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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com May 12, 2011 at 8:41 am 2,243 19 Comments

Mixed Signals During Fire Alarms at Senior Facility — During fire alarms at The Jefferson senior living facility in Ballston, a recorded voice tells residents to evacuate the 21-story building via the stairwell. Except, for safety reasons, most residents are supposed to remain in their condo with the door shut. This has confused some elderly residents, who risked injury by attempting to walk down long flights of stairs during fire alarms. While acknowledging the inconsistency, both building management and the fire department say they can’t change the recorded message due to “liability” reasons. [Washington Post]

Politico Reporters to Speak at Rosslyn Lecture Series — Politico White House reporter Julie Mason and congressional reporter Jonathan Allen will be the speakers at Rosslyn’s “Rooms with a View” lecture series next week. Mason and Allen will discuss “Washington’s divided political landscape” and take questions from the audience. The event is free (RSVP required). It will be held on Thursday, May 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Boeing conference center at 1200 Wilson Boulevard. [Rosslyn BID]

Papery Closing Rumors — There’s more evidence that Clarendon stationery store The Papery may be closing, despite employees’ insistence that they’re preparing to add new stock to the largely empty shelves. The Papery’s space is listed as “for lease” on a commercial real estate firm’s web site. And The Papery’s own web site no longer exists. [Clarendon Culture]

Sign Needed at Rosslyn Safeway? — Is a one-way sign needed across from the Rosslyn Safeway to prevent confused drivers from heading the wrong way on Wilson Boulevard? [Ode Street Tribune]

  • Josh S

    1. Why do we care about the Papery, exactly? I imagine there must be many businesses on the verge of going out of business at any given time in Arlington. Why report on this one? I don’t get it.
    2. The situation at the Jefferson is outrageous. Liability? That’s bullsh*t. The contradictory messages themselves are a liability issue, aren’t they? Also, if this story gets around, I would imagine home values would go down there.

    • CrystalMikey

      1. Maybe our friendly neighborhood blogger is a fan of the store or intrigued by the intrigue?

    • dynaroo

      Yes, contradictory messages could cause a liability problem – as could an elderly resident injured trying to get down some stairs. Just do what’s safe, not what lawyers say.

  • 4Arl

    What ever happened to simple fire alarm bells? If they need a voice announcement it should come from a human with knowledge of the situation, not an automated message

    • FireMarshalBill

      It always activates with an automated voice. Audible alarms and strobes come on as well. Do you suggest we pay somebody to sit in the fire control room and wait for an alarm activation? It’s not up to the building managers, ADT, or security (many of whom have no clue) to tell residents to stay or not to stay. That’s the Fire Dept’s job. When in doubt, get out, but by way of fire rated stairways. Don’t forget to close the door behind you (it’ll swing closed by default if it’s up to code in new buildings). Obviously with the elderly its an unusual set of circumstances. The FD will respond quickly and address the nature of the alarm. If need be, THEY, the FD personnel are capable of broadcasting announcements to each individual floor. They are also taking control of the elevators to shuttle firefighters and equipment upstairs, as well as assist in special needs evacuations if needed. No need to over-react, it is a very safe building in a fire. Probably the safest of buildings to catch on fire. Sprinklers do an incredible job at eliminating fires before they get sizable, and are designed to protect occupants. Fire Codes are stricter and enforced more frequently in a building of that occupancy. Doors are built to inhibit fire spread by at least an hour. Sprinkler systems save lives. If your home building doesn’t have them, fight to get them installed. If they do, make sure they are routinely inspected and maintained.

  • OX4

    I like The Papery, would be sad to see it go.

    Regarding the one way sign at Safeway, I say a better suggestion is to put in a better grocery store. That Safeway is a dump.

    • madisonmanor

      I haven’t been in that hole since I worked in Rosslyn a decade ago. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I was there, you could only enter the parking deck from the *same* one-way Wilson Blvd. So if people can’t figure that part out, they probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel in the first place. Also, the lack of double yellow lines in the middle of the road is a dead give-away.

  • dynaroo

    The Papery is going to be replaced by The Tapery, a store that sells nothing but tape.

    • Tabby

      I’d like to see a creperie.

      I wonder why they’re denying it. I couldn’t even get a Mother’s Day card there last week. Sorry, Mom.

  • Explain liability to the 90-year old woman who just fell down the stairs because your alarm system told her to walk down them. Rather, wait for her lawyer to explain it to you.

    • CW

      Yeah, and then after that you can explain it to the other 90-year-old woman who burned to death because she could not hear the automated voice.

  • CW

    Also, this topic touches on something I’d been curious about since moving to the area. Why in the world are there so many assisted-living buildings in Ballston? It’s probably every 3rd building. There’s such a high demand for top dollar apartment and condo housing in the area, and it’s not like most of these folks are going to be riding the metro or taking in the nightlife. Why are people paying presumably exorbitant amounts to keep Granny in the Ballston high-rises when they could put her out to pasture in the country for much less and simultaneously open up some of these buildings for market-rate housing? Not trying to be mean or crude or anything, I’m just seriously curious. It seems like a terrible misallocation of resources.

    • dynaroo

      Are there that many?

    • Arlington, Northside

      In many cases insurance helps cover the costs, so they are CASH COWS! The buy in at the Jefferson is actually pretty reasonable, or even low, but the maintance and other costs are huge.

    • MB

      Just the two, as best I can tell. Also, when I’m put out to pasture, I’d prefer that pasture to have things I can walk to/don’t require me to drive. City/walkable living is something that gets more desirable as you become less mobile, and I think we’ll see a lot more of it.

      • CW

        There’s also the Emeritus at Arlington, which was responsible for at least 2-3 very loud ambulance calls per day or night during the 18 months that I lived next to it…

    • AllenB

      Assisted living is not like a nursing home. It is for people who are mobile and can get around but just need some help daily. Ballston is a good location as there is a lot for them to do just a few blocks from their door.

  • CW

    Yeah, I know that’s their purported purpose, at least at the time when you put the person into them. But based on my experience with relatives, they usually become nursing homes pretty darn quick.

    • AllenB

      Not really. Once a person reaches a certain level of disability they are sent out to a nursing home. Assisted living places usually don’t have that level of care.

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