Traffic Poses Continued Concern for Arlington Heights
At the July 20 meeting of the Arlington Heights Civic Association, AHCA’s Traffic and Transportation Committee Chair, Ellen Taylor, introduced the issues of speeding and cut-through traffic in Arlington Heights. The discussion at the meeting followed the issuance of a neighborhood traffic and transportation needs survey which accompanied the June issue of Over the Fence. Invited guest, County staff member Richard Best, addressed the members and described the County’s ad hoc program on traffic calming and the process for County action on traffic complaints. He acknowledged that traffic issues in Arlington Heights are complicated by our neighborhood boundaries consisting of State and County arterials. He noted that construction of left-turn lanes at the Columbia Pike and Glebe Road intersection, scheduled to begin in Spring 2000, should alleviate some of the neighborhood traffic flow. He also said safety improvements for Arlington Boulevard (Route 50), under consideration by the Virginia Department of Transportation, may help our neighborhood traffic flow.
Following Ellen Taylor’s announcement that she is stepping down as Committee Chair due to her upcoming relocation from the neighborhood, Mike Braton, Bryan Sieling and others volunteered for the committee. AHCA Secretary John Morrill volunteered to serve as AHCA liaison to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) on transportation issues. Those attending the meeting approved a motion directing AHCA to send a letter to Mr. Best’s office, summarizing the results of the AHCA survey, and requesting that the County begin its own research on traffic behavior in our neighborhood for evaluation of traffic calming measures.
Treasurer Bryan Sieling noted that residential membership is up to 88 households, and we now have three business members. He also noted that donations from the neighborhood, totaling $115, have been received for the landscaping of the park at S. Irving and 9th St. This amount is part of the civic association’s goal of a $300 matching contribution to the $9,000 already received from the County. Any neighbor wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution toward the park fund can do so by sending a check to Bryan Sieling at 632 S. Highland Street.
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC)
AHCA’s alternate representative to NCAC, Dan Perch, introduced NCAC activities on behalf of absent Jim Gill. Dan discussed the need to conduct a review and revision of the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Conservation Plan, which was completed in 1980. Neighbors agreed to a motion to undertake the update of the 1980 Plan in order to reflect the current priorities of the people who live in the neighborhood. AHCA President Jay Wind further directed that a working group, chaired by Jim Gill, be established to conduct the survey and review for this Plan revision.
Jay Wind opened the floor to nominations for Second Vice President of AHCA. He explained that this position will focus primarily on increasing membership. Wyatt Weber volunteered to serve, and his nomination was approved unanimously.
In landscaping and gardening news, Jay Wind encouraged neighbors to step forward to water the new planting around the four Arlington Heights neighborhood signs. Several members applauded the June Arlington Heights garden tour, which attracted about two dozen participants. Also discussed was the need for repair of fences and landscaping on the Thomas Jefferson Community Center grounds along S. Irving St., in the wake of the damaging June storm. Members approved a motion directing that AHCA write a letter to Mr. Steve Temmermand, Chief of the County Parks Division, requesting specific repairs and improvements.
Jay also noted that Ellen Taylor has served as the
neighborhood’s newsletter distribution coordination. With Ellen’s departure,
a new coordinator is needed. Sally Ferrett of S. Highland St. volunteered
for this task.
Thanks for participating in the Arlington Heights Civic Association. I am grateful to all AHCA members who helped at our table at the Arlington County Fair.
If you’re already a member, we appreciate your support. If you’re not yet a member, how about taking a moment to fill out the membership form in this newsletter, write a check to AHCA for $5 (membership through December 31, 1999) or $15 (membership through December 31, 2000), and help us represent our neighborhood to the County. If you are one of the 50+ businesses in Arlington Heights, membership is $20 and you get a $5 discount on ads in this newsletter and I’ll write a webpage for you on our website. Where can you get a better deal?
I encourage AHCA members to patronize businesses in our neighborhood. Have you ever visited the Columbia Pike Art Studio at the corner of Walter Reed, behind Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse? Have you stopped for sushi at Matuba or for a haircut at the Hair Cuttery or the Dominion Arms Barbershop? I wouldn’t go anywhere else!
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) has a new website at http://www.UptownArlington.com/ThePike. CPRO will host a Candidates Night on Wednesday, October 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, at Arlington Mill Center, 4975 Columbia Pike. The event hosts candidates for State Senate and House of Delegates at 7:30, School Board at 8:00, and County Board at 8:30.
The County Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting an ongoing series of community meetings to plan the redevelopment of the Walter Reed Center to better serve us. The Center is located at 2909 16th St. S. If you would like to be AHCA’s delegate to this series of meetings, please let me know.
Ask What Your Civic Association Can Do for You
Let’s use the theme "Neighborhood Improvement" for our October 19 meeting. Bring photos of improvements you’ve done in your home and garden. Share lists of your favorite contractors. Hear success stories about making our neighborhood better. By October, we hope the County makes substantial progress on the little park at S. Irving and 9th St. As I write this in mid-August, the picnic table is in place and four of the Bradford pear trees have been removed (displacing some "highly productive" birds). The water line has been marked to prepare for the drinking fountain. Landscaping is scheduled once the weather cools.
I thank AHCA Vice President Mary Ellen Finn and Jay Vennett for working with Arlington County’s park planner Bob Capper on the final design of the park. We await action by the County’s Parks and Recreation Commission and County Board to name the park.
I also thank Mary Ellen, Jennifer Schultz and Georgia Sadler for walking the neighborhood with Arlington County code enforcers Janette Purnell and Essie Corbin to identify properties in violation of codes. Code violations include peeling paint, broken shutters and doors, overgrown grass and weeds, and unregistered vehicles. Although we are a beautiful neighborhood, we have our share of homes with opportunities for improvement.
Traffic, Traffic Everywhere
Patrick Henry Elementary School principal Cintia Johnson has asked the County to make changes on 7th St. S to improve safety for her students. Let’s support her requests. We know that cut-through traffic will remain a problem until the County and State build left-turn lanes at Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. Once those turn lanes are complete--but not before--the County will remove the "Route 244" signs at S. Fillmore and 7th and at S. Glebe and 7th, according to County traffic planner Richard Best. It turns out the "Route 244" signs have been there since 1959!
I thank Ellen Taylor for chairing AHCA’s Traffic and Transportation Committee. We will miss you, Ellen! I also thank Mike Braton for picking up the lead for the Committee. The County can provide a wide spectrum of traffic calming and safety measures. I want AHCA actively to pursue those measures.
Fallen Trees and Branches
Eventually, it will rain. And it will storm. And branches and limbs will fall, as they fell on Flag Day, June 14. Trees might uproot in the dry soil. Please water the roots of your trees to protect them in the next storm. Particularly susceptible to storm damage are silver maples, with their shallow root systems. If you have trees near cable/phone/power lines, now is the time to call Cable TV Arlington, Bell Atlantic or Virginia Power to ask them to trim back the branches. Your will protect yourselves and your neighbors.
When you move fallen branches to the curb, be sure to call Arlington County Solid Waste at 228-6570 before 5:00 pm Thursday for a special pickup on Friday. Special pickups of fallen branches are free. For other special pickups, such as old appliances or furniture, the County charges $25.00
Eckerd’s Drive-In Drugstore
In case you haven’t noticed, construction is proceeding rapidly on a drive-in Eckerd’s Drug Store at the site of the America’s Best (formerly Big Boy) Diner. The corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive soon will be a park. Tom Greenfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Penrose Civic Association, our neighboring association to the east of S. Walter Reed, is seeking suggestions for a name for the new park. The construction has moved the Sunday morning Farmers’ Market to S. Edgewood Street, right in front of The Uncommon Market and The Ski Chalet. Pardon the dust -- you can buy the best in farm-fresh produce at the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.
Y2K Problem - Newsletter Editor Needed
Joan Gill retires as editor of Over the Fence in January 2000. I thank Joan for many years of fine work as editor. So, we need a new editorial staff to start off Y2K. Joan can help, but we need YOU. Contact Joan (685-1760 or email@example.com) or me (920-5193 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to step up to the keyboard.
PLEASE COME TO OUR NEXT AHCA MEETING on Tuesday night, October 19, at the Arlington Career Center, 816 S. Walter Reed Drive.
In Celebration of Arlington County Neighborhood Day
the Arlington Heights Civic Association
"Movies Under the Stars"
Saturday evening, October 23
at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center Soccer Field
(in case of inclement weather, the event will be held indoors at the Community Center)
AHCA will supply the popcorn and candy!
You bring a chair or blanket and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Optional: Wear your favorite Halloween costume
Fun for the whole family! Mark your calendar now!
More details in the next issue of Over the Fence
For the past 3+ years, I have been the editor of Over the Fence (OTF). This has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me -- communicating with you, keeping our neighborhood grapevine alive, and meeting so many of you at our association’s events. I will "retire" as editor following the December 1999 issue. I am not leaving the neighborhood. In fact, I would like very much to remain on the editorial staff of OTF, in addition to continuing with other activities in our civic association. However, this means that we need a new editor by the first of the year. Before you say, "No, that’s not for me," let me give you several reasons to say "Yes"!
First it’s fun! Letting your creative side come out is a great stress reliever. As editor, you can design the pages, write your own articles and look for interesting pieces pertinent to our neighborhood. Second, it’s important! Our civic association is a strong and vibrant one, but it needs a good communications vehicle to keep all of us informed and involved. Third, it’s easy! Okay, some issues are easier than others. But AHCA officers and committee representatives are always there ready to help with articles and announcements, and we have an outstanding team of volunteers who go into distribution mode just as soon as the newsletter is printed. Also, while you may prefer to use a newsletter software package, I have continued to produce OTF using basic word processing software, cutting and pasting to fit the page! Finally, it’s rewarding!
OTF is produced eight times a year. Early in the months of January, April, July and October, a short flyer is released to prepare neighbors for the quarterly civic association meetings. Four issues, which carry more detailed news and regular features, are produced between the quarterly meetings.
To say "Yes," contact me at 685-1760 or email@example.com. You may also contact AHCA President Jay Wind at 920-5193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all of you for your ideas and continued support of OTF!
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Arlington Citizens’ Crime Prevention Council, has initiated a new program designed to provide safety checks on Senior residents who live alone. The program allows for any Arlington resident to register with the Sheriff’s Office to receive daily phone calls for the purpose of checking on the safety and welfare of the individual.
Daily phone calls will be made to all participants
by volunteers from the Citizens’ Crime Prevention Council. The calls are
made Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 am. In
the event contact is not made, a Sheriff’s patrol unit will be dispatched
to the program participant’s home to do a thorough site check and to make
sure there are not medical or other emergency service needs. You must be
an Arlington resident to qualify for the program. For more information,
call the Sheriff’s Office at 228-4460.
During the November 2 elections, Arlington voters will participate in a special pilot project requiring all voters to show identification when they come to vote. Not only will this help preserve the integrity of the election process, it will also help you get through the line faster since the election officers will be able to find your name more quickly. Acceptable forms of identification include: your voter information card; your driver’s license or DMV ID card; your social security card; or any preprinted identification with your name and photograph, your name and address, or your name and signature (except credit cards).
If you forget to bring your ID to the polls, don’t
worry! You’ll still be able to vote after you sign a statement confirming
your identity. If you have any questions, call the Arlington County Office
of Voter Registration at 228-3456.
The Columbia Pike Clean-up Program has begun. Elephant trucks have been on The Pike each day... The proposed design scheme for the new park at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed consists of a park without a "traditional" center, but one that contains four major components that act together in forming a cohesive community park for the neighborhood. These include a market grove, the lawn, the art garden and a new bus shelter... A small group of individuals recently met with VDOT officials to work on design issues related to the new overpass at Washington Blvd. and The Pike. The most recent design is more attractive than earlier versions and should serve as a good gateway to The Pike... Improvements to S. Garfield St. and 9th Rd. S (behind Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse) are planned... The sign ordinance allowing banners on Columbia Pike has been approved. A banner will hang over The Pike announcing Neighborhood Day this fall. With further County Board approval, seasonal banners may be on the new lamps along The Pike in November... CPRO soon will have three new County staff primarily dedicated to Columbia Pike - a comprehensive planner, a transportation planner and a commercial revitalization planner.
Questions about The Pike? Call CPRO at 892-2776.
Much of the tree damage brought by the June thunderstorm was preventable. Even though big, green, leafy trees look healthy, too much growth can actually be a weakness. Protect your trees and property in all seasons by paying attention to tree growth.
If trees are not pruned every 5-10 years, limbs can produce so many smaller branches and leaves that the tree becomes too heavy to support itself in a storm. Leaves can catch the wind like a wall, and an overgrown tree can collapse from the weight of itself in a high wind.
A similar principle holds in the wintertime. An overgrown tree limb with too many small branches can collapse from the weight of accumulated snow or ice on all those branches.
Proper pruning involves carefully choosing which branches to remove, and knowing where and how to cut them. Professional pruning will leave a tree stronger, healthier, less susceptible to high winds, and more attractive to look at. On the other hand, incorrect pruning can cause more problems than it solves. One of the most damaging procedures by amateurs is simply "topping" a tree -- cutting most of the crown off without regard to tree shape or size. Topping results in a weaker tree with ugly regrowth.
If you decide to have work done on your trees, use
a legitimate tree company. A chain saw and a willingness to climb do
not make a person qualified to do tree work. Look in the Yellow Pages
for a company that is a member of the National Arborist Association, and
ask if they have a Certified Arborist on staff. With proper care, our large
trees can continue to provide beauty and shade for many years.
Lawn and Garden Workshops
Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and the Virginia Cooperative Extension - Arlington County present a series of Fall workshops:
"Delights and Duties in the Fall Perennial Garden" - This hands-on demonstration will include a walk through of the "Sunny Garden," adjacent to the Rose Garden in Bon Air Park. If your perennials look "tired," come see what’s blooming in the Sunny Garden this late in the season. You’ll learn how to divide and "deadhead" perennials, and how to prepare the garden for the winter. Meet at the Sunny Garden in Bon Air Park, off Wilson Blvd. September 25, 10:00 - 11:30 am.
"Water-Wise Garden Basics" - See what plants survived under adverse conditions in 1999. You will learn the basics behind water-wise techniques, and how you can apply them at home. Visits to the nearby butterfly and other theme gardens will also be included. Meet at the Water-Wise Demonstration Garden at the YMCA, 420 E. Monroe Ave. in Alexandria. October 2, 10:00 - 11:30 am.
"Just Say NO to Virginia Clay!" - Fall is the ideal time to prepare flower and vegetable gardens for next year. Join others in a hands-on demonstration and discussion of soil preparation techniques that will improve our heavy clay soils. Meet at the Sunny Garden in Bon Air Park, adjacent to the Rose Garden off Wilson Blvd. October 16, 10:00 - 11:30 am.
"Fall Gardening Fundamentals" - This is an informative workshop on seasonal gardening issues. Come and learn the latest environmentally conscientious strategies for a better lawn. Also, receive tips on soil amendments, what to compost and how, and clean-up chores to minimize insects and diseases in your garden. Bulbs and other Fall planting possibilities will be discussed. October 23, 10:00 - 12:00 noon at the Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, corner of Seminary Rd. and Quaker Lane and October 27, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Arlington Central Public Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St.
For further information on these events, call 228-6414.
My lawn is brown, is it dead? If your lawn is brown, more than likely it is composed of "cool-season grasses" such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall or fine fescue or perennial ryegrass. These grasses thrive in cool, moist weather. During hot, dry weather, they go dormant and will survive in this state anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks without incurring substantial thinning or death. Weekly, deep watering equivalent to an inch of rain water will keep your lawn green in normal summers. In this extraordinary weather, watering to keep the grass plants alive, only, is recommended. Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation.
Should I plant grass seed now? Late summer and early fall are ideal times to re-seed bare patches or to renovate an entire lawn. Grass seed needs to stay moist at all times and, under current rainfall conditions, that will be very difficult. Under the best of conditions, we typically recommend that grass seed be watered on a daily basis. Watering your lawn profusely while our neighbors in other counties and states endure restrictions is a decision you have to make for yourself. Conservation is recommended at times like these.
Should I spread fertilizer or spray pesticides? Fertilizer should only be used when it can be watered in to the lawn or garden within a few days. Unless you can water the garden quickly, do not use dry fertilizers. The best time to fertilize lawns is in late September and early November. Do not fertilize lawns until that time, and only if normal rains return or you can water the lawn yourself. Pesticides should not be sprayed unless you know the pest you are treating and temperatures are below approximately 90 degrees F. Always follow label directions when using pesticides.
What can I do to help my landscape plants?
A shredded hardwood bark mulch spread in a 2 to 4-inch layer around your
plants will help conserve moisture. Spread the mulch in a ring around your
plants. The mulch should extend several feet from the trunk and should
cover as much of the area under the drip line as possible. The most effective
mulch would cover the entire root system! Do not pile the mulch so that
it is touching the trunk, like the mulch "volcanoes" often sighted around
town. Instead, make sure the mulch dips down to where the trunk meets the
soil line. This will make a "bowl effect."
Carol Stehl and her dog Boo! (Will Boo be wearing
a Halloween costume to our Movie Night on October 23?) If you’re a new
Arlington Heights neighbor, let us know so we can welcome you, too!
E-mail the pres at JAY.WIND@ATT.NET
Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation, the only house of worship in our neighborhood, is proud to celebrate Jewish New Year 5760 at: Rosh Hashanah on September 11-12; Yom Kippur on September 20; Sukkot on September 25-October 1: and Simchat Torah on October 2.
For more information, visit the Synagogue at 2920
Arlington Blvd. or at http://www.arfax.org.
The Arlington County Police Department has a pamphlet
available for babysitters and parents. The pamphlet provides excellent
tips on safety and security when babysitting. To obtain a copy, call the
Police Department at 555-2222.