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by Ethan Rothstein — October 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm 1,290 0

Issue buttons to be distributed by Alan Howze's campaignDemocratic Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze, trying to unseat the first non-Democratic Board member since 1999, is using buttons with issue buzzwords on them to try to generate a new wave of enthusiasm for his campaign.

The buttons, instead of being splashed with the candidate’s name in big letters, instead feature issues Howze’s campaign believes are most important to Arlington voters, like “great schools,” “mobility” and “affordability.”

“We created these campaign buttons after listening to residents express what makes Arlington special and what issues matter most to them,” Howze said in a press release. “From great schools to thinking ahead to open space, the buttons capture essential elements of our community. The buttons are a great way to start a conversation about our vision for the future of Arlington.”

Howze is trailing behind Vihstadt — who won the April special election by a 57-41 percent margin after former Board member Chris Zimmerman resigned in February — in fundraising less than a month before Election Day on Nov. 4. This morning, Howze issued a separate press release announcing his goal of “zero pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths from vehicle accidents,” and a plan to accomplish that, including accelerating the Intersection of Doom improvements.

Howze’s plan calls for “complete safe routes to ALL Arlington schools,” expanding sidewalks and increasing police attention toward drivers making unsafe maneuvers for pedestrians and cyclists. He has also recently released campaign plans for improving the Columbia Pike streetcar and enhancing discussion on public land use.

This morning, the Sun Gazette endorsed Vihstadt, saying his months of service on the County Board have proven he’s willing to ask questions other Board members do not:

In another year, Howze might well be our choice, as we think he does want to tackle significant issues.

But the message his election would send to the Democratic oligarchy that has run Arlington — sometimes exceptionally well, but not always so – over past decades is that the public has gotten the anger out of its system, and it’s back to business as usual. That can’t be allowed to happen.

“It’s not divisive to ask questions, and question authority,” Vihstadt said at a recent candidate forum. “If I lose, the status quo prevails.”

He’s right, and while Alan Howze likely would be a fine County Board member — far better than he has been as a candidate – we think it’s the wrong time to turn back the clock. Vihstadt deserves a four-year term.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 21, 2014 at 11:20 am 1,375 0

Actor Sean Astin, famous for playing Rudy in “Rudy” and Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will be among the tens of thousands of runners of the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday.

Preparations are currently underway for the race in Arlington. Astin and the estimated 30,000-plus runners — U.S. Marines and civilians — will also be joined by retired Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter.

Carpenter is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the armed services’ highest honor, for leaping in front of a grenade to protect a fellow Marine, and losing his right eye in the process. He was awarded the medal this June.

Carpenter will skydive into the race — which starts at 7:55 a.m. on Route 110 — along with 11 other jumpers, to deliver a 7,800-square-foot American flag before running in the 39th annual edition of the race, the U.S. Marine Corps said in a press release. The race is the third-biggest marathon in the country, in terms of participation, after the Boston and New York marathons.

The race will end, as always, at the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn.

Runners will start on Route 110, travel through Rosslyn and up Lee Highway to Spout Run Parkway, before heading down the George Washington Parkway, over the Key Bridge and into Georgetown.

After about 15 miles in the District, the runners will cross the 14th Street Bridge before traveling through Crystal City and Pentagon City. From there, runners will pass Long Bridge Park and the Pentagon before traveling back up Route 110, past Arlington National Cemetery, for the race’s conclusion back in Rosslyn.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District is hosting a kid’s day for children in the area to have fun while the family takes in the race. At the corner of 18th Street S. and Crystal Drive, there will be “moon bounces, face painting, arts and crafts, cotton candy, balloon animals, circus activities, and more,” and admission is free.

Rosslyn will be hosting the race’s finish festival, featuring numerous post-race events and activities, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Many of the roads in Rosslyn, Crystal City and Pentagon City will be shut down on Sunday to accommodate the race. The full list of closures in the county is provided by the Arlington County Police Department, but among the notable roadways that won’t be accessible are:

  • Wilson Blvd from N. Nash Street to Route 110, from 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway, from 4:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway, from Spout Run to Memorial Circle, from 7:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Eastbound Lee Highway, from Kirkwood Road to N. Lynn Street, from 7:00-10:00 a.m.
  • All lanes of the Key Bridge, from 7:00 a.m. to noon
  • Crystal Drive from 12th to 23rd Streets S., from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Columbia Pike, from S. Rotary Road to the Washington Blvd ramp, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  •  Washington Blvd, from Columbia Pike to the Route 110 off-ramp, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

There will also be plenty of road closures in the District to accommodate the race, including in Georgetown and along the National Mall. Parking restrictions will be in place along the course in both Arlington and the District.

by ARLnow.com — October 21, 2014 at 10:15 am 6,227 0

Timothy Lowe (photo courtesy ACPD)A man was arrested Thursday night after allegedly doing push-ups in public while naked, then resisting arrest.

The incident happened around 8:00 p.m. on the 3200 block of 24th Street S. Police say a local resident, 31-year-old Timothy Lowe, was nude and doing push-ups in the middle of the street.

“The subject ignored numerous commands by police and began approaching officers in an aggressive manner while yelling obscenities,” according to a crime report. “The subject was taken into custody following a taser deployment.”

Lowe has been charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice. He was under the influence of the drug PCP at the time of the incident, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Lowe, who spoke out against what he described as police profiling and harassment at a community forum on policing a day prior to his arrest, has had other run-ins with the law.

In September, he was arrested and charged in connection to a stabbing in the Nauck neighborhood.

Photo courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com — October 21, 2014 at 9:25 am 1,299 0

10/19/14 leaves (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Arlington Spends More on Low-Income Students — Arlington Public Schools spend about $21,000 per pupil on low-income students, compared to the $12,000 it spends on more affluent students, according to data from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. [Greater Greater Washington]

Tornado Struck Alexandria Last Week — A weak EF-0 tornado struck part of Alexandria this past Wednesday. A Tornado Warning was issued for Arlington as the tornado tracked north. [National Weather Service]

Teachers Endorse Kanninen — The Arlington Education Association’s political action committee has endorsed Barbara Kanninen for School Board. The teachers group said “Barbara understands that all types of students need personal support and that teachers are important partners in making this happen.” Kanninen is running against Audrey Clement.

Arlington’s ‘Ten Commandments’ — A parody video showing “Arlington County Government’s Ten Commandments” has been created by someone calling themselves “Jim Taxpayer.” The video includes commandments like “With These Riches, Which Have Become Thine, Build A New Covenant, A Glorious Car of Street, Thy Chariot of Vanity.” [YouTube]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm 2,575 0

U.S. Park Police badgeA pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle on the George Washington Parkway.

The collision happened around 8:30 Sunday night. A driver vehicle heading northbound struck a pedestrian just before the exit to Spout Run. The striking vehicle then drove off, continuing on northbound, according to U.S. Park Police.

The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is “currently being treated at a local hospital and remains in critical condition,” police said Monday night. It’s unclear why he or she was on foot in or along the roadway.

Investigators don’t have a description of the vehicle, and are asking witnesses to come forward.

“Commuters traveling north on the George Washington Memorial Parkway that may have witnessed this crash or may have information is asked to contact the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737,” Park Police said.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm 9,672 0

Hazmat response for possible Ebola patient at the Pentagon on 10/17/14Virginia Hospital Center refused to admit the potential Ebola patient from the Pentagon on Friday, according to county officials, despite the hospital saying two weeks earlier that it was ready to handle such patients.

Responding to an inquiry from ARLnow.com today, the Arlington County Fire Department confirmed reports that VHC refused the woman — who at the time was thought to potentially have the deadly Ebola virus — when medics brought her to the hospital. She never left the ambulance.

“We were turned away,” said ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani. “We followed our protocol and brought the patient to the closest hospital (VHC), at which point we were rerouted to Fairfax Inova.”

VHC has not responded to multiple requests for comment from ARLnow.com. Marchegiani said the hospital claimed not to be prepared for such a patient, even though the department had previously been told VHC could accept suspected Ebola patients.

“The reason told to our medical director was that they couldn’t handle the patient,” said Marchegiani. Earlier this month, however, VHC told TV station WUSA 9 that it was ready to deal with potential Ebola patients.

“Virginia Hospital Center wants to reassure our community that the Hospital has the infrastructure and procedures already in place to screen, and if necessary, isolate, test and treat all high-risk patients. We drill and prepare for just such situations; therefore, our staff is highly trained to take appropriate precautions for a suspected and/or confirmed Ebola case.

A multi-disciplinary taskforce has reviewed our infection control guidelines and reinforced education of the Hospital staff to ensure it can detect a patient with Ebola Virus Disease, protect all healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond to the patient in a timely manner.”

An ARLnow.com tipster indicates emergency responders called the VHC emergency room from the scene at the Pentagon, and were told to bring the patient over. The tipster claims hospital administration refused to allow the patient inside once she arrived at the hospital. The person tells ARLnow.com there was a “heated exchange” between the emergency physician and hospital administration inside the emergency room while the patient waited in the ambulance. The tipster also claims hospital administration worried it would lose business if it came to be seen as an “Ebola hospital.”

The county’s emergency officials reportedly have had talks with officials at VHC since the incident. ACFD confirms VHC has agreed to accept potential Ebola patients in the future.

Arlington County officials also have confirmed that the patient had not traveled to West Africa, as she allegedly first told authorities. In fact, she had not left the country at all, the county said, and had no contact with other potentially infected people.

“She had stated that she had traveled to Sierra Leone at the scene and did exhibit symptoms consistent with Ebola, so responders took all appropriate steps,” said Diana Sun, Arlington County’s Director of Communications. “There was an investigative process that went beyond Arlington. During the course of this, people close to the patient were interviewed and stated that she had not left the country. The patient herself, later in the afternoon, recanted her story and said that she had not left the country. When that last piece came in, public health officials felt confident in not pursuing” further testing for the Ebola virus.

There’s no word yet on whether the woman will face any charges.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm 979 0

Arlington Police traffic stopTraffic tickets and criminal fines in Arlington County will now cost $5 more to fund the implementation of an electronic summons system.

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the fee at its meeting Saturday. Earlier this year, the state General Assembly passed a provision to a state law this year that allows localities to levy up to a $5 fee on summons for traffic and criminal cases to fund the establishment of an electronic system for filing summons for traffic tickets.

According to the county staff report, the Arlington County Police Department issued 42,761 traffic citations and made 5,102 arrests from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. The county estimates the new fee would add $200,000 in annual revenue, and that the new system would cost $150,000 for equipment to implement.

“When motorists are stopped by police, it adds an element of danger as both the motorists and officers are exposed to passing traffic,” the staff report states. “An electronic summons system would lessen the chances of a road shoulder accident during the course of the officers’ traffic stop and also provide the motorist with a faster and more efficient transaction.

“An electronic summons system will also significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in the processing of issued citations,” the staff report continues. “With an electronic summons system, citation data would be automatically scanned and electronically entered at the point of activity. Personnel will no longer have to subsequently re-enter data from hand-written summons. Once the citation is completed, the transaction data is sent electronically to the court’s case management systems, usually within 24 hours. This will also allow violators to prepay their fines promptly and aid the courts in managing their dockets while tracking their caseloads. The utilization of the electronic summons system will help reduce data entry errors.”

The money that doesn’t go toward paying for the equipment will fund the summons system’s maintenance. Equipment for the system includes handheld devices for officers, driver’s license scanners, portable printers and and barcode readers. Once maintenance for the next three years is fully funded, the county says, it will consider removing the $5 fee.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm 3,599 0

Village Sweet logoIf you have a sweet tooth, get ready to spend time hanging out at a new shop coming to Westover. “Village Sweet” bakery is preparing to move in at 5872 Washington Blvd.

Owner Dawn Hart has operated a customized sugar cookie business online since 2006. She had wanted to expand her offerings and to secure a brick-and-mortar location, which would allow her to stop renting commercial kitchen space. It was her dream to open in Westover, the neighborhood where she lives, but she didn’t think any space would open up. It just so happened that the day after she talked to her husband about the prospect of opening a bakery in Westover, he ran into the landlord for the space Village Sweet now will occupy.

“We’re very excited and the location honestly could not be better,” said Hart. “It’s such a happening place.”

Although customers can continue to order the customized cookies Hart made so popular with Monster Cookie Co., the shop will serve a wide variety of sweets. Donuts, guava and cotija cheese pastries, seasonal granolas and dark chocolate cookies with steal cut oats are some of the goodies Hart plans to offer. She’s still playing around with the full menu and will do small recipe taste test events until the shop opens.

“We’re pairing some things a lot of people probably have not had before and opening up some unique flavors,” Hart said.

Something she’s passionate about is making sure the treats taste good, but also are baked on-site each morning with quality, local ingredients. There will be gluten-free and nut-free options for customers with allergies.

“We’re baking foods you’re going to feel good about eating. They’re not loaded with preservatives. They’re the best quality pastries you can possibly get. It’s just an updated version of your’s mom’s baking,” said Hart. “If you’re going to put a doughnut in your mouth, you should feel good about it. It’s so important to me, the quality of what people are eating.”

During the day the shop will have seating for customers, but certain nights will be designated for groups to rent out the space for custom cookie decorating parties. The bakers will come up with custom sugar cookies for nearly any occasion — such as kids’ birthdays, book clubs and holiday parties — and customers get to ice and decorate the cookies however they choose.

Village Sweet does not yet have a firm opening date, but Hart hopes it will be in January. There will be a grand opening celebration once she feels operations are running smoothly.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm 320 0

The Scratching Post banner

Editor’s Note: The Scratching Post is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff at NOVA Cat Clinic.

Don’t we all love Halloween? It is so much fun, but we need to be careful for our cats.

Some candy can be toxic to cats. How can something so wonderful be dangerous? Chocolate, especially the darker types, is toxic to cats. Chocolate has caffeine and theobromine. When ingested, these two ingredients can lead to various medical complications and may even prove fatal for your cat.

The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is used in gums and several candies, is also toxic to cats. The ingestion of xylitol primarily affects insulin release throughout the body. Xylitol causes the release of insulin from the pancreas into circulation leading to a rapid decrease of blood glucose levels. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur within 30 to 60 minutes of xylitol ingestion. This hypoglycemia can lead to liver toxicity, liver damage, and ultimately liver failure. Xylitol is perfectly safe for people, but because of different metabolisms, it can be fatal for dogs and cats.

So be careful to not let candy be lying around or fall out of your trick or treat bag. Click here for a link to the ASPCA hotline.

Some cats love to play with and then eat dangling decorations.  Just make sure the decorations are out of reach. Vomiting is the most common symptom of the ingestion of foreign bodies.  We want to be sure you do not spend the holiday in the emergency room. Although we are more likely to think of this during the winter holidays, there are those of us who go all out for Halloween too. Come by our office if you’d like to see our feline friendly decorations.

If you have outdoor cats, you may want to consider limiting their outdoor time during this period. This is especially true for black cats. Unfortunately, not everyone loves cats as much as we do.

You may want to consider a Feliway plug-in during the holidays. Lots of strange people coming to your door may frighten your cat and put them in seclusion.  Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that can help calm kitties nerves. There are other anti-anxiety options including over the counter products such as anxitane.  There are also a couple of prescription diets that can reduce anxiety. Royal Canin has a diet called Calm, and Hill’s has c/d stress.

Finally, if you dress your cat up for Halloween, please send us your photos to office@novacatclinic.com. We would love to put them on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

You may want to ask your cat about their costume, though. Not all of them are very excited about dressing up.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm 958 0

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders and funders. The Ground Floor is Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Cards from the Cards Against Urbanity party gameIf there’s a game that seems tailor-made for Arlington, it’s a take on a boozy card game that encourages thinking about smart growth and urban planning.

That’s the premise behind “Cards Against Urbanity,” a spinoff of the popular Cards Against Humanity party game that replaces the original’s mix of raunchy and offensive questions and answers with tongue-in-cheek  cards about living in a city. Cards include questions like “My city’s latest economic plan is _____” with answers like “Sexy firefighter fundraisers.”

Cards Against Urbanity is a Kickstarter idea, with a deadline: the only time people can buy the game is by donating to the Kickstarter, which closes at 10:19 p.m. A $30 pledge gets the funder the 234-card game, and a pledge of $65 also includes a Cards Against Urbanity T-shirt.

Cards Against Urbanity’s cards are the same size and materials as the original to allow for crossover and mixing and matching with the original game and its expansion packs. According to the game’s creators, there won’t be any chances to buy the game after 10:19 tonight.

The game’s creators are all planners, architects and economic development professionals with D.C. ties. The idea was started by Lisa Nisenson, an urban planner and co-founder of crowdsourced urban design solutions startup GreaterPlaces, and Sarah Lewis, of the urban planning think tank DoTank DC. The two and a group of urban planners and architects were at a planning conference, Nisenson said, playing Cards Against Humanity when someone suggested “it’d be fun to have a city version” of the game.

A month later, neither Lewis nor Nisenson could get the idea out of their head, so they decided to make the game. They asked permission from Cards Against Humanity, which allowed the team to develop the idea, as long as they agreed “not to make any money off of it,” Nisenson said.

“What we’re asking for is just to cover the cost of the game and the Kickstarter,” Nisenson said.

She, Lewis and their five co-creators guessed how many of their friends would buy the game and priced the Kickstarter goal accordingly. They figured 250 people would buy it, so they set the goal at $7,500. With a little more than 10 hours to go, the campaign has 753 backers and has raised $26,393.

Initially, the game creators thought only other planners, architects and economic development workers would have interest in the game, but the response — which has been across the spectrum and global — has changed her tune.

Cards Against Urbanity co-creator Lisa Nisenson“Our big takeaway from this is that if you make planning fun,” Nisenson said, “there is an audience that is really hungry for it.”

As they were developing the game, Nisenson and Lewis were giving some cards a test drive at “a rooftop happy hour” in Arlington when other customers approached them, asked to play, and offered their own suggestions for cards, like an answer card that says simply “Lead Paint. YOLO.”

“Everyone was immediately into it,” Lewis said. “They asked to join us and play a couple rounds. It validated our initial thoughts that this was something people would want to play and enjoy.”

Nisenson said that even though Arlington is viewed nationally as a model for inclusive city planning and urban design, there is still a huge opportunity to engage people who are invested in the community but, for whatever reason, haven’t previously been involved in the process.

“Cities are hot,” Nisenson said. “People want to know how to get involved and they don’t know where to start.”

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 10:50 am 1,012 0

Fairlington farmers market location (photo via Arlington County)Residents in Fairlington won’t have to go as far to get fresh produce, starting next year. On Saturday, Arlington County Board members unanimously approved allowing a an open-air farmers market in Fairlington.

The market will take place at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street) from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Sundays from April through November. The special use permit allows for 15 to 20 vendors and up to 29 tents on a pedestrian path behind the community center.

The use permit will allow the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, Inc., to operate the market. That’s the same organization running the Westover farmers market. In order to accommodate concerns about noise, no amplified music or speakers of any kind will be allowed.

Nearly a dozen residents showed up to express their opinions of how the market may affect the community. With one exception, all the speakers supported the market.

“Farmers markets are intended to be neighborhood affairs,” said resident Douglas Penn. “It’s a natural enhancement to a community that already exists. It’s another jewel in the crown.”

Some residents previously had expressed concern that a farmers market at the community center would affect parking. County staff notes that the market is on several bus lines and there is ample free parking in the area. The special use permit will come up for renewal in October 2015, and Board members say at that time they would address any parking concerns that may still exist. The Board also has the authority to examine formal complaints before the permit comes up for renewal.

“I do think this is a good thing. I am aware that there are some folks that are upset. Which is part of the reason I’m going to look at the parking and try to reassure them. But we absolutely need to give it a try,” said Board member Libby Garvey, who is also a Fairlington resident. “I will kick up a fuss if there really is a problem for some folks who do not have the parking that they need.”

The Fairlington farmers market will be the ninth farmers market in Arlington. It is expected to open in April 2015.

by ARLnow.com — October 20, 2014 at 9:30 am 2,077 0

Police directing traffic at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street on the morning of 10/20/14

Va. ‘Fully Committed’ to Streetcar Funding — Despite budget cuts, the Commonwealth of Virginia is still “fully committed” to providing up to $65 million for the Columbia Pike streetcar project, according to the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. [Washington Post]

Name Proposed for New Elementary School — “Discovery Elementary” is the name proposed by a steering committee for the new elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus. The name will be formally presented to the school board on Thursday. [InsideNova]

Firefighters Endorse Vihstadt — The Arlington County firefighters and paramedics union has endorsed John Vihstadt for reelection in the race for Arlington County Board.

Candidate Forum Tonight — The Radnor Fort Myer Heights Civic Association will hold a forum with the candidates for Congress, County Board, Treasurer and School Board tonight at 7:00 p.m. [Ode Street Tribune]

by Ethan Rothstein — October 20, 2014 at 5:00 am 0

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.

Tuesday

Wakefield logoThe Ultimate Wakefield Warrior
Wakefield High School small gym (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Members of Wakefield’s Interact service club compete in five Crossfit style exercises, all to raise money for A-SPAN. Students have already raised $700 and hope the competition will raise greater awareness.

Wednesday

Close-the-Door-to-Homelessness-HH-2014-10-22-FlyerClose the door to Homelessness*
Sushi Rock (1900 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Arlington Thrive is hosting a happy hour to raise money for its homelessness prevention cause. A $10 donation is encouraged, and raffle tickets for prizes will be sold. Register online here.

Friday

Homebody SandmanLive Music: Homeboy Sandman
IOTA Club & Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 9:00 p.m.

Renowned underground hip-hop artist Homeboy Sandman takes the stage at the cozy IOTA Club. The lyrically deft “Boy Sand” brings his high energy shows to Arlington. Tickets are $12 at the door only.

Saturday

POP Halloween PartyPotomac Overlook Halloween Party*
Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N. Marcey Road)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Potomac Overlook hosts a party with “live music, food, games, arts and crafts, storytelling, and guided hikes through the woods.” Guests must register and pay $10 in advance by calling 703-528-5406.

eminova_and_belovA Night of Italian Opera*
Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Opera stars soprano Yana Eminova and baritone Anton Belov perform pieces from famous Italian operas like Don Giovanni and La Traviata with the National Chamber Ensemble. Adult tickets are $30.

Halloween Trail of TerrorHalloween Trail of Terror
Douglas Park cemetery (S. Quincy and 16th Streets)
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The trail of terror returns to scare visitors for another year. Guests bring canned goods for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and get a fright in the cemetery. There’s a separate trail for children.

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm 3,615 0

Metroway bus in Crystal City (Photo courtesy Donna Gouse)

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey.

What transportation projects should we fund in Arlington with the money we save from not building a streetcar?

This is an important question. John Vihstadt and I asked our staff exactly this question during a work session on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) this summer. Our staff said they could provide a list if a majority of our Board colleagues voted to ask for it, but our three Board colleagues voted against it. So neither we, nor the public, has the benefit of staff’s expertise and analysis to answer this question.

We do know that the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcars are projected to cost over $500 million and consume about 19% of our Capital Improvement Program. We also know that these streetcars will require over $8 million and perhaps millions more per year in annual operating costs. We all should be wondering what could and should we do with this money instead.

If we reprogram those local and state dollars, here are some possibilities we might fund partially or fully:

1. Expand and improve the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Crystal City so it operates more like a streetcar with side opening doors. Run it frequently and all the time. Connect it to the BRT line in Alexandria. Work with Fairfax and run BRT all the way down Route 1 to Fort Belvoir. Take the BRT line down the route planned for the streetcar on Columbia Pike, and take it into Annandale. Run a BRT line from Rosslyn out Lee Highway and work with Fairfax and Loudoun to take it all the way to Leesburg. Work with Montgomery County, Maryland and D.C. and take a BRT line from Arlington and the Pentagon to D.C. and on to Rockville or further. In other words, build a robust regional BRT service that people can depend on to get them where they want to go conveniently and efficiently.

2. Address the dangerous intersection at Lynn Street and Lee Highway at Key Bridge with a permanent and effective solution to protect pedestrians and cyclists. This likely means significant construction to rework the intersection. We could improve pedestrian and cyclist safety around the county at other places like East Falls Church.

3. Add much needed new Metro entrances at Rosslyn and Ballston.

4. Add a whole new Metro station in Rosslyn as called for in the Metro Momentum plan.

5. Pay for some of the huge capital costs Metro anticipates in their Metro Momentum capital improvement plan. While not detailed yet, this is a large expense that looms in the near future. Currently we have not planned how we will pay for it.

6. With the old bridges over the Potomac needing extensive reconstruction soon and the huge casino opening at Harbor Place the need for more ways to cross the river is clear. Transportation funds could be used for a new bridge, or tunnel or even dock facilities for a Potomac ferry service. A recent study showed a ferry to be economically viable. National Airport is a natural location for a dock. Besides millions of tourists arriving there each year, thousands of people commute to and from Ft. Belvoir and other military bases located on the river every day.

In sum, taxes will be lower and transportation better without a streetcar. There are many needed transportation improvements that will have to wait until we can raise taxes or get federal and state dollars to fund them if we waste over $500 million on a streetcar.

To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to arlingtonnews@gmail.com. Letters to the editor may be edited for content and brevity.

Photo courtesy Donna Gouse

by Ethan Rothstein — October 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm 971 0

John Vihstadt and Alan Howze debate at the Arlington Civic federation on Sept. 2, 2014Incumbent John Vihstadt continues to outpace Democratic challenger Alan Howze in fundraising before the two square off in the Nov. 4 Arlington County Board election.

According to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project, Vihstadt enters the home stretch of the election with $89,058 in cash on hand after raising $42,908 last month. Howze has $22,800 in cash on hand after raising $36,847 last month.

Vihstadt’s biggest donation was a $5,000 gift from Arlington County firefighters, who gave him $2,500 during his special election campaign against Howze in April. That election, in which Vihstadt also outraised Howze, the Republican-endorsed independent became the first non-Democrat member of the County Board in more than a decade.

Outside of the firefighters group, all of Vihstadt’s receipts of $1,000 or more came from individuals in Arlington, except for $1,000 from Christopher Brigham in Fairfax.

Howze received just two donations of more than $1,000: $2,500 each from Jennifer Marie Bodie and the Reston-based “Laborers Mid Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition.” Several of Howze’s donations came from elected officials and their campaign war chests, including Walter Tejada, Del. Alfonso Lopez and state Sen. Barbara Favola.

In the race for the 8th Congressional District, Democrat Don Beyer raised almost $570,000, according to federal election filings, in the period from July 1 to Sept. 30, and has $168,468 in cash on hand. Beyer raised almost $400,000 for the Democratic primary in June, far outpacing his opponents.

Republican Micah Edmond raised $37,177 in the past quarter, and has $25,686 in cash on hand for the final month in his bid to upset Beyer, the heavy favorite.

In Virginia’s Senate race, incumbent Sen. Mark Warner (D) raised just over $2 million last month to enter the final month before the election with $8.1 million in cash on hand. Republican challenger Ed Gillespie’s raised $1.8 million in the last quarter.

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