Friday, August 29, 2008

Pike Business of the Week - Bangkok 54 Restaurant

Every time I go to Bangkok is super delicious. The restaurant reminds me of DC upscale places...not some of the dives that still reside on Columbia Pike. The interior is very chic and the service is great. They also just added a bar section that you can rent out for events. In addition, they provide jazz every second Thursday of each month.

Open 7 days a week Lunch & Dinner
Sunday - Thursday
11:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M.
Friday - Saturday
11:00 A.M. - 11:00 P.M.

2919 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
Tel: 703.521.4070

Thursday, August 28, 2008

THIS blog negative????

Ok…so I read the notes from the Board Meeting the other night and it said that a resident thought that the blog was negative? I really don’t understand the negative comment.

THIS blog shares stories about upcoming construction projects, businesses in the area, local ways to help the community, environmental information and some of the problems that Arlington Village is facing.

THIS blog is a conduit for people to discuss and have conversations about issues. If any resident would like to post a story or at least email me and tell me why they don’t like a particular post…go ahead! I would love for people that are on the Board or on the Committees to give updates or even comment on some of the issues. Why wouldn’t they want to share the great things that they do? I would love for even more people to send me stories or ideas for the blog…FYI - I get a couple a week.

I guess the real question is why isn’t the negative accuser posting a response saying that the story/post is negative? Have they really read THIS blog or are they just being told that the blog is negative? Do they believe that a contractor not doing his job in the Village isn’t a problem? Do they think that a resident asking to be on the AV Blast and not getting on after numerous requests isn’t a problem?

Let me repeat, THIS blog is a way for people to communicate since AV isn’t doing a very good job of communicating with residents. A monthly Crier…that doesn’t arrive on time, and many times has mistakes…is not a viable form of communication. A website that isn’t updated and has misinformation…including an events calendar that hasn’t been updated in a year is not a great way of communicating!

Sorry about the rant…but I just hate when people can’t stand up and say what they are thinking. I would never want people to think that this blog is negative. If I wanted a negative blog I would write every day on problems I see in the Village. Believe me…there is more than enough to write about…however I feel that we need to be aware of the problems in Arlington Village and what’s happening in the greater community we live in…especially in this transitional time of rebuilding the Columbia Pike Corridor. Plus we need to be neighborly! What’s wrong with watching out for each other, telling residents of potential problems or letting them know that they are going to turn the CVS into a park?

Hope you are having a great Thursday…the Pike Business of the Week will be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's Up With the Contractors in Arlington Village?

Last night was the August Arlington Village Board Meeting. I was unable to attend - but if anyone has updates, please let us know!

During a conversation with a resident that did attend the meeting, it reminded me of something I wanted to blog about for quite some time. How are Contractors who do the work in Arlington Village chosen? Is there a Request for Proposal (RFP) process? How are these evaluated and how are the companies that are asked to submit proposals chosen from the pool of prospects?

Why you ask is this important? Well, competition is at the heart of our democracy and leads to better rates, customer service and quality work. I have been hearing from residents that they have some complaints about the contractros who do work around the Village - and from the contractors who are recommended by the Village office. (Residents have complained to me about doors that were not properly installed, sloppy paint work, decks not up to top quality, etc).

I have also heard rumors that some of the contractors are related to each other - and workers in the office. Is this true? Its not that I don't think that people should be excluded because they are relatives but this should be discussed in the open and a consideration in the overall process for bids.

Something to think about as we move toward budget and contract season.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Board Meeting Tonight!

Don't forget there is a Board Meeting tonight. It's almost budget feel free to go and ask what's up?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Need something to do this weekend?

Comcast Outdoor Film Festival at Strathmore

I know that it isn't on the Pike...however you could definitely take the Metro to Bethesda if you are looking for things to do...for the evenings.

Movies will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. each evening, with grounds opening at 6:30 p.m. All screenings are held on the grounds adjacent to the mansion. Bring a blanket or low beach chair. No dogs are permitted.

August 22: Transformers
August 23: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
August 24: Shrek the Third

The annual free summer movie fest screens recent hits, classics and family favorites. Pre-movie kid-friendly activities.

8:30 p.m.
The Mansion at Strathmore
10701 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, MD
Information: 301-581-5100

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pike Business of the Week - LA Bar and Grill


"Where else can you find a deep fried candy bar on the menu? That's right, LA Bar and Grill, or “Lower Arlington” Bar and Grill, offers that and more. It is almost hidden by it’s located on the backside of the building. When you do find your way in, take advantage of the happy hour from 4-7 p.m. where all beer and liquor is a $1 off. On Monday nights, they have trivia; on Wednesdays, they extend their lunch hours to sell cheaper burgers. This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a place to grab a beer with a lively crowd."

I hear the trivia night is I really like the fish and chips. Check it out! It used to be really smoky...but since they got rid of the table cloths...the smell is not there any more. Plus they have darts and you can smoke a cigar. It's not the Cowboy Cafe...but the next best thing.

L.A. Bar and Grill (Lower Arlington)
2530 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

Technical Difficulties

Sorry that I haven't been able to blog the last week. I had to send my computer away to be fixed. It's back and so is the blog! Thanks for waiting.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pike Business of the Week - Arlington Cinema 'n' Drafthouse

Another Pike favorite and fun for all ages. It's a great place to watch a movie and have dinner at the same time! You can also grab a glass of your favorite beer or alcoholic beverage. Also just announced, a new pricing schedule...if you go to Indiana Jones tonight after work at 5:15's only $1 to get in! Where can you get anything for a buck?

Here's the exact schedule...$1 Movie Admission on Mondays, $2 Movie Admission on Tuesdays and $3 Movie Admission on Wednesdays. Special $1 After Work Movies on Select Thursdays. $5.50 Movies at all other times.

Just to note...they do allow smoking in certain sections...but if you look on the website they also offer smoke free times for movies as well.

Located at:
Arlington Cinema 'n' Drafthouse
2903 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 486-2345

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes

Yes it has just sharing in Washington, DC. This is a great environmentally friendly approach to getting around town. Little do they know that Arlington already has a bike commuter website that has been trying to get people motivated to bike to work and provide tips on how to do so safely.

According to the Smart Bike website:

"SmartBike DC is a new and alternative transportation network that uses the latest technologies to facilitate user access and is structured to enhance the city's public transportation system.

The very first self-service bike rental program was ours in the city of Rennes in France in 1998, and subsequently, our programs rapidly spread to Scandinavia and Spain. SmartBike is the only bike rental program of its kind in the world: well tested, user and environmentally friendly and complementary to other modes of public transportation."

Let us know if you've tried this sounds very promising.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grounds Committee Meeting Tonight!

Don't forget...the Grounds Committee mtg. is tonight. Feel free to come by and see what they are discussing...or better yet...join the committee. The meeting starts at 7 PM according to the Crier. Just go to the AV offices to find the meeting room.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Arlington Village Rules are Changing has been decreed in the Crier that the Board has changed some of the rules of Arlington Village. I'm glad they have been updated but it would have been really nice/convenient if they had just inserted a sheet of paper into the Crier that showed all the residents WHICH rules were changed.

Am I really supposed to go through the old rules and the new by one...just to see if a word was changed? It seems so strange that some things get immediate attention whereas other things fall to the wayside...such as our out of date website.

I will wait patiently to see if the rules ever get posted on the AV website before they go into effect on October 1, 2009.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Watch Out...for Car Thiefs

Yesterday there was a police cruiser near 1301 S. Cleveland Street. It appears that someone broke into a car nearby. They rummaged through the car and tried to manipulate the ignition.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pike Business of the Week - Phoenix Bikes

Okay…this is a little off the Pike but still a great business plus they do a bunch of community service. Phoenix Bikes is located in Barcroft Park along the 4 Mile Run and the W&OD bike trails. Not only do they fix bikes…but they also teach local youth how to fix bikes and even have an Earn-A-Bike Program for kids in high school.

Here’s some info from their website:

PHOENIX BIKES IS A NON-PROFIT YOUTH PROGRAM whose mission is to provide a fun, safe, and challenging environment for local youth through building & running great community bike shops. We believe this is a unique way for young leaders to develop teamwork, explore social entrepreneurship, and serve others.

OUR SHOP PROVIDES AFFORDABLE BIKES AND BIKE REPAIR SERVICES TO FOR OUR COMMUNITY. It also offers our youth mechanics the opportunity to develop valuable skills and work ethics and to contribute to the local community. The youth participants are coached & supported by trained mechanics and volunteers dedicated to improving the social, physical and ecological health of Northern Virginia.


PHOENIX BIKES PROGRAMS provide youth participants with the opportunity to learn fundamentals of bike repair and safety, plus the skills necessary to operate a small business that focuses on providing high quality repair services and donated and refurbished bicycles to the local community.

PHOENIX BIKES CURRENTLY RUNS a Community Bike Shop and Earn-A-Bike program for Middle and High School Mechanics, hosts workshops such as Family Mechanics and Custom Bike Building, leads youth bike rides, and collaborates on community events with Teen Arlington, Trips For Kids, Greenbrier Learning Center, and others.

July Board Meeting Notes

Here are notes from the Board Meeting...these are just notes...if you want the exact minutes please call the Arlington Village Office. These are not my notes...but came from a resident that was at the meeting. So...if you have questions...I probably won't be able to answer them. However, I did see some of the things that were discussed in these notes...also in the Crier (which was delivered late again).

July 29 Board Notes

-Jan Kennemer requested more spot spraying of weeds. Wants the Grounds Committee to talk about the excess weeds and see if they can come up with solutions.

-Grounds Committee Update: Had successful town hall meeting with Kate about 13th Road Project. About 15 residents were in attendance. Plans are being made to pull out most of the plants between Edgewood and Barton Streets. Then there will regrading and an array of other plants will be planted to compensate for the ones that were torn out.

-Security Committee Update: Pool party was successful. About 60 to 70 residents were in attendance. No report yet from Corporal Matt Owens about walk through of Arlington Village.

-Laundry Rooms: More lighting needed at S. Cleveland Street laundry room.

-Board asked for a document listing security needs for the community from AV staff.

-A letter to the County did not go out as previously requested from AV office. Board not sure why letter pertaining to Walter Reed Center (I believe) did not go out. Board requested this be taken care of immediately.

-Dog Swim Update: About 10 residents came to meeting. There will be vendors at the dog swim. Question also asked should AV need to make sure that all dogs have Arlington County dog license to participate?

-Board Opening – The treasurer will be stepping down from the Board later in the year after elections.

-Old Business: Unit #746 has still not complied with AV requests that their deck is remodeled to comply with AV rules. AV office asked to send certified letter.

-Revised Rules: Some of the Board Members have revised the AV rules. They should be posted soon. There was much discussion on whether decks should be allowed to have different color stains or stay with current rules of clear stain. There will be a comment period for residents before the new rules go into effect.

-AV Resident request 6 month extension to run business out of home. They have already been running the business for 6 months and they plan to ask for extension every 6 months.

-AV office not providing timely reimbursements for Committees. Need to work on getting that done.

-Does AV have a policy on retaining documents?

-Request was made to get Board Packets via email. Was told possible but time consuming.

-Noted that there are not supposed to be any contractors parked in Arlington Village overnight. No “tools of the trade” trucks are allowed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Residents Urged to Avoid Four Mile Run Stream

"An illicit dumping of portable lavatory waste into Four Mile Run Stream near Westover Park is affecting waters and parks all the way to the Potomac. Residents are advised not to fish in or have any contact with the waters – including wading or swimming – until further notice." Arlington County Website

No to Security

Just a note about the local walk through that was done with the Security Committee and members of the Arlington Police Department a few months ago...the Board has said that they still have not received an official report on changes that Arlington Village should make in ways of security to our community. The board has requested that AV staff should have a report next month on changes that the officers commented on and other places that might need better security.

I hope all of those things happen considering that one of the officers said the entrance to the ravine on S. Edgewood resembled a "rape hole". Disturbing.

Also it should be known, a resident asked that the infamous laundry room on S. Cleveland Street (where a resident was asked for her underwear) should possibly exchange their metal door with peephole to a door that has a window. This laundry room has steep stairs leading down into the laundry steep that someone could hide in the stairwell and not be seen from the street/sidewalk.

I was told that the door was nixed at the last board meeting since it would cost about $500 between parts and installation. Wow...$500 to possibly save someone from being a victim of another crime or the alternative to spending $13,000 for plants...or the $8,500 to get a new fence. Great priorities.

I also just received notes from the July Board Meeting. Will post tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Community Role Models Mtg. Tonight!

Just wanted to let you know about this really interesting volunteer group. They are having a monthly meeting tonight at Cap City Brewery in Shirlington at 7PM...

"Community Role Models (CRM) is an active social network of young adults (20s & 30s) dedicated to making a positive difference in Arlington through volunteering, building networks, socializing, and developing leaders. We host monthly volunteer activities, meetups and occasional community forums to engage young adults in civic minded activities here in Arlington."
-County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada

You can go to this link to RSVP for tonight!

You can go here for more information on this great organization or to What's Up Arlington blog!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Free Smoke Detectors!

Just a friendly blog post to let you know that the Arlington County Fire Department is giving out smoke detectors for free if you are in need! You can fill out this online form to get the smoke detector or you can call this phone number: 703-228-4646.

The fire department will also install the detector for you as an extra added bonus!

Even if you are not in need...maybe you can pass this on to any friends or family that might need this service.