Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com January 7, 2013 at 9:15 am 2,687 91 Comments

Men looking for work outside Glebe Market (photo by Ddimick)

State Legislators Hold Public Hearing — Arlington’s delegation to the Virginia General Assembly listened to nearly 50 speakers make the case for various legislative and funding priorities at a public hearing Friday night. Among the issues discussed were gun laws, mental health and disability funding, and Medicaid. [Twitter, Sun Gazette]

Rent Rises in Arlington — The average rent in Arlington in the third quarter of 2012 was $2,500.06, a 2.5 percent increase from a year prior. The average rent for single-family homes had the steepest increase — 4.4 percent — compared to apartments and townhouses. [Sun Gazette]

D.C. United Coach Regrets Living in N. Va. — Ben Olsen, the 35-year-old coach of the D.C. United soccer team, says he regrets living in Fairfax and Arlington before moving to his current home in the District. Olsen said in an interview that he was “kicking myself for wasting all those years living in Northern Virginia.” [DCist]

Va. ABC Stores Report Record Profits — Virginia ABC stores reported a record profit of $132.1 million in the last fiscal year. “There is something to say that people continue to drink in good times and in bad, but generally speaking as the economy improves, people have more disposable income to spend,” a Virginia ABC executive said. [CBS DC]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

  • CrystalMikey

    Don’t worry Ben, we still love you. Vamos United!

  • G Clifford Prout

    And we regret having Ben Olsen overstaying his welcome.

  • As a transplant from another coast, DC really isn’t that great and not worth the added expense of living there compared to other cities. It has, admittedly, gotten a lot better in terms of music, culture and food in recent years.

    • internet tourettes

      As a transplant from another city, I agree. DC does have better ” music, culture and food” than alrlington.

    • SomeGuy

      DC is a transplant from another coast?

      • WeiQiang

        zing. sentence structure, brah.

  • John Fontain

    +10 on today’s picture. Nice to see a pic that captures an aspect of real life in Arlington. I’ve hired guys from Glebe Market many times to help me with odd jobs around my house. I’ve always found them extremely hard working.

    • The Dope of South Arlington

      Did you check their immigration status before hiring? If not, you broke the law.

      • South Awwlington

        Does the Shirlington EEC check immigration status before securing day labor for its clients? If not, how do they get by without being raided by ICE?

        • drax

          I imagine the employer has that responsibility, not the EEC.

        • George

          Good point. We should give ICE a tip.

    • novasteve

      You do realize you’ve just admitted to committing a crime, right?

      • Che

        wrong again (as usual)

      • John Fontain

        How so Steve?

      • Captain_Obvious

        I think its illegal for a contractor to do that, not some joe schmo who needs help or is too lazy to do it himself.

        • drax

          I did a drive-by of what I think is the law in question, and it looks like it applies to every employer, not just a contractor or whatnot.

          • Captain_Obvious

            gotcha, so I would be considered an employer if I get a couple guys to paint some rooms in my house, technically speaking ?

          • Libby

            Thanks for checking. Seems Steve was correct!

          • drax

            Well, yeah, I would think so.

          • SteveP

            Without having reviewed the law in question and without making an argument about alien status, I think the issue here ends up being whether or not you are the persons employer or if they are an independent contractor.

            For example, I refereed soccer for many years and was considered an independent contractor by the leagues that hired me. In this relationship the leagues relationship with me was as an independent contractor and I don’t believe that they had to follow certain employer/employee laws because I was not an employee of their. It would be similar if you hired a plumber or any sort of contractor for a defined job at your home.

            In this case then, hiring a general handyman (or something similar) for a defined project seems to me to be the same kind of relationship.

    • JohnB
  • B22201

    I once made the mistake of thinking Dali was a great artist. . .I’ve regretted it ever since.

  • jackson

    If he moved to DC for the cultural diversity, he must have lived in a cookie cutter McMansion in the boring suburbs of Arlington. Diversity doesn’t come to you if you don’t live near it.

    • CrystalMikey

      Doubt it, MLS players really don’t make that much dinero.

      • arlmom

        Exactly. I am wondering how he is going to now pay for private school for his two kids–because hell knows he’ll need to go private in that hood!!

        Most of us lived until DC until the kids became school-age. He seems to have gotten it backward. Hmmm.

  • North A-Town Snob

    Does that sign say No Loitering??

    Little country store with a sign tacked to the side.
    Said ‘NO L-O-I-T-E-R-I-N-G ALLOWED.’
    Underneath that sign always congregated quite a crowd.

    • Que?

      Yea the problem is its in the wrong language…

    • Captain_Obvious

      +1, but the police would rather ticket food trucks for parking 2 minutes past their allotted time.

      • KalashniKEV

        Our County Chair is on-the-record as being in support of this type of criminality. He wants our LEOs to “opt out” of enforcing the law. This is concerning.

        • novasteve

          Does everyone get to pick which laws they will obey and which they won’t?

          • Josh S

            Pretty much, yeah.

          • novasteve

            If that were the case Josh, I wouldn’t be obeying a certain ban.

          • Mack

            It’s called America. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

        • drax


    • David

      Well played with Crazy Mary.

  • CW

    I mean, it would be cool to live in DC, to be able to wake right up, walk out the door, and have all sorts of interesting stuff within walking distance. But not “worth the higher taxes, higher rent, smaller home, impossible to drive anywhere, nowhere to park, tons of noise, and lots of crime” cool.

    • JamesE

      + speed cameras

      • +1 speed cameras.

        We save our money from living in nova instead of DC by going up to NYC, a real city.

    • JohnB

      Don’t forget the corrupt/inept local government and lack of voting representation in Congress.

    • NPGMBR


  • Deadite

    I laugh at people who think that living in DC makes them “hip”. DC was never hip, and it never will be.

    • drax

      Like most cities, DC has its hip parts and its hip people here and there. Being in DC does not make you hip though. Wanting to be hip makes you not hip, as does trying to be hip simply by living in a certain place.

      • Hank

        +1 Nailed it.

      • Deadite

        Agreed. It’s great when DCers look down their noses at us, as if they’re living in Manhattan or something. I’m not saying Arlington is hip (it aint) but at least we don’t delude ourselves about it.

        • drax

          Like most cities, Arlington has its hip parts and its hip people here and there….

        • Just Sayin’

          Manhattan is too expensive to be hip.

      • Captain_Obvious

        To be hip, you need: skinny jeans, black-rimmed glasses, and a designer flannel shirt.

        • drax

          Neckbeard is encouraged (for men only). Those stupid rings in your earlobes are worth double points.

    • novasteve

      It does appeal to insecure, status oriented people, and I hav eno idea why either beacuse there’s nothing desirable at all about DC. It’s so characterless and boring it makes Toronto seem interesting.

      • broken record

        keep making this observation about “insecure status oriented people” while name dropping cities in the world that you have visited.

        • Che

          Agreed. Only losers who are insecure raise issues about status. Real people who are not insecure losers do not think about status. (Some of these losers promise to leave, but being losers they fail to follow through. Sad life.)

    • Amen to that.

  • South Awwlington

    As someone who lived in the District for eight years before moving to Arlington in 2009, they really aren’t that different. Arlington honestly seems to be more expensive and more liberal – other than that – yes, there are look and feel differences between downtown and Arlington but other parts of the district (Upper Northwest, Catholic U, Far NE) greatly resemble the SFH’s of Arlington.

    • drax

      You think Arlington is more liberal than DC? Interesting.

      And the expenses depends on your lifestyle. In DC you might need private school, and you will pay higher taxes, especially if you own property.

      • South Awwlington

        I definitely think Arlington is more liberal than DC and has surpassed Takoma Park, MD in liberal views also. Not that I think that is a bad thing. I am a registered D and have voted as such most of my life (with exception to the latest Arlington County Board election). We do (in Arlington) seem to have an increased interest in social and housing programs lately (more so than any other local jurisdiction) with the exception of same-sex marriage (which would need to pass through Richmond first).

        I do agree with you on taxes and schools. Overall property value, I tend to believe we are slightly higher than the District with all things equal except perhaps a Georgetown address.

      • Tax Collector

        Your statement about property taxes being higher in DC than Arlington is completely wrong. I own real property in both DC and Arlington and the tax rate in Arlington is much higher than it is in DC. See the following from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (although the date is a few years old the rates have not changed significantly):

        ■ In 2008, DC homeowners paid lower property taxes on average than homeowners in surrounding counties. Among homes with an average sales price of $500,000, DC homeowners paid an average tax of $2,725, compared to $3,504 in Montgomery County, $4,752 in PG County, and over $4,400 in Arlington and Fairfax counties. (2008 is the most recent year for which comparable data are available.)

        • Josh S

          What does “among homes with an average sales price of $500,000” mean? Why not simply print the tax rate and make the comparison there? I’m fairly certain all jurisdictions have a rate that is X cents of tax per Y dollars of property’s assessed value. So it’s pretty easy to do a very obvious, straightforward apples to apples comparison of the tax rates. No need to resort to this “among homes with an average sales price” crap which is just obfuscatory.

          • Tax Collector

            Because simply showing the tax rate doesn’t take into account deductions. DC also has more generous deductions on real property than Arlington.

            However, if simple minds like simple figures, here you.

            Arlington: 97.1 cents per $100 of assessed value
            DC: 85 cents per $100 of assessed value

          • Justin Russo

            DC has a homestead exemption; Arlington does not.

          • Josh S

            Excellent. Much better than “among homes with an average sales price of $500,000.”

            Of course, it begs the question of what the deductions are and who gets to take them. But based simply on the rate, it certainly looks like ARlington’s property taxes are much higher than DC’s.

            Also, getting back to drax’s assertion, he never specifically mentioned property taxes. So I guess to properly refute what he said, you’d also have to discuss sales and income taxes in both jurisdictions.

        • drax

          He seems to be correct. DC rate = .85, Arlington rate = .958

          I meant to refer to the higher income taxes in DC but it didn’t come out right.

          • Tax Collector

            Agreed that income taxes are higher in DC. Arlington will also tax the hell out of your car; I’m not sure if DC does the same because I never owned a car there.

        • South Awwlington

          Are we certain that tax rates are higher in Prince George’s County than Montgomery?

          Something seems amiss.

  • Arlingtonian

    Nice to see Arlington proudly supporting illegal immigration, in spite of the law.

    • tejada

      No fue nada. No te preocupes.

      • bobbytiger


  • Che

    State run liquor stores? It is amusing to know that the “conservatives” who run Virginia operate a Havana-style state business that blocks free enterprise. Fidel would be proud.

    • BBMS

      I agree. Liquor distribution is not a core function of the government. However, the only faction supporting privatization is also in the “conservative” camp, so you are only partially correct in your generalization.

    • FrenchyB

      To be fair, Gov. McDonnell did offer a plan to privatize the ABC stores in the commonwealth.

      • drax

        To be fair, McDonnell was only interested in using the privatization as a cheap budget gimmick. Once the General Assembly realized he couldn’t make that work, he gave up. It had nothing to do with McDonnell believing in free enterprise, it was about another lame attempt to avoid making the hard choice to raise the gas tax.

        • FrenchyB

          No doubt. I didn’t say it was a good plan.

          • drax

            Just clarifying that it had nothing to do with principle or private enterprise. McDonnell and the Republicans are happy to keep a business all to themselves and make a few bucks for the state.

          • BBMS

            I guess we will have to wait for the Democrats to regain control in Richmond to get privatization then.

          • drax

            The Democrats aren’t going to privatize either – but they’ll be honest about it.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Right, because the Ds are always honest. Give me a break.

          • Zimmie

            We’re honest because we disclose!

        • Libby

          Thank God you’re here to tell us how things really are!

      • South Awwlington

        There was a story on WTOP the other day about the ridiculousn amount of money ABC Stores earn for the Commonwealth. They aren’t going anywhere.

        • TheBeermonger

          This. Every year there’s another ‘plan’ to privatize liquor sales in VA, and they never go anywhere. Even with the overhead the state puts out to run them, they make far too much in return to let it go.

          • Not Really

            The ABC stores annual “profit” would pay for 1 day and 3 hours of Virginia government time. It is absurd to have a non-core function like selling booze to be within the confines of the state government. VA could make more selling the stores, raising the tax and licensing fees, lowering pension obligations and the like – plus likely increase sales because of the increase in people that would buy in Virginia than currently do by crossing over to DC, MD, WV and NC than the 132 they made last year. But, it is the complete intragency of the political classes that will make this never happen.

          • I doubt it

            if the “state stores” were such a drain on Richmond’s finances, do you really think we would still be hanging on to them?

  • Bedazzler

    Clarendon….the bane of lifelong Arlingtonians existence. As unhip a nightspot can be.

  • Michael H.

    Interesting that D.C. United has held some practices in Arlington, at Long Bridge Park. Arlington can’t be that bad, can it, Ben?

  • Arlington Native

    I grew up in Arlington and still live here but now that I’m in my twenties, venturing out and enjoying the city is a way better alternative to Clarendon and such.

    When the time comes to raise a family, send your kids to school and keep them safe I would defintely be settling in Arlington…..

    • arlimprov

      oh yes—ArlingtonNative…this was us in her 20s-early 30s. We only ever went out in DC. However, when kids came along–we fled DC for the good public schools in Arlington. It seems idiotic to do it the opposite way and now have to pay for private school such as Ben (or he will soon find out–don’t know how old his kids are).

  • CrystalMikey

    The rent is too damn high

  • Ansel

    That picture was originally shot on film. That’s so retro!

    • Libby

      Isn’t retro hip?

  • Zack

    It feels soooooooo good to think I’m better than other people. Rock on, Ben.

  • novabrah

    Ben, I’d like my flip flops, Hollister shirt, and cargo shorts back.

  • Becoming Indifferent

    If the MLS wasn’t such a joke, I might be slightly offended by Mr. Olson’s remarks. What an idiot–glad you don’t live in NOVA.


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