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Morning Notes

by Katie Pyzyk — December 28, 2012 at 9:10 am 2,120 9 Comments

Night Sky by Ddimick

Fight to Keep National Science Foundation — The National Science Foundation’s lease in Ballston is up next year, and neighboring communities are trying to lure the agency away from Arlington. So far, officials in Alexandria are some of the only ones who have openly expressed interest in bidding for the NSF. Fairfax County officials have kept quiet about whether they’re interested, specifically for areas along the upcoming Silver Line like Tysons Corner or Reston. Communities have until January 9 to submit proposals to the federal government. [Washington Examiner]

Parking Concerns with Ashlawn Elementary School ExpansionUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — Despite criticism from some neighbors in Boulevard Manor, last week the School Board approved plans for the expansion of Ashlawn Elementary School. Neighbors raised concerns about adding a new entrance on N. Manchester Street and adding additional parking on the school site. The issue will likely go before the County Board, which is able to adjust the number of parking spaces required under zoning requirements. [Sun Gazette]

SoberRide Program Ends Tuesday — SoberRide will continue offering free cab rides until Tuesday, January 1 at 6:00 a.m. Customers can call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free ride home (up to a $30 fare) from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. every night until the program ends. All requests must be called in to the SoberRide dispatch and not to other cab companies. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

  • Wayne Kubicki

    I don’t believe it is “communities” who will be submitting proposals, but rather private sector developers wanting to be NSF’s landlord.

    • JohnB2

      Won’t it be the typical tax incentive thing? That has to come from the municipalities themselves.

      I like having them in Ballston and hope they stay. I’m sure all the employees would like to save the 4% additional food tax though.

  • Ricardo

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE move the NSF! Their garden is crawling with cockroaches–I mean, literally hundreds of them at night in the summer. You don’t even need to go into the garden itself; just walk on the sidewalk next to it at night, and you’ll see dozens of roaches on the half-wall and the sidewalk. And not tiny roaches either… inch-plus roaches! Also plenty of mice in there, and now there seem to be a bunch of rabbits in the neighborhood too.

    I would be happy to see the NSF stay if they got rid of their garden, by the way. I love the idea of the garden, but the cockroaches make it completely unacceptable. I honestly don’t know how the employees stand it.

    • JohnB2

      You’re talking about The Nature Conservancy, which is on Fairfax. The NSF is in the Font Page building on Wilson.

      That park is also a local hangout for homeless and people who smoke the magic pipeweed.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      Ricardo – NSF is merely a tenant in Ballston. The problem you describe would typically be an issue for their landlord.

  • DarkHeart

    That’s near the FATC?

  • Arlingtonian

    NSF was in DC until the 1980′s, when it moved to a new building in Ballston. Now that the lease is running out, NSF should move back to DC where it will be closer to other federal offices than it is now.

    However, DC (or a property owner in DC) will probably not submit a request for the facility because NSF is either restricting its search to Northern Virginia, or the DC government is too dysfunctional to recognize that NSF is up for grabs again. Too bad, because federal Executive Order 12072 (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/101580) and reaffirmed in Executive Order 13006 (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-1996-05-24/pdf/96-13305.pdf) requires federal agencies in urban areas to locate in central cities and to give priority to central business areas in cities.

    The governments of the City of Reading, PA, and the City of New Orleans, LA, have prevailed in law suits based on Executive Order 12072 when federal agencies decided to locate their facilities in suburban jurisdictions, rather than in the cities.

    D.C. should have sued the feds when NSF moved to Ballston. Arlington can sue the feds if NSF moves to Fairfax County if the County Board believes that the County Attorney can convince a court that Arlington is a city.

    However, you can be sure that the Arlington County government won’t sue, because its government is almost as dysfunctional as is D.C.’s.

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