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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 21, 2014 at 9:15 am | 1,609 views | No Comments

Crystal City in the distance from the Route 1 bus lanes in Alexandria

Dems Breathe Sigh of Relief After Win — Local Democrats have a bit more of a bounce in their step following Rip Sullivan’s convincing 48th District House of Delegates victory. Some believed that Arlington was becoming more competitive for Republicans, following John Vihstadt’s County Board win in April. Sullivan, however, significantly outperformed Alan Howze, Vihstadt’s Democratic opponent, winning every 48th District precinct. [InsideNova]

Woman Gives Birth on I-66 — A woman gave birth in her car on I-66 in Arlington early this morning. The woman was pulled over onto the shoulder of the eastbound lanes near Washington Blvd when the baby was delivered. Emergency personnel arrived after the delivery and transported mother and baby to the hospital. [Washington Post]

Shirlington Oktoberfest Date Set — Capitol City Brewing has set the date of its annual Oktoberfest celebration in Shirlington, which is billed as the largest Oktoberfest beer festival in Northern Virginia. The street festival, featuring 65+ breweries and German food and music, is set for Saturday, Oct. 4. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]

Falls Church Man Indicted for Sex Trafficking — A Falls Church man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for “engaging in the sex trafficking of a child and transporting a minor across state lines for prostitution.” Alan Cooley, 34, allegedly used force and threats to force a 17-year-old runaway to perform sex acts for money. [U.S. Justice Department]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 7, 2014 at 9:30 am | 1,092 views | No Comments

Sidewalk in Westover

Dems Back Special Election Candidates – At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Democratic Committee formally nominated Carla de la Pava for treasurer and endorsed Nancy Van Doren for School Board. Both candidates are running in special elections to take place at the same time as the November 4 general election. [InsideNova]

Possible Attempt to Resurrect Arlington’s Tourism Tax — Two candidates looking to fill the seat of Del. Bob Brink both said at a recent debate that they would introduce legislation to bring back Arlington’s tourism surtax on hotel bills. Democrat Richard “Rip” Sullivan and Republican David Foster both favor the tax, which had been in place for 21 years until it lapsed in 2011, due to anger over the County Board suing the state and federal governments over high occupancy toll lanes. [InsideNova]

Arlington Man Wins Axe Throwing Competition — Arlington resident Christopher R. Miller won the 2014 Lizzie Borden Axe Throwing competition in Falls Church. He is the brother-in-law of last year’s winner. [Falls Church News-Press]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 6, 2014 at 9:15 am | 1,752 views | No Comments

Lyon Village Park

Petition to Protect Thomas Jefferson Park — Some Arlington residents have started a petition to protect Thomas Jefferson Park from redevelopment. Last month, the county announced it had commissioned a working group to study the land around Thomas Jefferson Middle School, including TJ Park, for the site of a new elementary school. [WTOP]

Arlington Mill Residences Nominated for AwardAffordable Housing Finance Magazine has selected The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s (APAH) Arlington Mill Residences as one of 34 finalists in the annual Reader’s Choice Awards competition. It’s the only nominated property in the D.C. metro area. Readers can see the other finalists online and vote for the Arlington Mill Residences in the Best Overall Development category. [Affordable Housing Finance Magazine]

Rosebud Film Festival Accepting Entries — The Rosebud Film and Video Festival is accepting entries for the 2014 competition. The festival is open exclusively to Virginia, D.C. and Maryland film artists. A panel will select 20 nominees to have their work screened at Artisphere in January. Five winners will be chosen from that pool and will be announced at a gala at Clarendon Ballroom. [Arlington Independent Media]

Chili Cookoff Competitors Wanted — The Arlington County Democratic Committee is looking for people to compete in its annual chili cookoff. The event will take place on Labor Day (Sept. 1). [InsideNova]

Dems Honor Moran Before Primary

by Ethan Rothstein | June 9, 2014 at 11:15 am | 670 views | No Comments

Rep. Jim Moran was honored by local Democrats Saturday night, just three days before the primary that will choose his would-be successor.

Hundreds of Democrats were on hand Saturday at the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner in Ballston. Moran, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 after serving as the mayor of Alexandria, was the keynote speaker.

Six of the seven Democratic candidates to replace him — Don Beyer, Lavern Chatman, Patrick Hope, Mark Levine, Bill Euille and Derek Hyra — were in attendance, while state Sen. Adam Ebbin did not attend because he was at the Capital Pride Parade, according to his campaign.

Three of Moran’s colleagues in the House — Rep. Gerry Connolly, who represents Fairfax County, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) — spoke to honor him, and Edwards, the recruitment chair for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, touched on Tuesday’s primary.

“I wish every one of you in this room a lot of luck on Tuesday,” she said before turning her attention to Moran. “It’s tough to get a Marylander to come across the river, but for Jim Moran, I would swim across that river.”

ACDC Chairman Kip Malinosky presented Moran with a gift of boxing gloves because, he said, the Massachusetts native has always “been a fighter.”

Moran’s fighting reputation stems from his impassioned floor speeches, his penchant for taking unpopular stances, and from two noted incidents in 1995: when he shoved  Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham out of the House chambers, before fellow congressmen and police officers broke up the scuffle, and when Moran threatened to break another Congressman’s nose.

“A champion is leaving the ring,” Malinosky said.

Moran spoke for about 15 minutes in a more subdued tone than many are used to hearing him. He expressed frustration over how difficult it has become to deal with Republicans — “If you’re on the terrorist watch list, maybe you shouldn’t be able to buy an assault rifle. Just a thought,” — and gratitude for being able to serve in the House for more than two decades

“I realize that I’ve been blessed and am very, very lucky to represent this area,” he said. “There are still things that I find terribly frustrating, but we have to keep fighting for them.”

Moran made no mention of the people vying to replace him or the election on Tuesday, but he kept his eye to the future, telling the room the current Republican Party would soon become “anachronistic.”

“We are going to set that example for the rest of the country in areas like Arlington and in areas with people that are representatives like Donna and Xavier and many of our other Democratic leaders,” he said. “I mean, it sounds trite, but the future of this country lies with the Democratic Party.”

Becerra, who was elected two years after Moran in his district in Los Angeles, reminded those in attendance that Moran was in the minority over his years in congress in voting against 1997′s Defense of Marriage Act and voting against the Iraq War after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I am proud that I serve along with Jim Moran,” Becerra said. “We will miss you, but you have made us a better country.”

Kanninen Wins Democratic Nod for School Board

by Ethan Rothstein | May 19, 2014 at 11:00 am | 1,159 views | No Comments

Barbara Kanninen votes for herself in the 2014 School Board Democratic caucus (Flickr pool photo by wolfkann)(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Barbara Kanninen won the Democratic endorsement for the Arlington School Board this weekend, a narrow victory in the caucus over Nancy Van Doren and Greg Greeley.

Kanninen, who narrowly lost to School Board member James Lander in last year’s Democratic endorsement caucus, defeated Nancy Van Doren by a similar margin this year, with 1,812 votes to Van Doren’s 1,794. Before an instant runoff was conducted, and Greeley’s votes were distributed to voters’ “second choice” candidates, the margin was a bit wider: Kanninen received 1,549 votes, Van Doren 1,329 and Greeley received 839.

Kanninen campaigned for reduced standardized testing among Arlington Public Schools students and said she was “uncomfortable” when Arlington was announced as the top-spending school system in the state. She also said that one way to solve APS’ growing capacity issue was flexible spending during a debate among the three candidates last month.

Kanninen, an economist and children’s book author, said through working on advisory boards for both the School Board and County Board over the years, as well as with children in Arlington and D.C., she has the experience needed to be a productive Board member.

“Our schools are important to all of us, whether we are parents, teachers, homeowners, or citizens who want to live in a community that values education,” she wrote in her candidate essay for ARLnow.com this month. “Collectively, we have the energy, the brains, and the will to do great things for our kids and our community.”

Kanninen told ARLnow.com in an email Monday afternoon that she enjoyed “the many lively and informative discussions” she’s had with the community during what she called “a vigorous campaign that highlighted Arlingtonians’ deep commitment to making our schools the best they can be.”

Van Doren announced after the caucus results were counted that she would be throwing her support behind Kanninen for the general election in November, for which Kanninen now becomes the odds-on favorite. She will run to fill the seat left vacant by retiring School Board member Sally Baird.

“I wholeheartedly support Barbara in the upcoming general election as she faces the challenges in our school system,” Van Doren said in a press release. “Our community needs to work together to face the challenge of continuing to improve educational outcomes while working with the county to find space for our growing student population.”

Greeley, in an email to ARLnow.com, also congratulated Kanninen, saying the campaign was a chance to have “a great discussion about the future of our schools.”

“Barbara ran a strong campaign,” Greeley wrote. “She had the experience and organization from her campaign last year. Last year’s campaign also provided a degree of name recognition that ultimately proved decisive this year. I look forward to working with her to address the important issues our school system faces, most notably our looming capacity crisis.”

Flickr pool photo by wolfkann

ACDC Newsletter: Vihstadt Won Because of Perceived County Board ‘Arrogance’

by Ethan Rothstein | May 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm | 2,295 views | No Comments

Alan Howze speaks at the Democrat's election party 4/8/14(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) The latest edition of the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s monthly newsletter, The Voice, indicates that many Democrats feel the Arlington County Board is to blame for the results of last month’s special election.

New County Board member John Vihstadt defeated Democrat Alan Howze by a 57-41 percent margin, becoming the first non-Democrat elected to the Board since 1999.

“The overriding conclusion of Democrats who campaigned long and hard was that voters were ticked off at what they perceived as ‘arrogrance’ by the County Board,” The Voice, written by Editor-in-Chief Warren L. Nelson and Deputy Editor Eric Wiener, said in a front page story. “What was most remarkable, however, was that this concern about arrogance was not just voiced by those who voted for John Vihstadt but by legions of voters who stuck by the Democratic candidate, Alan Howze.”

“The overriding issue of the special election was the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar,” the newsletter noted.

The Voice wrote that ACDC President Kip Malinosky addressed the local party’s Steering Committee and asked for assessments. The committee members, the Voice writes, “disagreed strongly” with the voters’ claims of Board arrogance, but “found it prevalent as they campaigned and talked with voters.”

“This election wasn’t about Alan or John or the ACDC,” one Steering Committee member wrote, “it was about the current ruling coalition on the County Board, and their aloofness, hubris and tone-deaf attitude toward their constituents.”

“I believe real changes need to be made about the way Arlington is run,” another Steering Committee member said, “and about the specific policies the Board has committed to without obtaining citizen approval… Real changes need to be made to show Arlingtonians we have absorbed the lessons of [the special election].”

The newsletter also argued that Vihstadt may not be as much of an underdog in the upcoming November rematch against Howze as some Democrats like to think.

Many around the party argued that this was only a special election with a small voter turnout — the typical scenario where the GOP does well–and that things will be different in November. But that was not the view that prevailed among those party workers who were most active in contacting voters.

The turnout was large for a special election, a record, in fact. ACDC’s ground campaign effort was widely seen as very effective in getting out the Democratic vote. But as one campaigner said, “Many of them then voted for Vihstadt.”

The newsletter, released this week, comes on the heels of County Board member Libby Garvey, who supported and donated to Vihstadt’s campaign, resigning from the ACDC after Malinosky called for a hearing to potentially remove her.

Garvey spoke to ARLnow.com after she resigned, saying she hopes the party will become stronger in the long run after it “figures out what the real questions and issues are.”

“I’m not the problem,” she said after her resignation, “I’m a symptom.”

Garvey Pre-Empts Removal, Resigns From ACDC

by Ethan Rothstein | April 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm | 3,396 views | No Comments

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey at the John Vihstadt victory party 4/8/14(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey resigned from the Arlington County Democratic Committee last night, pre-empting a planned vote on whether to remove her.

Garvey read a 15-minute statement to the committee before handing in her resignation at the ACDC’s meeting last night, which was closed to the media.

Garvey told ARLnow.com she said the ACDC needs to evaluate why Republican-endorsed independent John Vihstadt won the April 8 special election over Democrat Alan Howze by a 57-41 margin.

“The party’s got some thinking to do about what’s going on,” she said. “The decision they have is make is if they go ahead and continue to support elected officials who it seems pretty clearly are not representing what people want. Are we going to talk about local issues or just go lockstep with what a few elected officials say we should be doing? I hope they take some time to talk and think about it. They need to figure out what the real questions and issues are, why John won, and figure out what that’s going to mean moving forward.”

Garvey supported Vihstadt, gave $1,000 to his campaign and called his election “a victory for good government.” She has also irked rank-and-file Democrats with her outspoken opposition to the Columbia Pike streetcar.

Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey, who stood outside the 45-minute, closed ACDC meeting Monday night, reported that some attendees “seemed dazed by the experience and stunned by the vehemence of Garvey’s comments.”

ACDC Chairman Kip Malinosky, who called for the hearing to remove Garvey after he reportedly received numerous complaints about her conduct, said there’s a general “sense of relief” around the committee after they weren’t forced to vote on Garvey’s future.

“People still got along with each other, people still cracked jokes,” he said. “They just realized it was one of the things we had to do. The thing is, all she had to do was endorse a Democratic primary candidate. The Arlington Democrats are not the County Board. When [streetcar opponent Democrat] Cord Thomas said he was going to run against Alan Howze, I said, ‘Welcome, come on.’”

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey at the John Vihstadt victory party 4/8/14Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos — who also supported Vihstadt, a longtime friend, and plans to do so again when he runs against Howze in November’s general election — also agreed to no longer attend ACDC meetings or vote in hearings, but said she had made that decision informally in December after Vihstadt decided to run.

“[My decision] wasn’t tied to the committee’s actions against Libby,” Stamos told ARLnow.com. “I had numerous conversations with Kip, all perfectly equitable and we agreed this was the appropriate thing to do.”

Garvey said she didn’t decide to be a committee member, but all Democrat elected officials become committee members by default, once they’re elected, giving them access to ACDC data and resources. Malinosky said he’ll welcome Stamos and Garvey back after the November election if they decide to support only Democrat candidates.

Garvey said she’d be happy to come back, if the ACDC takes her, and said she only requested the meeting for the good of the Democratic Party.

“I want to be helpful to ACDC,” she said. “I understand that I violated the bylaws. I get that… There were some things I think the ACDC needed to hear. I’m not the problem, I’m a symptom. I didn’t want to make them go through [the voting process], I wanted to be helpful.”

Letter to the Editor: ACDC and Libby Garvey

by ARLnow.com | April 26, 2014 at 9:45 am | 3,642 views | No Comments

The following letter to the editor was submitted by current Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Kip Malinosky.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee is a welcoming, diverse and open organization with the fundamental purpose of nominating (or endorsing) and electing Democrats at the local, state and federal levels. We have helped elect 21 current public officials who have had a critical role in making Arlington a wonderful place to live.

Through the years, we have been at the forefront of electing candidates from different economic circumstances, racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender, national birthplace, and sexual orientation. Our candidates, from all across the county, have served the community in many different capacities before becoming nominees of our party.

In pursuing our fundamental purpose of electing Democratic candidates, we also pursue important values such as equality, diversity, opportunity, responsibility and social justice. Of course our committee members don’t always agree with one another and sometimes vigorously disagree about particular issues or how those values should translate into public policy.

This is one reason why we have robust primaries and caucuses where candidates can – and do – air their differences. During those nominating contests, Committee members (including Democratic elected officials) often back different candidates. But after a Democratic nominee is chosen, it is the responsibility of all Committee members to pull together, support each other, and elect the nominee.

We know that there are times when Arlingtonians who consider themselves to be Democrats do not support the Democratic nominee. That’s understandable. Individual voters have their reasons. We will continue to listen and seek common ground with these and other voters.

But the Arlington County Democratic Committee and its members commit themselves, before joining or seeking the Committee’s endorsement, to supporting all Democratic candidates. The Committee shares resources, strategies, voting lists, and other valuable information with its nominees and members. Anyone who is actively working to defeat a Democratic nominee cannot and should not have access to those resources and internal strategies.

Unsurprisingly, for these reasons, both the Democratic and Republican Committees at the local, state and national level have the same requirement that a Committee member support the Party’s nominees. It is a conflict of interest to be a Committee member and also work against the organization’s fundamental purpose.

Libby Garvey understands this process and has benefited from it four times as the ACDC endorsed School Board candidate and as the 2012 County Board nominee. She relied heavily upon committee members and resources in her 2012 victory after receiving a plurality in a 6-way contest for the Democratic nomination. But having benefited from her association with the Democratic Committee and securing the full weight of its resources behind her elections, she then announced that she would not support any Democratic candidate in the 2014 Democratic County Board caucus before we even had a filing deadline, let alone a nominee. Instead, she publicly endorsed an opposition candidate, promoted him in public appearances, and donated $1000 from her political fund to that campaign.

One Democratic candidate chose to run in our primary who agreed with her about the streetcar and other issues that Ms. Garvey cited as her reason for not supporting a Democrat, but she would not support him.

A few Democratic Committee members decided not to support the Democratic nominee, including one other elected official. Ms. Garvey and those other Committee members were politely asked to leave the Committee. All but Ms. Garvey did. She alone has refused.

Now that a formal complaint has been filed against Ms. Garvey, the Committee has no choice but to uphold its governing rules. It is in Ms. Garvey control as to whether she wants to remain on the Committee and support all Democratic nominees. Or she can choose to chart a path of supporting candidates exclusively on the basis of whether they support her individual agenda. But she cannot be part of a party Committee devoted to electing Democrats and actively work against that objective at the same time. For that reason, Ms. Garvey should no longer be a member of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

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.

Arlington Dems Move to Boot Garvey

by Ethan Rothstein | April 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 5,401 views | No Comments

Vihstadt and Garvey(Updated 3:45 p.m.) The Arlington County Democratic Committee is taking steps to boot streetcar critic and Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey out of the organization.

Local Democrats are upset with Garvey over her outspoken opposition to the streetcar and her support of Republican-endorsed independent John Vihstadt in the County Board special election. Vihstadt defeated Democratic nominee Alan Howze earlier this month. Garvey was elected in 2012 on the Democratic ticket and now in her first full term on the County Board, following a decade and a half on the School Board.

At the committee’s meeting Monday night, Garvey will have a hearing where she can defend her decision to support a non-Democrat and appeal to stay a member of the Arlington Democrats. The hearing will be heard by a special committee made up largely of the ACDC leadership, according to ACDC Chairman Kip Malinosky. Malinosky said he will be presenting the case against Garvey, so he recused himself from the committee.

Malinosky said he’s received more than a dozen complaints about Garvey’s activity — which include a $1,000 donation from her campaign committee and regular emails to her campaign mailing list supporting Vihstadt — and added that he asked her to voluntarily remove herself from the ACDC during the campaign, which she declined.

“It’s crazy to have a voting member of our organization actively working against the purpose of the organization,” Malinosky told ARLnow.com. “You can do anything you want as a Democratic committee member. You can take any position on the streetcar or other issues, but the one thing you cannot do as a member is to endorse, support and assist a non-Democrat against a Democratic nominee. That’s the only thing you can’t do.”

Garvey said that even if she is removed from her position, she will still consider herself a Democrat and, if nothing were to change, would run for re-election in three years as a Democrat without the ACDC’s endorsement.

“We all wear different hats in life,” Garvey told ARLnow.com this morning. “I’m in an odd position because the only reason I’m on the committee is because I’m an elected official and a Democrat. I found myself in a spot where I had two loyalties. I am a member of ACDC and an elected official of Arlington County and I have to represent the voters. I made the decision in the best interest of the voters as I needed to do to fulfill my responsibility to them.”

Garvey said she wanted to have a hearing to explain her rationale for supporting and donating to Vihstadt’s campaign. She said she didn’t want to simply accept leaving the ACDC because she “didn’t want anyone to think that I want to leave ACDC.”

“It’s like in a family, you can have disagreements with members of your family, but you don’t leave your family,” she said. “I’m hoping all of this in the end will make ACDC stronger. I hope it’ll be a healthy thing for all of us. I really have the best interests of ACDC at heart.”

Malinosky said if Garvey wants to stay a member of the ACDC, she’ll have to change course and throw her support behind Howze for the November general election rematch against Vihstadt.

“I would love her to say ‘I’m willing to support Alan Howze and all the Democrats,’” Malinosky said. “If she says that, then welcome back.”

After the jump is the email Malinosky sent to ACDC members:  (more…)

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 9, 2014 at 11:00 am | 1,556 views | No Comments

Flowering tree in Rosslyn

Ex-Marine Convicted in Murder Case — Former Marine Jorge Torrez has been convicted of first degree murder in the killing of fellow Navy petty officer Amanda Jean Snell at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The trial will now enter the sentencing phase, with federal prosecutors seeking the death penalty. In a separate case, Torrez was previously convicted of rape in Arlington County and sentenced to life in prison. [Washington Post]

Dems Now Regretting Special Election Schedule? — Arlington Democrats may now be regretting the timing of yesterday’s County Board special election. Because departed County Board member Chris Zimmerman pushed back his last day in office, the special election was held after the filing deadline for nominations in the general election. That leaves Alan Howze as the sole Democrat on the ticket, despite the large margin of his loss Tuesday. [InsideNoVa]

Wardian Wins North Pole Marathon — Prolific Arlington marathon runner Michael Wardian has won the 2014 North Pole Marathon. Wardian finished the marathon, held in sub-zero temperatures, with a time of 4:07:40. He “described it as the toughest race he’s ever run.” [Facebook]

Major Delays on Orange Line This AM — Orange Line riders faced significant delays this morning due to a signal problem outside Stadium-Armory. One rider told ARLnow.com via email that the line was “seriously f–ked,” with “delays and overflowing platforms.” [Twitter]

East Arlington Remembered — East Arlington, a long-standing African-American community that was razed to make way for construction of the Pentagon and its road network in the 1940s, were remembered in a program hosted by the Arlington Historical Society. [Falls Church News-Press, YouTube]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | April 1, 2014 at 8:45 am | 1,160 views | No Comments

View of the Jefferson Memorial from Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

False Alarm at Arlington National Cemetery — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday afternoon for a fire alarm. Once on scene, firefighters determined that the alarm was set off by the tomb guards steam pressing their uniforms. [Twitter]

Arlington Real Estate Market Profiled — CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program profiled the real estate market in Arlington last week. The program took a look at three properties in the county, from a $364,900 condo in Ballston to a $1,275,000 luxury townhouse in Rosslyn. [CNBC]

Arlington Dems Have Plenty of Beads — Arlington Democrats are trying to figure out what to do with more than 200 pounds of Mardi Gras beads. The party purchased the beads for the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, which was rescheduled and then canceled due to snow this year. [InsideNoVa]

Doorways Fundraiser Planned — Rocklands Barbeque (3471 Washington Blvd) will open its patio for the season on Thursday, April 17, with its annual “Shed Your Coat” fundraiser. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will benefit Doorways for Women and Families. [Doorways]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | January 9, 2014 at 9:20 am | 1,202 views | No Comments

Ice on the Potomac (Flickr photo by J. Sonder)

Streetcar Support Remains High in Fairfax County — The McLean edition of the Sun Gazette newspaper reports that Fairfax County officials are not nearly as divided over the Columbia Pike streetcar project as their Arlington counterparts. “While some Republicans on [the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] have expressed concerns, support among Fairfax officials remains high,” the paper reported. “And with good reason: Fairfax will be responsible for only about 20 percent of the local cost of the project, but plans to use the streetcar’s arrival to spur the redevelopment of Baileys Crossroads.” [Sun Gazette]

Dominion Reports Record Power Demand — Dominion Virginia Power met record demand for electricity during Tuesday’s frigid temperatures. Use of heaters during this week’s “polar vortex” helped push energy demand to 19,730 megawatts during the day on Tuesday. That’s well above the previous peak winter demand record of 18,079 megawatts, set in February 2007, but below the company’s summertime record of 20,061 megawatts, set in July 2011. [Dominion]

Malinosky Elected ACDC Chair — Kip Malinosky, a middle school civics teacher and well-respected Democratic organizer, was elected chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee last night. Malinosky, who succeeds outgoing chair Mike Lieberman, told the Democratic faithful that the local party will remain united despite contested primaries for County Board and School Board. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “When the caucus is over, we will rally behind our candidates.”

Bill Would Outlaw Sex Acts Among Minors — A new bill proposed in the Virginia General Assembly would make oral sex and other “consensual sodomy” legal for adults but illegal for minors. The bills was proposed several months after courts struck down Virginia’s “crimes against nature” law. [Think Progress]

Delegate Wants More I-66 Lanes Inside the Beltway — Del. Jim LeMunyon, a Republican representing part of Fairfax County, has introduced legislation requiring the state to plan a project that would “increase the lane capacity on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway to include at least two-non-high-occupancy vehicle lanes in each direction.” That idea, suggests reporter Michael Neibauer, will likely not sit well here in Arlington. “Arlington officials would probably chain themselves to highway signs before letting it happen,” he wrote. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder

UPDATED: Arlington Democrats Celebrate Victories

by ARLnow.com | November 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm | 2,658 views | No Comments

Alfonso Lopez speaks at the Democratic victory party on Columbia Pike(Updated at 11:30 p.m.) Arlington Democrats once again have reason to celebrate on election night.

Democratic incumbents have cruised to reelection in all local races. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in Arlington and Northern Virginia have helped push two statewide candidates to victory.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has been elected the next governor of Virginia, defeating Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis. Democrat Ralph Northam, meanwhile, has defeated Republican E.W. Jackson in the race for lieutenant governor.

Voting in Virginia ended at 7:00 p.m., on an election day when the gubernatorial race was garnering the lion’s share of headlines and voter interest. In Arlington, without a Republican candidate in any local race, third party candidates like Audrey Clement, Green Party candidate for Arlington County Board, were left to provide the opposition to the Democrats on the ballot.

With all votes counted, here are the final numbers:

  • County Board – Jay Fisette (D): 66%; Audrey Clement (G): 31%
  • House of Delegates, 45th District – Rob Krupicka (D): 74%; Jeffrey Engle (I): 25%
  • House of Delegates, 47th District – Patrick Hope (D): 77%; Laura Delhomme (L): 22%
  • House of Delegates, 49th District — Alfonso Lopez (D): 78%; Terrence Modglin (IG): 21%

The races for Arlington School Board and the 48th House of Delegates District, featuring incumbents James Lander and Del. Bob Brink, were uncontested.

On the referendum question of whether Arlington should establish a redevelopment and housing authority, the “no” position — endorsed by both the local Republican and Democratic parties — is well ahead.

  • Housing Authority Referendum – Yes: 31%; No: 69%

Speeches at the Democratic victory party on Columbia PikeAt their election night party on Columbia Pike, Arlington Democrats were celebrating victories in local races and expressing enthusiasm about their role in the statewide races.

“It’s a great night in Arlington,” said Arlington County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Lieberman. “Our goal in Arlington is to do our part to turn out every Democrat in a Democratic area, to try to run up the score to make sure we can offset some of the more conservative areas in the state. Based on the numbers we saw here today, we did that.”

“I think Arlingtonians reacted really well to McAuliffe’s centrist message, his good government message, his jobs message, and I think quite frankly Cuccinelli and his ticket didn’t offer much for Arlington,” Lieberman continued. “The strength of Democrats is a validation of the community we have here.”

Reelected Delegate Alfonso Lopez said night’s Democratic victories were a rejection of Tea Party politics.

“Tea Party hypocrisy and Tea Party policies are not the way to govern the Commonwealth,” he said.

Jay Fisette and supporters at a Democratic victory party on Columbia PikeCounty Board member Jay Fisette, who will take over the chairmanship of the Board in January 2014, called his reelection “gratifying” and thanked Democratic volunteers for their get-out-the-vote efforts.

“This is a great county and I really appreciate the support you’ve given me,” he said. Fisette also thanked his husband, Bob Rosen, though he had to correct himself when he initially called Rosen his “partner.” The two were wed in the District in September.

“I’m not used to saying that word [husband],” Fisette said.

As chairman, Fisette will likely preside over the hot-button vote on whether to allow urban hen-raising in Arlington. But he said he’s particularly focused on three major challenges facing the county: economic development and the high commercial office vacancy rate; affordable housing; and burgeoning school enrollments.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges… I’m really ready to hit the ground and continue working on them,” he said.

(more…)

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | November 1, 2013 at 9:00 am | 653 views | No Comments

Construction at Pentagon Row (courtesy photo)

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday — Be sure to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, meaning an extra hour of sleep but one fewer hour of daylight at night. The changing of the clocks is also a good time to replace smoke alarm batteries.

Dems Worry About Libertarian’s Impact on Gov. Race — Historically, polls overestimate the potential votes for third party candidates because voters who might have expressed support for a third party in a poll end up choosing one of the major party candidates in the voting booth. Arlington Democrats worry that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli is thin enough that supporters of Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis may tip the election on Nov. 5 if they break for Cuccinelli. [Sun Gazette]

Blue, Orange Line Work This Weekend — Trains on the Blue and Orange Line will run every 15 minutes this weekend due to scheduled track work. [WMATA]

Arlington Education Company Cutting Jobs — Arlington-based Strayer Education is cutting its workforce by 20 percent and closing some of its Strayer University campuses. Students enrollment is down 17 percent. [Washington Business Journal]

Courtesy photo

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | September 25, 2013 at 9:20 am | 1,332 views | No Comments

Car wash signs (Flickr pool photo by Christaki)

Moran’s New Beard Called ‘Santa Chic’ — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has been sporting a white beard since August. While the 68 year old’s new look has its supporters and detractors, the congressman’s own staff has taken to calling it “Santa chic.” [The Hill]

Letter: Arlington Dems Use African-Americans as ‘Window Dressing’ — In a letter to the editor, Bobbie Fisher, an African-American resident of Arlington, says that Arlington Democrats are taking African-American voters for granted and not paying sufficient attention to their concerns. “Walk into any [Arlington County Democratic Committee] meeting, you will never find more than a few African-Americans present,” she writes. “We are viewed as window-dressing or bobble-heads, to sit quietly while others raise questions of interest to their community.” [Sun Gazette]

GGW to Host Arlington Happy Hour — The blog Greater Greater Washington will be hosting a happy hour at Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse next Tuesday. The happy hour is an opportunity for the blog’s contributors, editors and readers to get together “for some drinks and lively conversation.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Central Library Renovations in ‘Home Stretch’ — The second floor reference desk and the old first floor circulation desk at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) are gone, among other ongoing renovations. The library’s renovation project as now entered the “home stretch,” officials write. [Arlington Public Library]

Flickr pool photo by Christaki

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