Emergency responders from Arlington and DC are on the scene. Only one lane is getting by.
There’s no word on injuries at this time.
Update at 6:25 p.m. — All lanes are now getting by.
A pickup truck ran into the side of a Metro bus on South Glebe Road near the interchange with I-395, snarling rush hour traffic and sending at least two people to the hospital.
The accident happened at the intersection of South Glebe and West Glebe road around 4:30 this afternoon. Initial reports suggest two children in the truck were brought to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Arlington and Metro Transit Police are on the scene, as are Arlington firefighters and Metro supervisors.
Update at 5:25 p.m. — The bus has been moved to a side street, and a wrecker took away the pickup truck. One lane now getting by on southbound Glebe Road. There’s still some debris in the roadway which hasn’t been cleaned up and traffic is still a bit of a mess.
Update at 6:10 p.m. — A Metro spokesperson says there were no reported injuries on the bus.
More photos after the jump.
At times, the preliminary budget recommendations from Arlington’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission sound more like something you’d hear on CNBC than at a county board meeting. While recommending that next year’s estimated $25-$35 million budget shortfall be made up by a 50-50 combination of spending cuts and tax increases, the commission says that longer-term changes might be necessary.
“The County may have to make structural changes to accommodate continued significant financial challenges,” the commission said in a three-page report to the county board. “Those changes may include improved efficiencies, outsourcing (to realize improved efficiencies and reduced labor costs) and changes in service levels.”
FAAC recommends that the board “require departments to identify and implement operational efficiency improvements,” and “reduce or eliminate funding for programs that are no longer needed, are not effective, or are no longer affordable.”
The recommendations come at a time when the county will be taking on new operating expenses as a result of several major capital projects. Those projects include the Mary Marshall Assisted Living Residence, Artisphere (which opens this week) and the Columbia Pike revitalization project (which includes the assumption of road maintenance costs from the state).
The commission praised the board for balancing priorities during recent budget cycles, calling the past three budgets “fiscally prudent and responsive to pressing human service needs.”
“Arlington has been fiscally fortunate in comparison to many jurisdictions, in part because of a legacy of strong planning and prudent investments,” the report concludes. “However, the fiscal picture remains uncertain, and we believe that the recommendations contained in this report may provide additional options for the Board to consider in the development of the FY 2012 budget.”
According to conventional wisdom, Rep. Jim Moran will likely win a comfortable re-election for an eleventh term as congressman for Virginia’s eighth district. But in an anti-incumbent year, any whiff of scandal could prove especially costly.
Enter last month’s guilty plea by former lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, founder of the now-defunct PMA Group. Magliocchetti pleaded guilty to illegally reimbursing family members and PMA employees for making political contributions.
PMA and its employees funneled at least $150,000 into Moran’s campaign coffers from 1998-2008, according to data compiled by political blogger Ben Tribbett. While the donations were taking place, millions of dollars in defense contracts were awarded to PMA’s clients by Moran and two other Defense Appropriations subcommittee members.
In his 2,200 word post (the first of two parts) Tribbett details PMA’s hiring of former Moran Chief of Staff Melissa Koloszar and the firm’s uncharacteristically generous donation to a state-level candidate: Brian Moran, the congressman’s brother.
Prosecutors concluded that campaigns that received money from PMA employees and Magliocchetti family members did not know it was procured illegally. Still, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan government watchdog, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for additional information in the case.
Could the PMA affair hurt Moran’s re-election prospects? Obviously it doesn’t help, but at this point it doesn’t seem to be getting much traction. Moran’s Republican challenger, Patrick Murray, has done little to press the issue publicly, above and beyond sending an email calling on Moran to donate the money from PMA to charity.
Nonetheless, additional revelations could cause the slow-simmering affair to heat up as election day approaches.
In due time, the big hole in the ground next to Ballston Common Mall will be filled with development and the view from the soon-to-open Rustico will be even less rustic.
Founders Square, located across Wilson Boulevard from the Liberty Center development (also owned by the Shooshan Company), will consist of two high-rise office buildings, one high-rise residential building, a large hotel, and a smaller building reserved for retailers.
Among the Founders Square office towers, one will be a secure building with a single tenant: the Defense Advanced Research Projects agency, which is relocating from Virginia Square. DARPA signed its lease more than a year ago. The other office building is still leasing.
The hotel, meanwhile, is expected to be a Residence Inn, at least according to architectural sketches. It was originally intended to be a residential building, but its use has since been switched to a hotel by the developer. The change still needs to be approved by the county.
The county’s site plan review committee will discuss the hotel proposal at a meeting tonight in Rooms 109/111 at Courthouse Plaza (2100 Courthouse Road). The county board is expected to take up the site plan amendment necessary for the hotel’s approval in December.
Developers argue that the Ballston area is in need of more hotels.
All told, Founders Square will consist of 1.1 million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space. The development could be ready for occupancy as soon as 2012.
(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) Imagine taking your laptop to the Crystal City water park and getting work down while enjoying a crisp fall day. If not for the rain, you could be doing just that.
Crystal City is just finishing up an expansion and upgrade to its free public Wi-Fi network, which is available in many of the neighborhood’s public spaces.
The service is available under the SSID “Crystal City Beta.” See a map of the hotspots here.
We’re less than 30 days away from this year’s mid-term elections — thus why you see the legions of campaign signs popping up along Arlington’s roadways. Unless Patrick Murray or Mark Kelly can pull a big upset, however, the next truly interesting race may be the 2011 primaries.
State Sen. Patsy Ticer, a Democrat who represents a large chunk of south Arlington, as well as parts of Alexandria and Fairfax County, has so far shown no signs of interest in seeking another term.
Among the names of potential replacements being floated around, one is reportedly not interested, but another almost certainly is. Sources close to Del. Adam Ebbin tell us that he’s interested in seeking the Democratic nomination for Ticer’s seat. Ebbin, who also represents parts of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax, has held his current House of Delegates seat since January 2004.
In the coming months we’ll see who else steps up to the plate.
Photo via Vivian Paige.
Shirlington Oktoberfest Draws a Crowd — Lines that nearly stretched around the block didn’t deter thousands from enjoying a sunny afternoon of beer samples, German food and oompah music. See more photos here and here.
Savannah Wants Michael Brown Back — Now that Michael Brown has “resigned” as Arlington’s county manager, editorial writers are beckoning him back to his former job as city manager of Savannah, Ga. However, Savannah’s city council doesn’t seem too enthusiastic about his potential return.
Possible Measles Exposure at DCA – In an abundance of caution, Arlington’s health department is warning anybody who was in Reagan National Airport’s Terminal C from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 that they may have come in contact with an individual who had the measles.
Arena Stage’s Crystal City Era Coming to a Close — Say goodbye to Arena Stage, which is leaving the Crystal City Underground for a newly-renovated, $135 million theater just across the river in southwest DC. But the Crystal City theater won’t be dark for long. Synetic Theater is moving in. More from Connection Newspapers.
Photo courtesy Jason Peschau