Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com May 10, 2011 at 9:01 am 4,999 80 Comments

Trail Parking — This car chose an interesting place to park — on a stretch of trail between the county’s new Dept. of Human Services building and Washington Boulevard.

Snakehead Fish Invade Four Mile Run — Predatory snakehead fish have invaded the waters of Four Mile Run, between Arlington and Alexandria. There’s concern that the so-called “frankenfish” could kill off native fish in the stream, as it has decimated native populations of bass and shad in the Potomac. [WJLA]

Marymount Names New President — Arlington’s Marymount University has named a successor for retiring president James Bundschuh. Matthew Shank, dean of the business school at the University of Dayton, will take over as president in July. [Washington Post]

Cell Phones to Get Emergency Alerts — Soon, cell phones in the D.C. area will be capable of receiving emergency alerts via text message. [New York Times]

Gaslight Square Condos Selling Quickly — McWilliams|Ballard and Abdo Development have sold nearly $12 million worth of luxury condos at the still-under-construction Gaslight Square project between Rosslyn and Courthouse. [Marketwire]

  • It is amazing the Snakehead could even survive in Four Mile Run.

    • dynaroo

      Why? Some native fish still survive there, as the item notes. Not many though.

      • ok, well, I guess it could survive. But like other fish I would guess the environment is less than ideal. The Snakehead could likely choose to be in the Potomac where the environment is a bit better AND the fish population is higher to satisfy the massive food craving of the species. In Four Mile Run, all they will get are sickly small fish, some empty beer cans, and some discarded Michelins.

        • dynaroo

          Snakeheads can live off empty beer cans and discarded Michelins.

        • Arlington, Northside

          I have seen Bass in Four Mile Run. The stream is not a virgin creek by any means, but it is not as bad off as many make it to be.

  • NomNom

    Must be a Virginia driver.

  • Southeast Ben


    I was thinking the same thing. Being new to the area, where are the fishing spots along Four Mile Run? I’ve never seen fish in the shallow water.

    • dynaroo

      FYI this will interest you.


      It was canceled this year though due to lack of funds.

      • From the link:

        “Trout cannot naturally survive in Four Mile Run due to the lack of cool, shady spots during the summer, so the county parks and recreation department contracts with a fish hatchery in West Virginia to stock the stream from Barcroft Park to Bon Air Park every third weekend in March.”

    • Chris Slatt

      I frequently see folks fishing off of the Route 1 bridge over Four Mile Run.

      • PhilL


  • JamesE

    I look forward to a sequel to Snakehead Terror from scifi channel.

  • I seem to recall during 9/11 the cell service being overwhelmed so it was nearly impossible to get a call off. So, what makes us think the alerts via cell technology are going to be extremely effective in another such emergency?

    • NomNom

      That is a good point. I recall the same thing happening during the Jon Stewart/Stephen Cobert Rally for Sanity.

    • Max

      From what I remember, it was actually easier to get through when using a cell phone. Not perfect, but better than the internet (which was mostly dial-up at the time) and regular phone service.

      • That is true as well. I think the best thing to do in an emergency is assume you have no means of communication. Plan ahead with your family to that each member knows what to do: shelter in place, meet at a certain location if possible, etc.

    • Arlington, Northside

      While that will likely be a problem on another 9/11 type incident, this is technology that sends to specific areas, and it sends text messages that are much more robust than voice. The cell system itself also has much more capacity than it did in 2001.

  • TGEoA

    Ballston is being overrun with Trouser snakes

    • That is because there is a beaver pond nearby.

      • ArlingtonNative

        +10 !

    • BallstonNOTBoston

      Well played sir!

  • charlie

    what is ARLNOW policy about “blurring” license plate numbers?

    I think he should get a ticket for crossing the double yellow line.

    Oh wait, if a car parks on a bike trail and no one uses the bike trail will anyone know?

    • KalashniKEV

      If I was that guy I would want to know WTF was up with taking a pic of my plate. This has novapj written all over it. He may just be momentarily stopped or taking a cell call… Did he get out for a chat w/ the paparazzi?

  • curious george

    how much are those gaslight condos running for? the website is not clear and i am curious.

    • Burger

      I think the condo’s at the Wooster are reselling for 700K+

    • CrystalMikey

      not sure, but they sure look nice.

  • Thomas

    I once saw an SUV stuck atop the arch bridge on the bike path near the intersection of S. Walter Reed and Arlington Mill.

    All four tires were off the ground as it balanced there…still wonder how someone could get themselves in that predicament.

  • South Arlington

    What a great treat the County DHS building has been for our neighborhood. I love how patrons disregard that there is a huge FREE parking garage yet still park on our street and private parking lot, and apparently on the bicycle trail in the picture. It’s also great how the bus structure created just for the DHS building is filled with cigarette butts, Four Loko cans and off brand potato chip wrappers every morning. Its also very enjoyable to be nearly hit by retarded drivers coming out of the parking garage, gunning it, and not looking while turning onto Wise Street. If the County is going to force the DHS building on our neighborhood under the ridiculous premise that creating unprofitable and empty bus routes is better than locating it where it was at a real transit hub, the least they could do is be good neighbors.

    • MC 703

      I used to live off of S Barton (North of 2nd ST) and the sidewalks around the 7-11 on 2nd by the Meyerton were always kinda grimy. Nice neighborhood for sure (would love to buy there) but there was some riffraff running around the streets before DHS moved in.

      My dog used to love walking down 2nd near the 7-11 because there were always trails of discarded chicken wing bones.

    • Josh S

      Typical entitled BS. “our street” As if the neighborhood residents own the streets.

      “If the County is going to force the DHS building on our neighborhood” One, the building was already there. Two, what’s the “forcing?” Should they have asked you nicely with cinammon and sugar on top? There was no legitimate argument against moving the agency. Presumably, there is increased traffic compared to some ill-defined baseline before the agency re-located. But, for example, I’m a resident of the same neighborhood and I haven’t been inconvenienced at all. Don’t even notice a change. In the meantime, as I recall, the county is now paying much lower rent for the space compared to what they were paying. So a concrete benefit for everyone in the county.

      • South Arlington

        Josh S., I think saying there was no legitimate argument against it is bluster. Siting the DHS building in the most transit accessible location would seem to be the best argument. Creating a 45 bus line to bus in the patrons from Four Mile Run on buses with extremely low ridership all day as a fix for the transit unaccessible location is garbage. The transit system is designed to ferry people from non-transit accessible places like 4 Mile Run to Metro – these hub/spoke buses existed already to get people to the Clarendon building. As far as cost, rent may be lower, but at the least, add in the cost of having to expand existing bus lines (42 and 77) and create the 45 line to service this location in your computations. There is still no excuse for the bus shelter being left a disaster everyday, especially when there are supposed to be security guards patrolling the complex. Look, what’s done is done, but the county can at least be a good neighbor. Maybe clean up the trash that gets left there. Maybe put up some signs so people know the garage is free. Maybe even close off the Wise St. garage entrance and have people enter the garage from the street that goes through the Sequoia building. These are all things that could have been discussed with the community before it was decided to move it there (which of course there was no neighborhood or community discussion or meeting to discuss this).

        • Josh S

          ACTUALLY, they did come to the civic association. Well before the move.I think there were about eight people in attendance. As usual.

          The transit system is designed to move people from where they are to where they want/need to go. These two lines were adjusted / expanded to improve service to this part of the county partly as a result of the relocation of the agency. I see nothing objectionable about that.

          • South Arlington

            Again Josh, there is no reason that a County neighbor can’t be a good neighbor to the neighborhood surrounding it. There’s no reason they can’t monitor and clean up the bus shelter that was placed there specifically for the DHS building. There’s no reason to allow public Four Loko drinking on county grounds or at the DHS bus shelter, especially when they are clearly paying contractor security to monitor the grounds. I get it, the county is there to stay on a long term lease, we’ve all learned to live with it. I’d just like to see a little neighborly behavior on their part to lessen the impact on the adjoining areas.

          • Mayday

            DHS Asst. Director came to discuss the move with the Penrose Neighborhood in 2009 after the County Board approved it. The staff negotiated the move with Foulger Pratt (landlord) for a year without input from the neighborhood. The lease is for 10 years with an incentive of $137K/year to the County to develop of a new bus line to transport their constituents. One of the attractions of the Sequoia Plaza was the large amount of parking. They had done a survey of employees and found that most of their employees drove to work, despite being conveniently located near public transportation at the former location. You might be thinking of the DHS staff who came many times to discuss the progress of the Mary Marshall building on 5th St.

          • PhilL

            It would be comical if it weren’t true.

          • South Arlington

            I’m excited to hear Josh S. continue to proclaim that the County did outreach with the neighborhood before the move.

            Now if we can just get the County to monitor its DHS grounds, clean up its garbage, maybe stick another garbage can and an ashtray at the bus shelter, and get the DHS users (and employees – I see you county employee guy with beard in Subaru Forester that parks on the curb at the Myerton instead of in the huge free parking garage for employees) to park in the garage and not in the neighborhoods.

      • Remember the Bryd!

        As a homeowner in Penrose I do consider the streets to be “our streets” and take pride in feeling contected to the neighborhood and those that care about it. Perhaps as a transient renter you don’t have the same concerns. Living on Fillmore Street you certainly don’t experience the impact as much as those on 2nd Street or S. Courthouse Rd. do.
        I wonder if the reason the neighborhood only found out about the DHS move after the fact was because we had bad leadership in the position of Civic Assoc. President. Perhaps information was withheld from the assoc. membership by the old president. With the new Penrose Executive Committee we have a group who has worked hard to involve the neighbors and attendance has soared since those dark days.

        • Josh S

          Ah yes, the baseless accusations while hiding behind an anonymous moniker. Well done.

    • dynaroo

      It’s already rude and immature to use “retarded” as an insult, but it’s in particularly poor taste when referring to drivers using the DHS building, which serves people with intellectual disabilities.

      • John Fontain

        “It’s already rude and immature to use “retarded” as an insult”

        Isn’t any insult rude and immature?

        Retard is a PC term for crazy or stupid and now the PC police don’t want anyone using the PC term but instead want us to use the new PC term (in your case, you want us to use “intellectually disabled”). If we start using that term, then in another 10 years, you’ll be offended by our use of that term and you’ll invent a new PC term to use. And the PC cycle will never end. Now that’s retarded.

        • dynaroo

          Only if immature assholes start using the new term like they do the old one.

          If we insist that they don’t, then we won’t have to change to new terms.

          Good victim-blaming by the way.

          • John Fontain

            Now I’m offended. It’s rude to use “immature” as an insult, but it’s in particularly poor taste when referring to those who use the term retarded, because those who use that term really just have emotional or intellectual development appropriate to someone younger.

          • dynaroo

            When you use “retarded” as an insult, you’re also insulting other people, not just your target.

            It’s much like using something like “Jew” as an insult, like when someone says “don’t Jew me down.” Really bad taste.

            There are plenty of better insults to choose from.

            And immature isn’t an insult when it’s accurate. 😉

          • South Arlington

            Christ. I’ll amend what I wrote before to bow down to the PC police.

            “Its also very enjoyable to be nearly hit by MENTALLY CHALLENGED drivers coming out of the parking garage, gunning it, and not looking while turning onto Wise Street.”

          • John Fontain

            “When you use “retarded” as an insult, you’re also insulting other people, not just your target.”

            Following your logic, if I call someone ugly am I also insulting all of the other ugly people in the world?

      • South Arlington

        I’m not overly concerned about my usage of “retarded”. I’m a lot more concerned with the daily Four Loko cans, garbage, loitering and awful/careless drivers speeding out of and into the County DHS garage.

  • Ryan

    “McWilliams|Ballard and Abdo Development have sold nearly $12 million worth of luxury condos at the still-under-construction Gaslight Square”

    Highly doubtful. I’ll believe it when it’s a better source than the sales and marketing company.

    • R.Griffon

      Totally plausible. Given the prices, I’d guess that’s no more than 20 or so units. And how many do they have total? Certainly many more. This is pretty mundane PR.

    • John Fontain

      The condos are selling so well that they have to put out a press release to generate awareness of the project.

  • MB

    Ah, new car. Must not have had time to put the Arlington GOP sticker on it yet. But at least he found a parking space.

    • dynaroo

      Maybe he’s getting back at bikes for taking away eight whole parking spaces for CaBi.

    • Josh S

      Probably also drives in the bike lanes down Walter Reed.

    • A Hyndai Elantra is hardly the car for the GOP. Especially a used “new” one.

      • MB

        Ha. Let me introduce you to the Arlington GOP sometime.

  • Arlwhenever

    Since that’s a trail to nowhere (it terminates across the street against the 2nd Street South bridge abutment) car parking is as good of a use of the trail as I’ve seen.

    • dynaroo

      Don’t all trails terminate somewhere? As do all roads.

      • A road to nowhere is often the most enjoyable to drive.

        • dynaroo

          Like a trail to nowhere, or to Purcellville, which is the same thing as nowhere.

          • Purceville is a quite nice town actually. Ride out there sometime. You may enjoy it.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Purcellville is a great little town, it is like Middleburg before all the outside money moved in. The railroad did not spend money to build tracks to nowhere.

      • Robert Earle Keene

        Nope. The road goes on forever. (And the party never ends.)

      • Arlwhenever

        All roads terminate somewhere? Unless they are Glebe Rd and then they are everywhere, whether it be North Glebe, South Glebe, West Glebe or East Glebe.

        • dynaroo

          Good point – Glebe circles the entire globe.

    • South Arlington

      When is this trail supposed to connect futher? The sign at the trail end says it was supposed to be complete (to Columbia Pike at least I think) Spring 2011 but I’m guessing that isn’t happening at this point.

      • Arlwhenever

        Good question — smart money would have built the rest of the trail in connection with the utility work a year or two back. Unless the trail extension is positioned on the Wash Blvd shoulder (which I doubt), the County will have to regrade the property that was graded back to its original form after the utility work was completed. All too often the left hand and the right hand don’t get together in Arlington County government.

  • There is someone in the car. My guess is the guy found a shady spot to catch a few winks or enjoy a tall boy can of Modelo during his lunch break.

    • KalashniKEV

      Exactly. That’s not even “Parking,” that’s “Standing.”

  • By text message, my cell phone has been recieving “Emergency Alerts” from Arlington County, Fairfax County and the District of Columbia for nearly seven years. Its called Fairfax CEAN, Dc Alert and Arlington alert. you can get it to your email inbox also. But for about sevenm years on a regular basis my understanding was that most people had signed up for this free service which alerts your phone or email to emergency situations, police activity and traffic scenarios. Sometimes the text is of something too lenghty to text so it says to check your inbox for details. It can be very helpful but just as many times it can be annoying or non relevant! But atleast it works, we think. There hasnt been any real major emergencies to test it. Test how accurate it is and how informative it is in a real situation, see if it actually is running properly in an emergency, its possible it may even save lives but it could also just confuse people. It will take something big to either criticize it or to praise it.

  • Narlington

    you should see the parking around Yorktown High School, students and teachers park where ever they want. Where is the police to ticket them.

    • Josh S

      Sh*t, I had one on my roof the other day. Damn teenagers!

  • Jessica

    Don’t get me started on the Zone 10 parking around Yorktown.

    The zoning is from 8 am – 5 pm, when students and teachers need those spots and when most residents are at work and don’t utilize “their” spots. What selfishness!

    I remember being able to park on both sides on Yorktown Blvd, but even that is part of Zone 10 now. Absolutely ridiculous since every house on that stretch of Zone 10 in front of the school has a driveway!

    Most of the students are gone by 3:30 pm, 1.5 hours before most residents *leave* their work, presuming they work 9-5.

    Increasing zoning around Yorktown means students will simply go further into the neighborhoods to park. And don’t say they can just take the bus. Who wants to take the bus when they can drive? Especially seniors who can leave campus during lunch.

    Typical selfish Arlingtonians.

    • Sam

      A good example of a current, or former student feeling entitled to a) drive (goes against the “green” living; b) go out to lunch instead of staying in school like they all should (driving when unnecessary since food is provided or they could take food – again, so much for being “green”.

      And mostly, not getting that the reason the homeowners don’t want the students parking in front of their homes is not only the lack of available parking for their visitors, or contractors, but also that the students don’t have the common decency to clean up their trash they throw all over the neighborhood, can’t figure out how NOT to vandalize the homes and mailboxes they park in front of; how NOT to harass the dogs who might be in their own fenced yards, and more.

      When our county’s high school students learn, whether through their parents or their schools, to respect other people’s property, then perhaps restrictive rules intended to minimize THEIR selfish activities might be lifted.

      • PhilL

        But Charlie’s Pizza was soooooo much better than anything they served in the cafeteria. Plus, it was something we could hold over the underclassmen. Suckers.

        Mostly irrational reasons, but that’s the way an 17 year old brain works.

      • charlie

        So Zoned parking was put in around Yorktown because the kids litter?

        Zoned Parking is supposed to go in when the people who LIVE THERE do NOT have enough parking. Not because they are annoyed.

        I looked thru the real estate records, most of the people across from Yorktown High School have purchased their homes after 1962, when Yorktown became a full-fledged high school (it was originally just two years). If you buy a house across from a high school you have to assume that life isn’t going to 100% your way.

        But I’m glad to know that you publicly admitted that you put zoned parking in as a way to control littering and that it has nothing to do with parking capacity on the street.

        I continue to be amazed at what people say with their mouths open.

        • Sam

          Glad you took the time to check out the real estate records as a rebuttal that makes no valid point regarding zoned parking.

          Littering and vandalism shouldn’t be an expected result from living near a high school. Period. If a neighborhood feels that their best interests are met by restricting parking from those that do damage to their property as a means to discourage those who do it from being near their property; I believe they should be able to take whatever legal means necessary to do so.

          And for the record, I had nothing to do with putting in zoned parking – that decision was made long before I moved to Arlington.

          • charlie

            zoned parking is NOT a tool to combat litter.

            It is a tool to allow parking for those who live on a street.

    • NomNom

      Don’t get me started on selfish Arlingtonians…(sad trombone)

  • Jessica

    Littering? Vandalizing mailboxes? Harassing dogs? Haha WOW you must be very unfortunate. When I was in high school I did none of those things. I simply needed a place to park my car! During lunchtime my friends and I would either go to a restaurant for take out (carpooling…isn’t that green?) or go to one of our homes to eat (carpooling AND not spending more money…what do you call that?)

    What do you think driveways are for? Your contractors, your visitors…how many visitors are you having over at 2 pm on a Wednesday anyway?

    If the residents “need” the street parking so badly, how come those streets are mostly empty now that zoning has been put in place?

    Don’t try to shield your selfishness with your petty claims that the students of Yorktown of past and present are “terrorizing” your precious sidewalks and mailboxes.

    • Sam

      Jessica, you must be one very unfortunate young person to have been so negatively affected by not being able to park your car where you wanted when you wanted.

      Because you are still so affected by it; you must be able to understand the feelings of those affected by it still.

      If you are so upset by not getting what you want when you want, what exactly would you call that behavior? Selfish?

      Or is that only reserved for others who you don’t want to get what they want? Only you should get what you want, is that right?


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