Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2011 at 7:55 am 2,684 50 Comments

Looming Defense Cuts Worry Some in Crystal City — Some Crystal City business owners are worried about the ripple effects that could be caused by billions in looming Defense Department cuts. Others, however, are more optimistic about the prospect of military-related offices moving out and a more diverse employment base moving in. [Public Radio International]

Zimmerman Endorses Bondi — Democratic County Board candidate Melissa Bondi has scored another relatively high-profile endorsement. County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman has joined fellow Board member Walter Tejada in endorsing Bondi’s campaign. [Bondi for County Board]

Swearing-In Ceremonies Set — The dates are set for the swearing in of the winners of November’s county elections. Re-elected County Board members Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes will be sworn in on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 13. New Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, meanwhile, will be sworn in on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 15. That ceremony will also feature the swearing in of several re-elected county officials: Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy, and Treasurer Frank O’Leary.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Has anyone noticed that the clock in the tower above Penrose Square at Columbia Pike Town Center near our soon to be installed water element on our bosque has stopped?

    • KalashniKEV

      They’ve got it stopped… now they just need to turn it back to 1910 and the streetcar will be a good idea!

      • Keegles the Clown

        Good one.

      • NeilsBohr

        Einstein formulated the basics of Special Relativity while riding the streetcar in Bern, Switzerland and contemplating that the Bern clocktower would appear stopped to him if he were traveling the speed of light.

        • G Clifford Prout

          All this physics stuff is nonsense. We need more Bible-based laws of nature.

          • Harold Camping

            Right on, brother!

      • Or turn it Back To The Future so we can all power our cars with Mr. Fusion.

    • YTK

      Penrose Square is a Joke.
      That “lawn” is DogPoop park.
      And does anyone want to go shopping there at night when they are underneath that dimly lit area near the elevators?

      • KalashniKEV

        What if you’re “shopping” for drugs? Seems appropriate…

        • John Snyder

          then go straight through the entrance by the elevator and take a right to the pharmacy

  • JamesE

    Here is my experience of the new 66 merge lane listed in order of things I observed.

    1) As I exited my garage I noticed the roads were wet, and instantly thought the commute would be terrible because people in this area cannot drive in the rain.

    2) I turned onto Fairfax drive from N.Stuart st and it was not backed up at all, in fact it was flowing perfectly.

    3) The ramp to 66 had no back up either, but they still had the meters on.

    4) merging on to 66 still caused backups, I believe people did not know the lane was actually open and tried to get over ASAP, I continued down the lane at a high rate of speed and merged in well before the Sycamore street exit.

    I made it from Ballston to McLean, parking space to parking space from 8:22 am to 8:36 am, I timed it. 14 minutes not bad, I will subtract 4 minutes if there is dry weather.

    • ArLater

      What was your normal time pre lane opening?

      • JamesE

        I would not take it between the hours of 8 and 9 because Fairfax Dr would be completely backed up, I would get off on Glebe and take the back roads.

    • YTK

      They were ALL on Rte 50 – major backup this morning. I gues they thought along the same lines as you but decided to take an alternate route <;-)

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      here is my take on today:

      driving south on Glebe Rd from my North Arlington abode…

      Crossing 66 I looked down and saw it was ALL STOPPED. Ha.

      But when I got to Fairfax Drive/Glebe Road — the intersection was FINALLY clear. In fact everyone from northbound Glebe Road who was turning left onto Fairfax Drive/I-66 was able to clear the light.

      And Glebe Road, which is usually bumper-to-bumper all the way to South 11th Street during morning rush hour — was NOT. Because the bottleneck at Glebe/Fairfax had been released, Glebe Road, for almost three miles into SOuth Arlington was NOW CLEAR!!

      So the extra lane has done one thing::: CLEARED CARS OFF OF ARLINGTON STREETS — that is what Interstates/Freeways are supposed to do — move people efficiently.

      • Misty Malarky Ying Yang

        Yep, this is just one tangential benefit to this project that the antis will refuse to acknowledge. Even clearing up the Glebe/Fairfax box blocking would have been a nice side benefit. The fact that it clears Glebe even further is nice to know.

        This will also cancel the need for people to cut through the parking lots behind the Marymount building from Washington Boulevard, or to cross Fairfax on Glebe to make a u-turn to come back south and get on 66 that way.

      • Josh S

        One day is not nearly enough evidence to conclude anything. As we all have observed, traffic ebbs and flows sometimes on a daily basis for no observable reason.

        Give it at least a month before reaching any conclusions.

        • OX4

          Also might want to try it when it isn’t the holiday season.

  • Paco

    If Zimmerman is endorsing someone, it’s a good idea NOT to vote for that person if you want even a bit of independence on the County Board.

    Adding to that is the fact that Zimmerman went out of his way NOT to endorse Libby Garvey when she ran for re-election on the School Board last time. Those endorsements are usually an incumbent-to-incumbent automatic in this one-party town.

    So guess what–I’m gonna vote for Libby. Maybe it will prevent another Artisphere or at least slow it down and open the process to real tough questions.

    Bondi, who’s already stuffing my mailbox with generic, Caren Merrick-like literature, looks like another rubber stamp.

    • SomeGuy

      Zimmerman’s endorsement of Bondi will be the kiss of death for her on my ballot.

      Although I’m not sure my one vote will matter since Arlingtonians en masse seem to think almost as highly of Zimmerman as Zimmerman himself does.

      • KalashniKEV


        Another toxic endorsement.

    • charlie

      an endorsement by Zimmerman should make it clear to EVERYONE that Zimmie must go and that Bondi is a horrible candidate and will make an even worse board member.

      just think: Zimmie makes a motion, and Bondi and Walter fight over who can second it and third it and vote on it and screw the citizens.

      • John Fontain

        Don’t be so quick to write off Bondi. While it does bother me that she got Zim’s endorsement, she can’t help that. And while I don’t know a ton about her, I’ve sat in community association meetings with her and she is extremely knowledgeable about how things work in the County and she is smart as a whip.

        • Sad Lyon Paker

          Unfortunately, the cabal that runs Lyon Park association uses its secretive ‘executive committee’ to control agendas and debates. Keeping no minutes helps insulate the cabal from accountability. I truly fear that Bondi will simply use the same style of “leadership” at the County Board. Think Cuba-style democracy.

          Also, we all should be concerned when Bondi would get a pay raise to be a County Board member — not much a public service sacrifice to a get a pay raise.

          • charlie


            In LYON PARK or in CLARENDON.

            because that is one of her problems — lying. Telling stories that are convenient.

            You can’t be on the executive committee of two mutually exclusive neighborhoods.

          • John Snyder

            Or you could live in one neighborhood and then move to another.

          • charlie

            as long as you don’t claim to still be from Lyon Park.

          • um, ok

            She’s not claiming to still be from Lyon Park. She used to live there. Now she doesn’t. She was on their exec. committee. Now she’s not. Look it up on their website. She lives in Clarendon. There’s no lying going on here.

        • A real Lyon Parker

          +1000. Frankly, she’s a phenomenal facilitator, cares a lot about getting things right and involving everyone in the decision, and was a well regarded as president. She did a very good job. I don’t care about endorsements and I don’t think she will be anyone’s lackey on the Board. I do care that our leaders have the humility to listen and have spent quality time working in the trenches before seeking office. I want to hear from the others but I expect Bondi will have my vote.

    • El Papa Juan Pablo

      The Zimmerman endorsement doesn’t impress me. This is a guy that wants to spend millions building a trolley while Arlington school kids are crammed into trailer park classrooms and poised to lose precious green space because the Board(s) approved school expansion plan is too cheap build upwards instead of out.

      Somebody help me, but I cannot find an actual college degree mention in Bondi’s bio. Three years of physics but no mention of a degree. The Arlington elitist in me demands an advanced degree.

      • suspending judgement

        That’s interesting. Where are the schools expanding out, not up, and where are we losing the green space? I’ll admit I don’t follow school issues because I don’t have kids, so I honestly don’t know what you’re referring to. But I wonder, isn’t that more of a school board thing, though, and isn’t Libby Garvey on the school board? I think she’s running, too.

        For the college thing, yeah, you’re not the only one who’s brought that up. I’m usually with you on that subject, although I note with interest that everyone who appears to have actually met her on this blog seems to think she’s really smart. So I guess I have to read more about her or meet her before I make up my mind. @Real Lyon Parker, if you see this, did you know she didn’t have a college degree when you were working with her in Lyon Park? Did you think it mattered?

  • DarkHeart


    • Lee-n-Glebe

      Could be coming off of 2 Green at WGCC

  • CW

    Can someone explain why we have both a Sheriff’s Office and a Police Department again?

    • DarkHeart

      Someone’s got to keep an eye on Burt, Jerry and Sally.

    • Arlwhenver

      To justify paying people who work in the jail twice as much as if they were compensated as jail employees.

    • Garden City

      In Virginia the sheriff’s office runs the jail, serves warrants, collects taxes, manages sheriff’s sales to satisfy judgements, and provides courthouse security. By law, the sheriff can enforce all laws within his jurisdiction; in practice responding to calls and traffic enforcement is handled by the police in those counties/cities with separate police agencies. The sheriff is a constitutional office, which means the only way not to have one is to amend the constitution and in VA, the VA Sheriff’s Association is way too powerful for that to ever happen.

      • CW

        Hmm, good response except that it simply causes me to reformulate my question. Why do we have a Police Department?

        • Village Genius

          “In 1940, upon the recommendation of Sheriff Howard B. Fields and approval of the Circuit Court, a separate County Police Department was formed and moved under the County Manager, a trend in urban law enforcement agencies at that time.”


          Cannot find a more detailed history, but think I have seen one somewhere on the Arlington County website.

          Even with an explanation, it has never made much sense why there is a separate Police Department.

        • Garden City

          My assumption would be to remove politics, and the possibility of political shenanigans, from law enforcement. The county police report through a chief who reports to the county manager, and who is selected on the basis of civil service laws and regulations. He doesn’t have to make campaign promises or raise money for a campaign.

          • Clarendon

            I think that’s it. Especially with a very large force like Arlington has. I suppose you could argue it either way but I tend to think that the way it is organized now is better than having a large force run by the Sheriff.

  • Village Genius

    The Sky Did Not Fall

    Woke up this morning, the third lane did not cause the sky to fall. Similarly, I drove down Arlington Ridge Road, and surprisingly, the sky had not fallen due to the new curbs.

    • Jo Mamma

      If the sky isn’t falling, what is that stuff coming down out of it?

  • Chad

    Is it me or is this picture straight up creeper?

    • b-crip

      real creepy.

    • OX4

      And seeing as how every Morning Notes pic has to be related to one of the headlines, I can only assume that is a Lockheed Martin stealth golf cart GC-X1 that is soon to be cut from the DOD budget.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      My first reaction too – looks like it comes from the Spy museum or a stalker

  • b-crip

    army navy #2 red?

  • Jason S.

    Why would anybody worry about the offices being vacated, plenty of people in Arlington *know* that Arlington’s economic fortunes have nothing to do with being right next to the nation’s capital.

  • MC

    Defense cuts will be a great thing for Arlington, making it more attractive to entrepreneurial businesses and diverse businesses in the fields of media, energy and transport. Arlington has lost much business diversity in the past decade with the Defense and Homeland Security build ups, and the new reality will help rectify that. The defense contractors that remain will be for the core business development and advisory work (think Boeing) rather than the commodity out-sourced body shops that crowd out everything right now.


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