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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com July 13, 2011 at 8:16 am 4,133 78 Comments

New Restaurant Coming to Penrose Square — Restauranteur Cathal Armstrong is reportedly planning to open a new fish-and-chips restaurant on Columbia Pike, in the new Penrose Square development. The restaurant will be the second location for Old Town Alexandria staple Eamonn’s: A Dublin Chipper. In addition to Eamonn’s, Armstrong owns Alexandria eateries The Majestic, Restaurant Eve and Virtue Feed and Grain. [Eater, Pike Wire]

Galaxy Hut Expanding to Falls Church — The owner of Clarendon’s Galaxy Hut is planning on opening a new location on W. Broad Street in Falls Church. Much like the Clarendon location, the new Galaxy Hut will be a music and entertainment venue, in addition to a bar. [Washington Post]

Moran Holds Deficit Reduction Exercise — Nearly 300 people participated in Rep. Jim Moran’s “Principles and Priorities” national debt reduction workshop on Monday. Moran said he was “shocked” by two conclusions — the group’s near-unanimous desire to freeze defense spending and to gradually eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction. [Patch]

New Signs on Meade Street — There’s a new wayfaring sign for tourists on Meade Street, near the Iwo Jima memorial. The sign lists dozens of attractions in the Rosslyn area. [Ode Street Tribune]

  • Nancy

    There are dozens of attractions in the Rosslyn area? They must be including the underground Safeway, hidden Ruby Tuesdays, and Watergate parking lot . . .

  • WestoverAndOver

    Would love a Galaxy Hut in Westover instead 🙂

    • GMo

      That would be cool, but what space would they use? I don’t think there is any room in Westover for the Galaxy Hut. Heck I’m trying to figure out where on W. Broad they are looking…take over of Bangkok Blues?

      • Joe

        Read the Post Article…”Next to the CD cellar”..and then the comments…”Stacy’s closed last month”

      • Josh S

        Either of the coffee shops could stand to go and Galaxy Hut could continue with its theme of “I Can’t Believe it’s That Small.”

    • Lou

      That would be cool, if it was called Luna Park.

      • WestoverAndOver

        Still mourning the loss of that one, too. Kind of what I was thinking about when making the initial comment. I am still a fan of the Hut though.

    • V Dizzle

      I like the Hut, but the moody bartender from Dremo’s seems to want to eat my children for some reason. Was my t-shirt to preppy?

    • Larchmont

      Maybe when they renovate and go mid-rise/high density thru there. lol Devon is trying with the Beer Garden. Hope he succeeds. Not saying they will be equal (or close), but it may be the best we can hope for in the near term.

    • CW

      And I’d like a beer garden in Clarendon. Let’s trade for a summer.

      • JamesE

        The solution is to completely demolish the ballston mall and build a giant beer garden, with underground access to arbys and chick fil-a, also put in a taco bell.

        • CW

          My god, don’t joke like that. Just the thought…cleanup in aisle “my pants”…

  • Steve

    The new Galaxy Hut is the best odds for having a new place with a smoking section. Steve (the owner) was really pissed off about the smoking ban.

    • Tabby

      I thought the owner was named Larry. This was after the original owner (Barbara?) sold the place to her bartender, Larry. Is he gone? I hope so.

      • South Arlington “22204” -The series

        Lary Hoffman is the owner and why would you be hoping that he is gone? Lary is a great guy and very friendly to his customers.

      • exalted vivene

        Not Barbara, Alice.

    • Joe

      I don’t want an indoor smoking section. Cigarettes are best enjoyed outdoors.

      There is somebody else on this website who is always talking about indoor smoking sections. Who cares?

  • Savvy

    Fish and Chips is gross unless you eat it by the ocean.

  • SpellingGuru

    The correct spelling is “restaurateur,” not “restauranteur.”

  • Metro Rider

    I’m also surprised that people realize the mortgage interest deduction is a farce. Home ownership is a great political soundbite, but it is neither a fundamental nor constitutional right. Subsidies like the interest deduction are part of what led to the bubble. Anything that artificially makes something cheaper, by definition, artificially inflates it’s value.

    • V Dizzle

      Sooo…would the greatly increased foreclosure rate help out the economy? People such as myself have only know a world where that deduction was a factor in choosing a home and financing. There was no history lesson provided by politicians or the lender or the agent when my home was bought. That would be like saying..OK, your mortgage rate will now triple because it was too low…sorry for playing.

      • Tabby


    • FrenchyB

      The mortgage interest deduction was around for decades before the real estate bubble even began. You can argue that it’s unnecessary and unfair (which I tend to agree with), but it didn’t cause the housing bubble.

    • Arlwhenever

      Excellent point Metro Rider. A phase out of the home mortgage interest deduction is in order, phasing in over 10 or 15 years would protect against serious market disruption. Note that this time around the commercial real estate sector escaped the meltdown relatively unscathed — that’s in part due to the fact that 1986 tax reform eliminated a raft of real property tax breaks (most signficantly double declining balance depreciation) that had encouraged excessive borrowing and leveraging in commericially owned real estate. The government needs to get out of the business of encouraging people to borrow because that eventually and inevitably leads to people borrowing too much.

      • FrenchyB

        +1 on the phased implementation.

      • Vinh An Nguyen
        • Arlwhenever

          Mr. Nguyen, losses in in commercial real estate values were concentrated in equity — properties as a general rule didn’t go under water. Equity cushions helped the operators avoid defaults and/or forced assets sales. The major REITs (like Simon Property Group, Vornando, Federal Realty Trust) raised new equity capital from the private sales of stock after September 2008 to replace equity lost in the economic downturn. As a consequence, commercial properties didn’t get caught in a spiraling meltdown like that which adversely affected highly leveraged homeowners and the holders of residential real estate mortgages. And the commercial real estate meltdown feared in the year-and-one-half old link you supplied hasn’t happened to this day.

          • NoVapologist

            Extend and pretend, baby!

  • G Clifford Prout

    I can’t wait to ride the trolley to get my fish and chips.

    • jack


    • Tabby

      Save your money. Trust the Gordon’s Fisherman.

      • samsonite

        Gorton, you mean. Or maybe you just mean some guy named Gordon who fishes.

        • Henry Spencer

          Eamonn’s in Arlington with parking? This has made my day! Cod & chips with hot curry sauce is the best.

  • JamesE

    They can reduce the deficit by going after 50% of the cars in Arlington county which have Maryland or Florida license plates and collecting years worth on unpaid property tax. I wonder if I turn everyone in in my condo garage if they will let me go tax free for a year or two as thanks.

    • Stoneridge


    • BerryBerryCold

      Lots of people either a) have waivers or b) think the tax is unfair. It is more so in Arlington (than other VA jurisdictions) because of the subsidy given to hybrids, whether more fuel efficient or not than regular cars.

    • Steve

      Arlington wants everyone to be on the “car free diet”. What do they plan on doing if everyone followed their advice?

    • ArlingtonSouth

      With the exception of military families, the county and Commonwealth are not getting their revenue from personal property taxes and decal fees. In addition, everyone’s insurance rates continue to increase due to the number of drivers with said tags who also purchase their insurance from more affordable areas.

      I plan on informing the Arlington County please of all violators in my neighborhood this week.

      • Steve

        I’ll report especially the ones who have Obama stickers.

        • Hattie McDaniel

          How about the ones that have Gilmore stickers since that fraud claimed to have repealed the tax.

      • Newbs

        Even if you maintain an out of state tag and registration, you still end up having other fees that they collect on. You can keep out of state registration and tags, but get it County decal registered and there is an annual fee that is paid as well (approx. $100, can’t remember). So there are people doing that as well.

    • G

      The car property tax system is incredibly unfair. I pay my tax every year, but I have have friends in my condo that do not pay theirs. Obviously I’m not going to report them, but it just goes to show how easy it is for people to avoid paying the tax. It’s not fair to those of us who actually pay it.

      • Steve

        When I moved into my building in 2007, they said that the county inspects two times a year. I still see people with out of state plates in the garage… You think this is unfair? What about people like me that pay over $20,000 in federal income tax while 47% of americans don’t pay a cent and get EICs??? I’m a body to be bled to feed the leeches. I’m being punished fo rbeing productive…

        • Josh S

          No, you’re paying your fair share to build a society that helps all members to have an opportunity to enjoy their natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

        • samsonite

          “[The EIC is] the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

          -Ronald Reagan

          Just to stir Steve’s pot.

          • Josh S

            Yes, there has been a jaw-dropping change in the Republican stance over the past thirty years. Reading about Betty Ford over these last few days has been an excellent reminder of that. Moderate Republicans from before the 90s would practically be called liberal Democrats these days…..

        • Vicente Fox

          If corporations and the super-rich would pay their fair share, you wouldn’t be hit as hard.

          • Incoherent Populist Ranter

            Torches are on the left, pitchforks on the right. One each, no pushing please.

          • samsonite

            Wow, that’s exactly not what he’s being like. He has a legitimate point, supported by facts, and he stated it coherently and rationally.

          • Incoherent Populist Ranter

            Really? By using indefinable buzzwords? He forgot a few other populist bogeymen:

            Wall Street
            Fat Cats
            Hedge Funds / Private Equity
            Big Oil
            Big Pharma
            The Military Industrial Complex

            Supported by facts? Sorry, I must have missed that. He did say, without defining it, that they didn’t pay their “fair share.” Whatever that means, the facts he put behind it certainly do back it up.

          • Josh S

            Well, let’s just say it was an incomplete argument. But one can clearly take the post and go from there. Corporations are easy to define and understand. We have recent newsworthy examples of well-known and very large corporations apparently paying little to no tax. The super-rich is admittedly harder to define but I’d propose starting with something simple like households whose annual income places them in the top 1% nationwide. These folks demonstrably pay a smaller portion of their income as tax than they did in the past, thanks to the Bush tax cuts (passed with every intention of being temporary, by the way) and the low capital gains tax rate, which disproportionately impacts the rich.
            Fair share is definitely the hardest to pin down in terms of facts. However there are a few things – the two I already mentioned. Adding on to the tax rate issue – the rate is supposed to be progressive and does go up at the margin but the high bracket is far lower than it was in the past and it includes fewer categories. In general, if you’re making $150K, for example, even after taxes you’ve got far more disposable income as a percentage of your income than someone making $30K, for example.

        • Joe

          No. You are being punished because you are a member of the class that can afford to be taxed and doesn’t have an active anti-tax lobby. Do something about it. Vote for politicians to extract a fair share from everybody. Social services cost money. Schools, Roads, Police, Mass Transit, Food inspection, business regulation, Social Security, Medicare, National Defense, Border Control, Terrorism prevention, healthcare, et cetera. Who’s gonna pay for this stuff? It’s not the ultra rich because of tax policies, it’s not the poor because they don’t have the money. So who’s gonna pay for this stuff?

      • CW

        My building circulated a notice to the residents just last week…it was basically a form they had signed giving county officials permission to come into the private garage and check tags. For what my fellow residents are paying in rent just to be skirting tax laws, I hope they ring them up, every last one of them.

        And yes, you may disagree with the system. But it is the system we have in the state in which we have chosen to live. Perhaps if everyone played by the rules then, say, other property taxes could be lowered…

        • BerryBerryCold

          The problem is that the tax isn’t the same statewide. Counties have a different % tax, and then they distribute the subsidy given from the state differently. Arlington is one example. 5% over 20,000, but the subsidy discriminates against non-hybrids.

          Those are subsidized at 80% between 3,000 – 20,000.

          That’s nice that your building is giving its residents notice. Did they say when the tax collectors are coming as well?

          • CW

            That is a very fair and very true point. I think that most everyone agrees that the special treatment for hybrids is antiquated given the fact that there is no longer any need to incentivize hybrid purchases; it’s definitely out of the early adopter phase.

            I think the building was legally required to give that disclosure, but not 100% certain. I wish it said when the tax collector was coming; then I’d be able to know when to go down and block the garage exit so that all the tax-evading scum with their Maryland plates on their brand new German cars can’t escape. And if my neighbors got mad at me? Well, fine, I’d say…I don’t care to be friends with criminals anyhow.

    • Burger

      How many people in your building are students or congressional staffers. If you have no intent to make Arlington your permanent residence, you do not have to switch your tags to VA or pay the car property tax.

  • JimPB

    I was one of the participants in Monday night’s budget exercise. I was surprised by the readiness of a majority of those in my group (diverse in age, gender and race) to make cuts. Unfortunately, the session ended before we could go through the choices on revenue increases.

    • BerryBerryCold

      Ha, like it matters? They are going to increase TAXES one way or another. Do you think the CB really cares what the Citizens or staff think?

      • doodly

        Do you think you’re the only citizen out there?

        Meanwhile, we still have the lowest tax rates in the region and no tax increase last year.

        • BerryBerryCold

          Maybe no tax rate increase, but when my property tax bill came this year it was higher than last year.

          • samsonite

            Yes, and my income tax bill was higher this year – because my income increased. I celebrated. I sure didn’t whine about a tax increase.

          • Burnsie

            You surely see the difference between income and a higher assessed value on real estate. The latter nets a person nothing unless he/she sells. If that doesn’t happen, they pay higher taxes merely because someone else is theoretically willing to pay more for the property than someone was the year before.

            Income tax? No problem. But property tax is unfair and makes no sense.

          • samsonite

            Yes, I see the difference.

            This is an ongoing debate here. It’s certainly fair to argue that the property tax is unfair or has other ill effects. But it’s not fair to argue that when your property tax bill goes up due to an increase in assessed value, it amounts to a tax increase. That’s all.

          • AmericanTourister

            Samsonite: How can you say it’s not fair to argue that? When your assessed value goes up, your tax payment always, always goes up. Real money out of your pocket. Is it a tax RATE increase? No. No one is claiming it is. But it is in fact an increase in the amount one is taxed. “Tax” is the required payment, not the rate by which it is computed.

          • samsonite

            Do we really have to go through this again?

            If the value of the thing being taxed goes up, but not the rate at which it is taxed, that’s simply not a “tax increase” in the understood sense of the term–in other words, everyone takes “tax increase” to mean “tax RATE increase.” Just don’t confuse the two and all will be well.

          • SomeGuy

            Yes. Surely Samsonite’s interpretation of how every commenter here describes a tax increase should be the prevailing and authoritative usage, even when the commenter very explicitly states his/her meaning in context.

          • Stu Pendus

            Actually, the frequent-poster “doodly” agrees with samsonite’s interpretation on this issue. They have the exact same interpretation. Exactly the same.

          • madisonmanor

            and the other frequent posters that magically disappeared dynaroo and mehoo. What would we do without them, though – they ARE the ‘experts’ on every single ARLNow topic.

      • Josh S

        Huh? The budget exercise mentioned was a FEDERAL budget exercise. The county board has nothing to do with it.

        • samsonite

          Details like that are irrelevant to BBC.

  • suzy

    Wow – fabulous photo! How did you get that??

    • Thanks! With a big ol’ lens — didn’t want to get too close to that thing, it was huge (relatively speaking)

  • 1234

    It’s not as though the County isn’t aware of those property tax evaders; they even have a hotline to report them: 703-228-3030. Now all that said, the enforcement is non-existant, a fact that Ingrid Morroy is well aware of.

  • Military

    Lots of the out-of-state tags are from military families, who are posted here and can claim official residence somewhere else with low taxes, like Florida or Texas.

  • John

    Why can’t the fish-and-chips restaurant be English-themed or Scottish themed? The Scotch-Irish settled in Alexandria, yet there are no Scottish-themed restaurants today. There are already too many Irish-themed restaurants/bars in the area.

  • Arlington, Northside

    It is Scots-Irish, not Scotch-Irish. Our Senior Senator will punch you in the nose for such a flub.

    • John

      It can be spelled either way. I’m Scotch-Irish.

      Three points from outside the arc, at the buzzer. Oh yeah.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Those who setttled Alexandria were the Scots-Irish, put that in you corn cobb pipe and smoke it. YeeeeHaaaa


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