1997 May

The Rock Springer

May 1997

The Rock Spring Civic Association

Arlington, VA 22207

The Civic Association will meet on Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in room 227 (the music room) at Williamsburg Middle School, 3600 N. Harrison Street.The next meeting of the Civic Association will take place in September. Watch for time and date in the next newsletter.

Meeting Agenda

Spring Neighborhood Day

Wanted: Talented Teens

Officers

President

1st Vice President

2nd Vice President

Treasurer

Secretary

Members at Large

Newsletter Editor

Arlington Civic Federation Delegates

Alternate Delegates

Report from the Last RSCA Meeting, Feb. 26

Police resources

Monopole placement

Other business

E-mail Subscriptions

Getting to Know Our Neighborhood -- Rock Spring Church

School News Close to Home

Jamestown Elementary School

Nottingham Elementary School

Williamsburg Middle School

Yorktown High School

Tree Removal in Rock Spring Park

Author Update

Senior Expo: "Seniors in Action"

Goodies for the Garden

Mulch

Compost bin





Agenda

1. Presentations by candidates for Arlington School Board, Arlington County Board and the 48th District of the House of Delegates:

  • School Board candidates Larry Fishtahler, Elaine Furlow and Palma Strand are competing for the endorsement of the Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC). The ABC caucus will be held on Saturday, May 17, 1:30-9:30 p.m., at Washington-Lee High School. Any registered voter or any member of ABC is welcome to participate.
  • County Board candidates Barbara Favola and Jay Fisette are competing in the Democratic Party Primary, which will be held on June 10, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., at Williamsburg Middle School.
  • Candidates for Delegate Bob Brink and Dave Roberts also will compete in the Democratic primary.

2. Report of the Old Dominion Drive Study Group. Presented by Paul Michl.

3. Discussion of plans for a neighborhood picnic to be held on September 27.

4. General business of the Civic Association. 

Spring Neighborhood Day

Mark your calendars now! Plans are under way for a neighborhood pot-luck picnic to be held on Saturday, Sept. 27. It will be a great opportunity to get together with old friends and meet new ones. We'll need lots of volunteers to organize it, so if you're willing to help or have ideas about activities, please call Judy Wheat at 536-4658.

Our picnic will be part of the first annual countywide Neighborhood Day, which will feature a variety of neighborhood festivities, including a celebration at Courthouse Plaza at noon.


Wanted: Talented Teens

Calling all Rock Spring teens. Would you like to earn some spending money? Will you babysit, rake leaves, tutor, pet sit, do yardwork or teach others to surf the Net? We'll advertise your skill in The Rock Springer. The next issue is scheduled for late August. Get in touch with editor Gail Baker, 534-8948.

We hope you enjoyed the last issue of the newsletter. Thanks to those of you who have paid your dues for 1997 -- you'll receive your copy of the May newsletter in the mail. If you haven't paid dues, please consider doing so now. Your small annual contribution helps us keep you informed of neighborhood issues.

Officers:

President

John McCracken
3811 N. Albemarle St.

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:

Winifred Pizzano

3421 N. Edison Street

Suzanne Gartner

3420 N. George Mason

Drive

David Wahl

4805 Rock Spring Road

John Roberts

4906 N. 34th Road

Virginia Stitzenberger

4810 Rock Spring Road

Laura Meeker

4839 Rock Spring Road

Newsletter Editor:

Gail Baker

4924 Little Falls Road

Arlington Civic Federation Delegates:

Carl Cunningham

3417 N. George Mason

Dr.

Judy Guerrero

4836 Rock Spring Road

Jack Sawicki

Paul Michl 

Alternate Delegates:

Charles Denny

5318 N. 36th Street

Lillian Ulmen

3706 N. Albemarle St.

Report from the Last RSCA Meeting, Feb. 26

The February RSCA meeting featured a report from Delegate Judy Connally on the 1997 General Assembly session, which was Delegate Connally's last. During the 46-day session, the General Assembly considered 2,000 bills. Highlights of the session included: new funding for Metro, water quality and waste improvements, children's health care, elderly care, and education, including $5 million to Arlington County for salaries and maintenance. The legislature also approved a program requiring DMV to supervise driver training courses. Bills considered by Delegate Connally's committees included toxic waste monitoring, pollution control and health care regulation. Delegate Connally explained that much of the session was overshadowed by the fight over appointment of a new Virginia Supreme Court justice, which ended in a stalemate, leaving the appointment to Governor Allen. 

Police resources

Detective Diane Gentles of the Arlington Police Department reported on resources available to Rock Spring residents, including the community resource division, which focuses on the schools, and one neighborhood liaison officer, Corporal Babcock. Detective Gentles also discussed the County's new Community-Based Policing Program.

Monopole placement

Jim Snyder, a County planner, reported on the County policy regarding cellular phone monopoles, such as the one proposed to be placed on Minor Hill at Powhatan and 35th streets, which was the subject of a March 8 County Board meeting. Mr. Snyder explained that the County cannot prohibit these sites under federal law, although guidelines for placement can be developed. A County Board hearing to consider a placement policy for Arlington will be held May 17. The staff contact on this issue is Tom Miller, 358-3525.

Other business

Other business included a report on the Old Dominion Drive Study Group's meetings, and the formation of a zoning committee to be chaired by Winnie Pizzano -- members are welcome for both. Also, special thanks were given to Gail Baker for the first RSCA newsletter and to all who helped with delivery. 

E-mail Subscriptions

To keep costs down, we would like to distribute the newsletter via e-mail. Anyone interested can request an e-mail subscription by sending a note to Alan Geralnick at the following address: rock_spring@geocities.com. He can be reached at 237-1631. Thanks to Alan for his savvy technical assistance!

Getting to Know Our Neighborhood-- Rock Spring Church

"A neighborhood center, social as well as religious"

Ed. Note: If you'd like to write an article about some aspect of our neighborhood's past or to suggest a topic, please call Gail Baker, 534-8948.

Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, founded in 1912, has played an important role in serving the community.

The founding members spelled out the church's mission in a resolution confirming its vision and use "as a neighborhood center, social as well as religious."

Eighty years ago, the vicinity was rural, with scattered houses, unpaved roads, and no church nearer than Walker Chapel, which was considered too far away for many of the residents.

Wishing to provide religious education for their children, a group from diverse religious backgrounds came together to form a Sunday School. As this drew in more families, the idea of a place to worship grew, but first the group had to form a congregation.

Twenty-five families met and agreed to establish a place of worship, to be named the Vanderwerken Congregational Church. Vanderwerken was appropriated from the name of the railway station that served the area.

Legends grew up around the choice of denominational affiliation. One story speculates that, because the vote was taken on a snowy night, the Virginia Episcopalians stayed at home while the hardy New Englanders cast votes to become Congregationalists. Another explanation offers the rationale that, since there was only one Congregation member, it was felt that there would be less dissention about doctrine.

With a congregation formed, the next question was how to get land for the church. T. B. Jewell, a large landowner in the neighborhood, donated the land, which is the present site of the church

Walker Chapel Methodist offered an unused little white chapel to the congregation. Men of the church provided plans and donated labor and supervision for relocating the little chapel to the new site.

While it was under construction, an open air chapel was set up across the road. There, the Rev. Franklin Noble came from Falls Church to conduct services. Legend has it that it never rained on Sunday during any of the outdoor services.

As the community has grown, so has the church. In 1940 a brick church was constructed to accommodate an enlarged congregation, and the church was renamed Rock Spring Congregational. The little white chapel was renamed The Neighborhood House and continued to be used by Scouts and other groups. In 1943, it housed the first Rock Spring pre-school.

In a community where the nearest public library was in Washington, one of the congregation's early projects was establishing a library. Starting with a market basket of children's books exchanged on Sundays, the Rohrer Library, open to the public, contains both religious and secular books, with emphasis on children's literature

After World War II, the community grew steadily. A new brick building replaced the old Neighborhood House. Soon afterwards, the church had to be enlarged.

Within the past two years, an educational building has been added behind the sanctuary, and the Neighborhood House expanded to accommodate a larger church membership and outside events. The slogan of the latest building project, "Building to Serve," carries out the same objectives stated in the 80-year charter: "A neighborhood center, social as well as religious."

In addition to religious services, Rock Spring Church provides outreach through the library (open to community use), the co-operative pre-school, FISH and Meals-on-Wheels, as well as welcoming many outside groups.

-- Virginia Stitzenberger 

School News Close to Home

Thanks to Rock Spring resident Judy Hadden for suggesting this feature for our newsletter.

Judy also manages Special Projects for the County Council of PTAs.

Jamestown Elementary School

Jamestown's student population is growing. There are presently more than 500 students, and projections state that Jamestown's enrollment will continue to increase. To accommodate this growth, the school now uses three trailers. School administrators have attempted to place them in unobtrusive locations, but trailers are difficult to camouflage!

For the past three year, Jamestown's technology committee has developed an extensive and ambitious technology plan for the school. Volunteers have worked hard to cable the entire school, and we are continually upgrading our computer equipment. Along with the hardware, there has been considerable staff training. We even have our own homepage.

Teachers, parents and students have developed gardens around the school. All are different, with many varieties of flowers and vegetables. If you're taking a walk one evening, stop and have a look at them.

-- Vicki Kirkbride, PTA President

Nottingham Elementary School

Did you come to Nottingham's May Festival on May 3? Our theme was cultural diversity, and for the 42nd consecutive year, parents and teachers (and local businesses) worked to make the May Festival the biggest community and fund-raising event of the year.

Now we are turning our attention to the outdoors. Construction of a new gymnasium is slated to begin in late May or June. The addition, located at the end of the primary wing on Ohio Street, will ease many crowding and scheduling challenges. Plans are displayed in the school's front hall.

International School Grounds Day, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and Nottingham, will be celebrated on Friday, May 9, 1:00-3:00 p.m. The grounds will be transformed into learning centers developed by teachers at each grade level. Musicians, naturalists and painters also will be here. You're welcome to be involved or just come and visit.

At our School Musical on May 21, 7:30 p.m., talented student musicians and vocalists will perform in the multipurpose room. The public is welcome!

Last year, we ended the school year with a new event, something to give everyone a chance to take a deep breath and say good-bye for the summer. Our second Ice Cream Social and Book Swap will be on Monday, June 9. It's a very relaxing evening, and the kids come away with armloads of summer reading. Adult books are on hand too, and you are welcome to attend.

-- Jane Wright, PTA President

Williamsburg Middle School

Thanks for giving Williamsburg Middle School PTA the opportunity to let you know what's happening at our outstanding school. We're a very busy school with lots of exciting things happening. With more than 930 students, our building is "bursting at the seams" -- filled with great minds and bodies!

You may have noticed that we have nine trailers in which children attend classes because of overcrowding within our walls. We are addressing this problem with the School Board and hope it will be resolved soon. If you have questions, please feel free to call School Board members.

On May 8, we are proud to present the Williamsburg Chorus in concert. The spring Orchestra presentation will be held on June 6. Both events will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the school auditorium. All are welcome to attend.

The PTA has been working on our grounds lately. We hope you've noticed! We have a committee actively attempting to "spruce up" our surroundings. If you have any suggestions or would like to help or donate bulbs, etc., please contact the school. We love to have community involvement in our projects.

Speaking of projects, we have undertaken a big task this year. We are trying to make Williamsburg a "Technology Trend Setter" and thus have been working hard on many technology initiatives. If you have any technology talents to share, we would love to hear from you. We recycle old computers -- and are willing to accept donations of new ones also! Please feel free to share your time or talent with our outstanding student body.

-- Eileen Ferrell, PTA President

Yorktown High School

As the end of the school year approaches, Yorktown is preparing to say good-bye to Acting Principal Howard Long, and to welcome Dr. Raymond Pasi as our new principal. Mr. Long will be retiring after more than 30 years in Arlington schools. He has been at Yorktown since the end of September.

Dr. Pasi, originally from New York State, comes to Yorktown from Rhode Island, where he has been principal of La Salle Academy for the past five years. He takes over at a time when Yorktown is growing more each year. In fact, the projected enrollment for this fall is large enough that the school is expecting to need up to three relocatables, or "trailers."

We hope you have had an opportunity to visit Yorktown this year, perhaps for one of the dramatic or musical productions or for a sports event. Did you see the championship basketball team? Now is a good time to come to a spring event. The Spring Vocal and Orchestra Concert will be on Thursday, May 22, and the Band Concert will be one week later, on May 29. Both events begin at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. For daily updates on the Spring Sports Schedule, call the Yorktown Activities Line, 358-5361. There is a nominal admissions charge for some events.

Wishing you a great spring and summer!

-- Anne Marie Hermann, PTA President



Tree Removal in Rock Spring Park

Two giant sycamore trees along the walkway/bike path between George Mason Drive and Little Falls Road will be removed soon because of root rot and decay.

One tree is notable because it leans at a steep angle over the intersection of the main bike trail and the cross trail from Edison Street to the foot bridge. This tree has a stress crack forming about 10 feet up from the ground on the upper side of the trunk. The other tree stands close to Little Falls Road near the paved path on the south side. Both trees have root rot and trunk decay.

The trees will be removed by county or contract tree crews, and additional tree trimming will be done when the crew is on site. Notices will be placed on doorknobs of those homes bordering the path before work begins.

If you have questions, please contact the Arlington County Urban Forester, Mark Snyder, at 358-6557. His fax number is 358-6507.

-- John Roberts

Author Update

In the last issue of our newsletter, you met authors Edwin Fishel (The Secret War for the Union) and Griffin Garnett (The Sandscrapers, A Forgotten Navy). Since then, Griffin has published a new novel that stems from an episode in his first book.Taboo Avenged, a suspenseful, psychological mystery novel set in the Washington/

Arlington/Philadelphia area, should be available in local bookstores in the next few weeks. By the way, did you notice copies ofThe Sandscrapers on sale at the Metro 29 Diner? Proceeds from sales benefit the Arlington Optimists.

We have another distinguished writer and scholar in our midst: retired Navy Capt. Wyman Packard. His book, A Century of Naval Intelligence, covers the years from the end of the Civil War into the 1960s. An administrative history, his work was jointly sponsored by the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Naval Historical Center and was published last fall. It was hailed by the Director of Naval History as "the bedrock upon which future histories of U.S. naval intelligence will be built."

Wyman is a long-time resident of Arlington. He and his bride of one year, Ruth, live on Yorktown Boulevard. 

Ed. Note: Have you or your neighbor done something noteworthy lately? Let us know about it. We'd love to feature your accomplishments in the next issue of The Rock Springer.



Senior Expo: "Seniors in Action"

The Food Court at Ballston Common Mall will be the scene of a Senior Expo on Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Expo's goal is to let senior Arlingtonians and their children know about the many programs and services available in Arlington County. Sponsors are the Arlington Senior Adult Council and the Arlington Commission On Aging. May is "Older Americans Month." 

Goodies for the Garden

Hasn't it been a gorgeous spring? Have the azaleas been more vibrant, the lilacs more fragrant, the grass greener (it's certainly been growing fast!), or is it just our imagination? We'll undoubtedly have muggier times ahead, so before they arrive, here are some ideas to help your garden grow even more beautiful.

Mulch

The County will deliver leaf or wood mulch. Prices for wood mulch: $50 for a full load, $30 for a half load. Prices for leaf mulch, $25/full load, $15/half load. Or you can load your own at the Leaf Storage Site on N. 26th Street near the intersection of Old Dominion Drive.

Compost bin

Turn your leaves and grass trimmings into compost. A sturdy black bin made from a 90-gallon refuse cart can be purchased for $10 at the County's Solid Waste Division, 4300 S. 29th Street, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 358-6570 for details.


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