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Arlington Agenda (Aug. 18-24)

by Ethan Rothstein | August 18, 2014 at 5:00 am | No Comments

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form. Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

Arlington Central LibraryFantasy Football Seminar, League
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

The library hosts a seminar on how to play fantasy football. Those who attend can enter the library’s fantasy football league, which drafts Aug. 23 at 1:00 p.m., and win prizes.

Tuesday

The Curious Grape's selection of chocolate barsChocolate Seminar
The Curious Grape (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The Curious Grape offers a chocolate seminar, where customers can also taste up to five “rare heirloom chocolates” for $3-$5. Registration for the seminar is available online.

Wednesday

obama-beerPints on the Pike
P. Brennan’s Irish Pub (2910 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

The Arlington Young Democrats host a happy hour-style event aimed at bringing everyone together for a relaxing evening before fall campaign season starts up. Karaoke starts at 10:00 p.m.

Thursday

Fall Style PartyFall Style Party
Free People (1100 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Free People hosts a Fall Style Party with local fashion bloggers The Fashionably Broke sisters. Natalie and Erika Pinto will give attendees free style sessions, and there will be a giveaway. RSVP here.

Friday

Anchorman posterOutdoor Movie: Anchorman
Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway)
Time: 8:00-10:00 p.m.

The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival — with a “movies about work” theme — sees its penultimate showing with “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” The movie is free.

Saturday

annual-1812U.S. Army Band Concert
Summerall Field (Sheridan Ave., Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall)
Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m.

The U.S. Army Band’s annual summer concert, with the traditional conclusion of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with “four three-inch, 5,775-pound, World War II vintage anti-tank guns.” Admission is free.

Your Beermonger: Water, Water Nowhere

by Ethan Rothstein | August 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm | 354 views | No Comments

Your Beermonger logo

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

Much like winemakers, chefs, and cheesemakers, there’s a strong conservation streak that runs through brewers.

GreenBiz recently ran a good piece illustrating the efforts that breweries of all sizes are making to ensure they are as sustainable as possible. It’s smart business sense to save energy to keep costs down, of course, but that’s not the sole motivation at play with beer. At the heart of good beer is the quality of its ingredients: the hops, grains, yeasts, and, most of all, the water used to create it.

Water is, and always has been, the single most important factor in brewing. Elements found in local water supplies have influenced the styles of beer made in various locations all over the world (perhaps most famously in Munich, where the hardness of the water led to the development of less hoppy Lagers).

So what happens when a brewery’s water supply starts to dry up? Breweries in California are starting to find out, as a three-year drought has begun to choke brewery growth predictions and has many looking for new locations (and water supplies) to use in their production.

The L.A. Times reported at the end of July that Bear Republic Brewing Company (Racer 5, Red Rocket Ale, Hop Rod Rye) has cut its expected growth rate from 35 percent to 15 percent this year because of the shortage of water from its source, the Russian River. Bear Republic has facilitated the creation of two new wells, but the mineral content of well water requires a filtration system to ensure the consistency of the final product; an additional expense to the brewery.

Bear Republic hasn’t been alone in feeling the effects of California’s water woes: MillerCoors and AB/InBev have both taken steps to reduce their water consumption over the past few years, especially at their California facilities. The L.A. Times article also reported that Lagunitas has cut its water consumption by 10 percent over the past two years, and has started incorporating well water into its production.

Lagunitas executives told the Times that they’re concerned the state may require them to switch to well water completely, which may have an impact on beers produced there in the future (though the brewery has already installed a filtration system for the well water it currently uses). Even before the most recent drought concerns, Bear Republic was worried that its 8 million gallon per year water use cap would negatively impact growth.

So what’s a West Coast brewery to do? If you’ve been following the beer industry over the past few years, you’ve already seen the answer in action: go East. Bear Republic is reportedly exploring the options breweries like Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, and (soon) Stone have already enacted and opening a brewery on the East Coast (Lagunitas stands out by having opened their second location in Chicago).

The influx of breweries in the area of Asheville, N.C., to take advantage of the Smoky Mountains’ water supply is inspiring others to find new water sources of their own. Whether this leads to a future where breweries play a game of “musical chairs,” jumping from one available water supply to the next, remains to be seen. In the meantime, California breweries are left in the same position as many Golden State residents–praying for rain.

Until next time.

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. (more…)

Family of Three Sent to Hospital in Rt. 50 Wreck

by Ethan Rothstein | August 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm | 3,138 views | No Comments

Two parents and a small child are at Inova Fairfax Hospital this afternoon after a two-car collision at the intersection of Route 50 and N. Park Drive.

The two adults were transported in “serious, but non-life-threatening condition,” according to a police officer on the scene, and a small child, with them in the car, was taken with them as a precaution, although the child appeared healthy.

The accident was reportedly caused when a Dodge sedan turned left from eastbound Route 50 into N. Park Drive, but “misjudged how much space there was.” The family’s Mazda sedan, going straight westbound on a green light, crashed into the side of the Dodge, causing both to spin out.

Only one lane of westbound Route 50 and the left turn lane from eastbound Route 50 were closed while police and rescue crews responded to the scene. All lanes have since re-opened.

APS Buys New Football Helmets to Prevent Concussions

by Ethan Rothstein | August 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm | 1,123 views | No Comments

The Yorktown High School football team(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools announced this week that it would be replacing its football helmets with new equipment designed to more effectively prevent concussions.

APS purchased more than 325 Riddell Revolution Speed helmets this summer with carryover superintendent funds from last year’s budget, APS Supervisor for Health, Physical Education and Athletics Debbie DeFranco told ARLnow.com. The helmets all received five-star ratings from a new Virginia Tech Helmet Rating System, which grades helmets on safety from one (lowest) to five (highest) stars.

The helmets will replace current helmets that graded between two- and four-stars, said DeFranco, who added that all helmets APS has used in football practices and games had previously passed the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment tests for safety.

“We were really looking for the best our students could get,” DeFranco said. “Because safety is paramount in everything we do, [Superintendent Patrick Murphy] said when the study came out, ‘let’s see what we can do.’ We realized how many were not five-rated under the system, and replaced those with five-star rated helmets.”

The helmets are also adaptable to future technology, including in-development sensors to detect impact to the head. The sensors, if they are implemented in the future, would be able to measure hits that don’t necessarily result in concussions, but could still have negative impacts on a developing brain.

Head injuries in football have come under scrutiny in recent years after a spate of high-profile suicides among former NFL players and a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the NFL by former players accusing the league of covering up the long-term impacts of brain injuries. High school football players have also suffered, including some who have died on the field, from the impacts of the repeated blows to the head that are commonplace in football.

DeFranco said all athletes undergo “baseline testing” before the season starts to determine their cognitive function. That way, when they suffer an apparent head injury, trainers can measure their brain functionality and compare it to before the injury occurred.

“We have a series of protocols that are aligned with the state law and international standards for returning to play,” DeFranco said. “We make sure they’re seen by someone who’s an expert in brain injuries. Fortunately, because of the media notoriety [concussions have received], a lot of the pediatricians have gone ahead and gotten training in the field.”

“It’s hard because kids want to play, they want to practice, they don’t want to sit out and rest,” DeFranco continued. “We try to educate their peers to tell them they need to rest, because it can have residual effects. There have been unfortunate tragedies where kids can come back too soon where it has ended tragically. We want to avoid them at all costs.”

Former football player Chris Nowinski, a concussion expert and victim of post-concussion syndrome, will be training all APS coaches in a lecture that parents and athletes are encouraged to attend. Nowinski, co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, will speak at Wakefield High School on Monday, Sept. 15, at 7:00 p.m.

File photo

‘True Detective’ Band to Play Iota Club

by ARLnow.com | August 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 842 views | No Comments

Handsome Family, the band behind the theme for the hit HBO show “True Detective,” will be playing Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon later this month.

Handsome Family (courtesy photo)Playing a genre described as alternative country and “Gothic Americana,” Handsome Family is made up of husband-and-wife duo Brett Sparks and Rennie Sparks. The Sparks together play guitar, banjo, bass and ukulele in addition to providing vocals.

The New Mexico-based band is scheduled to headline a show at Iota on Thursday, Aug. 28, starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, available only at the door on the day of the show.

True Detective received 12 Emmy nominations last month, including outstanding music composition for a series. The awards show will air on Monday, Aug. 25, three days before the Iota concert.

Open Houses in Arlington This Weekend

by Ethan Rothstein | August 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm | 611 views | No Comments

There are just a few weeks left before schools open and summer as we know it is officially over. In between picnics and lamenting the time gone by, there are several open houses around the county worth checking out.

See our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

5300-columbia-pike5300 Columbia Pike
2 BD / 2 BA condominium
Agent: Brace Kennedy, Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $289,500
Open: Sunday, Aug. 17, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

4827-28th-street-s4827 28th Street S.
2 BD / 2 BA condominium
Agent: Gina Paxton, Redfin Corporation
Listed: $409,500
Open: Sunday, Aug. 17, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

1320-n-wayne-street1320 N. Wayne Street
2 BD / 2 BA condominium
Agent: Raynelle Araque, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $569,000
Open: Sunday, Aug. 17, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

4710-2nd-street-n4710 2nd Street N.
3 BD / 3 BA single family detached
Agent: Howard Gholson, Re/Max Premier
Listed: $669,500
Open: Sunday, Aug. 17, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

120-n-granada-street120 N. Granada Street
5 BD / 4 BA single family detached
Agent: Joseph Frangipane, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $875,000
Open: Saturday, Aug. 16, 1:00-4:00 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 17, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

4502-32nd-road-n4502 32nd Road N.
5 BD / 5 full, 2 half BA single family detached
Agent: Diane Lewis, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $2,995,000
Open: Sunday, Aug. 17, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Cracked Rail on Blue Line Snarls Morning Commute

by Ethan Rothstein | August 15, 2014 at 10:35 am | 1,899 views | No Comments

A cracked third rail between the Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn Metro stations caused at least four Blue Line trains to stop on the tracks, causing major delays and overcrowding on Blue, Orange and Silver Line platforms this morning.

The problems started before 8:00 a.m. as Blue Line trains traveling into D.C. from Arlington were becoming disabled when they were going over the cracked rail. On Twitter, one rider reported “Just past [Arlington National Cemetery] there was a loud pop and train went dark and shut off. We broke down after [Foggy Bottom].”

At 8:23 a.m., WMATA announced that all inbound Blue Line service had been suspended. By that time, Orange and Silver Line trains were experiencing significant delays, and platforms along the line — notably Ballston — were heavily crowded. At 9:10 a.m., Metro announced it had found the cracked rail, but didn’t return the Blue Line to service, via single-tracking, until 9:50.

Blue Line trains will continue to operate at about a 10-minute delay until the rail is repaired, according to WMATA, and Orange and Silver line trains may be slightly delayed at Rosslyn while the single-tracking continues.

UPDATED: Apartment Fire on Columbia Pike

by ARLnow.com | August 15, 2014 at 9:40 am | 2,517 views | No Comments

(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The Arlington County Fire Department responded to an apartment fire on Columbia Pike this morning.

The fire was reported around 9:30 a.m. in the rear mechanical room of an apartment building at 2008 Columbia Pike. Firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control and douse the flames.

No injuries were reported. It’s unclear if any residents will be displaced as a result of the fire.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 15, 2014 at 9:15 am | 2,645 views | No Comments

Sunset over Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Arlington Resident Acquitted of Murder – Christopher Deedy, a State Department special agent from Arlington, has been acquitted of murder after a second trial in Hawaii. Deedy maintained that he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a Hawaiian man in a Waikiki McDonald’s in 2011. [Associated Press]

Disgraced Principal Almost Took APS Job — Robin Toogood II resigned as an elementary school principal in Manassas City this summer following accusations that he exaggerated the credentials in his resume. Two years ago, Toogood was hired to be principal at Arlington’s Drew Model School, but his offer was rescinded when a group of parents “did basic Internet searches that brought up discrepancies in his record.” [Washington Post]

Best Grilled Cheese in Arlington? — DCist says Clarendon’s Galaxy Hut (2711 Wilson Blvd) has the best grilled cheese of any brick-and-mortar eatery in Arlington and is “one of the last remaining reasons to ever visit Arlington.” The website also lauded The Big Cheese food truck, a regular Arlington visitor, as being one of the best grilled cheese purveyors in the D.C. area. [DCist]

Educational Associations Endorse Sullivan — The Virginia Educational Association, along with the Arlington and Fairfax education associations, have endorsed Democrat Rip Sullivan in 48th District House of Delegates special election. “As the proud parent of four public school graduates, and as a graduate of our public school system myself, I understand the critical role education plays in developing a diverse economy and in developing our future leaders,” Sullivan said in a statement. [Rip Sullivan for Delegate]

Sullivan Faced Discrimination Lawsuit — Republicans are pouncing on Democratic House of Delegates candidate Rip Sullivan over his role in a lawsuit against his D.C. law firm, Reed Smith. Sullivan was the supervisor of an associate at the firm who sued alleging wrongful termination and disability discrimination. “Recent revelations show that while Rip Sullivan talks about equal rights in the work place and treating women with respect and fairness — his actions and an employment lawsuit prove otherwise,” said Arlington GOP Chairman Matt Wavro, in a statement. [Bearing Drift]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

D.C. Removes ‘Love Locks’ from Key Bridge

by Ethan Rothstein | August 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm | 1,553 views | No Comments

The D.C. Department of Transportation has removed the dozens of “love locks” that started popping up on the Key Bridge this year.

“We have [the locks] in our storage facility,” DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders said in an email. “The locks are in reasonably good condition. At some point [couples] will be able to make arrangements to retrieve them.”

ARLnow.com first reported the plan to remove the locks last week.

The locks — padlocks with the names or initials of couples written on them — are put there to commemorate relationships, and the trend has been popping up on bridges around the world. On Paris’ Pont des Arts bridge, thousands of couples attached locks to the bridge’s fencing, much like more than 50 couples did on the Key Bridge. The fencing collapsed in June under the weight.

Sanders said he’s unsure of how the locks were removed, and was also unable to say if locks have popped up on any other bridge in the city. DDOT officials will inspect other bridges for locks in the coming weeks, Sanders said.

Asked if DDOT will do anything to prevent couples from placing more locks on the Key Bridge in particular, he simply replied: “DDOT will take measures to protect the integrity of the bridge structure.”

‘Weapon and Gear Shop’ Plans Move to Nauck

by Ethan Rothstein | August 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 3,608 views | No Comments

A store selling civilian and military-grade weaponry and tactical gear is planning to move into the ground floor of a condominium building in the Nauck neighborhood.

SpecDive Tactical, which currently operates out of an apartment building on S. Abingdon Street in Fairlington, hopes to move into the ground floor of 2249 S. Shirlington Road, next door to Pizzoli Pizza. When contacted, SpecDive Tactical’s owner Gerald Rapp confirmed an agreement was in place to move into the space, but otherwise declined to comment on the record.

SpecDive’s initial building permit application was rejected, according to Arlington Community Planning, Housing and Development spokeswoman Helen Duong, “because there were no parking spaces available for the new retail.” CPHD has asked for a new plan with parking provided, Duong said.

The shop has been in business since 2012, according to the owner profile section of SpecDive’s Yelp page. It has a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Federal Firearm License, according to ATF records. On the Yelp page, Rapp says he was in the Marine Corps from 1985 to 1994 and a U.S. Navy deep sea diver after that.

“SpecDive, LLC., a veteran owned small business, was created in direct response to the need for the Military and federal law enforcement  to partner effectively with private industries to meet the current and future needs of a citizen-centric government and world leader,” the Yelp page reads.

The shop was the subject of a petition from Nauck residents back in March, who were hoping to prevent it from moving in.

“We, the members of the Nauck Civic Association Executive Committee are very concerned about locating this business in our community,” an email announcing the petition stated. “Although, we are attempting to solicit businesses to locate within our community, we are not convinced that this type of business fits the description of what the residents seek.”

Reached for comment last week, Nauck Civic Association President Alfred Taylor said nothing has changed regarding the NCA’s position on the gun shop. He noted that Rapp is expected to attend the September NCA meeting.

“The position of the Association has not changed in that they would rather not have a facility of that sort at that location,” Taylor wrote in an email, “but realize it is a by-right retail business in accordance with all zoning regulations.”

Rapp has already met with representatives from the county and Arlington Public Schools and members of the community, including Drew Model School Parent Teacher Association President Evan Thomas. Thomas said the PTA has no formal position on SpecDive’s planned move, and may or may not take one when its membership reconvenes after the school year begins.

“The general tone of the meeting was pretty cordial,” Thomas told ARLnow.com today. “What Jerry spent most of his time discussing was their security protocols, what they do, their process for selling firearms, answered questions in regards to how a person could go about obtaining a firearm, what types of firearms they could purchase and the difference between the requirements for a shotgun or rifle or pistol. Those are the items you can buy off the street, assuming you can pass the background check they do.”

Thomas, speaking as a parent and resident of the area, said Rapp assuaged some of his trepidation about a gun dealer moving into the neighborhood.

“I have two kids who attend Drew… so you’re always concerned about the safety of the area where there school is,” Thomas said. “At the end of the meeting I felt as comfortable as you can with a business like that. He’s very cognizant of the perils, the need for security and the implications of what could happen to him in terms of losing his business, losing his license, facing potential jail time if he slips up. I felt comfortable with him as a business owner.”

Driver Pleads Guilty to DUI Manslaughter in Fatal Rosslyn Crash

by Ethan Rothstein | August 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 2,652 views | No Comments

Aman Lail (Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff's OfficeThe driver who killed an Alexandria man in a drunk driving accident in Rosslyn on Jan. 24 pleaded guilty to DUI aggravated involuntary manslaughter today.

Aman Singh Lail, 24, was traveling eastbound on Lee Highway when his Jeep Wrangler slammed into the car of 24-year-old Saqlain Chowdhury at 2:09 a.m. Chowdhury was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he died.

The accident happened a block away from where Lail’s friend, Sami Ullah, died after driving 90 mph over Key Bridge 10 months earlier.

Lail pleaded guilty in Arlington Circuit Court this morning, and will face sentencing from Judge Louise DiMatteo on Nov. 14.

Lail, a Baltimore resident, had almost three dozen traffic violations on his record in Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington counties since 2008, including a driving while intoxicated arrest in Arlington in 2009 and a DWI conviction in Fairfax County in 2012, according to prosecutors. Lail faces between one and 20 years in prison.

“On Jan. 24, 2014, Aman Lail decided to endanger the National Capital Region by driving drunk,” Deputy Police Chief Daniel Murray said in a press release. “This decision cost Saqlain Chowdhury his life. The aggressive investigation and prosecution by the Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team has resulted in today’s plea. While there is nothing that will bring Mr. Chowdhury back to his family, at least Aman Lail will not present a danger to the community as long as he remains behind bars.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jay Burkholder.

“The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is pleased that the defendant entered guilty pleas today, but there are no good outcomes here,” Burkholder said. “Our thoughts continue to be with the victim’s family and friends as they struggle with this tragedy.”

Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff’s Office

Rip Sullivan: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | August 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm | 895 views | No Comments

Rip Sullivan (photo via Facebook)This month, we asked the candidates for the House of Delegates 48th District special election to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them on Aug. 19.

Here is Democrat Richard “Rip” Sullivan’s unedited response:

The election on August 19th is not just about the candidates. It’s about the values of this District’s voters and our shared vision of a more welcoming, innovative, forward-looking society.

I’m running to be your next Delegate because I share the core values of 48th District voters — opportunity, inclusiveness, and equality. I’m running because I refuse to sit back as 400,000 Virginians are denied healthcare services. I’m running so that our children inherit a clean environment. I’m running because voters of the 48th district deserve a Delegate who will passionately fight for their values, not minimize the importance of those values for the sake of winning an election.

The Washington Post endorsed my candidacy last week, noting that I’ve taken “forthright stances” and that “voters would know what they are getting with Mr. Sullivan.” Throughout this campaign, I’ve made clear where I stand and how I will vote on all the issues of importance to the 48th District.

  • On Medicaid, I unequivocally support expansion immediately.
  • On gun control reform, I support reinstating the one-gun-a-month law, universal background checks, limits to high capacity magazines, banning assault weapons, and closing the gun show loophole.
  • On women’s reproductive health, I believe those decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. I will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose.
  • On LGBT issues, I fully support marriage equality and ending workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • On the environment, I’ve shown how we can create a 21st century economy, with Virginia as a leader in creating jobs through clean technology and energy innovation.

In telling voters who I am, I have not tried to reposition myself or suggest that this is a single-issue election, because voters in the 48th District should base their vote on the many issues that will come before the General Assembly.

This is in stark contrast to my Republican opponent, Dave Foster, who is on the wrong side of so many issues. After interviewing him, the Washington Post concluded that Mr. Foster is a “shape-shifter,” saying “he has scrambled to rebrand himself… by taking vague, wait-and-see stands on several key issues.” The Editorial Board went on to highlight that his campaign strategy is “designed to mainly shift attention away from tough votes.”

And Mr. Foster acknowledges as much. At our most recent debate, Mr. Foster – again – refused to reveal to voters what his positions are on choice, gun control, marriage equality, or climate change. He sheepishly concluded to the audience that “I don’t talk about gun control and abortion… as I campaign for this because I know one has to establish priorities.”

Really?

Those are issues Dave will have to vote on in Richmond, and they are priorities to the voters. Voters are entitled to know where he stands before they cast their vote. (more…)

Dave Foster: Why You Should Vote for Me

by ARLnow.com | August 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm | 852 views | No Comments

Dave Foster (photo via Foster for Delegate)This month, we asked the candidates for the House of Delegates 48th District special election to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them on Aug. 19.

Here is Republican Dave Foster’s unedited response:

I have demonstrated as a two-term chairman of the Arlington School Board and President of the state board of education that my problem-solving, consensus-building style gets results for our citizens. We need effective bipartisan representation in Richmond to address the Arlington streetcar, Medicaid, schools, the state’s economy, and the many other pressing issues we face. I will be that voice for the citizens of the 48th District.

I have been married for 33 years to Martha Tyahla Foster, of McLean. Our two children attended Arlington and Fairfax public schools and graduated from Virginia universities. I was President of the Arlington County Civic Federation and involved in numerous other community nonprofits, advisory committees, and PTA’s. It is my concern for the welfare of our community that led me to seek the office of Arlington School Board and the same concern motivates me to seek the office of House of Delegates.

I am concerned, as you are, about having a balanced, rational approach to transportation issues in our area. Unlike my opponent, I oppose the Arlington Streetcar proposal because it is neither practical nor affordable and will consume up to $164 million in state transportation funds that could be better used elsewhere. Roads and Metro, schools and tax relief are far more important to Northern Virginians than this ill-considered project, which will not only require an initial investment of over $500 million but also an annual operating subsidy of several million dollars. If elected, I will introduce legislation to create a public referendum on the streetcar proposal so that taxpayers can have a voice in this decision just as they do on local bond proposals.

As a two-term Chairman of the Arlington School Board and former President of the Virginia Board of Education, I have worked for lower class sizes, improved school safety, enhanced foreign language offerings (Mandarin and Arabic), Virginia’s “No Child Left Behind” waiver, improved Standards of Learning (SOLs), and many other shared priorities. I would like to continue to my work to strengthen our public schools as your Delegate in Richmond. We must protect the cost-of-competing adjustment to state funding that recognizes the higher cost of providing high-quality education in Northern Virginia. We should also give our school boards increased local control over public school calendars and budgets. I know from leading both the Arlington School Board and the state board how critical adequate funding and local decision making are to our schools.

We must once again make Virginia the best place to start, expand, or relocate a business. I will protect our right to work law and oppose mandatory project agreements of the kind that almost derailed the Silver Line Metrorail. I will also resist the imposition of costly and unwarranted state regulatory mandates that duplicate federal mandates. Building upon the transportation package passed by the last General Assembly, with a focus on projects that reduce congestion, improve safety, and spur economic development, is also a priority.

Because I am the most experienced and effective candidate, I ask for your vote on August 19th.

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