Wednesday, March 28, 2007

News about BV, Police, Google

Buckingham Villages in the News
David Schultz, the new reporter for the Arlington Connection newspaper, did a fine job reporting on the Buckingham Villages vote at last week’s county board meeting.

The one thing I’d bring up: in the story, County Manager Ron Carlee says that the owners could have acted by right on all the property. Had they moved to act by right throughout the property, the county would have voted to place the property under the protection of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board.

Had the county made that move, Paradigm Development Co., the owners, legally could have forced the county to find within one year an at-market buyer for the property, estimated at $100 million. If they could not find an affordable housing developer that could buy the property, Paradigm could then do whatever it pleased. At day 366, the bull dozers would have moved in, officials with Paradigm once told me.

Scott McCaffrey relegated the news to
a spot on his blog. I’d say it’s pretty accurate, though I’d call the fights last fall over historical designation more than just saber rattling.

Of course, I wrote about the vote in my About Arlington column for the Arlington Connection. Remember: if you live in the 22203 zip code, call the Arlington Connection and get a FREE subscription to the paper: 703-917-6465. Right now we don’t have enough Buckinghamsters subscribing so the bulk mail takes forever—Sign Up Now!

Letter: Clarification, ACCF Supports Bham.

One correction to your article [“County Board Votes on Villages” posted March 21, below]: it is true that Bob Atkins USED to be a Delegate to the Arlington County Civic Federation. He is currently not a Delegate nor even an Alternate, although he DOES attend meetings of the ACCF Public Services committee—where he is a staunch supporter of improving DHS services for the less fortunate, a fact often overlooked when he puts on his fiscal review hat!

In his remarks last night [at the March 27 board meeting], I believe he made NO reference to any position of the ACCF -- and strictly represented himself, not the ACCF in any comments he made.

You DO know that ACCF has consistently been a strong supporter of Affordable Housing initiatives and, indeed the Chair and many members of the Housing Committee have been deeply supportive of supporting the Buckingham process, attending almost all meetings and, where appropriate, generating supportive resolutions for the ACCF membership to act on.

Take care,
Larry Mayer,
ACCF President

Police to Target Pedestrian Safety
Month-long Program to Step-up Enforcement

Tuesday saw the beginning of stepped-up patrols by Arlington County police targeting pedestrian safety. This is part of the regional 2007 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign, a press release said. The police planned a special detail yesterday on N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway where many cars, pedestrians and cyclists converge on their daily commute.

"It's an attempt to reach all three,” types of commuters said John Lisle, a spokesperson for the Arlington County Police.

The police have another planned for S. Walter Reed Drive near Patrick Henry Elementary School.

These are the only two special details planned for the month, but that office will be patrolling for right-of-way violations.

"For the entire month the idea and plan is to step up enforcement across the county,” he said.

My take: I’d love to see more of this kind of thing in many neighborhoods. I know the Buckingham Community Civic Association has had concerns about each of the intersections with traffic lights on N. Glebe Road between Arlington and Wilson boulevards; let’s see more enforcement there.

If you know Buckingham, too, you know that much of the pedestrian activity is at night. All these programs seem to target commuter times, or lunch crowds in Ballston. Many of those dangerous-for-pedestrians areas are dead quiet when Buckingham’s pedestrian traffic is hustling.

I do have a couple phone calls out to the police department regarding pedestrian injuries for Buckingham. I hope to have you updated soon.

Police Notes for Buckingham
March 23, Armed Robbery
, 4100 block of N. Henderson Road. At approximately 9:15 p.m., two men walked into the Hyde Park Grocery and Laundry, and one of the men produced a handgun and demanded money from the clerk.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, both suspects fled on foot from the small mom-and-pop convenience store, on the ground floor of the Hyde Park Condominium at the corner of Henderson and Glebe roads.

Officers apprehended both suspects in the area and a police K-9 located the handgun. Gary Keith Whitaker, 28, and Jammee Togan, 23, both of Washington, D.C., were charged with Armed Robbery and held without bond. The police are seeing if these men are connected with other crimes in the area, said John Lisle, a spokeperson for the county.

Mrs. Kim, whose husband owns the store, said her son was working that night, and that he is OK and no one was hurt.

This is the second store robbery in as many weeks. A man stole an undisclosed amount of product from the CVS store at the corner of Glebe Road and Pershing Drive on March 15.

The Herald Trib is Googlable.
I’m happy to report that Google’s web trawler (the program that finds all the zillions of web sites out there so that you don’t have to look for yourself) has finally found the Buckingham Herald Tribblog!

I haven’t tried Googling the Herald Trib in months, so I don’t know when this blog popped up. Last fall, I don’t think it ever popped up, and I stopped looking to see if the site was mentioned at all after clicking through six or seven Gooooogle pages. Now a search including “Buckingham” and “Herald” should put the site near the top of page 1.

"David Schultz, the new reporter for the Arlington Connection newspaper, did a fine job reporting on the Buckingham Villages vote at last week’s county board meeting."

Woo hoo!! Thanks Steve!

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