Voters May Be Asked to Approve New High School — The fate of a proposed new $104.6 million building for Wakefield High School may be put to voters. Assuming debt limit concerns can be addressed, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy would like to fund the project through a bond issue that would need to be approved by voters in November. More from the Sun Gazette.
Nordstrom Rack Sets Pentagon City Opening Date — A Nordstrom Rack clearance store is coming to the Pentagon Centre shopping center (which houses Costco, Best Buy and others, across from Pentagon City mall). The store will open on August 26, according to the company’s web site.
Arlington Firefighters Respond to Falls Church Crash — Arlington firefighters responded to the scene of a scary-looking car wreck involving a flipped-over SUV and a car that crashed into a telephone pole. The wreck happened near the Broadale Village Shopping Center on Broad Street in Falls Church last night. One person was taken to the hospital. The Falls Church Times has photos.
Members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee voted unanimously last night to oppose an effort to change Arlington’s form of government.
By a vote of 74 to zero, committee members — including members of the county board and the school board — sent the message that the party’s brass will be active and united in their opposition to the proposed change.
The change is “very bad public policy,” one committee member said.
Mike Staples, chairman of the Committee for a Better Arlington, declined to participate in what was supposed to be a debate last night. Staples’ organization is currently trying to collect more than 14,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
Democratic Committee chairman Mike Lieberman released the following statement after the vote.
Our committee had a thoughtful and thorough discussion of the many issues surrounding this petition drive. With this vote, we are eager to add ACDC’s voice to the growing chorus of organizations and Arlingtonians opposing this referendum – who are rightfully concerned about the impact this proposed referendum could have on the quality of life we have built over time in Arlington.
I’m grateful to [former Arlington county manager and change-of-government opponent Ron] Carlee for taking the time to speak with our members, who care deeply about the future of Arlington County. This is an important issue, and ACDC will work to educate voters on the significant consequences the proposed change-of-government initiative could have for Arlington County.
The reaction from the Committee for a Better Arlington, after the jump.
The Interior Department announced today that it is indefinitely suspending the Obama administration’s plan to allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of Virginia. The announcement comes as crews are still trying to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Northern Virginia congressman Jim Moran (D), who chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement on the suspension:
The Department made the right decision. It’s wholly appropriate given that thousands of gallons of oil continue to pour into the Gulf from a drilling accident we have yet to fully comprehend. Experts are concerned that the disaster could spread up the East Coast, contaminating Virginia’s shores, if containment efforts fail.
In light of these facts, moving forward on the lease sale at this time would be highly inappropriate. I appreciate the Obama administration’s wise course of action.
It’s no surprise, then, that 12 years after it was first released, Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is expecting a big crowd for “Dude Fest: The Big Lebowski Movie and Music Night” tonight.
The evening will start at 7:30 with music inspired by the movie and music from the actual soundtrack. Then at 8:40 there will be trivia, bowling and awards for best costume (come dressed as your favorite character). Finally at 9:00, the big moment as the Big Lebowski is shown on the big screen.
Admission is $8.
Former Lady Laura Bush signed copies of her new memoir, Spoken from the Heart, at the Pentagon Costco (1200 South Fern Street) this afternoon.
As light country music played, the first lady warmly greeted fans who had waited in a line that snaked down one of the store’s long aisles.
Most of the autograph-seekers were women. Many had young children in tow.
A few well-dressed men were also waiting in line. At least one spoke to Mrs. Bush with the kind of familiarity that made it clear he had worked with her husband in the former administration.
Mrs. Bush will speak at George Washington University’s Lisner Hall at 7:30 tonight.
Preston Hewitt is used to the attention. Every time he rides his Trikke down Crystal Drive, people gawk.
“I usually get stares like ‘whoa what is it’ or ‘hey that’s cool,’” Hewitt said during his lunch break.
A Trikke, for the uninitiated, looks kind of like a pair of overgrown Siamese-twin scooters. The aluminum device is described in promotional literature as a “carving vehicle,” after the forward-leaning, side-to-side, inline-skating-esque motion that propels it forward.
Hewitt, who works in missile defense, describes the mechanics behind the motion with a characteristic analogy: “It works just like a satellite… it’s always falling.”
Wherever he is on the Trikke, Hewitt seems to be a magnet for unsolicited comments.
“Looks like fun,” one lady says in passing.
“Very neat,” another stranger comments, before striking up a ten minute conversation.
At 60, Hewitt is perhaps not the image of extreme sports. Nonetheless, he has gained an level of skill on the Trikke (pronounced like “trike”) that much younger men would envy.
He says he got into Trikke riding, as most people do, for the physical exercise. Riding a Trikke is a low-impact way to get a full core workout. It also strengthens one’s thighs and arms.
Hewitt says the fact that the Trikke can be mastered by anyone — from young kids to people in their 70s — is part of the appeal.
Arlington residents spoke out for and against proposed traffic control, parking and development plans for East Falls Church on Tuesday at a county-sponsored forum at Tuckahoe Elementary School.
A presentation outlined the current plan, which calls for developing four to six story mixed-use commercial and residential buildings by removing all 422 spaces at the Metro park-and-ride lot. The presentation also mapped out changes to pedestrian and bike paths as well as a plan to narrow Washington Boulevard to slow down traffic.
After the presentation, ever-polite residents thanked the East Falls Church task force before launching into their complaints.
Concerns about the removal of parking were at the forefront of the discussions. Residents reminded officials about the county’s 1970s era promise that Arlington would not attempt to further develop East Falls Church after the Metro system was installed.
Some residents expressed concern about the potential for overpopulation at local schools as a result of the increased population density. Others were worried about the potential for increased crime.