February 2002

Dear Neighbor:

Welcome to the first official edition of the Old Glebe Civic Association ‘E-Letter’.  Thanks to your e-mail connection, we are able to provide this information more easily, less expensively and more currently than our usual ‘hard copy’ production.  Since you will receive this newsletter at least one month in advance of the mailed copy, please feel free to print it out andshare it with a neighbor.  If you would still like to receive a mailed hard copy, please respond by ‘reply’ e-mail request to this message.

Good News and Less Good News (no bad news!)
‘Traffic Calming’: As you may have read, over $120,000 in traffic calming improvements have been approved by the County Board for our Civic Association.   This is designed primarily to slow speeding traffic along Old Glebe Road.  The improvements will include a nice new bus shelter in front of the Madison Community Center.  Again, we all owe Dick Rader a resounding ‘thank you’ for the time and initiative he took in getting this measure passed.

 The ‘less good news’ is that these improvements will have to wait until approximately December 2002 while work is being done on a 36-inch water main improvement project on Old Glebe Road from N. Glebe Road to Fort Ethan Allen Pumping Station (by Military Road).  The project involves installation of approximately 2,200 linear feet of 36-inch ductile iron pipe. Construction is scheduled  to start in Spring 2002  and the estimated duration of construction is nine (9) months.  Prior to the start of construction, the County Construction Manager will notify affected residents along the project frontage.

Block Captains
“CAPT” Bill Schwab of our Executive Committee has taken the initiative to establish a system of ‘block captains’, who would supplement our irregular means of communications (meetings, newsletters, e-mail, etc.)  Simply put, we’re trying to find at least one household per block or area within the civic association that can serve as a ‘relay’ or focal point for neighborhood concerns and/or questions.   The theory is that people are more likely to contact someone they know about a problem than a relative stranger. We have volunteers so far covering Military Road, Old Glebe, The Sanctuary, N. Stafford St., 3800 block of N. Tazewell, 3700 block of N. Tazewell, 3600 block of N. Abingdon, 4400 block of N. Dittmar, N. Chesterbrook and N. 37th Rd.  If you think you would like to help in this effort, please contact Bill Schwab at 703-237-9521 or captbill@erols.com.

(Remember, just because we’re suburbanites, doesn’t mean we can’t talk to our neighbors!  And no, this is not a socialistic or communistic experiment!)

Senior Programs
Ever wonder if there are any really good deals left?  Well, there is at least one in Arlington County.   For the princely sum of $5/yr., you can have access to all of the senior activities at Madison, TJ and nine other sites in the County.  Some elective or special programs are offered at an additional cost.

The bi-monthly publication “Seniors in Action” lists more programs and activities than you can shake a stick at, including trips to National Theater for the musical “Contact”; overnight travel to Atlantic City, New Orleans and Branson, MO; use of the track and gym facilities at TJ,‘drop-in’ bridge games at Madison, among many other things.

And you only have to be 55 years young to join!  Call 703-228-4744 for more information.

Assessments (a personal opinion, by Burt Bostwick)
This year’s real estate assessments, combined with increases from the previous two years, are creating an increasing tax burden on Arlington County homeowners, especially those on fixed and moderate incomes.  While real estate appreciation creates no additional cash flow for homeowners, it does create a ‘windfall’ for local politicians who find they have millions of additional dollars for their favorite programs without enacting a tax increase (thank goodness the Congress hasn’t found out about this method yet!)   As I recall, when we were all suffering through the inflation of the 70’s, the County Board decreased the tax rate for period of several years to reduce the burden on taxpayers.  Time to revert to that ‘better place and time’!

For those concerned about the increases in their assessments, I would suggest writing (soon!) to members of the Arlington County Board, as well as contacting the Arlington County Taxpayers Association (ACTA) at 703 351-9300 (actawatchdog@geocities.com).  You can also look up your assessment (or homes in your neighborhood) on the Arlington County website at http://www.co.arlington.va.us/REAssessments/Scripts/DreaDefault.asp

Got an Overdue Library Book?
Or getting close to the return date?  ….have the wonders of modern technology finally removed the strain of those overdue fines? Yes, it’s true!  Did you know that you can renew that book online in the comfort of your living room or den?  Simply log on towww.co.arlington.va.us/lib/ to renew.

Or, how about this: did you know you could check out and read books online from the library?   ‘eBooks’ can be checked out and read online at netLibrary. There is no charge to read eBooks, but you will need to enter a valid Arlington County Library card number.

OK, enough tech wowsies……back to the mundane….

Nomination and Election of Officers
Despite the perks and prestige of office, we have yet to find anyone who wants to be
“Officer-for-Life” of the civic association, thereby necessitating that annual angst of finding and convincing (relatively) sane and ambulatory individuals to run for office.  As part of this process, we are currently asking members to serve on the Nominating Committee, or even better to consider running for office.  If you have latent talents and/or ambitions, or simply need an occasional break from the spouse and children, please contact any of the officers listed at the end of this message.  Elections will be held in the late spring.

At last count, we had 82 dues-paying members out of the 450 households in our association.  Have you joined yet?  For only $10, this is the second-best (see above) ‘really good deal’ inArlington County.  Our Treasurer, Benny Parker, is always happy to take your money at:

4328 37th Road N.
Arlington, VA 22207
Please let us know what’s on your mind.  If we can help, we will!


Acting President
Burt Bostwick

Acting Vice President
Helen Duval
h.duval @worldnet.net

Acting Secretary
Katrine Pendleton

Benny Parker

Block Captains
Bill Schwab

Neighborhood Conservation and Civic Federation Delegates
Iris Bond

Ron Hiss

Richard Samp

Dick Rader

Kathy Fong