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