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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com August 11, 2011 at 7:55 am 2,854 68 Comments

Police Investigate BB Gun Bike-By Shooting — Arlington Police searched for a pair of young men on bikes last night after one of them allegedly shot a woman in the arm with a BB gun near the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Thomas Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood. The suspects made a clean getaway, although one may have been briefly spotted near Ballston. The woman required medical treatment for the wound.

Pentagon Memorial Called ‘Contemplative,’ ‘Noisy’ — Visitors to the Pentagon Memorial are reportedly weirded out by the sound of low-flying planes at the Pentagon Memorial — which was built in honor of the 184 people who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon’s west wall on 9/11/01. The Pentagon is along the flight path of Reagan National Airport. [Associated Press]

WaPo Sums Up the 30th District State Senate Race — As Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, Del. Adam P. Ebbin and Arlington County School Board member Libby Garvey knock on doors in the 30th state Senate district, Virginia Tech professor Craig Brians commented on the many policy similarities in the three-way primary race. “It’s so difficult for voters to figure out what the real difference is between these people,” he said. [Washington Post]

Arlington Wants Its Money Back — Arlington and other Northern Virginia localities are pushing Gov. Bob McDonnell to return some of the $311 million state budget surplus to local governments. “I think the governor’s going to hear pretty clearly from local governments that they think some of this should be restored, it not all of it,” said Arlington County Board Member Mary Hynes. [Washington Examiner]

Flickr pool photo by ddimick

  • Blue Virginia

    Meanwhile, Adam Ebbin is responding to Libby Garvey’s comments at the AGLA debate the other night, in which she said, “I’ve been very disappointed, Rob, in your campaign, because you have said constantly you’re the only candidate with children in the public schools, and that’s felt to me, frankly, like code: Adam’s gay, can’t have children in the public schools, and I’m old…”

    http://bluevirginia.us/diary/4625/adam-ebbin-i-dont-appreciate-libby-speaking-for-me

  • Ali

    McDonnell knows that money is never going to be spent wisely.

    • KalashniKEV

      Exactly. The county is drunk off spending and would just waste it on another foolish boondoggle.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        +10 – now if the money was given to the County and was spent to pay off debt…..nah, they’d probably use it on something similar to the artisphere.

      • ZoningVictim

        No kidding; the audacity of this guy.

        “The reality is that the surplus is a result of monies that the state withheld from local governments. It’s already our money; it’s not newfound money,” Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille told The Washington Examiner.

        No, it’s not “your money” it’s the taxpayer’s money and should be sent back to us; not our big-spender local governments.

        • normal

          No, it’s not your money. It was already taxed, and intended for state and local governments, which also serve us – the people – in ways we can’t with our own money. This “it’s our money” thing is getting old, it doesn’t apply every time you see a spare dollar in a government account.

          • ZoningVictim

            Yes, it is our money, and most people agree on that. You, and people like you are the outliers who believe that it’s the government’s money, and what’s getting old is having my wallet raided by an ever expanding government, who then try to expand even more when they take in more tax dollars (or spend less) than they originally intended. Pay off some debt or send it back to the people who earned it.

    • Arlwhenever

      Because state pensions are not fully funded, I would argue that the surplus is not a surplus at all. Good for the McDonnell plan to use at least a portion of the surplus to fund pensions. That’s a responsible move.

  • Narlington

    I hear the county wants the money to replace all the streets in the county with walking paths, and speed humps

    • Bluemontsince1961

      LOL!

      • normal

        I want you in the front row at my comedy show.

    • Burger

      You forgot eliminating slip lanes

  • CrystalMikey

    RE: the Pentagon Memorial. I still swear I see some of Reagan’s traffic flying right over that building.

    • G Clifford Prout

      Golly what other hard hitting news can AP report. I’ll give them some suggestions.

      1) The Washington Monument is tall
      2) The Jefferson Memorial is round
      3) The MLK Memorial is new

      any others?

      • Bluemontsince1961

        LOL! 4) The White House is white; 5) The National Cathedral is tall; 6) The Potomac River is wet

  • SomeGuy

    I like how the county wants some money back. But if McDonnell’s going to return tax money, why not return it to the source, i.e. directly to the taxpayers?

    And would the county consider returning money to the source if they had a major surplus? Or would they just treat it like Christmas and conjure up some new pet projects?

    • Dan

      First off, there was an interesting article in the Post a couple of days ago about the “Virginia surplus”….hint: it is the result of an accounting gimmick. Secondly, it will be a cold day you know where when the county board would willingly return money to the taxpayers and we haven’t had many cool let alone cold days this summer.

      • duh

        The Virginia surplus that McDonnell is claiming credit for was handed to him by Obama and those evil Democrats and their evil stimulus!

        Maybe he should give it back to the feds.

    • CW

      I would hope they wouldn’t blow it on “pet projects”, but returning it to everyone, as our old friend GWB taught us, doesn’t do squat. There are two options in that case, and neither helps anyone. If everyone hoards it because they’re fearing for their economic future, nothing happens. If everyone spends it, then, in a pure classical economic scenario, inflation goes up by some corresponding percentage. The latter is less pronounce in a local economy than a national one of course.

      The smarter thing would be to take the collective sum and invest it on projects that would add value in the county by making it more attractive to businesses and new residents. Or, alternatively, use it to pay off debt that the county has incurred to finance past projects. So no, I agree, no spending it on the Artisphere, but giving everybody fifty bucks each in a county where the median household income is over 100k is not going to do much either.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        @CW, using it to pay off debt sounds like a good idea. Pay off the debt first, then take a look at projects that add value to the county for ALL of the county, not just the wine-and-cheese-artisphere elites.

        • Josh S

          I believe there is already a plan to pay off the debt. Payments go to bondholders, with interest. Many of these bondholders are, directly or indirectly, citizens. I guess you could pay the bond early, but it would be pretty unusual and since repayment is done in a very predictable, steady way, it’s not really necessary in order to solve any kind of fiscal problems. Locally speaking, of course.
          Should money come Arlington’s way, I agree that investing it in infrastructure or education would be the best option. Something that will improve Arlington’s ability to have a vibrant economy for years to come.
          I also think that returning it to the citizens would make little impact on most everyone’s life. You wouldn’t even generate much in the way of goodwill amongst those who resent paying taxes in the first place. But it is not that radical of a suggestion, we’ve gotten several payments from the feds over the last decade, haven’t we? One way of looking at those payments was that our taxes were being returned to us.

          • SomeGuy

            Josh, I’ll agree with your general sentiment on the debt-paydown. It’s scheduled, and the schedule is probably fine.

            I think you’re missing the point about who that surplus money belongs to though. It’s not about generating goodwill with tax payers per se. It’s about doing what’s right. WE paid extra to the state, and now the COUNTY feels entitled to a cut of that extra (sure sounds like entitlement in the statements).

            Also, please be more specific about this last part of your post:
            “we’ve gotten several payments from the feds over the last decade, haven’t we? One way of looking at those payments was that our taxes were being returned to us.”

          • CW

            Yeah, kinda fell of the wagon with that last statement, didn’t he? Since we were running deficits, I don’t reallt think it’s fair to say our taxes were being returned to us. More like going Christmas shopping on a credit card in my mind. I think it’s also pretty well agreed that those blanket rebates didn’t do jack for the economy.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            @JoshS, investing it in infrastructure improvements and improvements in schools (such as increasing capacity, reopening former schools back as schools, for example), would be fine with me.

          • Burger

            Of course, you could pay off bonds early particularly those at higher interest rates and then reissue bonds at lower rates. this would then allow you to do some other things.

            But the county has no claim to that money it goes to the state much like Virginia has no claims to extra payments to the Federal Government

          • Novanglus

            ” pay off bonds early particularly those at higher interest rates and then reissue bonds at lower rates.”

            The county’s investment management folks do this on a regular basis. It doesn’t require surplus cash.

      • SomeGuy

        CW, I wasn’t suggesting that we return money to taxpayers is for any reason other than that they (the state) collected money that’s unallocated. It’s the same argument the county is making to the state about having collected unallocated funds.

        Therefore, it wasn’t a debate about where those funds would do the most good (e.g., so-called “shovel-ready projects”, etc.). I was making the statement that the county wants to play man in the middle to get “their” money back, but we the people are the ones who funded that surplus in the first place.

        • CW

          I can see that logic. You can’t argue with it in absolute terms. But, I was suggesting, given the fact that 1) it’s already a sunk cost to the taxpayers and 2) rebates have not shown to be very effective at all from an economic perspective, a smarter (not necessarily more “fair”) thing to do would be to invest it.

          • ZoningVictim

            The biggest problem with your statements is that you are talking about the effect of refunding $50 of the tax payer’s money on Arlingtonians lives, which may very well have little to no impact on most of the people living here, but neither Arlington nor Northern Virginia represents all of Virginia; it isn’t even most of Virginia. To many Virginians, that $50 would make an impact in their lives.

        • Bemused bystander

          No, it’s the state that created that “surplus” by underfunding established programs and commitments to localities.

      • JamesE

        I’m just not going to pay the car tax bill I just got

        • CW

          Just get some maryland, florida, or illinois plates like 75% of the cars in my garage have, and you’ll be all set.

          Seriously, as long as we have a car tax, I wish the county would start raining down hellfire upon those who egregiously violate it.

          • JamesE

            I only have 1 out of 2 VA plates on it, maybe I can pay 50% tax.

          • Novanglus

            People with maryland, florida, or illinois plates would cut their insurance rates severely by registering in VA — their stays must be temporary.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      The County Board…..return any surplus money to the taxpayers?!?!?! Any politician of any kind return any money to any taxpayer at any time, ever!?!? ROFL! I seriously doubt Mr. McDonnell would return any of it directly us taxpayers. If the County Board ever did so, a very hot place will have gotten very cold.

    • Why? Haven’t you figured it out by now? The governments know so much better how to spend your money than you do.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Well, Overgrown Bush, the Gov certainly spends it faster than I ever could!

        • I am going to reclaim my investment in any speed bumps by shaving some of them off with my low rider underside.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            ROFLMAO! +100,000! I want to reclaim my investment in them by getting rid of the annoying damn things altogether. And get rid of those damn big wide half circle sidewalks that go way out into the street corners at intersections and make performing a simple turn equivalent to putting the Ile d’France into dock without a tugboat.

          • ZoningVictim

            Can we just reclaim our investment by firing a bunch of bureaucrats? That would go a long, long way to enriching everyone’s lives.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            @ZV, you just got my Amen Corner going!

  • CW

    Whatever happened to McDonnell’s plan to sell of the liquor stores anyhow?

    • Burger

      It was shelved because most people do not understand how the free market works and would have likely resulted in better options to buy liquor and more tax revenue long term.

      • ZoningVictim

        Not to mention the fact that most everyone agrees that Virginia would have lost a lot of money on the deal.

  • Chouse

    Was I the only one who when they read “Arlington Wants its Money Back” thought it was going to be a plea from the county to have the bank robbers return all the money that was stolen these past few months? Sadly disappointed

    Meanwhile I think were due for one today…

    • KalashniKEV

      I thought it was about ArtisFail.

      I WANT MY MONEY BACK.

      • Novanglus

        A friend to tried to rent the Artisphere ballroom for a family event in early 2013. He was told “no” because the date’s too far away, and they want to give priority to arts orgs who don’t know their schedules yet.

        He booked somewhere else – we’ll see if it goes empty that night instead. I wonder how much revenue they’re losing through bad policies like that.

    • HA. That’s a fair request given the amount of cash taken lately. Stick around folks – we will have another bank robbery in about 1 1/2 hrs (I’m not doing it, just going by the history of these events).

    • Bluemontsince1961

      You have to wonder.

  • DCA

    I’ve found DCA to be very convenient over the years, but it’s probably time to close it. It’s just too close to the Pentagon and the White House. Too close to a lot of people who live nearby. Too dangerous with the river right there and the short runways. It would make a great mall. Maybe move Ballston Common there.

    • Mr. Brown

      The flight that hit the Pentagon took off from Dulles, so your argument really makes no sense at all. Here are some other logical problems with your post:

      Also: rivers aren’t any more dangerous to land on than the ground.

      Also: DCA is convenient BECAUSE it’s close to people. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Dulles is surrounded by business and homes now too. BWI isn’t, and that’s why it’s an enormous pain to fly there.

      Also: It wouldn’t make a “good mall.” We have enough malls. You could WALK to two malls from DCA (Pentagon City and Potomac Yards), three if you count the promanade at Crystal City.

      It makes a good airport. Air travel is still the safest way to travel, and airports are not dangerous.

      • Mick Way

        Heh. I hope you meant “river approaches …”

        I’m picturing a 737 with pontoons….

        • Mr. Brown

          No. I meant crashing. If they miss the runway, it doesn’t make much of a difference if they hit the ground or the water.

      • Burger

        Yes, but the plane that was going to crash into the White House did come from DCA.

        Overall, DCA is a security nightmare and only for the fact Congresspersons like their convenience of slipping out of town on Fridays does it still exist.

        And the is prime real estate for a variety of things that could go there. You could increase density via more buildings, you could increase green space and still build a mall and have tons of extra space there.

        • Ali

          No it didn’t. Flight 93 was Newark to San Francisco.

        • ZoningVictim

          Yes, please, by all means; let’s let the terrorists dictate our lives. Rollback search and seizure rights, put up tank traps and jersey walls around all of our important buildings, molest people and take nude pictures of them before letting them on a plane and definitely get rid of any airports near populace areas. That way we can ensure they win.

    • Uh, no.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        +10, OB!

        • normal

          -10! Haha, back to zero! ROTFL! LOL! LOL! LMFAO!

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Normal/Dynaroo/Mehoo/Doodly:

    • JamesE

      I can be out my door and to the gate in 30 minutes using DCA, also they have direct flights to Vegas and LAX.

    • Really?

      So you want to close down an airport that thousands of people use daily, and move a horrible mall there, when there is already another horrible mall nearby?

      Should everyone crowd Dulles or trek all the way up to BWI?

      Maybe they should just close every major airport within 20 miles of a major city or residential area in the country

      • Bluemontsince1961

        +10

    • Ali

      One of the reasons I live near DCA is because of the convenience and I bet I’m far from the only one.

  • Evil

    Cool pic 🙂
    (That’s all I wanted to say)

  • Steve

    Nice description of the BB gun suspects. I guess that would be politically incorrect

  • TGEoA

    The BB gun thing sounds like it is related to the incident on the WOD yesterday. YouTube evidence?

  • Lou

    Arlington should go on strike if they don’t get some of that money.

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