• For more information on Green Party membership or to contact Green Party leadership, email info@greensofarlington.org Join the Arlington Greens on Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse Community Room (George Mason Drive & Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA)

October 7, 2019

Arlington Judge Blocks Historic Preservation of Westover Apartments

Arlington Judge William Newman ruled against community efforts for historic preservation in Westover on September 29. We had asked him to require the county to complete our historic petition for Westover, but the judge says the county can take as many years or decades as it chooses to complete historic review even if all the buildings are lost. He dismissed our lawsuit without even a full hearing on the merits.

Judge Newman—a Democrat and former member of the county board himself— ruled that the county can delay forever in processing our historic petition forever. He did not even have the sense of justice to allow us to argue our case with evidence at a trial. He dismissed our case with prejudice (meaning we can never re-file).

He ruled that the county does not have to proceed at all on our historic petition which was filed about 3 ½ years ago. Since we filed our historic petition, four apartment buildings were demolished in addition to seven demolished before.

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It is ironic that Judge Newman is married to a billionaire and lives in a mansion on an estate in Middleburg Virginia worth many tens of millions of dollars, and ruled that it is okay for the county government to allow the demolition of 70-year old apartments that house renters who live on very small incomes. There is plenty of room in Arlington for millionaires and billionaires living in their big mansions, but no room for a disabled veteran, a school aide or a library technician getting by on under $50,000 a year.

It is a lousy and unfair justice and political system that values billionaires and developers over modest people living in Arlington. Justice deferred is justice denied. This is not justice.

We cannot appeal the judge’s egregious decision to the Virginia Supreme Court since this would cost us at least $15,000, and we can never recoup any of these legal fees even if we were to win our case. So our justice system works well for the rich and developers, but not for ordinary people in Arlington.

With our court case thrown out, we asked the county board itself to bypass the local historic review board and take up the matter itself and give us a final decision. But this is highly unlikely as the board is in league with developers who choose to demolish older and simpler homes and build new, bigger, more energy wasteful, and expensive homes for the rich. And we wonder why we have an affordable housing problem in Arlington.

We will continue as best we can to preserve Arlington along with modest apartments for middle and working income people in Arlington.

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October 1, 2019

Arlington’s Energy Plan to reach zero carbon emissions based mostly on hot air and platitudes

Development,environment — @ 11:17 am

Arlington County Board of Supervisors on September 21, 2019 updated its six-year old Community Energy Plan (CEP), and increased its goal from a 75-percent reduction in carbon emissions within Arlington County by 2045 to net carbon neutrality by 2050. The actual policies needed to do this will be considered in a separate implementation policy in June 2020. So for now, the CEP is merely hopes and not concrete actions to be taken.

Why did the county only approve goals but not at the same time the means to achieve these goals? The plan has no funding nor new county ordinances or requirements. The plan calls for the county government to use only renewable power within 6 years, and all residents and business to use only renewable power by 2035.

The problem with that is that Virginia today has NO commercial renewable electricity. In 2018, about 3.1 million megawatts of electricity were consumed by commerce, residents, and government in Arlington. To supply that amount of electricity would take the electricity generated from the largest wind tower farm in the world (the London array with a daily capacity of 7,120 megawatts) for the +200,000 residents of Arlington.

Dominion Energy proposes to build a large wind farm off Virginia coast by 2026 with a capacity of 2,600 megawatts daily capacity that could supply only one-third of Arlington’s electricity use today.

It can argued that the 2013 CEP failed on nearly all of its goals, although some external and market driving factors did allow county emissions to drop slightly. A large proportion of existing office space became vacant during 2007-18, and Dominion Energy began phasing out coal-fired electricity for natural gas-fired electricity which produces less carbon emissions.

During 2010-18, net carbon emissions from buildings did drop by 4 percent or very close to the 2013 target of a 5-percent drop but only because of high rates of office vacancy. The bad news and more foreboding is that carbon emissions in residences rose by 14 percent, driven in part by a 9-percent increase in county residents.

The 2013 CEP failed owing to several factors: the State of Virginia Building code for new residential units was not strengthened to require builders to achieve a 30-percent energy savings. Secondly, no cogeneration power plants were built in Arlington that would have reduced commercial use of natural gas and electricity. Third, even the LEED certified buildings added in Arlington did not achieve significant energy savings.

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Regenerative organic agriculture has potential to halt climate change

environment — @ 10:44 am

Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute, Organic Broadcaster, Sept 2019

We can stop the climate crisis. At least, we can start reducing the 23% of global greenhouse gases that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently attributed to agricultural activities.

The answer is regenerative organic agriculture. And the time to implement it is now. In a recent report, the UN said humans cannot stave off the effects of climate change without making drastic changes to how we grow food and use land. Conventional, industrial agriculture depends on chemical inputs and fossil-fuel intensive synthetic fertilizers, in addition to heavy machinery and tillage, to grow food. Industrial farming also relies on factory farms for animals. These methods release large amounts of carbon, methane, and other gases into the atmosphere.

In contrast, science proves that regenerative organic systems, which prioritize soil health and good farming practices like cover cropping, crop rotations, and pasturing animals, use 45% less energy and release 40% fewer carbon emissions than conventional agriculture, with no statistical difference in yields.

The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial was started in 1981 and is the longest side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional grain cropping systems in North America. We’ve collected data on soil health, crop yields, energy efficiency, and more through our research trials, which have led us to discover the implications of switching to an organic system. Rodale Institute and others have concluded that if we converted all global cropland and pastures to regenerative organic systems, we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions. As the UN report states, we don’t have time to wait.

Regenerative organic agriculture works with natural systems to produce nutritious and abundant food, instead of relying on synthetic inputs like pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Regenerative goes beyond sustainable to improve resources, not just maintain them. Regenerative organic agriculture utilizes strategies like organic no-till, which uses cover crops to return nutrients to the soil while absorbing carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Because the soil is not disturbed in organic no-till systems, the carbon dioxide absorbed by the cover crop is sequestered in the soil instead of released into the atmosphere.

Regenerative organic prioritizes soil health, but also considers animal welfare and social fairness in its standards. Regenerative organic livestock management emphasizes rotational grazing, grazing on grass, and no antibiotics or hormones, reducing the heavy burden livestock place on climate. But we don’t need regenerative organic agriculture only to mitigate the effects of climate change. We also need it in order to feed a world that’s already been shaped by a changing climate. As extreme weather events become more frequent, agricultural systems must become more resilient. Our research has found that organic crops have the potential to produce yields up to 40% higher in times of inclement weather—like flooding or drought—than conventional systems. This means that it is possible to feed the world while reducing carbon emissions.

Jeff Moyer is the executive director of Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Organic No-Till Farming: Advancing No-Till Agriculture. https://mosesorganic.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Broadcaster-Sept.-2019.pdf
Page 5 Page 7 Page 10 Page 9 – mosesorganic.org
Volume 27, #5 September | October 2019 Editor Audrey Alwell Advertising Coordinator Tom Manley Digital Content Producer their compass when things get rough. They can guide Stephanie Coffman The Organic BroadcasterTM is a bimonthly newspaper published by the Midwest Organic &
mosesorganic.org

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September 26, 2019

Arlington Greens and 50+ Groups and Delegates Demand VA Governor Northam Deny Permits for Two New Pipelines & Gas Plant

environment — @ 11:32 am

Virginia cannot approve more dirty energy investment if it really wants to tackle climate change impacts

Richmond, VA — Today, Delegates Lee Carter, Del. Sam Rasoul, Food & Water Action, and a coalition of over 50 groups including the Arlington Green Party across Virginia officially released a letter urging Governor Ralph Northam to stop investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure. The letter specifically calls on the governor’s administration to deny state permits for two new pipelines in Northern Virginia and in Pittsylvania that will lead to more dependence on fossil fuels and the development of new dirty fuel infrastructure in the state.

“Virginia which today has no commercial solar farms or wind tower farms must leave coal and fracked gas in the ground, and move immediately to expand sustainable solar and wind technology throughout our state, and not expand pipelines meant to last 50 years or more,” says Arlington Greens chair John Reeder. He added that compressor stations and pipelines endanger nearby communities and cause environmental degradation.

Virginia is currently reviewing air and water permits that would allow the Southeastern Trail Expansion project to build out a new pipeline in Northern Virginia and expand several compressor stations. In Pittsylvania, the MVP Southgate Extension would also add 30 new miles of pipeline in Virginia.

The group letter criticizes past decisions to allow the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipelines that will be transporting fracked gas across the state. Both of those pipelines have garnered strong opposition because of the negative health and safety impacts they will have on Virginia communities, in particular, vulnerable communities that already bear the disproportionate brunt of fossil fuel negative impacts.

“Governor Northam should direct state agencies to deny permits for any new fossil fuel infrastructure if he’s truly committed to the 100% renewable energy future he announced last week,” said Jorge Aguilar, the southern region director for Food & Water Action. “The governor’s commitment to addressing climate change will mean nothing if his agencies are still approving pipelines and gas plants behind the scenes.”

“People of faith know that more pipelines endanger our neighbors both near and far,” said Jonathan Lacock-Nisly, Director of Faithful Advocacy for Interfaith Power & Light, which engages congregations in addressing climate change. “We urge the governor to instead join caring congregations across Virginia in shifting to cleaner power.”

This release comes on the heels of Northam issuing Executive Order 43 last week, which failed to make any mention of halting current fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Chickahominy gas plant in Charles City and other pipelines, which will also wreak havoc on the environment and communities of Virginia.

“The fight against Chickahominy Power gas plant demonstrates what is at stake for all of us, starting with the frontline community whose well water is directly under threat and who will be near to the 6.5 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted annually from the plant,” said Dr. Mary Finley-Brook, PhD, Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative. “After stealing our water and poisoning our air, this gas plant will become a stranded asset when we move to truly clean renewables.”

Full letter here: https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/govnorthamopposeffpermitsgroupsignonletter.pdf

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September 24, 2019

Arlington Green Building Certification Program Mostly Green Washing

Development,environment — @ 4:06 pm

Arlington County gives subsidies to builders who obtain LEED certification for a new building that is supposed to cut energy use by 25-30 percent. The main subsidy given is zoning approval to add more floors and height to a new building, and in some cases tax credits. The first building was certified in the Arlington program in 2006.

During 2006-16, about 89 buildings were built in Arlington with a so-called “Green building certification” that include mainly LEED (Green Building Council), Earth Craft, Energy Star, and Water Sense EPA. But in the 13 years that program has operated, County staff have been unable to verify that these certified buildings use less energy than comparable non-certified buildings.

Nationwide, independent researchers cast doubt that LEED or similar rating systems result in any significant energy reduction. One researcher obtained energy use data for 10 major metro areas with large numbers of green certified (mainly LEED) buildings, and found that these building use MORE energy than comparable non-certified buildings, according to research from Oberlin College professor John Schofield. Perversely, he found newer LEED buildings tend to host more energy intensive activities, such as more computers and cellphones.

Thus, although Arlington has about 90 more energy certified buildings, it is not apparent that these buildings actually use less energy, and based on more comprehensive studies of ten major metro areas including Washington DC, such building would be expected to use more energy and not less.

There are proven ways to reduce energy in commercial buildings but these largely involve external factors—addition of solar panels outside the building, geothermal heating and cooling, and sourcing of renewable electricity.

The county government should revise its green building program to require developers to use external technology rather than rely on a certification program that results in no or even higher energy use. The current county program is green washing: allowing a developer to claim public relations credit and a significant subsidy for doing nothing to cut energy use.

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September 9, 2019

Arlington carbon emissions rise in homes, but drop in commerce and government during 2010-18, with 4-percent overall drop

Development,environment — @ 4:32 pm

During 2010-18 in Arlington, the use of natural gas rose by 30 percent to 91 million therms while use of electricity fell by 9 percent to 3.1 billion kilo watt hours, according to data from the Arlington County Government. In terms of carbon emissions, total carbon emissions declined by about 4 percent during 2010-2018, but most of this occurred because of lower commercial and government use related to fewer office workers in Arlington.

Residential use of electricity and natural gas both rose in this period. Use of electricity in homes rose by 3 percent to 1.7 billion kilowatt hours, and use of natural gas by rose by 54 percent to 61 million therms. Combined carbon emissions in residences rose by 14 percent to about 1.1 million metric tons of carbon. Raw data were supplied by the county government and converted to carbon equivalents using EPA data.

The increased residential use was propelled upwards by a 9-percent rise in population of Arlington rising to about 226,000 in January 2019 from 208,000 in 2010. However the rise in energy use exceeded the rise in population indicating that residents are intensifying their use of energy in their homes.
For the commercial and government sectors which experienced a drop in gas and electricity use, the large increase in empty office space and the reduction in the number of federal employees located in Arlington triggered this decline.

With the expected entry of thousands of Amazon employees in Arlington over the next 5 years or so, it is likely that the commercial sector will return to its prior energy use as office space is filled and more office buildings are constructed.

The Arlington Community Energy Plan adopted in 2013 has thus yet to indicate a shift in the energy patterns in commerce, government and residential uses, and the slight 4-percent drop in carbon emissions is entirely related to increased office vacancies. A return to high office use and the entry of Amazon HQ2 is likely to lead to a rise in overall county emissions. This will make impossible Arlington County’s energy plan goal to attain a 50-percent drop in emissions in the next 20 years.

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September 6, 2019

Greens to School Board: Leave the Trees Alone around Reed School in Westover

environment — @ 11:15 am

Arlington Greens voted to oppose the removal of over 30 mature trees and paving that green space adjacent to the Reed School in Westover area of Arlington on September 4. The school board will demolish the existing Reed School and as part of that plan it would remove trees and greens pace, among the trees are a silver maple of 54-inch diameter and red maple 42-inch diameter that are over 80 years old. The plan calls for this area to be paved and thus increasing storm water run off in an area that was just flooded two months ago. The removal of the trees and paving is a landscaping plan and has no relation to the new school building.

Many local residents have objected to the removal of the trees which also shade and retain rain water which otherwise would flow into the school building site.

We urge Arlington residents to tell the Arlington School Board to leave the trees on the Reed School property alone and allow nature to co-exist with the elementary school as it has for the past 80 years. Children can enjoy the trees and green space. Email – school.board@apsva.us
U.S. Mail – Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22204
By Phone 703-228-6015 to leave a voice mail message.

Schools and nature and trees belong together. Trees also provide canopy and cooling to Arlington which has many urban hot spots today and only getting worse. We need more trees in Arlington. it will also cost the public funds to pave over and remove the trees.

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August 30, 2019

Greens meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse

Arlington Greens will hold their September meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 pm at the Ballston Firehouse Community Room located at George Mason Drive and Wilson Boulevard, Arlington.

Major topics:

Affordable housing in Arlington–update on Westover preservation of apartments

Arlington Community Energy plan–update on revised plan

Virginia Pipelines–adoption of opposition to building new Virginia pipelines

November elections–discussion of candidates

All are welcome.

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July 30, 2019

Lawsuit filed against Arlington County for Blocking Historic Preservation of Westover Village in Arlington

John Reeder, a longtime Arlington community activist and chairman of the Arlington Green Party, filed a lawsuit on July 30 against the Arlington County Board of Supervisors for their refusal to complete the historic preservation review of Westover Village Apartments begun three years ago. The lawsuit asks an Arlington County judge to order the County Board to complete the local historic review process, as required under Virginia’s historic preservation law. Local historic preservation would prevent any further demolitions of existing buildings.


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Westover Village containing garden apartments, a shopping center, schools, a church, and small detached houses, was built mostly during the World War II era for Arlington residents working for the U.S. military and Government; most residents today are renters in the remaining about 700 moderate-cost garden apartments. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006 designated the Village a national historic district, owing to its historic significance and architecture of the late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Colonial Revival. In the past few years, a developer demolished eleven apartment buildings with about 90 units, and eliminated all adjacent mature old trees and green space.

The petition to initiate the local historic review of Westover Village was filed by Reeder in June 2016, and later supported by 160 Arlington residents. The county Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) then found that the proposed historic district met at least two of the required criteria for local historic designation. But then later, the HALRB halted any the review until the county board completed an unrelated zoning ordinance (the Housing Conservation Districts) that remains unfinished today. The proposed zoning ordinance was a pretext for delay, and unrelated to local historic designation which must strictly conform to the State of Virginia law on historic preservation.

The lawsuit asks for no monetary compensation, but rather for an order from the judge compelling the county board to expeditiously complete the historic review process after a 3-year delay as required by state law. Eleven buildings in the Village have been demolished to date, four since the petition was filed three years ago.

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July 17, 2019

Presidential Green Party candidate Dario Hunter spoke in Arlington on July 18

Presidential Green candidate Dario Hunter spoke at Arlington Central Library on July 16, Green Party members gathered to hear Ohio Green candidate Dario Hunter speak about his ideas for his presidential campaign to obtain the Green Party national nomination in 2020. He is an elected member of the Youngstown Ohio school board, an environmental attorney, rabbi, and son of an immigrant. Visit his website for more information www.dariohunter.com Dario is pictured in the photo (third from the left). Arlington Green member Kirit Mookerjee is on the far right.

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