Over the Fence
News for Neighbors
from Arlington Heights Civic Association
May 2000

by Jay Jacob Wind, AHCA President (JAY.WIND@ATT.NET)

    So many AHCA members did so much in April and May that it's hard to remember and thank them all.I hope I didn't miss anyone.See our website at http://AHCA.web.com for more details and photos.

    Thank you to 65 citizens who attended our quarterly membership meeting on April 25.At the meeting, we agreed on the priorities for our applications for County Neighborhood Conservation (NC) funds (sidewalks and streetlights).In a dramatic show of democracy at work,we voted 20-19 among members, 24-20 among all present, tonot promote the sidewalk request for 200-500 SouthHighland Street from 8th priority to 2nd.It was a realcase where every single vote counted.I thank all the attendees for their patience during the long discussionand their willingness to accept the outcome.The complete list of our NC priorities is in our minutes at http://geocities.com/Heartland/Hollow/7939/20000425.html.

    Thanks to Jim Gill for drafting the NC priority list and for working with VDOT on the Route 50 median strip and streetscape

    Thanks to Eric Lanman for working with VDOT on the Glebe Road overpass over Route 50

    Thanks to Monique O'Grady for developing our float in the Arlington County Neighborhood Day parade on May 13, and to Bryan Sieling, Cathy O'Malley, and many others whocut and painted and marched with it.Thanks to Mike Webb of RE/MAX Horizons (703-824-6482) for sponsoring the float.

    Thanks to Jay and Amy Vennett for setting up the dedication ceremony for Arlington Heights Park on May 13.Thanks to The Uncommon Market (The Arlington Food Co-op), 1041 South Edgewood Street (703-521-2667) for sponsoring the dedication with refreshments.The Community Yard Sale that was scheduled for May 20 had to be postponed until June 10 because of weather.

    More thanks to Monique and Cathy for obtaining the banner congratulating Patrick Henry Elementary School principal Cintia Johnson for her award as Arlington County Principal of the Year.

    Thanks to Pattie DeLoatche for bring in more than a dozen new members.If you are not yet a member of AHCA, please join us.It's only $10 a year, and you get this newsletter and sidewalks, streetlights, social events, and influence over how the County treats our neighborhood

    Thanks to everyone from AHCA who attended the Columbia Pike Planning Process meetings on April 26 and May 18.Thanks to Arlington's Doug Woods and CPRO's Tim Lynch for setting up the meetings.

    Thanks to Lila Shapiro and all the other AHCA neighbors who cheered and brought out their water tables and garden hoses for Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation's Mitzvah 5K Run on May 21.

    Thanks to Mary Ellen Finn and her team of volunteers for all their hard work beautifying and planting at Patrick Henry Elementary School on April 29 and thereafter.

    Thanks to David Davis and his team of volunteers for staffing AHCA's table at the Columbia Pike Blues Festival on May 13.

    Thanks to Rosie Haltigen and her neighbors on 1st Road South for their perseverance to get their sidewalks fixed after 20 years of Route 50 traffic erroneously routed down their street.We got the sign moved; now we want the County to repair the damage.

    Thanks to Lydia Nuñez and the other members of our Social Action Committee for starting the delicate process of helping Arlington Heights neighbors in need of assistance

    Thanks to Carole Lieber, David Davis, Rich Bolczak, and Bryan Sieling for representing AHCA to Arlington County Civic Federation, and thanks to Bryan and the other members of our Traffic Committee for their work to make our streets safer.

    Thanks to the management at Dominion Arms Apartments and Jennifer Brawer at Arbors of Arlington condominium for distributing April's OVER THE FENCE there for the very first time.

    To e-mail or call any AHCA officers, visit our officers webpage at

    Join AHCA's annual Garden Tour.Meet at Jim and Joan Gill's home at 121 South Hudson Street at 9:30 am on Saturday, June 24, for light refreshments and orientation.From there, we'll visit a half-dozen homes and gardens in our neighborhood.E-mail Joan at JGILL@EROLS.COM for more information.

    The Columbia Pike Planning Process continues with our area's Phase 2 meeting, 7 pm, Wednesday, June 28, at the Career Center.E-mail for more information DWOODS@CO.ARLINGTON.VA.US.For full details, see http://www.geocities.com/ Heartland/Hollow/7939/FinalProcess1.html 

    AHCA's next quarterly membership meeting is 7:30 pm Tuesday night, July 18.On the agenda are Janette Purnell from Arlington County Code Enforcement.(Let's call it "neighborhood beautification.") and Don Passenant and Les and Anita Morgan from the Arlington County Fair.For the agenda, see http://www.geocities.com/ Heartland/Hollow/7939/agenda.html

    Arlington County Fair, Thursday-Sunday, August 17-20, at Thomas Jefferson Community Center.Carole Lieber is coordinating AHCA's information booth at the fair; e-mail her at CAROLE.LIEBER@DO.TREAS.GOV to help out.The Fair has permission from Arlington County Police to extend amusement park hours until 10 pm Sunday night (theyclosed at 6 pm last year).With three Fair Board members in our neighborhood, including Chairman Les Morgan, we can count on a listening ear on issues and concerns.

    AHCA is planning with CPRO, Eckerd's, and The Uncommon Market to host a music night at the small park in front of Eckerds, where the Farmers Market opened May 7.Watch for more information.

    Some time in late summer, Arlington County will begin excavation on 6th Street South between Glebe Road and Irving Street to improve draining and eliminate localized flooding.Arlington County's project engineer is Russell Carroll .For more information: (RCARRO@CO.ARLINGTON.VA.US).As part of this project, Lake Irving will be eliminated, and a curb will be installed at the southeast corner of 6th and Irving.AHCA is negotiating with the County to follow the repaving with badly-needed sidewalk repair.

    Don't start the summer without an Arlington Heights T-shirt. All sizes are now in.Please call Monique O'Grady to buy yours. Availability is limited, so call. (703) 521-5631.

From Monique O'Grady
    I just want to thank everyone involved with making our float participation in the Neighborhood Parade possible.Thanks to everyone who marched or rode in the parade.Our float made a great showing. All the hard work paid off as the kids got in the act.It wouldn't have been possible without the support of many folks:
    Bryan Sieling cut out and sketched the float design, as well as designed how the pieces would actually fit together and remain stable on the float.He showed up with everything pre-drilled; pre cut and designed the day we had to put it together.It was an amazing job.
   Joan and Jim Gill were a great help too.Joan came up with the adorable float idea and painted a large part of it, including that neighborhood sign which she painted free hand.She also drove the red convertible in the parade showcasing our veterans(including her Dad)and President Jay Wind.Jim helped a lot with painting, hauled some stuff between our houses, and gave up Joan a few late nights to get the thing painted.
   Cathy O'Malley -- spent the hottest part of Saturday, May 6th painting for three hours.She also helped us assemble the float before the parade.
   John Marr -- offered to drive the float and helped us assemble it. Thanks for all his hard work and expertise.
   Colleen Horn and her boyfriend Jay --enthusiastically offered to pull our float during the parade.We couldn't have rolled without you. Thank you !
   Todd and Julie Hixson -- gave up the last Saturday in May to help us paint.I know this was a big sacrifice because it was the first nice weekend day in a long time.
   Jay Wind -- managed to put a few hours of painting into his busy schedule two weekends ago. Thank you.
   Sally Ferrett -- came by two Sundays in a row and worked till dark to get those houses on the float looking spiffy.We had a great time.
   Auturo Torrez -- lent us his truck to get the float bed down to the park for assembly.Thank you for allowing us to borrow it !
   Mike O'Grady -- my husband watched the kids, and gave me all the support I needed during the process, even though at time I wasn't sure the float would make it.
    Thanks too to our corporate sponsors:Home Depot -- provided the supplies Eckerds - supplied the candy we threw off the float.Mike Webb - ReMax / Horizons Realtor funded the float.I couldn't have done it without all of you !Thanks again.

Construction on 6th Street South
by Jay Wind

    I spoke with Ricky Stottlemyer of The Strong Company, the subcontractor to Washington Gas Lightfor construction work currently underway on 6th Street South.

    According to Mr. Stottlemyer, the goal of the project is to reroute gas lines away from storm sewer lines so that later in the summer,after Arlington County contracts with a storm sewer and pavement contractor,the contractors can do their work safely, without interfering with gas lines.

    Three weeks ago, I spoke with Arlington County's street engineering supervisors Russell Carroll and Sterling Chew about the overall project. According to Mr. Carroll and Mr., Chew, Department of Public Works hopes to let the storm sewer and paving contract in July. We should expect full-scale street construction in mid-September.

    Mr. Stottlemyer estimates Strong will continue work on 6th streetfor another 3-4 weeks. Currently, all work is between Glebe Road and Jackson Street. Once that stretch is complete,Strong will dig up between Jackson and Irving Street and some of Irving Street on both sides of 6th Street.

    After Strong finishes an area, they remove the steel plates anduse hot-patch asphalt to fill holes in the street, sidewalk, and curb. These patches make subsequent access easier for the storm sewer contractor. The storm sewer contractor will be responsible for final milling and paving of the street surface.

    I also spoke today with Arlington County sidewalk engineering supervisor Bill Boyce and explained that, as a result of Strong's current work,some concrete needs to be replaced:

    After Strong completes its work, other curb and sidewalk work may also be needed. We'll see.When I walked 6th Street with Mr. Carroll and Mr. Chew, we identified additional curb and sidewalk work. After the sewer and street paving are complete, even more curb and sidewalk work may be needed.
    If you have any further questions about the current work only, please contact Pat Estrada-Palma at Washington Gas Light (703-750-5657).

Hoffman/Boston Boundary Steering Committee
   Arlington Public Schools has established a Steering Committee to determine the process by which public school boundaries in South Arlington may be reallocated in the future, effective fall 2001.The first meeting of the Steering Committee was at the end of May. The coordinator of the process is Robin O'Hara (703-228-7741).The background agenda is to establish a boundary for Hoffman-Boston Elementary, which currently shares a boundary with Oakridge Elementary.  It is possible that H-B's new boundary may catch some student-areas currently assigned to Patrick Henry, and thus alleviate crowding at Patrick Henry.
Conchita Mitchell (703-892-4780) represented Arlington Heights on the Steering Committee.  She filed this report:
MAY 31, 2000
    As the representative for the Arlington Heights Civic Association to the Steering Committee for the Oakridge / Hoffman-Boston / Henry / Long Branch boundary process, I want to give you some background information and a report on our first of two meetings.
    Although it is hard to imagine that any of the homes in our civic association boundaries will be impacted by boundary changes, Henry Elementary, our local neighborhood school, will be greatly impacted. It will likely see a change in its student enrollment.  It seems logical that some of the large apartment complexes on the East end of Columbia Pike and other neighborhoods close to the new building will be shifted from Henry to be part of the new Hoffman-Boston school district.  School programs are determined as much by the number of students as by the needs of students.  The needs of students are determined by many factors - socio-economic levels, English language skills, preschool experiences, transiency, to name a few.  The ability of Henry to meet the needs of all its students will be greatly enhanced if the overall population is reduced and the variety of student needs made more manageable.  This is an opportunity for our already good neighborhood school to become better.  That in turn, enhances our neighborhood.  Obviously, the other neighborhoods concerned about the impact of these changes will be advocating boundary changes that are best for their school.  As residents of Arlington Heights, I hope we'll determine what would be best for our neighborhood school and become strong advocates for it.

    Background, as I understand it, includes the following:

    The steering committee is only charged with establishing "the best way to communicate to and interact with the potentially involved communities."  At our meeting, those present stressed the need for a clear, concise communication plan.  Concern was raised about how information would be disseminated since school is almost over for the year and most PTAs are dormant over the summer.  A discussion also took place about the need for efforts to reach special populations - retirees, parents of preschoolers, non-native English speakers.  A number of comments were made about the need for accurate data so folks understand why the boundaries should be changed and how any changes might impact school programs and populations.  Concern was also expressed about how the meetings in the autumn could best produce good dialogues and not result in anxiety and anger and what the purpose of the fall meetings would be.
    I hope this background information is helpful - I apologize for the length.  Stay tuned through the civic association newsletter, your PTA communications and local newspapers for more information.  You can also contact Robin O'Hara, the school system representative to the process, at 703-228-7741 or visit the web site
    Feel free to pass this message on to anyone.

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Nancy Wheeler of 204 South Irving, a resident of Arlington Heights for almost 50 years, died on Monday, May 8.She is survived by her husband Joe, their children Alice, Ann, and Joe Jr, and their grandchildren.Burial was at Arlington National Cemetery.We offer our heartfelt sympathies to Nancy's family.