May 2016 Newsletter

May 9, 2016 |

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All Aurora Highlands residents are invited and encouraged to come to our monthly meetings where we meet neighbors, discuss topics of interest, and share information.

MEETING – Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m.

Aurora Hills Community Center

Come early for refreshments and socializing! Doors open at 6:30
Let Natasha know ASAP if you need childcare

Aurora Highlands Civic Association Newsletter – May 2016

Meeting Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Community Updates (see below)
  • Guest Speakers: (1) A representative of the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee will discuss proposed changes to the process for approving street improvement projects. (2) County Board Candidate and Planning Commissioner Erik Gutshall, who is running against Board Chair Libby Garvey in the Democratic primary on June 14, will share his vision and answer questions.

Proposed Neighborhood Conservation Project Approval Process on hold. The proposed process for selecting future neighborhood conservation projects was discussed at our April meeting and then distributed via various neighborhood social media for review and comment before a planned vote at the May meeting. After hearing from neighbors, we determined that the proposal needed more clarity and further discussion. In addition, we wanted to study the changes that the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Commission (NCAC) is considering (see above), so the vote has been deferred.

Nelly Custis. Arrow bamboo has been cut and removed. The species, listed as an invasive species in Maryland and West Virginia by the Center for Urban Ecology of the National Park Service, is on the County’s Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) list. Following NPS protocol, the cut stems have been treated with Rodeo. For more information on the species visit

Fashion Center Mall. The interior is substantially complete. Driveways and sidewalks will be finished by the end of May. The first of the five retail enterprises (Shake Shack)has opened, with the others (Zara, Honeygrow, Matchbox, and Sugar Factory) sometime before early Fall.

Arlington Cemetery. Preliminary plans were unveiled for a southward expansion of Arlington National Cemetery, which would involve a land swap with Arlington and the State and could help improve traffic flow at the eastern end of Columbia Pike and the Pentagon Row entrance.

MetPark 6. This proposed building on S. Eads is going through site plan review. The final meeting of the site plan review committee will be on May 12, and will focus on open space, and community benefits, including public art and affordable housing. Info is available at

ART Bus Facility: The new Arlington Transit (ART) bus facility in Crystal City will provide crucial operational space for its growing bus fleet. Crews have ensured that the site and building footprint are up to grade, and final preparations are being made to begin vertical construction.

Project completion is scheduled for winter 2016–2017. For more information, visit

Calvary Haiti Project, June 11, 9 a.m. to noon, Harris Hall: Calvary United Methodist Church at 23rd and Grant has partnered with Outreach, Inc. to pack 12,000 meals to be sent to Haiti. No expertise needed and families are welcome. RSVP to Marcia Grenell at or 703-521-3168 by June 3.

It’s Spring. If you have outdoor cats, please consider helping out young birds by putting a CatBib® or Birdsbesafe® collar on your cat. Both have been shown to significantly reduce predation on birds, and both are easy to order online. Also, in spite of the wet spring, if you have young trees (up to 2 years old), please be sure to provide sufficient water throughout the summer. Thunderstorms are not generally adequate.

Next AHCA Social. Help us switch it up! With the nicer weather, we’re thinking it makes sense to plan something outdoors. We’re looking for volunteers to help plan the next couple of social events outdoors. Maybe brunch or a cookout in the park? A neighborhood block party? Or maybe you have ideas for a different venue inside. Contact one of us if you can help.

Important Websites

Aurora Highlands Civic Assoc. Join Here:
Neighborhood Nextdoor site
4D-A Neighborhood Listserv

AHCA Bank Account Balance (required by by-laws): $5788.78 as of May 5, 2016

What do your dues get used for? Your dues cover the cost of the newsletter, website hosting, and supplies for meetings and AHCA social events, but they also help fund many activities in the neighborhood. AHCA sponsors the wildly popular Boo-Ha-Ha fall festival, and we also contribute to the Miracle on 23rd St. tree-lighting ceremony hosted by Linden Resources. AHCA donations also support school activities at Oakridge Elementary School, Gunston Middle School, and Wakefield High School. Let us know if you have a school or community activity you would like us to consider. You can join with Paypal at or mail a check or bring one to the meeting.

Please sign up with the Aurora Highlands group on Nextdoor to stay informed about happenings in the hood, including AHCA-related issues. We also encourage people to use Nextdoor as a way to spread the word about events or other items of interest to the whole 22202 community.

Aurora Highlands Civic Association Officers
AHCA P.O. Box 25201 – Arlington, VA 22202

President Natasha Atkins
First Vice President Debby Eliezer
Second Vice President Scott Miles
Treasurer Galo Valarezo
Recording Secretary Rob Sidman
Correspondence Secretary Heather Spence
Neighborhood Conservation David Litman

Bruce Cameron

Newsletter Editor Cheryl Mendonsa
Newsletter Distribution Les Garrison


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