Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 20, 2012 at 8:35 am 4,089 79 Comments

Dems Hold County Board Caucus — A sizable crowd showed up at last night’s Democratic caucus at Washington-Lee High School. The Democratic blog Blue Virginia notes with some surprise that those who stood in line to vote for a County Board nominee appeared to be “overwhelmingly white and… older” — in contrast to the youth and diversity more often associated with the Democratic party. Those who didn’t vote last night will have a chance to do so on Saturday. [Blue Virginia]

Garvey Leads Fundraising Race — Democratic County Board candidate Libby Garvey is leading the fundraising race with $33,940 collected through Dec. 31, including a $5,000 personal loan and a $5,000 donation from Patsy Ticer’s Senate campaign fund. Melissa Bondi was next with $30,941 in receipts, followed by Kim Klingler, Terron Sims, Peter Fallon and Audrey Clement. [Washington Post]

McDonnell Endorses Romney — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential pick, endorsed Mitt Romney for president this morning. McDonnell said Romney was “a ‘results-oriented conservative’ who can appeal to Democrats and independents.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Arlington Little League Registration — Registration for Arlington Little League’s spring baseball season is now open. The league offers six levels of recreational baseball for boys and girls ages 4-12. The league also has teams for mentally and physically challenged players. Registration is open until March 4 with discounted fees available through Feb. 16. [Arlington Little League]

  • Elmer

    I think the spend, spend, spend, till you drop “progressive” lefties are about to get a come-up-ance. Can you say quarter of a billion dollars as in street car?

  • TGEoA

    The genius at Blue Virginia is surprised that life doesn’t mimic the scene at her junior college freshman orientation? Enjoy the ride.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      LOL! Maybe that individual doesn’t like “older, white people” (like me – mid 50s) because they mess up their image of the D party as all youths and minorities? They would not known how to deal with my late father, who was an FDR-Truman Democrat of the old school. I gave up on the D party quite a few years ago and on the R party a few years later.

    • Life get’s difficult to deal with when something happens outside of the box you are used to living in.

  • Pablo

    Are those Bondi’s receipts or what she owes the IRS?

    • TooEasy

      She is not sure

  • AliFromCali

    When I first saw the line I couldn’t believe it, but it took only 7 minutes and it was fun to see so many familiar faces. Also, having all of the candidates greeting people along the line was interesting. I felt bad for Melissa Bondi after what seems like endless revelations and bad press, and high profile endorsements for others based on those reports. Fair or unfair, despite the press she was in good spirits. The volunteers (including Judy Connally!!) made the process swift and pleasant. I was proud to be a Democrat.

    • Arlingtoon

      I was too. And while there was a lot of gray hair in the room (including my own) it was a diverse, good-natured, and friendly group of folks.

      And what a magnificent school! I haven’t spent any time in the new Washington-Lee building, but that too made me proud.

      • TGEoA

        It should be magnificent for the $100 million price tag. It felt more like a university than a high school. At least the restrooms have “boys” and “girls” on the doors.

        • demonfafa

          Obvious Republican Troll is obvious… and Republican.

          • When I walked by Zimmerman last night, I ripped silent but stinky one just for him.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Yer bad! Hee-hee!

          • charlie

            i saved mine for Ferguson.
            Zimmie isn’t really acting all that odd.

          • Well he was next to Bondi so you got two for one

    • Clarendon

      It was welcome to see and talk with real people rather than sockpuppets 🙂 The Dems in this town sure are well organized. I was surprised to hear a few people around me in line discussing the candidates and not seeming to know much about them. Maybe they just vote in every primary or they were there for one person without caaring to know about the rest.

  • charlie

    i was startled by how old and white (hair and skin) the crowd was — not good for Bondi who gives the impression that the world is centered around 22201 and the brown flip flop crowd.
    traffic was a nightmare despite the ACPD efforts.
    but yes it appeared to be quick and very well run.

    • Arlingtoon

      It’s funny you mentioned the traffic. I came in via Quincy, and turned up 15th St (I think). Turned left onto the top of the parking garage and pretty much had the place to myself. I saw all the cars coming in from the other direction when I walked to the school and figured I got lucky. And it was exactly the same when I left after voting — plenty of spaces where I had parked my car, but very packed in the adjacent lot.

      • charlie

        you are right, Stafford Street was a mess.

  • CW

    Is anyone really surprised by the demographic turnout? Local politics is pretty darn difficult to really get excited about and get into. You can’t just hear about it on the news; you have to dig through endless minutiae of board meeting transcripts, etc. The candidates are 95% the same, even though they’re trying to look different because they each want power and votes. The younger crowd also probably, if they’re like me is pretty indifferent – frankly I think Arlington is a pretty darn good place to live if you ask me, and somehow it turned out OK, it’s the best place I’ve ever lived. So I am FINE with the status quo. Yes we split hairs here on this site because there are hairs to be split but overall this county does not have many problems. And, most importantly, 7-9 on a thursday is prime happy hour territory. Hold the caucus at Carpool in April and then you’d get your young demographic.

    • TGEoA

      Most of the Hispanics live closer to Kennmore. Maybe that will be more brown on Saturday.

      • speonjosh

        Most of the caucasians live closer to W&L. That probably explains the whiteness of last night.

      • Moi

        I shall represent the white and menstruating demographic tomorrow…if I can get my car started.

    • charlie

      assuming that is the demographic that is wanted.

      agree that Arlington is very well run. but that can always change.

      much of the success of today is based on very good policy from the 1970’s and the investment in METRO and the SUBSTANTIAL upzoning and increased density in the area from Rosslyn to Ballston.

      • OMG OMG OMG

        Careful, charlie.

        The increased density and success that followed didn’t come from quite the substantial up-zoning in the metro corridors that you think. Rather, those corridors are actually intentionally underzoned for what the market desires, which means the developers have to go to the county and request site plan approvals to rise above current zoning.

        The site plan approval process is then used by the county to negotiate public benefits (i.e., funds for affordable housing, transportation demand management, public art, etc.) from the developers, which actually make the corridors — and whole county — much more livable than if the developers could just put up the buildings at high zoned density without those site plan conditions.

        The process is well understood by developers, and it has clearly not discouraged them from the Arlington market. This is the beauty of smart, transit-oriented development and the long vision of your elected officials and civil servants.

        • Lou

          If you look at the R-B corridor between the early 70’s and today, it went from mostly 2-story masonry commercial buildings to mid-rise modern concrete commercial and residential towers. The “success” for the county has been 99% from the increased tax and business revenue for that increase in density, and maybe 1% from negotiations for street trees and rent controlled housing. But then Artisphere, itself one of those traded-for “benefits, is draining away some of that 1% benefit so it may be a wash by the time it’s all tallied up.

        • charlie

          very few projects require a Comprehensive Plan Amendement — and that is the primary framework for density.

        • CW

          Charlie is right. Upzoning from a 1970’s perspective is what he means.

      • Burger

        And that zoning done in the 70s-80’s there wasn’t as much groupthink on the county board. There were Republicans and Byrd Democrats.

        Also, Arlington was one of the few counties in virginia that got more white over the 2000-2010 period.


    My final prognostication (yes, a guess), purely for recreational purposes, based on my gut. Just a guy sitting at a computer:

    Garvey 28%
    Bondi 28
    Sims 18
    Klingler 14
    Fallon 12

    It’ll be an Iowa-close race between Garvey & Bondi, with more controversy and name-calling.

    • Still for Bondi

      OMG OMG OMG is Libby Garvey trolling. Now, she’s trying to get the “anyone but Bondi” vote out in force. Libby’s “no one older than 25” paid campaign team (formerly employed by Barbara Favola) passes out copies of the WaPo endorsement to every voter that shows up. WaPo’s endorsement praises Garvey, trashes Bondi, and while describing them as qualified, otherwise ignores Sims, Klingler, and Fallon. Garvey is back to her dirty tricks again, just hiding behind the establishment ‘s support that got her the WaPo’s endorsement. Garvey wants to save us from Bondi. What we need is someone to save us from Garvey. The voters need to ask her why she has no clue on county issues. Melissa does.

      • OMG OMG OMG

        So wrong about my identity, but, you proved my point, “…with more controversy and name-calling.”

      • Klinger deserved to be ignored. Fallon is only slightly better.

      • Village Genius

        Oh vey! Handing out a copy of Washington Post endorsement is “dirty tricks”?

        If Bondi knows county issues so well, why did she not know to pay the car tax?

        Blaming others for Bondi’s substantial shortcomings seems desperate or perhaps dishonest.

        (Not affiliated with any campaign, but in favor of common sense.)

        P.S. Anyone notice that Thes, the county board apologist, has been mostly missing the last few weeks. Curious that Bondi has been busy campaigning the last few weeks.

        • Bluemontsince1961


        • TuesdaysChild

          Very interesting point.

        • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

          I’ve enjoyed the pander free zone.

      • South Awwwlington

        Wow. Take a nap! The shadows aren’t going to get you!!!

        The comments of the Bondi supporters remind me of that unpopular kid at recess who just wanted to be friends with the cool kids!

        • Well, which candidate looks like they ate all the twinkles while the other kids were playing?

  • Anti-Garvey

    So, if my primary concern is that Garvey loses, should I vote for Bondi? I was planning on voting for Sims.


      You asking me? I’m afraid you’re taking my post too seriously.

      Sims could be a real dark horse (no pun intended) in this. He will probably get my vote, just for a change of pace. Even if he has bigger ambitions than the County Board, he still has to make decisions, and perhaps a one-termer would make more principled decisions than someone who has to worry about who he ticks off locally in the short term.

      One more factor: There will be another election in November — this exercise is not at all over after the vote in March 27 vote to fill Favola’s seat. That seat is up again in November. I’m guessing that there will be yet another primary challenge before THAT race. Woo-hoo!

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Arlington Little League vs Babe Ruth – any thoughts on the differences between, or the merits of, each program?

    • madisonmanor

      It depends on what you care about. Having coached Babe Ruth in Arlington and Little League elsewhere in NOVA, I can provide my insight for what it’s worth (i.e., my merits may not coincide with what you really want to know).

      LL is more competitive – if you care that your child(ren) understand early on that yes, some kids are better at things than others and they get to play more (I consider that a big merit because most kids in this area don’t really get exposed to that until high school). If you kid stinks, 2 innings a game playing in right field while the more adept kids play more innings and play more skilled positions. So if you kids have some talent, they will get better baseball skills in LL because the competition will drive them more.

      That’s not to say that BR is not competitive – but the focus there was always on helping ALL the kids understand the game better, and having them help/cheer others on even if they weren’t all that good. Yes, the kids (and coaches) still wanted to win but they took more time to celebrate the accomplishments of the lower-skilled players as much as the overall results. The coaches usually had players move around more to learn different positions (but not every kid can pitch. . .my son included).

      Where I came from, we only had LL, and I was one of the 2-inning a game players for my first 3 or 4 years and I struck out most times (BUT I was the only kid on the team who could bunt). My last year, I played every single position and had the highest batting average on the team, but that is because I really wanted to be one of the best players, so I practiced every day to get better.

      • Arlington Little League VP

        Arlington Little League makes every effort to ensure that all of its players enjoy a positive youth baseball experience. Whether a player demonstrates the ability to be an all-star or not, their contributions are valued. We emphasize postive coaching and teamwork.

        At our 4-8 year old levels, we don’t keep score and players regularly rotate positions in the field. Those teams are also school/neighborhood based. As the players move to the 9-12 year old leagues, scores and standings are kept but we have a team assignment process to keep the competition fair and reduce one-sided games.

        Our goal is to provide the best of youth baseball but that is not limited to scores and standings. We continually work to ensure that all Arlington Little League coaches and participants maintain a healthy perspective about competition. In recent years, we generally have had rosters of 12 or fewer players making it unlikely that players could be marginalized or limited. We expect that all of our players will be treated fairly and given the opportunity to contribute to their teams’ successes.

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        Thank you – that is very helpful.

      • Shirley Brothwell

        My son played in Arlington Babe Ruth for his first 6-7 seasons (Spring and Fall) then switched to Arlington Little League because we were unhappy with the Babe Ruth experience. Full disclosure, I am on the Little League Board of Directors. But my comment here is strictly as a parent.

        My son’s experience in Babe Ruth and my observations of the league’s overall attitude toward competition is directly the opposite of the above post. While the teams my son joined did mirror the poster’s experience in terms of coaching approach and attitude, the games between our teams and others in the league were extremely unbalanced. I have found that there are some teams in Babe Ruth that are extremely competitive and that appear to use the in-season play against weaker teams as a way to practice for post-season play. I will go so far as to say that some opposing coaches appeared to care more about winning by large margins than about the overall spirit of the game and the experience for all players. And, interesting, several boys from the last Babe Ruth team we played for now participate in All-Star teams or travel baseball, so it was not a question of lack of talent on our side.

        Losing game after game 25-0 and spending all his time in the outfield was ruining baseball for my son, so we switched. We have been very happy with Little League because he has learned more and there is an appropriate balance among the things we care about….learning skills, having fun, and competing. He has made many new friends and knows kids all over town.

        • madisonmanor

          I bow to folks who have had more recent experience, then. My last coaching stint was ~10 years ago, and it sounds like much has changed. My perspective was both as a parent and coach (LL) and just as a coach with no child playing (both BR and LL).

          Shirley – if your son’s team was losing game after game like that, something was seriously wrong – if your coach didn’t talk to the coaches of the other team to prevent that from happening then the parents should have because he wasn’t much of a coach or a leader – and someone should have talked to the league.

          • AllPrez

            madison — http://www.arlingtonlittleleague.org/2011/12/coaches-wanted/ — Once a coach, always a coach!

            For what it’s worth, I find your input as a former coach valuable and credible, and I’m glad you spoke up. The differences between the two leagues are largely philosophical (coach-formed teams vs. league-formed teams), so it’s always worthwhile to see and hear the dialogue from around the county. Unfortunately, it seems we’ll be drowned out by political debate this time around!

            You can always check us out for more info and contact us any time — http://www.arlingtonlittleleague.org and [email protected].

    • Hal J

      I highly recommend little league. My son recently “graduated” from ALL, having played each level from t-ball on up. It’s a great program.

  • OX4

    “One other observation: the crowd for this caucus appeared to be overwhelmingly white and…let’s just say “older” — very few young people, very few Latinos, very few African Americans, etc. As I looked around, I kept thinking, “what is this, the Republican Party?” All I can say is, I sure hope that voters on Saturday more closely resemble the diverse community that Arlington is proud to be. ”

    This has got to be one the stupidest things I have ever read on someone’s blog. And I’ve read a lot of stupid things on blogs. In what possible way could this matter? In the same way this person probably excoriates Republicans for ignoring minorities, we’re now supposed to condemn Democrats for having too many old white people? I can only hope that one day we get over this ridiculous sentiment that all US politics are to be divided into two camps: red or blue, young or old, white or not, Christian or not. Lazy, immature blogging certainly doesn’t help the situation.

    • Ashton Height Bob

      Walk around Lyon Park, Ashton Heights and Lyon Village and you will not see the diversity that people pretends exists. Attended any citizen association meetings to see 10-15 white people in attendance?

    • speonjosh

      Yeah, I think the folks in the earlier posts have already excoriated him/her enough. But I definitely agree. This observation says way more about the commenter than it does about the Democratic party in Arlington. Even a moment’s more reflection on his/her part could surely have come up with the same realizations that others here already have – the younger, “diverse” crowd generally has other priorities than coming out for a caucus on a Thursday night.
      And I’m with Strong Bad – why would you be hoping that the turnout on Saturday contains a particular selection of ethnic backgrounds and age groups? Seems awfully narrow-minded.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “In the same way this person probably excoriates Republicans for ignoring minorities, we’re now supposed to condemn Democrats for having too many old white people? I can only hope that one day we get over this ridiculous sentiment that all US politics are to be divided into two camps: red or blue, young or old, white or not, Christian or not. Lazy, immature blogging certainly doesn’t help the situation.”

      I agree, OX4. When I read the quote, I thought “well don’t you worry, because this ‘older, white person’ left the D party years ago and that type of comment/mindset doesn’t make me plan on coming back any time soon.”

      • OX4

        I’m with you, Blue. Given Obama’s policies over the last three years and the Dem’s unwillingness to argue with Obama on anything (even as he continues many of Bush’s policies that Dems apparently hated in 2008), I can’t call myself a Republican or a Democrat. I guess I’m just this squishy stuff in between that people halfheartedly refer to as “independent.”

        • Bluemontsince1961

          I describe myself as an independent conservative that is fed up with both political parties! So far, this election looks like the last two for me – vote against all incumbents (or to put it another way -throw all the bums out (I can’t type the essence of a classic Jersey, Brooklyn, or Long Island accent, but you get the idea). I’ve been a “hold the nose” voter since the 1988 national elections; I wish one of these days I could actually vote “for” someone instead of always voting “against” someone.

          • speonjosh

            For better or worse, your attitude is shared by about one third of the electorate. So we get the swings back and forth. Nothing changes.

            Find an independent candidate and vote for them.


          • I’m right beside you here.

    • Burger

      I wonder if she knows that Arlington became more white between 2000-2010 and her days of living in the forced diversity of college are over. It is quite unbelievable but the world is not a Bennetton commercial people just don’t show up to make sure there is the correct racial balance she wants.

  • South Awwwlington

    This is one of the most idiotic comments I have ever read by a supposed Democrat, the party of inclusion. I am starting to fear far left as much as the far right. Why hijack an existing party, start your own!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Seems some of the Ds may not want an “older, white person” like myself! No loss, the Ds drove me away from the D party years ago, and stuff like that or the “bitter ‘flyover’ people with their guns and religion” from four years ago will keep me away (those comments were a slam against my father’s ancestors, poor white working folk from Appalachian Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

      The far left and the far right are both just as bad.

      • Yes they are. And, the further apart they get the worse things get in this country.

    • speonjosh

      What far left?

      Virginia Democrats?!?!?

      Hahahahahhahahahah oh my sides hurt.

  • charlie

    Arlington Democrats would be called Republicans in most other places.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Or at least the liberal “RINO” type Republican. I’m doubtful that Arlington Dems would be called Republicans in small-town/rural “flyover” county.

    • Please…

      • charlie

        please? please add some inflection.

        If you go to Cambridge Mass or New York City — our democrats would melt when water was poured on them.

        Sure, compared to middle-America we are pretty crazy liberal. But compared to true bastions of American Democratic party, we are, lightweights.

        • truth be told

          i think your last paragraph negates your point. It is all a matter of perspective.

      • South Arlington

        Development and construction are some of the biggest businesses in Arlington. Being pro-developer, as this board unabashedly is, IS being pro-business – not typically the stereotype for a liberal in this country.

    • Elmer

      Oh. You mean like bills calling for marijuna to be sold in ABC stores? That would certainly be Republican in any area of Virginia!
      Where do you live? Berkley? San Francisco?

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        Englin is from that hot bed old lie Alexandria.

  • DarkHeart

    This process sounds more like a primary than a caucus. I’ve participated in Iowa caucuses and it’s a lot more than just casting a ballot.

  • She does my quaalude

    Any indication that they might change the polling hours tomorrow based on the icestormageddon?

    • Bryant

      Not as of this moment. I doubt if they will change because ice is suppose to change to rain around noon.

  • Tabs

    It’s still quite icy out there, and no one without a car can get to the polling place anyway.

  • Bondi loses (thank goodness)

    The final vote counts were as follows:

    Libby Garvey 1,915 votes

    Melissa Bondi 966 votes

    Terron Sims 922 votes

    Kim Klingler 333 votes

    Peter Fallon 178 votes

    • Elmer

      Garvey won? Well, that continues the musical chairs played by the one party machine in Arlington. Go off one board and get on another,i.e., Garvey, Haynes, Favola ,etc.,etc.
      Still would like an explaination how the Garvey school board can hold us up for $100,000,000+ school building programs, particularly at the high schools, and yet we end up with trailers as classrooms?
      Looks like another trip to California (to get an app for simple arithmetic) is needed.

    • Freethinker

      What do you have against Bondi? Other than that she is smart, progressive, and would have won if O’Leary et al had not unified against her?

  • TGEoA

    Glad to see Sims almost got second place.

    • charlie

      very impressed with his potential. hope to see him back soon.

      • Tabs

        I voted for Sims. He was the only one outside in the cold later today, greeting people warmly and shaking hands.


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