1999 April

Next Civic Association Meeting -- Thursday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.

The Rock Spring Civic Association will meet on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 pm. The meeting will be held in room 227 (the music room) at Williamsburg Middle School, 3600 N. Harrison Street.

• Presentations by candidates for the Arlington County Board and the Arlington School Board.  A special election to fill the County Board seat vacated by Al Eisenberg will be held on Tuesday, April 13.  The School Board election will be on Nov. 2, at the same time as the general election.

County Board candidates: Michael Lane (Rep.) and Charles Monroe (Dem.)

School Board candidates: Andi Cullins, Sharon Davis, Dave Foster, Ric Roca

• Report on the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Task Force.

County Board OKed Levine School of Music Permit

On February 6, the Arlington County Board approved a use permit for the Levine School of Music to operate a music school at Rock Spring Church. In granting the permit, the Board adopted conditions recommended by the County staff and the RSCA.

The RSCA had voted at its last meeting (Jan. 29) to support the Levine School’s request, with the following conditions:

• That the permit expire no later than July 31.

• That the conditions concerning parking and child drop-off recommended in the County staff report be adopted.

• That a neighborhood advisory committee be formed, with representatives from the RSCA, the church, Levine School, and the nearest neighbors, to provide a forum to discuss and resolve community concerns.

The RSCA also asked the County Board to:

• Consider the other requests for use permits at Rock Spring Church together at one hearing to more effectively evaluate their combined effect on the neighborhood.

• Direct staff to bring these other existing uses into compliance as quickly as possible.

Neighbors raised concerns about the increased traffic, parking and noise, especially because the church has no off-street parking. (It uses parking areas at Yorktown High school on Sunday mornings.)

Since the County Board meeting, the neighborhood advisory committee has been formed but has not met. The first meeting is scheduled for April 13. Rock Springers Ron Geigle, Jackie Prensky and Steve Rowland are committee members.

The Levine School plans to move its operations to Westover Baptist Church at Washington Blvd. and Patrick Henry Drive this summer. The County Board will hear the application for that permit on April 10.

In addition to Levine School, other non-church-related uses (a ballet school and a tai chi class) at Rock Spring Church also require use permits. The County Zoning Office reported that as of Friday, March 26, applications for those uses still had not been submitted.

Spring Programs at Arlington’s Nature Centers

Arlington has two great nature centers, Long Branch and Gulf Branch. Spring is a good time for a visit! Here is a list of April programs. They’re free unless otherwise noted, but reservations are required. Call for more information or to be on the mailing list. Ask about summer camps for kids, too.

Long Branch Nature Center (LB)
625 S. Carlin Springs Road
703 228-6535

Gulf Branch Nature Center (GB)
3608 N. Military Road
703 228-3403

Open House at the Walker Log House, Sun., April 11, 11am-1pm. All ages. $2 per craft. No reservations. GB

Amphibians of Arlington, Thurs., April 15, 4-5pm. Grades 3-5. GB

Birds and Blooms on the C&O Canal, Fri., April 16, 9-11:30am. Adults. LB

Peeper Prowl, Fri., April 16, 7:30-9pm. Families. LB

Wildflower Walk at Fort C.F. Smith, Sun., April 18, 2-3:30pm. Adults & kids grades 7+. LB

Birding Trip to Westmoreland Co., VA, Tues., April 20, 8am-5pm. Adults. $15. GB

Spring Plant ID Walk, Sat., April 24, 2-4:30pm. Adults. LB

May Baskets, Wed., April 28, 2:30-3:45 pm. Grades 2-4. LB

Canine Carnival

Bring your dog for a fun-filled afternoon at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Saturday, April 24, 2 pm. Enter one or more canine competitions: Obedience, Best Tricks, Best Costume, Pet/Owner Look-alikes. Prizes will be awarded to dogs and humans. All canine participants must be leashed. $2 per pet covers all competitions. Register at the event.

Other April events at Potomac Overlook:
    Key-Chain Hike, Sat., April 10, 9am-3pm. Adults. Free, reservations required.
    Earth Day 5K Cross-Country Run, Sat., April 17, 9am. $10 for early entry, $12 for race-day entry.
    Creating a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard or School, Sun., April 25, 2pm. Adults and children age 10+. $5, reservations required.

For more information, call 528-5406 or visit the web site, www.nvrpa.org. Potomac Overlook is located at the end of Marcey Road, off Military Road.

Arlington Meets Aachen

Two Arlington arts centers will host works by six German artists as part of a sister city exchange. Opening receptions will be held on Friday, April 9, 6-9 pm, at the Ellipse Arts Center, 4350 N. Fairfax Drive (228-7710), and the Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd. (524-1494). Works will be on display at the Ellipse until June 12 and at the Arlington Arts Center through May 9. If you’d like to participate in the Sister City program, call John McCracken at 538-5685.

Free Lawn-Care Program

The Virginia Cooperative Extension is offering a free, hands-on lawn care program. It’s part of a statewide Water-wise Gardener Program to teach people how to maintain healthy lawns while protecting local water quality. The program consists of three spring seminars, two fall seminars, and a visit from a local Master Gardener. If you are interested in participating, call Rebecca Mead at 703 228-7633.

Arlington Reunion: Walker Chapel / Chain Bridge

Come share your memories at Arlington Reunion, Thursday, April 22, 10 am-noon, at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy Street. Guest moderator Howard Thorkilson will lead the discussion. It’s free, sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society and the Virginia Room. A light lunch will be served. This is the last program this season. Reunions will resume in the fall. Call 228-5966 for details.

Star Treks

Learn more about the night sky at Arlington’s Planetarium, 1426 N. Quincy Street.

"Stars Tonight," Mon., April 5, May 3, & June 7, 7:30 pm. Review the celestial events of the month with astronomer Steve Smith. Telescopic observing, weather permitting.

"Worlds in Motion," weekends, April 9-May 23 (Fri. & Sat., 7:30 pm; Sun., 1:30 & 3 pm).

Admission is $2.50 adults, $1.50 seniors and children 12 & under. Call 228-6070 for information or reservations.

The Rock Springer

The Rock Springer is published periodically by the Rock Spring Civic Association (RSCA) and is mailed to all dues-paying members.  The RSCA comprises 1,150 homes and is dedicated to keeping residents informed of issues that affect the neighborhood.  It also represents neighborhood interests before the County Board and the Planning Commission.

Annual Dues

Once again, it’s time for dues. Your small annual contribution covers the cost of printing and mailing The Rock Springer to keep you informed of neighborhood issues.  1999 membership dues: $5 per household

Mail to:
    Lou Ella Ingram, Treasurer, Rock Spring Civic Assn.
    4774 33rd Street, North - Arlington, VA 22207

E-MAIL (if you’d like to receive the newsletter electronically).

Picture Your Byline Here!

Do you have an idea for a story? The Rock Springer is always looking for good leads. Would you like to write or report? We would love to hear from you. No experience necessary. Students welcome. Call editor Gail Baker at 534-8948 or e-mail her at knetl.baker@tcs.wap.org. Let her know what you’d like to see more (or less!) of, too.

Rock Spring Civic Association Officers

President - John McCracken
3811 N. Albemarle Street

1st Vice President - Jack Sawicki
4879 Old Dominion Drive

2nd Vice President - Paul Michl
5118 N. 33rd Street

Treasurer - Lou Ella Ingram
4774 33rd Street, N.

Secretary - Judy Wheat
4879 Old Dominion Drive

Members at Large

Suzanne Gartner,
3420 N. George Mason Drive

Laura Meeker,
4839 Rock Spring Road

John Roberts,
4906 N. 34th Road

Virginia Stitzenberger,
4810 Rock Spring Road

David Wahl,
4805 Rock Spring Road

Newsletter Editor

Gail Baker,
4924 Little Falls Road

Arlington Civic Federation Delegates

Carl Cunningham,
3417 N. George Mason Drive

Judy Guerrero,
4836 Rock Spring Road

Paul Michl

Jack Sawicki

Alternate Delegates

Mary Cottrell,
5530 Yorktown Boulevard

Charles Denny,
5318 N. 36th Street

John McCracken

Lillian Ulmen,
3706 N. Albemarle Street