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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com August 2, 2011 at 8:21 am 2,843 77 Comments

Storm Grazes Arlington — Last night’s storms brought wind and torrential rains to much of the region, but only grazed Arlington. Nonetheless, the storm managed to pack enough of a punch to knock down a large branch in Fairlington, near the intersection of S. Utah Street and 32nd Road.

Arlington Among Fuel ‘Teetotalers’ — Arlington residents spend among the least per month on gasoline, according to an analysis of data from major metropolitan areas by Mint.com. Arlington residents are “teetotalers” at $129 per month spent on fuel. That compares to $112 for D.C. residents and $102 for New York City residents, who spend the least. The biggest “guzzler” was San Jose, Ca. at $216 per month per resident. [CommuterPage Blog]

Sun Gazette Editorial Blasts Feuding Dems — The Sun Gazette has seen enough of the “sad spectacle” of the “uniformly amateurish” primary campaigns of state Senate foes Jaime Areizaga-Soto and Barbara Favola. The paper opines that the feuding Democrats have embarked “on a mission of self-immolation, conspiring for whatever bizarre reason to throw away control of the 31st District.” The war of words in the campaign has opened up an opportunity for Republican Caren Merrick to capture the traditionally Democratic seat, the paper suggests. [Sun Gazette]

  • it was awful to see the radars with all that precious rain miss us again. Wonder why the immediate DC area always misses these storms – happened last year too. Big storm moves in and suddenly parts like the Red Sea and leaves us high and dry.

    Mind you, don’t mind skipping the winds and damage, but sure wanted some of that rain.

    Maybe next time . . .

    • BoredHouseWife

      HAARP? 🙂

  • JamesE

    I think I average about $200 a month on gas

    • Rick

      Thats a good month for me

      • R.Griffon

        I rarely spend more than $100, and will often skip a month without even filling up. Hybrids and walkable neighborhoods FTW!

        • BoredHouseWife


        • JamesE

          I can get 30 mpg if I am easy on the gas, which is difficult

  • charlie

    excellent coverage of the destruction in Fairlington.

  • CW

    I realize that this would be more appropriate to post in the forums, but I also realize that no one seems to read the forums, judging from how few posts there usually are. Anyhow, a week or so ago, there was a discussion of the Food Factory, which closed. Well, this morning I was informed via email newsletter that it is being reborn in downtown D.C. as “King of Kabob”. Just FYI since it seems people had fond memories of the place.

    • JamesE

      downtown DC? terrible.

      • CW

        They know to follow the money…

    • FrenchyB

      Gary Dell’Abate should open a place called “Kabob-a-booeys.”

  • Tre

    Any word on Donaldson Run?

    • charlie

      no communications are getting out right now. or in. it is terrible over there. just horrible. oh, the humanity.

      • GuyGuyGuy

        There are intermittent reports of a large, seemingly homemade watercraft loaded with animals floating around in what used to be known as Donaldson Run..

        • charlie

          probably fashioned out of an upside Volvo SUV with oars made from the fake columns on the arts & craft style home.

          • Billy

            + 1 – volvo’s are for losers!

    • Rosslynite

      Gurgle, gurgle. Still looking for dry land in Donaldson Run.

      • Tre

        Hang in there… FEMA will be there next week

  • Steve

    I probably put in 5 gallons of gas in my car per month, tops..

  • Southeast Ben

    I am hoping that something more comment-provoking is posted on arlnow soon. Work is awful sluggish this morning.

    • CW

      Let’s see if we can run the discussion on the tree branch up to 300+ comments.

      I will start.

      I heard that Favola took $2500 from that tree to have the county declare that the branch had not broken off, but that the tree later sold out to developers to build a Wal-Mart/Taco bell hybrid location there. In the meantime, the tree was allegedly robbed by what appeared to be a man, and ACPD is looking for him.

      • charlie

        wrong wrong. how idiotic can you be? this blog is full of crying haters. OMG. 🙂
        The tree company that planted the tree in 1951 with the hopes and expectations sixty years later to get the county contract to remove the tree and have been lavishly donating to babs since she was on the Planning Commission back in the early 90’s.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        “if a branch falls in Fairlington is a check written at 2100 Clarendon”

        • Southeast Ben

          Did anyone hear the branch fall?

          Maybe we can get another bank robbery? Those stories are quite entertaining. If only there were police chases in Arlington…which I could stream live on arlnow, I might not be able to control myself.

          • Richard Cranium

            The county sent out engineers to look at the best way of removing the tree limb. Unfortunately, they didn’t consult with the local civic association, or perhaps they did but ignored the civic association’s recommendations. Either way, it set off a firestorm of debate on local websites. They even have a website: http://www.saveourfallentreelimbsbecausewehavenothingbettertodo.com, where they detail their own plan for removing the limb and point out all of the mistakes the county engineer made in his recommendation. It’s all quite something. There’s even a poster named RockinEcon who seems to be taking the County’s side with questionable motivation.

          • Southeast Ben

            You forgot to mention where a woman loved that particular limb so much that she had it carved into a mermaid with 38DDs, whereby the Artisphere purchased the piece thinking it would drive up attendance to the museum.

          • Richard Cranium

            Can we get a picture with some nice sideboob, please?

          • Tabby

            D-head: ‘sideboob’ is not what you think it is. I’m fed up with you people not understanding terminology. Sideboob is by the armpit and it’s something women try to avoid, because it’s flesh, not “boob” and it’s unsightly.

          • amen-Infinity

            There had NEVER beeen an accident due to that limb – ZERO , ZERO ! So, why were they even talking about removing it ?!

          • Richard Cranium

            It’s blocking the children’s entrance to the dog park.

          • amen-Infinity +1

            How do YOU know so much ? You MUST work for the County.

          • derp

            @richard cranium link is broken 🙁

          • Richard Cranium

            Um, it, eh . . . wasn’t really . . . it never . . . oh, nevermind. You’re right, it’s broken.

          • derp

            haha. well played.

          • Shooting Blanks

            @richard cranium link is broken

            Commonly referred to as a vasectomy

          • charlie

            nice. and i love your name, DH.

          • Ricardo Cabeza

            Thanks. I also speak “South Arlington.”

          • PhilT

            The limb cracked at over 65db, so it was fined and has lost its permit for future limb breaks.

          • Richard Cranium


      • KrashMeKEV

        Good riddance – there were child molesting bums living under that limb.

      • charlie

        The Examiner is sending someone out to report on it. Provided they can get there since the HOT Lanes weren’t built.
        trees falling and blocking roads are liberal conspiracy to keep SUVs off the road and if that fails, at least keeps Alexandrians out.

      • John Fontain

        Let’s put an end to all these false rumors. I know the reason that branch fell. The District Taco cart was driving down that street and flipped over yet again, crashing into the tree and sending the branch plummeting to the ground.

        • Tabby

          No, someone had his/her dog off leash AGAIN and it took a huge dump on the tree and the limb fell off and hit a child. No cupcakes were harmed during this event.

          • Biff

            HAHA! Good one!

  • BerryBerryCold

    If we have some of the lowest fuel costs, we drive less miles, then we should have some of the lowest car tax costs. Yet, we have close to, if not, the highest in Virginia.

    • bluemontguy

      Why should we have the lowest car taxes just because we have the lowest fuel costs?

      • BerryBerryCold

        Because it implies that we drive less.

        Prices are lower out in the further VA burbs, they drive more, and pay less in car tax (as a %.)

        • R.Griffon

          Car taxes aren’t used for roads alone. It goes into the general County coffers for everything they do. Don’t think of it as a driving tax – think of it as a true property tax (like a house).

          • Tabby

            Or a luxury tax, because the more expensive (and newer) your car, the more you pay.

          • ZoningVictim

            In that case, I guess income taxes are a luxury tax as well since the more I get paid, the more I pay.

          • bluemontguy

            Exactly – it’s a tax on the car, not driving it.

        • brendan


          state and federal gas taxes are applied per gallon, not dollar… in terms of the personal property tax on your car’s value, that is entirely separate from gasoline usage.

        • But they pay more in gasoline tax.

  • I love how you make it sound like the Sun Gazette has an editorial board sitting around stroking their beards and coming to wizened conclusions. It’s Scott McCaffrey, a Republican who loves to concern troll Democratic races. Why not just use his name?

  • Bender

    It is true that I do not spend very much on gasoline. But far more than I should have to driving less than 3000 miles per year.

    The problem is that, instead of being able to get a good 30 miles for each gallon I buy (as I should be able to since I get a consistent 35 mpg in highway driving), I typically end up getting only 20 mpg in my daily Arlington driving. Why? Because of Arlington’s anti-car policies, I end up spending a large percentage of my time sitting at poorly-timed stop lights or in traffic jams caused in part by poorly-designed streets.

    But what do you expect in an area where concrete gray is their idea of “green,” instead of open areas and trees and grass?

    • bluemontguy

      Um, no, traffic is probably alot better in Arlington than it would be, because of those “anti-car” (pro-alternative) policies. You’d have alot more cars on the road, in front of you, without them. And you might be forced to drive more than 3,000 miles a year because you’d have no alternative.

      • Well…

        Not exactly. Those same policies encourage more condos/townhouses/apartments. So at best the anti-car/pro-transit policies are possibly negating the traffic effect of the new residents/commuters those developments bring in. If it weren’t for the Metro, Arlington would not have grown by nearly as much as it has.

        • bluemontguy

          But most of those condos are full of people who don’t drive either.

          If they didn’t live here, they’d live out in Fairfax County or beyond, where they’d all drive, and many would drive on our roads to get to DC, causing even more congestion.

          • Well…

            I have no stats, but most of the people I’ve known who live in such develpments do own cars and do drive, though I admit most don’t drive into work.

            I also dn’t think you can assume they all wuld move to FFX. I think many would simply live in Arlington in the then-existing housing (older apts and rooms in regular houses). Or in DC.

            Even if you are right, Bender has a point: Try drving on C. Pike and see how much you have to stop, burning lots of gas. Then drive down George Mason (fewer businesses) and see the difference. Arl. Cunty wants to see everything be more like C. Pike–more congestin, more businesses, more bike lanes.

          • Richard Cranium

            Please keep on topic. In this case, the topic is fallen tree limb conspiracy theories.

            Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

          • Josh S

            Is that Bender’s point? That driving through a commercial district involves more traffic than driving through a residential district? That’s not a very earth-shaking point, is it? And how does one go from two statements of fact about the characteristics of different kinds of neighborhoods to a blanket statement like Arlington County wants more congestin (sic), more businesses, more bike lanes. And furthermore, what do bike lanes have to do with anything? And furthermore, what about your mind? And your insipid record collection?

          • bluemontguy

            I was making a very general point, like we all are. In general, development here is going to result in less driving.

            As for the Pike vs. G. Mason – no, I don’t think the county wants every road to be like the Pike. Otherwise G. Mason would be, well, like the Pike. I think the opposite. You put even more businesses in an area that is already busy, and serve it with transit, and you can keep them from sprawling (notice that word?) into all the other roads and clogging them up too.

          • Pedestrians add to traffic congestion. Just look at any crosswalk along the Orange Line.

        • Josh S

          Just for clarity’s sake – pro transit does not equal anti-car.

          • Lou

            Does pro-car = anti-transit?

          • Josh S

            Not necessarily. Of course, it depends on what you mean by “pro-car.” It seems to me that many people here use “pro-car” to mean “don’t build / expand public transit options.”

          • Lou

            The same way many pro-transit people mean don’t build more roads. See how that works?

          • Josh S

            I wish I could draw a Venn diagram….

            My response was to “Well…..” above, who conflated “anti-car/pro-transit policies” as if they were the same thing. They aren’t is the only point I was trying to make. When we start talking about how people use the terms and what they mean, we’re really changing the subject. The policies themselves are not the same thing. And calling Arlington’s policies “anti-car” is really flipping them on their head – they are pro-transit and pro-walking and pro-biking.

          • Venn Diagram

            Here you go – it’s really not that hard – the inputs are all clearly defined.

          • cyclist

            Nice diagram, Venn. I’ll ride my bike home between those two big circle thingies today.

          • Josh S

            That’s fabulous!

            (Inaccurate, but fabulous!! :-))

      • Bender

        Um, no. Traffic is many times worse because, like I said, the lights are (poorly) timed to STOP the flow of traffic, rather than to improve the flow of traffic, and the streets are purposely designed to have insufficient width and insufficient number of lanes, both of which cause traffic to slow and to stop, rather than flow freely.

        In addition, the purposeful addition of thousands of additional cars due to hyper-density policies only leads to wasteful burning gasoline while stopped in traffic. It should not take me 15-20 minutes to drive from one end of Columbia Pike to the other end, or 15-20 minutes to drive down Four Mile Run from Columbia Pike to Shirlington, being forced to stop at lights where there is zero opposing traffic (e.g. the DMV dedicated street).

        Arlington is a self-imposed traffic mess, made all the worse by the maroons who are doing their best to make driving more cumbersome, rather than easier, all in order to coerce people into time-consuming, unreliable, over-expensive public transit.

    • Josh S

      You’re hilarious.


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