Here is the unedited response from Jaime Areizaga-Soto:
I am Jaime Areizaga Soto and I’m running to represent the 31st district in the Virginia Senate. I graduated from Georgetown and got a masters and law degree from Stanford. I’ve served our country as an Army officer for over twenty years and am currently a JAG Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard. I am an attorney with over 12 years of infrastructure experience, a former White House Fellow, a member of the Arlington County Transportation Commission, and a lifelong Democrat. Over the past two General Assembly sessions in Richmond, I served as Policy Advisor to Senator Whipple supporting and advising her on legislation and caucus-related matters. The Obama Administration appointed me to the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development – I stepped down from that position in order to be a candidate to represent you in Richmond.
I fell in love with Virginia when I was here visiting my family thirty-five years ago. My heart is in Northern Virginia for it’s progressive values, diverse communities, and our shared commitment to education, equality, and justice. I believe everyone should have the opportunity for a world-class education, the opportunity to seek justice and have a voice and the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Some people think these values should not extend to everyone.
I am running for State Senate to fight against the narrow-mindedness that threatens progress. Since 2009 we have seen abortion rights under fire, gay rights stifled and education funding slashed. Cuccinelli even sued to stop the President’s healthcare reform legislation. Enough is enough! I want to fight back against the extremism that has taken over our state. That’s why I am running for State Senate: to fight for our Democratic values and to protect our future.
I am 100% Pro Choice and always have been. NARAL Pro Choice Virginia has endorsed me. As a member of the military I am honored to serve alongside members of the LGBT community and I will fight for full equality for all Virginians; the LGBT Democrats of Virginia have also endorsed my candidacy. I will also stand up for our labor brothers and sisters and am proud to have the endorsements of the Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association and of the Communications Workers of America.
My priority in the Senate will be to fight for our Northern Virginia communities and to stand up for our shared Democratic values. I will fight for progressive tax reform that cuts taxes on the middle class and small businesses, eliminating the sales tax on food and creating tax brackets so the super rich pay their fair share. It is clear that our transportation system is broken; we need to focus on moving people and goods safely and reliably instead of on moving cars. I support raising the gasoline tax to equal that of our neighboring states. I grew up with an elementary school teacher as my mother and I believe that our teachers should be paid at the average of the rest of country. I will buck any further cuts to education and fight for equitable teacher pay.
I am a native-born American citizen raised in Puerto Rico who has lived the American Dream. I am an Eagle Scout and serve as Vice President of the Dream Project, a not-for-profit that supports high school students in achieving their college goals. I will make sure every law-abiding resident is treated fairly and has opportunities to succeed by providing in-state tuition to the children of immigrants who graduate from Virginia high schools (Dream Act).
I will be a strong voice for our Democratic values in Richmond. I am ready to work for you on day one. You have my word. I will not quit or give up. We cannot stand by and watch the McDonnell/Cuccinelli agenda destroy our state and our future. I ask you for your vote. Join me. Together we can make it right.
Here is the unedited response from Barbara Favola:
I am running for the State Senate because I want to create a Virginia that is more progressive, more compassionate and more inclusive and I offer the skills and experience necessary make this vision a reality. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, August 23rd.
My 14 years of experience in local government and my work with leaders around the region have prepared me to be an effective legislator. As a leader in the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo), I have already cultivated many relationships with lawmakers. The Washington Post noted: “She is the stronger, more substantive candidate and will make a better senator.”
As your Senator, I will work to strengthen the partnership between the state and local government. I will work to insure that the state invests in the kinds of things that will make our future brighter. K-12 public education is one such investment.
We need to put a great teacher in every classroom, and produce graduates able to compete against anyone anywhere in the world.
I am absolutely committed to improving access for Northern Virginians to our State system of higher education. I believe that the Northern VA community college should have the capacity and resources necessary to serve each eligible student Virginia’s prosperity depends upon everyone having the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams. Yes, the Dream Act is a good thing for Virginia.
Part of a brighter future is restoring our rivers and streams, and the entire Chesapeake Bay to its sparkling vibrancy. I currently chair the MWCOG Chesapeake Bay Committee, and, as your Senator I will continue my work to insure that the state’s commitment to cleaning up the Bay is unwavering. The Sierra Club is supporting my candidacy.
Good public schools and protecting the environment are Democratic values that affect our day- to -day lives. Insuring that everyone enjoys these benefits, and has access to a brighter future, is a key part of creating a just and fair society – that is one of my core values.
I also strongly believe that state government must protect the rights of individuals, and reinforce one’s ability to pursue happiness. I support Gay marriage and same sex adoptions. The definition of love should not be dictated by the state.
I am endorsed by NARAL, the Virginia Chapter of NOW and the Women’s Campaign Fund because of my long history of being pro-choice. I have worked to insure that reproductive health services are affordable and available to all women, including
Senator Whipple and many other community leaders support my candidacy because you can trust me to fight for our Democratic values.
One might think that Alex Chamandy of Barcroft-based Arlington Virginia Computer Repair is merely a computer fix-it guy. Someone who spends his days troubleshooting errors, removing viruses, dealing with fizzled hard drives and tackling other computer maladies.
Yes — Alex and his partner Jennifer do all of those things, and do them well. But he’s also a wizard when it comes to Linux servers, open source server software, and the IT needs of small businesses, and that’s why we’d like to thank him today. Alex has been helping us with our technical/server issues since shortly after we launched, and now he’s spending hours of his scarce free time helping us transition to a newer, faster and more reliable server.
Without Alex’s help, we would have been hard-pressed to keep the site up and running as it grew. Plus, Alex has been our go-to guy for random technical questions and information security-related services.
Rather than toiling anonymously — save the mention at the bottom of each of our pages — we wanted to let Alex’s dedication be known to all. If you want the same expertise and service when your desktop or laptop goes belly-up, or if your small business needs some tech help, give his company a call at 703-486-0200 or visit the Arlington Virginia Computer Repair web site.
Here is the unedited response from David Deane:
My name is David Deane and I am seeking the Democratic nomination for Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. As Commonwealth’s Attorney I will make the office more accountable and accessible to the citizens of this community. While the office has been well run under the current leadership, I believe that we should always be striving for better. I am committed to starting a Drug Court Program, working in collaboration with Arlington’s judges and community services agencies to treat and intensively supervise non-violent addicts rather than abandon them in jail. I am committed to hiring Spanish speaking prosecutors and educating the Hispanic community so that all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, heritage, or immigration status feel safe. I am staunchly opposed to the death penalty. I believe that the citizens of this community understand that this draconian means of punishment is expensive, ineffective, and inhumane. As both a former prosecutor and a practicing defense attorney I have the breadth of experience to achieve these goals and to improve the level of service provided to the members of our community. I would be honored to have your vote on August 23rd, 2011.
Here is the unedited response from Theo Stamos:
My name is Theo Stamos and I am running for Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. For the past 25 years I have been on the front lines of the criminal justice system, beginning as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in 1987 and serving as Chief Deputy since 2002. I have prosecuted and supervised the prosecution of thousands of cases, always guided by the truth that the role of a prosecutor is to seek justice for victims and fairness for all.
I am honored to have the endorsement of my friend and mentor, Dick Trodden, our out-going CA, as well as the support of the Arlington Coalition of Police, the Falls Church Police Association and the Arlington County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. These dedicated public servants are the people who know my work best and see me in court every day.
My devotion to our community is a deeply personal one. My husband and I have been so fortunate to raise our two sons here. As a participant in Leadership Arlington, as board member of Offender Aid and Restoration, and as a member of the PTA at Arlington Traditional School, Swanson Middle School and Yorktown High School, I have developed a broad appreciation for the values of the community we call home.
Since announcing my candidacy last December I have knocked on more than 10,000 doors, introducing myself to voters, listening to their concerns and making the case for their support. In countless conversations I have been heartened and encouraged; heartened by the expressions of care and concern for our community, and encouraged to continue to fight for what is right for victims, witnesses, and criminal defendants.
During my tenure I initiated our office’s Domestic Violence Rapid Response Team to better coordinate our response to victims of domestic violence. I am also proud of our office’s role in starting “Second Chance,” a diversion and early intervention program for first-time youth drug and alcohol offenders set to begin this fall. I have been working with other community leaders to modernize our approach to drug possession cases. Using lessons learned elsewhere from the success of Drug Courts, we are working on an Arlington-specific model with the goal of fewer convictions, less incarceration, more treatment and less recidivism.
As Commonwealth’s Attorney I intend to expand our outreach to communities who may feel reluctant to report crimes. Our office speaks for all victims of crime no matter how those victims happened to arrive in Arlington. We will allow no language barrier, no cultural divide, no question of documentation to prevent victims from having their day in court to confront their assailant.
I am committed to diversity within our prosecutorial ranks. Although we do not currently have any bi-lingual assistant CAs, we have in the past and hope to have more in the future. But the ability to connect with witnesses and victims, earn their trust and make sure that they testify clearly and truthfully is not dependent on everyone speaking the same language. Compassion, empathy and trust are universal languages and are most prized in our office.
I am honored to serve the people of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. I ask for your support and for your vote Tuesday, August 23.
The Department of Homeland Security will be holding a public meeting in Arlington on the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program.
The meeting will take place between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at George Mason University Founder’s Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive) in Virginia Square. The Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on Secure Communities is seeking public comments about the controversial program, which Arlington tried and failed to opt out of last year.
From a press release issued by Arlington County this morning:
Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on Secure Communities is making recommendations to the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on ways to improve the Secure Communities program, including ideas on how to best focus on individuals who pose a true public safety or national security threat. This panel is composed of chiefs of police, sheriffs, state and local prosecutors, court officials, ICE agents from the field, and community and immigration advocates. The advisory committee is considering proposals on how ICE may adjust the Secure Communities program to mitigate potential impacts on community policing practices, including whether special procedures should be adopted for ICE enforcement actions directed toward individuals charged with, but not convicted of, minor traffic offenses.
Anyone planning on attending the meeting is asked to RSVP via email to TFSC@dhs.gov. Attendees are asked to indicate whether or not they plan on making any comments to the task force.
Update at 12:15 p.m. — The scene has been cleared and employees are being allowed back into the office.
Earlier: Arlington County’s bomb squad is investigating some sort of bomb threat inside an office building in Courthouse.
Initial reports suggest the threat was made to the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, at 2111 Wilson Boulevard. Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Arlington County Police Department and Virgina State Police are on the scene. Americans for Prosperity employees have been evacuated, but employees in other offices have been allowed to remain.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has been the source of some controversy recently. Among other incidents, the group was accused of sending error-filled ballots to Democrats in Wisconsin during a contentious election this month.
David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, the original founders of AFP’s predecessor organization, have been major supporters of numerous conservative causes. The New Yorker has reported that Americans for Prosperity provides organizational and financial support to the Tea Party movement.
(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Arlington County Police have arrested a man suspected of robbing up to six banks in Arlington this summer.
D.C. resident Peter Cifala, 57, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of bank robbery.
“Though the suspect is charged with one robbery at this time, the robbery is believed to be related to a series of five other bank robberies that occurred over the past three months in Arlington County,” police said in a statement.
Authorities say Cifala was nabbed thanks to tips and increasingly detailed surveillance images.
“The pictures got progressively better,” police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal said. “The investigation was greatly assisted by citizens who called the police department with tips, and a tip from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Department”
“We’re happy,” Nosal added. “[The arrest] is going to be reassuring for bank employees and people who go into banks.”
Cifala was apprehended with the help of the Northern Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force, police said. He’s currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Center.
Cifala has a long rap sheet that includes more than 20 criminal convictions in Virginia, including nine separate grand larceny, attempted larceny and petit larceny charges in Arlington between 1991 and 2002.
Update at 1:45 p.m. — We’re told that a sheriff’s deputy in the Arlington County Detention Center’s booking room recognized the most recent surveillance photo of Cifala.
The “Paws-to-Read” program, run in partnership with the animal therapy group PAL (People Animals Love), started at Central Library and expanded to the Columbia Pike Library this month. Next month, it will expand to Shirlington.
Paws-to-Read gives children a non-judgmental companion that sits around attentively as they practice their reading skills. A study has shown that the extra reading practice and boost in confidence that dog reading companions provide actually boosts kids’ reading fluency.
Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, Paws-to-Read will come to the Shirlington library on the second Wednesday of every month. According to the Library Blog, slots are available for 15 minute reading sessions on evenings of Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14. Interested parents should call 703-228-6545.
9/11 Ride Arrives, Departs Without Incident — No major incidents were reported on Friday or Saturday as a convoy of 1,800 motorcyclists arrived in Pentagon City, then departed for New York City. [Washington Post]
Two Struck By Lightning in Lyon Village — A couple is reported to be in serious condition after being struck by lightning on the 1500 block of N. Highland Street, in Lyon Village, on Friday. The force of the lightning strike was so strong that it “shattered the lenses in one of their glasses and knocked their shoes off.” [WUSA9, MyFoxDC]
New Arlington Arts Center Director Named — Stefanie Fedor has been named the new executive director of the Arlington Arts Center. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by edobson22207