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Tips for Using the New MCA Website
Tips for Using the New MCA Website
The new MCA Website launched right on schedule on July 31. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the Website and your MCA membership, plus options for resolving any initial problems getting access to the many new Members-only resources.

First--

All MCA Members (and recent past Members) for whom we have valid e-mail addresses received a Welcome e-mail on July 31. This e-mail contained your ID and a temporary password for access to the Members-only area of the Website. This Members-only area is a completely new feature of the Website. It lets Members efficiently keep on top of the broad range of MCA activities, or just the ones you want to focus on.
Members for whom we do not have a valid e-mail address will shortly receive a postal letter with their ID and password for the new Website. Even if you don't use e-mail, you can still used your ID and password to access the Members-only Website features. NOTE: because sending postal mail is costly, letters will be sent ONLY to current Members.

If you think you should have gotten a Welcome e-mail and did not, or if you think you should have received your Welcome letter by postal delivery and have not by August 8, you should contact MCA or our Website provider, ClubExpress, by email or phone.

Now, on to the promised Tips----

If you can, use e-mail

Unless we can send you e-mail, you'll miss out on timely news of MCA activities and goings-on in the McLean area. We send ONLY dues-related notices and required notices of official MCA Membership meetings via postal mail. Don't like SPAM? We don't either. You have total control over the types of e-mail you get from MCA via your Website Profile (see below.) We plan to send out more e-mail in the future, but it will be targeted to reach Members who want it. We also share your privacy concerns: MCA doesn't sell, rent or trade membership contact information with any other organizations, and you control what--if any--contact information is available in our Directory even to other MCA Members.

Dual members note: many of our Dual membership records have no e-mail for the "secondary" member. Secondary Members can make their own choices for e-mail communication, but only if we have an e-mail on file for them. With the new Website any Member can add or update an e-mail address, phone number, etc. via the Website himself or herself--no "administrator" needed!

You have an amazing Profile!

Seriously! Each Member has a personal Profile on the Website, and it can be made to look exactly as you want it to! If I tried to describe everything you can do from your Profile this would not be a Tip, but a tome. The Tip is: check it out! Find your Profile by hovering the cursor over your name in the upper right of the Home page after you've logged in.

Speak up in the Forums

Don't know whom to contact with a question or suggestion? Want to express yourself on an issue? Check out the Forums menu tab. Suggestions? The Suggestion Box. Questions? The Ask Me Anything Forum. Got a point of view on cut-through traffic? Look for an existing Forum and Topic thread in the Transportation category. See what's being said and chime in via a Reply. Or start a New Topic of your own and see who shares your concern.

Different Forums have different ground-rules on Forum Membership, Website-only vs. e-mail participation, etc. You have a say, too: you can fine-tune how much and how often you get e-mail from a Forum, including none all.

Interests are interesting

Via your Profile or the Volunteers/Interests menu tab, you can record your interest in various topics, issues, neighborhoods, etc. You can turn these off or on individually at any time. What do "Interests" do? They will help MCA volunteer leaders target communications (via the Forums, e-mail messages and notices) to just those Members who are likely to be interested. This capability will let MCA provide you more information you can use and less on topics you don't care about. Interests also will help Members reach others who share an interest for discussion, cooperative action on a project, or maybe just coffee.

Volunteers are our human resources

It can be challenging for a new Member to get involved more actively in MCA activities, especially if you're not really interested in a lot of meetings. From the other side it's been challenging for MCA leadership to reach out to the whole Membership when there is a need for help at an event, or a longer-term function perhaps requiring specific skills. We hope the new Website's Volunteer Opportunities function can help. Check it out and look for new postings. "Many hands make light work," as my mother used to say. Plus it's fun.

Mayday!

You probably already knew that the international distress call "mayday" started out as "m'aider!" -- French for "Help Me!" Well, everybody needs help sometimes, right? So, how do you get help or answers to questions about MCA or the Website or your membership status?

Let's start with the last one because it's super-easy: you can check your Membership status any time--3AM Sunday morning if you like--right on the Web site in your Profile. Likewise you can check your payment transaction history there.

For answers to "technical" questions about the Website the best source is our Website service provider, ClubExpress. If the pop-up Help screens don't provide the answer (and frankly, they often don't) then you can call ClubExpress Support at 1-866-HLP-CLUB (457-2582) during business hours. This is an unlimited, free service. You can also contact Support@clubexpress.com any time and usually get a response within 2 business days (and often much faster.)

For MCA-specific questions, whether it's where to look for something you saw on the old Web site, or what MCA is doing about the Legion Bridge, you have options: (1) post a New Topic or Reply in the Suggestion Box or Ask-Me-Anything forum (or perhaps the General Discussion forum of the relevant Committee; (2) send your question to info@mcleancitizens.org and we'll try to get it to a volunteer who can help; (3) and while you're waiting for a response, maybe also check out the FAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions page of the Website!

Welcome to the new Website!

Martin Smith
MCA Membership Chair
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MCA Looking at Short-Term Rental Regulation
MCA Looking at Short-Term Rental Regulation

The Planning and Zoning Committee (P&Z) of the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) is beginning to focus on possible County regulation of short-term rentals (e.g., via AirB&B.) MCA urges McLean area residents to provide their views by responding to an on-line survey now being conducted by the County. 

According to the County's announcement, "the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1578, which gives localities the authority to require registration of Short-Term Rentals. As a result, the Board of Supervisors directed the creation of a working group to draft zoning regulations for Short-Term Rentals in the County and to establish a registry of Short-Term Rentals. In proposing Short-Term Rental regulations to the Board, the working group seeks to balance residents' interests to protect the character of their neighborhood with the interests of persons wanting to operate Short-Term Rentals within their residence."

To assist MCA's analysis of the County's anticipated proposal, Debbie Matz and John Neumann are in charge of gathering information on short term rentals for the P&Z committee. This will be a big issue in the fall so it's important to let as many people as possible weigh in. 

The County survey is open only until August 31. Why not take it today, before you head to the beach?

.

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MCA Urges FCC to Retain Local Input on Cell Towers
MCA Urges FCC to Retain Local Input on Cell Towers

The FCC has requested public comments on its proposed rules relating to possible restrictions on state and local zoning and right-of-way management practices connected with the roll-out of the new 5G cellphone technology.  The 5G technology will differ from prior cellphone technologies in that 1) it will operate at a higher frequency, 2) each “cell” is smaller, so that more antennae units will be necessary, and 3) each antenna must have a “line of sight” to adjacent antennae.  The proposed rules are intended to allegedly “streamline” the deployment of this technology. This  approach includes generally removing the antenna installations from any substantive review by state and local planning authorities.

The matter is of concern to the McLean area, particularly to the McLean CBC, because of the need to deploy these antennae in a way that will not detract from the revitalization initiative, particularly the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan that require the undergrounding of utility poles.

Rob Jackson of P&Z has prepared the MCA's comments for submission to the FCC. The MCA's comments acknowledge the advantages of making the new 5G technology available to McLean residents and businesses.  However, they also call on the FCC to retain at least some role for local government planning agencies regarding the placement of the antennae in their communities.  The draft supports this position by reference to the history of earlier such requests at MCA.  In particular, the Comments note that, after a short period of discussion with the cellphone applicant, MCA has supported all but one of these requests.









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McLean Citizens Association -- McLean, Virginia