AHCA Newsletter January 2009

  • Commissioner of the Revenue Ingrid Morroy
  • Patrick Wegeng -Environmental Landscape Supervisor for PRCR - will talk about exciting additions and improvements to the tree canopy in Virginia Highlands Park (VHP) that need community support and volunteer labor.
  • Christine Simpson - Park Development Division of PRCR will talk about planning and design effort for spray park in Virginia Highlands Park. (See NC and Parks section of newsletter).
  • Commissioner of the Revenue Ingrid Morroy will speak at the meeting monthly meeting. She has useful tips how her office can be of assis tance. As an example, regarding dead cars on properties - if you bring the street address and li cense plate number to the meeting, they will accept them anonymously.

    Patrick Wegeng, Environmental Landscape Supervisor for PRCR, toured Virginia Highlands Park on December 20th with a handful of neighbors from Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge. He has great ideas about where young trees can be planted throughout VHP to enhance the park set- ting. While his focus is on parks, he has excellent information on the other county tree programs outside of parks. He has ideas about clearing out some of the invasive species that have crept into the park. He also has a great idea for the east side of the soccer field. And he has additional ideas about placing more young saplings just north of the restroom between the large trees and the parking lot. He will be speaking on these ideas at the January 14th AHCA monthly meeting at 7:00pm.

    SOC Enterprises:

    As we begin 2009, a BIG THANK YOU to SOC for continuing to assist AHCA with printing of the AHCA newsletter. Also, on behalf of the community, thank you for continuing the tradition of Miracle on 23rd Street. All the kids seem to have fund watching Santa ride up on the fire engine.


    We'd like to thank Captain Patterson and Fire House Team #105 for co-hosting the potluck dinner. Even the cold and rain couldn't dampen the neighborhood cheer for those that managed to make it. And for those that stayed long enough, they were treated to a tour of the fire house, although no kids actually got to slide down the fire pole, even if they say "they did". And we do appreciate the second appearance of Santa as he rode through the neighborhood on a truck from fire house #105.

    Awards were presented to :

  • Marty and Judy King: Life Time Service award to the community
  • Johanna Soli: Initiator of the AHCA NC Plan (effort was started several years ago)
  • Steve Wyner: NC Plan Closer (couldn't have done it without him)
  • Van Newstrom: 2008 AHCA Community Spirit award (remember the Boo)
  • John Kriese: Web Master and activation of the AHCA web site (www.aurorahighlands.org)

    Oakridge: The School Board decided not to change the attendance boundaries for Oakridge for 2009, as some of the students within ARCA in the high rise buildings could have been going to Hoffman- Boston had the boundaries changed. That doesn't mean that in another year or two down the road that this issue might not arise again.

    On December 2, AHCA sponsored an after school celebration for "Distinguished Citizens" at Gunston Middle School. Kids who exhibit strong citizenship characteristics are recognized and encouraged to be role models in their school and communities.

    Wakefield: During these uncertain financial times and with the commitment made to continue with Yorktown, it will be that much more important to hold the County Board and School Board to their commitment for Wakefield, defined as a major Bond vote in 2012 if not sooner. Also, the county leadership should be encouraged to include Wakefield in any Obama stimulus plan for education and large capital intensive projects.


    On December 2nd, County Board Member Barbara Favola took a tour of Aurora Highlands with AHCA President. She will be the Board Chair for 2009. Thank you to Barbara!

    On January 5th, Ron Carlee, the County Manager, met with a small group from Aurora Highlands to talk about the county budget process and the Aurora Hills Community Center and Virginia Highlands Park. He provided very useful and insightful comments. Also, as a result of this conversation, his office was able to provide a letter to the NC program (regarding alternative funding) that may help get the spray park in Virginia Highlands Park funded sooner. The spray park is the second current NC project for AHCA.

    On January 13th, County Board Member Jay Fisette will take a tour of Aurora Highlands with several neighbors.

    NC PLAN for AHCA:

    The County Board voted to accept the AHCA NC Plan on December 13th, 2008. Also, on December 11th, the NC Advisory Committee approved a package of projects for funding that includes the 600 and 700 block of 19th Street for sidewalks and street lights. This package is expected to go the County Board during January of February for approval. As mentioned in the parks section, AHCA has voted for a spray park in Virginia Highlands Park as our #2 NC project after 19th Street, which moves the remaining two blocks of Ives (between 20th to 22nd) for sidewalk to our third NC project.


    Nina Park: At the December 11th AHCA Holiday Potluck, Aaron Wohler, a landscape architect with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) Park Development Division presented a revised renovation plan (based on earlier community feedback) for Nina Park. At the meeting, a unanimous vote was taken to support this version of the plan. Information may be found at www.arlingtonva.us/ Departments/ParksRecreation/scripts/planning/ ParksRecreationScriptsPlanningInDesign.aspx or by contacting Aaron at 703.228.7928

    Aurora Hills Community Center: Jeff Marin - Deputy Director of PRCR, and Laura Lazour-Sports and Recreation Division Chief, met with AHCA President to brainstorm ideas for Aurora Hills Community Center . The focus was on bringing more vibrancy to the building, so that it becomes a true "community center" and not just a building that sometimes get used. One possibility is for PRCR to do a community survey to see what type of class or activity might be offered there as a first step. Also, ideas were discussed about how PRCR and AHCA could work together to create a more flexible scheduling partnership for the building. This was a preliminary conversation, but exciting in that PRCR seems willing to consider non traditional approaches to reenergizing our center. We hope to have further details in the February AHCA newsletter. This is the beginning of a conversation and hopeful partnership with PRCR, which we hope will result in tangible steps by the end of 2009.

    Virginia Highlands Park:

    Spray Park: An initial conversation was held with Christine Simpson -landscape architect in the Park Development Division of PRCR, and Kurt Louis - the Operations Manager for PRCR for the parks within AHCA regarding the idea of a spray park at Virginia Highlands Park close to existing playground and restroom building. AHCA has listed this as our #2 NC project. While this project is high on the NC list for the spring funding round of 2009, we need to generate a few more points in the NC process to make sure it doesn_t slip to a 2010 funding round. As stated earlier, the County Manager provided a letter from his office to PRCR and NCAC indicating that KIMCO has already agreed to a $500,000 community set aside, of which at least $150,001 of this future commitment is held for the spray park. Hopefully, this will gain AHCA 10 points in the NC process and move this to a spring 2009 NC funding round approval.

    Trees: Patrick Wegeng -Environmental Landscape Supervisor for PRCR, toured Virginia Highlands Park on December 20th with a handful of neighbors from Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge. He has great ideas about where young trees can be planted throughout VHP to enhance the park setting. He also has ideas about clearing out some of the invasive species that have crept into the park. He also a great idea for the east side of the soccer field and ideas about placing more young saplings just north of the restroom between the large trees and the parking lot. He will be speaking on these ideas at the January 14th AHCA monthly meeting at 7:00pm.

    Softball Fields: Robin Leonard of PRCR indicated that the county is willing to continue with the open field policy at softball field #4. However, NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED on the field AT ANY TIME. If dog owners continue to take their dogs into fenced field area, PRCR will be forced to return to the locked field policy.


    JM ZELL on behalf of Alder Branch Realty, met with AHCA President, some neighbors, and Freddie Lutz of the 23rd Street Restaurant Association to talk about plans for developing the property just north of 23rd bounded by Eads and 22nd. The basic focus is some type of trade off on height for additional parking that will be accessible by restaurant customers.

    As an offshoot of that conversation, two ideas arose. We hope to highlight in this newsletter or next, all the great things, in addition to great eating establishments, all that our 23rd Street Restaurants and neighborhood businesses do for our community and school. Sometimes it's worth summarizing to see the breadth of commitment these businesses bring to our neighborhood and schools. And, we also discussed another idea. What if, on a one time basis, AHCA pledged $1000 to be proportionally matched by 23rd Restaurant Association, Eads Street Restaurants, CCBID, Inc. and one last time by the County. For what purpose: Perhaps one of the local homeless people could be hired to once a day clean the litter in the area bounded by 23rd/Eads/CVS/Rt 1.

    Traffic Calming Recommendations:

    Last fall, during a discussion of traffic calming funds allocated to specific areas of our AHCA and ARCA, James Harrison volunteered to compile a list of recommendations for Joyce Street which is summarized below:

  • Install ladder crosswalks be installed across Joyce at 18th Street, 20th Street, 22nd Street and 23rd Street
  • Install neighborhood entry sign and island at 16th & Joyce
  • Resolve street alignment issues by adding center line markings along Joyce
  • Convert parallel parking at softball fields to angled parking-this would increase the number of spaces while also narrowing the street.
  • Local Restaurant Wins Awards and Contributes to the Community: We would like to recognize Freddie Lutz, who grew up in this neighborhood, and owns the Award-Winning Freddie's Bar on 23rd Street. Freddie has always made a point of giving back to the community each year thru contributions to The Aurora Hills Women's Club, Oakridge School, Our Lady of the Lourdes Church, The Calvary Methodist Church and The SOC. He donates generously to DC based organizations as well, like Grandma's House and Food and Friends. [As we have space each month, we will highlight what different local businesses and organizations do for our community, above and beyond the services they provide.]

    Local Hero Dies: Long time Aurora Highlands resident Harry William Osborn Kinnard, Lieutenant General U.S. Army (retired) died on January 5, 2009 at the age of 93. A soldier, leader and statesman, he epitomized the motto of his Alma Mater, West Point, "Duty, Honor, Country". He was born into on May 7, 1915 in Dallas, Texas. He lived an Army life of service to his country beginning with witnessing the attack on Pearl Harbor and defense of the island, then later parachuting into France on D-Day, commanding airborne soldiers in Holland and directing operations during the Battle of the Bulge with the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. We are proud to have had him as a neighbor and he will be missed.

    Aurora Highlands Civic Association

    P.O. Box 25201 - Arlington, VA 22202

    "The Association is a non-partisan organization of community residents formed to work in the overall community interest in promoting civic pride, enhancing the quality of life in the community, preserving the character of the community and planning for the orderly, safe, and humane development of the community" (AHCA Bylaws, Article II). The AHCA meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (unless specifically noted) in the Aurora Hills Recreation Center (735 S. 18th St.) at 7:00 p.m.

    2009 Issues

    1. Community Center & Virginia Highlands Park
    2. NC Projects: 19th Street (600&700 blocks ) sidewalk & street lights, spray park in VHP, Ives Street (20th-22nd) sidewalks & street lights.
    3. Nina Park improvements
    4. Nellie & Eads Park
    5. Potential Dog Park?
    6. Sidewalks & Street Lights
    7. Crystal City Long Term Plan as well as CCBID and CCBID, Inc impact on Aurora Highlands area
    8. Wakefield High School Capital Rebuilding and quality of academic programs.
    9. Waste Water Treatment Plant
    10. Social Events Spring event TBD? Community event with Restaurant Row ? 4th of July picnic in Virginia Highlands Park

    AHCA acct balance as of Jan 2009: $7,938.37

    Association Officers & Committee Chairs
  • President - Bruce Cameron 703 892-5071
  • Vice President - Michael Dowell 703-521-7739
  • 2nd Vice President - Van Newstrom 703 683-5911
  • Treasurer / Membership - Gail Fleming
  • Business Secretary & Web Master- John Kriese 703 519-0961
  • Corresponding Secretary - Paul Mcaree
  • AHCA NCAC Rep: Chris Mann
  • Aircraft Noise Liaison - Denis O'Sullivan 703-521-6425
  • Meeting Hospitality - OPEN
  • Newsletter Distribution - Bruce Cameron
  • Newsletter Editor-Maria Cameron 703-892-5071
  • Police and Waste Water Treatment Plant Liaison -Brad & Louise Garris - 703-548-1944
  • Plumbing: Master Service, LLC
    Lyman Stutzman:
    811 North Irving Street
    Arlington, VA 22201
    Phone: 703.525.3399

  • Specializing in residential service, repair and remodeling
  • See our good references in Angie's List and Washington Checkbook.
  • Paid Advertisement

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    Phone: 703.979.1558
    EMAIL MtVernonBaptistChurch @verizon.net
    Weekly services:
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    AHCA Newsletter--Happy to support our local businesses and organizations! Please contact us for our low advertising rates.

    SOC Enterprises
    750 South 23rd St. Arlington, VA 22202
    703-920-9400 Fax: 703-299-3255
    "Business and Rehabilitation"
    We combine both to provide meaningful training and
    work for our community's disabled
    SOC for Printing, Mailing, and Fulfillment Services