January 2024 Ashton Heights Newsletter


The January 2024 newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, email editor@ashtonheights.org.

Welcome 2024 —Opportunities and Challenges for the New Year
by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

A Happy New Year to all and a hope the holiday season gave us all a time to reflect how lucky we are.

I read The Richmond Times Dispatch, Virginia Mercury, and The Washington Post regularly. And while our area of Arlington has some stresses, we are so lucky to live in an area with tree canopy, relatively low crime, great neighborhood parks, fabulous schools, a trained and capable police force, and great neighborhood cohesion. It is a blessing.

I don’t see any serious changes to this scenario this coming year – but we have stressors that AHCA needs to deal with. 

Traffic is increasing, so we are seeing more accidents, pedestrian near misses, and speed in local neighborhoods. AHCA Transportation Chair Patrick Lueb, has developed some sophisticated analysis that he has shared with the county (and he will be happy to share with any of you that are interested) on the streets where Arlington police have set-up monitors. We have briefed Arlington County Board members and police staff, and we plan to sustain and increase this dialogue — looking at ways to calm traffic, redirect traffic, enhance visibility, and maintain dialogue with the on-going State of Virginia process regarding turnoffs from Route 50 and within Arlington at the County Board and Police department.

Development challenges on height, land coverage, density, EHO (formerly missing middle), Clarendon redevelopment are all high on our list. AHCA Development Committee co-chairs Jack Spilsbury and Alexander Tuneski attend meetings, participate in coalitions, and strategize on county input to maximize AHCA’s stated positions. Input from Ashton Heights residents is always welcome.

Tree canopy, native plants, and Stormwater Management have also come to the forefront. Our AHCA Tree Canopy – Native Plants Committee Chair Brooke Alexander is an effective advocate, educator, and practitioner – always the vanguard on the benefits to the health and quality of life to our community.

Chris Lewicki who chairs the AHCA Stormwater Management effort represents us at the relevant meetings, also an advocate and educator, and guides input and involvement on Arlington’s new stormwater programs newly applied tax in 2024. Both chairs work together to further the mutual benefits of trees and stormwater management.

While the above issues are continually “front and center”, our other AHCA committee chairs and co-chairs are very active. They are listed on page 2 of the newsletter. Feel free to contact them, join the various AHCA committees, and guide strategy and response that so significantly impacts our community.

Our AHCA officers also put in much behind the scenes time but deserve continual acknowledgment on what they do for our association and community. 

Dave Schutz, our VP of Programs, is responsible for scheduling speakers for our AHCA monthly meetings. WE ARE ALWAYS looking for input. Please contact Dave with your ideas, contacts, and issues of interest. And “yes”, this is a homework assignment. 

Jim O’Brien, has been our longtime VP for Membership, soliciting members and collecting our tiny dues payments. Please log onto to our AHCA website (https://ashtonheights. org/about-ahca/join-ahca/) and submit the $15 annual family dues payment. Or contact Jim to inquire about your membership status. 

Doug Williams has been our AHCA Treasurer, a thankless task, but a long and capable volunteer for many years. 

Chris O’Brien, the AHCA Secretary, who you see taking minutes at our monthly AHCA meetings on the third Wednesday of every month in the Clarendon United Methodist Church social Hall. He also oversees our website in conjunction with our AHCA newsletter editor Amy Miller, who puts in a huge amount of time coordinating and laying out our AHCA monthly newsletter, hand delivered and posted to our website eight months during the year. 

On that note, please contact our Editor Amy Miller with ideas and articles for our monthly AHCA newsletter. And lastly ongoing thanks to Betsey Lyon who serves as our AHCA listserv moderator. A thankless job, but so essential for our association. 

As always, I apologize to many others I did not mention, but deserve our community praise. I promise to continue the public acknowledgment to everyone who gives their time to help our community. 

Thank you all, each and every one of you. 

And finally, thanks to everyone in our Ashton Heights community for your time, interest, and commitment in making Ashton Heights a vibrant place — a wonderful community to live, work, and play. Happy 2024! 

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