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2008 10 October newsletter


									                     O     C        T        O         B         E        R                  2        0         0        8

Hyde Park
 A Monthly Newsletter	                                                                                              Issue 10
                                                                                             Ballston Living At Its Finest
Budget Open Forum           Renovation Checklist           Suggestion Box           Ballston Update             Smart Surge Protectors
If you are concerned        Covenants Committee            Potholes, window         Tour a dozen vest           Another tip to help cut
about rising costs, you     can help save time,            rollers, flooding,        pocket parks of Ballston.   utility costs.
will not want to miss       money and loads of             contractors, windows &
this meeting.               frustration!                   more.
Page 2                      Page 3                         Page 4                   Page 6                      Page 7

                                                 that report at the Budget Forum this             proceeds. I thank all of those
President’s Column                               month. As a Board, we are looking to             volunteers who worked tirelessly to
                                                 strengthen our reserves and prepare a            make the flea market a great success.
Neighbors—                                       solid financial structure for the future.
                                                                                                  As was said, “Thatʼs all the news thatʼs
The most important item to report to             The Associationʼs attorney has                   fit to print.” I hope to see you at the
you is that the Ad Hoc Budget                    reviewed an amendment to our                     Budget Forum on October 15.
Committee has been very busy                     contract with our management
preparing our budget for 2009, which                                                                                Tom Phelps, Unit 124
                                                 company, Legum and Norman, which
must be passed by the Board of                   transfers some of our employees to                   
Directors at the October 22, 2008                the management company. We are
meeting. There are going to be                   transferring these employees so that
significant increases in fuel, water, and         we will be able to offer health
electricity from the providers and the           insurance as part of their benefits
committee is trying desperately hard to          package. The Board has agreed to
make the increases manageable while              accept the amendments to the
still funding the necessary upkeep of            contract proposed by our attorney, and
our building. Weʼll know more by the             we will sign it and send it to Legum
time of the Budget Forum, October 15,            and Norman for their final assessment
2008. We hope that you are planning              and agreement. We had little choice
to attend the forum at 7:30 p.m. in the          but to reassign management
Party Room and that you will express             responsibilities of our employees
any opinions you have about the                  because it is the only financially sound
proposed budget then.                            way that the Association could                   Arlington County is seeking friendly
                                                 continue to offer health benefits to our          citizens to work at the polls on
Iʼll restate the obvious: we are still           employees. We believe that the new               Election Day, November 4. The hours
working on the convector plumbing                arrangement will be satisfactory.                are long and the pay is only $150, but
and we are still working on the façade.                                                           the reward of knowing you helped
As you know, work on the façade will             I was not able to attend the Flea                participate in this historic election is
be spread over the next three years,             Market held yesterday September 27               priceless. You must be available to
thereby keeping the costs manageable             because I was obliged to be at the               work the entire day (that's 5 a.m. until
given any given budget year.                     Library of Congress Book Festival on             about 9 p.m.). For more information
                                                 the Mall. I am given to understand               call 703-228-3000 or to apply online
We are studying the Reserve Report,              that it went very well and that the              go to:
and we will make recommendations                 Association will benefit from the                 Departments/VoterRegistration/
about future expenditures based on
Budget Open Forum                              Activities Committee                         Facilities & Services
Please plan to attend the Open Forum for
                                               FLEA MARKET: September 27
the budget on Wednesday, October 15 at
                                               Margaret Scrymser, our organizer said
7:00 P.M. in the Party Room. Your feed                                                      The F&S Committee continues to work
                                               it right in this after-auction comment: "a
back, comments, and questions on the                                                        on a wide variety of issues and projects
                                               rip roaring success, despite the
proposed budget are needed. Copies of                                                       pertaining to physical plant, décor,
                                               threatening weather." I was there at
the proposed budget will be available at                                                    security, and grounds.
                                               noon, and saw continuing attendance
the front desk starting October 2.
                                               and action. The overhead of our
                                                                                            Current topics being discussed include:
                                               building kept things nicely dry. Thanks
Many thanks to the owners who served
                                               are due for the able assistance of Mary
on the committee this year. Committee                                                         •   Verizon FiOS Contract – Verizon
                                               Long (who was instrumental in getting
members were Isabel Acosta, Bill Early,                                                           has completed their walkthrough
                                               the pricing set), Isabel Acosta, Jane
Doug Falls, Richard Forshner, Chris                                                               and we expect to receive the
                                               Montgomery, Laura Sells, and Carol
Gregory, Denise Hassanein, Frank                                                                  results soon.
                                               Chmelynski for their hard work. Also
Jaeger, Marie Jaeger, Miriam Kagan,                                                           •   Landscape Master Plan – Palmer
                                               thanks to our porters, Carlo and
Mary Long, Melissa Pollak, Dan Zirker,                                                            Property Maintenance presented
                                               Roberto Cabrera, for their work carting
and the Board Liaison, Michelle Spring.                                                           the results of their assessment
                                               the items and cleaning up.
Reviewing the budget is not an easy                                                               study at an open meeting on
                                                   This biannual event, sponsored by
task, and members do not take their                                                               September 17. Unfortunately very
                                               your friendly Activities Committee,
responsibilities lightly. It was a year with                                                      few residents or Board Members
                                               gathered us some few hundred dollars.
particularly difficult choices.                                                                    attended. We hope to have a soft
                                               We apply these funds to some
                                                                                                  copy of the assessment available
                                               recreationally oriented purchase for
Hope to see you on Wednesday,                                                                     on the Association website. At the
                                               Hyde Park residents to enjoy.
October 15 at 7:00 P.M. in the Party                                                              next meeting on Wednesday,
Room.                                                                                             November 19, Palmer plans to
                                               PETER PAN STRIKES: October 9
                                                                                                  present several interim design
                                               I'll be giving a "Retreat from
               Joella Hartzler, Unit #216                                                         drafts for each section of the
                                               Reality" (and welcome Pause from
        Ad Hoc Budget Committee Chair                                                             property. It is extremely important
                                               Politics), at 7:30 PM. With help from the
                                                                                                  that as many residents as
                                               musical Peter Pan (Mary Martin, Cyril
                                                                                                  possible attend these landscape
Committee for Finance                          Richard), we will invade Never-Never
                                               Land and cavort just a little. Assumed             meetings so that we can reach a
                                                                                                  realistic consensus.
& Administration                               identities (costumes optional) may
                                               include Peter, Lost Boys, Wendy, Tinker
                                                                                              •   Security Camera Master
                                                                                                  Computer – Water leaking into the
                                               Bell, or Tiger Lilly. Only unhealthy junk
                                                                                                  telephone room from bad caulk
The regular meetings for the Finance and       food will be served here.
                                                                                                  joints out on the Plaza damaged
Administration committee will resume in                                                           the computer. Management is
October. The committee meets on the            BRUNCH: OCTOBER 19:
                                                                                                  correcting the leak issue, and
first Wednesday of each month at 7:30           Suzy Early is heading up the fall
                                                                                                  Solid Gear is repairing the
P.M.. At the October meeting, the              brunch. Come to the Party Room
committee will be discussing Hyde Parkʼs       between 11:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
                                                                                              •   Comcast Access and
reserve investments. Please join us on         Slow down and meet fellow residents
                                                                                                  Compensation Agreements –
October 1 at 7:30 P.M.                         over delicious food, coffee, and a touch
                                                                                                  Management reported to the
                                               of elegance. This has been a favorite
                                                                                                  Committee that Comcast was
                Joella Hartzler, Unit #216     event of ours, and well attended. Watch
                                                                                                  unwilling to negotiate the issues
                                               for posters, and attend early enough to
                  F & A Committee Chair                                                           called out at the Committeeʼs
                                               sample the culinary treats. Check the
                                                                                                  August meeting. Based on that
                                               elevators for posted details.
                                                                                                  response, the Committee voted
                                                                                                  unanimously to recommend the
                                                              Ron Bashian, Unit #918
                                                                                                  Board reject the contract.
                                                        Liaison, Activities Committee         •   Energy and Water Savings – We
                                                                                                  are establishing a sub-committee
                                                                                                  on energy and water savings. We
                                                                                                  have already started work
      counting light bulbs in the building   Parkʼs Renovation Checklist. Copies
      and will help Management test          are available on the Associationʼs                 What’s On Our
      and pick out some of the               website or from the business office.
      replacement bulbs. To help save        The checklist serves as a guide and                  Website?
      labor costs, Committee members         record for Hyde Park owners who wish
      will actually participate in           to make renovations to their units. A         If you go to
      changing the bulbs. In addition,       copy of the document will also be kept        you will find a wealth of handy
      the Landscaping subcommittee is        on file in the management office to             information:
      looking into additional ways to        document renovation approvals and             RESIDENT SERVICES
      save energy on the Plaza lighting      permits.
      for the new layout there.                                                               • Renovating Your Unit
                                             You are going to need the checklist if
Come join us on the second                   your project involves building or                • Online Forms
Wednesday of the month to hear the           removing a wall, moving or adding                • Emergency Preparedness
latest on these and other important          electrical outlets, or any type of
issues that will affect Hyde Park well       renovation that has the potential to             • Association Terminology
into the future.                             affect the health and safety of Hyde
                                             Park residents.                                  • Frequently Asked Questions
          Richard Forshner, Unit #1014                                                        • New Resident Move-in
              Chair, F. & S. Committee       Recently, a problem was brought to the             Information & Forms
                                             attention of the Covenants Committee.
                                             An owner had renovated his unit,                 • Energy Conservation
                                             including installing a partition, without
                                                                                              • Hyde Park Recycles
Communications &                             following the procedures outlined in the
                                             checklist. Therefore, when he tried to           • Parking
Marketing Committee                          sell his unit, he was lacking several
                                             necessary approvals, including approval       COMMUNITY LINKS
                                             by the Board of Directors. The owner
Do you love the web? Have a flair for                                                          • Dining in Ballston
                                             had a contract in place – but could not
marketing? Like organizing multimedia
                                             obtain the necessary resale papers
events? Then this is the committee for                                                        • Ballston Update
                                             after the renovation was discovered by
you. Communications & Marketing is
                                             the building manager. The Board                  • Neighborhood Blog
responsible for the Hyde Park website
                                             refused to approve the renovation
(, monthly                                                              • Government Offices
                                             without a professional inspection. That
newsletter, welcome brochure, bulletin
                                             inspection found a serious problem with
boards, lending libraries as well as all                                                      • DMV
                                             the type of electrical outlets installed in
other communications and marketing of
                                             the new partition; they had to be                • Postal & Delivery Service
the building to both residents and those
                                             replaced. The owner could have
interested in buying. If you want to                                                          • Theater & Video Rentals
                                             incurred an even bigger cost than hiring
ensure that Hyde Park is presented well
                                             an inspector and having the problem
to residents, popular among potential                                                         • Capitals Iceplex
                                             fixed. Because of the delay, sale of the
buyers and the community, this is the
                                             unit could have been jeopardized.                • Central Library
place for you.

Join us on the second Tuesday of each        So, if you are planning a major                  • Transportation
month at 7:00 p.m. in Unit 1106.             renovation, please follow the proper             • Washington & Lee Pool
                                             procedures. If you donʼt you may not
          Jane Montgomery, Unit 1106         get caught…immediately…but you                ARLINGTON COUNTY OFFICES
        Communications & Marketing           could incur a problem when you go to
                   Committee Chair           sell your unit. You could lose a sale.        CLASSIFIED ADS

Covenants Committee                          The Covenants Committee tries to
                                                                                              • Items for Sale
                                             conduct business by email as much as             • Units for Sale
     Hyde Park has a Renovation              possible. We are always looking for
             Checklist                       new members, so please give some                 • Units for Rental
                                             thought to joining us.                           • Help Wanted
Planning to renovate your unit? Before                     Melissa Pollack, Unit 1113
you lift a hammer or make a phone call,                   Covenant Committee Chair            • Legum & Norman Connect
you need to obtain a copy of Hyde
                                                                                              • Submit a Classified Ad
Suggestion Box                               receiving a minimum rating should              the energy consumption during non-
                                             receive our business. Quite frankly, the       working hours by using timers on HVAC
                                             current system permits questionable
Some time ago Arlington County                                                              systems and lights, and examine lighting
                                             practices and rewards mediocre
workers dug 3 holes on Henderson Road                                                       efficiency."
                                             performance. Where is the
next to our building. They covered it        accountability?
with asphalt but did a very slipshod                                                        Regarding the information posted about
work. Now every truck or bus passing                                                        the engineering staff putting “Toilet
                                             Your point is well taken, and we will refer
by our building (and there are very                                                         Tummies” in our toilets that are not low-
                                             this to the Communications and
many trucks because of the construction                                                     flush, are you sure it will work? Or will
                                             Marketing Committee. In the June 2007          one need to flush twice and trice to clean
around the corner) make a terrible roar.
                                             Hyde Park Newsletter, another owner            the toilet? We shall see and then decide. I
Can we ask Arlington County to make an
improvement?                                 asked the same question and suggested          assume it is not a mandatory decision.
                                             share experiences about contractors,
                                             individuals and service companies. We          These were provided by Arlington County
There is an excellent Arlington website to
                                             hope you are willing to work with the M&C      Environmental Department who has
report potholes:
                                             Committee and this other individual to get     tested them. If you find you have
                                             the ball rolling.                              problems or need to flush twice or trice,
concrete/resform.htm. If you need to
telephone, the number is 703-228-4488.                                                      please contact the office immediately so
                                             Joella Hartzler said “We didn’t have           adjustments can be made. Thanks for
Be sure to have the exact address of the     large floods last year.” But I saw at least
pothole. We have sent in the information                                                    wanting to save water and money!
                                             3 floods at the corridor on the first floor
about this particular one. Thanks for        in June and two on the sixth floor in
                                                                                            I noticed the advertisement in the
reporting it.                                August. Probably we had more. Please
                                                                                            September newsletter for group
                                             explain what is the reason (especially on
                                                                                            discounts on windows. I thought the
It was very nice that Management found       the sixth floor).
                                                                                            windows were community property and
a company ready to replace windows,
                                                                                            were to be replaced by the association.
but it’s rather expensive and not always     Joella replies: I did refer in my newsletter   What will happen to owners who replace
a priority. On the other hand, it looks      article to the fact that we did not have any   windows when the community decides to
like many more residents need to do          large floods last year (in 2007).               do so for the entire building? Will there
some repairs (replace or repair screens,     Compared to our experiences in 2004,           be no assessment for those owners
rollers, etc.). IT WOULD BE
                                             2005 and 2006, it was a significant             who’ve already replaced windows and
                                             decrease. We had one flood in 2006              balcony doors?
RECOMMEND SUCH A COMPANY.                    which destroyed someone's unit. We had
Thank you very much in advance.              a flood in 2004 where the pipes to the          The Board asked the Covenants
                                             holding tank on the twelfth floor froze and     Committee to make a recommendation
                                             burst, and there was significant damage         regarding people replacing windows on
With our litigious society, Management &     to two tiers. Our insurance losses for         their own dime. Covenants came up with
the Hyde Park Association is adverse to      2004, 2005, and 2006 were $43,062,             suggestions that the windows would need
recommending companies that might not        $34,290 and $54,985 respectively. Our          to be the commercial size with no
live up to expectations, however, when       insurance losses for 2007 were only            transoms and replacement screens and
we replaced our rollers in 2005, I used      $6,377.                                        windows must look like our present
American Screen & Glass from Sterling,       The person is referring to a large flood        windows.
Virginia. They cleaned the tracks and        that occurred in a unit on the sixth floor
after the rollers were replaced, I could     but that occurred this year, and is the        The Board has not yet accepted the
slide my doors with two fingers. They also    responsibility for the damages are             recommendations. Currently, the Board
replaced two door handles that were          payable by that owner.                         is exploring that very question with our
broken. In 2008, one of the windows went                                                    attorney and plan to have a discussion
out of line. American Screen came back       Concerning energy saving: During               about it at a future board meeting after
and adjusted it free of charge. Their        Labor Day weekend, all ceiling lights          the attorney responds.
number is 703-471-4500.                      were on in office Suite 7 and in the office
                                             across the Plaza hall. Can we do               If you are interested in new windows, why
                                             something to prevent this?
I recently had a horrible experience with                                                   not call Once Source Windows at
two contractors hired by L&N to repair                                                      410-598-8777 and ask them to delay their
damages to my unit. I believe residents      Part of the resolution adopted at              September 30 deadline.
should be provided an easy way to share      Septemberʼs Board meeting was  for the
both positive and negative experiences       General Manager  "working with the                           Christine Gregory, Unit 710
with contractors paid through our condo      commercial owners, focus on reducing
                                                                                                                    Newsletter Editor
fees. How about a resident/customer
satisfaction survey? Only contractors
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clearing water & sewer main clogs, gas piping/    Leslie Bosch .............................................. Unit 0214
connections—and more.                             Erin Timmons & Larissa Teelucksingh........ Unit 0405
                                                  Phillip Cunningham ................................... Unit 0604
                                                  Kimberly Kritsky ......................................... Unit 0814
LICENSED          BONDED            INSURED       Steve Baruch ............................................. Unit 0817
          703- 525- 7973                       Farewell To:

                         10% OFF                  Mark & Michele Rigopoulus ...................... Unit 0107
                           ANY                    Aimee Altomare ........................................ Unit 0219
                                                  Yvonne Jung ...............................................Unit 0401
                         SERVICE                  Aloyna Ushe .............................................. Unit 0817
                                                  John Turns ................................................ Unit 0827

                                                                     Board of Directors
           Tom Phelps 
               Unit 0124
       Tom Lauria (M&C)
                 Unit 0719
            Ron Bashian (AC)                  Unit 0918
            Michelle Spring (F&A)
            Unit 0917
           Michael Harkin (Covenants)        Unit 0428
           Gene Cross (F&S)                  Unit 0310
           Justin Miller

                                                                      Committee Chairs


           Isabel Acosta
                Unit 0619
           Melissa Pollard
                Unit 1113
           Richard Forshner 
                Unit 1014
           Joella Hartzler
                Unit 0216
               Jane Montgomery 
                 Unit 1106
                                                  Ad Hoc Budget
        Joella Hartzler
                Unit 0216
                                                                             Ballston Update
                                                                         A Dozen Little Vest Pocket

What is a park? An open public green space with seating and appropriate landscaping and (we hope) a few amenities.
Parks can be half the size of Wyoming or just a little sliver between two buildings downtown. Most often in cities, they are a
city-block or two or more and include sporting fields and picnic areas.

In auditing the public green spaces in Ballston, our neighborhood compared well to many older downtown city centers.
Ballston is far more verdant and airy. One is never more than block away from a shady place to sit down, off the beaten
path, amidst greenery, trees, flowers and shrubs. If we can sit down in that kind of setting, it qualifies in my book as a little
“vest pocket” park; a restful infill. Some of the sites discussed below stirred up a ruckus during this articleʼs research
phase. “Thatʼs not a park! call THAT a park?!” “Yes, I do; there are benches, landscaping and outdoor art – it
qualifies,” I said, then and now.

The first few on the list are obvious places to park, but it does get dicey later on.

Nature Conservancy Native Plants Garden -- Behind their HQ on Fairfax, between Stuart and Taylor Streets, the Nature
Conservancy planted a public collection of native flowers, trees, shrubs and vines indigenous to the region. It is overgrown
and a bit woolly but lovely, nonetheless.

The Ellipse -- Between the towering Jefferson and the stylish Deco NRECA towers, the oval park within the Ellipse is an
intimate public space with a stately bronze European fountain. Benches under cherry trees mix with the restaurant seating
next the planted beds of flowers. A people place, for certain.

Wellburn Park – An asymmetrical cluster of Magnolia and a sleek green lawn mark the unofficial “town square” of Ballston;
across from the buses on Stuart.

Westin Entrance -- Behind the hotelʼs circular drive is a pergola and slated-lined walls with inset water cascades. When
café chairs are present, this is welcome public space that is a great place to catch some rays at lunchtime.

Liberty Center – If minimal design strikes a cord, hereʼs Ballston zen retreat. Low slung benches line up along a ground-
level sheet of water that sprays a center row of undulating water bursts. A modernist backdrop “wall” of mosaic glass seems
appropriate in such a dramatic setting on Wilson between Randolph and Quincy.

The Flame – No sculpture in Ballston has marked the urban landscape as distinctly as “the Flame” at the southwest corner
of Fairfax and Glebe. Contemporary benches and a brand new collection of grasses and crepe myrtles allow for seated
visitors. This will seem a more park-like setting in a year or two.

NSF Pyramid -- Sunk within its below-grade cobblestone basin, the National Science Foundationʼs black granite pyramid
with a brass tip probably looked better on the drawing board then in reality, but the curved granite benches under the pink
tulip magnolias are very inviting and very popular. The corner of Stuart and Wilson is a daytime destination.
NSF on Ninth -- Where Stafford Street and Ninth Streets meet, NSFʼs has a second park that is festooned with walls of pink
impatiens and shady benches hidden from the street. Over the years, this little park has grown more and more appealing.

Waterfall on Quincy – Sometimes the very best of intentions donʼt quite pan out. The brown tile “waterfall” at Quincy and
Fairfax looks a bit institutional; at least the gardens surrounding it are sure to mature into lush greenery.

Metro Center on Fairfax – All right, itʼs a glorified bus stop but itʼs mobbed with seated lunch-munchers and folks enjoying the
shady trees. Cyclists congregate and planted flower beds sometimes look nice. All and all, it feels like a park.

Quincy Lane Cut-thru – Behind Tara Thaiʼs sidewalk cafe, from Fairfax to the library property on Quincy, thereʼs a slender
green thread of a park where pedestrians can stop and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. This is not the place to go for
landscaping but one can be far from the maddening crowd.

Mosaic Park – Last monthʼs column feature shows a great deal of promise once Foundersʼ Square rolls along.

Coming soon: Besides more Mosaic Park, look for the impressive plans for Foundersʼ Square, when implemented, to attract
future strollers. The upcoming complex at Wilson and Glebe will have a park (over parking) that is certain to entertain the VA
Tech students inside. At Quincy and Fairfax, Ballston will get both a block-long park and a live theater, next door to the County

As for the empty triangle across the street, the County just announced a design competition among VA Tech students for a host
of creative designs, including a public dance facility. The miniature golf course appears up in smoke at this time.

After our scenic Ballston walkabout, we return to the Hyde Park grounds along Glebe and Henderson. The land surrounding our
building is not a park at all, but a mature, dignified green buffer zone that is actually larger overall than most of the little parks on
tour. Ballstonʼs finest park of all is the Hyde Park Plaza on the roof of our parking structure. With a winding brick path, a gentle
hill, a teak picnic pavilion and lovely seasonal plants surrounding a lush green lawn, this private getaway is perhaps the Hyde
Parkʼs most overlooked asset. Visit it more often. After all, itʼs yours.
                                                                                                                            Tom Lauria

     Do you have a smart power saving surge protector?
     Power saving surge protectors are now available for use with your computer or
     television along with their peripheral devices (printer, monitor, speakers, DVD
     player, game player, etc.). The power strips have a “master” plug in spot, “slave”
     plug in spots, along with additional plug in spots. The advantage is that when you
     turn off the device plugged into the “master” slot, the surge protector automatically
     shuts off the electricity to all the devices plugged into the “slave” slots. In other
     words, if your computerʼs CPU is plugged into the master slot, and your printer,
     monitor, and speakers are plugged into the slave spots, they will automatically be
     turned off whenever you turn off your computer. This helps save on electricity
     without having to remember each time to shut everything off.

     Smart power saving surge protectors can be purchased at Staples, Target, and
     similar stores for as low as $25.

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