March 22, 2014

County Board Agrees to Pave Paradise In the Name of School Expansion

Environment,Schools — @ 5:29 pm

Dissatisfaction with the Arlington Ashlawn Elementary School expansion project resulted from approval of the Manchester Street entrance, which will pave over a bucolic hill in a sensitive watershed area to put in a parking lot and drop-off loop. (more…)

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March 1, 2014

Why County Board Has to Fleece the Taxpayers to House the Homeless

Housing — @ 1:02 pm

County staff have described as “within budget estimates” the $6.6 million contract to be awarded for the construction of the new year-round homeless shelter. While that’s peanuts compared with some other County sponsored boondoggles like the Pike Trolley and the Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center, it might be more accurate to describe the outlay as excessive.
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January 26, 2014

Rubber Stamping the Destruction of Green Space

Environment,Schools — @ 10:53 am

My comments below at the January 25, 2014 County Board meeting about the County’s unauthorized removal of trees on the Ashlawn ES site and plans to remove additional trees not authorized by its use permit drew a stern rebuke of the County Manager from no less than four County Board members. The Board is unhappy that it was not consulted about the plans and the fact that the Manager did not seek to modify the use permit it had authorized for the project last May. (more…)

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December 15, 2013

Ashlawn School Paved Paradise to Put in a Parking Loop

I want to pay tribute to Bob Atkins, prominent GOP civic activist, who died recently. Bob grabbed headlines when at a budget hearing last spring he commented on the impact of impending federal budget cuts, saying: “The goose that laid the golden egg has reached menopause.”

This hilarious mixed metaphor should give pause to those wondering about the cost of the Ashlawn Elementary School extension, which has ballooned from $12 million to $20 million in a year’s time. (more…)

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November 15, 2013

If It’s Affordable, Why Fix It?

Housing — @ 7:13 pm

Both major parties are no doubt satisfied at the outcome of the Arlington County Housing Authority referendum, which was defeated a couple of weeks ago due to a sustained disinformation campaign supported by County Board and its allies in the housing community, some of whom are bankrolled by the very developers who have placed much of the rental housing in this county beyond reach. Voters were essentially told “If it ain’t broke why fix it?”
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September 28, 2013

Affordable to Whom? Donald Trump?

Housing — @ 7:30 am

Opponents of the Housing Authority Referendum promoted by the Arlington Green Party are at it again. This time it is Alliance for Housing Solutions (AHS) that says it’s for affordable housing. Affordable to whom? Donald Trump? AHS, which is sponsored by area developers and banks, has issued a Q&A explaining why a housing authority won’t solve the county’s housing crisis, but it raises more questions than it answers.

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September 14, 2013

Arlington Greens Pay Tribute to Don Rouse

Uncategorized — @ 4:44 pm

Arlington Greens are mourning the death of prominent Green and talented jazz musician Don Rouse, who passed away on Tuesday, September 10. A long time resident of Arlington County and retired government employee, Rouse was a party activist and ardent supporter of the Move to Amend resolution, which was adopted by the Green Party of Virginia in 2012 in the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision, that all but eliminated the prospects for advancement of third parties in the United States. (more…)

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September 12, 2013

Arlington Mill Residences: Throwing Money at a Problem

Development,Housing — @ 10:09 am

Arlington County has trumpeted the opening of the new Arlington Mill Community Center (AMCC) and the completion of 122 units of “affordable” housing at Arlington Mill Residences located nearby. But the price tag on Arlington Mill shows why the County’s approach to affordable housing isn’t working.

The apartments cost $31 million to build, which comes to about $250,000 per unit. The Washington Post reports that there’s already a waiting list of 3,600 people for those units, and families earning less than $64,000 per year need not apply, as most units aren’t affordable to people earning less.
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July 21, 2013

The Need for Objective Information About the Housing Authority Referendum

Housing — @ 11:32 am

I’m pleased that Arlington County Board agreed to place the Green Party sponsored referendum to create a Housing Authority on the November ballot at its July 16 recessed meeting. This referendum is supported by a petition consisting of 2,845 signatures of Arlington voters, validated by the voter registrar on June 11, 2013. Nevertheless, I’m concerned about how the Board frames this issue.
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May 29, 2013

Bus on Shoulder on I-66 Inside the Beltway Might Work

Transportation — @ 11:47 am

The Washington Examiner recently reported that Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton is promoting tolled express lanes as the solution to congestion on I-66 from the Beltway to Gainesville. He wants to link them to the Beltway’s toll lanes to provide those who can pay with a seamless ride through much of northern Virginia. According to the Examiner, Connaughton isn’t currently planning to install express lanes on I-66 inside the Beltway right now because of political opposition. But it quotes him saying:

“If you don’t want us to widen the road, then we’re going to have to figure out a way to get more capacity out of the road, and I think express lanes are a way to do it.” (more…)

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