The Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria are asking local residents to water their trees. The group says that the hot, dry weather has “taken a toll” on trees in the area.
The stifling weather has taken a toll on trees in Arlington and Alexandria. Many need water, especially those planted in the last three years. Community members can make a big difference just by watering their trees says TreeStewards, a volunteer group that provides education and support to our trees. Residents are urged to water both their own and street trees they see in need. To water, leave your hose turned on low for a half hour once a week or install a slow-release watering bag (Ooze Tube, GatorBag sold in hardware stores). TreeStewards guarantees Instant Karma to all who water a street tree weekly!
Trees make an enormous impact on our community. They help clean the air and provide shade and beauty. Our summer droughts and storms can do lasting damage unless we tend to our trees.
The Tree Stewards offer advice for watering trees here.
On the morning of Friday, June 10, a woman called police and claimed that two African American men in their 20s had stolen a $20,000 bank deposit from her as she approached the Wachovia bank at S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. According to the crime report at the time, she described one suspect as thin with dark clothing and the other as heavyset with a black shirt and khaki pants.
Numerous police officers responded to the call and searched the area for the suspects. In the end, police say, the story was nothing but a ruse to collect insurance money.
Tomas Benitez, 49, the owner of a small Columbia Pike business called Eagle Communications, was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny. Police say he instructed his employee, 44-year-old Patricia Lopez, to report the robbery so that he could make an insurance claim.
Lopez has been charged with Filing a False Police Report.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) voted against the debt deal that passed the House 269-161 yesterday and passed the Senate 74-26 this afternoon.
In a statement, Moran said he opposed the deal due to its lack of tax increases.
The debt ceiling has been raised cleanly 39 times over the last 30 years, 18 times by President Reagan alone. But for the first time ever, a deal has had to be negotiated to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a default. Unfortunately, the proposal we are being asked to vote on would be bad for our country. It should be rejected, and President Obama should take matters into his own hands by invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.
This deal is not representative of a balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction. By leaving revenue entirely off the table, the agreement severely restricts the government’s ability to make investments in the human and physical capital of this country – investments that created the strongest middle class in the world and made our country the most powerful.
At a time of stagnant growth and high unemployment, the far-right of the Republican party has been able to hold our economic security hostage in exchange for deep cuts that will reduce growth and employment and increase inequality in the short term without properly addressing the structural causes behind our long-term deficits.
Government spending currently equals roughly 25 percent of GDP, while revenues being collected are at an historically low 15 percent of GDP. This gap, which represents our yearly deficit, is unsustainable – and despite the rhetoric cannot be bridged by spending cuts alone. Under the Clinton tax rates that prevailed during the 1990s the economy created a record number of jobs and the government actually ran a surplus for over two years, leaving a projected surplus through 2011 of $2.3 trillion. These budget deals included spending cuts and new revenues and should be the model we follow today. Unfortunately, the balanced budgets and growing surplus that were paying down the debt were destroyed through the reckless mismanagement of the Bush Administration and a Republican controlled Congress that undertook two wars, two massive tax cuts, and a Medicare prescription drug program which pays retail rather than negotiated prices. None of these policies were paid for with either equivalent spending cuts or new sources of revenue. And following the Great Recession, caused in large part by deregulation and the lack of oversight of our banking system, we are where we are today.
This agreement, unfortunately, validates the political strategy of those Republican radicals who were willing to create default and economic chaos in order to avoid true compromise and a balanced approach. Their brinksmanship has eroded the global confidence in our system of government, a confidence that made the dollar the global reserve currency and the Treasury Bill the world’s safest investment. Should this deal be enacted, which looks likely, it will have a lasting negative effect on our economy, prevent investment in our infrastructure and weaken our economic competitiveness.
(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) More than three months ago, fire ravaged Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse. But like a phoenix, the pub is about to emerge from the ashes.
The February fire gutted the kitchen, back halls and roof, forcing the pub to resort to a limited menu of mostly cold foods. Only being able to open a portion of the restaurant meant they were bringing in about 40 percent of the usual business.
The damage was more significant than anticipated, requiring many repairs in order to reopen. General Manager Dave Cahill (who hails from Limerick, Ireland) says that prompted the decision to redevelop and modernize the entire pub. Some of the changes include new hardwood and tile floors, new wood paneling and paint on the walls, a new main bar, a redone party area and the addition of a deck in the back. There are also new beers on tap, new glassware to be used with each specialty beer and an expanded scotch and whiskey list.
Four Courts also hired a new chef — Joel Lucas — who had previously worked at McCormick & Schmick’s and Chef Geoff’s. He’s been developing an updated menu. Lucas and Cahill said they will still serve the standard Irish dishes that Americans are familiar with, like corned beef and cabbage. However the revamped menu will include new items, several of them reflecting Ireland’s seafood offerings, such as scallops or salmon.
Lucas pointed out that the pub features “from scratch cooking” and fresh produce grown locally in Virginia. Customers will also see gourmet cheeses made at Cahill’s family farm in Ireland topping some dishes.
Despite all the changes, Cahill stresses that Four Courts will still have the same feel of a traditional Irish pub, but with a fresher look. He and Lucas have spent a lot of time and money studying pubs in Ireland, trying to mimic specific points of authenticity in both ambiance and fare.
“We want people to feel like they’re actually in a pub in Ireland when they come here,” Cahill said.
Tomorrow, Ireland’s Four Courts will start serving its expanded menu. A full grand re-opening is scheduled for August 31. The Four Courts website has the pub’s new hours and menu. More photos, after the jump.
It’s a tradition at Faccia Luna, the “American Trattoria” that has been a presence in Clarendon since 1992. For those who haven’t tried their pizza, or those who can’t get enough of it, our partners at WTD are offering a great deal: $20 worth of food and non-alcoholic beverages for $9.
The deal is available for purchase through next weekend. It must be redeemed by Dec. 1.
See Faccia Luna’s menu here.
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) An arrest has been made in the case of two female bank employees who were splashed in the face with a caustic liquid in Ballston two weeks ago.
On the afternoon of July 19, a man approached the employees outside the Capital One Bank in Ballston Common Mall and allegedly threw a liquid at them. Although the liquid was later determined to be “non-hazardous,” it reportedly caused the women to suffer a burning sensation and the inability to open their eyes. The man fled the scene and managed to elude police.
On July 29, however, police say the suspect was spotted near the bank again. Officers took the man, identified as 33-year-old Rodolfo Caguay of the District, into custody. He’s charged with Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance.
Photo by Katie Pyzyk
The new Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Crystal City has one of the best bathrooms in the country, according to a contest sponsored by restroom management and maintenance provider Cintas.
The hotel’s ground floor restroom is one of 10 swanky bathrooms from around the country selected for the tenth-annual America’s Best Restroom contest. This year’s contest includes loos from restaurants in New York City, a casino in Las Vegas, a museum in Chicago and a mobile trailer used by President Obama.
Cintas describes the Renaissance’s bathroom with the kind of aesthetic admiration one might use to describe to a work of art.
The hallway leading to the restrooms is darkened with shadows of leaves, some blurred, some sharper, projected on the floor. The designer creates a sense of adventure as one journeys through this passage with its tree-patterned wall coverings and play of shadow and light. Once inside the restrooms, one wall is ablaze in the oranges and golden tones of a sunset and the dark silhouettes of birds in flight. Mirrors above the vanity feature bird silhouettes that are lit and when a guest turns on the faucet, water flows in a sparkling red stream if it’s hot and a blue stream if it’s cool, thanks to ingenious lighting within the fixtures.
The public is encouraged to vote for any number of the finalists.
Storm Grazes Arlington — Last night’s storms brought wind and torrential rains to much of the region, but only grazed Arlington. Nonetheless, the storm managed to pack enough of a punch to knock down a large branch in Fairlington, near the intersection of S. Utah Street and 32nd Road.
Arlington Among Fuel ‘Teetotalers’ — Arlington residents spend among the least per month on gasoline, according to an analysis of data from major metropolitan areas by Mint.com. Arlington residents are “teetotalers” at $129 per month spent on fuel. That compares to $112 for D.C. residents and $102 for New York City residents, who spend the least. The biggest “guzzler” was San Jose, Ca. at $216 per month per resident. [CommuterPage Blog]
Sun Gazette Editorial Blasts Feuding Dems — The Sun Gazette has seen enough of the “sad spectacle” of the “uniformly amateurish” primary campaigns of state Senate foes Jaime Areizaga-Soto and Barbara Favola. The paper opines that the feuding Democrats have embarked “on a mission of self-immolation, conspiring for whatever bizarre reason to throw away control of the 31st District.” The war of words in the campaign has opened up an opportunity for Republican Caren Merrick to capture the traditionally Democratic seat, the paper suggests. [Sun Gazette]