Snow Leads to Numerous Accidents — Numerous accidents were reported around Arlington this morning due to snow-slickened streets. Accidents were reported on Route 50 near Carlin Springs Road, Lee Highway and Key Blvd at N. Rhodes Street, and on N. George Mason Drive across from Lubber Run Park. As of 9:00 a.m. the accident on Route 50 was still reportedly causing traffic backups.
No Tickets for Snow Removal Violations — Arlington County has not handed out any tickets or fines for violations of the county’s snow removal ordinance so far this winter. The ordinance requires home and business owners to shovel their sidewalks within 24-36 hours of the end of a snow storm. County Manager Barbara Donnellan told the County Board yesterday that it had received 118 snow removal-related complaints, but each time a property owner was notified of a violation they “took care of it.” [Sun Gazette]
Lopez Receives Local Endorsements – Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) has picked up the endorsement of some local Arlington County figures in his run for Congress. Lopez announced this morning that he has been endorsed by Arlington County School Board Member Emma Violand-Sanchez, Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur and former Arlington County Democratic Committee chair Mike Lieberman.
Alcova Heights Neighborhood Plan Approved — The County Board last night approved an update to the Alcova Heights Neighborhood Conservation Plan. The plan calls for improving the neighborhood’s appearance while preserving its character and protecting it from speeding and cut-through traffic. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Bernick, a legal fellow for the conservative Heritage Foundation, staked his campaign on opposition to “jaw-droppingly reckless expenditures, like a million-dollar bus stop.”
In a statement this morning, Bernick says Vihstadt shares his vision of “responsible and responsive government.”
I announced my run for Arlington County Board because I wanted to make freedom work for Arlington. I believe in giving people the opportunity to make their own decisions about how to pursue and achieve their dreams and strengthen their communities.
After careful consideration, however, I’ve decided to withdraw from the race and defer to someone with both the right vision for Arlington and the right experience to realize that vision.
I know that I haven’t been in Arlington very long. And one of the candidates for office not only shares my views concerning the need for responsible and responsive government, but has decades of experience in local government. That candidate is John Vihstadt, whom I am proud to endorse in this special election.
Arlington needs someone on the Board who is willing to challenge prevailing assumptions about how the government should spend our money, is prepared to cooperate with fellow Board members, and has first-hand knowledge of what the business of local government in Arlington consists in. I think that John Vihstadt will serve our community well.
Notwithstanding my endorsement of John, I wish the best of luck to all the candidates. I think that the participation of many voices in our political process makes our community strong. I’ll be following the debates closely, and I’m excited to see the results. I hope that the election brings out the best in us.
The Arlington County Republican Committee (ACRC) has endorsed John Vihstadt to fill the County Board seat Chris Zimmerman plans to vacate this month.
Vihstadt is running as an independent against Democratic nominee Alan Howze and libertarian Evan Bernick. Perennial Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and Stephen Holbrook, a retired FBI agent who ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for the County Board last year, have also filed paperwork indicating that they are running.
Vihstadt now has the endorsement of Arlington Republicans, the Arlington Green Party and several high-profile local Democrats, including County Board member Libby Garvey, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair (and ARLnow.com opinion columnist) Peter Rousselot.
Vihstadt opposes the Columbia Pike Streetcar and the planned Long Bridge Aquatics Center, now on hold after constructed bids came in above the allotted budget. Vihstadt said he’s a Republican when he announced his campaign in December, but chose to run as an independent with the hopes of securing the Republicans’ endorsement.
The endorsement signifies the second consecutive County Board election the Republicans have not run an official candidate. There was no Republican challenger when now-Board Chair Jay Fisette ran for re-election in 2013.
Arlington County Democratic Committee President Kip Malinosky issued a statement after Vihstadt secured the endorsement.
“Mr. Vihstadt has shown us his true Republican colors,” Malinosky said. “He has a long history of supporting conservative can
The special election to replace Zimmerman is expected to be held on April 8. The date is expected to be officially set on Tuesday, Feb. 11, a day after Zimmerman formally resigns.
Update at 1:15 p.m. – This afternoon, ACRC issued the following press release about their Vihstadt endorsement.
Yesterday, the Arlington County Republican Committee voted to endorse the Independent candidacy of John Vihstadt for the upcoming Arlington County Board special election.
At the special meeting of the Arlington GOP, Vihstadt spoke to attendees on a large number of topics, including Arlington’s fiscal health, school capacity issues, and needed improvements to the County’s economic development efforts.
Vihstadt discussed the need for fresh thinking on the County Board. The central theme of Vihstadt’s speech was that the County needs to reassess its current spending priorities, saying, “the proposed $310,000,000 Columbia Pike streetcar and $1,000,000 bus stops are imprudent expenditures that ought to be replaced with more effective and less costly alternatives.” Vihstadt continued, “In addition, the $80,000,000 Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center needs to be scaled back. In a time of economic uncertainty, surging school enrollment, and rising household taxes on working families and seniors, the County Board needs to rethink its priorities.”
Vihstadt asserted that his campaign will continue to highlight the importance of a new perspective, stating that “we need a recalibration of Arlington’s spending priorities to stress core services like public education, public safety, and infrastructure maintenance.”
While not shying away from his Republican background, Vihstadt explained to attendees that his independent candidacy allows a broad spectrum of voters an opportunity to support a candidate willing to put the needs of Arlingtonians before partisan politics.
Chairman Ian Meyeroff added after the meeting that “John’s work for Arlington Republicans is only a tiny fraction of who he is.” Meyeroff noted the Arlington GOP’s 2008 selection of Vihstadt for its Delyannis-Finta Award for Distinguished Community Involvement, attributed to Vihstadt’s decades of civic engagement in the public schools, in the neighborhoods, and across the County on various boards and commissions.
In addition to the Republican Party endorsement, Vihstadt has also been endorsed by the Arlington Green Party and prominent Arlington Democrats including County Board member Libby Garvey and Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos. The County Board special election is expected to be held on April 8, 2014.
The Arlington Green Party has voted to endorse John Vihstadt, who’s running as an independent for Arlington County Board.
The Greens are endorsing Vihstadt in lieu of nominating their own candidate for the upcoming County Board special election. The party says Vihstadt shares their “opposition to expensive vanity projects, such as the Columbia Pike trolley and the Long Bridge aquatics center.”
From a press release:
Arlington Greens voted on January 16 to endorse independent candidate John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board election to be held this spring to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of Chris Zimmerman.
Arlington Green Party Chair Steve Davis noted, “The Arlington Green Party endorsement of John Vihstadt shows that people across the political spectrum can find common ground in supporting independent-minded candidates like John who have a positive, inclusive vision for Arlington’s future. We look forward to working with John on his election campaign.”
This is the first county board election in the past seven years in which the Arlington Greens have not nominated their own candidate. This year the Greens have chosen to endorse Vihstadt who shares the Greens’ opposition to expensive vanity projects, such as the Columbia Pike trolley and the Long Bridge aquatics center, at the expense of funding core county programs such as schools, safety net spending, and affordable housing.
In 2013, the Arlington Greens nominated Audrey Clement who received about 32 percent of the votes cast against Democrat Jay Fisette. The Arlington Greens also supported in 2013 the creation of a housing authority to keep more affordable rental housing in the county.
Silver Line Predictions for Arlington — A new report indicates the Silver Line will transform Reston and Tysons Corner into transit-oriented cities, similar to what occurred along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor after the arrival of the Orange Line. “Our Man in Arlington” notes the Silver Line will increase competition for businesses in Arlington, but quotes the director of Arlington Economic Development, who believes the county can hold onto its businesses. Arlington is expected to experience other changes from the Silver Line, such as changes in frequency for Orange Line trains. [Reston Now, Falls Church News-Press]
Look at Proposed Metro Changes — Metro’s recently announced proposal for a downtown loop , which would include one Arlington “super station” at the Pentagon, is getting some more in-depth looks. Plus, Metro indicates the need for another new line Northern Virginia by 2040, due to anticipated significant crowding on the Silver and Orange Lines. [Washington Post, Greater Greater Washington]
Howze Gains Endorsements — The competition is heating up among the three Democratic candidates seeking the nomination to run for the County Board seat being vacated by Chris Zimmerman. Alan Howze has picked up endorsements from Del. Bob Brink (D) and School Board member Noah Simon. Howze had already secured endorsements from County Board member Jay Fisette and Treasurer Frank O’Leary. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by wolfkann
Board Votes Against Taxi Driver Proposal — By a contentious vote of 3-2, the Arlington County Board last night voted against a proposal that would allow taxicab drivers to be issued taxi operating certificates on an individual basis. Currently, only taxi companies are granted certificates in Arlington. County Board Chair Mary Hynes, along with Jay Fisette and Libby Garvey, voted against the proposal, arguing that the current system is working well for riders. Chris Zimmerman and Walter Tejada took the side of a coalition of taxi drivers that has been pushing for a driver-based certificate system. [Sun Gazette]
Meetings for Noise Control Ordinance – Updated at 8:45 a.m. — The County Board last night voted unanimously to defer a scheduled hearing on a series of proposed changes to the county’s noise control ordinance. Instead, two public meetings will be held to discuss the changes, in advance of a Board vote on advertising and holding a public hearing on the revisions. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the 2012 Navy League Building (2300 Wilson Boulevard). The second will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Street). [Arlington County]
Examiner Endorses Murray — The Washington Examiner has endorsed Republican Patrick Murray in the race for Virginia’s 8th District congressional seat. The paper lauded Murray’s military experience and said he “is clearly the better choice.” Earlier this month the Washington Post endorsed Murray’s opponent, long-time incumbent Rep. Jim Moran. [Washington Examiner]
Close Call at Reagan National — Three commuter jets nearly collided at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday afternoon due to a communications failure among air traffic control personnel. The planes were about 12 seconds away from a collision when a tower controller corrected her mistake. [Washington Post]
Ebbin Endorses Krupicka — State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) has endorsed Alexandria Councilman Rob Krupicka (D) in the Sept. 4 special election to fill Del. David Englin’s former 45th District House of Delegates Seat. “[Krupicka] has been a steadfast ally in the fight for true equality, world-class education system, a cleaner environment, smart transportation solutions, and innovative policies that keep our economy strong,” Ebbin said.
Kaine to Visit Arlington Business Today — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia governor Tim Kaine will be visiting Clarendon-based business GridPoint this afternoon. Kaine, who will be joined by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), will highlight his “Strengthening Our Economy Through Energy Innovation” plan.
Extreme Weather on the Rise in Va.? — Extreme downpours and snowstorms are happening 33 percent more frequently in Virginia compared to 65 years ago, according to a new report by Environment Virginia. The group says the finding supports the idea that global warming is changing weather patterns. “We need to heed scientists’ warnings that this dangerous trend is linked to global warming, and do everything we can to cut carbon pollution today,” said Environment Virginia Field Organizer Laura Kate Anderson. [Environment Virginia]
County Tax Deadline Today — The deadline for paying your Arlington real estate taxes is today, Friday, June 15. Payments not postmarked by that date will be considered late.
More on the Overlee Ghost — The Washington Post’s Dan Zak takes an in-depth look at ghost stories at the Overlee Community Association pool. ARLnow.com first reported in March that construction workers at the property had spotted what was thought to be the ghost of Margaret Febrey, a girl who lived on the property and died in 1913. [Washington Post]
George Allen Gets Endorsement in Arlington — Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen was endorsed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising GOP star, at Company Flowers (2107 N. Pollard Street) in Cherrydale yesterday morning. After a press conference, Allen and Rubio both purchased flowers at the store. [Patch]
Woman Killed on Trail Had Fled Nazis — The 80-year-old woman who died after being struck by a cyclist on the Four Mile Run Trail was out for a morning walk at the time of the incident. The woman, Ita Lapina, emigrated to the United States from Russia 15 years ago, family members said. As a child, her family had fled to Siberia to escape the Nazis during World War II. [Washington Post]
Lawnmower Racing Film To Be Shown at Artomatic — An 82-minute documentary on the sport of lawn mower racing will be shown at Artomatic this weekend. The film – On Your Mark, Get Set, MOW! – will be screened at Artomatic’s “Carl Cordell Film Theater” from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. The documentary also examines how lawn mower racing benefits the battle against Huntington’s Disease. Artomatic is taking place at 1851 S. Bell Street in Crystal City through June 23. [Artomatic]
Arlington’s two Democratic congressional candidates — incumbent Jim Moran and challenger Bruce Shuttleworth — are racking up some endorsements ahead of the primaries on June 12.
This week, Shuttleworth received an endorsement from civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis.
“I’ve been involved in Civil Rights and the Democratic Party for over 50 years in Virginia and across America. Today, we need a Progressive Democrat like Bruce Shuttleworth to be in the Congress,” Chavis said.
“Moran has precipitated a contentious relationship with the African American community and has failed to show adequate leadership in representing the 99% over the 1% big business interests that have massively contributed to his campaign,” Chavis added. “I am wholly convinced that Bruce Shuttleworth will never compromise his values – and that is why I am supporting him. Bruce Shuttleworth is a proven ethical leader.”
Last week, Moran received an endorsement from the LGBT Democrats of America PAC.
“Congressman Moran has a long history as a champion for our cause and devoted friend of our community,” said Tiffany M. Joslyn, PAC President. “His positions on issues important to LGBT Virginians, combined with his actual record of sponsorship on and votes for legislation supporting LGBT equality, make him the clear choice for our community.”
“The fact that both candidates in this primary sought the endorsement of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC is a very positive sign for both the Democratic Party and Virginia,” said Joel McDonald, PAC President-Elect. “While both Moran and Shuttleworth agreed with our positions on the issues, Moran’s longtime dedication to, and record of, fighting against discrimination was the deciding factor.”
Update at 4:40 p.m. — A spokesman for the Moran campaign says the congressman has also received endorsements this year from the Sierra Club, the International Association of Firefighters, Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner, Gov. Tim Kaine, and state Sen. Adam Ebbin. The Shuttleworth campaign has a list of endorsements on its website.
MLK Day in Arlington — Arlington County government offices, libraries, and schools will be closed today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. See the full list of closures here. ARLnow.com will return for a full day of news coverage on Tuesday.
GGW Endorses Bondi — The influential local blog Greater Greater Washington has endorsed Melissa Bondi in the upcoming Democratic caucus for Arlington County Board. GGW said Bondi’s “experience, openness to citizen input and dedication to smart urban development” outweighs her recent “tax controversies.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Wardian Runs Two Marathons in Two Days — Local marathoner Michael Wardian didn’t qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, but he did manage to run two marathons in two days, attracting some media attention in the process. [Houston Chronicle]
Tattoo Convention Comes to Crystal City — The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City hosted the second annual D.C. Tattoo Expo over the weekend. Organizers expected the event to attract about 10,000 tattoo aficionados. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by mj*laflaca
Mailer Blasts GOP State Senate Candidate — A mysterious last-minute political mailer has been sent to voters in the 32nd state Senate District. The mailer attacks GOP state Senate candidate Patrick Forrest for being “openly homosexual,” supporting “illegal immigration reform” and for supposedly working for President Obama’s transition team. Forrest’s opponent, incumbent state Sen. Janet Howell, spoke out against the mailers, calling them “disgusting and despicable.” The mailing’s return address comes back to a parking lot, and the organization it purports to come from does not exist. [Blue Virginia]
Arlington Man Charged With Murder — A 27-year-old Arlington man has been charged with second degree murder in Hawaii. Christopher Deedy, a special agent with the State Department, allegedly shot a man during a late-night argument at a McDonald’s in Waikiki. [KHON 2]
Post Endorses Tejada, Hynes — The Washington Post has endorsed incumbent Democrats Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes for reelection to the Arlington County Board. The paper’s editorial board called their opponent, Green Party candidate Audrey Clement, “well informed” but “anti-growth.” Clement, meanwhile, is accusing Tejada and Hynes of being “in bed with developers.” [Washington Post]
D.C. Cop Seeks Legal Fees from Arlington Lawyer — A D.C. police officer is asking her ex-boyfriend, an Arlington lawyer, to pay her legal fees (more than $70,000) in a case that included accusations of “attempted stalking,” defamation and civil rights violations. [Legal Times]
Marines Want More Access to APS Students — The U.S. Marine Corps is asking Arlington Public Schools to relax its restrictions on military recruiting at school facilities. While more restrictive than Fairfax County or other local jurisdictions, the school system argues that its rules are consistent with federal law. The Marine Corps says its rate of enlisting Arlington students is far below expectations. [Sun Gazette]
The Washington Post and the Arlington Sun Gazette both endorsed Favola yesterday, passing over her opponent, Republican Caren Merrick.
“Our inclination at the beginning of the race was to favor Merrick,” wrote the Sun Gazette. “But as the campaign progressed, we’ve been left wondering exactly what her core political philosophy is, and how she will put it into action, if elected, in Richmond.”
“Democrat Barbara Favola, a knowledgeable veteran of the Arlington County Board, would be effective in the Senate from Day 1 representing this district,” wrote the Washington Post. “Ms. Merrick, despite her valuable business experience, has offered no plausible alternative for tackling [traffic] gridlock.”
Merrick holds a substantial cash advantage over Favola, however. As of Sept. 30, Merrick had $140,076 in the bank, compared to Favola’s $62,612.
Favola and Merrick are scheduled to debate tonight at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (3900 Lee Highway). The debate is expected to begin around 7:30 p.m.
Police Searching For Serial Groper — Arlington Police are on the lookout for a man who has been assaulting women and girls by grabbing their breasts as they walk down the street. Among the victims are Eastern European women working as lifeguards and a 13-year-old girl. The attacks started in June. [WUSA9]
Virginia NOW Endorsements — The Virginia National Organization for Women PAC has endorsed four Arlington candidates for state office. Virginia NOW endorsed both Adam Ebbin and Libby Garvey in the three-way race for the 30th state Senate District (skipping over Rob Krupicka). The group also endorsed both Stephanie Clifford and Alfonso Lopez in the two-way race for the 49th House of Delegates District. [Virginia NOW]
Arlington Helps Battle Arlandria Fire — Arlington County firefighters helped Alexandria firefighters extinguish a two-alarm blaze at an apartment complex in the Arlandria section of Alexandria yesterday. The fire, across from St. Rita’s Catholic Church, forced the closure of Russell Road between Mt. Vernon Avenue and W. Glebe Road for much of the morning. [Patch]
Areizaga-Soto Funnels More Money into Campaign — State Senate candidate Jaime Areizaga-Soto has lent his campaign another $70,000, in addition to the $145,000 he already loaned to the campaign. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Jaime Areizaga-Soto has received the endorsement of Del. David Englin, a founding co-chair of the Virginia Progressive Caucus, while Barbara Favola received the endorsement of the Sun Gazette newspaper.
In its editorial, the Sun Gazette said that Favola provides “common-sense, middle-ground representation” as a County Board member, while Areizaga-Soto lacks experience.
“As newcomer Areizaga-Soto has no political track record to speak of, we can only judge him based on his platform and public pronouncements,” the paper said. “The talking points are all of the garden-variety ‘progressive’ kind that make many Northern Virginia Democrats largely irrelevant in Richmond’s corridors of power… Favola, on the other hand, does have a track record. It is hardly perfect, but it is strong enough to make her a decided favorite in our eyes.”
Englin, meanwhile, said he “can no longer remain silent” about the way he believes Areizaga-Soto has been treated by Democratic leaders.
As a progressive leader in the General Assembly, I generally do not endorse Democratic primary candidates in districts where I cannot vote, and I’ve been especially hesitant to comment on the 31st District Senate primary because my wife is a paid consultant for one of the candidates, Jaime Areizaga-Soto. However, my simmering anger at how my own party’s leaders in the Virginia Senate are handling this race has boiled over, and I can no longer remain silent.
Jaime Areizaga-Soto is a Georgetown and Stanford-educated attorney and a U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, whom President Obama appointed to a high-level position at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He served as a White House Fellow — one of our nation’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service, whose alumni include distinguished Americans like Wesley Clark, Colin Powell, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. On top of all that, he’s an Eagle Scout who is fluent in four languages. Yet the retiring incumbent, who just months ago introduced Areizaga-Soto to her constituents as a valued policy adviser, now claims he was a mere intern in her office and accuses him of inflating his resume. Since when does a 41-year-old who is an accomplished attorney, a lieutenant colonel, an Obama Administration appointee, and a White House Fellow need to inflate his resume?
The most senior Democratic leaders in the Virginia Senate continue to attack and belittle Areizaga-Soto, who would be the first Latino elected to the Virginia Senate, because he has the nerve to seek his party’s nomination against their hand-picked choice. They are so incensed by his candidacy that they have spent tens of thousands of dollars to attack him that could otherwise be used to defend their tenuous Democratic majority. This smacks of an earlier era of “good old boy” Virginia Democratic politics that most of us soundly rejected long ago. I have nothing against the other candidate in this race, Barbara Favola, with whom I have enjoyed working on Arlington County issues over the years. But the seat she and Areizaga-Soto seek belongs to the people of the 31st District, not to party bosses or the retiring incumbent to bequeath to the successor of their choice.
I urge Democrats in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun to vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto for Senate on August 23rd, both because he will be a thoughtful, progressive champion for our entire community, and to send a message that the Democratic Party is still the open, inclusive party of good government we have worked so hard together to build.
The PAC has endorsed Del. Adam Ebbin, who’s running in the 30th state Senate district and Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who’s running in the 31st state Senate district. The group also endorsed both candidates who are running in the 49th House of Delegates district: Alfonso Lopez and Stephanie Clifford.
While saying that Ebbin’s two primary opponents — Rob Krupicka and Libby Garvey — would be “strong allies,” and while expressing confidence that Areizaga-Soto’s opponent — Barbara Favola — would “vote on the side of equality” — the LGBT Dems nonetheless sided with Ebbin and Areizaga-Soto.
See the group’s press release, after the jump.