O C T O B E R 2 0 0 8
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
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
& 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 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
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
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
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
Tom Lauria (M&C)
Ron Bashian (AC) Unit 0918
Michelle Spring (F&A)
Michael Harkin (Covenants) Unit 0428
Gene Cross (F&S) Unit 0310
Ad Hoc Budget
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!....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
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.
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
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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.