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Perspective

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  • Thursday, March 01, 2012 5:25 PM | Deleted user

    June 1952 was the first time the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association sent out a newsletter to residents.

    In May 1952, a survey was taken among residents asking if they "desired" curbs and gutters for the streets of Pimmit Hills. 71% said yes, 7% said no; the rest were various other opinions.

    A "lively and extended" discussion on this subject was held after the report on these numbers were made at the PHCA meeting. Part of the discussion was about the poor drainage conditions in Pimmit Hills and a letter about this was to be sent from PHCA to the US House of Representatives which had a committee investigating "shoddy construction of homes constructed under Veteran's Administration Certificate."

    The survey also asked if residents "desired" street lights in Pimmit Hills. 65% said yes, 16% said no.

    The newsletter reported on Fairfax County real estate taxes, which is timely since we in Pimmit Hills in 2012 have just received our yearly tax assessments. How does yours compare with this:

    "The average taxes paid on a property in Pimmit Hills for the year 1951 was between $90 and $95."

    Too bad the little yellow plastic guys near the curbs that wave Slow Down weren't around in 1951, but back then they had the same problem we do 61 years later:

    "Several signs cautioning against speeding due to children playing have been erected."

     

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:27 PM | Deleted user

    The following was written in the January 1960 Pimmit Hills Dispatch by a member of the PHCA Board who had served as PHCA President and later went on to become the Dranesville District Supervisor. He was also chiefly responsible for getting Fairfax County to make a retired judge's estate into Lewinsville Park on Chain Bridge Road in the early 1970s.

    At the last monthly meeting of the Association, after proper compliance with all constitutional requirements, the following amendment to the Pimmit Hills Civic Association constitution was introduced for consideration:

    “The members present at any duly constituted meeting, as defined in the P.H.C.A. Constitution, shall be a quorum and be authorized to do business as such.”

    The question never came to a vote, just as so many other important issues have died in the past. The reason: Lack of a quorum - precisely the issue which was being voted upon.

    On the surface, this may seem a relatively unimportant issue to the citizens of this community. However, the converse is true.

    A decision one way or the other will establish whether or not the affairs of the community will be guided by a relatively small group, whether major issues will be killed by "parliamentary shenanigans", or whether the citizens of this community will go forth with a united banner with policies that will be truly representative of the desires of the majority.

    It therefore behooves me to speak frankly with each one of you as a member of this community and explain to you the importance of your attendance at Association meetings, I am convinced that the majority of you are drones or laggards who are willing to sit idly by and let a handful of citizens, knock themselves out for your welfare. And as long as things are going smoothly you'll never lift a finger to help.

    But let something backfire just once and there will be many who will criticize and complain about the faults of the Association.

    Just let a heavy snowstorm disable this community as it did two years ago and there will be no stopping the phone calls to the president of the Association with gripes about his failure to get the streets cleaned, to stop children from throwing snowballs, and a thousand and one other complaints.

    And ninety-nine out of each one hundred complaint will be from those of you who have never attended a meeting or lifted a finger to help in any way.

    There is much to be done in this community and the majority of it has to be done by the citizens themselves. It takes effort and cooperation.

    And whether you like the community or not, as long as you live here in Pimmit Hills, this is your home and you should be ready and willing to assist in making it a place of which you can be proud. If you don't have this kind of spirit, then you'll never be an asset to any organized community.

    It has become pretty much a national past-time to gripe about juvenile delinquency, school problems, tax rates, etc. In my opinion we have a far greater number of delinquent parents than we have delinquent children.

    What have YOU done lately to foster the development of recreational facilities for our youth? What kind of excuse did you give the last time you were ask to chaperone the Teen Club? Did you vote in the recent Bond referendum? Are you going to vote on the School Bond issue this spring? Do you vote at all?

    Do you know what the issues are facing your community? Or don't you care?

    I have not written this item for the newsletter with the hope of winning any popularity contest, and I am sure I won't. There's only one way to prove to the officers of the Association that you are not the kind of a person I have described above. You can prove me wrong by coming to the meeting at the Pimmit Hills School at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 2, 1960 and voting on the proposed amendment to the Constitution. If you don't, you leave the way open for any question to die on the floor by having me or any other member: in attendance kill the issue by simply raising the quorum question. This is the way to defeat progress in our community.

    See you at the meeting! J. P. SHACOCHIS

     

    Don't be a drone or laggard letting others care about our community -- Join PHCA and come to PHCA meetings!

    -----------
    BIOGRAPHY:

    John P. Shacochis was born May 30, 1915 in West Pittson, Pennsylvania. Mr. Shacochis began his thirty-three year career with the Federal Government in 1940. During these years he worked for the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, Salary Stabilization Board, and for twenty years, as a Management Engineer with the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1973, Mr. Shacochis became a Community Planner for Fairfax County, Virginia, and in 1975 was elected Supervisor for the Dranesville District. He served as supervisor until December 31, 1979. During his term he served as a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Fairfax County Transportation Safety Commission, Board of Supervisors Fire and Police Committee, Fairfax County/Fairfax City Liaison Committee, COG Air Quality Commission, and Fairfax County Ad Hoc Committee for Prevention of Drug Abuse. He also served on the boards of the Washington Area Transit Authority and Fairfax Hospital Association. He died on Feburary 21, 2004.

    Celebrating the life of John P. Shacochis (2004 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 441)
    Former Dranesville supervisor remembered as 'a bear' who cared deeply about area (Fairfax Times, 2004)

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:04 PM | Deleted user

    Guess the year:

    "There has probably never been a period in our history when our youth was subjected to such severe criticism as it is today. Some of this criticism is undoubtly warranted, but much of it is not. Unfortunately, our news media find this a subject with 'sales appeal' and it is not uncommon to find many of the incidents they report exaggerated beyond all proportion.

    As adults, we find it very easy to blame our youth for many of the conditions which exist today. Yet the truth of the matter is that we ourselves are responsible for the lack of planning which permitted communities to mushroom without providing adequate recreational facilities for our youth, or ourselves.

    It was recognition of these facts that prompted a small group of residents in this community to organize the Pimmit Hills Teen Club four years ago. The effort which these people have put forth has not gone unrewarded. During these years we have watched our young people acquire a sense of good citizenship and belonging. The Teen Club has been an outlet for the many favorable qualities that can be recognized in our youth if we only look for them....................

    Every generation seems to complain about young people. In this case, the year was 1960 and the 'youth' were the Baby Boomers.

    From a Letter to the Editor in the February 1960 Pimmit Hills Dispatch.

     

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:47 AM | Deleted user

    From a blurb in the April 1960 Pimmit Hills Dispatch:

    THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY WELL BE YOUR OWN!

    Why must innocent people suffer and die from the mistakes made by druken, reckless fools on the highways? Pimmit Hills is getting rather popular as of lately. Let's go to Manassas for our stock car racing.

     

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:30 AM | Deleted user

    PHCA meetings often have speakers that talk about our homes, gardens, renovation, redevelopment, traffic/road issues, etc or local police, County officials or politicians.

    But back at the height of the Cold War, some of the PHCA meetings had speakers dealing with civil defense (what we would now call Homeland Security).

    At the April 5, 1960 PHCA meeting, attendees heard a tape recorded speech by a Major William Mayer, a psychiatrist in the Amry Medical Corps. The speech was entitled "Brainwashing--The Ultimate Weapon." The April 1950 Pimmit Hills Dispatch said, "The speech concerned mainly the conclusions drawn from talks and interviews with the returning prisoners-of-war from Korea."

    The article went on to describe the findings about the Communist program to brainwash and control their prisoners.

    Pretty heavy stuff for a community meeting!

    The article was entitled "ARE YOU AN AVERAGE AMERICAN? (By Communistic Standards)." This referenced Communist literature that claimed the average American is:

    "1) Materialistic and an opportunist--he'll make a deal; you can buy him.
    2) Ignorant--he knows very little about his government and even less about other governments.
    3) Not loyal--he has no values."

     

  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:03 AM | Deleted user

    It's 1960. Pimmit Hills is just 10 years old. But still, the perennial issue of residents not bothering to get involved in the organization that represents the community and works to enhance it is talked about in the October 1960 issue of the Pimmit Hills Dispatch.

    In big handwritten letters, "WANTED NOW" is the headline:

    Wanted Now: at least one adult member from each of the 1500 homes located in the community of Pimmit Hills. How about your membership? Don't wait, act today.

    An unusual long poem-like article entitled "Our Orphaned Community" is also on the front page.

    And then there is this article:

    YOUR COMMUNITY.......AND YOU

    Are you guilty? Have you ever said? I would like to be active in community affairs, but..... I'll be more active in the future (but you never are).....

    MATTERS CONSIDERED BY THE ASSOCIATION TO BE OF UTMOST COMMUNITY IMPORTANCE:

    1. Development and utilization of OUR 18 acre County Community Park.
    2. Youth and adult recreation program.
    3. Community Public Utilities and cost.
    4. Streets, sidewalks and gutters.
    5. Civil Defense plans and training.
    6. Group planning for home improvements to increase property value.
    7. Snow clearing and off street parking during inclement weather.
    8. Pest and beetle control with aid of US Agriculture Department.
    9. Rezoning of properties that might HELP or HURT our community.
    10. Shrubery and entrance signs to show our pride in our community.

    Note: Some people think we have no effectiveness. How can 15 or 20 ACTIVE members ever be able to provide the finance, leg work, administrative work and judgement to begin caring for such matters when the remaining 2,960 ADULTS do nothing, except for the 200 or so that joined after a door to door campaign last fall.

    Decision: Frankly, such a small group cannot represent a community when the community will not discuss and state its desires in matters that it is either in favor of, or against. The Association is represented at every County Federation meeting, and at many meetings of the Supervisors and School Board. However, many issues of importance have arisen when this representation had to abstain from casting this community vote because NO KNOWLEDGE COULD BE OBTAINED AS TO HOW YOU AS A RESIDENT WANTED TO BE REPRESENTED.

     

    This theme and frustration by PHCA seems to run through issues in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and today. Why don't people get involved in the betterment of their community by joining an organization that is dedicated to that goal? 52 years later, this question still goes unanswered.

     

  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 12:16 PM | Deleted user

    Does the following sound familiar? You may think you’re “having déjà vu all over again.” Who says history doesn't repeat itself?

    The PHCA President wrote in a Pimmit Hills Dispatch urging residents to come to the next PHCA meeting to learn the details about a proposed managed home for adults in Pimmit Hills. Is it 2012 or 1976?

    In the October 1976 Pimmit Hills Dispatch, the PHCA President wrote:

    “….I urge that residents attend the October [1976] meeting to learn the details about the proposed “Managed Home for Adults,” which will be used primarily for people being released from mental institutions....”

    Here was the article in the October 1976 issue of the Dispatch:

    A “MANAGED HOME FOR ADULTS” PROPOSED

    SHARE Inc., a community help organization supported by thirty of the area’s churches, has plans to establish a “Managed Home for Adults” (MHA) within Pimmit Hills.

    The MHA consists of a large house with separate bedrooms and a resident manager, providing a temporary but stable home for adults who urgently need a special type of housing. They are people being released from our mental institutions -- for a variety of reasons, including changes in national policy regarding the rights of individuals.

    SHARE is hoping to lease the old Hileman farm house on Magarity Road between Anderson and Gilson for the first MHA.

    Representatives of SHARE, the Fairfax County Department of Social Services, and the County Mental Health Board will present their appeal to the community for acceptance and assistance in this effort at the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association meeting on October 5th. They will be able to respond to citizens’ questions, concerns and offers for participation in this project.

    The MHA will be staffed with a professional manager in residence, with counseling by the staff of Fairfax County Department of Social Services.

    The residents will be adults who are judged to be harmless, but who are ill-prepared to cope with their immediate situations. They are also without the housing they need and can afford (they are eligible for special funds) because such housing is not presently available.

    Many of these persons have a chance of adapting to a satisfactory life, but they need at once a place to live. The best type of place to live has been found to be a “Managed Home.” Without such a place to live, these “lost persons” in our midst will continue to wander, sleeping wherever they can, unable to get themselves together. Without an address they may not even be able to receive the financial and professional help available to them.

    SHARE has decided to do something about this problem before it becomes even more critical. It has decided to work toward the formation of a Managed Home for Adults to serve this area.

    It is contacting the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association and similar volunteer community organizations in the northern section of Fairfax County to ask for their cooperation and participation in this effort.

    For this project to become a reality, three major types of assistance are needed:

    --Financial assistance is needed able the program to get started and be sustained.

    --Material assistance, such as donations of furniture, will be needed.

    --Volunteer assistance to help in setting up and maintaining the house, including redecoration, yard work, etc. necessary also.

    In the November 1976 Dispatch:

    PHCA TO STUDY PROPOSED

    MHA Following the presentation at October's PHCA meeting, a committee has been formed to study the Managed Home for Adults (MHA) proposed by SHARE Inc. for the old Hileman house on Magarity Road. The PHCA has not taken a position on the MHA matter, but through the committee’s efforts will keep the community informed of the status of the MHA. Residents are urged to participate in the committee's study -- analyzing the reasons for establishing a MHA in the community, determining the expected impact of a MHA on Pimmit Hills, and reviewing the organization, financing, rules, and operation of this proposed MHA.

    But in February 1977, the whole thing fell through:

    MANAGED HOME FOR ADULTS

    Mr. Ron Gurnsey, SHARE, Project Leader of the proposed MHA has advised the PHCA that a private party has made contract on the large house located at 7353 Magarity Road. Mr. Gurnsey indicated that the purchaser intends to live in the house, therefore, SHARE would not be able to lease from the new owner.

    7353 Magarity Road:

     
    View Larger Map

    End of story . . . . until 2012 when another County managed adult home is proposed in Pimmit Hills.

    The meeting about this home will be on Tuesday, March 6 -- but this time 36 years later in 2012 -- at 7:30 pm at the Pimmit Hills Center/School on Lisle Avenue. Only current PHCA members will be able to vote on whether or not to support this home.

     

     

  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:44 AM | Deleted user

    With the dramatic changes going into effect on Route 7 near the intersections of Lisle Avenue/Magarity Road and the Beltway, it is interesting to find that in the March 1973 issue of the Pimmit Hills Dispatch, it was announced that the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association received a letter from the Virginia Department of Highways (now VDOT) which said that VDOT proposed to eliminate (close off) the Route 7/Lisle Avenue intersection.

    In October 1973, PHCA representatives met with VDOT officials in Richmond regarding this issue. VDOT told them “this intersection is an extremely difficult problem to solve.” They expected to take several more weeks as they develop their plans, which, they said, would be submitted to Fairfax County and Pimmit Hills for review.

    In the December 1973 issue of the Pimmit Hills Dispatch, it was reported that the Fairfax County Fire Department completed a study of “identifying fire and rescue service to Pimmit Hills if the Lisle Avenue/Route 7 intersection is closed. Also, a letter was reprinted from the Dranesville District Supervisor to the County Executive that recommended the intersection NOT be closed.

    The January 1974 PHD issue reported that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed with our Supervisors and wrote a letter to VDOT asking them not to close the intersection.

    By May 1974, the issue had still not been resolved so PHCA invited a member of VDOT to address Pimmit Hills residents on the status, as well as the status of the widening of Magarity Road.

    At the January 1975 PHCA meeting, Fairfax County planning staff presented VDOT plans for the re-routing of Magarity Road/Route 7/Lisle Avenue intersection. Here was their proposed plan:


    (click to enlarge)

    There were 135+ residents in attendance and most of them strongly opposed the plan. PHCA was then going to meet with County officials to reaffirm the Pimmit Hills community’s “united concern” that the Lisle Avenue intersection with Route 7 must not be closed. The County was going to continue studying the overall problem.

    In August 1975, Pimmit Hills teenagers were, “gathering data for the Fairfax County Transportation Planning Department in an effort to find out just how much of Lisle Avenue’s rush-hour load is local traffic and how much is just passing through. This information will be used to help decide the fate of the continually snarled intersection of Lisle, Magarity and Route 7.”

    At the May 1976 PHCA meeting, a Fairfax County transportation planner described a number of possible solutions to the “troublesome” intersection of Route 7, Lisle Avenue and Magarity Road. The plan recommended by the County staff was endorsed by a vote of PHCA members at the meeting as “practical alternative to the present congestion.” Unfortunately, the Dispatch doesn’t say what this plan was.

    However in the April 1977 issue of the Dispatch, the final plan was printed and implemented:


    (click to enlarge)

     

  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:25 AM | Deleted user

    Back in 1973, there was a bizarre plan by Fairfax County called the “Dranesville Trails Plan” that apparently was going to install a hiking and biking asphalt trail through Pimmit Hills. Picture this: the proposed trail would cross Magarity Road at Anderson Road, and down Anderson Road to Lisle Avenue, then West on Lisle Avenue to Route 7. Very odd and begs another question: why? 

    The November 1973 Dispatch wasn’t in favor of this:

    TRAILS TO DEVOUR TREES-FENCES-LAWNS

    How would you like your front lawn gouged by an eight-foot wide strip of asphalt? How would you like your trees and fence removed to provide a thruway for “hikers” and “cyclists”? It’ll never happen, you say? Don’t look now, but such a plan is being seriously considered for Pimmit Hills. It is apparent that residents of Anderson Road and Lisle Avenue may soon be greatly affected by the “Dranesville Trails Plan.” This Plan has only recently surfaced, and it is imperative that we act swiftly to stop or alter this plan before it’s too late. Come to the Wednesday, November 7 [1973] meeting and air your feelings on this issue. Be there!!!

    But it turns out Pimmit Hills residents weren’t really opposed to the idea:

    Considerable concern and interest was expressed at the Nov 7th meeting regarding the proposed “Trails Plan.” The Pimmit Hills community voted to support the trails plans with an exception, which has been forwarded to the Chairman of the Dranesville Trails Task Force.

    The whole idea faded away and there was no further information about this strange trail. Walkers and bicyclists can still follow the proposed trail route – on something called “sidewalks”.

  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:04 AM | Deleted user

    What could have been and luckily wasn't. From the June 1974 Pimmit Hills Dispatch:

    CHRYSLER DEALERSHIP REQUEST DENIED

    Chrysler Realty Corp. (Falls Church Chrysler) was unsuccessful in their attempt to locate a new and used car dealership (sales & service) at 7507 Leesburg Pike opposite the Pimmit Hills Shopping Center [NOTE: this shopping is center, where Trader Joes, Ledos, etc are now, is now called Tysons Station]. Their application for the special use permit was denied with a unanimous vote of the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday, May 8, 1974.

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