Quarterly Membership Meeting (7:30 pm)
Patrick Henry Elementary School
Attendees: Adam Croswell, Betty Siegel, Martin Chadzynski, Kimberly Sumner, Catherine Camp, Bryan Sieling, Terry and Dave Jones, Marueen Sullivan, Wyatt Weber, Mary Crosby, Katrina Dvorznak, Karla Fisher, Jason Torchinsky, Richard Bullington McGuire, Cesar A. Mendoza, Maureen Critchley, Carole Lieber, David Negron, Liz Fried, Sue Grabowski, Anthony Nunez, Jay Wind
Guests: Lynda Slye, Denise Marshall Roller
The meeting was called to order at 7:32 pm.
Guests were introduced: Linda Slye who is on the Fair Board and Denise Marshall Roller with the County’s Cultural Affairs Office.
County Fair: There are lots of new things coming including expanded outdoor programming. This year for the first time they will use the entire soccer field primarily for the new mobile stage that they’ve purchased for providing outdoor entertainment. The entertainment on the stage will be scheduled for 4:45 pm until 8:15 pm on Friday and Saturday night. The entertainment planned for the stage includes:
August 19 4:45 – 5:45 Ruthie & the Wranglers Roots Rock
August 19 6 – 7 Origem Brazilian Jazz
August 19 7:15 – 8:15 Tom Principato Rockin’ Blues
August 20 4:45 – 5:45 The Barretones Bluegrass
August 20 6 – 7 DKGB Reggae
August 20 7:15 – 8:15 Mary Ann Redmond Band Kick-Butt Blues
August 21 Time TBA Multicultural performances
The plan is to place the stage in the center of the soccer field facing S. 2nd Street.
There won’t be vendors in front of the Center this year but instead there will be mobile units such as Red Cross, A mammogram unit, a Risk Watch Truck, etc. The kids day tent is moving to where the petting zoo was and the petting zoo which will be bigger this year is moving to a green area. They will be using the same Mid-way provider.
The issues raised by neighbors included:
- The free shuttle service from the Career Center parking lot to TJ. In the past the fair has been very cooperative with the neighborhood about not allowing these to cut thru the small neighborhood streets. And, the request was reiterated to not allow the shuttles to run through the neighborhood but instead to use Walter Reed, Glebe, Arlington Blvd, Columbia Pike and S. 2nd Street exclusively. Some discussion on exactly what would be the best route.
MOTION: AHCA requests that the County Fair shuttles and buses be kept off the neighborhood streets and only use Walter Reed, Glebe, Arlington Blvd, Columbia Pike and 2nd Street. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
- The question was raised as to why the outdoor stage is being situated to face the neighborhood, and the private homes along 2nd Street. Why not face it towards Arlington Blvd or towards TJ to minimize the noise impact on the neighborhood. The Fair staff said that there were some technical and logistical reasons for facing it towards AHCA neighbors homes. The request was made by the AHCA to re-orient the stage so that it faced away from our homes and towards TJ or Arlington Blvd. It was decided that a request was good enough and didn’t require a motion and vote.
- Trash pick-up. The question was asked about whether or not there would be a nightly walk thru the neighborhood to pick up trash. County Parks and Recreation would be doing the pick-up and the County Fair staff would alert them to the concern about litter, and that they would be sure to put out plenty of trash cans/boxes.
For more information about the Fair go to: www.arlingtoncountyfair.org
If, during the Fair, AHCA neighbors have any concerns please call Ms. Roller on her cell phone at (540) 455-2370 or Ms. Slye at (571)212-5068.
Arlington Police: The next guests were the Arlington Police. First Paul Larson, 3rd District Commander spoke and gave a report.
- Homicide: The homicide on 9th Road behind the Cinema and Draft House and Matuba’s was not neighborhood specific, it seemed to have spilled over from Alexandria, and the police are close to an arrest.
- Gangs: These have pretty much been pushed out of Arlington and are moving into Leesburg. There is some minor activity near Four Mile Run and Columbia Pike.
- Increased police presence in the neighborhood. They are trying to increase the presence of police in the neighborhood to deter speeding, and other things. They are concentrating on S. 7th, S. 2nd and S. Highland. The neighbors thanked the police for doing this.
- Report suspicious activity. Never hesitate to call and report suspicious activity. The non-emergency number is (703) 558-2222 and the emergency number is 911.
- Police activity in front of the Career Center. This is a staging area for issuing warrants and other police activity in South Arlington.
- S. 6th Street and Highland: There is a feeling that the intersection is dangerous and that a four way stop would help. This is really an issue for Traffic Engineering – contact Terry Bellamy. There was some discussion over whether a four way stop was a good choice, perhaps a traffic circle, or would this force traffic on to adjacent streets, and four-way stops increase the amount of traffic noise as cars decelerate and accelerate to and from the stop. The other way to address speeding issues is to have the County Traffic Calming Committee address it. Anyone can initiate a request to have a street studied but the Traffic Calming Committee has had a significant decrease in funding and can’t fund all the projects they have now.
- Cameras: The cameras you see on Columbia Pike belong to VDOT and are merely monitoring the traffic.
Basically in our neighborhood in the past three months there has been 3 aggravated assaults, 1 gang related fight in the parking lot of the Career Center (all participants have been tried and convicted), 1 homicide, 3 cars broken into, 1 car theft and the rest are all connected to the 7/11 on Columbia Pike and the Career Center. These rates of crime are very low. Crime hasn’t been this low since 1962 in Arlington. So it is just a perception, not a reality, that there is a lot of crime and that the area isn’t safe.
Officer Hurlock then spoke about home security and the Crime Prevention Unit. She has stickers with emergency and non-emergency numbers on them, you can call her and she’ll come out to look at your home. The biggest issue right now are bike thefts so please register your bikes for free. Please report any crimes or suspicious activity you see because the police use this data to track trends and patterns. If you see a lot of coming and going from a house call the police. Don’t let anyone you don’t know into your house – older people are easily victimized this way and identity theft is serious. If you don’t know them, don’t open the door. Solicitors must have a permit. A lot of the crime is opportunistic.
Betty Siegel presented the draft minutes from the April 2005 meeting.
Motion: To approve the April 19, 2005 minutes. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
Bob Dannemiller was not at the meeting so there was no treasurers report.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT:
AHCA is going to share a booth with the Civic Federation again this year at the County Fair. Volunteers are needed to staff the booth. Please let Adam know if you can volunteer some time.
For more details on these issues the Civic Federation minutes can be found at: http://www.civfed.org/
Neighborhood Conservation (NC) Report
Betty Siegel asked that there be a motion to prioritize AHCA NC projects as listed below.
Motion: To approve the AHCA priority list for NC projects as listed below.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Fenwick Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Ivy Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street, on South Highland Street between South 9th Street and Columbia Pike, and on South 9th Street between South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Highland Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street
- Installation of Carlyle type streetlights on South 5th Street between South Glebe Road and South Jackson Street.
Seconded, passed unanimously.
Missing Link Program: If anyone is aware of any missing links in sidewalks please let Betty know. The applications are due in September for this program. The importance of the Missing Links program is that AHCA could get sidewalks filled in without effecting the projects already in the NC queue.
Current NC Project: There was concern expressed by two neighbors on S. Garfield about the project after the County started work on it. There was a meeting held with those two neighbors, Ms. Nixon who is the NCAC project Manager, Ms. Dakes who is an Assistant County Manager, and the AHCA NCAC representative. One of the neighbors at that meeting felt that some of her issues were addressed by the County such as what would happen to her lawn and would the County take care of putting it back into order if they had to tear part of it up. And, although she felt that the County still hadn’t answered all her questions she did not propose that the project be stopped or delayed but supported completing the installation of the street lights. All the work the County would do is in the County right-of way. Other neighbors from 6th Street and on S. Garfield at the meeting adamantly opposed delaying or stopping the project and felt that they had waited long enough to get the lights and did not have any concerns about the installation. The project was first petitioned by Mr. Weber and submitted in 1998, it was the first priority NC project at the AHCA membership meeting on Tuesday, October 14, 2003, was recommended for funding and construction at the NC winter funding session in December 2003, and was approved for funding and construction by the County Board at its first session in 2004.
Motion: AHCA supports and asks the County to proceed with completing construction and installation of Carlyle type street lights on 6th Street South between South Glebe Road and South Walter Reed Drive, and installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Garfield Street between 6th Street South and 7th Street South subject to restoring any damage to property caused by the installation. Seconded. Passed unanimously
ZORC and Allowable Lot Coverage: This issue has been postponed by the County Board until November and there are new County Manager recommendations. Check the County website for more information. There was a request to advertise public hearings on the proposed Zoning Ordinance on July 1, 2005
Newsletter: Adam thanked Cathy Camp for distributing almost all of the newsletters door-to-door. There was a round of applause.
Lights on the TJ track: The motion from the previous membership meeting in February was taken off the table and broken into two motions and discussed.
There was a strong feeling from those who use the track that it is unsafe since the lighting so poor. One younger female resident spoke of being accosted by men hanging out on that portion of the track and feeling extremely threatened. There was also a great deal of broken glass back in that area. The safety issues would be addressed by improved lighting along the north side of the TJ track around the athletic fields. A friendly amendment was made to add putting lights on the foot bridge across Arlington Blvd.
Motion: That AHCA ask the County to install lights on the track at the north side of TJ's athletic field and extend these lights on to the footbridge that crosses Arlington Blvd. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
Bluestone Soccer Field: The second motion involved asking the County to take action on the bluestone soccer field. A resident who almost daily plays soccer on that field said that he has serious concerns over his health and what the particulate matter and dust of the Bluestone might be doing to the health of the players on the field and the people who live around the field. Over all the residents around the field have consistently expressed concern about the serious problem with the current field because of excessive particular matter, dirt and dust that is being thrown or blown into the air.
Motion: AHCA ask the County to examine the health and environmental impact of the particulate matter of the Bluestone Soccer field on the users of the soccer field and the residents whose home surround the soccer field. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
Trees: Adam asked that anyone interested in doing some tree stewardship for some newly planted trees in the neighborhood please contact him.
Small Parks Grant: Adam thanked Cathy Camp for putting together the small grants application. Cathy and Jay have been working on getting an application submitted for a Park Enhancement Grant (PEG). For many reasons they’ve decided to address landscaping along S. Irving between Arlington Blvd and 2nd street on the TJ side along the fence. Adam will write a letter of support fro this project. Jay reminds everyone that there may be multiple pots of money that can be tapped to do this kind of improvement. Cathy made available the following information about the project:
Park Enhancement Grant (PEG) Project Update:
Landscaping the linear stretch of RT 50 (Glebe Rd to FillmoreSt) along the bike trail and the linear stretch of Irving St between Rt 50 and S. 2nd St along TJ fence line) update:
Site Visit 1 - Arlington Dept of Transportation, July 8, 2005: Attended: Charlie Denney, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager, Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, Division of Transportation; Christian Zur, PEG liaison for Arlington Heights; Cathy Camp and Jay Wind.
Result: Transportation Division is currently reviewing improvements to the Arlington Boulevard Trail and will likely repave the portion of the trail in Front of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. A decision will be made in August
Site Visit 2 - Arlington Dept of Parks and Recreation, July 15, 2005: Attended: Carol Ann Perovshek, Planner II, Arlington County DPRCR, Rebecca Feldberg, a landscape architect with Arlington County DPRCR; Cathy Camp, Jay Wind.
Result: Carol Ann Perovshek and Rebecca Feldberg, basically said that Rt 50 landscaping does not belong in a PEG plan. Reasons were that RT 50 is currently in the design phase of a global plan for landscaping; that the land belongs to VDOT and VDOT had been difficult for Arlington Co. coordinate with; and that Rt 50 needs plumbing, x-walks as well as landscaping (all of which is out of reach and scope for the PEG program).
Conclusion: Thus here is what was suggested by Carol Ann Perovshek and Rebecca Feldberg; The RT50 stretch will be part of a Master plan and future goals forArlington Heights and it will simply be a few sentences in our PEG proposal plan that state this. The Master plan should to be worked via AHCA Neighborhood Conservation Plan, and the County Board and State legislature. Letters should be written to County Board supporting their efforts toward the RT 50 global landscaping plan. Petitions could also be sent.
The Irving St. stretch (from RT 50 to 2nd St) along the fence line of Thomas Jefferson Jr. High (TJ) will be the PEG plan and what we will concentrate on. PEG Draft due date is July 29th.
Landscaping: Susie Ensign an Arlington Heights resident and professional Landscaper has volunteered her time to come up with a landscaping plan for the PEG project.
Petitions: (Requirement of PEG project) The collection of signatures in support of the PEG project is approximately 60% complete. Looking for block volunteers to help with signature collection.
Motion: That AHCA support in principle the submission of a Park Enhancement Grant application for $12,000 for landscaping and beautification of the green areas along the TJ fence on S. Irving between Arlington Blvd. and S. 2nd Street. Seconded. Passed Unanimously.
Motion: That AHCA authorize the Executive Committee to approve the final form of the Park Enhancement grant application before it is submitted, and to, upon Executive Committee approval, authorize its president to write a letter of support. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
Motion: That AHCA supports an Adopt-A-Park Agreement between AHCA and DPRCR. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
Social Activities: Megan Booth, who is the AHCA newsletter editor, is interested in reviving the associations tradition of having block parities and has offered to coordinate one on S. Highland Street. So, look for this to happen sometime in September.
AHCA Next Quarterly Meeting will be held on October 18, 2005 at 7:30 pm
Meeting Adjourned at 9:40 pm
Betty Siegel, Secretary