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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 11, 2013 at 9:05 am 2,871 75 Comments

Sunset over Arlington by Mark C. White (photo has been modified from its original version)

Fisette Promises Details on Water Bottle ‘Crusade’ — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says he will provide additional details about his “crusade” against single-use water bottles — first announced at the Board’s New Year’s meeting — in April. Fisette did reveal that the anti-bottled water effort would involve a 15-member steering committee. [Sun Gazette]

New Metro Station in Rosslyn? — As part of Metro’s “Momentum” plan to revamp and expand the aging transit system, the agency has proposed building a new station in Rosslyn. Greater Greater Washington expounds upon that plan and examines the possibility of splitting the Blue Line at Rosslyn, building a separate Blue Line station, and running the line separately across the Potomac and into Georgetown. [Greater Greater Washington]

Metro Cell Phone Installation Delayed — Metro’s effort to enable cell phone service in its tunnels has hit a snag: after the contractor performing the work filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It could be 2016 before riders are able to use their cell phones in Metro tunnels. [Washington Examiner]

Above-Normal Lead Levels Found in Office Building —  The General Service Administration has found above-normal lead levels in an office building in Crystal City. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White.

  • novasteve

    How about a crusdae against self righteous nanny state control freaks? If you don’t like water bottles, then don’t use them.

    • Hee-Haw

      You are 100% correct, in this instance. What about sodas and sport drinks that are in plastic bottles ? Are those ok ? And a 15-person steering committee ? That sounds like a good way to waste everyone’s time involved.

      • Paul

        A fifteen-member steering committee to fix a non-problem. Another Arlington County government exercise in self-parody.

      • m

        The difference is that water is freely available from the tap, and in the US, it is clean and safe to drink. It tastes better if you filter it of course, but you don’t have to buy water in containers in order to have some available. Whereas, unless your plumbing is very different from mine, sodas and sports drinks have to be purchased in some sort of container.

        • novasteve

          You can buy a sodastream and reuse bottles, so you dont’ HAVE TO buy soda, nor do you NEED soda to live, you need water to live. do you see the problem with your “I know best, my way or the highway” mentality? If you dont’ want to use something, don’t use it. Don’t ban it for everyone. How arrogant do you have to be and how intolerant can you get?

          • drax

            You know the argument against plastic bottles is that it harms everyone by harming the environment, Steve. You may disagree or think it’s too small to matter, but don’t pretend you don’t know the argument.

          • novasteve

            Using toiletpaper harms the environment, using condoms does too. Cleaning up after your dog harms the environment. Why pick and choose? Lets just ban everything and save the planet!

          • jackson

            That’s about as logical as taking it to the other extreme and banning nothing and letting you smoke in theaters, elevators, and hospitals.

          • drax

            So now you don’t want people to clean up after their dogs, steve?

        • Texas Wahoo

          Your tap water is free. The county keeps billing me for mine…

        • Hee-Haw

          you’re missing the point. If he’s against some plastic bottles, why isn’t he against them all ? I doubt it has to do with your tap water. Its amazing this guy has a job.

          • DCBuff

            My understanding is that Jay doesn’t have a job other than the “part-time” gig with ArlCo.

        • Swag

          “clean and safe”

          That’s debatable. While it won’t kill you outright, clean and safe is a bit of a stretch.

          Distilled water ftw.

          • drax

            No, clean and safe has a specific scientific definition.

            Also, you think distilled water encased in plastic can’t be unsafe too?

        • m

          What is ironic is that the biggest users of bottled water in my experience are the sort of “educated” and “progressive” people Fizzy is so proud to represent. They like to parade around with their bottle of Evian or Dasani (not realizing that the latter isn’t even mineral water, just filtered tap water). They tend to think the chlorine and fluoride in tap water is a secret Bush administration plot to injure them, or they think tap water contains some other sort of cooties. And of course other drinks (unless purchased at Starbucks or Whole Foods) aren’t natural or organic enough for them.
          Conservatives like me get water out of the tap, run it through a filter to make it taste better, and put it in a reusable bottle if we have to carry it somewhere — not because we think we are saving the earth, but because its much cheaper and we are smart enough not to throw money away if we don’t have to. Or we drink soda or beer because, you know, it really isn’t going to kill us.

          • John Fontain

            I had the exact same thought but refrained from writing it earlier so as not to get people riled up.

            I think you are totally correct in your observation. The more “progressive” type folks are more likely to carry/use bottled water. Have you ever seen the massive piles of used water bottles spilling over the tops of the trashcans at an Earth Day rally? It’s a pretty ironic site to see.

            While I think people should use bottles as infrequently as possible for conservation purposes, I don’t think our local government (or one person in local government) should take action to try to get them banned for all.

          • m

            I do agree with you John – I don’t think it is the government’s (or one board member’s) job to get bottled water banned. I think purchasing bottled water is usually a stupid waste of money, but as the old saying goes, a progressive environmentalist and his money are soon parted, so if they want to buy water at $2,$3, or $4 or more per bottle, my job is to own stock in the company they are buying it from.

            But on re-reading the Sun Gazette piece, I think I may have misunderstood at first. I don’t see him saying that the government is actually going to “ban” bottled water. He talks about a “crusade” against bottled water, but that might be just a public information campaign. And if he does it on his own time, I think he is well within his rights to do it.
            I do respect your views on this – if anyone is an expert the topic of water, it would be someone named . . . Fountain (sorry, just couldn’t resist).

          • John Fontain

            “He talks about a “crusade” against bottled water, but that might be just a public information campaign. And if he does it on his own time, I think he is well within his rights to do it.”

            I’d be shocked if his plans don’t include using a lot of county resources and taxpayers dollars to further his crusade.

    • CourthouseChris

      It does seem like there are better things a 15-person committee could be doing.

      • novasteve

        I would love to serve them all the sewage smelling tap water from my kitchen sink since they obviously won’t be using bottled water at this event.

        • helpful tip

          If you experience a sewage-like smell when running water from your tap, the odor is most likely coming from a build-up of residue in your drain. Try cleaning the gunk out of the u-trap under the sink, and the smell will disappear.

        • CourthouseChris

          Yeah Steve this sounds more like a issue localized to your apartment or building.

        • Mary-Austin

          I don’t know of any sewage smelling tap water problem in Arlington…More likely than not your whole place just smells like sewage and cat feces.

          • CourthouseChris


    • Compromise

      Hopefully the steering committee will hear other points of view. Fissette says he is against plastic bottles because they end up in landfills or in the ocean. But, perhaps he doesn’t realize that some of us dispose of our plastic by burning it in our backyards. I go through about 600 bottles a year and they reduce down nicely when melted.

      • I Don’t Recommend It

        Burning plastic safely requires hot temperatures that it is unlikely you are able to produce. It is more likely that you releasing toxins into the air — and into the soil (especially if you are leaving the ashes to decompose further in your yard).

        Better to recycle — or upcycle them.

        Perhaps the county should be putting more emphasis on environmental education and practices instead of this silly attack on a consumer desired item.

        If you want us to stop drinking bottled water, give us better water — and while your at it let’s lean how to protect our natural waterways because that seems to be a particularly week point in Arlington.

        • Compromise

          Thanks for the advice but we burn safely. I make sure my kids stand up wind of where the smoke is blowing. It’s not just a matter of reducing the plastic by melting – the kids really enjoy it. If you throw the bottles in with the cap on they make a funny “pfffssst” noise that makes the kids giggle. They really got a kick out of burning their old plastic kiddie pool too.

          • thanks

            Compromise, your comments above made me laugh out loud at my office. Thanks for the Monday entertainment.

        • drax

          He’s joking.

    • plasticbad

      it’s unfortunate that there is a need to even mention that plastic is made of chemicals is not not safe in most cases to microwave or store food in let alone drink from plastic bottles. then most people don’t even recycle the plastic. it ends up in the oceans and in the stomachs of whales, birds sea turtles and so on. but you don’t care about any of that do you novasteve because it’s all about you

  • Swag

    I was helping to organize an event for one of the Deputy Secretaries of the Army and they were adamant that no combination of plastic and water be served–no bottled water, no water cooler, etc. The look on their face when they took a sip of DC tap water was priceless.

  • John Fontain

    From the Gazette: “Jay Fisette says the community will have to wait until April to see his next move in a self-proclaimed crusade against single-use water bottles.”

    Well, on the bright side, at least he’s being honest in admitting he’s using his role as a Board member to promote his own personal agenda rather than represent the needs and wants of the community as he is supposed to do.

    • DCBuff

      I’m sure that Jay has a constituency of the self-righteous here that will support the idea of this “crusade” and will be the component members of this 15-person committee. But, I have to say this is pretty dam* funny as a platform for re-election and demonstrates to me, at least, that the current board simply has no value-added ideas. Nevertheless, I expect he will be re-elected by the usual majority.

    • plasticbad

      You people need to wake up. The profit-making -no matter the consequences agenda of corporate America is why we are drinking water from toxic containers in the first place. It all needs to go. Plastic is toxic from it’s creation and is toxic for the thousands of years it remains in the environment.

  • Recycle

    Here is what I would like to see: if an store or restaurant sells single use drinks in bottles or cans, they MUST provide onsite recycling for consumers.

    • Priorities?

      I’d think a more pressing water/environment related issue for Arlington would be with our water ways and contamination. We seem to have a poor track history.


      Increased education about environment and how bad behaviors are affecting ARLINGTON in general is needed. To focus solely on water bottles is frivolous and will most likely be ineffectual.

      I applaud Arlnow for its coverage of current events surrounding environment. But it would be great if Arlnow and other local new sources would run columns with the broader goal of education & awareness of environmental issues in OUR area and ultimately behavioral change. We should be discussing not only policy but the practical things that we can do every day and behaviors we can change.

      Unfortunately the reality is that most people are only as environmentally conscience as it is easy to be. They will not seek out this information on their own and will do only as much as you hold their hand to do. Increase education and patience and a realistic point-of-view are necessary.

  • GoodOmens

    Ha! 2016 for cell service? *Face palms*

  • Federal Bureaucrat

    Only 15 people on the steering committee? Amateur.

  • AJR

    I like the idea for two separate stations in Rosslyn.

    I’m not at all concerned that the inconsiderate cell phone talkers lose service upon entering tunnels. In fact, I smile every time.

    • GoodOmens

      It’s more of a safety concern then anything.

      The whole green line debacle could have been better had people been able to receive communication while stuck under the Anacostia. I mean what would you do if you were stranded for several hours with no way to call/text anyone or find updates on what’s going on?

      • Joe Hoya

        “Hour two… Still no sign of rescue. It’s been 74 minutes since we’ve received an update on the Knicks score, and some passengers are getting restless. One woman has begun quietly sobbing as she is unable to update her Facebook status.”

        • AJR

          +1, exactly.
          GoodOmens, the whole green line debacle (and all metro debacles) could be better if WMATA itself did a better job of updating the passengers. The most frequent complaint from that situation was that train operators failed to communicate. Meanwhile, WMATA was tweeting something along the lines of a ‘brief green line delay.’ If I was stuck and had access to Twitter, those tweets wouldn’t have helped me in the least.

      • m

        Or, more importantly, what if you couldn’t update your Facebook status or check in on 4Square?
        “Stuck in tunnel AGAIN! Metro totes sucks – LOL”

    • SnobHeart

      Yeah, those folks in Georgetown won’t lawyer up against that metro line.

  • Greg

    Let me guess – 10 cent tax per bottle?

    Perhaps that’s also his answer to the budget?

    What an attention whore.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      Not sure on this one – but I’d doubt Arlington has the authority for such a tax.

      • Hee-Haw

        never underestimate the motives someone has who is trying to have a “crusade” against plastic water bottles.

  • Becoming Indifferent

    Wow, we’ve got an impending fiscal disaster, and the boondoggle trolley system, so I’m glad to see Jay Fissette focusing on something REALLY important. Sign me up for that committee!

  • Evian

    The crusade on bottled water should be ‘bottled’ up with the war on poverty, war on drugs, war on hunger. I’m sure the Great Crusade and War on ….. will go smashingly well.

  • YTK

    I haven’t been to the Rosslyn Station for months– is it still (the outdoor part) as filthy as it was in the past? Bird droppings on the newspaper vending machines near Tivoli, and the usual detritus that belongs more in a dumpster than on the floors.

  • novasteve

    They should tax then ban toiletpaper too. think of the trees! you can use a bidet. I know what’s best for you, so discussion closed.

    • Mack

      But then you’re wasting water with a bidet. Instead, we should use bark that has fallen off a tree naturally.

  • Zimmerman

    Well done, Jay. You’ve drawn their attention away from the trolley!! Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design.

  • novasteve

    I wish the board would take up my Jihad on dog poop in Courthouse.

    • John Fontain

      The dog owners who don’t pick up poop are just trying to help the environment by not using plastic bags.

    • drax

      If you don’t like dog poop, don’t own a dog. Stop trying to control other people’s lives.

      • Hee-Haw

        haha, nice one. I don’t like dog poop and don’t own a dog, what do you suggest ?

        • drax

          I don’t like water bottles littering the streets next to all the dog poop and don’t drink from them, what do you suggest?

          • Hee-Haw

            nothing, as one has nothing to do with the other. However, I’d rather step on a plastic bottle than dog crap.

          • drax

            They have nothing to do with each other? They’re both pollution, and both illegal to dump on the street.

          • Hee-Haw

            But saying “If you don’t like dog poop, don’t own a dog” makes no sense.

          • drax


      • John Fontain

        Rhetorically speaking, you do have a point.

    • Rory

      I have my own Jihad on those who don’t pick up after their dog in my condo community. I report on people every time. Enough is enough.

  • drax

    “Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication”



  • Brenda

    Some truly absurd posts.

    • YTK

      Brenda, you must be new here.

    • Callie08

      I’m sure Brenda will contribute high-minded, grammatically correct, thought-provoking posts in the future.

  • GGW plan

    The GGW plan amounts to hoping $2 Billion dollars falls from the sky or found under rock.

    • drax

      Because we can’t possibly grow our country any more.

  • Callie08

    Well, now, if the water in Arlington actually tasted good or did not smell like a bottle of bleach, I might give up buying bottled water. I buy the 8 oz bottles and tote one around until it’s empty; the plastic bottle is put in the recycles btw. With a deficit looming you’d think the Nanny would be putting more effort into fixing the financial house instead of telling us what kind of bottled water we can buy. Oh yeah, put a hold on the street car plan, too.

    • drax

      The tap water tastes fine.

      And nobody has told you what to buy, have they?


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