Monday, August 31, 2009

Buckingham Villages Update, an Overview

Paradigm Construction Corp. prepares the property on N. Henderson Road for demolition. Culpepper Garden Assisted Living Center rises in the background. (Click to enlarge the image.)

As crews rip out trees and prepare to knock down buildings along Henderson Road, the time is right for a recap of the plans for Buckingham Village 1. (Plus, inquiries have made it to me, and I realized I do not have a post that ties it all up in the way I hope this one will. –ST)

First, a layout of the land is in order. Take a look at this map:

Village 1 is the home of current tree removal across from Barrett Elementary School. It’s the largest of the three villages, and when completed will have over 500 rental units in two large buildings, about 70 townhouses along N. George Mason Drive, and a small county park.

Village 2 is the only divided village. The road down the middle of the village along with the red rectangle showing the approximate placement of the George Mason Apartment complex (which is not part of the original Village 2), separate the other two thirds of the block. The blue dot shows where the townhouses have been built and are under construction. The green dot locates the fenced-in field along Thomas Street. Dozens more townhouses are planned for both sides of Village 2. This village is developed “by right” meaning that Paradigm Construction need not seek county approval for changes, so long they stay within current zoning rules.

Bought by Telesis Corporation just months ago, Village 3 will change little on the outside, preserving the two-storey buildings and the garden-style setting. Some additions will be added to the backs of buildings, and a building of some sort will cover the entrance to an underground community center. This village is protected as a county historic area and falls under the oversight of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, which will regulate any external changes to the property. All of the units (about 140) will be affordable to people of various levels of income. Some of the units along N. Pershing Drive will be part of a condominium.

Village 1 will undergo the most changes, and for more details on that, peruse the illustration:

(Click to enlarge the image.)

Although future plans can change, Paradigm is locked into the current arrangement of buildings in Village 1, given contracts signed with the county. Here are a few details:

(Click to enlarge the image.)

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Friday, August 28, 2009

HeraldTrib Today, Aug. 28, 2009

No names at the fair?...

Doug Galbi at the Ode Street Tribune, a blog in Rosslyn, noticed an odd fact at the Arlington County Fair: all the names on the competitive exhibits—e.g. the vegetables and photos—were nameless. Numbers only from August 19-23.

Photo courtesy of the Ode Street Trib. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Turns out the Arlington County Fair Board of Directors voted this year to take the names off tags for security reasons.

“Last year, a number of people expressed concern about seeing people’s names and addresses,” Denise Roller told me. She is the only paid staff person in the Arlington County Fair organization; the fair is run by the non-profit Arlington County Fair, Inc.

Given that 30,000 people perennially partake of this rite of summer, those concerned about the people's privacy were most concerned about children’s. Removing only the names of the littlest competitors proved too much, she said. “The fair is a lot of work” for the all-volunteer staff.

She reminded me a number of times that they are a volunteer organization, and as such, things can go wrong, especially when trying to communicate an idea from a board decision down to the person writing the name on the tag. They were nervous of inadvertently printing a child's name.

Plus, the tags are pre-ordered from a company that provides these sorts of items for fairs. They come with pre-printed numbers and spaces to write in names and addresses—part of the fear was it would take a lot of communication to make sure only the allowable information was put on the tags.

Oddly, even the winners did not get their names on anything official from the fair. Again, numbers only.

Ms. Roller said she hoped they would change that idea next year and give the winner a certificate, not just the nameless ribbon.

My take: put the names back on. I know it’s a lot of work (at least, I can imagine that it must be), but names with neighborhoods, it would seem to me, would be less intrusive while still letting us see who won. Figure out a way to do that.

When kids at the schools win something or other we get their names, and I always like seeing if I know the children. I have two elementary-aged children of my own, and I just do not understand the fears. I just don't see child abusers making the leap from viewing a pumpkin to stalking a child.

I wonder if it would be possible for people to fill in their own tag.

I was very happy to see Lebanese Taverna at the fair—I’d love to see more of the tastes of Arlington (while retaining at least a couple funnel cake and corn dog joints) at the fair.

Roof in Lubber Run…

Arlington County roofers John Koloszar and Jim Richards construct scaffolding on the rest room building in Lubber Run park last week. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Desperate joggers, dog-walkers, and stroller-pushing parents will have their rest room back soon. A tree had severely damaged the roof of the Lubber Run Park rest room about a month ago, making the building unusable. The roof is getting repaired and reshingled.

Time, time, time…

Well, I’m back. This was a much longer hiatus than planned, and for that I’m sorry. One of the reasons for the delay was that I’m trying to reconfigure this blog. I would like to make some money, and to write some different stories. Finding time for all of that is always the concern. In the summer there are kids (and I love getting away on vacation), but then during the school year, I have students, students, students. Finding time is the sticky wicket.

Still, I have some ideas for changes: 1, I am in the process of moving the blog from Blogger to a company called “neighborlogs.” They are out of Seattle, and their business plan aims to bring local advertising to local blogs. It’s a plan that is a long shot, but its heart is in the right place. 2, I’ve finally gotten a tag line: “News Worth Reading.” I’m thinking of it as part fact and part aspiration. The object will be to improve the stories I’m writing, maybe writing fewer but more complete stories.

That’s a couple smallish changes, and time only allows for smallish changes at one time. Many more stories coming down the line. Keep in touch.

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: --Steve Thurston).

Headlines from Earlier in the Week:

  • Police Notes, Aug. 18 to 24.
  • Police Notes, July 1 to Aug. 17

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    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Police Notes Aug. 18 to 24.

    These notes are compiled from Arlington County Police Department crime reports. They cover the reports in and around the Buckingham, Arlington Forest and Ashton Heights neighborhoods. --ST

    Aug. 18: Peeping Tom (Arrest), 100 block of N. Trenton St. At 6a.m. several witnesses reported a peeping tom to police. The suspect was located and arrested. Froylan Molina, 46, of Arlington was charged with Peeping into a Dwelling and Drunk in Public. He was held on an $1,800 bond.

    Click the icons and lines for more information. Red=Person-to-person crime; Yellow=person-to-structure or vehicle crime; Blue=stolen vehicle; Purple=vehicle-to-vehicle crime; Aqua=miscellaneous. A dot in the icon indicates more than one suspect or victim. Click here to view larger map.

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    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Police Notes July 1 to Aug. 17

    These notes are compiled from Arlington County Police Department crime reports. They cover the reports from in and around the Buckingham, Arlington Forest and Ashton Heights neighborhoods. Today's post has a particularly large number of reports because it covers many weeks, including those of which I was on hiatus.--ST

    July 2: Burglary (Series), 3200 block of Wilson Blvd. Between 10:30p.m. on July 2, and 8a.m. on July 3, an unknown subject broke into three offices in the same building. Various items were stolen. There is no suspect description.

    July 4: Assault and Battery (Arrest), 600 block of N. Monroe St. At 7:20p.m., a man threatened a woman with a knife. Edwin Mihaly, 50, of Arlington, was charged with Assault and Battery. He was held on a $2,500 bond.

    July 12: Grand Larceny (Arrest), 800 block of N. George Mason Dr. At 11:50p.m., police stopped four subjects in possession of stolen bicycles. They were all juveniles, and charges are pending.

    July 13: Stolen Auto, 4000 block of N. 9th St. License tag number: VA ZERO. The SUV was a 1995, white Ford Explorer.

    July 13: Robbery, 3800 block of Arlington Blvd. At 1p.m., a group of men approached another male and took money from his pocket while punching him. Several of the suspects are known to the victim.

    July 14: Grand Larceny Auto (Arrest), 500 block of N. Thomas St. At 9a.m., an officer attempted to stop a man driving a stolen vehicle. The suspect jumped out of the car and fled on foot. The officer ran after him and took him in custody. Robert Williams-Dixon, 24, of Riverdale, Md., was charged with Grand Larceny Auto and Driving While Suspended. The subject was also wanted out of another jurisdiction for Assault and Battery. He was held on $3,500 bond for the Arlington charges, and a $1,500 for the other charge.

    July 20: Possession of a Firearm/Resisting Arrest, N. 10th Street at Fairfax Drive. At 9:45p.m., police pulled over a revoked driver. He was found in possession of a firearm. The suspect assaulted an officer and fled from police to avoid arrest, but was apprehended. David Campbell, 26, of Falls Church, was charged with Violation of a Protective Order (Possession of a Firearm) and Resisting Arrest. He was held on a $5,000 bond.

    July 21: Stolen Auto, 5200 block of Wilson Blvd. License tag number: VA KHC7275. The car is a 2004, black Acura TL.

    July 23: Stolen Auto, 4000 block of Arlington Blvd. License tag number: VA 8595CY. The car is a 2009, green Toyota Prius.

    July 23: Attempted Robbery, 200 block of N. Columbus St. At 5:30p.m., a man was walking the bike trail near Lubber Run Park when he was approached by two unknown men. The suspects confronted the victim and demanded money. The victim chased the suspects off with a stick. The suspects were both white Hispanic males in their 30s. The first suspect was 5 feet, 9 inches, 190 pounds, had a goatee without a mustache, and was wearing a brown T-shirt, dirty jeans, and black shoes. The other suspect was 5 feet, 5 inches, 160 pounds, with long black hair, wearing a blue T-shirt, jeans, and white shoes.

    July 29: Stolen Auto License Tag (1), 4300 block of N. Pershing Dr. License tag number: VA YBE5253.

    July 30: Stolen Auto, 4500 block of N. Carlin Springs Road. License tag number: VA XUH5218. The car is a 1999, red Hyundai Elantra.

    July 31: Unlawful Entry, 800 block of N. Glebe Road. Between 8:30a.m. and 11:30p.m., an unknown person entered a residence and left the doors standing open. No items were stolen and there is no suspect description.

    July 31: Exposure (Arrest), 200 block of N. Thomas St. At 7p.m. a woman saw a man exposing himself outside her window. Police located the suspect and he was disorderly. Geoffrey Harley, 25, of Washington, was charged with Exposure and Obstruction of Justice. He was held on a $5,000 bond.

    Aug. 2: Robbery, 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 12:10a.m., two men stole beer from another man, assaulting him in the process. Both suspects were white Hispanic males. One suspect was in his early 20s, 5 feet, 5 to 8 inches, 190 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt, white pants, and black shoes. The second suspect was in his late teens, 5 feet, 5 to 8 inches, 160 pounds, wearing a blue T-shirt, jeans, and black shoes.

    Aug. 1: Robbery, 200 block of N. Piedmont St. At 9p.m., a man stated that he was walking when an unknown male brandished a knife at him, stealing his jewelry and a wallet. The victim’s story changed several times and he was unclear about a suspect description.

    Aug. 3: Larceny from Auto (Series), 3900 block of Fairfax Drive. Between 5:30p.m. and 10p.m., an unknown subject broke into at least two vehicles, stealing GPS units. There is no suspect description.

    August 5: Stolen Auto, 400 block of S. Abingdon St. License tag number: VA KGX8192. The car is a 2007, blue, Audi A4.

    Aug. 8: Peeping Tom (Arrest), 4100 block of N. 3rd Road. At 12:30a.m., a woman saw a man looking into her window. Police apprehended the suspect. Credenio Mendoza, 29, of Arlington, was charged with Peeping into a Dwelling. He was held on a $2,000 bond.

    Aug. 12: Stolen Auto License Tag (1), 4400 block of S. 1st Place. License tag number: VA XVE5292.

    Aug. 14: Assault and Battery, 4200 block of Fairfax Drive. At 3:30a.m. a man reported that he was a victim of an assault, but refused to give any further details.

    Aug. 15: Sexual Battery, Lubber Run Park near 300 block of Park Drive. At 1p.m. a woman was walking her dog in the picnic area at Lubber Run Park when an unknown man approached her. He kissed her on the cheek and fondled her before she could flee the area. He was described as a white Hispanic male, between 45 and 50 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches, with a medium build. He was wearing a white T-shirt and khaki shorts.

    Aug. 17: Stolen Auto (Recovered), 4100 block of N. 4th St. License tag number: VA JXW2528. The mini-van was a 2000, red Toyota Sienna.

    Click the icons and lines for more information. Red=Person-to-person crime; Yellow=person-to-structure or vehicle crime; Blue=stolen vehicle; Purple=vehicle-to-vehicle crime; Aqua=miscellaneous. A dot in the icon indicates more than one suspect or victim. Click here to view larger map.

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