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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: www.arlingtonva.us/ 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 Committee 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 computer. 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 www.hydeparkcondo.net 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 (www.hydeparkcondo.net), 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: www.arlingtonva.us/ Committee and this other individual to get tested them. If you ﬁnd you have Departments/EnvironmentalServices/cpe/ 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 ESPECIALLY HELPFUL IF THE decrease. We had one ﬂood in 2006 balcony doors? MANAGEMENT WILL FIND AND 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? 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Unit 0817 703- 525- 7973 www.allplumbing.com 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 President Tom Phelps Unit 0124 Vice-president Tom Lauria (M&C) Unit 0719 Secretary Ron Bashian (AC) Unit 0918 Treasurer Michelle Spring (F&A) Unit 0917 Director Michael Harkin (Covenants) Unit 0428 Director Gene Cross (F&S) Unit 0310 Commercial Justin Miller Committee Chairs Actvities Isabel Acosta Unit 0619 Covenants Melissa Pollard Unit 1113 F&S Richard Forshner Unit 1014 F&A Joella Hartzler Unit 0216 M&C Jane Montgomery Unit 1106 Ad Hoc Budget Joella Hartzler Unit 0216 Ballston Update A Dozen Little Vest Pocket Parks 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!....you 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 Library. 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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