Civic Association Newsletter

September/October 1994 - Volume 18, No. 2

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE--An Opportunity To Express Your Views

For those of you who have attended our meetings or read our newsletter lately, you are aware that your Civic Association is struggling mightily with a number of community concerns at any given time. Because we have limited resources and manhours to apply to these tasks, we continually need to refocus our efforts to concentrate on the most significant issues that impact the four neighborhood areas of our Association. Often we have to make "best judgement calls" when asked what the greatest concerns are to our community.

So this month, we are asking the residents of the Ballston-Virginia Square area to tell us your opinions on issues ranging from crime and traffic to development and taxes. On the enclosed survey, you simply have to check off your degree of concern for each issue mentioned. You may choose to answer some of the questions and not answer others, if you wish. We encourage you to identify yourself with name and address, but that is voluntary. Please take the time to fill this questionnaire out as best you can and make any additional comments or suggestions that you care to. All individual names and answers will be kept confidential but we will tabulate the overall results and share them with everyone who comes to our meetings. To have your views included in the results, responses are due by October 15th and final results will be available on or about October 24th.

Candidates Night Debates

This is to invite you to the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association's (BVSCA's) Candidates Night meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 1994, at 7:30 p.m., at the second floor conference room of the Arlington Renaissance Hotel, 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, Virginia. We have planned three candidate sessions, beginning with (1) the Arlington County Board candidates, at approximately 7:35 p.m.; (2) the congressional candidates from the Commonwealth of Virginia's 8th Congressional District, at approximately 8:25 p.m.; and (3) the Arlington County School Board candidates, at approximately 9:30 p.m. For the first two sessions, the candidates will have up to five minutes for opening statements, followed by 20 minutes of questions from BVSCA members, 10 minutes of questions from BVSCA members or non-members, and three minutes for candidates closing remarks.

Because of the high number (5) of County School Board candidates and limited time, the candidates for this session will have up to three minutes for opening statements, followed by 20 minutes of questions from BVSCA members, 15 minutes of questions from BVSCA members or non-members, and two minutes for candidates closing remarks.

We urge all citizens in our Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood to attend these sessions and take this opportunity to meet personally with the Candidates, and to learn more about the issues which will be the basis for casting your votes in the November 8, 1994 General Election.

For the first session, we will hear from the two candidates for the Arlington County Board--Mary Margaret Whipple (D), the Incumbent and John Barr (R). The following background information on each of the candidates is provided to assist you in learning more about the candidates.

Mary Margaret Whipple, (D) Candidate for the Arlington County Board

Arlington County Board Chair, Mary Margaret Whipple, is running for her forth term on the Arlington County Board. She is Chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; member and former Chair of the Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board; Vice-Chair of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission; member of the Executive Board, Virginia Association of Counties; and member and former Chair, Arlington County School Board. She has a B.A. from American University and M.A. from the George Washington University.

Mary Margaret Whipple believes that open government is good government. She meets regularly with Arlingtonians in town meetings and civic forums as well as in their neighborhoods and homes. She has initiated numerous improvements in citizen access to the County's decision-making process, including expansion of the County's advisory groups and more opportunities for public comment at County Board meetings. She is always looking for ways to curb pollution, cut energy consumption, and beautify Arlington. She was instrumental in shaping Arlington's recycling initiatives, now expanded from single family neighborhoods to cover multifamily areas and commercial businesses. And thousands of trees have been planted annually in Arlington as part of the "urban forestry" and beautification programs started by Mary Margaret Whipple. In her 12 years on the County Board, she has led the support for fully-funded school budgets; and worked for adequate pay increases for teachers. Mary Margaret Whipple has voted to increase the number of police officers and initiate new approaches to public safety, such as the community-based police teams in neighborhoods such as Nauck and Arna Valley. She has promoted citizen involvement in public safety through Neighborhood Watch and Crime Resistance programs, and has supported such measures as community resource officers in the schools, youth mentoring and recreational programs to divert youngsters from illegal activities.

John Barr, (R) Candidate for the Arlington County Board

John Barr graduated from Wabash College summa cum laude in 1984 and from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1987. He currently practices labor law. His activities in the community include the Arlington Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Mount Salvation Baptist Church, Church Scholarship Committee, D.C. Cares, Volunteers for an Independent Arlington, and the Arlington County Republican Committee. John Barr's primary concerns are rising crime and reversing the trend of increasing taxes. Recently, he unveiled his plan to eliminate the personal property tax and help relieve the County's excessive tax burden -- a burden that is driving businesses away; a burden that impedes the quality of life of hard working citizens; and a burden that has increased every year the past nine years. As a member of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, he has examined the County budget and found enough bureaucratic waste to allow a phase-out of the personal property tax on vehicles in just four years. According to John Barr, this is possible without costing a single job and fully funding programs for the police, fire, children, mothers, and the elderly.

John Barr also favors vigorous measures to combat crime in the County. He has a number of proposals to reverse the declining share of the County's budget spent on public safety during the past 10 fiscal years. His proposals include: reforming the police pension system to retain qualified officers in the County, providing foreign language incentives to help in crisis situations, and increasing the number of cops on the beat. He also plans to shakeup the upper County management by replacing the County Manager with a person more responsive to citizens by (1) ending such projects as the Quincy Street extension and the proposed Department of Human Services consolidation (which is to be located at one of three proposed sites, two of which are in the Ballston Virginia Square area); and (2) ending material cost overruns on such projects as the Loop Bridge and the new County jail.

For the second session, we will hear from the four candidates for the 8th U.S. Congressional District of Virginia: Jim Moran (D), the Incumbent; Kyle McSlarrow (R); Wade Edmonds (I); and William Jones (I). The following background information on each of the candidates is provided to assist you in learning more about the candidates.

Jim Moran, (D) Candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District of Virginia

Congressman Moran is a member of the Appropriations Committee and serves as Vice Chairman of the Legislative Branch and Commerce, State and Justice Subcommittee. He is Co-Chair of the Federal Government Service Task Force, a member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and a member of the Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference and the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. He is also a former member of the House Banking Committee. Congressman Moran's past public experience includes: Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Alexandria; Chairman, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission; Chairman, United Way; Chairman, National League of Cities on Drugs, Day Care and Education; and Chairman, Metropolitan Washington Regional Drug Summit.

Congressman Moran was an original co-sponsor of the Brady Law and fought for passage of legislation banning semi-automatic assault weapons. He strongly supports "truth in sentencing" to make criminals serve their full sentence as well as quicken trials. He adamantly opposed the Navy move from Crystal City. He has obtained federal funds for a supercomputer and business development center to make Northern Virginia the nation's leader in high technology. He was instrumental in passing NAFTA, reforming real estate laws and reducing unfunded Federal mandates. He introduced a bill that was approved to prohibit unauthorized people from finding out personal information from the state DMV office without one's permission. He introduced legislation to strengthen the nation's public health system.

Further, in response to a question about the proposed invasion of Haiti, Congressman Moran indicated support for the proposed invasion. Also, he stated that he thinks we have a responsibility to maintain peace in our hemisphere, to protect democracy, and to support the democratic election of President Aristide.

Kyle McSlarrow, (R) Candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District of Virginia

Kyle McSlarrow, is a Ballston Virginia Square Civic Association member who has worked to serve his community and nation. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of environmental law and served as Co-Chairman of Governor Allen's transition team on natural resources and environmental issues. Kyle McSlarrow previously served four years as a Captain in the U.S. Army and as a legal advisor to former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. He is a current or former member of the following Arlington civic groups: Planning Commission, Health Center Commission, Futures Task Force, Vietnamese Resettlement Association, and Kiwanis Club. He supports congressional reform including, line item budget veto authority for the Executive Office; national referenda on tax increases; a Balance Budget Amendment with restraints on both spending and taxes; and meaningful term limits of 6 years in the House of Representatives and 12 years for Senators.

Also, Kyle McSlarrow supports efforts to stop the Federal Courts from emptying our prisons of violent and repeat criminals and will work for a partnership between Virginia and the Federal government to build more prisons. He supports welfare reform, requiring parents -- and especially fathers -- to live up to their responsibilities, meaningful "work" requirements, and less federal interference with states' responsibilities to the needy. He strongly opposes the proposed Clinton Health Plan because of the potential adverse effects of the plan on Federal employees and senior citizens who would lose many of their current benefits. He opposes proposals to eliminate cost of living increases for Federal employees, military, and civilian retirees. He will work to ensure that the Federal Health Benefits Plan and current Thrift Savings Plan are protected. Further, in response to a question about the proposed invasion of Haiti, Kyle McSlarrow indicated that he totally opposes an invasion of Haiti; and that he doesn't think we have our national interests at stake in Haiti. He stated that we can pressure Haiti diplomatically to have President Aristide returned to power, but President Aristide is not worth one drop of American blood.

Ward Edmonds, (I) Candidate for 8th U.S. Congressional District of Virginia

Ward Edmonds, 51, a Springfield resident is a commercial pilot after serving 25 years in the U.S. Air Force. In his Ward Edmonds for Congress statement, Why the American People Must Fight Back!, Ward Edmonds states that our tax laws are destroying the middle class; the welfare program is a national disgrace; lobbyists are allowed to manipulate and subvert the democratic process; large and vague laws hid special interest favors; social security and medicare funds are grossly mishandled by Washington; and Washington has become an obstacle to state and local government.

Ward Edmonds has added his voice to those opposing the health care reform bills. Edmonds indicated that none of the health care bills being debated in Congress are giving the public the information necessary to make an informed decision; and indicated that Americans don't know how much reform will cost. According to Edmonds, this is an another example of the Congress deciding what is best for us without asking us. Further, in response to a question about the proposed invasion of Haiti, Ward Edmonds stated"... rarely, have I seen an Administration ask the American people a very simple question. Is such and such a problem worth your son or daughter? It wasn't asked in Bosnia, it wasn't asked in Somalia. It is not being asked in Haiti and I resent that. I will serve if I am called, but I want you all to have a say in the matter and everyone needs to ask that question. Thanks to CNN, we now know that the world is a horrible place for most people and how wonderful it is to live in the United States. But do you really want our sons and daughters to die for those problems around the world? Please ask yourself those questions; and we who have sworn to serve will go, but we ask that you ask properly."

William Jones, (I) Candidate for the 8th U.S. Congressional District of Virginia

In his Jones for Congress statement, William Jones states that the continued deterioration of the U.S. economy and the absolute failure of the 103rd Congress to come up with any solutions has prompted his decision to run. The congressional vote on NAFTA, passed in Congress with the help of legislators who opposed the agreement, has only strengthened [his] resolve. He states that NAFTA is a disaster that must be reversed - and quickly.

As a twenty year associate of political economist, Lyndon LaRouche, William Jones states that we have got to "federalize" the Federal Reserve and bring it back under the control of the Executive Branch of government according to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, so that it ceases to be a plaything of the Wall Street banking community and begins to function in the service of the people of the United States. Secondly, he states that we have got to put "education" back into the education system, and eliminate the "feel-good" sensitivity training of the gurus of "outcome-based education." Thirdly, he states that we must revive our sagging industries in order to reestablish the United States as a major industrial power rather than a New Age "information society."

Further, in response to a question about the proposed invasion of Haiti, William Jones indicated that an invasion of Haiti would be a total disaster, "it would take about 10 hours to invade, about 10 days to defeat the military, and about 10 years to get out." He stated that "I don't want to come to the defense of General Cedras, but this fellow Aristide is a pretty horrible figure. He has been involved in all kinds of political crimes and if [Aristide] were brought back to power -- he would start killing his opponents; and the massacre would be hung on the neck of the Clinton Administration. So President Clinton would be wise not to get involved in that at all, but to handle the situation a different way."

For the last session, at approximately 9:30 p,m., we will hear from the five candidates for the Arlington County School Board: Dave Foster (I); Mary Hynes (D); Charles Miller; (I) Dorothy Anderson Patton; and Ric Roca (I). The following background information on each of the candidates is provided to assist you in learning more about the candidates.

David M. Foster, (I) Candidate for Arlington County School Board

Dave Foster, an independent candidate for the Arlington School Board, is married and the father of two Arlington school children. He was twice elected president of the Arlington County Civic Federation, which represents almost 70 civic associations throughout Arlington. He has been active on budget and policy issues affecting Arlington Public Schools and was among the early proponents of elected school boards. Dave also serves on the Executive Board of the Arlington County Council of PTA's and is an active member of the Page Elementary PTA, where his wife, Martha, serves as Treasurer. He is a member of the Committee of 100, the Community Liaison Committee for the "Taste of Arlington," and the Open Space Master Plan Task Force. His service to Arlington won him the Journal Newspapers' Cup Award for civic contributions to the County.

Dave opposes efforts to close neighborhood schools and to redraw attendance zones radically over the opposition of our community. He will fight for smaller classes, a more rigorous and uniform core curriculum, and enhanced efforts to teach English proficiency. He believes that our scarce tax dollars should be directed to the classroom, not to added administration and transportation.

Mary Hynes, (I) Candidate for Arlington County School Board

Mary Hynes knows the concerns of parents and citizens throughout Arlington's neighborhoods because she has been a leader in the school community since 1979. She has been active in the five schools her children have attended and has chaired two countywide school committees, the Advisory Council on Instruction and the Futures Planning Committee. Professionally, Hynes has written mathematics and nutrition curriculum for young children, taught school, and directed a preschool. She has five children, two recent graduates and three currently enrolled in Arlington public schools.

A high quality education for every children at every school is the theme of the Hynes campaign. She will seek to build quality through clearly stated benchmarks for student knowledge and skills; profiles of individual schools that report on student progress, school initiatives, and improvement plans; a revamped evaluation system for teachers and principals; a uniform application and entrance policy for alternative schools and special programs; and strengthened school-community partnerships. Hynes has been endorsed by the Arlington Democratic Party. Arlingtonians for a Better County, and the political action committee of the Arlington Education Association.

Charles J. Miller, (I) Candidate for Arlington County School Board

Charles J. Miller is a manager at the Defense Logistics Agency and has two children in Arlington County schools. He believes that the schools' operating budget is about $10 million below what it should be. He also emphasizes that the School Board election should not be a partisan race. In response to questions about class sizes and overcrowded schools, he indicated that parents must become involved in school issues and if necessary, new elementary schools should be constructed to alleviate crowding.

Dorothy A. Patton, (I) Candidate for Arlington County School Board

In the information provided to BVSCA, Ms. Patton states that she was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and attended high school there and later attended college in South Carolina. She states that she is divorced and has three adult children, two who hold positions, in Washington, D.C., and the third, a Wakefield high school graduate, attends college.

Ms. Patton states that she is deeply concerned about the lack of reading skills, and poor skills in science, geography and math. "I would like to see more tutoring classes for those children who really need extra help. This will make it easier for those students to adopt, learn, and keep up with classmates who are progressing normally. My main concern is the curriculum for elementary school students. Hopefully, in the future, parents, teachers, and the schools can work together to help our students to achieve to their highest level."

Ric Roca, (I) Candidate for Arlington County School Board

Ric Roca has a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University School of Engineering. He has taken courses at George Mason University towards a Masters in Instructional Technology and towards a Masters of Science in Operations Research and Management Science. His professional experience includes Systems Engineering work from 1986 to 1990 and 1992 to the present. From 1990 to 1992, he was a Math and Science classroom teacher in the Arlington Public Schools.

Ric Roca is running on a platform to streamline administrative operations in Arlington Public Schools to make teachers and students the priorities. If elected, he would like to redirect 15 % more of the school board budget (operating fund) to classroom teachers, equipment and materials, and reduce the class-size of core subject areas (Math, Science, English, Social Studies, and Foreign Languages) to a maximum of 16-to-1. Also, he would like to revamp curricula, Instructional Directives, and graduation requirements to incorporate (adding or substituting) graduation requirements in Interdisciplinary Applied Math (with topics in Technology, Economics, and Finance), Logic and Reasoning (with topics in Computer Programming and Algorithm Design), Business and Technical Writing, and Civic Awareness and Responsibility.

Proposed North Quincy Street Concept Plan

The County Board has approved the request to advertise for three alternatives, as a foundation for the future redevelopment of the North Quincy Street land use study area, and the North Quincy Street Concept Plan to be heard October 1, 1994. County Manager Anton S. Gardner has recommended that this item be deferred to the County Board meeting of November 19, 1994. The deferral was requested to allow staff adequate time to present the proposals to the Ashton Heights Civic Association, Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association, Hyde Park Condominium Association, and the Ballston Partnership prior to consideration by the Planning Commission and County Board. We will invite County staff to provide a presentation on the proposal at our October 26 general membership meeting. Before discussing the three alternatives, let's review the history of this proposed project.


Since February 1991, Arlington officials have been forging ahead with plans to build a new four-lane street through the middle of Ballston in the face of persistent objections from county residents, including many members of the Ashton Heights Civic Association, the Hyde Park Condominium, and our Civic Association. Currently, North Quincy Street stops at Wilson Boulevard. The proposed project would be a four-lane road intersecting simultaneously at N. Henderson Road, N. Glebe Rd. and Fifth Street N. It will cut through the Metro bus lot directly across from where Quincy now ends, through the Buckingham pool near the Buckingham Village apartments, and through 12 one-bedroom units in the Buckingham complex. The two-block extension will parallel Randolph Street, the eastern entrance to Ballston Common parking garage. Arlington officials expect the 1,370-foot project will cost about $8.2 million, including $4.9 million from the County for land acquisition and engineering, and about $3.7 million from the state.

County Manager Anton S. Gardner recommended approval of this proposed project at the February 1991 County Board meeting. At this meeting, however, the County Board did not give final approval for the project but approved $4.8 million to buy the land. Also, over 50 speakers testified in opposition to the proposed North Quincy Street extension of two blocks between Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard. For instance, citizen Jim Charleton who is a member of the Arlington County Planning Commission stated "The questions is: Who does this road really serve? It opens up a big super-block for greater development. It's a developer's road. If the developer wants it, they should pay for it." Other citizens spoke in opposition because they believed it would promote overdevelopment and turn the area into a commuter traffic corridor.

Arlington traffic planners say the new road is needed to alleviate north-south traffic in Ballston. It would take pressure off other roads in the rapidly developing area, particularly on North Randolph Street and at Glebe and Wilson. The new road would link residential streets such as Henderson Road with commuter roads that lead into Washington, making it an attractive alternative route into the city, many citizens have said.

On December 12, 1992 the County Board approved the final design of the North Quincy Street Extension Project and reviewed the Draft North Quincy Street Use Study. In addition to giving the go-ahead for the new road, the County Board approved the recommendation of a Quincy Street open space task force that called for building a neighborhood park along the new road and landscaping the road's entrances at both ends.

Draft Quincy Street Land Use Study.

This study was prepared by the Master Planning Team, Planning Division, Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development. The purpose of this study is to provide an analysis of existing conditions, a concept plan for future development and propose future land use designations. The study area is bounded by Wilson Boulevard to the north, North Pollard Street to the east, 5th Street North and North Glebe Road to the south, and North Randolph Street to the west. Fifth Place North and 5th Road North run east/west through the site. The block currently contains a mixture of service commercial uses as well as some residential uses. Uses within the study area include Metrobus storage and repair facilities, Shell Gas Station and car wash, Chrysler-Plymouth car dealership, Roy Rogers fast food restaurant, Tutto Bene restaurant, Reprint Co. Inc., American Service Center's auto repair and body shop, Demeter House, Buckingham Garden Apartments and five-single family houses.

Land Use Alternatives.

Development in the study area should continue to follow the sector plan, Mid-Course Review recommendations and Concept Plan by providing a transition between the medium density commercial uses on the west block to the medium density residential development to the east and the lower density residential uses in the Ashton Heights neighborhood. Height should also be tapered down towards the residential neighborhood as prescribed in the sector plan. In the first alternative, the east block would remain designated as "Medium" Residential (37-72 units per acre) and the west block would be designated as "Medium" Office-Apartment-Hotel (2.5 F.A.R. office, up to 115 units/acre apartments or up to 180 units/acre hotel. In the second alternative, the east block would remain designated "Medium" Residential. The west block would be designated with a striped pattern of 1/2 "Low" Office-Apartment-Hotel and 1/2 "Medium" Office-Apartment-Hotel. In the third alternative, the west block and east block are striped 1/2 "Medium" Office-Apartment-Hotel and 1/2 "Medium Residential" designation.

To assure a proper transition to the existing low density residential neighborhood, the adoption of the Concept Plan is necessary which would require that commercial uses be located on the western block [the Ballston-Virginia Square side] and that the residential component be located on the eastern block. The intention to retain residential uses on the east block is indicated by the new General Land Use Plan note which requires that new development be compatible with the North Quincy Street Concept Plan. This alternative recognizes the existing commercial uses and zoning on the eastern block and encourages the consolidation of property located on both sides of North Quincy Street.

Hitt Bungalow To House "New Directions" Program For Disruptive Students

At our last Executive Committee meeting of September 7, 1994, Kathy Grove, Director of Special Projects, Arlington County Schools and Suzanne Jimenze, made a presentation on the "New Directions" program and the School's Facilities Planning Division's plans to apply for a use permit to house this program in the Hitt bungalow located at 930 N. Pollard Street. Based on the information presented, we understand that the New Directions program, as currently conceived, is designed for students who are disruptive in traditional classroom situations. These are students who demand inordinate amounts of administrative time; and, therefore, need a more controlled environment. These students may have exhibited violent behavior and may or may not have had prior court involvement. We further understand that any student, anywhere in the system, will be automatically expelled for carrying a weapon.

We were told that the current Pathways program at Wakefield is for students with similar problems. However, the Pathways program is more of a short-term solution than the New Directions program, which may have students for longer periods of time. Students will be referred by individual schools. A referral form is being drafted and the referrals will be reviewed by a committee. This committee will be composed of a representative from high school staff and County staff; the Director of the program; and at least one citizen. The proposed site will have between 15 and 30 students. Only half of the students will be on-site on any school day, as students will alternate school days with work days. We were told that there will be a low student/teacher ratio with 3 teachers/administrators on site at all times.

Further, we were told that the facility will be highly controlled -- that is, students will arrive by school vehicle, go directly into the facility, remain there under teacher/administrator supervision, and then leave on a bus. Meals are to be brought to the facility by the school system and served on site. The facility will not be an open campus, and no student will leave on their own. Several members of our Executive Committee made suggestions concerning the administration of the program and the facility. We requested that:

  1. The guidelines for the program, along with a student profile, include a formal assurance that only half of the enrolled students would be in the facility during any one day, and that this be made a part of the use permit. We ask that the security measures you plan to have in place be given in writing and made a part of the use permit provisions.
  2. The program's upper enrollment limit at this facility be 20 students, not 30. This would mean that, at most, there would be 10 students for the 3 teachers/administrators at any one time. This ratio would assure the neighborhood that students would be supervised at all times.
  3. A Neighborhood Liaison Committee be formed that would have a third of its members from the Ballston/Virginia Square Civic Association. This committee should be able to have access to information about the program and its students that may impact the neighborhood and to convey any problems and/or concerns directly to the Superintendent of schools, the School Board, and our neighborhood.
  4. The use permit should have a one-year provision.

Towing Advisory Board To Hold Hearing

Have you ever come out of a restaurant or shop and found that your car had been towed, even though you thought you had legally parked? Have you ever parked (and been towed) from a lot that was not clearly marked, "No Parking?" Have you ever felt that you were over-charged when you went to claim your car at a tower's lot? If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, please bring your comments and/or complaints to a PUBLIC HEARING on Tuesday, October 18, 1994, at 7:30 p.m. in the County Board Room.

This hearing is being held by the County Advisory Board on Trespass Towing in order to take testimony from citizens concerning any aspect of the current tow ordinance. If you feel that you have ever been towed illegally, felt that a warning sign was inadequate, been overcharged, etc., please come and let us know. The County has asked the Advisory Board to review the current ordinance and make suggestions for improvements to it.

The current ordinance regarding trespass towing in Arlington allows owners of parking lots, whether they be commercial lots or private lots, to contract with a tower and allow the tower to remove trespassing vehicles from the lot at any time without the owner of the lot specifically calling for the tow truck. The ordinance also states that a sign, indicating the days of the week and hours of the day that towing is enforced, as well as the name of the tow company, and their number, be posted at and clearly visible at all entrances of the lot. Also, the ordinance states that a tower may only charge a car owner $65 for their car during the first 24 hours after the tow. There is no release fee authorized by the County. A storage fee of $15.00 may be charged for each subsequent 24 hr. period, or part thereof.

If you have any questions, or would like to make any comments, please call either Marlaina Veno, Arlington County Citizen and Consumer Affairs, 358-3260 or Nancy Iacomini, Member, Towing Advisory Board, 525-7125.

Interactive Forum On Housing Community Development

In the July/August 1994 Newsletter, the Executive Committee indicated at the next general membership meeting we planned to consider the County's draft Housing Action Plan. The planned schedule for issuance of this document has been changed to accommodate new HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) requirements for a new comprehensive housing document for sometime in the Spring of next year. Instead, we plan to discuss at the October 26 general membership meeting the upcoming Arlington County Housing Division's "Interactive Forum on Housing Community Development," that is scheduled for Saturday morning, November 5, 1994, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second Street South, Arlington, Virginia. This interactive forum is designed to promote increased public participation in developing the County's programs for affordable housing. According to County staff, the interactive forum will address six program areas: (1) general housing needs; (2) transition housing for low and moderate income; (3) role of the private sector in providing housing and support services for low and moderate; (4) fair housing; (5) economic development and job training; and (6) non-housing community development, including such areas as elderly day care, after school program for teens with special needs, and drug abuse prevention.

The Future For Metro

At our last general membership meeting, METRO spokesperson, Patricia Lambe spoke at length about METRO's concerns, methods of operations and plans for improvements in the future, particularly in regard to our Virginia Square and Ballston stations. Efforts to repair water leaks in the Virginia Square station were explained as well as potential plans for expansion (to Dulles Airport via I-66) and financial limitations and constraints. More importantly to our area, consideration of an experimental, incentive program to offer the GMU Law School and other students special fares was also promised further study by Mrs. Lambe. Also to be considered for the future will be additional suggestions to improve lighting for reading in selected areas, better and easier to read station signs.

County Buys Historic Fort C.F. Smith

The Arlington County Board voted July 9, 1994 to acquire 14.7 acres of land in northeast Arlington as a public park. According to the Chair, Arlington County Board, this is one of the most significant land acquisitions in the County's history. Because several members of your Civic Association have recently inquired about this acquisition and its historical significance, Secretary Ragland interviewed the Hendry family on September 16, 1994 about the property and reviewed various documents provided for additional perspective. The following is a summary of the highlights of this interview; the negotiated contract terms for the property's use in the future; and a discussion of the property's historical significance, as described by the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board in its report to the County Board dated December 11, 1986.

On September 9, 1994, the Board acquired the property for $5.25 million from the Anne P. Hendry Living Trust and Ernest and Judith Hendry. This property is located at 2411 N. 24th Street and overlooks the Potomac River. This acquisition includes a Victorian farmhouse and one of the best preserved remains of a Civil War fort located in the Washington, D.C. area, Fort C.F. Smith. By purchasing the property, it appears that the County has avoided a constitutional case over the validity of the Historic Designation on the property. This resulted, when a developer in 1987 proffered historic designation of 3 acres including the fort in exchange for increased density for a housing site plan objected to by the owners. Subsequently, in 1988, the Hendrys settled a lawsuit with the developer for $1.5 million. They settled on the advice of their lawyer, for what they later found was a void contract and a fraudulent site plan that was approved by the County Board without the owners authorization.

A malpractice suit against the lawyer is now on appeal. In 1989, the Hendrys began to protest their real estate taxes, which the County increased by 84% in one year due to the County Board's approved site plan that the Hendrys did not want. In 1993, 4.3 acres of the Hendry tract was partitioned and sold to Robert Hemphill, of AES, for $2.4 million by other family members. In the Spring of 1994, two half-acre lots were sold. The Hendrys will retain approximately 9,000 square feet of the 20 acre historical tract.

Purchase Agreement Negotiation. A review of the original Arlington County Proposed Purchase Agreement dated May 26, 1994 and the County revised Proposed Purchase Agreement based on informal negotiations dated June 6, 1994 shows that the Buyer and Seller negotiated two significant provisions before reaching final agreement on the sale. First, under the original Arlington County Proposed Purchase Agreement, Section 22, Full Settlement, Buyer and Seller hereby accept that this Agreement constitutes full settlement of all disputes between them as to the Property, including without limitation, any and all disputes as to the value of the Property, compensation for damages to the Property, and any other claims by Seller for compensation relating to the Property.

Second, under the County revised Proposed Purchase Agreement based on informal negotiations dated June 6, 1994, Section 23, Public Park, Buyer hereby represents to Seller that the purchase of the Property is funded through the County's Park Bond Fund and that Buyer intends to use the Property as a public park. This is one of the most significant provisions in the Proposed Purchase Agreement negotiations because at the time of these negotiations, the Hendrys had received at least five contract offers from private developers in the following amounts--$4.5 million, $5.0 million, $5.6 million, $6.0 million, and $6.2 million. Although the Hendrys believed that the property was worth more than their $6.3 million sales offer, they declined all other offers because of the County's proposed intent to use the property as a public park.

In response to this proposed Purchase Agreement Section, Closing, the Hendrys proposed an additional provision under Section 3.2 (a) (1), "This deed will convey the Property from Seller to Buyer as Historically Designated in its entirety." The Hendrys were advised by the County that they could not accept this provision because it was contrary to policy. In response, to this proposed Purchase Agreement Section, Public Park, the Hendrys and their Attorneys proposed under a new Section 19, Buyer's Covenants Surviving Closing, proposed Purchase Agreement dated June 27, 1994, [that] Buyer hereby represents, warrants and covenants as follows, and said representations, warrants and covenants shall survive Closing hereunder:

(a) Buyer agrees that for a period of no less than twenty years from and after Closing hereunder, it shall continuously use the Property as a public park, and make the property and facilities thereon available to the general public (with preference being afforded the residents and taxpayers of Arlington County) for private and public functions, such as, but not limited to, weddings, receptions, conferences and seminars. Buyer represents that the Purchase Price is being paid with proceeds of Arlington County's Park Bond Fund.

(e) All archaeological studies of the Property will be undertaken in a manner consistent with the standards accepted by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service.

(f) Buyer agrees to exercise due diligence in pursuing the process of having the entire Property designated as "Historic" pursuant to the recommendation of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB). The foregoing covenants shall run with the land, and shall be memorialized in a document that will be executed in recordable form at Closing. (Source: Hendry's Revised Purchase Agreement as of June 27, 1994 in Response to Arlington County's Proposed Purchase Agreement of June 6, 1994, pages 11 & 12 of 16 pages, proposed by Ernest and Judith Hendry & their Attorney.)

In response to the Hendry's and their attorneys' proposed Purchase Agreement of June 27, 1994, the County counter-proposed on July 7, 1994, Section 23, Archeological Studies, "Archeological studies of the Property will be undertaken in a manner consistent with generally accepted archeological standards." Also, in response to the Hendry's proposal that the County exercise due diligence in designating the entire property as Historic, the County agreed in Section 24, Historical District, "[only] to consider the designation of the entire Property as an Historic District," as recommended by the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board in its report to the County Board dated December 11, 1986. These sections were agreed to by the Buyer and Seller on July 8, 1994, the date of the Final Purchase Agreement.

Historical Significance.

The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) recommended in its report to the County Board dated December 11, 1986, that the County Board approve historic district designation for the Hendry tract, 2411-24th Street North (z-2321-87-HD). The HALRB recommended the designation of the entire Hendry tract [as an Historic District] to provide legal mechanisms to protect the four historic resources intertwined on the property: a Civil War fort; a Victorian-vernacular main house and cottage with an outbuilding possibly built during the Civil War; an arboretum of specimen trees; and the Potomac Palisades. The following is a description of the Hendry Tract's historical significance as described by the HALRB in the above report.

The Hendry family [previously] owned the subject property since 1927. Research indicates that the Hendry Tract was a portion of a 2000-acre holding, which included the Doubleday Estate and Roosevelt Island, once owned by the Mason family, and later purchased by Thomas Jewell in 1848. The Hendry Tract was taken by the Federal government in 1861 for the construction of Fort C.F. Smith and its associated structures. Fort C.F. Smith, one of 34 forts built to defend the National Capital from Confederate attack, was considered one of the best permanent works in the chain of forts and today is the best surviving Civil War fort site in Arlington.

Constructed late in the war in 1863, with a perimeter of 368 yards and emplacements for 22 guns, the Fort was built to command the high ground north of Spout Run. Because of its solid construction and important strategic location, Fort C.F. Smith was one of the forts retained in service after the Civil War. Records show that the Fort remained relatively intact as late as 1902, when plans for the development of a subdivision threatened its survival. For reasons unknown, the subdivision was not developed. A map of Fort C.F. Smith from General Bernard's Report of the Defenses of Washington, published in 1871, shows that two of the walls, the southern and western, were heavily armed with artillery. The southern wall, including the southwest bastion and powder magazine, was destroyed when 24th Street North was constructed. The western wall and the northwestern bastion are preserved as are the remains of the powder magazine near the northwest bastion and the bomb-proof shelter parallel to the western wall.

The HALRB concluded in their report that the purpose of Historic District designation is to recognize significant historic resources providing benefits for the general public. Historic District designation of the Hendry Tract will provide the County with a unique opportunity; a site of this potential may not be found again in Arlington.

Immigration Corruption Reported In Arlington County In New York Times Front Page Story -- September 14, 1994

Several members have called about the above story reported on Monday, September 12, 1994 in the New York Times front page article entitled "In Immigration Labyrinth, Corruption Comes Easily," by Stephen Engelberg. According to Engelberg, "up and down the East Coast, the word quickly spread through immigrant communities. Come to the Northern Virginia office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service ("I.N.S.") [I.N.S. office at 1521 Danville Street, Arlington, Virginia]. Bring cash. Buy the right to live or work in the United States."

The article states "that smooth-talking middlemen took care of the details, bribing immigration service employees with gold jewelry, free vacations, and cash-filled envelopes passed hand to hand in the aisles of a nearby department store. Ghanaians, Lebanese, and Salvadorans, among others, flocked to what quickly became a multicultural bazaar....Immigration service clerks, some whose take-home pay was as low as $250 a week were eager to participate. "Money talks," one told a self-styled immigration "broker" who had recruited hundreds of Salvadoran clients. Another employee said she needed $50,000 to buy a house in Florida....For two years, the bribery proliferated like a virus. "We let it happen," one employee involved in the case said in a recent interview. "There was no supervision to tighten down on us, and we let it go real wild."

Stephen Engelberg states that finally, the Justice Department began an undercover investigation, and by the time prosecutions were completed six months ago, eight employees stood convicted of accepting bribes. Altogether, the I.N.S. said, they had fraudulently given more than 4,000 people permission to work and sold legal residency to 1,000 more immigrants who did not qualify.

Mr. Engelberg describes how one broker slid into bribery. He states that when Norberto Escobar and his wife, Ivette, hung out their shingle as immigration brokers in October 1990, they knew little about United States immigration laws. The Escobars said they had taught themselves the rudiments of immigration laws from a handbook published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. And so they set to work guiding fellow Salvadorans through the labyrinth of immigration service forms. An application for political asylum, for example, might cost $2,500 if done by a lawyer; Mr. Escobar charged $700. Mr. and Mrs. Escobar said they had begun paying bribes to compete with Osvaldo Vera, another broker who used bribes to get work cards for his clients in just a few hours. Usually there is a two-month wait. In the bribery schemes in the I.N.S. Arlington office the brokers profited the most. While the employees were typically making $100 per work card, the middlemen were charging immigrants $500 to $700. When the investigations were over, Mr. Escobar, Mr. Vera, and four other brokers working the Arlington office stood convicted of bribing Federal employees. Their prison sentences ranged up to two years.

The September/October Question of the Month is: What is your reaction to this immigration corruption story? Tell us your ideas for resolving this problem? We shall publish the results in the next issue of the Newsletter.

Neighborhood Crime Report

  1. 3500 N. Fairfax Drive -- Break-in, between July 31 and August 1. Someone entered the Metro Auto Center and took 60 to 70 car keys.
  2. 4350 N. Fairfax Drive -- Burglary, between July 29 and and August 1. Someone entered an office and took a compact disc player.
  3. 600 Block N. Vermont Street -- Burglary, between 1 and 4:30 p.m., August 10. A burglar stole a mountain bicycle from a laundry room of a residence.
  4. 900 Block N. Lincoln Street -- Robbery, 2:40 p.m. August 25th. A man asked a tourist from New Zealand in his hotel for change. When the tourist refused, the man pulled out a switchblade knife and took money from the victim's pocket.
  5. 3322 Wilson Boulevard -- Arrests, 1:30 a.m. September 5th. Two men were arrested and three juveniles were released to their parents after the shooting of a store clerk on Wilson Boulevard. At about 1:30 a.m. on September 5th, police say two of the young men entered Mario's Pizza and Subs to pick up an order and then left without paying. The 26-year-old clerk chased after the men. When the men got into a car on N. Jackson Street, the clerk began to write down its license plate number. Gunshots came from the car and the clerk was hit by a bullet in the foot. A concerned citizen followed the suspects' car until it crashed at Columbia Pike and S. Rolfe Street. No one was injured in the accident. A .45 caliber pistol was recovered from the car. The clerk was treated at Arlington Hospital. Jose H. Solis, 21 of Falls Church, was charged with hit and run driving and driving with a revoked license. Juan D. Campos, 20, was charged with petty larceny. The three teens were released to their parents.

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