Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I’m doing things a little differently here now that I’m on sabbatical and can use my time differently. I’ll always have the Wednesday post, as you’ve come to expect it. However, I’m also updating throughout the week. Check out the site whenever you have a minute, and you just might find something new—I’d like to get it up to a daily post, but we’ll see. Or, on Wednesdays, when I email you, you can remember to scroll on down to all the stories.
A few stories today:
- Is this the summer of our changing landscape?
- Do we want more of the Post in our backyard, Scott?
- Get Connectioned.
- Reading the Blogs (Green Miles and Drinking Liberally)
- Police Notes
Since last Wednesday’s post (scroll down past the most recent posts):
- Barrett School Notes (Find out what’s up with our neighborhood ES).
- CVS’s New Doo! (The jumbo photos in the windows are there to stay).
Next Wednesday, however, I’ll be out of town, so I’ll post Thursday. I plan to post tomorrow, too.
Plans for changes to the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Pershing Drive are still on target for summer, reported William “Bill” Roberts, in an email to Patrick Hope, the president of the Buckingham Community Civic Association.
In January, Mr. Roberts, the capital projects manager in the Department of environmental Services, said Buckinghamsters could expect changes to the corner this summer, but the project has been at least four years in process, so some of us are a little skeptical that this is finally it.
Now he reports that the utility poles should be ready to be taken down by the end of June. However, in the past Mr. Roberts has said that the law does not stipulate how quickly the companies must take them down once they are ready for removal.
The county is hoping this week to secure easement agreements regarding changes in the sidewalks, from Jenco Corp., the owner of the Buckingham Shopping Center properties. That is the last step needed in the process before the county can send out requests for proposals for the rest of the work, Mr. Roberts said in a voice mail.
In the Feb. 22 post (click the link and then scroll down to see it), Mr. Roberts is quoted: “The only thing we need now is the easements for the sidewalk” from Marvin Jower of Jenco Corp. In a voice mail, Mr. Roberts said his office sent the easement paperwork over to the owner’s offices and will be getting back in touch with the property owner’s offices later this week in an attempt to get the agreements signed.
The project includes a complete renovation of the corner: new street lights and traffic lights, new bus stops, reconfigured driving lanes, better crosswalks, wider sidewalks and changed entrances and exits to the various parking lots.
The project originally had an art component, but “When we took the streetscape plans to the Historic Affairs Board, we couldn't get them to approve the proposed sculptures (they didn't think it was compatible with the surroundings) and VDOT was also giving us problems about the sculptures being a hazard and the property owner wanted nothing to do with it. In the meantime, the artist had become ill and the county's art curator left for another job. It was becoming so problematic and holding up the rest of the project that we decided to concentrate on getting the streetscape built,” Mr. Roberts wrote.
The Virginia Department of Transportation considers Glebe Road to be an artery controlled by the state. Any changes to it must win county and state approval.
Judy Sutton Moore, a world-reknown sculptor, works often on a grand scale (here’s links: Silver Spring, Anne Arundel, her resume) and was originally commissioned for the Buckingham site in 2002.
Do We Want the Washington Post More in Our Backyard?
In his blog, the Sun Gazette’s Scott McCaffrey said he thought it odd that the Washington Post still focuses most of its attention on the downtown activities of the city council rather than the county boards of the suburbs. (I’d provide the link, but I can’t find it again—yikes; if someone sends it, I’ll post it). He thought the “Posties” were missing the boat by focusing their Metro section on Metro DC.
I got thinking: does Scott really want the Post to suddenly notice Arlington? He’s right when he often says that the Post pays little attention to Arlington. They pay more attention to Fairfax and Alexandria, and there, still, they often miss the mark.
The Washington Post has hundreds of people in their editorial division--hundreds. If they suddenly pointed that small army this way, I can only wonder what would happen.
And I can’t help but think, too, about how The Washington Post companies own the Gazette newspapers in Montgomery, Prince William, Frederick, Anne Arundel and Howard counties in Maryland, and how they print around 100 pages per week (often a lot more) in each of their Montgomery County editions (Rockville, Aspen Hill, etc.). They soak up about 75 percent of those pages with ads. They couldn’t pull off something so grand in Arlington, but their ability to pull away advertising dollars would be formidable. During the legislative season, they send a team to live (or at least work full time—not just a little side trip) in Annapolis. They have the Montgomery Gazette, fully dedicated to business and politics of the county. And of course they have the monetary power of the Post Cos. behind them when it comes time to upgrade printing presses and electronic architecture.
A gorilla the size of the Washington Post suddenly taking up residence in the Arlington’s living rooms would make one long for the days of anonymity.
Reading the Blogs
The Green Miles on My Favorite Subject: Beer.
I’ve got to put a plug into the rather long rant the Green Miles gave to wasteful and egads!) warm beer vending at the National’s game the other day. And I’m sorry the poor guy couldn’t have his fill.
Speaking of beer, I just found Drinking Liberally, which purports to promote democracy "one pint at a time." That's my kind of group!
It often slips my mind to remind my blog readers to read my column in the Arlington Connection—the most recent two: Floating Down the W&OD, and Romance at the Farmer's Market (which, for one reason or another isn't uploaded on the Connection site yet).
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!
If you just don’t want another piece of mail, grab a copy at Murky Coffee in Clarendon, Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike (the original joint near S. Courthouse Road), or the Barcroft Sports Center on Four-Mile-Run Drive (near S. George Mason Drive).
Police Notes for Buckingham
May 19: Commercial Burglary, 100 block of N. Glebe Road. Between 6 p.m. on May 19 and 7 a.m. on May 20, someone broke into a business and took a safe containing cash.
May 22: Burglary, unit block (an address below 100) of S. Glebe Rd. (It’s not technically Buckingham, but it’s too close to ignore.) Between 6:15 p.m. on May 21 and a little after midnight on May 22, someone entered a business by smashing the plate glass front door and took hair cutting equipment.
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