Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com November 2, 2011 at 8:52 am 2,655 56 Comments

Goldman Sachs Invests in Rosslyn — Investment giant Goldman Sachs has acquired a majority stake in 3 million square feet of office space in Rosslyn. The acquisition includes trophy properties like the gleaming metal-and-glass 1000 and 1100 Wilson Boulevard towers. The office space represents 30 percent of Rosslyn’s 10 million square feet of commercial real estate. [Washington Post, BusinessWire]

County Wants Residents to Stop Smoking in Parks — Arlington’s parks department is planning on politely asking visitors to county parks to refrain from smoking near ballfields, pavilions and playgrounds. The initiative will use signs, not the force of law, to try to get visitors to comply. [Sun Gazette]

Reagan Statue Unveiled at DCA — A 9-foot bronze statue of President Ronald Reagan was unveiled yesterday at the airport that bears his name. The $900,000 statue, located in front of Terminal A of Reagan National Airport, was paid for by the private Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. [Washington Times]

Flickr pool photo by Christaki

  • Quoth the Raven

    Maybe the “please don’t smoke” signs in the parks can also encourage smokers (who insist on smoking) to throw their butts into trash cans, rather than on the ground. Wouldn’t that be a nice change?

  • John Fontain

    Is smoking in public parks really that big of a problem that the County needs to dedicate precious resources to fixing it?

    • MC 703

      They probably spend a lot more picking up the butts than they would on these signs.

      • Steve

        I wish they would put some signs around courthouse to tell people to clean up after their dogs. it’s like a minefield out there.

      • CW

        Yeah, the thing is the butts. So many smokers seem to think that butts don’t count as litter. Not that they’re the only ones who leave trash around, not be a long shot. I wish that Arlington WOULD use force of law to clamp down on litterers. And I’m equal-opportunity here – I’d like to see butt-throwers, dog-poop-leavers, and just traditional mainstream litterbugs all slapped with big fines.

        • Tabby


          My friend who’s a preachy vegetarian used to throw his butts down grates until I explained what happens to them.

        • John Fontain

          Same here. I would relish the opportunity to watch a cop give a ticket to someone who throws their butt on the ground.

    • LP

      While I agree that it probably isn’t something they need to dedicate their precious resources to fixing, I think the idea of a park is a sanctuary in an urban environment, free from (or, for the most part) noise, vehicle exhaust, smoke, trash, etc.) and the people who smoke in the park are taking away part of the allure of a park.

      I appreciate Arlingtons initiative.

      • Steve

        Are you going to try to ask cars to not drive by? I mean, they aren’t exactly tranquil, and they actually pollute outdoor air, unlike smoke.

        • LP

          No, but cars don’t drive IN the park. Smokers, however, do smoke IN the park.

      • novasteve

        Do people’s dogs take away from it? Or screaming kids?

    • nauckneighbor

      The problem is the signs are for voluntary compliance, so nobody has the power to enforce them, so yes these funds are totally wasted. There is no danger to anybody from public smoking in the outdoors.

      • wimmer201

        “There is no danger to anybody from public smoking in the outdoors.”

        That’s one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever seen. Are you a doctor? Then tell me why I need to reach for my inhaler even after brief exposure to smoke. Inside or out. I’d love to see it banned in parks and even on the trails. Last thing I want to do is jog behind someone smoking a cigar or cigarette.

        • Philip Morris

          You are the kind of person I go out of the way to blow my smoke at.

          While I have no problem not smoking indoors, I do not believe the right to smoke outdoors is anything but my choice. I don’t toss my butts on the ground. Nor do I intentionally hang around a crowd and subject them to my smoke.

          If we are goint to ban smoking in parks, let’s also ban the other things that are annoying to others using these parks such as dogs, children, Lance wannabes, people who don’t shower properly, and folks who eat too much garlic.

          • wimmer201

            You’re as bad as novasteve with your completely illogical comparisons. I don’t want it banned because its “annoying.” But rather because its UNHEALTHY. Dogs, children, Lance wannabes and the rest of your absurd comparisons won’t give me lung cancer. Stay on topic.

  • Jerk Smokers

    Smoking in parks is one thing… but there was a guy smoking a cigar near the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon. What an a–hole thing to do. In retrospect I should have doused it with water.

    • novasteve

      That would be criminal assault if you had done that.

      • drax

        Blowing smoke into my breathing space is kind of an assault too, doncha think?

        • Zoning Victim

          Actually, assault has an intent part to it, but I have seen in the news where someone was arrested for assault (and deservedly so) for purposely blowing smoke into someone’s face during an argument.

        • Philip Morris

          When you drive your car down the street you are blowing smoke into everyone’s face.

          You have the right to remain silent.

  • Swag

    Apparently novasteve is slacking this morning.

    • LP


  • LP

    Uh oh, another thing for novasteve to get irate about! Sooner or later he’s just going to have to leave Arlington, or all of Northern VA for that matter.

    • Banksy

      From your lips (keyboard) to G-d’s ears…

    • drax

      You probably drive an automatic. You loser.

      • LP

        Referring to who?

        • drax

          Referring to anyone who drives an automatic. They’re all losers, according to Steve.

          (Welcome to the inside joke).

  • CW

    Oh god, why, smoking, why did this have to be brought up. WHY??!!!!!

  • JimPB

    I welcome no smoking for the cleaner and fresher air and the contribution to the meaningful prevention of mortality and morbidity. But in my 12.5 yrs. in ArlCo, I have seen only a few tobacco product discards in frequent visits to various North Arlington parks and outdoor recreational facilities (Green jewels of the county). Maybe elsewhere? Where exactly?

    • novasteve

      I see a lot more disposed food wrappers, bottles etc, but then again, cigarette butts are biodegradable and will go away unlike other things that people throw out.

      • another Steve

        Acetate filters take years to decompose, while wind and rain carry the toxins they are meant to trap into the water supply.

        • novasteve

          And the much more bottles, etc will never degrade, and you act like butts are the only things that carry toxins in it. I doubt nicotine and tar and carcinogens in a filter will have any impact on anyone unless they wind up inhaling dirt, which I doubt they will be doing. There’s far more dangerous things you should be worried about going into the water supply.

          • drax

            “There’s far more dangerous things you should be worried about going into the water supply.”

            Nanny statism!

        • Philip Morris

          Yes, cellulose acetate is essentially plastic. The only reason they disappear is birds eat them, they get lodged inside of them, and they die.

          I toss my butts into an ashtray and the the garbage where they belong.

      • JimPB

        “Various sources have stated that cigarette filters take 18 months to 10 years to degrade. It is safe to say that the cellulose acetate fibers in cigarette filters, like other plastics, are with us for some time after they are discarded. Since environments differ—some places are wetter, dryer, sunnier, colder, hotter, windy, etc.—so too will the degrading time differ.”

        I’ve seen a few instances of discarded bottles, cans and papers. Much more visible and unattractive than cigarette butts.

    • bobco85

      I agree that this does not seem to be much of an issue. I have lived in Arlington 20+ years and have rarely if ever seen anyone smoking in the parks. Of course, the only times I have ever witnessed someone smoking in a park, it was not of the cigarette variety 😉

      Random tangent: I have seen a guy smoking while he was jogging on the W&OD trail, which left me pretty baffled as to why someone would do that!

      • drax

        The 80-year-old guy smoking a pipe and wearing nothing but skin-tight shorts?

  • SomeGuy

    Re: Smoking in Parks

    So… an unenforced ordinance to combat a problem that no one perceives?

    In other words, grandstanding by the county to show the world how progressive it can be.

    “Look at us, we even banned smoking in parks! Well… sort of… but we didn’t want to face glaring legal challenges to a real ban, so it’s actually more of a suggestion. But still, we are SOOO progressive anyway! AND we spent money on signs! Look at us go!”

    • novasteve

      They are nanny staters. They have a need to be as controlling as possible. Even if it’s just a “suggestion” they wish they could control everything.

      • drax

        “I wish they would put some signs around courthouse to tell people to clean up after their dogs. it’s like a minefield out there.”


        More nanny statism!

      • Chris

        Steve I think you are confusing the meaning of “nanny state”. The concept refers to overprotectionism of individuals by curtailing their individual rights. Banning smoking in parks is a nuisance ordnance – meant to protect others from the offense of your smoke. Public parks are meant for public enjoyment, and the smokers limit the ability of others to enjoy the park.

        Banning additives or regulating filters would be more along the lines of this nanny state that you speak of.

        • Steve

          Then little kids and dogs are also nuisances. Why aren’t they banned? Cars pollute the air far worse. People with loud voices are nuisances. Rollerbladers are nuisances.

          • drax

            People who whine about not being able to smoke are nuisances. People who blame all traffic accidents on automatic transmissions are nuisances.

            Did I miss any?

          • Chris

            Equivocation is a lazy argument Steve. Try again.

        • Chris

          Hah, rather “ordinance”. The ordnance in this case would be the smoke itself.

  • brendan

    Sounds like they need more F-250’s to drive around and patrol.

  • Soarlslacker

    FDR NATIONAL AIRPORT! I am still confused as to why an airport built by FDR is named for Reagan. Reagan already has the Dept of Commerce Bldg named for him. National opened on 6/16/1941…during the term of FDR. Are we a national of idiots or is historical hindsight mis-branding the new flavor of day?

    • Robert

      Such a travesty that RR’s name and larger than life image now reside at our nation’s capital airport – or any airport for that matter. A slap in the face to every air traffic controller past and present. Personally, I only fly out of “National” airport.

      • arlington resident

        Amen Robert. I don’t know anyone in the DC area who calls it “Reagan”, it’s National airport, period. Now a statue, ugh.

    • Zoning Victim

      That’s certainly one of the more ridiculous complaints I’ve heard about the renaming of Washington National; a little partisan are we? I was never for wasting money renaming the airport; I’m even more against building a $900,000 statue in it.

      • FunnyMunny

        It seemed like a sharp stick in the eye to name the airport after the guy who fired all those air traffic control workers. I guess we’re out $900K to get the other eye poked now. Reagan, sheeeshhh.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Nobody is out 900K. His foundation paid for it, as the article says.

      • hmm

        IMHO, it’d be more useful/ appropriate to melt down the statue and use the proceeds to fund some jobs, safety net gaps, etc.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      Agreed. Random historical personal tangent: my grandfather was the architect for the original hangars for the airport. My dad and uncle cycled from Rosslyn to the dedication of the airport and watch FDR commemorate the opening.

      • soarlslacker

        How very cool! I hope your grandfather, dad, and uncle gave you a detailed account of what the dedication was like, what was said, who was there, etc… Are any of the original hangers that your grandfather designed still there? If so, where are they? I’d like to ride my bike over and look for them.

  • bred

    From what I understand, Gannett tried to buy 1000 Wilson Blvd. No sale by whomever owed the building at the time and now the are in Mclean in a building which I believe they own.


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