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Breakfast links: Old dominion, new rules

Photo by nicoleramona on Flickr.
Arlington scrutinizing big box stores: Arlington is moving quickly to require county board approval for big box stores. The move is likely aimed at Walmart, which is eying an area in Shirlington for a potential store. (ARLnow)

BRAC moving faster than expected: Virginia's 2 senators and 2 of its representatives are calling on the Pentagon to slow its transfer of personnel to transit-poor Mark Center. The $100 million in transportation improvements have only just begun. (Post)

Fairfax to require permits for pick-up games: You better have a permit if you want to play a pick-up game in a Fairfax County park. If the number of players and spectators exceeds 20 people total, each person faces a $250 fine. (TBD)

2 visions for St. E's: St. Elizabeth's East could either have windy roads and separated clusters of uses, or a main boulevard and mixed uses. Shouldn't this be an urban design no-brainer by now? (City Paper)

Police suggest making speeding mandatory: Montgomery police suggested making it illegal to drive below the speed limit in the left lane of a freeway. They withdrew the idea after officials pointed out that it's illegal to drive above the speed limit, too. (Gazette)

DC urged to perform landlord stings: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is urging the District to use undercover methods to root out housing discrimination. The report is suspicious of the lack advertising for housing vouchers west of the park. (Post)

Why aren't the hip new restaurants in Georgetown?: There are three theories: 1. Too many tourists crowd out everything else. 2. The neighbors doth protest too much. 3. Rents are exorbitant for what you get. (Housing Complex)

Georgia convicts pedestrian of vehicular homicide: On a wide road with no safe crossing options, a driver who had been drinking hit and killed a 4-year-old and fled the scene. He will serve 6 months in prison. The county charged the mother with vehicular homicide, and she now faces 3 years in prison. (AJC via Streetsblog)

And...: Adrian Fenty joins a malpractice firm and is adamant he's through with politics. (City Paper) ... UMD's human-powered helicopter took flight for a record 12.4 seconds. (Post) ... A solar-powered buoy is sniffing for radiation on the Potomac. (Patch)

Have a tip or pick-up game for the links? Submit it here.
Eric Fidler has lived in DC and suburban Maryland his entire life. He likes long walks along the Potomac and considers the L'Enfant Plan an elegant work of art. He also blogs at Left for LeDroit, LeDroit Park's (only) blog of record. 


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Spectators are included because anyone without the ball is considered a spectator; at least that would be the excuse I would have.

by rj on Jul 15, 2011 9:14 am • linkreport

1. The permit for pick-up games is ridiculous. When I was a kid my suburban town would take down the nets and even went so far as taking down the rims on a couple of hoops. It was well known the reason was for keeping non-whites from coming into our white town to play basketball. I see this permit thing as very much along the same lines.

2. For Georgetown how in the world is the lack of transit not a factor?

by Ryan on Jul 15, 2011 9:31 am • linkreport

FYI, the doth protest too much thing actually implies sarcasm -- they're complaining but they secretly want it -- which I don't think is how it was meant to be used here.

by Gavin on Jul 15, 2011 9:43 am • linkreport


Go out to a Fairfax park on a Saturday, you will see more diveristy than you can shake a stick at. From cricket games, little kids soccer and to organized Latino soccer leagues which all figured out how to get permits to use the fields. Every race, income level and sport skill is represented with the required $5 permit.

by RJ on Jul 15, 2011 9:47 am • linkreport

The law the Montgomery County Police wanted to propose sounds like what the law is currently here in Virginia. I'd have to know more details about what they were proposing, though, to make a real comparison.

by Mario on Jul 15, 2011 10:27 am • linkreport

I think the spirit of the pick up game law is to help people who do have the field reserved be able to get on and use it without having to clear out dozens of people. I'm not so sure that its the best approach but I would hope it would only be used as a last resort if a group refused to leave or something.

by canaan on Jul 15, 2011 10:52 am • linkreport

It was well known the reason was for keeping non-whites from coming into our white town to play basketball. I see this permit thing as very much along the same lines.

People who think Fairfax County is lily-white need to get out more. Fairfax and Montgomery are both much more diverse than DC.

by Juanita de Talmas on Jul 15, 2011 11:03 am • linkreport

Insanity. Bureaucracy run amok. Taxpayers pay for the parks...they should demand the 'heads' or 'knuckle heads' of those who thought of this abuse of power.

by Pelham1861 on Jul 15, 2011 11:23 am • linkreport

RE GEORGETOWN: Why pick on a neighborhood? The joy of Washington is that we are 'blessed' with a wealth of safe neighborhood destinations to enjoy by all modes of transportation...seldom experienced by most in our country or the world. Whether by vehicle, Metro, Bus, Water Taxi, Bike Trail or on foot...this metropolitan area has ample treasures for all tastes and tempos.

by Pelham1861 on Jul 15, 2011 11:27 am • linkreport

I play in the NVSL and for the last couple of years we've had to make sure we have a permit every time we have a practice or, through the league, a game. It's common to show up to a field with a permit where there are pick up games in progress. Usually, it's not a problem to simply ask the players to leave, but there have been times when we've needed to say "we have a permit, you don't, leave.". I can only think of two times over the last 5 years where a group has gotten belligerent when we've told them a permit is required. These fields are heavily used, every day. I think it does make sense in most cases, especially b/c a "pickup" game involving more than 20 ppl generally takes some planning and getting a permit (in my understanding) isn't complicated.

by thump on Jul 15, 2011 11:33 am • linkreport

Gavin, you know your Shakespeare! I know it is supposed to imply sarcasm, but I wanted to put it in because it works so well in the sincere literal sense. In fact, ANC's specifically use the word 'protest' when opposing liquor license applications.

by Eric Fidler on Jul 15, 2011 11:36 am • linkreport

It is worth noting that not every patch of grass in FFX parks requires the permit. It is on specific playing fields that are clearly marked that a permit is required when you have so many people.

by RJ on Jul 15, 2011 11:54 am • linkreport

The DUI story is nuts. Not only does the DUI driver only get 9 mo, but he commited several offenses on the same day, ultimately killing the boy. He is blind in one eye, on medication, and DUI, and they go after the MOTHER for crossing the road?

by SJE on Jul 15, 2011 12:26 pm • linkreport

Fairfax parks can draw large crowds, and can fill up quite a bit - during desirable hours (after work hours). I can imagine that permits are necessary to keep things under control. It is good to enforce that system, during busy hours. $250 a person seems somewhat high, but good luck to the copper trying to ticket a bunch of people dressed up to run. Or a bunch of 6 year old bobble head football players.

@ Ryan: Fairfax is racially more diverse than you might think. It is true that Fairfax has way less blacks than PG and DC, even VA, but Fairfax has a very sizable Latino and Asian community.

And from:
Black 9.2% 19.4%
Asian 17.5% 5.5%
Latino 15.6% 7.9%
White (not Hispanic) 54.6% 64.8%

by Jasper on Jul 15, 2011 2:09 pm • linkreport

I should add that amongst the younger generations, the racial diversity jumps massively. Just walk by any school, and you'll see.

by Jasper on Jul 15, 2011 2:11 pm • linkreport


I DO believe Fairfax to be diverse. Maybe I did not make myself clear. I was trying to make the point that the was some racial undertones going on here. My assumption which I am sure everyone will yell at me about was that these "pick-up games of more than 20 participants OR watchers" refers largely to the hispanic comm. playing soccer. Especially when you throw in the on-lookers needing a permit, ie. the rest of the group grilling out under the tree.

But thanks everyone for the diversity lesson.

by Ryan on Jul 15, 2011 3:00 pm • linkreport


The “Participant” part of the enforcement is meant to avoid situation where the offenders say "those people are just watching" so they can get their numbers under 20, and when the cop or park official turns the corner, they reenter the game; it is an old trick. Also, the Hispanic community has a very large organized soccer league presence, so this rule protects them too.

by RJ on Jul 15, 2011 3:28 pm • linkreport

"Police suggest making speeding mandatory"

Thats tabloid-level warping of the title going on here.

According to the article, the proposal is pretty common sense. It's just to enforce that the passing lane is in fact only used for passing.

by JJJJJ on Jul 15, 2011 6:22 pm • linkreport

Maryland does need to get in the drive right and pass left bandwagon. Its law in many places and pretty much common sense to most drivers.

by dano on Jul 16, 2011 8:52 am • linkreport

Why aren't the hip new restaurants in Georgetown?:

My theory: residents of and visitors to Georgetown don't have good taste in food and don't appreciate good food.

by JustMe on Jul 16, 2011 2:17 pm • linkreport

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