Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Few of my columns have received as much reaction as my recent commentary on parking Nazis at the Arlington Farmer’s Market.

I have been frequently approached at church, receptions, political events, and most lately at my granddaughter’s first birthday party with their own experiences with parking Nazis.

Most frequent were tales of Arlington County vehicles pulling to a stop in the middle of a lane and the driver jumping out to write a parking ticket, forcing traffic to inch around them. This has happened twice to me while driving between the courthouse and my apartment in the last two weeks. It was the same person in both cases.

My son noticed another Arlington truck parked in a no parking zone while the meter reader was pacing up and down the street, apparently waiting for the meters to slip to zero. He told the meter reader very politely that he was not supposed to park in a no parking zone. The meter reader’s response was not quite so polite.

A couple of months ago, I and other members of my condominium board met with top Arlington parking officials about some problems with parking spaces and parking rules around our building. The meeting was very pleasant, and we even succeeded in getting some beneficial changes made.

During the conversation after the meeting was over, one of us mentioned that an Arlington employee had parked in a no parking zone when he met with us in an on site inspection. The Arlington officials were not amused and told us that Arlington employees should not do that!

So let the battle cry ring out. We are not going to take it anymore!

County Fair Time!

Many years ago, Arlington County took a page out of the books of our rural counterparts and established the urban version of the county fair – one of the icons of American life.

This year, the fair will be held from Wednesday, August 15 through Sunday, August 19 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street, South. It is a must do event for Arlingtonians!

The fair features Midway rides and games provided by Coles Shows amusements; the urban version of competitive exhibits including herbs, nuts, fruits and vegetables, flowers, beeswax, decorated food products and baked goods, art, needlework, wearing apparel, crafts, and dozens of other categories; a wide variety of entertainment; and booths of virtually every Arlington organization and government office. Of course there is a wide variety of county fair food, again with an urban twist.

Favorites include the Famous Racing Pigs, a petting zoo, Arlington Police K-9 exhibits, and a rock climbing wall.

More than 60,000 people attend the event every year, so parking around the community center is at a premium. The best bet is to park at one of the satellite sites and take a county shuttle bus to the community center.

For full information about the fair, including where to park, visit the official web site at arlingtoncountyfair.org. See you there!