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‘Bowl’d’ Restaurant Coming to Clarendon

by Ethan Rothstein | August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm | 826 views | No Comments

A new restaurant from a new restaurateur is planning to open at 3001 Washington Blvd by the end of the year.

“Bowl’d,” with its storefront at the corner of N. Garfield and 11th Streets, will specialize in affordable, healthy food that’s made-to-order within five minutes. Owner Allen Reed, who is also the president of local executive recruiting firm Reed & Associates, said he had the idea for the concept while on the road and unable to find healthy, fast food options.

“I wanted something that was hot and satisfying with more vegetables and proteins,” Reed said, “so people could feel good about something they’re eating, but also make it delicious and enticing.”

Bowl’d will start with bases like rice, quinoa or lettuce, then layer in marinated proteins like chicken, beef and tofu, with an assortment of vegetables and “sauces and garnishes to give it a bang of flavor,” according to Reed. The dishes will range in cuisine from Mediterranean, Asian and Tex-Mex.

“We’re going to be working across different flavor profiles and inspirations,” Reed said.

The restaurant won’t serve beer and wine — “there are enough neighboring establishments that serve liquor,” Reed said — and will offer vegan and low-gluten options for those interested.

Reed said he hopes to be open before the holidays, but avoided giving a firm opening date because of the inevitable construction delays most new restaurants face.

Arlington 6-Year-Old Becomes Viral Theater Critic

by Ethan Rothstein | August 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 1,298 views | No Comments

Theater critic Iain Armitage has never given a bad review. Even the shows that aren’t his favorites, he says he tries to focus on the “happy things” in the show.

Most would scoff at a critic who has never given a bad review, but Iain has an excuse: he’s only 6 years old, and he’s been taught it’s not nice to say mean things by his parents, Broadway star Euan Morton and theater producer Lee Armitage.

6-year-old theater critic Iain Armitage“I wish more critics were like him and didn’t give bad reviews,” Armitage said with a laugh.

Iain started reviewing shows on Armitage’s YouTube channel five months ago, reviewing 21 different shows include “Phantom of the Opera” and “Pippin” — his two favorites so far — and, most recently, the Signature Theatre production of “Sundays in the Park with George.” That review has more than 16,000 views and got Iain enough attention to be featured on MTV.com.

It all started when Iain saw Hairspray at Signature and started talking about it. Lee filmed him with her smartphone, and the rest is history.

“I really don’t know why it’s gotten so popular,” Armitage said. “With all the videos, we would have friends in the shows and they’d watch them because he said funny things. We also did it to keep up with what shows he’s seen.”

Iain is homeschooled at the family’s home near Virginia Square, and also likes ice skating, dancing (there’s a video of a dance recital on the YouTube channel) and playing piano. Although being an elementary school-aged theater critic is a rarity, he wishes it were more common.

“I wish there were more little critics like me,” he told ARLnow.com in Ballston this morning with his mother. “Then we could be friends and see the same shows and get famous together.”

Iain said some of his favorite shows are the ones he can watch his father — who was nominated for a Tony award in 2004 for his portrayal of Boy George in “Taboo” — because he likes “the feeling when my dad’s on the stage. If I wave to him after the show, he’ll always wave back to me.”

Armitage said the Signature Theater is a big part of why Iain developed a love for musicals — Signature Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer is Iain’s godfather — and Iain said he wished “more kids in Arlington could see shows.” Iain also wishes he could see more shows. He said he “would like to see every show ever made,” and has gotten frustrated when his parents kept him out of productions that are inappropriate for 6 year-olds, like “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” a show about an East German transgender singer.

Iain said he’s “still mad” about not being able to see the show, but is enjoying the spoils of being a viral video star. He smiled and said “I like it” when he was asked about the trappings of fame, but couldn’t confirm he was practicing his autographs for future fans.

Rental Report: Earth-Friendly Living in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor | August 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm | No Comments

Rental Report header

Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

These days, earth friendly living tips are everywhere. Most people know the basics: change the light bulbs to LEDs, use non-toxic cleaning products, take reusable bags to the grocery store, and of course the 3 “R”s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have a few more suggestions for taking care of Mother Nature and yourself while living in an apartment.

Size, Direction and Windows – When looking for a place, consider a smaller unit. A smaller apartment is easier to heat and cool. Think about the size of the windows. We all love a lot of light, but floor to ceiling windows may be an issue if not properly insulated, and of course the extra light generates heat, which requires more energy for cooling in the summer. The extra heat may be welcome in the winter, but if not properly insulated, you could be battling the winter winds coming through the windows.

Same theory goes for the direction of the windows. If the apartment gets the afternoon western sun, it is going to get much warmer in the afternoon. If you really like having that afternoon light on the weekend, you can at least keep the blinds closed during the day when you are at work to help keep it cool.

Recycling – We mentioned recycling above, but sometimes the building recycling doesn’t accept all items. Think about items such as water filters, compact fluorescent light bulbs, ink cartridges and electronics. Most likely, you have to go the extra mile for these items. Water filters like a Brita filter can be recycled through the Gimme 5 program (which has drop bins at most Whole Foods). Gimme 5 also has an app where you can earn Recylebank Rewards for dropping off your items.

Arlington County accepts electronics, most for free, and small fees for things like TVs and computer monitors. Take your CFL’s to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot, as most have bins to recycle those. While you are there you can check to see if they have battery recycling. You didn’t think you were supposed to throw those in the trash did you? How about earning cash rewards for recycling ink cartridges? Both Staples and Office Depot will take your ink cartridges and give you points towards cash rewards to use in their stores.

Air Quality – Most of us know to changing our air filters helps with not only air quality but efficiency too. But what else helps with air quality in the home? Less carpet for one. Carpet and furniture are treated with several chemicals including flame retardants. Not to mention they trap dust, dirt and allergens. So finding a place with wood, concrete or tile in most areas definitely improves the air quality in the home.

Find out what kind of paint they are using in the building. Many buildings are switching to low VOC, which stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, paints. Low VOC paint helps lower harmful chemicals in the air. Another tip with paint — the lighter the color, the lower the VOCs because the more pigment in the paint increases the level of VOCs, however there are some brands that use no VOC pigments. The simplest way to improve air quality is to get some plants. Plants purify our air for us and improve mood. If you don’t have a green thumb try plants like a Zeezee Plant, Dracaena or Philodendron, which are pretty low maintenance.

Buy Local – The local food movement continues to gain popularity, and luckily in Arlington and the Metro D.C. area there is no shortage of local markets to pick up healthy treats. In Arlington, you can find a farmers market in Clarendon, Courthouse and Crystal City. Nearby in Alexandria, the Old Town Farmers market takes place every Saturday. And of course the trek to Eastern Market via the Orange or Blue Line is always worth it.

Lastly, look for LEED Certified apartments. These newer apartment buildings are built to certain efficiency standards set by the EPA. They will have better insulation, building materials and Energy Star appliances. They will also use low VOC paints, and most likely have excellent recycling programs. Need help on where to find a LEED apartment in Arlington? Find a local agent for help. Below are just a few LEED certified apartments in the area.

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to info@urbanigloo.com.

The Right Note: Heading to Richmond

by Mark Kelly | August 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm | 365 views | No Comments

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.

Mark Kelly

What can we expect from our newly elected delegate?

When asked what his first piece of legislation would be during the debate held at George Mason’s Arlington campus, Rip Sullivan said he would introduce a bill to force a trolley referendum. Based on the way he almost forgot to mention it that night, we can probably only expect at best a half-hearted attempt at bringing a referendum to a vote.

His second piece of legislation he said, would be an attempt to change the laws regarding special elections. It is very unlikely this is the highest priority of his new constituents. A higher priority would seem to be to replace an elected representative as quickly as possible on the constituents’ behalf.

Rip’s tenure will start in the upcoming special session of the General Assembly when they will consider the expansion of Medicaid. I think it is fair to say that he supports expanding Medicaid in virtually any way, shape or form.

To give some perspective, Medicaid currently costs almost $9 billion a year and consumes about 22 percent of our general fund budget in Virginia. It is the fastest-growing part of our budget, growing at an average of 8 percent annually. Medicaid is already on track to siphon off resources from education and transportation even if the federal government can find a way to pay for 90 percent of it forever.

Studies have also shown that because of Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates, hospitals pass that cost along to private insurance which raises our premiums — one 2008 study pegged the cost shift at $1,800 per year for a private plan. Driving 400,000 more people onto Medicaid’s rolls will not simply be “free money” for Virginia. It will cost all of us over and above what we already pay in taxes and what our federal government borrows to cover the $500 billion deficit.

But, what does Medicaid do for patients?

Evidence is mounting that Medicaid does not improve health outcomes for the patients who are on it, even versus the uninsured. A University of Virginia study found that surgical patients on Medicaid are 13 percent more likely to die before leaving the hospital than those with no insurance. Compared to those with private insurance, the number is 97 percent.

The UVA study follows a Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that studied Medicaid patients in Oregon. The results indicated Medicaid “generated no significant improvement in measured physical health outcomes.”

This Wall Street Journal article outlines other studies on where Medicaid falls short. Head and neck cancer, heart procedures, and lung transplant patients were all found to be worse off.

Some counter that Medicaid is better than no coverage at all. But with fewer doctors accepting Medicaid patients, less than half according to this survey, many will be be counted as “covered” despite being unable to find a primary care physician.

While Rip found a good talking point to help get his fellow Democrats to the polls on Tuesday, Medicaid is simply not a desirable form of health insurance coverage for Virginians.

Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

Progressive Voice: Arlington’s Role in Creating a More Perfect Union

by Krysta Jones | August 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm | 486 views | No Comments

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 ARLnow.com.

Krysta JonesAs we watch the events in Ferguson, Mo., unfold, I am thankful for the progress we have made in Arlington to create a more diverse and welcoming community. I am even more determined that we work together to foster civic engagement and leadership opportunities for African Americans and to honor the historic contributions of African Americans in Arlington and all Arlingtonians who have worked to eliminate discrimination and expand opportunity.

Since I was younger than I can remember, I have watched documentaries on the American civil rights movement. Growing up in the 1990s, my mother made sure I understood the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans in our country and also how far we had to go as a community and a country.

These early conversations and experiences shaped my philosophy about civic engagement. I have wanted to do everything I can to repay those who lost their lives and sacrificed so much for me to go to integrated schools, use the same bathrooms as everyone else, and live in any neighborhood I wanted to make my home.

Not long ago, things were very different.

In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled that American schools should be desegregated. In defiance of the Court, our state government in Richmond chose to work actively to prevent integrated schools.

In the midst of Virginia’s “massive resistance” efforts, the NAACP filed a suit on behalf of Arlington parents and students. Judge Albert V. Bryan ordered the Arlington schools to be desegregated. In 1959, four Black students entered Stratford Junior High School (now H.B. Woodlawn) with the protection of Arlington police officers, changing our history forever.

Since the 1950s, the struggle for full equality has changed. While our schools are legally desegregated, African Americans are still not fully represented in political leadership.

I founded Virginia Leadership Institute (VLI) in 2006 with the goal of increasing the number of African American elected officials in Virginia.

African Americans are 20 percent of the Virginia population and approximately 8 percent of the population in Arlington, yet only about 250 African Americans across the Commonwealth hold elected offices (county boards, constitutional officers, school boards, city councils, state legislature, Congress).

VLI believes that our elected and appointed officials should be diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and the like.

We believe that residents can be represented effectively by someone different than themselves, yet VLI also believes that one’s background, experiences and characteristics can provide different perspectives that are important as leaders seek to represent and discover solutions for growing and changing communities in Arlington, and throughout Virginia.

VLI, based in Arlington, focuses on teaching African Americans skills needed to win elections and govern successfully. VLI also provides personal leadership consultations to assist them on their life journeys.

In 2014, there are many who question why an organization would focus on helping one group of people get elected to office. Yet current events show us that diversity in leadership continues to be an important element of creating safe and healthy communities as well as addressing crises. (more…)

Peter’s Take: On Medicaid Expansion, What Is the Va. GOP’s Alternative?

by Peter Rousselot | August 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm | 386 views | No Comments

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.

Peter Rousselot

In two earlier columns, I urged Virginia’s political leaders to try to find bi-partisan common ground to improve access to healthcare for Virginia’s poor.  In the second of those columns, I explained that Republican leaders in many other states, even leaders who opposed the Affordable Care Act, have found ways to do this either by expanding Medicaid or by using a premium assistance model.

Regrettably, Virginia still seems gripped in partisan gridlock.

Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, continues to insist that expanding Medicaid is the right solution. Virginia’s Republican leaders are just as adamant that expanding Medicaid is the wrong solution. Governor McAuliffe has asked his Secretary of Health to present a plan by September 1 under which the Governor would expand Medicaid without legislative approval. Virginia’s Republican leaders say that the Governor lacks the authority under the Virginia Constitution to proceed without legislative approval. If he tries to do it this way, the Republican leaders have promised to sue the Governor to block his plans.

For nine months, Governor McAullife and Virginia’s Democratic legislative leaders have made their proposal to expand Medicaid crystal clear, but they have failed to persuade Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders. These Republican leaders have just said no.

What is the Virginia Republican legislative leadership’s alternative to Medicaid expansion?

For some Republicans, that alternative may be the status quo.  The status quo shouldn’t be an option for Virginia — any more than it has been for many other states with Republican governors.

It is long past time for Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders to take a stand. If you don’t support Medicaid expansion, what do you support? Put your alternative out there for Virginians to compare side by side with Governor McAuliffe’s proposal.

How about supporting the Arkansas approach?

Arkansas did things a little differently than other states that expanded Medicaid. The Republican-dominated legislature wouldn’t pass a traditional expansion; instead, it mandated that federal money be used to pay premiums for private insurance plans through the state’s marketplace, an alternative proponents dubbed the “private option.” Other states have used federal money for premium support, but not to the extent Arkansas has.

The Arkansas approach has been remarkably successful:

No state has made progress faster than Arkansas….[T]he percentage of the state’s population without insurance dropped nearly in half, down from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent today.

Personally, I strongly favor a straightforward expansion of Medicaid in Virginia — as advocated by Governor McAuliffe.

What I don’t understand is why Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders can’t tell us what they support instead.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Buckingham Festival Set for Sunday

by Ethan Rothstein | August 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm | 451 views | No Comments

The site of the Buckingham Community Festival (photo via Google Maps)The annual Buckingham Community Festival returns this Sunday, closing N. Pershing Drive to make room for daylong activities.

The festival, hosted by the BU-GATA Tenants Association, will feature live performances of folk music and dance, among other activities. It will be held on N. Pershing Drive between N. Glebe Road and Thomas Street from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

In addition to the music and dance, there will be food vendors and children’s activities, like a bounce house and games for the family.

It’s the 14th year of the festival, which is held as an opportunity for the heavily Latino community to come together and celebrate each other’s cultures. Many of the performances will be traditional folk music and dance from a variety of Latin countries.

Pershing Drive will close at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate the festival, and should re-open around 7:00 p.m. Parking in the area will be restricted.

Photo via Google Maps

Governor to Sign Bill in Arlington Next Week

by ARLnow.com | August 21, 2014 at 11:15 am | 954 views | No Comments

Terry McAuliffe campaigns at Washington-Lee High SchoolVirginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will sign a bill into law in Arlington next Wednesday.

The bill addresses “the growing problem of notaries who practice law without a license” in immigrant communities. It does so by prohibiting notaries who are not attorneys or otherwise accredited from offering legal and immigration advice.

“In many Latin American countries ‘notario publicos’ (notary publics) provide legal advice, but U.S. notaries who are not also attorneys are not authorized to share this role,” explains a media advisory about the bill signing. “In Virginia, there have been cases of notaries fraudulently charging thousands of dollars for misleading advice.”

Two of the chief sponsors of the legislation, State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) and Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) are expected to join McAuliffe at the bill signing ceremony, to be held Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 2:00 p.m. at the new Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street).

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