51°Rain

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm 5,379 31 Comments

 

A construction worker suffered critical injures after falling from the roof of a new home under construction in Arlington’s Riverwood neighborhood.

The incident happened just before 11:00 a.m., on the 3700 block of 27th Street N. The man, 34 years old and from Woodbridge, was working installing trusses on the roof of the new home when he lost his balance and fell three stories (30-35 feet) onto a patch of dirt, according to police.

The victim was semi-conscious when he was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to George Washington University hospital. His injuries are described as “critical.”

The family of the victim has been notified, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. State occupational safety officials were also notified. Police remained on scene to help investigate the accident.

Update on 12/3/12 – The man’s injuries “do not appear to be life threatening,” police say.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,949 10 Comments

A sunny and mild weekend is only a few hours away. If your weekend plans include home shopping, below are some open houses that might pique your interest.

See our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Note that our real estate section is in the process of an upgrade, and might look a bit rough at the moment.

4141 Henderson Road
Condominium — 1 Bed / 1 Bath
Listed: $299,000
Agent: Aidan Duffy
Open: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

1024 Utah Street
Condominium — 1 Bed / 1 Bath
Listed: $330,000
Agent: Thomas Hennerty
Open: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

6096 9th Place North
Single Family Detached — 3 Bed / 2 Bath
Listed: $615,000
Agent: Charles Benjamin
Open: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

1822 Wayne Street
Single Family Detached — 3 Bed / 2 Bath
Listed: $745,000
Agent: Jon Ritland
Open: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

3920 8th Street South
Single Family Detached — 5 Bed / 4 Bath
Listed: $1,060,000
Agent: Roby Thompson
Open: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

4505 37th Street North
Single Family Detached — 6 Bed / 5 Bath
Listed: $1,695,000
Agent: Patricia Richards
Open: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm 3,409 50 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

There is a subset of beer fans out there who really, really like Christmas Ales. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound in holiday-themed beers packaged with festive labels that often go out of their way to twist the season. The problem is that far too many Christmas Ales are too heavy with the yuletide spicy cheer. So which holiday beer do you pick for your celebration? Here are some of my favorites:

Schlafly Christmas Ale: The alternative to the more popular spicy Christmas Ales out there. Much the same way as Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale avoids the trap of going too spicy (which makes it the best out there in my opinion), their Christmas Ale gives you all the holiday spice you need as a secondary player to the excellent beer that those spices happen to appear in. This one never lasts very long, so if you see it jump on it quick.

Sierra Nevada Celebration: A favorite of mine, Celebration bucks the trend by simply being a delightful Fresh Hop Ale rather than a spicy mess. Easy going with punchy, earthy hop aromas and flavors, Celebration is good, popular, and readily available.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale: This Belgian treat eschews the medicinal, herby flavors of other Biere de Noel by simply being a delicious, slightly malty Belgian Ale with a strong, clean banana yeasty note from its bottle conditioning.

Troeg’s Mad Elf: A big Barleywine brewed with honey and cherries, Mad Elf is 11% of insanity. Not only delicious, but improves with age.

Blue Mountain Brewery Long Winter’s Nap: This Virginia brewery’s seasonal release is a rich Blonde Tripelbock whose smoothness belies its 10% ABV. With enough malt, but not so much that it’s too cloying or rich. A real treat.

Port City Tidings: Starting to run low already, so jump on it quick. This holiday offering from Alexandria’s Port City Brewery is a Belgian-style Blonde Ale that uses local Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat. The spices in Tidings aren’t exactly what you’d expect either; there’s cardamom, coriander, grains of paradise, and fresh ginger. This year’s Tidings strikes an even better balance between the richness from the honey and its spices.

There is no shortage of Christmas offerings out there — which ones do you look forward to the most?

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 11:55 am 9,077 64 Comments

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) A 34-year-old Arlington man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl on the Yorktown High School track.

The alleged incident happened around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. According to police, the man (described as having a “muscular build”) touched the girl’s buttocks as she was jogging around the track. He also blew her kisses and said “hey baby,” according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The girl is a student at Yorktown but was not participating in a school activity at the time of the incident, Sternbeck said.

Acting on a hunch — the suspect was said to frequent the track area and has been known to approach female joggers — an Arlington police officer stopped by the school around 6:45 last night.

The officer spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description near the track, then observed him hop a fence and urinate on a tree in a wooded area, Sternbeck said. The man was arrested and the victim’s mother was able to positively ID him on scene, according to Sternbeck.

Anibal Guzman, 34, has been charged with sexual assault and urinating in public, Sternbeck said. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

“This is an example of how the Arlington County Police Department is dedicated to keeping a safe community,” Deputy Police Chief Daniel Murray told ARLnow.com. “Individuals committing crimes of this nature in Arlington will be held accountable for their actions.”

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 10:35 am 4,023 143 Comments

The controversy surrounding a 650 square foot bocce court proposed for the Bluemont neighborhood shows no sign of letting up.

A month after several leaders of the Bluemont Civic Association resigned after catching heat for their support of the bocce court, Arlington County staff is now being criticized by bocce opponents.

Last week, county staff sent a letter in response to concerns about the proposed bocce court raised by Bluemont residents. The letter, below, attempts to answer nine specific specific concerns.

Some bocce opponents, however, were incensed by the county staff letter, and saw it as proof that the county is predisposed to approve the bocce court despite their objections.

(The bocce court was proposed by Bluemont resident and then-Bluemont Civic Association president Judah Dal Cais. It is being considered for an Arlington Park Enhancement Grant. The Parks and Recreation Commission has received 12 PEG applications and will make funding recommendations on Dec. 18, according to Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. The County Board is expected to have the final say on the park grants early next year.)

An anonymous bocce court critic wrote the following critique after receiving the letter.

The Parks Department ignored the fact that the PEG application was applied for by Judah Dal Cais without the permission of the BCA and the BCA had submitted a letter stating that it did not support the application. The application was therefore a fraudulent misrepresentation. Diane Probus of the county delayed release of the PEG application under a FOIA request because she stated that Judah Dal Cais had requested that he be permitted to replace some submitted documents.

A letter of opposition by over 100 adjacent neighbors was also rejected by the county.  The planned bocce court exceeds the allocated budget.

The attached letter from the county shows the clear bias of the Parks Department.

Below is the county staff letter in question. Kalish says the letter does not portend county approval of the bocce grant.

“There’s lots of misunderstanding going on in this issue so the more facts we can get to more people the better,” she said. “It is NOT a letter saying a decision has been made.”

Bocce/Petanque Court Petition in Opposition to the Bocce Court
Staff Response
November 20, 2012

Bluemont Junction Park Context

The Bluemont Junction Park has recreational facilities to serve the community and offers a balance of developed recreational features and undeveloped areas. The park has one rectangular field in it which is programmed for youth sports, a railroad caboose with interpretive exhibits, as well as a trail that connects from Bluemont Park to the Ballston area.

The petition submitted by the group of Bluemont residents who oppose the project listed nine objections to the project which are listed below. Staff has provided a response to each objection.

1. No Parking areas for people visiting the court, creating parking hazards and inconvenience in front of the neighbors’ home.

Response: The proposed bocce court would be a neighborhood facility and easily accessible for residents within a 5 – 10 minute walk. On street parking is available along public roads such as Bluemont Drive, and at the end of several of the cul-de-sacs bordering the park for those park users who drive. Since there would be only one court which would not be programmed for team use, the site is unlikely to attract bocce clubs who desire large spaces in urban settings to play.

2. Narrow area roads that cannot accommodate increased traffic from visitors.

Response: See response above.

3. Violation of privacy by players and observers lingering for prolonged periods directly in front of area homes.

Response: Bluemont Junction Park is a public park and is already utilized by the public for bike riding and for various recreational activities in the open space which can be noisy for short periods of time. Landscaping could be installed to create a buffer between nearby houses, if needed.

4. No public restrooms.

Response: A park recreational facility of this type and size does not qualify for a temporary or permanent restroom facility. A park must meet several criteria before the county will consider building a restroom facility in a park. A few of the criteria the county uses for determining the need for restroom facilities include:

  • A park which will have a large number (150+) users at one time;
  • The level of routine and scheduled use of the facility;
  • The type of facility which, if not programmed, attracts a dense grouping of people
  • A park with a dense grouping of facilities of a certain type.

5. Increase in trash and litter.

Response: Staff anticipates a minimal increase above what is found at the site currently from bicyclists and other activities in the park. Staff will adjust maintenance schedule should there be an increase in trash output at the site.

6. Use of scarce tax dollars for building and continual maintenance.

Response: The County Board allocates $100,000 per year towards the Park Enhancement Grant program to be used towards small park improvements such as is proposed in the application for the Bocce/Petanque court. The Commission and park staff evaluate the maintenance needed for each proposed project and factor that in when deciding on which project to recommend for funding. The applicant has committed to providing routine maintenance of the site.

7. Loss of green space, open space and multiple recreational uses at site of bocce court.

Response: A 13′ x 50′ (650 sq. ft.) court will remove less than .5% of open space in the 14.5 acre park. The court should be sited appropriately to minimize the loss of open space routinely used for informal recreation.

8. Neighbors along the trail severely impacted by noise and increased traffic from out-of-neighborhood visitors.

Response: See response to concerns #1 and #3 above.

9. Other bocce courts exist or are in development in easy access nearby, such as at Upton Park, Union Jack’s and Glebe-Randolph park.

Response: Union Jack’s in Ballston sets up a temporary indoor bocce court on Tuesday evenings for a bocce group to use. This bocce facility is private and has very limited availability. The Upton Park bocce courts are located in an isolated area of this park and have not been maintained adequately by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to keep them usable. Two new bocce courts will be built at the Glebe and Randolph Park and they may be available for use by the community in late 2013.

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 9:10 am 3,208 30 Comments

More on the Arlington Goat Prank – The Navy has confirmed that Bill the Goat, the U.S. Naval Academy mascot, was the goat that was found tied up in a median at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street, near the Pentagon, this past weekend. The goat was “recovered Saturday morning in good condition.” The Army-Navy football game is Dec. 8 and a Navy spokeswoman noted: “Bill the Goat has been a part of our 10-game winning streak against Army, so we are glad to have him back before the big game next week.” [Navy Times]

Arlington GOP Counts Accomplishments — Even though Republican candidates did not win a single race in Arlington, members of the Arlington County Republican Committee are tallying some small victories. “We kept Arlington moving toward more common-sense policies,” said Matt Wavro, this year’s GOP County Board candidate. [Sun Gazette]

‘Shark Tank’ Charity Pitch Event — Twenty entrepreneurs from around Virginia will have a chance to pitch their business startup ideas to panel of business leaders and investors in Arlington this morning. The Shark Tank-like pitch competition will help raise money for charity. The event is taking place at the Ballston offices of Arlington Economic Development, but tickets are no longer available. [Eventbrite]

by ARLnow.com — November 30, 2012 at 6:00 am 1,856 2 Comments

Starting today, ARLnow.com will be highlighting select events from our event calendar. This is the first of what will eventually be daily “featured event” listings. Submit your event to the calendar here.

Symphony Orchestra of Arlington Family Holiday Concert Saturday, Dec. 8 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. — The Symphony Orchestra of Arlington (SOA) will present its “Family Holiday Concert” at the beautiful Arlington Temple United Methodist Church. Tickets are now on sale — $15 for adults and $10 for age 12 and under. Purchases are available online at www.symphonyorchestraofarlington.com or at the box office by calling (804)-322-9328.

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm 4,304 29 Comments

(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) The flagship location of a new Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant concept opened in Crystal City this week.

After some initial delays, Black Lime Café opened its doors at 2450 Crystal Drive on Monday. The quick casual restaurant serves a largely lunch time crowd, and owners tell us they’re encouraged by the response from customers so far.

Black Lime seeks to be to falafel sandwiches what Chipotle was to burritos. It allows customers to customize their meal, picking either a pita, salad bowl or baked potato (kumpir) as a base and choosing ingredients like falafel, black lime-marinated chicken, shawarma-spiced beef, grilled shirmp, several types of hummus, babaganoush, seasoned rice, grilled vegetables and a variety of other toppings.

Sides include chips and hummus, regular fries, eggplant fries, sweet potato fries, lemon chicken soup and a soup of the day. The beverage menu features a rose water lemonade and will eventually include beer, we’re told.

Co-owner Paul Stratmeyer said he and business partner David Levitt — who have experience building restaurant chains like Maggie Moo’s, Outback Steakhouse, Bennigan’s, and California Tortilla — have high hopes for Black Lime.

“The burrito market is kind of done. This is the next iteration,” said Stratmeyer. “Falafel is the number one selling sandwich in the world. It’s still a deep fried product, but it’s very healthy.”

Stratmeyer said he’s particularly proud of the food and the restaurant’s interior design.

“The food is where it’s at,” he said. “Our spice blend is unique, and it’s awesome. ”

Additional Black Lime locations will be opening in D.C., according to Stratmeyer. Other locations may be in the works for Richmond, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Colorado Springs. He and Levitt chose to open the first location in Crystal City in part due to the high concentration of military personnel in the area.

“We didn’t pick this spot by accident,” said Stratmeyer. “Lots of military guys who’ve been in the Middle East have tasted this food, they understand it. And they’re going to prove to us whether we’re doing it right.”

He said the restaurant will donate between $2,500 and $3,000 in partial proceeds from the first two days in operation to the Armed Forces Foundation.

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm 7,545 68 Comments

Tagolio Pizzeria & Enoteca (549 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City has closed after its owner pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery against an employee.

Tedros “Teddy” Tzehaye, a 40-year-old Springfield resident, was accused of rape by a female employee in September. The alleged incident took place at the restaurant between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. on a Thursday, according to a police report. Alcohol was involved, we’re told.

The woman was brought to the hospital for an examination and Tzehaye was arrested on Sept. 27 and charged with forcible rape. The charge was later amended to assault and battery, to which Tzehaye pleaded guilty. The plea was an Alford plea, ARLnow.com has learned, which means that Tzehaye asserted his innocence while admitting that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict.

Tzehaye’s attorneys declined to answer questions about their client’s side of the story. Prosecutors also declined to comment on the record.

Tzehaye is out on bail, awaiting a final sentencing hearing scheduled for May 7, 2013. Prosecutors have recommended one year of probation and no jail time.

A tipster says Tagolio has been closed “for several weeks.” The restaurant’s phone number has been disconnected.

Tagolio was noted for its coal-fired pizza and earned generally positive reviews on Yelp.

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm 4,297 20 Comments

 

(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Two new stores are coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, while another is closing at Pentagon Row.

A new Oakley store and a new Sperry store are both under construction on the second level of the shopping mall. The stores are directly adjacent to one another. Oakley is best known for its sunglasses, while Sperry is best known for its boat shoes. Oakley also sells clothing and Sperry sells other types of footwear.

Both stores are expected to open in time for Christmas shopping, with the Sperry store hoping to open around Dec. 7 and the Oakley store hoping to open around Dec. 14, according to a PR rep for the mall.

Lucy, an women’s activewear store, will be closing soon at Pentagon Row. A sign in the window advertises a 25 percent off sale at the store, while directing shoppers to other locations at Union Station in D.C. and Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County.

Photo (right) courtesy Desiree Lomer-Clarke

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 11:20 am 12,255 40 Comments

Someone is $1 million richer this morning after buying a winning Powerball ticket in Arlington.

The ticket for last night’s drawing was sold at the 7-Eleven store at 5267 Lee Highway, according to the Virginia Lottery. The lucky winner matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball. (The winning combination was 5-16-22-23-29 with a Powerball of 6.)

The Arlington winner was one of four $1 million winners in Virginia. The other million dollar tickets were sold in Daleville, Harrisonburg and Richmond. Fifteen $10,000 tickets were also sold in Virginia.

The biggest winner in Virginia was the Commonwealth, which generated $13.3 million in profit from Powerball tickets sold in advance of the Wednesday drawing. That money will be used to benefit K-12 public schools.

The record-setting Powerball jackpot of $587.5 million will be split between two winning tickets in Arizona and Missouri.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 10:15 am 5,652 36 Comments

There were numerous burglaries, robberies and stolen vehicles in this week’s Arlington County crime report. Among them were two separate reports of golf clubs stolen from storage units in Courthouse.

BURGLARY, 11/15/12, 1400 block of N. Taft Street. Between October 15 and November 15 at 7:30 pm, an unknown subject(s) broke into a storage unit. The victim reported her golf clubs were missing. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 11/19/12, 1400 block of N. Taft Street. Between August 15 and November 19 at 6:30 pm, an unknown subject(s) cut the Master lock of a storage unit and stole golf clubs. There is no suspect(s) description.

On Monday, a man dressed in a Spandex bicycle suit stole cartons of Newport cigarettes from the CVS Pharmacy in Rosslyn.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY, 11/27/12, 1100 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At 3:50 am on November 26, a suspect broke the glass of the front entrance door of the CVS pharmacy. Once inside, he stole numerous cartons of Newport cigarettes. The suspect is a black male, approximately in his mid 20’s to mid 30’s in age, 6’0” tall and 180 lbs. He was wearing a spandex bicycle suit, yellow safety vest, brown beanie and white sneakers at the time of the incident.

Last week, someone ruined Christmas by stealing presents from an apartment closet in Ballston.

BURGLARY, 11/26/12, 900 block of N. Stafford Street. Between 5 pm on November 19 and 11 am on November 26, an unknown suspect(s) entered an apartment and stole two shopping bags of assorted Christmas gifts from a closet. There is no suspect(s) description.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2012 at 9:05 am 6,924 152 Comments

Commission Says No to Lee Hwy Project — The Arlington Planning Commission has voted against a developer’s plan to build a 10-story apartment building and a MOM’s Organic Market grocery store on the current Bergmann’s Dry Cleaner site on Lee Highway. The commission expressed reservations about approving the project when there’s no overarching county development plan for Lee Highway. Some neighborhood residents who supported the development said they were disappointed with the commission’s vote. The County Board will have the final say when they consider the matter on Dec. 8. [Arlington Mercury]

Arlington GOP Still Trying to Stop Streetcar — The Arlington County Republican Committee is trying a new tactic to halt the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is asking state lawmakers to pass a measure that would require Arlington County to have a voter referendum before selling bonds to fund the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]

Ballston Bar Crawl to Benefit Sandy — Eight Ballston-area bars are hosting a bar crawl to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The bar crawl will start at noon on Saturday at Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd). The event also includes a poker competition for prizes, like Redskins and Capitals gear. [Clarendon Nights]

by Katie Pyzyk — November 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm 2,752 2 Comments

From gift wrapping to assisting Santa, volunteers are needed to help with a number of upcoming holiday events. More information about the items listed below, as well as other volunteer opportunities, can be found online.

  • The Holiday Project of the National Capital Area seeks volunteers for one-on-one visits with local nursing home residents on Christmas Day. Many of the residents will not have any other visitors during the holidays, so they consider this time a special treat. Children are welcome and pets are welcome with advance notice. For information or to sign up, contact Robin Wiley at 703-370-0370.
  • Deliver gifts to local children with incarcerated parents as part of Offender Aid Restoration‘s annual Project Christmas Angel program. Volunteers pick up the gifts on Thursday, December 13 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. and deliver them from December 14 through December 23. Each child receives a gift with a personalized note from their parent. Volunteers must have a car and a valid driver’s license. A partner is suggested (though not required) because parking in some neighborhoods can be a challenge. Contact Emily Freeman at 703-228-7031.
  • The Civitan Club of Arlington needs help at the Photos with Santa booth at the Ballston Mall. Volunteers are needed from now through December 24 and must be at least 15-years-old. Helpers will perform various tasks including processing orders, taking photos, printing photos and directing people through the process. Contact Leandra Finder at 703-473-7245.
  • The Reading Connection (TRC) seeks “Gift Wrap for Reading” volunteers for various shifts from December 8-24. Volunteers will gift wrap purchases at the Clarendon Barnes & Noble in return for donations to TRC. Contact Stephanie Berman at 703-528-8317 x10 or sign up online.

by Katie Pyzyk — November 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm 6,915 133 Comments

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Disgruntled Arlington cab drivers staged a protest on Monday (November 26), ahead of the County Board’s expected Tuesday vote on granting more taxi certificates. The drivers are accusing the county of racism.

Members of Arlington United Taxi Operators (AUTO) and Tenants and Workers United (TWU) took part in the protest, which was staged to highlight claims of unfair labor practices by Arlington cab companies and to show that drivers’ human rights had been violated based on their national origin.

ARLnow.com requested details regarding examples of human rights violations, but did not receive information about specific incidents. Instead, a TWU representative said the basics included “ad hoc firings, arbitrary changing of working conditions, and the fact that drivers are being bound to a single company.”

“Nearly every single cab driver is an immigrant in Arlington, most are from Africa,” added Wesley Aten, Interim Executive Director for Tenants and Workers United.

AUTO and TWU also issued a press release yesterday stating the intent of several drivers to speak out at last night’s County Board meeting. The release said, “It is a racist system that looks the other way as long as white customers and a white monopoly company benefit.”

The groups provided what they call “reasonable and fair suggested adjustments” to the county’s taxi code. In a joint memo to the Board members, AUTO and TWU wrote the following:

“It is not in the public’s best interest to expand the reach of an already dysfunctional taxicab system that makes cabdrivers part of the working poor… Arlington County has created a taxicab system which — among many other important flaws — forces many cabdrivers to work as many as 13 hours a day, 7 days a week just to make livable earnings because some cab companies use mandatory operating fees to take as much as $14,000 of each driver’s annual earnings for themselves.

The irony in all of this is that a work week that commonly exceeds 60 hours produces exhausted cabdrivers. In turn, tired drivers decrease rider safety.

Yet, despite these facts, under your direction the Board will not let cabdrivers and riders have a public conversation or debate over the existing structure of the industry. Your choice to silence the people on this very important issue is not in line with ‘the Arlington way’ and we are deeply disappointed that you have chosen to protect a system that forces nearly 800 cabdrivers to work for poverty-level earnings.”

They assert that County Board Chair Mary Hynes refused to adequately review their proposed amendments to the taxi code and would not hold a public hearing on practices within the taxi industry. Hynes refuted the claim at Tuesday’s Board meeting, saying the conversation has not ended.

“We are not willing to change the ordinance in the way in which you suggested we do it,” Hynes said. “While I absolutely agree we have not resolved the issues that you raise about how many hours people drive or the impacts of that, or any of that, nor do I think we should think those are off the table.”

Hynes said she met with the group of concerned drivers at least three times between April and October. She said other Board members also met with the drivers, indicating the drivers’ statements about not having access to Board members was inaccurate.

“There was no inability to talk to Board members, all of that happened,” Hynes said.

Hynes further elaborated in a written statement:

“Since AUTO submitted its proposed changes in July 2012 to the County’s taxi cab ordinance, County Board Members and County staff have held numerous meetings with AUTO leaders. After giving the proposal serious consideration, the County Board ultimately decided against a rewrite of the taxi ordinance. Although a vote to not move forward is not required, I decided to have the County Board discuss this decision in public and take a public vote, which we did in October. This request for ordinance changes is not unique. Every year, the County Board receives 10-20 requests from individuals and groups seeking various County ordinance changes. Moving forward on any one of these requests always requires three or more members’ support for the potential change.”

In addition to addressing the proposed changes to the county taxi code, the drivers’ groups requested that Board members deny a plan to allow 55 additional taxis to operate in Arlington, as recommended by county staff. Of particular discussion during Tuesday’s meeting was whether or not to approve certificates for Arlington-based start-up EV Taxicabs.

Last month, County Manager Barbara Donnellan recommended that EV receive permits to operate 40 cabs, which would be all-electric and include free WiFi and iPads for passenger use.

As the taxi discussion stretched in excess of two hours and the meeting inched toward 2:00 a.m., Board members decided to carry over the discussion and vote on taxi related items at the December meeting.

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