One of the restored houses in North Arlington.
Neighbor Eddie’s renovated home.
Four Mile Run Bike Trail through Arlington VA
On the trail again, wagging my tail
A neighborhood in Arlington VA
Disgusted with national politics, lately I have been more focused on local politics, which, it turns out, are affected by national politics. For example, Homeland Defense is hiring thousands of new employees to process the claims of illegal aliens (following Mr. Obama’s unilateral decision to grant some of them some kind of amnesty). These new workers will be situated here in my county where many foreign migrants reside.
I suspect the offices assigned HD will be in a complex of buildings in our neighborhood which houses County Social Services. This is not a totally bad thing for the county, but could be a pain in the bum for anyone trying to enter or leave our neighborhood during rush hour or at any other time of day. (The Pentagon is just up the road.)
When the county allowed a developer to convert what was a disgusting strip mall with a disgusting theatre that played nothing but porn films (situated at the gate of our local military installation) into a set of new office buildings plus garages for commercial use, the board promised the neighborhood a new traffic pattern, including new stop lights.
I commuted through this intersection for 30 years and guess what, we still have no stop light. Entering the main highway next to this complex is like playing roulette. Cars driven by obviously sight-impaired commuters coming off another major highway that merges into “our” highway, fail to see the big red YIELD sign. The merge point of two highways and our “side” road have become deadly.
Following very loud complaints about mismanagement of tax dollars, the new chair of our very Democrat county board, whose members are visibly concerned following an election last fall of an Independent, has decided to form a residents committee to look into land use issues.
Members of our neighborhood complained vociferously about a plan concocted last year to convert our local park into a huge school complex. County residents, rich and poor alike, have supported taxes for years that paid off bonds designated for the development of parkland.
As we old-timers age in place we discover we are not only about to lose dog parks, community gardens, and walkways, we are about to be invaded by thousands of little munchkins who will be bussed into our neighborhood.
Residents from across the county are becoming engaged in the debate. “Not my local park” has become a county-wide concern. (If it happens here it can happen anywhere.)
Simultaneous to the issues above one board member is pushing the county to build more affordable housing which would require redesigning land use. Now I don’t mind ‘affordable housing’ (a euphemism for low-cost or subsidized housing) if it houses elderly or long-time county residents (many of them African-American) squeezed out by rising house prices and utility bills. Unfortunately, the local paper ran a story about a recent Ethiopian immigrant and taxi driver who had found ‘affordable housing’ thanks to the county social services.
The long and the short of this is that our county, which is almost too pricey for average individuals like David and me, and single and widowed women like Kathy, Janet, Brenda, Sue and Pat, has absorbed many foreign born migrants with many children who need schooling (and play areas) as well as other amenities, and who violate local occupancy rates by doubling up in the small cramped apartments remaining in our rapidly gentrifying housing stock.
I don’t know the solution to these problems, but one thing is certain, our local medical facilities, and sanitation and other services will grind to a halt without these migrants.