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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Channeling John McLaughlin: ‘Wrong!’

Editor’s Notebook: Channeling John McLaughlin: ‘Wrong!’

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Hard to believe I’m going to kick up an online contretemps with Habitat for Humanity – what kind of sicko gets into verbal fisticuffs with beloved Habitat for Humanity?? – but here we are.

I wish to quibble with one part of the local chapter’s recent endorsement of Arlington’s Missing Middle proposal, which we covered yesterday. (As for the rest of the letter, they’re entitled to their opinion and I have no problem with that.)

In the letter, the local executive director of the organization supported staff proposals to significantly cut the number of on-site parking spaces that would be required in residential neighborhoods once the county government lets oodles of new housing be shoehorned into current single-family zoning categories.


“Cars don’t need homes. People do,” the organization said in its letter.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Talk about a let-them-eat-cake mentality. (Which didn’t work out so well for Marie Antoinette in the long run, now did it?)

The parking component of Missing Middle is indeed one of the most complicated and treacherous, even if county leaders, egged on by housing activists, are once again following a we’ll-figure-it-out-after-we-approve-the-policy approach.

Squeezing ever more homes onto neighborhoods, then not insisting upon off-street parking for them, seems to be a real quality-of-life issue for those neighborhoods whose streets can’t easily accommodate a deluge of new vehicles.

If I’ve got my facts straight (always a dubious supposition), three of the current five County Board members live in single-family neighborhoods that could be impacted by the changes. If this goes through, perhaps we in the media could track what happens to those specific communities – and where, once elected officials realize that this policy is resulting in plenty of unintended consequences, those elected officials (many of whom will be on their way out in coming years) move in order to escape the rules they’ve imposed on others.

WHO SAYS I’M A GOVERMENT-HATER? I’m not going to give details for obvious reasons, but I’ve moved some cash into a U.S. Treasury Department account for buying and selling various gub’mint securities.

After every session moving money from Point A to Point B, the site always asks me to rate the experience before logging off. And of the four options, I always rate it “Excellent,” because so far, it has been.

See, we can all get along!

As with similar financial sites, it asks a couple of questions – who was your best friend in high school, what was your first make of car – to make sure you are who you say you are.

One of the test questions is “What’s your favorite movie?” Again, for obvious reasons, I can’t be specific, but let’s just say I selected a Burt Reynolds film but perhaps not his most acclaimed performance.

And as a final aside, let’s not forget that had Mama and Papa McCaffrey not met, wooed, married and (shudder) procreated while in the employ of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service, li’l Scotty would have never made his debut upon the world stage.

Nor would have Son #2 a few years down the road. (As Mama McCaffrey once put it when I suggested that he was an accident: “You were the accident, Scott; your brother was the planned one.” Ah-hahahaha!)

– Scott McCaffrey

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