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by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm 6,633 99 Comments

For just over two hours this morning, regular unleaded gasoline was $1.84 per gallon at the Pentagon Liberty gas station at 2300 Columbia Pike.

The cheap gas was organized by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that’s in favor of increased domestic energy production in the U.S. and critical of the Obama administration’s energy policies. Among those on hand for the promotion were former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), who stopped by to lend support, and the “Gas Can Man” a smiling gas can mascot that has been appearing at similar events in Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere.

Organizers say they planned to provide the cheap gas for about 150 motorists between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning. They said drivers started lining up a half hour before the event in order to take advantage of the offer. Some of the drivers, organizers said, asked whether they could still fill up even though they were Obama supporters (yes, they could).

Two Arlington police officers helped direct traffic during the event, preventing drivers on busy Columbia Pike from queuing up for the promotion. Still, traffic on eastbound Columbia Pike was slow as drivers stopped to ask the officers why they weren’t allowed to block the Pike’s right-hand lane in order to wait for one of the pumps to open up.

Signs placed around the station during the event blamed President Obama for higher gas prices.

“No CHANGE to fill my gas tank!” said one.

“Can Obama,” said another.

The $1.84 per gallon price of gas reflects the price just before President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, in the midst of the country’s economic crisis. Organizers said the president’s energy policies have led to an increase in gas prices since he took office.

The price of gas at the Citgo station down the street from the event today was $3.55 per gallon. By comparison, in June 2008 under President George W. Bush, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Photos by ARLnow.com and courtesy of Scot Crockett, as labeled

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm 5,851 88 Comments

 

A group of nuns critical of Republican budget plans launched a one-day bus tour of Virginia today (Friday) in Arlington.

The advocacy group Nuns on the Bus held a reception, speaking program and press conference this morning at St. Charles Borromeo Church (3304 Washington Blvd) near Clarendon. The event was the launch of a one-day bus tour of Virginia, which includes planned stops in Richmond and Virginia Beach.

A reported crowd of nearly 200 supporters, and a few critics, turned out for the event. The nuns spoke about “moral budget priorities” and argued against cutting social welfare programs — a move they say would “further [enrich] the wealthiest Americans at the expense of struggling, impoverished families.” They singled out the budget proposal of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan as a plan that would hurt the needy.

A few protesters held signs at the rally critical of the Obama administration’s requirement that larger employers — including some religious employers — pay for for health insurance that includes coverage of contraception.

Photos courtesy James Webster

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm 4,113 39 Comments

Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).

Here is the unedited response from Jason Howell (I):

We can do better.

Our politics is broken, because our politicians don’t represent citizens.  That is the problem.  I am running for Congress as an Independent to represent people rather than parties, ideas rather than ideology.  I have lived in this area for 25 years and have spent the last 20 years, beginning in college, working in mostly accounting and finance.  I’m running to do something that neither party seems to want to do: take responsibility for the big problems we face as a country (the economy, the debt, immigration, traffic in our area and certainly taxes).  It is after all, we the people.  We are those people.

Over the course of this campaign, my wife and I and a small group of about 40 volunteers have been working for you.  My full-time career began as a bank teller where I learned as an 18 year old how important social security and interest rates checks were to our senior citizens.  My parents were immigrants so to save on student loans I worked my way through Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University earning an accounting degree.  In accounting I learned that you can’t fake math and budgets need to balance.  Before starting my own firm, my last regular job was as a recruiter at an accounting and finance staffing firm.  I was a commission only recruiter for 3 years and my best days were when I got someone a job.  This is what we need now.  Someone who gets why fiscal policy is important to seniors, knows how important balancing the budget is and has literally found people jobs.

Like his legislative colleagues who share in the all-time low approval rating, Jim Moran has T.R.I.E.D. – Traffic, Regulation, Immigration, Economy and Debt – working on critical issues but unfortunately failed.  Passionate partisanship has painted many politicians into a political corner and Mr. Moran, a member of the minority in the U.S. House, is no exception.  We can do better.

Traffic, regulation, immigration, the economy and debt are issues I will tackle during my first term.

Traffic

We are number one in traffic.  Despite the millions of dollars earmarked and spent, we still hold the dubious distinction of being number one.  I will champion telecommuting policy so that Senior Executive Service level employees know that it is a priority.  For more about my ideas on telecommuting policy, click here.

Regulation

To slow relationship bank consolidations and the influence of the now “too bigger to fail,” I will work with other legislators to create criteria for smaller banks that allow exemptions from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.  Small, relationship banks did not create the crisis and have been unequally burdened.  For more details regarding my stance financial regulation click here.

Immigration

Jim Moran voted for the last major piece of federal immigration legislation called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Reconciliation Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).   IIRIRA removed judge’s discretion to adjudicate crimes worthy of deportation.  This is what led to the record 396,906 “removals” of 2011.  I support the DREAM Act, the Startup Act 2.0 and changing policy to incent the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to succeed.  For more of my ideas regarding immigration click here.

Economy

In Congress, I will be a good steward of our responsibility to manage fiscal policy.  To stimulate our economy I will leverage my finance background to help lead in three areas: taxes, housing and trade.  For details about my plan to work on economy click here.

Debt

With nearly $16 trillion in short term debt and $60 trillion in long term debt obligations, we cannot just cut our way to balancing our budget and repaying our debt.  I support taking some actions in the short term to buffer our economy – like continued tax relief in 2013 – that we may not take in the long term to reduce our debt.  For long term debt reduction, I will work with the Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report to detail an organized plan for reducing the 81 areas of government program overlap.   For the GAO’s 2012 report details click here.

This is your opportunity to vote for someone in Congress rather than just against Jim Moran.  You can carve your initials into the wall of history by replacing an incumbent with an Independent.  You’ll be glad that you did.  Vote for Jason J. Howell (VoteJasonHowell.com).  We can do better, we must do better and if you vote for me on November 6, we will do better.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm 4,297 20 Comments

Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).

Here is the unedited response from Janet Murphy (IG):

We need the Green New Deal jobs! We need sustainable green jobs. Rail Jobs! Wind Jobs! Solar Jobs! With the Green New Deal we will create 25 million new American green jobs.

We need to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt. Install an auditable accounting system at the pentagon. Bring the troops and tax dollars home. Cut wasteful military spending of precious taxpayer dollars. These are positive, fiscally responsible Green Party solutions.

We need to invest in green infrastructure. Build rail. Every dollar invested in rail grows business, increases revenue. Promote eco-business in solar and wind for the green economy. Every dollar spent on rail infrastructure creates $28 more dollars of economic benefit.

We need the Potomac Yard Metro rail stop. We need the Cameron Station Virginia Rail Stop. Build the Columbia Pike Rail, and Rail from Alexandria to Arlington. We need rail along I-66. We need a new rail tunnel under the Potomac River. Where rail goes, business and the economy grow. Rail increases the value of our homes, and communities.

Rail saves lives. 33,000 Americans are killed every year on our roads. 330,000 Americans are injured every year on highways. Every week another local teenager dies in traffic wrecks. Rail is the life saving positive solution.

Please join the Independent Green Party of Virginia www.VoteJoinRun.US! Be an Independent Green Party candidate in 2013 for state legislature, House of Delegates, or local office. Advocate on the ballot for positive green solutions. Offer Green constructive, productive solutions. We need “More Candidates, Less Apathy”!

This year, my party, the Independent Green Party of Virginia, put the most congressional candidates on the ballot for a single party in Virginia, since 1916! That’s what hard work and positive green action can do! Outside the two larger parties running for Congress are Gail for Rail Parker District 1; Kevin Chisholm District 10, Dr. Ken Hildebrand District 5; Peter Marchetti District 11, Janet Murphy District 8; and Green Party Candidate for President Jill Stein.

We need a full slate of 100 Independent Green Party candidates for House of Delegates in 2013. We need you to be one of them. Together, let’s build the growing Green Economy of tomorrow now!

Like the Redskins have done at their stadium, we need to put solar on the roofs of all our schools, public and private buildings. The time for solar is now! The U.S. Air Force Academy has solar panels. Nellis Air Force base saves $81,000 per month with a huge solar farm. We could put solar panels on every home. Hickam in Hawaii will have solar. Renewable energy will help us keep our air and water clean.

This is what I believe. As an environmentalist I am a strong advocate for humane treatment of animals both wild and domesticated, and I pursue strategies for responsible stewardship of our gifts and resources.

We need rail jobs, solar jobs and wind jobs energy jobs to cut American dependence on fossil fuels. The Green New Deal makes America safer and more secure, while providing new jobs and expanding the economy in a healthy community and country.

I bring wide experience in business and in the community. My ten years of practice in real estate provided me with an understanding of the essential needs of our community for housing that leads to positive solutions. Ban the death penalty, end the drug war.

We must have Medicare for all. We must fight to protect, preserve, and grow Social Security.

To produce revenue, I agree with many economists on the need to enact a transaction tax on Wall Street, and protect that revenue to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt.

We could cut U.S. military spending by 90% and still be spending more than any other nation on earth!

Let’s change the formula for federal funds for transportation to fairly support rail. High Speed Rail Interstate and Light Rail build value into our communities businesses and homes. Rail also adds to a clean environment and long term security and growth.

WE NEED MORE TRAINS (LESS TRAFFIC) AND RENEWABLE ENERGY.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm 3,937 60 Comments

Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).

Here is the unedited response from Patrick Murray (R):

Although Jim Moran can point to a number of accomplishments in his thirty plus years as an elected official in Northern VA, his tenure has also been haunted with repeated instances of divisive language and questionable ethics, largely self inflicted. Despite the latter, Jim’s 8th District seat has always been considered “safe,” owing to the majority of Democrats who live here. I get that, probably better than most having run twice now for this seat.

The favorite question I get from members of the media is “Why are you doing this?” The answer is that I want to put people over partisanship and forge bipartisan solutions so that we can move this country forward.

I don’t seek big government or small government; I seek good government. I have taken no oaths or pledges other than the one I took to support and defend the Constitution when I joined the Army in 1985.

I want to balance our budget, but not on the backs of government employees and veterans. I do not support amnesty for illegal immigrants, but I do believe we need a solution toward residency their children who find themselves here through no fault of their own. I am a pro-Life individual who also finds the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.

I’ve met President Obama and find him to be a good man who wants the best for America but whose policies I differ with. If he is reelected I will be the first to volunteer to work with him to find solutions that move America forward. I’m not interested in playing politics; I’m interested in solving problems.

Jim Moran has done some good things for our District, but as can happen when someone’s tenure extends too long, his actions attest to the fact that his head and his heart are no longer in his work. He is missing votes at double the rate of all other Members of Congress despite representing the District next door to Washington, DC. He has been completely absent on the critical issue of Sequestration even though our District will be among the hardest hit in the entire nation. Given this issue and many others, he has not even bothered to hold a town hall meeting for his constituents in almost 600 days.

Now Jim Moran is embroiled in a highly disturbing voter fraud scandal, with two (as of now) separate criminal investigations probing his campaign. Enough is enough. Jim has had his turn, but it is time to move on. I intend to put people over partisanship; to do that, I need your vote on November 6th.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm 4,043 45 Comments

Last month we asked the four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).

Here is the unedited response from Rep. Jim Moran (D):

Our country and our region are facing some of the biggest challenges in our lifetime. Gridlock in Congress, driven by Tea Party fueled obstructionism, threatens our economic future. While we currently continue to enjoy a strong economy in Northern Virginia, with unemployment rates at half the national average, a failure by Congress to prevent draconian cuts through the sequestration process could be devastating. Bloomberg News recently reported that sequestration would result in a loss of $10.8 billion just in federal information technology contracts in Virginia’s 8th District. Our congressional district would be harder hit than any other in the country.

I voted against the legislation which created sequestration. I also opposed the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts, which were unpaid for and led to the painful budget situation we are currently in. To avoid this looming threat, I’ve been working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a bipartisan resolution. The No Labels organization (www.nolabels.org), a movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving, recently commended me, giving me their seal of approval for my efforts. Make no mistake, I am a progressive Democrat. But I understand that in order to overcome the crisis we face, it’s going to be necessary to work with Republicans to achieve compromise.

Facts are facts. We currently spend more than we can afford (roughly 25 percent of GDP) and bring in less revenue (roughly 14 percent of GDP) than at any time in modern history. Congress and the President have to find a way to meet in the middle on these figures, doing it in a way that won’t harm our economic recovery. I am committed to reaching that compromise, which will require both parties to put the public interest above partisan politics.

As your Congressman, I spend every waking hour thinking about how to keep our region one of the best places to live and work in the country. I’ve secured billions in federal funding to strengthen our research and technology industries, modernize our infrastructure, and provide many of our local non-profits with the resources needed to care for the most vulnerable in our community. I’ve worked hard to make the Rosslyn to Ballston Metro corridor the apex of information technology and graduate school research in the country. By co-locating the graduate schools of Virginia Tech, George Mason and Marymount with our defense, science and technology activities at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), we have a foundation that will continue to attract the best and brightest members of the “creative class” from around the world. I have also helped fund countless other projects to make housing more affordable, bus and rail transit more accessible, and regional bike trails more enjoyable.

Northern Virginians expect their representatives to reflect their values. I’ve consistently received the highest scores from the League of Conservation Voters, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the U.S. Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, as well as many other environmental, arts, housing, and human service organizations.

As a senior Member of the exclusive Appropriations Committee, I’ve led the fight to defeat conservative attempts to undermine the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act and other landmark environmental laws. The Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee is ground zero for this battle. As the subcommittee’s top Democrat, I, along with Congressmen Ed Markey and Henry Waxman, serve as our party’s principal legislators on environmental issues.

Northern Virginia is home to the highest concentration of federal workers in the country. Despite constant attacks on their work and their mission, federal employees play an essential role in America’s economy and society. I recently authored several major reforms to our civil service, including providing employees monetary compensation for unused sick leave, fixing outdated rules for CSRS employees interested in performing part time work, and allowing FERS employees to combine their past service with new service for annuity credit calculations.

I feel strongly about the need to protect animals from abusive and inhumane treatment. Given the major problems facing our nation, some consider this a low priority. I disagree. As Chairman of the Animal Protection Caucus, I advocate for all legislation consistent with making this a more caring and compassionate world for all living things. Whether enacting laws to prevent the sale of dog and cat fur, banning the barbaric practice of horse slaughter, or pressing for more humane treatment of circus elephants, lions and tigers, we have sensitized Congress to issues that would otherwise be ignored. It speaks to our humanity, as a nation which believes in fairness and compassion, that all our laws are consistent with our values.

On Tuesday, November 6th, I ask for your vote. I’ve dedicated my adult life to Northern Virginia. And I remain dedicated to protecting our community from the kind of unwise and unnecessary funding reductions that would come from sequestration, and most importantly to use all the resources within my power to promote peace, justice and environmental sustainability.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing to represent you over the next two years.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm 1,766 9 Comments

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

Well, Sandy came and went this week and for the most part we managed to get through okay. Beyond starting to expect intense storms every Halloween, I think we could all stand to kick back and enjoy a beverage or two now that the downpour has stopped. Here are some brews that may just be appropriate for the occasion:

Heavy Seas Winter Storm: I mean, start with the obvious, right? This strong ESB from Baltimore’s Heavy Seas brewery is a malty Ale with focused sharpness of its hops. Winter Storm is crisp enough for autumn weather and just robust enough to take care of you when the temperature drops.

Maui Big Swell IPA: This Hawaiian offering features some of the most popular hops going right now (Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Citra) but manages to stay short of caricature. Sharp and clean, Big Swell is perfect for post-high tide drinking.

Evil Twin Hop Flood: What? It’s a theme column; I gotta do what I gotta do. This Amber Ale from gypsy brewery Evil Twin is not nearly as overwhelming as its name suggests. In fact, Hop Flood is earthier than it is citrusy or aggressive. It’s a fine beer that can be hard to find but is delicious.

Bell’s Java Stout, Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Southern Tier Jah’Va: These robust dark beers will give you some good coffee notes and help keep you warm after we dive full-stop into winter, which knowing this area should be in the next week or two. The Bell’s Java Stout is for espresso drinkers—intense and earthy. Jah’Va is rich with a fuller mouthfeel and a pronounced coffee bean note. Founder’s Breakfast Stout is an autumn/winter favorite of mine every year, and uses two types of coffee and two types of chocolate along with some oatmeal in the malt bill. If you don’t have the time (or electricity) to make breakfast, you could certainly do worse.

Devils Backbone Long Winter’s Nap: This is a recent arrival but already popular not only with Arrowine customers but myself as well. This brew doesn’t feel anywhere near its 10% ABV, but its smooth feel makes it a deceptively easy treat. This seasonal will put you down for that long winter’s nap if you’re not careful—unless that’s what you’re looking for, of course.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: We made it through the hurricane—why not celebrate? Look for this on tap starting this week and on retailer shelves in the next week or two. This Ale is a great way to get your hop fix without going too absurd or overpowering. Many like to age Celebration, but I’m of the mind that fresher is better.

I hope you all came through the storm in good shape, and will see you back here next week.

Cheers!

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 2, 2012 at 11:05 am 4,502 80 Comments

Blue and Orange Line riders should expect significant disruptions on Metro this weekend.

From about 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) to system closing on Sunday, the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery Metro stations will be closed and both the Blue and Orange lines will be split into two segments.

The closure will “allow for tie and insulator renewal, joint and fastener renewal, tunnel leak repair, station sign installation and fiber-optic cable work,” Metro said in a press release.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Courthouse and Foggy Bottom on the Orange Line, and between Pentagon and Foggy Bottom on the Blue Line. The two segments of each line — a Virginia segment and a D.C./Maryland segment — will operate “at regular weekend intervals.”

Metro says customers should anticipate 20-30 minutes of additional travel time and should consider alternate travel options, like accessing D.C. via trains traveling over the Yellow Line bridge.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 10:05 am 3,337 47 Comments

Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday (Nov. 4). At 2:00 a.m., clocks will be set back one hour.

As Arlington residents “fall back,” fire departments across the country are reminding folks that it’s also a good time to replace smoke alarm batteries. The Arlington County Fire Department offers free smoke alarms for those who need them; call 703-228-4646 for more information.

While we’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, the time change also means that it will be dark an hour earlier.

All things considered, how do you feel about the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend?

Flickr pool photo by Mnemosyne2009

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 9:20 am 2,857 26 Comments

County to Ask For Federal Storm Aid — Yesterday, Arlington County ended the State of Emergency declaration put in place for Hurricane Sandy. The county says it will seek federal reimbursement for the estimated $1.17 million cost of responding to the storm. Meanwhile, the county says that one private home was destroyed by the storm, while 17 suffered major damage and 27 suffered minor damage. [Arlington County]

APS Rolls Out ‘Courtesy Bus Service’ — Arlington Public Schools has started to bus some students who lost their eligibility to ride the bus this year as part of changes to the school system’s transportation policies this year. The courtesy service will only be offered this year, school officials say. So far, 83 students have been allowed back on buses. [Sun Gazette]

SoberRide Halloween Stats — The SoberRide program says it provided 157 free cab rides to “would-be drunk drivers” in the D.C. area on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Road Closures for 5K Race — A number of roads will be closed near Tuckahoe Elementary School for the National Race Against the Odds 5K race this weekend. The closures will be in place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 4). [ACPD]

Advice for Damaged Trees — The TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria have some advice for property owners whose trees were damaged by SuperStorm Sandy. The organization has been encouraging property owners to read about precautions to be taken when hiring tree services to help with storm clean-up, and about “first aid” procedures for storm-damaged trees.

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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