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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — May 13, 2011 at 8:53 am 2,003 29 Comments

Smoke at Crystal City Metro Station — Firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria and Fort Myer responded to a report of smoke on the mezzanine level of the Crystal City Metro station around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. The smoke, it turns out, came from a faulty elevator belt, not from a fire. Just as quickly as they arrived, firefighters packed up their gear and headed back to their stations.

More Costs for Arlington Energy Plan — It will cost almost $500,000 in consultant fees and staff salaries to implement Arlington’s ambitious Community Energy Plan over the next year. The plan, which is designed to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions, is up for adoption by the County Board on Tuesday. [Sun Gazette]

Alexandria Mulls Bikeshare Plan — Alexandria is thinking about spending $400,000 to place six Capital Bikeshare stations and 54 bicycles in Old Town and the Carlyle neighborhood. The plan has the potential of allowing CaBi trips between Crystal City and Old Town, but critics are questioning whether the plan is “a waste of money.” [Alexandria Gazette Packet]

Arlington Remodeler HonoredRocker-turned-remodeler Michael Sauri has been named one of the “big 50″ remodelers nationwide by Remodeling Magazine. Sauri, an Arlington resident, is the owner of Clarendon-based remodeling firm Tri-Vista USA. [PR Web]

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  • Arlwhenever

    Another $400K down the drain. Consultant supported project results in a recommendation for a further consultant supported project; the wastrels and spendthrifts on the County Board will follow the consulting shepherds and agree to fund their pals according. Don’t paint me surprised. You get what you vote for.

    In a two-party or nonparisan town, the populous would demand that the County Board members disclose their and their family member’s consulting ties, consulting clients and consulting fees in the incestuous you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours world of Arlington County politics.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      +10, Arlwhenever

    • Eponymous Coward

      If you’re going to imply that government officials are directing taxpayer funds to the businesses of their friends and relations, the least you could do is offer a link. Also… um, this article is about Alexandria, not Arlington.

      CaBi is still unproven; this is true. It is worth noting, however, that the County is probably painfully aware that as tourism season kicks into high gear, Old Town is not Metro accessible, and the buses run slower than you can walk. Most pudgy out-of-state tourists will find the 1.25 mile walk from King Street Metro to the waterfront a daunting prospect. Alexandria businesses might therefore benefit substantially from this project.

      P.S. The noun is “populace.” Also, you can be quite certain that this is a non-Parisian town. Just try the baguettes. ;)

      • Arlwhenever

        Great Freudian slip EC! You jump to the conclusion that our comments were on the taxpayer funded bike boondoggle (people can pay, purchase or rent, for their own bikes, thank you) which by the way, Arlington County has already funded.

        Fascinating that EC demands disclosure from pseudonymed commentators acting in the great tradition of Ben Franklin, but excuses non-disclosure from elected officials who are entrusted to serve the public as citizen legislators. Like I say, you get the government you deserve.

        By the way, nice Freudian slip on the bike boondoggle. Shows what you must think about it EC, since our comments were directed to the energy consultants.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          “our comments were directed to the energy consultants”

          +10

        • Agent Michael Scarn

          EC (and I) thought you were talking about the bikes because you quoted “$400K down the drain” figure, which in the links above is the amount directed for the CaBi stations, not the $500k figure, which was for the energy consultants. Furthermore, you later decried the “County Board” — which is clearly only an Arlington entity.

        • Eponymous Coward

          I jumped to that conclusion, sir, because you referred to the wrong amount of money in your comment — $400k.

          The bike project is $400k (which I have previously characterized as a risky but potentially useful venture). The consulting project is $365k, or $570k, depending on how you elect to count. Those are not the figures you used. Given your great interest in penny-pinching, it seemed reasonable to assume you weren’t confused about your figures.

          Alas, I was mistaken.

          I do not demand disclosure; you and Publius and Poor Richard may all be as anonymous as you like. I still await, however, your link to substantiate your potentially defamatory allegations. That is not “disclosure”; it is what we generally refer to as “evidence.”

      • Hippo

        If those fatasses can’t walk, I doubt they will ride a bike either.

  • TuesdaysChild

    More money wasted chasing Jay Fisette’s energy follies. Enough already.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      +10 TuesdaysChild

      • Eponymous Coward

        Hello, we’re talking about the other county that starts with an “A.” I wasn’t aware Fisette was working for them too.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          “More Costs for Arlington Energy Plan — It will cost almost $500,000 in consultant fees and staff salaries to implement Arlington’s ambitious Community Energy Plan over the next year. The plan, which is designed to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions, is up for adoption by the County Board on Tuesday”

          Energy Plan…..Arlington. “Most Costs for Arlington Energy Plan” The comments by myself and TuesdaysChild were on the Arlington Energy Plan, not the Alexandria Bike Share.

          • Eponymous Coward

            As you will note above, I assumed the subject was the $400k bike venture, not the $~500k energy plan, because Arlwhenever erroneously referred to the wrong number in the grandparent post.

            I take no position on the energy plan.

  • G

    At least they’re trying. Maybe their efforts will save us some money down the road… that’s the point of investing money to gain knowledge from a consulting firm.

    • Arlwhenever

      You have a County Energy Manager with a full staff. Send him to a seminar or two. As is, he complains that other functionaries in the County refuse to seek his input or won’t abide by it. This consulting contract is a huge boondoggle.

  • CrystalMikey

    Oh, I wouldn’t mind having the option to ride CaBi from here (Crystal), to Old Town.

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    I need to start a consulting firm.

  • 1234

    Well deserved, Michael!

  • Max

    Michale Sauri did some remodeling work on our house last year. Great guy with an awesome team of workers. Congrats to him.

    With regards to the Metro fire, I was leaving the Clarendon station on Wednesday when there was a very loud explosion coming from a train as it was entering the tunnel. The train paused for a second then continued its way to Virginia Square. There was a bright light and the ground shook a bit. Smoke was coming from the source for a while. Some people ran out thinking it was a bomb, while most just stopped to see what happened. I guess some people called the police because a few police officers showed up within minutes. Obviously it wasn’t anything major, but I’m curious what could have caused such an explosion.

    • JamesE

      probably just a high voltage arc, you would know if it was an actual explosion.

  • 4Arl

    Bikeshare can be convenient, but how many CaBi trips are really replacing car trips? They are shifting nearly a million dollars in CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality) funds to add more bikeshare stations- May 14 agenda

  • charlie

    the energy plan calls for developers to build power plants in Rosslyn, Crystal City, Columbia Pike and East Falls Church. If we can’t decide on a beer garden, how is a power plant going to be decided?
    and i’m not sure i want a developer building a power plant.

  • Danville Mayor

    Well deserved honor for Michael. He balances an awful lot of work, with family and music. And always has a smile on his face.

    Congrats.

  • Anon

    So $400,000 for bikes? Let’s say $200K of that is for the six stations. That means $200K is for the 54 bikes, which comes out to $3700 per bike! What the heck?

    • OX4

      “The pilot program currently under consideration would spend $124,500 to construct three small stations and $147,900 to build three large stations. Installation labor would cost $27,000, and the annual operation costs would be $100,000.”

  • OX4

    Wow, nice balanced reporting by the Alexandria Gazette Packet. Let’s interview 2 residents, who are both opposed to bike sharing, and then add a subtitle “Critics say the program would be a waste of money.”

    Old Town should be begging for CaBi. But hey, what historical colonial-era town doesn’t include a few thousand cars and SUVs? That place is an automobile disaster. King Street should have been closed to cars from the water front to at least Washington St years ago.

    • Michael H.

      Those were my thoughts exactly about the article. Those “critics” were probably either close friends of the author or the first two people the author met on the street. Or something like that.

      I don’t understand the focus on profitability either. Since when is a transportation network supposed to be profitable on its own? Metro sure isn’t self-sustaining. Neither are highways or Amtrak. Transportation systems help the rest of the economy to function and/or improve the quality of life.

      In any case, CaBi has only been around for 8 months. It has already passed its subscriber target for the year, in May. In a couple years, it will be much closer to self-sustainability than Metro, the highway system or Amtrak. I’d say that’s pretty decent.

  • http://www.arlingtonva.us/energyplan Rich Dooley – Community Energy Plan Coordinator

    The County Board at its Tuesday night recessed meeting will consider accepting the CES Task Force Report and instructing the County Manager and staff to prepare a final plan. The draft plan envisions nothing less than transforming the way energy is delivered and used in Arlington. It calls for setting specific goals for slashing energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions over the next 40 years. If successful, this plan will substantially cut energy costs for businesses and residents, and will help ensure our community’s long-term economic competitiveness, energy security and environmental sustainability. To get there, we need a carefully crafted plan, requiring input from residents, businesses, County staff and the specialized expertise provided by consultants. Consultants will provide essential expertise in financial analysis, legal analysis, and community energy planning. The enormous potential benefits of this energy plan are well worth the initial investment.

  • sophia

    I live in Alexandria near the mt vernon trail and this would be a dream for me. I can take a bike from Rosslyn and drop off in Old Town. I know Cabi are intended for short rides but eff that.

    Do those “critics” prefer cars? Where would they park? Yeah I thought so..

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