Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com April 25, 2012 at 8:31 am 3,803 54 Comments

Take a Walk at Lunch Today — Today, April 25, is National Walk @ Lunch Day. What’s National Walk @ Lunch Day, you ask? It’s a day that’s intended to convince Americans to get up and go on a brisk walk at lunch, as opposed to sitting around and just eating lunch at one’s desk. [CommuterPage Blog]

County Honors ‘Notable Trees’ — At the County Board meeting yesterday afternoon, Arlington County announced the nine trees that were chosen this year to be designated as “Notable Trees.” Applause greeted each announcement, which was accompanied by photos the notable trees. “Our commitment to trees is a very real sign of our care for the environment, and this program recognizes residents for being good stewards of these important natural resources,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. [Arlington County]

Wetlands Plan Bogged Down By Red Tape — After six months of fundraisers, parents of students at Campbell Elementary School were looking forward to building a Wetlands Learning Lab on the school’s soggy grounds. Unfortunately, the plan has been held up by numerous county and school system regulations. As a result, more privately-raised funds might be needed to complete the project. [Arlington Mercury]

Flickr pool photo by Desiree L.C.

  • nom de guerre

    Walk on down to Sam’s Corner today and enjoy the daily lunch special featuring rare roast beef, imported fontina cheese, micro greens and thinly sliced purple onions on a lightly toasted Kaiser roll with a horseradish sauce. If you are a regular or member of our VIP club you will know when we are open for business.

    • sunflower

      i cant listen to a waitperson with a straight face after reading your specials

    • drax

      I like Sam’s smoked guyere brioche and Andalusian pepper relish on yak-butter croissant. Gonna walk over there between 3:37 and 3:42.

    • JamesE

      You’re not suppose to mention the VIP club! you broke the first rule.

    • Richard Cranium

      Is the password still “password”?

    • Mary-Austin

      ugh when are the lame jokes about Sam’s Corner gonna die?

      • speonjosh

        As long as nom de guerre is around, never.

        However, I would say they are considerably less lame than any comments made about brown flip-flops, Donaldson Run, or automatic transmissions.

      • BlueLoom

        I love to read about the daily specials at Sam’s Corner. Keep ’em coming. Donaldson Run jokes are good, too. Life’s short; laugh a little!

    • Michael Pollan

      Just a few questions regarding the daily lunch special –

      Is the beef local, grass-fed & certified humane?

      Are the micro greens dry-farmed?

      Is it Fontina Val d’Aosta?

      Are the onions heirloom?

      Is it the Kaiser roll artisanal?

      Is the horseradish free-range?

      • nom de guerre

        Beef-locally sourced, hand fed Waygu brisket
        Micro greens-non genetically modified hydroponic
        Purple onion-yes, heirloom var. “Brunswick”
        Kaiser-yes, artisanal

  • Good Grief

    Awesome photo!!

    • Josh S

      Where the heck is that?

      • DB

        Looks like Long Bridge Park–probably last week for Discovery.

        • bobco85

          You’re absolutely correct! I verified this was during the Discovery flyover at Long Bridge Park from the other photos taken by the user, one of which is zoomed out and easily identified as Crystal City in the background.

      • Silver Maple

        DB is correct: LBP.

    • Swag

      It’s only a finger away from being epic.

      • .T-G.E.O.A


  • sunflower

    don’t let me down. the notable trees segment is crying out for postings

    • Silver Maple

      show me some love

      • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

        I’ve got a notable piece of wood for ya!

        (How about that!)

        • Silver Maple

          Pine is a soft wood

          • nom de guerre

            Only if the trees are the right height.

        • sunflower

          nominations are based on size, age, species, historical interest or…special significance to the neighborhood……

          • The mermaid tree

            The sculpture out of a tree… that’s what I’d nominate. Did they ever sell that thing? Man I wish I had followed up on that!

  • DarkHeart

    Is there a link that explains the criteria for notable tree and how these trees qualified? Like, here’s the stump that inspired Shel Silverstein or a Civil War deserter was hanged on this branch or Robert Redford carved a baseball bat from this maple, etc.

  • CrystalMikey

    Wish I could walk to work for lunch…too bad I now work out in non-walkable Fairfax City.

    • WeiQiang

      Does that make you ‘FairfaxMikey’?

    • JamesE

      I have to walk three buildings over to the cafeteria, I think that counts.

      • Stuperman

        I’m able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound.

  • Zoning Victim

    I love the fact that the bureaucracy in Arlington is so bad that even the government can’t get a project permitted without spending two years trying to wade through the red tape and almost twice as much money as they originally thought they would need by the time they get done.

    • SoArl

      I applied for my kid to attend kindergarten next year at Campbell. I hope the county gets their act together – this plan sounds amazing.

    • drax

      Some of that red tape was put in place because people like you complained that the government was abusing tax funds by not getting lowest bids for projects, etc. They can’t win.

      • Josh S


      • Zoning Victim

        Only the government could claim that having to get six bids on landscaping delays a project by “months.”

        • Josh S

          Did you miss the part where he said “etc?”

          • Zoning Victim

            I’m talking about the complaint in the article where they made the claim that it takes “months” to get six bids and it was “most discouraging” to those working on the project, but in re-reading the article, I may have misunderstood the statement; it isn’t particularly clear if they were talking about all of the requirements taking months or just the requirement to get six bids. It’s not particularly well written from the standpoint of what was the biggest holdup and what “months” really means since two months and 11 months are totally different things from the standpoint of being an unreasonable burden.

            Either way, it’s hard to believe that it takes two years and the added cost of $30K they implied it made in the $40K project to go from the decision to do some landscaping to fix their water problems to getting the plans approved and hiring a contractor.

          • drax

            What likely happened is that they didn’t understand the burdensome rules and then had to back out and start over on some.

            My point, though, is made – sometimes people want rules to keep government in check, but then they complain when following those rules brings unwanted side effects.

          • Zoning Victim

            The unintended consequences of law are well documented, but you’re reaching to blame two years of holdup on the simple notion that governments should accept competitive bids and offer some transparency. The bottom line is the article didn’t have any specifics about why the project took so long, instead simply blaming “bureaucracy.” Unless you have some inside information you haven’t shared with us, yet, you’re just guessing as to how much impact that had on the project. In private business, we get competitive bids all the time, and it sure doesn’t take anything like two years for a simple project like this.

      • Elmer

        So Drax, By all means let’s go no bid on government contracts ala GSA.

        • drax

          My response may have gotten lost, Elmer. It was to the effect of you missing the point. But I think that’s not enough for you, so I’ll spell it out: I’m not endorsing no-bid contracts, just pointing out that if you want a government that follows rules to keep it from wasting your money or abusing your trust, those rules may slow things down a bit.

          • replytothat

            “a bit” ??

          • drax

            Conversational hyperbole. Get over it.

      • i’m down with that

        Indeed, there are very many rules, processes, and procedures which are at times redundant, and at other times inconsistent, which hamper purchasing and contracting within the county government, all in the name of protecting taxpayer dollars. Mis-step, and start over. The irony is sad.

        • Elmer

          Yes. Efficiency and government are worlds apart.
          That’s why we need more government-not less.
          (That’s a joke, son).

  • notable trees is a cool thing, y’all.

    • Tabs


  • Lou

    I find it amusing when people who do not understand the construction process and permitting try to write about it.

  • henry bennet xii

    I drove to Bluemont Park and walked thru the Memorial Rose Garden.

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