Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stop the Whingeing!

The British have a marvelous word, whingeing, that describes incessant complaining, which is especially apt when the party making the complaints takes little or no action. The Growler isn't quite sure of the etymology of the word, but has always assumed it is a crush of two other verbs: whining and cringing.

Well, we've had some choice whingeing on this site lately. To quote one of our commenters:

The ICCA or Bud Hart or Cromley dont have the authority to revoke Resolution 830 or underground power lines or get buildings shrunk to smaller sizes. The ICCA or Bud Hart or Cromley dont have the authority to revoke Resolution 830 or underground power lines or get buildings shrunk to smaller
sizes.


The Growler frankly has no patience for this blather, and here's a quick history lesson to explain why.

1. Caroline Merck, former president of Old Town Civic Association, was one of the leading forces behind Chatham Square. She was relentless in battering the City to get public housing at the Berg (Samuel Madden Homes) dispersed.

So stop complaining that the public housing issue is hopeless.

2. Strong civic associations definitely have the power to make changes. The Growler will dedicate a longer post to this topic, but for now let the Cranky One simply state that the Del Ray Citizens Association is responsible for reducing the density that was originally proposed for Potomac Yard.

At this stage, much of Potomac Yard will be single family townhouses, with a generous amount of open space in some of the land-bays. The Yard won't feature the high-density commercial and residential development which once made it possible to hope WMATA would partner with developers to build a new station. (More on that later, too.)

There are other civic associations that have been successful, but having thwarted dense development on the biggest developable parcel in contemporary Alexandria history the Del Ray civic association is in a class by itself. They also serve as a hotbed for future political leaders, such as Rob Krupicka.

In the old days ICCA had the same sort of leverage to successfully demand improvements and earmarked donations from the City and from the developers.

Today's ICCA leadership have the same bully pulpit and the same potential leverage, but they choose not to use it. Why?

And why is the president of ICCA the only civic association representative who regularly attends the secret Tuesday morning breakfast group?

It ain't love of Bud's doughnuts ...