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by ARLnow.com — July 3, 2015 at 10:35 am 1,188 0

Fourth of July celebration in Barcroft (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)The weekend is here — at least for government employees, ARLnow.com and any other private employer that follows the federal holiday schedule.

It’s Independence Day weekend and Arlington has traditions aplenty — community parades, cookouts and fireworks viewing, to name a few. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t rain.

Feel free to discuss the Fourth or any other local topic of interest. Have a nice holiday weekend!

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

by Mariah Joyce — July 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm 571 0

Comedian and writer Michael Ian Black is scheduled to perform live stand-up at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) later this month.

Black began his comedic career co-founding and performing in The State, a sketch-comedy group at NYU which was later featured on MTV. He’s since had roles in numerous TV series, along with movies like Ed, Wet Hot American Summer and This Is 40.

Black’s stand-up shows will take place the Friday, July 24 at 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. and Saturday, July 25 at 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $25 and can be purchased at arlingtondrafthouse.com.

In addition to releasing his own comedy CDs “I Am a Wonderful Man” (2007) and “Very Famous,” (2011) Black has co-written and starred in a number of comedy sketches for both film and television.

According to the Drafthouse’s event page, “Black is currently co-host of a popular podcast with Tom Cavanagh, entitled ‘Mike and Tom Eat Snacks,’ and of a new podcast with Michael Showalter, ‘Topics.'” He’s also had roles this year on the Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer and Another Period, and the soon-to-be-released Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

by Heather Mongilio — July 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm 1,606 0

Columbia Pike’s first Chipotle Mexican Grill may open in September.

The Chipotle is planned to go into the new 3400 Pike apartment building, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road.

“Coming soon” signs are now up in the windows. While interior construction has not started, Chipotle’s contract for the space says it will open in September, said Brian Jeter, the marketing specialist at 3400 Pike.

“It’s pretty tentative right now, but from what we understand with the contract, it should be open in September,” he said.

The restaurant will be Chipotle’s sixth in Arlington, with existing locations in Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City, the Pentagon City mall and along Lee Highway.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a new column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, so to help keep the fur-children safe and happy we’ve put together a few tips that we hope are helpful to you.

The Fourth of July has the dubious distinction as the day that more pets go missing than any other day of the year…and July 5th is the busiest day of the year for most animal shelters. (I’m sure the wonderful folks at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington would like a quiet weekend!)

  • Keep your pet safe and indoors!
  • Have your pet identified — make sure they have a collar with an identification tag and/or a microchip that is up to date on its registration.

In the days after the Fourth of July we often see a spike in cases of gastrointestinal problems that require treatment or hospitalization.

  • Feeding your pet table food from your cook-out may seem like a good or a cute idea at the time… but many pets do not tolerate dietary changes well and is a poor decision. We see problems ranging from mild gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach/intestine) from eating food that’s out of the ordinary, to intestinal foreign bodies that need to be surgically removed (corn cobs, cooked rib bones, etc…), and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) that often requires several days of hospitalization/supportive care.
  • Glow sticks and citronella candles/repellants are also irritating to your pet’s GI tract and should be kept away from them at all times.

Resist the urge to take your pet to all your Fourth of July festivities. It’s hot and stressful for our furry friends.

  • Overheating, stress and anxiety are common issues seen with pets in these situations. While celebrating the Fourth is fun for most of us bipedal human folk, our fur-kids have no idea what’s going on other than that their normal routine just got thrown out the window and we expect them to be okay with that.
  • Our pets are very sensitive to the effects of alcohol — so please don’t give them any. It’s not cute to see them vomiting, having seizures or going into respiratory arrest from alcohol intoxication.
  • Don’t assume your pet knows how to swim. If you’ll be spending your day pool-side on a boat or at the beach/lake/other large body of water, be sure you are watching your pet at all times and have a life-preserver for them to keep them safe.
  • Never use fireworks around your pet. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we see far too many cases of injuries, burns and ingestion of the toxic substances found in many fireworks.

Noise phobias can be very distressing (to both owner and fur-child) and while many animals may just get a little anxious with the sound of fireworks – some go into an all-out distressed panic.

If you know that your pet is noise-phobic please have a discussion with your veterinarian about the use of anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and non-pharmacologic strategies to manage noise-phobias now (not Saturday afternoon) — and have a safe, quiet, escape-proof place to keep your pet.

Keep these tips in mind, and we hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July! And while we hope you don’t need it — information on a few of the local 24/7 veterinary emergency hospitals can be found here.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Progressive Voice — July 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm 889 0

Joseph-Leitmann-Santa-Cruz

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organization or ARLnow.com.

This column is written by Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz.

My wife and I are proud to raise our family in and be part of a community that recognizes the importance of investing in our public education system. Arlingtonians have built a world-class education system and we need to celebrate that; however, not everyone throughout the County — especially our kids and families in South Arlington — has benefited equally.

South Arlington has been growing rapidly in the past few years. This rapid growth has been placing a burden on how effectively our elementary schools in South Arlington are able to address the needs of the current and projected school population.

Nine out of 10 elementary schools in South Arlington have significant projected seat deficits for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. Two of those schools, Barcroft and Claremont, have reached overcapacity by 24% and 20%, respectively. Fast forward five years and the projected overcapacity figures increase to 35% and 23%. This is unacceptable. We can do better.

Our kids and families in South Arlington can and should have access to more and better programs, services and facilities.

Because Arlington cares, we seem to be moving in that direction.

On June 25, at the invitation and request from the Arlington School Board, I had the privilege of joining representatives from over 40 civic association, parent teacher associations, and other community organizations from South Arlington as we launched the first meeting of the South Arlington Working Group to Site a New Elementary School. I know, it’s quite a long name!

To achieve the School Board’s goal of opening a new, 725-seat neighborhood elementary school in South Arlington, preferably by the fall of 2019, the Working Group is charged with analyzing site options and providing input on related program moves with two key goals –addressing crowding and enhancing instructional opportunities — in South Arlington elementary schools.

Some might view this as redoing what the Thomas Jefferson Working Group already did. Hopefully, most will view our Working Group’s approach as focusing on having a broad, extensive, and transparent decision-making process.

There is a lot to learn from what worked and didn’t work from the TJ Working Group. Furthermore, our goal is a broader one of having all options “on the table” for community consideration.

The challenges are many but so are the opportunities to truly make available a world-class education system to every child in Arlington regardless of which neighborhood her or his family lives in.

From the very first meeting, the Working Group rolled up its sleeves and got to work. There is no issue too big or too small to be considered: site location, diversity matters, cost effectiveness, open/green space, traffic management, etc.

The focus and resources that the School Board is devoting to seeking solutions for school crowding and enhancing instructional opportunities is commendable, as is the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that the County Board and School Board have adopted this year to help ensure that we maintain a superior school system.

The Working Group will meet every two weeks. Our meetings are open to the public, so please join us and be part of the process. Furthermore, we invite and encourage the community to keep track of our Working Group’s progress by accessing our meeting minutes and discussed materials at http://www.apsva.us/moreseats.

This Working Group and other similar fora we have in our community are what helps make Arlington a special place where different voices can be heard. I look forward to being part of our collaborative approach to benefit all in the community.

Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz is the Director of External Relations for Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arlington-based non-profit organization Dream Project.

by Mark Kelly — July 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm 428 0

GOP county board candidate Mark KellyThe 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.

This week the Arlington School Board voted unanimously to add gender identity to its employment and harassment policies. The School Board did so rather quietly, adding it initially to its consent agenda before eventually holding a separate up or down vote.

Also included as part of the policy updates, the School Board made three additional changes related to the hiring of staff that received no coverage either before or after the fact.

On both the goals policy, which describes the staff the School Board seeks, and the equal employment opportunity policy they added “economic status” to the list of things the Arlington Public Schools would not take into account in hiring decisions.

Certainly, this is a change that would have widespread support. It is also almost certainly a change with no practical impact other than to comply with suggested legal language. No one would imagine discrimination of this type currently exists in the Arlington Public Schools (APS).

On the goals policy, the School Board struck “political affiliation” and “affiliation with an employee organization” from the same list. The accompanying memo did not state a reason for these changes other than to “align language across policies.”

While those items were never a part of the equal employment opportunity policy, it seems odd that the School Board would find a need to strike them from our goals.

Does the change mean the School Board now thinks it is ok for APS to consider whether or not an applicant voted in only Republican or only Democratic primary elections?

What about requiring an applicant to be, or not be, a member of the Virginia Education Association or another state’s teachers union as a condition for employment?

No, I do not think Superintendent Murphy will put these items on the job application or that he will assign a staffer to do a political background check. Yes, it is possible a lawyer told them they were better off to have the two lists match exactly.

But goals are just that, goals. It is disconcerting that protecting an APS staff member’s First Amendment free association rights are now somehow less worthy of a mention.

by Peter Rousselot — July 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm 1,681 0

peter_rousselot_2014-12-27_for_facebook

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

What do Mitch McConnell and the Dean of the Washington National Cathedral have in common? They both want to stop the public veneration of Civil War “heroes.”

The Episcopal Dean concluded that two stained glass windows at the Cathedral–depicting the Confederate battle flag, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee–should be removed. The Dean explained:

While the impetus behind the windows’ installation was a good and noble one at the time, the Cathedral has changed, and so has the America it seeks to represent. There is no place for the Confederate battle flag in the iconography of the nation’s most visible faith community. We cannot in good conscience justify the presence of the Confederate flag in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought.

The Republican Senate leader concluded that a statue of Jefferson Davis, a native Kentuckian, should be removed from the state capitol in Kentucky.

What lessons should Virginia and Arlington draw from McConnell and the Dean?

Let’s stop treating Confederate leaders as revered heroes. Let’s remove their names from the commons by rebranding streets and schools. As long as we have to subliminally pay our dues to General Lee every time we go to work or go shopping, we will fail to understand slavery for the prolonged act of violence that it was. As for schools, what is the bigger lesson imparted to a child who attends schools that celebrate Confederate “heritage” with these names?

The right thing to do is for the appropriate Virginia authorities to rename Jefferson Davis and Lee Highways, and for the appropriate Arlington authorities (the School Board) to remove General Lee’s name from Washington-Lee HS.

But, every aspect of the American Civil war should remain wide open for discussion and debate in our:

  • educational institutions,
  • museums,
  • history books, and
  • civic life.

Moreover, let’s not let the politicians off the hook. Taking an image of a Confederate flag off a license plate or removing the name of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis from a major highway won’t suffice.

After the Charleston massacre and the high-profile wave of deaths of black men and boys at the hands of police officers across the country, there is no denying the persistence of institutional racism.

Our state lawmakers need to do their part by doing such things as reforming overly-restrictive voter ID laws. As they create new seats for students, our county leaders must close achievement gaps and re-balance school districts so that none of our schools remain intensely segregated.

CONCLUSION:

Let’s eliminate both the major symbols of racism and the lingering effects of racism.

by Heather Mongilio — July 2, 2015 at 11:35 am 388 0

Del. Rip Sullivan

In order for Virginia to move forward on issues like medicaid expansion and climate change, more Democrats need to be elected to House of Delegates, said Democratic House of Delegates candidates Del. Patrick Hope, Del. Rip Sullivan and Mark Levine.

The candidates spoke to the Arlington County Democratic Committee last night to announce their candidacy and touch on why they need Democratic support in the upcoming November election.

While all candidates spoke briefly on ideas they felt need attention, such as Medicaid expansion or better mental health care, most of the speeches focused on how Republicans in the House of Delegates were blocking important laws or passing laws that the candidates said would be dangerous for Virginia.

“Let’s call it for what it is. Republicans are killing their constituents,” said Hope, who is running for the 47th District seat. “They are killing their constituents by not expanding healthcare insurance to them. We know that’s a fact that people die when they don’t have health insurance. They’re killing them by pushing coal.”

Hope will face Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy in the Nov. 3 general election.

Republicans have refused to allow any conversation about Medicaid expansion in the General Assembly, Sullivan said.

“They’re not going to start talking about it, as my friend Patrick Hope has said before, until they start losing elections over this issue,” he said. “And we need to have some of them lose elections over this medicaid issue.”

Sullivan, who is running unopposed for the 48th District seat, warned that Republicans were also very close to passing “dangerous” legislation last year. He cited a proposed bill that would legalize switchblades, ninja stars and spring-loaded weapons that he said “flew” through House committees. He said the bill would have passed the House of Delegates, but Republican majority reversed their opinions, a move he attributed to it being a reelection year.

In order to get more Democrats elected, the three candidates plan to talk to Virginia residents in areas that elect Republicans. Levine, who is thus far running unopposed for the 45th District, announced that he would be making a trip around Virginia to talk to residents and boost Democratic candidates.

“We’ve got to elect more Democrats, not just in Arlington, but in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.

Levine recently argued for more gun control at conservative conference in Denver, Colorado and said that he was able to convince some National Rifle Administration members to think about stricter gun regulations, such as better background checks. If elected, Levine said he also wants to start talking about mental health, education and jail time for drug users.

“We put too many people in jail. I don’t think non-violent drug users should go to jail,” he said.

by Heather Mongilio — July 2, 2015 at 10:20 am 797 0

new-art-bus

Arlington County has added eight new buses to its fleet in order to provide more frequent bus service along several routes.

Additional bus service will be added to the ART 41 (Columbia Pike, Ballston and Courthouse), 43 (Crystal City, Rosslyn and Courthouse) and 87 (Pentagon Metro, Army Navy Drive and Shirlington) routes starting Monday, July 6, according to press release.

The new bus service on Columbia Pike is just an initial step in improving transit on the Pike, said Eric Balliet, spokesman for the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services.

“This is definitely one of the first steps we can take to show our commitment to the corridor and our commitment to transit,” he said.

The ART 41 route will have more frequent service with the bus coming every 15 minutes during the day and every 23 minutes during weekday and Saturday nights.

The enhanced service is one way Arlington is addressing the transit needs that remained after the streetcar program was cut, Balliet said.

The ART 43 route will have buses run about every 10 minutes with extended service until 10:35 a.m. during morning rush hour and 7:47 p.m. during the evening commute.

The ART 87 will be getting new Sunday service, which will run from 7:14 a.m. to 7:11 p.m. The route will also have extended service until 11:41 p.m. on weekdays and 11:53 p.m. on Saturdays. On the weekends, the service will run to the Pentagon City Metro Station instead of the Pentagon Metro Station.

The county is also adding a new ART 87P line, which will run between the Pentagon and S. Lang Street. During rush hour, service will alternate every 10 minutes between the full ART 87 line and the ART 87P line.

“Anything we can do to make [commuting] more convenient, we think customers will appreciate,” Balliet said.

In order to provide the advance service, the county added eight new 40-foot buses to the ART fleet. The new buses are 5 feet longer than the standard ART buses, which allow for more seats and more standing room, he said.

The new buses are being added to routes with high ridership.

“These bus service improvements are a first step in meeting the current transit needs for Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City, as we work to create vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods along these corridors,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “Every day ART helps thousands of Arlingtonians get to work, school and other activities, and the additional service will make ART an even more reliable transportation choice all week long.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 2, 2015 at 8:55 am 1,136 0

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.” By the time…

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