Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Barrett, BV, Post Office, Snowmen

A Night for Science to Fly
Balloons, ping-pong balls, the wings from a flying pig, toy helicopter blades, smoke rings from an air cannon, pencils, compressed gas, liquid nitrogen, “Roger, Richard, green to go,” superballs, Newton’s Third Law of physics (acton = reaction), 14.6 pounds per square inch, safety glasses, a small blimp, and one large Science Discovery Night at Barrett Elementary School, our NASA headquarters in the neighborhood.
The theme was flight Tuesday night as NASA scientist Dr. Richard Byles ran the school through the fun of science, shattering a frozen racquetball and splitting a piece of hardwood with a pencil (shot with compressed gas through a “pencil accelerator”). Much of the concepts covered may have flown over the heads of the younger set, but the upperclassmen of the elementary school shouted out answers to his questions, or hypothesized loudly as instructed. He brought a balloon rocket, a balloon helicopter, and his own, home built mini-blimp, powered remotely by the wings stolen from a flying pig toy.
A good time, as they say, was had by all.

[NASA scientist Dr. Richard Byles calls for the countdown before launching the balloon-powered helicopter.]
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BV1 Reconstruction Planned for this Fall
The first phase of construction in Buckingham Village 1 is planned to start this year, along North Pershing Drive, said officials with Paradigm Development Cos., the owner of the property. Seventy-six units, or eight buildings, between Culpepper Garden Apartments and North George Mason Drive will be destroyed to make room for construction of “Building A,” a four-storey, 234-unit apartment building with pitched roof, a cupola atop, and a parking garage underground, the officials said at the Site Plan Review Committee meeting on Feb. 22. The building will be a mix of market-rate and affordable housing.
Paradigm has submitted its “4.1,” the official application for the entire redevelopment of Buckingham Villages 1 and 3, to the county. The county board is set to take-up the measure at their March 17 meeting.
Paradigm reported that the location of Building A allows for 100 parking spots for construction workers off-street. They plan to use the existing alley between that runs between Pershing Drive and North Henderson Road as the truck access and staging area.
The parking lot and sidewalks along Pershing will be temporarily blocked during construction, which is expected to take about two years.

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Letter: P.O.: Survey Buckingham
Dear Steve,
For what it's worth, and maybe you can pass this along to our neighborhood post office friend to help her cause, I believe many people stay away from the Buckingham Station for their domestic service because of the long (slow) lines and lack of clerks and automated service.
I, who loves the idea of living within walking distance to the post office, dread going there. The post office is seriously lacking. For instance, there are no scales to weigh a package to estimate postage before reaching the teller.
On a recent visit I found out the post office doesn't even possess zip code books when I needed to confirm a zip code. I prefer to drive to another post office where the lines, most likely, are not as long (and slow) and there are more options for self-service postage and self-service mailing/shipping. I have mentioned this to other Buckinghamsters and find they share the sentiment.
Of course, proving the case of "if you build it they will come" is difficult to demonstrate if the post office needs to show a certain level of service to "qualify" for the automated machines. Perhaps they could mail a survey to the Buckingham residents. If our post office had more clerks, and shorter/faster lines I would most definitely do more business there. If it had the automated mailing center I would also frequent there more often.
Elizabeth Vizard

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Tejada and Center Get Thanks
Buckinghamster Marco Antonio Vallejos took time at Saturday morning’s county board meeting to publicly thank the county board, and board member Walter Tejada especially, for the Buckingham Community Center in the Gates of Ballston apartments.
Speaking through an interpreter Mr. Vallejos said the community center is proof that Arlington has a “good attitude.”

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The Snowmen of Arlington Oaks
I was driving with my windows down a little today (can you believe it?), but on Sunday, as you may recall, we had snow! (I love snow.) In this time of irony, too, I’ll note that I saw my first robin of the year Sunday morning, before the snow started. The poor little thing looked a tad bedraggled; I can only imagine what it was thinking come 3:00, or so.

Anyway, the snow got the kids around my townhouse creative. Take a look:


Audrey, 2, Hazel, 6, and Harry, 4, stand next to their creation.



Sumit and Justin, in the back row, stand next to their full-grown snowman (at over six feet) with fellow creators, Nick and Noah.


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