Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Animal Welfare Town Hall Nov. 12 Shirlington Library

Northern VA: Join Us for an Animal Welfare Town Hall Meeting 
We are excited to announce we’ll be co-hosting an Animal Welfare Town Hall meeting, along with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, in Arlington on November 12. At this open event, we’ll share tools to help you become a great citizen animal advocate. This meeting will be invigorating, informative, and inspirational—we’d love to have you there!

At the Town Hall, we’ll discuss hot topics related to Virginia’s companion animals and wildlife, learn about the legislative process and provide opportunities for you to get involved in making Virginia a more humane state.

Please RSVP today, and pass this invite along to your friends and family. We hope to see you there!
Virginia Animal Welfare Town Hall
Date: Tuesday, November 12
Time: 6:30 to 8:00 P.M.
Place: Shirlington Library
Campbell Room
4200 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA 22206
Cost: None!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

$400 mil.... for 10 streetcars... for 5 miles??? @arlingtonva ARE YOU INSANE???

We need a thorough cost benefit analysis of the Columbia Pike street car.  This makes no sense.  Buses are better.  Buses will not get stuck when something blocks the track.  Buses can change their routes whenever a new route is required.  Buses do not require another new transportation facility to maintain and repair the streetcars.  Buses do not require $1million stops (that dont work when its hot out). Buses do not have tracks in which bicycle tires can get stuck.  Buses connect to the subway system when the trolley reportedly would not. Buses would carry more people. Buses arent having problems getting federal funding. There is no way this is benefiting the people of Arlington who will be footing the bill.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kenmore Principal Dr. Word Testifies before FCC on importance of Erate & Info Tech for students @apsVirginia

Last week Kenmore Principal Dr. John Word testified before the FCC on the importance of the ERate program, funding internet access at schools and libraries.  This video should start at minute 32, the beginning of Dr. Word's testimony.

If you would like information on the FCC Erate proceeding:

FCC LAUNCHES MODERNIZATION OF E-RATE PROGRAM TO DELIVER STUDENTS & TEACHERS ACCESS TO HIGH-CAPACITY BROADBAND NATIONWIDE.   Revitalized E-rate program to focus on 21st century broadband needs of schools and libraries.  News Release. (Dkt No 13-184 ). Adopted:  07/19/2013. News Media Contact: Justin Cole at (202) 418-8191, email: Justin.Cole@fcc.gov  WCB  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-322284A1.docx

FCC LAUNCHES MODERNIZATION OF E-RATE PROGRAM TO DELIVER STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ACCESS TO HIGH-CAPACITY BROADBAND NATIONWIDE.   Revitalized E-Rate Program Goals: Increased Broadband Capacity, Efficient Technology Purchasing, And Streamlined Program Administration.  FACT SHEET  WCB  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-322288A1.docx

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thinking of a Portable Generator? Think again says NIST

Photo by Renegade Motors (cc)
Thinking of a portable generator in order to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous Washington, D.C. weather??  You might want to think again, says US NIST.  This is one of those situations where the cure is potentially worse than the problem - with the carbon dioxide fumes produced by these generators causing significant deaths and sicknesses.

According to an article in Forbes, Power Outages are Bad; Portable Generators are Worse:
Portable gas generators emit large amounts of an invisible, odorless gas called carbon monoxide (CO) – more than an idling automobile. Operating generators in any enclosed space is a virtual death sentence. Indeed, even in partially-enclosed or ventilated spaces, enough CO can accumulate in the air to poison anyone who breathes it. CO can kill within minutes.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and others are concerned about the hazard of acute residential carbon monoxide (CO) exposures from portable gasoline powered generators that can result in death or serious and/or lasting adverse health effects in exposed individuals. As of June 2010, CPSC databases contain records of 542 deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumer use of generators in the period of 1999 through 2009, with nearly two-thirds of those occurring between 2005 and 2009 [1]. Typically, these deaths occur when consumers use a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space or outdoors near an open door, window or vent. While avoiding the operation of such generators in or near a home is expected to reduce indoor CO exposures significantly, it may not be realistic to expect such usage to be eliminated completely. Another means of reducing these exposures would be to decrease the amount of CO emitted from these devices. In order to support health-based analyses of potential CO emission limits, a computer simulation study was conducted to evaluate indoor CO exposures as a function of generator source location and CO emission rate. These simulations employed the multizone airflow and contaminant transport model CONTAM, which was applied to a collection of 87 dwellings that are representative of the U.S. housing stock. A total of almost one hundred thousand individual 24-hour simulations were conducted. This report presents the simulation results in terms of the maximum levels of carboxyhemoglobin that would be experienced by occupants in the occupied portions of the dwellings as a function of CO emission rate for each indoor source location.
Bottom line? “Regardless of housing type or location, generators that release as little as 27 grams of CO per hour continuously for 18 hours cause 80 percent of the modeled cases to result in an exposure predicted to reach dangerous levels.
Power outages in Northern Virginia rarely last that long.  If you want a good solution that wont kill you, consider a universal power supply battery backup system - something that will provide you a little electricity for a short period of time.  Also consider a solar power generator that can be used to recharge phones and other small devices.  Of course my favorite is a bicycle electric generator.
Final thought:  If you must buy a generator - dont be a schmuck.  Dont drop the generator right on your property line next to your neighbor.  All the health issues listed above, you will be imposing on your neighbor.  Many of these generators are very noisy (the quiet ones are much more expensive).  And finally, you may be in violation of local zoning by dropping the generator next to the property line.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Arlington Homeboy Remy Does History: Hamilton & Burr: The Duel

Almost as good as those short CBS educational videos we grew up with. Happy Celebration of our Nation's History!


So glad we resolve our differences in a civilize manner now.  OH!, hey!  Judge Judy is just about to come one!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Please Support @Phoenixbikes During the DoMore24 Campaign (Today) #Arlingtonva

"The DoMore24 campaign is more than just one day of fundraising…it’s the next generation of online giving. We are creating a local movement that leverages the power of the crowd to support our region’s nonprofit organizations through focused, online giving that is directed at creating maximum impact. We have built an innovative platform to allow donors to track the progress of the campaign, see who else is participating and watch the effect of their contributions in real time. Do More 24 is funded and powered by United Way of the National Capital Area and is graciously supported by a group of committed community and corporate sponsors."   Contribute today (due to technical difficulties, the campaign was extended till today)! 

"Phoenix Bikes has two primary operations –a youth development education program and a full-service retail bike shop and. Both make up our commitment to the economic, social, and environmental health of the D.C. Metro region.

Through the use of bike repair, mechanics, and sales, we provide local youth with real-world skills and education that will better prepare them for the future.

Through our storefront, we provide the local D.C. community with affordable, refurbished bikes and repair services that help the environment, the recipient and local youth. As the largest used bike and parts shop in the D.C. Metro area, sale proceeds from our shop support the development of the organization and fund ongoing youth education programs with Phoenix Bikes.

Greatly assisted by our youth participants and volunteers, we believe that our shop provides an unparalleled learning exercise for the development of young leaders, within an immersive, real-world retail operation, providing the opportunity for:

2012-08-17 KeithInShopLearning – Youth in the shop take on new challenges, use both academic and practical skills, acquire analytical problem solving skills and engage in operations management.
Healthy Peer Interaction – Learning to work together as a team, participants gain confidence, appreciate diversity, and develop healthy, long-term friendships.

Community Service – Youth learn to plan, develop, and complete a finished product from start to finish – with its sale providing a direct impact on local neighborhoods.

Fun – Our program is meant to build friendships and promote a healthy, active lifestyle among participants.

Monday, May 13, 2013

On Fostering a Dog

The local dog rescue organizations - Lost Dog Rescue, Homeward Trails, and the Arlington Welfare League - all need foster volunteers to help with dogs.  Foster dogs not only helps the organizations care for dogs - but it also helps the dog become a wonderful pet - socializing with humans and other pets and learning commands and how to live with a family.  And foster parents who get to know the dog become very good at showing the dog and helping it find a forever home.

Of course... of course there are those times when you fail..... and the "foster" dog never leaves.  We are foster failures.  We adopted our dog after "fostering" him for one week.  Best damn dog in the world.
Foster Pets Infographic
Get more great info about fostering pets at Pet360.com/foster

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Please Dont Dump Your TV's and Electronics on the Curb as Trash

Please dont dump your TV's and other electronics on the curb as trash.  TVs and electronics contain heavy metals and toxic wastes.  They need to be disposed of properly by someone who can properly handle (and hopefully recycle) these materials.  Dumped on the curb, these TVs get washed by rain water, which then washes the toxic chemicals into our streams and then into our river.

Arlington has regular ECARE recycling events at TJ Middle School.  There is a waste treatment facility in South Arlington where you can drop off electronics.  And apparently you can arrange a special pick up for your electronic wastes.

PS: If you are thinking of recycling your bikes, think about donating them to Arlington's own Phoenix Bikes down in Barcroft.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Violent Mugging Reported on Custis Trail @Arlingtonva @apsvirginia @WLHSPrincipal

The Arlington Bike Forum is reporting a violent mugging on the Custis Bike Trail (which goes along 66) near Glebe Road. This report is by a cyclists at 10 pm.

This is the second such report of a violent mugging on the Custis, the other was during the day.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Another Smash down the front door break-in in N Arlington

This is a report from Bellevue Forest.  I have omitted the identifying information.  If you want more information, please contact your civic association.

Lots and lots of people walk their dogs in our neighborhoods - creating sort of a dog-walk-watch.  Keep your eyes open.  Carry a pocket camera or a phone with a camera built in.  If there are trucks are service people in your neighborhood, snap a picture of their license.  Webcams are also very affordable these days.  Mount a webcam, pointed at the street, and record what is happening.

Burglary on Thursday, March 28 - Information Sought  Dear Bellevue Forest Neighbors, Our home was burglarized on Thursday, March 28, some time between 11:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.  The burglar(s) kicked open our front door, busting the deadbolt into the door frame which ripped the door frame off the wall.  A bold move in broad daylight!  The burglar(s) took some small electronics and nearly all of our jewelry, and apparently carried these possessions out of the house in a pale mint green pillowcase taken from our bed.  The Arlington police believe that the burglary is related to the other recent burglaries in our neighborhood. 
First and foremost, we want to remind everyone to secure their homes and possessions as much as possible.  We suspect that unless or until these criminals are caught, unfortunately, the string of burglaries in our neighborhood will continue.   Second, we ask anyone who may have seen any suspicious persons, activities, and/or vehicles at or near our home on Thursday, March 28, to please call the Arlington police at 703-228-3300, ext. 9482.  This is a voice mail number.  In your voice mail, please reference case number 130328-048.  Officer Memenza or another officer on the case will return your voice mail to speak with you about the case.  While the possessions stolen did not have significant financial value, some of the jewelry was unique family jewelry with tremendous sentimental value.  We know that it is a long-shot that we will ever see this jewelry again - but we have a glimmer of hope that, with enough information, the criminal(s) may be caught and we may get back some of our belongings.  Also, if additional information leads to arrest of the burglar(s), hopefully our neighborhood would return to the relatively safe and secure place it once was.
 Finally, going forward, please report any suspicious persons, vehicles, and/or activities to the Arlington police's non-emergency information line at 703-558-2222. The officers investigating our case said that our neighborhood is being targeted by persons carrying clipboards making strange claims that "just don't sound right."  For example, these persons may claim to be selling magazines for an unheard of organization; conducting surveys that just sound fishy; or asking for money for "job training."  In sum, if someone comes to your door and you have any reason to believe that they are misrepresenting themselves, you should immediately call the police's non-emergency information line. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Announcement: Save Potomac Overlook Park

NVRPA has proposed significant changes to Potomac Overlook Park.  And its not so clear what input NVRPA sought from, you know, us, the neighbors....   Therefore a group of concerned neighbors has formed in response.

I hike in Potomac Overlook Park almost weekly.  It is a magnificent piece of undeveloped park land, filled with wildlife along the ecologically sensitive Potomac River.  It would be a humongous shame to spoil this land to put in zip lines.
The largest remaining wooded area in Arlington would be significantly affected by a construction plan given initial approval Nov. 15, 2012 without public input by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and announced Feb. 25, 2013.
This nearly 70-acre forest, park, and gardens in north Arlington—just off Military Road and neighboring the Potomac River—was created more than 40 years ago as a nature preserve and low-impact recreation park. The NVRPA has proposed to construct several new fee-charging projects for high-impact recreation, including a treetop shelter; zip line; large-group campground; large-group shelters; and a two-acre urban garden (the park already has a large vegetable garden). NVRPA also wants to more than double the paved parking lot in the natural area and take over the county- owned Marcey Road Park tennis and basketball courts.
A public meeting on this plan will be held Tuesday, March 19, 2013, from 7:00-9:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall, Church of the Covenant, 2666 Military Rd., Arlington VA 22207. This event is being held by the Potomac Overlook Preservation Assn., and is NOT sponsored by the NVRPA.
To learn more about NV RPA’s plans for Potomac Overlook Park, please attend. More information: 
Website:  http://bit.ly/PotoPrez
Facebook: http://bit.ly/PotoPrezFB

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snowquester Postpones Trash and Recycling

From Arlington DES

Winter Storm Saturn - Trash and Recycling Service Update 

All Wednesday collection services, including trash, recycling and brush collection, are cancelled due to the forecasted inclement weather. Please do not put your trash or recycling on the curb this Wednesday. Wednesday collection routes are in the hilliest parts of the County and expose the collection crews and the public to the greatest safety risks in a snow event. 

As a result, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday collections will be delayed by one day. Once the storm has passed, crews will work to catch up on the collection schedule by the end the week (Saturday close of business).
  • Wednesday customers' trash and recycling will be collected on Thursday
  • Thursday customers' trash and recycling will be collected on Friday
  • Friday customers' trash and recycling will be collected on Saturday
All collections will be completed by Saturday. Thank you for your patience!

For the latest snow operations information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you,
Arlington County
Department of Environmental Services

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Life's Hard Choices - What Do You Meditate on?

There comes a time in all of lives when we are in uncharted territory.   We are off the edge of the map, amongst demons and monsters.  There is no sign post, no teacher, no parent - telling us which way to go.  We must stand up and we must chose a path.

Here, when confronted with life's hard questions - when we are unsure whether to turn left or to turn right - here we turn inward to our references. We turn to those things that we have meditated on.  We turn to those things with which we have nourished our souls for guidance.  It may be a song or a game.  It might be a religious teaching.  I could be a hero in a book that we once read or a poem.  It could be a lesson from an elementary school teacher. We turn to our references to guide us through uncertain waters.

What do you meditate on?

Virginia is (NOT) for Lovers

Come'on - how many of you are unconvicted felons in the Commonwealth of Virginia??  Come'on.  You can tell me!

Of course, of course, I meant.... because you make your own Sangria.