The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on Saturday (June 15) to adopt the six-part Community Energy Plan.
The CEP acts as a guide for transforming the way energy is used, generated and distributed in Arlington through 2050. It sets “ambitious, yet achievable, goals in the areas of building and transportation energy efficiency, and county government activities.”
The plan focuses on building efficiency, localizing energy sources, maintaining sustainable transportation options and education. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 3.0 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person per year. That’s almost 75 percent lower than current levels.
Last month, the county announced it had exceeded a goal set in 2007 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from government operations by 10 percent. It did so through measures such as improving the efficiency of its buildings.
One goal of the CEP is to increase energy efficiency in all buildings by calling for a five percent reduction in energy use by 2020. That standard will escalate to 25 percent by 2030, 40 percent by 2040, and 55 percent by 2050.
“I think it’s absolutely fair to say that buildings are at the core for this plan,” said County Board member Jay Fisette. “We don’t have agriculture, we don’t have industry, [or] industrial factories, the other sources often plaguing many places.”
The Planning Commission noted the need to recognize that there will be different expectations of savings from new construction than from older buildings.
The plan will also focus on education to build the initiative of residents and business owners to help with implementation.
“The last three and a half years has been about education,” Fisette said. “The next 35 will be reinforcing finding new ways to educate. I actually believe that as one of the smartest places around we have a lot of people here and a lot of stakeholders and businesses very willing through friendly competitions or other ways to actually change behavior or do the right thing through education.”
Another goal is refining and expanding Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan, which the county has been working on with its transit-oriented development land use strategy and implementation of bike lanes.
Most of the 23 residents who spoke during the public session were supportive of the plan, but three voiced opposition. Timothy Wise, president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, said there has been no global warming in the past 17 years and that the plan wouldn’t stay economically competitive. Robert Atkins opposed the localization of energy on the grounds that the county couldn’t take credit for Dominion Power’s increases in energy efficiency in explaining their own drop in emissions.
“The numbers are so fraudulent Bernie Madoff would gag,” Atkins said. “You need to have realistic numbers to make a plan that could work.”
Board members believe Arlington residents will eventually see tangible benefits from the CEP, such as lower utility bills and fewer power disruptions.
“I think this is an example of the Arlington Way at its best,” said Board member Libby Garvey. “I’ve been struck today particularly by how holistic this issue is because what helps the environment makes us more sustainable and competitive.”
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Police have charged a teen involved in a skateboarding accident leading to the death of 18-year-old Washington-Lee High School student John Malvar earlier this month.
Police did not release the name of the 17-year-old Washington-Lee High School student, but said he was charged with reckless driving. Police say he was driving a truck while Malvar rode his skateboard and held on to the driver’s side window frame.
The accident happened on the 300 block of S. Highland Street. Malvar died from injuries he sustained after he lost his balance and fell, hitting his head on the pavement.
Today the 17-year-old appeared before a judge in Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, where the charges were formally brought against him. He was released into the custody of a parent and will go to trial on August 8.
The National Weather Service has included Arlington County in a Flash Flood Watch. The watch is in effect until 6:00 p.m.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS EXPANDED
* FLASH FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE PORTIONS OF MARYLAND…THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND VIRGINIA…INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING
AREAS…IN MARYLAND…ANNE ARUNDEL…CALVERT…CHARLES…
HARFORD…HOWARD…MONTGOMERY…PRINCE GEORGES AND SOUTHERN
BALTIMORE. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA…
WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK…SOUTHERN FAUQUIER…
SPOTSYLVANIA AND STAFFORD.
* UNTIL 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING
* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE MODERATE TO
HEAVY RAINFALL THROUGH THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON. ONE TO THREE
ADDITIONAL INCHES COULD CAUSE FLOODING OR FLASH FLOODING.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
Think of the concept of Datesocial as a group date for the digital age. Singles (and their friends) can sign up for one of the events online and then show up at the designated event for an in-person experience.
Co-founder and CEO Ian Lang explained that 20 men and 20 women can participate in each event, and they are split into groups of four. The groups are each paired up for 12 minutes at a time — we’re told that’s long enough to make an impression, but not so long as to make things awkward. At the end, participants turn in a list of up to five people they’d like to see again. If there’s a mutual match, Datesocial will re-introduce them via email within 24 hours.
“Basically, we’re taking that great experience at a bar that happens when you and a group of your friends meets a group of guys/girls, and making it a little more focused, safer and comfortable for everyone involved,” Lang said.
Lang is a senior columnist for AskMen.com and stumbled upon the idea while doing research about dating trends.
“It was clear based on the success of sites like Grouper that the next big thing in ‘online dating’ wasn’t online at all, but rather using the web to facilitate real life interactions,” said Lang. “One night, my wife and I were having drinks outside at Toscana Grill [in Courthouse], and there was a speed dating event next door at Velocity 5. It seemed kind of awkward, and at first we joked about how we could do better. Eventually, we stopped joking, and about a month later Datesocial was born, with my wife Ashley and I as the founders.”
The first Datesocial event in Arlington will take place this Friday, June 21, at Velocity 5 (2300 Clarendon Blvd). Anyone interested in participating can sign up online. Registration is $5.
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.
Question: We are getting ready to list our house, but really don’t want a bunch of strangers and neighbors snooping around our house. Do you think open houses are necessary?
I’ve been to open houses where the home is packed with potential buyers. The buzz is amazing. It shows potential buyers how much interest there is in the home, which can raise the level of excitement and create a sense of competition that results in stronger offers.
Even during the days leading up to your open house, potential buyers may do what they can to try and persuade a seller to go under contract prior to the scheduled open house. Their offer may be extra strong because they fear the competition that may result from the open house traffic.
What I have described above are the best case scenarios. The reality is that you can create a hot listing without an open house, if the right marketing is in place. Most serious buyers are working with a real estate agent and are able to see the home at their convenience. They don’t need to work around the open house schedule.
A good portion of the traffic you get at open houses really is from neighbors and future buyers just starting the process of looking for a home. That’s why some real estate agents like to host as many open houses as possible. The neighbors provide a source of future listings. The future buyers provide a source of buyer clients.
You probably figured this out the hard way last time you signed-in at an open house, which resulted in a series of unsolicited calls and emails from the friendly agent who hosted the open house. Back when I started in real estate with one of the big firms, this is the first thing they taught us. We were provided scripts, processes and lots of encouragement.
Personally, I host open houses for three reasons.
- So that I can create extra buzz the first weekend on the market. It never hurts to pack the home and create an additional sense of urgency among buyers. I’ve found that potential buyers who have already seen the home earlier in the week, will come back without their agents to see how much interest there is in the home.
- It gives me a chance to personally talk about the unique features of the home. The more elaborate the home, the more important this is. For certain homes it is also important to host a brokers open house to educate the real estate community about the home.
- Because sellers want me to. If it is important to my client, then it is important to me and I am going to give it 100%.
Is an open house crucial to the sale of your home? Probably not. Can it help? Yes it can.
In October, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will allow community groups in urban areas to apply for low power FM radio stations. Arlington Independent Media (AIM) has been working on plans to apply for a license to start a community radio station serving the Arlington area. According to a press release, “AIM hopes it can combat the domination of the airwaves by corporations with no local presence or programming.”
AIM will host a roundtable meeting on Thursday to gather supporters, discuss the next steps and to find resources. Some of the topics expected to come up for discussion are station branding, programming, community organizing and fundraising.
“This community radio station will provide access to underrepresented music, promote community dialogue and involvement, encourage individual and artistic expression, and create awareness of local views and events,” said AIM Operations Manager Lauree McArdle.
The meeting is free to attend and will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at AIM’s Clarendon studio (2701-C Wilson Blvd). Light refreshments will be provided. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP online.
Street Lighting Complaints Continue — At its meeting on Saturday, the County Board addressed the complaints it continues to receive over the new LED streetlights being installed throughout the county. The Board has heard a number of types of complaints, including the lights casting a harsh glow and being too bright. County Manager Barbara Donnellan acknowledged the complaints but didn’t have any immediate solutions. She said the new lights save a lot of money. [Sun Gazette]
Red Truck Bakery Profile — Earlier this month, web magazine Slate — a division of the Washington Post Company — profiled Arlington resident Brian Noyes, the founder of Red Truck Bakery. Noyes restored a Cherrydale farmhouse and began his bakery business there while still working for Smithsonian magazine. He began in 2009 by selling goods out of the back of a 1954 Ford pickup truck and eventually found a brick and mortar location to work in Warrenton. Noyes, who has baked treats for the likes of President Obama, plans to open a new location in The Plains soon. [Slate]
NORAD Exercise Tonight — Arlington residents may hear unusual noises tonight as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducts training exercises. The training flights are designed to hone NORAD operations and to test its systems and personnel. The flights are scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. and run through 5:30 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). [U.S. Department of Defense]
Flickr pool photo by J Sonder
Sunny and pleasant weather and a big-name headliner attracted the largest crowd yet to the Columbia Pike Blues Festival over the weekend, organizers said.
We’re told more than 7,000 people turned out for the 18th annual Blues Festival, which is held on S. Walter Reed Drive just north of the Pike. Guitarist G.E. Smith, of Saturday Night Live and Hall & Oates fame, headlined the event.
Takis Karantonis, Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, said he wasn’t surprised by the new attendance record. He expects the festival to continue to grow in crowds and quality as community ties continue to strengthen around the developing Columbia Pike town center area.
Asked about the ideal weather condition, Karantonis wouldn’t comment, for fear of jinxing next year’s festival.
“We don’t talk about the weather — before, during and after,” he said.
Disclosure: CPRO is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.
Crystal Screen: The King’s Speech
Crystal City BID (1851 S. Bell Street)
Time: 8:15 – 10:15 p.m.
Crystal City’s annual film festival. Bring a picnic and a blanket. Movies are held rain or shine, except in cases of severe, inclement weather. This year’s festival will feature trivia nights, costume contests, and visits from mobile dining partners.
Open Mic Night
Busboys and Poets (4251 S. Campbell Avenue)
Time: 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.
For two hours audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week.
ACE Summer Solstice and Cleanup Event
Bluemont Park (601 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Join Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment to celebrate the start of summer and the longest day of the year. Service project options including cleanups and invasive plant removal. Refreshments will be available.
Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
BuddhaFest is a 4-day festival inspired by the Buddhist practices of mindfulness, compassion and meditation featuring films, musical performances, and spiritual talks. This year’s speakers include Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg.
The Gunston Arts Center (2700 S. Lang Street)
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
The American Century Theater presents Biography, S.N. Behrman’s comedy about the ramifications of one woman’s memoir.
Arlington Festival of the Arts*
Clarendon Neighborhood (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
More than 100 of the finest artists in country will converge upon Highland Street in Clarendon for a two-day juried outdoor gallery style art exhibit. A wide variety of original artwork will be on display and for sale with prices set to suit all budgets.
Carnival on the Boardwalk
Cherrydale United Methodist Church (3701 Lorcom Lane)
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Community event to benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief featuring fun boardwalk games, prizes, food, cakewalks, music, and auction items. Hosted by the Cherrydale United Methodist Church Youth Group.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
The second phase of the Crystal Drive Two-Way Conversion project was completed over the weekend. As of Saturday, Crystal Drive between 23rd Street and 26th Street was open to two…
A noted streetcar critic will address a meeting of the Northern Virginia Tea Party on Tuesday. The event is scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Westover Branch Library (1644…
Tom Yum District, a new Thai restaurant, is planning to open in Rosslyn next week. The restaurant, at 1515 Wilson Blvd, will open on Thursday, June 27, according to PR…
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) All lanes of N. Glebe Road were closed in the area of 16th Street, just north of Ballston, due to a moped accident. Initial reports suggest…
A gunshot was fired during an armed robbery in Crystal City early this morning. The robbery happened on the 2400 block of S. Eads Street around 12:30 a.m. Police say…
Board Approves New Hotel — On Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a new 168-room hotel on the former Colony House furniture site at 1700 Lee Highway. As part of…