Barcroft Community House logo.

The Barcroft News

September, 2002 - Volume 100, Issue 1

President's Report

- by Pat Williamson Edwards

Our first monthly meeting will be on Thursday, September 5, at 7:30 pm. The topic will be the Arlington County Police Department's new CommunityPolicing/Neighborhood Watch programs and the Arlington County Civic Federation's Emergency Preparedness initiative. Barcroft participated in the National Night Out initiative with our Ice Cream Social on August 6. Many neighbors took the opportunity that night to meet the newly appointed 3rd District Police Officers, Kim Smith from the Civic Federation Emergency Preparedness team, Red Cross representatives, members of the Sheriff's Department, several Parking Aides, all three of the crossing guards that protect our kids at Barcroft Elementary School, Mary Hynes from the School Board and Chris Zimmerman and Barbara Favola -- and of course to enjoy the company of other Barcrofters! As the County embarks upon its very aggressive program to coordinate safety issues, we are delighted to be one of their target communities.

Other issues that have continued to percolate over the summer are the work of the Parking Committee, our effort to keep the HiCue Pool Hall from obtaining a liquor license, actual road markings for the speed humps our Traffic Committee so diligently worked toward and the long awaited next step in the Columbia Pike Revitalization Program -- the design charettes now scheduled for September 8-12. We anticipate a very busy year for the Barcroft School and Civic League. We need your input. Hope to see you at the September 5 meeting.

Back in Business

The Barcroft News is back for another season. After taking the summer off, the neighborhood newsletter is delivered monthly to all houses in Barcroft. Volunteers deliver the newsletter by hand; if you or a neighbor don’t get your copy, please let us know!

If you are interested in contributing anything, it must in by the 15th of each month to [email protected], or call Christina at 271-0631.

If you are interested in ad space, contact our ad manager Jim Kerr at [email protected]

4th of July Parade & Picnic
were a huge success!

A big Thank You to Andrew Hunter for all his work inputting it together, and for the excellent musical presentation by the NASA a cappella group, the Chromatics.

Woman’s Club of Arlington Offers "Kind News"

Many thanks to our wonderful neighbor, The Woman's Club of Arlington, for allowing BSCL to use their parking lot on the morning of July 4 to stage our parade. Curious about membership in this group? Contact Jan Baker at [email protected].

Among their many good works is partnering with Barcroft Elementary School on the annual kindergartners' teddy bear picnic and providing students with subscriptions of Kind News. Kind News is published by the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), the youth education division of The Humane Society of the United States. NAHEE works to establish humane education as a broad-based initiative that promotes environmental responsibility and good character as well as humane treatment of animals. Their mission is to help children embody the ideal of respect and kindness toward people, animals, and the earth. NAHEE publishes Kind News, an award-winning children's newspaper. NAHEE is a nonprofit organization whose work is supported through its Adopt-a-Classroom program as well as private grants, charitable donations, and allocations from the Human Society.

The Woman's Club of Arlington "adopted" three classrooms at Barcroft Elementary School. An organization or individual can "adopt" a classroom by purchasing gift subscription to Kind News. Adopted classrooms receive the newspaper and teacher materials. Check out Kind News on line at

Health Fair in Barcroft

By Sharon Tope

Our Savior Lutheran Church & School is having a Health Fair and is inviting the Barcroft area neighbors to come. There will be activities for people of all ages. Highlights include screenings for blood pressure, bone density, & cholesterol. There will be seminars on spinal analysis, diabetes, hypertension, and nutrition. It's all FREE! The screenings will be done on a first come, first served basis.

If you've been waiting for a good opportunity to have your children fingerprinted, the Arlington County Police will be fingerprinting children. There will also be child safety seat inspections and instruction on proper installation. Your kids can also check out an Arlington County Fire Truck and meet some real firemen. There will be information booths manned by the Arlington County Health, Fire, and Police Departments, and other health & safety organizations.

If you get hungry, the Church has a snackbar for you, plus a bake sale. If you're feeling lucky, you could win a free door prize. The Church is located at 825 S. Taylor Street. The Health Fair is Saturday, Sept. 21st from 10 AM — 2 PM. It will be held on the lower level of the church, which you can enter from the parking lot on the left of the main entrance.

Update on Barcroft School's New Calendar

By Carol Hunter

The process of changing Barcroft School to a Modified School Year Calendar has in a new phase. After a spring survey resulted in a majority of families supporting the new calendar, the Superintendent of Schools has now given the green light for the change. The next step will be a meeting on Sept. 12 at which the Superintendent's staff will make a presentation to the School Board, who will in turn make a decision at their Sept. 26 meeting.

In the meantime, Barcroft teachers and parents are in the process of creating committees to oversee the logistics of operating on the new calendar. Miriam Hughey-Guy, Barcroft principal, held weekly meetings in August and will continue in September to inform parents and teachers of the committee options in order to have the committees formed by the time a decision is made by the School Board.

Anyone in the Barcroft Community with an interest in helping this process along, especially if you have preschool age children, is invited to serve on one or more committees. This is a great opportunity to have a voice in the process. The meetings will be held every Tuesday evening from through Sept. 17 from 6:30-8:00 PM. There will also be meetings on Fri., Sept. 6 and Sept. 20, from 8:30-9:30 AM. Each of these meetings will be the same; you only need to go to the one that is convenient to your schedule.


An Update on 2002 Real Estate Assessments

As highlighted in the summer issue of the Barcroft News, the unusually large increase in real estate assessments for 2002 became a point of debate at BCSL’s April meeting. A resolution was agreed at that meeting to support recommendations to lower the tax rates adopted by the Arlington Civic Federation, and a letter was sent County Board Chairman, Chris Zimmerman, requesting that the Board take the BSCL resolution into account in its FY2003 budget deliberations. The Board’s subsequent decision resulted in a reduced tax rate of about-one half of the decrease advocated by BSCL.

By the time of the Board’s decision, however, wheels were already in motion by several Barcrofters to appeal their assessments. In particular, a group approach was made, led by Jim Casey and Dick Dendy, who live across from one another on South Stafford Street. By the time Jim and Dick appealed their assessments to the Board of Equalization, three more nearby home owners joined in, and—recognizing the common issues shared by the members of the group—the Board took the unusual and inventive step of scheduling a joint hearing on all five cases on Tuesday afternoon, July 16th.

Jim reports that the Board seemed amenable to striking a compromise between what the homeowners wanted and what the Department of Real Estate Assessments maintained was fair market value for the properties involved. The most effective argument made by the homeowners seemed to be that the comparables used by the Department were flawed in one way or another. At the July 16th hearing, the Board decided to reduce the assessment for each of the five appellants by 2%. This was on top of reductions already allowed by the first round of reviews. In practical terms, it brought everyone’s assessment to within $20,000 of their desired levels.

In reflecting on whether or not the effort to reduce his annual tax burden by an amount somewhere in the range of $250 was worth it, Jim concedes that there is likely only marginal results achieved in the short run. But he notes that the real benefits are long-term since, over time, the compounding effect of a lower initial assessment base will mean that this year’s savings will be repeated each year over the foreseeable future. In addition, he says, it aids the County in gauging citizen interest in real estate market factors and trends. In principle, he says, no one really minds if their net worth increases, but that rise is not money in one’s bank account, so it has to be done carefully and fairly.

"The Group" is grateful to the Board of Equalization for considering its logic for reduced assessments; the Board consists of volunteer citizens, and provide a very knowledgeable review panel.

Two suggestions are worth considering by other Barcrofters who may want to appeal their real estate assessments in next year’s tax cycle: [1] Don’t base your case on the over-inflated land components of the assessment received from the County; the Board treats land assessments as though carved on stone tablets, and anyone unhappy with their valuation, had better bring along a couple of real estate agents to argue their case. All reductions that were granted by the Board left land values intact. [2] There is synergy in bringing a group of neighbors with common issues to the hearing. The Country usually has just one or two staff sitting on their side of the table, and having a group of appellants sitting together, each prepared to focus on a special issue or concern does provide a certain level of balance in the adversarial atmosphere.


By Rev. Ann Barker

St. John’s Episcopal Church, located one block off Carlin Springs Rd. at 5th St., is excited to be offering new fall programs and activities to its neighbors in Arlington. Beginning Sept. 8, worship services will be at 8:00 and 10:00, with education for ages 3 to adult running from 9:00-9:45. Nursery care will be provided for the education hour and the 10:00 service. Beginning September 22, there will be two children’s classes, pre-school through second grade and third through eighth grade. Our younger class will use a Bible story curriculum that features heros and heroines of the Bible and Jesus’ life on earth, as well as special seasonal events. These classes will be as hands-on and active as possible. Our third through eighth grade glass will be using a curriculum called the One-Room Sunday School which explores Bible stories, seasons of the church year and sacraments at a deeper level. The curriculum features activity options to reach all age ranges. Our youth will have a room to gather during Sunday School time or they may join the adult class, which will feature a discussion about basic Christian beliefs during the fall.

During the 10:00 a.m. service, there will be an opportunity for young children to either go to the nursery or to participate in various children’s activities during the first part of the service if they or their parents so choose. Children rejoin the congregation after the sermon for Holy Communion. Prior to September 22, we will have some special activities. On September 8, we will have an intergenerational activity to benefit the Reading Connection, an Arlington outreach project to children in shelters. On September 11, the church will be open for meditation and reflection from 7:00-9:00 p.m. On September 15, there will be no Christian education or 10:00 service because the bishop is visiting at 3:00.

Please join us for any or all of these activities! If you have any questions, please call St. John's at 703-671-6834.


By Peg LeFebvre, Membership Secretary

September seems to have arrived too quickly this year. But it is here, and that means it’s time to renew our BSCL membership - or join if you are not yet a member. Dues are only $3 per adult or $6 per couple. The membership form is provided with this newsletter.

We are always hoping to increase Membership. It shows interest in your neighborhood. The larger our membership base, the easier it is to represent the neighborhood in dealings with the county and other organizations.

Volunteers do most things within BSCL. The more volunteers, the easier things get done. The membership form provides several opportunities. Perhaps you'll find one that interests you.

Once again we ask for your continued support of the Barcroft Community House Fund. Through your generosity, much has been accomplished. This past year it was the Handicapped Ramp. We got a significant grant that covered 65% of the cost. The other 35% was came from your donations. While much has been accomplished, much remains to be done in the interior of the building. Some examples are the ceiling, windows and walls. Any contribution you make will help to complete the total effort and will be very much appreciated.

We still have some copies of the March 2001 Barcroft Neighborhood Directory. This is one of the benefits of membership. It lists everyone in the neighborhood, but was distributed only to BSCL members. Some copies are still available, and will be given to new members that join this year.

Here is the 2002-3 Membership form

Columbia Pike Planning in the Home Stretch

By Bryant Monroe

The Columbia Pike planning process enters it final phase on September 6 with the opening of the design charrette. What is a charrette? Simply put, it is an intense, interactive process that puts community residents, business and property owners to work on a hands-on design exercise. The process involves a series of meetings beginning on Friday evening, September 6, and concluding with a presentation of the proposed design code for the future of the Pike. This process will be guided and assisted by a nationally known planning firm (Dover, Kohl and Partners).

Working in small groups, participants will use a Pike map, pens, pencils and markers to illustrate how they would like to see Columbia Pike change in the future by designing uses, open spaces, building design, transportation and services for the area. These visions will become the basis of a specific code for growth on Columbia Pike. Barcrofters should strongly consider attending the charrette sessions. Once developed, the vision for the Pike’s future will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and other County entities, and will be considered by the County Board later in the year.

The charrette sessions are as follows:

1. Friday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 PM (Sheraton National Hotel, 900 South Orne Street): Introduction to the Process

2. Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Sheraton National): Hands-on session - participants draw their vision on maps and illustrations

3. Sunday/Monday, Sept. 8-9 (CPRO Office, 2611 Columbia Pike: Open design studio

4. Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 PM (Sheraton National): “Work in progress” vision presentation

Please call Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) at 703-892-2776 for further information, or contact Bryant Monroe, the BSCL representative to CPRO at 703-271-0944. The CPRO web site ( l also have information about the process.

Next BSCL Meeting:
Apr. 4., 7:30 PM
Barcroft Community House
800 S. Buchanan St.

Worth Seeing:

On August 24, the Long Branch Nature Center dedicated the new Sparrow Pond Wetland next to the W&OD trail. It is now home to ducks and turtles, and an observation deck for us! From Barcroft: walk down 9th St or 7th St to the W&OD trail, turn right and walk up to the Sparrow Pond sign.

Around the Neighborhood

More babies to announce….Robert & Betsy Severn, with 3-year old son Jeremiah, welcome new addition Zachariah Daniel, born on 8 August.

New to the area stay-at-home mom with 5 month old hoping to find other moms to walk with or have play groups. Living on Crosswoods Drive near Farm Hill. Please call Chandra at 703-941-2330.


Brownies Need You: Call to anyone in the Barcroft or school community interested in volunteering for a leadership role with the Barcroft Brownie troop. If you like to work with kids, light camping and arts and crafts, this is a great opportunity. The group numbers about 15, and meets on Tuesday nights from 6:30 - 7:45 PM. If you have no scouting experience, there is wonderful training available to get you started. All the troop's parents provide support as well. If interested, please or email me: Carol Hunter, 979-8247, [email protected]

Tree Steward Training Course: Interested in trees? Join the next volunteer training course for the Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria. Tree Stewards are volunteers who receive 30 hours of training on multiple aspects of tree planting and stewardship. In exchange, they volunteer to teach others and care for the urban forest. Sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension in Arlington County, the next course begins Sept. 17, and runs consecutive Tuesday evenings to Nov. 5 and includes three Saturdays. The costs is $25. For info please contact Tom Tyler, 703-228-6423 [email protected]

Shop your CooP: The call is out for all my neighbors to patronize our neighborhood food store on 1041 S. Edgewood St, so it will remain open! In addition to a wide variety of organic products, they offer a great selection of bulk spices, herbs, teas, grains, beans.

Barbershop Music: The Arlington Chapter SPEBSQSA, Inc. will present "Barbershop at the Spectrum," 8:15 PM, Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St, Rosslyn. $12 adults/$10 senior/students (12 & over). Free parking in Spectrum garage. .Info/tickets: 521-9331

Recycle Printer Cartidges: If you would like to recycle your HP, Canon, Xerox, or Lexmark inkjet cartridges, please call 486-2966. I can drop off postage-paid envelopes that make recycling painless: Just drop the used cartridge in the envelope and mail. I run a non-profit, environmental organization out of my home office. We have connected with a Virginia-based company that provides this recycling service. The cartridges are re-filled and sold as a "recycled” product, thus closing the recycling/reuse loop. My organization receives a small donation for each cartridge received. Thanks, Annette Osso, Executive Director, VaHEN Rebuild Virginia & Building America Programs

Long Branch Volunteers: Greg Zell, Chief Naturalist at the Long Branch Nature Center, is seeking volunteers to assist in the natural resources management of the recently completed Sparrow Pond in Glencarlyn Park. Year-round activities include litter pickup, invasive plant control, wildlife habitat improvements, and wildlife monitoring. All ages welcome. To be placed on the volunteer list and receive information on upcoming workdays, send your email address to: [email protected] or call 703-228-6535 and leave your name and phone number.

Dead Crows Warrant Extra Caution: Several residents have reported finding dead crows in the Barcroft neighborhood. As the presence of the West Nile Virus has been confirmed, the county is no longer testing dead crows, but residents should continue to report dead crow carcasses to the Animal Welfare League by calling 931-9241. Carcasses will be collected typically within one business day.

Barcroft Exchange

For Sale: Backyard fort/playhouse. Two-level, with yellow, metal slide (makes a great water slide!), ladder and roof frame. All wood. Originally over $1000. Selling for $75. Call Debra or Rand Bass at 920-7620.

For Sale: Rowing machine. Tunturi R701 Air Rower. Flywheel fan mechanism. Excellent condition. $75. Call Debra or Rand Bass at 920-7620.

Schedule of Events

Please check our calendar page on the Web for updates.

If you have any ideas, observations, insights, complaints, or praise to share, please send it along! All submissions to the Barcroft News should be submitted no later than the 15th of each month. Send items to [email protected], or call Christina at 271-0631. We want to hear from you!

Check out our Barcroft Website for the latest news!


St. John’s Episcopal Church

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5

Join us for Worship, Learning and Fellowship.

Service Schedule Begins September 8
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Christian Education (ages 3 through adult)*
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist*

    * Nursery care provided
Fellowship gathering after the 10:00 a.m. service

Special Services

Sept. 11 - Church open for meditation 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sept. 15 - Visit from Bishop Lee.
Services at 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
No 10:00 a.m. service or Sunday School.

Sept. 22 - Regular schedule

415 South Lexington Street, Arlington, VA 22204
(just off Carlin Springs Road & 5th Street)

Do You Need Help Cleaning Your House?






    * Prompt Professional Services

    * Specializing In Houses, Townhouse, and Apartments

    * Good References *Guaranteed Low Prices *Excellent Work

CALL PETRONA AT 703-671-1791


Faux and Fleur Designs

Landscape the Interior Of Your home

Beautiful intersting and Unusual wall & ceiling Treatments for all rooms

One of a kind decorative paintnig Customized to your taste

Decorative & Faux Finishes (all done with paints)

Medalliions for Ceilings and corners

Metallic and pearlized glazes

Sample boards available for review

Ann bayer
Faux artist
(barcroft resident)

Call for Consultation

[email protected]

The Casey O’Neal Team
at RE/MAX Horizons

Casey O’Neal
Associate Broker

Rosemarie Johnson
Buyer Specialist

The Casey O’Neal Team at RE/MAX Horizons

Just a quick note to let you know how we can help your family, friends, and work associates you refer to us. Ellen is an elementary school teacher at Barcroft Elementary who was referred to Casey by Jodi. Ellen was renting a home in Arlington and wanted to buy her first home and continue to live in the county where she works.

At the initial buyer consultation Ellen received an education on the staggering prices of real estate in the area. She had several financing options available to pursue for mortgage pre-approval. After finding a "fixer upper" home she could afford, Casey and Rosemarie represented Ellen in negotiations with a stubborn seller and less than competent listing agent which ultimately resulted in a ratified contract.

Casey and Rosemarie helped Ellen resolve problems with the home inspection, appraisal, and also with title issues that delayed settlement. Ellen is now a happy home owner in Arlington!

The Casey O’Neal Team at RE/MAX Horizons

Casey O’Neal and Rosemarie Johnson

(office) 703-824-4800 or

PS: If you or someone you know could benefit from expert buyer or seller representation, please call or email so we may be of service.

Trained Nanny Available

Lives in and loves
Arlington and would like to work here.

For information call

Vivien Caladayud, (703) 521-7220

You may also call

Virginia Geoffrey,

(703) 243-7181

as a community reference

All Barcroft News phone numbers are area code 703 unless indicated.

Barcroft News Staff

Deadlines: 1st (ads) or 10th (editorial material) day of the month preceding the issue month.

BSCL Officers for 2001-2002

Community House Committees

The paper version of the Barcroft News is printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink by the Stanley Adams Printing Company. This Web page is put up by Randy Swart using recycled bits and bytes, and it is not absolutely identical to the paper one.

Barcroft School and Civic League
800 South Buchanan Street
Arlington, VA 22204

Neighborline: (24 hr. announcements, Community House rentals) 703-521-1116
Email: [email protected]

This page was last revised on: November 4, 2002.

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