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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com November 30, 2011 at 8:20 am 2,355 48 Comments

Board Members Argue for New Taxing Powers — Arlington County Board members aren’t too pleased with the Republican-controlled state legislature’s reluctance to grant new taxing power to localities. County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman called Virginia Republicans “extremists” who want to “wreck government” by not giving localities enough ways to raise revenue. [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Accepts Homeland Security Grants — Arlington will accept nearly $1.35 million in federal homeland security grants, after receiving County Board approval last night. The grants will be used to purchase license plate reading equipment and mobile surveillance trailers, for use by law enforcement agencies throughout the National Capital Region. [Arlington County]

Va. Square Building Sells for $62 Million — The office building at 3601 Wilson Boulevard, known as One Virginia Square, has changed hands. The building was purchased by an investment firm for $61.8 million. The previous owner acquired the building for $42.2 million in 2004. [Washington Business Journal]

New Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery — Arlington National Cemetery is constructing a new columbarium to hold the cremated remains of more than 20,000 deceased military members. Construction on the building is expected to begin in January and wrap up in mid-2013. [Associated Press]

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

  • Lou

    Republicans only want to wreck your vision of government, Chris. Get that through your thick head.

  • AR

    Not to sound paranoid–well, ok, I sound paranoid–but has the county established any parameters for the use of their new license plate readers? Are there rules governing the storage of the data these readers collect?

    I’m not a huge fan of the authorities increasing their ability to track and record the movements of every car-owning citizen. At what point are we trading a little more security and expanded law enforcement capability for a significant loss in privacy and liberty?

    I’m of the opinion that this technology crosses over that line and it’s only a matter of time before most municipalities have such readers and integrate them into a national network. Hello big brother.

    • Swag

      “At what point are we trading a little more security and expanded law enforcement capability for a significant loss in privacy and liberty?”

      Umm, about 10 years ago.

      • 4Arl

        And this is one more piece of evidence that both major parties sold you out.

        • BoredHouseWife

          The aristocrats!

    • Lou

      Well I know one thing they won’t be doing with the data, and that is turning it over to ICE. But yeah, everything else they can do, they are probably doing.

    • Yeah, and yet it is illegal to detect what they are doing such as have a radar detector in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They want to know everything about you, but you will be breaking the law if you try to detect them running radar.

      If they keep it up, I’ll but a crappy old pickkup truck and put farm use plates on it. I’ll grow some beans in the front yard to ensure there really is a farm.

      • BlueSkies

        Maybe you can add some Arlington chickens.

    • BlueFlipFlops

      AR,

      Are you a criminal? No? Well, here’s news for you. The police don’t give a s–t where you are.

      Love,
      Blue

  • JamesE

    They would probably raise the Arlington car tax to 25%

  • Chris Zimmerman calling someone else an extremist??? LOL!!!! Look in the mirror Zimmie. You are just on the other side of that coin.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      That’s the truth!

      • KalashniKEV

        +1000

        Zimmie is an extremest of the most vile form.

    • Josh S

      Yikes. What have we come to when Chris Zimmerman, that well-fed, Dockers-wearing, bald-headed white boy is called an extremist. He’s about as bland a politician as you could hope for. You guys must watch a lot of Fox News.

      • KalashniKEV

        Are we talking about the same psychopath?

  • Patrick

    The only “extremist” are the members of the ACB and their constant lust for more taxpayer money to ensure that every homeless person and illegal immigrant call arlington home.

    • KalashniKEV

      +2000

      Don’t forget a healthy slice of that cash for personal boondoggles as well.

    • novasteve

      We deserve what we get for living here. Thank God for the dillon rule to prevent these crazy liberals from going full People’s Republic on us.

  • Vik

    I agree with Zimmerman and Brink. The Republicans in the state legislature say they’re believers in small government having local governments do things because they know more about their residents than more distant governments but they don’t practice their beliefs in a fair and consistent way. Northern Virginia ends up getting shafted. The Dillon Rule is antiquated and needs to go.

    • KalashniKEV

      DILLON!!!

    • Arlwhenver

      Yep those extremists in Richmond, who want to build roads and improve the Interstates and who don’t take kindly to enclave obstructionist politicians who get in the way.

      • KalashniKEV

        More lanes isn’t the answer to not enough lanes, maaaaaan…

        *long toke, pedals away on bike*

        • Josh S

          You got that on macro or something?

        • clingin’ tuh GUNS an’ RELIGION

          Naw man, MORE LANES for mah BADASS pickup truck with th’ SUSPENSION LIFT an’ GUN RACK!!

          *chases the white dragon through mostly missing teeth*

      • Josh S

        Do you mean they object to democracy getting in the way? I don’t think anyone can make a reasonable case can that Arlington board does not represent the wishes of the majority of county voters.

        So they represent. And if that means standing up against a state legislature that doesn’t share views, then so be it.

        But hopefully you got a little more than “build roads and improve the Interstates.” (Not least since improving Interstates isn’t Virginia’s call – it’s the feds’ responsibility.)

      • Vik

        Yea b/c Virginia, with its very low gas tax, has such fantastic road infrastructure even without adding new lanes.

  • Paranoia

    The license plate readers scan against a stolen car database. They also can provide the owner’s license info to check if he/she has a suspended license (without the officer having to pick out a specific car). Also, if police have a specific car they are looking for that was involved in a crime, they put in that car info and the system gives an alert if the car has passed by the police car. The feds use the lpr to track drug traffickers and wanted people. There are lpr’s at all border crossings and on most major interstates around major cities. The Fed system has been around in some variation for over 10 years.

    • But, they CAN track so much more. They can run a pilot program of cars frequenting a VA ABC store (for examaple) to get a database of drivers who purchase a lot of alcohol. The next thing you know that database will be sold to all major insurance companies despite no evidence at all of DUI.

      You see, it isn’t what they are used for. It is what they COULD be used for. And, yet, it is illegal in Virginia to use a device to detect radar use by the police. Ridiculous.

      Be tracked or be arrested Herr Kommandant! Sie können nicht über die Staatsgrenze ohne Ihre Papiere!

  • soarlslacker

    What, does Zimmie need more funds for his local trolley fiasco? In case of emergency a bus can be drive away from trouble and a trolley will go back and forth down Cola Pike. Many folks in So Arl would like to keep the Cols Pike crime on the North side of 395. How much do we have to pay Zimmie to make the trolley go away?

    • Ballston

      Arlington is upset about the 0.25% hotel room tax that Richmond won’t let them renew. The county had been using the revenue to promote tourism and to try to draw conferences and tourists to stay here instead of in DC. Now we’re facing a $21mil shortfall. It’s a tax of a few cents on every hotel room that is used to promote tourism of the state which in turn generates jobs and revenue, but Richmond blocked it.

      • $21 million annually to convice someone to stay in Arlington instead of DC?

  • South Awwwlington

    Did I read correctly: “Arlington Accepts Homeland Security Grants?” The same Arlington which sought to “opt” of participation in ICE? Really now. Laugh.a.ble.

    • South Awwwlington

      *out of participation*

      • KalashniKEV

        Enforcing laws against Criminals is far less lucrative than aggressive revenue enforcement.

    • brendan

      for worse, DHS is a massive organization so it’s impossible for anyone, anywhere on the ideological spectrum to agree with every aspect of DHS policy from TSA to ICE to SS to the Coast Guard and beyond…

      The sad part about this is that Arlington, which has been and continues to be a prime target, probably gets the same amount in DHS grant money as Lincoln, Nebraska or Springfield, MO thanks to our lovely United States Senate and dysfunctional DHS bureaucracy.

  • Bender

    Arlington County has a BILLION DOLLAR budget based on the current tax revenue. That is in excess of many, if not most, entire countries. That is plenty of money for the County government to spend on anything that is truly needed. If there are some essentials that are not being funded (there aren’t), that is because the County wastes so much money on non-essential projects.

    The current taxation of a billion dollars is more than enough.

    • novasteve

      They need more money to buy votes with. They need to import more liberal darling groups and give them handouts so they remain loyal democratic voters.

    • Bender

      A big “thank you” is called for to the Virginia legislature for preventing Arlington’s rich, fat-cat “one percent” government from taking even more money from us in the 99 percent.

      • Josh S

        That’s hilarious. As one of the richest counties in America, I’d guess that the 1% make up a good 10%, if not more, of Arlington households.
        On the other hand, if we simply polled those households that are in the 1% wealth bracket, I doubt we’d be getting the same makeup of the county board. Somehow, methinks we *might* see a Republican or two make it in.
        In short, while you may have problems with the county board, worrying about them as part of the 1% oppressors from the “have” class oppressing down on the “have nots” that make up Arlington, I don’t think it’s a terribly realistic representation of what’s actually happening.

      • always right

        Are you an Occupier?

  • BoredHouseWife

    sounds like they are trying to starve out the citizens of Arlington.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    Re: License plate readers

    “However, the systems operate independently of each other and cannot share information.”

    I don’t see how this is a bad thing. Without a formal policy on how the data is kept, etc, use of these devices should be limited, not expanded.

    I believe the Washington Post had a lengthy report on these cameras on the front page a few weeks ago.

    • Grognak

      It is likely that new plate reading cameras will be installed on I-66, as well as the other interstates leading into DC. All of the data they collect is crossed with the Terrorist Screening Center. Every single car. This has been supported and verified by Arlington County Police

      Can you imagine the uproar if they were screening everybody for their valid immigrant status in real time?

  • jim

    As if the F’n Arlington County Board has demonstrated that it can responsibly use the taxing powers……….Good for the State Legislature

  • Ivy

    That’s a good word to describe the right wing fanatics….”extremists.” It’s amazing to me what hypocrites they are. Let’s see…..”big brother” shouldn’t interfer with state and local governments but look at what they are doing to Arlington at the State level. The government shouldn’t intrude on business but it’s ok to intrude in people’s personal lives (ie, abortion, marriage, etc), Rest assure. If one of their red neck, hillbilly fanatical Republican Virginia counties wanted autonomy, they would certainly get it.

  • always right

    Possibly the solution is to keep our sexual orientations to ourselves and use birth control.

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