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Arlington County Civic Federation

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October, 2003 - Volume 88, No. 2 ------

W-L High School Relocation/Renovation
on the Agenda in October

October General Meeting
Tuesday, October 7th, 2003, 7:30 PM
Hazel Auditorium, Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington

At the Meeting:
Washington-Lee High School Renovation/Relocation

Washington-Lee High School will have to undergo renovation in the next few years. There are several proposals on the table about how this will be accomplished, including moving the school to a new location. Whatever decisions are made, this matter is on the fast track, and now is the time to get involved if you want your voice heard.

The main program at the Federation's October meeting will include a presentation on the three options proposed, with an opportunity for questions from School officials. Following the presentation, the Parks and Recreation Committee and Schools Committee will present a resolution for consideration by the Federation. The resolution will allow the Federation to have input into the process at an early stage, as well as to address concerns about the speed at which the decision is being made. So come prepared to discuss your concerns and recommendations!

Public Defender's Office

Arlington's Commonwealth's Attorney will speak at the October meeting about a proposal to add a Public Defender's Office in Arlington. The presentation will be for information purposes only with an opportunity for questions and answers.

Resolutions from Public Services Committee

The Public Services Committee will introduce two resolutions this month. The resolutions themselves will be voted on at the November meeting. The first supports a community-wide system of permanent sirens and an Arlington-specific radio station for notification purposes, and the second supports retention of Northern Virginia Community Hospital and Dominion Psychiatric Hospital as part of a vital public health infrastructure in Arlington County. Full text of the proposed resolutions is available at the Civic Federation's web site www.civfed.org

Community Forum

This month's Community Forum will feature Robyn Kronthal from the Arlington Chapter of the American Red Cross. She will provide a 30-minute presentation on making a disaster plan and building a disaster supplies kit, beginning at 7 pm. Planning for a disaster is an essential step in being prepared should the unexpected happen. Do you have a meeting place outside the home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire, or outside the neighborhood in case it's too dangerous to return home? If you are forced to evacuate or "shelter-in-place" do you have a supplies kit that contains the essentials and is easy to carry?

The Community Forum is provided as a service to the community by the Civic Federation. It allows for private and government-based groups and organizations to speak to community leaders about what they do in Arlington. Any group wishing to participate should contact dan+.

Committee News

The Airport Issues Committee has been active on several fronts. Steve Baur (AIC co-chair) has been involved as a delegate to the on-going Part150 Noise Study for Reagan National airport. A document reporting the findings of community surveys and focus groups is being prepared by the Part 150 Noise Committee, and will be released shortly. We participated in a series of public meetings this summer and presented ideas for noiseabatement. These, and ideas received from other citizens, are being considered for the final Part 150 Report . In order to be more effective in this process, the AIC is also planning on meeting with other citizen organizations throughout the region to see if we can pull resources and provide a more unified front in getting our recommendations into the Part150 Report.

Hank McEntee attended a conference in DC this summer hosted by the National Organization to Insure a Sound Controlled Environment (NOISE). He made many contacts, and is corresponding regularly on behalf of the AIC (which joined NOISE as a non-voting community organization). We hope to get ideas from other citizen's groups throughout the country that can be applied to noise abatement at Reagan National.

If you would like more information, or would like to get involved in our efforts regarding the noise abatement process, please contact either SteveGeiger (703-522-0026 steveg+) or Steve Baur (703-525-5580 steveb+). We hold monthly meetings (third Thursday at 7:30 pm). The location is announced about a week prior to each meeting. We also have a position paper on the CivFed website.

The Community Relations Committee needs help identifying locations for distribution of the Civic Voice in Arlington, and in getting newsletters distributed each month. Please help us! Outgoing people are encouraged to join as members to help reach out to those parts of our community that are not yet members of the Federation. For more information, contact mike+.

The Executive Committee meets the third Tuesday each month at the Hospice of Northern Virginia at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. For more information, contact kim+.

The Housing Committee has addressed issues including recommending an affordable housing task force, in the past year. In the next year, the committee will consider the County's proposed ordinance on blighted properties among other matters. Please contact wayne+ for more information or to joint the committee.

The Legislation Committee's big day will be November 11, 2003. That's when the committee will present the 2003-2004 legislative package to the Federation for consideration. The draft resolution is included in this issue of The Civic Voice.

Additional items for the Civic Federation Package may be introduced from the floor at the November meeting, however, any new proposal must be reported to the Federation President at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting, and the delegate offering the proposal must provide 100 copies by 6:45 on the night of the meeting. Contact Chairman Nancy Graham (nancy+) with any questions.

The Planning and Zoning Committee is continuing to work on its half-day, nuts and bolts workshop for Federation members on planning and zoning matters. The workshop is planed for Saturday, November 15, location to be announced. The committee is also considering designating representatives on a geographic basis to keep watch on development issues in the County. For more information, and to join the committee, please contact martha or bill@c+ivfed.org.

The Public Services Committee seems to stay perennially busy! (This is a hint that we need more members - please!) In addition to the resolutions to be introduced this month, the committee is planning on introducing a resolution in November supporting the Citizen Corps Council petition to the FCC to request that there be no charge for emergency communications on text messaging devices when such messages are from governmental sources.

Library drop-boxes are still in the equation but a few problems, most notably Isabel, interfered with our research.

We recently received a request to review the regulatory and technological capabilities of Dominion Virginia Power, particularly in the context of the severe power loss suffered by Arlington as a result of Hurricane Isabel but also in the broader context of other outages and general reliability.

The Public Preparedness Initiative is still giving presentations to interested civic associations and organizations. In addition, Committee member Jim Pebley (and Public Emergency Communications Task Group Chair - CCC) recently presented his Task Group's draft recommendations and communications matrix at a session sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, chaired by the Honorable Sam Nunn. Jim's concrete recommendations and rationale were VERY well received by Members of Congress, think tank and military officials, and non-profit and citizen groups.

The difficulties created by Isabel have also accelerated the Committee's efforts to expand the "new" Neighborhood Watch as a communications device when traditional mechanisms are not available. The Committee has sent out a questionnaire to civic association presidents asking for input into the how, what, when and why of communications during Isabel in an effort to gain a better understanding of systems that might work at the citizen level.

Since many of the Preparedness Initiative people are also CERT trained, and worked the ice distribution centers during Isabel, we are also renewing our request that individuals become CERT trained. This provides basic disaster skills training and provides the County with an organized (and hence reachable) core of volunteers to help in an emergency. We are particularly asking individuals from North Arlington to consider signing up for the training (www.co.arlington.va.us - click E Prep and follow the commands to CERT).

Finally, we have been working with the legislation committee on the issue of Identity Theft. This is a huge problem throughout the nation and has been growing rapidly in Arlington. All individuals are encouraged to check their credit reports at least twice a year. The three reporting agencies are Equifax (1-800-685-111; Experian (1-888-397-3742, and Trans Union (1-800-916-8800). The Police Department also has literature on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

The Committee is always in need of more members. Please consider joining us! Contact either Kim Smith (kim+) or Anne Fisher (anne ) to vo+lunteer.

The Scholarship Committee needs your support! The United We Stand 5K race will take place on Saturday, November 8 at 1 pm at Bon Air Park. The race will benefit not only the Civic Federation 9/11 Scholarship Fund but also the United Service Organization (USO) of Metropolitan DC. According to race-sponsor and Parks Committee co-chair Jay Wind, "We promise you a rose garden on this flat, shady course." Information about the Race: Free parking at Bon Air and Bluemont Parks. Entry Fees: $18 by November 1, $20 thereafter. Register by mail or at www.racepacket.com - Commemorative t-shirts and goodie bags to all participants - Run, walk, or just watch ? Gift certificates to top 3 male and female overall and in 10-year age groups. There will also be a post-race Picnic with hot pizza courtesy of Mario's Pizza House and Dr. Delivery. Packet Pick-Up & Late Registration Friday, November 7, 4:00-8:00 pm, at Mario's Pizza House, 3322 Wilson Blvd., 703-525-0200 ? Pick up your packet Friday and get a free slice of Mario's pizza! or Saturday, November 8, 12 noon-12:45 pm, at Bon Air Park, 851 Lexington Street, Arlington VA. Team Competition - Up to 5 runners per team, top 3 score - Call 703-218-2726 for more information.

To register, send this form and check to UNITED WE STAND, PO Box 25049, Arlington VA 22202. Please contact the Scholarship Committee's co-chairs Tim Reese and Jim Pebley for more information, or to join the committee: jim+

The Schools Committee met on Sunday September 21st to develop questions for the December School Board visit to the Civic Federation. The committee is always looking for more informatoinWe would very much like to have more members on our committee. Almost 50% of Arlington tax dollars go to the school budget. This is a community issue, not just one that effects parents of school age children. To participate, contact terri+ or roger+.

The Transportation Committee wants Federation members to be aware of a County-sponsored Parking Symposium. This forum will take place at Washington-Lee High School Auditorium, and will include two evening sessions and one full-day session, October 22, 23, and 25. Because of the interrelation of the sessions, participants are asked to attend all three sessions. RSVP to Eileen Feldman at 703-228-3575. To join the Transportation committee, please contact jerry+.

While the Federation's committees provide opportunities to stay involved and make a difference, it won't help you, unless you and your organizations participate. You say that you don't have time? You can't stand meetings? Well, thanks to the hard work of Jay Wind over the last few months, there is a new, easy way to stay in the loop. Internet discussion groups have been established for all Civic Federation Committees. The new discussion groups make it easy to join committees, participate in discussion, and to keep up-to-date on the latest news without taking up all your time. Anyone who belongs to a Civic Federation member organization is eligible to join up. To sign up, all you have to do is go to www.civfed.org/egroups.htm and follow the instructions on the page.

Federation News

September Meeting Recap

Candidates Night was a great success this year, with all candidates in contested races attending. Plus, we even finished early! You can watch the debate on Arlington Independent Media, Channel 69, every Saturday in October at 3pm and every Wednesday in October at 9pm.

Also, at the September meeting, Chain Bridge Forest Civic Association joined as a new member.

Civic News and Events

Arlington's Sports Day and Extravaganza will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2003, at Thomas Jefferson Community Center. Members are encouraged to join Sports Illustrated, The National Recreation and Park Association, Olympian Ted Dolan, and representatives from the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, DC United and the Washington Freedom for a "big announcement" at 4 pm. For more information, please go to www.co.arlington.va.us/prcr, or call 703-228-1801.

This page was last revised on: December 27, 2003.
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