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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2012 at 9:34 am 4,087 31 Comments

Happy Fat Tuesday — It’s Fat Tuesday, the traditional day of feasting (or partying) before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. To celebrate the occasion, the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade will be held tonight, starting at 8:00 p.m. See our list of local Mardi Gras happenings for additional festivities around Arlington.

Three Arrested After Ballston Fight — Three suspects were arrested following a fight near the Ballston Metro station Monday evening. The fight broke out in the area of Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street. Fairfax Drive was partially blocked by police vehicles following the incident. Additional details were not immediately available.

Arlington Man Killed in Loudoun County — An Arlington man was killed when a deer came crashing through the windshield of the SUV he was riding in Saturday night. The freak accident happened on Route 9 in Loudoun County around 7:30 p.m. Police say a Toyota Prius first hit the deer, launching it in the air. The deer came down on the SUV, killing 26-year-old Rodolfo Ruiz Villatoro of Arlington. [MyFoxDC]

Legislators Accept Trips and Gifts — Among the corporate gifts and travel accepted by local state lawmakers last year: a $8,796 trip to France (Del. David Englin) and $400 circus tickets (Del. Patrick Hope). [Sun Gazette]

  • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

    That Katie Pyzyk is one fine photographer, is all I have to say.

    • nunya


    • Josh S

      Perhaps. But this shot is not evidence.

      • CW

        +1. May or may not have been taken with a calculator.

  • jackson

    Wow, a Prius going in one direction strikes a deer, sending it airborne and causing it to strike an SUV traveling in the opposite direction. Guy in the Prius is uninjured, guy in SUV killed.

    • JamesE

      Pretty amazing the prius was actually going fast enough to send a deer airborne.

      • OldTimer

        The deer did not hear it. Hybrids are dangerous to blind people and animals!!!

        • Thes

          Perhaps Prius drivers should have to install a device on their vehicle like the “truck backing up” beeper so that people can hear them coming.

          • Bubba Rubb

            The whistles go…. whoo whoo!

          • nom de guerre

            Were you referring to a “deer whistle?”


  • JamesE

    Well now I know what all those sirens were for.

  • Thes

    Is there a place we can go to see how these trips are justified? I heard that Virginia lawmakers were offered the trip to Europe to see some kind of mining or extracting process that might be legalized here. If so, I could see that being justified education. However, I’m having more trouble understanding why a legislator would accept Kings Dominion or theater tickets. Hopefully it’s possible to find out. Maybe a reporter will ask them.

    • CW

      Why do they need to be justified if they are given as gifts?

      Now, concern as to why politicians are allowed to be bought off with expensive gifts, that’s a different and very important issue altogether.

      • Thes

        I think you are restating the point of my question, CW. Not all gifts are bribes, but our legislators should explain this. For example, “giving” a legislator a trip to a coal mine to check out its safety procedures seems just fine to me, and unlikely to “buy them off” unless they are getting free gold from the mine or something. But I think the burden should be on the legislator to say why the gift was educational or otherwise necessary to their job.

        • CW

          Gotcha. I’m woefully uninformed on what is and is not a legal, allowable gift. The line does seem rather blurred.

    • drax

      Uranium mining.

  • Lily

    Oh my God that is awful. I nearly died the same way – was doing about 60 down 29 in a rural part of VA and with no warning at all a deer crashed right through my windshield.The deer was in mid-jump when it hit me and the windshield took the entire impact. The glass shattered, but amazingly the frame held together and kept the deer carcass from slamming into my face. I got a bunch of glass shards in my eyes but was spared worse consequences. So sorry to hear that this guy wasn’t as lucky. He was just minding his own business and did absolutely nothing to bring this on himself. Keeping his family in my prayers.

    Have to add that after my accident, I’ve really been put off driving and now take the train or the bus wherever I can. Driving offers you the illusion of being in control, but the reality is you can be dead in an instant through absolutely no fault of your own. Yes I know that applies to almost any activity, but driving is by far the most dangerous thing we all do on a daily basis. Be careful out there. And watch for deer — those b******s are out for blood.

    • deer

      omg I had a friend who got killed like that, he was chasing a female across a highway during rutting season and BAM! a truck hit him.

    • Michael H.

      Deer can be a hazard on some local bike trails too. A couple summers ago, I was riding my bike on the W&OD out past Falls Church when a large deer jumped out of the foliage and onto the trail. Fortunately I had time to stop. I had also heard rustling in the trees shortly before he jumped out. He (or she?) must have weighed a few hundreds pounds so I would have been in serious trouble if I had run into him. That stretch of the trail is a long straightaway with no intersections so I was riding a bit faster than I would on other sections of the trail.

      I could see that there were no other bikes or pedestrians ahead for several hundred feet. But I was not expecting a deer to come crashing onto the trail.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    “Among the corporate gifts and travel accepted by local state lawmakers last year: a $8,796 trip to France (Del. David Englin) and $400 circus tickets (Del. Patrick Hope).”

    Must be nice….I wouldn’t mind a “gift” of an almost $8800 trip to France. Shoot, I’d be happy with half the amount if the “gift” was a trip to the US Virgin Islands or San Diego. And what “justification” is there for a politician to get a “gift” of circus tickets? $400 for circus tickets?!?!?!?

    • tess

      Plus you get to tour uranium mines in France and Saskatchewan! Sounds super fun! However, if you read the Sun Gazette, you’d think only the Democrats went/”got this gift.” Hardly…

      “Not surprisingly, Virginia Uranium—company that wants Virginia to lift its ban on uranium mining so it can open a mine in Pittsylvania County—was the top gift-giver.

      The company spent $120,336 on gifts, mostly taking 15 legislators on trips to France and Saskatchewan to tour uranium mines there.
      Dels. John Cosgrove, Lionel Spruill, Mamye BaCote, Jimmy Massie (a trip for two, he listed), Roslyn Tyler, Jeion Ward, David Englin, Barry Knight and Scott Lingamfelter went on the trips to France, along with Sen. Louise Lucas and Sen. Mamie Locke. Sens. Frank Wagner, John Watkins and Yvonne Miller, and Delegates Onzlee Ware, Lynwood Lewis, Spruill and Massie went to Canada.”


      Circus tickets – as well as Redskins tickets – would be pretty hard to justify, no matter which side is getting them.

    • Josh S

      Yeah, and what goes through his mind? He *knows* people will be upset. Does he think it’s a justified perk of the office? Does he consult the law, find out it’s legal and then figure that’s the end of that?

      If government employees can’t accept a gift worth more than $25, I fail to see why politicians should be allowed to.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Ditto also for contractors that work for the gov’t. Anything over $25 is grounds for a lot of trouble.

  • Shaun

    Speaking of Fat Tuesday, does anyone know where a guy can find a paczki in this town?

    • nunya

      maybe the german gourmet or heidleberg bakery

      • OldTimer

        Isn’t that the photographer’s name on many arlnow photos?

  • Bambi

    prius drivers are quite possibly the worse drivers on the road. replacing saturn drivers.

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    here is an interesting piece —
    this railroad car was put there as a history piece and to teach about the railroad and paid for by us (or at lease Bluemont1961 and I).

    here’s the problemo: This particular caboose would NEVER have been on this line — it is a competitor line. It would be like driving a Ford to your job at the Chevy plant.

    • jackson

      If anyone who worked on either of those lines were still alive, there might be some outrage. Now it’s just kids saying, “Oh! Choo choo!”

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        well actually there was when it was first installed. but strangely enough neither NVRPA or Arlington County listened or cared.

        The W&OD ran until 1968 which was only 43 years ago. So that leaves a wide range of people who are still alive. I know a handful and most are not happy and refuse to go anywhere near this.

        Southern Railroad was in business by that name until 1990 and now operates as Norfolk Southern. They’d be thrilled to have their car on someone elses’ track… nice pissing contest.

  • Flameout

    How come the caboose is never manned, even on weekends?


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