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by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2015 at 10:10 am 1,136 0

School Board candidate Reid GoldsteinReid Goldstein has won the Democratic endorsement in the race for school board.

Goldstein received 1,252 votes in the Arlington County Democratic Committee caucus, which was held on May 14 and 16. His opponent, Sharon Dorsey, received 648 votes.

Democrats were quick to embrace Goldstein after his caucus victory.

“Reid will not only be a great voice for balancing the needs of school facilities, but also for improving instruction for all of Arlington’s students,” said ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky. “He has demonstrated leadership on educational issues and in the larger community.”

A 30-year Arlington resident and father of two Arlington Public Schools graduates — both of whom are pursuing careers in education — Goldstein has a record of civic participation on PTAs, county and school commissions and committees, and the board of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.

Goldstein is running to replace School Board member Abby Raphael, who is not seeking reelection in the fall.

“We face the challenge of growing enrollment as families are drawn to Arlington by our tradition of excellent education,” Goldstein said in a statement after he was declared the winner. “We must maintain that excellence going forward as we work to close the achievement gap, provide for growing enrollment, and ensure openness and respect for diversity.”

“I thank Sharon Dorsey for a positive, thoughtful and energetic campaign, and Abby Raphael for her years of service to Arlington families,” Goldstein added.

by ARLnow.com — May 15, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,980 0

View of Key Bridge, the Potomac River and D.C. from the Waterview building in Rosslyn

‘Hula Girl’ to Open Shirlington Restaurant — The founder of the Hula Girl food truck, which specializes in Hawaiian style food, will be opening a new brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former Aladdin’s Eatery space in Shirlington. Mikala Brennan says Shirlington is “a very friendly place for families and dogs and everyone, and I always thought it’d be a great fit for what I do.” [Eater]

Bike to Work Day is Today — Hundreds of people stopped by the half-dozen Arlington pit stops for Bike to Work Day this morning. Among them were Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and a guy on an old-timey penny farthing.

Candidates Want Manager to Live in Arlington — The candidates for Arlington County Board said they would like Arlington’s next county manager to live in Arlington. Retiring county manager Barbara Donnellan lives in Clifton, Va. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com — May 11, 2015 at 10:15 am 2,259 0

Arlington bunny (Fickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Shirlington Movie Theater to Renovate — The AMC Lowes Shirlington 7 movie theater will be undergoing a “complete renovation” this year, starting as soon as July. The theater will be getting reclining leather seats, like the AMC theater in Courthouse, plus a new concession area with beer and wine and new bathrooms. [Washington Business Journal]

Downed Trees, Wires in Arlington — On Sunday morning a tree fell on Old Dominion Drive, bringing wires down with it, causing power outages and and closing the road for hours. On Sunday night, an accident on Wilson Blvd caused downed wires and the closure of Wilson from N. Illinois to N. Jefferson Street. [WTOP]

Candidates: Lack of Diversity at Top County Ranks — Candidates for Arlington County Board spoke about the lack of diversity among top county staff last week, at a forum sponsored by the African-American Leadership Council of Arlington. The County Board has little direct involvement in the hiring of county staff, save the Board’s hiring of and direction to the County Manager. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — May 8, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,359 0

Watching the sunset while on a Metro train crossing the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac

Board Candidates on Bad Decisions — The Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board on Wednesday were asked to name a recent County Board decision they disagreed with. James Lander said he disagreed with the decision to cancel the streetcar. Andrew Schneider said “citizens were owed more of a process” on the streetcar decision. Katie Cristol cited the decision not to fund an extra firefighter to staff certain fire equipment. Christian Dorsey cited the decision to delay building an elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Bruce Wiljanen said he wasn’t happy with the development plan for Rosslyn Highlands Park. Peter Fallon disagreed with the redevelopment of the Bergmann’s dry cleaning site on Lee Highway. [InsideNova]

ACFCU Named ‘Credit Union of the Year’ — Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, an ARLnow.com advertiser, has been named “Federal Credit Union of the Year” by the Arlington-based National Association of Federal Credit Unions. ACFCU was bestowed the honor for credit unions with assets of $250 million or less.

Babe Ruth Baseball to Celebrate Anniversary — Arlington Babe Ruth (ABR) Baseball will celebrate its 30th anniversary on May 17. Reportedly the longest-running youth baseball program in the county, ABR will mark the occasion with a “Family Fun Day” for baseball families from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in Barcroft Park.

by ARLnow.com — April 30, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,356 0

Michael McMenaminMichael McMenamin, the president of the Arlington County Civic Federation and a two-time Republican candidate for County Board, announced this morning that he’s running again, as an independent.

In a press release (below) McMenamin said his top priorities will be economic development, adding school capacity, replacing aging infrastructure and fiscal responsibility.

McMenamin, an attorney and owner of a consultancy firm, seems to be aiming to adopt the successful electoral strategy of County Board member John Vihstadt, who was active with the Arlington GOP before running for Board as an independent candidate. However, with the streetcar project canceled, Artisphere set to close and an independent auditor on the way, it’s unclear if McMenamin will be able to tap into the discontent that helped Vihstadt attract Democratic voters.

So far, the November general election for County Board is slated to include McMenamin and Audrey Clement, running as independents, and the two Democratic nominees, who will be chosen in a June 9 primary.

McMenamin’s campaign press release, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,673 0

Polling place in Arlington (file photo)Over the weekend, a straw poll was conducted at a birthday party and fundraiser for County Board member Libby Garvey (D).

The results, which reflect the preferences of Garvey’s supporters, broke heavily for “crowd favorite” Christian Dorsey.

With the exception of the bottom two of the field, the results are an inverse of first quarter fundraising figures.

The straw poll results are:

  • Christian Dorsey — 43
  • Peter Fallon — 15
  • Katie Cristol — 15
  • Andrew Schneider — 8
  • James Lander — 4
  • Bruce Wiljanen — 3

A primary will be held in the race June 9. With just over a month left, ARLnow is conducting its own unscientific poll about reader preferences for the six Democratic candidates.

If you are a likely voter, which of the candidates do you prefer? Given the two available seats, pick two candidates.

by Ethan Rothstein — April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm 1,105 0

Andrew Schneider(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) Democratic County Board candidates Andrew Schneider and Katie Cristol have the fundraising edge so far for the party’s two-seat primary in June.

Schneider raised $32,095 by the March 31 disclosure deadline, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan organization that tracks fundraising in elections across the state.

Schneider had spent just $4,634, leaving him with the most money to spend of any candidate, $27,640.

Katie CristolCristol was second in fundraising, having raised $25,906. She had $13,337 cash on hand as of March 31.

Fallon had $14,815 in cash-on-hand, having raised $23,388 during the first quarter of 2015.

Here are the reported fundraising totals for each County Board candidate:

  • Andrew Schneider (D): $32,095
  • Katie Cristol (D): $25,906
  • Peter Fallon (D): $23,388
  • Christian Dorsey (D): $13,880
  • James Lander (D): $8,320
  • Bruce Wiljanen (D): $1,400
  • Audrey Clement (I): $531

Fallon’s biggest donor has been himself — he’s given $3,500 in cash to his campaign. Self-donations are common in local elections. Cristol has given her campaign $1,804 in cash and in-kind contributions, while Schneider has donated $390 his own campaign.

Audrey Clement, the perennial Green Party local election candidate is running as an independent this year. As of March 31, Clement has brought in $531. She reported $528 cash-on-hand at the end of the reporting period, with $3 in expenses.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article erroneously reported incorrect data from the VPAP website.

by ARLnow.com — April 22, 2015 at 9:30 am 2,465 0

Flowers outside a Rosslyn office building

Mercedes Catches Fire After Lightning Strike — An Arlington man’s beloved Mercedes 430 CLK convertible was “burned to a crisp” Monday night after a lightning strike. The lightning apparently struck a power pole, which then fell over. A sparking power line ignited the Mercedes. [Washington Post]

Arlington Honors 16 Trees — The Arlington County Board recognized 16 “Notable Trees” around the county at its meeting yesterday afternoon. During the 10-minute ceremony, details about each tree were read individually as the tree’s owner came up to the front of the room to collect a plaque or certificate. Of the 16 trees, 14 are located in north Arlington and only 2 are located in south Arlington. [Arlington County]

Shirlington Apartment Building Loses Power — Io Piazza, an upscale apartment building in Shirlington, had been without power for more than 24 hours as of last night. An underground transformer that serves the building failed during Monday’s thunderstorms. [Patch]

Year-Round Gift Wrapping at Pentagon City Mall — Starting May 8, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be offering year-round complimentary gift wrapping service. The service is available for purchases of $250 or more at luxury stores. Previously, the service was only offered during certain holidays.

Fmr. Treasurer Endorses Fallon — Frank O’Leary, who retired as Arlington County Treasurer last year, has endorsed Peter Fallon for County Board. “Peter Fallon is a mature, thoughtful, fiscally responsible candidate with an amazing grasp of the issues that confront our county,” O’Leary said in a statement. “I enthusiastically support his approach to improving Arlington.” [InsideNova]

Cristol Published Buzzfeed Listicle — County Board candidate Katie Cristol has published a Buzzfeed listicle, complete with animated GIFs, highlighting “7 Reasons to Vote in Arlington Virginia.” Among the reasons are “housing is getting less affordable,” “over 50% of Arlington is under 35,” “women need a strong voice in Arlington” and “it’s fun.” [Buzzfeed]

by Ethan Rothstein — April 13, 2015 at 12:15 pm 7,536 0

Rosslyn Metro station (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

As Arlington grapples with the cloudy future of transit on Columbia Pike, in the wake of the streetcar line’s cancellation, one question has been largely absent: Is Metro the answer?

The Pike, Pentagon City and Crystal City together are projected to account for 65 percent of the county’s population growth and 44 percent of its job growth in the next three decades, and Arlington doesn’t have a long-term transit plan in place for the Pike to accommodate that growth. So far, much of the discussion has revolved around bigger and better buses.

But there is another option, a much bigger, bolder and pricier option than even the streetcar: taking advantage of an existing stub tunnel at the Pentagon Metro station and building a new Metrorail line under Columbia Pike. Such a line was envisioned as a likely expansion by the Metrorail system’s original planners in the 1960s.

When the proposal for Arlington’s short-term plan for the former-streetcar corridor comes before the Arlington County Board next year, two of the five members of the Board will be newly elected, replacing the retiring Board chair and vice chair, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada.

So far, seven candidates have declared they’re running for the two open seats: Democrats Christian Dorsey, Peter Fallon, Katie Cristol, Andrew Schneider, James Lander and Bruce Wiljanen, and independent Audrey Clement. Will this new crop of Arlington leaders revive the idea of Metro as long-term a solution for the Pike’s growth?

Dorsey tells ARLnow.com that he’s open to Metrorail as part of a more holistic discussion of the Pike’s transportation future.

“We haven’t undergone a process to really do that in a sufficient way, where we’ve looked at a variety of transit options that are possible — not feasible, but possible — and determining whether or not that matches long-range projections,” he told ARLnow.com. “I absolutely think that’s something that needs to be done in consultation with regional partners on heavy rail.”

The county is still planning to install 23 more transit stations along Columbia Pike, for a total of $12.4 million — redesigned to cost far less than the Walter Reed Super Stop prototype — and those stations are designed to accommodate enhanced bus service. However, other than assumptions that more, bigger and fancier buses will be coming to the Pike, it’s unclear how those stations will be integrated. The county has vowed to spend $200 million on the corridor’s transit over the next six years.

Cristol agreed with Dorsey, saying Arlington needs to consider all long-term options in the corridor’s future.

“I believe we need to keep everything on the table as we contend with the forces shaping re-development and transit demand in Arlington,” she said. “Rapid population growth and demand for public transit on the Pike will be a defining feature for Arlington’s coming decades … I will always be for considering and discussing big ideas — even the expensive ones that seem infeasible in the immediate — as we look to address those dynamics.”

WMATA already has a 40-year plan in place for Metrorail’s future development, but that plan, adopted in 2013, includes a connection between Arlington’s since-cancelled and D.C.’s embattled streetcar lines. WMATA has since discussed plans for a second tunnel in Rosslyn and another line in Virginia, but public discussions from the agency have not included Columbia Pike.

Photo courtesy Thierry Discoll

Wiljanen said Arlington taking on that discussion would distract from the immediate needs of the Pike’s residents.

“If a Metro line opened tomorrow under Columbia Pike, I would be elated,” he told ARLnow.com in an email. “However, given the current political and budgetary climate, starting the process now will prove to be an exceedingly heavy lift, and the timeline could easily extend 30 years or more into the future. I think we need quicker solutions.”

Clement, a perennial candidate for Arlington public office, thinks Arlington needs to take up these discussions as soon as possible.

“It is definitely time to plan for a Metrorail line under Columbia Pike,” she said. “One of the principal reasons I opposed the Pike trolley was the fact that the trolley tracks would have to be dug up to accommodate the subway, which is the ultimate solution to congestion on the Pike.”

(Fallon, Schneider and Lander did not respond to ARLnow.com’s email asking for comment.)

Dorsey also opposed the streetcar, while Cristol, a Pike resident, and Wiljanen didn’t say whether they supported the project, only that Arlington needs to move on.

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by Ethan Rothstein — April 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm 2,981 0

The polling place at Barrett Elementary School is slow for the 2014 special electionVoting in Arlington will go back to the future this year when the county introduces paper balloting to replace the touch-screen boxes it has been using for years.

The paper ballots will be digitally scanned and allow more voters to vote faster, and provide a hard copy of ballots in case of technical malfunctions, Arlington County said in a press release. It’s the first time the county has used paper ballots since 1950, county General Registrar Linda Lindberg told ARLnow.com.

The county was forced to make the purchases by a ruling by the Commissioner of Elections recommending the electronic WinVote machines be decertified and prohibited.

“Last week, without any notification to the users, the State Board of Elections said they had found ‘vulnerabilities with the machines,'” Lindberg said. “This late-night press release that they did very publicly without our knowledge has basically killed the machines for us.”

When asked what problems Arlington had encountered with the touch-screen machines, in use in the county since 2003, Lindberg said “nothing.”

Arlington had already planned on purchasing paper ballots and digital scanners next year. A 2007 law passed by the General Assembly requires all localities, when procuring new voting equipment, to eschew electronic machines for paper ballots.

Arlington will now have to come up with $750,000 to purchase 60 digital scanners — one for each of the 53 votings precincts with extras for absentee ballots and training — in the FY 2016 budget, which the Arlington County Board will adopt next week.

“This is the minimal amount we can get by on for the time being,” Lindberg said. Next year, her office will have to spend hundreds of thousands of additional dollars procuring extra machines and equipment for a presidential election year, which means a much greater influx of absentee ballots.

The first election the paper ballots will be used for is the June Democratic primary for County Board. On May 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Lindberg’s office will be hosting an open house to explain the new balloting system on the ground floor of 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

In 1950, Arlington switched from paper ballots to the lever machines, where voters had to go into a booth and pull a curtain behind them. In 1991, the county introduced its first electronic machines — bulky, “but very reliable,” Lindberg said — and in 2003 they starting using the touch-screen system that is now obsolete.

by ARLnow.com — March 27, 2015 at 9:45 am 1,307 0

Traffic on I-66

New Democratic County Board Contender — A field of six has been finalized for the Democratic Arlington County Board primary. The candidates include all five who spoke before the Arlington County Democratic Committee earlier this month, plus Bruce Wiljanen, “who is largely unknown to the Democratic political establishment.” [InsideNova]

New Tenant for Fmr. Marvelous Market Space — Empty for years, the former Marvelous Market storefront at 888 N. Quincy Street in Ballston has a new tenant. The space is being built out as an office for the real estate sales and marketing firm Smith | Schnider.

Coming Soon: More Dedicated Bus Lanes — A mile of dedicated bus lanes for the new Metroway route are set to open in Arlington this summer. Another 1.3 miles of peak-hour bus lanes are also planned. The route runs from the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria to Crystal City. [Washington Post]

Medal of Honor Recipients in Arlington — On Tuesday, 26 living recipients of the Medal of Honor flew in to and then attended a luncheon at Reagan National Airport. The following day, on national Medal of Honor Day, they gathered for a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. [Army Times, Stars and Stripes]

Grant for APS Program — Arlington Public Schools has received a $25,000 grant from Rosslyn-based Graham Holdings to support the school system’s award-winning Traveling Trolley summer reading initiative. [Arlington Public Schools]

by Ethan Rothstein — March 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,191 0

Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45)A local legislator has decided to call it quits.

Del. Rob Krupicka announced in an email to his campaign’s mailing list that he would not seek re-election this fall, leaving the 45th House of Delegates District as another open race on the November ballot.

Last year, according to the Washington Post, he opened a location of Sugar Shack Donuts in Alexandria. In his announcement, he said running the business, along with his family and legislative obligations, was too much to take on.

“Between business, family, and public service, it is clear that I’m burning more candles at more ends than I can sustain,” he said in a press release. “Having spent over half of my adult life involved in public service in some way or another, it is time for me to step back from elected life to focus on my growing business and on my family. I don’t like to do anything halfway and the demands on my time make it impossible for me to be the engaged, active public servant that I have always tried to be.”

Krupicka was elected in a special election in 2012 after his predecessor, David Englin, resigned amid his admission of marital infidelity. Krupicka was re-elected in November 2013 and is retiring after just one full term.

Krupicka served as an Alexandria City Councilman and on the state Board of Education before being elected to the House of Delegates. The 45th District covers parts of southeast Arlington, a large swath of Alexandria and a portion of Fairfax County.

Before Krupicka won the 2012 special election, he lost in a Democratic primary for the seat of state Sen. Adam Ebbin in 2011. Ebbin (D-30) released a statement following Krupicka’s announcement this afternoon.

“I was surprised to learn that Delegate Rob Krupicka has decided not to run for re-election this year,” Ebbin said. “Rob’s passion for education and expertise on the benefits of pre-K and high-stakes testing have made a difference, both from his work in the House of Delegates as well as on the State Board of Education. His well-informed, collaborative nature is just what the General Assembly needs more of and will be sorely missed. Rob has been a friend for 20 years, and I understand and admire his dedication to his family.”

Krupicka’s full announcement, after the jump. (more…)

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,047 0

Sunset in Pentagon City

Clement Running for County Board — Perennial local candidate Audrey Clement is running for Arlington County Board. Her paperwork was certified by election officials yesterday, placing her on the Nov. 3 ballot. Clement has ditched the Green Party label and is now running as an independent. Among her top issues are the historic preservation of Wilson School, getting developers to provide more community benefits and eliminating the 12.5 cent commercial real estate surcharge tax. [InsideNova]

Road Closures for Four Miler — A number of roads will be closed for much of Saturday morning for the Four Courts Four Miler. Among the planned closures are northbound Route 110 and Wilson Blvd from Courthouse Road to Route 110. [Arlington County]

Marine Corps Marathon Lottery Begins Today — Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon, which is being conducted via an online lottery, begins at noon today. The registration period closes at noon on March 23. The registration fee, for those who get in, is $125 plus processing fees. [Marine Corps Marathon]

by ARLnow.com — March 9, 2015 at 9:30 am 2,097 0

Construction worker stands on a beam

School Board Candidates Sound Off — The two candidates for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board, Reid Goldstein and Sharon Dorsey, formally announced their candidacies last week, making the case to fellow Democrats for why they should be on the board. The Democratic School Board caucuses will be held in May. [InsideNova]

Arlington Explains Salt ShortageUpdated at 1:15 p.m. — Arlington County officials are explaining last week’s road salt shortage. County officials say a 4,000 ton order for salt placed by the county on Jan. 19 was never filled, due to high demand for salt among eastern seaboard states that have been buried by heavy snowfall this winter. The county was expecting a 2,000 ton salt delivery from Pittsburgh Friday evening. An Arlington official explained the shortage but did not apologize for it, as earlier reported, according to a county spokeswoman. [WTOP]

100 Montaditos Files for Bankruptcy — The company that owns 100 Montaditos, the Spanish mini-sandwich restaurant in Rosslyn, has filed for bankruptcy. No word yet on whether the restaurant or its other chain locations, in Florida, will remain open. [Miami Herald]

Barbershop Owner Profiled — Jim Moore, the owner of Moore’s Barber Shop on Lee Highway in the High View Park neighborhood, is profiled in an article that also chronicles the shop’s 55 year history. [Arlington Connection]

by ARLnow.com — March 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm 3,619 0

(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) Change and a fresh perspective is needed on the County Board — that was the overall message from the five Democrats seeking the nomination for two open board seats.

While all of the candidates touted their “progressive values” at Wednesday’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, most suggested that the Democratic status quo is in need of a refresh.

Katie Crisol“The County Board needs new insights and perspectives… we need leaders with renewed energy and optimism,” said Katie Cristol, a relative unknown in political circles who delivered an energetic speech to the standing room only crowd. “I am running to bring a fresh start to Arlington County.”

Cristol, an education policy consultant who serves on the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women, said she would remain true to Arlington’s “vision of inclusion, diversity and smart growth.” She spoke of the county government’s need to communicate more effectively with its citizens and to seek out the perspective of younger residents and renters, while also spurring the local economy.

“We can build an agile county government that is responsive to residents,” Cristol said. “As a County Board member I will seek to drive economic redevelopment that preserves our core values of transit-oriented smart growth and the distinctive character of our neighborhoods.”

Cristol also spoke of her advocacy for women’s reproductive rights and on behalf of survivors of sexual assault.

“I will be an unrelenting voice for women and for families,” she said. So far, Cristol is the only woman seeking the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Board members Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada.

Christian DorseyChristian Dorsey, who sought and lost the Democratic nomination to Chris Zimmerman and Walter Tejada in 2002 and 2003, said he has decided 2015 is the right time to try again and “propel the next progressive wave in Arlington.”

“We are an extremely well-planned community… but even in a well-planned community like Arlington we still face challenges, and those challenges are immense,” Dorsey said, adding that he has “the right set of skills and perspectives for this point in time in Arlington.”

That perspective includes having served on the board of the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, as chair of the Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission and as executive director of the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation in the Nauck neighborhood.

“We have to be honest, Arlington is a privileged place but we still have people who are suffering from stagnating wages, many people in our community are on fixed incomes… people don’t have the means that they used to,” Dorsey said. “That means that we have to deliver good government at maximum value, but also come up with innovative ways of making it a little easier for people to go through life.”

“You can save money by doing good,” Dorsey said. “Progressive values often make very sound fiscal sense.”

Andrew SchneiderAndrew Schneider, president of the Yorktown Civic Association and a life-long Arlingtonian, has made “listening” and “solving old problems in new ways” central tenets of his campaign.

“If we’ve learned anything over the past twelve months, it’s been that the public confidence in Arlington has been shaken,” said Schneider. “My candidacy is founded on helping to restore that confidence. You do not restore the public confidence through the sandbox politics and knee-jerk opposition that has characterized our community dialogue over the past two years.”

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