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by Ethan Rothstein — August 29, 2014 at 5:30 pm 414 0

Rep. Jim Moran visits the Phoenix House treatment center near Ballston

This is Part Three of a three-part series on the career of Rep. Jim Moran, who will leave office in January. Click to read Part One and Part Two

Rep. Jim Moran is 69 years old and thrice-divorced, with the last split leaving him nearly broke. Moran reported no assets or liabilities in his financial disclosure report in 2010, in the middle of his divorce with businesswoman LuAnn Bennett, according to The Washington Post. He took home his congressional salary and a $10,000 teaching fee from George Mason University.

No longer as strapped for cash, the former stockbroker says he has no plans to retire from working when he leaves Congress, and will seek a high-paying job.

“It’s a little embarrassing that I don’t own my own home or even my own car,” Moran says. “I need to make a little money because I’ve got four grandkids and my daughter is getting married. I’d like to have something to leave to them.”

Moran can’t conduct job negotiations while he’s still in Congress and said he can’t speculate much on what his next move will be. But he has two criteria, in addition to being paid a comfortable salary: doing something “meaningful” and “purposeful,” and working with people “I like, respect and [who] share my values.”

Though he’ll be a septuagenarian just a handful of months after he leaves office, Moran doesn’t act or look the part of a doddering senior.

“I still have the physical and mental capacity to take on a new career,” he says, “so I think it’s time to do that.”

*******

The two men seeking to replace Moran in the Nov. 4 general election, Democrat Don Beyer and Republican Micah Edmond, couldn’t be more different.

Beyer, 64, is the heavy favorite in the race and has Moran’s endorsement. He’s a former lieutenant governor, a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and the owner of four Volvo dealerships that bear his name. During the heated Democratic primary, during which as many as 12 candidates competed, Beyer’s opponents criticized him for running ads for his car dealerships on local news stations, including Del. Patrick Hope (D-47). “Nobody should be allowed to buy an election,” he said.

Micah EdmondEdmond, 40, is a Jewish and African-American Marine Corps veteran and former congressional staffer. He was chosen as the Republican candidate in a nominating convention. Described by Patrick Murray, the Republican challenger to Moran in the past two elections, as a candidate with “a lot of energy,” Edmond says Moran hasn’t tried nearly as hard in recent years.

“There seems to be no focus. It’s like he’s just there,” Edmond said in a phone interview with ARLnow.com. “That happens when people serve a long time… People just got really sick and tired of not having a real choice and a real race. Every two years, the Republican party was just throwing someone up there and it hasn’t been competitive.”

Edmond said he wants to focus on advocating for minorities and immigrants who he feels have been under-represented under Moran’s leadership.

“This district is now about 43 percent minority, and he doesn’t represent that diversity,” Edmond says. “Since I came [to Alexandria] in ’98, the minority community has just been shocked at how the level of influence and access to things has shrunk, and I don’t think Jim Moran has been a voice for that.”

Beyer’s lone criticism of Moran’s tenure was the remark Moran made in 2003 about the “Jewish community’s” push for the Iraq War. Outside of that gaffe, Beyer said he can only hope to fill Moran’s shoes.

Don Beyer“People talk a lot about what we’re going to miss,” Beyer told ARLnow.com from his home in Old Town Alexandria. “The defense contractor market is really going to miss his appropriations chairmanship. Animal rights advocates are going to miss him and federal employees are going to miss him.

“I don’t have any unrealistic expectations that I’m going to step into his shoes,” Beyer said. He said he’s trying to avoid “measuring the drapes” before the election, but if elected, “we have to be authentic, we have to be who we are. Forty years in business, as an ambassador and lieutenant governor have positioned me to hit the ground running better. We’re thinking about how do I be more than just another freshman? How can I have a greater influence?”

Although Beyer isn’t measuring the drapes — and Republicans certainly aren’t counting themselves out, considering it’s the first time they’re not facing an incumbent for more than two decades — most in the area consider the seat Beyer’s to lose.

That group includes Moran. In all of his campaigns, Moran never once called Beyer and asked for a campaign donation. Beyer was puzzled and bemused by that – he would have happily donated, and did anyway — while Moran said he didn’t call because “Don’s just such a nice guy.”

Moran said he thinks that quality will serve Beyer well if elected.

“I know he’s going to listen to all of the district, not just the first in line,” Moran said. “Don’s going to be terrific. I’m hoping he can raise enough money that he can move into the leadership.” (more…)

by Andrea Swalec — August 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,748 0

Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue via Flickr/Embassy of Equatorial GuineaThe ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the U.S. is the prime suspect in a reported assault in an Arlington home Monday night, police told the Associated Press.

As ARLnow was first to report based on a tip, a girl was beaten in the country’s diplomatic residence in the Dover-Crystal neighborhood, but no arrest was made because the accused attacker, Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, has diplomatic immunity, Arlington police said.

Police responded to the 4000 block of 27th Road N. about 9:30 p.m. Monday after a female 911 caller said a man “hit her in the head with a chair,” and “there’s someone going crazy at her house,” according to scanner traffic.

The female victim was struck “several times,” police said Tuesday, leaving her with a head wound. She was transported to Virginia Hospital Center.

Reached at the diplomatic residence, Rebeca Maye, who identified herself as Nsue’s secretary, said the ambassador’s 16-year-old daughter was released from the hospital Wednesday. “She’s fine,” she said.

The Equatorial Guinea Ambassador's Residence on the 4400 block of 27th Road N.Nsue did not respond to multiple inquiries.

The ambassador has protections as a member of a foreign diplomatic mission, the State Department and police said.

“The subject has full diplomatic immunity and was not arrested,” ACPD said in a crime report issued Tuesday.

The U.S. State Department has informed the government of Equatorial Guinea of the reported crime and expects a response next week, a department representative said.

Governments can waive diplomatic immunity, as officials in the nation of Georgia chose to do in 1997 after a diplomat from the Eurasian country struck and killed a Maryland teenager in a crash after a night of drinking.

Photo via Flickr/Embassy of Equatorial Guinea

by Nick Anderson — August 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm 0

Your Beermonger logo

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).

These are tanks!I spent last week on vacation visiting my best friend in Los Angeles. When we were planning this trip, I checked in with my friends at Stone Brewing Company
to see if anything interesting was happening, as my friend’s brother lives near Stone’s location in the Northern part of San Diego County and we were thinking about going to see the brewery and its vaunted World Bistro and Gardens.

It just so happened that I was landing the day before Stone’s 18th Anniversary Party. I’m not one to pass up an opportunity like that, so off we went.

Rather than simply open the Bistro and have a celebration of all things Stone and only Stone, the Anniversary Party is basically an all-day beer festival split into two sessions; one earlier in the afternoon and one later. Some sixty breweries were featured, with well over 100 beers available for sampling.

Tickets weren’t exactly cheap ($45 — and yes, I paid for them), but the price ensured a crowd of die-hard craft beer enthusiasts. I should compliment everyone involved in setting up and running the Anniversary Party; I can’t remember ever attending such a well-organized beer fest.

Line for Bruery tastings (Photo by Nick AndersonMake no mistake, though: it was a big crowd, and some breweries attracted a lot of attention. This (right) was the line I got into to sample what The Bruery brought to the party (their tent is the one straight ahead in the picture):

And the line for Russian River sampling was twice as long, but the pourers worked efficiently and lines progressed smoothly. Overall, very well done.

After the Anniversary Party on Saturday, we were treated to spots in a tour of the Stone brewery on Sunday, along with reservations at the Bistro (those I’ll thank Stone for). The brewery tour itself is… well, it’s a brewery tour — they’re all fairly similar.

I always enjoy brewery tours though, and at Stone I appreciated not only our knowledgeable and engaging tour guide, but the carefully selected samples poured for those on the tour immediately afterwards in the Stone Company Store.

There were a couple noteworthy items during the tour: The first, on the heels of my last column here talking about the issues California breweries are having with the state’s ongoing drought, was that Escondido — the North County area in San Diego where Stone is located–was under a boil alert the weekend we were there. Testing that Friday the 15th showed the presence of coliform bacteria, so the first thing we saw when parking at Stone on Sunday was a very large truck outside pumping clean water in.

By Monday the 18th, the alert had been lifted for all but around 60 of the reported 6,300 water customers in Escondido. While this issue in Escondido wasn’t drought-related, it was interesting to see how an operation their size had to scramble to handle a temporary water emergency. (more…)

by ARLnow.com — August 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm 2,823 0

Arlington Medical Building at 5275 Lee Highway (Photo via Google Maps)

Dr. Derron McRae Simon, who ran the WithinMe MD medical clinic at 5275 Lee Hwy in Arlington, has been indicted on charges that he ran an oxycodone distribution ring.

Starting in February 2013, federal prosecutors say Simon and five co-conspirators wrote, filled and sold fraudulent prescriptions for more than 11,000 oxycodone pills and “other controlled substances.” The pills had a total value of nearly $750,000 and Simon sold the prescriptions for between $500 and $1,000, according to prosecutors.

“Simon allegedly wrote and sold hundreds of prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances, despite knowing that the individuals in whose names the prescriptions were written were abusing, misusing, distributing, and/or selling the drugs,” according to a press release. “Simon allegedly had never met many of these purported patients, and he also wrote prescriptions in the names of his five co-conspirators, as well as friends, relatives, and fictitious individuals.”

Simon, 45, is listed as a Midlothian, Va. resident. Among the co-conspirators named by prosecutors is Arlington resident Linda Dao, 21, and Falls Church residents Ereida Escobar, 23, and Michael Harris, 21. They are charged with conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances.

“According to the indictment, Simon directed Escobar, a receptionist and medical assistant at Simon’s practice, to confirm calls from pharmacists seeking to verify his oxycodone prescriptions,” the press release said. “Simon also allegedly directed Escobar to create fraudulent patient history forms and medical records to make it appear that these individuals were actually legitimate patients.”

The FBI’s Washington Field Office investigated the case.

All six suspects are facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine if convicted on the conspiracy or possession charges. Simon faces an addition one to 40 years in prison if convicted on three separate charges of distributing a controlled substance to persons under the age of 21. Simon and another conspirator are also charged with identity fraud.

Yelp reviews for the WithinMe clinic — which specialized in weight loss and hormone therapy — were not complimentary, especially after the clinic closed.

“I think they went out of business,” one reviewer said. “I have no idea what is going on. No one is answering the phones and the vm is full without even an answering machine introduction”

“If I could give no stars I would,” said another reviewer. “I purchased a groupon and had an appointment on June 23rd – I still have not recieved [sic] the B-12 shots.”

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — August 29, 2014 at 11:30 am 301 0

BL_NK WORLD, a pop-up art and fashion gallery, will be open for an exhibit on Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street) tonight and tomorrow.

The 1,600 square foot “creative space” is located in a vacant storefront next to Starbucks and across from the Yogi Castle frozen yogurt kiosk. It features art and fashion created by local artists from D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The pieces on display are also offered for sale.

The gallery will be open Friday and Saturday, as a fashion gallery from noon to 6:00 p.m. and for an “art social” event from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. The art social, which requires an RSVP, will feature music from a house DJ and guest musicians, plus champagne and hors d’oeuvres.

“After much buzz amongst the community of tastemakers in the D.C. area and beyond, BL_NK WORLD is preparing to deliver another tasteful experience where individual[s] can take in the culture and connect with others who appreciate the arts,” the organization said in a press release. “Follow us as we help bring light to the journeys surrounding the leaders of tomorrow.”

by Ethan Rothstein — August 29, 2014 at 10:55 am 412 0

There won’t be too much house-hunting happening over Labor Day weekend — presumably — so if you’re in the area, now’s the time to find a hidden gem. Could one be among these open houses?

See our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

5101-8th-road-s5101 8th Road S.
2 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: Arlene Da Cruz, Weichert, Realtors
Listed: $199,900
Open: Sunday, Aug. 31, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

3835-9th-street-n3835 9th Street N.
1 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: Nathan Johnson, Keller Williams Capital Properties
Listed: $368,500
Open: Sunday, Aug. 31. 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

847-s-glebe-road847 S. Glebe Road
3 BD / 2 1/2 BA townhouse
Agent: Leta Poskute, Spring Hill Real Estate
Listed: $499,000
Open: Sunday, Aug. 31, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

501-s-highland-street501 S. Highland Street
4 BD / 2 BA single family detached
Agent: Heidi Swenson, Re/Max Allegiance
Listed: $675,000
Open: Sunday, Aug. 31, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

1049-26th-street-s1049 26th Street S.
4 BD / 3 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Tonya Finlay, Neighborhood Real Estate
Listed: $949,000
Open: Saturday, Aug. 30, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

2324-n-quebec-street2324 N. Quebec Street
5 BD / 5 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Nicholas Pasquini, Century 21 Redwood Realty
Listed: $1,595,000
Open: Sunday, Aug. 31, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — August 29, 2014 at 9:45 am 705 0

Rosslyn as seen from the air, at night (Photo courtesy @kennethpiner)

County Offices Closed for Labor Day – Arlington County government offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Pools and ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will proceed as normal, but mulch delivery will be suspended. Parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]

Last Outdoor Films of the Season – Rosslyn will be hosting its last outdoor film of the summer tonight. “Horrible Bosses” is slated to run from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, meanwhile, gets the honor of hosting Arlington’s last outdoor film of the summer. “Gravity” will be shown at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike) Saturday starting around 7:30 p.m. [Rosslyn BID, CPRO]

Courthouse: ‘A Hot Spot Getting Hotter’ — Courthouse “is on the cusp of being reinvented” says a county planner. Its walkability, abundance of retail and park proximity have all helped to contribute to its increasing desirability among homebuyers. [Washington Post]

Arlington GOP Adopts Local Platform — Billed as its “first local platform,” the Arlington County Republican Committee approved a set of five guiding principles Wednesday. [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy @kennethpiner

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 29, 2014 at 5:00 am 939 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

As expected the week before a long holiday weekend, we saw fewer new listings, numbering only 45. Not a lot of new inventory for eager buyers.

Most of the just listed properties this week are condos with only a few single family detached. In this last week of the summer, we also saw 50 homes go under contract with seven over $1 million. The average list price of ratified contracts is the exact same as last week at $654,000 and average days on market at 37. Typically we can expect to see a jump in new listings right after Labor Day. So next week should be more promising for buyers.

Listing of the week: 1610 N. Queen Street with private elevator and grand views.

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 28, 2014 at 5:45 pm 694 0

Rep. Jim Moran's NOH8 Campaign photo

The controversies that began to pile up for Rep. Jim Moran in the late 1990s and 2000s galvanized his critics and spurred more organized efforts to unseat him.

All the while, the federal government continued to grow and as Moran’s district became more affluent and stayed as liberal as ever, the politician continued to get re-elected by a comfortable margin.

There was always a fight, however — until this year.

“It’s the first time in 35 years that I haven’t had an opponent in the primary or the general election,” Moran says. “Nobody had emerged wanting to challenge me. If someone was challenging me, I wasn’t going to let them suggest for a moment that I would back down from the competition.”

Few believe Moran would back down from a fight, even if it were in his best interest. They say that’s what makes him unique.

“He never seemed like a rank-and-file member,” said Don Beyer, a long-time constituent of Moran’s and now the Democratic candidate to replace him. “His personality is too big and his heart is too big. He’s incredibly bright, but he has incredible compassion, which can come off as anger.”

But Moran’s critics describe his outbursts as thuggery, bringing up that his wife reportedly told police that the former boxer grabbed her.

“He’s like a mafia don,” says Patrick Murray, a Republican who ran against Moran in 2010 and 2012. “He’s a big, scary angry guy and you don’t want to get on his bad side. That’s part of how he maintained his power here.”

*******

The image of Moran the intimidator was reinforced in 2010, when a group of Tea Party protesters were heard shouting at his staff in his Capitol Hill office. It didn’t sit well with Moran, who former press secretary Anne Hughes says acted as a caring — and protective — father to his staff.

Moran confronted the protesters, according to a Politico story published at the time. His staffers got between him and the activists, who asked why he needed “bodyguards” to protect him. That prompted a memorable line from an unidentified staffer.

“We’re not protecting him from you,” the staffer told the unwelcome visitors, “we’re protecting you from him.”

Moran downplays the “former amateur boxer” reputation, though he says he did once fight an exhibition match with one-time world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.

“He toyed with me,” Moran says with a smile. “He let me punch him when he could have dropped me anytime he wanted.”

Moran’s father, James P. Moran, Sr., was a phenomenal athlete. He was an offensive guard at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where he was an All-American before he continued his career with the Boston Redskins, before they moved to Washington.

Moran, Jr., also played football at Holy Cross on a dual athletic/academic scholarship. His father taught him to fight — “he drilled into our minds that only sissies need guns” — and to stick up for those less fortunate.

“I used to get in fights when I was young, but never to defend myself,” Moran says. “There were two or three cases where I saw a bunch of bullies harassing a young kid who couldn’t defend himself and I intervened.”

In his adult life, Moran said he isn’t thrilled with being labeled a fighter outside of the political arena.

“I think most of it is exaggerated,” he says. (more…)

by Mark Kelly — August 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm 606 0

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com….

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