Earlier this week, Democratic blogger and former Arlington resident Ben Tribbett made national news when he resigned from the Redskins. The team hired him two weeks prior to support the public relations battle against sentiment that “Redskins” as a racial slur against Native Americans.
Tribbett, a supporter of the name, said he resigned because the debate got too personal — “things got too hot to handle” and became a distraction to the team.
Tribbett’s hiring came as pressure mounts on the Redskins and owner Dan Snyder to change the name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month revoked the trademark on “Redskins,” saying it is “disparaging of Native Americans.” For that same reason, media organizations from the Washington City Paper to the Seattle Times to a student newspaper in Pennsylvania have been banning the use of the team’s name in news coverage.
Tribbett, who now lives in Lorton, says he continues to support the Redskins and thinks news outlets should report, not moralize when it comes to the name.
“The reason I support the Redskins name is, I don’t think it’s a slur first of all,” Tribbett told ARLnow.com this morning. “Having grown up in this area, nothing brought the entire D.C. area together more than the Redskins, and the idea that it’s now a divisive issue really bothers me.”
“I don’t see why anyone would not publish the name, the name of the football team is the Washington Redskins,” Tribbett continued. “Until Dan Snyder or someone else says otherwise, i think journalists should report the news and not make it.”
Orange, Blue and Yellow Line Work This Weekend — Getting anywhere on Metro this weekend will take longer than usual. Trains will run every 20 minutes on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines due to track work. The Yellow Line, meanwhile, will end at Mt. Vernon Square rather than Fort Totten. The changes will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. Friday through system closing on Sunday. [WMATA]
Superintendent Hopes to Avoid Class Size Increase — Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy says he’ll try to avoid an increase in class sizes in the school system’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget. It’s unclear how Murphy plans to close a projected $8.8 million budget gap. [Sun Gazette]
Howze Wins Teacher Endorsement — Arlington County Board hopeful Alan Howze has won the endorsement of the Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee. The political arm of the teachers’ association said Howze “recognizes that investing in our schools is one of the very best ways to make our community even stronger.”
Brink Proposes Under 15 Tanning Salon Ban — Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D) has proposed legislation that would ban children under the age of 15 from Virginia tanning salons and would require teens ages 15 to 17 to obtain written parental permission to use such facilities. [Sun Gazette]
Ballston Burger Shop Renames RG III Burger — The RG III burger at Big Buns in Ballston has received an alternate name, “The Kirk Cousins.” The $15 burger contains a beef, a chicken and a turkey patty. Dan Steinberg writes: “No word on what the sandwich will be called next fall.” [DC Sports Bog]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
The NFL Play 60 campaign is giving Glebe Elementary a grant for health and wellness programming or equipment. Washington Redskins players Alfred Morris, Joshua Morgan, Josh Wilson, Darrel Young and Nick Williams will present the school their check Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 9:30 a.m.
Glebe was selected as the D.C. area’s “NFL Play 60 Super School,” after sending the NFL essays “explaining how they planned to show their NFL team pride and incorporate football into their lesson plans,” and essays “on their school’s game plan for teaching students the importance of physical education and nutrition,” according to Arlington Public Schools.
The NFL Play 60 campaign encourages children to play for at least an hour every day to maintain healthy physical fitness. The players will help the students get 60 minutes of exercise on Tuesday, and the NFL will donate all the equipment used during the event to the school for future use.
The check presentation ceremony is not open to the public.
Photo via Facebook
Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada spoke out against the name of Washington’s professional football team name Monday while speaking at the Arlington Food Assistance Center‘s 25th anniversary celebration.
“It is time to change the name,” Tejada said. “Twenty-five years ago, when AFAC started, the Redskins won the Super Bowl. This can and, frankly, should be done. I strongly support that.”
Tejada expanded on his thoughts on the team’s controversial name when reached by ARLnow.com Tuesday. He said it was the first time he’s declared his position publicly, but wanted to stress that it was a personal opinion, not that of the County Board as a whole.
“I’ve been following the discussions reported in the papers and occasionally on television,” he said. “I have to say, that every time someone is defending the name, they don’t really do a good job. This is separate from the franchise itself. It’s a terrific organization, they have a professional team and everything related to it.”
Several major publications, including the Kansas City Star, Slate Magazine, Philadelphia Daily News and Washington City Paper, have recently decided to stop using the name “Redskins” in print, instead referring to the team simply as “Washington” or “the Washington football team.” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been adamant in his defense of the name, telling USA Today “We will never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
Tejada insisted that changing the name would not be as big of a deal as its defenders believed, citing the late-1990s change from the Washington Bullets to the Washington Wizards when D.C. was going through a particularly high period of gun violence. Then-Wizards owner Abe Pollin voluntarily changed the name.
“Life has gone on. There’s Wizards memorabilia all over the place,” Tejada said. “That would be the case too with a new name. To have a name that is insulting to Native Americans is shameful. What would happen if there was a team named the Whiteskins, the Blackskins or Brownskins? Why are we going there? It’s inappropriate. I’m a big football fan, but I just think that they don’t need this.
“Times have changed,” he continued. “It’s simply time for a fresh name and a fresh start. It’s simply a matter of getting contemporary. I think we could all come up with some names we would like.”
The new Modell’s Sporting Goods store in Pentagon City is expected to open for business tomorrow morning.
The store, in the former Borders book store space at the Pentagon Centre shopping center (1201 S. Hayes Street), says it will open its doors at 9:00 a.m. and offer “great prizes,” “exciting giveaways for early bird shoppers,” and “crazy deals.”
As part of a four-day grand opening event, Modell’s will host “meet and greets” with two local professional athletes. Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to be at the store on Thursday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., and Washington Nationals linebacker Brian Orakpo is scheduled from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
As we reported last month, this will be the first Arlington location for New York City-based Modell’s, which was founded in 1889. The company operates more than 150 stores along the East Coast, including existing locations in Fairfax County, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia.
Arlington Mill Goes Over Budget — The Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike has gone $600,000 over its $31.6 million budget. The County Board is expected to approve additional funding for the project at its meeting this coming Saturday. [Sun Gazette]
New Coworking Space in Clarendon — A new coworking space has opened at 3140 N. Washington Street in Clarendon, on the second floor of the Wells Fargo bank building. Link Locale will house startup companies, entrepreneurs, freelancers and teleworkers. It’s the second coworking space to open along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor this year. [Patch]
Redskins Player to Sign Autographs in Clarendon — Washington Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen will sign autographs and take photos with fans tonight at the AT&T Store in Clarendon (3000 Wilson Blvd). The appearance will take place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
VDOT Needs Residents to Check Trees — VDOT says it doesn’t have the resources to check all the trees along roads it maintains, so it sometimes relies on residents to tell them when a tree needs to be inspected or removed. VDOT-maintained roads in Arlington include Glebe Road, Lee Highway, Old Dominion Drive and parts of Washington Blvd. [Sun Gazette]
Art at Arlington National Cemetery — A new art exhibit at Arlington National Cemetery entitled “The Greatest Generation, A Visual Tribute,” is getting some help from amateur artists. About 500 people have contributed their own visual tributes to those who served in World War II on a “wall of thanks.” [WUSA 9]
Arlington Ridge Starbucks Opens Tomorrow — A new Starbucks Coffee store is opening tomorrow at 2925 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge shopping center. [Twitter]
Melody Tavern Hosts Redskins Event — Melody Tavern (3650 S. Glebe Road) is hosting an event tonight to coincide with the season’s first Redskins pre-season game, against the Buffalo Bills. From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Melody Tavern will host a discussion with former Redskins Frank Grant (WR), Roy Jefferson (WR) and Darryl Grant (DT), according to a press release. There will also be a drawing for free Redskins tickets.
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Meriweather Pleads to DWI Charge — Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather has pleaded no contest to the charge of driving while intoxicated in Arlington. As part of the plea, Meriweather was assessed a fine, a driver’s license suspension, and a 180 day jail sentence — though the jail time was suspended. ARLnow.com was the first to report in April that Meriweather had been arrested for DWI following a traffic stop on I-66 in Arlington. [Washington Post]
Heat Advisory Issued — A heat advisory will be in effect from noon to 8:00 tonight. Heat index values are expected to reach around 105 degrees, which brings the risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses. [Weather Channel]
District 45 Special Election Scheduled — The special election to replace Del. David Englin, who resigned in June, will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the special election date yesterday. [Virginia.gov]
Green Pig Bistro Reviewed — Washingtonian Magazine reviews Clarendon’s Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore Street) and dubs it a “hipster farmhouse.” In addition to the food, the restaurant’s staff also receives attention in the article: “That dude with the mohawk and baroque tattoos? That’s the sous chef.” [Washingtonian]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 8:35 p.m.) Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was arrested on suspicion of DWI by Arlington County police early this morning, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.
Meriweather was initially stopped for speeding on westbound I-66 in the area of N. Ohio Street at 2:54 a.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Officers detected an odor of alcohol on his breath and performed a field sobriety test, which Meriweather failed, Sternbeck said.
The two-time Pro Bowl strong safety refused a breathalyzer test, was arrested and spent the night in the Arlington County jail, according to Sternbeck. Police say Meriweather claimed he was driving home from a club in D.C., but couldn’t remember the name of the club.
After starting his pro football career with the New England Patriots in 2007, Meriweather spent last season with the Chicago Bears before signing a two year, $6 million contract with the Redskins on March 15, 2012.
Arlington’s Biggest Redskins Fanatic — Charlie Clark has tracked down perhaps the biggest Redskins fan of them all. North Arlington resident Mary Holt, age 87, owns about “1,500 team knickknacks ranging from napkin holders to clocks to team photos to Redskins Wheaties cereal boxes.” The tchotchkes are displayed across “every inch of her ‘woman cave’” — where she watches the burgundy and gold every game day. [Falls Church News Press]
Lyon Village Park Ribbon Cutting — Residents and county officials will celebrate the completion of improvements to Lyon Village Park (1800 N. Highland Street) over the weekend. Park upgrades include new tennis and basketball courts, backboards and a living green picnic shelter canopy. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:00 Sunday morning.
Bricks Missing in Rosslyn — The Ode Street Tribune spots a number of missing brick pavers at a pedestrian crosswalk in Rosslyn. [Old Street Tribune]
Eden Center Controversy — Vietnamese merchants in the Eden Center in Falls Church are complaining about police intimidation after a raid last month that resulted in 19 arrests for alleged gang activity. Earlier this year, Arlington authorities — the county provides fire department services to the City of Falls Church — raided the Eden Center and confiscated illegal fireworks. [Washington Post]