservative positions against wasteful spending by the County Board. It was one of the most impressive performances I've ever seen by a candidate for public office.

NO doubt in my mind. Audrey Clement is fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible and will be an excellent County Board Member.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Many Dems Fed Up With 'Old Guard'; Considering a Young Dem for County Board

Hello, Yupette,

I'm a 30-something Arlington Democrat and former ACDC precinct chair. Like many younger Democrats I'm fed up with the way the 'Old Guard' runs the Party and Arlington County. I'm voting for Audrey Clement in November. I've had it with Walter and Mary. Yes, in fact the developers run the County.

FYI, younger Democrats are looking for a Young Democrat to run for Barbara Favola's seat if she should move on to state senate. Two names that are mentioned are Stephanie Clifford and Kim Klinger. We do not want Libby Garvey or any other member of the Old Guard who has been around forever running for County Board. It's also time for Chris Zimmerman and Jay Fisette to move on.

Former YD

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deja Vu Reconstruction - Carpetbaggers are Ruining Alexandria

Hello, Yupette,

Thanks for your blog.

News from Alexandria isn't good. The out-of-state Carpetbaggers are ruining Alexandria, aided and abetted by local pols and absentee property owners who have allowed their properties to deteriorate while they places like the Gold Coast of Florida, and Hawaii. It's like Reconstruction after the War Between the States.

Developer, Consultant, Planner, Lawyer Carpetbaggers are drawn by BRAC like flies are drawn by sugar to the West End of Alexandria, where they're trying to inflict Club Hedo on hardworking middle class Virginians who are maids at Mark Center, salespersons at Landmark, and attendants at the yuppie health clubs. More than 2200 affordable market-rate apartments are going to be eliminated via mixed-use yuppification, forcing workers to commute 40 miles one-way from the outer-outer suburbs. More 'Smart Growth'.

This is what we get from electing a Mayor who's not only pro-development, he's a GD developer! Another 'model minority' who appears to hate minorities. Like...guess who? Barack Obama.

Oh, forgot to mention, there's a couple more Club Hedo marinas planned for the waterfront in Old Town and the present GenOn generating station site.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time for Scott McCaffrey to Move On

Hi Yupette:

The new Sun Gazette Web Blog is a mess. It's difficult or impossible to post comments. It seems the blog's software bugs aren't going to be fixed and Scotty doesn't care. He (apparently) is no longer allowed to run the SG's news blog, and the SG's newsroom, as he pleases. All he CAN do is post press releases from the County Manager's Office, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, real estate sales reports, etc. This is the guy who who awards 'C' grades to any candidate for County Board who doesn't go along with the County Board's status quo dumb growth program. Well, his current grade is 'F' in Journalism 101. Time for Sarasota Scotty to move Sarasota.


Monday, September 19, 2011

County Residents Expressed Widespread Dissatisfaction with County Board on September 17th

Hello Yupette,

I viewed the public comments at the opening of Saturday's County Board meeting and it appears that's there's widespread dissatisfaction with the way County Government is operating. County residents from across the social, economic, ethnic, and political spectrum expressed dissatisfaction with the County's bureaucracy which is apparently not capable of addressing longstanding problems and opportunities (homelessness, code enforcement, traffic, moderate income tenants facing eviction, renewable energy, library operations) but is focused on sports, entertainment, recreation, and helping out-of-state developers fast-track mega-redevlopment projects no matter what the consequences for nearby communities.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Arlington Republicans Will Nominate Kelly for County Board if Favola Wins

Hi Yupette,

News from my neighbor, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the Arlington County Republican Party, is that Mark Kelly will be the party's nominee to run in a special election next year if Barbara Favola wins her race for Virginia State Senate. The decision was made at ACRC's Executive Committee meeting last Sunday.

ACRC also decided not to endorse Audrey Clement for County Board. My neighbor, who is a moderate, said the neocons who control the ACRC had a laundry list of reasons for not endorsing her, most having to do with environmental issues.

ACRC's young tea partier neocons are eager to make a special County Board election a referendum on the County Board's fiscal and social priorities.

Thanks for your blog.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Closed Door Deals by Non-Residents to Facilitate Big Box Retail in South Arlington

Hi Yupette,

The Planning Commission deferred and County Board on September 17th will defer amendments to Zoning Ordinance Sections 19, 26, and 27A regarding limits put on developers who want to build big box retail stores in Arlington. Like a proposed 120,000 square foot WalMart store proposed for the Rosenthal vehicle storage lot at I-395 and Four Mile Run.

Original intent was to limit additional retail development to a maximum of 50,000 square feet and 200 parking spaces. This made the County Board's developer friends and campaign contributors very unhappy.

Consequently, the County Board instructed the County Manager (a Fairfax County resident), Economic Development Director (also a Fairfax County resident), Planning Director (also a Fairfax County resident) and County Planning Staff (almost all live outside Arlington) to come up with revised zoning to enable out-of-state big box retail to build stores in Arlington. Did we mention that attorneys and consultants who aren't Arlington residents are also involved in the closed door negotiations?

So where does that leave Shirlington, Fairlington, Nauck, etc., residents? Totally ignorant of whatever deals are being concocted to benefit everyone but them. Stuck with another mess, on top of previous development messes. When will it end? When there's total gridlock in South Arlington, in about 5 years. At which point the persons responsible will be retired and living on a rancho deluxe in Montana.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Zimmerman Tells DES, Planning, to Ignore Flooding Potential From Pike Redevelopment

Hi Yupette,

As you may have heard, there was significant flash flooding in the area along the Falls Church-Arlington border last night and also flooding along Four Mile Run and on streets and roads throughout Arlington.

You may not have heard that County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman told DES and Planning to ignore concerns expressed by DES and Planning employees about the potential for major flooding resulting from Columbia Pike redevelopment.

At this point Mr. Zimmerman just wants to get his trolley through the planning process and any concerns expressed by anyone on County Staff about massive flooding on the Pike resulting from massive in-fill redevelopment are simply not allowed. It's reached the point where several members of the DES engineering staff are considering finding other employment rather than sign off on the Dover, Kohl in-fill plans.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

County Board to Build $45 million Multipurpose Activity Center Next to Aquatic Center

Hello, Yupette,

Talk here at PRCR is that the County Board gave Parks and Recreation the go-ahead to build a 90,000 square foot (2 acres of floorspace) multipurpose activity center next to the Aquatic Center.

As presently planned, the building would contain basketball courts, squash courts, racquetball courts, a free weight room, a Nautilus room, exercise rooms, yoga rooms, saunas, and so on. Plans are still being discussed with the County Board. Mr. Tejada wants the building to be considerably larger to allow indoor soccer, and he's making promises to the Latino community that they will be able to play soccer year-around if he's re-elected.

The projected cost of a 90,000 square foot activity center is about $45 million. The Aquatic Center will cost another $50-55 million. About $35 million from the 2004 bond issue has already been spent on Longbridge Park. So figure $130 million or so for everything. And add another $20 million if Mr. Tejada gets his way.

This will be discussed with the County Board at a CIP meeting after November 8th, so nothing is final.

Parks and Rec Dude

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Civic Federation's Grade for Candidates' Forum: D

Hi Yupette,

Nice to see the Sun Gazette stopped awarding letter grades to candidates at the CivFed debates based upon elocution and started reporting what the candidates actually said.

But how well did the Civic Federation perform at last night's debate? Not very.

This year the CivFed debates are relocated to Washington and Lee High School Auditorium due to renovation of the Hazel Auditorium at the Virginia Hospital Center.

Candidates who appear at CivFed debates are expected to be prepared and follow the rules. But the Civic Federation was NOT prepared to host debates at W-L High School. There was insufficient parking, directions to the W-L Auditorium were not posted inside and outside the school, the debate's moderator was often confused, audio quality was poor, only a handful of CivFed delegates were allowed to ask questions. Many of the questions asked by delegates were parochial and did not reflect well on the delegates or the Civic Federation. Two Arlington police officers were stationed outside the auditorium, allegedly to intimidate minorities from attending - the Civic Federation is almost entirely white, upscale, middle aged and elderly.

With all that's expected of candidates at these debates there's no excuse for the Civic Federation's leadership to mess up the basics. I'm not holding my breath expecting the October 4th debates to go any better.

Former Delegate

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cost of Pike Streetcar System, Street Improvements to Exceed $260 Million

Hello Yupette,

I hope you've been following developments in the Pike streetcar system planning process.

As things stand now, the cost of the Pike's street improvements will approximately equal the cost of the streetcar system. That is, the streetcar system will cost $130 million for 10-14 streetcars. Improvements to the Pike to support the streetcar system will cost $70 million and the Washington Blvd. bridge will cost $60 million.

Only a few months ago, we were told that the total cost of the Pike streetcar system would be $160 million.

Apparently the County Board will pay for all this from the surtax on business real estate, which provides the County Board with about $40 million annually to be used for new transportation projects.

Whether other pressing transportation needs are addressed remains to be seen. The County Board has committed to building another streetcar system in Crystal City.

Mark, 22204

Monday, September 5, 2011

Irene + Isabel = Stop Paving Over Arlington County

Hello, Yupette,

We were indeed fortunate that Hurricane Irene tracked away from the Potomac River last week. Instead, Irene tracked up the Hudson River and caused severe damage from 8 to 13 inches of rain in the Hudson Valley and in Vermont.

Hurricane Isabel tracked up the James River in 2003 and dumped 8 to 12 inches of rain onto Richmond, which also caused severe flood damage.

Question has to be asked: What would happen if 8-12 inches of rain fell on Arlington in 24 hours? Next question: Why is the County Board so fired up about paving over Arlington without any comprehensive analysis of what would happen here if a hurricane like Irene and Isabel tracked up the Potomac?

Terri, 22204

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Environmental Elitists to Greenwash Alexandria Coal Fired Generating Plant

Hello Yupette,

Big news from Alexandria is that a $450 million deal has been reached to close the GenOn Energy (formerly Mirant, formerly PEPCO) coal-fired generating station located on the Potomac, about 3/4 mile from Arlington.

Major players in the deal are the City of Alexandria, the American Clean Air Foundation (which is closely linked to the natural gas industry) and the Sierra Club.

The GenOn generating station will likely cease operating in October 2012 and be demolished, then redeveloped into an upscale mixed-use waterfront neighborhood, full of energy-guzzling residences, commercial properties, vehicles, and yachts.

The feeling among all parties to the deal was akin to the way the Obama Administration felt about Osama Bin Laden earlier this year, the generating station was worth more dead than alive.

Although the GenOn station is located less than a mile from Arlington, it appears that Arlington County has had little or no say about the operation, retirement, and redevelopment of the generating station and its associated infrastructure.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Four Mile Run - Future Flood Problem

Hello Yupette,

I live in East Falls Church, not far from Four Mile Run.

There was flooding along Four Mile Run this past weekend.

Thanks for the posts about the redevelopment of East Falls Church and Columbia Pike.

Before any more 'planning' is done to redevelop EFC and the Pike there needs to be a comprehensive survey of the Four Mile Run watershed to see how much more run off from buildings and parking lots is going to be dumped into Four Mile Run.

Like many others in my neighborhood, I oppose any more 'urbanization' of Arlington County.


Friday, August 26, 2011

'First Responders' Looking for Another 9-11, Don't Want to Cope With Natural Disasters

Hello, Ms. Yupette,

I finally retired from the Arlington Fire Department this year.

We've just had an earthquake that caused damage around the region. Earthquakes on the East Coast aren't even on disaster preparedness organizations' radar.

Neither are the three natural disasters that can cause serious infrastructure damage, loss of life, and human misery. They are: tornadoes, hurricanes and the concurrent damage caused by wind and flooding, and prolonged loss of electric power in winter caused by ice storms.

What the cowboys who run Arlington's emergency preparedness organizations are looking for is another 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. That just ain't gonna happen.

What am I doing to avoid the bad stuff that will happen from the hurricane that's approaching? Going on vacation. Several members of my immediate family live in central Pennsylvania. Time for a visit. Taking the perishable food from my refrigerator with me in coolers. Returning next week. Enjoy the hurricane.

Retired Firefighter

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Demonstrators, Local Residents Demand End to 'Secure Communities'

Hello, Yupette,

Last evening a large and vocal group of demonstrators demanded an immediate end to the Department of Homeland Security's so-called 'Secure Communities' program at a meeting of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. The meeting was held at Founders Hall of George Mason University, on Fairfax Drive. At least 30 uniformed police officers were present to monitor approximately 200 demonstrators. The demonstrators moved indoors and the Council members heard about 50 speakers.

The speakers overwhelmingly denounced 'Secure Communities' and called for an immediate end to the program. Several Arlington activists spoke on both sides of the issue. The most appalling statements came from attorneys who represent immigrant defendants regarding significant and serious abuses in the 'Secure Communities' program. Several local residents detailed the kafkaesque experiences they and their relatives endured after being apprehended by the police and sent to detention centers operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Audrey Clement Will Share County Board Ballot With Democratic Party Incumbents

Hello, Yupette,

News from the Arlington Voter Registrar's office is that no Republican or third party candidate submitted voter petitions to run for County Board by the close of the polls tonight.

So Audrey Clement will face Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada in the November elections.

Hooray! Finally we have a choice. Someone who is REALLY for the environment. Someone who is fiscally responsible. Someone who CAN and WILL say NO to Chris Zimmerman !!!

I will gladly volunteer to help Audrey. You can too. Visit her Web site:


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Endorsements - August 23rd Democratic Primary


Arlington Yupette does not accept advertising. Our volunteers do not offer for-profit 'consulting services' to developers, non-profits, etc. Our volunteers are not 'committee members' of any political party, or board members of any non-profit, or for-profit organization.

Our volunteers attended debates, read campaign literature, talked with candidates, and determined what candidates actually accomplished if elected. So here are our endorsements for Tuesday's Arlington Democratic Primary:

For Virginia Senate 30th District - Rob Krupicka

For Virginia Senate 31st District - Jaime Areizaga-Soto

For House of Delegates, 49th District - Stephanie Clifford

For Commonwealth's Attorney - David Deane

Polls open at 6 AM and close at 7 PM. You don't have to be a Democrat to vote. This is a primary election, not a party caucus. You don't have to promise to support Democratic candidates in November. See you at the polls on Tuesday..


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ford Focus EV to be Introduced Soon; County Board Buys a $43,000 Hybrid for 'Evaluation'


If you visited the Arlington County Fair you may have seen the $43,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid Arlington County purchased (for the list price) for testing and evaluation.

But County Staff who are in charge of testing and evaluating the Volt were clueless about the imminent introduction of the all-electric Ford Focus EV, which will list for approximately $32,000 with an approximate $7,000 tax rebate. That will make the all-electric Focus affordable for millions of drivers. The Focus EV has a 100 mile range, which makes it ideal for trips inside the Beltway.

Ford also just announced an optional rooftop photovoltaic charging package for the Focus EV which will list for $10,000.

But how will the basic Focus EV (or a similar all-electric vehicle, or even a plug-in hybrid) be charged if you don't own a single family home with a garage? Or if you own a Focus EV with a photovoltaic panel roof and park in an underground garage?

The County's citizen energy task force was long on sustainable development and short on renewable energy.

The Ford Focus EV will be introduced in months, not years. What's the County Board and the County's bloated transportation bureaucracy (not to mention apartment building owners and condo communities) going to do about it? Ford has not been shy about disclosing the Focus EV's marketing plans.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sun Gazette Candidate Coverage - Pay to Play

Hello Yupette,

I was standing around a candidate's table at the County Fair yesterday when a advertising sales person from your favorite local newspaper (who could it be? who could it be?) approached and started talking to the campaign staff.

Of course, several campaign workers were very interested and started chatting her up, telling her that the campaign was in the mood to buy political advertising, etc. This led to an animated discussion about your favorite editor, no last names, call him 'Scott'.

Turns out that 'Scott's' nickname around the newspaper is 'Mr. Sub Man' for the way he devours submarine sandwiches at work.

Oh, the ad sales person told the campaign staff that she sat right next to 'Scott' at the newspaper's Edsall Road offices and she could arrange favorable news coverage in return for 'serious campaign advertising'.

The campaign staff told her that everyone was very familiar with 'Scott's' journalism and told her to check out the Arlington Yupette blog to see your coverage of 'Scott' and the newspaper.

Thought you would enjoy some news from the County Fair.

fed up Dem

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sun Gazette - Bad to Worse

Hello, Yupette,

I attended the July 28th candidates' debates for the 31st Senate District and 49th Assembly District at El Puerto on the Pike. Based upon what I heard the candidates say, and the significant conflicts of interest Sun Gazette Editor Scott McCaffrey maintains, Mr. McCaffrey and the Sun Gazette should not be endorsing any candidate for public office.

Scott McCaffrey refused to attend the July 28th debates. If he had attended he would have known that Jaime Areizaga-Soto served as both a White House Fellow and as an aide to the Democratic leadership of the General Assembly.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto demonstrated during his debate with Barbara Favola that his knowledge and working relationships with senators will make him an effective State Senator. Barbara Favola demonstrated that she doesn't really know what's happening in the General Assembly.

But the real problem with Scott's endorsement of Barbara Favola is he's a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Executive Committee and serves at the pleasure of fellow Chamber members who are Barbara's campaign contributors.

As in past endorsements, Scott provides several excellent reasons why a candidate, in this instance Barbara Favola, should not be running for election or re-election and then proceeds to endorse the candidate.

Scott's employer, American Community Newspapers, is run by a group of chamber of commerce and real estate boosters in Dallas and Leesburg. ACN is owned by a consortium of banks and financial services corporations, led by General Electric, that are only concerned about ACN's bottom line. To the point where the Sun Gazette runs an ad next to Scott's endorsement of Barbara pointing readers to, a laundry list of Barbara Favola's conflicts of interest and contributions received from Republicans and Neocons. Surprise, surprise, McCaffrey and the Sun Gazette endorsed Barbara Favola.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Solution to the County Board's Racism and Elitism - Boycott Arlington

Hi Yupette.

There is a solution to the County Board's racism and elitism - boycott Arlington except for minority-owned small business. Let the County Board and the Chamber of Commerce aka White Citizens Council know you're not shopping in Arlington until the committees, commissions, non-profits, etc. reflect the County's racial and ethnic diversity. This county is as bad as it was 50 years ago. A token minority here and there who goes along with the program. I've had enough. I'm shopping elsewhere and letting the racists and elitists who control everyone and everything know that I am.

Pike Resident

Friday, August 5, 2011

Zimmerman to Use Commercial Real Estate Tax Surcharge to Pay for Pike Streetcar

Hello Yupette,

I belong to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce; and I often attend Chamber events and try to find out what's occurring in the area of economic development.

It appears that Chris Zimmerman will use funds from the 12.5% commercial real estate surcharge (which generates about $40 million in tax revenue for the County every year) to fund the Pike streetcar system. Tax revenue from the commercial real estate tax surcharge is only supposed to be used for new transportation infrastructure.

Zimmerman will defer any new transportation construction (like a new entrance to the Ballston Metro Station) until after the Pike streetcar system is constructed. This will cost $160 million for the 10-14 streetcars and another $50 million or so for Columbia Pike road reconstruction.

Also appears that Zimmerman and the County Board can issue bonds to pay for the Pike streetcar system without having a bond referendum.

This has become common knowledge around the Chamber. So thought I'd pass it along.

Thanks for your blog.


Monday, August 1, 2011

AIM, AVG Greenwash Arlington Residents

Hello Yupette,

I surfed around Arlington Independent Media and the County's PR video network, AVN. It's more than obvious that neither is interested in promoting a truly "green" Arlington but are tied to the County's "greenwashing" PR aimed at preserving the status quo.

So you won't see the most basic renewable energy information, e.g., solar hot water heating.

In other progressive communities you'll see many advertisements for renewable hot water systems, for example, in New York. And in places like Florida, inexpensive solar pool heaters allow outdoor swimming pools to be used almost the entire year.

At this point, it appears that solar hot water heating may or may not be installed at the new Wakefield High School, although there will be two swimming pools constructed there.

Arlington is falling so far behind everyone else when it comes to installing renewable energy it's appalling. With all our wealth we can and should be doing much better. That's why I'm not voting for incumbents on August 23rd and in November.

Denise, 22205

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cherrydale Fire Station Fiasco Proves: Time for an IG in Arlington Government

Hello Yupette:

So the new Cherrydale Fire Station will be dedicated tomorrow. After 20 years and $18.2 million dollars spent for a building that cost $5.2 million to construct. This project should be a textbook case study in how NOT to plan and build public infrastructure.

It's appalling that the County Board and County Government are going to celebrate this fiasco tomorrow and Saturday. (How much will the celebrations cost)?

The Cherrydale fiasco proves to me that it's time for an independent Inspector General in Arlington County Government. An independent IG could save Arlington's taxpayers tens of millions every year. I'm not alone. The Civic Federation's Revenues and Expenditures Committee recommended in April that an independent IG's office be established. First thing I would ask an IG to audit would be Zimmerman's stupid streetcar system.

Kathy 22201

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stamos Sucks - Here's Why: Racist + Elitist

Hi Yupette,

I'm not surprised that the Sun Gazette (controlled by Dallas and Leesburg NeoCons) endorsed Theo Stamos for Commonwealth's Attorney, to succeed Arlington's premier racist and elitist, Richard Trodden. Theo Stamos is one of the main reasons Arlington's Latinos and Latinas are afraid to attend civic functions, to participate in politics, to even shop in her own neighborhood - Westover.

Theo Stamos is the 'Bryd Machine 2000' pick to succeed Dick Trodden, who never saw a poor minority or homeless person or nonconforming parent he didn't want to prosecute and lock up for about 20 years.

Dick and Theo have conspired to keep the professional staff of the Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney's Office lily white for more than 20 years.

Theo's opponent, Dave Deane, is 10 times the lawyer Theo Stamos will ever be, but that doesn't count because Arlington is run by and for a bunch of Republicrat racists and elitists who are only interested in bringing back the good old days of racial segregation.

Kevin - GMU Law School Grad

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tejada Demanding Campaign Contributions in Return for "Facilitation"


Thank you for your blog.

I'm a 2nd-Generation Arlington Latino and Walter Tejada is a disgrace to Arlington's Latino and Latina community. This guy is a big nada, does nothing for us as a community or individually. Did you see what happened to the Casa Blanca bakery and coffee shop on the Pike? It went out of business. What Nada Tejada is really good at doing, besides traveling around the USA and the World at taxpayers' expense, is demanding 'contributions' for facilitating use permit renewals for restaurants and also for grant applications that come before the County Board. These are not restaurants like Casa Blanca, they are night clubs and have lots of problems. Almost all the organizations that are looking for grants from the County are worthless, except they pay their leadership big salaries. If you are one of these groups you have to make a 'contribution' to Senor Tejada to have your use permit or grant or whatever 'facilitated' by the County Board.

Just wanted to give you a perspective about what is occurring in the Latino and Latina community.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

County Board to Taxpayer-Fund Stormwater Management for New Site Plans

Hello, Yupette,

After meeting for weeks behind closed doors Arlington's non-resident managers, non-resident planning staff, non-resident developers, non-resident REITs, and their non-resident attorneys have agreed to allow developers to continue submitting site plans that evade the EPA's 2014 standards for stormwater treatment and management.

Key players in the decision making were County Attorney Steve McIssac and County Manager Barbara Donnellan, who are residents of Fairfax County, and several out-of-state REITS who stand to gain tens of millions in 'corporate welfare' if on-site stormwater is treated at the County's wastewater treatment plant, paid for by taxpayers. Assertions by several County residents that they are being asked to pay for new infill development stormwater management and treatment under new EPA regulations when no stormwater from their homes is entering the County's stormwater system are being ignored by County planning staff.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

County Board to Continue Pushing Gentrification Agenda

Hello, Yupette,

Thanks for covering the County Board's environmental hijinks at the July 12th meeting. But you should also check out the video of Jay Fisette's presentation of 2010 Census demographic data compiled by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. Jay (and Chris Zimmerman and Mary Hynes) were actually gloating about the removal of Latinos, Latinas, and other minorities from Arlington into the outer suburbs and the gentrification of the "core areas" in and around D.C.

What was surprising about Jay's presentation is the household size in Arlington averages 2.09 persons and 41% of Arlington's households are occupied by one person. So why the push to tear down small homes and replace them with McMansions?

Of course Jay's never let an opportunity go by to build upscale housing and demolish affordable housing. What affordable housing that does get built is only affordable if you earn 60% of area median income.

Oh, Jay wants to hold a "community meeting" to discuss the import of the County Board's 15-year gentrification program. Minorities need not bother to attend.

Check it out at, 3 PM session of the July 12th meeting.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Favola, County Board, County Staff Were Briefed About New EPA Stormwater Regs Before Pike Charades

Hello, Yupette,

I was told that County Staff and the County Board were briefed about the new and hugely expensive EPA stormwater regulations for the Bay weeks before the Dover, Kohl Pike Charades began (on June 24th). There was a high-level EPA briefing on June 16th. Not only is Barbara Favola serving on a COG environmental committee but her husband is a career EPA employee.

Arlington taxpayers paid at least $550,000 for Pike infill planning during FY 2011, including $250,000 for the Pike Charades from June 24-30. But the County Board, County Staff and planners knew that managing and treating stormwater from a massive increase in Pike corridor density was going to be very expensive. Nevertheless, the County Board went ahead with the Pike Charades and is going to be considering major in-fill site plans in September with (apparently) no heed paid to the EPA's 2014 stormwater treatment and management regulations.

How's that for 'governance'?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Favola - Stormwater Upgrades May Cost $500 Million

Hello, Yupette,

Did you hear Barbara Favola's statement about the cost of stormwater management and treatment at Tuesday's County Board meeting? It's going to be very expensive. Barbara stated that stormwater management and treatment upgrdes mandated by the federal government and State of Virginia may cost more than $500 million.

So why is she and the County Board promoting higher density along the Pike and elsewhere that will generate large amounts of additional stormwater?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Political Parties Tell County Board to Fix Artisphere's Problems

Hello Yupette,

I am happy to see representatives of the Democratic, Republican, and Green parties were all exasperated with the management and operation of the Artisphere and spoke out at last evening's County Board meeting.

Republican Robert Atkins denounced the waste of tax dollars used to subsidize the Artisphere. Green Party Candidate for County Board Audrey Clement asked County Government to provide financial data to indicate when the Artisphere would become self-sustaining. Democrat Peter Owen criticized the Artisphere's lease agreement as censoring performing arts groups.

Response from the County Board was "Don't worry, be happy, we'll work it out, etc."

So even when all three political parties speak to the County Board on an issue, the County Board doesn't listen. Typical of every County Board meeting. It's obviously time for all the County Board incumbents to retire.


Monday, July 11, 2011

County Board to 'Shirlington' Bergmann Cleaners Site, Neighborhood

Hello, Yupette,

Another older neighborhood off a major arterial, another major redevelopment to 'Shirlington' the area. Latest is Bergmann's Cleaners on Lee Highway and the neighborhood around Bergmanns.

Proposal by the same County Planning Staff responsible for Shirlington and same law firm responsible for Shirlington is...yet another Shirlington. Did I mention none of them live in Arlington?

This followed many closed-door meetings among non-resident Economic Development staff, non-resident CPHD staff, non-resident development attorneys, and an out-of-state REIT. The North Highlands neighborhood was targeted for gentrification after the usual Arlington County 2-step process - do nothing to help middle class neighborhoods along arterials revitalize, then point to the neighborhoods as 'deteriorated' and in need of massive mixed-use redevelopment.

In fact the County Board and County Planning Staff want to exactly duplicate the 12 story Shirlington hotel-apartments-supermarket-parking complex on and around the Lee Highway Bergmann's site. Even Dover, Kohl, the County Board's pet planners, stated that Shirlington was 'poorly planned'. How much more dumb growth are they going to cram into Arlington?

Lyon Village

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Christmas in July: County Board Funds Vanity Projects Over Human Needs

Hi Yupette,

County Board did it again. Cut human services funding and appropriated $800,000 for beautifying the wastewater treatment plant. Also gave the wealthy $ignature-$ynetic theater group an $89,000 stipend. Also arranged a couple of land swaps with (apparently) no independent appraisal of the value of the land being swapped.

Stay tuned for Tuesday's continuation meeting where major land use plan (gentrification) changes for the Bergmann's site and surrounding neighborhood on Lee Hwy may or may not be on the agenda.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Alexandria Pushing for Dedicated Bus Rapid Transit in Beauregard Corridor

Hello Yupette,

I attended tonight's Alexandria transportation forum about a dedicated transit corridor on South Beauregard Street.

Appears as though Alexandria Transportation Staff wants a dedicated bus rapid transit system rather than a shared-street streetcar system like what's planned for Columbia Pike. Alexandria Transportation Staff maintains that a dedicated bus transit system is the only way to finally get people out of their SOVs and into buses. They believe a dedicated BRT system would be fast, flexible, and significantly less expensive than a streetcar system.

What's sad about the inside the Beltway transportation planning process is how little people from different jurisdictions know about what's being planned for areas a mile or two from where they live but in another locality.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Barcroft, Douglas Park Brace for National Guard Readiness Center Expansion

Hello, Yupette,

I'm not only worried about the massive in-fill planned for Columbia Pike, I'm also worried about the opening of the massive addition to the National Guard Readiness Center on George Mason Drive this month. We are getting the usual 'don't worry, be happy' from the Army, Jim Moran and Chris Zimmerman. Fact is there will be a lot more traffic of all kinds in and out of the Readiness Center and cutting through our quiet residential streets.

Our suburban neighborhoods, Barcroft and Douglas Park, were never, never, designed for this kind of infill. And the Readiness Center expansion was never mentioned during the Dover, Kohl design charettes last week.

The people who make these decisions don't live anywhere near the affected neighborhoods. Or, if they do, they live in 'protected enclaves'. Like Chris Zimmerman, who lives across from a wilderness area. Don't believe it? Here's a photo of Douglas Park across from his home.

Douglas Park

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dover, Kohl Close to Final Plans for Douglas Park Renovation

Hello, Yupette,

I became friendly over the past week with several of Dover, Kohl's planning staff.

So they've let me take a look at the two final plans for the renovation of Douglas Park, opposite Chairman Zimmerman's home. Funding is buried in the 2012 Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources budget.

Let me know which you like. We are taking an informal poll of Chris's friends.

C U at the next Plenary meeting in September.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dover, Kohl's Prescription for the Pike: Urbanization + Gentrification

Hello Yupette,

No surprises from Dover, Kohl during the wrap-up session of the Pike Charades, there's going to be massive urbanization and gentrification of the Pike. If you want to live in affordable housing on the Pike you're going to have to earn 60% of area median income, which is $62,000 today. At least 10,000 new housing units will be constructed to ensure 5,000 are 'affordable'. Suburban character of the Pike will be ruined by massive infill. Stream beds, parking lots, suburban streets, hillsides, and sidewalks will be used for parks and recreation. No transit options have been considered except for Zimmerman's $160 million streetcar system. Schools and similar public infrastructure received no mention.

Oh, Dover, Kohl used a biased before-after architectural charade to get the a biased audience (no Latinos and Latinas attended) to agree that architectural renderings look better than photographs of old buildings. LOL.

For this we paid these Dover, Kohl turkeys $474,000 during FY 2011 and $182,000 over the past week to facilitate Zimmerman's Pike Charades? That sucks.

Maybe you want Arlington to be a redevelopment opportunity for every out-of-state planner, developer, lawyer, and REIT that throws big bucks at the County Board and gives County Planning Staff 'cash rewards' for, among other things, telling minorities they will be arrested for attending planning meetings. Not me.

Douglas Park

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Schools, Not Streetcars


With installation of classroom trailers at W-L High School (completed in 2008) realization is slowly dawning on the County Board and School Board that, in fact, 5,000 more students will be attending Arlington's public schools in 2016.

But what are they going to do about it, beyond ordering a couple hundred more classroom trailers? Nothing that I can discern. During FY 11 Arlington County spent $1.5 million for Columbia Pike streetcar planning and $474,000 for Dover, Kohl's Pike in-fill planning and facilitation services. Nothing mentioned about schools, although more schools and brick-and mortar classrooms are Arlington's critical needs right now. Especially if population density along the Pike corridor doubles or triples over the next five years.

Now there is consternation at the School Board offices because it appears that the new Wakefield High School will be short classrooms the day it opens in 2013, something School Board candidate Miriam Gennari predicted last year.

Who's being irrational here? The Greens, Independents, Republicans, and fiscally responsible Democrats who want an end to reckless and irrational spending for the County Board's pet transportation, entertainment, recreation, and sports vanity projects? Or Mr. Zimmerman and the County Board, and their pet political cronies, special interests, REITs, and developers?

No Contest. Enough is Enough. Our kids' needs come first. Scrap Chris Zimmerman's plans for a wasteful and unnecessary $160 million streetcar system and build real schools and classrooms for our children instead.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Pike Corridor Post-Redevelopment 'Open Space' : Your Front Lawn

Hi, Yupette,

Talk about a planning charade, tonight's open space planning meeting at the Career Center was a hoot. The County's open space planning consultants talked parks and playgrounds, but the reality is that there won't be much open space left after in-fill yuppification for anything but Pike Corridor residents to hie to existing parks and recreation centers (including the future aquatic center, indoor soccer arena, and boathouse) and use single family residential neighborhoods for their parks and recreation. Chris Zimmerman was there to ensure the consultants stayed on-track and there was a special guest appearance by Planning Commissioner Emeritus Carrie "Nana from Montana" Johnson.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Zimmerman, County Board, County Staff Push Pike Redevelopment, Gentrification

Hello, Yupette,

I attended this morning's Pike design charette. It's a charade all right. Zimmerman and the County Board were supervising County Planning staff who were facilitating the community leaders. Community leaders were given brown, red, orange marking pens to make changes when allowed by County Planning Staff. No one was allowed to deviate in any significant way from Dover, Kohl's yuppification / gentrification plans. Dover and Kohl are a couple of good old boys who live in yuppie enclaves outside Miami and specialize in-fill redevelopment "planning" that conforms to the wants of local elected officials, e.g., Zimmerman and the County Board.

Oh, some participants want double deck hybrid buses on the Pike rather than streetcars, but they were ignored. These charades will cost Arlington taxpayers $216,000. For what? For citizens to make very minor changes to a massive redevelopment that was approved months ago behind closed doors at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Clement Blasts County Board Pike Redevelopment as 'Reckless', 'Irresponsible'


I was able to obtain a statement from County Board candidate Audrey Clement regarding Dover, Kohl's plans for Columbia Pike redevelopment. Here are her conclusions:

"With rounding for inflation the total cost of redeveloping the Pike is $160 million for the trolley (2010 estimate) + $290 million to subsidize affordable housing = $450 million. This doesn't include the cost of additional infrastructure improvements like schools and streets to accommodate three times as many people. Unless the Obama Administration agrees to pay for the trolley, the total cost is going to be absorbed by taxpayers throughout the county, not all of whom equate densification and gentrification with Smart Growth.

Tripling the density of the Pike when the schools are already overcrowded is irresponsible. Committing the County to pay for an unneeded extravagance to draw more people in is reckless. Although Dover, Kohl has provided an invaluable service in reporting the true cost of redeveloping the Pike, I oppose the total urbanization of Arlington County by the Arlington County Board to serve the wants of out-of-state REITs, developers, and planners.

Enough is enough. We are a tiny suburban County, not a major urban 'redevelopment opportunity'. Please join me in halting overdevelopment and recycling middle income people out of this county. Support my campaign for Arlington County Board."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Foxcroft Heights Gentrification-Facilitation Charade June 23rd

Hello, Ms. Yupette,

The Foxcroft Heights gentrification-facilitation charade will take place tomorrow, Thursday, between 7 and 9 PM at the Walter Reed Community Center, more than two miles from Foxcroft Heights. Why not across the street at the Sheraton where the other Pike charades will be held? Because then many more Foxcroft Heights residents would show up to protest the gentrification of their middle-class neighborhood. Zimmerman and his pet planner, Dover, Kohl, can't wait to redevelop Foxcroft Heights, to replace the uppity middle class with acquiescent yuppies and their passive servants. Oh, forgot to mention, the police will also be there.

It just kills the County Board, County Planning Staff, the County's pet developers, REITs, lawyers, and media boosters that any affordable middle class housing still remains in Arlington. All the hedo elite who are running and ruining Arlington are concerned about is building more hedo infrastructure.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Citizens to Investigate Pike 'Planning'

Hello, Yupette,

Enough is enough. I live off the Pike. Work in Alexandria. Old Town residents have had it with 'development for the sake of development' along the Alexandria waterfront. I and many others have had it with Arlington's so-called 'planning process'.

Do you know how much the week-long (June 24-30) planning charettes will cost Arlongton taxpayers? More than $200,000. Most of it to Dover, Kohl. Oh, there's $5,000 per day for the hotel. For what? To make my street into a public park? To triple the density of the Pike? To rubber-stamp approval of an unnecessary $150 million streetcar system? To turn residential streets into arterials?

I and several other Pike residents are going to investigate exactly how much is being spent on this turkey. Looks like Dover, Kohl has a gold mining operation going on the Pike. No mention in their planning reports about our already-overcrowded schools. And the effects of massive infill on the environment. If members of Chris Zimmerman's Pike plenary group aren't going along with Dover, Kohl and the County's Planning Staff, why should I?

But first, I want to know how many millions have already been spent to make our historic Pike neighborhoods 'redevelopment opportunities'.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

South 9th and South 12th Street "Bicycle Boulevards" are the Latest Pike Planning Charade

Hello, Yupette,

Maybe you heard that South 9th Street and South 12th Street are going to become "bicycle boulevards" when the Pike is massively gentrified based on the County Board's and its out-of-state planners' decisions. Not true. South 9th Street and South 12th Street are going to become major arterials to relieve traffic volume on the Pike. The North-South streets and their residential communities would become "shared spaces" for residents of the Pike's in-fill apartments and condos. Of course, you have to be one of the County Board's pet Community Leaders to know this.

BTW, stay tuned for the kick-off Pike planning charade at Kenmore Middle School, tomorrow, June 15th, between 7 PM and 9 PM.

Kathy, Douglas Park

Monday, June 13, 2011

County Board to Finance Pet Projects With Massive Pike Gentrification

Hello, Yupette,

I was able to obtain a copy of Dover, Kohl's "Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Study" over the weekend. This is the expensive planning document that was presented to the County Manager and County Board at a joint meeting last Thursday.

Contained in this document are the plans (mostly already pre-approved by the County Board) for massive in-fill gentrification of the Pike. Nothing is said about the effects of massive in-fill gentrification on already-crowded schools, parks, playgrounds, streets, etc.

It's clear that the County Board is using massive gentrification of the Pike to fund it's pet vanity projects. If the County Board were not building streetcar systems, boathouses, aquatic centers, sports arenas, and wasting money on its pet programs the County Board would have plenty of money to build lots of affordable housing and renovate present affordable housing. The County Board is aided and abetted by a bloated County bureaucracy that wants to grow by completely urbanizing Arlington, and by out-of-state "planners" like Dover, Kohl.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

County Board Pike Work Session - Gentrification vs. Preservation

Hi Yupette,

I attended this afternoon's Pike redevelopment work session with the County Board and County Manager at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. The County's primary out-of-state development consultant, Dover, Kohl, and Associates, pitched massive Pike in-fill development to the County Board. The in-fill would consist of new buildings placed on the same parcels as existing apartment buildings, sometimes replacing existing buildings. This would allegedly place enough density on-site to keep the affordable apartments affordable.

County Board members Walter Tejada and Barbara Favola (both candidates this Fall) asked whether enough funds could be obtained to preserve affordable market-rate rental properties on the Pike (like Barcroft Apartments) pretty much "as is" with some upgrades.

Dover, Kohl also pitched the series of Pike Charettes (pronounced "Charades") to be held between June 24th and June 30th to persuade Pike residents to go along with Chris Zimmermans's grand yuppification of the Pike.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Zimmerman, County Board Privatizing Public Meetings and Events

Hello, Yupette,

Have you noticed what Chris Zimmerman and the County Board are doing to public meetings and public access to information? They're privatizing everything. It will cost you $35 to attend the CPRO Pike luncheon to hear Zimmerman talk about Pike planning. The Pike "planning" charades at the end of this month are run by CPRO. It will cost another $50 to hear Zimmerman talk to the Chamber of Commerce about business opportunities. The working session on June 9th between the County Manager and County Board regarding Pike planning will not hear comments from the public. Important items are being placed on the County Board meeting consent agenda (there is only one item on the regular hearing agenda at the June 11th County Board meeting). This is going way beyond telling minorities that they are not welcome to attend Pike planning meetings, Civic Federation meetings, etc. It's become difficult or impossible for voters, taxpayers, and residents to know what's occurring in County Government, except via the County's PR organization and from press releases from the County's PR organization appearing in the local media.

Ron - Barcroft

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mark Kelly Reported Ready to Announce for County Board

Hello, Yupette,

I heard from a couple of Neo-Con activists that Mark Kelly is going to make another run for County Board. Looks from his recent statements he's going to run. The Neo-Cons who control the Arlington Republican Party are all for one or two candidates running against Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada. Moderate Republicans are only interested in getting wealthy in Arlington's current mega-development economy. Thanks for your blog.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Favola Firehouse Fiasco to Cost Taxpayers Another $127,000

Hello Yupette,

I was outraged to see the County Board is wanting another $127,000 to complete the $18 million Cherrydale Fire Station because of "unforseen circumstances". This time resulting from street paving problems. This is item 20 on the County Board's consent agenda for the June 11th County Board meting. The County will be paying the Cherrydale Fire Station's architects another $27,000 as an additional "administration fee" for this project. Why?

When it comes to large construction projects for her employer, Marymount University, where she is Chief Lobbyist, Barbara was extremely attentive to ensure there were no delays. When it comes to us, the taxpayers, having essential public infrastructure completed some time in our lifetimes, she could apparently care less.

Frank, Cherrydale

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1 Billion Non-Biodegradable Trash Bags to Landfills from Arlington Annually?


I have seen the green this and green that all over Arlington the past couple of years. But did you ever try to figure out how many non-biodegradable trash bags are being sent to landfills from Arlington every year? A lot. Maybe as many as a billion trash bags of all sizes (from wastepaper basket liners to yard waste bags). How many of these trash bags are biodegradable? Almost none. It's difficult to even find a retail store that sells biodegradable kitchen trash bags in Arlington. I had to order the biodegradable kitchen trash bags for my home from the Internet. They are not cheap, which is probably why they aren't widely available.

If Mr. Fisette is so concerned about the environment maybe he can find an economical source of biodegradable trash bags for use in County offices, including the County Board offices.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Alexandria Seeking Massive Redevelopment of S. Beauregard Street Between Seminary Road and King Street

Hi Yupette,

You may have heard about the controversy surrounding the development of the Alexandria waterfront. If you read the Alexandria weekly newspapers you'll also see that the City of Alexandria wants to re-develop what it calls the "West End", specifically South Beauregard Street between Seminary Road and King Street. This stretch of South Beauregard Street includes Southern Towers, a number of older garden apartment complexes, and the old hospital site and strip shopping plazas on King Street. The pitch by the out-of-state REITs is lots of BRAC employees at Mark Center will want to live in new mixed-use mega-development in the South Beauregard Corridor.

I live in Fairlington and any redevelopment of King Street would seriously impact us.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Zimmerman to Boost Arlington Chamber in Return for Sun Gazette Boosting Dem Candidates

Hello Yupette,

In case you wondered why Sun Gazette editor and Arlington Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee member Scott McCaffrey won't provide any information about Green Party candidate for County Board Audrey Clement it's because he's made a deal with County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman whereby Zimmerman will hold a series of exclusive meetings with Arlington Chamber of Commerce members (the first two are June 10th and June 20th) in return for McCaffrey boosting Arlington's Democratic candidates and ignoring their challengers. It's unclear what additional "comps" Boss Zimmerman and Sarasota Scotty will receive from this arrangement. Aren't we paying Zimmerman $55,000 a year to represent everyone's interests as an elected public official?

Green Businessperson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where's the Concern About Traffic, Noise, Air Quality?

Hello, Yupette,

It's nice the County Board debated for 4 hours about the noise from live entertainment at Westover Market.

Where is the concern about noise from Rolling Thunder and other events?

Where is the concern about air quality? Several large schools are located near interstate highway corridors.

Where is the concern about traffic? The County Board is set to approve thousands more parking spaces in East Falls Church, Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Columbia Pike.

I did not move to Arlington from D.C. to live in an urban area where the supposedly progressive local government is destroying the environment, when they are not playing environmental charades at scripted events.

Linda - 22205

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nada Tejada Tiene Mucho Dinero en El Salvador

Hello, Yupette,

I have heard Walter Tejada's life history, how he grew up poor and had "nada" when he arrived in the USA at 13.

That isn't true today. "Nada" Tejada is a wealthy guy, with many investments in El Salvador that aren't reported anywhere except perhaps on his IRS form 1040. Only Jay Fi$tte is wealthier. I have got to wonder how much of his sister cities travel, especially to El Salvador, has anything to do with the sister cities program.

According to several Salvadoran immigrants, Walter Tejada is the "go to guy" for anyone from El Salvador who wants something "facilitated". For which he is well-compensated in various ways.

I have no intention of voting for someone who spends all his time on the County Board looking after his investments, pet people, and pet special interests.

I would be happy to help circulate a petition calling for the creation of an independent inspector general office in Arlington.