Cherry Trees Planted at Library — As part of its Neighborhood Tree Planting Program, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japan-America Society of Washington planted three cherry trees in front of Arlington Central Library yesterday. The program “is an effort to celebrate and share the gift of cherry blossom trees throughout the DC-metro region… and helps create new National Cherry Blossom Festival traditions beyond the Tidal Basin,” festival organizers said in a statement. [Facebook]
Whole Foods Deli, Chicken Counter Stay Closed — The main grocery store and much of the prepared foods sections at the Clarendon Whole Foods (2700 Wilson Blvd) are open following Tuesday’s fire, but county officials say the market deli and chicken counter will stay closed until the health inspector approves its reopening.
County to Consider Privatizing Volunteer Agency — Changes may be coming to Volunteer Arlington, the county’s volunteer agency. Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan is establishing a new advisory task force “to look into whether Arlington’s volunteer office is the right business model to meet community needs.” The task force will consider whether outsourcing Volunteer Arlington “would enhance volunteer activity in the community.” [Arlington County]
Restaurant Exceeds Kickstarter Goal — SER, the winner of Ballston’s Restaurant Challenge, has exceeded its $15,000 Kickstarter goal. The Spanish comfort food restaurant, coming to 1110 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, has so far raised $17,145. It also received a $245,000 interest-free loan as the prize for winning the Restaurant Challenge. [Kickstarter]
Arlington GOP Blasts Olympic Bid — Arlington Republicans do not share Democratic officials’ enthusiasm for the regional bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. “It’s not a great idea,” said local GOP chairman Matt Wavro, citing costs and security concerns. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
County Offices Closed for Labor Day – Arlington County government offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Pools and ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will proceed as normal, but mulch delivery will be suspended. Parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]
Last Outdoor Films of the Season – Rosslyn will be hosting its last outdoor film of the summer tonight. “Horrible Bosses” is slated to run from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, meanwhile, gets the honor of hosting Arlington’s last outdoor film of the summer. “Gravity” will be shown at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike) Saturday starting around 7:30 p.m. [Rosslyn BID, CPRO]
Courthouse: ‘A Hot Spot Getting Hotter’ — Courthouse “is on the cusp of being reinvented” says a county planner. Its walkability, abundance of retail and park proximity have all helped to contribute to its increasing desirability among homebuyers. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Adopts Local Platform — Billed as its “first local platform,” the Arlington County Republican Committee approved a set of five guiding principles Wednesday. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Kenneth Edward Piner
‘Republican’ Not Found on GOP Candidate’s Signs — Republican candidate Dave Foster, who’s running to represent the 48th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, has a notable addition and omission on his campaign signs. Foster’s signs include a union label, but do not include the word “Republican.” Foster will face Democrat Rip Sullivan in a special election on Aug. 19. [InsideNova]
Arlington Transportation ‘What Ifs’ — Three shelved transportation proposals could have had a big impact on Arlington over the past 50 years. One would have seen a new 22-mile Blue Line built through Arlington, under the Potomac via a new tunnel, to Georgetown and eventually to RFK stadium. Another would have converted Route 1 through Crystal City to “Interstate 595.” A third would have built a new bridge from Spout Run Parkway to Georgetown. [Washington Post]
Clarendon ‘Good Morning Guy’ Profiled — Robert Gordon, the Express newspaper distributor who excitedly wishes Metrorail commuters in Clarendon a good morning on weekdays, says his is “the best job I can ever have in the world.” [WJLA]
Blues and Brews in Crystal City Tonight — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner is scheduled to perform in Crystal City tonight for the monthly summer “Blues and Brews” concert. The event, in the courtyard of 2121 Crystal Drive, also features a craft beer garden. [Crystal City]
Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4
Dennis Bartow, 39, announced yesterday that he will be vying for the retiring Moran’s seat, facing Micah Edmond in a Republican convention, set for April 26 at Bishop O’Connell High School. Bartow, a U.S. Army veteran and founder of two companies, lives in Alexandria with his wife and son.
Bartow announced his candidacy in a press release, in which he says he served in the military in Iraq, Kuwait and Kosovo. He also founded Bartow Imports, which distributes wine to 10 states, and a federal government contractor. He is running on a platform of economic development and “smaller, smarter government.”
“The neighborhoods and communities that make up Virginia’s 8th District stand at a crossroads today in how we are governed,” Bartow said in the release. “I’m running for Congress because Americans are tired of the gridlock and pessimism. I believe we can work together to create policies that will spur job growth and prosperity again – so that every American has the opportunity to share in our great nation’s promise. I will reinvigorate the district and our nation with the business experience and entrepreneurship that helped me launch two successful businesses and create jobs.”
The filing deadline for the election was March 27. The field for the primary includes 11 Democrats — Adam Ebbin, Alfonso Lopez, Patrick Hope, Bill Euille, Charniele Herring, Bruce Shuttleworth, Lavern Chatman, Don Beyer, Mark Levine, Satish Korpe and Derek Hyra. Nancy Najarian, who had announced she was running in March, only secured 549 signatures of the required 1,000 to qualify for election, according to the 8th Congressional District Democrats’ website.
The Democratic Primary will be held June 10. The 8th District has been a Democratic stronghold for decades, with local and national Democratic candidates consistently winning more than 60 percent of votes.
Lyon Park Bat Turns Out to Be Something Else — A Lyon Park resident called animal control officers late last month after a startling discovery: a bat inside his or her home. There was only one problem — the responding animal control officer found that the “bat” was actually a sweatband. It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Previously, a balloon had been mistaken for a bat, a ski hat lying on the road was mistaken for a dead cat, and a “mangy, emaciated cat” turned out to be stuffed animal. [DCist]
GOP Trying to Find Candidate for Special Election — The upcoming County Board special election to replace the retiring Chris Zimmerman could give Arlington Republicans their best chance of winning a seat on the Board since the late 1990s, the last time any non-Democrat served as a Board member. “We could really pull a surprise,” said Arlington County Republican Committee chairman Charles Hokanson. [Sun Gazette]
County Seeking Food Donations for AFAC — As part of County Board Chair Walter Tejada’s “Moving Forward Together” initiative, Arlington County is collecting food items to help stock the shelves at the Arlington Food Assistance Center for the winter. Drop-off points have been set up at Arlington community centers and libraries. [Arlington County]
Mary Bono Selling Arlington Condo — Former California congresswoman Mary Bono is selling her two-bedroom, two-bath condo in the Eclipse building, near Potomac Yard, for $569,000. [Washington Post]
Lustron Home for Sale — A “rare and historic” Lustron home in south Arlington is for sale. The prefabricated two-bedroom, one bathroom home is all steel and was considered a “[marvel] of modern efficiency and style” when it was built at the end of World War II. It’s listed at $499,000. [Preservation Arlington]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
After a year where seats on the County Board and School Board and four House of Delegates districts were up for election and no Republicans ran, 2014 will not be a repeat, pledged Arlington County Republican Committee Chairman Charles Hokanson.
“We fully expect to be running local candidates in 2014 and beyond,” Hokanson told ARLnow.com. “This year, we prioritized our work on supporting the statewide Republican ticket in what correctly proved to be very tight elections, in the process building up our strongest voter identification and get-out-the-vote efforts in many years.”
Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli received 22 percent of the votes for governor in Arlington, but Hokanson said the Arlington GOP “built up our largest active party membership in over a decade in 2013.”
“Arlington Republican voters know that we are a political minority in this County and understand that, to win races, our local party seeks to put forth credible, experienced candidates who will run strong campaigns, prove successful fundraisers, build issue-based coalitions that resonate with voters, and have the time to give it their all,” Hokanson said.
Hokanson said no one has yet declared for the 2014 races, which will include County Board, the School Board and Rep. Jim Moran’s House of Representatives seat, among others, but he said the GOP will put out a call for candidates this winter.
Local ‘Stacking’ Champ Gains International Fame — William Polly, the 12-year-old Thomas Jefferson Middle School student who’s a Sport Stacking champion, is gaining international notoriety. This summer he filmed a television commercial for a South African orange soda, and next week he will attempt to break his own world record during the taping of a Guinness Book of World Records TV show in Beijing. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Renovates HQ — The Arlington County Republican Committee is putting the finishing touches on its new headquarters. Located on the ground floor of an apartment building at 405 S. Glebe Road, the office is expected to reopen after Labor Day. The local GOP is also planning a door knocking campaign for gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli on Sept. 7. [Sun Gazette]
Bourbon, Bacon and Blues Party — A group of Arlington-based bloggers is throwing a party tonight at O’Sullivan’s (3207 Washington Blvd) in Clarendon. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. and will feature music by Duffy Kane. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by christopherskillman
Is NSA leaker Edward Snowden a heroic defender of liberty or a reckless turncoat?
Fein — who served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration and called for the impeachment of President Obama in 2011 — is an outspoken supporter of Snowden and his disclosure of massive government surveillance programs. He also serves as the attorney for Snowden’s father.
Fein compared Snowden to Paul Revere at the Monday night event. That angered one woman in the audience, whose husband is on active duty in the military.
“[Snowden] has put military members like my husband, who is deployed overseas, in danger,” she said during the question-and-answer portion of the event. “If you ask people in the military intelligence community whether they consider him a whistleblower or a traitor, I can tell you overwhelmingly, they consider him a traitor.”
Fein was unapologetic.
“Your husband shouldn’t be there at all, he’s there because of a violation of the Constitution,” he said. “I think the greater crime was flouting the Constitution and sending people to send unconstitutional wars not for our liberty but for people who have no loyalty to the United States whatsoever and never will.”
Charles Hokanson, chairman of the Arlington County Republican Committee, took exception to Fein’s response, writing on Facebook at the time: “He just offended a military spouse so badly with his cavalier attitude to the safety of our soldiers abroad fighting in places he doesn’t think we belong that she just left the room.”
“I asked him to write her a letter of apology,” he continued. “I hope he does!”
A letter from Fein was later posted on the event’s Facebook page, sparking an intra-party debate over whether the letter was sufficiently apologetic or necessary in the first place. The discussion included more than 120 posts as of last night, but had been removed as of this morning.
Video via Bruce Majors
DJO Senior Hurt in Spanish Train Wreck — Christina Cordoba, a rising senior at Bishop O’Connell High School, is in stable condition with a broken leg after surviving a deadly train derailment in Spain. The derailment killed nearly 80 people, including Cordoba’s mother, Ana-Maria Cordoba, who worked for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Cordoba’s father, Philippe, was also injured and is in stable condition. [WTOP, CBS News]
Security Breach at DCA — Nearly two dozen deactivated security badges of former Reagan National Airport employees have not been turned back in, raising serious security concerns. Already, one former employee was arrested for using his deactivated badge to get onto an airplane, according to prosecutors. [NBC Washington]
Virginia Suicides Hit High Mark — Virginia residents are three times more likely to die from suicide than homicide, according to a new report that also found that suicides in the Commonwealth hit a 13-year high in 2011. [Associated Press]
GOP Chief Wants More Community Involvement — The Arlington County Republican Committee is not fielding a candidate for County Board, School Board or House of Delegates this year. Committee chairman Charles Hokanson says the party needs candidates that are deeply involved in the Arlington community if it wants to have a shot at winning a local race. [Sun Gazette]
Photo by Audrey Batcheller
Obama Visits Arlington National Cemetery — President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Monday during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day. In addition to remembering fallen service members, Obama asked that Americans “not forget our nation is still at war.” [Washington Post]
Record High County GOP Membership — The Arlington County Republican Party chairman says the county’s membership is at an all time high, at least over what is has been for the past decade. The number of members now stands at 139. [Sun Gazette]
Students Earn Latin Exam Medals — Forty-five Arlington Public Schools students have received gold medals for the scores they received on the National Latin Exam. Another 41 students received silver medals and 50 earned bronze medals. Three students earned a perfect score. The National Latin Exam is given in March to students at six levels of Latin and covers grammar, reading comprehension, Roman culture, history, geography and mythology and etymology. More than 500 students in Arlington joined the 154,000 students from around the world who took the exam. [Arlington Public Schools]
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Ken Cuccinelli for Governor
As I have previously written, Ken Cuccinelli has an extreme anti-women agenda, including support for a “personhood” law that would end or cripple a series of personal rights that women in Arlington and the rest of Virginia have enjoyed for decades, such as:
- Birth control
- Fertility treatment
- Management of a miscarriage
- Access to safe and legal abortions
Cuccinelli holds many other extreme positions that are unappealing to large numbers of Arlington Republicans, including his attacks on academic freedom and his war on science. Rather than balancing Cuccinelli with two other more moderate candidates, the RPVA instead chose two candidates with even more extreme views.
E.W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor
This is Mr. Jackson’s message for the gay and lesbian community: “Gays and lesbians have ‘perverted’ minds and are ‘very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally,’ … [they] seek societal approval because ‘they’ll never feel satisfied because in their heart of hearts’ they know ‘it is immoral, it is perverse, it is degenerate.’”
Mr. Jackson believes that gay marriage is like “spitting in the face of every bible-believing Christian in America.” Mr. Jackson thinks that Planned Parenthood has been “far more lethal to Black lives than the KKK ever was.”
RPVA is sponsoring Mr. Jackson as someone who deserves to be a heartbeat away from the Virginia governorship.
Coyote Spottings in Arlington? — Some residents in the Leeway Overlee area of Arlington have recently reported spotting a coyote in their neighborhood. While video has proven the presence of coyotes — or at least one coyote — in Arlington, naturalists question whether the animal spotted might actually be a fox or a mangy dog. [NBC Washington]
GOP AG Debate at GMU Law Tonight — The George Mason University School of Law in Arlington will host a debate between the two Republican candidates for Virginia Attorney General tonight. The event, which is open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be moderated by former attorney general and governor Jim Gilmore. [Republican National Lawyers Association]
Arlington ‘Avoiding D.C.’s Traffic Nightmare’ — Arlington County has managed to avoid the “traffic nightmare” that’s facing nearby D.C. thanks to a “multifaceted effort to curb car-dependence” that serves as “a regional model,” according to WAMU. [WAMU]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
More on the Arlington Goat Prank – The Navy has confirmed that Bill the Goat, the U.S. Naval Academy mascot, was the goat that was found tied up in a median at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street, near the Pentagon, this past weekend. The goat was “recovered Saturday morning in good condition.” The Army-Navy football game is Dec. 8 and a Navy spokeswoman noted: “Bill the Goat has been a part of our 10-game winning streak against Army, so we are glad to have him back before the big game next week.” [Navy Times]
Arlington GOP Counts Accomplishments — Even though Republican candidates did not win a single race in Arlington, members of the Arlington County Republican Committee are tallying some small victories. “We kept Arlington moving toward more common-sense policies,” said Matt Wavro, this year’s GOP County Board candidate. [Sun Gazette]
‘Shark Tank’ Charity Pitch Event — Twenty entrepreneurs from around Virginia will have a chance to pitch their business startup ideas to panel of business leaders and investors in Arlington this morning. The Shark Tank-like pitch competition will help raise money for charity. The event is taking place at the Ballston offices of Arlington Economic Development, but tickets are no longer available. [Eventbrite]
Commission Says No to Lee Hwy Project — The Arlington Planning Commission has voted against a developer’s plan to build a 10-story apartment building and a MOM’s Organic Market grocery store on the current Bergmann’s Dry Cleaner site on Lee Highway. The commission expressed reservations about approving the project when there’s no overarching county development plan for Lee Highway. Some neighborhood residents who supported the development said they were disappointed with the commission’s vote. The County Board will have the final say when they consider the matter on Dec. 8. [Arlington Mercury]
Arlington GOP Still Trying to Stop Streetcar — The Arlington County Republican Committee is trying a new tactic to halt the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is asking state lawmakers to pass a measure that would require Arlington County to have a voter referendum before selling bonds to fund the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]
Ballston Bar Crawl to Benefit Sandy — Eight Ballston-area bars are hosting a bar crawl to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The bar crawl will start at noon on Saturday at Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd). The event also includes a poker competition for prizes, like Redskins and Capitals gear. [Clarendon Nights]
Arlington Democrats will be watching the election returns on the big screen at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike). The event, which starts at 6:00 p.m., features free admission, a hot food buffet ($10 or $12, depending who you ask) and a cash bar.
“We will be joined by volunteers, candidates, elected officials and the general public as we watch the returns, share stories from the campaign trail and celebrate democracy in action!” said Arlington Young Democrats spokesman Mike Lewan.
Arlington Republicans will be monitoring the election results on five televisions at RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon (2915 Wilson Blvd). The grand ole party will include $3 Heineken and Newcastle all night, plus “some specials on some Americana type beers, likely Sam Adams.” Nachos and pretzels will be half off.
The event is officially being held from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., but attendees are being encouraged to show up earlier and stay later. WiFi internet access will be provided for wonks who want to monitor real-time results and Twitter reactions.
The Arlington Green Party, meanwhile, will be holding a more subdued affair. The Greens’ celebration, which is being held at a private north Arlington residence starting at 7:00 p.m., will feature “vegetarian chili, corn bread, hot and cold drinks.”
Those hoping for a more non-partisan event can attend an “Election Day Decompression Session” at Iota Club and Cafe in Clarendon (2832 Wilson Blvd) on Tuesday. The free event will offer happy hour prices from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. DJ Sam Snow will be spinning tunes from 6:00 until “late.” The DJing will be decidedly undemocratic: no requests will be taken.
“IOTA is a politics-free zone lovin’ the donkeys and the elephants and the indies,” said co-owner Jane Negrey Inge. “It’s all about togetherness!”
Capitol City Brewing in Shirlington (4001 Campbell Avenue) is hosting Election Day festivities all day on Tuesday. The event, from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, includes election-related programming on the TVs, $5 appetizers, half dollar wings and happy hour-priced pints of beer.
Some local restaurants are offering election-specific specials in the run-up to the election.
Bar TNT (within Eamonn’s, 2413 Columbia Pike) is offering two bipartisan cocktails for the price on one: a red tequila-based “Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney-rita” and a blue rum-based “Obama-Mama,” $12 for the pair (pictured). Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City (2110 Crystal Drive), meanwhile, is still tallying votes for its “Great Burger Debate,” featuring a Democratic “James Carville” burger and a Republican “Mary Matalin” burger.