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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com April 5, 2012 at 8:39 am 3,234 37 Comments

Civic Federation Budget Proposal — The Arlington County Civic Federation has unanimously approved its own vision for the county’s budget. The Civic Federation’s budget proposal would hold the current real estate tax rate steady, while providing more money for schools and public safety, funding an inspector general position and eliminating 16 long-vacant county government positions. The Civic Federation also voted 30-12 for a motion calling on the county to close Rosslyn’s Artisphere by the end of the year unless significant progress is made in turning around the struggling cultural center’s finances. [Sun Gazette]

Streetcar Stalemate with Alexandria — Arlington County’s plan to build a streetcar line from Crystal City to Potomac Yard is facing resistance from Alexandria. While Arlington has financing for the streetcar lined up, Alexandria says they don’t have the money for a streetcar line — and would like the planned Crystal City/Potomac Yard transit corridor to remain a bus rapid transit system for the foreseeable future. [WAMU]

Thousands Sign Up for Housing Aid — Arlington County opened up its waiting list for federal Section 8 housing assistance for one day, after keeping the list closed for the past seven years. In that one day the county received 5,300 pre-applications from those seeking rent assistance. [Patch]

Fund Set Up to House the Homeless — The Arlington Community Foundation has announced a $500,000 private gift that will allow it to create a new fund for the 100 Homes campaign against homelessness. With a $500,000 match from Arlington County, the $1 million public/private partnership will be “dedicated to housing Arlington’s most vulnerable citizens.” [Arlington Community Foundation]

  • BC

    I hope the plan is to house the homeless within a block of an Orange Line stop. Anything else would make me want to move to Bethesda.

    • Katniss

      Everything along the Orange Line is the Capitol. The rest is all District 12, especially the Pike. Unless the trolley can do 250mph

  • DarkHeart

    I thought all the “streams” around here are called “runs”.

    • CW

      That sewer pipe gave the Run the runs the other day.

      • Bluemontsince1961


  • WeiQiang

    South Arlington = Stream

    North Arlington = Run

    • ArlingtonChick

      I live in South Arlington, and am pretty sure I also overlook Four Mile Run not Four Mile Stream….

      • awh hells bells


      • Arlingtonian

        Depends where you are in South Arlington. If you live near the sewage treatment plant, you are overlooking Four Mile Creek. If you live in Glencarlyn, you are overlooking Four Mile Run.

        In Northern Virginia, a creek is tidal. A stream that “runs” downhill to a creek or river is a run.

        If you look at old maps, you will see a waterway identified as “Four Mile Creek” near the Potomac River.

        On the south side of Alexandria, Cameron Run becomes Hunting Creek where the stream becomes tidal.

  • FunReadArlNow

    Without reading the source articles…

    The Civic Fed sounds like they want the county to stop spending so much of the citizens’ money. I need to find our more about this group.

    Arl County Board needs to realize that for every streetcar line it is proposing, that Arlington is a small piece of a bigger geographic transport network and it should work with its neighbors to unify the network. The bigger goal of public transport is not achieved by Arl having gleaming streetcars that have messy interfaces to buses at the DC/Alexandria/Fairfax borders. (A subject I have twice asked Mr. Zimmerman and have not received any response.)

    Housing aid / homeless — a laudable goal for society, but let’s face it, Arlington is an expensive place to live.

    • geezer
    • KalashniKEV

      1) Civic Fed- +1000… I’m excited for the IG position too! I guarantee at least one member of the current County Board would be spending Christmas 2013 in jail.

      2) Sounds like Alexandria knows that buses are a superior mode of transit to streetcars in every way but one- QUAINT CHARM.

      3) Don’t you believe that Millions of Americans should be able to “realize the dream of home ownership” wherever they please… at the expense of their more fiscally responsible neighbors? LOLOLOL!!1!

      • drax

        Shouldn’t you be bashing the Civic Fed for not calling for a 2/3rds cut in the budget, Kev?

        • KalashniKEV

          I’m not sure of what their entire platform/agenda/whatever is, but from what I read above they want to end ArtisFAIL, eliminate government “jobs” and appoint an IG to fight the corruption?

          Sound like a huge step in the right direction to me…

          • drax

            Come on, Kev. It’s not even remotely good enough for you. You want to cut the budget by 2/3rds!

            You need to make up your own budget and present it. Show us how easy it is.

          • KalashniKEV

            It all starts with one step…

          • drax

            Show us your budget, Kev.

          • brendan

            I think having an IG would be extremely beneficial…

    • drax

      The problem is that if we sit around and wait for the other jurisdictions to do something, nothing will get done.

      We can build a streetcar line, or whatever, join it to Metro, reap the benefits, and maybe the other jurisdictions will agree to extend it later.

    • Arlingtonian

      People who are homeless or have low incomes are not stupid. They follow the money and try to get the most that they can, with the least amount of effort if possible.

      If Arlington provides new amenities and benefits (such as housing) to the homeless and to other low income people, a substantial percentage of D.C.’s population will move to Arlington. This will increase the demand for such amenities and many types of social services in Arlington and decrease the demand in D.C. D.C.’s tax rate will decrease, while Arlington’s taxes will rise.

      The reverse will happen if Arlington decreases amenities to the homeless and other low income people.

  • KalashniKEV

    Only 5,300 freeloaders lined up for their Free Entitlements? We need to develop an iPhone app to make it easier.

    • drax

      Have you ever actually met a Section 8 recipient, Kev?

      • KalashniKEV

        More than a few…

        • drax


          • KalashniKEV

            I’ve probably performed more lifetime Community Service than you. I did *something* almost monthly throughout my youth… now I figure with the level of taxes I pay here, and the way it gets flushed, I ought to be good… right?

          • drax

            I just asked you a question. I didn’t challenge you to prove you’re better than me. Don’t know why you feel so defensive.

      • Stitch_Jones

        Subsidizing housing increases the mean price of housing and prices more lower income people out of the market. How? By reducing the amount of housing available on the open market (that not subsidized) making housing more scarce. As scarcity of housing increases so does the price of bids to buy or rent those units. As the price rises, people who are just able to afford housing are priced out in favor of wealthier customers.

        It’s not my theory – it’s an irrefutable fact that you should have learned in ECON100.

        Subsidies always increase the price of a good or service. These programs always benefit the poorest (“free” housing)and the richest (guaranteed rents for landlords or credit to the politician) at the expense of the middle and lower middle income classes.

        If that is the outcome you desire, by all means, keep sending people forward who will vote for these policies.

        I am heartened to see that half of the funds mentioned in this article came from a private source, at least, but the outcome is still the same.

        Lastly, I have met what you call “Section 8” recipients. It does not change the facts.

        • BS criteria with tax-and-spend insanity

          +1. ArlCo already has over 6,000 committed-affordable units, more than 2/3 of which are in N. Arlington…and the Board is now pushing a ridiculously expensive streetcar for the Pike with the intent of spurring further development that will eliminate one of the largest areas of market-rate affordable housing in the County. Solution? Raise taxes higher and spend more money on affordable housing. This is tax-and-spend insanity.

          I’m all for affordable housing, within reason, but we’ve already got WAY more than needed for teachers, firefighters, cops, etc. At a minimum, the Board should change policy so Arlington taxpayers only subsidize affordable housing for people who a) already live in Arlington or b) can prove they’ve got a job here. Otherwise, stop distorting the market at my expense! Using that criteria, I’m pretty confident Arlington has an oversupply of affordable housing (incorporating both subsidized and market-rate units).

          • Then they should have priority…

            Most of those county service positions (teachers, etc.) are NOT the residents of these low income housing structures because people have been huddled into these neighborhoods for so long as this article states for most of the year there is a ridiculous wait list for section 8. It’s stupid.

        • KalashniKEV

          “Subsidizing housing increases the mean price of housing…”

          Now we just need a multi-story Bum Mansion and a Methadone Clinic and we’ll be set!

  • Frivolous


  • FrenchyB


  • nom de guerre


    • Quoth the Raven


      • FrenchyB


  • MC

    Hoping Crystal City gets its streetcar, and hope it will connect to the Columbia Pike line eventually. The property owners in Crystal City see its value. I could care less that Alexandria’s government isn’t on board: they are disfunctional beyond belief, as shown by their handling of the waterfront development. Libby Gravey’s meaningless prattle wont change that either: Arlington needs to move forward on its own.

    • Arlingtonian

      Alexandria’s government is smarter than Arlington’s. Alexandrian’s recognize that streetcars are far more expensive than rapid bus transit, but provide no better service.

      Arlington collects too much in taxes. If it collected less, it would also prefer rapid bus transit to streetcars.


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