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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com October 19, 2011 at 8:36 am 2,362 50 Comments

Board Approves Penrose Square Public Plaza — The Arlington County Board last night formally approved a $2 million public plaza at the Penrose Square apartment complex on Columbia Pike. “This flexible, vibrant public square is an important part of the community vision for Columbia Pike… a place for people to relax, gather and host events,” said Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman. The plaza is expected to open next fall. [Arlington County]

Board Green Lights Boeing HQ — After more than 3 hours of discussion, the County Board — somewhat reluctantly — approved a plan by aircraft maker Boeing to build a new, 450,000 square foot regional headquarters on a plot of land between Crystal City and the future Long Bridge Park. ARLnow.com will have a full recap up later today.

Moran Fired Up About Occupy Wall Street — Arlington’s congressman, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, is fired up about the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. “Good for them!” he said emphatically at a Falls Church Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “This is what democracy is about.” Moran also decried the level of partisanship on Capitol Hill. “There used to be 353 centrists in the House in the 1980s.. Now there are zero,” he said. [Falls Church News-Press]

Dulles Signs on Route 50? — Why are there still signs to Dulles Airport on Route 50? “I suspect these signs date from before I-66 was built, since no one would take Route 50 to get to Dulles with I-66 available,” writes blogger and environmental consultant Steve Offutt. [Commuter Page Blog]

Police Service Counter Cuts Hours — The Arlington County Police Department service counter at 1425 N. Courthouse Road is reducing its hours. Starting Monday, Oct. 31, the counter will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends, and will be closed on county holidays. “They studied it for a number of months and they just weren’t getting enough traffic to justify the staffing,” police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal said of the cut-back. [Arlington County Police Department]

  • JimPB

    The photographer(s) for the Morning Notes photos should get credit(s).

    • The photographer is ARLnow.com editor Scott Brodbeck

      • V Dizzle

        Always patting yourself on the back, huh? jk

        • brendan


          • Dr. Mister, Esq.

            Check out the sweet “VALET” jacket. Wouldn’t it be funny to see a crime scene with all sorts of FBI and ATF dudes/gals running around in their official blue windbreakers, and then this guy?

  • G Clifford Prout

    Hope that “vibrant public square” has some good places where I can buy some weed.

    • nauckneighbor

      It’s Columbia Pike. You shouldn’t have any problems finding whatever you desire…

  • Boeing Brat from way back

    The article referenced that this will be Boeing’s Regional HQ, not international. The international HQ is in Chicago last I heard.

    • At one point last night it was called the international HQ. But then again it was getting pretty late. Changed to ‘regional.’

      • nauckneighbor

        I can’t believe they didn’t vote until after midnight. Per the Boeing officials last night, and words from Barbara Donellan, I believe that the new Boeing Office will be their official East Coast Headquarters.

  • Patrick

    “Moran also decried the level of partisanship on Capitol Hill.”
    That’s rich considering Rep. Moran is as partisan as they come. I believe that it was Rep. Moran who actually physically attacked another congressman on the floor of the House. It’s amazing that the people of this district continue to elect this blowhard. He is a complete and total embarrassment.

    • GreaterClarendon

      And of course it was Moran who claimed that the US House lost all those seats in the last election since america is racist! (Of course it couldn’t be that some people do not believe in Obama’s big government) What an honor to have him as our congressman. Democrats, I live here and accept that a Republican won’t win here in Arlington, but can you at least give us someone that is not such an embarassment for our area?

      • Josh S

        Can’t resist noting the hilarious reference to “Obama’s big government.” As if any Republican president has delivered a “small” government since, oh, Herbert Hoover perhaps.

        • R

          Can’t resist noting that you justify the Obama adminstration’s irresponsible spending behavior by pointing to prior administration’s irresponsible spending behavior. “Well they did it so it’s ok.” Awesome arguement. You win. I am just going to concede that it is ok now to spend us into economic ruin.

          • Josh S

            Where’d I justify anything?

            This is called a “straw man” and is an example of a logical fallacy. Your arguments are addressed at a straw man of your own creation.

      • drax

        Got a link to that quote?

      • Arlingtonienne


    • brendan

      Seriously, giving Moran a hard time for standing up to Duke Cunnigham? Cunningham, as you may or may not recall was one of the most corrupt members of Congress in the last 20 years. He was also a complete and total a–hole to his family, colleagues and staff. I’m glad to have a Congressman that doesn’t take bs, especially from someone like Cunningham who is now serving time in federal prison.

      In terms of the partisanship… I think this concept is widely misunderstood off the hill. Moran is an unapologetic liberal but he’s also a pragmatist and likes to see stuff get done, which is where the current Congress has failed. Moran is someone who fights hard line by line for progressive viewpoints but is also friends with Members on both sides of the aisle and wants to see things get done. His passion sometimes becomes a little fiery, but I prefer that in a representative over apathy or timidness.

      It’s one thing to fight for what you believe in, it’s an entirely different thing to approach the responsibility of governing without any desire to negotiate and seek compromise as the current batch of tea party freshmen have demonstrated. I think that is Moran’s point, and I think if you talk to anyone from either side of the aisle that has been around awhile will agree, is that Members of both parties elected in the last ten years are for the most part much more focused on keeping their core supporters happy with ideological rigidity than finding a compromise. The cause of this is everything from gerrymandering during redistricting to the rise of online activism and polarizing Presidents — how many current members were elected almost entirely by running against either Bush or Obama and not because they were the best candidate or the most qualified? Things have changed and so has the meaning of partisanship.

      • brian

        once again, didn’t moran get assault charge with his wife?

        he was a boxer before? no wonder his wife felt threatened and filed for divorce a few days later.

    • drax

      Yeah, complaining that there are no more centrists means that he’s not one either!

  • BookGuy

    According to Wikipedia, Moran got into a fight with Randy “Duke” Cunningham, convicted felon from California:

    In 1995, Moran had to be restrained by the Capitol Police after a shoving match with California Republican Duke Cunningham on the house floor over President Bill Clinton’s decision to send U.S. troops to Bosnia. “I thought he had been bullying too many people for too long, and I told him so,” Moran recalled. “He said he didn’t mean to be so accusatory… After that, he would bring me candy from California.” Moran claims that after the encounter he later found Cunningham crying in the cloakroom

    • Josh S

      See! We shouldn’t feel bad about the current rancor! It’s nothing new!
      And what about that guy from South Carolina who beat the other senator half to death with his cane?

      (What does it take to get people to grow up?)

    • drax

      I like a guy who stands up to bully criminals.

      • SomeGuy

        So… you’re happy to see our elected representative resolves his political disputes via playground style brawling?

  • DarkHeart

    Word on the street is that the person who owns the rest of the property needed to build the Penrose Square is not interested in selling any time soon.

  • Steve

    Police Service Counter Cuts Hours

    Looks like we need more crime to save jobs! WE NEED MORE CRIME!

    • BBT Robber

      Sorry, man – I’ve just been swamped lately.

      • Bob

        Not swamped. Incarcerated.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Jim Moran….well……he’s quite a character, I’ll say that for him.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    I’d bet that most “Occupiers” would love to see Jim Moran out of office.

  • OX4

    I dunno who Steve Offutt is, but someone needs to get that man a map and a new topic for a blog. Rt 50 runs parallel to 66 and is a completely viable alternative to 66. Major portions of 66 are HOV, and also closed to trucks. And God forbid people would take a local Route 50 instead of a constantly choked-up I-66.

    • david

      If you’re going to Dulles you’re exempt from HOV.

      • Josh S

        I believe that’s only the part inside the Beltway, no?

        • Rick

          Right. In the afternoon, if there is HOV enforcement they only do it at offramps prior to the 267 split, on the ramps to 123 from 267, and at the route 7 interchange.

    • OX4

      Ahh yes. Ok. My other 3 points still stand though. Mr. Offutt still needs something else to write about.

      • Steve O

        Thanks for your feedback. Sometimes posts are more profound than other times.
        I recommend you actually read the post, however. The main point is not that particular sign, but the more macro problem of how to get obsolete signs removed.
        That orphaned sign was likely one of a series of signs put up decades ago. The rest are all gone (I think). Since there are no follow on signs, it serves no purpose. Go take a look at where it is yourself and let me know why you think it is there.

  • Charlie

    On Boeing — good move!!
    So the board went against staff recommendation.
    So the board went against the citizen run commissions.
    so who was ‘right’? Because yesterday someone said citizens do a better job than staff and yet here citizens and staff are on the same page and the board doesn’t agree with either. So confusing.

    • nauckneighbor

      The staff recommendation was for allowing the site plan amendment, so the Board actually agreed with the staff position.

    • Novanglus

      The board voted with the staff, not against them.

      The citizen-run commissions were holding out for a mixed used plan that was never going to happen: The site is too far off the beaten path for successful retail. It’s also right under the DCA climb zone and too noisy for housing or office space. This is the best option for a tenant: the company that makes the planes that are making all the noise!

      • Thes

        I thought the Planning Commission was holding out for an office building that had public parking and a place to buy a sandwich. Those are not incompatible with a flight path.

  • R

    Arlington’s congressman, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, is fired up about the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. “Good for them!” he said emphatically at a Falls Church Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “This is what democracy is about.”

    I’m sure this is the exact response and feelings he had about the Tea Party protests as well. What a hypocrite this guy is.

    • drax

      So you assume his views and then call him a hypocrite based on an assumption you pulled out of your rear. Nice going, R.

      • R

        Out of my rear?? Interesting. Though I seem to remember him having some not to nice things to say to Tea Party folks at some town halls, on who came to his office in Congress, or telling a 27 year Veteran to sit down, shut up or leave. I think I can take certain actions of his to make my assumption.

        • brendan

          the tea party folks had and still have an interesting agenda in that a majority of the base of the movement, not counting all the traditional Republicans who now fly the banner for self-serving purposes, were completely clueless to how government functions. They have no clue about the breakdown of federal budgeting, macroeconomics or even how much they benefit from entitlement programs.

          The “27 year veteran” you reference embarrassed himself and uniform by mixing in a political attack w/ what could have been a legitimate question if phrased properly and without the antagonistic approach. From having it recorded to quickly posting on youtube and retirejimmoran, it’s clear he was trying to turn a question that ‘the google’ could have answered in ten seconds into a political attack. Moran gave him 5 minutes of time at a crowded town hall where several other people with questions were waiting. “Caustic” might not be the best wc but… When asked in an accusing manner why he wasn’t at work, when the House schedule is entirely up to the Republican majority, it’s understandable that he interpreted it to be antagonistic during a forum that was meant to answer questions about what the impact of the Shutdown would be. As a member of Defense Approps and representing one of the largest concentrations of DoD employees, he’s been an extremely strong supporter of the troops, from pushing for increased funds to armor humvees to visiting active battle zones for direct reports from GIs. Wish Moran would have used a defusing response to someone who was clearly out for blood, but the guy got what we asked for.

          • brian
          • SomeGuy

            Brendan, in contrasting Moran’s response to the Tea Party with his response to the Occupy Wall Street movement, are you implying that the majority of Occupy Wall Street folks *DO* have a clue “about the breakdown of federal budgeting, macroeconomics or even how much they [already] benefit from entitlement programs” funded by the top 1%?

  • Arlingtron

    I live near that old Dulles sign and didn’t notice it until recently. A closer look shows that it has been there a long time based on corrosion and the design. I assume it was part of a wide array put in place when the airport opened in 1962. I grew up around here and remember more along Northern Virginia roads. I suppose it was never removed since every agency assumed it was the responsibility of some other agency. Since that intersection is being remodeled it should be taken out. It is useless if there are no more similar signs guiding drivers all the way to the terminal.

    • Arlingtron

      Since it can be considered a part of history perhaps one of those historical roadside plaques should be erected near the sign detailing the Dulles sign’s legacy?

      • Steve O

        I like that. A sign describing the sign. Nice.

  • MC

    The County caved too easily on the Boeing building, getting very little in return for a the property owned by the County. Why should a “secure” office building be allowed right next to the newest and best park being built in Arlington, when surely people would be keen to live there?


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