Water main project—property damage issues
DHS tract development-now and later
Emergency preparedness news
Snow time info
Man’s best friend news
Bill Cohen’s garden column/ News about neighbors
Arlington key census data
Glebe Elementary news
Status of Arlington baseball stadium proposal
High View Park (Halls Hill) history continued
Pres: Mike Bruce
NO FEB. WWCA
Elementary Principal/PTA Pres. at March 9th WWCA meeting
I hope that the
worst of the winter weather is behind us. With spring around the corner, warmer
weather should be near. For gardeners, the county provided the WWCA 300 surplus
tulip bulbs from the Virginia Agricultural Extension Service for planting in
public areas. Anyone interested in obtaining bulbs for such uses, please call me
I hope to
hear from you, our residents, at future general meetings as to what programs you
would like us to have over the spring and summer as well as your interests for
guest speakers at future meetings. This will also be a time for your Executive
Committee to get your views on issues, for which the County is asking WWCA for
input. Near term issues affecting residents and homeowners include a utility
rate study underway, and infill lot zoning reform. We hope to hear soon on the
status of our Small Parks Grant application, which seeks County funds to help
maintain and improve our park.
SHOVELING SIDEWALKS, WALKS ETC:
has been a hard winter, as far as keeping up with ice and snow. The editor has
received a number of complaints about sidewalks not shoveled , or walks shoveled
but ice melt or sand not used. Everyone is urged to do all you can so that the
mail person, your neighbor, the elderly can safely walk in our community. Thank
you to those who have carefully taken care of their walks and sidewalks, and
those of elderly neighbors as well- not just this year but in years past.
WWCA COMING EVENTS
Feb. 17th- delayed
Exec. Committee meeting from Jan.
March 9th: WWCA general meeting: Glebe Elementary principal and PTA president speak & answer questions (See article page 10)
RESIDENTS SUFFER UNCOMPENSATED PROPERTY DAMAGE FROM LAST YEAR’S WATER MAIN
risk management officer and DPW staff to meet with Executive Committee Feb. 17th
Arlington County’s chief risk management officer and Dept.of Public works
staff will meet with the Exec. Committee to discuss the issue of compensation of
damages to a half dozen or more WWCA properties. These were on 17th St, 1500
block Edison St, & Buchanan St. Problems with silt run-off prevention
techniques which caused property damage will be discussed as well. Various
residents had basement flooding (three properties per the county), driveway
damage, pinhole leaks in their basement pipes and valves popping due to sudden
water pressure changes, and so on. WWCA is concerned not just about our local
situation , but that the practices which led to the property damage and the
inadequate or no compensation for affected property owners will be perpetuated
in the future water main re-lining projects in Arlington. WWCA President Mike
Bruce informed the Cty Board of the situation in early Dec. 03. It appears, as
Jim Pebley says that “the County is immune from damages and law suits.” The
Cty attorney affirmed this in a decision on flooding damage at a 1500 block
Edison St property.
Multiple types of
damage to property in 4700 block N. 17th St: 3 neighbors reportedly had damage
At the Jan. 13th
WWCA general meeting, a resident told of extensive damage for which there has
been no county or contractor compensation. The resident has retained a lawyer.
Damage included (1) Flooding in the basement three times; (2) Putting asphalt
over a concrete driveway apron , then the County wanted $750 to replace the
apron their project messed up; (3) water pressure problems after the completion
of the re-lining project. A DHS contractor rep came and offered partial
compensation if the resident would absolve them of future liability, which was
refused. The resident said she was “run all over the map(logged 50 phone
calls)” to various County and contractor officials. An assistant in the Cty
Manager’s office reportedly said the situation was of concern.
PROPOSED TO SEND TO THE COUNTY BOARD FROM WWCA:
Committee of the Waycroft-Woodlawn Civic Association (WWCA) is writing to inform
the County Board of a serious problem in our area. The County’s water main
relining project, completed in fall 2003, has caused serious property damage to
a number of residents in our neighborhood.
One such case in
WWCA, is that of Mr. and Mrs. Kenison , of 1507 N. Edison St . On July 9th,
2003, during a heavy rain, the Kenison’s basement was flooded. Screens, which
had been placed in front of the storm drain opening near the Kenison’s
driveway by DHC engineering in connection with the water line project, became
covered with debris. Gravel used in conjunction with the screen for filtering
run-off was of high silt content, exacerbating blockage of the storm drain
opening. As a result, water was diverted from the storm drain opening down their
driveway and into their basement, causing damage to real and personal property.
The Kenisons, as
well as residents affected by similar and other types of damage, have spent
months seeking reimbursement for their losses, but have run into a “Catch
22” situation, which neither of the parties involved (contractor or the
County) will accept responsibility for. In some cases, residents have been
offered or have received less than the amount of their losses. In exchange for
this partial and inadequate relief of the financial burden resulting from the
damage, these residents have been expected to sign a release absolving the
contractor from further liability.
We believe that
the County needs to:
satisfactorily resolve the existing complaints of WWCA residents.
Review the technical approach to preventing silt from water main re-lining operations from entering storm drains.
Review the process for responding to resident complaints and providing compensation and establish a system that properly protects injured parties. The current process is a non-system that affords no protection to injured parties.
This is a
potentially Arlington-wide problem due to plans for more water main re-lining
projects in the County. Water main re-lining has higher than average potential
for property damage impacts. Failure to properly address this issue would not be
consistent with what we think of as “the Arlington Way”, and will have an
ongoing negative impact on the public image of Arlington County government.
Thank you for your
attention to this serious matter.”
HOUSES SOLD (Press
sources): 4807 N. Washington Blvd ($485,000), 1224 N. Dinwiddie St ($568,000)
1412 N. Abingdon
Infill—highlighted with big picture in Jan. 15th Arlington Sun Gazette real
It’s a visual stunner in Waycroft. Property features more than 7,000 square ft
of style.” “Listed at $1.199 million….With classical lines yet a sense of
contemporary styling, this week’s featured property is a new stunner that
serves that serves up more than 7200 sq ft of living space in the desirable
Waycroft community. (Editor: I have a new term for McMansions—“Stun-fills”).
everything (Editor: I’ll buy that; its 12 ft from one property line and 10 ft
from the other.) ) and yet set back in its own special world of serenity.
Situated to take advantage of natural sunlight, and with some marvelous parkland
directly behind it, this property offers a visual treat that is both stylish and
substantive taking advantage of its location and providing plenty of room for
those who like to entertain in style.” The Gazette uses terms like “embrace
of luxury”, “sunlight bounces off the brilliant chandelier”, gorgeous
natural rosewood flooring…”Adjacent to the family room—accurately
described as “fabulous”—that boasts a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace
with granite surround.” There is a fire place on the lower (basement) level as
well and room for a 6th bedroom or den. Intercom with video system and phone
entry, Smart wiring design (up to 14 telecom lines). “ “Location? Well ,
Waycroft is a difficult community to top in this regard. You are just minutes to
I-66, the Ballston Metro Station and Lee Hwy…This is your opportunity to own a
showplace nestled in an established, central community.”
TARA MANOR PRICES
CLIMBING BY THE MONTH
These are the
dozen 5500 sq ft homes being built on Geo. Mason across from the hospital. The
Jan. 16th Sun Gazette ad says they are available from $1,150,000. The price on
fliers in the house in early Dec. was $939,000 to $969,000, then in late Dec.
$990,000. They are “for the lifestyle you have achieved…twelve truly opulent
all-brick homes nestled in North Arlington. Exquisite craftsmanship, location
and prestige—now you can have it all.”
1400 N. Buchanan
(house on the hill): According to a neighbor, the owner has no plans to tear the
residence down at this time. (Its being rented.)
5200 No. 16th St:
The press recently reported on County Bd commission appointments. Gary Kirkbride,
owner of 5200 N. 16th and a developer, was appointed to the Building Code Board
of Appeals along with Alice Findler. I haven’t heard anything lately about the
plans for this 20,000 sq ft plus tract diagonal to the hospital at 16th &
George Mason. The last I heard the house was being rented.
COUNTY STATUS ON
“INFILL LOT COVERAGE” ISSUE:
ZORC / Staff paper
now due by late February
I talked to Ms
Namioka, Cty staff, and she said the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee is
finalizing its position so that it can be submitted to the County staff for
comment and a collective view-final paper can be sent to the Planning Commission
before its meeting on March 1st. It is hoped this ZORC/Staff paper will be
available to send to WWCA and other interested parties by late February. The
date for a County Bd/ZORC work session on lot coverage is not known yet. Ms
Namioka is still hopeful that the County Bd will be in a position to have a
hearing and make a decision by summer.
knowledgeable source says “There has been a fairly large turnover on the
Planning Commission, and I’m hopeful that a couple of the new commissioners
will work to see that this issue moves forward.”
FORECAST: I have a weather radio (spelled “Rahdio”). Back in mid-January
they forecast some snow but nothing happened and Ann wouldn’t let me forget
it. So I saw 20/30 flakes on my windshield cover and brought them in to prove
that there was some snow by golly. She offered to freeze them.
DEPT. OF HUMAN SERVICES 5 ACRE TRACT BETWEEN GEORGE MASON DR. & EDISON ST
development: A few years ago DHS moved over 400 employees to a high rise
building in Clarendon just north of the Metro Station on Clarendon Blvd. They
have a 10 year lease with option to buy. The site is ideal because DHS needs
mass transit access for its clients. According to Ms Allgieir, Director of Human
Services ,who spoke at the Jan. 13th WWCA meeting, they could extend the lease
in Clarendon. She said the DHS site near us is zoned special district; there is
no building height limit. The land is worth $5- 7 million. Ms. Allgieir gave no
indication that DHS plans to return to the site to build a new building after
2010, BUT, there is no master plan for the DHS tract and no timeline to produce
one. Jim Pebley, WWCA said one was needed. Dave Albert, County facilities
planner who spoke at the meeting said one should be created. A resident asked if
some day multiple county agencies could be located on the site and Ms Allgieir
said yes. Mr. Albert gave examples of the Langston-Brown Ctr , mixed used
facility on nearby Lee Hwy and the Reed School in Westover , part of which will
be demolished to build a new Westover Library and school staff training facility
in 2005. There will be no land swap for the DHS tract so that DHS can buy land
in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor as was talked about in the 1990s. Mr. Albert
said a one acre lot there is for sale (sold?) for $13 million.
WWCA REPS ON TASK
FORCE TO RELOCATE 220 HEAD START STUDENTS TO THE GEORGE MASON CENTER: The Cty
has asked WWCA, Tara-Leeway and High View Park to send two reps to several DHS
building renovation meetings in Feb. and March. WWCA traffic concerns will be
one topic in the meetings with DHS , Mr. Albert , County facilities planner and
the Arlington Community Action Program (ACAP) which runs the Head Start program.
DEPT. OF HUMAN
SERVICES CURRENT PLANS FOR RENOVATING BUILDINGS ON IS NEARBY CAMPUS:
-Notes on a visit
to the Exec. Committee in Nov. 03 by Dave Albert, Cty facilities planner and a
talk by Ms Marsha Allgieir, Director, Dept. of Human Services (& Mr. Albert)
at the Jan. 13th WWCA general meeting.
for 1801 N. George Mason DHS building (Geo. Mason Center): This is the two story
structure just north of the Drewry Mental Health Center adjacent to the Va
Hospital Center-Arlington. The building is mostly vacant and in 2004 the County
will spend $3 million to upgrade it to accommodate a 220 student Head Start
program which is run by the Arlington Community Action Program (ACAP). Arlington
has 280 Head Start students and a waiting list of around 50 youngsters. Students
currently at Ballston Baptist Church and Reed School in Westover will move to
the 1801 N. George Mason Drive building in early 2005. The students will be
transported to school in 10-15 mini-buses and be dropped off and picked up in
the back parking lot on the east side of the building. Most traffic will not use
Edison St (The Cty will do a traffic study as requested at the Jan. 13th WWCA
meeting due to concerns about increased traffic on Edison St and 16th St.) There
will be very little night activity at the Head Start Center.
St DHS buildings: Most of the DHS staff moved to the Clarendon high rise a few
years ago where they will be until 2010 (and beyond if the County exercises the
option to buy the building). The County continues to operate DHS programs out of
the Edison St buildings and some trailers.
In early 2005 DHS
plans to relocate the clinics and trailers at 1800 N. George Mason to the
Fenwick Ctr on Walter Reed Drive in south Arlington. 1810 N. Edison and the
Drewry Mental Health Center on George Mason Dr. are part of a 5 year renovation
the hospital provide a park on the DHS site as a “Healing Garden” trade-off:
WWCA voted down the proposed healing garden across from the new hospital
building on 16th St a few years ago. The hospital needs to provide a trade-off
before the new hospital opens in November of this year. The hospital owns one
acre of the DHS site 5 acres and leases it to the Cty as long as the acre is
used for health uses. Converting this acre to park use could be one alternative
in addition to other “public benefits” options such as rehabilitation of
Lubber Run Creek in Woodlawn Park or maybe options of benefit to other nearby
neighborhoods or even an Arlington-wide benefit.
LIBRARY TO BE RELOCATED TO WHERE THE REED SCHOOL IS NOW—along with an
Arlington Public Schools staff training center on the second floor. Reed School
is at Washington Blvd & McKinley St in Westover. The new building will have
underground parking. It will be 2.5 times larger than the current Westover
ITS BEEN SPEED
TRAPPED: Earlier in Jan. , Pastor Rick Hudock at Calvary Gospel Church, 1800 N.
Glebe Rd said the police were setting up a “speed trap” about twice a week
for the north bound lane. One very cold day he went over and offered coffee but
the police lady said no thanks. But, pointing at the coming cars said with an
anticipating ticket-writing smile—“this is what warms my heart.”
THE POST OFFICE--: That juicy pothole is still in the entrance at the North
Station. The supv. told me earlier in Jan. that a contract had been let to
repave the drive/lot. Reference having to get three bids –a postal employee in
northern Md told me the “P” in Post Office sign went askew and they had to
get three bids to fix that. This lady also told me that someone from the Post
Office follows a number of drivers on their routes each day to check on things.
She also told of the humorous situation when they have to ask each customer if
they have anything fragile, liquid or perishable etc. Some customers approach
WWCA CONTINUES TO
RECRUIT COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM MEMBERS:
There will be
classes later in the year. The CERT training schedule can be found at: http://www.co.arlington.va/ccc/schedule.htm
consists of 8 sessions, given on either Tues. or Thurs. evenings from 7-9:45 pm
with a final Saturday session from 10 am until 12:30 pm including a review test.
Topics include disaster awareness, medical operations, fire suppression, team
organization, disaster psychology, terrorism and a practical disaster exercise.
The training is given by the Fire Dept.
URGES INSTALLATION OF COMMUNITY-WIDE SIREN SYSTEM:
On Nov. 11th the
Federation passed a resolution that 9/11 and the potential for natural disaster
occurrences “warrant a broad spectrum of systems for emergency notification of
the general public. The Federation felt a siren system would be “significant
in reaching a significant percentage of Arlington residents and workers,
particularly those who are out-of-doors and those with no access to other
emergency means of alert. Modern emergency systems permit public loudspeaker
address as well. Cost is less than $500,000 with “average anticipated annual
maintenance costs of $10,000”. On 9/11 many residents near the Pentagon were
alerted by a siren at National Airport. Norfolk Va and other places in Va are
looking into permanently-mounted sirens. The Federation recommends collaborating
with military installations in the County on this project.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS QUESTIONS RELATED TO BIOLOGICAL/CHEMICAL WARFARE
-Here are two from
the County web site:
Relating to public
Should I pick up
my children from school if an attack occurs during the day? Do not rush to your
children’s school. The best place for children might very well be the school
itself, where they will remain under supervision and be protected from hazards
outside. In many cases, keeping children in school is the safest thing to do
instead of putting them on roads and streets and fighting traffic. That also
will help keep roads clear for essential emergency traffic instead of cars. The
school will call individual parents in the case of an isolated incident with
your child. Announcements about school closings will be made through a variety
How will I know if
the schools close because of an emergency? In the event of an
emergency—weather, power outages or other unusual conditions, Arlington Public
Schools officials may decide to close school, delay school opening or send
students home early. News about any one of these conditions is distributed
through a variety of media outlets. To find the most up-to-date information: (1)
Listen to the radio or watch TV; (2) View Arlington Cable Channel 71 or (3) Go
REVERSE 911 CALLS
ADD 800 NEW RESIDENTS TO “ARLINGTON ALERT” EMERGENCY MESSAGING SYSTEM
A County press
release says “Arlington Alert, a public safety text messaging service saw a
nearly 20 fold increase in the rate of subscription between Dec. 22nd and Jan.
4th, compared with a previous two week period.” The calls were made to “all
published Arlington telephone numbers”. Arlington Alert is a free service that
delivers immediate emergency text messages in English or Spanish to mobile
devices, including cell phones, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and
e-mail. To sign up, visit www.arlingtonalert.com . Subscribers can choose which
alerts they wish to receive. As of 6 January, there were 6,208 subscribers.
REVERSE 911 PHONE CALL SYSTEM TO BE UPGRADED: Arlington is buying a system that
can complete 200,000 calls in half an hour.
ABOUT ARLINGTON COUNTY RESPONSE TO HURRICANE ISABEL:
The Nov. 20th
Arlington Sun Gazette reported a County government survey of 400 residents by a
professional polling firm. Sixty-seven percent of respondents think the County
is moving in the right direction. 85 percent thought the cty did a good job of
clearing roads after Isabel and “75 percent thought the Cty did a good job of
keeping the public informed after the hurricane…78 percent said they feel
prepared for a disaster in general.” “The results suggest a population
pretty confident about where we are” County manager Ron Carlee said. The
survey also suggested that the County needs to promote emergency communication
services to the public. Only 7 percent went to the County’s web site to find
information related to Hurricane Isabel, but 91 percent of those who did go
found the information useful.” Only one in 5 had heard of the Arlington Alert
system. “Of those who were aware of the system, only 34 percent participate in
HEALING GARDENED: Sometime back , we were walking past the hospital with our son
Brian (Asst manager at the popular Lost Dog Restaurant in Westover) and talking
about the “healing garden” the hospital once proposed as a trade-off for
more site building density. Brian suggested an alternative: A “green power”
go-cart track with hybrid electric-natural gas powered cars.
Brian is fun to walk with in the “Garden Spot”
CRIME IN WWCA
5100 block N. 16th
St: On Jan. 12th a 1990 blue Ford Taurus was stolen.
4900 block, N. 19th St: Between 7 pm Jan 10th and 1:30 am on Jan. 11th “an unknown subject(s) broke into a residence and stole electronic equipment.”
1000 block N. Glebe Rd: Unknown subject(s) broke into a business and stole laptop computers on a weekend.
1700 block N. Glebe Rd: During the night someone broke into a Glebe School construction trailer and stole tools (second incident at the site in the past few months)
SMALL PARK GRANT
Chairman Mike Koning says the Parks/Recreation Commission has recommended
approval of $1000 for the addition of a fence by the south-west corner of the
foot bridge over the creek and removal of the old back-stop. He is pretty
confident the project will get final approval. Spring clean-up: Mike is thinking
of enlisting the help of some residents for park renovation in the spring. Such
things as cleaning up the 14th & Buchanan entrance south of the Ed Knowles
memorial bench, replacing some railroad ties at the sand boxes and so on.
(Parks—cont. next column)
We are pretty sure County Bd chairperson Barbara Favola will speak at the May
general meeting. Congressman James Moran, who spoke to WWCA some years ago, may
speak again, possibly in June.
Treasurer Diana Anderson reports that as of Jan. 13th there was $5024.23 in the
general fund and $2,226.64 in the Park Fund.
ITEMS FOR THE
WHAT-ALL: Items are needed by Monday, Feb. 24th. Please drop in the door slot at
1503 N. Buchanan, call 703-528-7362 or e-mail email@example.com . Ads for young
people wanting to do lawn work etc are free—likewise babysitting /childcare
needs, personal property to sell etc. Commercial business card-size ads are $80
for 10 months from Sept. through June ( $10.00 for a single ad).
RESOLUTION ABOUT ARLINGTON PARK MAINTENANCE:
A Dec. 2nd, 2003
resolution “recommends that the County routinely maintain, repair, and replace
its park property and equipment so that the County would not need to expend its
scarce Small Parks Program funds for any such purpose.
ISN’T THAT JUST
DUCKY? Earlier this month Ann and I saw 9 ducks floating beautifully down the
stream from the culvert area. Our neighbor Adele saw 14—including a male
trying to coax a female to descend into the next little dam (weir) in the creek.
(Editor: You can lead a duck to water –but you can’t make them go over the
17th St speed
humps reportedly “de-humped”:
A resident told me
at the last WWCA meeting that when the County re-paved the street last year
after the water main re-lining project, that the 3 inch high speed humps were
reduced to about 1 inch. He said some drivers have caught on and are doing what
speeders do best. Tracie Morris, Traffic Calming Committee chairperson said the
Cty will check on this and if its true it will be fixed.
Edison St Humps:
Do you remember the humps north of 17th St on Edison to Lee Hwy—the ones that
fell apart? One day last year I got out and moved a piece of one back in place.
Well—the Cty promised itself never to use these prefab humps again. I hear
that after the hospital construction project is done, they will put in “real
humps”. I still think the ones over west of Geo. Mason on 16th St, over in
“Humpville” I call it, are the only truly serious speed humps around. They
are no doubt designed to turn hum vees over J.
AVAILABLE: KEEP KIDS ALIVE—DRIVE 25:
A few of these
nicely done signs have been distributed in WWCA by Arlington’s Neighborhood
Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) for people to put on their lawns. You can
put one on your lawn for a while and transfer it to a neighbor. If you are
interested in having a sign please call Jeff Morris: 703-522-1757.
ARLINGTON ARTS WEB
To request an
e-mail monthly review of the arts in Arlington: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a great
deal doing on in the arts in Arlington. This web site covers it all—from the
many theatrical groups to the Ellipse Arts Center in Ballston, to the Friday
morning music club, Lubber Run Amphitheatre schedule, Lee Arts Center, Rossyln
Spectrum and Gunston theatres, galleries, musical groups, calendars of events,
artist studios, musical events at Courthouse Plaza and Crystal City Waterpark ,
on and on. There are 60 categories of arts activities you can click on
THIS HAS BEEN A
ROUGHER THAN USUAL WINTER AS FAR AS SNOW AND ICE STICKING AROUND.
be considerate of pedestrians, mail persons and delivery people and shovel your
walks tan take steps (No pun intended) to keep ice off your sidewalks, walks,
and steps. Its appreciated.
really appreciates those residents who have done this and helped elderly and
handicapped neighbors as well.
Comments by some
residents on need for better private property and resident snow removal: Here
are some comments from several residents who are pretty discouraged with some of
the situations in our “Garden Spot”. One mitigating factor here is that
sometimes property owners might have been thinking the snow was going to melt in
a few days—whereas this winter I think it was 32 degrees or less 25 days in
the month of January.
about lack of snow shoveling, use of ice melt
are people who don’t shovel their walks and can’t be bothered to ask for
help…..Second, there are people who shovel once and do nothing later to treat
the ice that inevitably forms from subsequent flurries or snow melts. These
people need to get religion about salt and other ice melting products.”
“Shame on those
neighbors who didn’t make any effort at all, especially those whose sidewalks
are along major thoroughfares, like Washington Blvd, 16th St, Glebe Rd and Geo.
Mason Drive. My twisted ankle and my husband’s sore knee are the result of
have to attempt to maneuver over these uncleared pathways to avoid walking in
the middle of the street. Renters or owners, it is our responsibility to clear
the sidewalks, whether we use them or not! If we could all take a tour of our
property several times a year, viewing it as a pedestrian might, we might all
see better for ourselves when our bushes need to be trimmed and when our
sidewalks need to be attended to.”
RESIDENT COMMENTS (Cont.): A resident north of 16th St: “I too find the
situation in the neighborhood, at least on this side of 16th St, to be
intolerable. I slipped on an icy patch of sidewalk yesterday. Nothing hurt
except my dignity. The sidewalk had been shoveled , and then forgotten. Now it
is a sheet of ice.” This person wonders if someone falls on the sidewalk in
front of a property if the homeowner is liable to the Cty?
Idea for other
GO TOGETHER AND BUY A SNOW BLOWER ON 14TH ST: Seven or eight residents between
Buchanan and Edison Sts purchased a snow blower. Todd Nelson and Greg Smith are
the main users and others can use it, but need to be trained. Here is how it
works: Jill Reuter, Greg’s wife says “All of the sidewalks get plowed and
the people that paid for the snow blower get priority and their driveways and
walkways up to their houses get done….Our block is pretty great!. We have all
managed to work together though all of last year’s natural inconveniences.
THANKFUL TO SNOW HELPERS ON 14TH ST: The resident called this week to give her
and her husband’s praise to neighbors like Greg Smith, Todd Nelson, Mike
Nolan, and Mike Lawless who helped after Isabel and with the snow recently.
JIM PEBLEY, 16TH
ST REMINDS COUNTY BOARD ABOUT NEED FOR A SNOW REMOVAL ORDINANCE:
The Jan. 10th
Arlington Connection reported that Jim Pebley, former WWCA president, reminded
the Cty Bd recently that he had pointed out to them last March 15th after the
Feb. 16th/17th snow storm “when major thoroughfares were impassable for two
weeks. This business of voluntary clearing may not be working.” Jim said the
ordinance needs to be enforceable, albeit “We don’t need to start a troop of
snow policeman. We’ve got older folks who shouldn’t really be out there
clearing snow. You’ve got to make allowances.” Board member Chris Zimmerman
thought the issue should be
According to the Jan. 15th Arlington Sun Gazette, County Mgr Ron Carlee “and
board members agreed that enforcement of such an ordinance would not be as
rigorous as some residents might like.” Carlee said “I’m not convinced
that (a policy) would result in more snow removal.” He prefers “ a constant
effort of public relations and peer pressure” to encourage property owners to
clear snow. Cty Bd member Ferguson “suggested that local governments get
together and establish a single policy for the region. We have to look
703-525-2551 or e-mail: email@example.com
are saying this month is going to be a snowy one. I am offering my services as a
snow removal technician. Anytime there is snow, please feel free to write me an
e-mail or call me. I charge $25.00. Please e-mail me when you want it done,
because I do not keep a running list going. Thank you.
ICE PATCH—may be
due to water main leak just west of Buchanan on 13th St: The County was called
Jan. 22nd about this apparent leak which may be after the work was done to
totally replace the water main on that street last summer.
“WINTER WEATHER” INTERNET WEB PAGE (From County press release)
consolidated all of its snow-related cancellations and schedule changes on a new
“Winter Weather” web page. This site includes: cancellations and closings,
public transit status, snow plowing map, snow plowing in Arlington, Top 10 snow
tips, winter preparedness tips, hot lines, snow clearing status (703-228-6485),
parks info (703-228-6525), sports information (703-228-4715), Cultural Affairs
(703-228-4715), potholes, local county street plowing (703-228-6485), State
roads, call VDOT at 1-888-383-8368. (State Rds include Lee Hwy, Glebe Rd, and
Washington Blvd west of Glebe in this area).
If you don’t
have a home computer you can access Internet at the Arlington Public Library
Big Walnut Park:
1901 N. HarrisonSt, Jamestown School Playfield: 3700 N. Delaware St
Tuckahoe Park & Playground: Lee Hwy & North Sycamore St
Bluemont Park & Playground: 400 N. Manchester St
Rocky Run Playground: 1109 N. Barton St
Woodstock Park: 2049 N. Woodstock St
ABOUT MAN’S BEST FRIEND
Dog Exercise Area
(DEA) Locations in north Arlington
1600 N. Sycamore:
Benjamin Banneker Park
3829 N. Stafford St: Ft. Ethan Allen Park
Madison Manor: Just off Glebe Rd in far North Arlington near Madison Community Center on Old Glebe Rd
Bluemont Park at Wilson Blvd, across 4 Mile Run from the tennis courts.
LOOKING FOR ALTERNATE SITE FOR MADISON MANOR DOG EXERCISE AREA IN NORTH
The board has
formed a task group to try and find an alternate site no more than 1.5 miles
from the Madison Manor site near Glebe Rd (on Old Glebe Rd). The task force is
scheduled to make its recommendation this summer. The Civic Federation passed a
Jan. 6th resolution supporting the task force activities, believing it will be
“inclusive, fair and defined before hand”. The County wishes to place a dog
park in an appropriate area which does not affect surrounding park/play areas.
Some feel that civic associations should have a final say on placing dog parks
in their area and that the Cty task force may not necessarily listen to
neighborhood concerns. As to the Park’s Dept’s position on community canine
areas, Arlington Dogs, a dog owner organization, says the Dept. “has
classified them as community facilities which means that the benefits aren’t
limited to the neighborhood but to the County as a whole. Because of this, the
neighborhood does not have control over the decision—even though their input
is solicited and factored in—any more than South Arlington can vote to not
have the sanitation facility there.”. ( Man’s best friend—cont. next
concerned about dog waste on lawns:
There were half a
dozen notes on the community listserve on Jan. 13th expressing concern that dog
owners be considerate and keep their dogs on the sidewalk or utility strip and
stay off the lawns, and clean up after their dogs. A 13th St resident did point
out that sometimes people use dog walking services or employ young people to
walk their dogs so it isn’t always the owner behind the leash so-to-speak.
SLATED FOR SUNDAY MAY 2ND:
-Starts 8 am at
Washington-Lee High School—coordinated by Arlington Running Club
The marathon will
go “for 26 miles on Arlington’s scenic Perimeter Parkway –Custis (I-66)
trail, Four Mile Run Trail and Washington & Old Dominion Trail.”
benefits the Arlington County Civic Federation 9/11 Scholarship Fund, Arlington
Public Schools music and athletic programs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special
Olympics, Va and Washington-Lee High School graduation. Info: 703-218-2726 or
FITNESS EXPO AT WASHINGTON-LEE HIGH SCHOOL:
30th, 4-8 pm and Saturday, May 1, 10 am-6pm. Coordinated by Arlington Running
“BOOTING” VEHICLES ILLEGALLY PARKED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
to defer to State Law
Early in 2003 the
“County Bd repealed a local ordinance that regulated this type of towing
because recent court and legislative action called into question its
enforceability. Removal of the local ordinance strengthened consumer protection
by allowing prosecutions under state law.” In addition to capping charges,
Virginia code also places the following requirements on towing or “booting”
vehicles illegally parked on private property”:
must be posted at all entrances to a restricted lot clearly stating that
vehicles parked without permission will be removed or immobilized.
notification of local law enforcement or State Police when a vehicle is towed.
display of a sign listing all fees for towing , recovery and storage at a tow
company’s main place of business and at any other location where vehicles are
reclaimed. In lieu of a sign, a written list of fees may be provided. Companies
are prohibited from charging fees in excess of those that are posted.
-Prohibiting a tow
company from towing a vehicle if the owner arrives before it is towed, and pays
the towing company a fee of no more than $25.00.
-Capping the fee
for removal of an immobilization “boot” at $25.00
Anyone who feels
they have been a victim of illegal towing practices should contact the Arlington
Consumer Protection Affairs Office by phone at (703) 228-3260 or by e-mail at
JEEP CALMING: Ann
and I were starting on a neighborhood walk and as we approached the Hospice
grounds, a jeep came into the parking lot, drove up over the curb and across the
south lawn and on out to Abingdon St. Maybe his “On-star” device had “byte
interflow”. I can hear it now---the “computer made me do it.”
WHO IS THE REAL
“SANTA CLAUS”? A friend told me of his small grandson looking at the
Christmas tree and seeing Santa and Mrs. Santa decorations. The child said
“There’s Santa and there’s grandma and then he looked at the Santa again
and said—there’s Pa-Pa.
have their rewards.
By Bill Cohen
I cannot wait for
this winter to turn to spring. As you know, it has been extremely cold, with
snow and ice. I think I am beginning to favor global warming. One of my escapes
is the garden catalog. I have a bunch of them around the house (my wife calls it
clutter), and I try to visualize different plants in my garden. I have not
ordered anything yet. I am probably too busy visualizing. One thing I am just
about ready to order are caladium bulbs from Caladium World, www.caladium.com/ .
Caladiums add so much color and vitality to partially shaded to mid-shaded
areas. You plant the bulbs when we are beyond frost and the soil has started to
warm, the end of April-beginning of May, and the plants come up in early summer.
You can select the color combinations and varying sizes and leaf shapes. The
leaves are very tropical and exotic looking. The Caladium World web site will
show you these things. The downside is that around here they grow as annuals and
by mid-fall they are gone. But they are easy to plant requiring only an inch or
two of soil over each bulb. I have found the ones I grow from bulbs are much
more robust than the pre-potted ones I have gotten from nurseries.
Another escape for
me is the garden show. In prior columns I mentioned the Philadelphia Flower Show
in early March (www.philaflowershowcom ). But there is also the Maymont Flower
& Garden Show in Richmond, Va, February 19-22, at the Greater Richmond
Convention Center. For more information call 804-358-7166 or check the web site
(www.maymont.org ). And, of course, at the end of May, there is the Chelsea
Flower Show in England. If the What-all provides the funding, I’d be glad to
cover Chelsea for our newsletter. What do you think Ben?
This time of year
you might want to consider late February and March pruning. One word of warning,
do not prune plants that flower in the spring until after they flower. If you
do, you will be eliminating some of the spring flowers. So, for example, do not
prune azaleas until right after they have bloomed.
Winter is a time
when you should look at your garden critically. The structure of your garden
really comes through since most of our trees and shrubs are without leaves and
there are few flowers to distract us. Look at the evergreens in your garden and
their placement. Evergreen shrubs provide visual depth to our gardens. If you
decide to add more, you can select tall and thick evergreens or dwarf ones. Also
consider the attractiveness of the bark of your plants. For example, many maples
and crepe myrtles have beautiful bark. Some plants have bright colored bark in
winter. There is a dogwood with beautiful shining red stems (Cornus alba “Sibirica”).
One of the most interesting plants in my garden in winter is a small tree called
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana “Contorta”). In winter,
without leaves, you see all the twisted corkscrew branches. Do not forget about
plants with colorful berries and evergreen ground covers such as ivy and
pachysandra. All of these together help unify your winter garden and make it
interesting. This assessment can help you to decide what to add or move around
in your garden come spring.
my next few columns, I will talk about upcoming garden sales in our area. These
tend to be held March through June.
1416 N. Glebe Rd:
Randolph and Jennifer Goff (Former Pete Jackson residence)
for Better Access to Developmental Drugs Continues Successful Efforts:
In early January
Frank Burroughs, Buchanan St, reported that the Food & Drug Administration
magazine, FDA Week “ran an article regarding the efforts of the Abigail
Alliance to have NCI (National Cancer Institute) advertising for specific
clinical trials including promotion of www.clinicaltrials.gov and www.cancer.gov
. The article also pointed out the need for all company-sponsored clinical
trials to be posted on these important web sites. Frank also reports that the
Alliance was a significant part of the Jan. 18th Washington Post magazine
section. For those interested in the Alliance newsletter the web site is : http://www.abigail-alliance.org
recommended child care available part time: Jill Reuter says her part-time nanny
“is looking for additional part-time work with a family for Tuesday-Thursday.
“I have nothing but wonderful things to say about her. She is loving,
thoughtful and caring. She has CPR Red Cross certification for infants and young
children. She is Spanish speaking but her communication skills are certainly
adequate. Please let me know if anyone is interested in speaking with her. I
will pass the information along. Call Jill at 703-807-1199 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tables for sale:
Two oak living room end tables and matching coffee table. $75.00 or make offer.
struggling: Ron will be 56 in September. He had a rough experience at Christmas
into January when a former “friend” came for a few days and stayed for 5
weeks. Ron was trying to give him a break—but finally couldn’t deal with his
mooching/arrogant attitude. A couple of Ron’s helpful friends helped get the
fellow to vacate the premises. Ron had a lot of rough health days in January,
but didn’t want to go to the hospital. He is much better as of this writing.
His sister is bringing him some things to eat—not that he can eat that much. A
WWCA resident helped him with back phone bills. Ron’s brother has almost as
bad health as Ron does from failing kidneys.
ITS BEEN EXERCISED
(From e-mail): “I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear
loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing I wouldn’t have
signed up in the first place”
Enterprises does interior/exterior maintenance and construction management: This
includes interior and exterior masonry, brick, block, stone work, concrete,
plastering, dry-wall, painting, ceramic tile, marble and granite. References for
work done in WWCA include Carolyn Green, 1214 N. Columbus (703-524-2434). Note
the stone lawn retaining wall we did on the north end of Frederick St in WWCA
(Editor: I know Chris Pistone, owner of Capstone ,from church. He is a man of
integrity and has done a lot of work in Arlington, Great Falls & McLean)
Nationally certified personal trainer & nutritional counselor
Phone: 703-522-9654, Fax: 703-522-2150, Cell: 703-517-8843, e-mail: email@example.com
AVAILABLE FOR TEEN
Tracie Morris ,
11th St says “Dr. Spencer at the Ballston
leave him a message explaining why you are calling and he’ll get back to you.
He generally cannot take calls during the day. You can mention that you heard
about the position through Tracie Morris.
SAT. , MAY 8TH IS
“ARLINGTON NEIGHBORHOOD DAY”: The theme this is year is “We are the
neighborhood”. This is the 8th annual Neighborhood Day and is sponsored by the
Civic Federation, Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, County Council
of PTAs, Arlington Schools and County government.
MOTHERS OF NORTH
ARLINGTON: Meets Thursday, Feb. 12th at 10 am at the Cherrydale United Methodist
Church, located at 3701 Lorcom Lane. This is a support group for mothers who
primarily stay at home with their children, including those who have home-based
businesses or work part-time but are home with their children during the day.
BEEN OXYMORONED (From E-mail) “Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance”
mean the same thing? Why do “tug” boats push their barges?”
press articles, United Way Report and a report from the Task Force On
land: 26 square miles with 1,343 acres of open space, 85 miles of bike/jogging
paths, 178 county parks and playgrounds, 99 tennis courts, 8 libraries, 4
theatres, 10 senior centers, three nature centers, 14 community centers, 10 fire
stations, three indoor municipal pools and one outdoor ampitheater.
Population: Resident: 189,453 (Day-time-276,808 including 201,224 workers).
Arlington is the 12th densest jurisdiction in the U.S. with 51 percent of the
population in the 20-44 range.
White (68.9), Hispanic (18.6), Black (9.3), Native American (.3), Asian/Pacific
Islands (8.7). The Hispanic population increased by 22.4 percent from 1996 to
2000 (total 35,268). There are 80 nationalities (60 in the schools).
race percentages: White (41.5), Hispanic (33.2), black (14.9), Asian/Pacific
single or two adults: 80 percent
Affordability: In 2000 median rents exceeded $882.00 a month. “At this rate
housing is unaffordable for households with income less than $35,380. Recent
reports suggest that a minimum livable income for a family of 4 in Arlington is
approximately $46,500. The Federal Poverty Line for a family of four is $16,655.
Service industry (69,000). Federal and international government (66,000),
industrial (24,548), wholesale/retail (15,896), state/local gov’t (9,053),
finance/insurance/real estate (8,853) and self-employed (7,450)
Arlington employment grew 43 percent between 1981 and 2000 and is expected to
increase to 294,700 in 2025 (Editor: that sort of answers some questions about
how many more high rises are coming.) In 1980 government employment accounted
for 50 percent of the County’s work force. In 2002 it was responsible for only
28.5 percent. Service employment doubled in the same period. The Sun Gazette
said “of those who work in Arlington, 32 percent come from Fairfax County, 21
percent from Arlington, and 10 percent from Prince George’s County.
number of registered vehicles rose from 167,267 in FY 95 to 186,000 in FY-2001,
or approximately 2 vehicles per household.
“Fifty-two percent of county residents hold college degrees; 24 percent hold
Per capita income:
Calls to Emergency
Communications Center: 605,000 (that’s 1657 per day).
MULCH SALE TO
RAISE MONEY FOR THE WASHINGTON-LEE HIGH SCHOOL CREW TEAM
The rowing crew
team parent boosters “will deliver high quality hardwood mulch to your home
(or community garden/beautification) on Saturday, March 13th or Sunday, March
14th. The shredded hardwood mulch comes in 3 cu. ft bags (larger than the 2 cu.
ft. bags sold in local hardware stores). Prices: 10 or fewer bags($4.50/bag), 11
to 19 bags ($4.25 per bag) all the way to 50 bags ($3.50 per bag). For
information call Neal Payne: 703-524-7769.
http://www.w-lcrew.org/boosters/mulch.pdf Orders must be received by Sat. March
6th, 2004. Make checks payable to W-L Crew Boosters. All orders must be paid in
advance. Mail orders with check to: Neal Payne, 5010 N. 4th St, Arlington, Va,
Note: “The crew
program at W-L High School enjoys support from Arlington County via salary
supplements for two varsity and two novice coaches, school bus transportation to
all practices and regattas, and insurance. Funding for the rest of the program,
however, must come from fundraising efforts and dues paid by the family of each
participating child. We must raise money to pay for our use of the Potomac Boat
Club” , regatta entry fees etc.”
PRESENTATION AT MARCH 9TH
Taub and PTA President Tecla Murphy will speak and answer questions at the March
9th WWCA meeting. Note: Ms Taub told the editor that the renovated and expanded
Glebe Elementary School might open in the late fall, instead of Jan. 2005. The
contractor is ahead of schedule.
IT’S GOING ON AT
(From Glebe PTA)
ends for Glebe students and families, thanks to the special projects Glebe
teachers are launching throughout our school. These projects were made possible
by Glebe’s energetic and creative staff and dedicated parents who secured
funding for many of these programs from competitive grant programs, making their
ideas a reality for Glebe students. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on and
with Dr. Rimkus of the Biology dept. at Marymount University, Glebe teacher Rich
Haltunnen and Carlin Springs teacher Sharon Gaston have started an
interdisciplinary reading, environmental sciences, and character education
program that focuses on turtles and their habitats. This program includes
lectures by a turtle expert, Dr. Rimkus, hands-on science activities for Glebe
students, and a turtle breeding program at Glebe. Plans are underway for use of
the newly renovated Glebe outdoor learning space as a turtle sanctuary for hurt
and injured turtles. Made possible by a grant from Dominion Resources.
Veggies sure taste
better when you grow them yourself. Thanks to Glebe teachers Greg Taylor,
Richard Haltunnen and others, selected Glebe students will soon be planning,
planting, harvesting, selling—and eating—produce from a new Glebe victory
garden created by the students and their teacher mentors. It’s a fresh and
tasty way to learn about teamwork, the natural sciences, math and more. Made
possible by a grant from the Washington Post Educational Foundation’s Grants
in Education program.
A NIGHT AT THE
Fifty Glebe second
graders and ESOL/HILT students are about to witness the adventures of Pinocchio
and discover the thrill of classic opera. Students will attend the Opera Theatre
of Northern Virginia’s full-scale production of this delightful folk tale set
to the classical music of Rossini. Made possible by funds from the Opera Guild
of Northern Virginia and the United Way.
and stories of Native American Indians will fill Glebe-at-Wilson when local
Native American drummers and dancers teach and perform for the entire Glebe
community. All are welcome to attend this special, cross-cultural learning
opportunity scheduled for spring 2004. Made possible by a grant from the
Arlington Education Fund of the Arlington Community Foundation.
(More next month
on Glebe Elementary projects)
CALMING : MOVABLE LUMP Ann remembers growing up in a country village, Calvert,
Md fondly. It was a good place to grow up. More about that another time. There
was very little traffic on the gravel road through Calvert but due to the dust
people needed to slow down. That’s where an old slow hound dog name of Brownie
comes in. Ann says Brownie walked up the road slowly and just flopped down.
Brownie was independent and drivers would have to blow their horn and yell at
Brownie to get him to move. So you see—there was no traffic calming committee
in Calvert. Brownie was all they needed back in the good old days in Calvert,
Cecil County, northern Md.
STUDENTS EARN RIBBONS AT ANNUAL ARTS CONTEST:
Students won ribbons in six categories at the annual County-wide Reflections
Contest, earning the second highest number of awards for any school in Arlington
County. Demonstrating their tremendous creativity, Glebe students took a 1st and
2nd place award in photography, a 2nd place award and honorable mention in
visual arts, and two honorable mentions in literature. Reflections is an annual
National PTA sponsored arts recognition and achievement program for students
from preschool to 12th grade. The REFLECTIONS program provides a venue for
students to create original works of art based on a pre-selected theme, while
increasing community awareness of the importance of arts in education. This is a
tremendous accomplishment for our local students. Congratulations!
FOOD COLLECTION BY
THE BOY SCOUTS LAST FALL: Dave Walters says “no statistics were developed for
individual troops. However, Arlington troops together delivered 38,000 pounds of
cans , and 12 pounds of dry goods to Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). An
additional 10,000 lbs of food were delivered to individual soup kitchens at
churches. So a total of 30 tons of food was collected, and distributed, within
Arlington. THAT’S 6 TRACTOR TRAILERS FULL!
BASEBALL STADIUM STATUS
As you know, major
league baseball is looking for a place to relocate the Montreal Expos. Last year
the Arlington County Board decided Arlington (Pentagon City area or Rosslyn)
should not be the site for a stadium and is doing the ground work for building a
convention center in Pentagon City (although the press reports they have backed
away slightly—see below). County Board opposition doesn’t necessarily mean
the stadium in Arlington is dead because I understand the state can take the
land by eminent domain. The Jan. 29th Sun Gazette said: “As a state agency the
(Virginia Baseball Stadium) authority is able to take property from private
owners, after paying fair-market value…It also might be able to circumvent
local planning guidelines in building the stadium.”
Baseball scouting many cities to re-locate the Expos: The Jan. 15th Wash. Times
said the following cities have expressed an interest: Las Vegas, Hampton Roads
area of Virginia, Portland Oregon, San Antonio, Monterrey Mexico, and San Juan,
Puerto Rico. As to the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, Gabe Paul “said
its hoping to have a decision soon..” (in the next few months). The Expos are
owned by the 29 major league owners. Baseball’s chief operating officer, Bob
Depuy “insisted they still want to have a permanent home for the Expos in time
for the 2005 season.
Bill in Va General
Assembly (HB 50) “would extend funding for the Virginia Baseball Stadium
Authority (VBSA) to 2008. The bill is “championed” by Del. Vince Callahan,
“dean of the No. Va. delegation to Richmond. The Sun Gazette guesses the
Arlington legislative delegation “will lend up supporting it, then try to
placate anti-stadium activists with their reasons why. Callahan said in the Sun
Gazette “local residents should keep an open mind about the positive economic
impacts that a stadium will have on the entire region.” He said it was normal
some people don’t want a “stadium in their back yard.” There was a public
hearing on Jan. 5th in the Cty Board room held by Arlington’s delegation to
the legislature. Anti-stadium activists made up two thirds of the speakers, many
angry at the house bill. “Without new legislation the Authority would be out
of business by the end of the year.” The VBSA would fund two thirds or more of
the cost of a stadium..” Costs to build the stadium at the sites proposed in
Arlington were estimated at $400 million for Pentagon City
(Cont. on page 11)
STADIUM –ARLINGTON (Cont.):
and $600 million
in Rosslyn (includes tearing down the River House apts). “County Bd members
last summer said they would oppose a stadium in Arlington, but have backed away
slightly from that position.”
Bill to eliminate
the Stadium Authority: The Jan. 29th Sun Gazette says “Delegate Bob Brink,
D-48th, has introduced legislation in the General Assembly that, if approved by
the Commonwealth’s pro baseball governor, would eliminate the VBSA (on July
1st) and end the debate over a proposed Major League baseball stadium in
Arlington.” Brink introduced a “second bill as a back-up in case the stadium
authority survives that would limit its power significantly. Brink said “I
think its time to move beyond baseball—its been the most divisive issue that
I’ve seen in my 20 years of community service.” Del. Brink “wants to make
it at least explicit that the (stadium authority) will not have power of eminent
domain.” Brink wants 4 Arlington County reps on the stadium authority.
VIEW PARK (HALLS HILL)
Continued from the
Dec. and Jan. newsletters—“Up on the Hill—an Oral history of the Halls
Despite all the
social pressures, blacks in Halls Hill felt relatively secure within their
neighborhood. As Peggy Deskins remember: “I liked this community and the kids
friendly. You know everyone. You knew every single house that was in Halls Hill
at that time. You knew every person and they knew you. It was really a
tight-knit community. You would be just as careful not to do wrong things in
front of any of these neighbors as you would in front of your parents.” Vivian
Bullock said much the same thing: “But that’s what people did, see. I mean
to make things work we…I was trying to help my mother. She had two younger
children but as I said, it was a good life. We lived a good life. We didn’t
have to bother with those people who didn’t want to be bothered with us. We
didn’t think anything about it. Even so, members of the Halls Hill had to find
ways to protect their children from racial hatred by whites. Peggy Deskins
remembered that her parents pursued a policy of discretion: “Mother and Dad
never talked about prejudices and things. They talked to each other a lot and
during that time the children weren’t even supposed to be around. You know,
it’s “I am talking to your mother” and that’s that. So we stayed out of
the way.” Ms Deskins would later find ways to protect her own two children.
“They had a pony ring down there in Cherrydale, they had little horses you
could get on and ride. Not the black children. And of course my sons, Ronnie and
Clayton , were used to riding a horse because they’d go up into the country to
Cousin George’s and they would ride around on the horse. So they would want to
ride the ponies and I could just say something like “Oh, we don’t have any
time today,” or something like that when the pony was around. I never said
(but some people did) “They don’t like black people on those horses.” I
never, never said anything like that to my children. I just couldn’t
understand the reason myself, and I was not going to give them the idea that
being black meant you couldn’t do the same as other people could do. It’s
not going to come out of my mouth. “ And there were other battles to join.
Reverend Browne recalls the sea change that transformed the United States
society after World War II. “We recognized things were changing and then of
course things were changing. You know the Supreme Court had made a couple of
decisions that enabled us to do some thing, to become involved in some things.
And we had decided that there were certain people, their attitudes and their
promises of things they had done would be to our advantage. We did , yeah. It
was different. And then of course Mrs Roosevelt was a beautiful picture of a
liberal-minded person. That all influenced us, and I don’t know how much good
it did to us, but they did..
HALLS HILL HISTORY
Post World War II:
After WW II Halls Hill activists turned their attention to providing basic
improvements for people in their neighborhood. Rev. Browne was among those
“Of course our
biggest problem was that the community needed some things. This street here,
Culpeper St was only paved part way, it was mostly a gravel street. Buchanan St
back here was just mud and gravel. They used to tease me because even though I
lived right directly behind the house here I would drive there up to the church
because the road was so bad you could get yourself all messed up trying to walk
up the street. So I’d get in the car and drive around and come around here.
included streetlights, but there were political demands to be posed as well, as
Rev. Browne noted:
would have said we don’t have the money for them. But then when the laws
changed they could no longer say that and also voting became important. I
remember when we registered almost 100 people in one time for one election and
that became important. So things changed. Attitudes, ideas of people made it
possible for us to get out there. We had to feel that if we really went out for
something we would get something done.” Local blacks also had to fight to
provide basic educational needs for their children, as James Brown recalled: “
We had a couple of guys on the county board that was really supportive of what
we wanted. This was during the Movement (the mid-1950s). They had one man that
…every school had a place for kindergarten. We didn’t have one, (at)
Langston. So what are we going to do? But I had been to a meeting and the county
school system came up with their budget and their balances and so forth. I never
forgot the figure. They were $65,000 in the black. So I said “Wait a minute.
Let’s talk about a kindergarten for Langston.” “We don’t have any
money”. “What are you going to do with that $65,000?” “We’ll come up
and take a look.” And they bought property over here. One with a house. Fairly
new house. And they renovated that and called it the “Strawberry Cottage.”
That’s where our kindergarten came from. But they were determined they
weren’t going to turn that money loose.
The community next
had to confront the issue of school desegregation, and the community of Halls
Hill was closely connected with that process. According to Rev. Browne:
“Oh yeah. That
was the tenor of the situation. So anyhow, you’d be amazed when we first went
to court to try to desegregate. We started first to try to equalize the schools.
Thurgood Marshall sat right there and Mr. Robinson the lawyer, sat here and the
fella who was in Congress from Maryland was sitting here, I can’t remember his
name. We were talking about trying to get Hoffman-Boston to equalize with
Washington-Lee. Thurgood said “Fellows, let me tell you one thing. It’s
never going to be equal separate. So let’s go all whole hog, go all the way.
We’re going to say ….desegregation.” and the decision was made right
For years before
that time, however , blacks had been resisting the racially motivated
oppressions of daily life.
As Phyllis Snowden
Costley remembered: “ When I went to school over in town (DC) we used to ride
the bus, the school bus, for five cents. At least they didn’t give us the
school bus until after…we rode to town on the regular bus, which was Arnold.
Because so many of us they used to try to make us sit in the back, and we were a
little belligerent and we wouldn’t sit in the back; we would sit anywhere we
wanted on the bus and they’d grab us and put us off the bus. We’d stomp
their feet, get off. Sometime we’d spit in their face.”
-More Halls Hill
history in the March newsletter
FARMER’S MARKET: Re-opened Jan. 3rd “for its second winter run” according
to the Jan. 1 Arl. Sun Gazette. “The market will be open weather permitting,
every Saturday from 8 am to noon at the intersection of 14th St North and No.
Courthouse Rd. (near the Arlington County government building etc). For info
call 703-228-6423 or see the web site: www.arlingtonfarmersmarket.com .