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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am | 2,295 views | 64 Comments

1812 N. Moore Street skyscraper under construction in Rosslyn

Suspicious Package Shuts Down Va. Square Metro — A suspicious package shut down the Virginia Square Metro station yesterday for part of the evening rush hour. The package was determined to be non-hazardous, according to police.

Traffic Calming Coming to Two Streets — Two Arlington streets — S. Hudson Street between Arlington Blvd and 2nd Street, and 7th Road S. between Carlin Springs Road and Greenbrier Street — will be receiving traffic calming measures. The measures include a narrowing of an intersection, a radar speed display, bike lane markings and additional signage, but no speed bumps. [Sun Gazette]

Sequester Could Be Costly for County – The federal budget sequester, set to take effect tomorrow, could cost Arlington County government between $2 and $3 million in direct federal aid. [Sun Gazette]

Support Website for Arlingtonian Accused of Murder — A support website has been set up for Chris Deedy, an Arlington resident and State Department security agent who is accused of second degree murder in the 2011 shooting of a man in McDonald’s restaurant in Hawaii. Deedy’s lawyer says his client was protecting others when he fatally shot the 23-year-old Hawaiian. “Law enforcement officers shouldn’t be treated like murderers when they protect the public,” says the website. [DeedySupport.com]

Interview with Kanninen — The Democratic website Blue Virginia interviewed Barbara Kanninen, who’s running for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board against incumbent James Lander. Asked why she’s running, Kanninen said: “If we don’t have competition, we don’t have anyone even trying to prove that they’re going to be a good School Board member.” [Blue Virginia]

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  • novasteve

    OMG. That’s almost 4% of the swimming pool.

    • kalashnikev

      LOL… one of your better comments. I’ve been away, are we seriously still talking about building a Public Pool, Trolley Folley, and all that nonsense? How are we going to pay for that???

      • novasteve

        Well if we don’t talk about it, we’ll still be paying for it for many many years, so it’s best to talk about it to prevent the mistakes in the first place.

        • Hank

          Wait, I thought you were moving. You won’t need to worry about it.

      • 1RLI

        No, we’re not talking about it. It’s been decided, so just shut up an color.

      • Ashton Heights Represent

        Simple, we raise taxes.

        • kalashnikev

          OMGoodness… shouldn’t we be figuring out how to lower taxes as much as possible while preventing this kind of frivolous spending?

          • novasteve

            An all democratic county board lowering taxes and reducing spending?

          • drax

            Says the guy who thinks two thirds of the county’s spending is frivolous.

          • kalashnikev

            It is.

          • Josh S

            Not necessarily.

      • High Riser

        They’re trying to get more high rises developed to make the property more valuable to raise revenue. That wil provide more money to pay for the pool and trolley. Isn’t there a high rise being considered near you? Send them a note to speed up approval. Tell them to build it higher.

  • SomeGuy

    I was wondering how a web site could be accused of murder. Good thing I read the synopsis.

    • ph7

      “Law enforcement officers shouldn’t be treated like murderers when they protect the public”

      No rational person would disagree with this statement, obviously.

      Of course, defendants charged with homicide have four arguments:

      1. You got the wrong guy – I didn’t do it.
      2. I did it, but it was justified – I was protecting someone – either myself, or someone else.
      3. I did it, but it was an accident.
      4. I’m crazy, and did not know what I did was wrong.

      Chris is arguing #2. Good thing there is a trial to find out the truth, because the one irrefutable fact is a man is dead, and the defendant shot him dead. If he’s innocent, let’s hope he is acquitted. But I’m not going to reach a judgment reading a website asking for money to defend him. Maybe there also is a website to help defray the dead man’s funeral expense or fund his children’s education.

      • speonjosh

        Well said. I would go a bit further and say that while the statement seems reasonable, like just about any blanket statement it all depends on the facts of the case. Any time someone shoots and kills someone else, I think we should remain skeptical. I don’t really care what the profession of the accused is. There are all too many instances of police officers or others whose assignment it is to “protect the public” going overboard and harming the public.
        As you point out, there is a trial at which the facts will, presumably, come out and the accused can be found guilty or not.

        • ph7

          More on the story:

          A State Department special agent charged with murder in the shooting of a man at a fast-food restaurant in Waikiki last year spent the night bar-hopping and drinking before going to the restaurant, prosecutors said.

          Suspect Christopher Deedy appeared intoxicated before firing three shots from his handgun — the first narrowly missed a customer, another lodged in a restaurant wall, and the third fatally wounded 23-year-old Kollin Elderts, prosecutors said in court papers.

          Deedy was not heard identifying himself as a law enforcement officer, but told Elderts he had a gun and would shoot him in the face, prosecutors said in the most detailed account of the shooting released thus far.

          Deedy had been “slurring his words as he argued with Elderts… While defendant was bar-hopping he was in possession of his 9 mm Glock, conduct that the Department of State’s rules clearly prohibit,” the prosecutor said.

          • kalashnikev

            You got that from a very slanted website. I flipped on the guy when I read it too, but then there’s something funny about the defendant (Deedy) wanting the security tape to go public. I guess this is why we have the courts…

            Should be interesting to see what happens.

          • drax

            Courts? This is ArlNow, we don’t need no stinkin’ courts. He’s guilty!

          • kalashnikev

            Even if the local man needed killin’ Deedy should still do some time if he was intoxicated.

          • ph7

            The Hawaiian Star-Advertiser newspaper has a very slanted website? Okay, if you say so.

          • R. Griffon

            > The Hawaiian Star-Advertiser newspaper has a very slanted website?

            Quite possibly. Hawaii is well known to have a subculture of xenophobia against outsiders, and especially people from the mainland. I don’t know anything about this newspaper, but it isn’t far-fetched to think that such sentiment might find it’s way into a “mainlander murders local in drunken late-night brawl” story.

            Not every news outlet is “fair and balanced.”

          • Josh S

            Quite possibly?
            So you don’t know? You’re just speculating?

      • John Fontain

        I just read Deedy’s affidavit about the event. His lawyer says the
        affidavit is based on security camera footage in the restaurant and from
        an affidavit of a security guard on duty at the time. If his statement
        of events corresponds with the camera footage, I have no doubt Deedy
        was protecting himself and others from serious/deadly bodily harm when
        he discharged his firearm. Elderts almost attacked one person, did
        attack another person, and then attacked Deedy prior to being shot.
        Deedy’s affidavit also says that Deedy is seen on the footage showing
        his law enforcement credentials to Elderts and that even after this and
        after un-holstering his firearm while backing away from Elderts, that
        Elderts attacked him and was on top of Deedy on the ground delivering
        blows at the time he was shot. Sounds like we just need to see the
        video to know who to believe.

        • Josh S

          Just the video?
          Nope, it’ll take more than that. Either way.

  • novasteve

    Kanninen post: You say “again” incumbent James Lander, should be “against”.

  • Ashton Heights Represent

    Now it could simply be because we now have more comprehensive local news, and every incident is being reported. But I have a strong feeling that crime, especially in the Ballston/VA-Square area, has gone up quite a bit in the last year.

    Sadly, the Police Department’s last yearly crime statistics release is from 2011 (http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/police/documents/ACPD%20Annual%20Report%202011.pdf.pdf) . It would be nice if the Police could release the 2012 numbers so we can see whether this is pure perception, or whether there is an actual trend.

    • kalashnikev

      Crime has most definitely risen sharply in Ballston. I don’t need to see the numbers, I can just do a then-and-now before it went down the tubes.

      • drax

        Yes, you need the numbers. You can’t just make up your own statistics.

        • ph7

          Who needs statistics when we have anecdotes?

  • novasteve

    I want to make a comment about suspicious packages and clarendonskank, but don’t know if it’s appropriate :(

  • Andy

    $2 – $3 million is a drop in the bucket to what Arlington could lose if the hit to the local economy is as bad as it may well be. Granted mostly it’s going to be secondary impacts on shops / restaurants first but if it starts to hit housing, help us all.

    • novasteve

      Maybe that will cause rents to go down and actually become reasonable?

      • Mr. Connelly

        Rent is for children; let’s talk about mortgage rates.

        • R. Griffon

          Those are only going up. Which, BTW, will cause downward pressure on market prices in addition to any possible pressure from decreased demand due to fewer or lesser paying gov’t related jobs. Arlington has been blessed by having only marginal declines in RE prices, with most only staying steady at worst. But this could be a “perfect storm” driving many ARL homeowners underwater.

    • Josh S

      Gosh, I’d welcome a decrease in housing prices…..

      • Andy

        Would you enjoy a side helping of unemployment to go along with that?

      • drax

        You didn’t learn much from the recent crash, did you?

        • speonjosh

          Do you suppose you could hang up the obnoxiousness for one day?

          • drax

            Nope.

            You?

      • DCBuff

        But you’d still support a tax increase to pay for all those amenities you like here in ArlCo, right?

  • LuciferBernanke

    The sequester is equal to – what – 2% of the annual
    Federal Budget? 3%? Our bloated government cannot
    find 3 cents of savings for every dollar spent? Instead,
    they resort to releasing illegal immigrants from
    detention (many of whom have VIOLENT felony
    records) and reducing the number of aircraft carriers
    that are in active service.

    It’s all a song and dance by the Republicons and
    Demonrats — they’re just trying to scare everyone so
    that we give them even more power. They are even
    floating an idea of giving our Dear Leader MORE power
    over the purse.

    It’s all a Fraud people, let’s wake up and do something
    about it (Peacefully!!!)

    • speonjosh

      How is that “instead?”

      That is exactly what you are calling for – efforts by the government to find 2-3% savings. Which have to be implemented over only about half of the fiscal year.

      Part of the problem is that all of the cuts have to fall onto a limited portion of the total federal budget. Soldiers’ pay cannot be cut. Entitlement programs cannot be cut. Debt service cannot be cut. So it’s things like releasing illegal immigrants. Cutting back on air traffic controllers. Cutting back on meat inspectors.

      I agree with you that these cuts end up effecting the lower and middle class far more than the rich whom the Congress represent.

    • LuciferBernanke

      “Debt Service cannot be cut” — that’s one big problem,
      how much $$ do we spend on interest? More than the
      entire sequester, easily. And we’re adding $1 Trillion PER
      YEAR to the debt. How much did we spend on an illegal
      war in Iraq? Trillions….equal to years and years and years
      of social security, etc. How much money do we give to the
      banks that helped setup this whole Fraud? Trillions more.

      So yes I agree we are between a rock and a hard
      place…just be aware that this is all a game for them to
      pose as the Saviors, meanwhile, they’ll be grabbing power
      and laughing all the way to the (Federal Reserve) Bank

      P.S. the comment system is wonky on this page…or is it just me lol

    • drax

      You don’t get it.

      The releasing illegals, and all the other things you’re hearing about, IS the sequester. If you want better cuts, you have to negotiate them. And if you want to protect some parts of the government from a 2 or 3% cut, you have to cut much more from the rest. So it’s not an easy negotiation.

      The rest of your post is your usual stuff.

    • Andy

      As has been mentioned it’s not a percentage of the full budget but of discretionary spending. Adjust that, and then consider congress’s boneheaded idea of compressing that into 7 months instead of 12 and it’s more like 9% of the relevant programs. Second there is little leeway on what can and can’t be cut, so the impacts might not be on those things you would consider cutting if you had a choice. Thirdly, many programs are multi-year, it’s hard to cut part of that time out. Try it with your mortgage company if you want to see how that goes.

    • ph7

      It’s all a Fraud people, let’s wake up and do somethingabout it (Peacefully!!!)

      Whining about it on a internet chat board sounds like a great plan of action!

      • LuciferBernanke

        I have a website, I get active in real life, I post on various message boards….may not sound like much but I do everything I can to try and wake ppl up

        • drax

          So you have a WEBSITE too. And you’re ACTIVE. Wow! You’re a regular Rosa Parks!

          • speonjosh

            You have got to be kidding.

  • FederalMan

    Sequestration and higher taxes. The thought of having to move to Fairfax, or God forbid PG county. The horror.

  • Smith

    Interesting tidbit: no one evaluates the school system’s budget. The County Board, although charged by law to do so, has abdicated that role because feelings might get hurt. Instead, the County Board simply directs a LARGE fixed percentage of the County’s budget to the schools and the school board figures out how to spend that amount. That practice appears to be an incredible public policy failure.

    • DCBuff

      I’m not sure the ArlCo board has abdicated anything; I get your point,however, I’m also not sure I want the guys and gals that brought us the Artispharce and the trolley folly and doggie spray parks doing a whole lot with the schools. We as an electorate have the obligation to oversee how the school board (and county board) spend our tax dollars. If we continue to elect individuals who spend every dime they can grab, then perhaps it is we who have abdicated a role and that is the public policy failure. Just a thought.

    • AS

      Not sure you have your facts right there Smith.

      • The Judge

        Pointless post.

      • Facts Rule

        County Board’s FY 2014 Budget Guidance: “Maintain the County/School revenue sharing allocation reflected in the
        FY 2013 budget (54.2 % County / 45.8% Schools) which is consistent with existing County Board guidance.”

        Wow, the $400 million school budget is set via a percentage of County revenue, not by need, not by analysis, not by the board elected to fund the budget.

        To the doubters: in chess, it is called check mate; in tennis, it’s called game, set, match.

    • SARLowl

      too bad there’s no way for citizens to attend a meeting of this “School Board,” or lobby the members, or provide input through budget forums or the APS website, or participate in some sort of budget advisory council…

      • DCBuff

        Apparently, that would be ignoring “basic math.”

    • Suburban Not Urban

      DC Buff and SARLowl – you guys are ignoring basic math.
      Assuming the School Budget is 45% of total county revenue(It’s something like that with some minor adjustments)

      If the School_Budget = .45 * Total_County_Budget
      then when the County Administrator decides what the budget total should be, she says the Non-School_Budget needs to be XYZ

      The Total_County_Budget = School_Budget + Non-School_Budget

      So that means the School_Budget = .45*(School_Budget + Non-School_Budget)
      IE School_Budget = (.45/.55)Non-School_Budget

      That makes the Non-School_Budget the independent variable
      and the School_Budget just a dependent variable.
      IE The school budget is Not based on need, results or any other justification – just a pile of money to be spent.

      • speonjosh

        Wow.

      • SARLowl

        I can do math. You’re acting like there is no information about current or projected expenses, planning, or negotiation going on between the county and APS. That’s BS. Get informed about the process before you shoot your mouth off. (or fingers, whatever….)

  • novasteve

    I find it interesting we have $70 million to give to Syrian rebels, as announced by Kerry today, but don’t have enough money to keep illegal aliens in ICE custody. Fascinating.

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