Arlington’s two Democratic congressional candidates — incumbent Jim Moran and challenger Bruce Shuttleworth — are racking up some endorsements ahead of the primaries on June 12.
This week, Shuttleworth received an endorsement from civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis.
“I’ve been involved in Civil Rights and the Democratic Party for over 50 years in Virginia and across America. Today, we need a Progressive Democrat like Bruce Shuttleworth to be in the Congress,” Chavis said.
“Moran has precipitated a contentious relationship with the African American community and has failed to show adequate leadership in representing the 99% over the 1% big business interests that have massively contributed to his campaign,” Chavis added. “I am wholly convinced that Bruce Shuttleworth will never compromise his values – and that is why I am supporting him. Bruce Shuttleworth is a proven ethical leader.”
Last week, Moran received an endorsement from the LGBT Democrats of America PAC.
“Congressman Moran has a long history as a champion for our cause and devoted friend of our community,” said Tiffany M. Joslyn, PAC President. “His positions on issues important to LGBT Virginians, combined with his actual record of sponsorship on and votes for legislation supporting LGBT equality, make him the clear choice for our community.”
“The fact that both candidates in this primary sought the endorsement of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC is a very positive sign for both the Democratic Party and Virginia,” said Joel McDonald, PAC President-Elect. “While both Moran and Shuttleworth agreed with our positions on the issues, Moran’s longtime dedication to, and record of, fighting against discrimination was the deciding factor.”
Update at 4:40 p.m. — A spokesman for the Moran campaign says the congressman has also received endorsements this year from the Sierra Club, the International Association of Firefighters, Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner, Gov. Tim Kaine, and state Sen. Adam Ebbin. The Shuttleworth campaign has a list of endorsements on its website.
Citing “challenges” posed by the 100 or so food trucks and carts licensed in Arlington, the BID says the county should work to create a “level playing field” between mobile vendors and restaurants. Among the BID’s recommendations are regulating the “location and schedule of food trucks, trash, parking and access to restroom facilities.”
We reported exclusively last week that the BID was in the process of formulating a set of recommended county regulations for food trucks, at least in part to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants against the onslaught of competition from food trucks, which don’t make the same kind of long-term investments in a neighborhood as restaurant owners.
The full press release is below.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is collaborating with Arlington County and other County-based BIDs to explore different ways of actively managing mobile food vendors within the community.
Business Improvement Districts across the nation and within the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are working with municipalities, business communities and other stakeholders to create vibrant hospitality zones and sociable cities, and restaurants and food trucks are part of that mix.
“Our review of this issue is a work in progress,” says BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy. “The goal is a level playing field, an enriched streetscape and a variety of dining experiences, while enabling brick-and-mortar food purveyors as well as food trucks to thrive.”
Over the past few years, the number of food vendors has significantly increased in Arlington, with 100 food trucks currently licensed to do business in Rosslyn, Crystal City, Ballston and other areas throughout Arlington County. Georgetown and other D.C. neighborhoods also have seen dramatic increases.
Food trucks enliven the streets and offer dining options to residents, workers and visitors, and as such can be welcome contributors to communities.
Food trucks, however, present certain challenges.
- Trash left behind by food truck vendors that property owners must pay to have removed
- Pedestrian walkways blocked by food truck lines, creating safety issues
- Limited parking spaces absorbed by food trucks, preventing customers from reaching brick and mortar businesses
- Restrooms within property owners’ buildings being used by food truck vendors and customers
- Health, hygiene and safety concerns
“AED [Arlington Economic Development] staff has started discussions about our retail policies with Arlington’s BIDs and Partnerships, property owners and small businesses, and mobile food vendors,” said Arlington Economic Development’s Director, Terry Holzheimer. “We recognize that any change to the rules and regulations must do three things: accommodate the needs of the mobile food vendors; address the concerns of property owners and businesses; and provide clarity for staff involved in enforcement.”
The BID is coordinating a set of recommendations with other Arlington County BIDs that will be presented to the County within the coming weeks. Based on benchmarking of best practices with other cities across the country, issues covered in the recommendations include location and schedule of food trucks, trash, parking and access to restroom facilities.
For the past 10 years, the Rosslyn BID has worked with Arlington County, local businesses and property owners to revitalize the area and create opportunities for growth. By working collaboratively with Arlington County, the BID seeks to tackle the challenges raised by property owners and tenants by devising a strategic retail plan for Rosslyn.
The Rosslyn BID has established a Retail Task Force to devise strategies to promote strong restaurant and retail development within Rosslyn, recognizing the contribution that food trucks make to the street and dining scene. The Retail Task Force has developed marketing collateral to promote Rosslyn and attract new restaurants and other retailers to the area. Chaired by Wright Sigmund of Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the Retail Task Force is comprised of community members, retailers and property owners.
“New retail opportunities are on the horizon,” says Wright Sigmund. “We have 60,000 square feet of available retail space in Rosslyn, and 44,500 square feet of retail space will be available with the completion of Central Place and 1812 N. Moore Street office towers.”
“We are optimistic that the Rosslyn community can have multiple exciting choices: both food trucks and restaurants,” says Wright Sigmund. “This issue is not unique to Rosslyn, and we welcome continued dialogue on the topic to make it a win-win for all.”
As summer travel season ramps up, a lot of money will be put toward filling up the car with gas. But a new report claims the average Virginia family could save $560 at the pump this summer by using more fuel efficient cars.
The Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center, an organization aimed at promoting cleaner energy options, released the report. It highlights President Obama’s proposal to increase fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Organization representatives presented the findings today at a press conference at the River House Apartments (1400 S. Joyce Street) in Pentagon City. There, they highlighted the electric car charging station in the parking lot, and urged Arlington residents to consider purchasing an electric car.
The report claims that the improved standards would save the equivalent amount of pollution as taking three coal power plants offline for the summer, on top of the $560 each Virginia family would save.
“Not only could you take that trip to Virginia Beach while burning much less oil along the way, but you could book the family a hotel for a couple of extra days with the money you’re saving,” said John Cross, Federal Transportation Advocate for Environment Virginia.
Congressman Jim Moran (D) backs the proposed standards mentioned in the report.
“From an economic, environmental and national security perspective, we must reduce our dependency on oil,” said Moran in a statement. “This new report from Environment America highlights the importance of moving forward with cleaner, more fuel efficient cars.”
Cross noted that buying an electric car now has a positive environmental impact, even though the standards aren’t yet to the 54.5 mpg mark.
“Drivers do not have to wait until 2025 to reap the benefits of cleaner cars,” Cross said. “A bumper crop of fuel efficient cars have already started coming to the showroom floor.
Located at 2800 S. Randolph Street, just off Shirlington’s main Campbell Avenue drag, this will be Cafe Pizzaiolo’s third location, after its Crystal City (507 South 23rd Street) and Fairlington (1623 Fern Street) locations. It’s expected to serve largely the same selection of antipasto, salads, pasta, paninis, calzones, subs, sandwiches, desserts and — of course — pizza. The eatery is currently applying for a liquor license to serve wine and beer.
We’re told that Cafe Pizzaiolo currently expects to open mid-July, though depending on the pace of construction the opening may actually be earlier or later in the month.
One notable aspect of the plan features an area specifically designed for skateboarders. The lower portion of the park is the area aimed at skaters, where special “sculptures” will be installed. The “skateable art” is meant to be functional for skateboarding, as well as visually appealing for other visitors.
Two basketball courts will sit in the middle of the park; they will be striped both for basketball and other sports like volleyball and futbol sala. The courts will be lit at night, as will the adjacent revamped field. The current stone dust field will be redone with a synthetic turf surface.
An existing playground for older (5-12 year old) children will be relocated to the upper end of the park along N. Barton Street, to be next to the tot (2-5 year old) playground. Both will receive some new play equipment.
Additional seating and picnic tables will be installed throughout the park, along with new trash cans, recycling containers and bicycle parking. The plans also include increased accessibility with the construction of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant walkways. During the revamp, grading and drainage will be improved, additional landscaping added, and numerous trees will be planted.
County staff started meeting with residents in the area in 2010 to develop the plan. Funding is coming from pay-as-you-go and park bond funds, as well as Neighborhood Conservation Program funding.
A landscape architect with the Department of Parks and Recreation said the construction documents are 90 percent complete and currently under review. Staff members believe the project will go to bid sometime this summer, and construction will begin in the fall.
In November, Ray’s Hell Burger Too was transformed into a restaurant that only served steak and cheese sandwiches (and tater tots). A month later, the restaurant was quietly re-re-branded as Ray’s Hell Burger Too.
Yesterday (May 30) the Michael Landrum-owned eatery at 1713 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn changed identities again — to ”Nice ‘N’ Greasy Steak ‘N’ Cheesy.” Nothing about the interior has changed, except the menu.
The menu of the new restaurant include three entrees, two sides, and a curated selection of soda, beer and wine. Two of the entrees are steak and cheese sandwiches: the $7.99 “Shock G” — one-third pound of sliced rib-eye, a generous helping of American and Provolone cheeses and grilled onions on a toasted 8-inch Lyon Bakery sub roll — and the $11.99 “Biggie,” which is the same as the Shock G but with two-thirds of a pound of rib-eye.
Both sandwiches are cooked using what’s being called “groove grease.” Optional toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and charred jalapenos.
The other entree is a $2.00 “mini hell-burger” called the “Little Minion.” The burger comes cooked to order with grilled onions, American cheese and “heck sauce” on a toasted, buttered potato roll. The Little Minions also come in quantities of 3 for $5.25, 6 for $9.00, and a “devils dozen” (13) for $18.00.
Sides at Nice ‘N’ Greasy Steak ‘N’ Cheesy are greasy, but not cheesy. The two sides offered are tater tots and onion fries, both $2.50.
The eight beers on the menu include Budweiser and Bud Light ($3), Bells Oberon ($4) and Lucifer ($6). The house wine (pinot grigio, merlot and cabernet) is offered at $4.
Nice ‘N’ Greasy Steak ‘N’ Cheesy will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, according to a handwritten sign on the door.
Update at 3:05 p.m. — In an email to ARLnow.com, owner Michael Landrum explains that he never gave up on the idea of running a steak and cheese-focused eatery.
“I never truly abandoned it,” Landrum said. “In fact, originally, I was so excited to do the steak and cheese joint that I rushed it out a little too early as soon as Ray’s To The Third opened. Now I am a bit better prepared and have fine-tuned our offerings a bit.”
Landrum also addressed the mysterious “Groove Grease” ingredient that’s unique to his steak and cheese creation.
“The magical “Groove Grease” is, and will remain, a secret — except to say that it was inspired by the amazing Jimmy McGriff album of the same name (warning, cover art not suitable for work or minors),” Landrum said.
Support for the Pike Streetcar — A Greater Greater Washington writer opines that “Columbia Pike’s proposed streetcar line will help revitalize one of Arlington county’s busiest corridor.” Ryan Arnold writes: “[The streetcar is] the latest chapter in the decades-long story of Arlington’s coordination of land-use and transit planning to develop successful communities.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Unemployment Rate Dips — Arlington County’s unemployment rate is now 3.1 percent, down from 3.5 percent a month prior. Arlington’s rate is the lowest in Virginia and compares to the state’s overall unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. [Sun Gazette]
Bond Rating Reaffirmed — Fitch Ratings has reaffirmed Arlington’s AAA bond rating, the highest rating possible. “Arlington recognizes the importance of the AAA rating, and our financial policies help ensure that it will be maintained,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. “Having the highest possible rating allows us to continue making critical capital investments at the lowest possible cost to residents and businesses.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Arlington Independent Media is in the planning stages of what may eventually become a low power FM community radio station. AIM, best known for its local cable television channel (Comcast channel 69, Verizon channel 38), has already designated funds for the construction of an audio booth in its Clarendon studios to accommodate residents who want to learn more about audio production. The booth is expected to be built by this fall, and will serve as the production hub for a potential radio station.
The station will likely start out as an internet-only streaming station, but may eventually be broadcast on a low power FM frequency if AIM can obtain the necessary FCC permission. That permission is by no means guaranteed, AIM programming coordinator Lauree McArdle said, because extra FM bandwidth is scare in the D.C. area.
Even if special FCC permission is granted, the signal probably won’t reach all of Arlington County, since low power FM signals are limited to 100 watts, which can only reach a radius of about 3.5 miles and is subject to interference from larger radio stations. Given a choice, McArdle says the signal would likely be targeted at the county’s lower income areas.
McArdle says she’s heard from 20 to 30 people in who are interested in helping out with a radio station. With the help of volunteer DJs and hosts, the station would probably broadcast an assortment of live and taped programming 24 hours per day.
“I don’t think we’ll lack for programming, because I have number of people who are interested in talk radio and that sort of thing,” McArdle said. “I think it will be a mix of talk programs as well as, hopefully, some music.”
AIM will be hosting a meeting next week for anyone interested in being a part of a “vibrant and active community radio presence in the county.” The meeting will be held from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at the AIM studio at 2701-C Wilson Blvd.
If all goes well, McArdle says the radio station could start broadcasting online shortly after the audio booth is completed this fall.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) The National Park Service is seeking public input on a series of changes proposed for Gravelly Point and the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, which are located along the George Washington Parkway near Crystal City.
The proposed changes, which have been in the works since 2008, are intended primarily to improve access to Roaches Run and reduce trail use conflicts along the Mount Vernon Trail at Gravelly Point. Other changes will “enhance the visitor experience… and enhance the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.”
The proposal includes:
- The addition of a boardwalk/pedestrian trail from the Crystal City pedestrian underpass to Roaches Run
- A removable, floating boat launch at Roaches Run
- Either widening the congested trail area at Gravelly Point or building two separate trails — a “through route” and a “pedestrian route”
- A permanent “waterless restroom” located in the southwest corner of Gravelly Point
- Converting the dusty, over-used field at Gravelly Point into two rotating fields or one permanent field with either reduced use or more intensive turf management
- “Interpretive sites” at Gravelly Point that will include “signage detailing cultural and natural histories of the area”
- Improved landscaping at Gravelly Point that will remove invasive species and “frame parkway views across the Potomac to Washington, D.C. based on historic planting plan”
- Additional safety features along the Mount Vernon Trail where it parallels the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport. Safety features may include reflective lines, protective barriers, or protective plantings.
The National Park Service will be holding a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 to gather input on the options for the Gravelly Point field and the Mount Vernon Trail safety improvements. The meeting will be held at the Indigo Landing Restaurant on Daingerfield Island, located off of the GW Parkway near Alexandria.
Interested parties can also submit comments via the project website. Comments will be gathered through June 22. There will be another opportunity to comment on the options later this year, after an environmental assessment is released for the project.
Once the environmental assessment is released and final project decisions are made, park planner Thomas Sheffer says it could “take a number of years” until the entire project is complete. The timeline is still very much up in the air, and depends on the project’s ability to receive federal funding. Some work, however, may be completed sooner.
“Smaller actions would be considered for more immediate completion by Parkway work crews,” Sheffer told ARLnow.com.
A woman had to run to safety at Ballston Common Mall after a bicyclist grabbed her buttocks and started riding in circles around her on N. Stuart Street.
As detailed in this week’s Arlington County crime report, the incident happened early Saturday morning outside the Ballston Metro station.
SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/26/12, 900 block of N. Stuart Street. Between 1:10 and 2:10 am on May 26, an unknown male subject on a bicycle grabbed the female victims buttocks as he rode past. The suspect circled the female several times on the bicycle before she walked to a well lit area at the Ballston Common Mall. Police were contacted and a suspect was not located. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20’s, approximately 6’1” tall with a thin build. He was wearing gray t-shirt, dark colored plaid shorts and baseball hat at the time of the incident. The victim does not wish to prosecute.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Work on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines will result in longer travel times for riders. The work is being done as part of what WMATA terms “the massive effort to rebuild Metrorail.”
Due to testing associated with the Silver Line construction project, the Orange Line will be split into two sections between Arlington and Fairfax County. One section will operate between Vienna and West Falls Church, the other between East Falls Church and New Carrollton. A shuttle bus will be provided between the East and West Falls Church stations. Riders taking the shuttle should add 20 minutes to their travel time, Metro says.
Work on the Blue Line will result in single-tracking between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road, and between Van Dorn Street and Braddock Road. Trains will depart every 20 minutes on either end of the Blue Line. Metro advises riders to expect an extra 15 minutes of travel time.
Bridge work between Braddock Road and Huntington on the Yellow Line will result in trains running every 24 minutes between the Huntington and Mount Vernon Square stations. To continue a trip from Virginia to points north of Mount Vernon Square — like U Street — riders will need to get on the Green Line, which will be running every 16 minutes this weekend.
This weekend’s work will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and continue through system closing on Sunday. See the WMATA website for additional information about work on the Red and Green lines this weekend.
The state liquor store, at 2940 Columbia Pike, will first open its doors at 10:00 a.m., according to Virginia ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Farinholt. Normal hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“The store measures 3,895 square feet and will carry approximately 1,400 items,” Farinholt told ARLnow.com.
(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) A man has been arrested after a robbery at a PNC Bank branch in Ballston.
The PNC Bank at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and N. Glebe Road was reportedly robbed around 9:45 a.m. According to police, a black male in his early to mid 20s — who was wearing a purple and red wig, a yellow shirt and sunglasses — entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money and claiming to have a gun.
With the money in a zebra-striped Harris Teeter shopping bag, the suspect fled into an alley and was seen changing his clothes by a witness, who immediately called police. A dye pack embedded in the stolen cash exploded and the suspect — seeing a witness following him — then started running to the nearby Ballston Metro station, leaving the money behind, according to police.
The suspect was arrested without incident by an Arlington patrol officer at 9:51 a.m., just outside the Metro station, only five minutes after the witness first called police, according to department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect had only $6 on him at the time of his arrest.
Sternbeck hailed the arrest as an example of police “working with the citizens of Arlington County” to quickly solve a crime. He noted that police don’t necessarily encourage witnesses to follow criminals, but said that the witness in this case “maintained a safe distance” between himself and the perpetrator and alerted police immediately.
Update at 3:00 p.m. — Police have identified the suspect as 26-year-old Nathaniel Rush of College Park, Maryland
Located in the former Kayak Station space, Pentagon MMA (1041 S. Edgewood Street) will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. As part of its grand opening celebration, it will be offering free introductory classes from 11:00 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, including Intro to Muay Thai, Women’s Kickboxing, and Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. An open house will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Pentagon MMA says they will be offering big discounts on memberships during their first weekend. The studio says they “welcome people of all ages, shapes, and sizes” who want to learn self-defense, get in shape, or compete in MMA.
The studio is owned by Vivek Nakarmi, a champion Muay Thai kickboxer who’s also listed on Facebook as a Washington-Lee High School grad.
Photo via Facebook
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning due to a line of thunderstorms approaching the area.
Forecasters say the storms could bring torrential rainfall of up to 1 to 2 inches.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… WESTERN ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CENTRAL FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 1115 PM EDT
* AT 805 PM EDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING TORRENTIAL RAINFALL ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM GREAT FALLS TO FAIRFAX… OR ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM THE AMERICA LEGION BRIDGE TO FAIRFAX… MOVING EAST AT 15 MPH.
* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED BY THE HEAVY RAIN INCLUDE ANNANDALE… ARLINGTON… BALLSTON… FAIRFAX… FALLS CHURCH… GREAT FALLS… LAKE BARCROFT… LINCOLNIA… MCLEAN… MERRIFIELD… OAKTON… THE I66 AND I495 INTERCHANGE… TYSONS CORNER… VIENNA… WOLF TRAP… MANTUA AND PIMMIT HILLS.
THIS INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING STREAMS AND DRAINAGES… NICHOLS RUN… DIFFICULT RUN… PIMMIT RUN… BULL RUN… ACCOTINK CREEK… ROCKY RUN… POPES HEAD CREEK… CASTLE CREEK… RABBIT BRANCH… SIDEBURN BRANCH… HOLMES RUN… TRIPPS RUN… BACKLICK RUN… INDIAN RUN… FOUR MILE RUN… LONG BRANCH… LITTLE PIMMIT RUN… BULLNECK RUN… ROCKY RUN… WOLFTRAP CREEK… ANGELICO BRANCH AND SOUTH RUN.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WARNED AREA.
EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS… URBAN AREAS… HIGHWAYS… STREETS AND UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW LYING SPOTS.