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by Katie Pyzyk — July 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm 969 0

Driving through Clarendon has become messier and is taking longer due to construction on several of the major roads in the neighborhood. It’s the latest area to be worked on as part of the annual paving program.

The affected area in Clarendon covers about five blocks — two along Wilson Blvd, two on N. Highland Street and one on N. Fillmore Street. Crews have been milling — removing the top layer of streets — and adjusting utilities as needed. Paving with two to three inches of hot-mix asphalt follows soon after, as well as line painting.

Because of the busy nature of the Clarendon neighborhood, contractors plan to do the paving portion on Sunday and Monday nights, weather permitting. Crews have been able to do the milling and utility adjustments during the day because those tasks are more flexible in terms of working around vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Clarendon isn’t the only area getting repaved; an online map highlights in red the active paving projects throughout the county. Residents in the affected areas receive letters announcing the road work four to six week before it begins. Temporary “no parking” signs are posted along the roads and cars parked in the work areas during the restricted times will be towed.

The county’s annual paving program typically takes place between March and October because the hot-mix asphalt can only be applied in warm, dry weather. Currently, this year’s paving stands at about 87 percent complete.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm 3,041 0

Police are looking for a man accused of reaching up the skirt and grabbing the buttocks of a woman walking on S. Hayes Street in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, near Crystal City, on Monday evening.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 07/22/13, 2000 block of S. Hayes Street. At 6:25 pm on July 22, a female victim was walking on the sidewalk when a suspect approached her from behind and reached up her skirt, grabbing her buttocks. The suspect fled the scene on foot. He is described as a white Hispanic male in his 20’s, approximately 5’8” tall and 170 lbs. He was wearing a red bandana, baby blue shirt and khaki shorts at the time of the incident.

Police say a bystander witnessed the incident and attempted to chase the suspect for several blocks, but the suspect got away. The witness stayed at the scene to speak with police. Neither the witness nor the victim sustained any physical injuries.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm 864 0

(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Glebe Road has been temporarily closed south of Columbia Pike due to a gas leak.

Initial reports suggest a road construction crew struck an unmarked 2-inch gas line, rupturing it.

Police and firefighters have closed the stretch of Glebe between Columbia Pike and 12th Street S. to traffic while crews work to shut off the gas. There’s a strong smell of natural gas in the area, and pedestrians are being limited to one side of the street.

Drivers, particularly those heading northbound on Glebe, should expect delays in the area. Northbound drivers are advised to use Walter Reed Drive as an alternate route.

Police say they expect the road to remain closed until at least 4:00 p.m.

by Mark Kelly — July 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm 552 0

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column published on Thursdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Mark KellyIt seems pretty clear after the first clash between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe that the election for governor in Virginia will be decided by one simple question – who do you trust?

Cuccinelli says that McAuliffe cannot be trusted because his record as a partisan hack means he believes politics is nothing more than playing “let’s make a deal.” Cuccinelli argues McAuliffe’s theory of government puts special interests ahead of the interests of all Virginians.

McAuliffe says that Cuccinelli is a “trojan horse” who cannot be trusted to focus on jobs and the economy because he is too socially conservative. According to T-Mac, Cuccinelli would drive away potential investors in the Virginia economy with his backwards views.

So, it naturally follows to ask why McAuliffe made the decision to locate his car company in Mississippi instead of Virginia? Surely Mississippi is more progressive on social issues?

Mississippi has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage just like Virginia. Mississippi has implemented stronger health care regulations on its abortion clinics just like Virginia. In fact, one could argue that Mississippi is equal to or more “socially conservative” than Virginia on each and every issue.

During the debate, McAuliffe was indeed asked why he decided to put GreenTech Automotive in Mississippi. His answer – it was an economic decision. Successful business leaders, he claims, must make business decisions that make sense for their bottom lines. Not only is it true, but McAuliffe has no choice but to say it. It is his only viable, if feeble for someone who wants to be governor of Virginia, line of defense for his decision.

It is always nice when candidates debunk their own lines of attack. McAuliffe succinctly explained it – businesses make business decisions. It is not a state’s stance on social issues which determines where a business will locate its jobs. If it were, Texas would be losing out to California instead of the other way around. And, McAuliffe almost certainly would have taken his business to Massachusetts or Maryland.

Unfortunately, just because McAuliffe contradicted himself, does not mean his campaign will stop using this line of attack. The same goes for the less-than-accurate claims McAuliffe made about his own involvement in the transportation plan and about the contents of the independent report on Cuccinelli’s gift disclosures. He firmly believes that if you repeat something long enough, people might just accept it as fact. It comes from years of cooking up political spin to get Democrats elected in Washington, DC.

The bottom line: if McAuliffe was trying to get away from the “fast-talking, deal making, political huckster who will say anything to get elected” tag in the first debate, he failed.

Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

by Peter Rousselot — July 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm 1,141 0

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Peter RousselotIn his first formal debate with Terry McAuliffe on July 20, Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli re-affirmed his unremitting hostility to gay Virginians.

In last week’s debate, Cuccinelli was reminded by moderator Judy Woodruff of his remarks several years ago that “same sex acts are against nature and are harmful to society.” Given the opportunity to say that he has since moderated his views, Cuccinelli instead doubled down, confirming that his views “about the personal challenge of homosexuality haven’t changed.”

It would be hard to imagine a more offensive set of values for a person who is asking Virginia voters to give him the opportunity to lead a state of 8.5 million people in the 21st century.

Just what are the views Cuccinelli hasn’t changed?

Cuccinelli has:

  • Offered a bill that urged the U.S. Congress to propose a federal constitutional amendment to provide that (i) marriage shall consist only of the legal union between a man and a woman; and (ii) the uniting of persons of the same or opposite sex in a civil union, domestic partnership or other analogous relationship shall not be recognized in the United States.
  • Opposed a bill that would offer health benefits to same-sex partners because of his “desire not to encourage this type of behavior into law.”
  • Stated “when you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.”
  • Urged Virginia colleges and universities to revoke their policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • And as recently as February 15, 2013, reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage in Virginia.

In earlier columns, I reviewed the two strikes against Cuccinelli based on his war on science and his war on women. Here, we have the third strike: his war on gays.

In politics, as in baseball, three strikes and you’re out.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm 468 0

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)A controversial bill amendment to limit the federal government’s collection of Americans’ personal information failed by a narrow margin last night in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Jim Moran (D) had voted in favor of the measure, which was defeated in a 217-205 vote.

The amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, would have ended funding for the program that allows the blanket collection of personal records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It would have placed restrictions on the National Security Agency and other federal agencies, only giving them the authority to gather data from individuals connected to ongoing investigations.

Amash brought forth the amendment in response to the information recently leaked by Edward Snowden, indicating the NSA collects residents’ phone and internet records. Moran voted in favor of restricting the NSA.

“I supported the Amash amendment because Section 215 opens the door to serious abuses by a future administration. I also opposed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act and FISA Amendments Act that provided the legal justification for this program,” said Moran in a statement. “We have to view these issues through the lens of how a future ‘Nixonian-style’ administration could misuse this type of information. It’s our best safeguard against the abuse of presidential power.”

Democrats and Republicans were split on the issue, which pitted national security against Americans’ privacy. Long-time adversaries Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), for instance, both ended up on the same side and voted against the amendment.

With the proposal’s defeat, the NSA may continue to collect residents’ private information.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 25, 2013 at 11:00 am 1,107 0

Lane closures and traffic approaching the Glebe Road/Rt. 50 bridgeFour Arlington transportation projects were approved for funding in Fiscal Year 2014 last night by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

The authority approved funding for the Columbia Pike Multimodal Improvement Project, the Crystal City Multimodal Center, four additional ART buses and improvements to the Boundary Channel Drive/I-395 interchange; a total of $18.835 million.

In addition, the NVTA approved $5 million for the design of WMATA traction power improvements on the Orange Line, and $7 million for 10 new buses on Virginia Metrobus routes.

The package approved was the first to be directly allocated funding from the controversial transportation bill, HB 2313, passed by the General Assembly in the spring. About $270 million is estimated to come to Northern Virginia in funding this fiscal year, $190 million of which was available to be allocated by the NVTA.

The other $80 million will be distributed directly to localities. Arlington is projected to receive $11 million in direct funding, which it expects to direct to its Transportation Capital Fund.

The NVTA voted unanimously to approve $116 million in pay-as-you-go funding and more than $93 million in bond funding, pending a bond validation. Of Arlington’s approved projects, only $4.3 million for the Boundary Channel Drive/I-395 interchange will go through the bond process.

The state began collecting funds for the projects July 1 when a series of tax increases and other funding measures took effect. Over the next six years, HB 2313 is expected to raise more than $1.5 billion total for the region and close to $200 million for Arlington alone.

Other projects that were approved for funding that could have an impact for Arlington residents include $838,000 to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for the study of transit alternatives on the Route 7 corridor between King Street and Tysons Corner and five new DASH buses in Alexandria.

Two projects that impact Arlington — a $4 million VRE Crystal City platform extension and $5 million for upgrades to interlocking and platform girders at the Reagan National Airport Metro stop — were denied funding by unanimous vote.

One project that did not come up in the discussion was the Columbia Pike Streetcar project. Critics of the streetcar were calling the lack of funding another loss for the controversial project, but Arlington officials did not submit it for consideration.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 25, 2013 at 9:45 am 777 0

Performance at Lubber Run Amphitheater (photo courtesy Arlington County)(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Two additional performances have been added to the schedule at Lubber Run Amphitheater.

The Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation (LRAF) credits its cooperation with Arlington Cultural Affairs and donations from supporters for the added shows on August 18 and 25.

LRAF added the shows in response to requests for more children’s programming. The organization hopes to further expand programming next year if this year’s additions are successful.

Below is the schedule for the remaining performances, including the two new shows in August:

  • Friday, July 26 — The Traveling Players — Performing William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”. Selected as a “Summer School in the Arts” by the NEA, Traveling Players Ensemble is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing great theatre into the great outdoors through a thriving summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops.
  • Saturday, July 27 — The Tone Rangers — For 25 years, this award-winning D.C.-based vocal group has brought inventive arrangements and keen wit to everything from Gregorian chant to TV theme songs. Nominated for 7 Wammies, they were Best A Cappella Group four consecutive years (2007- 10) and Best A Cappella Recording in 2007. National finalists in the 2002 Harmony Sweepstakes (the Superbowl of a cappella), they are 3-time winners of Mid-Atlantic “Audience Favorite” and “Best Arrangement” awards.
  • Friday, August 2 — Hexagon Theatre Company — Hexagon is musical, satirical and theatrical. Every year since 1956, this nonprofit has put on Washington’s only all-original, all volunteer revue of its kind—donating more than $3.5 million to 40-plus organizations.
  • Saturday, August 3 — Rico Amero — He makes music. He tells the truth. Join Rico for a night of hiphop jazz.
  • Sunday, August 18 — The Great Zucchini — He will delight the youngest members of the community with his popular, comical, magic show. Bring the kids, grandkids, and young neighbors to Lubber Run to this engaging show for children.
  • Sunday, August 25 — Cantor the Miraculous — The magic continues with Cantor the Miraculous who dazzles audiences through wizardly interaction and artistry to bring “quality prestidigitation from a master crafts person.” The whole family is welcome. This show is at 5:00 p.m.

The amphitheater, which was refurbished in 2011, is located at N. Columbus Street and N. 2nd Street, two blocks north of Route 50. All shows are free and open to the public. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays begin at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday shows begin at 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Information about last minute weather cancellations can be obtained by calling 703-228-1850 the day of each show. Picnics are allowed but alcohol is prohibited.

by ARLnow.com — July 25, 2013 at 8:50 am 1,437 0

Yard sale on Quincy Street (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)

Too Much Cash on Hand? — Is Arlington County’s nearly $300 million cash hoard excessive? Many county officials says the extra cash cushion is an example of good fiscal stewardship. County Treasurer Frank O’Leary, however, suggests the cash reserves are “causing us to pay more taxes than we should.” [Sun Gazette]

More Coverage for Girls’ Firefighting Camp — The Today Show broadcast a segment yesterday about the Arlington Girls’ Fire Camp. The unique camp has also been covered by CBS News, among other broadcast outlets. [Today Show]

Korean War Tribute at Twilight Tattoo — Last night’s Twilight Tattoo performance at Fort Myer featured a special tribute to the heroes of the Korean War. The high-energy performance commemorated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice and was hosted by Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army. [U.S. Army]

Dating Event for Ages 31-40 — Date Social, the Arlington-based dating startup, will be hosting a dating mixer for those ages 31-40 at Hard Times Cafe tonight, starting at 7:00. Tickets are $12. [Clarendon Nights]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

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