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by Barbara Favola
September 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm
473 0

The following letter to the editor was submitted by state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31) and Del. Kaye Kory (D-38), the chairs of the Reproductive Health Caucuses in the Senate and House of Delegates, respectively.

Our health care system is neither healthy nor accessible for many women, but Richmond lawmakers have an opportunity to make improvements. They need to stop playing politics with people’s lives and begin to start governing.

In large swaths of Virginia, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, women are suffering. This suffering affects the well being of all of us, not just the children and communities that are directly affected.

You probably didn’t know that childless, uninsured women are not eligible for Medicaid in Virginia even if they are planning to have children. Moreover, for many mothers who are eligible, they lose their Medicaid coverage 60 days after giving birth because they exceed the very low income requirements to qualify for Virginia’s sparse Medicaid program. This exacerbates an already stressful period in a mother’s life.

In fact, mothers in most parts of Virginia qualify for Medicaid only if they earn less than 40 percent of the federal poverty line. This means that a single mother in Richmond cannot receive Medicaid if she makes $6,100 a year or more. But if Virginia participated in Medicaid Expansion, a program for which we are already sending tax dollars ($5 million per day) to Washington, hard working individuals, including women, earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line would gain insurance coverage. Virginia’s tax dollars are supporting Medicaid Expansion in 29 other States but not here at home!

Medicaid expansion may not be perfect, but the cost of not going forward is astronomical. We all know that maternal health is critically important for the healthy development of a child. This means that prospective moms can only achieve a healthy state if they have access to care before pregnancy as well as access to pre- and post-natal care.  Preventing low-birth weight babies and developmentally delayed babies is something we must embrace. Virginia cannot afford to wait; we must pass Medicaid Expansion now.

by Ethan Rothstein
September 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm
1,336 0

Restoration Anglican Church has opened its new church after more than a year of construction, giving its 500 congregants a permanent home.

The new church’s first service was Sept. 7, and the building at 1815 N. Quincy Street wowed everyone seeing it for the first time, Rev. David Haynke said.

“It was one of those days you wish you could remember for the rest of your life,” he told ARLnow.com inside the church today. “I just sat there and watched people come in and say ‘wow, it’s so beautiful.’ It’s sort of breathtaking.”

The former building, which was built by the now-disbanded Trinity Baptist Church more than 70 years ago, was torn down Aug. 15, 2013, Haynke said. Buying the building and the land from Trinity and constructing the new building cost $4.3 million.

The new church has seating for 375 — “18 inches per butt,” Haynke said — and new space below the chapel to host children’s activities and classes. The church was designed with a terrace to host its now-signature snacks after services, where “we can eat doughnut holes and just talk.”

Restoration had been holding one 5:00 p.m. Sunday service at Little Falls Presbyterian Church, but turnout was low because the time was inconvenient for many people. The pews have been filled for the two services held since the new church opened, Haynke said.

“It’s special because they all know they had at least a small part in it,” the reverend said, referring to congregants’ donations.

The church will be holding a consecration tomorrow, Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. with Bishop John Guernsey of the Mid-Atlantic Anglican Diocese. Haynke said two baptisms will be performed as part of the celebration. The church holds three services on Sundays, at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

by Nick Anderson
September 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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Your Beermonger logo

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

Will Gordon writes about beer for Deadspin on their sub-blog, The Concourse. Earlier this week, he ran an opinion piece about how he thinks Yuengling, well, sucks (you can read it here).

After the piece ran, Gordon took to Twitter to talk about a phenomenon I’ve noticed not only in beer writing, but in most critique/commentary. Noting the rate at which the Yuengling piece was being read/shared/talked about, Gordon said “Hey everyone, good job reading about Yuengling at 8x the rate” as recent reviews of his on beers from Troegs, Boulevard and others are read. “Way to reinforce bad behavior.”

Gordon was merely expressing his opinion as someone who is paid to have opinions about beer, and because he “likes to have fun with the Yuenglingers,” he took a particularly edgy tone with his piece, only to find it doing “disconcertingly well.”

It’s obvious to brush off the lure of negative reviews and other critical writing for readers; we all know of plenty of commentators who thrive on “trolling” audiences — the “Shock Jock” principle, if you will. That’s not what I’m talking about today; I’m talking about why we, as human beings, are more inclined toward the negative. Gordon ran pieces over the past few months listing his picks for the most overrated and underrated beers on the market — guess how they performed against each other?

I’ve had a little experience with this myself: I posted one full-on negative review, one time, as much as an experiment in tone for the writing on my blog as anything else — and I still shudder when I think about it. Thankfully, it’s not the most-read post I’ve ever done, but it certainly provoked more reader reaction and interaction than any other post. It remains on the site because it’s the Internet and nothing ever really goes away even if you want it to, but that’s the only reason. That’s not how I want to discuss beer; even beer I don’t like.

The environment these days is such that some are finding “listicles” too much work, simply posting context-free “(Insert topic here), Ranked” lists and letting the public dive into confrontation, baseless argument and name-calling. Aggregate rating sites abound, along with the statistical analysis of nearly every subject imaginable.

The entire concept of opinion is coming into question: it’s not enough to merely have an opinion today — your opinion is expected to have to be quantifiably “better” than someone else’s. Some days, it seems that unless you have objective proof of an opinion being more relevant than another, than it has to somehow be “wrong” and no one can simply be “wrong” anymore. To paraphrase Dr. Zoidberg, your opinion’s bad and you should feel bad.

Everyone’s ready to uncork on someone, or something, or someone uncorking on something. Am I getting old (I know I am), or has this gotten worse over a relatively short period of time? I don’t like people enough to want us all to just get along; there will be no campfire singing and handholding over here.

But can we not all remember that we all perceive flavor, aroma and color differently? That beyond our physical differences, our experiences do much to shape our tastes, and that what I enjoy may not be what you enjoy and may not be what the guy who gets paid to write about beer enjoys? Knowing this, can’t we debate the merits of one beer or another with a little less anger? Can we have just a little more fun?

It’s beer, after all.

I’m feeling entirely too reasonable right now. I think I’m gonna go have a couple and write an unnecessary screed against something. Until next time.

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money-saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. (more…)

by Andrea Swalec
September 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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APS Walk and Bike to School Day(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools are serving more young, unaccompanied immigrants.

The estimated number of unaccompanied, juvenile immigrants in APS jumped from 10 children last school year to “approximately” 80 children this school year so far, the district said Friday.

The release of the APS data on youth age 18 and under who travelled without a parent or guardian follows a national report on unaccompanied minors issued this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That report stated that through July 31, 133 unaccompanied minors were transferred to the care of family members or other sponsors in Arlington County.

The 133 count potentially includes youth below school age, in private schools, home schooled or not enrolled in school, APS pointed out.

APS served enough young, recent immigrants in the 2013-2014 school year to be eligible for an additional $43,000 in state funding, the APS statement said. The school system saw an increase of 141 immigrant students from the ’12-’13 to ’13-’14 school year, the statement said. These youth range in age from 3 to 21, were born outside the U.S. and had not attended school in the country for more than three academic years. This category includes but is not exclusive to youth who came to the U.S. unaccompanied.

Additionally, APS has devoted additional resources this school year to students who have had little formal schooling and read below grade level in any language.

The Arlington Career Center reinstituted a previously offered “Accelerated Literacy” program that draws high school students from across the county. Two more teachers were hired, and funds were redirected to serve youth in this program, according to the statement.

Washington-Lee High School is also offering the literacy curriculum. Additional literacy support is available to elementary and middle school students, the statement said.

The county Dept. of Human Services connects youth and their sponsors with medical and behavior health care, English classes, legal aid and limited emergency funds, spokesman Kurt Larrick said. Like all new APS students, unaccompanied minors new to the district are screened for tuberculosis and required to have a set of immunizations, he added.

The HHS report noted that many of the unaccompanied youth have survived trauma.

“These children may have histories of abuse or may be seeking safety from threats of violence,” it said. “They may have been trafficked or smuggled.”

School Board member Emma Violand-Sanchez said in July that APS should prepare for a “crisis situation” in providing services to unaccompanied minors. County Board member Walter Tejada said then that Arlington was preparing to serve them.

APS does not request and is not required by law to ask students to report their immigration status, the statement said.

(File photo)

by Ethan Rothstein
September 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm
579 0

This might be the last perfect weather of the year, with temperatures in the mid-80s and sunny skies expected, so take advantage and explore some of the open houses in your neighborhood.

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

1300-s-barton-street1300 S. Barton Street
1 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: Laura Mensing, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $315,000
Open: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

1200-n-nash-street1200 N. Nash Street
1 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: Walid Ashoor, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $468,000
Open: Sunday, Sept. 21, noon to 3:00 p.m.

2245-n-buchanan-street2245 N. Buchanan Street
2 BD / 1 BA single family detached
Agent: Heidi Ellenberger-Jones, Washington Fine Properties
Listed: $599,000
Open: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

5729-8th-street-n5729 8th Street N.
4 BD / 2 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Michael Manuel, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $829,000
Open: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

3074-pollard-street3074 N. Pollard Street
3 BD / 3 BA single family detached
Agent: Carole Schweitzer, Weichert, Realtors
Listed: $925,000
Open: Saturday, Sept. 20, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

4909-34th-street-n4909 34th Street N.
5 BD / 5 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Jack Work, Re/Max Preferred Properties
Listed: $1,675,000
Open: Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

by Ethan Rothstein
September 19, 2014 at 11:00 am
2,107 0

Arlington is moving forward with a bike trail along Washington Blvd and has moved the placement of the trail to save trees.

The trail is expected to cost about $1.7 million, according to county Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel, but it has not been put out to bid yet. The trail has been approved and in planning stages for years, but its initial path would have necessitated digging up hundreds of mature trees.

This Saturday, the Arlington County Board is likely to approve a realignment of the trail to put it closer to Towers Park and S. Rolfe Street, north of Columbia Pike. If approved, the county would pay $8,000 to the federal government to acquire the easement for the trail. The trail will then be put out to bid. Construction is expected to begin next year and end by summer 2015.

Phase I of the trail has already been built, between Route 50 and S. Walter Reed Drive, according to the county staff report. The trail segment in question would run from Walter Reed Drive to S. Rolfe Street and Columbia Pike. The trail is being built to “provide a new opportunity for persons in the southeastern part of Arlington to bicycle, walk or run on a route apart from motor vehicle traffic,” according to the staff report.

Waiting for approvals from the Virginia Department of Transportation has delayed the project, McDaniel said. VDOT controls the space adjacent to Washington Blvd where a large part of the trail will be built.

by Andrea Swalec
September 19, 2014 at 10:00 am
2,549 0

Joe Tenne packed his black Tundra truck full of camping supplies Wednesday night, said goodbye to his wife and son — and then headed to the Clarendon Apple store.

Tenne, 43, was first in line at the 2700 Clarendon Blvd. shop to buy the new iPhone 6. The Woodbridge resident, who got a tweet of support from William Shatner, arrived Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

He was followed by hundreds of Apple fans who waited for the phones Friday morning.

“It’s a whole social experience, in addition to getting the phone,” Tenne, who runs an I.T. company, said minutes before the product went on sale.

The line at 8:00 a.m. snaked around the Market Common Clarendon complex, nearly reaching the Crate & Barrel store.

A photo of Tenne with a camp chair and cooler caught the eye of Shatner on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“If you’re by the Clarendon Apple store & see this guy-bring him a coffee or offer to stand in for a bathroom break,” the actor tweeted.

Tenne said he used the restroom in the Apple store and at the nearby Starbucks, and ordered pizza with the second and third people in line — a couple from Alexandria who arrived at the store on Thursday at 11:00 p.m. Tenne, who has staked out the tech outpost for new products for the past three years, said he appreciated the sense of community.

“I’ve met all the store managers and made a lot of friends.”

Before 8:00 a.m., Apple employees ceremoniously removed black curtains from the shop windows, counted down the remaining seconds and then let a first set of customers rush inside.

Tenne bought the thin, fast iPhone and shook the hand of a staffer as he headed to his truck.

“See you next year,” she said.

Asked how he would spend the rest of the day, Tenne said he was headed back to Woodbridge.

“I’ll probably go home and play with it for 15 minutes and then go sleep for eight hours,” he said.

by ARLnow.com
September 19, 2014 at 9:15 am
1,144 0

Taxis queued up at Reagan National Airport

‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]

Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]

Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]

Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]

Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor
September 19, 2014 at 5:00 am
362 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.”

Buyers are back picking off choice properties and ratifying contracts. This week saw 71 homes go under contract making for a busier week than last week.

Fresh new inventory brought the buyers out. And this week enjoyed more new inventory with a rush of 73 new listings for buyers to choose from ranging from $169,000 to $2.2 million. Of those, 14 are over $1 million. The exciting news is this was the most ratified contracts in a week since June. Arlington’s real estate market normally gets very busy right after Labor Day and stays busy until Thanksgiving.

Another notable stat: the average sales price of those ratified contracts this week jumped from $657,000 last week to $770,000 this week. It will take another week or two to determine if this jump is a trend, or just an anomaly, but it could indicate the upper price bracket is regaining some strength.

Mortgage interest rates might be a factor. Lenders reported this week that many jumbo loan products were offering better rates than conventional loans. After many months of stagnant mortgage rates and products, there are now more options of products for buyers that should help stimulate our market.

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

by ARLnow.com
September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm
3,483 0

The Arlington County Police Department is planning to conduct a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county Friday night. The police department does not announce the location of DUI checkpoints in…

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