Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan, Police Chief Doug Scott and Sheriff Beth Arthur met with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to find out how communities can withdraw from the program, which has drawn fire from immigrant rights advocates.
The meeting seemed to add weight to Morton’s assertion.
“ICE stated clearly — and with finality — that local activated communities do not have the option of withholding information from the program, although communities can opt not to learn the results of immigration queries,” Donnellan wrote in a memo to county board members following the meeting.
“ICE stated that Secure Communities is a federal information-sharing program — which links two federal fingerprint databases,” Donnellan wrote. “The program does not require state and local law enforcement to partner with ICE in enforcing federal law. State and local law enforcement do not have any role in enforcing immigration law.”
The agency gave Arlington two options for opting out of the program. The first option was to opt-out of receiving the results of ICE’s database inquiry.
Neighbors aren’t too pleased with the made-for-TV house fire set by firefighters in Barcroft last month.
Last night the Barcroft School and Civic League passed the following resolution, asking Arlington County to rescind its policy of allowing the fire department to perform controlled burns in residential neighborhoods.
Whereas the Arlington County Fire Department burned a house in Barcroft on S. 8th Street on October 19, 2010, producing billowing clouds of thick black smoke and leaving the building a charred hulk that is still giving off fumes; and
Whereas the notification to the immediate neighbors was received at 5pm on the previous day, and the telephone number given for questions was not answered, indicating that the Fire Department had decided not to consider any citizen concerns about the burning and giving insufficient notice for parents to make arrangements for moving their children for the day or for pregnant women to arrange to move elsewhere; and
Whereas there was no notification at all to the neighborhood at large; and
Whereas similar burnings have provoked protests in other neighborhoods; and
Whereas the burning of a typical older Arlington house produces toxic fumes from lead paint and other materials and in most cases releases asbestos fibers; and
Whereas in an era of concern about toxic substances and their effect on air quality the intentional burning of a home in a neighborhood is clearly an anachronism;
Now therefore the Barcroft School and Civic League recommends to Arlington County that the policy of permitting the Fire Department to burn homes in residential neighborhoods be recinded.
Adopted this 4th of November, 2010 by the Barcroft School and Civic League.
The man, 33-year-old McKinley C. Joyner, used the web site Backpage.com to hire a prostitute, according to police. After the woman arrived at his apartment on the 2100 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, Joyner pointed a gun at her and forced her to perform a sex act, police said in a statement.
A friend of the victim, who was waiting in the lobby, then went up to check on her. Investigators say Joyner let her in and then forced her to perform a sex act at gunpoint, as well.
Police arrived at the scene around 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, after being called by the woman’s escort agency. The agency became concerned after not being able to get in touch with their employee, police explained.
Joyner was arrested and charged with two counts of forcible sodomy. Other charges are pending, police say. He’s currently being held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Facility.
Joyner is listed as a co-founder and partner in New York-based firm Blazetrak, LLC, which specializes in allowing fledgling artists to “get directly in touch with established industry experts and celebrity talent.”
The company’s PR agency has not returned a call for comment.
Update at 4:40 p.m. — Joyner’s biography has been removed from the Blazetrak website.
Mark was a well-spoken, likable family man who took measured, intellectual positions on the issues. He was a Republican who Democratic voters could potentially find common ground with, especially in an anti-incumbent year.
In the end, however, Arlington voters re-elected Democrat Chris Zimmerman by a wide margin.
It was especially striking that, despite loud grumbles of disapproval in certain quarters over perceived excess county spending, 57 percent of voters still chose to re-elect the number one supporter of the county’s proposed $200 million streetcar project.
“Once again the voters have affirmed their commitment to progressive government… even in a down year,” Zimmerman said.
Voters rewarded Democrats for their “commitment to quality services and strategic investments” as well as “a commitment to Arlington as a diverse and welcoming community,” he added.
(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Bomb disposal crews used a remote-controlled robot to neutralize a suspicious device on 17th Street in Nauck, a block away from the busy intersection of South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
Explosive specialists determined that the device, which was white, cylindrical and had wires coming out of it, was a hoax, but only after they used an explosive charge to “interrupt” it.
Authorities were first notified of the device, which was placed between two cars on the side of the street, around 10:30 this morning.
The bomb squad arrived “and found what appeared to be an improvised explosive device,” according to Arlington Chief Fire Marshal Benjamin Barksdale. Authorities cordoned off the area and had dispatchers implement a “reverse 911,” which notified residents in the area about the situation and asked them to stay in their homes.
“From there we went through our normal procedures as to identifying exactly what we were dealing with… and from there neutralizing the object,” Barksdale said. Arlington first responders were joined by resources from neighboring jurisdictions, he said.
Barksdale said the last such bomb scare in Arlington happened 3-4 months ago in Crystal City, when a suspicious package was found and neutralized using the same procedures. That device also turned out to be a hoax.
Investigators will now focus on determining who might have been responsible for the device.
“We’ll be talking to people who live on the street to see if they saw anything suspicious, any individuals who don’t live in this neighborhood,” Barksdale said.
The company is expecting people to start lining up for the Nov. 18 opening at 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 17.
The reason people would brave the cold for a fast food restaurant opening? The store is offering a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals to the first 100 adults in line (a $260 value).
The queue will be set up in the park across the street, so the campers don’t get clog the sidewalk. A company spokesperson said 200 people lined up 24 hours prior to a restaurant opening in Denver last week for the same “First 100″ promotion.
If there are more than 100 people in line in Crystal City by 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 17, the first 100 spots will be determined by a raffle.
In advance of the opening, Chick-fil-A will also be doing a big sandwich giveaway. The restaurant will distribute 10,000 chicken sandwiches during the lunch hour of Nov. 15 and 16.
Chick-fil-A says the store, which will employ nearly 50 people, is the result of years of market research.
“With the company having researched locations in the area since 2004, the Crystal City restaurant provides an opportunity for the chain to be a part of the Crystal City streetscape,” the company said in a press release. “The Chick-fil-A restaurant also is conveniently located to mass transit and the Pentagon.”
Arlington Republicans Look to 2011 — Mark Kelly, who just lost his bid to unseat Chris Zimmerman on the county board, says that 2011 represents the Republican Party’s best chance of getting a toe hold in Arlington politics. Voter turnout should be very low, since there will be no federal races on the ballot. Two county board, a school board and a number of state legislative seats will be up for grabs. More from the Sun Gazette.
Rousselot Launches Bid for State Party Chair – Peter Rousselot, who served as chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee from 2006 to 2010, is seeking to the chairmanship of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Rousselot says the DPVA should focus on “maximizing the ability of Democratic candidates to win statewide races in Virginia.” One expected rival for the position is Brian Moran, former gubernatorial candidate and brother of Rep. Jim Moran. (That is, if Moran is legally qualified to be state party chair.)
State Supreme Court Upholds Transportation Tax — In a ruling on a case out of Fairfax County, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld the legality of a special transportation tax on property. Commercial property holders in Arlington have objected to paying a county transportation tax — $0.125 for every $100 in property value — while residential property owners are exempt. More from TBD.
Glebe Road’s Lost Interchange — Greater Greater Washington uncovers evidence that an oddly-curved section of Glebe Road near Chain Bridge was originally intended to be a interchange with the George Washington Parkway and a never-built bridge across the Potomac.