• For more information on Green Party membership or to contact Green Party leadership, email info@greensofarlington.org Join the Arlington Greens on Wednesday Sept. 4 2019 at 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse Community Room (George Mason Drive & Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA)

August 1, 2019

Arlington Greens meet on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 7:30 pm at Ballston Firehouse Community Room

Arlington Greens next meeting will be held on September 4, 2019, Wednesday, at 7:30 pm in the community room of the Ballston Firehouse located at the corner of George Mason Drive and Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA, about 1 mile from the Ballston Metro station.

The public is cordially invited to attend, but only members may vote on issues. Any Arlington resident can join at the meeting; annual dues are $5.

Agenda for main topics:

Westover Apartments historic preservation

Arlington Community energy plan–how to reduce Arlington’s carbon output

November election update

Arlington rental housing vouchers expansion

Plan to attend.

Green Hour Cable TV program on Arlington Independent Media

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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.


Digital Camera

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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April 8, 2019

Study shows pesticide levels drop dramatically after 1 week of eating organic

environment — @ 3:15 pm

Organic Broadcaster https://mosesorganic.org/publications/broadcaster-newspaper/organic4all-study/

Study shows pesticide levels drop dramatically after 1 week of eating organic
By Kendra Klein, Ph.D., Friends of the Earth

Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies? A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal Environmental Research found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants in just one week. On average, the pesticides detected dropped by 60.5% after six days of eating an all-organic diet.

The study was led by researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and Friends of the Earth. We found families that didn’t typically eat organic food in four cities across the country —Minneapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Oakland. (MOSES was the partner organization for the Minneapolis study. The Birchwood Cafe, a local, organic restaurant, prepared organic meals for the family for the family’s week on an organic diet.)

The study lasted 12 days. During the first six days, each family ate only conventional foods and beverages. During the second six days, each family ate only organic food, all the way down to oils and spices. To ensure that they were able to eat a completely organic diet, each family wrote up a grocery list and research assistants shopped for them; dinners during the organic week were prepared by licensed chefs. All of the organic food was provided free of charge to the families.

Each participant provided a urine sample every morning. These were shipped to labs at the University of California at San Francisco and the Québec National Institute of Public Health. These labs looked for 18 different pesticides and the chemicals that pesticides break down to in our bodies, called metabolites.

Our study was designed to assess whether an organic diet could reduce exposure to pesticides, not to provide insight on the health risks associated with the pesticides in our diets. But we chose the pesticides we tested for because they’re among the most commonly used in U.S. agriculture and because they have been associated with harm to human health.

The most significant declines in our study involved organophosphates, a class of highly neurotoxic pesticides linked to brain damage in children. We found a 95% drop in levels of malathion, a probable human carcinogen, a nearly two-thirds reduction in chlorpyrifos, and a 70% drop in DAPs metabolites that represent exposure to organophosphates as a class. Organophosphates are so toxic to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a full phase out.1 Organophosphate exposure is associated with endocrine disruption, autism, learning disabilities, reduced IQ, attention disorders, delayed motor development, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, decreased sperm quality, and cancers.2,3,4,5,6

The neonicotinoid pesticide clothianidin dropped by 83%. Neonicotinoids are among the most commonly detected pesticide residues in baby foods.7 They are associated with endocrine disruption and changes in behavior and attention, including an association with autism spectrum disorder.8,9,10 Neonicotinoids are also a main driver of massive pollinator and insect losses, leading scientists to warn of a second “silent spring.”11,12
Levels of pyrethroids were halved. Exposure to this class of pesticides is associated with endocrine disruption, adverse neurodevelopmental, immunological and reproductive effects, increased risk of Parkinson’s and sperm DNA damage.13,14,15,16

Finally, 2,4-D dropped by 37 percent. 2,4-D is one of two ingredients in the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange. It is among the top five most commonly used pesticides in the U.S.17 and is associated with endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, increased risk of Parkinson’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, developmental and reproductive toxicity and damage to the liver, immune system and semen quality.18,19

Small Exposures Matter
Although we used to believe that “the dose makes the poison,” in recent decades, science has shown that even extremely small exposures to pesticides matter. Consider the fact that chemicals prescribed by doctors to alter behavior, like the drug Ritalin, are active at levels that are the same or lower than some pesticides detected in children’s bodies. We now know that small amounts of pesticides can act like drugs and alter our brain development, hormones, immune systems, and more. Chemicals that affect our hormone systems, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, can be especially problematic at very low doses.

We’re also increasingly understanding that even if the level of each pesticide is below legal limits, mixtures of pesticides can have an additive “punch” in total toxicity. Various studies have sought to assess this cumulative exposure, including one that looked specifically at organophosphates and found that if you consider the totality of U.S. children’s exposure from diet, approximately 40 percent may be exposed to levels that exceed benchmarks for neurological harm like ADHD and learning disabilities.20

Other recent studies show that reducing pesticide exposure by choosing an organic food can improve health, suggesting that the pesticide residues on our food matter. One study found a 25% reduction in cancer risk for participants who ate the most organic food.21 Another study found fertility benefits for women who ate organic food.22

Organic For All
Organic works. But the U.S. government’s food policy favors pesticide-intensive agriculture while failing to provide adequate incentives to farmers to transition to organic practices. As a result, pesticide-intensive agriculture is subsidized to the tune of billions of dollars while organic programs and research are woefully underfunded. This misdirection of public dollars makes pesticide-laden food the norm and is a significant reason why many people across the country still don’t have access to, or can’t afford, organic food.

Friends of the Earth, along with over 40 organizations across the country, believe that we all have the right to food that is free of toxic pesticides. The farmers and farmworkers who grow our nation’s food, and their communities, have a right to not be exposed to chemicals linked to serious health problems. And the way we farm should protect rather than harm the biodiversity, soil and water that sustain all life.

We can work together to pass laws in our cities, states and nationally that decrease pesticide use and expand organic farming. We can change the national Farm Bill and can advocate for policies that support fair pricing and fair contracts for family-scale farmers in order to support the increase in organic farming that we need to provide organic food for all. We can tell food companies and grocery stores to end the use of toxic pesticides in their supply chains and expand organic offerings. And we can support farmers markets, CSAs, and independent retailers and food companies that source from local, organic growers.

Together, we can demand that our leaders step up and shift support, research, and policies to create a system where organic is for all. The solution is here— we just have to grow it. For more information and ways to take action, go to www.OrganicForAll.org.

Kendra Klein is senior staff scientist for Friends of the Earth.

1 Hertz-Picciotto, I., Sass, J.B., Engel, S., Bennett, D.H., Bradman, A., Eskenazi, B., Lanphear, B. and Whyatt, R., (2018). Organophosphate exposures during pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: Recommendations for essential policy reforms. PLoS medicine. 15(10), p.e1002671.
2 Ibid.
3 UC Berkeley. Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children in Salinas. Online.cerch.berkeley.edu/research-programs/chamacos-study
4 Le Couteur, D.G., McLean, A.J., Taylor, M.C., Woodham, B.L. and Board, P.G., (1999). Pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 53(3), pp.122-130.
5 World Health Organization. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Monograph 112: Evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. Online. www-prod.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MonographVolume112-1.pdf
6 Recio‐Vega, R., Ocampo‐Gómez, G., Borja‐Aburto, V.H., Moran‐Martínez, J. and Cebrian‐Garcia, M.E., 2008. Organophosphorus pesticide exposure decreases sperm quality: association between sperm parameters and urinary pesticide levels. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 28(5), pp.674-680.
7 Cimino, A.M., et al. (2017). Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticide Exposure on Human Health: A Systematic Review. Environ Health Perspectives. 125(2): p. 155-162.
8 Hoshi, N. et al. (2014). Insight into the mechanism of reproductive dysfunction caused by neonicotinoid pesticides. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 37(9), pp.1439-1443.
9 Science Daily. 2018. Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans. April 26. Online. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426125939.htm
10 Cimino, A.M., et al. 2017. Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticide Exposure on Human Health: A Systematic Review. Environ Health Perspectives. 125(2): p. 155-162.
11 Bittel, J. (2014, July 9). Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides. National Geographic. Retrieved from news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140709-birds-insects-pesticides-insecticides-neonicotinoids-silent-spring/
12 New York Times Editorial Board. (2017, October 29). Insect Armageddon. New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/opinion/insect-armageddon-ecosystem-.html
13 Go, V., Garey, J., Wolff, M.S. and Pogo, B.G., 1999. Estrogenic potential of certain
pyrethroid compounds in the MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line. Environmental health perspectives, 107(3), p.173.
14 Quiros-Alcala, L., S. Mehta, and B. Eskenazi, 2014. Pyrethroid Pesticide Exposure and Parental Report of Learning Disability and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in U.S. Children: NHANES 1999–2002. Environ Health Perspect.
15 Beyond Pesticides. Pesticides Trigger Parkinson’s Disease. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/gateway/health%20effects/parkinson%27s%20cited.pdf
16 Jurewicz, J., Radwan, M., Wielgomas, B., Sobala, W., Piskunowicz, M., Radwan, P., Bochenek, M. and Hanke, W., 2015. The effect of environmental exposure to pyrethroids and DNA damage in human sperm. Systems biology in reproductive medicine, 61(1), pp.37-43.
17 US Environmental Protection Agency. 2017. Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage: 2008 – 2012 Market Estimates. Online. www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/pesticides-industry-sales-usage-2016_0.pdf
18 Beyond Pesticides. Pesticides that Disrupt Endocrine System Still Unregulated by EPA. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/gateway/health%20effects/endocrine%20cited.pdf
19 Beyond Pesticides. Chemical Watch Factsheet: 2,4-D. Online. www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/pesticides/factsheets/2-4-D.pdf
20 Payne-Sturges, D., Cohen, J., Castorina, R., Axelrad, D.A. and Woodruff, T.J., 2009. Evaluating cumulative organophosphorus pesticide body burden of children: a national case study. Environmental science & technology, 43(20), pp.7924-7930.
21 Scutti, Susan. 2018. You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic, a new study says. October 22. www.cnn.com/2018/10/22/health/organic-food-cancer-study/index.html
22 Chiu, Y., et al. 2018. Association between pesticide residue intake from consumption of fruits and vegetables and pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing infertility treatment with assisted reproductive technology. JAMA internal medicine, 178(1), pp.17-26.

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March 25, 2019

Arlington revises its community energy plan

environment — @ 4:49 pm

Arlington County is in the process of revising its community energy plan CEP that was adopted over five years ago, but never implemented largely because its two central policies were not done. The goal was a 75% lower carbon footprint by 2050. The vast majority of carbon output in Arlington occurs in buildings and to a far lesser extent in transportation. Electricity use is growing rapidly in Arlington. Progress in new county and school buildings and some new commercial high rise buildings has occurred, but this covers only a small fraction of fossil use in Arlington.

The CEP was not realized for two reasons. First the state building code covering all new buildings was never updated to achieve an expected 30% reduction in energy use. Secondly, the goal to have co-generation power plants in Arlington commercial areas never got going either because of the opposition of Dominion Power (which would lose sales of course), but also the large developers who are linked to fossil fuels.

Arlington Greens about two years ago advocated statewide and with county officials to get the state of Virginia to update the building code so that new residential buildings save 30% of their energy use, but the building industry blocked this change.

“County staff are currently leading a five-year review and update to the Community Energy Plan. The E2C2 Energy Committee is also providing a technical review of the plan and providing feedback.
The County will conduct a follow-up CEP Forum in 2019 to solicit feedback on the updated CEP. Stay tuned to the county webpage for additional details.” https://environment.arlingtonva.us/energy/community-energy-plan-cep/

Consider emailing your ideas to the Arlington County energy division for the new CEP to energy@arlingtonva.us

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March 16, 2019

U.S. Recycling programs in big trouble which points to needed changes in the U.S.

The New York Times reported today (see link below) that many localities are abandoning recycling programs for just straight burning or burying their solid waste. The immediate force of change was China refusing to accept any more solid waste from the U.S.

This is a good time for the environmental movement in the U.S. to re-evalute recycling programs. The premise of these programs is that localities should re-use the waste of a huge industrial sector which continues to produce more waste yearly without regard to the consequences. What is industries role in cutting the amount of waste in its products and itself re-using its own products?

At the very least there should be strict federal laws barring excessive plastic and other packaging for consumer products. There should be a tax on virgin newsprint, new aluminium, new plastic, new glass, new cardboard so that industry has a financial incentive to use recycled newspapers, aluminium, glass, etc. instead of buying newly produced materials.

It is wrong to expect just local cities and counties to solve the solid waste problem generated by trillion dollar industries which just continue to put out more useless garbage that ends up being burned or buried. if industry truly embraced zero packaging or something close to it, and took a holistic view of its products, then our society would save millions of tons of carbon emissions and the harmful emissions of solid waste burn plants.

Here in Arlington we recycle about half of our solid waste, but we burn the other half mostly. The burn plant–join with Alexandria and Arlington–is one of the largest sources of air pollution in our region. So, better solid waste management will help us all breath better.

Michel Corkery, the NYT, Mar. 16, 2019, As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling

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January 14, 2019

Greens support a Virginia Green New Deal Bill on Jan. 22, Tuesday in Richmond rally

Virginia and Arlington Greens gathered in Richmond in the cold on Jan. 22 to support a Green New Deal resolution in the Virginia General Assembly, along other Virginia grass roots organizations including the NAACP and the Chesapeake Climate Organization and the Virginia Sierra Club. We then visited our elected delegates and state senators.

Virginia Delegates Rasoul and Guzman and others introduced this house resolutions that would begin the process of drafting a comprehensive bill in 2020 as state law that would radically redirect Virginia into a sustainable energy future. A somewhat similar bill at the federal level has been introduced in Congress, but its prospects this year are doubtful. The goal is to have Virginia have a secure environmental energy future and many new high paying jobs. Solar, wind turbines, and insulating and conserving energy will bring far more jobs to Virginia than the few now in coal mining and fracking.

It is striking that the NAACP would join environmental and labor groups to seek a just environmental future for Virginia that would begin to address environmental racism that continues to target communities of color in our state, including in the path of the Virginia gas pipeline in Buckingham County. A Green New Deal means high paying jobs in our state; ending environmental degradation of our state, and addressing climate change that likely will devastate many parts of Virginia, including the Hampton Roads ares which is likely to be under water with the rising of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay.

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September 28, 2018

Bag It: Documentary on Plastic Waste, Fri, Sept. 28, 7:30 PM at UUCF in Oakton VA

Bag It” screening at UUCF Friday night
Sep. 28, 7:30 p.m., Sanctuary, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fairfax

Address2709 Hunter Mill Rd, Oakton, VA 22124
Bag It - Official Trailer
“Bag It” official trailer

Join the Climate Action Group and others for a free screening of “Bag It.” In this touching and funny documentary, actor/producer Jeb Berrier makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags. He travels the world to investigate plastic’s effects on the health of the oceans, our bodies and the environment. Learn what we can do about it and join the Climate Action Group’s 30-Day Plastic Free Challenge Oct. 1-30. Light refreshments.  Free

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May 4, 2018

Westover Village: Historic Preservation Public Hearing on Wed, May 16 at 7:30 PM

Come to the HALRB Public Hearing on Westover
Where: County Office Bldg 2100 Clarendon Blvd
When: Wednesday, May 16, starting at 7:30 PM
Why: Save Westover Apartments


Public Hearing to Consider Historic Designation of Westover Apts

Plan to attend and speak in favor of local historic designation of Westover Village apartments; local designation would prevent demolition of existing market-rate apartment buildings. In the past three years, 11 buildings with 100 apartments were demolished or scheduled for demolition. In their place are now towering million dollar townhouses surrounded by pavement.

Save our neighborhood and trees and green space and our neighbors who are moderate income renters who have lived here since 1940. Arlington must have a place for moderate income renters and not become a place just for the rich.

Historic Designation Preserves Apartments!
• Stop demolitions and keep current affordable rental apartments
• Attend and speak in favor of historic designation at the Arlington County Historic Affairs Landmarks Review Board public hearing on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, starting at 7:30 pm at Arlington County Building, 2100 Clarendon Blvd, https://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/westover-neighborhood-study/

Meet in front of Westover Post Office at 6:45 PM on May 16 if you need a ride and we will carpool together

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March 5, 2018

Petition to ban plastic bags in commercial stores in Arlington VA

Petition to the Arlington County Board from Arlington residents to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags in Arlington, Virginia

• Whereas—over 90 percent of single-use plastic bags end up in solid waste or in streams, lakes, and oceans, as litter and harming sea life and the world ecology;
• the second leading man-made waste found in the world’s oceans and waters are plastic bags causing damage to sea and human life, and in 25 years there will be more plastic waste by weight than fish in the oceans;
• Arlington residents generate over 100 million single-use plastic bags a year, nearly all of which is never recycled;
• About 400 million tons of carbon emissions are wasted worldwide to produce plastic bags (more carbon than emitting from Britain);
• We the signed residents of Arlington Virginia therefore ask the Arlington County Board to ban single use plastic bags from commercial establishments in Arlington Virginia.

Name Address (include ZIP) Email
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ ____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ___________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ___________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ __________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
__________________ _____________________ Arlington, VA _____ ____________
Sponsored by the Arlington Greens, Arlington VA 22205. Email: Info@greensofarlington.org.
Website: www.greensofarlington.org March 2018

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Ban plastic bags in Arlington

The evidence is overwhelming the environmental damage plastic bags do, and about two dozen countries, including developing countries like Kenya, and the entire state of California have banned them entirely. Consumers can readily shift to reusable grocery and shopping bags, and our streams, rivers and oceans are much cleaner. About 60 cities impose bag taxes, like Washington, D.C., but the best policy is to simply stop selling and producing a product that cannot degrade naturally nor be recycled easily. See Joseph Curtin, “Let’s Bag Plastic Bags,” the New York Times, March 4, 2018. Arlington County now refuses to accept plastic bags in recycling, and the amount recycled in the U.S. is negligible.

About 3 years ago, Arlington Greens asked the Arlington County Board to ban free plastic bags in commercial stores and restaurants. The Arlington Board refused to ban these bags from commercial establishments in Arlington, citing its fear that this ban would violate Virginia law. Greens however had written instructions from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that a county ban is in fact legal under Virginia law. At least one major Arlington food retailer, Whole Foods, supported this ban as it has not distributed plastic bags in about a decade.

Every year the Arlington County Government asks for community volunteers to get out and help pull out waste from our streams and parks. This is real hypocrisy given that it is far more effective to prevent litter than clean it up futilely each year. Plastic bags–followed by Styrofoam containers–are one of the leading wastes found in our streams, parks and green space. It is far far better to simply ban their use in Arlington, than each year go out and try to pull out bags from rocks, and branches; most of the bags end up in the Potomac River and our oceans. Degraded plastic bag pieces or microplastics end up in our drinking water, and poisoning our fish, whales, turtles and sea birds.

Arlington County is small but since the average American consumer uses 500 plastic bags a year, we collectively generate about 110 million single-use plastic bags a year. We in Arlington should be leading the way in Virginia towards a sustainable future that has no place for killer plastic bags.

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