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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com November 1, 2011 at 8:28 am 2,956 54 Comments

Obama to Visit Key Bridge — President Obama will make an appearance on the D.C. side of the Key Bridge tomorrow to “highlight the need for infrastructure investments.” The Key Bridge, the Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge are all structurally deficient and in need of immediate repair, according to a report released last month. [Washington Post]

CivFed Wary of A-Frame Signs — Arlington County Civic Federation delegates are wary of the county’s plan to allow A-frame — or sandwich board — signs on the sidewalks of commercial districts. The federation will vote tonight on a resolution that asks that the number of A-frame signs be limited, due to the potential for the signs to impede the mobility of the elderly and the disabled. [Sun Gazette]

Al Franken to Visit Four CourtsUpdated at 9:30 a.m. — Comedian and U.S. Senator Al Franken is scheduled to appear at a Democratic fundraiser at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse tonight. The fundraiser is reportedly off-limits to media. [Patch]

  • Debbie S

    I thought that’s what he did with the first trillion dollars.

    • mickey644

      GO Debbie!

    • drax

      Just shows you how backlogged our infrastructure needs are.

      • R

        Or that…”Shovel-ready was not as…uh..shovel-ready as we expected.”

        Maybe with this new stimulus package shovel-ready will be shovel-ready.

  • Arlington County Civic Federation – what an aggravating bunch of people.

    • ed

      The elderly and disabled – what an aggravating bunch of people.

    • mickey644

      the kids and dogs in the dog park that are under age 13 are sooooo aggravating! Cuff ’em Dano!

    • Homonculus

      Lauren, I have no opinion on this group–but on this issue, they’re right. Try walking in front of Pinkberry in Clarendon. Narrow sidewalk, and the Pinkberry sign takes up a good two feet of it. I have no objection to signs in principle–but in places where there’s already limited space for everyone (able-bodied and otherwise), to me it makes sense not to allow them there.

  • Garden City

    It always stuns me that the same state that sends Al Franken to Washington also sends Michelle Bachmann. She must have one different district.

  • mickey644

    How many Trillions does it take to pay off the Unions? Now we get to pay for bridges? A bit late for that, Omama!! We already have lost with Government Motors, who do you need to pay off next for more votes? Omama, the continual campainer. We are finished if that clown gets back into office.

    • drax

      So our bridges are just fine?

    • Steamboat Willie

      So there are people who still insist that saving GM and Ford was a bad thing? Interesting.

      • Arlwhenver

        Ford saved itself by being prescient, savvy and flexible, last time I looked. And by not forcing GM to go through a standard bankruptcy it’s been left with a legacy high-cost structure with managers that respond better to government bureaucracy than the marketplace, eventually leading to a second demise. Bailouts just kick the can down the road so our children and grandchildren suffer the fallout that we are too lilly livered to accept ourselves. A curse to supporters of bailout nation.

        • Carl

          Yeah, really. Ford got its renegotiation with the unions done way ahead of the collapse and with concessions that let them get through and even prosper where others were pleading for mercy from the government.

          The things people say on the internet!

        • Steamboat Willie

          Yeah, that government money had no impact on saving Ford. Get real. So you would have loved to watching this country “accept” the consequences of the American automotive and financial industries completely implode. Then again, comments such as yours are familiar screeds from folks who also urged not raising the debt ceiling for the first time, U.S. credit rating be damned.

          Fully down the rabbit hole.

          • Ben

            You could also easily argue had the financial markets not expected to be bailed out for their risky, then they wouldn’t have failed in the first place.

            It’s like if you go to Vegas and know you will be covered for all your loses. You will be more likely to bet everything on black….

          • Carl

            What money? Ford did not get any.

          • Steamboat Willie

            Ford didn’t receive AIFP funds like GM, GMAC, and Chrysler, but the company did apply for and receive a $5.9 billion Dept. of Energy bridge loan, often referred to as a green loan, to upgrade factories to build more fuel efficient vehicles. This was part of the company’s stated plan to be more competitive and was part of the company’s official business plan submission to Congress in 2009.

            And despite not taking any “bailout” money from the Feds, Ford lobbied for the AIFP and for the Cash for Clunkers program.

            Distinction without difference, as the English say.

          • Carl

            No, it is quite distinct from what you were claiming. Ford did not need a bailout and did not need to be “saved”. What they received was some money to stay competitive with their competition that was being propped up by Uncle Sam and his unlimited deep pockets. It was hardly fair to Ford to have their competitors revived and invigorated by the government without throwing them some change.

            When the government forced the other companies to retool for more green alternatives as a requirement for receiving their bailout money, it was only fair to support Ford with some cash to keep up. That is hardly saving them, except from the standpoint of the government reworking 2/3’s of the auto industry overnight in a way that was not consistent with Ford’s current business plan.

          • drax

            Carl, how is “some money to stay competitive” different from bailout money?

            I’m genuinely asking, since I wasn’t aware Ford got any government money.

          • Steamboat Willie

            Hardly fair to Ford? So why did Ford lobby for that money to be made available? The CEO testified before Congress that his company would suffer if legislation were not passed.

            He also asked for a $9 billion line of credit from the federal government – his testimony:

            “In addition to our plan, we are also here today to request support for the industry. In the near-term, Ford does not require access to a government bridge loan. However, we request a credit line of $9 billion as a critical backstop or safeguard against worsening conditions as we drive transformational change in our company.”

            Apparently you know something that Alan Mulally doesn’t. But you are suggesting that Ford’s transformation to more fuel efficient vehicles hardly saved the company, so we’ll agree to disagree and leave it there.

          • Carl

            Transformational change in our company = we need to retool to keep up with our competitors that you (the government) just funneled billions to so they could do the same.

            How is this hard to follow?

          • Ford requested money be available in case things got worse. They did this, knowing that part suppliers would be horribly stressed should GM and Chrysler go belly up. That is also why Ford lobbied to save the industry. The collapse of the part suppliers is what would have negatively impacted Ford. That is the main reason Ford did what they did.

            Ford had mortgaged a significant part of the company, down to the blue oval, prior to the collapse. That is the only reason they were able to survive without help. They were proactive instead of sitting on their hands doing nothing.

          • Arlwhenver

            Unfortunately, finance is different than industry because that’s the currency and without the government standing behind the currency there is nothing. At the same time I would be reinstituting Glass Steagal (Obama’s first economic move as President was to hire Larry Summers who lead the Obama administrations effort to repeal Glass Steagal), breaking the investment banking function away from the commercial banking functions. And I would remove the impediments that Frank/Dodd is placing on community and regional banks that played to role whatsoever in the financial meltdown. And Ford would have done fine if GM had gotten debtor in possession financing as is the norm in standard bankruptcy proceedings. Stop buying the bailout nation propaganda and get real people. We are being led by an economic incompetent and it is showing.

          • Arlwhenver

            I mean led the Clinton administration’s repeal of GS.

    • OX4


  • A Concerned Citizen

    Not only will more A-frame signs being allowed, but Realtors are asking to put up Open House signs on Tuesdays. (My guess is they will not take down the ones from the weekend).
    Plus it seems that “commercial signs” will be allowed one per intersection from Friday to Sunday.
    see: Temporary signs placed by private parties
    Concerned Citizens need to read the above and let the County know that there needs to be MORE control over the signs placed on the ROW of Arlington.
    Don’t forget the largest abusers of illegal signs are the political class. Just drive down any street in the County and ask yourself “Does putting up 10,000 campaign signs get you 10,000 extra votes?”

    • NoVapologist

      What is “ROW” in all-caps. Is it an acronym for something?

      • Garden City

        Right of Way

    • charlie

      actually all signs are allowed friday to sunday already. because realtors want (and it makes sense for them them) signs on friday-sunday then EVERYONE can have signs.
      it is allowed NOW. Quit being so reactionary.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      No single campaign has ever put 10,000 signs out in the County.

      The current County ordinance allows 2 signs per candidate in each median strip, that can be put out and left out beginning with the fifth weekend before the election.

      Both political parties and most individual campaigns follow the ordinance rather closely and effectively usually police themselves for compliance.

      Even with the two sign per candidate limit, in the constitutional year (like this one), the number of signs ganged together can look a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of candidates running. In the non-constitutional years, no so much.

      • charlie

        wayne is mostly right —

        any sign is allowed during the five week period.
        any sign is allowed over the weekend.

        the sign ordinance is CONTENT NEUTRAL and cannot and does not refer to “realtor signs” or “campaign signs”

  • Arlwhenver

    So what’s the problem? They’ve been working on reconstructing the 14th Bridge for about two years now, and there’s been work on Memorial Bridge too. The Wash. Blvd/Columbia Pike Bridge is slated for replacement near term and is fully funded, and the Glebe Rd/Route 50 Bridge replacement is about half done. They’ve been regularly closing Chain Bridge on weekends for reparirs. After a decade the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement is complete. It’s silly to give this spendthrift, financially reckless President more money to spread around to his friends and supporters.

    • ThinkingWhenever

      All of the active projects you list are being funded (in whole or part) out of the 2009 stimulus bill. But that money’s been appropriated, and there’s a lot more work that can be done. That’s why he’s asking for more.

      • Arlwhenver

        You don’t do work just because it can be done but because it needs to be done and you have the wherewithal to pay for it. Your simplistic liberalistic theology is bankrupting the nation and creating a horrific future for out children and grandchildren. Road and bridge projects need to be funded based on merit and affordabilty, not political philosophy.

        • drax

          If you DON’T fix bridges, bridges fall apart and then nobody can get to work to pay taxes.

          You can’t just go around saying “we can’t afford it.” We have to afford it, one way or the other.

          If we have to go into debt to do it, that’s better than just not doing it at all. At least it gives us the future economic productivity to pay off the debt. Letting our infrastructure crumble is not an option.

          And that’s not even considering the stimulus effect, which is why Obama is pushing this in the first place.

        • Josh S

          Hey Arlwhenever, where’s your engineers license? Where’s your copy of the structural analysis of each of those bridges? Do you know what in the heck you’re talking about?

          For example, repairs to the 14th st bridge have been repairs to the roadway. And only one span out of three. Are you confident enough to assert that the other two spans and the structural members of all three are all in tip-top shape and don’t need repair?
          Yes? No? Maybe?

          • CW

            Forget that – let’s just call him what he is: a hypocrite. Odds are 99% that the same fellow denouncing Obama’s infrastructure and his “liberalistic” ways out one side of his mouth is listening to WTOP, reading the Examiner, and complaining about how we need 15 more lanes on 66 out the other side.

    • drax

      So it’s financially reckless to spend on bridges, like all those you mention? Or not? Make up your mind.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    I am more amused by the photo of a gaggle of people completely blocking a trail…brilliant.

    • charlie

      it is “their” trail. — run across it all the time.

    • CW

      That particular section of trail is always blocked. They do think they own it and use it like a park.

    • drax

      It was the start of a Halloween parade for kids, on the trail. Big deal. Kids were completely blocking streets last night too.

      • ArlintonCountyTaxpayer

        we are told to go car free.
        are we supposed to also be trail free?
        it is a trail for people to use. not block.
        respect the larger community, please.

        • AlsoAnArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

          It was for Halloween, and I don’t see picnic tables set up or anything like that. People on foot do not have speed limits to follow.

    • SomeGuy

      Couldn’t agree more. If you’re going to block a portion of the trail, at least stay on one side of the line so you can be passed.

      I wouldn’t say I’m “amused” though. I think it’s disrespectful to other trail users.

      • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

        Read “amused” as eye rolling sarcasm. And @ Drax… no streets I traveled on from 395/Wash. Blvd off ramps to Westover were blocked by kids. They were all on the sidewalks. The idea here is you respect trails and streets for all users. Some people don’t get that.

      • Homonculus

        To block off a street for a block party, you have to get a permit first, which means a fee. I’m guessing they’ve figured out they can avoid the fee by using the trail. I agree it’s obnoxious. For gosh sakes, just use the grass and leave the trail open? How hard is that?

        Where is this anyway? The Bluemont Junction Trail?

        • CW


  • Charles

    Just knock A-frame signs over so they fall into the street. Cars and trucks will crush them.

  • Rick

    The franken thing is closed while they vote on the two mysterious women claiming sexual harassment by Herman Cain

  • Some page

    It is a shame that the Senate just voted against the amendment to shift money in to the bridge repair program. A real shame that they will not fund our crumbling infrastructure to keep economic growth a top priority.

    • Thes

      Don’t you understand? The most important thing is for Wall Street traders not to pay more in taxes when they move everyone’s money around. What’s a crumbling bridge compared supporting to the job destroyers creators? The bridges can all fall into the river, but on each side of the river we will have a strong economy as long as the private sector has low taxes. /s


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