Sunday, January 25, 2009

HeraldTrib Today: Jan. 25, 2009

Pat Hope will make it official…

Buckinghamster Patrick Hope says he will make official on Monday what the rumor mill has been grinding for a couple months: he is running for the 47th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Al Eisenberg (D) is vacating the seat at the end of this session, his fifth in the House. Before jumping into the race, Mr. Hope was waiting for Mr. Eisenberg to make his decision.

Mr. Hope’s name has popped up in the Sun Gazette and the Washington Post as a likely contender for the seat. Andres Tobar and Alfonso Lopez are two other names still churning in the mill. All three men are active in the Arlington Democratic party.

The primary in early June is turning the seat into the Fighting 47th, as Miles Grant (who lives in Historic Ballston Park near the Buckingham Shopping Center), and Adam Parkhomenko have already joined the race.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Hope said his campaign will focus on health and human services, affordable housing and other concerns of the “most vulnerable in Virginia.”

Mr. Hope, the Buckingham Community Civic Association president, has for years been an active volunteer in the county, sitting on boards, acting with or chairing about 14 different committees and groups including Arlington County Special Olympics and Arlington County’s 10-year Plan to End Homelessness.

Mr. Hope is a lobbyist with the American College of Cardiology.

My advice to all in the race: Explain to me what you will do for the people of th 47th, not just what you plan for Virginia in general.

Full Disclosure: Pat and I have long been friends and are of like mind on many topics. --ST


HALRB Largely Supportive of Buckingham Village 3 Redevelopment Plans…

Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmarks Review Board took a gander at the plans for Buckingham Village 3 and seemed to like much of what they saw last Wednesday.

Telesis Corporation will be redeveloping the 5.7 acre Village 3 beginning in March when they take ownership of the buildings. Village 3 sits on N. Pershing Drive between N. George Mason Drive and N. Thomas Street. In a complicated maneuver, the county will take ownership of the property and Telesis will take the buildings from Paradigm development the current owners.

“We’re following the model that was used at the Gates facility,” said Bert Mason of Telesis, meaning that they are redeveloping it with some additions to the backs of buildings, but leaving much of the green space.

More on this later in the week. --ST


NAR analyst said he was asked to cook the books…

A Jan. 12 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that David Lereah, a chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, was asked to make his predictions rosier than they really were, especially just before the housing market hit crisis levels.

The Journal wrote: “[Mr. Lereah] says he was pressured by executives to issue optimistic forecasts -- then was left to shoulder the blame when things went sour. ‘I was there for seven years doing everything they wanted me to,’ he said, looking out his window to his tree-filled yard in this Washington suburb.”

Funny that Scott McCaffrey has not written about any of this in the Sun Gazette.


Changes at the HeraldTrib…

I was looking back at the November 2007 posts of the HeraldTrib because I have been wondering just how I could put out as much copy as I did while I was at work full-time. I saw one piece about parking in the county, and I recalled writing it from Murky Coffee in Clarendon.

Suddenly I remembered that year. My son Harry was in pre-school, and my daughter Hazel was in first grade. We had a nanny helping us out then, especially on early-release Wednesdays when both kids got home in the early afternoons. Because our nanny was picking them up, I had four or five more hours in the work week than I do now.

I am seeing my work week a little more clearly now and realizing that I do have more pressure on my time than I did two years ago. (Last school year, while on sabbatical from Montgomery College, I had all the time in the world to write the blog, and still felt as though I was not producing enough.)

So, after feeling guilty during the fall semester for not producing much for the HeraldTrib (I’ve been back to full-time work), I feel a little less guilty this morning knowing that the blog will not be what it was.

The days of weekly updates and regular posts are over. I just cannot find the time for that sort of regularity. With luck, my semester will smooth over and in a month or two, I can do more. But for the forseeable future, I will just put out stories when I can, covering what I can.

I’ll email the list when I post something new (my email address is in the right-hand column if you want to join the list), and you can subscribe to my RSS feed (see the right hand column) through feedburner if you prefer a Web reader over email. Keep in mind that I might be silent for a couple weeks at a time, but I am not really gone.

Thanks for reading. A few more people over the last month or so have joined the email list, so thank you very much to them.



The Week’s Headlines…
As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: heraldtrib@gmail.com --Steve Thurston).

Today's Headlines:

  • Letter: Post Office "Excruciatingly Slow"
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