ARLINGTON’S AIR GETS “F” GRADE FOR SMOG
The state of Arlington’s air is not very good, according to the American Lung Association, whose data comes from official monitors for ozone and particle pollution throughout the country. Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and the District of Columbia earned an “F” for ozone pollution, and the DC area as a whole ranked as the 9th most polluted city in the nation, up from 13th last year. The report suggested that the DC area has improved in terms of particle pollution in recent years, in keeping with the trend across the nation; however, the area has experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone. “Cleaning up major air pollution sources through steps like cleaner gasoline and cleaner vehicle standards will drastically cut both ozone and particle pollution”, the American Lung Association says. And less traffic?
SAY NO TO BOTTLED WATER! TAKE THE PLEDGE!
Arlington County’s “TAP in Arlington” goal is to have 10,000 people sign the pledge (no, not to give up alcohol, but to “choose to drink tap water instead of purchasing single use water bottles.”) They would like to reduce the purchase of these bottles, and to make Arlington a model for the nation on sustainable plastic water bottle practices. Some disturbing facts about bottled water: 1,000 bottles are used per second in the US; 70% are not recycled; it takes 700 years for the bottles to decompose; and 17 million barrels of oil are used annually to produce bottled water! And tap water is much cheaper! More at http://www.tapinarlington.com
OUTDOOR GARDEN TALKS AT CENTRL LIBRARY
Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Master Gardeners are hosting free weekly vegetable gardening talks every Wednesday from 7 – 8pm at the demonstration garden at Central Library. Topics will include irrigation, vertical gardening, herbs and container gardens, pollinators, composting and more. Information at: http://library.arlingtonva.us/ai1ec_event/wednesday-expert-gardening-talk-central/
ARMY NAVY COUNTRY CLUB MASSIVE PIN OAK
Army Navy County Club has the largest pin oak, quercus palustris, in the commonwealth: it is more than 18’ around, has a 100’ crown spread and is 90’ high! It is only beaten for national champion by a tree in Indiana.
ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE SUMMER CAMP
July 15 – 17, 10am – 3pm; July 29 – 31, 10am – 3pm.
Children will learn how to be responsible pet owners, all about wildlife in Arlington, the different kinds of companion animals, bite prevention and more. $150. More information and registration at http://awla.org/services/humane-education
FOOD TRUCK THURSDAYS
Get your lunchtime food fix in Crysal City on Thursdays from 11am – 2pm at a selection of food trucks, including Doug the Food Dude, A Lo Cubano, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Something Stuffed and Curbside Cupcake. Find them in the parking lot at 223 S. 23rd St. (cnr. 23rd & S. Clark Sts)
TWO WHEEL TUESDAYS AT AURORA HILLS LIBRARY
A casual and fun way to get information about biking: savvy cycling tips, bike types and gear, routes and direction and more. You don’t need a bike to join: from May 7 – 28 the weekly meetings will be held at Aurora Hills Library from 7 – 8:30pm; June programs at Columbia Pike Library and the July programs at Central Library. More information at http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/two-wheel-tuesdays/
ARLINGTON MAGAZINE’S TOP 10 NEIGHBORHOODS
Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge are featured in Arlington Magazine’s choice of top 10 Arlington neighborhoods. As the magazine notes, Northern Virginia is “hot”, but some neighborhoods are hotter than others! The features that make us one of the “top” are ones we all recognize and value, such as diversity of house design, trees, convenience, walkability, and the people who live here. Read the article.
HOME ENERGY REBATE PROGRAM
Do you want to be more comfortable in your home and reduce your utility bills? The home energy audit rebate program is sponsored by the Local Energy Alliance (LEAP) and Arlington County and provides a $250 rebate on home energy audits performed by LEAP partner companies. Full Details
SPRING IS POTHOLE SEASON
County crews work diligently to fill the potholes that have appeared during the winter season all over Arlington: you can help by letting them know where they exist, with the closest street address. Submit a “pothole report”: or call 703-228-6570
SOUTH HAYES STREET CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Crews are preparing to install street furniture, a new bicycle shelter, bus shelter, and kiss and ride shelter within the Pentagon City Metro plaza area. Construction is scheduled to continue through 2014. When it is over, the plans depict tables where you will be able to sip your latte under leafy trees while watching the buses and cars roll by on both sides.
RESOLVE TO BE READY IN 2013
CERT Training begins in March
Join the growing ranks of Arlington residents who are better prepared for and able to respond to disasters. Since it began 10 years ago, over 575 residents have completed the 23-hour CERT training, which covers disaster preparedness, medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, fire suppression and terrorism. The classes meet at the Arlington Fire Dept. Training Academy in Shirlington; training is free and open to Arlington residents who are at least 18 years old. Advance Registration is required. More information at ArlingtonCERT@gmail.com
KATHARINE MARIE MILLER WHITELY
Our dear friend and neighbor, Katharine “Kit” Whitely, passed away on October 30, 2012, at her home after a courageous six year battle with breast cancer.
After retiring from an illustrious career in senior engineering management positions in the defense sectors at McDonnell-Douglas and The Boeing Company, Kit approached ARCA looking for new challenges. Kit was Secretary of ARCA from 2009-2011 but in addition took on a much greater role on key issues confronting ARCA, given her unique energy and analytical skills. Kit shaped our neighborhood survey, seeking useful feedback for our upcoming Neighborhood Conservation Plan. She was the lead for ARCA during the Crystal City Redevelopment Plan approvals and is in large part responsible for the formation of the Citizens Council. County Board Member Chris Zimmerman said Kit’s “…participation in the Crystal City Sector Plan process made a positive impact that will benefit Arlingtonians for many years to come.”
Kit was a voice of reason on the many issues facing our neighborhood. She was tireless in her efforts to protect and support our neighborhood. Even in the latter stages of her illness, Kit personally developed and steered a proposal through the County’s Park Enhancement Grant process to improve the safety of Fort Scott Park for current and future generations. She was an active participant in the Nominating Committee for the 2012-2013 ARCA slate of officers, ensuring continued future quality leadership for our community. She was also active in fundraising for and participating in the Alexandria Breast Cancer Walk. ARCA is overseeing the placement of a memorial bench in her honor at Fort Scott Park. Donate to this project.
NEW SPRAYGROUND AT VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS PARK
Funding through the Neighborhood Conservation Program has been approved for the Virginia Highlands sprayground that will feature a water recirculation system, an accessible entrance and picnic area and sidewalk improvements.
ARLINGTON VILLAGES PROJECT
Arlington Villages is one step closer to having a pilot program in our neighborhood — ARCA representative Andrea Walker held a meeting Oct. 21 for those interested in being part of the pilot team. The team will develop infrastructure functions and guidelines, identify potential members and their needs, and conduct outreach to churches, condo associations and other community groups.
A village is a community-based grassroots organization that provides the support services needed for older adults to remain in their own homes and active in the community. These volunteer neighbors-helping-neighbors working with Arlington County agencies to provide such services as transportation, home repair and maintenance, exercise and wellness classes and daily check-in.
If you are looking for a project that will use your wealth of knowledge and skill to create lasting value to the community, join the Arlington Village Project team. More information. Contact Andrea Walker at 703-838-6244 or email email@example.com
LIBRARY ADDS NEW REFERENCE SITES
You can finally recycle those 40 lbs of National Geographics in your basement, as Arlington Public Library has added the National Geographic Archives to its collection of premium sites available free through the Library website. It has also added Encyclopedia Britannica and Livemocha, which offers online language and ESL instruction.
CREATIVE COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS WEBSITE AND BLOG FOR RETIREES
Join Creative Community Connections and help build a self-sustaining community of new and about-to-be retirees looking to explore new ways to give back, stay healthy and active and find new challenges and adventures while connecting with their peers on the same quest. Volunteer to be a reporter who posts information about the bountiful resources in Arlington where people can meet up with each other and share interests. Write about your passions — favorite restaurants, happy hours where you can actually hear one another, set up a roommate service/forum for travelers…and more. Check it out.
The Arlington County Board and the Alexandria City Council have approved an agreement to move forward on a plan to build a streetcar along the Route 1 corridor. The streetcar line could open in Crystal City as soon as 2019. The County has a new video called “Streetcars in Arlington” produced by Arlington TV, the County’s cable station, about the planned streetcar system. The video explains how streetcars will fit with the County’s Smart Growth vision and how the system will expand the reach of Metro and connect to the regional transportation system. The video also maps the proposed routes and stops. Watch the video.
RESIDENTS SATISFIED WITH ARLINGTON COUNTY
Arlington’s third Resident Satisfaction Survey conducted this spring found that 92% of those surveyed found Arlington’s quality of services satisfactory, which is 32% above the national average. Areas needing improvements are street maintenance and traffic flow, which should surprise no-one living in our neighborhood.
Results of the survey
PLACE Space : Arlington County has launched an online meeting site designed to promote civic conversations and community connections, PLACE Space. The site is part of the PLACE initiative, but “It is not a social networking site”, Library Director Diane Kresh said, “Our site is a community network, which helps you connect with people, groups and businesses you don’t know, and to connect with each other and with the County government.” The site includes a calendar, a directory of Arlington organizations and people, and a map that pinpoints locations. To participate, users must create a profile online.
Ed Fendley, creator of The Arlington Egg Project is promoting a County ordinance that will allow residents a limited number of backyard hens (no roosters), explaining that with a small number noise and waste problems will be minimal. Jim Pebley of the Waycroft Woodawn Civic Association says, on the contrary, “the smell is unavoidable”.
In response, the Arlington County Board has created an Urban Agriculture Task Force that will spend the next year researching best practices in sustainable urban agriculture policies, including whether residents can keep small numbers of backyard hens. Current zoning requires that all livestock or poultry must be kept at least 100’ away from a property’s lot lines, which precludes almost all Arlington residents from keeping backyard hens. ARCA will gather the facts and monitor the process as this issue moves forward. Weigh in with your opinion at the Open Arlington Online Forum.
LIBRARY DIGITAL PROJECTS LAB
Arlington has rolled out the region’s first Digital Projects Lab for those who have t he needs and skills, but not the creative resources, to take the next step. Whether it is a photo video and sound wedding album, a small graphic design campaign, animation for a science fair or a civic association podcast, you’ll be able to realize your vision with the kinds of software and hardware library users have sought for years. If you have a story that can go beyond text, the Lab will help you tell it.
It’s pilot phase through June is located on the first floor of Central Library, and will allow staff to see what system are most in demand and what kind of work stations are effective. It will be open 20 hours a week with 2 hour sessions, although this can be extended if no one is waiting. Staff will be on hand for basic assistance, and advanced reservations are required. More information: http://library.arlingtonva.us/2012/03/23/coming-soon-your-digital-projects-lab/
2012 NOTABLE TREES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD : Tree Canopy Increases
At this year’s Arbor Day Ceremony Arlington received its 16th consecutive award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. Satellite imagery analysis in 2009 showed that Arlington’s tree canopy coverage was about 43%. Last year the County planted 960 trees and removed 700. That’s a net gain of 260 trees! The County Board recognized two 2012 Notable Trees in our neighborhood, a Post Oak at the corner of 25th and S. Hayes and a Ginkgo in the 700 block of 25th Street.
AHCA’s newsletter editor and horticulture guru, Cory Giacobbe, notes that The Washington Post reports that we are in for a bumper crop of insects this year that will bring us even more mosquitos than usual. The most important thing you can do to prevent mosquitos from breeding in your yard is to eliminate standing water in corrugated black plastic tubes on downspouts, in flower pot saucers, bird baths, clogged gutters, children’s toys. More information