This afternoon the House of Representatives passed a bill that would permit oil drilling off the coast of Virginia.
On the House floor today, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered his support for an amendment that would have strengthened provisions in the bill that prohibit drilling in an area that would cause “unreasonable conflict” with naval operations. The amendment failed, and the bill passed 266-149.
“The proposed lease sale would interfere with U.S. Navy operations and Virginia’s commercial fishery and tourism industries,” Moran said in a statement. “National Security and economic growth should trump lining the pockets of big oil executives.”
Moran added that the drilling could interfere with the training of Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL Team Six, the elite squad that killed Osama bin Laden.
“In May 2010 the [Department of Defense] stated nearly 80 percent of the drilling area proposed to be sold in Virginia, Lease Sale 220, would interfere with U.S. Navy training and operations (including Navy SEAL Team Six),” a Moran press release said.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) offered his support for the bill in a newspaper op-ed this morning.
“America’s energy future must be made more secure and must focus on domestic energy resources,” McDonnell said.
It’s hard to say whether it was a normal lunchtime crowd or if people were feeling a bit more festive today for Cinco de Mayo, but the Chipotle in Rosslyn was packed to the gills today. A line snaked around three walls of the restaurant as office workers and residents waited patiently for their burrito fix.
Elsewhere along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, a healthy crowd sat outside Mexicali Blues in Clarendon, sipping Coronas in the cool sunshine. Santa Fe in Rosslyn, meanwhile, was still doing steady business at 1:15 p.m.
Here CafeBar in Rosslyn’s Artisphere had men in sombreros flashing signs to passersby on Wilson Boulevard, but had a smaller crowd at 1:00 p.m. Just over a dozen patrons were dining in Artisphere’s large WiFi-enabled space. Perhaps the menu — which lists burgers and pizza, but not burritos or quesadillas — was partially to blame.
The Veterans Administration is holding its annual “Welcome Home Celebration” for hundreds of returning combat veterans in Crystal City next weekend.
The event, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway), will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. It will serve to educate returning veterans, active duty service personnel and their family members about the VA’s benefits and health care service, through on-site enrollment services, health screenings and benefits counseling.
There will also be a job fair for Iraq and Afghanistan vets, as well as family-friendly entertainment, music and a free lunch.
Yesterday we officially launched our new discussion forums section — a message board where the conversation isn’t limited to the articles we publish.
Here are a few of the interesting items posted in the past 24 hours.
- New Rt. 50-Courthouse-10th St. Interchange: Detour Nightmare! – A resident who attended a VDOT meeting regarding the Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project says planned long-term detours will direct highway traffic down quiet residential streets.
- Bowen McCauley presents “Mammy” at Kenmore Middle School – A parent questions whether there were racial undertones in a recent dance performance at two Arlington public schools.
- Clarendon on CNNMoney! What business is in the photo? – Readers debate: Was a photo featured on the homepage of CNNMoney.com taken in Clarendon or San Francisco?
- AWLA Pit Crew: Adopt – Educate – Advocate — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is looking for volunteers to help promote the adoption of pit bulls.
Okay, it’s not Hollywood, but Arlington certainly has its share of beautiful people.
Don’t believe us? Next time you’re out near the local gym, the local pool, or the local trail, look around and see for yourself. This is a good-looking, fitness-oriented town.
At the risk of coming off as superficial — which would be a fair criticism — we’re wondering where the greatest concentration of attractive men and women is in our fair county. To make sure the list of locations doesn’t get too long, we’ve narrowed it down to Arlington’s residential Metro stops.
Former aide to Gov. Tim Kaine and current U.S. Small Business Administration assistant administrator Alfonso Lopez announced his candidacy for the Virginia House of Delegates at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting.
Lopez is running for delegate in the 49th District — a seat currently held by Del. Adam Ebbin, who’s running for state Senate.
“I’m running for delegate today because the social safety net that my parents and so many others relied on is being destroyed by Republicans in Richmond,” Lopez said.
Lopez added that Virginia Republicans are “demonizing new immigrants and gays and lesbians.” He said he would bring “passion and practical experience” to the fight for a cleaner environment, better education and civil rights.
Also announcing last night was Obama administration appointee and former Army National Guard JAG Lt. Col. Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who’s running for state Senate in the 31st District.
“I’m running… to be a strong voice in the fight for progressive priorities against the backwards agenda of Gov. McDonnell and the Republicans in Richmond,” Areizaga-Soto said. He said that the Democrats who control the state Senate have not done enough to fight for their priorities, like protecting a woman’s right to choose.
“The voters of the 31st District will now decide who will be their Senator, instead of the other way around,” Areizaga-Soto said, a dig at the Democratic establishment’s support of his opponent, County Board member Barbara Favola.
Video courtesy Blue Virginia
Arlington’s Modest Manager Reception – About a year ago, Arlington spent $600 to hold a reception for now-former county manager Michael Brown. By comparison to Savannah, Ga. — where Brown had held the position of city manager before jumping ship for Arlington — that reception seems like the pinnacle of modesty. Savannah is holding a reception for Brown’s replacement as city manager tonight. Locals are objecting to the fact that the reception — which includes keepsake wine glasses for guests — is costing the cash-strapped city more than $7,500. [Savannah Morning News]
New Pike Gym Selling Memberships – Xsport Fitness, a new 24-hour gym opening in July on the 2300 block of Columbia Pike, is selling $19.99 per month memberships out of a temporary office in the Siena Park apartment building. Xsport will be the second gym to open on the Pike this year, after World Gym opened in January on the ground floor of the Halstead apartment building. [Pike Wire]
Dels. Brink, Hope Launch Reelection Bids — Delegates Bob Brink and Patrick Hope formally announced their candidacies for reelection at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by LittleNewton787