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by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm 5,946 53 Comments

An Arlington man has been arrested for a brutal daylight stabbing near Clarendon in August.

Police say 28-year-old Elin Daniel Reyes of Arlington stabbed a man outside the Pio Pio restaurant at 3300 Wilson Boulevard on Thursday, Aug. 9. Reyes has been charged with malicious wounding and robbery. He’s expected to be arraigned later this week.

The charges are the result of an “extensive investigation,” police say. Reyes has been held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on a probation violation since Oct. 18, according to an Arlington County Police Department press release.

As reported in August, the victim of Reyes’ alleged crime was stabbed numerous times in the hands, shoulder, front, back and arms. His injuries were described as life-threatening at the time. The brutal stabbing occurred after the victim gave chase when he saw his car being broken in to.

Photo (above) courtesy ACPD. Warning: Readers may find one of the photos below disturbing.

 

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm 2,271 26 Comments

Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection service will begin one week from today.

The vacuum trucks will be out from Monday, Nov. 12 until Friday, Dec. 21. The trucks will operate Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving, on a set neighborhood schedule. To prepare for the vacuum collection, residents are asked to rake leaves to the curb but away from storm drains, and to remove stones, litter and other debris from the piles.

Biodegradable leaf bag collection started last Monday (Oct. 29) and will run on weekdays (except Christmas and New Year’s Day) through Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Collection takes place on the next business day after your regular trash collection day. Free leaf bags can be picked up at a number of locations around the county, as listed on Arlington’s residential leaf collection web site.

More information on leaf collection can be found in the county-produced video, above.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm 2,759 42 Comments

Last month we asked the three candidates for Arlington County Board 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 Audrey Clement (G):

I’m eight year resident of Arlington County with a doctorate in Political Science and service as a Congressional Fellow. As a long time Green Party leader and civic activist, I’ve worked hard to promote a better quality of life for Arlington residents. As treasurer of the Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation, I filed suit in 2009 to compel VDOT to assess alternatives to piecemeal widening of I-66 westbound. VDOT went ahead with the Spot Improvement project anyhow. Yet persistent two mile backups on westbound I-66 show that I was right.

In 2008 I helped to place a referendum on the ballot to consolidate Arlington’s housing programs in one agency to realize economies of scale and leverage more money for affordable housing. Arlington County Board not only ignored the referendum, which garnered 30 percent of the vote, it had the General Assembly change the law to make it virtually impossible to get another one on the ballot. Yet the fact that two-thirds of the affordable housing in Arlington has been lost in the past decade confirms the need for a centralized housing authority.

I think Arlington needs a change in leadership, because County Board doesn’t understand that sustainable growth and so-called “Smart Growth” aren’t the same. As new office towers go up overnight, employers move into the county, spurring demand for housing that drives up rents and real estate assessments and promotes excessive infill development; the tear down of existing modest sized homes; and construction of oversized, unsightly, runoff inducing McMansions.

To be sustainable, basic public infrastructure must keep pace with new residential and commercial construction. Sustainability requires the County Board to support, not discourage construction of moderate income housing. Otherwise those who move into the County are stuck in a never-ending cycle of tax and rent increases as others are gentrified out. To be sustainable, we need to do more than accumulate LEED points. We need truly energy efficient buildings and on-site renewable energy. To be sustainable, we must appreciate the difference between needs and wants.

  • We don’t need a $79.2 million aquatic center at an out of the way location in North Crystal City, when Northern Va. is already drowning in public pools.
  • We don’t need a $250 million trolley when bus service can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost.
  • We may want a cultural center and a black box theater. But we must get the private sector to finance them, not the taxpayers.
  • We may like the already over capacity Taj Mahal high schools recently constructed in this county. But what we need is to expand classroom space at a reasonable cost even if that means building up or renovating rather than building new.

I pledge to make developers pay their fair share of new infrastructure costs. I also plan to fully fund libraries, schools, and programs for youth, seniors, and the disabled, emphasize recycling and renewable energy; and hire an Inspector General to audit the County’s budget. You can find out more about my Campaign for a Greener Arlington by visiting AudreyClement.org.

With your help, I will work to preserve the Arlington Way. Vote Clement for County Board on November 6, 2012.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm 3,329 17 Comments

Last month we asked the three candidates for Arlington County Board 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 Matt Wavro (R):

I am running for the Arlington County Board because we need to elect a new voice to make sure that all voices are heard. Arlington residents deserve a County Board Member who will stand up and ensure their concerns are fully considered by the County Board. Arlington faces significant challenges and I will work to make sure that everyone has a voice in local government and not narrowly rely on a one-party echo chamber to guide governmental decisions that have a wide ranging impact on our community’s future.

I am an Eagle Scout, 100 Homes for the Homeless Survey volunteer and a Junior Achievement volunteer instructor. I am an active member of the community and am running to be the County Board Member that brings people together on the tough issues and fights for everyone to be heard. I will build a consensus around common-sense and ensure a level of governmental accountability that allows for meaningful public engagement and planning processes that are responsive to specific and practical community concerns.

Leadership, in my view, means providing a voice for residents. Leadership isn’t a matter of taking to the bully pulpit and arguing with elected officials. Rather, it is about including and applying a different perspective to the public policy process that makes sure the information important to the community is included in the decisions instead of the current practice of only including the information that confirms the decision that members of the County Board seek to make from the outset.

I am the only candidate in this race who has a plan to move the County Board to a better plan for Columbia Pike than the trolley. I will re-engage the public process by hosting town halls, building the case for a better plan, and convincing all the members of the board that the Columbia Pike Trolley project is not what is best for Arlington. Re-engaging the public input process is even more important after a current County Board member, having taken the untenable position of abstaining from voting on the trolley, walked away from the public process that included the efforts of citizens to respond within the formal comment process, attend the Alternatives Analysis meetings, and provide additional public comments at the County Board meeting.

I firmly believe that residents deserve a voice for fiscal responsibility. In previous years the County Board has increased tax rates on top of increased assessments. In doing this the board raised taxes on top of already increasing tax bills, spending more and more while providing the average tax-payer less and less value for their tax dollar. And renters shouldn’t think they are exempt from these property tax increases. Every year that the County Board increases property tax rates, renters see the increase as part of the next year’s rent increase on top of the rent increase from the current year. Included in any fiscally responsible approach to county taxes would be the use of close-out funds from this year to provide tax relief in the next year.

Part of electing a voice for fiscal responsibility means having a county board member who stands up against a capital spending plan that locks the county into raising additional revenues through ever increasing taxes each year for the next ten years, leaving little room for tax relief and the ability to respond to legitimate community needs as they arise. I would pursue a more responsible approach, funding more Neighborhood Conservation Fund projects and synthetic field conversions that cost less, but do more to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Improving our neighborhoods is a much better investment than the exorbitantly priced luxury aquatics center.

Active and engaged leadership includes providing a professional and independent review of governmental operations to the County Board and the community. When elected, I will work to establish an Office of Inspector General to provide this much needed governance reform. If the current County Board continues their insistence on a structural lack of accountability on tax, budget and spending issues, I will raise donations myself to fund an analogous position via a non-profit entity.

Arlington County faces fiscal, development, transportation and management challenges. I will work to meet our challenges in ways that best serve the entire community. I love Arlington and am proud to call it home. I want to see Arlington and all of us that call Arlington home prosper. Thank you for your consideration in this election. I ask for your vote on November 6th.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm 3,276 35 Comments

Last month we asked the three candidates for Arlington County Board 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 incumbent Libby Garvey (D):

I am a proven collaborative leader and have helped lead change in Arlington for over 15 years, first on the School Board and now on the County Board. I’ve helped make our schools among the best in the nation. I know how to do the work of a board member and have already established important relationships around the region and across the state. The relationships and networks I’ve built will continue to serve Arlington well as we work on issues like transit, affordable housing and development.

I believe my priorities fit Arlington’s needs at this time very well. I will continue to focus on:

1. Setting Strategic Priorities: I am concentrating on core services: infrastructure; public safety; transit; education; a strong social safety net. We cannot do everything, but we need to support our most important services and values well.

2. Effective Citizen Involvement: Citizen involvement has made Arlington what it is. As we set our priorities and tackle difficult challenges, we need effective and inclusive citizen involvement more than ever. The County Board is known to change recommendations at the last minute, despite months–or even years–of having committees and our staff working together on finding the best solutions for everyone. Interest groups and committed citizens feel they must come and speak for hours at a meeting: either to try to sway the Board at the last minute or to prevent the Board from making a last minute change. Last minute changes need to become very rare. I will work to see that the current PLACE initiative not only sets up good processes for citizen involvement, but also that the Board commits to those processes itself

3. Sensible Transit: I questioned the decision to build a streetcar from the beginning of my campaign in the special election last spring. In July, as my doubts grew, I abstained on the votes supporting a streetcar and set out my concerns . My major concern is that a real cost benefit analysis of the streetcar project has not been done. On October 9, the County Board received a cost benefit analysis done by Peter Rousselot. That analysis showed clearly that a streetcar makes no sense for Arlington financially, and is likely an inferior vehicle for Arlington to use in the modern transit system we have been designing for some time. There is no question that we need to move forward with a modern transit system for the County. However, the citizens of Arlington need to be fully informed about the relative costs and performance of a streetcar compared to a modern bus rapid transit system (BRT), and the County needs to take a close look at the comparison. I will advocate hard for a robust and informed community dialog about what vehicle to use in our next transit system and am confident that my colleagues will agree that this is needed after they’ve had time to look at the new information we’ve received.

Finally, I believe ArlNow’s readers should vote for me because of some key differences between me and my opponents. I have a much greater depth and quality of experience. I have lived in Arlington for 35 years and served as an elected official for 15 years. I will work independently as I always have to serve this community where I settled in 1977 and raised my children. Arlington is my home.

It has been a true honor and privilege to serve this community as an elected official for 16 years. Please vote for me on November 6. To learn more, please visit my campaign website at www.libbygarvey.com

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 11:25 am 5,966 57 Comments

Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or none of the above, there’s an opportunity for you to imbibe tomorrow night while election results come in.

Arlington Democrats will be watching the election returns on the big screen at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike). The event, which starts at 6:00 p.m., features free admission, a hot food buffet ($10 or $12, depending who you ask) and a cash bar.

“We will be joined by volunteers, candidates, elected officials and the general public as we watch the returns, share stories from the campaign trail and celebrate democracy in action!” said Arlington Young Democrats spokesman Mike Lewan.

Arlington Republicans will be monitoring the election results on five televisions at RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon (2915 Wilson Blvd). The grand ole party will include $3 Heineken and Newcastle all night, plus “some specials on some Americana type beers, likely Sam Adams.” Nachos and pretzels will be half off.

The event is officially being held from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., but attendees are being encouraged to show up earlier and stay later. WiFi internet access will be provided for wonks who want to monitor real-time results and Twitter reactions.

The Arlington Green Party, meanwhile, will be holding a more subdued affair. The Greens’ celebration, which is being held at a private north Arlington residence starting at 7:00 p.m., will feature “vegetarian chili, corn bread, hot and cold drinks.”

Those hoping for a more non-partisan event can attend an “Election Day Decompression Session” at Iota Club and Cafe in Clarendon (2832 Wilson Blvd) on Tuesday. The free event will offer happy hour prices from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. DJ Sam Snow will be spinning tunes from 6:00 until “late.” The DJing will be decidedly undemocratic: no requests will be taken.

“IOTA is a politics-free zone lovin’ the donkeys and the elephants and the indies,” said co-owner Jane Negrey Inge. “It’s all about togetherness!”

Capitol City Brewing in Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) is hosting Election Day festivities all day on Tuesday. The event, from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, includes election-related programming on the TVs, $5 appetizers, half dollar wings and happy hour-priced pints of beer.

Some local restaurants are offering election-specific specials in the run-up to the election.

Bar TNT (within Eamonn’s, 2413 Columbia Pike) is offering two bipartisan cocktails for the price on one: a red tequila-based “Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney-rita” and a blue rum-based “Obama-Mama,” $12 for the pair (pictured). Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City (2110 Crystal Drive), meanwhile, is still tallying votes for its “Great Burger Debate,” featuring a Democratic “James Carville” burger and a Republican “Mary Matalin” burger.

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,927 3 Comments

Arlington County firefighters battled a small blaze in an apartment building Sunday evening.

The fire broke out around 6:00 p.m. at the Berkeley Apartments, on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. The flames and resulting damage were confined to one basement apartment, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.

One person was taken to a local hospital for medical reasons unrelated to the fire, Karl said. With the exception of the occupant(s) of the damaged apartment, no residents were displaced by the blaze.

The Berkeley apartment building was the scene of a fire last December.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — November 5, 2012 at 9:00 am 7,426 89 Comments

Arlington County’s Transportation Commission says an all-electric cab fleet is a good idea whose time hasn’t come quite yet. On Thursday the advisory body voted against County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s recommendation that the County Board grant operating licenses to a fleet of 40 electric taxicabs.

While the commission was supportive of the idea of more environmentally-friendly cabs in Arlington, it expressed doubts that the proposal — from Arlington-based startup EV Taxicabs — was feasible.

The company is proposing a taxi fleet of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, each equipped with 4G WiFi hotspots and iPads for passenger use, plus a network of publicly-accessible electric vehicle chargers around Arlington. A commission member said it’s a good idea in theory, but in practice electric cabs — which would have a range of 60 to 105 miles on a single charge — could present a problem for passengers and drivers.

“The range offered by the Nissan Leaf simply doesn’t seem to be enough to effectively use it as a taxi… especially when you factor in runs to Dulles Airport, etc.” commission member Chris Slatt told ARLnow.com. “It’s one thing if your drivers has to stop for 3 minutes to put gas in their cab because you asked to be taken on a very long trip — it is quite another if your driver has to drive 5 miles across town and charge for 30 minutes for that same reason.”

Slatt said the commission was also “unconvinced” that EV Taxicabs could install electric vehicle chargers at apartment buildings, where many cab drivers live. Such chargers would allow drivers to charge their cabs overnight. The company also proposed installing fast “Level 3″ chargers, but Nissan warns that fast charging could reduce the life of the car batteries to just a year or two — an expensive proposition for cab drivers, who would likely have to foot the bill for the replacement battery.

“EVs simply can’t match hybrids or standard cabs at this point when it comes to ‘getting people to their destination’ which is the whole point of a taxi,”  Slatt said. “Hopefully by the next time taxi certificates come around EVs will have matured to the point where our existing companies will be moving to them without us even needing to bring in a new company.”

In place of the electric cabs, Slatt said the commission recommended awarding additional operating licenses to EnviroCab, an all-hybrid cab company which currently has 50 licenses in Arlington, and to Friendly Cab, which has 27 traditional cabs and 7 hybrid cabs. The additional licenses would allow Friendly to begin dispatch service and would allow EnviroCab to reduce wait times during peak taxi demand period, Slatt said.

(EnviroCab recently announced plans to add one all-electric cab to its existing hybrid fleet.)

The County Board is set to consider the recommendations of Donnellan and the Transportation Commission at its Nov. 17 meeting.

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