Just six months ago, the Garfield Park apartment building in Clarendon was only beginning to take shape at the corner of Washington Boulevard and 10th Street N.
Today, insulation wrap is quickly being replaced with bricks as the project moves closer to completion.
The development will add nearly 150,000 square feet of new residential space to the Clarendon area — 149 luxury apartment units, 20,000 square feet of retail space and nearly 300 underground parking spaces.
The apartment building has a new web site, but so far no word on when exactly construction is expected to wrap up.
A Democratic lawmaker is speaking out against an inflammatory ad in the Clarendon Metro station that tells President Obama to “go to hell.”
The lighted ad, located near the end of one of platforms, promotes a DVD documentary called “Sick and Sicker: When the Government Becomes Your Doctor,” which sharply criticizes President Obama’s health care reform law and compares it to publicly-funded health care in Canada.
“Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system,” the ad reads. “Go to hell Barack.”
The Democratic blog Blue Virginia first reported the ad this morning. It’s been in place at the Clarendon Metro station since at least last week, based on a search of Twitter posts.
Now, local Virginia congressman Jim Moran (D) is calling for the “offensive advertisement” to be taken down.
“This advertisement is inappropriate, disrespectful of the President, and should be removed immediately,” Moran said in a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. “The families with children and thousands of tourists who take Metro everyday should not be subjected to such garbage. I understand WMATA vets these advertisements before allowing them to go up, but it seems someone wasn’t doing their job when this ad was approved.”
Though barely visible, at least one Metro rider tried to respond to the ad by writing on it in pen. “That’s President Obama to you!!” the anonymous scribbler wrote.
It’s unclear if the ad has been placed in any other Metro stations.
Update at 4:25 p.m. — Metro has issued a statement about the ad:
WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their political content. WMATA does not endorse the advertising on our system, and ads do not reflect the position of the Authority.
Update at 5:15 p.m. — Rep. Moran has issued a statement in response to Metro’s statement.
I am disappointed by WMATA’s defense of this inappropriate advertisement. If their current advertising guidelines do not prohibit profane advertisements on taxpayer-funded property, then WMATA should take the initiative and update them. Profanity has no place in the public forum.
The specific language in the WMATA-approved ad that should be removed is not political, it’s profane. It defames the President of the United States in a way that coarsens the public discourse. All Americans have the right to make their voice heard under the First Amendment. But when we are talking about an advertisement on tax-payer funded facilities, as is the case with Metro, it should meet the minimum standards of propriety. I repeat my call on WMATA to exercise appropriate judgment and remove this offensive ad.
A man impersonating a police officer stole cash from a man’s wallet last week after asking to see his identification and vehicle registration. From the latest Arlington County crime report:
IMPERSONATING A POLICE OFFICER, 02/25/12, 3700 block of N Lee Highway. Just prior to noon on February 24, an unknown subject impersonated a police officer and stole $160 cash from a man’s wallet after asking to see identification and vehicle registration. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 45 years old, 5’9” tall, with an average build. The suspect was reportedly driving a black convertible Ford Mustang.
Also last week, a burglar entered a residence and stole gear belong to a U.S. Park Police officer.
BURGLARY, 02/25/12, 2100 block of S. 26th Street. Between 10 pm on February 24, and 4 am on February 25, an unknown subject entered a residence and stole various items. Stolen items included a laptop, iPad and U.S. Park Police issued duty gear. There is no suspect description.
The rest of this week’s crime report, along with a previously-reported police impersonation home invasion, after the jump.
Update at 4:35 p.m. — The flooding has cleared up and all lanes have reopened, according to Dr. Gridlock.
Route 1 is closed just south of Potomac Yard in Alexandria due to flooding in the roadway.
High water and mud spilled onto the roadway from an adjacent construction site, a tipster tells us. Earlier rains have since stopped, but so far no word as to how much longer Route 1 will remain shut down.
Traffic is reportedly being rerouted onto Potomac Avenue, which runs behind Potomac Yard and into Crystal City.
Photo courtesy David Hyde
Yesterday the Virginia Senate narrowly passed a controversial bill that requires pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion.
The bill passed by the state Senate had been amended to only require an external ultrasound, following a furor over the fact that the original version would have mandated invasive transvaginal ultrasounds for most first trimester pregnancies.
On a bipartisan vote, the bill was also amended to exclude rape and incest victims from the ultrasound requirement. That amendment was proposed by Sen. Janet Howell (D), who represents part of Arlington. Other amendments proposed by Howell, including amendments that would have mandated insurance companies to cover the cost of the procedure, were rejected on a party line vote.
Howell criticized the bill, even in its amended form, for requiring a medical procedure that’s not medically necessary.
“Before this bill was amended, there were those who talked about it as ‘state rape.’ And Republicans voted for it,” Howell said. “The amended bill goes from state rape to state assault. And Republicans have now voted for state assault on women.”
Sen. Barbara Favola (D), of Arlington, also weighed in.
“I’m personally offended as a woman that the state of Virginia doesn’t trust my judgment about making intimate personal decisions about my body and my reproductive health,” Favola said in a statement. “This is the height of government intervention stomping on my constitutional rights. What will be next?”
Republicans argued that the ultrasound bill allows women to make a better informed decision before getting an abortion. The amended bill will now head to the House of Delegates, where it’s expected to pass, before landing on Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk, where it’s expected to be signed.
Update at 11:20 a.m. — Another accident, involving at least two vehicles, is currently blocking two lefthand lanes of SB I-395 in the vicinity of the first accident.
The bend in I-395 near Washington Boulevard has claimed yet another rainy weather victim.
The car’s driver was evaluated for possible injuries, but initial reports suggest the injuries were minor and didn’t require transport to the hospital. Police and a flatbed tow truck are currently on scene.
The fire broke out just before 5:00 p.m., in the basement of a house on the 900 block of N. Patrick Henry Drive. The flames then spread from the basement to the upper floors of the two-story dwelling, according to fire department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.
It took firefighters about 20-30 minutes to extinguish the flames. The Red Cross was called to assist two displaced residents from the home.
No injuries were reported.
Photo courtesy Capt. Gregg Karl
Wienermobile Spotted in Arlington — The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was spotted yesterday afternoon at the entrance to Bluemont Park (above). No word yet on what it was doing there.
Vornado Hurt By BRAC — Vornado Realty Trust, one of the primary commercial landlords in the Crystal City area, is hurting due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The company is currently “staring down the barrel of nearly 2.4 million square feet of vacant space” as the U.S. military continues to move offices and departments from leased buildings to forts and other owned properties.. [Washington Business Journal]
One Handgun a Month Law Repealed — Yesterday Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) made it official and signed a bill that repeals the state’s 19-year-old “One Handgun a Month” law. In response, Rep. Jim Moran (D) said in a statement: “Today Virginia retreated from sensible gun control policy… The repeal of this law will return Virginia to being the nation’s number one gun-running state, putting more guns into the hands of criminals and traffickers.”
Hotels Gouging For Inauguration? — Booking a room in Arlington for Inauguration Day 2013 is going to cost you. Hotels have already jacked up prices in anticipation of the crush of visitors to the D.C. area for the inauguration. TBD.com compiled a list of notable examples, and found $479 per night rooms at the Rosslyn Hyatt, $399 per night rooms at the Ballston Comfort Inn, and $299 per night rooms at the Lee Highway EconoLodge.