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19 August 2019


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The Twisted Genius

Has there been any local resistance to Amazon moving into the area? From my point of view, such resistance would have been monumentally stupid and self-defeating. The area needed a jolt and this will make great use of the long abandoned rail yard. Seems apartment/condo style housing will be a part of the area. With the already well developed mass transit system in the area, this could be a model for urban development. Now if the Old Town Alexandria could stay "old town," you couldn't ask for more. On another note, I see Old Town now has a tall ship calling the port home. The newly restored replica sloop Providence should return to the waterfront around Labor Day. It's about time. I always enjoyed the tall ships coming to Alexandria every year for the Founders Day celebrations.



There was no serious opposition to the arrival of Amazon and civic activism is major sport here.

Keith Harbaugh

Somebody above remarked on the high house prices in Northern Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria, etc.
A little historical perspective on how prices have risen might be of interest.
I was assigned to Arlington Hall Station in 1975.
In 1976 I was an O-3 over 8 (the Army, bless them, credited my years in graduate school as "time in service" for pay purposes).
Many of you know exactly what that means paywise.
Anyhow, with that income, and my then-wife earning about 1/3 of the Army pay,
we were able to buy a house a few blocks from AHS, the "standard Arlington house", a two-story brick colonial with full basement, about 2,000 square feet of floor area, but a small (1/6 acre) lot.
The cost? $64K, on the nose. Took a $50K mortgage, interest rate 8.75% (those were days of high inflation, due in part to the 1973 oil shock.) Monthly PITI? $474.50.
Current assessed value? Slightly north of $800K.
Thought Col. Lang and some others might find this of interest.



Naples Florida circa 1977. My father bought a home one block west of US 41 for under $40k. When he passed away in 2003 the family sold it just shy of $240K. Peak of the market and not driven by federal jobs flowing into the area. Sadly the whole city has been ruined by an influx of 'flight from Miami' and a new Yankee invasion, aka, the retirees.



I sometimes label my irony but it is more fun to see who understands.


I lived on Ft. Myers Beach from 1967 to 1986 and know the area well, at least as the population went from about 600 to several thousands. Back then Naples was a very small town and the only excitement was when me and some friends got into a bar fight with Jerry Lee Williams. He did not like our criticism of his poor performance.

But the only thing that has ruined most of Lee County are Republicans. Thus, traffic became a nightmare. As did the pervasive corruption.


You mean you were ok with all those jim-crow democrats running the county until Reagan got elected?

LA Sox Fan

Certainly no one is more deserving of government help, aka “socialism” in the form of tax breaks and subsidies, than Amazon and the wealthiest individual on the planet, it’s owner Jeff Bezos. Why AOC objected to the City and State of New York forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to Amazon is a complete mystery. She must be insane.


The LOCAL effect for property prices is nice for the LOCAL owners.
Why would the average taxpayer subsidize Amazon (which didn’t pay a SINGLE dim taxes last year) by subsidizing their transport (courtesy of USPS) & providing public healthcare for their part time employees?
I don’t blame Bezos or Amazon stockholders. The rest should get organized and make him pay his taxes. HE should pay his part for the 60% government discretionary budget, that is paid to protect HIS property too.

John Minehan

Actually, it's the creed that has driven capitalism since there has been capitalism: the owner should make money or 1) not be in that business; or 2) not run it as a business.


For a long time, Lee County was run by one family from the rural east county. Until the beaches and Cape Coral outvoted them. The retribution was brutal. 3 of 5 county commissioners went to prison. Then Porter Goss, who I liked when we both coached LL baseball, took over and cleaned things out. Unfortunately, he went to Washington and the Peter Principle kicked in.

different clue

If keeping Amazon out of her neighborhood stopped housing prices and especially rents from sharply rising, then it did save the people of that neighborhood from suffering the functional equivalent of a severe wage cut.

If their standard of living is okay enough for them as it is, and the area's neighborhood spirit and culture and civic functioning is pretty good . . . leading to a good quality of life . . . . then "move to a place with a better standard of living" is a solution in search of a problem; a problem which the people of that neighborhood may feel they don't have. And which preventing Amazon from invading their space would keep them from having to face.


different clue

Asa Virginian of the old (and now despised school) my primary concerns are the rights of private property.


Ain't elections grand? Other than Porter Goss getting appointed to the county commission by Bob Graham, and not getting elected to it. If only the rest of those yankee retirees were as virtuous as the CIA retiree.



You mean Trump was right to point out how the taxpayers were getting ripped off by the bad deal the USPS management team negotiated with Amazon prior to Trump getting elected.


Ah, the innocene of an old codger. Endearing.



If you are referring to me, I have seldom bee described as "innocent." I am quite willing to see incoming Amazonians gouged as much as possible, and they will be.


Yeah, around there "Ohio" was truly a four letter word.

scott s.

Spent a few years working in Chrystal City when it was the Navy's hardware center. There were many tales of Charles E Smith and how he was able to finagle the leasing of CC as well as how Metro came to loop from the airport to the pentagon via Chrystal City and Pentagon City. The south end of Chrystal City was kind of a ghetto (National Center 1, 2, and 3). The north end was much better (Airdales always get the best digs -- the northern end was Naval Air Systems Command). Up by the parkway was Marriott Twin Bridges motel which was a dump but I guess it was the first Marriott so was kept on for historic reasons. There was also an old old hotel on Jeff Davis (Americana) which was a dump but only cost about 1/3rd a night what anything else did in the area. But what I remember was many areas of Alexandria were sketchy (this was when Potomac Yard was a real rail yard). But even back then Arlington Ridge was a pretty toney place to live and 23rd st was yuppy-ville.

Keith Harbaugh

There certainly was active, if ultimately unsuccessful, opposition to Amazon in Arlington. Here are two local news articles about that:
Also, as a (hopeful) contribution to culture, here is one magnificent five-minute video exhibiting the beauty and spirituality of our Western Christian and, dare I say it, white, heritage (also that of the Catholic Church):
Miserere mei, Deus - Allegri - Tenebrae Choir


Keith Harbough

there was resistance but it was totally ineffective.



Socialists excell at stopping invasions of job creators.


I didn’t know he did but if he did that is good ... except that he is the head of executive and should not just talk the talk but also walk the walk. People with private property should contribute to the defense of it in proportionality to their property. Make Bezos pay and if he doesn’t like the US, he can go and immigrate to the South Pole or...



Would you call yourself a communist or some other kind of socialist?

Jim Ticehurst

Colonel...I would really enjoy seeing your Home..same age as ours..Imagine your patio bbq area is very nice...But suggest you batten down..I have a feeling that Hurricaine will be hitting Florida and the Coast hard..Hope for the Best..Expect the Worst..Be well Sir...

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