Because of today’s breaking news, we had to push our article on last night’s very, very long discussion of the East Falls Church development plan to tomorrow. As a way of making amends, we bring you a segment from the English-language Russian
propaganda news channel Russia Today, which you may be able to find in a dark corner of your extended digital cable service.
In the clip, a reporter interviews some folks at a Shell station in Arlington about America’s “addiction” to oil (spoiler: people at a gas station are in no hurry to ditch their cars). But the real reason to watch is for the American anchor’s lead-in to the reporter’s story:
And when it comes to the topic of petrol, and America’s appetite for it, we’re like heroin addicts. And as the color of the waters of the Gulf turn from a murky blue to a poop brown, RT’s Lauren Lyster asked Americans, “Can you kick the habit?”
That’s right, comrades, we’re heroin addicts and our water is poop brown. Courtesy of a TV network from the world’s largest oil producer.
As if to make the setup to an otherwise perfectly normal news story more ridiculous, before you press play you’re treated to a photo of a drunk Uncle Sam holding a gas pump.
A young man is in critical condition tonight after a ladder he was moving came into contact with power lines. It happened around 3:15 this afternoon on North Highland Street, near Route 50, in the Ashton Heights neighborhood.
The man, who’s in his mid-20s, was working as a contract employee for College Pro Painters, firefighters said.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson Jose Ortiz, the man was trying to position the ladder on a house he was working on, when it fell backwards onto 19,900 volt power lines. The man was severely burned and was knocked back nearly nine feet by the electrical shock.
The man was without a pulse when paramedics arrived but was resuscitated and brought to a nearby hospital, Ortiz said. He’s now being transferred to the MedStar burn unit in Northwest Washington. His injuries are described as life-threatening.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating the accident. Authorities are keeping power on until OSHA investigators arrive on the scene.
WAMU 88.5 FM’s Kojo Nnamdi hosted his “Kojo in the Community” program in Arlington last night. The show just finished airing, and there were so many topics raised over the course of two hours that it’s hard to summarize everything. Look back over this web site for past four months and you’ll get a taste for about half of the discussion.
Kojo started out by talking about the past and present of Arlington. Long-time residents spoke in wonder of the pace of development over the past 20 or so years. Many people lamented that the development is hurting the area’s diversity by making it more expensive to live here. Despite Arlington’s push for affordable housing, it seems there are many who feel that not enough is being done.
There were other assorted complaints, but almost universally, those in attendance at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish said that they really like it here. Of course, many of the speakers were people who either work for the county or are part of community organizations — people who are in their positions in the first place because they are passionate about the community.
During the course of the discussion, one thing became clear: we in Arlington think we’re pretty smart. Multiple speakers referenced how intelligent the residents of Arlington are — which is empirically true, if you look at census data. But it was notable how many people raised it as one of Arlington’s key characteristics.
Another part of the program focused on the future of Arlington. From the redevelopment of Crystal City to revitalization and streetcars on Columbia Pike, to the ever-present change-of-government debate, the discussion was wide-ranging and all-inclusive, like a community planning stream-of-consciousness.
There was no shortage of residents with something to say during the two hour discussion. This community is vibrant and interesting (and, dare I say, intelligent) enough that Kojo could have probably been here for 20 hours and people would have still had new topics to raise. Thanks to WAMU for the giant pat on the back for Arlington. It is nice to live here, after all.
In a flurry of activity last night, the Arlington County Board approved a major development plan, adopted a $1.2 billion Capital Improvement Plan, and heard plenty of citizen input on the controversial East Falls Church redevelopment plan.
The board approved a developer’s plan to build a nearly 25,000 square foot, 200-unit residential complex at 1900 Wilson Boulevard, the current site of a Hollywood Video store and a small office building. The complex will include a number of street-level retail bays that officials hope will help foster more street life on the stretch of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards between Rosslyn and Courthouse.
“This building fits into our vision of transforming the Courthouse-Rosslyn area into another great Arlington urban village,” Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a statement. “1900 Wilson Boulevard is a well-designed building that will enliven that block with its combination of homes with street-level stores and great places to eat.”
Last night the board also adopted a $1.2 billion, six-year Capital Improvement Plan. The plan will fund:
- Construction of the new Wakefield High School
- Columbia Pike redevelopment and streetcar line
- Planning costs for the Long Bridge aquatics and fitness center
- Street redevelopment and transportation initiatives in Crystal City
- A “strong commitment to Metro” with $85.8 million in new funding for a total of $121.6 million over six years
- Maintenance for roads, parks, county facilities and technology
In addition, the board heard public comments on the proposed, controversial East Falls Church redevelopment plan.
Ribbon Cutting Today for New Field at TJ — Renovation of the lower athletic field at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd St. S.) was recently completed, and today county officials will celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The field, which is used primarily for soccer, now has synthetic turf and state-of-the-art “dark sky” lighting. Because rain is predicted, the ribbon cutting will be held inside the community center. It will take place from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Ballot Initiative Debate in Cherrydale Tonight – The Cherrydale Civic Association is hosting a debate tonight on the proposed change to Arlington’s form of government. Change-of-government supporters and Committee for a Better Arlington co-chairs Mike Staples and Ken Dennis will debate Alan Howze and Judy Connally of the opposition Coalition for Arlington Good Government. After the debate the public will be able to ask questions of both sides. The event is being held at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (3900 Lee Highway) starting at 7:30 p.m.
Shirlington Getting Jazzed Up — Shirlington Village will be sponsoring an outdoor summer jazz series this year. The concerts will start on Thursday, July 1 and will run through August 19. Each concert will be held in the plaza in front of the Shirlington Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Boozing It Up on July 4 — Good news: you’ll be able to buy liquor in Virginia on the 4th of July. Because it’s just not Independence Day without that bottle of Jim Beam. More from WTOP.