A noted streetcar critic will address a meeting of the Northern Virginia Tea Party on Tuesday.
The event is scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road). Randal O’Toole, a transportation expert at the libertarian CATO Institute, will “speak about current transportation policy issues, including the Columbia Pike streetcar.”
O’Toole wrote the book The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths: How Smart Growth Will Harm American Cities in 2001, and published a policy analysis entitled “The Great Streetcar Conspiracy” last year. The analysis says municipal streetcar systems are being encouraged by the federal government and by “engineering firms that stand to earn millions of dollars planning, designing, and building streetcar lines.”
“Streetcars are the latest urban planning fad, stimulated partly by the Obama administration’s preference for funding transportation projects that promote ‘livability’ (meaning living without automobiles) rather than mobility or cost-effective transportation,” O’Toole wrote.
“Based on 19th-century technology, the streetcar has no place in American cities today except when it functions as part of a completely self-supporting tourist line. Instead of subsidizing streetcars, cities should concentrate on basic — and modern — services such as fixing streets, coordinating traffic signals, and improving roadway safety.”
(Supporters argue that a modern streetcar system is a clean and efficient transportation solution that reduces traffic congestion and promotes economic development.)
Tuesday’s event is free and open to the public. “Extensive free parking in the evening is available at the rear of the adjacent elementary school,” according to the event invitation.
Photo via CATO Institute
Prince Harry to Visit Arlington — Britain’s Prince Harry will be in the U.S. for six days in May, and Arlington is among his stops. His trip includes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he will pay respects to those killed in recent conflicts. Prince Harry will also stop at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit wounded warriors, and Capitol Hill to see an exhibition on clearing landmines. [Reuters, Washingtonian]
Tea Party Calls for Action Against “Soviet” Arlington — The streetcar town hall meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) is drumming up a lot of attention, including a post in the Northern Virginia Tea Party Newsletter. It posted “A Letter from behind the lines in Soviet Arlington,” calling on streetcar opponents to attend the meeting to demonstrate against what it calls “the county board’s pet streetcar project.” [Blue Virginia]
Arlington Unemployment Sees January Increase — The county’s unemployment rate experienced a bump up from December to January, rising from 3.3 percent to 3.9 percent. Figures released last week show there were nearly 131,200 Arlington residents in the civilian workforce in January, with more than 5,300 looking for work. Such unemployment bumps are not unexpected following the holidays, and also occurred in the surrounding areas of Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Alexandria and Prince William County. Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, with the exception of the town of Leesburg (3.7 percent) which is not included in the rankings. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore
Board Members Want More Capital Projects — Arlington County Board members don’t want to stop new capital spending projects, saying that “now is not the time to stop investing in the future of the community.” Board members say that interest rates are low and the construction market is competitive making new building projects cheaper than they might be in the future. [Sun Gazette]
Reporter Peeved About FOIA Fees — Connection Newspapers reporter Michael Lee Pope is continuing his crusade against public records practices at the Arlington County Police Department. This time around, Pope notes that the police department has charged or threaten to charge between $31.16 and $573.25 for his Freedom of Information Act requests. Pope writes that “Arlington County’s system of nickel-and-diming the public and the press serves as a barrier to public access.” [Arlington Connection]
Tea Party Wants to Weigh in on Streetcar — The Arlington County Tea Party says it wants to make a presentation at the upcoming March 27 community forum on the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. At least one other anti-streetcar organization has made a similar request. [Sun Gazette]
Moran: Vaccinations Save Lives — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is encouraging constituents to get vaccinated. “As Chairman of the Congressional Prevention Caucus, I understand the important role prevention plays in reducing contagious diseases,” Moran wrote in his weekly newspaper column. “Due to the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2009, most health insurance companies, including Medicare, are now required to cover recommended vaccinations… with no out of pocket cost. Increased coverage for preventive measures is a significant step towards a health care system that truly improves the health of the American people.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Former Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell joined the Northern Virginia Tea Party organization for a small rally at Fort C.F. Smith’s Hendry House in Arlington this afternoon.
O’Donnell, promoting her new book “Trouble Maker,” told the audience that the Tea Party movement should not “take the bait and respond respond in anger” to attacks by the “not-so-nice liberal media.” If they can “rise above it,” O’Donnell said, the Tea Party can bolster its image as “a middle class movement” instead of “the angry extremists that they’re accusing us of.”
The advice comes less than 24 hours after O’Donnell walked off the set of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight for what has been portrayed in the press as frustration over a line of questioning about gay marriage.
Joking that the interview is now “infamous,” O’Donnell explained that she was late for another appearance and that Morgan’s questioning before the gay marriage question was “rude.”
“It was very sexist, the line of questioning,” she said. “I think I was a good sport leading up to his questions. He took a decidedly creepy turn… He asked question after question after question about sex. Then he threw a question about gay marriage in there… He wouldn’t let up, and I was well over a half hour late for a Republican women’s event covered by C-SPAN.”
“I think Piers Morgan exaggerated what happened,” O’Donnell added.
In addition to taking digs at the media and talking about her book, O’Donnell repeatedly implored audience members to stand up for “the power of our principles.”
“These principles are nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said.
O’Donnell also discussed the need for the Republican Party’s “D.C. cocktail crowd” to unite with the Tea Party to better pursue the goal of smaller government.
“Just like America is at a crossroads, the Tea Party is at a crossroads… Right now we need leadership, we need stability,” she said. “If the Republicans as a party can unite and stop shooting within the tent… then we can make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president.”
“We crave freedom, and when you articulate that to people they get it,” O’Donnell added.
If the election results go their way, the Tea Party will be partying in Arlington on Nov. 2.
The Clarendon-based Leadership Institute, a sort of conservative political training camp, will host “an election night victory party for 350 conservative and Tea Party activists.”
Those activists are expected to include:
- Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General
- Morton Blackwell, President of the Leadership Institute
- Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center
- Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler, Co-Founders and National Coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots
- Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
- Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council
The Leadership Institute is inviting journalists and bloggers to the event, billing it as a “one-stop conservative central” to get reaction to election results from leaders of the conservative movement.
According to a press release, the theme of the party is “Replacing the ruling class with constitutional small government conservatives.”
This weekend, as many as 300,000 conservatives from across the country will flock to the DC area to attend Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
Many of the Tea Party activists who will be attending Saturday’s non-political event be staying at hotels in Arlington, so it’s important that they know the best places to eat! As such, we’ve compiled a guide to everybody’s favorite non-partisan food: pizza.
Thanks to the Maine Tea Party’s advice to members for navigating the multicultural environs of the greater Washington area, we have a pretty good idea of what Tea Partiers like. So, without further adieu, here are the top five places to go for pizza in Arlington (and none of them are on the dreaded Yellow Line!).
1. Lost Dog Cafe (5876 Washington Blvd) — Safely nestled in a small shopping district in North Arlington, Lost Dog serves not one but five types of white pizza. From the Popeye Pie, with spinach and chicken, to the Ricky Ricotta, described as a white pizza lover’s dream, Lost Dog has plenty of variety to satisfy even the pickiest eater. To wash it down, choose from Lost Dog’s great beer selection. Recommended choices include the Blue Moon White Ale, the Menocino White Hawk Ale, and Allagash White.
2. Pupatella Pizza (5104 Wilson Blvd) — Pupatella just opened its first brick and mortar restaurant to rave reviews. The restaurant is owned by Enzo Algarme, a legal immigrant from Europe – an inspiring story! Forget the fancy gourmet pizzas on the menu, however. Instead, design your own made with Buffalo mozzarella imported from Naples and Pupatella’s homemade cream and garlic white sauce.
3. Piola (1550 Wilson Blvd) — Imagine yourself in a cozy Italian pizzeria when you visit this imported gem in scenic Rosslyn. Piola’s menu features an entire section devoted to Le Pizze Bianche, the original Old World pizza style. Just be glad you weren’t here when the World Cup brought out noisy crowds that insisted on challenging this country’s sport sovereignty by calling the game “football.”
4. Ledo Pizza (1501 Arlington Blvd) — Conveniently located in the Best Western near the Iwo Jima memorial, local chain Ledo Pizza serves reasonably-priced food that will remind you of neighborhood pizzerias back home. But here’s the twist: the pizzas are square. We recommend the Italian White Pizza, with garlic herb aioli, fontina, and a delicious blend of three cheeses. If you’re trying to feed a large group, check out the giant tray of Fettuccini Alfredo.