With no Republican contenders in the race, the Democratic primary for the 49th District House of Delegates seat will almost certainly decide who will represent the South Arlington district for the next two years.
When comparing the two candidates, however, one realizes that they are nearly identical on the issues. Both Stephanie Clifford and Alfonso Lopez say they will bring their ”progressive values” to Richmond but will work with lawmakers across the aisle, both are pro-choice and pro-LGBT equality, both support increasing funding for Pre-K education and transit, and both oppose off-shore oil drilling.
“It’s obvious, we are pretty much exactly alike on the issues,” Clifford acknowledged recently. “There’s not a lot of daylight between us, we will vote the same way much of the time, which is why… personality issues are so much more important in this race.”
Those personality differences became a bit more clear earlier this week during a live televised debate sponsored by ARLnow.com and Arlington Independent Media. Asked about the one thing that most separates them from their opponent, Lopez and Clifford had two very different answers.
“I think it comes down to experience,” said Lopez, whose resume includes time as an Obama administration appointee in the Small Business Administration, an appointee with the administration of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, an environmental policy advocate and a leader of local Democratic organizations.
“I’ve been working on these issues that matter to the 49th District for about 20 years,” he said. “It’s not just about building coalitions… it’s having the history, having the years of experience, and knowing the people in Richmond already. I’ve put in the time, I know how to get things done.”
Lopez added that the long list of endorsements he has received shows that he’s ready to go to Richmond.
Clifford, 34, said that while she doesn’t have the experience of Lopez, she has other qualities that make her the best choice for the Democratic nomination.
“I absolutely believe I bring that strong work ethic, the temperment and the perspective that we need to have a very effective delegate, to get down there and work for the real results we need,” she said.
“I’ve walked the entire district twice. I’ve talked to people over and over again about these fundemental issues. People are worried about housing, they’re worried about the education that their kids are receiving, they want to be able to afford to live here,” Clifford said. “People need help, and that’s why I’m stepping up.”
The primary will be held on Aug. 23. See a video of the entire 50-minute debate, after the jump, or watch on Arlington Independent Media (Comcast channel 69 or Verizon channel 38) on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. or Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.
Buttoned-up and professional inside, these restaurants become your chatty pal when you follow them on Twitter. Sometimes outspoken, sometimes outrageous, sometimes attention-seeking, and occasionally Tweeting about something legitimately restaurant-related, these eateries have a personality on social media that has little to do with to the experience of going there and having a meal.
We have selected L.A. Bar and Grill (2530 Columbia Pike), T.H.A.I. In Shirlington (4029 Campbell Avenue) and The Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd) as Arlington’s Most Outspoken Restaurants on Twitter.
Whether it’s pontificating on the off-season signings of the Washington Capitals, telling someone who just went to a competing restaurant to “try us… next time” or calling Comcast a bunch of “a–holes,” these restaurants are unafraid to deviate from the normal sales pitches that one might find on the Twitter accounts of larger, corporate-owned restaurants.
“It’s just something to have fun with, not to be too serious,” said Sean Deloatche, general manager of L.A. Bar and Grill. “A lot of our regulars, to be honest, aren’t on Twitter. It’s more towards our younger crowd.”
Deloatche, who runs the restaurant’s Twitter account, says that it’s not about trying to sell more food or drink, it’s about having a conversation with customers.
“Every bar has to be more serious on Twitter, but that’s not the way we talk to our customers anyway,” he said. “We can say things that every other bar wants to say, but can’t. We are like a neighborhood dive bar, and we play to our strengths. We don’t try to be anything that we’re not.”
See examples of Sean’s nontraditional Tweeting, and the Tweets of the two other “outspoken” restaurants, after the jump.
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) A cyclist who was struck at the dangerous intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway in Rosslyn is recounting her accident with the hopes that it will convince transportation authorities to speed up safety improvements planned for 2013/2014.
Erika, a 24-year-old Rosslyn resident, injured her foot after being struck by a vehicle in the intersection. The accident occurred around 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, making it the first of three instances of bicyclists being struck in the intersection this week.
I was riding south along N Lynn (sidewalk/bike trail) as I approached the intersection with Lee Highway (NE corner of intersection). I checked to see that I had the walk signal, which I did, and that the cars on Lee Highway had the red light, which they did. The cars were stopped at the red light. As I crossed Lee in the crosswalk, someone tried to turn right on red and drove straight into me, knocking me off my bike and onto Lynn (where traffic was proceeding).
My injuries aren’t severe, but I’m still undergoing medical treatment. My bike needs to be fixed as it currently can’t be ridden, but I feel very lucky to have made it through that intersection alive!
I suppose it’s good that Arlington is planning to make the intersection safer, but 2 or 3 years is ridiculous. There should be no turning on red, or a dedicated turning arrow at a time when pedestrians do not have the walk signal.
Drivers really just do not look for bikers or pedestrians, so even if you’re following the laws and traffic signals as I was, you can still get hit.
The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee is planning a “site visit” with county staff at the intersection on Monday, Sept. 12. The meeting, which is open to all who want to attend, will start at 6:30 p.m. and will discuss ways to make the intersection safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
On Saturday, Sept. 10 Arlington County will host a special 9/11 tribute event to honor the 184 people who perished during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
“The event will be held at the Air Force Memorial and will be emceed by ACFD Lieutenant Dave Santini, with an invocation by ACFD Chaplin Reverend Leonard L. Hamlin, live instrumental music and a vocalist to lead attendees in singing ‘America the Beautiful,’” according to the county web site. “This event is free and open to the public.”
For anyone interested in giving back to the community to honor the memory of 9/11 victims, Arlington County is compiling volunteer opportunities for the 9/11 Day of Service. Among the options is a Sept. 10 and 11 grocery store food drive to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
More information on 9/11 events in Arlington can be found on the county’s “Arlington Remembers September 11, 2001″ web page.
According to tipsters and police dispatches, the man stands along Route 50 during the morning and evening rush hours, holding the graphic sign for all to see.
“You may have already heard about this, and the police knew about it when I called the non-emergency line, but there is a hideous Abortion is Murder banner right before the Rosslyn/Key Bridge exit on Rt. 50 Eastbound,” a tipster told us this morning. “It’s about 10 feet wide, maybe 3 feet tall, and incredibly graphic.”
Another tipster had a few more details.
In the past week, I have seen a white male in his early 30s standing near the Marine Corps Memorial on 50E/50W (Rosslyn exit) holding a large sign of with grotesque pictures of supposedly aborted fetuses at 10 weeks. I have twice seen Arlington or U.S. Park police escorting this man away and asking him to take down the sign. I assume he does not have a permit or it is illegal to protest on federal grounds or in areas that may cause traffic disturbances. But today he found a better hiding place. I really don’t want to give him any publicity, but I don’t appreciate being inundated with those images on my morning and evening commutes.
Now, as the national economy teeters once again, there’s some question of whether the local economy can remain an island of vibrancy. With federal discretionary spending decreasing, and with the possibility of even steeper cuts down the road, Uncle Sam may not be able to provide the steady flow of cash that kept the local economy going during the last recessionary period.
The local economic indicators are a mixed bag. Unemployment in Arlington is still remarkably low, at 3.9 percent. Home sales are up in the most recent period, but home sale prices are down considerably in Arlington and in the D.C. metro area.
How do you feel about the direction the local economy is heading?
In this week’s Arlington County crime report, there were a couple of instances of food and food utensils being used as a weapon.
Last Thursday, in the Pentagon City area, a woman threw a piece of fruit at the clerk.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 08/04/11, 1500 block of S. Fern Street. On August 4 at 3 pm, a woman threw a piece of fruit at a convenience store clerk, striking him in the face. The suspect is an African American female, 5’4” and 130 lbs. She was wearing a blue sweatshirt and khaki pants.
Last Tuesday, a restaurant manager in Rosslyn allegedly attacked an employee with a knife.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING-ARREST, 08/05/11, 1100 block Wilson Boulevard. On August 2 at 1 pm, a restaurant manager assaulted an employee with a knife. Youssef Elkhayir, 41, of Falls Church, was charged with Malicious Wounding and held without bond.
The rest of this week’s crime report, including two instances of teen girls being inappropriately touched, after the jump.
Police Investigate BB Gun Bike-By Shooting — Arlington Police searched for a pair of young men on bikes last night after one of them allegedly shot a woman in the arm with a BB gun near the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Thomas Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood. The suspects made a clean getaway, although one may have been briefly spotted near Ballston. The woman required medical treatment for the wound.
Pentagon Memorial Called ‘Contemplative,’ ‘Noisy’ — Visitors to the Pentagon Memorial are reportedly weirded out by the sound of low-flying planes at the Pentagon Memorial — which was built in honor of the 184 people who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon’s west wall on 9/11/01. The Pentagon is along the flight path of Reagan National Airport. [Associated Press]
WaPo Sums Up the 30th District State Senate Race — As Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, Del. Adam P. Ebbin and Arlington County School Board member Libby Garvey knock on doors in the 30th state Senate district, Virginia Tech professor Craig Brians commented on the many policy similarities in the three-way primary race. “It’s so difficult for voters to figure out what the real difference is between these people,” he said. [Washington Post]
Arlington Wants Its Money Back — Arlington and other Northern Virginia localities are pushing Gov. Bob McDonnell to return some of the $311 million state budget surplus to local governments. “I think the governor’s going to hear pretty clearly from local governments that they think some of this should be restored, it not all of it,” said Arlington County Board Member Mary Hynes. [Washington Examiner]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick