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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com August 10, 2011 at 8:15 am 2,483 80 Comments

More Residents Upset With Road WorkArlington Ridge residents aren’t the only ones who have qualms about Arlington County’s traffic calming efforts. In the Chain Bridge Forest neighborhood, residents “wanted $16,000 worth of speed humps… What they got was $200,000 worth of concrete dividers and narrowed lanes that they said increased the risk of drivers being rear-ended while turning into the neighborhood.” [Washington Examiner]

Chicken Boosters Look to 2012 — Supporters of hen-raising in Arlington are hoping for action from the county government in 2012. They hope to convince homeowners (and the County Board) that keeping outdoor chicken coops won’t cause noise and odor problems, since hens are quieter than roosters and since regular coop cleaning can abate the smell. [Sun Gazette]

MMA Champ Trains in Arlington — Did you know that there’s a mixed martial arts gym in the Courthouse area? Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight titleholder Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz trained and spoke to the media at the Team Lloyd Irvin NOVA MMA gym at 2407 Wilson Boulevard yesterday. The gym’s class offerings include Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, Thai kickboxing, women’s fitness, children’s martial arts and mixed martial arts. [NOVA MMA, USA Today, MMA Nation]

Photo courtesy Jeannette Louise Smith

  • KalashniKEV

    0bie looks sad… I wonder why?

    • ZoningVictim

      Probably because his approval rating is in the toilet, his irresponsible spending policies have destroyed the already meager economic recovery and he’s been unable to convince most Americans that the Tea Party is a bunch of terrorists.

      Then again, if he wants to cheer himself up, all he has to do is look at the class of Republican candidates vying for the presidential nomination.

      • AllenB

        While I disagree with your first point, the second is definitely true. If the Republicans put up a strong moderate, who would say no to legislating social issues but focus on the country’s fiscal woes, they would stand a good chance. When someone like Michele Bachmann stands a chance of winning a bunch of primaries, you know the repubs are not capitalizing on the opportunity that is in front of them.

      • Duder

        I used to be Obama’s biggest fan. No more. If the GOP were to run Huntsman, I’d be pretty tempted. But of course they’ll run either Bachmann or Rick Perry.

        • ThePredictor

          The GOP ticket will be Perry/Pawlenty.

          The race will be close. Whoever wins in Virginia (Obama v Perry) will win the overall.

          • Duder

            If they nominate some nut like either of those two, the race will not be close. And the Teapots will not let them nominate anyone who isn’t batsh*t crazy.

      • MickeyInArlington

        Actually, his policies have been hobbled by Hoover-like fiscal conservatives.

        In a terrible recession, when private business and consumers don’t/won’t spend, gov’t is the spender of last resort.

        The stimulus was a milquetoast pablum of tax credits, tax refunds, etc. (I got my $800 IRS refund last year and promptly SAVED it.)

        New Deal style gov’t jobs programs is the most effective way to juice the economy.

        Feds are doing what they can with QE 1 and QE 2, plus annoucement that interest rates will be kept low for next two years. But that’s fiscal policy.

        We need strong MONETARY policy.

        Cut backs and a zeal to cut back spending tipped Hoover’s stock market crash into the Great Depression. And FDR was forced by politics to start tightening spending in his second admin, due reactionary Republicans of the day and conservative Dems. This ushered in the so-called “Roosevelt Recession.”

        Obama has disappointed because he and his advisors are centrists on every issue, givinig away the farm, before even negotiating.

        And what an fool for letting the GOP define the terms of the debate. It was and has been about JOBs, not the deficit and certainly not tying the routine debt ceiling hostage to government-hating reactionaries.

        The recent mania for budget cutting, (blissfully ignored by many conservatives under Bush), is the wrong medicine and the wrong time.

        Of course, if the goal is to ensure Obama is a one-termer (Mitch McConnell’s words) then it makes sense.

        • SouthArlingtonReady

          I’d say you hit that one outta the park Mickey. Well said.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          @ Mickey,

          I’m an ex-Dem and ex-Repub. Both parties alienated me but for different reasons. I’m not a fan of President Obama, but I blame the Congress a lot more for the current mess. To me, both parties of Congress have acted more like “I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue” kids than doing what we the people (their bosses, supposedly) want them to do….get going on the country’s business and stop the B.S. So what do they do? Get everyone in knots for weeks while they all argue like a bunch of five year olds, then pass some last minute band-aid, and merrily go off for five weeks vacation. Like I said, I’m not a fan of President Obama, but I’d most like to see Congress get the you-know-what cleaned out in the next election.

        • CW

          I agree with you 100%, especially about New Deal style programs. If there is a bad economy and you give money to peopel who are afraid of losing their jobs, what do you think will happen? Just what you did – they save it. What happened to “building our way out” of this mess? It’s what we need to do (and even if the economy were to turn around, we still have a lot of infrastructure projects we’ve put off for way too long).

        • Patrick

          Um your understanding of fiscal vs monetary policy is the opposite of reality. Monetary policy is controlled by the federal reserve. Fiscal policy is controlled by congress.

        • ZoningVictim

          Huh? That doesn’t even make sense. About half the economists of the day believed, with some caveats, that the New Deal actually lengthened and worsened the Great Depression. Those programs, coupled with out of control defense spending, are the major drivers of deficits at this point; even Obama wants to reform them.

          We’ve spend a ridiculous amount of money in the last three years, and it hasn’t done squat except saddle us with another $4.2 trillion in debt. How is well over a trillion dollars in extra spending per year since the credit default crisis hamstringing the big-spender? You want monetarism, you’ve got it; every time the Fed prints billions of dollars to bail someone out, they’re practicing monetarism. Unfortunately, that makes our money worth less.

          The Democrats have been the dominant party in the US since the Great Depression, and all that’s managed to do is heap more and more debt on our backs while lowering the tax base. It’s absolutely foolish to think that politicians, economists, the Fed or society can plan and execute a policy that will magically generate wealth and keep us from ever having to suffer through another recession/depression; but all of the above can surely wreck an economy by thinking they can.

          • normal

            Don’t even start to blame all the debt on the Democrats.

          • Josh S

            Whoa there, Victim. The Democrats have been the dominant party? In what way? Yes, polls have mostly shown more registered Democrat but if you just look at the White House and Congress, it’s pretty much gone back and forth. So you really, really, really can’t lay it all on the backs of the Dems. Really.

            What you might could say (I’m reading too much steve85 today) is that both parties are to blame because they really haven’t been that different for large parts of the last seventy years. Both sides have been quite happy to deregulate, to spend spend spend, to avoid making tough decisions, to always bow down before the DoD (and now anything related to the “war on terror”), to play the Iron Triangle game, to serve the rich while claiming populist roots, to paint the other side as boogie men, and to faithfully promote the doctrine that growth and consumption are God-given rights for all (especially if you’re already rich). You really can’t tell me that either side isn’t guilty of all that over the last several decades. The ONE thing that the Republicans have is that they have been slightly more honest that these are their true goals.

          • ZoningVictim

            In this way:

            Years of Democrats having Senate Majority:
            1933-1947
            1949-1953
            1955-1981
            1987-1995
            2001-2003
            2007-2012
            By my count, that’s only 16 out of the last 78 years (79 if you include 2012) the Republicans had power in the senate.

            Years of Democrats having the House majority:
            1933-1947
            1949-1995
            2007-2010
            In the same last 78 years, the Republicans have only had the power in the House for 14 years.

            In those years, if I’ve added things up right, the only times the Republicans have had full control of the government was the first year of the Eisenhower administration and the first year of the George W. Bush administration; whereas Democratic control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency has been the norm. So no, the power in the US Government has not swung back and forth as much as you might think. Here is a link that discusses Governmental power from 1929-1999 http://arts.bev.net/roperldavid/politics/congress.htm. I pulled the numbers above together myself sometime back by looking at who was listed as the speaker of the House and senate on Wikipedia.

  • Dan32

    The County is so stupid with the way it does traffic calming. They have some aversion to speed bumps and instead prefer the islands of vegetation. Which basically just cause confusion because they look like traffic circles and keep you from seeing what/who is on the other side.

    • ZoningVictim

      From what I’ve read, traffic circles are actually the best intersections for both keeping traffic moving and maintaining pedestrian/bicyclist safety. Unfortunately, we just have a very old community that doesn’t have much room to institute them properly.

      I’ve been driving through a traffic circle in DC close to where I work for the last 10 years, and although it seems like a pileup waiting to happen every time I enter it, I’ve never seen a crash there and traffic rarely backs up by more than a few cars. Best of all, you don’t have to sit there burning gas while staring at an empty intersection waiting for a red light to turn green.

      • Dan32

        But I’m not talking about traffic circles; I have no problem with those. I’m talking about these things that make a two-way or four-way stop *resemble* a traffic circle, even though the cars are supposed to stop.

    • normal

      People freak out about speed humps. They go insane. People think they have a God-given right to speed.

      • CW

        I don’t think that I have a God-given right to speed. I just lack ground clearance.

      • KalashniKEV

        From a safety perspective, Speed Bumps are the WORST thing you can do- they create a dangerous lurching effect that is far more prone to accident than just driving through at normal speed.

        Think about the way you drive through a speed bump neighborhood… you’d like to drive through at 15 MPH, but because of the speed bumps you are forced to do 2 MPH —-> 35 MPH just to maintain a normal rate of travel…. oh, and some moron probably made the speed limit 10 MPH, which is a separate problem.

      • MickeyInArlington

        Well I’m NOT looking for the right to speed. (Perhaps some homeowners w/their 1/6 acre lots and dense housing expect Arlington to be like western Loundoun County. ‘T’ain’t.)

        Whatever the case, if you can’t drive over these so-called traffic calming humps at the posted speed-limit without bottoming out, the humps are too high and present a danger to people’s cars. I can think of several where this is ineed the case.

    • Rick

      These aren’t even islands of vegetation. its solid cement. It looks horrible

    • BerryBerryCold

      The county may have some aversion to speed bumps, however, they seem not to in a certain neighborhood where a county board member lives. They have lots of bumps there!

  • david

    “Our experience here is people get really upset about change,” said Arlington Director of Transportation Dennis Leach. “They don’t like change. They think the world is going to end. And then they all of the sudden realize: ‘Well that really wasn’t as bad as I expected.’ ”

    That’s a pretty condescending comment.

    • Josh S

      See? Told ya….

    • normal

      And entirely true.

      • Dan32

        But it implies that any objection is rooted in an overall resistance to any change–which clearly isn’t the case with the CB Forest people. They wanted a change–just not the change that the County gave them.

        • normal

          Fair comment, Dan. But I think the fear of change thing still applies.

          • david

            It definitely applies. I don’t disagree with the county official but but he really should have worded things a little differently.

        • CBFResident

          Contrary to the less-than-stellar “reporting” of the Examiner article, many residents in Chain Bridge Forest supported the traffic calming project. The project went through the County’s process and was approved by a large majority of the affected households. Terry Dean is part of a small clique of neighbors who fought the project tooth and nail. Many residents do not recognize the neighbor community association, since it was taken over by this fringe group. Too bad the Examiner didn’t bother to talk with anyone in the neighborhood who supported the project.

          • Jack

            The radical fringe is about to take over the Arlington Ridge community association next month also. They are the same group that hijacked the meeting that started the whole slip lane controversy.

          • ARCA_Neighbor

            Jack – your comment does not make much sense. You are basically insulting your neighbors.

            The entire ARCA and neighborhood has voted to ask County to suspend the project. The loud “minority” tried to recruit and bring imported Aurora Highlands members to the meeting to create impression of support for the failed County’s project.

            Needless to stay, there was no soul in the room during ARCA’s meeting who supported the County’s position with the exception of 1-2 loud people.

            I’m sorry that you were minority – I guess “radical” fringe minority that County tried to use to justify its project.

            Elections in any association is part of the democratic process and represent the will of majority and not the will of small “clique” of people who are trying to take over the organization in the direction opposite of what majority of neighbors wants.

            If you like County, go and work for it.

    • Rick

      they hate change. that’s gop country up there. Madison precinct is most GOP in the county.

    • Paul

      This is very condesending comment. It is telling more about Leach and his simplistic and self-rigtheous mind.

  • Josh S

    They are traffic circles.

    I suspect that the Examiner got on this because one of the SOS folks called them and asked them to do an article. Not pretending to be purveyors of journalism, the Examiner management was more than happy to write something that might get more eyeballs and thus sell more ads.

    Find me a jursidiction in America that doesn’t have citizens complaining when local roads projects are started. And Northern Virginia has no monopoly on armchair traffic engineers, either.

    The sad part is that the quote from the Arlington guy is exactly right but it sounds bad coming from the mouth of a public official. He’ll get hammered for that by those whose feelings are already hurt.

    • Land on Mother Earth…

      The Examiner wrote the article on its own. Arlington Ridge residents had nothing to do with it.

      If you believe that it is so easy to “order” an article, please try to do it yourself and let us know how it works.

      Use any newspaper – from Post to Alexandria Gazette.

      The Examiner has good local news and journalist did a pretty good factual analysis.

  • DriversEdTeacher

    People like those in the article worried about being rear-ended because they have to make a turn should follow the training you received in driver’s education (as should everyone). Turns are a necessary and basic maneuver that occurs when driving.

    First, and foremost – always drive the speed limit, pay attention to your driving and always be aware of your surroundings using your mirrors as appropriate, apply the brake and slow down gradually, and *signal* well before the turn, check to make sure the turn is clear of hazards, make the turn with both hands steering and for sharp turns a hand over hand method affords more control of the vehicle. In addition, make sure your turn signals and brake lights are in working order. It’s a good idea in poor conditions (rain, snow) to test the road with small applications of the brake to see if the road is slick and if you are not confident driving in these conditions, do not drive. Do these very simple and basic things and you too can make turns safely.

    • Bemused bystander

      Very sensible but takes all the fun out of driving!

    • Andrew

      So, in your opinion, if I follow your steps, I should never have to worry about someone rear ending me?

      • BrownFlipFlops

        Exactly. DriversEdTeacher makes it sound like nobody who was stationary, after following all laws and safe-driving best practices, has ever been rear-ended.

      • WhyWorry?

        You could be worried about eating a bowel of soup because people have been known to drown in them. What is the point you are making ?

        • zing

          I’m sure there are very few people in Arlington that would eat a “bowel” of soup. KEV’s bums, maybe, but they most likely aren’t driving. Now soupy bowels – that’s a whole ‘nother story.

          • WorriedNow

            This site really needs an edit feature for posts so a small typo can be corrected before it becomes fodder for wannabe comedians!

          • zing

            Steve???

            So you’re more worried about an ability to edit what COULD be a typo instead of lack of reading comprehension (or positing a red herring) on WhyWorry?’s post? In the words of mehoo/dynaroo/doodly/normal/samsonite: “Brilliant”

        • BrownFlipFlops

          I worry about eating soup out of bowels because of all the e. coli in them.

          At the risk of speaking for Andrew out of turn, I think the point he was trying to make was, “You make it sound like I’m in complete control, as the car in front, of the circumstances that lead to a rear-end collision. Do you really mean that? …because I think they’re usually the following car’s fault.”

          • BrownFlipFlops

            Dang it, zing! You’re too zippy!

    • DC Driver

      What’s a signal?

  • Traffic circles (or roundabouts) are used all over the place successfully, both here and in other countries. Speed humps, are a nuisance. I can’t imagine any resident who has one in front of their house would want it there. Just imagine all the brake dust and brake squeal you get with each car slowing down. And, let’s not forget the fume pollution into your front window as the car again speeds up. For the driver, if the speed bump isn’t built or marked correctly (such as not painting it yellow to make it more visible or improper signage) you’ll be paying a fortune to replace the whole exhaust system on your car.

    • Dan32

      If you’re going so fast or are so distracted that you can’t see a speed bump unless it’s painted yellow, I have no sympathy for you.

      And you don’t have to hit the brakes and then goose the throttle when you encounter a speed bump; just lay off the gas when approaching it so that you coast over it. Then you can slowly give it more gas. (But I agree that most people don’t do this, not realizing that slowing down doesn’t require riding the brakes.)

      • I’ve been on a number of roads (not necessarily in Arlington) with speed bumps that were once painted yellow but VDOT or whatever entity responsible for them did not keep up the color so it was now mostly black. If you don’t know it is there, it appears very quickly. A traffic circle is much more obvious.

      • JamesE

        depends on the car, I have to come to nearly a complete stop to go over speeds bumps without bottoming out, and yes it is factory height.

        • CW

          +1 agreed. The ones on highland I slow down to a crawl for and I am bone stock. I’ve bottomed out on lower.

    • ZoningVictim

      You slow down for the speed humps? I thought they were there so I could practice catching air to bolster my off-road/rally cross skills.

      In all seriousness, unless you’re in a ‘Vette or a Ferrari, I don’t think you’ll be having any issues with your exhaust being ripped off, assuming you are traveling a reasonable speed.

      • CW

        1) “Unless you’re in a ‘Vette or a Ferrari”…or about 15 other makes/models I could rattle off right now…Arlington has a ridiculously disproportionate number of high-performance cars compared to just about anywhere else.

        2) I don’t worry as much about the rear end as about the front.

      • JamesE

        Vette exhaust actually has pretty good clearance, the front however…. not so much.

    • Josh S

      Wow, talk about a fantasy world. Having lived in a neighborhood with plenty of the speed tables and having driven over many, I have experienced none of this. Not to mention – what is “brake dust?”

      • Rick

        you’ve never personally cleaned your automobile have you. Brake dust lines the inside of the wheel after awhile. Thats why your front wheels look dirtier than your back ones. It’s not easy to get out and it smells (unless you like it)

        • CW

          It’s great sprinkled over pasta tossed with a little olive oil though.

        • JamesE

          dark gray wheels are very good and hiding my laziness to clean it.

      • You are kidding me? Brake dust, aside from dirtying up the car, is unhealthy. It is very fine dust from your brake pads. Brake pads are made from things such as phenolic and metals. Do you want your house to have metal dust of a higher concentration floating around because every car passing by it is hitting the brakes to slow for a speed hump?

        http://www.air-purifier-power.com/brake-dust-allergy.html

  • PCity

    Am I the only one who read “MMA Chimp Trains in Arlington?” Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    • FrenchyB

      If only they had MMA Midget Chimp Roller Derby…

    • Apologies to Cat Stevens

      Chimp train sounding louder.
      Ride on the chimp train–HOOO! AHHH! EEE! OOHAH!

  • John Fontain

    “Big ups” to ARLnow for the MMA coverage.

  • Southeast Ben

    I enjoy riding on a dirt road…

  • Rick

    You forgot F-in Dana F-in White was there! They’re doing a publicity tour for UFC on Versus 6 at the verizon center in October.

    • KalashniKEV

      Seriously?

      • Rick

        yessir

  • possible problem with the hens in the back yard idea – we are going to attract predators who will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    If the hens were kept in a coop all the time, they would be safe, but doesn’t that defeat the entire premise of a free roaming bird? I guess everyone could make the yard a gigantic cage, but that does not seem reasonable or appropriate for many reasons.

    At first I lived the idea but my mind has changed because of something that happened earlier in July. I adopted a wild dove that did not learn to fly properly. I have no idea how she ended up in my yard, but she did, and she I noticed that she was around every day when I fed my birds. I began giving her seeds and putting out water for her and her shelter was under my shed. Everything was wonderful until a hawk grabbed her and ate her for dinner one day.

    Broke my heart. I know it’s stupid, but it never occurred to me that a hawk would eat the precious dove!!!!

    Bet the same will happen to the hen throughout the county.

    Not to mention the fox . . .

    • CW

      Did you go raise a toast in her honor at the Hawk ‘N Dove?

      *dodges thrown tomatoes*

      • KalashniKEV

        LOL… that’s what I was thinking! Free shots for Interns!!!

        • noooooooooooooooooo. My poor little dove! I can’t throw a tomato at you because my wild birds are all eating them for lunch (did I mention my outdoor, wild pals are all fat???).

    • Lou

      I’ve never seen as many hawks around Arlington as I have this year.

    • Thes

      I don’t think it’s a given that hens who roam around a yard are going to get eaten by predators. If they are cooped at night they can generally run around during the day pretty safely. I’ve seen it happen in Northern Virginia — the hens lived that way until they were eaten by the primates who were feeding them.

      • CW

        Right. If hens in a yard were guaranteed to get eaten by predators, I’ve pretty sure mankind would have stopped raising them hundreds of years ago.

  • Pedant

    @Mickey – I think you’ve got your “fiscal” and your “monetary” confused.

    • MickeyInArlington

      Indeed I do. Sorry ’bout that.

  • what the..

    dennis leach and his department is actually going to be the cause of elected county board members to lose their seats. people are mad at the deaf ears of county staff and being run over by their agenda over the objections of neighborhood assn.

    • County is in Trouble

      I agree. The County does not understand how much they have angered the citizens all over the place.

      Dennis Leach has created so many issues with the citizens by using his heavy-handed approach complemented with ignorance and disregard for residents of multiple areas.

      The Board is simply out of touch, and will certainly pay the price. Sooner or later.

      They are hoping that the citizens are not paying attention and the fact that they are “Democrats” can cover all their misdeeds.

      Well, it can not. People are waking up and realizing that this Board is in support of the big business and commercial interests while neglecting ordinary citizens and neighbors.

      Enough is enough…

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