Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com May 23, 2012 at 9:15 am 5,548 53 Comments

Court Rules Against Doggie Daycare Mural — A federal appeals court has determined that Arlington County did not violate a business owner’s free speech by forcing her to cover up a mural that county code interpreted as a commercial sign. Wag More Dogs owner Kim Houghton had argued — unsuccessfully — that the mural was artwork and the county’s action violated her First Amendment rights. [Associated Press]

‘Leek American Bistro’ Coming to Ballston — A new American-style bistro is coming to Ballston. “Leek American Bistro” will feature “upscale” dishes in a casual atmosphere. Chef/owner Nathan Spittal says the new eatery, located in the former Thai Terrace space at 801 N. Quincy Street, will focus on locally-sourced ingredients and locally-sourced beer and wine. Spittal is the former owner of the BBQ Banditos food truck. [Washington Business Journal]

Board Approved Clarendon Metro Improvements — The Arlington County Board last night approved a $765,000 contract to transform the small park area around the Clarendon Metro station into a “more active, accessible, multi-use plaza.” Planned improvements include landscaping, paving, covered bike parking, seating walls and movable tables and chairs. [Arlington County]

Arlington Business Hall of Fame Inductees — Three men were inducted into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame during a ceremony yesterday morning, May 22. The ceremony also included the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s annual ABBIEs business award presentation. [Sun Gazette, Arlington Mercury]

Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil

  • DeportEmAll



    • JamesE

      Dried specimens from archaeological sites in ancient Egypt, as well as wall carvings and drawings, led Zohary and Hopf to conclude that the leek was a part of the Egyptian diet “from at least the 2nd millennium BCE onwards.” They also allude to surviving texts that show it had been also grown in Mesopotamia from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE.[4] The leek was the favourite vegetable of the Emperor Nero, who consumed it in soup or in oil, believing it beneficial to the quality of his voice.[5]

      Sounds American to me.

    • Number 1 or Number 2

      You would prefer “dump”?

  • novasteve

    Well, Leek is better than “Leak” especially with raw sewage.

  • just kick out the bums and plant a few trees outside the clarendon metro for like a couple grand. 3/4 of a mil, jeez. *howls*

    • CourthouseChris

      What’s your position on the new resolution to the longstanding Wag More Dogs mural issue, Captain Pup?

      • i will continue to support my domesticated brothers’ and sisters’ desires to be cleaned and groomed at a reasonable price and wish them the best of luck. as for me… *howls & darts off into the woods*

    • You have no sense of how much things cost.

      • i have a sense of how that’s a waste of money for a perfectly nice metro entrance, yes. *howls & chases u away*

        • Agreed. The Clarendon metro station doesn’t really need to be renovated. How about focusing on Ballston instead. Talk about needing some TLC.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            That’s the truth!

          • YTK

            Ballston Metro Station/Bus Depot is not only the gathering place for commuters and shoppers to catch their buses, but is also the gathering place for vagrants, screaming wackos and drunks. Yes– it needs a facelift for sure, but more than a facelift as well. And it could use a satellite police station there like the one they had/have in Landmark Mall.

          • JohnB2

            They could use the Ruby Tuesday’s spot for the sattelite police station. It’s not like any restaurant will take that spot any time soon.

          • JamesE

            relocate bus depot, problem solved.

          • SteamboatWillie


        • Clarendon Resident

          It’s too bad that the board didn’t think to ASK ANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE HERE what they thought before approving the design.

          Grass and trees absorb sound and provide refreshment for the eyes and lungs. We already have plenty of pavement, thank you. I loved this little oasis of green and used to linger here frequently – it’s the only “lawn” that I have. With the redesign I’ll leave the vicinity as quickly as possible. Especially if there is amplified music.

          The board beats the mantra of “livable neighborhoods” and then ruins everything that makes them so.

          • Suburban Not Urban

            ‘it’s the only “lawn” that I have’ and this is the sadness of Arlington to come thanks to the County board.

          • drax

            There are thousands of homes with lawns in Arlington, and many more in the outer suburbs.

            Do you think every home in DC should have a lawn too?

          • Josh S

            It’s the right of the people to have a lawn that made this country great! The course of human history is the story of people struggling and striving to develop a society that placed the proper value on having lawns. All other civilizations before ours were inferior because of their failure to make room for lawns. In fact, once we can figure out how to get a lawn for everyone who wants one, then THAT will be the true End of History as there will be nothing more to strive for or aspire to.

          • J


          • Robert

            If you actually paid attention you would have had ample input into the park renovation design. Community input was requested throughout the process through various channels. Are you a member of your civic association? Are you a member of the Clarendon Alliance? Do you pay attention to the County Board hearings? Have you seen the sample pavement pattern in the park with a huge sign asking for public opinion?? What do you want the County to do? Knock on the door of every resident and personally illicit their opinion? Love the way people feel they have a right to complain after the fact when they do nothing to participate in the process.

          • drax

            There is ALWAYS someone who says “why didn’t they ask me?” after a decision is made with an exhaustive period of substantial public input. Never fails.

          • whiners, inc.


          • Clarendon Resident

            Ahem. While I wish you would have raised your point using a tone that is perhaps a little less hostile, I’m glad you did because your ultimate point is worth discussion. Achieving effective community involvement is challenge both for the county and for residents.

            Like many residents in Clarendon, I live in a high-rise condo building. Our community experience is different than those of families with lawns and children who frequently interact together. If my building is a member of an existing neighborhood civic association, then we are blissfully unaware of that fact. I’ve been here since the building opened and not once has there been any outreach by any existing association under which we would be covered. We could form our own I suppose, but if attendance at unit owner association meetings is any guideline I’d guess that we’d never get one up and running. Which doesn’t make our opinions as residents any less valid, just harder to capture.

            Although I’m on the email list for County announcements and also receive written notifications about zoning changes to property of adjacent to mine, I’ve faithfully read each one, not one of them mentioned anything about the park or providing input. But the emailed notices of County Board meetings that I have seen have all been scheduled for the middle of the business day when my professional responsibilities preclude my attendance.

            [In fact, were it not for Arlnow.com, I would be much less informed about my neighborhood. So I am a thankful and devoted reader of this website and always appreciate the opportunity for civil discussion on issues with other posters. Like you, for example]

            Regarding the Clarendon Alliance, in my five plus years of residency, it is my observation that the Clarendon Alliance functions primarily to support the interests of commercial businesses in the area rather than residents. Its relevance to my daily life is marginal at best.

            As for the “big sign” at the park – I recall seeing one – did it have a link where residents could take an online survey? If so, I certainly did.

            In fact, I would very much have liked to see the results of that survey, but never discovered where subsequent publication was available. Because while my original opinion about the park very purposefully expressed my opinion alone, it is my impression that others share it.

          • Robert

            If you live in Clarendon then you should join the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Assn. Its members are Clarendon – Courthouse residents and are the voice for the community on issues affecting our neighborhood. When the County Board seeks community input they go to the respective civic association for their feedback. I believe it is a $10 annual membership fee. You will be added to their distribution list for notices of actions, meeting times, etc. It is a great way to stay connected to what is happening in the Clarendon area and a way to express your point of view. You can contact them for a membership request at [email protected].

            Also, the Clarendon Alliance membership includes residents as well as businesses. Their role is to promote Clarendon as a great place to live, work, and play. The County also approaches them for feedback on various issues. Take a walk over to their new office sometime located on 11th St in between the loading docks and South Block Smoothie.

            I would not expect your condo bldg to be the one to notify residents on civic or community matters.

          • Robert

            For others in Arlington interested in getting involved with their civic association the Arlington County web site has a link providing contact information for each neighborhood. http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/countyboard/org/civic.asp

          • Clarendon Resident

            Robert, thank you so much for the information you provided regarding Arlington civic associations. Many of us move from locations where there are no such organizations, so we are unaware of their existence when we move here. So we do not participate – not because we are lazy, or stupid, trying on brown flip flops or waiting to whine retroactively, as others are inclined to believe. Again, thank you for taking the time and effort to post such helpful information.

            As for the Clarendon Alliance, I’ve walked by on three separate occasions in the past and found nobody there. And the one time I did find somebody there, they were people who were sharing the office space. When I checked the website I discovered that the ratio of business owners and developers to residents on the board is about 2 to 1. Realizing that those two groups have interests that are contrary to mine, I finally gave up. If that makes me an uncaring whiner, then I’ll own it.

  • “Spittal is the former owner of the BBQ Banditos food truck.”

    *ahem* Food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants aren’t enemies!

  • Swag

    A new American-style bistro is coming to ________. “________” will feature “upscale” dishes in a casual atmosphere. Chef/owner ________ says the new eatery, located in the former ________ space at ________, will focus on locally-sourced ingredients and locally-sourced beer and wine.

    • novasteve

      I would really prefer a Wawa than another cloned Arlington restaurant.

      • Scott

        Wawa ftw

      • Arlie


    • Bluemontsince1961

      Sure seems that way, doesn’t it?

    • drax

      ________? What a stupid name! And doesn’t Arlington already have enough ________ food? We need some good ________ food instead. God, I hate this place. Can’t wait to move back to _________.

    • WeiQiang

      How about a dedicated food truck lot … sort of automotive food court. I’ve seen them in DC on weekends.

    • Number 1 or Number 2

      Get that ________ off my lawn!

    • MyHood


    • Arlington Currently

      Thanks! That’ll go great right into our library of story templates!

  • Lil’ Bow Wow

    I bet Kim now wishes she just painted that “welcome to the dog park” text the county wanted.

    • ShirliMan

      Speaking of art along Four Mile Run, I noticed yesterday evening that there are several rock stacks just east (south?) of 395 along the bike trail, on the opposite side of the run, amidst the bank of rocks that was already there. They are not very tall, but still cool. Has anyone seen them?,,,know anything about it? I wonder if it is being done by those that hang out under the trail in that area.

      Like this, although much smaller:

  • YTK

    See, Kim should have painted a mural of an Arlington STREETCAR instead….

    • WeiQiang

      … and that’s “LeStreetcar” to you

  • Bender

    If the argument was that the ordinance itself violated the First Amendment, then that was almost sure to lose. But the ordinance isn’t the issue — the County’s application of the ordinance to this particular mural is the issue.

    Of course, it could simply be yet another case of lousy reporting by our stellar news media, and the court did in fact rule on an as-applied challenge.

  • ArlMom

    Maybe instead of spending a quarter million dollars (?!!!) on updating the metro station in hipster-land, they could spend a few thousand getting rid of the riff-raff that congregates in Tuckahoe Park?

    • DarkHeart

      Those are Rock collectors.

    • arlcyclist

      If you think Clarendon is full of hipsters you may want to brush up on the definition of a hipster. For one thing, hipsters don’t wear brown flip-flops.

      • WeiQiang

        … or bathe, apparently. I was up on the Lower East Side at some fire-eating show at a bar and the stink was killing me – or am I just not cool enough to get it.

    • you don’t know what a ‘hipster’ is, do u? *howls & rides away on fixie bike while rocking the arcade fire thru my ipad*

      • drax

        I call BS: dogs can’t ride bikes and they hate Arcade Fire just like most people.

  • John Fontain

    If anyone should be inducted into the ‘Arlington Business Hall of Fame’ it’s Pete Pflug. He is one of the main reasons Clarendon transformed from a run down area to one of the hipest areas in town.

    • DarkHeart

      Greg Cahill should be in if he’s not already. Ditto for Dale Roberts.

      • John Fontain

        I agree on Mr. Cahill.

    • CC



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